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PSALM 34

Ps 34:1-22. On the title compare 1Sa 21:13. Abimelech was the general name of the sovereign (Ge 20:2). After celebrating God's gracious dealings with him, the Psalmist exhorts others to make trial of His providential care, instructing them how to secure it. He then contrasts God's care of His people and His punitive providence towards the wicked.

1-4. Even in distress, which excites supplication, there is always matter for praising and thanking God (compare Eph 5:20; Php 4:6).

2. make her boast—"glory" (Ps 105:3; compare Ga 6:14).

humble—"the pious," as in Ps 9:12; 25:9.

3. magnify the Lord—ascribe greatness to Him, an act of praise.

together—"alike" (Ps 33:15), or, equally, without exception.

4. delivered … fears—as well as actual evil (Ps 64:1).

5-7. God's favor to the pious generally, and to himself specially, is celebrated.

looked—with desire for help.

lightened—or, "brightened," expressing joy, opposed to the downcast features of those who are ashamed or disappointed (Ps 25:2, 3).

6. This poor man—literally, "humble," himself as a specimen of such.

7. angel—of the covenant (Isa 63:9), of whom as a leader of God's host (Jos 5:14; 1Ki 22:19), the phrase—

encampeth, &c.—is appropriate; or, "angel" used collectively for angels (Heb 1:14).

8. taste and see—try and experience.

9. that fear him—who are pious—fear and love (Pr 1:7; 9:10).

saints—consecrated to His service (Isa 40:31).

10. not want any good—"good" is emphatic; they may be afflicted (compare Ps 34:10); but this may be a good (2Co 4:17, 18; Heb 12:10, 11).

11. children—subjects of instruction (Pr 1:8, 10).

12. What man—Whoever desires the blessings of piety, let him attend.

13, 14. Sins of thought included in those of speech (Lu 6:45), avoiding evil and doing good in our relations to men are based on a right relation to God.

15. eyes of the Lord are upon—(Ps 32:8; 33:18).

16. face … against—opposed to them (Le 17:10; 20:3).

cut off the remembrance—utterly destroy (Ps 109:13).

17, 18. Humble penitents are objects of God's special tender regard (Ps 51:19; Isa 57:15).

20. bones—framework of the body.

21, 22. Contrast in the destiny of righteous and wicked; the former shall be delivered and never come into condemnation (Joh 5:24; Ro 8:1); the latter are left under condemnation and desolate.

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