1. I will extol thee, O Jehovah! for thou hast lifted me up,1 and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. 2. O Jehovah my God! I have cried to thee, and thou hast healed me. 3. O Jehovah! thou hast brought up my soul from the grave; thou hast quickened me from among those who go down2 into the pit.
1. I will extol thee, O Jehovah! As David had been brought, as it were, from the grave to the life-giving air, he promises to extol the name of God. It is God who lifts us up with his own hand when we have been plunged into a profound gulf; and therefore it is our duty, on our part, to sing his praises with our tongues. By the foes who, he says, obtained no matter of rejoicing over him, we may understand both domestic and foreign enemies. Although wicked and evil disposed persons flattered him with servile adulation, they at the same time cherished secret hatred against him, and were ready to insult him as soon as an opportunity should occur. In the second verse, he concludes that he was preserved by the favor of God, alleging in proof of this, that when he was at the very point of death he directed his supplications to God alone, and that he immediately felt that he had not done so in vain. When God hears our prayers, it is a proof which enables us to conclude with certainty that he is the author of our salvation, and of the deliverance which we obtain. As the Hebrew word apr, rapha, signifies to heal, interpreters have been led, from this consideration, to restrict it to sickness. But as it is certain, that it sometimes signifies to restore, or to set up again, and is moreover applied to an altar or a house when they are said to be repaired or rebuilt, it may properly enough mean here any deliverance. The life of man is in danger in many other ways than merely from disease; and we know that it is a form of speech which occurs every where in the Psalms, to say that David was restored to life whenever the Lord delivered him from any grievous and extreme danger. For the sake of amplification, accordingly, he immediately adds, Thou hast brought up my soul from the grave. He reckoned that he could not sufficiently express in words the magnitude of the favor which God had conferred upon him, unless he compared the darkness of that period to a grave and pit, into which he had been forced to throw himself hastily, to protect his life by hiding, until the flame of insurrection was quenched. As one restored to life, therefore, he proclaims that he had been marvellously delivered from present death, as if he had been restored to life after he had been dead. And assuredly, it appears from sacred history, how completely he was overwhelmed with despair on every side.