Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 57:4

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

My soul is among lions - לבאם בתוך bethoch lebaim . I agree with Dr. Kennicott that this should be translated, "My soul dwells in parched places," from לאב laab, he thirsted. And thus the Chaldee seems to have understood the place, though it be not explicit.

I lie even among them that are set on fire - I seem to be among coals. It is no ordinary rage and malice by which I am pursued: each of my enemies seems determined to have my life.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

My soul is among lions - That is, among people who resemble lions; men, fierce, savage, ferocious.

And I lie even among them that are set on fire - We have a term of similar import in common use now, when we say that one is “inflamed” with passion, referring to one who is infuriated and enraged. So we speak of “burning” with rage or wrath - an expression derived, perhaps, from the inflamed “appearance” of a man in anger. The idea here is not that he “would” lie down calmly among those persons, as Prof. Alexander suggests, but that he actually “did” thus lie down. When he laid himself down at night, when he sought repose in sleep, he was surrounded by such persons, and seemed to be sleeping in the midst of them.

Even the sons of men - Yet they are not wild beasts, but “men” who seem to have the ferocious nature of wild beasts. The phrase, “sons of men,” is often used to denote men themselves.

Whose teeth are spears and arrows - Spears and arrows in their hands are what the teeth of wild beasts are.

And their tongue a sharp sword - The mention of the tongue here has reference, probably, to the abuse and slander to which he was exposed, and which was like a sharp sword that pierced even to the seat of life. See the notes at Psalm 55:21.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
All David's dependence is upon God. The most eminent believers need often repeat the publican's prayer, "God be merciful to me a sinner." But if our souls trust in the Lord, this may assure us, in our utmost dangers, that our calamities will at length be overpast, and in the mean time, by faith and prayer, we must make him our refuge. Though God be most high, yet he condescends so low, as to take care that all things are made to work for good to his people. This is a good reason why we should pray earnestly. Look which way we will on this earth, refuge fails, no help appears; but we may look for it from heaven. If we have fled from the wrath to come, unto Jesus Christ, he that performed all things needful to purchase the salvation of his people, will do for us and in us all things needful for our enjoyment of it. It made David droop to think there should be those that bore him so much ill-will. But the mischief they designed against him, returned on themselves. And when David was in the greatest distress and disgrace, he did not pray, Lord, exalt me, but, Lord, exalt thine own name. Our best encouragement in prayer, is taken from the glory of God, and to that, more than to our own comfort, we should have regard in all our petitions for mercy.
Ellen G. White
Conflict and Courage, 166.1

My soul is among lions; and I lie even among them that are set on fire. Psalm 57:4. CC 166.1

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