World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side. 579579 “Verses 5 and 6. Jos. Scaliger explains, in Epis. 9, these two verses thus: — Thou shalt not fear, מפהר, from consternation by night, מחף, from the arrow flying by day, מדבר, from pestilence walking at evening, מקטב, from devastation at noon Under these four he comprehends all the evils and dangers to which man is liable. And as the Hebrews divide the four and twenty hours of day and night into four parts, namely, evening, midnight, morning, and mid-day, so he understands the hours of danger to be divided accordingly: in a word, ‘that the man, who has made God his refuge,’ is always safe, day and night, at every hour, from every danger.” — Bythner He proceeds to show that, though the state of all men may to appearance be alike, the believer has the special privilege of being exempted from evils of an imminent and impending nature; for it might be objected that he was but man, and, as such, exposed with others to death in its thousand different forms. To correct this mistake, the Psalmist does not hesitate to assert that, when universal ruin prevails around, the Lord’s children are the objects of his distinguishing care, and are preserved amidst the general destruction. The lesson is one which is needed by us all, that, though naturally subject to the common evils which are spread around, we are privileged with a special exemption which secures our safety in the midst of dangers. In the verse succeeding more is meant than merely that the believer will have personal experience of the truth which the Psalmist had stated, actually feeling and seeing with his own eyes that God manages his defense; a new argument is brought forward in support of the truth, which is this, that God, as the righteous judge of the world, cannot but punish the wicked according to their sins, and extend protection to his own children. There is much that is dark in the aspect of things in this world, yet the Psalmist hints that, amidst all the confusion which reigns, we may collect from what we see of God’s judgments, that he does not disappoint the expectations of his believing people. He must be considered, however, as addressing those who have eyes to see, who are privileged with the true light of faith, who are fully awake to the consideration of the Divine judgments, and who wait patiently and quietly till the proper time arrive; for most men stagger and confuse their minds upon this subject, by starting to precipitate conclusions, and are prevented from discovering the providence of God by judging according to sense. It becomes us too to be satisfied with apprehending the judgments of God only in some imperfect measure while we remain upon earth, and leaving him to defer the fuller discovery of them to the day of complete revelation.