Psalm 55:22
Cast your burden on the LORD, and he shall sustain you: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) Burden.—A word peculiar to this passage, probably meaning “gift,” hence “lot” or “condition.” The Talmud, however, uses the word as meaning “burden” and the LXX. by rendering “care” have prepared the way for the Christian consolation in 1Peter 5:7.

Psalm 55:22. Cast thy burden upon the Lord — Whoever thou art that art burdened, and whatever the burden is; whatever affliction God sendeth to thee; all thy trials and troubles, thy crosses and distresses, thy cares and fears, nay, and all thy affairs, lay upon the shoulders of the Almighty, and commit to him, by faith and prayer, with a confident expectation of a good issue. He directs his speech to himself, or to his own soul, as he often does in this book, and withal to all good men in like circumstances. The word יהבךְ, jehabecha, however, here rendered thy burden, properly means, thy gift, or portion: for even the afflictions, trials, and troubles of good men are God’s gifts to them, and are termed such in Scripture, Php 1:29; John 18:11. Or, he may intend gifts of another kind, namely, such as are agreeable and pleasing to us; and then his meaning is, Whatever blessings God has given thee to enjoy, commit to his custody, and use to his glory; and particularly commit the keeping of thy soul to him. Or, Whatever it is that thou desirest God should give thee, leave it to him to give it thee in his own way and time. The version of the LXX. is excellent, επιρριψον επι Κυριον την μεριμναν σου. Throw, or cast, upon the Lord thy care; to which St. Peter refers, 1 Peter 5:7. Care is a burden to many, which depresses their spirits. This burden we should learn to cast upon God by faith and prayer, committing our ways and works to him, and saying, Let him do what seemeth him good, and I shall be satisfied. To cast our burden upon the Lord, is to stay ourselves on his providence and promise, and to be very easy in the assurance that all shall work for good. And he shall sustain thee — Both support or bear thee up, and supply thy wants. He has not promised immediately to free us from the trouble which gives rise to our cares and fears, but he will strengthen our spirits by his Spirit, so that they shall not sink under the trial, and he will provide that we be not tempted above what we are able, and that as our day is our strength shall be. The LXX. render it, αυτος σε, διαθρεψει, he himself shall nourish thee, shall supply thy every need, according to his riches in glory, Php 4:19. Shall give thee all things that pertain to life, as well as those that pertain to godliness. He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved — As he doth wicked men. Though he may, for a season, suffer them to be shaken, yet he will not suffer them to be utterly overwhelmed.55:16-23 In every trial let us call upon the Lord, and he will save us. He shall hear us, and not blame us for coming too often; the oftener the more welcome. David had thought all were against him; but now he sees there were many with him, more than he supposed; and the glory of this he gives to God, for it is he that raises us up friends, and makes them faithful to us. There are more true Christians, and believers have more real friends, than in their gloomy hours they suppose. His enemies should be reckoned with, and brought down; they could not ease themselves of their fears, as David could, by faith in God. Mortal men, though ever so high and strong, will easily be crushed by an eternal God. Those who are not reclaimed by the rod of affliction, will certainly be brought down to the pit of destruction. The burden of afflictions is very heavy, especially when attended with the temptations of Satan; there is also the burden of sin and corruption. The only relief under it is, to look to Christ, who bore it. Whatever it is that thou desirest God should give thee, leave it to him to give it in his own way and time. Care is a burden, it makes the heart stoop. We must commit our ways and works to the Lord; let him do as seemeth him good, and let us be satisfied. To cast our burden upon God, is to rest upon his providence and promise. And if we do so, he will carry us in the arms of his power, as a nurse carries a child; and will strengthen our spirits by his Spirit, so that they shall sustain the trial. He will never suffer the righteous to be moved; to be so shaken by any troubles, as to quit their duty to God, or their comfort in him. He will not suffer them to be utterly cast down. He, who bore the burden of our sorrows, desires us to leave to him to bear the burden of our cares, that, as he knows what is best for us, he may provide it accordingly. Why do not we trust Christ to govern the world which he redeemed?Cast thy burden upon the Lord - This may be regarded as an address of the psalmist to himself, or to his own soul - an exhortation to himself to roll all his care upon the Lord, and to be calm. It is expressed, however, in so general language, that it may be applicable to all persons in similar circumstances. Compare Matthew 11:28-29; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:7. The Margin here is, "gift." The "literal" rendering would be, "Cast upon Jehovah what he hath given (or laid upon) thee; that is, thy lot." (Gesenius, Lexicon) The phrase, "he gives thee," here means what he appoints for thee; what he allots to thee as thy portion; what, in the great distribution of things in his world, he has assigned to "thee" to be done or to be borne; cast it all on him. Receive the allotment as coming from him; as what "he" has, in his infinite wisdom, assigned to thee as thy portion in this life; as what "he" has judged it to be best that then shouldest do or bear; as "thy" part of toil, or trouble, or sacrifice, in carrying out his great arrangements in the world. All that is to be "borne" or to be "done" in this world he has "divided up" among people, giving or assigning to each one what He thought best suited to his ability, his circumstances, his position in life - what "he" could do or bear best - and what, therefore, would most conduce to the great end in view. That portion thus assigned to "us," we are directed to "cast upon the Lord;" that is, we are to look to him to enable us to do or to bear it. As it is "his" appointment, we should receive it, and submit to it, without complaining; as it is "his" appointment, we may feel assured that no more has been laid upon us than is commensurate with our ability, our condition, our usefulness, our salvation. We have not to rearrange what has been thus appointed, or to adjust it anew, but to do all, and endure all that he has ordained, leaning on his arm.

And he shall sustain thee - He will make you sufficient for it. The word literally means "to measure;" then to hold or contain, as a vessel or measure; and then, to hold up or sustain "by" a sufficiency of strength or nourishment, as life is sustained. Genesis 45:11; Genesis 47:12; Genesis 50:21; 1 Kings 4:7; 1 Kings 17:4. Here it means that God would give such a "measure" of strength and grace as would be adapted to the duty or the trial; or such as would be sufficient to bear us up under it. Compare the notes at 2 Corinthians 12:9.

He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved - literally, "He will not give moving forever to the righteous." That is, he will not so appoint, arrange, or permit things to occur, that the righteous shall be "ultimately" and "permanently" removed from their steadfastness and their hope; he will not suffer them to fall away and perish. In all their trials and temptations he will sustain them, and will ultimately bring them off in triumph. The meaning here cannot be that the righteous shall never be "moved" in the sense that their circumstances will not be changed; or that none of their plans will fail; or that they will never be disappointed; or that their minds will never in any sense be discomposed; but that whatever trials may come upon them, they will be "ultimately" safe. Compare Psalm 37:24.

22. thy burden—literally, "gift," what is assigned you.

he shall sustain—literally, "supply food," and so all need (Ps 37:25; Mt 6:11).

to be moved—from the secure position of His favor (compare Ps 10:6).

22 Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

"Thy burden," or what thy God lays upon thee, lay thou it "upon the Lord." His wisdom casts it on thee, it is thy wisdom to cast it on him. He cast thy lot for thee, cast thy lot on him. He gives thee thy portion of suffering, accept it with cheerful resignation, and then take it back to him by thine assured confidence. "He shall sustain thee." Thy bread shall be given thee, thy waters shall be sure. Abundant nourishment shall fit thee to bear all thy labours and trials. As thy days so shall thy strength be. "He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." He may move like the boughs of a tree in the tempest, but he shall never be moved like a tree torn up by the roots. He stands firm who stands in God. Many would destroy the saints, but God has not suffered it, and never will. Like pillars, the godly stand immovable, to the glory of the Great Architect.

Thy burden, or portion, Heb. gift; whatsoever affliction God giveth or sendeth to thee; for even the sufferings of good men are called God’s gifts in Scripture, Philippians 1:29 John 18:11. So it is a synecdochical expression. Or, whatsoever gift thou desirest from him. Although the following words of the verse seem to restrain it to afflictions. The sense is, All thy affairs, and crosses, and cares, and fears, lay them upon the shoulders of the Almighty by faith and prayer, with a confident expectation of a good issue. He directeth this speech to himself, or his own soul, as he oft doth in this book, and withal to all good men in like circumstances. To be moved, i.e. to be removed, to wit, from his sure and happy estate. Or, which agrees as well with the Hebrew,

he shall not suffer the righteous to be moved, or fall for ever, as he doth wicked men; though he may for a season suffer them to be shaken, yet he will not suffer them to be utterly overwhelmed. Cast thy burden upon the Lord,.... These are either the words of the Holy Ghost to David, according to Jarchi; or of David to his own soul in distress, and may be directed to any good man in like circumstances. The word rendered "burden" signifies a gift and so the words are translated by many, "cast thy gift upon the Lord" (f); what he has given in a way of providence and of grace, acknowledge him to be the author of it; pray for a continuance of mercies, and for fresh supplies, and expect them; and also what he gives in a way of trial, the cross, with all afflictions and troubles: which sense seems most agreeable to the context; and these may be said to be "the gift" of God, as the cup of sorrow Christ drank of is said to be "given" him by his Father, John 18:11. These are given by the Lord to bring his people to a sense of sin, and acknowledgment of it; to humble them for it, and cause them to return from it; and to try their graces: and then do they cast them upon him, when they acknowledge them as coming from him; wait the removal of them in his time; desire a sanctified use of them, and expect deliverance from them by him. Or the sense is, whatever thou desirest should be given thee by the Lord, cast it on him; that is, leave it with him to do as he pleases, who works all things after the counsel of his own will. The Targum renders it,

"cast thy hope upon the Lord;''

as an anchor on a good bottom, to which hope is compared, Hebrews 6:19. This is done when persons make the Lord the object of their hope, and expect all from him they hope to enjoy here and hereafter. The Septuagint version is, "cast thy care upon the Lord"; of thy body, and all the temporal concerns of thy family, and everything relating thereunto; and of thy soul, and its everlasting welfare and salvation; see 1 Peter 5:7. But Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Kimchi, interpret the word by "thy burden", which is learnt from the use of it in the Arabic language. The Rabbins did not know the meaning of the word, till one of them heard an Arabian merchant say (g),

"take up "thy burden", and cast it upon the camels.''

The burden here meant is either the burden of afflictions, which is sometimes very heavy; see Job 6:23; no affliction is joyous, but grievous; but some are heavier in their own kind and nature than others, and become so through the multiplicity of them, as in the case of Job; or through the long continuance of them, and especially when attended with the hidings of God's face, or with the temptations of Satan: or else the burden of sin and corruption, which is an heavy burden, and a very disagreeable one; under which the saints groan, and by which they are hindered in running their Christian race, and which they are like to carry with them to their graves; their only relief under it is to look to Christ, who has borne it and took it away; which may be meant by casting it on the Lord:

and he shall sustain thee; in being, both natural and spiritual; and supply with all things necessary both to the temporal and spiritual life, and support under all trials and difficulties;

he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved; to be shaken and stagger so as to fall, especially totally and finally; for the words may be rendered, "he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved for ever" (h); or so to be moved by their afflictions as to desert the cause in which they are engaged; nor shall they ever be moved by men or devils, or anything whatever, from their spiritual estate, in which they are by grace; nor from the love of God and covenant of grace; nor out of the hands of Christ; nor from their state of justification, adoption, and sanctification.

(f) "donum tuum", Montanus; "quicquid dat tibi", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (g) T. Bab. Roshhashanah, fol. 26. 2. Megillah, fol. 18. 1. Bereshit Rabba, s. 79. fol 69. 4. (h) "in aeternum", Musculus, Gussetius, p. 460. "perpetuo", Tigurine version, Lutherus, Gejerus; so Ainsworth.

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall {q} never suffer the righteous to be moved.

(q) Though for their bettering and trial, he permits them to slip for a time.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. Cast thy burden] The word rendered burden is of uncertain meaning. The LXX, from which St Peter borrows (1 Peter 5:7), renders thy care. But for this explanation there is no philological ground, and the word seems rather to mean that which he hath given thee, the burden of care or suffering which He hath laid upon thee to bear. He shall sustain thee, not necessarily removing the burden, but giving strength to bear it, upholding thee lest thou shouldest fall under its weight. Cp. Psalm 22:8, Psalm 37:5, and notes.

The later Greek Versions and Jerome presume a reading which differs very slightly so far as the appearance of the consonants is concerned: Cast [thy burden, or, thy cause] upon Jehovah, who loveth thee. The form of the sentence would then resemble Psalm 22:8. But the reading is scarcely probable.

He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved] We must either understand moved of final and fatal disaster, or else render, He will not suffer the righteous to be moved for ever: though they may be in distress for awhile, there will be an end to their suffering. For the phrase cp. Psalm 10:6; Psalm 13:4; Psalm 30:6.

22, 23. Conclusion. The Psalmist’s exhortation to himself and everyone in like case, assuring himself and them that God will uphold the righteous and judge the wicked. It has been suggested that in the liturgical use of the Psalm these verses may have been sung by a different voice, as an answer of encouragement to the Psalmist.Verse 22. - Cast thy burden upon the Lord; rather, thy portion - or, the lot assigned thee - that which God has given thee to bear. And he shall sustain thee. God will support thee under the lot which he assigns, however hard it is. He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved; i.e. to be disturbed, shaken, unsettled from their faith in him. Note that these promises are made to the righteous only; and, among them, only to those who cast themselves in full faith upon God. In the second group anger is the prevailing feeling. In the city all kinds of party passions have broken loose; even his bosom friend has taken a part in this hostile rising. The retrospective reference to the confusion of tongues at Babel which is contained in the word פּלּג (cf. Genesis 10:25), also in remembrance of בּלל (Genesis 11:1-9), involves the choice of the word בּלּע, which here, after Isaiah 19:3, denotes a swallowing up, i.e., annihilation by means of confounding and rendering utterly futile. לשׁונם is the object to both imperatives, the second of which is פּלּג (like the pointing usual in connection with a final guttural) for the sake of similarity of sound. Instead of חמס וריב, the pointing is חמס וריב, which is perfectly regular, because the וריב with a conjunctive accent logically hurries on to בּעיר as its supplement.

(Note: Certain exceptions, however, exist, inasmuch as ו sometimes remains even in connection with a disjunctive accent, Isaiah 49:4; Jeremiah 40:10; Jeremiah 41:16; and it is pointed ו in connection with a conjunctive in Genesis 45:23; Genesis 46:12; Leviticus 9:3; Micah 2:11; Job 4:16; Ecclesiastes 4:8.)

The subjects to Psalm 55:11 are not violence and strife (Hengstenberg, Hitzig), for it is rather a comical idea to make these personified run round about upon the city walls; but (cf. Psalm 59:7, Psalm 59:15) the Absalomites, and in fact the spies who incessantly watch the movements of David and his followers, and who to this end roam about upon the heights of the city. The narrative in 2 Samuel 15 shows how passively David looked on at this movement, until he abandoned the palace of his own free will and quitted Jerusalem The espionage in the circuit of the city is contrasted with the movements going on within the city itself by the word בּקרב. We are acquainted with but few details of the affair; but we can easily fill in the details for ourselves in accordance with the ambitious, base, and craftily malicious character of Absalom. The assertion that deceit (מרמה) and the extremest madness had taken possession of the city is confirmed in Psalm 55:13 by כּי. It is not open enemies who might have had cause for it that are opposed to him, but faithless friends, and among them that Ahithophel of Giloh, the scum of perfidious ingratitude. The futures ואשּׂא and ואסּתר are used as subjunctives, and ו is equivalent to alioqui, as in Psalm 51:18, cf. Job 6:14. He tells him to his face, to his shame, the relationship in which he had stood to him whom he now betrays. Psalm 55:14 is not to be rendered: and thou art, etc., but: and thou (who dost act thus) wast, etc.; for it is only because the principal clause has a retrospective meaning that the futures נמתּיק and נהלּך describe what was a custom in the past. The expression is designedly אנושׁ כּערכּי and not אישׁ כערכי; David does not make him feel his kingly eminence, but places himself in the relation to him of man to man, putting him on the same level with himself and treating him as his equal. The suffix of כערכי is in this instance not subjective as in the כערכך of the law respecting the asham or trespass-offering: according to my estimation, but objectively: equal to the worth at which I am estimated, that is to say, equally valued with myself. What heart-piercing significance this word obtains when found in the mouth of the second David, who, although the Son of God and peerless King, nevertheless entered into the most intimate human relationship as the Son of man to His disciples, and among them to that Iscariot! אלּוּף from אלף, Arabic alifa, to be accustomed to anything, assuescere, signifies one attached to or devoted to any one; and מידּא, according to the Hebrew meaning of the verb ידע, an intimate acquaintance. The first of the relative clauses in Psalm 55:15 describes their confidential private intercourse; the second the unrestrained manifestation of it in public. סוד here, as in Job 19:19 (vid., supra on Psalm 25:14). המתּיק סוד, to make friendly intercourse sweet, is equivalent to cherishing it. רגשׁ stands over against סוד, just like סוד, secret counsel, and רגשׁה, loud tumult, in Psalm 64:3. Here רגשׁ is just the same as that which the Korahitic poet calls המון חוגג in Psalm 42:5.

In the face of the faithless friends who has become the head of the Absalomite faction David now breaks out, in Psalm 55:16, into fearful imprecations. The Chethb is ישׁימות, desolationes (super eos); but this word occurs only in the name of a place ("House of desolations"), and does not well suit such direct reference to persons. On the other hand, the Ker ישּׁיאמות, let death ensnare or impose upon them, gives a sense that is not to be objected to; it is a pregnant expression, equivalent to: let death come upon them unexpectedly. To this ישּׁיא corresponds the חיּים of the second imprecation: let them go down alive into Hades (שׁאול, perhaps originally שׁאולה, the ה of which may have been lost beside the ח that follows), i.e., like the company of Korah, while their life is yet vigorous, that is to say, let them die a sudden, violent death. The drawing together of the decipiat (opprimat) mors into one word is the result of the ancient scriptio continua and of the defective mode of writing, ישּׁי, like יני, Psalm 141:5, אבי, 1 Kings 21:29. Bttcher renders it differently: let death crash in upon them; but the future form ישּׁי equals ישׁאה from שׁאה equals שׁאי is an imaginary one, which cannot be supported by Numbers 21:30. Hitzig renders it: let death benumb them (ישּׁים); but this gives an inconceivable figure, with the turgidity of which the trepidantes Manes in Virgil, Aenid viii. 246, do not admit of comparison. In the confirmation, Psalm 55:16, בּמגוּרם, together with the בּקרבּם which follows, does not pretend to be any advance in the thought, whether מגור be rendered a settlement, dwelling, παροικία (lxx, Targum), or an assembly (Aquila, Symmachus, Jerome). Hence Hitzig's rendering: in their shrine, in their breast ( equals ἐν τῷ θησαυρῷ τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν, Luke 6:45), מגוּרם being short for מגוּרתם in accordance with the love of contraction which prevails in poetry (on Psalm 25:5). But had the poet intended to use this figure he would have written בּמגוּרת קרבם, and is not the assertion that wickedness is among them, that it is at home in them, really a climax? The change of the names of God in Psalm 55:17 is significant. He calls upon Him who is exalted above the world, and He who mercifully interposes in the history of the world helps him.

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