Psalm 109:21
But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy name's sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me.
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(21) Do thou for me.—It is almost impossible in English to retain the emphasis of this appeal, made still more emphatic by the sudden change from imprecation on an enemy to prayer for mercy towards self.

Psalm 109:21-22. But do thou for me, O God — Namely, what I desire, which he expresses in the next clause, saying, Deliver thou me — Or, he means, Do thou act for me; be not silent or still, but stir up thyself to work on my behalf; for thy name’s sake — For the glory of thy faithfulness, which is highly concerned in giving me the deliverance which thou hast promised me; because thy mercy is good — That is, gracious, and ready to do good to all, but especially to those that love and fear thee. For I am poor and needy — And therefore a very proper object for thy pity and help. And my heart is wounded within me — I am wounded not slightly, but even to the very heart, with soul-piercing sorrows.

109:21-31 The psalmist takes God's comforts to himself, but in a very humble manner. He was troubled in mind. His body was wasted, and almost worn away. But it is better to have leanness in the body, while the soul prospers and is in health, than to have leanness in the soul, while the body is feasted. He was ridiculed and reproached by his enemies. But if God bless us, we need not care who curses us; for how can they curse whom God has not cursed; nay, whom he has blessed? He pleads God's glory, and the honour of his name. Save me, not according to my merit, for I pretend to none, but according to thy-mercy. He concludes with the joy of faith, in assurance that his present conflicts would end in triumphs. Let all that suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to him. Jesus, unjustly put to death, and now risen again, is an Advocate and Intercessor for his people, ever ready to appear on their behalf against a corrupt world, and the great accuser.But do thou for me, O God the Lord, for thy name's sake - That is, Interpose for me; exert thy power in my behalf. The phrase "for thy name's sake" implies that the motive which prompted him was a desire that God might be honored. It was not primarily or mainly for his own happiness; it was that God might be glorified, that his character might be illustrated, that his plans might be accomplished. Compare the notes at Daniel 9:18-19.

Because thy mercy is good - That is, It is the characteristic of mercy to do good; to show kindness.

Deliver thou me - He prays that God would "manifest" himself as he really was, as a God of mercy.

21, 22. do … for me—that is, kindness.

wounded—literally, "pierced" (Ps 69:16, 29).

21 But do thou for me, O God the Lord, for thy name's sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me.

22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.

23 I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust.

24 My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness.

25 I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads.

26 Help me, O Lord my God: O save me according to thy mercy:

27 That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, Lord, hast done it.

28 Let them curse, but bless thou; when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice.

29 Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.

30 I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.

31 For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.

Psalm 109:21

"But do thou for me, O God the Lord, for thy name's sake." How eagerly he turns from his enemies to his God! He sets the great Thou in opposition to all his adversaries, and you see at once that his heart is at rest. The words are very indistinct, and though our version may not precisely translate them, yet it in a remarkable manner hits upon the sense and upon the obscurity which hang over it. "Do thou for me" - what shall he do? Why, do whatever he thinks fit. He leaves himself in the Lord's hands, dictating nothing, but quite content so long as his God will but undertake for him. His plea is not his own merit, but the name. The saints have always felt this to be their most mighty plea. God himself has performed his grandest deeds of grace for the honour of his name, and his people know that this is the most potent argument with him. What the Lord himself has guarded with sacred jealousy we should reverence with our whole hearts and rely upon without distrust. "Because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me." Not because I am good, but because thy mercy is good: see how the saints fetch their pleadings in prayer from the Lord himself. God's mercy is the star to which the Lord's people turn their eye when they are tossed with tempest and not comforted, for the peculiar bounty and goodness of that mercy have a charm for weary hearts. When man has no mercy we shall still find it in God. When man would devour we may look to God to deliver. His name and his mercy are two firm grounds for hope, and happy are those who know how to rest upon them.

Psalm 109:22


Do thou for me, to wit, what I desire, which he expressing the next clause. Or, do thou act for me; be not or still, but stir up thyself to work on my behalf.

For my name’s sake; for the glory of thy faithfulness, which highly concerned in giving me the deliverance which thou hast promised to me.

Thy mercy is good, i.e. gracious, ready to do good to all, but especially to those that and fear thee. As sin is said to be sinful, Ro 7, so God’s mercy may be said to be merciful, to wit, in degree, and above the mercy of all the creatures

But do thou for me, O God the Lord, for thy name's sake,.... The sense of the petition is, and which is a prayer of Christ as man, that the Lord God would take his part, be on his side, be present with him, work with him, help and assist him, and that for his own honour and glory, for his truth and faithfulness sake, who had promised him help and assistance, Psalm 89:21.

Because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me; or "thy kindness" (g); meaning the lovingkindness of God to Christ, which he always bore to him, and was eminently and superlatively good; which he makes use of as an argument for his deliverance out of all his troubles, and from death itself; see Psalm 69:14.

(g) "benignitas tua", Musculus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy {l} name's sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me.

(l) As you are named merciful, gracious and long suffering, so show yourself in effect.

21. But thou, Jehovah the Lord (or, my Lord), work thou for me] Lit. with me; put forth Thy power so as to shew that Thou art on my side, and prove Thyself all that Thou hast declared Thyself to be. Cp. Psalm 119:126; Jeremiah 16:7. God is printed in capitals in A.V., because it represents the sacred Name Jehovah, for which Elôhîm, ‘God,’ was substituted by the Jews in reading when Adônai, ‘Lord,’ the regular substitute, is joined with it. This combination of names Jehovah Adonai occurs in the Psalter only in Psalm 68:20; Psalm 140:7; Psalm 141:8; and elsewhere only in Habakkuk 3:19.

because &c.] Cp. Psalm 69:16.

21–25. From the pitilessness of man the Psalmist turns to implore the mercy of God.

Verses 21-29. - The psalmist now turns to God in prolonged prayer, setting forth his needs (vers. 22-25), and entreating for help (ver. 26), deliverance (ver. 21), blessing (ver. 28), and triumph over his enemies (ver. 29). Verse 21. - But do thou for me; or, "deal thou with me" (see the Revised Version). O God the Lord; literally, Jehovah the Lord, as in Psalm 68:20; Psalm 140:7; Psalm 141:8; Habakkuk 3:19. For thy Name's sake; i.e. suitably to thy Name - according to thy historically manifested attributes. Because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me. A variant echo of the preceding clause (comp. Psalm 69:16). Psalm 109:21The thunder and lightning are now as it were followed by a shower of tears of deep sorrowful complaint. Psalm 109 here just as strikingly accords with Psalm 69, as Psalm 69 does with Psalm 22 in the last strophe but one. The twofold name Jahve Adonaj (vid., Symbolae, p. 16) corresponds to the deep-breathed complaint. עשׂה אתּי, deal with me, i.e., succouring me, does not greatly differ from לי in 1 Samuel 14:6. The confirmation, Psalm 109:21, runs like Psalm 69:17 : Thy loving-kindness is טּוב, absolutely good, the ground of everything that is good and the end of all evil. Hitzig conjectures, as in Psalm 69:17, חסדך כּטוב, "according to the goodness of Thy loving-kindness;" but this formula is without example: "for Thy loving-kindness is good" is a statement of the motive placed first and corresponding to the "for thy Name's sake." In Psalm 109:22 (a variation of Psalm 55:5) חלל, not חלל, is traditional; this חלל, as being verb. denom. from חלל, signifies to be pierced, and is therefore equivalent to חולל (cf. Luke 2:35). The metaphor of the shadow in Psalm 109:23 is as in Psalm 102:12. When the day declines, the shadow lengthens, it becomes longer and longer (Virgil, majoresque cadunt altis de montibus umbrae), till it vanishes in the universal darkness. Thus does the life of the sufferer pass away. The poet intentionally uses the Niph. נהלכתּי (another reading is נהלכתּי); it is a power rushing upon him from without that drives him away thus after the manner of a shadow into the night. The locust or grasshopper (apart from the plague of the locusts) is proverbial as being a defenceless, inoffensive little creature that is soon driven away, Job 39:20. ננער, to be shaken out or off (cf. Arabic na‛ûra, a water-wheel that fills its clay-vessels in the river and empties them out above, and הנּער, Zechariah 11:16, where Hitzig wishes to read הנּער, dispulsio equals dispulsi). The fasting in Psalm 109:24 is the result of the loathing of all food which sets in with deep grief. כּחשׁ משּׁמן signifies to waste away so that there is no more fat left.

(Note: The verbal group כחשׁ, כחד, Arab. ḥajda, kaḥuṭa, etc. has the primary signification of withdrawal and taking away or decrease; to deny is the same as to withdraw from agreement, and he becomes thin from whom the fat withdraws, goes away. Saadia compares on this passage (פרה) בהמה כחושׁה, a lean cow, Berachoth 32a. In like manner Targum II renders Genesis 41:27 תּורתא כהישׁתא, the lean kine.)

In Psalm 109:25 אני is designedly rendered prominent: in this the form of his affliction he is the butt of their reproaching, and they shake their heads doubtfully, looking upon him as one who is punished of God beyond all hope, and giving him up for lost. It is to be interpreted thus after Psalm 69:11.

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