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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Psalms 30

 

 

Verse 1

Psalms 30:1 « A Psalm [and] Song [at] the dedication of the house of David. » I will extol thee, O LORD for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.

A Psalm and Song] i.e. A holy hymn, first framed in metre, then sung with men’s voices.

At the dedication of the house of David] Either when it was newly built, 2 Samuel 5:11, confer Deuteronomy 20:5, Nehemiah 12:27, saying, as he once,

Iamque, meos dedo tibi, Princeps, iure Penates,

Tu mihi ius dederas, posse vocare meos.

God so loveth his people that their walls are ever in his sight, Isaiah 49:16; they should therefore have holiness to the Lord written upon them, Zechariah 14:20, sanctified they should be by the word and prayer, 1 Timothy 4:5. Or else, after he had defiled it by his adultery with Bathsheba, and Absalom had much more defiled it by his abominable incest and other villanies, See 2 Samuel 20:3.

Ver. 1. I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up] De puteo peccati caenoso, saith Kimchi, out of the miry pit of sin; or out of the ditch of deadly danger, say others. Therefore I will extol thee, that is, I will have high and honourable conceptions of thee. I will also do mine utmost, both by words and deeds, that thou mayest be acknowledged by others to be as thou art, the great and mighty monarch of the whole world.

And hast not made my foes to rejoice over me] Beside all former victories, Absalom and Sheba were lately slain.


Verse 2

Psalms 30:2 O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.

Ver. 2. I cried unto thee] In some great sickness, say some, that befell him about the time that he built his house of cedar, 2 Samuel 5:11, that he might not be overjoyed, and take a surfeit; or rather, when, by my son’s rising up against me, I was likely to have lost my state and kingdom.

And thou hast healed me] That is, helped me, as Jonah 2:6, thou hast restored and re-established me in my kingdom. Kimchi senseth it thus, Thou hast delivered my soul from hell, though in this world thou hast grievously afflicted my body.


Verse 3

Psalms 30:3 O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

Ver. 3. O Lord, thou hast brought up, &c.] Here he saith the same again as before; the better to set forth the greatness of the benefit, and so to excite himself to due thankfulness. The uttermost extremity of a calamity is to be acknowledged after we are delivered out of it, Isaiah 38:10.

Thou hast kept me alive] Thou hast rescued me from instant death; and this I look upon as a resurrection from the dead.


Verse 4

Psalms 30:4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

Ver. 4. Sing unto the Lord] Here he calleth in help to praise God, as holding himself too weak to do it alone. Publication of God’s praises should be seconded by provocation of others to do the like. David thought one mouth too little to do it.

O ye saints of his] Or, O ye, his merciful ones, that, having partaken of his mercy, are ready to impart the same to others; and not to pull up that bridge before them that yourselves have once gone over (Chasid. Plus, Benignus).

At the remembrance (or memorial) of his holiness] That is, at his tabernacle, say some; that his holiness, his grace, and goodness may be always had in remembrance, say others; and that which he doth for us be carefully kept upon record.


Verse 5

Psalms 30:5 For his anger [endureth but] a moment; in his favour [is] life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy [cometh] in the morning.

Ver. 5. For his anger endureth but a moment] Though it lasts all a man’s life; for what is that to eternity? Puncture est quod vivimus et puncto minus. But it soon repenteth the Lord concerning his servants; whom, out of love displeased, he correcteth for a short braid, Isaiah 54:7-8, 1 Corinthians 14:17, Isaiah 26:20, Hebrews 10:37. Tantillum, tantillum, adhuc pussillum. Bear up, therefore, faint not, fret not.

Flebile principium melior fortuna sequetur.

If our sorrows be long, they are light; if sharper, the shorter. The sharp north east wind never lasteth three days; nothing violent is permanent.

In his favour is life] Vita in voluntate, else we should die in our sins; but his favour never faileth. Kimchi here noteth that of those thirteen attributes of God, Exodus 34:7, twelve are mercy, and one only is anger. Joseph, for his thirteen years of servitude and imprisonment, had fourscore years’ freedom and preferment. David’s persecution by Saul was but a moment to his following happiness, when once he came to the kingdom.

Weeping may endure for a night] Diseases and aches are worst toward night. At eventide, lo, there is trouble; but before morning it is gone, Isaiah 17:14; mourning lasteth but till morning, and then departeth; as did Lot’s two angels. The morning of the resurrection, howsoever, shall put a period to all our miseries, and make a plentiful amends.

But joy cometh in the morning] Heb. singing; flebilibus modis modus adhibebitur. God turneth his people’s sighing into singing, their musing into music, tears into triumph, wringing of hands into clapping of hands for joy, &c. And as there is a vicissitude of nights and days, so of crosses and mercies of God’s people, while they are in this vale of misery and valley of tears. God chequereth his providences (saith one) white and black; he speckleth his work, as is set forth by those speckled horses among the myrtle-trees, Zechariah 1:8. Mercies and crosses are interwoven. This world is called a valley of tears, or, as some render it, of mulberry trees, Psalms 84:6. Between them both they may make up an emblem of the saints’ condition here. Tears are moist; mulberries grow in dry places. God’s people have their interchanges of joys and sorrows while here. See in this and the following verses the circle God goes in with them. David was afflicted and delivered in this verse; in the next he grew wanton. Then he is troubled again, Psalms 30:7, crieth again, Psalms 8:9. God turneth his mourning into mirth again, Psalms 30:11-12.


Verse 6

Psalms 30:6 And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.

Ver. 6. And in my prosperity I said] Or, in my tranquillity. Then it was that he was overgrown with security; as was also Job, Job 29:18-20; {See Trapp on "Job "29:18"} {See Trapp on "Job "29:19"} {See Trapp on "Job "29:20"} Job 9:18. How many have burnt their wings about Job’s candle? Job 29:3, saith one. Oh the hazard of honour! damage of dignity! how soon are we broken upon the soft pillow of ease! Lunatics, when the moon is declining and in the wane, are sober enough; but when full, more wild and exorbitant. Flies settle upon the sweetest perfumes when cold; so do sin and Satan’s temptations on the best hearts, when dissolved and dispirited by prosperity: watch therefore. Adam in paradise was overcome, when Job on the dung hill was a conqueror.

I shall never be moved] Excessere metum mea iam bona. David, by misreckoning of a point, missed the haven, and had almost run upon the rocks. ( Niobe apud Ovid), Maior sum quam cui possit fortuna nocere. How apt are the holiest to be proud and secure! even as worms and wasps eat the sweetest apples and fruits. What reason had David to promise himself more than ever God promised him, immunity from the cross? Did he think (as Dionysius afterwards did, but was clearly confuted soon after) that his kingdom, and with it prosperity, was tied unto him with cords of adamant? What though he sat quietly now at Jerusalem, 2 Samuel 11:1, free from fear of enemies, and could find time to look and lust after his neighbour’s wife, would this always hold, thought he? and could not God set up his own darling Absalom, to put him to trouble? No; David said in his prosperity, Non vacillabo, I shall never be moved; and why?


Verse 7

Psalms 30:7 LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, [and] I was troubled.

Ver. 7. Lord, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain, &c]. Yea, but there is no mountain so strong that may not be moved, if not removed with an earthquake. Is it not as easy with God to blast an oak as trample a mushroom? And what though God in his favour had settled strength to David’s mountain? what though he had constituted and established it sure as Mount Zion (for there was David’s arx, et aula regia) which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever? Psalms 125:1; yet, by a turn of his countenance only, God can soon dissweeten all in his enjoyments, and plunge him into a deplorable condition.

Thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled] i.e. Thou didst suspend the actual influence and communication of thy grace (the Chaldee calleth it Shechinah, the divine presence), and I was all death. The life of some creatures consisteth in the end; so doth that of the saints in the light of God’s countenance. And as in an eclipse of the sun there is a drooping in the whole face of nature, so when God hideth his face the good soul laboureth and languisheth. And as none look at the sun but when it is in the eclipse, so neither prize we God’s loving countenance till we have lost it.


Verse 8

Psalms 30:8 I cried to thee, O LORD and unto the LORD I made supplication.

Ver. 8. I cried to thee, O Lord, &c.] For what reason? I felt myself, all that while that I was deserted, in a kind of hell above ground. Haec tentatio initium aliquod et gustus fuit illerum inenarrabilium dolorum quos impii sentiunt in omni aeternitate. David felt himself now in the suburbs of hell, as it were; and doth therefore set up as loud a cry after God as once Micah did after his idols, 18:24, and far greater cause he had.

And unto the Lord I made supplication] He knew that the same hand alone must cure him that had wounded him; neither was God’s favour recoverable, but by humble confession and hearty prayer. Some think to glide away their groans with games, and their cares with cards; to bury their terrors and themselves in wine and sleep. They run to their music, with Saul; to building of cities, with Cain, when cast out of God’s presence, &c., sed haeret lateri lethalis arundo; but as the wounded deer that hath the deadly arrow sticking in his side, well he may frisk up and down for a time, but still he bleedeth, and will ere long fall down dead; so it is with such as seek not comfort in God alone, as make not supplication to him for him; as return not to God, who hath smitten them, nor seek the Lord of hosts, Isaiah 9:13.


Verse 9

Psalms 30:9 What profit [is there] in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?

Ver. 9. What profit is there in my blood, &c.] i.e. In my life, say some; q.d. To what purpose have I lived, since religion is not yet settled? In my death (say others, and better), violent death especially, and out of thy favour? Now, all believers have ever abhorred such a kind of death before they were reconciled to God, and had a true feeling of his grace (Diodati).

Shall the dust praise thee? &c.] See Psalms 6:6. {See Trapp on "Psalms 6:6"}


Verse 10

Psalms 30:10 Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper.

Ver. 10. Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me] When Faith had once said to God what it hath to say, it will wait for a good answer, relying on his mercy, and expecting relief from the Lord, as here David doth; looking, in the mean while, through the anger of his corrections, to the sweetness of his loving countenance; as by a rainbow we see the beautiful image of the sun’s light in the midst of a dark and waterish cloud.


Verse 11

Psalms 30:11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

Ver. 11. Thou hast turned for me my mourning, &c.] Sustulisti luctum, et laetitiam attulisti. {See Trapp on "Psalms 30:5"}


Verse 12

Psalms 30:12 To the end that [my] glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Ver. 12. To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee] i.e. That my tongue, oiled from a heart enlarged, may exalt thee, according to my bounden duty and thine abundant desert. A good tongue, that watcheth all opportunities to glorify God and edify others, is certainly a man’s great glory; but an evil tongue is his foul shame. Basil expoundeth glory by το πνευμα, the spirit or soul. The Chaldee Paraphrast, Laudabunt te honorabiles mundi, The glorious ones of the world shall praise thee.

O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever] Epiphonematica et pathetica conclusio, Davidi ex summis calamitatibus erepto familiaris. He concludeth as he began, engaging his heart to everlasting thankfulness; and therein becoming a worthy pattern to all posterity.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 30:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-30.html. 1865-1868.

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