Bible Commentaries
Psalms 54

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

Psalms 54:1 « To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, [A Psalm] of David, when the Ziphims came and said to Saul, Doth not David hide himself with us? » Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength.

Maschil ] Instructing us, saith one, to draw near to God, as dangers draw nearer to us.

When the Ziphims ] Which signifieth flourishing, Erant autem Ziphaei ex stirpe Caleb 1 Chronicles 2:42 . ut et Nabal, sed degeneres; they might have flourishing estates, but they had withered souls; else they would never have sought twice ever to have betrayed good David into the hand of Saul, 1 Samuel 23:19 ; 1 Samuel 26:1 .

Came and said to Saul ] If a ruler hearken to lies all his servants are wicked, Proverbs 29:12 ; See Trapp on " Pro 29:12 "

Doth not David hide himself with us? ] viz. In the wood and wilderness near unto our city? But what if he did, should they therefore discover him, and so pull the vengeance of God upon themselves and their city? George Eagles (alias Trudgeover the world) hid himself in a grain field, was exposed by Ralph Lurdain for money, and burnt at Chelmsford; where afterwards the same Lurdain was hanged for stealing a horse; and confessed it was just in God upon him, for betraying that innocent man. (Acts & Mon.)

Ver. 1. Save me, O God, by thy name ] i.e. By thyself, and especially by thy goodness, whereby thou art nominatissimus in ecclesia, well known in thy Church, as a main piece of thy name, Exodus 34:6-7 .

Verse 2

Psa 54:2 Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.

Ver. 2. Hear my prayer, O God ] He runs to God by most earnest prayer, for our instance and instruction in like case; for we must prepare for the like trials, nec de cruce disputandum est otiose et velut in umbra, &c.

Verse 3

Psa 54:3 For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah.

Ver. 3. For strangers are risen up against me ] He meaneth not foreigners, but home dwellers; Saul, Doeg, Ziphims, Nothi et spurii, strangers to religion, reason, common humanity; Jews outwardly, but not inwardly; heathens upon the matter, Psa 59:5 Amos 9:7 Revelation 11:2 . The pope showed himself no better in delivering up for money Zemes the Great Turk’s brother, who fled to him for safeguard of his life, wrongfully sought after.

Oppressors seek after my soul ] i.e. My life at least; my soul also they would destroy, if it lay in their power, as the Papists delivered up John Huss to the devil when they burnt him; and would not allow Jerome of Prague a confessor, though he requested it. So the monster of Milan, that made his enemy first curse Christ in hope of life, and then stabbed him to death, saying, Now go soul and body to the devil (Bodin. de Rep.). So he that, for spite, procuring a man to be hanged, and seeing him penitent, said, I am afraid the rogue will go to heaven.

They have not set God before them ] This was the root of all their outrages, they made no reckoning of God, prout est iudexet vindex mali, as he is a severe judge, and a sharp revenger of sin and wickedness.

Verse 4

Psa 54:4 Behold, God [is] mine helper: the Lord [is] with them that uphold my soul.

Ver. 4. Behold, God is mine helper ] And that mine enemies might have seen, had they set God before them. The Dutch have a proverb, Where God hath a mind to destroy a man, he first putteth out his eyes.

The Lord is with them that uphold my soul ] That favour my righteous cause, and wish my welfare, as doth Jonathan, and the rest that fear God; who although they be but few and feeble in comparison, yet they have God with them and for them ( non interfuit modo, sed etiam praefuit ), and how many do you reckon him for? as Antigonus once said. David was environed, and in great danger to be surprised; but God rescued him by an invasion of the Philistines, 1 Samuel 23:27-28 . The Lord knoweth how to deliver his, 2Pe 2:9 R. Moses expounded it, God is loco omnium, et super omnes, instead of all, and above all.

Verse 5

Psa 54:5 He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth.

Ver. 5. He shall reward evil unto mine enemies ] Or, mine observers, that watch me a mischief. I shall escape out of trouble, and they shall come in my stead, Proverbs 11:8 .

Cut them off in thy truth ] i.e. According as thou hast pronounced against such as seek and suck innocent blood.

Verse 6

Psa 54:6 I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for [it is] good.

Ver. 6. I will freely sacrifice unto thee ] Or, liberally; not with an ill will and pinchingly. The Arabic rendereth it, Laudabo te obediens. Praise is the best sacrifice, and obedience is the best praise.

I will praise thy name, O Lord; for it is good ] Thy name is good, and it is a good thing to praise it; for thereby men do thee right, help thee to thine own, secure to themselves former favours, and procure future.

Verse 7

Psa 54:7 For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen [his desire] upon mine enemies.

Ver. 7. For he hath delivered me ] i.e. He surely will. This is the language of faith; this is the triumph of trust.

And mine eye hath seen my desire upon mine enemies ] This was not an evil eye of envy or private revenge; such as was that of him, who, when he saw a pit full of man’s blood, cried out, O formosmn spectaculum! O brave sight! or that of Antichrist, who hath oft glutted his eyes with many such goodly bloody sights; as when he caused the massacre of Paris to be painted in his palace, and had the admiral’s head sent him for a present; but as admiring God’s justice on his enemies, and love towards his people, he was well pleased with such a providence, and beheld it with comfort (Thuan.). The Arabic rendereth it, Oculus meus requievit. My eye rested. Tremellius, mine eye beholdeth mine enemies; I dare now boldly look them in the face, being strengthened with thy night, &c.

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 54". Trapp's Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.