The Treasury of David

Psalm 21

Subject. The title gives us but little information; it is simply, To the chief Musician, a Psalm of David. Probably written by David, sung by David, relating to David, and intended by David to refer in its fullest reach of meaning to David’s Lord. It is evidently the fit companion of Psalm Twenty, and is in its proper position next to it. Psalm Twenty anticipates what this regards as realized. If we pray today for a benefit and receive it, we must, ere the sun goes down, praise God for that mercy, or we deserve to be denied the next time. It has been called David’s triumphant song, and we may remember it as The Royal Triumphal Ode. “The king” is most prominent throughout, and we shall read it to true profit if our meditation of him shall be sweet while perusing it. We must crown him with the glory of our salvation; singing of his love, and praising his power, The next psalm will take us to the foot of the cross, this introduces us to the steps of the throne.

Division. The division of the translators will answer every purpose. A thanksgiving for victory, Psalms 21:1-6. Confidence of further success, Psalms 21:7-13.
The Treasury of David.

Psalm 21:8


Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee. The destruction of the wicked is a fitting subject for joy to the friends of righteousness; hence here, and in most scriptural songs, it is noted with calm thanksgiving. “Thou hast put down the mighty from their seats, “is a note of the same song which sings, “and hast exalted them of low degree.” We pity the lost for they are men, but we cannot pity them as enemies of Christ. None can escape from the wrath of the victorious King, nor is it desirable that they should. Without looking for his flying foes he will find them with his hand, for his presence is about and around them. In vain shall any hope for escape, he will find out all, and be able to punish all, and that too with the ease and rapidity which belong to the warrior’s right hand. The finding out relates, we think, not only to the discovery of the hiding places of the haters of God, but to the touching of them in their most tender parts, so as to cause the severest suffering. When he appears to judge the world hard hearts will be subdued into terror, and proud spirits humbled into shame. He who has the key of human nature can touch all its springs at his will, and find out the means of bringing the utmost confusion and terror upon those who aforetime boastfully expressed their hatred of him.

Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings

If David had before been without the symbol of his royal dignity, namely, the diadem, he was the more justified in praising the goodness of God, which had now transferred it from the head of an enemy to his own. Augustus F. Tholuck.

Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee. By a kind of climax in the form of expression, “hand,” is followed by “right hand,” a still more emphatic sign of active strength. To “find,” in this connection, includes the ideas of detecting and reaching. Compare 1 Samuel 23:17 Isaiah 10:10; in the latter of which places the verb is construed with a preposition ‏ל‎, as it is in the first clause of the verse before us, whereas in the other clause it governs the noun directly. If any difference of meaning was intended, it is probably not greater than that between find and find out in English. Joseph Addison Alexander.

Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee. Saul killed himself, for fear of falling into the hands of his enemies, and thought death less terrible than the shame that he would have endured in seeing himself in their power. What will it be then “to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31), of an offended God? of God unchangeably determined to be avenged? “Who can stand before his indignation?” says the prophet Nahum (Nahum 1:6). Who will dare look on him? Who will dare show himself? “Who may abide the day of his coming” (Malachi 3:2) without shuddering and fainting for fear? If Joseph’s brethren were so terrified that they “could not answer him, “when he said, “I am Joseph your brother, “how will it be with sinners, when they shall hear the voice of the Son of God, when he shall triumph over them in his wrath, and say unto them, “I am he” whom ye despised; “I am he” whom ye have offended; “I am he” whom ye have crucified? If these words, “I am he, “overthrew the soldiers in the garden of Olives (John 18:6), though spoken with extreme gentleness, how will it be when his indignation bursts forth, when it falls upon his enemies like a thunderbolt, and reduces them into dust? Then will they cry out in terror, and say to the mountains, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.” Revelation 6:16. James Nouet.

Thine hand shall find out, etc. It is not meant only of a discovery of a person (though it be a truth, that the Lord will discover all that are his enemies), but thine hand shall find them out, is, it shall take hold of them, grasp them, and arrest them. “Thine hand shall find out” all “thine enemies”, though close, though covert enemies; not only thy above ground enemies, but thy underground enemies; as well those that undermine thee, as those that assault thee. Joseph Caryl.

Hints to the Village Preacher

The secret sinner unearthed, and deprived of all hope of concealment.

Ver. 8-9. The certainty and terror of the punishment of the wicked.
The Treasury of David.

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