Introduction to Psalm 7

Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the Lord, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite. The name of this psalm, "Shiggaion", either respects the music or the matter of the psalm. Some take it to be the name of the musical instrument to which the psalm was set {n}: so Habakkuk's prayer is said to be "upon shigionoth"; which is the same word with this, only of the plural number, Habakkuk 3:1. Others say it was the first word of a song, to the tune of which this was sung {o} And others understand it of a certain kind of a song {p}: and the Targum renders it, "the interpretation of the ode of David"; which Ainsworth renders, "David's interpretation of the law"; leading

atyrwa instead of atydwa, as does also the king of Spain's Bible. And certain it is that it is the name of a song; since it follows, "which he sang unto the Lord"; in his presence, before him, and to the glory of his name. But the question is, of what sort it is? and why it should be so called? since its root hgv signifies "to err" or "wander": it is more generally rendered, "an erratic" or "wandering ode"; a song or psalm, which consisted of various kind of metre: it was sung with various notes, and all kind of music, which made it very pleasant. Hence some render it, "David's delight", as R. Obadiah Gaon; and the verb from whence it is derived is translated "ravished" in Proverbs 5:19; and Ben Melech says, the word signifies

twhrew hxmv, "joy and pleasure"; and Aben Ezra observes that some interpret it gwnet, "delight". But others are of opinion that this word regards the subject matter of the psalm, and may be rendered, "David's ignorance" or "error"; his sin of ignorance; and respects his mistaken conduct with regard to his enemies, particularly Saul, in making imprecations upon them, Psalms 6:10; in cursing them, and especially King Saul; when a king is not to be cursed, Ecclesiastes 10:20; and in cutting off the skirt of his garment, for which his heart smote him, 1 Samuel 24:4. Some render it, "the care of David", as Cocceius; which he wrote in deep meditation, when he had forgot himself, and was as it were in an ecstasy; setting forth "the sum of his cares", as Ainsworth expresses it, when he was harassed and greatly afflicted by his enemies. The occasion of it is, "the words of Cush the Benjamite"; which some understand of Shimei the Benjamite, who came out and cursed David as he went along, when he fled from Absalom, 1 Samuel 16:5. Theodoret thinks Hushai is meant, who persuaded Absalom not to follow the counsel of Ahithophel; on which account David penned this psalm. Others interpret it of one of Saul's courtiers, who was of the tribe of Benjamin, and whose name was Cush {q}; and which is very likely, since it is evident that some of Saul's courtiers accused David to him, and charged him with seeking his harm, not only to take away his crown and kingdom, but his life, 1 Samuel 24:9. Though the generality of the Jewish writers {r} interpret it of Saul himself, who is called Cush, in allusion to his father's name Kish, who was a man of Benjamin, 1 Samuel 9:1; or else because Cush signifies "an Ethiopian", to which he may be compared, as the children of Israel in Amos 9:7. For as the Ethiopian is various in his skin, so was Saul in his actions, as Jarchi observes; or rather because, as Kimchi and Ben Melech express it, as the Ethiopian does not change his skin, Jeremiah 13:23; so Saul did not change his hatred to David. Though the same writers observe, that he may be called so by the rule of contraries, because he was a very goodly and beautiful man; the words referred to are supposed to be those in 1 Samuel 22:7.

{n} Menachem in Jarchi in loc. So David de Pomis, Lexic. fol. 204. 1.
{o} Aben Ezra in loc.
{p} Kimchi in loc.
{q} Aben Ezra & Obadiah Gaon in loc.
{r} Targum, Jarchi, Kimchi, Arama, & Ben Melech in loc.