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Bible Commentaries

Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 130

Verse 1

Psalms 130:0.

The Psalmist professeth his hope in prayer, and his patience in hope: he exhorteth Israel to hope in God.

A Song of Degrees.

Title. המעלות שׁיר Shiir hammangaloth.] Bishop Patrick observes, that some think this psalm was composed by David after the affair of Bathsheba (see Psalms 130:3-4.); but that in his opinion it was composed by him after the persecution of Saul: nevertheless, it cannot be said to be his with any certainty, and perhaps it may be more applicable to the times soon after the captivity; for it seems rather to relate to the distress of the nation at large, than to that of any one particular person. The Syriac translators understand it so; for in their title of it, they refer it to the times of Nehemiah. Mr. Mudge observes, that the psalm has two states; in the first of which the author prays God to forgive him his sins, and to remit the consequences of them, in strong expectation that pursuant to his word he would grant his prayer. In the second, he has obtained his request, and encourages therefore all his brethren to put their trust in God, for redeeming them from their sins, and the punishment of them.

Psalms 130:1. Out of the depths "Out of the deep waters, with which I am almost overwhelmed." By these is frequently represented, as we have observed, the extremity of affliction. See Psalms 69:2; Psalms 69:36.

Verse 3

Psalms 130:3. Shouldest mark iniquities i.e. As a rigorous judge, exactly take notice of every offence committed against thee and thy holy commandments:—Who shall stand? "Who could be able to stand the trial, so as to be acquitted by thee?"

Verse 4

Psalms 130:4. But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared For, otherwise, who could hold up his head before him? See the note on Psa 111:10 and Sherlock's Discourses, vol. 4: Disc. 5.

Verse 6

Psalms 130:6. My soul waiteth, &c.— Or, My soul hasteth to the Lord, from the guards in the morning, the guards in the morning. Mr. Green renders it, My soul waiteth for the Lord more ardently than those who watch for the appearance of the morning. The Psalmist seems to mean the priests, or some officers of theirs, who were peculiarly appointed from a tower to expect the first appearance of the break of day, when the morning oblation was to be offered. The Psalmist here intimates, that they were not earlier than he in his daily address to God.

Verse 8

Psalms 130:8. From all his iniquities i.e. From the guilt, the nature, and the punishment of them. Redemption from sins always includes the punishment to be suffered in consequence of them.

REFLECTIONS.—This is frequently reckoned among the seven penitential psalms; and indeed it is a most expressive description of the humbled sinner's return to God: deep laden with iniquity, his complaints are bitter. Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord; an awakened sinner, brought to a sense of his guilt, feels such a load upon his conscience, as seems to press him down into the belly of hell. He is sunk under the floods of corruption; and but a step from despair, perishing he cries, Save, Lord! hear my voice, let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications; as long as a sinner is out of hell, the door of hope is yet open, and the voice of prayer may be heard: it is never too late; if God stirs up our souls to cry importunately after him, it is because he intends to be found by us in mercy: but it must only be hoped for in a way of mercy and with self-renunciation, and deepest confessions of our own vileness. If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities: O Lord, who shall stand? not that our most secret thoughts pass unobserved by him; no, he sees them afar off: and should he in strict justice call us to his bar, we cannot answer him for one of a thousand of our days; we must lay our hands on our mouths, and our mouths in the dust, plead utterly guilty, justify him in his judgments, and can only cast our souls on the mercy of our Judge. Thus desperate is the case of every sinner, and there is no difference; we are all by nature in the same condemnation, unable either to bear the scrutiny of his law, or to endure the dreadful sentence of his judgment. But there is forgiveness with thee, God hath himself contrived and accomplished that mysterious method of saving sinners, in which, without impeachment of his justice, he might, to the uttermost, exercise his mercy: through the propitiation of Jesus, a ransom is found, and for his sake God will be merciful to our unrighteousness: that thou mayest be feared; nothing steels the heart against God like despair; men then rush into sin with determined waywardness, as the horse rusheth into the battle; but a sense of his forgiving love engages the heart to fear the Lord and his goodness, and bids us never again wilfully transgress against a God so gracious. I wait for the Lord at mercy's door, unworthy of notice, yet hoping for his kind regard; my soul doth wait, not with feigned professions, but with heart-felt desires, and in his word do I hope; emboldened by his promises, even when I can see nothing in myself but what preaches despair. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say more than they that watch for the morning; as the Levites in the temple, who with sleepless eyes had stood at their several posts, longed for the morning to break, that they might be relieved; so eagerly did his soul long for the beams of God's reconciled countenance to arise upon him, and his sad distress to be removed, by a sense of pardoning love; nor was ever soul, who thus trusted in him, and waited on him, confounded. Let Israel hope in the Lord, the Israel of God; to the end of time, under all their fears and dejections: for with the Lord there is mercy for every miserable sinner that through Jesus Christ draws near a throne of grace; and with him is plenteous redemption, grace abounding to the chief of sinners, comprehending the removal of every misery, and including the gift of all conceivable blessedness; yea, more than eye hath seen, or ear heard, or it hath entered into the heart of man to conceive. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities, all who perseveringly cleave to him, from the guilt, the power, the consequences of them, present and eternal. Lord, may my soul be found among thy Israel, and partake of this rich, plenteous, and eternal redemption!

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 130". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1801-1803.