World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
31. Psalm 31
In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
2Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an 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.
4Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.
5Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.
6I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the Lord.
7I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
8And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.
9Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.
10For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
11I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, 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 slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.
14But I trusted in thee, O Lord: 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 for thy mercies’ sake.
17Let me not be ashamed, O Lord; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.
18Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
19Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
20Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
21Blessed be the Lord: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.
22For 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.
23O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
24Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.
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,
“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
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,
“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.