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Psalms 18:20 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Jehovah hath rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Jehovah hath rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Yahweh rewarded me according to my righteousness, According to the cleanness of my hands, he repaid me;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Jehovah doth recompense me According to my righteousness, According to the cleanness of my hands, He doth return to me.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And the Lord will reward me according to my justice; and will repay me according to the cleanness of my hands:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousnesse, according to the cleannesse of my hands hath hee recompensed me.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And the Lord will recompense me according to my righteousness; even according to the purity of my hands will he recompense me.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Yahweh rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Yhw יָהוֶה 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
rewarded 1580
{1580} Prime
A primitive root; to treat a person (well or ill), that is, benefit or requite; by implication (of toil) to ripen, that is, (specifically) to wean.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
me according to my righteousness; 6664
{6664} Prime
From H6663; the right (natural, moral or legal); also (abstractly) equity or (figuratively) prosperity.
according to the cleanness 1252
{1252} Prime
From H1305; purity.
of my hands 3027
{3027} Prime
A primitive word; a hand (the open one (indicating power, means, direction, etc.), in distinction from H3709, the closed one); used (as noun, adverb, etc.) in a great variety of applications, both literally and figuratively, both proximate and remote.
hath he recompensed 7725
{7725} Prime
A primitive root; to turn back (hence, away) transitively or intransitively, literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat; often adverbially again.
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Psalms 18:20-24

_ _ The statements of innocence, righteousness, etc., refer, doubtless, to his personal and official conduct and his purposes, during all the trials to which he was subjected in Saul’s persecutions and Absalom’s rebellions, as well as the various wars in which he had been engaged as the head and defender of God’s Church and people.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalms 18:20-28

_ _ Here, I. David reflects with comfort upon his own integrity, and rejoices in the testimony of his conscience that he had had his conversation in godly sincerity and not with fleshly wisdom, 2 Corinthians 1:12. His deliverances were an evidence of this, and this was the great comfort of his deliverances. His enemies had misrepresented him, and perhaps, when his troubles continued long, he began to suspect himself; but, when God visibly took his part, he had both the credit and the comfort of his righteousness. 1. His deliverances cleared his innocency before men, and acquitted him from those crimes which he was falsely accused of. This he calls rewarding him according to his righteousness (Psalms 18:20, Psalms 18:24), that is, determining the controversy between him and his enemies, according to the justice of his cause and the cleanness of his hands, from that sedition, treason, and rebellion, with which he was charged. He had often appealed to God concerning his innocency; and now God had given judgment upon the appeal (as he always will) according to equity. 2. They confirmed the testimony of his own conscience for him, which he here reviews with a great deal of pleasure, Psalms 18:21-23. His own heart knows, and is ready to attest it, (1.) That he had kept firmly to his duty, and had not departed, not wickedly, not wilfully departed, from his God. Those that forsake the ways of the Lord do, in effect, depart from their God, and it is a wicked thing to do so. But though we are conscious to ourselves of many a stumble, and many a false step taken, yet if we recover ourselves by repentance, and go on in the way of our duty, it shall not be construed into a departure, for it is not a wicked departure, from our God. (2.) That he had kept his eye upon the rule of God's commands (Psalms 18:22): “All his judgments were before me; and I had a respect to them all, despised none as little, disliked none as hard, but made it my care and business to conform to them all. His statutes I did not put away from me, out of my sight, out of my mind, but kept my eye always upon them, and did not as those who, because they would quit the ways of the Lord, desire not the knowledge of those ways.” (3.) That he had kept himself from his iniquity, and thereby had approved himself upright before God. Constant care to abstain from that sin, whatever it be, which most easily besets us, and to mortify the habit of it, will be a good evidence for us that we are upright before God. As David's deliverances cleared his integrity, so did the exaltation of Christ clear his, and for ever roll away the reproach that was cast upon him; and therefore he is said to be justified in the Spirit, 1 Timothy 3:16.

_ _ II. He takes occasion thence to lay down the rules of God's government and judgment, that we may know not only what God expects from us, but what we may expect from him, Psalms 18:25, Psalms 18:26. 1. Those that show mercy to others (even they need mercy, and cannot depend upon the merit, no, not of their works of mercy) shall find mercy with God, Matthew 5:7. 2. Those that are faithful to their covenants with God, and the relations wherein they stand to him, shall find him all that to them which he has promised to be. Wherever God finds an upright man, he will be found an upright God. 3. Those that serve God with a pure conscience shall find that the words of the Lord are pure words, very sure to be depended on and very sweet to be delight in. 4. Those that resist God, and walk contrary to him, shall find that he will resist them, and walk contrary to them, Leviticus 26:21, Leviticus 26:24.

_ _ III. Hence he speaks comfort to the humble (“Thou wilt save the afflicted people, that are wronged and bear it patiently”), terror to the proud (“Thou wilt bring down high looks, that aim high, and look with scorn and disdain upon the poor and pious”), and encouragement to himself — “Thou wilt light my candle, that is, thou wilt revive and comfort my sorrowful spirit, and not leave me melancholy; thou wilt recover me out of my troubles and restore me to peace and prosperity; thou wilt make my honour bright, which is now eclipsed; thou wilt guide my way, and make it plain before me, that I may avoid the snares laid for me; thou wilt light my candle to work by, and give me an opportunity of serving thee and the interests of thy kingdom among men.”

_ _ Let those that walk in darkness, and labour under many discouragements in singing these verses, encourage themselves that God himself will be a light to them.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Psalms 18:20

Righteousness — Just cause. The innocency of my actions towards Saul, from whose blood I kept my hands pure.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Psalms 18:20

The LORD rewarded me according to my (q) righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

(q) David was sure of his righteous cause and good behaviour toward Saul and his enemies and therefore was assured of God's favour and deliverance.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Psalms 58:11 So that a man shall say, Verily [there is] a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.
1 Samuel 24:17 And he said to David, Thou [art] more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil.
1 Samuel 24:20 And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine hand.
Proverbs 11:18 The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness [shall be] a sure reward.
Isaiah 49:4 Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: [yet] surely my judgment [is] with the LORD, and my work with my God.
Isaiah 62:11 Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward [is] with him, and his work before him.
Matthew 6:4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
1 Corinthians 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.


Psalms 18:24 Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.
Psalms 7:3 O LORD my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands;
Psalms 24:4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
Psalms 26:6 I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD:
1 Samuel 24:11-13 Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not, know thou and see that [there is] neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it. ... As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.
Hebrews 7:26 For such an high priest became us, [who is] holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

1S 24:11, 17, 20. Ps 7:3; 18:24; 24:4; 26:6; 58:11. Pv 11:18. Is 49:4; 62:11. Mt 6:4. 1Co 3:8. He 7:26.

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