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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Psalms 112

 

 

Verse 1

Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.

As in Psalms 111:1-10 God's past inter-positions were set forth to encourage the Jews still to obey God, so in Psalms 112:1-10 God is shown as the Rewarder of His faithful people. This psalm is an inspired commentary on Psalms 111:10 (cf. Psalms 112:3-4; Psalms 112:8).

Praise ye the Lord - `Hallelujah.' Psalms 111:1-10 begins with the same heading. The Hebrew alphabetical arrangement commences at the next clause [of which the character 'aleph (') is the first letter], and so marks the beginning of Psalms 112:1,

Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord that delighteth greatly in his commandments defining what Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments - defining what constitutes the true "fear of the Lord," which was termed "the beginning of wisdom," Psalms 111:10. He who hath this true "fear" delights (Psalms 111:2) not merely in the theory, but in the practice of all 'the Lord's commandments.' Such fear, so far from being a 'hard' service, is the only "blessed" one (Jeremiah 32:39). Compare the Gospel commandments, 1 John 3:23-24; 1 John 5:3. True obedience is not task-work, as formalists regard religion, but a "delight" (Psalms 1:2). Worldly delights, which made piety irksome, are supplanted by the newborn delight in and taste for the will and ways of God (Psalms 19:7; Psalms 19:10).


Verse 2

His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.

His seed shall be mighty upon earth - literally, 'a warrior upon earth:' upon that very earth whereon wicked men have boasted of their 'war-like might' for mischief (Psalms 52:1).

The generation of the upright - answering to "his seed" in parallelism.

Shall be blessed - explaining the parallel, "shall be mighty upon earth." This is but partially realized now: it shall be fully so in the millennial age, when Israel, the model people, as "the righteous nation" (Isaiah 26:2; Numbers 23:10), and all "the meek, shall inherit the earth," and the ungodly men of might shall be dispossessed (Psalms 37:9-13).


Verse 3

Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.

Wealth and riches shall be in his house - `a treasure in the heavens that faileth not' (Luke 12:33). So even here on earth already in part (Matthew 6:33).

And his righteousness endureth forever - (Psalms 112:9; Psalms 111:3.) "His righteousness," wholly derived from God (Isaiah 45:24; Isaiah 54:17), "endureth forever," to be rewarded by God.


Verse 4

Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness - (Psalms 97:11.) Here the Psalmist holds out hope to the downcast people in their distress after their return from Babylon. Compare Esther 8:16; Psalms 107:10-14 : contrast Job 30:26; Lamentations 3:2.

(He is) gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous - attributes usually applied to God, but here said of "the upright." The children of God, knowing in their own experience that God our Father is 'gracious, full of compassion, and righteous,' seek themselves to be the same toward their fellowmen from instinctive imitation of Him (Matthew 5:45; Matthew 5:48; Ephesians 5:1-2; Luke 6:36).


Verse 5

A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.

A good man showeth favour, and lendeth - an expansion of Psalms 112:4. "Showeth favour" - a grace answering to "gracious," Psalms 112:4. Hengstenberg takes it, 'Happy is the man (who) showeth grace.' So "good," or 'well' is used in Isaiah 3:10; Jeremiah 44:17. The parallel, Psalms 112:1, "Blessed is the man," etc., favours this. So the Chaldaic Targum.

Moreover, in Hebrew, in such constructions as the English version, the substantive does not usually come after the adjective. Also, in the preceding Psalms 112:4, "Unto the upright there ariseth light" - i:e., prosperity: cf. Isaiah 58:7, "Deal thy bread to the hungry, and ... bring the poor that are cast out to thy house ... then shall thy light rise in obscurity," etc. (Proverbs 14:21, end; Psalms 37:21; Psalms 37:26).

He will guide his affairs with discretion - Hebrew, with judgment; i:e., justice, answering to "righteous," Psalms 112:4 (Psalms 25:9; Ezekiel 34:16). The root meaning of the Hebrew, "guide" [ kalkeel (Hebrew #3557) from kuwl (Hebrew #3557)], is to measure, to sustain with due measure (Nehemiah 9:21; Psalms 55:22). So the Chaldaic and Syriac. The Septuagint [oikonomeesei], Vulgate, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions translate, 'shall regulate.' Rather, he will SUSTAIN his interests with justice in relation to his fellowmen. While cherishing his own interests, he remembers what is right to his neighbours.


Verse 6

Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.

Surely he shall not be moved forever - as opposed to the prosperity of the unrighteous, which is speedily overturned forever (Psalms 15:5; 2 Peter 1:10 : cf. also Psalms 37:24; Psalms 37:31).


Verse 7

He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.

He shall not be afraid of evil tidings - because, whatever evil may befall, God can and will overrule it to good (Romans 8:28).

His heart is fixed - established fearlessly. So Moses, with the Red Sea before and the Egyptian foes behind (Exodus 14:13); Jehoshaphat before the Ammonite horde of invaders (2 Chronicles 20:12; 2 Chronicles 20:15; 2 Chronicles 20:17); Asa before Zerah, the Ethiopian's "thousand thousand and three hundred chariots" (2 Chronicles 14:9-12). Contrast with the persecuted David's fearless trust Saul's panic-stricken feeling at the Philistine invasion, insomuch that he repaired for help to a witch. How bold were the three youths in prospect of Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace! How fearless Stephen before the council! Basilius could say, in answer to the threats of Cesar Valens, 'such bug-bears should be set before children.' Athanasius said of Julian, his persecutor, 'He is a mist that will soon disappear.'


Verse 8

His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.

His heart is established - literally, 'surely-supported:' the same Hebrew (samuk) as is applied to 'all God's commandments,' Psalms 111:7. The firmness of God's commandments, with their appended promises, gives firmness to the believer's heart.

He shall not be afraid, until he see (his desire) upon his enemies - (Psalms 54:7.) Faith (which is the negative of fear) continues until sight comes, and hope gives place to the desire accomplished.


Verse 9

He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.

He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor - (Proverbs 11:24; 2 Corinthians 9:9.)

His righteousness endureth forever - i:e., his charity (which is only giving that which is due to each-to the poor the supply which they need, and which it is right for their richer brethren to give) endureth forever, as a fruit of faith, and to be rewarded of God's grace (Hebrews 6:10). So in the oldest manuscripts (Matthew 6:1), the reading for "alms" is righteousness [ dikaiosunee (Greek #1343)]. His horn shall be exalted with honour - in spite of his enemies' attempt to put him to shame (Psalms 75:4; Psalms 75:10, notes; 92:10).


Verse 10

The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.

The wicked shall see it, and be grieved. Contrast the rejoicing of the righteous at the sight, Psalms 107:42.

He shall gnash with his teeth - in impotent spite (Psalms 37:12).

And melt away - `as wax before the fire' (Psalms 68:12).

The desire of the wicked shall perish - the object of their desire (Proverbs 10:28; Job 8:13).

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 112:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-112.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, October 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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