A Song of degrees.

Why this psalm and the fourteen following, are called songs of degrees, we do not certainly know. It is plain, some of them are suited to secret worship, some to the family, and others to the public assembly. This psalm, from its affinity to the 52nd, is supposed to refer to Doeg the Edomite, 1 Sam. 22. We have, (1.) The psalmist’s prayer to God for deliverance from the ruinous influence of malicious and false accusations, ver. 1-2. (2.) His denunciation of the just, fearful, and lasting judgments of God against his malicious accusers, ver. 3-4. (3.) His complaints of his quarrelsome and vexatious neighbours, ver. 5-7.

Never dare, my soul, to utter falsehood, or even truth in a malicious manner. Never dare to rush upon the fierce and lasting indignation of the Almighty. Never choose to make this world thy country, where sin and troubles so abound. But, ye blessed abodes of peace and purity, when shall I come to you! When shall I leave my evil neighbours, and come to God, to God my exceeding joy.

1 In my distress to God I cried,
and he gave ear to me.
2 From lying lips, and guileful tongue,
O Lord, my soul set free.

3 What shall be giv’n thee? or what shall
be done to thee, false tongue?
4 Ev’n burning coals of juniper,
sharp arrows of the strong.

5 Woe’s me that I in Mesech am
a sojourner so long;
That I in tabernacles dwell
to Kedar that belong.

6 My soul with him that hateth peace
hath long a dweller been.
7 I am for peace; but when I speak,
for battle they are keen.