Psalm 119:82
Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?
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(82) Mine eyes fail.—The failing of the eyes is here evidently to be understood of the effort of straining to catch or keep sight of a distant object, not, as so frequently in the Psalms (see Psalm 6:7, &c), from sickness or even grief. Comp.

“I would have broke my eye-strings, cracked them, but

To look upon him.”—SHAKESPEARE: Cymbeline.

119:81-88 The psalmist sought deliverance from his sins, his foes, and his fears. Hope deferred made him faint; his eyes failed by looking out for this expected salvation. But when the eyes fail, yet faith must not. His affliction was great. He was become like a leathern bottle, which, if hung up in the smoke, is dried and shrivelled up. We must ever be mindful of God's statutes. The days of the believer's mourning shall be ended; they are but for a moment, compared with eternal happiness. His enemies used craft as well as power for his ruin, in contempt of the law of God. The commandments of God are true and faithful guides in the path of peace and safety. We may best expect help from God when, like our Master, we do well and suffer for it. Wicked men may almost consume the believer upon earth, but he would sooner forsake all than forsake the word of the Lord. We should depend upon the grace of God for strength to do every good work. The surest token of God's good-will toward us, is his good work in us.Mine eyes fail for thy word - The same word in Hebrew as in the previous verse and in Psalm 73:26. The idea here is that of looking out for a thing - of "straining the eyes" - so that their power becomes exhausted. The language expresses a longing desire - a waiting - an intense wish - for a thing, as when we look for a ship long expected, or for a friend long absent, or for help when in danger. Such a desire the psalmist had for the word of God, for divine truth.

Saying, When wilt thou comfort me? - How long shall I be compelled to wait for comfort? How often in the Psalms do the expressions occur, "When," and "How long!" How often in the life of the believer now are similar expressions appropriate! God often seems greatly to try the faith and patience of his people by mere delay; and the strength of faith and the power of religion are shown in such circumstances by persevering faith in the divine promises, even when there seems to be no evidence that he will interpose.

82. Mine eyes fail for thy word—that is, with yearning desire for Thy word. When the eyes fail, yet faith must not. Mine eyes fail, with looking hither and thither, and to thee for help.

Mine eyes fail for thy word,.... Either with looking for the Messiah, the essential Word, that was to be, and afterwards was made flesh, and dwelt among men; or for the fulfilment of the word of promise, on which he was made to hope; but that being deferred; and he believing in hope against hope, and looking out continually till it was accomplished, his eyes grew weary, and failed him, and he was just ready to give up all expectation of it; see Psalm 77:8;

saying, when wilt thou comfort me? The people of God are sometimes very disconsolate, and need comforting, through the prevalence of sin, the power of Satan's temptations, the hidings of God's face, and a variety of afflictions; when they apply to God for comfort, who only can comfort them, and who has his set times to do it; but they are apt to think it long, and inquire, as David here, when it will be.

Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?
82. saying] R.V. while I say.

Verse 82. - Mine eyes fail for thy Word. Yet even here his "eyes fail" - he has looked so long for the aid promised, and it has not come. Saying, When wilt thou comfort me? "Lord, how long?" is the constant cry of God's servants under affliction or persecution. When will relief come and the tyranny be overpast? Psalm 119:82The eightfold Kaph. This strengthening according to God's promise is his earnest desire (כּלה) now, when within a very little his enemies have compassed his ruin (כּלּה). His soul and eyes languish (כּלה as in Psalm 69:4; Psalm 84:3, cf. Job 19:27) for God's salvation, that it may be unto him according to God's word or promise, that this word may be fulfilled. In Psalm 119:83 כּי is hypothetical, as in Psalm 21:12 and frequently; here, as perhaps also in Psalm 27:10, in the sense of "although" (Ew. ֗362, b). He does not suffer anything to drive God's word out of his mind, although he is already become like a leathern bottle blackened and shrivelled up in the smoke. The custom of the ancients of placing jars with wine over the smoke in order to make the wine prematurely old, i.e., to mellow it (vid., Rosenm׬ller), does not yield anything towards the understanding of this passage: the skin-bottle that is not intended for present use is hung up on high; and the fact that it had to withstand the upward ascending smoke is intelligible, notwithstanding the absence of any mention of the chimney. The point of comparison, in which we agree for the most part with Hitzig, is the removal of him who in his dungeon is continually exposed to the drudgery of his persecutors. כּמּה in Psalm 119:84 is equivalent to "how few." Our life here below is short, so also is the period within which the divine righteousness can reveal itself. שׁיחות (instead of which the lxx erroneously reads שׂיחות), pits, is an old word, Psalm 57:7. The relative clause, Psalm 119:85, describes the "proud" as being a contradiction to the revealed law; for there was no necessity for saying that to dig a pit for others is not in accordance with this law. All God's commandments are an emanation of His faithfulness, and therefore too demand faithfulness; but it is just this faithfulness that makes the poet an object of deadly hatred. They have already almost destroyed him"in the land." It is generally rendered "on earth;" but "in heaven" at the beginning of the following octonary is too far removed to be an antithesis to it, nor does it sound like one (cf. on the other hand ἐν τοῖς ouranoi's, Matthew 5:12). It is therefore: in the land (cf. Psalm 58:3; Psalm 73:9), where they think they are the only ones who have any right there, they have almost destroyed him, without shaking the constancy of his faith. But he stands in need of fresh grace in order that he may not, however, at last succumb.
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