Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 102

Verses 1-28

This Ps. belongs to the closing days of the exile, and utters the hope of Israel's restoration (Psalms 102:13-22). The Psalmist has been supposed by some to speak simply in the name of the nation, but it is more probable that he describes his personal distress, though this was caused by the captivity and humiliation of his people. In Psalms 102:14 he speaks of his fellow-countrymen in the plural, and his shrinking from premature death (Psalms 102:11, Psalms 102:23-24) breathes a distinctly personal note. He is wasted away with lonely sorrow (Psalms 102:1-7, Psalms 102:9), mocked by enemies (Psalms 102:8), and conscious that his affliction is a token of God's displeasure (Psalms 102:10). But the eternity and changelessness of God are the ground of his hope (Psalms 102:12, Psalms 102:24-28) both for himself and for the whole of God's people.

3. Like smoke] RM 'in smoke.' An hearth] RV 'a firebrand.'

5. Skin] RV 'flesh.'

6, 7. describe figuratively the Psalmist's mournful love of solitude.

6. Desert] RV 'waste places.'

8. Are sworn against me] RV 'do curse by me,' the literal meaning of 'execrate.'

10. Lifted.. up.. cast down] RV 'taken.. up.. cast away.'

11. That declineth] that vanishes when the sun sets.

12. Remembrance] RV 'memorial,' i.e. name: see Lamentations 5:19.

13. Favour] RV 'have pity upon.' So in Psalms 102:14. The set time] see Isaiah 40:2; Isaiah 61:2.

15. Heathen] RV 'nations.'

16, 17. Shall build.. appear.. regard.. despise] RV 'hath built.. appeared.. regarded.. despised.'

18. The people] RV 'a people.' The restored Israel will be a new nation.

19. His sanctuary] heaven, as the parallelism shows.

21. To declare] RV 'that men may declare.'

22. People] RV 'peoples.'

25-27. Quoted in Hebrews 1:10-12.

27, 28. The changelessness of God is a guarantee that His kingdom will endure among men. This is an argument for national rather than for personal immortality. For the higher Christian truth see John 14:19.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 102". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.