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18

Then I will thank you in the great congregation;

in the mighty throng I will praise you.

 


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18. I will magnify thee in the great congregation. In this verse David again engages to give thanks to God for all his goodness, since the faithful can render him no other recompense than the sacrifice of praise, as we shall see in Psalm 116:17. Thus even whilst he was surrounded by the impetuous billows of fear and danger, he sets himself to the exercise of giving thanks, as if he had already obtained his desire; and by this he intended to encourage and confirm himself in the assurance of obtaining his requests. In this we may discern a striking and decided evidence of invincible fortitude, for though an outcast and a fugitive, destitute of all help, and, in short, in a state of great extremity and despair as to all his affairs, yet still he thinks of praising God’s grace, and makes vows of solemn sacrifice to him, as if, in the midst of the darkness of death, he saw deliverance clearly shining upon him. And he speaks not only of giving thanks in private, but of such thanksgiving as those who were delivered out of any great perils were wont to yield in the public assembly, by the appointment of the law. Some translate the latter clause of the verse a strong and powerful people, 718718     Horsley takes this view. He reads, “Among a mighty people;” and observes, that this is the rendering of the Chaldee, and that עצם, seems more properly to express strength or power than number. but I do not see the propriety of it. It is a mere subtilty to argue that the Church is endued with great strength, and therefore is called a strong people. But as David simply means the great crowd and multitude of people who were wont to go up to the sanctuary to hold their solemn assembly before God, I have no doubt that when he speaks of the great congregation, and afterwards of much people, he only repeats, according to his custom, the same thing twice, for the Hebrew word is used in both these senses.




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