Verse 1. - Save me, O God, by thy Name; i.e. by the qualities of which thy "Name" is significant - power, goodness, and truth. And judge me; i.e. "vindicate me," or "judge my cause." By thy strength; or, "thy might" - the might which thou possessest as a gibbor, or "hero."
Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.
Verse 2. - Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. (comp. Psalm 39:12; Psalm 55:1).
For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah.
Verse 3. - For strangers are risen up against me. David's designation of his foes as "strangers" has been made an argument against the trustworthiness of the "title," since the Ziphites were Israelites of the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:55). But he might well call those "strangers" who were treating him as an alien. Comp. Psalm 120:5, where "the psalmist, heavily oppressed by his countrymen, complains that he dwelt in Mesheeh and Kedar" (Hengstenberg). And oppressors seek after my soul; or, my life. The phrase is exactly that used in 1 Samuel 23:15, when David was in the wilderness of Ziph, in a wood, and "saw that Saul was come out to seek his life." They have not set God before them (comp. Psalm 86:14). David, on the contrary, "set the Lord always before him" (Psalm 16:8).
Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.
Verse 4. - Behold, God is mine Helper. There is a pause between vers. 3 and 4, indicated by the pause-mark, "Selah." Then, confident of his prayer having been heard, the psalmist breaks out into a joyous burst of thankfulness and self-gratulation (vers. 4-7). The Lord is with them that uphold my soul; rather, of them (Revised Version); i.e. "one of them." But the intention is not to place God on a par with other helpers. Rather, as Professor Cheyne remarks, it is to make him the representative of" the class of helpers."
He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth.
Verse 5. - He shall reward evil unto mine enemies; literally, he shall return the wrong upon my adversaries. "The wrong" is that which his adversaries had wished to inflict upon the psalmist, viz. death (see 1 Samuel 23:19, 20). Cut them off in thy truth; or, "in thy truthfulness" (Cheyne). God had given his people - those who were faithful to him - the promise of his protection, and, being true, could not go back from his word.
I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good.
Verse 6. - I will freely sacrifice unto thee. Confidence has now mounted up to certainty. Regarding the deliverance as accomplished, the psalmist promises a freewill offering (Hengstenberg, Kay, Canon Cook) to God, so soon as he can approach the sanctuary. The phrase used is the ordinary one for sacrifices of thanksgiving (Numbers 15:3). I will praise thy Name, O Lord; for it is good (comp. Psalm 52:9).
For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.
Verse 7. - For he hath delivered me out of all trouble. "The poet looks forward, and treats the future as past" (Cheyne). He sees the "troubles" over, the Ziphites disappointed and punished, himself not only preserved from the immediate danger, but altogether freed from trouble of every kind, and rejoices in the deliverance which he feels has been accorded him. And mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies. There is nothing about "desire" in the original, which seems rather to mean, "Mine eye has looked, calmly and leisurely, upon my (defeated) enemies" (so Dr. Kay).