Psalm 7

Notes (NET Translation)

A musical composition by David, which he sang to the Lord concerning a Benjaminite named Cush.

This Cush is mentioned nowhere else in the Bible, but opposition from Benjaminites is documented [1]. The obscurity of the incident supports the antiquity
and the authenticity of the title.

1 O Lord my God, in you I have taken shelter. Deliver me from all who chase me! Rescue me!

Regardless of the outcome, the psalmist has already placed himself in God’s hands.

2 Otherwise they will rip me to shreds like a lion; they will tear me to bits and no one will be able to rescue me.

3 O Lord my God, if I have done what they say, or am guilty of unjust actions,

Unjust actions (awel) refers to an attitude toward others involving deception or hostility [2].

4 or have wronged my ally, or helped his lawless enemy,

5 may an enemy relentlessly chase me and catch me; may he trample me to death and leave me lying dishonored in the dust. (Selah)

If the psalmist is indeed guilty, he invites the very thing he earlier asked deliverance from [3].

6 Stand up angrily, Lord! Rise up with raging fury against my enemies! Wake up for my sake and execute the judgment you have decreed for them!

7 The countries are assembled all around you; take once more your rightful place over them!

8 The Lord judges the nations. Vindicate me, Lord, because I am innocent, because I am blameless, O Exalted One!

The psalmist’s blameless state is in relation to the charges against him. He is not totally without sin.

9 May the evil deeds of the wicked come to an end! But make the innocent secure, O righteous God, you who examine inner thoughts and motives!

The phrase translated “inner thoughts and motives” literally means “hearts and kidneys”, referring to man’s innermost being [4].

10 The Exalted God is my shield, the one who delivers the morally upright.

This verse is the high point of confidence for the psalmist. The psalm now transitions to general praise.

11 God is a just judge; he is angry throughout the day.

God’s anger/indignation is good news for the oppressed.

12 If a person does not repent, God sharpens his sword and prepares to shoot his bow.

Note that God seems to be waiting for the person to repent.

13 He prepares to use deadly weapons against him; he gets ready to shoot flaming arrows.

14 See the one who is pregnant with wickedness, who conceives destructive plans, and gives birth to harmful lies–

The first verb (habal) describes the pain and anxiety of giving birth [5].

15 he digs a pit and then falls into the hole he has made.

16 He becomes the victim of his own destructive plans and the violence he intended for others falls on his own head.

17 I will thank the Lord for his justice; I will sing praises to the sovereign Lord!

Footnotes

[1] 1 Sam. 24-26; 2 Sam. 16:5-14; 20:1-22

[2] Goldingay 2006, loc. 2907-2908

[3] Ps. 7:1-2

[4] VanGemeren 2008, p. 132

[5] Goldingay 2006, loc. 3007-3008

Bibliography

Craigie, Peter C., and Marvin E. Tate. Psalms 1-50. Nashville: Nelson Reference & Electronic, 2004.

Goldingay, John. Psalms: Volume 1: Psalms 1-41. Kindle Edition. Baker Academic, 2006.

Kidner, Derek. Psalms 1-72: An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 2008.

VanGemeren, Willem. Psalms. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2008.

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