This psalm consists of three parts. It begins with a complaint; next follows an enumeration of various imprecations; and then comes a prayer with an expression of true gratitude. And although David here complains of the injuries which he sustained, yet, as he was a typical character, everything that is expressed in the psalm must properly be applied to Christ, the Head of the Church, and to all the faithful, inasmuch as they are his members; so that when unjustly treated and tormented by their enemies, they may apply to God for help, to whom vengeance belongs. 1
1 From the express application of a part of this awfully prophetic poem to Judas by the Apostle Peter, (Acts 1:20) we learn that the punishment and sufferings of that unhappy man form its subject. It has also been justly viewed as shadowing forth, not merely the fate of the wretched Iscariot, and his immediate associates, but the dreadful and justly-merited destiny of the Jewish polity and nation. "The first five verses of this psalm," says Horsley, "clearly describe the treatment which our Lord met with from the Jews. The curses that follow as clearly describe the judgments which have fallen upon that miserable people. So that the whole is a prediction of his sufferings, and of their punishment, delivered in the form of complaint and imprecation." Whatever, therefore, may be said as to the primary reference of the psalm to the lamentations and denunciations poured forth by David, in consequence of the perfidy and cruelty of some inveterate foe, Christ must be principally understood as the person who gives utterance to these lamentations and denunciations, occasioned by the injurious treatment he received from his betrayer and murderers. -- See Appendix.
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