Psalm 18:33
He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.
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(33) This verse is borrowed in Habakkuk 3:19. For swiftness as an essential of a warrior in Oriental esteem comp. 2Samuel 1:23, and the invariable epithet in Homer’s Iliad, “swift-footed Achilles.” For “hind” comp. Genesis 49:21. Observe “his feet” in Samuel.

My high places.—With allusion to the mountain fortresses the poet had scaled and won.

Psalm 18:33. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet — That is, most swift and nimble. As he makes me wise in counsel and contrivance, Psalm 18:32; so he makes me speedy and expeditious in execution; which are the two great excellences of a captain. He gives me great agility, either to flee and escape from my enemies when prudence requires it, or to pursue them when I see occasion. Swiftness of foot was reckoned a very honourable qualification among the ancient warriors, who, as they generally fought on foot, were enabled, by their agility and swiftness, speedily to run from place to place, give orders, attack their enemies, defend their friends, and perform divers other offices the service might require of them: of which we have many instances in the battles of Homer and Virgil. One of the highest commendations Homer gives his principal hero is taken from his swiftness, terming him continually ποδας οκυς Αχιλλευς, swift-footed Achilles. This qualification was peculiarly useful to David, as the country of Judea, and some of those where he was obliged to make war, were very mountainous and steep. And setteth me upon my high places — Hebrew,

יעמידני, jagnamideeni, he maketh me to stand — That is, either he places me in safe and strong places, out of the reach of mine enemies; or he confirms and establishes me in that high and honourable estate, into which he hath advanced me, and gives me wisdom to improve my victories.

18:32, and the following verses, are the gifts of God to the spiritual warrior, whereby he is prepared for the contest, after the example of his victorious Leader. Learn that we must seek release being made through Christ, shall be rejected. In David the type, we behold out of trouble through Christ. The prayer put up, without reconciliation Jesus our Redeemer, conflicting with enemies, compassed with sorrows and with floods of ungodly men, enduring not only the pains of death, but the wrath of God for us; yet calling upon the Father with strong cries and tears; rescued from the grave; proceeding to reconcile, or to put under his feet all other enemies, till death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed. We should love the Lord, our Strength, and our Salvation; we should call on him in every trouble, and praise him for every deliverance; we should aim to walk with him in all righteousness and true holiness, keeping from sin. If we belong to him, he conquers and reigns for us, and we shall conquer and reign through him, and partake of the mercy of our anointed King, which is promised to all his seed for evermore. Amen.He maketh my feet like hinds' feet - So Habakkuk 3:19, "He will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places." The hind is the female deer, remarkable for fleetness or swiftness. The meaning here is, that God had made him alert or active, enabling him to pursue a flying enemy, or to escape from a swift-running foe.

And setteth me upon my high places - places of safety or refuge. The idea is, that God had given him security, or had rendered him safe from danger. Compare Deuteronomy 32:13. Swiftness of foot, or ability to escape from, or to pursue an enemy, was regarded as of great value in ancient warfare. Achilles, according to the descriptions of Homer, was remarkable for it. Compare 2 Samuel 2:18; 1 Chronicles 12:8.

33-36. God's help farther described. He gives swiftness to pursue or elude his enemies (Hab 3:19), strength, protection, and a firm footing. Like hinds’ feet, i.e. most swift and nimble. As he made me wise in counsel and contrivance, (which he elsewhere saith,) so he made me speedy and expeditious in the execution; which are the two great excellencies of a captain. He gave me great agility, either to flee and escape from mine enemies, when prudence required it; or to pursue them, when I saw occasion.

Setteth me, Heb. maketh me to stand, i.e. either he placeth me in safe and strong places, out of the reach of mine enemies; or he confirms and establisheth me in that high and honourable estate into which he hath advanced me, and gives me wisdom to improve my victories.

He maketh my feet like hind's feet,.... As light and swift as theirs, as the Targum; that is, either to flee, when there was a necessity for it, as Kimchi observes; or rather to pursue after the enemy, to run through a troop, and leap over a wall, as before; see 1 Chronicles 12:8; the same phrase is used in Habakkuk 3:19; and may be understood in a spiritual sense of that readiness and cheerfulness with which the saints run the ways of God's commandments, when their hearts are enlarged with his love and grace; and may very well be applied to Christ, who is often compared to a roe, or a young hart, for swiftness; who readily and at once engaged to come and do the will of God, and whose coming in the flesh, at the appointed time, was swift; and who made haste to do the work of God, in which he took the utmost pleasure; and who is a speedy and present help to his people in time of trouble; see Sol 2:8;

and setteth me upon my high places; the towers and fortresses, and strong and fortified places, where he was safe from his enemies; and: in a spiritual sense, may design the everlasting love of God, the covenant of grace, its blessings and promises; and Christ himself, with the fulness of grace in him, on which believers may be said to be set, when their faith is directed to them, and they live and dwell upon them; see Habakkuk 3:19; and, the words were fulfilled in Christ, when God highly exalted him at his right hand, and set him above all principalities and powers, and made him higher than the heavens.

He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my {a} high places.

(a) As towers and forts, which he took out of the hands of God's enemies.

33. like hinds’ feet] The hind, like the gazelle, was a type of the agility, swiftness, and sure-footedness which were indispensable qualifications in ancient warfare. Cp. 2 Samuel 2:18; 1 Chronicles 12:8.

setteth me upon my high places] The metaphor of the hind, bounding freely over the hills, is continued. David’s high places are the mountain strongholds, the occupation of which secured him in the possession of the country. Cp. Deuteronomy 32:13; and Habakkuk 3:19, which is a reminiscence of this passage and Deuteronomy 33:29.

Verse 33. - He maketh my feet like hinds' feet (comp. 2 Samuel 2:18; 1 Chronicles 12:8; Habakkuk 3:19). The Israelites reckoned swiftness of foot, agility, and endurance among the highest of warlike qualities. These qualities were needed especially in the pursuit of defeated enemies; and the rapidity of David's conquests (2 Samuel 5:6-10; 2 Samuel 8:1-14; 2 Samuel 10:15-20) must be ascribed to them mainly. And setteth me upon my high places; i.e. establishes me in the strongholds that command my extensive territory, and give me secure possession of it, as Zion, Rabbath-Ammon, Damascus, Petra, perhaps Zobah, Rehob, and others. Psalm 18:33(Heb.: 18:32-35) The grateful description of the tokens of favour he has experienced takes a new flight, and is continued in the second half of the Psalm in a more varied and less artificial mixture of the strophes. What is said in Psalm 18:31 of the way and word of Jahve and of Jahve Himself, is confirmed in Psalm 18:32 by the fact that He alone is אלוהּ, a divine being to be reverenced, and He alone is צוּר, a rock, i.e., a ground of confidence that cannot be shaken. What is said in Psalm 18:31 consequently can be said only of Him. מבּלעדי and זוּלתי alternate; the former (with a negative intensive מן) signifies "without reference to" and then absolutely "without" or besides, and the latter (with ı̂ as a connecting vowel, which elsewhere has also the function of a suffix), from זוּלת (זוּלה), "exception." The verses immediately following are attached descriptively to אלהינוּ, our God (i.e., the God of Israel), the God, who girded me with strength; and accordingly (fut. consec.) made my way תמים, "perfect," i.e., absolutely smooth, free from stumblings and errors, leading straight forward to a divine goal. The idea is no other than that in Psalm 18:31, cf. Job 22:3, except that the freedom from error here is intended to be understood in accordance with its reference to the way of a man, of a king, and of a warrior; cf. moreover, the other text. The verb שׁוּה signifies, like Arab. swwâ, to make equal (aequare), to arrange, to set right; the dependent passage Habakkuk 3:19 has, instead of this verb, the more uncoloured שׁים. The hind, איּלה or איּלת, is the perfection of swiftness (cf. ἔλαφος and ἐλαφρός) and also of gracefulness among animals. "Like the hinds" is equivalent to like hinds' feet; the Hebrew style leaves it to the reader to infer the appropriate point of comparison from the figure. It is not swiftness in flight (De Wette), but in attack and pursuit that is meant, - the latter being a prominent characteristic of warriors, according to 2 Samuel 1:23; 2 Samuel 2:18; 1 Chronicles 12:8. David does not call the high places of the enemy, which he has made his own by conquest "my high places," but those heights of the Holy Land which belong to him as king of Israel: upon these Jahve preserves him a firm position, so that from them he may rule the land far and wide, and hold them victoriously (cf. passages like Deuteronomy 32:13; Isaiah 58:14). The verb למּד, which has a double accusative in other instances, is here combined with ל of the subject taught, as the aim of the teaching. The verb נחת (to press down equals to bend a bow) precedes the subject "my arms" in the singular; this inequality is admissible even when the subject stands first (e.g., Genesis 49:22; Joel 1:20; Zechariah 6:14). קשׁת נחוּשׁה a bow of brazen equals of brass, as in Job 20:24. It is also the manner of heroes in Homer and in the Ram-jana to press down and bend with their hand a brazen bow, one end of which rests on the ground.
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