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Bible Commentaries

Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 112

A.M. 2962. B.C. 1042.

This Psalm is composed after the same manner as the former, and seems, says Bishop Patrick, to have been intended “for a short commentary upon the last verse of it, showing how well and wisely they consult for their own good and happiness who observe God’s commandments, especially those that respect charity or doing good to others.” We have the character and blessedness of the righteous, Psalms 112:1-9 . The misery of the wicked, Psalms 112:10 .

Verse 1

Psalms 112:1. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord With the disposition of a dutiful child toward a kind and gracious father, not with that of a refractory slave toward a tyrannical and severe master, that reverences and fears to offend him. As the fear of God is man’s only wisdom, Psalms 111:10, so it is his only way to true happiness. That delighteth greatly in his commandments Who makes it his chief care, business, and delight, to meditate on, understand, and obey God’s commandments. It is here intimated, that zeal and fervency in God’s service are essential to true piety.

Verses 2-3

Psalms 112:2-3. His seed shall be mighty upon the earth The divine blessing shall rest upon his posterity; and they shall fare the better, and be more powerful and prosperous, for the sincere piety and virtue of their godly progenitors. “Religion,” says Henry, “has been the raising of many a family, if not so as to advance it high, yet so as to found it firm. When good men themselves are happy in heaven, their seed, perhaps, are considerable on earth, and will themselves own it is by virtue of a blessing descending from their forefathers.” The generation of the upright shall be blessed If they tread in the steps of their upright parents, and other pious ancestors, they shall be more blessed for their relation to them; for so is the covenant, I will be a God to thee, and to thy seed. They shall be blessed with outward prosperity as far as will be good for them, for, as Dr. Hammond observes, “as long as God hath the disposing of the good things of this world, it is unreasonable to imagine that any subtleties or projects of ours, which have impiety in them, and thereby forfeit all title to God’s benedictions, should be near so successful toward our present worldly interests, as a strict piety and constant adherence to the ways of God.” Wealth and riches shall be in his house Possessed by him while he lives, and continued in his family after his death, if God sees this will be for his and their present and eternal good: for godliness hath the promise of the life that now is, as well as of that which is to come. “The true wealth, however, of Christians, is of another kind; their riches are such as neither moth can corrupt nor thief steal. Grace and glory are in the house of Christ, and everlasting righteousness is the portion of his children.”

Verses 4-5

Psalms 112:4-5. Unto the upright there ariseth light in darkness Although he may be subject to many of the troubles and calamities of life, as others are, yet they will be far from making him unhappy, for God will give him all the needful support and comfort in the midst of them, sanctifying them to him, and causing them, in many ways, to work together for his good, and in due time will grant him a happy issue out of them; whereas the wicked sink under their burdens, and their present miseries usher in their eternal destruction. He is gracious, &c. The good or upright man, of whom he speaks, both in the foregoing and following words: he exercises meekness, sweetness, and gentleness to those that provoke him; forgives offences, pities the instruments of his trouble, and shows mercy to persons in want and misery; while he acts justly and righteously toward all, and will not be prevailed upon, by any temptation, to do any thing dishonest, cruel, or unkind. A good man showeth favour, and lendeth Gives freely to some, and kindly lends to others, as need, and the difference of men’s conditions, may require. He will guide his affairs Will maintain and manage his property, or domestic affairs, with discretion Hebrew, with judgment, so as it is meet and fit, and God requires that they should be managed; not getting his estate unjustly, nor casting it away prodigally, nor withholding it uncharitably from such as need it.

Verses 6-8

Psalms 112:6-8. He shall not be moved for ever Though he may, for a season, be afflicted, yet he shall not be utterly and eternally destroyed, as wicked men shall be. The righteous Hebrew, צדיק , the righteous man; shall be in everlasting remembrance Though, while he lives, he may be exposed to the censures, slanders, and contradictions of sinners; yet, after his death, his memory shall be precious and honourable, both with God and men, his very enemies not excepted. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings At the report of approaching calamities and the judgments of God, at which the wicked are so dismayed and affrighted. His heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord Casting all his care upon God, and securely relying upon his providence and promise. His heart is established, &c. This confidence is the prop and support of his soul; until he see his desire, &c. Till he look upon his oppressors, as Dr. Hammond renders it: that is, till he see them all subdued, and made his footstool: till he come to heaven, where he shall see Satan and all his spiritual enemies put under his feet, as Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the sea-shore. It will complete the satisfaction and comfort of the saints, when they shall look back upon their conflicts, pressures, and troubles, and be able to say, with St. Paul, when he had recounted the persecutions he had endured, Out of them all the Lord hath delivered me.

Verse 9

Psalms 112:9. He hath dispersed His goods, freely and liberally. He hath given to the poor To such as he knew to be really in want, and especially to the poor members of Christ. His righteousness His liberality, or the reward of it; endureth for ever That is, either, 1st, His charity is not a transient or occasional act; it is his constant course, of which he is not weary, but perseveres in it to the end of his life. Or, 2d, What he gives is not lost, as covetous or ungodly men judge of what is given to the poor, but, indeed, is the only part of his estate which will abide with him unto all eternity. His horn shall be exalted, &c. Though he may now be reproached by the wicked, yet his innocence shall be cleared, and his name and honour gloriously exalted, especially when Jesus shall say to him and others of his saints, at the great day, I was hungry, and ye gave me meat, &c. “Then, when the thrones of the mighty shall be cast down. and the sceptres of tyrants broken in pieces, shall he lift up his head and be exalted, to partake of the glory of his Redeemer, the author of his faith, and the pattern of his charity, who gave himself for us, and is now seated at the right hand of the majesty in the heavens.” Horne.

Verse 10

Psalms 112:10. The wicked shall be grieved At the felicity of the righteous, partly from envy at the happiness of others, and partly from their peculiar hatred of godly men. It will vex them to see the innocence of such cleared, and their low state regarded; to behold those, whom they hated and despised, and whose ruin they sought and hoped to witness, now made the favourites of heaven, and advanced to have dominion over them. This will make them gnash with their teeth, and melt away “The sight of Christ in glory with his saints,” says Dr. Horne, “will, in an inexpressible manner, torment the crucifiers of the one, and the persecutors of the others; as it will show them the hopes and wishes of their adversaries all granted to the full, and all their own desires and designs for ever at an end; it will excite an envy which must prey upon itself, produce a grief which can admit of no comfort, give birth to a worm which can never die, and blow up those fires which nothing can quench.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 112". Benson's Commentary. 1857.