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Bible Commentaries

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments
Psalms 62

 

 

Verse 1

Psalms 62:1. Truly my soul waiteth upon God — Or, Nevertheless, as some render the Hebrew particle אךְ, ach, or, however it be, whatever difficulties or dangers I may meet with; though God frown upon me, and I meet with discouragements in my attendance on him, yet still my soul waiteth upon God, דומיה, dumijah, is silent toward him, does not object to what he doth, and expects what he will do, silently, quietly, and patiently looking up to him for deliverance, and that in his own time and way, without murmuring or despair, or using indirect or sinful practices. Observe, reader, we are in the way both of duty and comfort, when our souls are waiting upon God; that is, when we cheerfully refer ourselves, and the disposal of all our affairs, to his wisdom; when we acquiesce in, and accommodate ourselves to, all the dispensations of his providence, and patiently expect a doubtful event, with an entire satisfaction in his righteousness and goodness, however it be. The LXX. render this clause, ουχι τω θεω υποταγησεται η ψυχη μου; shall not my soul be subject to God? Certainly it ought so to be; for, from him cometh my salvation —

I have no hope of deliverance or safety but from and by him.


Verse 2

Psalms 62:2. He only is my rock — He hath been so often; in him I have found shelter, and strength, and succour; he hath, by his grace, supported me under, and delivered me out of my troubles, and by his providence he has defended me from my enemies, and therefore I trust he will still support, deliver, and defend me. I shall not be greatly moved — Though I may be shaken, I shall not be overthrown.


Verse 3

Psalms 62:3. How long will ye — Mine enemies, (to whom he now turns his speech,) imagine mischief against a man — Against me, a man like yourselves, whom common humanity obliges you to pity; a single man, who is no fit match for you? Ye shall be slain all of you — The mischief which ye design for me shall fall upon your own heads. And accordingly Saul, and the generality of these men, were slain, 1 Samuel 31. As a bowing wall shall ye be — As suddenly and easily overthrown; as a tottering fence — The word fence, or hedge, does not fully express the sense of the original word, גדר, gadeer, “which means such a sort of partition, or wall, as, when it is decayed, is liable to fall and crush a man to death. In this view the similitude is, not that they should be in a ruinous condition, like a decayed wall, but that they should threaten destruction to all who came near them, as a falling wall does to all those who come within the reach of it; and as Isaiah expresses it, Like a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly in an instant, Isaiah 30:13.” — See Green.


Verse 4

Psalms 62:4. They only consult to cast him down — Namely, the man mentioned Psalms 62:3. He means himself, of whom he continues to speak in the third person. From his excellency — From the hopes and attainment of that royal dignity to which God hath designed and anointed me. They delight in lies, &c. — In secret slanders and execrations, covered with flatteries and fair speeches, as it here follows.


Verse 8

Psalms 62:8. Trust in him at all times, ye people — By my example be encouraged, and learn to trust in God. Pour out your heart before him — Make known to him all the desires, cares, and griefs of your hearts freely and frequently, with confident expectation of obtaining what you want or desire from him. God is a refuge for us — Not only, my refuge, Psalms 62:7, but a refuge for us all, even as many as will flee to him, and take shelter in him.


Verse 9

Psalms 62:9. Surely men of low degree are vanity — Are most vain, impotent, and helpless creatures in themselves. This he delivers as a reason, or argument, to enforce his foregoing exhortation to trust in God, because there was no other person or thing to which they could safely trust. Men of high degree are a lie — That is, deceitful; because unable to perform what by their power and dignity they seem to promise. They raise men’s expectations, and afterward disappoint them, and so deceive those that trust in them. In which sense lying is ascribed to a fountain, Jeremiah 15:18; to wine, Hosea 9:2; and to the olive, Hebrews 3:17, (see the Hebrew,) when they do not give what they promise. Or, a lie may signify, a mere nothing; for a lie has no reality in it.


Verse 10

Psalms 62:10. Trust not in oppression — That is, in riches gotten by fraud and violence; or in the arts of acquiring them. As you must not trust in any other men, so neither must you trust to yourselves, nor to your own wit, or industry, or courage, by which you may oppress others, and so think to secure and enrich yourselves. And become not vain in robbery — Lifting up and feeding yourselves with vain hopes of safety and felicity from those riches which you take from others by robbery and violence. If riches increase, set not your heart on them — So as to esteem and inordinately love them, to place your hope, and trust, and chief joy in them, or so as to grow proud and insolent because of them.


Verse 11

Psalms 62:11. God hath spoken once; twice, &c. — That is, God hath spoken it, and I have heard it once, yea, twice; that is, frequently, as Job 33:14. He hath declared, and I have understood it, by the light of reason, which easily infers it from the nature of the infinitely perfect Jehovah, and from his works of creation and providence: he hath shown, and I have learned it by the events which have taken place concerning myself in particular: and the light of revelation, communicated in dreams and visions, and various other ways, hath manifested it, and especially at Sinai, and by his holy prophets from time to time; that power belongeth unto God — That power is his prerogative; and, consequently, that all creatures, either against him or without him, are poor, impotent things, in which no man can trust without certain disappointment; but that he is almighty, and can do every thing; and that with him nothing is impossible; and therefore that he, and he alone, is fit to be trusted.


Verse 12

Psalms 62:12. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy — Hebrew, חסד, chesed, benignity, beneficence, compassion. “Significat id boni, quod gratuito fit:” It signifies that good which is done gratuitously. — Buxtorf. He is no less willing than able to defend, preserve, and do good to those that trust in him. For he is as truly the best, as he is the greatest of beings, merciful and gracious, yea, the Father of mercies, and the God of all consolation and good hope. This is a further reason why we should trust in him, and answers the objections of our sinfulness and unworthiness; though we deserve nothing but his wrath, yet we may hope for all good from his mercy, which is over all his works. For, or therefore, thou renderest, &c. — For the following words seem to be added, either as a proof of, or an inference from, the two foregoing properties of God, power and mercy. God is almighty, therefore he can easily destroy all his enemies: he is merciful, and therefore will pardon good men’s failings, and graciously reward their integrity; according to his work — Which, as he is obliged to do, by his own holy nature, so he is able to do it, being omnipotent, and willing to do it to the godly, notwithstanding their manifold infirmities and miscarriages, because he is merciful and gracious. Though God doth not always do this visibly in this world, yet he will do it in the day of final recompense. No service done to him shall go unrewarded; nor any affront given him unpunished, unless repented of. Thus it appears that power and mercy belong to him. If he were not a God of power, there are sinners that would be too high to be punished; and if he were not a God of mercy, there are services too worthless to be rewarded.

 


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Bibliography Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 62:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/psalms-62.html. 1857.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, August 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20
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