Psalms 17:12 MEANING

Psalm 17:12
(12) Young lion.--Heb., kephir. The Hebrew has seven different names for the lion. Milton's description of Satan naturally recurs to the reader--

"About them round

A lion now he stalks with fiery glare."

Verse 12. - Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey; literally, his likeness [is] as a lion that is greedy to rend (comp. Psalm 7:2; Psalm 10:9; Psalm 57:4). And as it were a young lion (kephir, "a lion in the first burst of youthful vigour") lurking in secret places; rather, crouching. The attitude of the lieu when he is just preparing to spring.

17:8-15 Being compassed with enemies, David prays to God to keep him in safety. This prayer is a prediction that Christ would be preserved, through all the hardships and difficulties of his humiliation, to the glories and joys of his exalted state, and is a pattern to Christians to commit the keeping of their souls to God, trusting him to preserve them to his heavenly kingdom. Those are our worst enemies, that are enemies to our souls. They are God's sword, which cannot move without him, and which he will sheathe when he has done his work with it. They are his hand, by which he chastises his people. There is no fleeing from God's hand, but by fleeing to it. It is very comfortable, when we are in fear of the power of man, to see it dependent upon, and in subjection to the power of God. Most men look on the things of this world as the best things; and they look no further, nor show any care to provide for another life. The things of this world are called treasures, they are so accounted; but to the soul, and when compared with eternal blessings, they are trash. The most afflicted Christian need not envy the most prosperous men of the world, who have their portion in this life. Clothed with Christ's righteousness, having through his grace a good heart and a good life, may we by faith behold God's face, and set him always before us. When we awake every morning, may we be satisfied with his likeness set before us in his word, and with his likeness stamped upon us by his renewing grace. Happiness in the other world is prepared only for those that are justified and sanctified: they shall be put in possession of it when the soul awakes, at death, out of its slumber in the body, and when the body awakes, at the resurrection, out of its slumber in the grave. There is no satisfaction for a soul but in God, and in his good will towards us, and his good work in us; yet that satisfaction will not be perfect till we come to heaven.Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey,.... Or "the likeness of him is as a lion" (i); meaning Saul, as Kimchi interprets it; or everyone of them that compassed them about, as Aben Ezra observes; sometimes wicked and persecuting princes are compared to lions, for their strength and cruelty; see Proverbs 28:15; so the devil is called a roaring lion, 1 Peter 5:8; and the antichristian beast is said to have the mouth of a lion, Revelation 13:2;

and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places; to leap upon its prey, and seize it at once, as it has opportunity; this denotes the secret and insidious method which the enemies of Christ take to do mischief; see Psalm 10:9.

(i) "similitudo ejus, vel cujusque est tanquam leonis", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius; so Musculus, Gejerus, Michaelis.

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