Blessed is the man to whom the LORD imputes not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Psalm 32:2. Unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity — Whom God doth not charge with the guilt of his sins, as he justly might, but pardons and accepts him in Christ. And in whose spirit there is no guile — Who freely confesses all his sins, without dissembling, is truly sorry for, and sincerely hates them, and turns from sin to God with all his heart. Romans 1:17, note; Romans 3:24, note; Romans 4:5, note; Romans 5:1, note.
And in whose spirit there is no guile - Who are sincere and true. That is, who are not hypocrites; who are conscious of no desire to cover up or to conceal their offences; who make a frank and full confession to God, imploring pardon. The "guile" here refers to the matter under consideration. The idea is not who are "innocent," or "without guilt," but who are sincere, frank, and honest in making "confession" of their sins; who keep nothing back when they go before God. We cannot go before him and plead our innocence, but we may go before him with the feeling of conscious sincerity and honesty in making confession of our guilt. Compare Psalm 66:18.
no guile—or, deceit, no false estimate of himself, nor insincerity before God (compare Ro 8:1).
In whose spirit there is no guile; who freely confesseth all his sins without dissembling and concealing of them; which may seem to be the main thing here intended, by comparing this with the following verses; and who is sincere in his professions of repentance, turning from sin to God with all his heart, and not feignedly. 2 Corinthians 5:19. The Apostle Paul interprets this as inclusive of the imputation of righteousness without works; even of the righteousness of Christ, in which the blessedness of a man lies, Romans 4:6; for such an one is accepted with God, is justified in his sight, and is secure from condemnation and wrath; it is well with him at all times, in life, at death, and at judgment; he is an heir of eternal life, will enter into it, and be for ever glorified;
and in whose spirit there is no guile: for being thoroughly convinced of sin, he is sincere in his repentance for it, without deceit and hypocrisy in his confession of it; as David, the Apostle Paul, and the publican were, when they acknowledged themselves sinners; his faith, in looking to Christ for pardon and righteousness, is from the heart, and is unfeigned, and so is his profession of it before God, angels, and men; and whatever hypocrisy and guile are remaining in the old man, there is none in the new spirit put into him; in the new man, which is created in him, and which sinneth not: as the other phrases are expressive of pardon and justification, this points at internal sanctification, and which serves to complete the description of the happy man; such an one as David himself was; and this happiness he illustrates from his own experience in the following verses.Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 2. - Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity. "Iniquity" - the defilement of the sinner's own soul by sin - is not at once removable; if removable at all, it is only so by long lapse of time, and God's special mercy. But God can, at his own will and at any moment, "not impute" it - not count it against the sinner to his detriment. Then in God's sight the man is clean; it is as though the iniquity were not there. And in whose spirit there is no guile; i.e. no false seeming - no hypocrisy - where repentance has been sincere and real. Psalm 31:20. It is an exclamation (מה, as in Psalm 36:8) of adoring admiration. טוּב יהוה is the sum of the good which God has treasured up for the constant and ever increasing use and enjoyment of His saints. צפן is used in the same sense as in Psalm 17:14; cf. τὸ μάννα τὸ κεκρυμμένον, Revelation 2:17. Instead of פּעלתּ it ought strictly to be נתתּ; for we can say פּעל טּוב, but not פּעל טוּב. What is meant is, the doing or manifesting of טּוב springing from this טוּב, which is the treasure of grace. Jahve thus makes Himself known to His saints for the confounding of their enemies and in defiance of all the world besides, Psalm 23:5. He takes those who are His under His protection from the רכסי אישׁ, confederations of men (from רכס, Arab. rks, magna copia), from the wrangling, i.e., the slanderous scourging, of tongues. Elsewhere it is said, that God hides one in סתר אהלו (Psalm 27:5), or in סתר כּנפיו (Psalm 61:5), or in His shadow (צל, Psalm 91:1); in this passage it is: in the defence and protection of His countenance, i.e., in the region of the unapproachable light that emanates from His presence. The סכּה is the safe and comfortable protection of the Almighty which spans over the persecuted one like an arbour or rich foliage. With בּרוּך ה David again passes over to his own personal experience. The unity of the Psalm requires us to refer the praise to the fact of the deliverance which is anticipated by faith. Jahve has shown him wondrous favour, inasmuch as He has given him a עיר מצור as a place of abode. מצור, from צוּר to shut in (Arabic misr with the denominative verb maṣṣara, to found a fortified city), signifies both a siege, i.e., a shutting in by siege-works, and a fortifying (cf. Psalm 60:11 with Psalm 108:11), i.e., a shutting in by fortified works against the attack of the enemy, 2 Chronicles 8:5. The fenced city is mostly interpreted as God Himself and His powerful and gracious protection. We might then compare Isaiah 33:21 and other passages. But why may not an actual city be intended, viz., Ziklag? The fact, that after long and troublous days David there found a strong and sure resting-place, he here celebrates beforehand, and unconsciously prophetically, as a wondrous token of divine favour. To him Ziklag was indeed the turning-point between his degradation and exaltation. He had already said in his trepidation (חפז, trepidare), cf. Psalm 116:11 : I am cut away from the range of Thine eyes. נגרזתּי is explained according to גּרזן, an axe; Lamentations 3:54, נגרזתּי, and Jonah 2:5, נגרשׁתּי, favour this interpretation. He thought in his fear and despair, that God would never more care about him. אכן, verum enim vero, but Jahve heard the cry of his entreaty, when he cried unto Him (the same words as in Psalm 28:2). On the ground of these experiences he calls upon all the godly to love the God who has done such gracious things, i.e., to love Love itself. On the one hand, He preserves the faithful (אמוּנים, from אמוּן equals אמוּן, πιστοί, as in Psalm 12:2), who keep faith with Him, by also proving to them His faithfulness by protection in every danger; on the other hand, not scantily, but plentifully (על as in Isaiah 60:7; Jeremiah 6:14 : κατὰ περισσείαν) He rewardeth those that practise pride-in the sight of God, the Lord, the sin of sins. An animating appeal to the godly (metamorphosed out of the usual form of the expression חזק ואמץ, macte esto), resembling the animating call to his own heart in Psalm 27:14, closes the Psalm. The godly and faithful are here called "those who wait upon Jahve." They are to wait patiently, for this waiting has a glorious end; the bright, spring sun at length breaks through the dark, angry aspect of the heavens, and the esto mihi is changed into halleluja. This eye of hope patiently directed towards Jahve is the characteristic of the Old Testament faith. The substantial unity, however, of the Old Testament order of grace, or mercy, with that of the New Testament, is set before us in Psalm 32:1-11, which, in its New Testament and Pauline character, is the counterpart of Psalm 19:1-14.
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