1 O Jehovah my God, in thee do I take refuge:
Save me from all them that pursue me, and deliver me,
1-3, 7-12, 18. Prayer of the Lord to the Father for help against the hells. P. P.
2 Lest they tear my soul like a lion,
Rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.
3 Many a time in the Word that which is torn is mentioned and by it is meant in the proper sense that which has perished by falsities from evils, but that which has perished by evils is called a carcass. A lion represents those who vastate the church A. 5828.
3 O Jehovah my God, if I have done this;
If there be iniquity in my hands;
4 If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace writh
(Yea, I have delivered him that without cause was
5 Let the enemy pursue my soul, and overtake it;
Yea, let him tread my life down to the earth,
And lay my glory in the dust. [Selah]
4, 5, 9-11. For He is just, and there is no evil in Him —P. P.
6 Arise, O Jehovah, in thine anger;
Lift up thyself against the rage of mine adversaries,
And awake for me; thou hast commanded judgment.
6 By enemy here also is signified evil, in general the devil, that is hell whence evil comes. By treading down life to the earth and making glory to dwell In the dust is signified to destroy by the corporeal sensual all the truths of heaven and of the church, for these constitute spiritual life and are also signified by glory, dust is also predicated of the corporeal sensual, which is also understood by walking upon the belly and eating dust, as is everywhere said of the serpent. E. 632.
7 And let the congregation of the peoples compass thee
And over them return thou on high.
8 Jehovah ministereth judgment to the peoples:
Judge me, O Jehovah, according to my righteousness,
and to mine integrity that is in me.
8, 9. To execute judgment is to judge either to death which is damnation, or to life which is salvation. Salvation or damnation is also signified by judgment where mention is made of the day, or hour of judgment. A. 9857.
9 Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end,
but establish thou the righteous:
For the righteous God trieth the minds and hearts.
10 In these passages spiritual things are signified by the reins, and celestial things by the heart, that is the things which are of truth are signified by the reins, and those which are of good by the heart. The reason of this is that the reins purify the serum, and the heart purifies the blood itself. Hence by trying, exploring and searching the reins is signified to try, explore and search out the quantity and quality of truth, or the quantity and quality of faith in man. A. 5385.
By the kidneys are signified truths exploring, purifying and chastising. This signification is grounded in their function. To search and prove the kidneys stands for to explore the truths of faith, and to search and prove the heart stands for to explore the goods of love, for the heart stands for the good of love. A. 10032. By the reins in these places are signified the truths of intelligence and faith, and by the heart the good of love and charity. R. 140.
The righteous stands for those who love to do what is good and true, whose truths and goods are purified by the Lord, which is signified by His seeing and trying the reins and the hearts. E. 167.
10 My shield is with God,
Who saveth the upright in heart.
10, 11. That a shield means protection against evils and falsities, which is trusted, is evident without explanation, for from common usage the expression has become familiar that Jehovah is a shield and a buckler. But what is specifically signified by a shield may be evident from the Word — that as regards the Lord it signifies protection, and as regards man trust in the Lord’s protection. Here trust is meant. A. 1788.
11 God is a righteous judge,
Yea, a God that hath indignation every day.
12-14. It is here attributed to God that He is angry with the wicked, that He whets His sword, that He bends and makes ready His bow, prepares instruments of death, and ordains His arrows, but in the spiritual sense it is understood that man acts thus to himself. Those things are attributed to God in the sense of the letter, because that sense is natural and for the natural man, who believes that God is to be feared on account thereof, and fear with him operates the same as love does afterwards when he becomes spiritual. Hence it is evident what is here signified by those words, namely, that the wicked are angry with God, that they whet the sword against themselves. By their whetting the sword is signified, that they procure to themselves falsity by which they fight against truth. By their bending the bow and making it ready is signified, that from falsities they make to themselves doctrine against truths. By their preparing the instruments of death, and ordaining their arrows is signified, that from infernal love they make to themselves false principles by which they destroy good and its truth. E. 357.
12 If a man turn not, he will whet his sword;
He hath bent his bow, and made it ready;
13 A sword manifestly stands for the vastation of truth.A. 2799.
13 He hath also prepared for him the instruments of
He maketh his arrows fiery shafts.
14 Behold, he travaileth with iniquity;
Yea, he hath conceived mischief, and brought forth
15 He hath made a pit, and digged it,
And is fallen into the ditch which he made.
16 His mischief shall return upon his own head,
And his violence shall come down upon his own pate.
13-17. But may be conquered. P. P.
17 I will give thanks unto Jehovah according to his righteousness, And will sing praise to the name of Jehovah Most High.
18 From these passages it is manifest that confession (praise) has reference to the celestial of love, and is distinguished from what relates to the spiritual of love, for it is said confession and the voice of joy (Psalm xlii. 4), confession being what is celestial, and the voice of joy, the voice of them that make merry and sing praises being what is spiritual. A. 3880.
Jehovah is called the Highest, because high signifies heaven and the Divine therein, therefore Divine worship was instituted on mountains and on high places by those who were of the representative church. A. 8153. To sing a song signifies confession from joy of heart, therefore in the above passages (Psalm xlii. 4; cv. 1, 2; lvii. 7-9), two expressions are used, namely, to confess and to sing, E. 326.
Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)