15. He hath digged a pit, and hollowed it out;1 and he hath fallen into the ditch which he hath made. 16. His wickedness shall return upon his own head, and his violence shall descend upon his own crown.
Here David says not only that their wicked devices were without success, but that, by the wonderful providence of God, the result was the very opposite of what had been contemplated. He sets this forth in the first place metaphorically, by employing the figure of
1 Fry, from a comparison of the Hebrew word which Calvin renders hollowed it out, with the cognate Arabic words supposes that it means "dug it over, so as to cover and hide it." The imagery is taken from the common method of catching lions and other wild beasts in the east, by digging pits on the spots which they were observed to frequent, and covering them slightly over with reeds or small branches of trees. Luther's translation of this clause is precisely the same with that of Calvin; and, in his Commentary on the place, he well explains the force of the expressions of the Psalmist. "See," says he, "how admirably he expresses the hot burning fury of the ungodly, not simply declaring, he has dug a pit, but adding to this, and hollowed it out. So active and diligent are they to have the pit dug and the hole prepared. They try every thing, they explore every thing, and not satisfied that they have dug a pit, they clear it out and make it deep, as deep as they possibly can, that they may destroy and subvert the innocent."
2 "Tomboyent au mal qu'ils avoyent brasse."--Fr. "Fall into the destruction which they had contrived."
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