Psalm 69:29
But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.
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(29) Set me up on high.—Or, lift me up, i.e., into a secure place out of the reach of enemies.

Psalm 69:29-31. But I am poor, &c. — Bishop Hare reads it, “But as for me, though I am low and full of pain,” (Hebrew, כואב, choeeb; rendered, in the plural, they were sore, Genesis 34:25,) “thy salvation, O God, shall protect me.” I will praise, &c. — I will not be unmindful of the benefit, but praise thy power and goodness in joyful hymns. This shall please the Lord better than an ox, &c. — This sincere and hearty sacrifice of praise is, and shall be, more acceptable to God than the most costly legal sacrifices. So such moral and spiritual services ever were, (1 Samuel 15:22; Hosea 6:6,) and such were to be offered, and would be accepted, when those ritual ones should be abolished. That hath horns and hoofs — “These are mentioned as being conspicuous in an ox going to be sacrificed; being probably gilded and adorned with flowers, as among the Romans and other people.” — Dodd.

69:22-29 These are prophecies of the destruction of Christ's persecutors. Verses 22,23, are applied to the judgments of God upon the unbelieving Jews, in Ro 11:9,10. When the supports of life and delights of sense, through the corruption of our nature, are made the food and fuel of sin, then our table is a snare. Their sin was, that they would not see, but shut their eyes against the light, loving darkness rather; their punishment was, that they should not see, but should be given up to their own hearts' lusts which hardened them. Those who reject God's great salvation proffered to them, may justly fear that his indignation will be poured out upon them. If men will sin, the Lord will reckon for it. But those that have multiplied to sin, may yet find mercy, through the righteousness of the Mediator. God shuts not out any from that righteousness; the gospel excludes none who do not, by unbelief, shut themselves out. But those who are proud and self-willed, so that they will not come in to God's righteousness, shall have their doom accordingly; they themselves decide it. Let those not expect any benefit thereby, who are not glad to be beholden to it. It is better to be poor and sorrowful, with the blessing of the Lord, than rich and jovial, and under his curse. This may be applied to Christ. He was, when on earth, a man of sorrows that had not where to lay his head; but God exalted him. Let us call upon the Lord, and though poor and sorrowful, guilty and defiled, his salvation will set us up on high.But I am poor and sorrowful - I am afflicted and suffering. The word here rendered "poor" often means "afflicted."

Let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high - Let thy help raise me up from my low condition, and exalt me to a place of safety.

29. poor and sorrowful—the afflicted pious, often denoted by such terms (compare Ps 10:17; 12:5).

set me … high—out of danger.

29 But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.

30 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.

31 This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.

32 The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God.

33 For the Lord heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.

34 Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.

35 For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession.

36 The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.

Imprecations, prophecies, and complaints are ended, and prayer of a milder sort begins, intermingled with bursts of thankful song, and encouraging foresights of coming good.

Psalm 69:29

"But I am poor and sorrowful." The Psalmist was afflicted very much, but his faith was in God. The poor in spirit and mourners are both blessed under the gospel, so that here is a double reason for the Lord to smile on his suppliant. No man was ever poorer or more sorrowful than Jesus of Nazareth, yet his cry out of the depths was heard, and he was uplifted to the highest glory. "Let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high." How fully has this been answered in our great Master's case, for he not only escaped his foes personally, but he has become the author of eternal salvation to all Who obey him, and this continues to glorify him more and more. O ye poor and sorrowful ones, lift up your heads, for as with your Lord so shall it be with you. You are trodden down to-day as the mire of the Streets, but you shall ride upon the high places of the earth ere long; and even now ye are raised up together, and made to sit together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 69:30

"I will praise the name of God with a song." He who sang after the passover, sings yet more joyously after the resurrection and ascension. He is, in very truth, "the sweet singer of Israel." He leads the eternal melodies, and all his saints join in chorus. "And will magnify him with thanksgiving." How sure was our Redeemer of ultimate Victory, since he vows a song even while yet in the furnace. In us, also, faith foresees the happy issue of affliction, and makes us even now begin the music of gratitude which shall go on for ever increasing in volume, world without end. What clear shining after the rain we have in this and succeeding verses. The darkness is past, and the glory light shines forth as the sun. All the honour is rendered unto him to whom all the prayer was presented; he alone could deliver and did deliver, and therefore, to him only be the praise.

Psalm 69:31


Out of the reach of mine enemies; or, lift me out of the deep waters, and the mire, in which I was sinking, Psalm 69:14.

But I am poor and sorrowful,.... The Messiah was poor in a literal sense, as it was foretold he should, Zechariah 9:9; so he was in his private life; born of poor parents, and brought up in a mean way: and in his public life, having no certain dwelling place, and ministered to by others; and when on the cross, being stripped of his garments; and nothing to eat and drink but gall and vinegar; and nothing to leave to his mother, but commits her to the care of his beloved disciple. Though this phrase in general may denote the low estate of Christ in his humiliation, being in the form of a servant, humbled and obedient to death; and the character of "sorrowful" well agrees with him, who was a man of sorrows all his days; and in the garden his soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; and when on the cross he had sorrow enough; what with the sins of his people on him, the flouts and jeers of his enemies at him; the pains of body he endured, the wrath of God, the hidings of his face, and the curses of his righteous law. After this declaration of his low and distressed state, a petition follows:

let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high: meaning either the salvation of the Lord's people, so called, because concerted and appointed of God, and is what he sent his Son to effect, and he approves of; this being wrought out was the way and, means of the exaltation of Christ; both by his divine Father, who on this account exalted him at his right hand; and by his people, who exalt him in their hearts, and with their tongues, and give him all the glory of their salvation. Or else this means the salvation of Christ out of the hands of all his enemies, whom he conquered on the cross; and particularly death, from which he was saved by his resurrection, and was the first step to his exaltation and glory; after which he ascended on high, and sat down at the right hand of God; where no mere creature, angels or men, were ever admitted; and where angels, principalities, and powers, are subject to him. The whole may be rendered thus; "though I am poor and sorrowful, thy salvation, O God, will set me up on high" (o); and so is expressive of the Messiah's faith in his resurrection and exaltation, notwithstanding his sorrows and sufferings; on account of which he determines to praise the Lord, as follows.

(o) "elevabit me", Pagninus, Montanus; so Gejerus, Michaelis.

But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.
29. But as for me, who am afflicted and sore pained,

Thy salvation, O God, shall set me up on high.

The verb may be rendered as a prayer (A.V.), or as an expression of confidence (P.B.V.). God’s deliverance will set him as it were in a high fortress, out of the reach of his enemies. Cp. Psalm 59:1 note.

29–36. In contrast to the fate which his enemies deserve, the Psalmist looks forward to his own deliverance, and predicts the restoration of Jerusalem and the reestablishment there of the true people of God. Such a sudden change of tone is quite characteristic of Jeremiah, e.g. Jeremiah 20:13.

Verse 29. - But I am poor and sorrowful; let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high. The psalmist adds to his list of imprecations, by way of contrast, an invocation of blessing on himself. As his present condition is iu strong contrast with that of his ungodly enemies, as be is "poor and sorrowful," while they are prosperous and self-satisfied, so let their future conditions be. While they are depressed and disgraced, let him be "set up on high." Psalm 69:29The description of the suffering has reached its climax in Psalm 69:22, at which the wrath of the persecuted one flames up and bursts forth in imprecations. The first imprecation joins itself upon Psalm 69:22. They have given the sufferer gall and vinegar; therefore their table, which was abundantly supplied, is to be turned into a snare to them, from which they shall not be able to escape, and that לפניהם, in the very midst of their banqueting, whilst the table stands spread out before them (Ezekiel 23:41). שׁלומים (collateral form of שׁלמים) is the name given to them as being carnally secure; the word signifies the peaceable or secure in a good (Psalm 55:21) and in a bad sense. Destruction is to overtake them suddenly, "when they say: Peace and safety" (1 Thessalonians 5:3). The lxx erroneously renders: καὶ εἰς ἀνταπόδοσιν equals וּלשׁלּוּמים. The association of ideas in Psalm 69:24 is transparent. With their eyes they have feasted themselves upon the sufferer, and in the strength of their loins they have ill-treated him. These eyes with their bloodthirsty malignant looks are to grow blind. These loins full of defiant self-confidence are to shake (המעד, imperat. Hiph. like הרחק, Job 13:21, from המעיד, for which in Ezekiel 29:7, and perhaps also in Daniel 11:14, we find העמיד). Further: God is to pour out His wrath upon them (Psalm 79:6; Hosea 5:10; Jeremiah 10:25), i.e., let loose against them the cosmical forces of destruction existing originally in His nature. זעמּך has the Dagesh in order to distinguish it in pronunciation from זעמך. In Psalm 69:26 טירה (from טוּר, to encircle) is a designation of an encamping or dwelling-place (lxx ἔπαυλις) taken from the circular encampments (Arabic ṣı̂rât, ṣirât, and dwâr, duâr) of the nomads (Genesis 25:16). The laying waste and desolation of his own house is the most fearful of all misfortunes to the Semite (Job, note to Psalm 18:15). The poet derives the justification of such fearful imprecations from the fact that they persecute him, who is besides smitten of God. God has smitten him on account of his sins, and that by having placed him in the midst of a time in which he must be consumed with zeal and solicitude for the house of God. The suffering decreed for him by God is therefore at one and the same time suffering as a chastisement and as a witnessing for God; and they heighten this suffering by every means in their power, not manifesting any pity for him or any indulgence, but imputing to him sins that he has not committed, and requiting him with deadly hatred for benefits for which they owed him thanks.

There are also some others, although but few, who share this martyrdom with him. The psalmist calls them, as he looks up to Jahve, חלליך, Thy fatally smitten ones; they are those to whom God has appointed that they should bear within themselves a pierced or wounded heart (vid., Psalm 109:22, cf. Jeremiah 8:18) in the face of such a godless age. Of the deep grief (אל, as in Psalm 2:7) of these do they tell, viz., with self-righteous, self-blinded mockery (cf. the Talmudic phrase ספר בלשׁון הרע or ספר לשׁון הרע, of evil report or slander). The lxx and Syriac render יוסיפוּ (προσέθηκαν): they add to the anguish; the Targum, Aquila, Symmachus, and Jerome follow the traditional text. Let God therefore, by the complete withdrawal of His grace, suffer them to fall from one sin into another - this is the meaning of the da culpam super culpam eorum - in order that accumulated judgment may correspond to the accumulated guilt (Jeremiah 16:18). Let the entrance into God's righteousness, i.e., His justifying and sanctifying grace, be denied to them for ever. Let them be blotted out of ספר חיּים (Exodus 32:32, cf. Isaiah 4:3; Daniel 12:1), that is to say, struck out of the list of the living, and that of the living in this present world; for it is only in the New Testament that we meet with the Book of Life as a list of the names of the heirs of the ζωὴ αἰώνιος. According to the conception both of the Old and of the New Testament the צדיקים are the heirs of life. Therefore Psalm 69:29 wishes that they may not be written by the side of the righteous, who, according to Habakkuk 2:4, "live," i.e., are preserved, by their faith. With ואני the poet contrasts himself, as in Psalm 40:18, with those deserving of execration. They are now on high, but in order to be brought low; he is miserable and full of poignant pain, but in order to be exalted; God's salvation will remove him from his enemies on to a height that is too steep for them (Psalm 59:2; Psalm 91:14). Then will he praise (הלּל) and magnify (גּדּל) the Name of God with song and thankful confession. And such spiritual תּודה, such thank-offering of the heart, is more pleasing to God than an ox, a bullock, i.e., a young ox ( equals פּר השּׁור, an ox-bullock, Judges 6:25, according to Ges. 113), one having horns and a cloven hoof (Ges. 53, 2). The attributives do not denote the rough material animal nature (Hengstenberg), but their legal qualifications for being sacrificed. מקרין is the name for the young ox as not being under three years old (cf. 1 Samuel 1:24, lxx ἐν μόσχῳ τριετίζοντι); מפריס as belonging to the clean four-footed animals, viz., those that are cloven-footed and chew the cud, Leviticus 11. Even the most stately, full-grown, clean animal that may be offered as a sacrifice stands in the sight of Jahve very far below the sacrifice of grateful praise coming from the heart.

When now the patient sufferers (ענוים) united with the poet by community of affliction shall see how he offers the sacrifice of thankful confession, they will rejoice. ראוּ is a hypothetical preterite; it is neither וראוּ (perf. consec.), nor יראוּ (Psalm 40:4; Psalm 52:8; Psalm 107:42; Job 22:19). The declaration conveying information to be expected in Psalm 69:33 after the Waw apodoseos changes into an apostrophe of the "seekers of Elohim:" their heart shall revive, for, as they have suffered in company with him who is now delivered, they shall now also refresh themselves with him. We are at once reminded of Psalm 22:27, where this is as it were the exhortation of the entertainer at the thank-offering meal. It would be rash to read שׁמע in Psalm 69:23, after Psalm 22:25, instead of שׁמע (Olshausen); the one object in that passage is here generalized: Jahve is attentive to the needy, and doth not despise His bound ones (Psalm 107:10), but, on the contrary, He takes an interest in them and helps them. Starting from this proposition, which is the clear gain of that which has been experienced, the view of the poet widens into the prophetic prospect of the bringing back of Israel out of the Exile into the Land of Promise. In the face of this fact of redemption of the future he calls upon (cf. Isaiah 44:23) all created things to give praise to God, who will bring about the salvation of Zion, will build again the cities of Judah, and restore the land, freed from its desolation, to the young God-fearing generation, the children of the servants of God among the exiles. The feminine suffixes refer to ערי (cf. Jeremiah 2:15; Jeremiah 22:6 Chethb). The tenor of Isaiah 65:9 is similar. If the Psalm were written by David, the closing turn from Psalm 69:23 onwards might be more difficult of comprehension than Psalm 14:7; Psalm 51: If, however, it is by Jeremiah, then we do not need to persuade ourselves that it is to be understood not of restoration and re-peopling, but of continuance and completion (Hofmann and Kurtz). Jeremiah 54ed to experience the catastrophe he foretold; but the nearer it came to the time, the more comforting were the words with which he predicted the termination of the Exile and the restoration of Israel. Jeremiah 34:7 shows us how natural to him, and to him in particular, was the distinction between Jerusalem and the cities of Judah. The predictions in Jeremiah 32:1, which sound so in accord with Psalm 69:36., belong to the time of the second siege. Jerusalem was not yet fallen; the strong places of the land, however, already lay in ruins.

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