Thursday, July 20, 2017

Psalm 7 jottings

It looks like I may have neglected to post these notes when I made them so just in case they are of any interest:

Psalm 7 notes


A prayer of trust in Yahweh for vindication, for justice and for deliverance from enemies.


When persecuted or opposed unjustly

To focus on God’s character in difficult circumstances

Praising God’s righteousness and judgement

Giving thanks for deliverance or in the confidence of future deliverance


Lord, you search me and you know me.

I confess that I am a sinner, entirely dependent on your grace.

Make me a person of righteousness and integrity, I pray.

May I be faithful and consistent, as you are, keeping my word, honouring my friends and partners, always dealing fairly with others and fulfilling my responsibilities.

May I never give others cause to hate me or to hate you.

Lord, I pray for justice for myself and for the world.

Vindicate me, and all who are wronged.

Deliver your faithful people who are persecuted without cause.

I look to you as my refuge and shield, my only confidence in this world and in the next.

Arise and fight for your people, I pray.

Yours, Lord, is the battle and the victory.

May your kingdom come and your will be done.

May your just rule be seen upon the earth.

Thank you, Lord, for your righteousness, that I can have complete confidence that the judge of all the world will do right.

Thank you for the Lord Jesus Christ: the only perfectly innocent one who suffered unjustly for me and whom you delivered from death and hell, triumphing over all his enemies.

Thank you for the vindication of his resurrection and ascension and that all evil will be undone.  

All praise to your high and holy name.


Outlines / structure:

Expositor’s Bible:

The righteous God loves the righteous

(1)  A - Prayer for refuge (vv1-2)

(2) B - Oath of innocence (vv3-5)

(3) C - God’s righteous judgement (vv6-13)

(4) B’ - Judgement of the guilty (vv14-16)

(5) A’ - Praise of God’s righteousness (v17)

Goldingay, Baker Commentary

On trial, in battle, hunted

Wilcock, BST:

(1) Concerning Cush: a lion (vv1-5)

(2) Concerning God: a courtroom (vv6-9)

(3) Concerning God: an armoury (vv10-13)

(4) Concerning Cush: a pregnancy and a pit (vv14-17)

Kidner, Tyndale:

A cry for justice

Vv1-2, The hunted man

Vv3-5, The oath of innocence

Vv6-11, The righteous judge

Vv12-16, “Sin, when it is finished…”

V17, Thankful praise

Dale Ralph Davis, The Way of the Righteous in the Muck of Life

Just Justice

Take care with your prayer (vv1-5)

Find hope in God’s anger (vv6-11)

Watch Judgement take place (vv12-16)

Remember praise is due (v17)



Goldingay calls a siggayon a lament on the basis of the Akkadian sigu

Shiggaion – Wilcock guesses it could be related to the verb to wander and therefore wild, rhapsodic music


Sang to the LORD

Davis has “on account of the words of Cush”

Cush – Sudan (Goldingay) – the area south of Egypt not Ethiopia

2 Sam 18:20-32 the Sudanese – Shimei and or Sheba both styled Benjaminites (Goldingay) – see Goldingay p144 for verbal links between this story and the Psalm

Cf. 1 Sam 24

Concerning Cush, a Benjamite – not mentioned elsewhere in the Bible

When David was pursued by Saul the Benjaminite?

Or during Absalom’s rebellion the latent hostilities of the Benjaminites resurged – 2 Sam 16:5-14; 20:1-22

How is God pictured and described in this Psalm?

Movement from lament to thanksgiving

A broadening out to God’s eschatological rule over the nations? – then God’s people will no longer be troubled

2 Thess 1:5-10 – the coming judgement

Themes / genres: individual lament (vv1-2), oath (vv3-5), kingship psalm (vv6-12), thanksgiving hymn (v17)

Justice and salvation go together here

From intensely personal to global (v7-8)

Cf. Naboth

Num 5:11-28; Dt 8:7-20; 1 Kings 8:31-32

Vivid pictures of David’s opponents: a lion, a pregnant man (!), and a digger of holes

Of God: judge and warrior (Wilcock, p35)

Wilcock: 4 chiastic stanzas: Cush / God / God / Cush (p35)

David lays out before the Lord his position (v1a), his danger (vv1b-2) and his conscience (vv3-5) (Davis, p86)

V1 – Yahweh, My God (repeated in v3) – an initial note of confidence

V1 – I take refuge in you – loyalty, trust

Cf. other supposed refuges… “Other refuge have I none” (Charles Wesley, Jesus Lover of My Soul)

Kidner says the tense shows that “while David’s preservation and deliverance were still matters for prayer (v1b), his unseen refuge was already a fact”

Vv1 & 2 – repetition of save

V2 – lion imagery

V2 – God his only hope – an argument for God to act

Vv3-4 – If, ‘im, 3x in MT

V3 – “this” – whatever his enemy is accusing him of

Dt 25:16

V3 – awel – guilt (NIV) is meanness, deception, hostility, unfaithfulness

Cf. Is 1:15; 59:3, 6

Vv3-5 – an appeal to God’s justice – of course the Psalmist cannot claim sinless perfection but he knows himself to be in the right with respect to his enemies. They are baddies and he is a goody. Their opposition is undeserved.

Cf. Job’s claim to righteousness – 1 Cor 4

Is the Psalmist at all confused about this / really questioning it or is this rhetorical?

He who is at peace with me equivalent to a close friend Ps 41:9; Jer 38:22 – cf. Judas?! – an ally?

2 Kings 7:17

Perhaps david feels slandered, misunderstood, falsely accused of bribes, treachery etc. – cf. Absalom’s smear campaign – 2 Sam 15:1-6

Cf. God’s knowledge and an illustration from the art of spying – CIA photos from 1973 in which one can make out the time on the soldiers watches (Davis, p86f)

V4 – David’s supposed betrayal of Saul?

Vv4-5 suggest a war context

V4 – solem - friend, strictly, ally – someone in a committed salom relationship

Ex 23:4f; lev 19:17f; 1 Sam 24:10f; Prov 25:21

V4b – Goldingay, “but released my watchful foe without cause” – says halas never elsewhere means to plunder – a former ally who has become a foe?

Unprincipled leniency to foes? – cf. Saul to Agag 1 Sam 15

V5 – kebodi, kabod, my glory – personal worth? – can sometimes refer to the liver or inner being, heart – cf. 4:2 / honour – 3:3

Cf. Job 31

V5 – evil as an army

V5 – Selah – Goldingay translates this “(Rise)” – Willock: an interlude for music or meditation? – a pause to read related Scriptures? (Goulder)

Vv6-11 – Kidner: breadth of vision here; concern for universal justice

V6 – God’s anger

V6 – An appeal to God’s anger against the anger of the enemies – God’s anger is the Psalmist’s hope; the attackers’ anger is the Psalmist’s threat (Goldingay)

Cf. Heb 4:13 – God as all-knowing judge – There’s no fooling him!

Cf. 5:5; 6:1

V6 – appeal to God to arise and awake – God does not sleep of course, but it can seem like he does!

V6 – God, you must have ordered a decision

God is more powerful than any enemies and he cares

Cf. Acts 17:31

V6 – repetition: arise, rise up, awake

Cf. Num 10:35-36 and Ps 3:7

V7 – MT suba, return, not seba, rule – return on high, LORD

Return to your judgement seat throne / sit as judge

Vv7-8 – an appeal to God to exercise his rule and judge, to God’s righteousness and integrity / character

A prayer for vindication, declare me in the right – judge my case and find for me, Lord

Cf. 2:8-9

V9 the hinge of the Psalm – movement from prayer to expressions of confidence and praise

V9 – The righteous God searches minds and hearts – both David and his enemies are open books to the LORD

God not grandfatherly and mildly indulgent! (Wilcock)

A court with teeth! (Wilcock)

Vv9-11: 6 descriptive phrases of God: righteous God, tester (one who searches my heart, v9), my shield, saviour, righteous judge, God who expresses his wrath

The ungodly will experience God’s sword; the repentant will benefit from his shield. It is precisely by dealing with the wicked that God delivers the innocent. We ought to be grateful for the fierceness of the Biblical God because it guarantees that eventually all will be as it ought to be (Wilcock, p37)


A Tester

B Righteous

C Shield

C’ Saviour

B’ Righteous judge

A’ Indignant

(Expositor’s Bible Commentary, p132)

The confidence of a believer before God

Heb 10:19-23; 2 Tim 8:8

V9 – mind and heart, lit. hearts and kidneys, inmost being, the deepest part of a person, innards, Ps 26:5; Jer 11:20; 17:10; 20:12 – God knows the heart Jer 17:9

V10 – God as shield – cf. 3:3; 18:35 – Heb. Lit, my shield is on God

The Lord as righteous judge with the nations gathered around him a familiar image in the kingship of Yahweh Pss 95-99

V12 – God’s delay has given an opportunity for repentance

V12 – God as warrior – cf. Ps 98 – he will fight his peoples’ battles on their behalf

V12 – darak, maybe lit. he treads his bow, pulling the string with his foot

V13 - God’s lightnings like flaming arrows – Ps 18:14

Judgement inescapable and deadly. David’s predicament will be reversed.

Vv14-16 cf. Prov 26:27; 28:10

V14 – pregnancy and birth metaphor

Wickedness may be allowed a gestation period

V14 – The first verb in the verse, habal, elsewhere describes the pain and anxiety of actually giving birth. There are several roots: a common one denotes “act corruptly” or “destroy” (Goldingay).

Cf. begetting and digging – Is 51:1-2 – pregnancy and digging (hara and kara) sound like one another

Evil is fertile but futile (after Kidner)

V14 – NIV disillusionment = saqer, lie, falsehood

Cf. James 1:14f

V15 – word play in the Hebrew – wayyippol, falls, yipal, made

Falls back, yasub, the same as turns (v12)

The lion of v2 falls into the pit of v15

V15-16 – they provoke their own downfall – their plots rebound on themselves – they fall into the pit they have dug – no doubt they think themselves so very clever and well prepared – perhaps they gloat over how they will ruin their enemies, not knowing that a great downfall awaits them

Sin comes home to roost

Wrongdoing is a boomerang – Prov 26:27; Mt 26:52

God stands behind all things – no such thing as merely natural consequences but the way God has established and governs the universe

Davis p90 – an Eskimo technique of getting a wolf to lick itself to death on a knife covered in frozen blood

Cf. the cross – the innocent unjustly suffering one delivered, the evil of his persecutors will rebound on them

V16 – the abcc’b’a’ structure of the verse mirrors the reversal it describes (Goldingay)

V17 – Application: resolve to thank and praise God

Mk 7:37

V17 – the exact expression Yahweh Most High only elsewhere in 47:2

V17 – The name of the LORD most high – note in Expositor’s Bible Commentary on the Name of Yahweh (p135) – The Creator-Redeemer-King God who has revealed himself, the God of the covenant – reliable, promise-keeping, God’s people who call on him can expect his blessing and protection – God’s name recalls his perfections and mighty acts and will be praised – list of other Psalms which use The name of the Yahweh on p136

Name / character

Hope in God’s faithfulness and power

Trial / war / hunt imagery often used together (Goldingay, p152)

Isaac Watts: O bless the Lord, my soul, nor let his mercies lie / forgotten in unthankfullness, and without praises die.

Troubles à prayer à deliverance à praise

Whether in trouble or in thankfulness, pray!

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