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31. Psalm 31

1In thee, O Jehovah, do I take refuge;

Let me never be put to shame:

Deliver me in thy righteousness.

2Bow down thine ear unto me; deliver me speedily:

Be thou to me a strong rock,

A house of defence to save me.

3For thou art my rock and my fortress;

Therefore for thy name's sake lead me and guide me.

4Pluck me out of the net that they have laid privily for me;

For thou art my stronghold.

5Into thy hand I commend my spirit:

Thou hast redeemed me, O Jehovah, thou God of truth.

6I hate them that regard lying vanities;

But I trust in Jehovah.

7I will be glad and rejoice in thy lovingkindness;

For thou hast seen my affliction:

Thou hast known my soul in adversities;

8And thou hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy;

Thou hast set my feet in a large place.

9Have mercy upon me, O Jehovah, for I am in distress:

Mine eye wasteth away with grief, yea, my soul and my body.

10For my life is spent with sorrow,

And my years with sighing:

My strength faileth because of mine iniquity,

And my bones are wasted away.

11Because of all mine adversaries I am become a reproach,

Yea, unto my neighbors exceedingly,

And a fear to mine acquaintance:

They that did see me without fled from me.

12I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind:

I am like a broken vessel.

13For I have heard the defaming of many,

Terror on every side:

While they took counsel together against me,

They devised to take away my life.

14But I trusted in thee, O Jehovah:

I said, Thou art my God.

15My times are in thy hand:

Deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.

16Make thy face to shine upon thy servant:

Save me in thy lovingkindness.

17Let me not be put to shame, O Jehovah; for I have called upon thee:

Let the wicked be put to shame, let them be silent in Sheol.

18Let the lying lips be dumb,

Which speak against the righteous insolently,

With pride and contempt.

19Oh how great is thy goodness,

Which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee,

Which thou hast wrought for them that take refuge in thee,

Before the sons of men!

20In the covert of thy presence wilt thou hide them from the plottings of man:

Thou wilt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.

21Blessed be Jehovah;

For he hath showed me his marvellous lovingkindness in a strong city.

22As for me, I said in my haste,

I am cut off from before thine eyes:

Nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications

When I cried unto thee.

23Oh love Jehovah, all ye his saints:

Jehovah preserveth the faithful,

And plentifully rewardeth him that dealeth proudly.

24Be strong, and let your heart take courage,

All ye that hope in Jehovah.

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12. I am forgotten as one dead. The Psalmist still pursues the same idea, and complains that he was as completely blotted out of all men’s remembrance as if he had been dead. The memory of some men after their death flourishes for a time among survivors, but it more frequently vanishes; for there is no longer any intercourse between the quick and the dead, nor can the living be of any farther service to the dead. David illustrates this idea by the metaphor of a broken vessel, 645645     “I am become like a broken vessel;” that is, utterly neglected as being worthless. which denotes utter contempt and meanness; as if he had said, that he was accounted no longer worthy of any place or respect. He adds, in fine, that he was railed upon by the multitude, and agitated with terrors. I would, however, prefer translating the Hebrew word רבים, rabbim, by the great, 646646     Horsley takes the same view. He reads, “the mighty.” rather than by many. When great men, who are often as powerful in judgment as in authority, slander and defame us as wicked persons, this adds to the indignity with which we are treated, because, whatever they say in condemnation of us has the effect of prejudicing the common people against us. It will therefore be very suitable to understand the words as meaning that David was ignominiously condemned by the whole order of the nobility; and thus the innocence of this afflicted man was thrown into the shade by their greatness. This interpretation is confirmed by what immediately follows:— Fear encloseth me on every side, 647647     “Fearfulness on every side, or terror round about. In Heb., magor missabib, which name Jeremiah gave to Pashur the priest, signifying that he should be a terror to himself and to all his friends; Jeremiah 20:3, 4.” — Ainsworth. Horsley reads,
   “Truly I heard the angry muttering of the mighty,
of them that are the general dread.”

   On this he has the following note: ”מסביב מגור, I take this to be a phrase describing the mighty, whose malignant threats against him he overheard, as persons universally dreaded for their power and their cruelty.”
while they consult together against me. As he is still speaking of the same persons, it is certain that this language applies more appropriately to the nobles than to the common people. Moreover, we see that the primary object of the wicked in the deceitful counsels by which they conspired to destroy David, was to create among the whole people hatred against him as a wicked and reprobate man. We also see that while they mangled his reputation, they did it in such a manner as that they covered their wickedness under the appearance of grave and considerate procedure, in consulting among themselves to destroy him as a man who no longer ought to be tolerated on the earth. It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that his mind was wounded, as we have just seen, by so many and so sharp temptations.




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