Psalm 55:14
We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in company.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) And walked . . .i.e., joined the great public processions to the temple. (Comp. Psalm 44:4.) The word rendered “company” occurs again (Psalm 64:2. Authorised Version, “insurrection.” Comp. the same root, Psalm 2:1.) The intimacy of these former friends was public as well as private.

55:9-15 No wickedness so distresses the believer, as that which he witnesses in those who profess to be of the church of God. Let us not be surprised at the corruptions and disorders of the church on earth, but long to see the New Jerusalem. He complains of one that had been very industrious against him. God often destroys the enemies of the church by dividing them. And an interest divided against itself cannot long stand. The true Christian must expect trials from professed friends, from those with whom he has been united; this will be very painful; but by looking unto Jesus we shall be enabled to bear it. Christ was betrayed by a companion, a disciple, an apostle, who resembled Ahithophel in his crimes and doom. Both were speedily overtaken by Divine vengeance. And this prayer is a prophecy of the utter, the everlasting ruin, of all who oppose and rebel against the Messiah.We took sweet counsel together - Margin, "who sweetened counsel." Literally, "We sweetened counsel together;" that is, We consulted together; we opened our minds and plans to each other; in other words, We found that happiness in each other which those do who freely and confidentially communicate their plans and wishes - who have that mutual satisfaction which results from the approval of each other's plans.

And walked unto the house of God in company - We went up to worship God together. The word rendered "company" means properly a noisy crowd, a multitude. The idea here is not that which would seem to be conveyed by our translation - that they went up to the house of God in company "with each other," but that both went with the great company - the crowd - the multitude - that assembled to worship God. They were engaged in the same service, they united in the worship of the same God; associated with those that loved their Maker; belonged to the companionship of those who sought his favor. There is nothing that constitutes a stronger bond of friendship and affection than being united in the worship of God, or belonging to his people. Connexion with a church in acts of worship, ought always to constitute a strong bond of love, confidence, esteem, and affection; the consciousness of having been redeemed by the same blood of the atonement should be a stronger tie than any tie of natural friendship; and the expectation and hope of spending an eternity together in heaven should unite heart to heart in a bond which nothing - not even death - can sever.

14. in company—literally, "with a crowd," in a festal procession. We took sweet counsel together; I imparted my secret thoughts and designs to him with great delight and satisfaction.

We walked unto the house of God; we agreed no less in exercises of piety, than in acts of state and policy. In company; or, in comfort, or with consent; as all the ancients render it. He seemed as forward in religion as I. We took sweet counsel together,.... Not in religious matters; for in these the testimonies of the Lord were David's counsellors, Psalm 119:24; but in civil things: hearty counsel is one branch of friendship, and which greatly sweetens it, Proverbs 27:9; as this may be applied to Christ and Judas, it may denote the mutual delight and pleasure they had, the one in communicating, the other in receiving a notional knowledge of the Gospel, and the mysteries of it, which are the counsel of God, Acts 20:27; for if hearers may hear the word gladly, as Herod did, and receive it with joy, as did the stony ground hearers, and yet be destitute of the grace of God; why may not Judas, and other preachers devoid of true grace, be thought to receive and preach the doctrines of the Gospel in a speculative way, with some kind of delight and pleasure? so professors of religion take sweet counsel together, when they communicate to each other what light and knowledge they have in the mysteries of the Gospel, and converse about experience, and the mysteries and secrets of internal godliness, and give and take advice in spiritual things; and sad it is when anyone of these drop their profession, and reproachers, scoffers, or persecutors;

and walked unto the house of God in company: David with his royal family and courtiers, and Ahithophel among the rest; where he delighted to go, and that with a multitude. So Christ and Judas often went to the temple together, with the rest of the disciples, who heard many an excellent sermon from his mouth: all which are further aggravations of sin and guilt. And so such persons, who have walked together to the house of God and in it, have attended together on public worship, and walked together in holy fellowship; when any of these forsake the assembling of themselves together, scoff at religion, speak evil of ordinances, reproach the saints, or persecute them, it is very shocking, cutting, and grieving indeed.

We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. We were wont to take sweet counsel together,

To walk in the house of God with the throng.

Ours was an habitual intimacy of the closest and most sacred kind, in confidential intercourse in private, in companionship in the worship of God in public. The throng is the festal procession or assembly of worshippers; the “multitude keeping holyday” of Psalm 42:4 (where however the word for throng is different). The P.B.V. as friends follows the LXX ἐν ὁμονοίᾳ, ‘in concord,’ Vulg. cum consensu.Verse 14. - We took sweet counsel together (comp. 2 Samuel 15:12; 2 Samuel 16:23; 1 Chronicles 27:33). And walked unto the house of God in company; rather, in the throng (Cheyne, Revised Version); i.e. in the midst of the crowd of worshippers. When David went up to the house of God, who is more likely to have accompanied him than his chief "counsellor"? In this first group sorrow prevails. David spreads forth his deep grief before God, and desires for himself some lonely spot in the wilderness far away from the home or lurking-place of the confederate band of those who are compassing his overthrow. "Veil not Thyself" here, where what is spoken of is something audible, not visible, is equivalent to "veil not Thine ear," Lamentations 3:56, which He designedly does, when the right state of heart leaves the praying one, and consequently that which makes it acceptable and capable of being answered is wanting to the prayer (cf. Isaiah 1:15). שׂיח signifies a shrub (Syriac shucho, Arabic šı̂ḥ), and also reflection and care (Arabic, carefulness, attention; Aramaic, סח, to babble, talk, discourse). The Hiph. חריד, which in Genesis 27:40 signifies to lead a roving life, has in this instance the signification to move one's self backwards and forwards, to be inwardly uneasy; root רד, Arab. rd, to totter, whence râda, jarûda, to run up and down (IV to desire, will); raida, to shake (said of a soft bloated body); radda, to turn (whence taraddud, a moving to and fro, doubting); therefore: I wander hither and thither in my reflecting or meditating, turning restlessly from one thought to another. It is not necessary to read ואחמיה after Psalm 77:4 instead of ועהימה, since the verb הוּם equals המה, Psalm 42:6, 12, is secured by the derivatives. Since these only exhibit הוּם, and not הים (in Arabic used more particularly of the raving of love), ואהימה, as also אריד, is Hiph., and in fact like this latter used with an inward object: I am obliged to raise a tumult or groan, break out into the dull murmuring sounds of pain. The cohortative not unfrequently signifies "I have to" or "I must" of incitements within one's self which are under the control of outward circumstances. In this restless state of mind he finds himself, and he is obliged to break forth into this cry of pain on account of the voice of the foe which he cannot but hear; by reason of the pressure or constraint (עקת) of the evil-doer which he is compelled to feel. The conjecture צעקת (Olshausen and Hupfeld) is superfluous. עקה is a more elegant Aramaizing word instead of צרה.

The second strophe begins with a more precise statement of that which justifies his pain. The Hiph. חמיט signifies here, as in Psalm 140:11 (Chethb), declinare: they cast or roll down evil (calamity) upon him and maliciously lay snares for him בּאף, breathing anger against him who is conscious of having manifested only love towards them. His heart turns about in his body, it writhes (יהיל); cf. on this, Psalm 38:11. Fear and trembling take possession of his inward parts; יבא in the expression יבא בי, as is always the case when followed by a tone syllable, is a so-called נסוג אחור, i.e., it has the tone that has retreated to the penult. (Deuteronomy 1:38; Isaiah 7:24; Isaiah 60:20), although this is only with difficulty discernible in our printed copies, and is therefore (vid., Accentsystem, vi. 2) noted with Mercha. The fut. consec. which follows introduces the heightened state of terror which proceeds from this crowding on of fear and trembling. Moreover, the wish that is thereby urged from him, which David uttered to himself, is introduced in the third strophe by a fut. consec.

(Note: That beautiful old song of the church concerning Jesus has grown out of this strophe: -

Ecquis binas columbinas

Alas dabit animae?

Et in almam crucis palmam

Evolat citissime, etc.)

"Who will give me?" is equivalent to "Oh that I had!" Ges. 136, 1. In ואשׁכּנה is involved the self-satisfying signification of settling down (Ezekiel 31:13), of coming to rest and remaining in a place (2 Samuel 7:10). Without going out of our way, a sense perfectly in accordance with the matter in hand may be obtained for אחישׁה מפלט לי, if אחישׁה is taken not as Kal (Psalm 71:12), but after Isaiah 5:19; Isaiah 60:12, as Hiph.: I would hasten, i.e., quickly find for myself a place which might serve me as a shelter from the raging wind, from the storm. רוּח סעה is equivalent to the Arabic rihin sâijat-in, inasmuch as Arab. s‛â, "to move one's self quickly, to go or run swiftly," can be said both of light (Koran, 66:8) and of water-brooks (vid., Jones, Comm. Poes. Asiat., ed. Lipsiae, p. 358), and also of strong currents of air, of winds, and such like. The correction סערה, proposed by Hupfeld, produces a disfiguring tautology. Among those about David there is a wild movement going on which is specially aimed at his overthrow. From this he would gladly flee and hide himself, like a dove taking refuge in a cleft of the rock from the approaching storm, or from the talons of the bird of prey, fleeing with its noiseless but persevering flight.

(Note: Kimchi observes that the dove, when she becomes tired, draws in one wing and flies with the other, and thus the more surely escapes. Aben-Ezra finds an allusion here to the carrier-pigeon.)

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