whilst that I withal escape; or "whilst I together escape", or "pass over" (l); that is, while he, together with his companions, passed over the net laid; or,
"till I pass over safe and sound,''
will all mine, as Noldius (m); not only pass over and escape the snares of the wicked, but pass out of this world into a state of happiness and glory in another.
(k) "in retiacula ejus", Pagninus, Montanus; "in retia ejus", Vatablus, Cocceius; so Ainsworth. (l) "simul transeam", Montanus, Vatablus, Musculus; "una cum meis transiturus sum", Piscator. (m) Concord. Partic. Ebr. Chald. p. 363. No. 1279. so Michaelis.
INTRODUCTION TO Psalm 142
Maschil of David; A Prayer when he was in the cave. Of the word "maschil", See Gill on Psalm 32:1, title. This psalm is called a prayer, as some others are, the ninetieth and hundred second psalms: and was composed by David when either in the cave of Adullam, 1 Samuel 22:1; or rather in the cave at Engedi, where he cut off Saul's skirt, 1 Samuel 24:3; as Jarchi and Kimchi think. The psalm represents the troubles of David, and of the Messiah his antitype, and is applicable to the church of God, or to any particular soul when in distress.
with my voice unto the Lord did I make, my supplication: the same thing in other words; "crying" is explained by making "supplication", which is praying to the Lord in an humble manner for grace and mercy, and not pleading merit and worthiness.
I showed before him my trouble; the present trouble he was in, being pursued and surrounded by Saul and his army; not as if the Lord was ignorant of it, and did not see and observe it, but to affect his own soul with it, to exercise grace under it, and ease his burdened and distressed mind; the best of men have their troubles both within and without, and the way to be rid of them is to carry them to the Lord.
then thou knewest my path: the eyes of the Lord are upon all men, and he knows their goings, none of them are hid from him; and he sees and approves of the way, of the life and conversation of his people in general; and particularly observes what way they take under affliction, which is to apply to him for help and deliverance, Psalm 1:6. R. Moses in Aben Ezra and Kimchi interpret it of the path he walked in, which was right and not evil, for which he could appeal to God, that knows all things; it may literally intend the path David took to escape the fury of Saul, that pursued him from place to place;
in the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me; let him take which way he would, there were spies upon him, or men that were in ambush to take him; and snares were everywhere laid for him to entrap him; see Psalm 140:5.
but there was no man that would know me; take notice of him, and acknowledge and own him, or show him any favour, or even own that they had any knowledge of him; which is often the case when men are in affliction and distress, their former friends, acquaintance, yea, relations, keep at a distance from them; so it was with Job, the Messiah, and others; see Job 19:13;
refuge failed me; as he could get no help from men, so there was no way open for his escape, or by which he could flee and get out of the hands and reach of his enemies; in these circumstances he was when in the cave;
no man cared for my soul; or "life" (o); to save it, protect and defend it, that is, very few; otherwise there were some that were concerned for him, as the men that were with him, and Jonathan, Saul's son; but none of Saul's courtiers, they were not solicitous for his welfare, but on the contrary sought his life, to take it away. This is an emblem of a soul under first awakenings and convictions, inquiring the way of salvation, and where to find help, but at a lois for it in the creature.
(n) "respice dexteram et vide", Montanus; "vel ad dexteram", Musculus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Michaelis. (o) "vitam meam", Junius & Tremellius.
I said, thou art my refuge; as he was, from all his enemies that were in pursuit of him, and from the storm of calamities he apprehended was coming upon him: and a refuge the Lord is to all his people in time of trouble; and where they always meet with sustenance, protection, and safety; he being a strong habitation, a strong hold, a strong refuge, to which they may resort at all times; and such is Christ to all sensible sinners that flee unto him, Hebrews 6:18;
and my portion in the land of the living; and a most excellent one he is, a large, immense, and inconceivable portion; he and all his perfections, purposes, promises, and blessings, being included in it; a soul-satisfying one, and which will never be taken away nor consumed; it is a portion in the present life; it will last as long as life lasts, and continues unto death, and at death, and for evermore, Psalm 73:26.
for I am brought very low; in his spirit, in the exercise of grace, being in great affliction, and reduced to the utmost extremity, weakened, impoverished, and exhausted; wanting both men and money to assist him, Psalm 79:8;
deliver me from my persecutors; Saul and his men, who were in pursuit of him with great warmth and eagerness;
for they are stronger than I; more in number, and greater in strength; Saul had with him three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, ablebodied men, and expert in war; veteran troops, and in high spirits, with their king at the head of them; David had about six hundred men, and these poor mean creatures, such as were in distress, in debt, and discontented, and in want of provisions, and dispirited; see 1 Samuel 22:2. So the spiritual enemies of the Lord's people are stronger than they, Jeremiah 31:11.