Psalm 57

1 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me;
For my soul taketh refuge in thee;
Yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I take refuge,
Until these calamities be overpast.
2 I will cry unto God Most High,
Unto God that performeth all things for me.
3 He will send from heaven, and save me,
When he that would swallow me up reproacheth;
God will send forth his lovingkindness and his truth.

1-6. Prayer to the Father when in the combats of temptations with the hells which attack Him. P. P.
2 See Psalm xvii. 8. A. 8764.
See Psalm xvii. 8. R. 245.
See Psalm xvii. 8. E. 283.
3 See Psalm vii. 18. A. 8153.

4 My soul is among lions;
I lie among them that are set on fire,
Even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and
And their tongue a sharp sword.
5 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let thy glory be above all the earth.
6 They have prepared a net for my steps;
My soul is bowed down:
They have digged a pit before me;
They are fallen into the midst thereof themselves.

4 11. See Psalm xxv. 10. A. 6180.
See Psalm xxxvi. 6. A. 10577.
5 A sword in the opposite sense signifies falsity combating. A. 2799.
A lion is the power of the evil of self-love, when it destroys and lays waste. A. 6367.
The teeth of lions stand for falsities that destroy truths, lions for falsities from evil in their potency. A. 9052.
Mention is often made in the Word of swords and nothing else is signified by them but truth combating against falsities and destroying them. In the opposite sense also falsity fighting against truths. R. 52.
See Psalm xvii. 12. R. 241.
By the lion is signified power. Teeth signify the ultimates of the life of man which are called sensual things, which when they are separated from the interiors of the mind are in mere falsities, and offer violence to truths and destroy them. R. 435.
That sword signifies the false destroying truth is manifest. E. 131.
See Psalm xvii. 12. E. 278.
By lions in this passage are signified those who plunder the church of its truths and thus destroy it. By the sons of men who are set on fire are signified those who are in the truths of the church, and abstractedly the truths themselves which are said to be inflamed by the pride of self-derived intelligence, whence arise falsities. Whose teeth are spears and arrows signifies reasonings from external sensuals and so from the fallacies and falsities of religion, by which truths are destroyed. The teeth signify the ultimates of the life of man, which are external sensual things, and in the present case reasonings grounded therein. The tongue signifies the falsities of religion, wherefore it is said “and their tongue a sharp sword” for by a sword is signified the destruction of truth by falsities. E. 455-

Here by lions are signified those »who by means of falsities destroy the truths of the church, their teeth which are said to be spears and arrowy signify the scientifics which they apply to confirm falsities and evils and so to destroy the truths and goods of the church. Their tongue a sharp sword signifies crafty reasons from falsities. They are called a sharp sword because a sword signifies falsities destroying truth. E. 556.

By the soul here is also signified the spiritual life, which is the life of faith, thus also the life of the understanding, for the understanding is formed from truths and consists of them, as also faith. Since these things are signified by the soul and the subject here treated of is concerning the vastation of truth, therefore it is said, I lie in the midst of lions, for by lions are here signified falses destroying the truths of the church. It is also said, the sons of men are set on fire, the sons of men signifying the truths of doctrine and of the church, which when they are possessed from a corporeal love and thereby perish are said to be set on fire. E. 750.

The tongue of the impious which speaks falses from interior evils and thereby penetrates and disperses truths is also compared to a sharp sword, and sharp arrows. E. 908.
5, 7. Their malice against Him. P. P.

7 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed
I will sing, yea, I will sing praises.
8 Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp:
I myself will awake right early.
9 I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the
I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.
10 For thy lovingkindness is great unto the heavens,
And thy truth unto the skies.
11 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let thy glory be above all the earth.

8, 9. Confidence from His Divine. P. P.
8-10. See Psalm xxxiii. 2, 3. R. 276.
Songs were for the sake of the exaltation of the life of love, and hence of joy. R. 279.
Confession and glorification from the good of truth or from spiritual good, and from the truth of good or from spiritual truth are expressed in the particulars of this passage. The good of truth is expressed by singing, by being awaked or excited by the psaltery, and by confessing unto the Lord among the people. The truth of good is expressed by singing, by being excited by the harp, and by singing among the nations, for by the people in the Word are understood those who are in truths, and by nations those who are in good, in this case those who are principled in spiritual truth. E. 323.

See Psalm vii. 18. E. 326.
In these passages also mention is made of people and nations by whom are understood all who are in truths and goods. The expressions also which are applied to people are such as are predicated of truths, and those to nations such as are predicated of goods. That no others are understood by nations is evident also from this circumstance, that those things were said by David, who was the enemy of the nation of the Canaanites. E. 331.
10, 11. See Psalm vii. 18. A. 3880.
10-12. A song in praise of the Father for this reason. P. P.

11 See Psalm xxxvi. E. 541.

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)