Psalm 22:3
But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
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(3) But.—In spite of his seeming desertion the poet still believes Jehovah is the God of the covenant—still the Holy One in whom His people could trust.

The phrase “inhabiting the praises of Israel,” recalls the more usual “thou that dwellest between the cherubims” (1Samuel 4:4; 2Samuel 6:2; Psalm 80:1; Psalm 99:1, where see Note). But the idea here is more spiritual. The ever-ascending praises of His people become a throne for the Divine King, and take the place of the outstretched wings of the cherubim. Perhaps there is a reminiscence of Exodus 15:11-12. This explanation is at once more literal and better than the Rabbinical, “enthroned as the praises.” (Comp. Aquila: “as the hymns.”)

Psalm 22:3. But thou art holy — “But notwithstanding thou dost not answer me at present, I am persuaded that thou wilt do so, for thou art holy, good, and gracious;” O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel — That dwellest in the place where the praises of Israel have always been offered for mercies granted unto them: or, who receivest and rightly possessest the praises of Israel; whom thy people are perpetually praising for one mercy or another; and therefore, I trust I also shall have occasion to praise thee.

22:1-10 The Spirit of Christ, which was in the prophets, testifies in this psalm, clearly and fully, the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. We have a sorrowful complaint of God's withdrawings. This may be applied to any child of God, pressed down, overwhelmed with grief and terror. Spiritual desertions are the saints' sorest afflictions; but even their complaint of these burdens is a sign of spiritual life, and spiritual senses exercised. To cry our, My God, why am I sick? why am I poor? savours of discontent and worldliness. But, Why hast thou forsaken me? is the language of a heart binding up its happiness in God's favour. This must be applied to Christ. In the first words of this complaint, he poured out his soul before God when he was upon the cross, Mt 27:46. Being truly man, Christ felt a natural unwillingness to pass through such great sorrows, yet his zeal and love prevailed. Christ declared the holiness of God, his heavenly Father, in his sharpest sufferings; nay, declared them to be a proof of it, for which he would be continually praised by his Israel, more than for all other deliverances they received. Never any that hoped in thee, were made ashamed of their hope; never any that sought thee, sought thee in vain. Here is a complaint of the contempt and reproach of men. The Saviour here spoke of the abject state to which he was reduced. The history of Christ's sufferings, and of his birth, explains this prophecy.But thou art holy - Thou art righteous and blameless. This indicates that the sufferer had still unwavering confidence in God. Though his prayer seemed not to be heard, and though he was not delivered, he was not disposed to blame God. He believed that God was righteous, though he received no answer; he doubted not that there was some sufficient reason why he was not answered. This is applicable, not only to the Redeemer, in whom it was most fully illustrated, but also to the people of God everywhere. It expresses a state of mind such as all true believers in God have - confidence in him, whatever may be their trials; confidence in him, though the answer to their prayers may be long delayed; confidence in him, though their prayers should seem to be unanswered. Compare the notes at Job 13:15.

O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel - That dwellest where praise is celebrated; that seemest to dwell in the midst of praises. The language here refers to the praises offered in the tabernacle or temple. God was supposed to dwell there, and he was surrounded by those who praised him. The sufferer looks upon him as worshipped by the multitude of his people; and the feeling of his heart is, that though he was himself a sufferer - a great and apparently unpitied sufferer - though he, by his afflictions, was not permitted to unite in those lofty praises, yet he could own that God was worthy of all those songs, and that it was proper that they should be addressed to him.

3. Still he not only refrains from charging God foolishly, but evinces his confidence in God by appealing to Him.

thou art holy—or possessed of all the attributes which encourage trust, and the right object of the praises of the Church: hence the sufferer need not despair.

Thou art holy, i. e just and true in all thy ways, and therefore hearing prayers, and keeping thy covenant; a true lover of holiness, and of all holy men. This he adds, either,

1. To aggravate his misery, that such a God should neglect and forsake him. Or rather,

2. To strengthen his faith, and to enforce his prayers, and prevail with God, for the honour of his holy name, to hear and help him.

That inhabitest the praises of Israel; either,

1. That dwellest in thy tabernacle and ark, which is called Israel’s glory, 1 Samuel 4:21, and the place where God was praised, Isaiah 64:11. Or,

2. That receivest and rightly possessest the praises of Israel, whom the people are perpetually praising for one mercy or another; and therefore I trust I also shall have occasion to praise thee. But because this Hebrew verb, when it is used transitively, and is taken for inhabiting, is generally, as far as I have observed, construed with a preposition, which here it is not, this verse may seem to be better rendered thus, as it is by divers learned men, But thou abidest, or perseverest, or continuest to be (as this verb is used, Psalm 9:7 55:19 102:12)

holy, ( notwithstanding thy present neglect of my prayers and miseries,) O the praises, or, O thou who art the praises, (or, and the praises, i.e. the great cause and object of the praises,) of Israel, i. e whom Israel solemnly and usually praised, Deu 10:21 Jeremiah 17:14.

But thou art holy,.... Which may be considered either as an argument with his God, why he should hear and answer him, since he is holy, just, and faithful; he has promised, when any call upon him in a day of trouble, he will hear and answer them, and will be glorified by them; this Christ did, and therefore pleads his faithfulness to his promise: or rather a reason quieting him under divine desertion, and a sense of divine wrath, that God was righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works; and that whereas he was the surety of his people, and had all their sins on him, it was perfectly agreeable to the holiness and justice of God to treat him in the manner he did; yea, it was done to declare his righteousness, that he might appear to be just, while he is the justifier of him that believes in him;

O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel; either the place where Israel offered the sacrifices of praise to God, the tabernacle or temple, the house of prayer and praise in which Jehovah dwelt: or the true Israel of God praising him, who are formed for himself, and called by his grace to show forth his praises; among whom he takes up his residence: or else the praises themselves; and so the phrase denotes God's gracious acceptance of them, and well pleasedness in them, signified by his inhabiting of them, and the frequent and constant ascription of them to him: and perhaps respect may be had chiefly to the praises of his people for providing such a Saviour for them, settling him in the fulness of time, and not sparing him, but delivering him up into the hands of justice and death for them; and for giving all things freely with him.

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the {c} praises of Israel.

(c) He means the place of praising, even the tabernacle or else it is so called, because he gave the people continuous opportunity to praise him.

3. An appeal to God’s moral character, as the Holy One of Israel. The Heb. word for holy is derived from a root signifying separation. It characterises God negatively, as separate from the limitations and imperfections of the world and man; and positively, it comes to express the essential nature of God in its moral aspect, as pure, righteous, faithful, supremely exalted. In virtue of His holiness he cannot be false to His covenant. Cp. Habakkuk’s plea (Habakkuk 1:12); and for another side of the truth, Isaiah 5:16.

O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel] Rather as R.V. marg., O thou that art enthroned upon the praises of Israel: a bold adaptation of the phrase that sittest enthroned upon the cherubim (2 Samuel 6:2; 2 Kings 19:15; Psalm 80:1; Psalm 99:1). The praises of Israel, ascending like clouds of incense, form as it were the throne upon which Jehovah sits. They are a perpetual memorial of His mighty acts in times past (Exodus 15:11; Psalm 78:4; Isaiah 63:7); and surely He cannot have ceased to give occasion for those praises (Psalm 22:25)! The P.B.V. is based on an untenable construction of the words, in its rendering, And thou continuest holy, O thou worship of Israel, and it takes praises of Israel to mean God Himself as the object of Israel’s praises.

Verse 3. - But thou art holy. Still God is holy; the Sufferer casts no reproach upon him, but "commits himself to him that judgeth righteously" (1 Peter 2:23). O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. God is seen enthroned in his sanctuary, where the praises and prayers of Israel are ever being offered up to him. If he hears them, he will assuredly, in his own good time, hear the Sufferer. Psalm 22:3(Heb.: 22:4-6) The sufferer reminds Jahve of the contradiction between the long season of helplessness and His readiness to help so frequently and so promptly attested. ואתּה opens an adverbial clause of the counterargument: although Thou art...Jahve is קדושׁ, absolutely pure, lit., separated (root קד, Arab. qd, to cut, part, just as ṭahur, the synonym of ḳadusa, as the intransitive of ṭahara equals ab‛ada, to remove to a distance, and בּר pure, clean, radically distinct from p-rus, goes back to בּרר to sever), viz., from that which is worldly and common, in one word: holy. Jahve is holy, and has shown Himself such as the תּהלּות of Israel solemnly affirm, upon which or among which He sits enthroned. תהלות are the songs of praise offered to God on account of His attributes and deeds, which are worthy of praise (these are even called תהלות in Psalm 78:4; Exodus 15:11; Isaiah 63:7), and in fact presented in His sanctuary (Isaiah 64:10). The combination יושׁב תּהלּות (with the accusative of the verbs of dwelling and tarrying) is like יושׁב כּרבים, Psalm 99:1; Psalm 80:2. The songs of praise, which resounded in Israel as the memorials of His deeds of deliverance, are like the wings of the cherubim, upon which His presence hovered in Israel. In Psalm 22:5, the praying one brings to remembrance this graciously glorious self-attestation of God, who as the Holy One always, from the earliest times, acknowledged those who fear Him in opposition to their persecutors and justified their confidence in Himself. In Psalm 22:5 trust and rescue are put in the connection of cause and effect; in Psalm 22:6 in reciprocal relation. פּלּט and מלּט are only distinguished by the harder and softer sibilants, cf. Psalm 17:13 with Psalm 116:4. It need not seem strange that such thoughts were at work in the soul of the Crucified One, since His divine-human consciousness was, on its human side, thoroughly Israelitish; and the God of Israel is also the God of salvation; redemption is that which He himself determined, why, then, should He not speedily deliver the Redeemer?
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