Ps 102:1-28. A Prayer of the afflicted,
&c.—The general terms seem to denote the propriety of
regarding the Psalm as suitably expressive of the anxieties of any one
of David's descendants, piously concerned for the welfare of the
Church. It was probably David's composition, and, though specially
suggested by some peculiar trials, descriptive of future times.
Overwhelmed—(compare Ps 61:2). Poureth out—pouring out
the soul—(Ps 62:8).
Complaint—(Ps 55:2). The
tone of complaint predominates, though in view of God's promises and
abiding faithfulness, it is sometimes exchanged for that of confidence
1-3. The terms used occur in Ps 4:1; 17:1, 6; 18:6; 31:2,
4. (Compare Ps 121:6).
so that I forget—or, "have forgotten,"
that is, in my distress (Ps 107:18),
and hence strength fails.
5. voice … groaning—effect put for
cause, my agony emaciates me.
6, 7. The figures express extreme
8. sworn against me—or literally, "by
me," wishing others as miserable as I am (Nu 5:21).
9. ashes—a figure of grief, my bread;
weeping or tears, my drink (Ps 80:5).
10. lifted … cast me down—or,
"cast me away" as stubble by a whirlwind (Isa 64:6).
11. shadow … declineth—soon to
vanish in the darkness of night.
12. Contrast with man's frailty (compare Ps 90:1-7).
thy remembrance—that by which Thou art
remembered, Thy promise.
13, 14. Hence it is here adduced.
the set time, &c.—the time
promised, the indication of which is the interest felt for Zion by the
people of God.
15-17. God's favor to the Church will affect
her persecutors with fear.
16. When the Lord shall build—or better,
"Because the Lord hath built," &c., as a reason for the
effect on others; for in thus acting and hearing the humble, He is most
18. people … created—(compare
22:31), an organized body, as
19-22. For—or, "That," as introducing
the statement of God's condescension. A summary of what shall be
to loose … appointed—or,
"deliver" them (Ps 79:11).
21. To declare, &c.—or, that God's
name may be celebrated in the assemblies of His Church, gathered from
all nations (Zec 8:20-23), and devoted to His service.
23-28. The writer, speaking for the Church,
finds encouragement in the midst of all his distresses. God's eternal
existence is a pledge of faithfulness to His promises.
in the way—of providence.
weakened—literally, "afflicted," and
made fearful of a premature end, a figure of the apprehensions of the
Church, lest God might not perform His promise, drawn from those of a
person in view of the dangers of early death (compare Ps 89:47). Paul (Heb 1:10) quotes Ps 102:26-28 as addressed to Christ in His divine
nature. The scope of the Psalm, as already seen, so far from opposing,
favors this view, especially by the sentiments of Ps 102:12-15 (compare Isa 60:1). The association of the Messiah with a
day of future glory to the Church was very intimate in the minds of Old
Testament writers; and with correct views of His nature it is very
consistent that He should be addressed as the Lord and Head of His
Church, who would bring about that glorious future on which they ever
dwelt with fond delightful anticipations.