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To him that presides on Neginoth; an instructive Psalm of David.
The grievousness of his temptations is described, in which he prays to the father, verses 1 to 5, 9; that he is ready to desist from combat by reason of their grievousness, verses 6 to 8; the malice of the internals is described, verses 9 to 14; that they will be cast into hell, verse 15; a prayer to the father, and that he will be succoured, verses 16 to 18, 22; against the wicked and hypocrites, verses 19 to 21, 23.
Verses 4, 5. My heart trembles, etc. Mention is frequently made in the Word of being frightened, dismayed, and the like, both concerning the good and the evil, and by terror and consternation is signified a state of commotion and change of mind, arising from imminent or visible danger of life, but differently with the good and with the evil; with the good it is a commotion of mind, and change of state, arising from the imminent and visible danger of the soul, but with the evil it arises from the imminent and visible dangers of the bodily life; the reason of this is because the good regard the life of the soul as principal and final, and not so the life of the body, whereas the evil regard the life of the body as principal and final, and not so the life of the soul, which, indeed, they do not believe in their heart, and they who do believe, still love only the things which are of the body, such as appetites and pleasures of various kinds: but the case is reversed with the good. In order that it may be known, that to be frightened, dismayed, to dread and the like, signify commotions of mind arising from the change of the state of the interiors, some passages shall be adduced from the Word by way of confirmation; thus in David, "My heart trembles in the midst of me, and the terrors of death are fallen upon me, fear and trembling came upon me, and horror has covered me," Psalm 55:4, 5; these things are said concerning temptations, in which evils and falses break in from hell, and strike with terrors for fear of damnation; for as was said above, the good are terrified and tremble from imminent dangers of the soul, thus from the irruption of evils into the thoughts and intentions of the will; those are, therefore, various commotions of the mind, which are specifically signified by trepidation of the heart, terrors of death, fear, trembling, and horror, which are those mentioned according to the order in which they succeed. See also, Isaiah 41:5; Ezek 7:17, 18, 19. AE 677.
Verses 5, 6, 7. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and I said, O that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; I would wander afar off, I would pass the night in the wilderness. The subject here treated of is concerning temptation, and concerning its straitness; fearful-ness and trembling also signify straitness; the desire after truth on the occasion, and the consideration in what direction he should turn himself, is signified by O that I had wings like a dove? I would fly away and be at rest; the wing of a dove is the affection of spiritual truth; to fly away and be at rest is, by it, to deliver the life from damnation; the hope of deliverance being not yet seen, is signified by I would wander afar off, and pass the night in the wilderness. AE 282.
Verse 8. I will hasten to escape from the stormy wind, from the tempest. In the spiritual world, as in the natural, there exist strong winds and tempests; but tempests in the spiritual world exist from an influx of the Divine principle into inferior things, the region of those who are in evils of falses; this influx, as it descends from the heavens towards the earths which are beneath, becomes proportionably more dense, and appears as a cloud, and with the wicked is dense and opaque according to the quantity and quality of evil; these clouds are appearances of what is false derived from what is evil, arising from the spheres of their life; for around every spirit and angel, there is a sphere of life, when the Divine principle in powerfully emitted from the lord as a sun, and flows into these dense and opaque clouds, there arises a storm, which the spirits perceive there in like manner as men perceive storms on the earth; it has occasionally been allowed me to perceive those storms, and likewise an east wind, by which the wicked were dispersed and cast into the hells when the last judgement was accomplished; from these considerations it may be manifest what storms, tempests, and violent winds signify in the following passages, "The wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them," Isaiah 41:16. And in Jeremiah, "A whirlwind of jehovah is gone forth in anger, even a grievous whirlwind, it shall fall grievously on the head of the wicked," Jer 23:19. And in David, "I will hasten to escape from the raging storm and tempest," Psalm 55:9. AE 419.
Verse 18. He shall redeem my soul with peace. To redeem denotes to deliver. AE 327.
By redeeming my soul with peace is signified salvation by conjunction with the lord, from them that assail me is signified the consequent removal of evils and falses. AE 365.
Verses 21, 23. His mouth is smoother than butter, but war is in his heart, his words are softer than oil, yet are they drawn swords; you, O god, shall cast them down into the pit of destruction. These things are said of those who make pretence of good affections, whilst they speak falses by which they seduce. To make their mouth smoother than butter signifies a pretence of good by affections, butter signifies the good of external affections; words softer than oil have a like signification, oil is the good of internal affections; yet are they drawn swords, signify destructive falses: you, O god, shall cast them down into the pit of destruction, signifies into hell where destructive falses of that kind prevail. AE 537.PSALMS 55 Other translations - previous - next - meaning - Psalms - BM Home - Full Page