Psalm 17

1 Hear the right, O Jehovah, attend unto my cry;
Give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned
2 Let my sentence come forth from thy presence;.
Let thine eyes look upon equity.
3 Thou hast proved my heart; thou hast visited me in
the night;
Thou hast tried me, and findest nothing;
I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.
4 As for the works of men, by the word of thy lips
I have kept me from the ways of the violent.
5 My steps have held fast to thy paths,
My feet have not slipped.

1 See Psalm v. 7. Add: He who persuades to any thing from cunning or deceit persuades from design also, for cunning or deceit proposes to itself, conceals its purpose and performs it when opportunity offers. R. 624.
By guile in these passages is not meant guile in a natural sense which consists in fraudulent machinations and malicious falsehood against others, but guile in the spiritual sense by which is meant thought from the intention of the will, or from a deliberate purpose of speaking and persuading falses, and thereby destroying the soul. E. 866.

1-5. The Lord concerning the integrity of His life, P. P.

6 I have called upon thee, for thou wilt answer me, O
Incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.
7 Show thy marvellous lovingkindness,
O thou that savest by thy right hand th&m that take
refuge in thee
From those that rise up against them.
8 Keep me as the apple of the eye;
Hide me under the shadow of thy wings,

6 from the “Divine in himself. P. P.

It is known that Jehovah has not ears nor eyes like a man, but that it is an attribute predicable of the Divine which is signified by ear and by eye, namely, infinite will and infinite understanding. Infinite will is providence, and infinite understanding is foresight. These are what are understood by ear and eye in the supreme sense, when they are attributed to Jehovah. A. 3869.

See Psalm iv. 2. R. 376.
See Psalm iv. 2. E. 471.

6-10. From which He is sustained against the evil who rise up against Him. P. P.

8 To be covered with the wing of Jehovah, and to take refuge under His wings stands for protection and confidence which is of faith — see Psalm xci. 4. The like is meant by being hid under the shadow of God’s wings. A. 8764.

By wings are signified powers, because by them the birds raise themselves up, and wings are to them in the place of arms with men, and powers are signified by the arms. Guards are signified by wings also in these verses, and in Psalm xci. 4. And others. R. 245.

To be covered with the feathers of Jehovah signifies to be guarded by Divine truth, which is the Divine spiritual. To trust under His wing — Psalm xci. 4 — signifies scientific truth, or the Divine natural. E. 283.

9 From the wicked that oppress me,
My deadly enemies, that compass me about.

7-9. By enemies and rebels are signified the evils and falses which are from hell. They are called rebels because evils and falses rebel against goods and truths, but not vice versa. A. 10481.
See Psalm hi. 2, 3. E. 671.

10 They are inclosed in their own fat:
With their mouth they speak proudly.
11 They have now compassed us in our steps;
They set their eyes to cast its down to the earth.

10 Fat signifies celestial good. By the fat in the opposite sense they are signified who are nauseated at good, and because it is very abundant, despise and reject it. R. 782.
In the opposite sense by the fat ones are signified those who loathe good, or who at least despise or reject it. E. 1159.

11, 12. And wish to slay Him. P. P.

12 He is like a lion that is greedy of his prey,
And as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.
13 Arise, O Jehovah,
Confront him, cast him down:
Deliver my soul from the wicked by thy sword;

12 The rending of good by falsities from evils is meant in the internal sense. A lion represents those who vastate the church. A. 5828.

A lion signifies truth in its power. In Numbers xxiv. and xxiii. 24, this is said of Israel, by whom the church is signified, whose power which is in Divine truths is thus described. R. 241.

By lions also in the Word is signified in an opposite sense the power of what is false, derived from evil, by which the church is destroyed and devastated. E. 278.

13 By whom nevertheless He cannot be hurt: P. P.

14 From men by thy hand, O Jehovah,
From men of the world, whose portion is in this life,
And whose belly thou fillest with thy treasure:
They are satisfied with children,
And leave the rest of their substance to their babes.

14 And yet they possess the Word. P. P.
By the hid treasure here mentioned is signified the truth of the Word, by the belly the interior understanding, whence by filling their belly with treasure is signified to instruct their interior understanding in the truths of the Word. That they who are affected by truths and thence fully instructed is signified by ” they are full of children.”
Children denote those who are in the affection of truth. The babes of the children signify truths springing up, or in the birth, whence it is said that they leave the rest of their substance to their babes. It is here said the interior understanding, for there is with man an exterior understanding and an interior. The exterior understanding is of the natural mind, and the interior understanding is of the spiritual mind, the interior is signified by the belly. E. 622.

15 As for me, I shall behold thy face in righteousness;
I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with beholding thy

15 To behold the face of God means to enjoy peace and good from mercy. A. 5585.

He will be glorified. P. P.

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)