Psalm 18:22
For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.
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18:20-28 Those that forsake the ways of the Lord, depart from their God. But though conscious to ourselves of many a false step, let there not be a wicked departure from our God. David kept his eye upon the rule of God's commands. Constant care to keep from that sin, whatever it be, which most easily besets us, proves that we are upright before God. Those who show mercy to others, even they need mercy. Those who are faithful to God, shall find him all that to them which he has promised to be. The words of the Lord are pure words, very sure to be depended on, and very sweet to be delighted in. Those who resist God, and walk contrary to him, shall find that he will walk contrary to them, Le 26:21-24. The gracious recompence of which David spoke, may generally be expected by those who act from right motives. Hence he speaks comfort to the humble, and terror to the proud; Thou wilt bring down high looks. And he speaks encouragement to himself; Thou wilt light my candle: thou wilt revive and comfort my sorrowful spirit; thou wilt guide my way, that I may avoid the snares laid for me. Thou wilt light my candle to work by, and give me an opportunity of serving thee. Let those that walk in darkness, and labour under discouragements, take courage; God himself will be a Light to them.For all his judgments - All his statutes, ordinances, laws. The word judgment is commonly used in this sense in the Scriptures, as referring to that which God has judged or determined to be right.

Were before me - That is, I acted in view of them, or as having them to guide me. They were constantly before my eyes, and I regulated my conduct in accordance with their requirements.

And I did not put away his statutes from me - I did not reject them as the guide of my conduct.

20-24. The statements of innocence, righteousness, &c., refer, doubtless, to his personal and official conduct and his purposes, during all the trials to which he was subjected in Saul's persecutions and Absalom's rebellions, as well as the various wars in which he had been engaged as the head and defender of God's Church and people. Before me, i.e. before the eyes of my mind; I diligently studied and considered them, that I might govern my whole life by them.

From me, i.e. out of my view, as ungodly men do; who like not to retain God nor his word in their hearts or thoughts. For all his judgments were before me,.... That is, the precepts of the law of God, which David had a respect unto, loved, took delight and pleasure in, and so had them all in his sight, and made them the rule of his actions; and the law of God is delighted in by regenerate persons, after the inward man; and though it is abolished as a covenant of works, it is a rule of walk and conversation to the saints; and as such they keep it in view, and regard it impartially, not only some of its precepts, but all. This in the highest and fullest sense was done by Christ, who was made under the law, in whose heart it was, and who came to fulfil it, and has completely fulfilled it;

and I did not put away his statutes from me; in 2 Samuel 22:23; it is read, "and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them"; the sense is the same; this may have respect to the ceremonial law, and the ordinances of it, which David abode by, very strictly observed, renewed, and put in order; and which Christ, his antitype, never departed from, but conformed unto throughout the whole of his life; witness his circumcision, keeping of the passover, attendance on the synagogue and temple worship; nor did he put them away until they had their full accomplishment in him; when there was a disannulling of them because of their weakness and unprofitableness.

For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his {r} statutes from me.

(r) For all his dangers he exercised himself in the law of God.

22. God’s commandments were continually present to his mind as the rule of his life. Cp. Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Psalm 119:30; Psalm 119:102; and contrast the spirit of the ungodly man in Psalm 10:5.

and I did not put away &c.] In order to sin without compunction. This reading suits the parallelism best, and is preferable to that in 2 Sam., “and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them.”Verse 22. - For all his judgments were before me; i.e. "all his commandments" (compare the use of the same word (מִשׁפַט throughout the hundred and nineteenth psalm). And I did not put away his statutes from me. The wicked are said to "cast God's commandments behind their back" (1 Kings 14:9; Nehemiah 9:26; Psalm 50:17; Ezekiel 23:35). David declares that he had never so acted; he had kept God's statutes always well before him, had borne them in mind, and given heed to them. (Heb.: 18:17-20) Then Jahve stretches out His hand from above into the deep chasm and draws up the sinking one. The verb שׁלח occurs also in prose (2 Samuel 6:6) without יד (Psalm 57:4, cf. on the other hand the borrowed passage, Psalm 144:7) in the signification to reach (after anything). The verb משׁה, however, is only found in one other instance, viz., Exodus 2:10, as the root (transferred from the Egyptian into the Hebrew) of the name of Moses, and even Luther saw in it an historical allusion, "He hath made a Moses of me," He hath drawn me out of great (many) waters, which had well nigh swallowed me up, as He did Moses out of the waters of the Nile, in which he would have perished. This figurative language is followed, in Psalm 18:18, by its interpretation, just as in Psalm 144:7 the "great waters" are explained by מיּד בּני נכר, which, however, is not suitable here, or at least is too limited.

With Psalm 18:17 the hymn has reached the climax of epic description, from which it now descends in a tone that becomes more and more lyrical. In the combination איבי עז, עז is not an adverbial accusative, but an adjective, like רוּחך טובה Psalm 143:10, and ὁ ἀνὴρ ἀγαθός (Hebrerbrief S. 353). כּי introduces the reason for the interposition of the divine omnipotence, viz., the superior strength of the foe and the weakness of the oppressed one. On the day of his איד, i.e., (vid., on Psalm 31:12) his load or calamity, when he was altogether a homeless and almost defenceless fugitive, they came upon him (קדּם Psalm 17:13), cutting off all possible means of delivering himself, but Jahve became the fugitive's staff (Psalm 23:4) upon which he leaned and kept himself erect. By the hand of God, out of straits and difficulties he reached a broad place, out of the dungeon of oppression to freedom, for Jahve had delighted in him, he was His chosen and beloved one. חפץ has the accent on the penult here, and Metheg as a sign of the lengthening (העמדה) beside the ē, that it may not be read ĕ.

(Note: In like manner Metheg is placed beside the ee of the final closed syllable that has lost the tone in חפץ Psalm 22:9, ותּחולל Psalm 90:2, vid., Isaiah S. 594 note.)

The following strophe tells the reason of his pleasing God and of His not allowing him to perish. This כּי חפץ בּי (for He delighted in me) now becomes the primary thought of the song.

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