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Sunday, July 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 112

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Verses 1-3

Psa 112:1-3

Psalms 112

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SERVANT OF GOD

See introduction to the preceding chapter for discussion of this psalm as "a twin" of that one. The theme of Psalms 111 was "The Character of God," and the theme here is "The Characteristics of God’s Servant." This is another of the Hallelujah Psalms. It is also an acrostic.

The theme of the psalm was stated by Leupold, "This psalm emphasizes the praise that God deserves because of what he does for those who truly fear him.”

Psalms 112:1-3

"Praise ye Jehovah.

Blessed is the man that feareth Jehovah,

That delighteth greatly in his commandments.

His seed shall be mighty upon the earth:

The generation of the upright shall be blessed.

Wealth and riches are in his house;

And his righteousness endureth forever."

"Praise ye Jehovah" (Psalms 112:1). This stands apart from the acrostic pattern, serving somewhat as a title for the psalm. These words translate the Hebrew text, which is "Hallelujah."

"Blessed is the man that feareth Jehovah, etc." (Psalms 112:1). This thought is repeated a hundred times in the Psalter, beginning with the very first verse in it.

"His seed shall be mighty upon earth, etc." (Psalms 112:2). The two clauses of this verse are parallel, both of them promising that success and prosperity shall come to the righteous man’s posterity. Families that are reared in the knowledge and fear of God by their parents continue to exhibit the truth of what is written here. Jamieson noted that exceptions to this general rule may be cited, "But such exceptions occur only as they are seen by God to be inconsistent with those spiritual blessings which are better.”

"Wealth and riches are in his house, etc." (Psalms 112:3). It is surely true of any society where righteousness generally prevails that wealth tends to be accumulated in the hands of good men. "A land needs its mighty men, and is fortunate if they are of such stock as this and if wealth is in such hands." It is always a disaster for any community where the wealth and power of the people are concentrated in the hands of evil men.

E.M. Zerr:

Psalms 112:1. Praise ye the Lord is abbreviated to the simple word "Hallelujah" in the margins of some Bibles and the religious dictionaries agree with it. A number of the Psalms begin with it and probably it was not an integral part of the text originally, but was a sort of heading or introduction to the chapter. The man who fears or respects the Lord will be blessed or happy. Such a man will logically take delight in the commandments of the Lord, and such a life can result only in happiness.

Psalms 112:2. His seed refers to the posterity of the man described in the foregoing verse. It is here termed also the generation of the upright.

Psalms 112:3. There is no practical difference between wealth and riches; they are used for emphasis. God does not offer material gain as an inducement for men to live right, but a righteous man has the prospect of such blessings as a result of right living. This lesson was taught by Jesus in Matthew 6:33. The righteousness practiced by a man who fears God will be lasting because it is based on the truth.

Verses 4-6

Psa 112:4-6

Psalms 112:4-6

"Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness;

He is gracious, and merciful, and righteous.

Well is it with the man that dealeth graciously and lendeth;

He shall maintain his cause in judgment.

For he shall never be moved;

The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance."

The character of the righteous man is here said to be, "Gracious, full of compassion, and righteous. These terms are also used in Psalms 111 in the author’s description of God. This is an application of the eternal truth that a devout man becomes more and more like the object of his worship.” Nathaniel Hawthorne’s tale of Little Ernest and the Great Stone Face is a literary development of the same truth.

"The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance" (Psalms 112:6). Mary’s anointing the feet of Jesus and the widow’s two mites are examples of the everlasting remembrance of the righteous, but far more than such earthly remembrance and honor is the remembrance of the righteous by the Father in Heaven. Christ himself has promised, "That not even a cup of cold water given to one because he is Christ’s shall in no wise lose its reward" (Mark 9:41).

E.M. Zerr:

Psalms 112:4. As light will penetrate the darkness, so the influence of an upright man is enlightening to those about him. For explanation of gracious and compassion see my comments at Psalms 111:4.

Psalms 112:5. Some men may be good and yet not be able to lend unto others through lack of business management. The Psalmist explains the kind of good man he is considering in the close of the verse. It is the one who uses discretion or judgment in the management of his business affairs, always acting with fairness and due consideration.

Psalms 112:6. Apply the comments at Psalms 112:3 as explanation of this verse.

Verses 7-8

Psa 112:7-8

Psalms 112:7-8

"He shall not be afraid of evil tidings:

His heart is fixed, trusting in Jehovah.

His heart is established, he shall not be afraid,

Until he see his desire upon his adversaries."

"He shall not be afraid" (Psalms 112:7-8). "Perfect love casteth out fear" (1 John 4:18); and the man who loves God, delights in his commandments, trusts in the Lord, orders his life in the likeness of God’s own character, etc. that man has no need to fear anything. He need not fear pain, suffering, misfortune, poverty, sickness, even death itself; because his is the assurance from the 23rd Psalm, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil," etc."

"Evil tidings" (Psalms 112:7) is listed here as something of which the righteous man shall not be afraid. This does not mean that evil tidings shall not come; but that, even if they do, the rock-like stability of his heart shall not be moved. Whatever life brings, he will be able to take it and triumph over it.

E.M. Zerr:

Psalms 112:7. Heart is fixed means his heart is settled in the Lord through an abiding faith. Such a person needs have no fear of evil tidings, for even death cannot sever him from the favor of God and the reward of a righteous life.

Psalms 112:8. Established in this verse has the same force of meaning as fixed in the preceding verse. The reference to his enemies has the same bearing as the mention of evil tidings in the other verse.

Verses 9-10

Psa 112:9-10

Psalms 112:9-10

"He hath dispersed, he hath given to the needy;

His righteousness endureth forever:

His horn shall be exalted with honor.

The wicked shall see it and be grieved;

He shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away:

The desire of the wicked shall perish."

"He hath dispersed" (Psalms 112:9). "There is no virtue in merely dispersing, since `spendthrifts’ `disperse,’ even more lavishly than the virtuous man." The only commendable type of `dispersing’ is that directed to the relief of need or suffering. It is this kind of `dispersing,’ of course, which the Lord commends, as indicated by the last clause of this verse. "He hath given to the needy."

"The wicked man shall see it and be grieved" (Psalms 112:10). Psalms 112:10 is the antithesis of Psalms 112:1. "The wicked shall gnash his teeth in the rage of disappointment and contemplation of the triumph of his adversary, and will melt away in impotent rage, melting, as it were, from his own heat. `The desire of the wicked will perish’ is antithetical to verse lb. He will go away in utter ruin, as in Psalms 1:6.”

E.M. Zerr:

Psalms 112:9. This verse is still considering the righteous man, and makes a specific mention of part of his righteous conduct. It consists in helping the poor by the blessings that he had himself received from the Lord. The results of such a life will endure forever. The original for horn has a various definition in the lexicon, but its simple meaning is "power." When used figuratively it indicates great strength and influence. The Psalmist specifies that when such qualities are possessed by a righteous man, the exaltation following will be an honorable one.

Psalms 112:10. Wicked men are grieved or envious at the good standing of righteous men. To melt away means to decrease or diminish. The wicked desire prompted by envy will not endure the test of time

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Psalms 112". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/psalms-112.html.
 
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