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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary
Psalms 30:3

O Lord , You have brought up my soul from Sheol; You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Nave's Topical Bible - Hell;   Life;   Prayer;   Testimony;   Thankfulness;   The Topic Concordance - Deliverance;  
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Pit;   Psalms, the Book of;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Descent into Hell (Hades);   Easton Bible Dictionary - Hades;   Hell;   Pit;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Hell;   Sheol;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - English Versions;   Greek Versions of Ot;   Jonah;   Psalms;   Sin;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Descent into Hades;   1910 New Catholic Dictionary - god, names of;   names of god;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Psalms the book of;  
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Person;   Pit;   Psalms, Book of;   Resurrection;   Sheol;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Thunder;  
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for January 17;  

Clarke's Commentary

Verse Psalms 30:3. Thou hast brought up my soul from the grave — I and my people were both about to be cut off; but thou hast spared us in mercy, and given us a most glorious respite.

Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 30:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​acc/​psalms-30.html. 1832.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Psalms 30:0 The danger of self-confidence

Feelings expressed in this psalm may have arisen from David’s personal experience, but they also reflect Israel’s experience during events leading up to the dedication of the temple (see heading to the psalm). Enemies may try to destroy, but no matter how bad the situation appears, it is never hopeless. There may be troubles, but God’s deliverance will follow as surely as day follows night (1-5).
Recalling the experience, the psalmist outlines some lessons it taught him. Prosperity and security had led to self-confidence, and God’s shattering intervention was necessary to remind him that his security depended solely on God’s grace (6-7). Being brought near to death he cried out, asking what would God gain by killing him. If he was dead, how could he then praise God and serve him (8-10)? Now that God has rescued him, sadness is replaced by joyful celebration, and anxiety is replaced by humble thanksgiving (11-12).

God’s desire for praise

Often in the Psalms there are statements where God himself is the one who is urging people to praise him. The psalmists, realizing how much God desires worship, use it as a reason to persuade him to save them from their troubles. If he allows them to die, they will no longer be able to bring him the praise he seeks (e.g. Psalms 30:9).

It may seem at first that God is like a vain, self-centred person who demands that others be continually telling him how great he is. However, a closer look at the matter will show that this is not the case. In one of the psalms where God urges people to praise him (Psalms 50:14,Psalms 50:23), he also makes it clear that in no way is he in need of people’s religious contributions (Psalms 50:12-13). God has no selfish craving for people’s attention.

Whatever people enjoy, whether it be nature, art, friend or lover, their enjoyment increases when they talk about it and praise it to others. When they are able to praise the object of enjoyment directly to itself (as in the case of a lover), their enjoyment increases further. Likewise as people praise God, their enjoyment of him is increased. Or, to put it another way, God gives more of himself to people as they worship him. Their acts of praise and worship become not only offerings to God, but also the means by which God offers himself to them. By calling upon people to praise him, God is inviting them to enjoy him to the full.

Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Psalms 30:3". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​bbc/​psalms-30.html. 2005.

Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

O, Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave - My life; me. The meaning is, that he had been in imminent danger of death, and had been brought from the borders of the grave. The word here rendered “grave” is “Sheol” - a word which, properly used, commonly denotes the region of the dead; the underworld which is entered through the grave. Compare Isaiah 14:9, note; Psalms 6:5, note.

Thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit - More literally, “thou hast caused me to live from them which go down to the pit;” that is, thou hast distinguished me from them by keeping me alive. The word “pit” here means the same as the grave. See the notes at Psalms 28:1.

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 30:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​bnb/​psalms-30.html. 1870.

Smith's Bible Commentary

Psalms 30:1-12

I will extol thee, O LORD; for you have lifted me up, and you've not made my foes to rejoice over me. O LORD my God, I cried unto you, and you healed me. O LORD, you have brought up my soul from the grave: you have kept me alive, that I should not go down into the pit. Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. For his anger endureth but for a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning ( Psalms 30:1-5 ).

Now, when you go through the psalms and you come to a psalm like this, rather than just read it, I think that you ought to just do it. When you are reading through the psalms and David says, "Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of His," I think you ought to just sing unto the Lord. You know, just spend a little... if he says to do it, then we ought to do it. And then when he said, "Give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness," then you ought to give thanks unto the Lord. When he says, "Praise the Lord in the beauty of holiness," then we ought to praise the Lord. In other words, I think the psalms ought to be enacted, rather than just read and think, "Oh, isn't that beautiful. Yes, oh, isn't that nice, sing unto the Lord. Oh, yes, that's wonderful, you know." But when you are reading them through, just go ahead and follow the exhortations. As you get to an exhortation, follow it, and you will find that the psalms will really become very meaningful to you. As you follow the exhortations of the psalms, it is a blessed experience. When you are encouraged to do something, do it, and you will really be blessed.

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Oh, how glorious it is when God brings us through the trial, brings us out onto the other side. We come out into the victory and again into the glorious joy of the Lord. We go through the trials of weeping, we go through these experiences of difficulty, and we can't see the hand of God. We don't know the way of the Lord. And we spend the time weeping, in prayer, travail, our soul travailing unto God. All night in travail, but as the morning comes, and God begins to shower forth His love and His plan and His purpose, oh what joy we get when God brings us through that night of hardship. As we have wept and travailed, and then we come out on the victory side and see the glorious victory of the Lord.

And in my prosperity I said, I will never be moved. LORD, by thy favor thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: when you hid your face, I was troubled. I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made prayer. What profit is there in my blood when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth? Hear, O LORD, have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper. For you have turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and you've clothed me with gladness; To the end that glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to thee for ever ( Psalms 30:6-12 ).

Shall we stand.

Now may the Lord be with you and just really bless you during the week. May His Word become your strength and your portion. And may God just really bless you and enrich your life as you've gotten into the Word to study and to learn of Him. May the Lord keep His hand upon you, and may the Lord give you His strength, His peace, His love. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 30:3". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​csc/​psalms-30.html. 2014.

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

1. David’s deliverance from God’s chastening 30:1-5

The psalmist began by acknowledging the Lord’s deliverance of him, and he called on the congregation of Israel to praise Him. Promises to praise the Lord frame this individual thanksgiving psalm (Psalms 30:1; Psalms 30:12).

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 30:3". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​dcc/​psalms-30.html. 2012.

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

Psalms 30

David had emerged from an experience of chastening by the Lord for some sin he had committed, and he praised Him that His anger is temporary but His favor is permanent.

"This psalm is a quite clear example of the thanksgiving song, which Westermann labels as a declarative narrative. [Note: Claus Westermann, The Psalms: Structure, Content, and Message, chs. 2 and 4.] That is, the psalm tells the story of going into the trouble and coming out of the trouble." [Note: Brueggemann, p. 126.]

The title of this psalm is subject to two interpretations. It may mean that the psalmist composed it for the occasion of the dedication of the Lord’s house. This would not be the dedication of Solomon’s temple since David had already died when Solomon dedicated it. It could mean the tent that David erected in Jerusalem to house the ark of the covenant when he brought it into the city (2 Samuel 6:17). Or perhaps this occasion was the dedication of the temple site (1 Chronicles 21:26; 1 Chronicles 22:1). The Lord’s chastening of the king preceded both of these events. The writer referred to this discipline in the psalm. Another possibility is that the title did not refer to the occasion of writing but to those occasions on which the Israelites were to use this psalm in national worship. This seems less likely to me in view of the references to chastening. There is evidence from the Talmud, however, that the Jews recited this psalm during Hanukkah, their commemoration of the rededication of the temple in 165 B.C. [Note: VanGemeren, p. 257.]

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 30:3". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​dcc/​psalms-30.html. 2012.

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

God had answered David’s prayer for deliverance by restoring him to health and keeping him alive (cf. Psalms 41).

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 30:3". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​dcc/​psalms-30.html. 2012.

Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave,.... When his life being in danger, was near unto it, Job 33:22; otherwise the soul dies not, nor does it lie and sleep in the grave; or "thou hast brought up my soul from hell" m; that is, delivered him from those horrors of conscience and terrors of mind, by reason of sin, which were as hell itself unto him; see Psalms 116:3;

thou hast kept me alive: preserved his corporeal life when in danger, and maintained his spiritual life; and quickened him by his word, under all his afflictions, and kept him from utter and black despair;

that I should not go down to the pit; either of the grave or hell. There is in this clause a "Keri" and a "Cetib"; a marginal reading, and a textual writing: according to the latter it is, "from them that go down to the pit"; which some versions n follow; that is, thou hast preserved me from going along with them, and being where and as they are: our version follows the former; the sense is the same.

m מן שאול "ab inferno", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Gejerus, Michaelis; so Ainsworth. n So Sept. V. L. Pagninus, Musculus, Gejerus, Michaelis, Ainsworth.

Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 30:3". "Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​geb/​psalms-30.html. 1999.

Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Thanksgiving and Praise.

A psalm and song at the dedication of the house of David.

      1 I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.   2 O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.   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.   4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.   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.

      It was the laudable practice of the pious Jews, and, though not expressly appointed, yet allowed and accepted, when they had built a new house, to dedicate it to God,Deuteronomy 20:5. David did so when his house was built, and he took possession of it (2 Samuel 5:11); for royal palaces do as much need God's protection, and are as much bound to be at his service, as ordinary houses. Note, The houses we dwell in should, at our first entrance upon them, be dedicated to God, as little sanctuaries. We must solemnly commit ourselves, our families, and all our family affairs, to God's guidance and care, must pray for his presence and blessing, must devote ourselves and all ours to his glory, and must resolve both that we put away iniquity far from our tabernacles and that we and our houses will serve the Lord both in the duties of family worship and in all instances of gospel obedience. Some conjecture that this psalm was sung at the re-dedication of David's house, after he had been driven out of it by Absalom, who had defiled it with his incest, and that it is a thanksgiving for the crushing of that dangerous rebellion. In these verses,

      I. David does himself give God thanks for the great deliverances he had wrought for him (Psalms 30:1; Psalms 30:1): "I will extol thee, O Lord! I will exalt thy name, will praise thee as one high and lifted up, I will do what I can to advance the interest of thy kingdom among men. I will extol thee, for thou hast lifted me up, not only up out of the pit in which I was sinking, but up to the throne of Israel." He raiseth up the poor out of the dust. In consideration of the great things God has done to exalt us, both by his providence and by his grace, we are bound, in gratitude, to do all we can to extol his name, though the most we can do is but little. Three thing magnify David's deliverance:-- 1. That it was the defeat of his enemies. They were not suffered to triumph over him, as they would have done (though it is a barbarous thing) if he had died of this sickness or perished in this distress: see Psalms 41:11. 2. That it was an answer to his prayers (Psalms 30:2; Psalms 30:2): I cried unto thee. All the expressions of the sense we have of our troubles should be directed to God, and every cry be a cry to him; and giving way, in this manner, to our grief, will ease a burdened spirit. "I cried to thee, and thou hast not only heard me, but healed me, healed the distempered body, healed the disturbed and disquieted mind, healed the disordered distracted affairs of the kingdom." This is what God glories in, I am the Lord that healeth thee (Exodus 15:26), and we must give him the glory of it. 3. That it was the saving of his life; for he was brought to the last extremity, dropping into the grave, and ready to go down into the pit, and yet rescued and kept alive, Psalms 30:3; Psalms 30:3. The more imminent our dangers have been, the more eminent our deliverances have been, the more comfortable are they to ourselves and the more illustrious proofs of the power and goodness of God. A life from the dead ought to be spent in extolling the God of our life.

      II. He calls upon others to join with him in praise, not only for the particular favours God has bestowed upon him, but for the general tokens of his good-will to all his saints (Psalms 30:4; Psalms 30:4): Sing unto the Lord, O you saints of his! All that are truly saints he owns for his. There is a remnant of such in this world, and from them it is expected that they sing unto him; for they are created and sanctified, made and made saints, that they may be to him for a name and a praise. His saints in heaven sing to him; why should not those on earth be doing the same work, as well as they can, in concert with them? 1. They believe him to be a God of unspotted purity; and therefore let them sing to him; "Let them give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness; let them praise his holy name, for holiness is his memorial throughout all generations." God is a holy God; his holiness is his glory; that is the attribute which the holy angels, in their praises, fasten most upon, Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8. We ought to be much in the mention and remembrance of God's holiness. It is a matter of joy to the saints that God is a holy God; for then they hope he will make them holy, more holy. None of all God's perfections carries in it more terror to the wicked, nor more comfort to the godly, than his holiness. It is a good sign that we are in some measure partakers of his holiness if we can heartily rejoice and give thanks at the remembrance of it. 2. They have experienced him to be a God gracious and merciful; and therefore let them sing to him. (1.) We have found his frowns very short. Though we have deserved that they should be everlasting, and that he should be angry with us till he had consumed us, and should never be reconciled, yet his anger endureth but for a moment,Psalms 30:5; Psalms 30:5. When we offend him he is angry; but, as he is slow to anger and not soon provoked, so when he is angry, upon our repentance and humiliation his anger is soon turned away and he is willing to be at peace with us. If he hide his face from his own children, and suspend the wonted tokens of his favour, it is but in a little wrath, and for a small moment; but he will gather them with everlasting kindness,Isaiah 54:7; Isaiah 54:8. If weeping endureth for a night, and it be a wearisome night, yet as sure as the light of the morning returns after the darkness of the night, so sure will joy and comfort return in a short time, in due time, to the people of God; for the covenant of grace is as firm as the covenant of the day. This word has often been fulfilled to us in the letter. Weeping has endured for a night, but the grief has been soon over and the grievance gone. Observe, As long as God's anger continues so long the saints' weeping continues; but, if that be but for a moment, the affliction is but for a moment, and when the light of God's countenance is restored the affliction is easily pronounced light and momentary. (2.) We have found his smiles very sweet; In his favour is life, that is, all good. The return of his favour to an afflicted soul is as life from the dead; nothing can be more reviving. Our happiness is bound up in God's favour; if we have that, we have enough, whatever else we want. It is the life of the soul, it is spiritual life, the earnest of life eternal.

Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Psalms 30:3". "Henry's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​mhm/​psalms-30.html. 1706.
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