Psalm 34:19
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
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Psalm 34:19-20. Many are the afflictions of the righteous — In the world they may have tribulation, and their afflictions and troubles may be many, (for they must not promise themselves such prosperity as will exempt them from the trial of their faith and patience;) but the Lord delivereth him out of them all — That is, in due time, when it will be best for them to be so delivered. And in this they ought to think themselves happy, that God will both support them under their trials, and will also put an end to them when he hath sufficiently proved them thereby. He keepeth all his bones — Not only his soul, but his body, and all the parts and members thereof; not one of them is broken — God will not suffer any real mischief to befall him; though he may be often afflicted, yet he shall not be destroyed. But these words, though they may be understood of righteous men in general, of whom they are true in a metaphorical sense; yet have a further meaning in them, being designed by the Spirit of God to signify a great mystery, namely, that none of Christ’s bones should be broken when he was put to death, contrary to the usual custom of treating those who were crucified, whose legs were wont to be broken, in order to put them sooner out of their pain. See John 19:32; John 19:36. Dr. Kennicott’s translation of this and the preceding verse renders the application of them to Christ perfectly natural and easy, and is well worth the reader’s attention. It is thus, Many are the afflictions of the Just One; but from them all Jehovah delivereth him: Jehovah keepeth all his bones; not one of them shall be broken. This translation the Hebrew will well bear.34:11-22 Let young persons set out in life with learning the fear of the Lord, if they desire true comfort here, and eternal happiness hereafter. Those will be most happy who begin the soonest to serve so good a Master. All aim to be happy. Surely this must look further than the present world; for man's life on earth consists but of few days, and those full of trouble. What man is he that would see the good of that where all bliss is perfect? Alas! few have this good in their thoughts. That religion promises best which creates watchfulness over the heart and over the tongue. It is not enough not to do hurt, we must study to be useful, and to live to some purpose; we must seek peace and pursue it; be willing to deny ourselves a great deal for peace' sake. It is the constant practice of real believers, when in distress, to cry unto God, and it is their constant comfort that he hears them. The righteous are humbled for sin, and are low in their own eyes. Nothing is more needful to true godliness than a contrite heart, broken off from every self-confidence. In this soil every grace will flourish, and nothing can encourage such a one but the free, rich grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The righteous are taken under the special protection of the Lord, yet they have their share of crosses in this world, and there are those that hate them. Both from the mercy of Heaven, and the malice of hell, the afflictions of the righteous must be many. But whatever troubles befal them, shall not hurt their souls, for God keeps them from sinning in troubles. No man is desolate, but he whom God has forsaken.Many are the afflictions of the righteous - This is not intended to affirm that the afflictions of the righteous are more numerous or more severe than the afflictions of other men, but that they are subjected to much suffering, and to many trials. Religion does not exempt them from suffering, but it sustains them in it; it does not deliver them from all trials in this life, but it supports them in their trials, which it teaches them to consider as a preparation for the life to come. There are, indeed, sorrows which are special to the righteous, or which come upon them in virtue of their religion, as the trials of persecution; but there are sorrows, also, that are special to the wicked - such as are the effects of intemperance, dishonesty, crime. The latter are more numerous by far than the former; so that it is still true that the wicked suffer more than the righteous in this life.

But the Lord delivereth him out of them all - See the notes at Psalm 34:17.

17, 18. Humble penitents are objects of God's special tender regard (Ps 51:19; Isa 57:15). No text from Poole on this verse. Many are the afflictions of the righteous,.... This may be understood of some one particular righteous person, since the singular number is here made use of; whereas the plural is always used before, when the righteous are made mention of; and the Lord Jesus Christ may be designed, who is eminently and emphatically "the righteous"; he is righteous both as God and man, and as Mediator, in the discharge of every branch of his office; and his afflictions were many, which he endured from men, from devils, and from God himself: many were the afflictions of his body, which he bore when buffeted, scourged, and crucified; and many were the afflictions of his soul, when he bore the sins of his people, endured the wrath of God for them, and was forsaken by him; though none of these were for any sins of his own, but for the sins of others; and out of them all the Lord delivered him at last, and set him at his own right hand; or this may be understood of everyone of the righteous; who, though they are justified from sin, and are saved from wrath, yet have many afflictions; which are "evils" in themselves, as the word (m) may be rendered, and are very troublesome and distressing; and these are great and grievous for quality, and many and abundant for quantity; though no more than it is the will of God should be, and not one too many;

but the Lord delivereth him out of them all; as Christ was, and all his people will be; if not in this life, by giving respites and intervals, as he sometimes does; yet hereafter, when the righteous are completely delivered out of all their trials and exercises, so as that they shall never return more upon them. The word translated "afflictions", as it signifies "evils", may be safely interpreted of moral evils, as well as of evils of afflictions: it is the same word that is used for moral evil in Psalm 34:21; and then the sense is, that many are the sins committed by righteous persons; for there are none without sin, in many things they all offend; yet they shall not perish by them, but they shall be delivered from them; as, from the dominion of them by the power of grace, and from the guilt of them by the blood of Christ, and from condemnation for them through his righteousness; so hereafter from the very being of them, and all molestation and disturbance by them.

(m) "mala", Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus, Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis; so Ainsworth.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
19. No exemption from evils is promised to the righteous man, but out of them all the Lord rescues him (Psalm 34:4; Psalm 34:17).Verse 19. - Many are the afflictions of the righteous (comp. Job 36:8-10; Acts 14:22; 1 Corinthians 15:19; 2 Timothy 3:12; Hebrews 11:33-38; Hebrews 12:5-10, etc.). The righteous suffer afflictions because they are so imperfectly righteous. They need purging, purifying, chastening, to rid them of the dross and defilement of sin which still clings to them, and from which they are never wholly freed while they continue in the flesh. "We must through mush tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22). We must, like the Captain of our salvation, be "made perfect through suffering" (Hebrews 2:10). But the Lord delivereth him out of them all. When they have done their appointed work of purging, purifying, instructing, improving, or whatever else their work may be, God removes the afflictions with which he has visited us or allowed us to be visited, ultimately, when he takes us to himself, mercifully delivering us "out of them all." (Heb.: 34:12-15) The first main division of the Psalm is ended; the second (much the same as in Psalm 32:1-11) assumes more the tone of a didactic poem; although even Psalm 34:6, Psalm 34:9 have something of the didactic style about them. The poet first of all gives a direction for fearing God. We may compare Psalm 32:8; Psalm 51:15 - how thoroughly Davidic is the turn which the Psalm here takes! בּנים are not children in years or in understanding; but it is a tender form of address of a master experienced in the ways of God to each one and to all, as in Proverbs 1:8, and frequently. In Psalm 34:13 he throws out the question, which he himself answers in Psalm 34:14. This form of giving impressiveness to a truth by setting it forth as a solution of some question that has been propounded is a habit with David. Psalm 14:1; Psalm 24:8, Psalm 24:10; Psalm 25:12. In the use made of this passage from the Psalms in 1 Peter 3:10-12 ( equals Psalm 34:13 of the Psalm) this form of the question is lost sight of. To חפץ חיּים, as being just as exclusive in sense, corresponds אהב ימים, so that consequently לראות is a definition of the purpose. ימים signifies days in the mass, just as חיּים means long-enduring life. We see from James 3:2., where Psalm 34:13 also, in its form, calls to mind the Psalm before us, why the poet gives the pre-eminence to the avoiding of sins of the tongue. In Psalm 34:15, from among what is good peace is made prominent, - peace, which not only are we not to disturb, but which we are to seek, yea, pursue it like as the hunter pursues the finest of the herds. Let us follow, says the apostle Paul also, Romans 14:19 (cf. Hebrews 12:14), after those things which make for peace. שׁלום is a relationship, harmonious and free from trouble, that is well-pleasing to the God of love. The idea of the bond of fellowship is connected with the corresponding word eiree'nee, according to its radical notion.
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