The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed on the earth: and you will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And he shall be blessed.—Not as in margin Isaiah 9:16, and in Symmachus “called happy,” but with deeper meaning, as in Proverbs 3:18. Another derivation is possible, giving the meaning, “he shall be led aright,” i.e., shall have right moral guidance. The context, however, does not favour this.
Upon the earth.—Rather, in the land, i.e., of Canaan.Psalm 41:2-3. The Lord will keep him alive — Hebrew, Will quicken him, that is, revive and restore him. God will either preserve him from trouble, or, if he see that trouble is necessary, or will be useful for him, and therefore suffers him to fall into it, he will raise him out of it. Thou wilt not deliver him, &c. — To the destruction which his enemies earnestly desire and endeavour to effect. Wilt make all his bed in his sickness — Wilt give him ease and comfort, which sick men receive by the help of those who turn and stir up their bed, to make it soft and easy for them. Psalm 1:3, note; Psalm 37:3-4, note; Psalm 37:11, note; Psalm 37:23-26, note; Psalm 37:37, note; compare Matthew 5:5; 1 Timothy 4:8. The par ticular application here is, that if any one showed kindness to him that was sick or enfeebled by disease, he might expect that God would interpose in his case under similar circumstances, and would "preserve" him, or "keep him alive." Of course this is to be regarded as a statement made under the general principle. It is not to be interpreted as teaching that this would be universally true, or that he who did this would never die, but the meaning is, that he might look for special divine aid and favor, when he in turn should be sick.
And he shall be blessed upon the earth - This is in accordance with the doctrine noticed above, and so often referred to in the Psalms and elsewhere, that the effect of religion will be to promote happiness and prosperity in this life.
And thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies - Margin: "Do not thou deliver." The margin, perhaps, expresses most correctly the sense of the original, but still it is an expression of the confident belief of the psalmist that this will not occur; a belief expressed here rather in the form of a prayer than of a direct assertion. The idea is, that he would find God to be a defender and a helper when he was attacked by his foes.
upon the earth—or land of promise (Ps 25:13; 27:3-9, &c.).Keep him alive, Heb. quicken him, i.e. revive and restore him. Either he will preserve him from trouble; or if God see trouble necessary or fit for him, and therefore suffer him to fall into it, he will raise him out of it.
Unto the will of his enemies, i.e. to destruction, which they earnestly desire and endeavour to procure. 2 Corinthians 1:10; or this may refer to his spiritual life, which is hid and preserved in Christ, in whom he believes; and is safe and secure; because Christ lives he shall live also, and shall never die the second death, nor be hurt by it, but shall have everlasting life;
and he shall be blessed upon the earth; with temporal blessings; for whatever he has, be it more or less, he has it with the blessing of God, and as a blessing of the covenant, and in love, and so is a blessing indeed: and with spiritual blessings; with peace, pardon, righteousness, and a right and title to eternal glory and happiness; and he will be blessed in the new earth, in which righteousness will dwell, and where he will dwell, live, and reign with Christ a thousand years;
and thou wilt not deliver him into the will of his enemies; not into the will of Satan, that roaring lion who would devour him if he might; nor of wicked men, and furious persecutors, whose wrath the Lord makes to praise him; and the remainder of it is restrained by him; some read these words as a prayer, "do not thou deliver him", &c. see Psalm 27:12; so Pagninus, Montanus, Junius and Tremellius, Ainsworth, and others.The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2, 3. It is possible to render as in P.B.V. and R.V. marg., The Lord perserve him … the Lord support him: but it is more natural to regard these clauses as descriptive of the blessings which await the compassionate man, rather than as a prayer on his behalf.
he shall be blessed upon the earth] He shall be made prosperous, or more probably, counted happy (Job 29:11; Psalm 72:17), in the land. Cp. Psalm 37:3 ff.
and thou wilt not deliver him] Rather, as R.V., and deliver not thou him. Cp. Psalm 27:12. The language of promise passes into that of prayer, doubtless with a tacit reference to the Psalmist’s own need.Verse 2. - The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive. Continuance in life is always regarded as a blessing in the Old Testament; it is only in the New that to "depart, and be with Christ," is pronounced "far better" (Philippians 1:23). And he shall be blessed upon the earth; i.e. his long life shall be a happy one. And thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies; rather, as in the margin, do not thou deliver him (comp. Psalm 27:12; Psalm 74:19). The psalmist changes from dogmatic assertion to prayer, not, however, intending to express any doubt that his prayer will be granted. Psalm 40:10 and here, stand in a reciprocal relation to one another: he refrained not his lips; therefore, on His part, let not Jahve withhold His tender mercies so that they should not be exercised towards him (ממּנּי). There is just the same correlation of mercy and truth in Psalm 40:11 and here: he wishes continually to stand under the protection of these two saving powers, which he has gratefully proclaimed before all Israel. With כּי, Psalm 40:13, he bases these desires upon his own urgent need. רעות are the evils, which come even upon the righteous (Psalm 34:20) as trials or as chastenings. אפפוּ עלי is a more circumstantial form of expression instead of אפפוּני, Psalm 18:5. His misdeeds have taken hold upon him, i.e., overtaken him in their consequences (השּׂיג, as in Deuteronomy 28:15, Deuteronomy 28:45; cf. לכד, Proverbs 5:22), inasmuch as they have changed into decrees of suffering. He cannot see, because he is closely encompassed on all sides, and a free and open view is thereby altogether taken from him (the expression is used elsewhere of loss of sight, 1 Samuel 3:2; 1 Samuel 4:15; 1 Kings 14:4). The interpretation adopted by Hupfeld and Hitzig: I am not able to survey, viz., their number, puts into the expression more than it really expresses in the common usage of the language. His heart, i.e., the power of vital consistence, has forsaken him he is disconcerted, dejected, as it were driven to despair (Psalm 38:11). This feeling of the misery of sin is not opposed to the date of the Psalm being assigned to the time of Saul, vid., on Psalm 31:11.
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