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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 7

Verses 1-17

The title of this psalm is similar to that of Habakkuk 3:1. It is called, not a psalm, but Shiggaion or Shigionoth of David; which he sung to the Lord concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite. Whether Shiggaion designates a musical instrument, or a mode of music, as the air, the symphony or melody, is uncertain. But who is Cush? We find no such name in Saul’s court; the word is always the name of a country or of its black inhabitants, who were often servants to the Israelites. But here Cush is like a lion, who would tear David to pieces: Psalms 7:2. Therefore Cush is but a disguised name for Saul himself. It was a m├ętonymy: the wise man says, “Curse not the king, no not in thy thought.” Ecclesiastes 10:20. This figure is then a full but delicate appeal of injured innocence, to the bar of a righteous God.

Psalms 7:5 . Selah; which falls here after David’s attestations of innocence, and before he asks God to arise in anger. The change of subject requires a change in the melody, that the music might be the echo of the heart. It justifies the remarks of a Hebrew scholar, cited Psalms 3:4.

Psalms 7:7 . So shall the congregation, literally, the tribes of Israel, compass thee about, with songs of praise for showing thy righteousness to David.


This psalm, like the last, is a continuous pleading with heaven for deliverance. It opens with David’s confidence in God, that he had sought the good of those who now sought his harm. By consequence, he knew that the God of truth would in due time avenge his cause: and no man can approach him with iniquity in his hands.

He associates his prayers with those of the congregation of Israel, whose eyes were over him, and whose hearts were with him. And though afraid, lest their voice should be heard on earth, they were the more earnest that their prayers might be heard in heaven. They therefore awaited the day when they might once more see David’s face, and hear the sweet sounds of his harp in the house of God.

From the righteous, he glances at the other family, and says of the wicked, if he turn not, God hath whet his sword, and bent his bow, and prepared his vasa mortis, his artillery of death. Like the great conquerors, who ravage nations, the Lord is preparing a grand expedition against the ungodly. Those who delight in war he overthrows in war; the populous and effeminate cities he destroys with pestilence; the profligate and the lascivious he wastes away by slow disease. Men who fight against Omnipotence had better pause, and reflect on the issues of their warfare. But let the saints join the choir of David, and sing, “I will praise the Lord, according to his righteousness, and magnify the name of the Most High.”

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Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 7". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1835.