My eyes fail for your word, saying, When will you comfort me?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Mine eyes fail.—The failing of the eyes is here evidently to be understood of the effort of straining to catch or keep sight of a distant object, not, as so frequently in the Psalms (see Psalm 6:7, &c), from sickness or even grief. Comp.
“I would have broke my eye-strings, cracked them, but
To look upon him.”—SHAKESPEARE: Cymbeline.Psalm 73:26. The idea here is that of looking out for a thing - of "straining the eyes" - so that their power becomes exhausted. The language expresses a longing desire - a waiting - an intense wish - for a thing, as when we look for a ship long expected, or for a friend long absent, or for help when in danger. Such a desire the psalmist had for the word of God, for divine truth.
Saying, When wilt thou comfort me? - How long shall I be compelled to wait for comfort? How often in the Psalms do the expressions occur, "When," and "How long!" How often in the life of the believer now are similar expressions appropriate! God often seems greatly to try the faith and patience of his people by mere delay; and the strength of faith and the power of religion are shown in such circumstances by persevering faith in the divine promises, even when there seems to be no evidence that he will interpose.Mine eyes fail, with looking hither and thither, and to thee for help. Psalm 77:8;
saying, when wilt thou comfort me? The people of God are sometimes very disconsolate, and need comforting, through the prevalence of sin, the power of Satan's temptations, the hidings of God's face, and a variety of afflictions; when they apply to God for comfort, who only can comfort them, and who has his set times to do it; but they are apt to think it long, and inquire, as David here, when it will be.Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)82. saying] R.V. while I say.Verse 82. - Mine eyes fail for thy Word. Yet even here his "eyes fail" - he has looked so long for the aid promised, and it has not come. Saying, When wilt thou comfort me? "Lord, how long?" is the constant cry of God's servants under affliction or persecution. When will relief come and the tyranny be overpast? Psalm 119:73 (cf. on 73a, Deuteronomy 32:6; Job 10:8; Job 31:15); and he wishes in Psalm 119:74 that all who fear God may see in him with joy an example of the way in which trust in the word of God is rewarded (cf. Psalm 34:3; Psalm 35:27; Psalm 69:33; Psalm 107:42, and other passages). He knows that God's acts of judgment are pure righteousness, i.e., regulated by God's holiness, out of which they spring, and by the salvation of men, at which they aim; and he knows that God has humbled him אמוּנה (accus. adverb. for בּאמוּנה), being faithful in His intentions towards him; for it is just in the school of affliction that one first learns rightly to estimate the worth of His word, and comes to feel its power. But trouble, though sweetened by an insight into God's salutary design, is nevertheless always bitter; hence the well-justified prayer of Psalm 119:76, that God's mercy may notwithstanding be bestowed upon him for his consolation, in accordance with the promise which is become his (ל as in Psalm 119:49), His servant's. עוּת, Psalm 119:78, instead of being construed with the accusative of the right, or of the cause, that is perverted, is construed with the accusative of the person upon whom such perversion of right, such oppression by means of misrepresentation, is inflicted, as in Job 19:6; Lamentations 3:36. Chajug' reads עוּדוּני as in Psalm 119:61. The wish expressed in Psalm 119:79 is to be understood according to Psalm 73:10; Jeremiah 15:19, cf. Proverbs 9:4, Proverbs 9:16. If instead of וידעי (which is favoured by Psalm 119:63), we read according to the Chethb וידעוּ (cf. Psalm 119:125), then what is meant by ישׁוּבוּ לּי is a turning towards him for the purpose of learning: may their knowledge be enriched from his experience. For himself, however, in Psalm 119:80 he desires unreserved, faultless, unwavering adherence to God's word, for only thus is he secure against being ignominiously undeceived.
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