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130

The unfolding of your words gives light;

it imparts understanding to the simple.


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130. The entrance of thy word is light. The amount is, that the light of the truth revealed in God’s word, is so distinct that the very first sight of it illuminates the mind. The word פתח pethach, properly signifies an opening, 1010     “פתה pethach, ‘the opening of thy words giveth light:’ when I open my Bible to read, light springs up in my mind.” — Dr. Adam Clarke. The corresponding word in Syriac signifies to enlighten, and in Arabic to explain. Hence, in the opinion of some, פתח, pethach, is the expounding of thy word. but metaphorically it is taken for a gate. Accordingly the old translator has rendered it beginning, which is not improper, provided it is understood of the rudiments or first elements of the divine law. It is as if the Prophet had — “Not only do those who have attained an accurate acquaintance with the whole law, and who have made the study of it the business of their lives, discern there a clear light, but also those who have studied it even very imperfectly, and who have only, so to speak, entered the porch.” Now we must reason from the less to the greater. If tyroes and novices begin to be enlightened at their first entrance, what will be the case when a man is admitted to a full and perfect knowledge?

In the second clause the Prophet unfolds his meaning more fully. By little ones he denotes such as neither excel in ingenuity nor are endued with wisdom, but rather are unskilled in letters, and unrefined by education. Of such he affirms that, as soon as they have learned the first principles of the law of God, they will be endued with understanding. It ought to have a most powerful influence in exciting in us an earnest desire to become acquainted with the law of God, when we are told that even those who, in the estimation of the world, are fools, and contemptible simpletons, provided they apply their minds to this subject, acquire from it wisdom sufficient to lead them to eternal salvation. Although it is not given to all men to attain to the highest degree in this wisdom, yet it is common to all the godly to profit so far as to know the certain and unerring rule by which to regulate their life. Thus no man who surrenders himself to the teaching of God, will loose his labor in his school, for from his first entrance he will reap inestimable fruit. Meanwhile we are warned, that all who follow their own understanding, wander in darkness. By affirming that the little ones are enlightened, David intimates, that it is only when men, divested of all self confidence, submit themselves with humble and docile minds to God, that they are in a proper state for becoming proficient scholars in the study of the divine law. Let the Papists mock, as they are accustomed to do, because we would have the Scriptures to be read by all men without exception; yet it is no falsehood which God utters by the mouth of David, when he affirms that the light of his truth is exhibited to fools. God will not, therefore, disappoint the desire of such as acknowledge their own ignorance, and submit themselves humbly to his teaching.




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