Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Be pleased.—From this verse onwards, with some trifling variations which will be noticed under that psalm, this passage occurs as Psalms 70, where see Notes.Psalm 40:13-16. Be pleased to deliver me — From my sins, and the punishment due to them. Let them be ashamed — For the disappointment of their hopes and designs. That seek after my soul — That is, my life. Let them be desolate — Or, They shall be desolate, or dismayed, or overthrown, as ישׁמו, jashommu, also signifies. For a reward of their shame — That is, Their sinful and shameful actions, as shame is put for a shameful idol, Hosea 9:10, and as fear is often put for the evil feared. Let such as love thy salvation — That great salvation of which the prophets inquired and searched diligently, and which the Redeemer undertook to work out, when he said, Psalm 40:7, Lo! I come. All that shall be saved love God’s salvation, which is not only a salvation from hell, but a salvation from sin. Say continually, The Lord be magnified — Let them have continual occasion to magnify Jehovah for his mercies vouchsafed to them.Matthew 26:39. The prayer is that, if possible, the cup of sorrow might be taken away.
O Lord, make haste to help me - This is the same form of prayer, and referring, I suppose, to the same occasion as that which occurs in Psalm 22:19. See the notes at that verse.Deliver me from my sins, and the punishments due to them. Psalm 22:20; and from the power and dominion of death and the grave; all which was done when he was raised from the dead, and as the fruit and effect of God's well pleasedness in him, and with what he did and suffered; see Psalm 22:8;
O Lord, make haste to help me; See Gill on Psalm 22:19.Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)13. Psalm 40:13-17 recur as Psalms 70, with some verbal variations.
Be pleased] An echo of ‘thy good pleasure’ (‘thy will’) in Psalm 40:8. The word is omitted in Psalms 70, and in the first line, though not in the second, God is substituted for Lord, according to the usual rule in Book II See Introd., p. lv f.
make haste to hell me] Cp. Psalm 38:22; Psalm 22:19.Verse 13. - Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver us. Though one deliverance is just effected (ver. 2), it is not enough; something more is required. The psalmist's life is still threatened by enemies (ver. 14); he is still scoffed at and flouted (ver. 15). O Lord, make haste to help me; literally, Lord, make haste to my help (comp. Psalm 22:19; Psalm 31:2; Psalm 38:22). The Church follows the example set, when she says in her versicles, "O God, make speed to save us. O Lord, make haste to help us." Jeremiah 7:22 (cf. Amos 5:21.) of saying that the sacrificial Tra is not of divine origin, but that the true, essential will of God is not directed to such sacrifices.
Between these synonymous utterances in Psalm 40:7 and Psalm 40:7 stands the clause אזנים כּרית לּי. In connection with this position it is natural, with Rosenmller, Gesenius, De Wette, and Stier, to explain it "ears hast Thou pierced for me" equals this hast Thou engraven upon my mind as a revelation, this disclosure hast Thou imparted to me. But, although כּרה, to dig, is even admissible in the sense of digging through, piercing (vid., on Psalm 22:17), there are two considerations against this interpretation, viz.: (1) that then one would rather look for אזן instead of אזנים after the analogy of the phrases גּלה אזן, חעיר אזן, and פּתח אזן, since the inner sense, in which the external organs of sense, with their functions, have their basis of unity, is commonly denoted by the use of the singular; (2) that according to the syntax, חפצתּ, כּרית, and שׁאלתּ are all placed on the same level. Thus, therefore, it is with this very אזנים כרית לי that the answer is intended, in its positive form, to begin; and the primary passage, 1 Samuel 15:22, favours this view: "Hath Jahve delight in whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices as in one's obeying the voice of Jahve? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, to attend better than the fat of rams!" The assertion of David is the echo of this assertion of Samuel, by which the sentence of death was pronounced upon the kingship of Saul, and consequently the way of that which is well-pleasing to God was traced out for the future kingship of David. God - says David - desires not outward sacrifices, but obedience; ears hath He digged for me, i.e., formed the sense of hearing, bestowed the faculty of hearing, and given therewith the instruction to obey.
(Note: There is a similar expression in the Tamul Kural, Graul's translation, S. 63, No. 418: "An ear, that was not hollowed out by hearing, has, even if hearing, the manner of not hearing." The "hollowing out" meaning in this passage an opening of the inward sense of hearing by instruction.)
The idea is not that God has given him ears in order to hear that disclosure concerning the true will of God (Hupfeld), but, in general, to hear the word of God, and to obey that which is heard. God desires not sacrifices but hearing ears, and consequently the submission of the person himself in willing obedience. To interpret it "Thou hast appropriated me to Thyself לעבד עולם," after Exodus 21:6; Deuteronomy 15:17, would not be out of harmony with the context; but it is at once shut out by the fact that the word is not אזן, but אזנים. Concerning the generalizing rendering of the lxx, σῶμα δὲ κατηρτίσω μου, following which Apollinaris renders it αὐτὰρ ἐμοί Βροτέης τεκτήναο σάρκα γενέθλης, and the Italic (which is also retained in the Psalterium Romanum), corpus autem perfecisti mihi; vide on Hebrews 10:5, Commentary, S. 460f. transl. vol. ii. p. 153.
The אז אמרתּי, which follows, now introduces the expression of the obedience, with which he placed himself at the service of God, when he became conscious of what God's special will concerning him was. With reference to the fact that obedience and not sacrifice has become known to him as the will and requirement of God, he has said: "Lo, I come," etc. By the words "Lo, I come," the servant places himself at the call of his master, Numbers 22:38; 2 Samuel 19:21. It is not likely that the words בּמגלּת ספר כּתוּב עלי then form a parenthesis, since Psalm 40:9 is not a continuation of that "Lo, I come," but a new sentence. We take the Beth, as in Psalm 66:13, as the Beth of the accompaniment; the roll of the book is the Tra, and more especially Deuteronomy, written upon skins and rolled up together, which according to the law touching the king (Deuteronomy 17:14-20) was to be the vade-mecum of the king of Israel. And עלי cannot, as synonymous with the following בּמעי, signify as much as "written upon my heart," as De Wette and Thenius render it-a meaning which, as Maurer has already correctly replied, עלי obtains elsewhere by means of a conception that is altogether inadmissible in this instance. On the contrary, this preposition here, as in 2 Kings 22:13, denotes the object of the contents; for כּתב על signifies to write anything concerning any one, so that he is the subject one has specially in view (e.g., of the judicial decision recorded in writing, Job 13:26). Because Jahve before all else requires obedience to His will, David comes with the document of this will, the Tra, which prescribes to him, as a man, and more especially as the king, the right course of conduct. Thus presenting himself to the God of revelation, he can say in Psalm 40:9, that willing obedience to God's Law is his delight, as he then knows that the written Law is written even in his heart, or, as the still stronger expression used here is, in his bowels. The principal form of מעי, does not occur in the Old Testament; it was מעים (from מע, מעה, or even מעי), according to current Jewish pronunciation מעים (which Kimchi explains dual); and the word properly means (vid., on Isaiah 48:19) the soft parts of the body, which even elsewhere, like רחמים, which is synonymous according to its original meaning, appear pre-eminently as the seat of sympathy, but also of fear and of pain. This is the only passage in which it occurs as the locality of a mental acquisition, but also with the associated notion of loving acceptance and cherishing protection (cf. the Syriac phrase סם בגו מעיא, som begau meajo, to shut up in the heart equals to love). That the Tra is to be written upon the tables of the heart is even indicated by the Deuteronomion, Deuteronomy 6:6, cf. Proverbs 3:3; Proverbs 7:3. This reception of the Tra into the inward parts among the people hitherto estranged from God is, according to Jeremiah 31:33, the characteristic of the new covenant. But even in the Old Testament there is among the masses of Israel "a people with My law in their heart" (Isaiah 51:7), and even in the Old Testament, "he who hath the law of his God in his heart" is called righteous (Psalm 37:31). As such an one who has the Tra within him, not merely beside him, David presents himself on the way to the throne of God.
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