corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.11.21
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Psalms 109

 

 

Verse 1

Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise;

Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise - (cf. Psalms 109:30.) Thou hast heretofore given me continual reason to praise thee; do not now withhold thy word of power in my behalf (cf. Psalms 28:1; Psalms 35:22), that I may again have cause to praise thee (cf. Deuteronomy 10:21; Psalms 22:3; Psalms 44:8; Jeremiah 17:14). As the enemy's "mouth" and "tongue" "speak against me" (Psalms 109:2) for my destruction, so "hold not thy peace," or withhold not thy word, for my salvation.


Verse 2

For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.

For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me. But the Hebrew verb is active [ paatach (Hebrew #6605)], and therefore the translation must be, 'They (mine adversaries) open the mouth of the wicked (such a mouth as the wicked opens), and the mouth of deceit against me.' The mouth of the wicked seeks the destruction of the godly. The mouth of deceit makes treachery and false accusation its means. To this latter refers the next clause.

They have spoken against me with a lying tongue. The circumstances attending Messiah's condemnation answer to this description (Matthew 26:59, "The chief priests, and elders ... sought false witness against Jesus, to put Him to death").


Verse 3

They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause.

They compassed me about also with words of hatred - with malicious charges.

And fought against me - with their tongues as the weapon of conflict (Psalms 55:21; Psalms 57:4).

Without a cause - gratuitous hatred, where love was to be looked for, considering His love to them. Just as, on the contrary, where hatred was (humanly speaking) to be looked for on His part toward hating and hateful man, love was manifested (Psalms 35:7; Psalms 69:4). So John 15:25, "They hated me without a cause" - literally, gratuitously [ doorean (Greek #1432)]; as, on the contrary, Romans 3:24, "Being justified freely" - literally, gratuitously, or without a cause on our part [doorean] - "by His grace." As gratuitous as was His love, so gratuitous was their hatred.


Verse 4

For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.

For my love they are my adversaries, but I (give myself unto) prayer - `but I (am wholly engrossed in) prayer.' This is my sole resource against them, the one thing which is my being-my life-breath, Compare John 7:32-53; John 8:1. After His enemies had plotted His destruction, as He knew by His omniscience, He retired to the mount of Olives for prayer. So His type, David, on the sine mount, when he went weeping and with his head covered, was wholly prayer (2 Samuel 15:30). On the phrase, see Psalms 120:7, "I (am for) peace" - I peace; i:e., I am wholly engaged in seeking peace. Peace is my very being and element, as here prayer.


Verse 5

And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love. And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love - (Psalms 35:7; Psalms 35:12; Psalms 38:20.)


Verse 6

Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.

Set thou a wicked man over him - as his superior, armed with judicial authority to execute God's judgment on him. A just retribution for his own past abuse of judicial power ("his office," Psalms 109:8) in oppressing the humble. So Pilate, who condemned the Just One, Messiah, was himself forced to go to Rome to answer the accusations of the Samaritans against him before the Roman emperor (36 AD). Eusebius (H.E., 2: 7) says that soon afterward 'wearied with misfortunes,' be killed himself. However, as "a wicked man" stands in parallelism to "Satan," the former must mean the ideal wicked man, Satan's representative, instigated and energized by Satan, who is himself called "the wicked one" (1 John 2:13-14; 1 John 3:12; 1 John 5:18), who "sinneth from the beginning," and makes others to sin (1 John 3:8).

Thus "a wicked man" will include in its particular application Doeg and Ahithophel in David's time, and Pilate, the Jewish nation, and especially Judas (to whom the psalm refers, according to Acts 1:20), in relation to the judicial murder of Messiah. Satan was "set over" Judas, in that he drove the traitor, after having caused the Lord's murder, to murder himself. Lastly, "the man of sin, that wicked" one (2 Thessalonians 2:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:8), shall, after his tormenting oppression of the Church, be himself cast alive into a lake of fire, to be tormented by Satan, "set over" him.

And let Satan stand at his right hand. Compare especially Zechariah 3:1, 'Satan standing at the right hand of Joshua the high priest, to resist him,' but 'rebuked' by Yahweh. "Satan" has there the Hebrew article, 'the adversary.' The accuser stood usually at the right hand of the accused, to urge against him every plea, and to press for his punishment. A very different Being, even the Lord, our "Advocate" (1 John 2:1), stands 'at the right hand' of the godly poor man, "to save him" from the adversaries "that condemn his soul" (Psalms 109:31 : cf. Psalms 110:5). The right-hand side, being the place for energetic action, is the appropriate position for one to occupy who resolutely hinders (Job 30:12) or helps another.

The Hebrew [ saaTaan (Hebrew #7854)], Satan, means an adversary who accuses another in a court of justice-the very idea in the Greek [ antidikos (Greek #476)] (1 Peter 5:8) - or opposes another in any and every way. So "Devil" [ diabolos (Greek #1228)] means a slanderous accuser (cf. Revelation 12:9-10; Revelation 20:2-3; "the enemy and the avenger," Psalms 8:2; Psalms 44:16; "the mighty," who holds men 'captive,' but who shall have 'his prey,' the Lord's people, 'taken from him' Isaiah 49:24-25.). In Job 1:6; Job 1:12; Job 2:1, the proper name "Satan" is used for the first time. It has the Hebrew article there, which shows that the word was an appellative before it became a proper name. Hengstenberg argues that, because there is no Hebrew article here, the word is appellative-`an adversary'-not a proper name - "Satan." But the word, from being an appellative in Job's time, had become a proper name in David's time; as also we find it without the Hebrew article in 1 Chronicles 21:1.

The Hebrew term 'adversary' occurs most frequently in this psalm, so that there is no doubt the Holy Spirit had in view, besides the human adversaries, the wicked spirit-adversary who lurks behind them - "the prince of this world." The revelation concerning Satan in Scripture is gradual. In the Pentateuch he appears only in his grovelling animal form as "the serpent." Hengstenberg thinks 'Azazel,' the margin, Leviticus 16:8. for 'the scape-goat,' to refer to the evil spirit; but this is improbable: more likely is the translation there in Smith's 'Dictionary of the Bible' ('Day of Atonement,' S. Clark), 'for complete sending away.' In Job he appears in a higher form, but altogether at God's control, and only allowed, for God's purposes. Outwardly to afflict Job. The dualistic notion of the Persians-that Ormuzd, the good Being, and Ahriman, the evil one, divide the universe between them-is thus directly opposed by Scripture. In the very times when Persia rules the Jews it is utterly negatived by the account, Zechariah 3:1, etc. The full revelation of "the strong man armed" was withheld until New Testament times, when 'the stronger man' who 'spoileth' him was manifested. Then he is unfolded in his terrible power, as "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2; "the tempter," Matthew 4:3; Matthew 4:5; Matthew 4:10).


Verse 7

When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.

When he shall be judged, let him be condemned - literally, 'let him go forth (from the trial pronounced) guilty,' even as he condemned me "without a cause" (Psalms 109:3).

And let his prayer become sin - i:e., be imputed to him as sin. This is consonant to the Word and will of God. Prayer without faith and repentance is sin (Isaiah 1:15; Psalms 66:18; Proverbs 28:9; Proverbs 15:29). God punishes the wicked by the wicked. Even unjust decisions, in spite of the wicked opponents of God, are overruled to subserve His purposes.


Verse 8

Let his days be few; and let another take his office.

Let his days be few - even as he plotted to shorten my days; literally, 'be fewnesses.' The wish accords with the divinely-appointed fact (Psalms 55:23).

Let another take his office - Hebrew, 'his office as visitor' or overseer [ p


Verse 9

Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.

Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. There is a regular progression. Having abused his office for wickedness, he has a wicked man set over him, Psalms 109:6; he is condemned, Psalms 109:7; sentence is executed against his life, and another takes his office, Psalms 109:8; and now, in Psalms 109:9-10, the penalty descends upon his children, and, Psalms 109:11-15, his property and his memory are visited.


Verse 10

Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.

Let his children be continually vagabonds - (Psalms 59:11; Psalms 59:15.)

And beg - in contrast to the provision for the righteous (Psalms 37:25).

Let them seek (their bread) also out of their desolate places - where only starvation stares them in the face, amidst the ruins of what were once their richly-supplied mansions. Maurer translates, 'far from [so min (Hebrew #4480) is sometimes used] their own desolated homes,' which the parallel favours, because it represents them as not near their own original homes, but "continually vagabonds."


Verses 11-20

Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour.

-God's visitation on the wicked man's property (Psalms 109:11-12); on his name and memorial (Psalms 109:13-15). The inspired prophetic prayer rests on the principle that divine justice is an all-consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29), which does not rest until it has utterly extirpated the hardened transgressor.

Verse 11. And let the stranger spoil his labour - the fruit of "his labour:" instead of his own family and kindred enjoying it.

Verse 12. Let there be none to extend mercy unto him - as a creditor does to a debtor; or an almsgiver does to the poor (Psalms 37:21). "Extend," - i:e., 'continue;' "draw out at full length" (Psalms 36:10; Psalms 85:5).

Verse 13. Let his posterity be cut off. Hengstenberg translates, 'let his futurity be cut off.' So Psalms 37:38, "the end of the wicked shall be cut off." The Hebrew [ 'ach


Verse 21

But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy name's sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me.

But do thou for me, O God the Lord, for thy name's sake. Supply to 'do thou for thy name's sake' what is suitable to thy name - i:e., what is suitable to thy manifested character of faithfulness to thy people. Compare Psalms 119:124; Jeremiah 14:7, "do thou it (what is suitable to thy name) for thy name's sake."

Because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me. "Deliver me" explains the parallel "do thou." "Thy mercy" explains "thy name," or manifested character (cf. Psalms 69:16).


Verse 22

For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.

For I am poor and needy - (Psalms 40:17.)

And my heart is wounded within me - with grief (Psalms 109:16, end; Psalms 55:4).


Verse 23

I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust.

I am gone like the shadow when it declineth - (Psalms 102:11, note.)

I am tossed up and down as the locust - or, 'I am swept away (cast out) as the locust.' The wind irresistibly sweeps away the hordes of locusts, so as to leave not one behind (Exodus 10:19; Joel 2:20; Nahum 3:17).


Verse 24

My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness.

My knees are weak through fasting - not fasting from want of appetite, but the fasting which is practiced by men overwhelmed with severe sufferings (Hengstenberg). (Psalms 35:13; Psalms 69:10.)

And my flesh faileth of fatness - or, 'my flesh deceives from want of oil;' i:e., the absence of the anointing oil makes my flesh unlike what it should be; it is not shining, as in its proper state. So the phrase, Matthew 6:16, "they disfigure their faces" - literally, they make their faces unseen [afanizousi ta prosoopa autoon]; i:e., not shining with oil. The Hebrew [ shemen (Hebrew #8081)] means oil, not fatness: so in Psalms 109:18. The contrast to "fasting" favours the rendering which refers to non-anointing with "oil" (cf. 2 Samuel 14:2; 2 Samuel 12:20; Matthew 6:16-17; Micah 6:15) (Hengstenberg). So the Arabic and Ethiopic, the Septuagint, Vulgate, and Syriac. But the Chaldaic supports the English version (Psalms 22:15; Job 16:8).


Verse 25

I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads.

I became also a reproach unto them - (Psalms 22:6-7; Psalms 31:11.) Hebrew, 'and I' emphatically: I, who ought to have been an object of sympathy in my misery, was made an object of reproach.

When they looked upon me they shaked their heads - as though it was all over with me: and I and my cause were irretrievably ruined (Psalms 22:7; Matthew 27:39).


Verse 26-27

Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy:

Help me, O Lord ... That they may know that this is thy hand - "that this" work of delivering me "is" the doing of 'thine hand' (Psalms 59:13).


Verse 28

Let them curse, but bless thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice.

When they arise - namely, against me (Psalms 27:12; Psalms 54:3.)

Let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice - (Isaiah 65:13-14).


Verse 29

Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.

Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame - (Psalms 71:13).

And let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle (Psalms 109:18-19) - 'with a long mantle' reaching to the ankles. 'Let them cover themselves with shame from head to foot.'


Verse 30

I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.

I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth. The conclusion is praise (Psalms 7:17; Psalms 69:30).

Yea, I will praise him among the multitude - (Psalms 22:22.)


Verse 31

For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.

For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul. So counteracting "Satan," who also stands at the poor sufferer's right hand to accuse and destroy him (Psalms 109:6; Zechariah 3:1-5). This is the purpose, in relation to us, for which Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father, to be our Advocate (1 John 2:1; Psalms 16:8; Psalms 110:5; Psalms 121:5).

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 109:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-109.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology