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Friday, July 19th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 112

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament CommentaryKeil & Delitzsch


Alphabetical Song in Praise of Those Who Fear God

The alphabetical Hallelujah Psalms 111:1-10, which celebrated the government of God, is now followed by another coinciding with it in structure ( CTYXOC KB , i.e., 22 στίχοι , as the Coptic version correctly counts), which celebrates the men whose conduct is ordered after the divine pattern.

Verses 1-10

As in the preceding Psalm. Psalms 112:1 here also sets forth the theme of that which follows. What is there said in Psalms 112:3 concerning the righteousness of God, Psalms 112:3 here says of the righteousness of him who fears God: this also standeth fast for ever, it is indeed the copy of the divine, it is the work and gift of God (Psalms 24:5), inasmuch as God's salutary action and behaviour, laid hold of in faith, works a like form of action and behaviour to it in man, which, as Psalms 112:9 says, is, according to its nature, love. The promise in Psalms 112:4 sounds like Isaiah 60:2. Hengstenberg renders: “There ariseth in the darkness light to the upright who is gracious and compassionate and just.” But this is impossible as a matter of style. The three adjectives (as in Psalms 111:4, pointing back to Exodus 34:6, cf. Psalms 145:8; Psalms 116:5) are a mention of God according to His attributes. חנּוּן and רחוּם never take the article in Biblical Hebrew, and צדּיק follows their examples here (cf. on the contrary, Exodus 9:27). God Himself is the light which arises in darkness for those who are sincere in their dealings with Him; He is the Sun of righteousness with wings of rays dispensing “grace” and “tender mercies,” Malachi 4:2. The fact that He arises for those who are compassionate as He is compassionate, is evident from Psalms 112:5. טוב being, as in Isaiah 3:10; Jeremiah 44:17, intended of well-being, prosperity, טּוב אישׁ is here equivalent to אשׁרי אישׁ , which is rendered טוּביהּ דּגברא in Targumic phrase. חונן signifies, as in Psalms 37:26, Psalms 37:21, one who charitably dispenses his gifts around. Psalms 112:5 is not an extension of the picture of virtue, but, as in Psalms 127:5, a promissory prospect: he will uphold in integrity ( בּמשׁפּט , Psalms 72:2, Isaiah 9:7, and frequently), or rather (= בּמּשׁפּט ) in the cause (Psalms 143:2, Proverbs 24:23, and frequently), the things which depend upon him, or with which he has to do; for כּלכּל , sustinere, signifies to sustain, i.e., to nourish, to sustain, i.e., endure, and also to support, maintain, i.e., carry through. This is explanatorily confirmed in Psalms 112:6: he stands, as a general thing, imperturbably fast. And when he dies he becomes the object of everlasting remembrance, his name is still blessed (Proverbs 10:7). Because he has a cheerful conscience, his heart too is not disconcerted by any evil tidings (Jeremiah 49:23): it remains נכון , erect, straight and firm, without suffering itself to bend or warp; בּטח בּה , full of confidence (passive, “in the sense of a passive state after a completed action of the person himself,” like זכוּר , Psalms 103:14); סמוּך , stayed in itself and established. The last two designations are taken from Isaiah 26:3, where it is the church of the last times that is spoken of. Psalms 91:8 gives us information with reference to the meaning of ראה בצריו ; עד , as in Psalms 94:13, of the inevitable goal, on this side of which he remains undismayed. 2 Corinthians 9:9, where Paul makes use of Psalms 112:9 of the Psalm before us as an encouragement to Christian beneficence, shows how little the assertion “his righteousness standeth for ever” is opposed to the New Testament consciousness. פּזּר of giving away liberally and in manifold ways, as in Proverbs 11:24. רוּם , Psalms 112:9, stands in opposition to the egoistical הרים in Psalms 75:5 as a vegetative sprouting up (Psalms 132:17). The evil-doer must see this, and confounded, vex himself over it; he gnashes his teeth with the rage of envy and chagrin, and melts away, i.e., loses consistency, becomes unhinged, dies off ( נמס , 3d praet. Niph. as in Exodus 16:21, pausal form of נמס = נמס ). How often has he desired the ruin of him whom he must now see in honour! The tables are turned; this and his ungodly desire in general come to nought, inasmuch as the opposite is realized. On יראה , with its self-evident object, cf. Micah 7:10. Concerning the pausal form וכעס , vid., Psalms 93:1. Hupfeld wishes to read תּקות after Psalms 9:19, Proverbs 10:28. In defence of the traditional reading, Hitzig rightly points to Proverbs 10:24 together with Proverbs 10:28.

Bibliographical Information
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Psalms 112". Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kdo/psalms-112.html. 1854-1889.
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