Psalms 141:6


King James Version (KJV)

When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.

American King James Version (AKJV)

When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.

American Standard Version (ASV)

Their judges are thrown down by the sides of the rock; And they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

When destruction comes to their judges by the side of the rock, they will give ear to my words, for they are sweet.

Webster's Revision

When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.

World English Bible

Their judges are thrown down by the sides of the rock. They will hear my words, for they are well spoken.

English Revised Version (ERV)

Their judges are thrown down by the sides of the rock; and they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.

Clarke's Psalms 141:6 Bible Commentary

When their judges are overthrown in stony places - בידי סלע biyedey sela, "In the hands of the rock." Does this rock signify a strong or fortified place; and its hands the garrison which have occupied it, by whom these judges were overthrown? If we knew the occasion on which this Psalm was made, we might be the better able to understand the allusions in the text.

They shall hear my words; for they are sweet - Some think there is here an allusion to David's generous treatment of Saul in the cave of En-gedi, and afterwards at the hill of Hachilah, in this verse, which might be translated: "Their judges have been dismissed in the rocky places; and have heard my words, that they were sweet." Or perhaps there may be a reference to the death of Saul and his sons, and the very disastrous defeat of the Israelites at Gilboa. If so, the seventh verse will lose its chief difficulty, Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth; but if we take them as referring to the slaughter of the priests at Nob, then, in stead of translating לפי שאול lephi sheol, at the grave's mouth, we may translate at the command of Saul; and then the verse will point out the manner in which those servants of the Lord were massacred; Doeg cut them in pieces; hewed them down as one cleaveth wood. Some understand all this of the cruel usage of the captives in Babylon. I could add other conjectures, and contend for my own; but they are all too vague to form a just ground for decided opinion.

Barnes's Psalms 141:6 Bible Commentary

When ... - This passage is no less difficult than the preceding, and it seems almost impossible to determine its exact meaning. What is meant by "judges"? What judges are referred to by the word "their"? What is meant by their being "overthrown"? What is the sense of the words "in stony places"? Does the passage refer to some certain prospect that they "would be" overthrown, or is it a mere supposition which relates to something that "might" occur? Who are meant by "they," in the phrase "they shall hear my words?" It seems to me that the most plausible interpretation of the passage is founded on that which has been assumed thus far in the explanation of the psalm, as referring to the state of things recorded in 1 Samuel 24:1-7. David was in the wilderness of En-gedi, in the midst of a rocky region. Saul, apprised of his being there, came with three thousand chosen men to apprehend him, and went into a cave to lie down to rest. Unknown, probably, to him, David and his men were in the "sides of the cave." They now saw that Saul was completely in their power, and that it would be an easy thing to enter the cave, and kill him when off his guard. The men urgently advised David to do this. David entered the cave, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe, showing how completely Saul was in his power, but he proceeded no further; he did not follow the suggestions of his friends; he did not take the life of Saul, as he might have done; and he even regretted what he had done, as implying a want of due respect for the anointed of the Lord, 1 Samuel 24:11. Yet he had the fullest confidence that the king and his forces would be overthrown, and that it would be done in a way consistent with open and manly war, and not in an underhanded and stealthful way, as it would have been if he had cut him off in the cave. With this in view, it seems to me that the difficult passage before us may be explained with, at least, some degree of plausibility.

Their judges - By the judges, are to be understood the rulers of the people; the magistrates; those in office and power - referring to Saul and the officers of his government. "Their judges;" to wit, the judges or rulers of the hosts in opposition to me - of those against whom I war; Saul and the leaders of his forces.

Are overthrown - Are discomfited, vanquished, subdued; as I am confident they will be, in the regular prosecution of the war, and not by treachery and stealth.

In stony places - literally, "in the hands of the rock;" or, as the word "hands" may sometimes be used, "in the sides of the rock." It might mean "by the power of the rock," as thrown upon them; or, "against its sides." The essential idea is, that the "rocks," the rocky places, would be among the means by which they would be overthrown; and the sense is, that now that Saul was in the cave - or was in that rocky region, better known to David than to him - Saul was so completely in his power, that David felt that the victory, in a regular course of warfare, would be his.

They shall hear my words - The followers of Saul; the people of the land; the nation. Saul being removed - subdued - slain - the people will become obedient to me who have been anointed by a prophet as their king, and designated as the successor of Saul. David did not doubt that he would himself reign when Saul was overcome, or that the people would hear his words, and submit to him as king.

For they are sweet - They shall be pleasant; mild; gentle; equitable; just. After the harsh and severe enactments of Saul, after enduring his acts of tyranny, the people will be glad to welcome me, and to live under the laws of a just and equal administration. The passage, therefore, expresses confidence that Saul and his hosts would be overthrown, and that the people of the land would gladly hail the accession to the throne of one who had been anointed to reign over them.

Wesley's Psalms 141:6 Bible Commentary

141:6 Judges - The chief of mine enemies. Overthrown - Or, cast down headlong by thine exemplary vengeance. Hear - Hearken unto my counsels and offers which now they despise.

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