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147

I rise before dawn and cry for help;

I put my hope in your words.


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147. I have prevented the twilight. The Hebrew noun נשף, nesheph, is in this place improperly translated by crepusculum, twilight; for it rather signifies the dawn of morning. But as the Latin’s derive the word crepusculum, from creperus, which signifies doubtful or uncertain, so that it may signify the doubtful and intermediate time between light and darkness, I have not been particularly nice in the selection of the term only let my readers understand that the evening twilight commencing with sunset is not here denoted, but the imperfect light which precedes the rising of the sun. David then expresses the most eager haste when he says, that he prevented the dawn of the morning by his prayers. The verb cry always conveys the idea of earnestness; referring, as it does, not so much to the loudness of the voice as to the vehemency and ardor of the mind. In mentioning his haste, his object is the better to set forth his perseverance; for he tells us, that although he betook himself to prayer with such promptitude, yet he did not immediately become weary of that exercise, like the unbelieving, who, if God does not suddenly grant them their requests, murmur and complain against him. Thus, in conjoining patience of hope with earnestness of desire, he shows what is the true manner of praying; even as Paul, in Philippians 4:6, when he exhorts us to

“let our requests be made known unto God with thanksgiving,” (Philippians 4:6)

admonishes us, while engaged in the exercise of prayer, to bridle our turbulent affections, because one of the ends of prayer is to nourish our hope. Nor is the mention made of the word in the close of the verse superfluous; for it is only by having the Word of God continually before our eyes, that we can bridle the wanton impetuosity of our corrupt nature.




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