Psalm 102:19
For he has looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 102:19-22. For he hath looked down — Namely, upon us, and not as an idle spectator, but with an eye of pity and relief; from the height of his sanctuary — From his higher or upper sanctuary, namely, heaven, as the next clause explains it, which is called, God’s high and holy place, Isaiah 57:15. To loose those that are appointed to death — To release his poor captives out of Babylon, and, which is more, to deliver mankind from the chains and fetters of sin and Satan, and from eternal destruction. To declare the name of the Lord, &c. — That they, being delivered, might publish and celebrate the name and praises of God in his church. When the people are gathered together, &c. — When the Gentiles shall gather themselves to the Jews, and join with them in the praise and worship of the true God, and of the Messiah. This verse seems to be added to intimate, that although the psalmist, in this Psalm, referred to the deliverance of the Jews out of Babylon, yet he had a further design, and a principal respect unto that great and more general deliverance of his church and people by Christ.102:12-22 We are dying creatures, but God is an everlasting God, the protector of his church; we may be confident that it will not be neglected. When we consider our own vileness, our darkness and deadness, and the manifold defects in our prayers, we have cause to fear that they will not be received in heaven; but we are here assured of the contrary, for we have an Advocate with the Father, and are under grace, not under the law. Redemption is the subject of praise in the Christian church; and that great work is described by the temporal deliverance and restoration of Israel. Look down upon us, Lord Jesus; and bring us into the glorious liberty of thy children, that we may bless and praise thy name.For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary - From his high and holy dwelling-place, in heaven. The word here rendered "looked down," means, in Kal, to lay upon or over; then, in Niphil, to lie out over anything, to project; and then, to bend forward. It then means to bend or incline forward with an intention to look at anything, as from a window, Genesis 26:8. Compare Psalm 14:2. See also Psalm 85:12, note; 1 Peter 1:12, note.

From heaven did the Lord behold the earth - Did he look abroad over all the world.

19-22. For—or, "That," as introducing the statement of God's condescension. A summary of what shall be written.

to loose … appointed—or, "deliver" them (Ps 79:11).

He hath looked down, to wit, upon us, not like an idle spectator, but with an eye of pity and relief, as the next verse declares.

From the height of his sanctuary; from his higher or upper sanctuary, to wit, heaven, as the next clause explains it, which is called God’s high and holy place, Isaiah 57:15. For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary,.... From heaven, as it is explained in the next clause, which is the Lord's sanctuary, or holy place, where he dwells, even in the height of it; it is both high and holy, as he himself is; yet he condescends to look down from thence on sinful mortals:

from heaven did the Lord behold the earth; the inhabitants of it, good and bad: it designs the general notice he takes of men and things in a providential way; he beholds the world, that lies in wickedness, and all the wickedness committed in it; and will one day call to an account, and punish for it; he beholds good men, not only with an eye of providence, to take care of them, protect and defend, but with an eye of love, grace, and mercy; he has a special and distinct knowledge of them, and it may here particularly regard the notice he takes of his people, under antichristian tyranny; he sees all the barbarity and cruelty exercised upon them, and will requite it, ere long, to their adversaries, and free them from it, as follows.

For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
19. Because he hath looked down … hath beheld] In answer to the prayer of Isaiah 63:15. Cp. also Deuteronomy 26:15; Psalm 14:2; Psalm 33:13. This verse is related to Psalm 102:18 as Psalm 102:16-17 are to Psalm 102:15. The perfect tense denotes what will lie in the past when the time referred to in Psalm 102:18 is reached. Jehovah had not yet ‘looked down’ upon His people when the Psalmist was writing; this is clear from Psalm 102:13; but He will assuredly do so, and His renewed regard will be the occasion and theme for their thanksgiving.Verse 19. - For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary. God's true sanctuary is the heaven of heavens wherein he dwells. Earthly sanctuaries are but shadows of this. From heaven did the Lord behold the earth (comp. Exodus 2:23-25). As God in the days of old had looked down on the affliction of his people in Egypt, so did he now "look down" and "behold" their sufferings in Babylon. When the church in its individual members dies off on a foreign soil, still its God, the unchangeable One, remains, and therein the promise has the guarantee of its fulfilment. Faith lays hold upon this guarantee as in Psalm 90. It becomes clear from Psalm 9:8 and Lamentations 5:19 how תּשׁב is to be understood. The Name which Jahve makes Himself by self-attestation never falls a prey to the dead past, it is His ever-living memorial (זכר, Exodus 3:15). Thus, too, will He restore Jerusalem; the limit, or appointed time, to which the promise points is, as his longing tells the poet, now come. מועד, according to Psalm 75:3; Habakkuk 2:3, is the juncture, when the redemption by means of the judgment on the enemies of Israel shall dawn. לחננהּ, from the infinitive חנן, has ĕ, flattened from ă, in an entirely closed syllable. רצה seq. acc. signifies to have pleasure in anything, to cling to it with delight; and חנן, according to Proverbs 14:21, affirms a compassionate, tender love of the object. The servants of God do not feel at home in Babylon, but their loving yearning lingers over the ruins, the stones and the heaps of the rubbish (Nehemiah 4:2), of Jerusalem.
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