Psalm 107:40
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
He pours contempt upon princes And makes them wander in a pathless waste.

King James Bible
He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way.

Darby Bible Translation
He poureth contempt upon nobles, and causeth them to wander in a pathless waste;

World English Bible
He pours contempt on princes, and causes them to wander in a trackless waste.

Young's Literal Translation
He is pouring contempt upon nobles, And causeth them to wander in vacancy -- no way.

Psalm 107:40 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

He poureth contempt upon princes - He treats them as if they were common people; he pays no regard in his providence to their station and rank. They are subjected to the same needs as others; they meet with reverses like others; they become captives like others; they sicken and die like others; they are laid in the grave like others; and, with the same offensiveness, they turn back to dust. Between monarchs and their subjects, masters and their slaves, mistresses and their handmaidens, rich men and poor men, beauty and deformity, there is no distinction in the pains of sickness, in the pangs of dying, in the loathsomeness of the grave. The process of corruption goes on in the most splendid coffin, and beneath the most costly monument which art and wealth can rear, as well as in the plainest coffin, and in the grave marked by no stone or memorial. What can more strikingly show "contempt" for the trappings of royalty, for the adornings of wealth, for the stars and garters of nobility, for coronets and crowns, for the diamonds, the pearls, and the gold that decorate beauty, than that which occurs "in a grave!" The very language used here, alike in the Hebrew and in our translation, is found in Job 12:21. The word rendered "princes" properly means "willing, voluntary, prompt;" and is then applied to the generous, to the noble-minded, to those who give liberally. It then denotes one of noble rank, as the idea of rank in the mind of the Orientals was closely connected with the notion of liberality in giving. Thus it comes to demote one of noble birth, and might be applied to any of exalted rank.

And causeth them to wander in the wilderness - Margin, "void place." The Hebrew word - תהו tôhû - means properly wasteness, desolateness; emptiness, vanity. See Genesis 1:2; Job 26:7; Isaiah 41:29; Isaiah 44:9; Isaiah 49:4. Here it means an empty, uninhabited place; a place where there is no path to guide; a land of desolation. The reference seems to be to the world beyond the grave; the land of shadows and night. Compare the notes at Job 10:21-22.

Where there is no way - literally, "no way." That is, no well-trodden path. All must soon go to that pathless world.

Psalm 107:40 Parallel Commentaries

God's Great Deliverance of his People. --Ps. Cvii.
God's great Deliverance of His People.--Ps. cvii. part I.--The Wilderness. part II.--From Captivity. part III. From Malignant Disease. part IV. Perils on the Deep. Thank and praise Jehovah's name For his mercies firm and sure, From eternity the same, To eternity endure. Let the ransom'd thus rejoice, Gather'd out of every land; As the people of his choice, Pluck'd from the destroyer's hand. In the wilderness astray, Hither, thither, while they roam, Hungry, fainting by the way, Far from refuge,
James Montgomery—Sacred Poems and Hymns

Spiritual Hunger Shall be Satisfied
They shall be filled. Matthew 5:6 I proceed now to the second part of the text. A promise annexed. They shall be filled'. A Christian fighting with sin is not like one that beats the air' (1 Corinthians 9:26), and his hungering after righteousness is not like one that sucks in only air, Blessed are they that hunger, for they shall be filled.' Those that hunger after righteousness shall be filled. God never bids us seek him in vain' (Isaiah 45:19). Here is an honeycomb dropping into the mouths of
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

"Nineveh, that Great City"
Among the cities of the ancient world in the days of divided Israel one of the greatest was Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian realm. Founded on the fertile bank of the Tigris, soon after the dispersion from the tower of Babel, it had flourished through the centuries until it had become "an exceeding great city of three days' journey." Jonah 3:3. In the time of its temporal prosperity Nineveh was a center of crime and wickedness. Inspiration has characterized it as "the bloody city, . . . full
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

The Privilege of Prayer
Through nature and revelation, through His providence, and by the influence of His Spirit, God speaks to us. But these are not enough; we need also to pour out our hearts to Him. In order to have spiritual life and energy, we must have actual intercourse with our heavenly Father. Our minds may be drawn out toward Him; we may meditate upon His works, His mercies, His blessings; but this is not, in the fullest sense, communing with Him. In order to commune with God, we must have something to say to
Ellen Gould White—Steps to Christ

Cross References
Deuteronomy 32:10
"He found him in a desert land, And in the howling waste of a wilderness; He encircled him, He cared for him, He guarded him as the pupil of His eye.

Job 12:21
"He pours contempt on nobles And loosens the belt of the strong.

Job 12:24
"He deprives of intelligence the chiefs of the earth's people And makes them wander in a pathless waste.

Psalm 68:6
God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

Isaiah 40:23
He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless.

Daniel 4:24
this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king:

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