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Bible Commentaries

Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms

Psalms 7

Verses 1-17

Psalms 7:1-17. Title. " Shiggaion " signifies wanderingt or variable; and, it is probable, denotes the musick to which the psalm was set. Many conjectures have been formed concerning Cush ; but at last we only know, that he was of the same tribe as Saul, and most likely one of his relations and courtiers, who brought some false accusation against David.

(Notes, 1 Samuel 22:7-8; 1 Samuel 26:17-19.)

V. 1, 2. In extreme danger, the Psalmist, according to his custom, resorted to God by faith and prayer. He had many persecutors : but it is probable that the one, whom he distinguishes from the rest, was Saul ; who was so enraged against him, and had so much power in his hands, that he both could, and would, have torn him in pieces, as a lion does his prey ; nor would any have attempted to deliver him, had not God been his Protector. (Notes, 1 Samuel 22:9-19; 1 Samuel 23:26-28.)

V. 3- 5. David here appealed to God for his innocence, as to the charges brought against him. So far from having risen up, as an enemy or traitor, against his prince, when at peace with him; or even returned evil for the evil requital which his eminent services had received ; (as some explain the clause;) he had twice preserved the life of his treacherous and implacable persecutor, who had not the smallest cause for his cruel enmity. (Notes, 1 Samuel 20:1-6; 1 Samuel 24:1-22; 1 Samuel 26:8-25.) If this were not the case, and if the accusations of his enemies were true ; he was willing to lose his life and reputation, and to be exposed to the deepest ignominy. (Notes, Job 31:5-12; Job 31:16-23; Job 38:1 to Job 40:24. Jeremiah 17:14-18; Jeremiah 18:19-20. 2 Corinthians 11:7-12.)

V. 6, 7- David was assured that the Lord intended to cut off Saul. (Notes, 1 Samuel 15:26-29; 1 Samuel 24:8-15; 1 Samuel 25:23-31; 1 Samuel 26:8-12.) This was " the judgment " which he had commanded," and for which David prayed, not only on his own account, but for the sake of the people. Saul’s tyranny, and neglect of his duty as king of Israel, had crushed and scattered the Israelites : and his persecution and impiety had driven them from the ordinances and worship of God, and seduced them into many crimes. The Psalmist therefore prayed that the righteous Judge would ascend his exalted tribunal, exert his omnipotent authority, and by some visible interposition check the progress of impiety, and give encouragement to his servants ; that they might again be collected in his courts, and unite in his holy worship. (Marg. Ref. Notes,Psalms 75:2-10. Psalms 141:6-10. Jeremiah 12:14.)

V. 8- 11. The heart-searching Judge of the world decides not only on men’s conduct towards him, but in all the causes between one and another. (Note, Psalms 17:1-3.)

To him therefore David referred the cause between him and his persecutors, desiring to be judged, in this respect, according to his righteousness and integrity, which were known to God. (Notes, Psalms 26:1. 2 Samuel 22:21-28.)

He also earnestly prayed that the wickedness of the wicked might cease ; and that God would establish the righteous.

He was assured, that the righteous Judge and Preserver of the upright, would defend him as a Buckler, (marg.) and would at length manifest that anger, which was every day excited by the crimes of his enemies. ’ How few ’ among Christians seriously and deliberately consider, ’ whether the sentence of that day ’ (the day of judgment) ’ is likely to be in their favour ! yet how many, with the ’ utmost composure and self-complacency, repeat continually the words of this psalm, as well as those in the ’ Te Deum, ’ We believe that thou shalt come to be our

’ ’ Judge ! ’ ’ Bp. Home.

V. 12, 13. ’ Vengeance . . . will certainly come, though ’ it stay long, and not fail to do execution : for it is decreed in heaven, (if they do not repent,) and will pierce ’ through the heart of Saul, and all the rest of my fierce ’ and outrageous persecutors.’ Bp. Patrick. (Note, 6, 70

V. 14- 16. ’ When an evil thought is instilled into the ’ heart of a man, the seed of the wicked one is sown ; by ’ . . . cherishing the diabolical suggestion " he conceiveth" ’ a purpose of " mischief; " when that purpose is gradually ’ formed and matured for the birth, he " travaileth with ’ " iniquity ; " at length, by carrying it into action, he ’ " bringeth forth falsehood." ’ Bp. Home. (Note, James 1:13-15.) The persecutor especially, being determined upon iniquity, is restless and in torment, till he can affect his purpose by any method of deceit and violence. But, with much expense and trouble, he only digs a pit for himself, and the ruin he aimed at others, falls on the crown of his own head, and gives him a mortal wound.

Thus Saul was killed by the Philistines, whom he wanted to employ in cutting off David; (Notes, 1 Samuel 18:17-27; 1 Samuel 31:2-6:) and the Jews, who excited the Romans to crucify Christ, were awfully destroyed by the Romans, and numbers of them crucified. (Note, Matthew 27:24-25.)

V. 17. Most high.]Psalms 83:18. Isaiah 57:15. Daniel 4:17-34; Daniel 5:18-21.


The servants of God must expect the persecution of the tongue, as a preparation for further injuries ; and to the ingenuous mind it often appears very formidable. But no slanderers or persecuting tyrants can do real harm to those who trust in the Lord their God : when there is none else to deliver, he will take care, both of their persons, and their characters ; and will preserve them from Satan, that " accuser of the brethren," and " devouring lion," and " from every evil work unto his heavenly kingdom." Let us then wage our warfare with the weapons of faith and prayer ; and, instead of injuring our peaceful neighbours, let us persevere in endeavoring to overcome evil with good. This will enable us to rejoice in the testimony of our consciences, when loaded with slander and obloquy, and to appeal to God with confidence. But ’ wretched ’ they who persecute their benefactor ! Happy he who can ’ reflect that he has been a benefactor to his persecutors ! ’ Bp. Home.

Indeed the Christian would deem himself worthy of all the injury and ignominy, which his foes desire for him, were he guilty of the crimes of which they accuse him. But, while we patiently bear the injuries to which we are exposed, we should be much affected and grieved, when we behold " one sinner destroying much " good : " and we ought to pray that the Lord would convert or destroy all those, who scatter and oppress his people ; and effectually interpose to encourage their faith and obedience, and to stop the growth of impiety and infidelity. When earthly judges abuse their power, it is a comfort to reflect that the Lord will reverse their decrees, and plead the cause of his people : he is a Judge who " trieth the heart and reins ; " nor can we stand before him, even according to his new covenant of mercy, without " simplicity and godly sincerity," and conscientious integrity in our habitual conduct. The Lord is every day provoked by the wicked ; and while he waits to receive the submissions, and pardon the sins, of those who repent and turn to him, he is preparing to execute judgment on all the impenitent. But persecutors must expect his severest vengeance. Satan suggests the mischievous imagination, and they welcome it ; and iniquity and murder are thus conceived, and then effected by lies and treachery. Let them however remember, that they are only plotting their own destruction : for the persecuted servants of the Lord will be celebrating his praises, and rejoicing in his favour, while their persecutors are cast into the pit of destruction, and enduring the wrath of their righteous Judge : and all their subtle projects will concur in bringing about this final event. Let us then under all our trials look unto the Saviour. He alone was perfect in righteousness; yet none was ever reviled, slandered, and hated as he was. He lived and died, doing good to his enemies, and praying for them : but after his exaltation, the welfare of his church required that judgment should be executed upon such as continued impenitent.

The Jews first felt the weight of his indignation, and at the same time great multitudes of Gentile converts compassed him about. Wherever Anti-christian corrupters or persecutors have been from time to time destroyed, the church has been replenished with numerous real converts to the faith ; and when these enemies of the truth shall finally come to an end, the whole earth will be filled with truth and righteousness. Shortly will arrive that final judgment which God has decreed, when all unbelievers will finally perish : may we, at that solemn season, ’ be ’ numbered with his saints in glory everlasting ! ’

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Bibliographical Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 7". Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. 1804.