Psalm 119:78
Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in your precepts.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(78) Dealt.—Better, wronged me; literally, bent me.

Psalm 119:78-79. Let the proud be ashamed — Confound all the proud contemners of thy law; let them be brought either to repentance or to shame; for they have dealt perversely with me, either by their calumnies, putting false and perverse constructions on my words and actions, or endeavouring to overthrow and destroy me, by turning me out of the way of my duty; but I will meditate in thy precepts — All their wicked attempts shall never drive me from the study, and love, and practice of thy precepts. Let those that fear thee, &c. — Let all pious men, who have a due regard for thy testimonies, be convinced of this, and turn their hearts and affections to me, which have been alienated from me, either by the artifices and calumnies of my adversaries, or by my sore and long distresses, causing them to think that I had deceived them with false pretences, or that God, for my sins, had utterly forsaken me. And those that have known thy testimonies — That is, that have loved and practised them. The sense of this verse is much the same with that of the seventy-fourth; that good men, seeing what God had done for him, should turn themselves to him, take encouragement from him, and recognise the righteousness of God in protecting his friends.119:73-80 God made us to serve him, and enjoy him; but by sin we have made ourselves unfit to serve him, and to enjoy him. We ought, therefore, continually to beseech him, by his Holy Spirit, to give us understanding. The comforts some have in God, should be matter of joy to others. But it is easy to own, that God's judgments are right, until it comes to be our own case. All supports under affliction must come from mercy and compassion. The mercies of God are tender mercies; the mercies of a father, the compassion of a mother to her son. They come to us when we are not able to go to them. Causeless reproach does not hurt, and should not move us. The psalmist could go on in the way of his duty, and find comfort in it. He valued the good will of saints, and was desirous to keep up his communion with them. Soundness of heart signifies sincerity in dependence on God, and devotedness to him.Let the proud be ashamed - Referring here to his enemies, who appear to have been in the higher ranks of life, or to have been those who prided themselves on their wealth, their station, or their influence. See the notes at Psalm 119:51. The psalmist asks here that they might be confounded or put to shame; that is, that they might fail of accomplishing their purposes in regard to him. See Psalm 25:2-3, notes; Job 6:20, note.

For they dealt perversely with me - They were not honest; they deceived me; they took advantage of me; they were not true to their professions of friendship. Compare the notes at Isaiah 59:3; notes at Job 8:3; notes at Job 34:12.

Without a cause - Hebrew, "by a lie." That is, They have been guilty of falsehood in their charges or accusations against me. I have given them no occasion for such treatment, and their conduct is based on an entire misrepresentation. See the notes at John 15:25.

But I will meditate in thy precepts - See the notes at Psalm 1:2. I will not be diverted from thee, from thy law, from thy service, by all that man can do to me; by all the false charges which the enemies of religion may bring against me; by all the contempt or persecution that I may suffer for my attachment to thee. See Psalm 119:23, note; Psalm 119:69, note.

78. but I … meditate in thy precepts—and so shall not be "ashamed," that is, put to shame (Ps 119:80). They dealt perversely with me, Heb. they have perverted me; either by their calumnies, whereby they have put false and perverse constructions upon all my words and actions; or by endeavouring to overthrow and destroy me, or to turn me out of the way of thy precepts. But all their wicked attempts against me shall never drive me from the study, and love, and practice of thy precepts. Let the proud be ashamed,.... The same persons he before speaks of as accursed, who had him in derision, and forged a lie against him. Here he prays that they might be ashamed of their scoffs and jeers, of their lies and calumnies, the evils and injuries they had done him; that they might be brought to a sense of them, and repentance for them; when they would be ashamed of them in the best manner: or that they might be disappointed of their ends, in what they had done, and so be confounded and ashamed, as men are when they cannot gain their point; or be brought to shame and confusion eternally;

for they dealt perversely with me without a cause; or, "they perverted me with falsehood" (w); that is, they endeavoured to pervert him with lies and falsehood, and lead him out of the right way; or they attempted, by their lies and calumnies, to make him out to be a perverse and wicked man, and pronounced and condemned him as such, without any foundation or just cause for it;

but I will meditate in thy precepts; he was determined, in the strength of grace, that those ill usages should not take off his thoughts from religious things, or divert him from his duty to his God: none of these things moved him; he still went on in the ways of God, in his worship and service, as Daniel did, when in like circumstances.

(w) "mendacio me opprimere quaerunt", Tigurine version; "mendaciis", Piscator, Cocceius, Michaelis.

Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
78. for they dealt perversely with me without a cause] Better, for they have subverted me by falsehood. Cp. Lamentations 3:36.Verse 78. - Let the proud be ashamed; i.e. put them to shame (comp. Psalm 35:4, 26; Psalm 40:14; Psalm 70:2; Psalm 83:17, etc.). For they dealt perversely with me without a cause; rather, for with lies they subvert me (comp. ver. 69). But I will meditate in thy precepts. Repeated from ver. 15. The eightfold Teth. The good word of the gracious God is the fountain of all good; and it is learned in the way of lowliness. He reviews his life, and sees in everything that has befallen him the good and well-meaning appointment of the God of salvation in accordance with the plan and order of salvation of His word. The form עבדּך, which is the form out of pause, is retained in Psalm 119:65 beside Athnach, although not preceded by Olewejored (cf. Psalm 35:19; Psalm 48:11; Proverbs 30:21). Clinging believingly to the commandments of God, he is able confidently to pray that He would teach him "good discernment" and "knowledge." טעם is ethically the capacity of distinguishing between good and evil, and of discovering the latter as it were by touch; טוּב טעם, good discernment, is a coupling of words like טוּב לב, a happy disposition, cheerfulness. God has brought him into this relationship to His word by humbling him, and thus setting him right out of his having gone astray. אמרה in Psalm 119:67, as in Psalm 119:11, is not God's utterance conveying a promise, but imposing a duty. God is called טּוב as He who is graciously disposed towards man, and מתיב as He who acts out this disposition; this loving and gracious God he implores to become his Teacher. In his fidelity to God's word he does not allow himself to be led astray by any of the lies which the proud try to impose upon him (Bttcher), or better absolutely (cf. Job 13:4): to patch together over him, making the true nature unrecognisable as it were by means of false plaster or whitewash (טפל, to smear over, bedaub, as the Targumic, Talmudic, and Syriac show). If the heart of these men, who by slander make him into a caricature of himself, is covered as it were with thick fat (a figure of insensibility and obduracy, Psalm 17:10; Psalm 73:7; Isaiah 6:10, lxx ἐτυρώθη, Aquila ἐλιπάνθη, Symmachus ἐμυαλώθη) against all the impressions of the word of God, he, on the other hand, has his delight in the law of God (שׁעשׁע with an accusative of the object, not of that which is delighted, Psalm 94:19, but of that which delights). How beneficial has the school of affliction through which he has attained to this, been to him! The word proceeding from the mouth of God is now more precious to him than the greatest earthly riches.
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