Ps 41:1-13. The Psalmist celebrates the blessedness
of those who compassionate the poor, conduct strongly contrasted with
the spite of his enemies and neglect of his friends in his calamity. He
prays for God's mercy in view of his ill desert, and, in confidence of
relief, and that God will vindicate his cause, he closes with a
1-3. God rewards kindness to the poor (Pr 19:17). From Ps 41:2, 11 it may be inferred that the
Psalmist describes his own conduct.
poor—in person, position, and
2. shall be blessed—literally, "led
aright," or "safely," prospered (Ps 23:3).
upon the earth—or land of promise
25:13; 27:3-9, &c.).
3. The figures of Ps 41:3 are drawn from the acts of a kind
4. I said—I asked the mercy I show.
heal my soul—(Compare Ps 30:2). "Sin and suffering are united," is one
of the great teachings of the Psalms.
5, 6. A graphic picture of the conduct of a
6. to see me—as if to spy out my
he speaketh … itself—or, "he
speaketh vanity as to his heart"—that is, does not speak
candidly, "he gathereth iniquity to him," collects elements for
mischief, and then divulges the gains of his hypocrisy.
7, 8. So of others, all act alike.
8. An evil disease—literally, "a word of
Belial," some slander.
cleaveth—literally, "poured on
that he lieth—who has now laid
down, "he is utterly undone and our victory is sure."
9. mine … friend—literally, "the
man of my peace."
eat … bread—who depended on me
or was well treated by me.
hath lifted up heel—in scornful
violence. As David and his fortunes typified Christ and His (compare Introduction), so these words expressed
the treatment he received, and also that of his Son and Lord; hence,
though not distinctly prophetical, our Saviour (Joh 13:18) applies them to Judas, "that the
Scripture may be fulfilled." This last phrase has a wide use in the New
Testament, and is not restricted to denote special prophecies.
10. A lawful punishment of criminals is not
revenge, nor inconsistent with their final good (compare Ps 40:14, 15).
11-13. favourest—or tenderly lovest me
34:19), evinced by relief
from his enemies, and, farther, God recognizes his innocence by
12. settest … before thy
face—under thy watch and care, as God before man's
16:8) is an object of trust
13. Blessed—praised, usually applied to
God. The word usually applied to men denotes happiness (Ps 1:1;
32:1). With this doxology the
first book closes.