Psalm 63:9
But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBTODWESTSK
Psalm 63:9-10. But those that seek my soul, &c. — That seek to take away my life; shall go into the lower parts of the earth — Into the grave; and, if they repent not, into hell. God shall cut them off, and send them to their own place. Their enmity to David, and opposition to the counsel of God respecting him, he foresaw would be their death and their damnation, their ruin and their eternal ruin. They shall fall by the sword — Shall die in battle, as he foretold 1 Samuel 26:10, and as was accomplished in Saul and his followers, who were David’s greatest enemies. They shall be a portion for foxes — The carcasses of some of them shall lie unburied upon the earth, and thereby shall become a prey to wild and ravenous beasts, and especially to foxes, which abounded in those parts.

63:7-11 True Christians can, in some measure, and at some times, make use of the strong language of David, but too commonly our souls cleave to the dust. Having committed ourselves to God, we must be easy and pleased, and quiet from the fear of evil. Those that follow hard after God, would soon fail, if God's right hand did not uphold them. It is he that strengthens us and comforts us. The psalmist doubts not but that though now sowing in tears, he should reap in joy. Messiah the Prince shall rejoice in God; he is already entered into the joy set before him, and his glory will be completed at his second coming. Blessed Lord, let our desire towards thee increase every hour; let our love be always upon thee; let all our enjoyment be in thee, and all our satisfaction from thee. Be thou all in all to us while we remain in the present wilderness state, and bring us home to the everlasting enjoyment of thee for ever.But those that seek my soul to destroy it - Who seek my life; who endeavor to kill me. This language would well describe the purposes of Absalom and his followers.

Shall go into the lower parts of the earth - Shall descend into the earth; into the deepest graves. He would live; but they would perish.

9, 10. those … to destroy it—or literally, "to ruin," or, "for ruin"; that is, such as seek to injure me (are) for ruin, appointed to it (compare Ps 35:8).

shall go … earth—into the grave, or, to death; as their bodies are represented as a portion for—

9 But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.

10 They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.

11 But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.

Psalm 63:9

As David earnestly sought for God, so there were men of another order who as eagerly sought after his blood; of these he speaks: "But those that seek my soul, to destroy it." At his life they aimed, at his honour, his best welfare; and this they would not merely injure but utterly ruin. The devil is a destroyer, and all his seed are greedy to do the same mischief; and as he has mined himself by his crafty devices, so also shall they. Destroyers shall be destroyed. Those who hunt souls shall be themselves the victims. "Shall go into the lower parts of the earth." Into the pits which they digged for others they shall fall themselves. The slayers shall be slain, and the grave shall cover them. The hell which they in their curse invoked for others, shall shut its mouth upon them. Every blow aimed against the godly will recoil on the persecutor; he who smites a believer drives a nail in his own coffin.

Psalm 63:10

"They shall fall by the sword." So David's enemies did. They that take the sword shall perish with the sword; bloody men shall feel their own life gushing forth from them, when their evil day shall at last come, and they shall be given up to feel in their own persons the horrors of death. "They shall be a portion for foxes." Too mean to be fit food for the lions, the foxes shall sniff around their corpses, and the jackals shall hold carnival over their carcasses. Unburied and unhonoured they shall be meat for the dogs of war. Frequently have malicious men met with a fate so dire as to be evidently the award Of retributive justice. Although the great assize is reserved for another world, yet even here, at the common sessions of providence, justice often bears her avenging sword in the eyes of all the people.

Psalm 63:11

"But the king shall rejoice in God." Usurpers shall fade, but he shall flourish; and his prosperity shall be publicly acknowledged as the gift of God. The Lord's anointed shall not fail to offer his joyful thanksgiving: his well-established throne shall own the superior lordship of the King of kings; his rejoicing shall be alone in God. When his subjects sing, "Io triumphe," he will bid them chant, "Te Deum." "Every one that sweareth by him shall glory." His faithful followers shall have occasion for triumph: they shall never need to blush for the oath of their allegiance. Or, "swearing by him," may signify adherence to God, and worship paid to him. The heathen swore by their gods, and the Israelite called Jehovah to witness to his asseveration; those, therefore, who owned the Lord as their God should have reason to glory when he proved himself the defender of the king's righteous cause, and the destroyer of traitors. "But the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped," And the sooner the better. If shame will not do it, nor fear, nor reason, then let them be stopped with the sexton's shovel-full of earth; for a liar is a human devil, he is the curse of men, and accursed of God, who, has comprehensively said, "all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." See the difference between the mouth that praises God, and the mouth that forges lies: the first shall never be stopped, but shall sing on for ever; the second shall be made speechless at the bar of God.

O Lord, we seek thee and thy truth; deliver us from all malice and slander, and reveal to us thine own self, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

To destroy it, i.e. to take away my life.

Into the lower parts of the earth; either,

1. Into hell. Or rather,

2. Into their grave, as this phrase is used, Ezekiel 31:14,18. But how is this true, when they are supposed to be devoured by foxes, Psalm 63:10? Answ. This may be understood, either,

1. Of divers persons. Some of their slain might be buried, and others lie unburied. Or,

2. Of the same persons; they did go into the earth, but not immediately, but were first devoured of foxes, and the remainders of them were buried, as is frequently done in such cases. Or this phrase may note not so much the place as the state of the dead; this being universally said of those that die, whether they are buried or unburied, that they return to the earth or dust, Job 1:21 Ecclesiastes 12:7.

But those that seek my soul to destroy it,.... Meaning his life; for as for his soul, that was immaterial and immortal, and could never be destroyed by man: but as for his natural life, his enemies laid snares for that, and sought to take it away, and nothing less would satisfy them;

shall go into the lower parts of the earth; not the grave, whither the righteous go as well as the wicked; besides, by their being the portion of foxes, as follows, it seems that they should have no burial; but hell is meant, the bottomless pit. Some take it to be a prayer, as Kimchi and Ben Melech; "may they go", or "let them go", &c. see Psalm 55:15. The allusion may be thought to be to the death of Korah and his company.

But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
9. But those &c.] They, his enemies, who are seeking his life, are emphatically contrasted with himself (Psalm 59:15; Psalm 56:6). While his path is upward to God, theirs is downward to the depths of Sheol. It is possible to render (cp. R.V. marg.) But they shall be destroyed that seek my life, They shall go &c.

into the lower parts of the earth] Into Sheol, swallowed up like Korah and his company of rebels. Cp. for the phrase, Isaiah 44:23; Ezekiel 26:20; Psalm 86:13; Ephesians 4:9; Deuteronomy 32:22 : and for the thought, Psalm 9:15; Psalm 9:17; Psalm 55:15; Psalm 55:23.

Verse 9. - But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. Professor Cheyne notes that "the psalmist has no sense of any incongruity between deeply spiritual musings and vehement denunciations of his enemies." And this is certainly true. But it is to be remembered that he views his enemies, not merely as his own fees, but as the foes of God and of Israel. As the servant of God, he must hate those who are opposed to God; as the King of Israel, he must hate those who seek to injure and ruin his people. He does not, however, desire for them suffering or torment; he only asks that they may be removed from this sphere into another world. (On David's conception of the lower world, see the comment upon Psalm 16:10 and Psalm 86:13.) Psalm 63:9The closing strophe turns towards these foes. By והמּה he contrasts with his own person, as in Psalm 59:16., Psalm 56:7., the party of the enemy, before which he has retreated into the desert. It is open to question whether לשׁואה is intended to be referred, according to Psalm 35:17, to the persecuted one (to destroy my life), or, with Hupfeld, to the persecutors (to their own destruction, they themselves for destruction). If the former reference to the persecuted be adopted, we ought, in order to give prominence to the evidently designed antithesis to Psalm 63:9, to translate: those, however, who..., shall go down into the depths of the earth (Bttcher, and others); a rendering which is hazardous as regards the syntax, after המּה and in connection with this position of the words. Therefore translate: On the other hand, those, to (their own) ruin do they seek my soul. It is true this ought properly to be expressed by לשׁואתם, but the absence of the suffix is less hazardous than the above relative rendering of יבּקּשׁוּ. What follows in Psalm 63:10-11 is the expansion of לשׁואה. The futures from יבאוּ onwards are to be taken as predictive, not as imprecatory; the former accords better with the quiet, gentle character of the whole song. It shall be with them as with the company of Korah. תּחתּיּות הארץ is the interior of the earth down into its deepest bottom; this signification also holds good in Psalm 139:15; Isaiah 44:23.

(Note: In this passage in Isaiah are meant the depths of the earth (lxx θεμέλια τῆς γῆς), the earth down to its inmost part, with its caverns, abysses, and subterranean passages. The apostle, however, in Ephesians 4:9 by τὰ κατώτερα τῆς γῆς means exactly the same as what in our passage is called in the lxx τὰ κατώτατα τῆς γῆς: the interior of the earth equals the under world, just as it is understood by all the Greek fathers (so far as my knowledge extends); the comparative κατώτερος is used just like ἐνέρτερος.)

The phrase הגּיר על־ידי חרב here and in Jeremiah 18:21; Ezekiel 35:5 (Hiph., not of גּרר, to drag, tear away, but נגר, to draw towards, flow), signifies properly to pour upon equals into the hands (Job 16:11), i.e., to give over (הסגּיר) into the power of the sword; effundent eum is (much the same as in Job 4:19; Job 18:18, and frequently) equivalent to effundetur. The enallage is like Psalm 5:10; Psalm 7:2., and frequently: the singular refers to each individual of the homogeneous multitude, or to this multitude itself as a concrete persona moralis. The king, however, who is now banished from Jerusalem to the habitation of jackals, will, whilst they become a portion (מנת equals מנות), i.e., prey, of the jackals (vid., the fulfilment in 2 Samuel 18:7.), rejoice in Elohim. Every one who sweareth by Him shall boast himself. Theodoret understands this of swearing κατὰ τὴν τοῦ βασιλέως σωτηρίαν. Hengstenberg compares the oath חי פרעה, Genesis 42:15. Ewald also (217, f) assumes this explanation to be unquestionable. But the Israelite is to swear by the name of Jahve and by no other, Deuteronomy 6:13; Isaiah 65:16, cf. Amos 8:14. If the king were meant, why was it not rather expressed by הנשׁבּע לו, he who swears allegiance to him? The syntax does not help us to decide to what the בּו refers. Neinrich Moeller (1573) says of the בו as referred to the king: peregrinum est et coactum; and A. H. Franke in his Introductio in Psalterium says of it as referred to Elohim: coactum est. So far as the language is concerned, both references are admissible; but as regards the subject-matter, only the latter. The meaning, as everywhere else, is a searing by God. He who, without allowing himself to turn from it, swore by Elohim, the God of Israel, the God of David His anointed, and therefore acknowledged Him as the Being exalted above all things, shall boast himself or "glory," inasmuch as it shall be practically seen how well-founded and wise was this recognition. He shall glory, for the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped, forcibly closed, viz., those who, together with confidence in the Christ of God, have by falsehood also undermined the reverence which is due to God Himself. Psalm 64:1-10 closes very similarly, and hence is placed next in order.

Psalm 63:9 Interlinear
Psalm 63:9 Parallel Texts

Psalm 63:9 NIV
Psalm 63:9 NLT
Psalm 63:9 ESV
Psalm 63:9 NASB
Psalm 63:9 KJV

Psalm 63:9 Bible Apps
Psalm 63:9 Parallel
Psalm 63:9 Biblia Paralela
Psalm 63:9 Chinese Bible
Psalm 63:9 French Bible
Psalm 63:9 German Bible

Bible Hub

Psalm 63:8
Top of Page
Top of Page