TO THE CHIEF MUSICIAN. A PSALM OF DAVID, THE SERVANT OF THE LORD, WHO SPAKE
UNTO THE LORD THE WORDS OF THIS SONG IN THE DAY THAT THE LORD DELIVERED
HIM FROM THE HAND OF ALL HIS ENEMIES, AND FROM HAND OF SAUL, AND HE SAID:
<<THE SERVANT OF THE LORD>>: It worked both ways. David subdued himself to
the will of the Almighty as a servant should and in return he received the
good will and protection of God who is his master. By subduing himself to
God he freed himself from all other yokes including that of his own selfishness.
[Psalms 18:1] I WILL LOVE THEE, O LORD, MY STRENGTH.
I WILL LOVE THEE>>: Hebrew "arachamcha" which can also connote "I will
request mercy from you" (Radak).
[Psalms 18:2] THE LORD IS MY ROCK, AND MY FORTRESS, AND MY DELIVERER; MY
GOD, MY STRENGTH, IN WHOM I WILL TRUST; MY BUCKLER, AND THE HORN OF MY
SALVATION, AND MY HIGH TOWER.
[Psalms 18:3] I WILL CALL UPON THE LORD, WHO IS WORTHY TO BE PRAISED: SO
SHALL I BE SAVED FROM MINE ENEMIES.
Also possible to say: "I will call upon God with my praises and be saved".
"Enemy" here means a physical opponent but the language also lends itself
to be interpreted as referring to our own evil impulse that is the enemy of us all.
[Psalms 18:4] THE SORROWS OF DEATH COMPASSED ME, AND THE FLOODS OF UNGODLY
MEN MADE ME AFRAID.
The enemies of David were numerous and every time they saw an opportunity
they came charging in upon him like a flood of dammed-up water bursting
its bounds. Those who opposed David acted against the will of the
Almighty. They wished to impose their own wish in place of that of
God. David believed that God would ehlp him but he was also justifiably
afraid that his merits would fall short when the moment of truth arrived.
[Psalms 18:5] THE SORROWS OF HELL COMPASSED ME ABOUT: THE SNARES OF DEATH
<<THE SORROWS OF HELL>>: "Chevlei Sha-ul" similar to the tribulations of
birth ("Chevlei laydah"). We come in and we go out fighting.
[Psalms 18:6] IN MY DISTRESS I CALLED UPON THE LORD, AND CRIED UNTO MY GOD:
HE HEARD MY VOICE OUT OF HIS TEMPLE, AND MY CRY CAME BEFORE HIM, EVEN INTO
The temple was not yet built. Even the place of the future Temple had not
been decided upon at the trine that David composed this Psalm. Radak says
that here "Temple" means the Place of God in heaven but I would suggest it
means HIS PRESENCE in this world.
[Psalms 18:7] THEN THE EARTH SHOOK AND TREMBLED; THE FOUNDATIONS ALSO OF
THE HILLS MOVED AND WERE SHAKEN, BECAUSE HE WAS WROTH.
The enemies of David were established like the foundations of the earth but
the wrath of the Almighty confounded them (Radak)
[Psalms 18:8] THERE WENT UP A SMOKE OUT OF HIS NOSTRILS, AND FIRE OUT OF
HIS MOUTH DEVOURED: COALS WERE KINDLED BY IT.
[Psalms 18:9] HE BOWED THE HEAVENS ALSO, AND CAME DOWN: AND DARKNESS WAS
UNDER HIS FEET.
He cast upon them darkness (Radak).
[Psalms 18:10] AND HE RODE UPON A CHERUB, AND DID FLY: YEA, HE DID FLY UPON
THE WINGS OF THE WIND.
[Psalms 18:11] HE MADE DARKNESS HIS SECRET PLACE; HIS PAVILION ROUND ABOUT
HIM WERE DARK WATERS AND THICK CLOUDS OF THE SKIES.
[Psalms 18:12] AT THE BRIGHTNESS THAT WAS BEFORE HIM HIS THICK CLOUDS
PASSED, HAIL STONES AND COALS OF FIRE.
[Psalms 18:13] THE LORD ALSO THUNDERED IN THE HEAVENS, AND THE HIGHEST GAVE
HIS VOICE; HAIL STONES AND COALS OF FIRE.
[Psalms 18:14] YEA, HE SENT OUT HIS ARROWS, AND SCATTERED THEM; AND HE SHOT
OUT LIGHTNINGS, AND DISCOMFITED THEM.
What is david referring to in all these allusions? He has taken different
miracles that the Almighty performed for Israel such as the splitting of
the Red Sea, the victory of Deborah at Mount Tabor, the rain of stones at
Beth-Horon [Joshua 10:11], etc, and woven them into one comprehensive
description concerning the intervention of the Almighty in the world on
behalf of Israel. David has personalized these events and describes them
as having been performed for his sake and so in a sense they were. David
also uses this description to describe his own spiritual battles with the
inner forces of Darkness that he overcomes with the help of the Almighty.
We should also not forget that David and his men were famous and greatly
feared warriors (2-Samuel 17:8) and only a few of their exploits are
related in Scripture. In these verses David may also be referring to his
other battles in which the Hand of Providence made itself felt on behalf of David.
[Psalms 18:15] THEN THE CHANNELS OF WATERS WERE SEEN, AND THE FOUNDATIONS
OF THE WORLD WERE DISCOVERED AT THY REBUKE, O LORD, AT THE BLAST OF THE
BREATH OF THY NOSTRILS.
[Psalms 18:16] HE SENT FROM ABOVE, HE TOOK ME, HE DREW ME OUT OF MANY
[Psalms 18:17] HE DELIVERED ME FROM MY STRONG ENEMY, AND FROM THEM WHICH
HATED ME FOR THEY WERE TOO STRONG FOR ME.
[Psalms 18:18] THEY PREVENTED ME IN THE DAY OF MY CALAMITY: BUT THE LORD
WAS MY STAY.
[Psalms 18:19] HE BROUGHT ME FORTH ALSO INTO A LARGE PLACE; HE DELIVERED
ME, BECAUSE HE DELIGHTED IN ME.
[Psalms 18:20] THE LORD REWARDED ME ACCORDING TO MY RIGHTEOUSNESS;
ACCORDING TO THE CLEANNESS OF MY HANDS HATH HE RECOMPENSED ME.
[Psalms 18:21] FOR I HAVE KEPT THE WAYS OF THE LORD, AND HAVE NOT WICKEDLY
DEPARTED FROM MY GOD.
Sometimes when we are in trouble or under stress we allow ourselves to do
things we otherwise would not do. David is saying that even under very
severe pressures he did not sin, for instance he could have killed Saul
several times but he did not even though it would probably have been
justifiable to do so. Saul was pursuing David and his followers and seeking
to kill all of them. David was responsible not only for himself but also
for those following after him and their families. They relied on David
And could not understand how he let their mutual enemy get away, e.g.
[Psalms 18:22] FOR ALL HIS JUDGMENTS WERE BEFORE ME, AND I DID NOT PUT AWAY
HIS STATUTES FROM ME.
[Psalms 18:23] I WAS ALSO UPRIGHT BEFORE HIM, AND I KEPT MYSELF FROM MINE
[Psalms 18:24] THEREFORE HATH THE LORD RECOMPENSED ME ACCORDING TO MY
RIGHTEOUSNESS, ACCORDING TO THE CLEANNESS OF MY HANDS IN HIS
[Psalms 18:25] WITH THE MERCIFUL THOU WILT SHEW THYSELF MERCIFUL; WITH AN
UPRIGHT MAN THOU WILT SHEW THYSELF UPRIGHT;
[Psalms 18:26] WITH THE PURE THOU WILT SHEW THYSELF PURE; AND WITH THE
FROWARD THOU WILT SHEW THYSELF FROWARD.
[Psalms 18:27] FOR THOU WILT SAVE THE AFFLICTED PEOPLE; BUT WILT BRING DOWN
[Psalms 18:28] FOR THOU WILT LIGHT MY CANDLE: THE LORD MY GOD WILL
ENLIGHTEN MY DARKNESS.
Malbim says that David is referring here to two types of Divine Guidance:
(1) "MY CANDLE:: Intelelctual inspiration bordering on prophecy. (2)
"ENLIGHTEN MY DARKNESS": Spiritual enlightenment showing the way
[Psalms 18:29] FOR BY THEE I HAVE RUN THROUGH A TROOP; AND BY MY GOD HAVE I
LEAPED OVER A WALL.
Behold another deed of valor performed by David and only hinted at.
[Psalms 18:30] AS FOR GOD, HIS WAY IS PERFECT: THE WORD OF THE LORD IS
TRIED: HE IS A BUCKLER TO ALL THOSE THAT TRUST IN HIM.
<<BUCKLER>>: Hebrew "magen", i.e. shield.
[Psalms 18:31] FOR WHO IS GOD SAVE THE LORD? OR WHO IS A ROCK SAVE OUR GOD?
[Psalms 18:32] IT IS GOD THAT GIRDETH ME WITH STRENGTH, AND MAKETH MY WAY PERFECT.
[Psalms 18:33] HE MAKETH MY FEET LIKE HINDS' FEET, AND SETTETH ME UPON MY HIGH PLACES.
[Psalms 18:34] HE TEACHETH MY HANDS TO WAR, SO THAT A BOW OF STEEL IS
BROKEN BY MINE ARMS.
[Psalms 18:35] THOU HAST ALSO GIVEN ME THE SHIELD OF THY SALVATION: AND THY
RIGHT HAND HATH HOLDEN ME UP, AND THY GENTLENESS HATH MADE ME GREAT.
[Psalms 18:36] THOU HAST ENLARGED MY STEPS UNDER ME, THAT MY FEET DID NOT SLIP.
[Psalms 18:37] I HAVE PURSUED MINE ENEMIES, AND OVERTAKEN THEM: NEITHER DID
I TURN AGAIN TILL THEY WERE CONSUMED.
The enemies of Israel and Judah must be defeated, hunted down, and finished
off. When they raised their hand against the peoples of Israel they
declared war on the Almighty and must pay the price. For health and
personal reasons I used to practice Thai Boxing and sometimes still do.
Even in this field a lot of fights are lost because an initial advantage is
not followed up upon.
"May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't."- General George
"Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and
hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tire, more hungry. Keep
punching." General George Patton Jr
"If I "The test of success is "If you are going to win any battle, you
have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the
body tell the mind what to do... the body is never tired if the mind is not
tired." General George Patton Jr
It is a religious victory to complete the victory when God has given you
the ability to do so. The enemies of David were the enemies of the Almighty
and vice versa.
[Psalms 18:38] I HAVE WOUNDED THEM THAT THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO RISE: THEY
ARE FALLEN UNDER MY FEET.
[Psalms 18:39] FOR THOU HAST GIRDED ME WITH STRENGTH UNTO THE BATTLE: THOU
HAST SUBDUED UNDER ME THOSE THAT ROSE UP AGAINST ME.
[Psalms 18:40] THOU HAST ALSO GIVEN ME THE NECKS OF MINE ENEMIES; THAT I
MIGHT DESTROY THEM THAT HATE ME.
[Psalms 18:41] THEY CRIED, BUT THERE WAS NONE TO SAVE THEM: EVEN UNTO THE
LORD, BUT HE ANSWERED THEM NOT.
[Psalms 18:42] THEN DID I BEAT THEM SMALL AS THE DUST BEFORE THE WIND: I
DID CAST THEM OUT AS THE DIRT IN THE STREETS.
[Psalms 18:43] THOU HAST DELIVERED ME FROM THE STRIVINGS OF THE PEOPLE; AND
THOU HAST MADE ME THE HEAD OF THE HEATHEN: A PEOPLE WHOM I HAVE NOT KNOWN
SHALL SERVE ME.
[Psalms 18:44] AS SOON AS THEY HEAR OF ME, THEY SHALL OBEY ME: THE
STRANGERS SHALL SUBMIT THEMSELVES UNTO ME.
[Psalms 18:45] THE STRANGERS SHALL FADE AWAY, AND BE AFRAID OUT OF THEIR
[Psalms 18:46] THE LORD LIVETH; AND BLESSED BE MY ROCK; AND LET THE GOD OF
MY SALVATION BE EXALTED.
[Psalms 18:47] IT IS GOD THAT AVENGETH ME, AND SUBDUETH THE PEOPLE UNDER ME.
<<THE PEOPLE>>: Hebrew "amim", i.e. "peoples" in the plural.
[Psalms 18:48] HE DELIVERETH ME FROM MINE ENEMIES: YEA, THOU LIFTEST ME UP
ABOVE THOSE THAT RISE UP AGAINST ME: THOU HAST DELIVERED ME FROM THE
[Psalms 18:49] THEREFORE WILL I GIVE THANKS UNTO THEE, O LORD, AMONG THE
HEATHEN, AND SING PRAISES UNTO THY NAME.
<<HEATHEN>>: Hebrew, "Goyim" often translated as "Gentiles" but it can
also mean "nations", and could refer to Israelites.
[Psalms 18:50] GREAT DELIVERANCE GIVETH HE TO HIS KING; AND SHEWETH MERCY
TO HIS ANOINTED, TO DAVID, AND TO HIS SEED FOR EVERMORE.
The Covenant with the seed of David will never be broken. They will be the
future rulers of Israel. Many of our present day rulers may also be from
David. Billy Hughes in Australia (who believed the British were descended
from Israel), Oliver Cromwell, Winston Churchill and other great men may
well have been descendants of David. According to a report President Reagan
of the USA also believed he was a descendant of David.