Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, June 12th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 28

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.

David's prayer to God not to be silent at his cry (Psalms 28:1); nor to let him share the lot of the wicked, speak peace but plot mischief (Psalms 28:2-5) assured of being heard, he blesses the Lord (Psalms 28:6-8); application to the Lord's people, whose representative he is (Psalms 28:9). In the kindred psalm the oppressed godly man speaks; in our psalm the oppressed godly king (Psalms 28:8). The time is probably that of Absalom's rebellion (cf. Psalms 28:3).

My rock. "My rock" implies God's immovable faithfulness, (Psalms 18:2; Psalms 19:14, margin.)

Be not silent to me: lest if thou be silent. Two distinct Hebrew words are used for "be silent" The first [ chaarash (H2790)] means to be deaf, and so mute; expressing that God heard not his prayers, and so gave him no answer. The second [ chaashah (H2790)], to be still and silent. "To me ... to me" - literally, from me: implying distance on the part of God from the petitioner (Psalms 22:1), as contrasted with His drawing near to answer prayer. If thou continue silent and distant, I am undone. Still he does not gives up hope in the Lord, and say, 'I shall go down to the pit,' but I shall "become LIKE THEM that go down into the pit" - i:e., the dead (Isaiah 14:15; Isaiah 14:19). The thanksgiving in Psalms 30:3, "O Lord ... thou has kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit," beautifully contrasts with this prayer amidst trembling.

Verse 2

Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry unto thee when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.

Hear ... my supplications ... holy oracle - so the most holy of the tabernacle or temple was called (1 Kings 6:16-19) [ dªbiyr (H1687), from daabar (H1696), to speak], because God thence spake reponses when consulted by the people, at first through Moses, afterward through the high priest (Exodus 25:22; Numbers 7:89): Moses "heard the voice of One speaking unto him from off the mercy- seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims." The lifting up of hands was the attitude of prayer (Exodus 9:29; 1 Timothy 2:8). It symbolized the lifting up of the heart to God. David lifted up hands to the oracle, as it contained the ark of the covenant, the visible symbol of God's presence. God graciously condescended to man's natural craving after the visible, by this seen type of Him who is, as God, unseen, but who has in the incarnate Son of God manifested Himself in the most perfect way to us Christians. As the whole tabernacle, was "the tabernacle of the congregation" or 'meeting' [ 'ohel (H168) ... mow`eed (H4150)] (Exodus 33:7), where God met His people; so the inmost part of it, or the most holy place, was His audience chamber.

Verse 3

Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.

Draw me not - the 'supplication' which in Psalms 28:1-2, he had entreated God to "hear;" substantially the same as Psalms 26:9. "Draw me not is an image from a net, into which all kinds of fish are indiscriminately drawn. Consign me not to the same common destruction with the wicked (Job 21:33; Job 24:22; Ezekiel 32:2; Psalms 10:9). It is impossible that the righteous God should "destroy the righteous with the wicked" (Genesis 18:23). A very different drawing is described here from that (in Hosea 11:4) wherewith God "drew" the Israelites "with bands of love."

And with the ... speak peace ... but mischief is in their hearts - intestine foes and hypocritical dissemblers, like Absalom and his party; not open enemies (2 Samuel 15:7-8). There is a play of like sounds in the Hebrew "neighbour" and "mischief" [ ree`eeyhem (H7453) raa`aah (H7451)], implying how utterly they perverted the most sacred ties, making their very neighbours objects of mischief (cf. Psalms 15:3).

Verse 4

Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.

Give them. "Them:" the wicked, enemies. God repays men in kind, making their sin their punishment, and the mischief which they plotted for others to recoil on themselves (Matthew 7:2; cf. the case of Haman, Esther 7:10).

Verse 5

Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.

Because they regard not ... the operation of his hands - His righteous judgments on the ungodly: answering to "give them after the work (or operation: the same Hebrew as is translated "operation" here [ ma`ªseeh (H4639)]) of their hands." Thus, is marked the correspondence between their sin and its punishment. They regard not the work of the Lord's hands, therefore they shall receive as their due the work of their own hands. Not to have regard to God's judgments is the sure way to incur them; for once that a man loses sight of them, he has no fear or scruple in rushing into sin (Job 34:27; Psalms 92:5-6; Isaiah 5:12). The "because," etc., implies that David in only praying for that which the Lord's justice binds Him to do to his (David's) ungodly enemies.

Verse 6

Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.

Assurance follows prayer in God's appointed order.

Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard. The thanksgiving is in the very words of his prayer (Psalms 28:2), marking the inseparable connection of prayer and its answer.

Verse 7

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

My heart trusted in him, and I am helped. He anticipates his deliverance as already accomplished, because of the assurance of faith which Yahweh had given him in answer to prayer. Therefore, he joyfully praises Him.

Verse 8

The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.

Their strength. "The Lord," whom he had called "my strength" (Psalms 28:7), he now calls "their strength;" so wholly identified is his cause with that of his people.

He is the saving strength - literally, the strength of saving deliverances. In saving his anointed king, God saves the people over whom He has anointed him (Psalms 18:50; cf. Psalms 28:9).

Verse 9

Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.

Concluding prayer that the Lord will continue "forever" the salvation which He hath conferred on His people.

Thy people ... thine inheritance - Israel (Deuteronomy 9:29).

Feed them - (Isaiah 40:11).

Lift them up. David often prays for the fulfillment of God's grand promise in 2 Samuel 7:16; 2 Samuel 7:29. 'Lift up' - i:e., exalt to honour (Esther 3:1); set on high, far above the reach of their enemies.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 28". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/psalms-28.html. 1871-8.
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