Psalm 25 Bible Commentary

John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible

(Read all of Psalm 25)
[A Psalm] of David. This is the first of the psalms which is written in an alphabetical order, or in which the first word of every verse begins with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet in order, though it is not strictly and regularly observed; the reason of this manner of writing is not very obvious; the {r} Jews confess their ignorance of it; it may be to engage the attention to what is said, or to assist the memory in laying it up, and retaining it there. The occasion of the psalm seems to be the troubles David was in on account of an unnatural rebellion raised against him by some of his subjects, at the head of which was his own son Absalom; he speaks of himself as in a net, and in great affliction, distress, and trouble, by reason of his enemies, Psalm 25:15; and as being brought to a sense of his former sins, for which he desires pardon, Psalm 25:7.

{r} Kimchi in loc.

Verse 1. Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. Either "in prayer," as the Chaldee paraphrase adds {s}; and denotes sincere, affectionate, hearty prayer to God, a drawing nigh to him with a true heart: for unless the heart is lifted up, the lifting up of the eyes or hands in prayer is of no avail; see Lamentations 3:41; or by way of offering to the Lord, as some Jewish writers {t} interpret it; David not only presented his body in public worship, but his soul also as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which was his reasonable service; or else as a "depositum," which he committed into the hands of God, to be under his care and protection; and then the sense is the same with Psalm 31:5 {u}; the phrase is sometimes used to express earnest and vehement desire after anything; See Gill on "Ps 24:4"; and may here intend the very great desire of the psalmist after communion with God; which is elsewhere by him expressed by panting after him, and by thirsting for him in a dry and thirsty land, Psalm 42:1; the desires of his soul were not to vain things, the vanities and idols of the Gentiles, but to God only, and to the remembrance of his name.

{s} So Kimchi & Ben Melech. {t} R. Moseh in Aben Ezra in loc. {u} Midrash Tillim.

Verse 2. O my God, I trust in thee,.... He claims his interest in God, and expresses his faith and confidence in him, in the midst of all his troubles; See Gill on "Ps 7:1";

let me not be ashamed; meaning of his trust in God, by being disappointed of the help, deliverance, and salvation from him, which he trusted in him for; and the believer, as he has no reason to be ashamed of God, the object of his trust; so neither of the act of his hope or trust in him; nor shall he; for hope makes not ashamed; see Psalm 119:116 Romans 5:5;

let not mine enemies triumph over me; either his temporal enemies, his subjects that were risen up against him; or his spiritual enemies, Satan, and the men of the world, who rejoice and triumph when the saints are forsaken by God; and they are ready to say, as David's enemies did of him, there is no help or salvation for him in God, Psalm 3:2; and when they fall into their hands, or fall by them.

Verse 3. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed,.... David not only prays for himself, but for other saints, as it becomes the people of God to do; for them they waited on the Lord in public worship, attended his house and ordinances, and waited on him for the discoveries of his love, the enjoyment of his voracious presence, and were looking for his salvation, for the Messiah; for those the psalmist prays, that they might not be ashamed of their expectation and hope, by the delay of those things, or the denial them;

let them be ashamed which transgress without cause; or "act treacherously without cause" {w}; as David's subjects did, who were risen up in rebellion against him, and acted the perfidious part, contrary to their allegiance, and without any just reason, they not being ruled with rigour, and oppressed; but were guided and governed by him according to the laws of God, in the integrity of his heart, and by the skilfulness of his hands; he being a king that reigned in righteousness, and a prince that decreed judgment: and such are those who are now risen up against our rightful sovereign King George {x}, a parcel of perfidious treacherous wretches; some of them who were in the last rebellion, and obtained his father's pardon; others that have partook yearly of his royal bounty, for the instruction of their children; and all have enjoyed the blessings of his mild and gentle government; and therefore are without cause his enemies: and for such we should pray, as David did for his enemies, that they might be ashamed; that they may fail in their attempts and designs, and be brought to deserved punishment; see Psalm 7:4; or "let transgressors be ashamed," and be empty {y}; in a state of emptiness and want; lose their wealth, honour, and credit.

{w} Mydgwbh "qui perfide agunt," Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Michaelis; so Amama & Ainsworth. {x} This was written December 2, 1745. {y} Mqyr "in statu vacuitatis ac egestatis," Gussetius, p. 790.

Verse 4. Show me thy ways, O Lord,.... Either those which the Lord himself took and walked in; as those of creation and providence, in which he has displayed his power, wisdom, and goodness; and which are desirable to be known by his people, and require divine instruction and direction; and particularly his ways of grace, mercy, and truth, and the methods he has taken for the salvation of his people, both in eternity and in time; or those ways which he orders and directs his people to walk in; namely, the paths of duty, the ways of his worship and ordinances; a greater knowledge of which good men desire to have, as well as more grace to enable them to walk more closely and constantly in them;

teach me thy paths; a petition the same with the other, in different words.

Verse 5. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me,.... Meaning the word of God, the Scriptures of truth; and the Gospel, which is the word of truth, and truth itself, John 17:17; and the sense is, either that God would lead him by his Spirit more and more into all truth, as contained in his word; or that he would lead him by it and according to it, that he might form his principles and his conduct more agreeably to it, which is the standard and rule of faith and practice: which leading is by teaching; and reasons urged for granting all the above petitions follow,

for thou [art] the God of my salvation; who, in infinite wisdom, contrived scheme and method of it in his Son, and by him effected it, and by his Spirit had made application of it to him: and since the Lord had done such great things for him, he hoped the requests he had made would be granted: he adds,

on thee do I wait all the day; or continually, in public and in private, attending to all the duties of religion, yet not trusting in them, but in the Lord; and therefore he entreated he might not be ashamed of his hope and expectation for deliverance and salvation.

Verse 6. Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy loving kindnesses,.... Not the providential mercy and kindness of God, in the care of him in his mother's womb, at the time of his birth, in his nurture and education, and in the preservation of him to the present time; but the special mercy, grace, and love of God in Christ: the sense of the petition is the same with that of Psalm 106:4; which are expressed in the plural number, because of the largeness and abundance of it, and because of the various acts and instances of it; the Lord is rich and plenteous in mercy, abundant in goodness; his love is exceeding great, and numerous are the ways and methods in which it is declared, both in eternity and in time; and though he can never forget his love, nor the people whom he loves, for they are engraven on his hand, and set as a seal on his heart; yet he sometimes seems, by the conduct of his providence, as if he did not remember it, and had no tender affection for them; and their unbelief is ready to say, the Lord has forgotten to be gracious; and the design of such a petition as this is to entreat a fresh discovery and application of the grace, mercy, and loving kindness of God, and which he allows his people to put him in remembrance of;

for they [have been] ever of old: meaning not only from the time of his birth, and in after appearances of God for him, nor the favours shown to the people of Israel in former times at the Red sea, and in the wilderness and elsewhere, and to the patriarchs from the beginning of the world; but the love of God from everlasting, which appears in the choice of his people in Christ, before the foundation of the world, in the everlasting covenant of grace made with him, and in the setting of him up as the Mediator of it, and in putting his people into his hands, with all grace and spiritual blessings for them before the world began; and which love as it is from everlasting it is to everlasting, and remains invariably the same.

Verse 7. Remember not the sins of my youth,.... Original sin, in which he was born, and the breakings forth of corrupt nature in infancy, he brought into the world with him, together with all the youthful lusts and vanities to which that age is addicted; and sometimes the sins of youth are in some persons remembered by God, and punished in old age; and if not, they are brought to remembrance through the dispensations of Providence: and the people of God are chastised for them then, and are ready to fear it is in a way of wrath; see Job 13:26; which the psalmist here deprecates; for this is not said in order to extenuate his sins, they being but youthful follies, imprudencies, and inadvertencies, sins committed through ignorance, when he had not the knowledge of things he now had; nor as if he had lived so holy a life, that there were no sins of his to be taken notice of but what he had committed in his younger days; but rather this is to be considered as a confession of his having sinned from his youth upwards unto that time, as in Jeremiah 3:25; and therefore entreat, that God would not remember his sins, so as to correct him for them in wrath and hot displeasure; neither the sins he had formerly been guilty of, nor those of a later date; which he next mentions;

nor my transgressions; his more notorious and glaring ones; such as murder and adultery, in the case of Uriah and Bathsheba, and which now stared him in the face; and on account of these, and as a chastening for them, this unnatural rebellion of his son's, which was now raised against him, was suffered to befall him, as had been foretold to him, 2 Samuel 12:11;

according to thy mercy remember thou me, for thy goodness' sake, O Lord; he pleads no merit nor goodness of his own, but casts himself upon the mercy, grace, and goodness of God; in which he was certainly right; and on that account prayed and hoped for deliverance from his present troubles, and for discoveries of the pardon of his sins unto him, which is what he means by remembering him.

Verse 8. Good and upright [is] the Lord,.... He is essentially, originally, and independently good of himself in his own nature, and he is providentially good to all his creatures; and he is in a way of special grace and mercy good to his own people: and he is "upright," just in himself, righteous in all his ways and works, and faithful in all his promises; and the consideration of these excellent perfections of his encouraged the psalmist to entertain an holy confidence, that his petitions, respecting instruction and guidance in the ways of the Lord, Psalm 25:4; would be heard and answered, notwithstanding his sins and transgressions;

therefore will he teach sinners in the way; such who are in sinful ways, he will teach them by his word and Spirit the evil of their ways, and bring them out of them, and to repentance for them; and he will teach them his own ways, both the ways and methods of his grace, in saving sinners by Christ, and the paths of faith and duty in which he would have them walk; see Psalm 51:13.

Verse 9. The meek will he guide in judgment,.... Or "the miserable" {z} and afflicted; such as see themselves to be wretched and miserable, lost and undone; and cry out, What shall we do to be saved? and who are meek and lowly, are humbled under a sense of their sins, are poor in spirit, and of broken and contrite hearts; these the Lord will guide by his Spirit into the truth, as it is in Jesus; even the great truth of salvation by him; and in the way of his judgments, statutes, and ordinances; and will give them a true judgment and a right discerning of things that differ; and he will lead them on in judgment, or gently; see Jeremiah 10:24; into every truth of the Gospel by degrees, and as they are able to bear them;

and the meek will he teach his way; of justifying sinners by the righteousness of his son; for such who are humble and confess their sins and unworthiness, and throw themselves on the mercy of God in Christ, are declaratively justified by the Lord, when the proud boasting Pharisee is an abomination to him.

{z} Mywne "miseros," Gejerus, Michaelis.

Verse 10. All the paths of the Lord [are] mercy and truth,.... By which are meant, not the paths in which the Lord would have his people walk; though these are good and gracious, right and true; his commandments are not grievous, his yoke is easy, and burden light; his ways are ways of pleasantness, and his paths, paths of peace: but rather the paths in which the Lord himself walks; not his paths of providence, though these are mercy and truth to his own people; every step he takes is in a way of goodness and kindness to them, and in truth and faithfulness to his promises; but the ways and methods he has taken towards the spiritual and eternal salvation of his people; as in his counsels and purposes, in which there is a large display of his grace and mercy; in the choice of them in Christ, as vessels of mercy, and which is of grace, and not of works; in determining to send his Son to die for them, which springs from the tender mercy of our God; in resolving to call them by his grace, and to adopt them into his family, and at last to glorify them; all which proceed from his merciful lovingkindness; and all these, his counsels of old, are faithfulness and truth, since they can never be frustrated, but are always accomplished; as also in his covenant, which springs from grace, is built upon mercy, and contains the sure mercies of David, and is ever fulfilled; the faithfulness of God is engaged to keep it, and its promises are yea and amen in Christ: and likewise the steps he has taken in Christ, the Mediator of the covenant, who is full of grace and truth; "mercy" appears in the mission of him, and redemption by him; and "truth," in fulfilling the promise of him; and both mercy and truth meet together in him: and so they do in the various blessings of grace which come by him; as particularly justification and pardon of sin, in both which there is a display of grace and mercy; and also of the truth of holiness and justice: and the mercy and truth of God appear in these paths of his,

unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies; by which are designed, not the covenant of works, and the precepts of the law, which are sometimes called the testimonies of God, because they testify what is his will that should be done: but these are broke, and not kept perfectly by any; nor is it any favour or high privilege to be shown this covenant and the duties of it, as is suggested of the covenant here meant, as appears from Psalm 25:14; wherefore the covenant of grace must be intended, which is made with Christ, and his people in him; and the "testimonies" are the promises of it, which testify of the grace, mercy, truth, and faithfulness of Gods; and the keeping of these is done by faith: faith lays hold on the covenant, its blessings and promises, and claims an interest in them, as David did, 2 Samuel 23:5; see Isaiah 56:4; and it keeps or retains its hold; it will not let go its hold of the covenant and its testimonies, but asserts its interest, even when things are at the worst with it; and it holds fast the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end; and to such all the steps the Lord takes appear to be in mercy and truth.

Verse 11. For thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity,.... Which to do is one of the promises and blessings of the covenant. The psalmist may have reference to his sin with Bathsheba, as Kimchi observes; since it was foretold to him, that, on account of that sin, evil should arise to him out of his own house, 2 Samuel 12:11; meaning that his son should rise up in rebellion against him; which was now the case, and which, no doubt, brought afresh this sin to his mind; and the guilt of it lay heavy upon his conscience; and therefore he prays for an application of pardoning grace and mercy; or he may have respect to original sin, the sin of his nature, which so easily beset him; the loathsome disease his loins were filled with; the law in his members warring against the law of his mind; and which a view of every actual sin led him to the consideration and acknowledgment of, as did that now mentioned, Psalm 51:4; or, "iniquity" may be put for "iniquities," and the sense be, that he desired a manifestation of the pardon of all his sins; for when God forgives sin, he forgives all iniquities: and David here prays for pardon in a way of mercy, and upon the foot of satisfaction; for he prays that God would "mercifully pardon" {a}, as the word signifies; or, according to his tender mercies, blot out his transgressions, and cleanse him from his sins; or that he would be "propitious" {b} to him; or forgive him in a propitiatory way, or through the propitiation of Christ, whom God had set forth in his purposes and promises to be the propitiation for the remission of sins; and therefore he entreats this favour "for [his] name's sake"; not for his own merits and good works, but for the Lord's sake, for his mercy's sake, or for his Son's sake; see Isaiah 43:25; compared with Ephesians 5:32. The argument or reason he urges is,

for it [is] great; being committed against the great God, against great light and knowledge, and attended with very aggravating circumstances; or "much" {c}, he being guilty of many sins; his sins were great, both as to quality and quantity: this seems to be rather a reason against than a reason for the pardon of sin; it denotes the sense the psalmist had of his iniquity, and his importunity for the pardon of it; just as a person, sensible of the violence and malignity of his disease, entreats the physician with the greater eagerness and importunity to do his utmost for him; see Psalm 41:4; or the words may be rendered, "though it [is] great" {d}; so Aben Ezra understands them; "though it is so very heinous and provoking, yet since forgiveness is with thee, and thou hast promised it in covenant, and hast proclaimed thy name, a God gracious and merciful, pardon it;" unless the words are to be connected, as they are by some Jewish {e} interpreters, with the phrase "thy name's sake, for it [is] great"; that is, thy name is great, and that it may appear to be so, as it is proclaimed, forgive mine iniquity.

{a} txlo "mercifully pardon"; so Ainsworth. {b} ilash Sept. "propitiaberis," V. L. "propitius esto," Musculus. {c} br "multum," V. L. "multa," Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version. {d} yk "quamvis," Gejerus, Schmidt, {e} Vide Abendanae Not. in Miclol Yophi in loc.

Verse 12. What man [is] he that feareth the Lord? That is, how happy a man is he! and one that fears the Lord is one that has the fear of God put into his heart, as a blessing of the covenant of grace before spoken of; who fears the Lord, not on account of the punishment of sin, but under the influence of the pardon of it, and for his goodness's sake; who loves the Lord, trusts in him, is careful not to offend him, hates sin, and avoids it, and has a strict regard to the worship of God in all its parts and branches, and performs it in fear; or who serves the Lord with reverence and godly fear. The description of this man's happiness follows in this verse and Psalm 25:12:

him shall he teach in the way [that] he shall choose; either which the man that fears God shall choose, which is the way of truth and duty, Psalm 119:30; or the way which God prescribes to him, and is well pleasing in his sight, who teaches to profit, and leads in the way his people should go; and a great happiness it is for a man to have his steps ordered by the Lord and his goings directed by him.

Verse 13. His soul shall dwell at ease,.... Or in "goodness" {f}, enjoying an affluence of good things, of spiritual blessings in Christ, in whom he dwells by faith; and where he has peace and safety, amidst all the troubles, afflictions, and exercises, he meets with; and where with godliness he has contentment, which is great gain indeed; for, though he may seem to have nothing, he possesses all things; and has all things given him richly to enjoy, even all things pertaining to life and godliness; and at death, when his soul is separated from his body, it shall enter into rest, and be in perfect peace; it shall lie in Abraham's bosom, and in the arms of Jesus, during the night of the grave, until the resurrection morn, when the body will be raised and united to it, and both will dwell in perfect happiness to all eternity;

and his seed shall inherit the earth; that is, those who tread in the same steps, and fear the Lord as he does; these shall possess the good things of this world, which is theirs, in a comfortable way, as their Father's gift, as covenant mercies, and in love; though it may be but a small portion that they have of them; or rather they shall inherit the new heavens and earth, wherein will dwell only righteous persons, meek ones, and such as fear the Lord, Matthew 5:5; and this they shall inherit for a thousand years, and afterwards the land afar off, the better country, the ultimate glory to all eternity.

{f} bwjb "in bono," Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus, Junius & Tremellius, &c. so Ainsworth.

Verse 14. The secret of the Lord [is] with them that fear him,.... The secret of his purposes with them; as his purpose according to election; his resolution to redeem his chosen ones by his Son; his design to call them by his grace; his predestination of them to the adoption of children, and eternal life; which are the deep things of God the Spirit of God reveals; and all which are made manifest to them in effectual calling; and the secret of his providences is with them; some are made known to them that fear the Lord before they come to pass; as the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah to Abraham, with many other instances in the Old Testament; see Amos 3:7; and what is the book of the Revelation but a revelation of the secrets of Providence, from the time of Christ and his apostles, to the end of the world? some they observe and take notice of while they are performing, and see the gracious designs of God in them, for their good and his glory; and though some of his ways of Providence are past finding out, and his footsteps are not known as yet; hereafter his judgments will be made manifest, and the whole scene will be opened to the saints, and be clear to their view: the secret of his love, free grace, and favour, is with them, which was in his heart from everlasting, and lay hid in his thoughts, which are as much higher than ours as the heavens are higher than the earth; and which is made manifest in regeneration, and then shed abroad in the hearts of his people: secret communion with God is enjoyed by those that fear him, which is what the world knows nothing of, and the joy that results from it is what a stranger intermeddles not with; the Lord has his chambers and secret places, into which he brings them, and where they dwell. The secret of his Gospel is with them; and the mysteries of it, which were kept secret since the world began; as the mystery of a trinity of Persons in the Godhead; the union of the two natures in Christ; the regeneration of the Spirit; the union of the saints to Christ, and their communion with him; the calling of the Gentiles; the resurrection of the dead; and the change of living saints;

and he will show them his covenant: the covenant of grace, which was made with Christ for them from eternity, is made known to them in time, when they are called by the grace of God, and made partakers of the grace of the covenant, then the Lord reveals himself as their covenant God and Father; shows them that his Son is their surety, Mediator, Redeemer, and Saviour; puts his Spirit into them to implant covenant grace in them, to seal up the blessings of it to them, and bear witness to their interest in them, as pardon, justification, and adoption; and to apply the exceeding great and precious promises of it to them.

Verse 15. Mine eyes [are] ever towards the Lord,.... Not only as the God of nature and providence, for his daily support and supply, in which sense the eyes of all creatures wait upon him; but as his covenant God and Father, having the eyes of his understanding opened to see and know him as such, and the eye of his faith directed to him, to believe in him, and make him his hope and trust; and his eye was single to him; it was to him, and him only, that he looked; and it was constant, it was ever to him, he set the Lord always before him; and such a look was well pleasing to God: it may also respect the lifting up of his eyes to God in prayer for all mercies temporal and spiritual, and his prayer was the prayer of faith; as follows:

for he shall pluck my feet out of the net; of the corruption of nature, and the lusts of it, as Aben Ezra interprets it; by which the saints are sometimes ensnared and taken captive, and out of which they cannot make their escape of themselves; but there is a deliverance from it by Jesus Christ their Lord: or out of the temptations of Satan, called his devices, and wiles, and the snares of the devil; and as the Lord knows how to deliver his out of temptations, he does deliver them in his own time; or rather out of the nets and snares laid for him by wicked men; as by his son Absalom, Ahithophel, and others, in which his feet were as a bird in the snare of the fowler; but he believed the net, or snare, would be broken, and he should escape, as he did.

Verse 16. Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me,.... Or "look unto me," or "upon me" {f}; which suggests that the Lord had turned himself, and hid his face from him; and expresses a desire that he would look upon him with a look of love and mercy, and arise to help and deliver him out of the hands of his enemies; he pleads no merits nor works of righteousness of his, but casts himself upon the mercy of God;

for I [am] desolate and afflicted; or "alone and poor" {g}; not that he was quite alone, and had none with him; for though he was obliged to quit his palace, and the city of Jerusalem, yet he was accompanied by his servants, and a large number of his people; and could not be poor, in a literal sense, being king of Israel; yet he put no trust in men, nor in riches, but wholly depended on the Lord, as if he had none with him, nor anything to subsist with: and his case was indeed very deplorable, and called for pity and assistance; his own son was risen up against him, and the hearts of the men of Israel went after him; and he was obliged to flee from the city, and leave his house and family.

{f} yla hnp "respice ad me," Montanus, Musculus, Junius & Tremellius, &c. {g} ynew dyhy "solitarius et pauper," Junius & Tremellius; "et miser," Gejerus, Michaelis; so Ainsworth.

Verse 17. The troubles of my heart are enlarged,.... His enemies being increased, which troubled him; the floods of ungodly men made him afraid; the waters of affliction were come into his soul, and spread themselves, and threatened to overwhelm him: or it may be rendered, as by some, "troubles have enlarged my heart" {h}; made him wiser, increased his knowledge and experience; see Psalm 119:67; but the former seems better to agree with what follows;

[O] bring thou me out of my distresses; or "straits" {i}; for the enlargement of his troubles was the straitening of his heart; and therefore he applies to the Lord to bring him out of his afflicted circumstances, in which he was penned up, as in a strait place, on every side, and which were such that he could not free himself from; but he knew that God could deliver him.

{h} wbyxrh "dilataverunt cor meum," Vatablus; "reddiderunt cor meum latius," Gussetius, p. 786. {i} ytwqwumm "ab angustiis meis," Pagninus, Junius & Tremellius; so Musculus, Piscator, Michaelis.

Verse 18. Look upon mine affliction and my pain,.... The "affliction" was the rebellion of his subjects against him, at the head of which was his own son; and the "pain" was the uneasiness of mind it gave him; or the "labour" {k}, as the word may be rendered; the toil and fatigue of body he was exercised with, he flying from place to place; and he desires that God would look upon all this with an eye of pity and compassion to him, and arise to his help and deliverance; as he looked upon the affliction of the children of Israel in Egypt, and delivered them, Exodus 3:7;

and forgive all my sins; or "lift up," "bear," or "take away" {l}, as the word signifies; sins are burdens, and they lay heavy at this time on David's conscience, being brought to mind by the affliction he laboured under, not only his sin with Bathsheba, but all others; and these were on him as a heavy burden, too heavy to bear; wherefore he entreats that the Lord would lift them off, and take them away from him, by the fresh discoveries of pardoning grace to him. The sins of God's people are removed from them to Christ, by his Father, on whom they have been laid by his act of imputation; and he has bore them, and all the punishment due unto them, and, has taken them away, and made an end of them; and through the application of his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, they are caused to pass from the consciences of the saints, and are removed as far from them as the east is from the west; and this is what the psalmist here desires, and this he requests with respect to all his sins, knowing well that, if one was left upon him, it would be an insupportable burden to him.

{k} ylme "laborem meum," Pagninus, Mortanus, Junius & Tremellius, &c. {l} avw Heb. "tolle," Piscator; "aufer," Michaelis.

Verse 19. Consider mine enemies,.... Or "look" {m} upon them; but with another kind of look; so as he looked through the pillar of fire upon the Egyptians, and troubled them, Exodus 14:24; with a look of wrath and vengeance. The arguments he uses are taken both from the quantity and quality of his enemies, their number and their nature;

for they are many; the hearts of the people of Israel, in general, being after Absalom, 2 Samuel 15:12; and so the spiritual enemies of the Lord's people are many; their sins and corruptions, Satan, and his principalities and powers, and the men of this world;

and they hate me with cruel hatred; like that of Simeon and Levi, Genesis 49:7; their hatred broke out in a cruel manner, in acts of force and cruelty; and it was the more cruel, inasmuch as it was without cause: and such is the hatred of Satan and his emissaries against the faithful followers of Christ; who breathe out cruelty, thirst after their blood, and make themselves drunk with it; even their tender mercies are cruel, and much more their hatred.

{m} har "vide," Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus, Cocceius, Michaelis "aspice," Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "intuere," Gejerus.

Verse 20. O keep my soul,.... Or "life" {n}, which was in danger, his enemies seeking for it; wherefore he applies to God that gave it, and who had hitherto held him in it, to preserve it. God is the keeper of has people in a spiritual sense; they cannot keep themselves from sin, Satan, and the world; but he is able to keep them from falling, and therefore they pray to him that he would keep them; and they have reason to believe they shall be kept by his power, through faith, unto salvation;

and deliver me; as out of the hands of his present enemies, so from all evil, from the evils of the world, from the evil one, Satan, from the evil of sin, and out of all affliction and troubles;

let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee; See Gill on "Ps 25:2."

{n} yvpn "animam meam," i.e. "vitam meam," Gejerus.

Verse 21. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,.... Meaning either his own, as in Psalm 7:8; and then the sense is, either that God would preserve him, seeing he had acted the faithful and upright part in the government of the people of Israel, and they had rebelled against him without a cause; see Psalm 78:72; or that those might be continued with him, that he might not be led aside by the corruptions of his heart, and the temptations of Satan, and by the provocations of his rebellious subjects, to act a part disagreeable to his character, as a man of integrity and uprightness; but that these remaining with him, might be a means of keeping him in the ways of God, Proverbs 13:6; or else the integrity and uprightness of God are designed, which are no other than his goodness and grace to his people, and his faithfulness in his covenant and promises, or his lovingkindness and his truth; see Psalm 40:11;

for I wait on thee: in the use of means for deliverance and safety; the Targum is, "for I trust in thy word."

Verse 22. Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles. David was not only concerned for himself, but for the whole nation of Israel, which was involved in trouble through this unnatural rebellion of his son, and many of his subjects; and no doubt he may have a further view to the redemption of the church of God, the spiritual Israel, by the Messiah; and his sense may be, that God would send the promised Redeemer and Saviour, to redeem his people from all their iniquities; from the law, its curses and condemnation; to ransom them out of the hands of Satan, that is stronger than they; and to deliver them from all their enemies, and from death itself, the last enemy, which will put an end to all their troubles, Isaiah 35:10.