Psalm 26:12
My foot stands in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the LORD.
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(12) My foot standeth.—It seems more in accordance with the general drift of the poem to take this verse, When I stand in an even or level place [i.e., when I am rescued from the difficulties which now beset me] I will praise Jehovah in the congregation.

Psalm 26:12. My foot standeth in an even place — Hebrew, במישׁור, bemishor, in rectitude. I stand upon a sure and solid foundation, being under the protection of God’s promise and his almighty and watchful providence. Or the sense may be, I do and will persist in my plain, righteous, and straight course of life, not using those frauds and wicked arts, and perverse and crooked paths, which mine enemies choose and walk in. And, thus understood, it is the same thing with his walking in his integrity, expressed in the foregoing verse and Psalm 26:1. In the congregations will I bless the Lord — I will not only privately acknowledge, but publicly, and in the assemblies of thy people, celebrate thy praise. 26:9 David, in this psalm, appeals to God touching his integrity. - David here, by the Spirit of prophecy, speaks of himself as a type of Christ, of whom what he here says of his spotless innocence was fully and eminently true, and of Christ only, and to Him we may apply it. We are complete in him. The man that walks in his integrity, yet trusting wholly in the grace of God, is in a state of acceptance, according to the covenant of which Jesus was the Mediator, in virtue of his spotless obedience even unto death. This man desires to have his inmost soul searched and proved by the Lord. He is aware of the deceitfulness of his own heart; he desires to detect and mortify every sin; and he longs to be satisfied of his being a true believer, and to practise the holy commands of God. Great care to avoid bad company, is both a good evidence of our integrity, and a good means to keep us in it. Hypocrites and dissemblers may be found attending on God's ordinances; but it is a good sign of sincerity, if we attend upon them, as the psalmist here tells us he did, in the exercise of repentance and conscientious obedience. He feels his ground firm under him; and, as he delights in blessing the Lord with his congregations on earth, he trusts that shortly he shall join the great assembly in heaven, in singing praises to God and to the Lamb for evermore.My foot standeth in an even place - The word rendered "even place" - מישׁור mı̂yshôr - means properly "righteousness," or "justice;" then, "evenness, a level region, a plain:" Isaiah 40:4; Isaiah 42:16. DeWette renders it, "in a right path." The idea is, either that he was standing now on smooth and level ground; or that he was walking in a straight path, in contradistinction from the crooked and perverse ways of the wicked; that is, he had found now a level road where he might walk securely. The latter is probably the true meaning. He had been anxious about his condition. He had been examining the evidences of his piety. He had had doubts and fears. He had seen much to apprehend, and he had appealed to God to determine the question on which he was so anxious - whether his hope was built on a solid foundation. His path in these inquiries, and while his mind was thus troubled, was like a journey over a rough and dangerous road - a road of hills and valleys - of rocks and ravines. Now he had found a smooth and safe path. The way was level. He felt secure; and he walked calmly and safely along, as a traveler does who has past over dangerous passes and who feels that he is on level ground. The idea is, that his doubts had been dissipated, and he now felt that his evidences of piety were well founded, and that he was truly a child of God.

In the congregations will I bless the Lord - In the assemblies of his people will I praise him. Compare Psalm 22:22. The meaning is, that in the great assembly he would offer special praise that God had resolved his doubts, and had given him so clear evidence that he was truly his friend. He would go to the house of God, and there render to Him public praise that he had been able to find the evidence which he desired. No act could be more appropriate than such an act of praise, for there is nothing for which we should render more hearty thanks than for any evidence that we are truly the friends of God, and have a well-founded hope of heaven. The whole psalm should lead us carefully to examine the evidences of our piety; to bring before God all that we rely on as proof that we are His friends; and to pray that He will enable us to examine it aright; and, when the result is, as it was in the case of the psalmist - when we can feel that we have reached a level place and found a smooth path, then we should go, as he did, and offer hearty thanks to God that we have reason to believe we are His children and are heirs of salvation.

12. even place—free from occasions of stumbling—safety in his course is denoted. Hence he will render to God his praise publicly. 12 My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the Lord.

The song began in the minor, but it has now reached the major key. Saints often sing themselves into happiness. The even place upon which our foot stands is the sure, covenant faithfulness, eternal promise and immutable oath of the Lord of Hosts; there is no fear of falling from this solid basis, or of its being removed from under us. Established in Christ Jesus, by being vitally united to him, we have nothing left to occupy our thoughts but the praises of our God. Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, and when assembled, let us not be slow to contribute our portion of thanksgiving. Each saint is a witness to divine faithfulness, and should be ready with his testimony. As for the slanderers, let them howl outside the door while the children sing within.

In an even place, Heb. in rectitude, or

in a right, or straight, or plain, or even place; which may be understood either,

1. Civilly, or in regard of his outward condition. So this is opposed to the slippery places, in which wicked men are said to be, Psalm 35:6 73:18 Jeremiah 23:12; and the sense is, I stand upon a sure and solid foundation, where I fear no fall, nor to be overthrown by the assaults of mine enemies, being under the protection of God’s promise, and his almighty and watchful providence. Or,

2. Morally, or in regard of his conversation. So the sense is, I do and will persist or continue (which is oft signified by standing, as Psalm 1:1) in my plain, and righteous, and straight course of life, not using those frauds, and wicked arts, and perverse and crooked paths, which mine enemies choose and walk in, or whereof they do falsely accuse me. And so this is the same thing for substance with his

walking in his integrity, expressed in the foregoing verse, as also Psalm 26:1.

In the congregations will I bless the Lord; I will not only privately acknowledge, but publicly, and in the assemblies of thy people, celebrate thy praises, both for thy grace enabling and inclining me to choose, and love, and persevere in the ways of holiness and righteousness, and for thy protection hitherto afforded to me in the midstof all my dangers and troubles, and for that well-grounded assurance which thou hast given me, of thy favour, and of thy future deliverance. My foot standeth in an even place,.... Or "in a plain" (b); in a sure place; on Christ the sure foundation, and who is the plain way and path to eternal life; see Psalm 27:11; or in the ways and worship of God, prescribed by his word; and so denotes steadfastness and continuance in them;

in the congregations will I bless the Lord; in the assemblies of the saints, in the churches of Christ below, and in the great congregation above, in the general assembly and church of the firstborn; where it is the work of saints now, and will be hereafter, to praise the Lord, for all his mercies temporal and spiritual.

(b) "in plano", Musculus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Michaelis; "in planitie", Gejerus.

My foot standeth in {h} an even place: in the congregations will I bless the LORD.

(h) I am preserved from my enemies by the power of God, and therefore will praise him openly.

12. Faith realises the answer to its prayer as already granted, and security assured. He has traversed the rough winding path through the gloomy defile, and stands in the open plain, where there is no more fear of stumbling or sudden assault. Life thus prolonged is the reason and the opportunity for public thanksgiving. Cp. Psalm 22:25.Verse 12. - My foot standeth in an even place; or, on level ground - where there is nothing to cause me to stumble (comp. Psalm 27:11). In the congregations will I bless the Lord; i.e. in the assemblies of the people for public worship. David constantly acknowledges this duty (Psalm 22:22, 25: 27:6; 35:18; 40:9, 10; 68:26, etc.). Indeed, it is the general idea that underlies all his psalms of praise, since they wore composed to be recited in the congregation.

The poet supports his petition by declaring his motive to be his love for the sanctuary of God, from which he is now far removed, without any fault of his own. The coloured future ואסבבה, distinct from ואסבבה (vid., on Psalm 3:6 and Psalm 73:16), can only mean, in this passage, et ambiam, and not et ambibam as it does in a different connection (Isaiah 43:26, cf. Judges 6:9); it is the emotional continuation (cf. Psalm 27:6; Sol 7:12; Isaiah 1:24; Isaiah 5:19, and frequently) of the plain and uncoloured expression ארחץ. He wishes to wash his hands in innocence (בּ of the state that is meant to be attested by the action), and compass (Psalm 59:7) the altar of Jahve. That which is elsewhere a symbolic act (Deuteronomy 21:6, cf. Matthew 27:24), is in this instance only a rhetorical figure made use of to confess his consciousness of innocence; and it naturally assumes this form (cf. Psalm 73:13) from the idea of the priest washing his hands preparatory to the service of the altar (Exodus 32:20.) being associated with the idea of the altar. And, in general, the expression of Psalm 26:6. takes a priestly form, without exceeding that which the ritual admits of, by virtue of the consciousness of being themselves priests which appertained even to the Israelitish laity (Exodus 19:16). For סבב can be used even of half encompassing as it were like a semi-circle (Genesis 2:11; Numbers 21:4), no matter whether it be in the immediate vicinity of, or at a prescribed distance from, the central point. לשׁמע is a syncopated and defectively written Hiph., for להשׁמיע, like לשׁמד, Isaiah 23:11. Instead of לשׁמע קול תּודה, "to cause the voice of thanksgiving to be heard," since השׁמיע is used absolutely (1 Chronicles 15:19; 2 Chronicles 5:13) and the object is conceived of as the instrument of the act (Ges. 138, 1, rem. 3), it is "in order to strike in with the voice of thanksgiving." In the expression "all Thy wondrous works" is included the latest of these, to which the voice of thanksgiving especially refers, viz., the bringing of him home from the exile he had suffered from Absolom. Longing to be back again he longs most of all for the gorgeous services in the house of his God, which are performed around the altar of the outer court; for he loves the habitation of the house of God, the place, where His doxa, - revealed on earth, and in fact revealed in grace, - has taken up its abode. ma`own does not mean refuge, shelter (Hupfeld), - for although it may obtain this meaning from the context, it has nothing whatever to do with Arab. ‛ân, med. Waw, in the signification to help (whence ma‛ûn, ma‛ûne, ma‛âne, help, assistance, succour or support), - but place, dwelling, habitation, like the Arabic ma‛ân, which the Kamus explains by menzil, a place to settle down in, and explains etymologically by Arab. mḥll 'l-‛ı̂n, i.e., "a spot on which the eye rests as an object of sight;" for in the Arabic ma‛ân is traced back to Arab. ‛ân, med. Je, as is seen from the phrase hum minka bi-ma‛ânin, i.e., they are from thee on a point of sight ( equals on a spot where thou canst see them from the spot on which thou standest). The signification place, sojourn, abode (Targ. מדור) is undoubted; the primary meaning of the root is, however, questionable.
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