Psalm 102:16
When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.
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Psalm 102:16-18. When the Lord shall build up Zion — They take it for granted it would be done, for God himself had undertaken it; he shall appear in his glory — His glorious power, wisdom, and goodness shall be manifested to all the world. He will regard the prayer of the destitute — That is, of his poor, forsaken, despised people in Babylon. And not despise their prayer — That is, he will accept and answer it. This shall be written for the generation to come — This wonderful deliverance shall not be lost nor forgotten, but carefully recorded for the instruction and encouragement of all succeeding generations. And the people which shall be created — Who shall hereafter be born; or, who shall be created anew in Christ Jesus; shall praise the Lord — For his answers to their prayers, when they were most destitute. This may be understood, either, 1st, Of the Jews, who should be restored to, their own land, for they had been, in a manner, dead and buried in the grave and mere dry bones, as they are represented Isaiah 26:19, and Ezekiel 37 : or, 2d, Of the Gentiles who should be converted, whose conversion is frequently, and might very justly be called, a second creation.102:12-22 We are dying creatures, but God is an everlasting God, the protector of his church; we may be confident that it will not be neglected. When we consider our own vileness, our darkness and deadness, and the manifold defects in our prayers, we have cause to fear that they will not be received in heaven; but we are here assured of the contrary, for we have an Advocate with the Father, and are under grace, not under the law. Redemption is the subject of praise in the Christian church; and that great work is described by the temporal deliverance and restoration of Israel. Look down upon us, Lord Jesus; and bring us into the glorious liberty of thy children, that we may bless and praise thy name.When the Lord shall build up Zion - The Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate, and Luther, vender this, "Because the Lord hath built up Zion." This also is the most natural and correct translation of the Hebrew. The reference, however, may be to the future. The psalmist may throw himself into the future, and - standing there - he may describe things as they will appear then - as already done.

He shall appear in his glory - The idea is that the building up of Zion would be an occasion in which God would manifest his glory. In reference to the restoration of his people from bondage; in rebuilding Zion, then in ruins; in restoring the splendor of the place where he had been so long worshipped, he would display his true character as a God of glory, truth, power, and goodness. As applied to the church in general, this would mean that when God comes to revive religion, to visit his people, to recover them from their backslidings, to convert and save sinners, he appears in his appropriate character as the God of his people - as a glorious God. Then the perfections of his nature are most illustriously displayed; then he appears in his true character, as a God of mercy, grace, and salvation. There is no scene on earth where the character of God is more gloriously exhibited than in a revival of true religion.

16. When the Lord shall build—or better, "Because the Lord hath built," &c., as a reason for the effect on others; for in thus acting and hearing the humble, He is most glorious. His glorious power, and wisdom, and goodness shall be manifested to all the world. When the Lord shall build up Zion,.... The church of God, fallen down, and in a ruinous condition, as it may be said to be when the doctrines of the Gospel are departed from; the ordinances of it are corrupted and altered, or not attended to; the worship and discipline of the Lord's house are neglected; great declensions in faith, love, and zeal, among the professors of religion, and but few instances of conversion: and it may be said to be built up again, as it will be in the latter day, when the doctrines of grace will be revived; the ordinances will be administered in their primitive purity; great spirituality, holiness, and brotherly love, among the saints, and large numbers converted and brought into it: and this will be the work of Christ, the great master builder; the materials of this building are the saints, those lively stones which will now be laid with fair colours; the ministers of the word will be the instruments that Christ will make use of in rebuilding his church; it is his Spirit, power, and grace, which will make all effectual; and he will have the glory, as follows: the Targum is,

"for the city of Zion is built by the Word of the Lord:''

he shall appear in his glory; or "shall be seen in his glory" (b), which will be upon his church and people, and on which there will be a defence, so that it shall continue; and this will lie chiefly in the purity of Gospel truths, ordinances, and worship; in the number of converts; in the gifts and graces of the Spirit of God upon them; in their peace, prosperity, unity, and spirituality; and in the presence of Christ with them, who will be seen in all the glory and majesty of his kingly office; he will now reign before his ancients gloriously.

(b) "videbitur", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus.

When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear {m} in his glory.

(m) That is, when he will have drawn his church out of the darkness of death.

16, 17. When Jehovah hath built up Zion,

Hath appeared in his glory,

Hath turned to the prayer of the destitute,

And not despised their prayer.

These verses are in close connexion with Psalm 102:15. The nations will pay homage to Jehovah, when He has manifested His glory in the redemption of His people. The destitute or forlorn is Israel in exile. With Psalm 102:17 generally cp. Psalm 22:24; Psalm 69:33.Verse 16. - When the Lord shall build up Zion; rather, because the Lord hath built up Zion. The psalmist, in prophetic ecstasy, sees the future as past. The verbs in this and the next verse are all preterite. He shall appear in his glory; rather, hath appeared in his glory (see Isaiah 40:5). Ashes are his bread (cf. Lamentations 3:16), inasmuch as he, a mourner, sits in ashes, and has thrown ashes all over himself, Job 2:8; Ezekiel 27:30. The infected שׁקּוי has שׁקּוּ equals שׁקּוּו for its principal form, instead of which it is שׁקּוּי in Hosea 2:7. "That Thou hast lifted me up and cast me down" is to be understood according to Job 30:22. First of all God has taken away the firm ground from under his feet, then from aloft He has cast him to the ground - an emblem of the lot of Israel, which is removed from its fatherland and cast into exile, i.e., into a strange land. In that passage the days of his life are כּצל נטוּי, like a lengthened shadow, which grows longer and longer until it is entirely lost in darkness, Psalm 109:23. Another figure follows: he there becomes like an (uprooted) plant which dries up.
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