Psalm 62:1
Truly my soul waits on God: from him comes my salvation.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(1) Waiteth upon God.—Literally, unto God (is) silence my soul. (Comp. Psalm 22:2; Psalm 39:2; Psalm 65:1.) The LXX. and Vulg., “shall be in subjection to,” which no doubt gives one side of the feeling; but another may be illustrated by Wordsworth’s—

“The holy time is quiet as a nun

Breathless with adoration.”

Psalms

SILENCE TO GOD

Psalm 62:1
, Psalm 62:5.

We have here two corresponding clauses, each beginning a section of the psalm. They resemble each other even more closely than appears from the English version, for the ‘truly’ of the first, and the ‘only’ of the second clause, are the same word; and in each case it stands in the same place, namely, at the beginning. So, word for word, the two answer to each other. The difference is, that the one expresses the Psalmist’s patient stillness of submission, and the other is his self-encouragement to that very attitude and disposition which he has just professed to be his. In the one he speaks of, in the other to, his soul. He stirs himself up to renew and continue the faith and resignation which he has, and so he sets before us both the temper which we should have, and the effort which we should make to prolong and deepen it, if it be ours. Let us look at these two points then-the expression of waiting, and the self-exhortation to waiting.

‘Truly my soul waiteth upon God.’ It is difficult to say whether the opening word is better rendered ‘truly,’ as here, or ‘only,’ as in the other clause. Either meaning is allowable and appropriate. If, with our version, we adopt the former, we may compare with this text the opening of another psalm {Psalm 73:1.}, ‘Truly God is good to Israel,’ and there, as here, we may see in that vehement affirmation a trace of the struggle through which it had been won. The Psalmist bursts into song with a word, which tells us plainly enough how much had to be quieted in him before he came to that quiet waiting, just as in the other psalm he pours out first the glad, firm certainty which he had reached, and then recounts the weary seas of doubt and bewilderment through which he had waded to reach it. That one word is the record of conflict and the trophy of victory, the sign of the blessed effect of effort and struggle in a truth more firmly held, and in a submission more perfectly practised. It is as if he had said, ‘Yes! in spite of all its waywardness and fears, and self-willed struggles, my soul waits upon God. I have overcome these, and now there is peace within.’

It is to be further observed that literally the words run, ‘My soul is silence unto God.’ That forcible form of expression describes the completeness of the Psalmist’s unmurmuring submission and quiet faith. His whole being is one great stillness, broken by no clamorous passions, by no loud-voiced desires, by no remonstrating reluctance. There is a similar phrase in another psalm {Psalm 109:4}, which may help to illustrate this: ‘For my love they are my adversaries, but I am prayer’-his soul is all one supplication. The enemies’ wrath awakens no flush of passion on his cheek, or ripple of vengeance in his heart. He meets it all with prayer. Wrapped in devotion and heedless of their rage, he is like Stephen, when he kneeled down among his yelling murderers, and cried with a loud voice, ‘Lord! lay not this sin to their charge.’ So here we have the strongest expression of the perfect consent of the whole inward nature in submission and quietness of confidence before God.

That silence is first a silence of the will. The plain meaning of this phrase is resignation; and resignation is just a silent will. Before the throne of the Great King, His servants are to stand like those long rows of attendants we see on the walls of Eastern temples, silent, with folded arms, straining their ears to hear, and bracing their muscles to execute his whispered commands, or even his gesture and his glance. A man’s will should be an echo, not a voice; the echo of God, not the voice of self. It should be silent, as some sweet instrument is silent till the owner’s hand touches the keys. Like the boy-prophet in the hush of the sanctuary, below the quivering light of the dying lamps, we should wait till the awful voice calls, and then answer, ‘Speak, Lord! for Thy servant heareth.’ Do not let the loud utterances of your own wills anticipate, nor drown, the still, small voice in which God speaks. Bridle impatience till He does. If you cannot hear His whisper, wait till you do. Take care of running before you are sent. Keep your wills in equipoise till God’s hand gives the impulse and direction.

Such a silent will is a strong will. It is no feeble passiveness, no dead indifference, no impossible abnegation that God requires, when He requires us to put our wills in accord with His. They are not slain, but vivified, by such surrender; and the true secret of strength lies in submission. The secret of blessedness is there, too, for our sorrows come because there is discord between our circumstances and our wills, and the measure in which these are in harmony with God is the measure in which we shall feel that all things are blessings to be received with thanksgiving. But if we will take our own way, and let our own wills speak before God speaks, or otherwise than God speaks, nothing can come of that but what always has come of it-blunders, sins, misery, and manifold ruin.

We must keep our hearts silent too. The sweet voices of pleading affections, the loud cry of desires and instincts that roar for their food like beasts of prey, the querulous complaints of disappointed hopes, the groans and sobs of black-robed sorrows, the loud hubbub and Babel, like the noise of a great city, that every man carries within, must be stifled and coerced into silence. We have to take the animal in us by the throat, and sternly say, ‘Lie down there and be quiet.’ We have to silence tastes and inclinations. We have to stop our ears to the noises around, however sweet the songs, and to close many an avenue through which the world’s music might steal in. He cannot say, ‘My soul is silent unto God,’ whose whole being is buzzing with vanities and noisy with the din of the market-place. Unless we have something, at least, of that great stillness, our hearts will have no peace, and our religion no reality.

There must be the silence of the mind, as well as of the heart and will. We must not have our thoughts ever occupied with other things, but must cultivate the habit of detaching them from earth, and keeping our minds still before God, that He may pour His light into them. Surely if ever any generation needed the preaching-’Be still and let God speak’-we need it. Even religious men are so busy with spreading or defending Christianity, that they have little time, and many of them less inclination, for quiet meditation and still communion with God. Newspapers, and books, and practical philanthropy, and Christian effort, and business, and amusement, so crowd into our lives now, that it needs some resolution and some planning to get a clear space where we can be quiet, and look at God.

But the old law for a noble and devout life is not altered by reason of any new circumstances. It still remains true that a mind silently waiting before God is the condition without which such a life is impossible. As the flowers follow the sun, and silently hold up their petals to be tinted and enlarged by his shining, so must we, if we would know the joy of God, hold our souls, wills, hearts, and minds still before Him, whose voice commands, whose love warms, whose truth makes fair, our whole being. God speaks for the most part in such silence only. If the soul be full of tumult and jangling noises, His voice is little likely to be heard. As in some kinds of deafness, a perpetual noise in the head prevents hearing any other sounds, the rush of our own fevered blood, and the throbbing of our own nerves, hinder our catching His tones. It is the calm lake which mirrors the sun, the least catspaw wrinkling the surface wipes out all the reflected glories of the heavens. If we would mirror God our souls must be calm. If we would hear God our souls must be silence.

Alas, how far from this is our daily life! Who among us dare to take these words as the expression of our own experience? Is not the troubled sea which cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt, a truer emblem of our restless, labouring souls than the calm lake? Put your own selves by the side of this Psalmist, and honestly measure the contrast. It is like the difference between some crowded market-place all full of noisy traffickers, ringing with shouts, blazing in sunshine, and the interior of the quiet cathedral that looks down on it all, where are coolness and subdued light, and silence and solitude. ‘Come, My people! enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee.’ ‘Commune with your own heart and be still.’ ‘In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.’

This man’s profession of utter resignation is perhaps too high for us; but we can make his self-exhortation our own. ‘My soul! wait thou only upon God.’ Perfect as he ventures to declare his silence towards God, he yet feels that he has to stir himself up to the effort which is needed to preserve it in its purity. Just because he can say, ‘My soul waits,’ therefore he bids his soul wait.

I need not dwell upon that self-stimulating as involving the great mystery of our personality, whereby a man exalts himself above himself, and controls, and guides, and speaks to his soul. But a few words may be given to that thought illustrated here, of the necessity for conscious effort and self-encouragement, in order to the preservation of the highest religious emotion.

We are sometimes apt to forget that no holy thoughts or feelings are in their own nature permanent, and the illusion that they are so, often tends to accelerate their fading. It is no wonder if we in our selectest hours of ‘high communion with the living God’ should feel as if that lofty experience would last by virtue of its own sweetness, and need no effort of ours to retain it. But it is not so. All emotion tends to exhaustion, as surely as a pendulum to rest, or as an Eastern torrent to dry up. All our flames burn to their extinction. There is but one fire that blazes and is not consumed. Action is the destruction of tissue. Life reaches its term in death. Joy and sorrow, and hope and fear, cannot be continuous. They must needs wear themselves out and fade into a grey uniformity like mountain summits when the sun has left them.

Our religious experience too will have its tides, and even those high and pure emotions and dispositions that bind us to God can only be preserved by continual effort. Their existence is no guarantee of their permanence, rather is it a guarantee of their transitoriness, unless we earnestly stir up ourselves to their renewal. Like the emotions kindled by lower objects, they perish while they glow, and there must be a continual recurrence to the one Source of light and heat if the brilliancy is to be preserved.

Nor is it only from within that their continuance is menaced. Outward forces are sure to tell upon them The constant wash of the sea of life undermines the cliffs and wastes the coasts. The tear and wear of external occupations is ever acting upon our religious life. Travellers tell us that the constant friction of the sand on Egyptian hieroglyphs removes every trace of colour, and even effaces the deep-cut characters from basalt rocks. So the unceasing attrition of multitudinous trifles will take all the bloom off your religion, and efface the name of the King cut on the tables of your hearts, if you do not counteract them by constant earnest effort. Our devotion, our faith, our love are only preserved by being constantly renewed.

That vigorous effort is expressed here by the very form of the phrase. The same word which began the first clause begins the second also. As in the former it represented for us, with an emphatic ‘Truly,’ the struggle through which the Psalmist had reached the height of his blessed experience, so here it represents in like manner the earnestness of the self-exhortation which he addresses to himself. He calls forth all his powers to the conflict, which is needed even by the man who has attained to that height of communion, if he would remain where he has climbed. And for us, brethren! who shrink from taking these former words upon our lips, how much greater the need to use our most strenuous efforts to quiet our souls. If the summit reached can only be held by earnest endeavour, how much more is needed to struggle up to it from the valleys below!

The silence of the soul before God is no mere passiveness. It requires the intensest energy of all our being to keep all our being still and waiting upon Him. So put all your strength into the task, and be sure that your soul is never so intensely alive as when in deepest abnegation it waits hushed before God.

Trust no past emotions. Do not wonder if they should fade even when they are brightest. Do not let their evanescence tempt you to doubt their reality. But always when our hearts are fullest of His love, and our spirits stilled with the sweetest sense of His solemn presence, stir yourselves up to keep firm hold of the else passing gleam, and in your consciousness let these two words live in perpetual alternation: ‘Truly my soul waiteth upon God. My soul! wait thou only upon God.’Psalm 62:1. Truly my soul waiteth upon God — Or, Nevertheless, as some render the Hebrew particle אךְ, ach, or, however it be, whatever difficulties or dangers I may meet with; though God frown upon me, and I meet with discouragements in my attendance on him, yet still my soul waiteth upon God, דומיה, dumijah, is silent toward him, does not object to what he doth, and expects what he will do, silently, quietly, and patiently looking up to him for deliverance, and that in his own time and way, without murmuring or despair, or using indirect or sinful practices. Observe, reader, we are in the way both of duty and comfort, when our souls are waiting upon God; that is, when we cheerfully refer ourselves, and the disposal of all our affairs, to his wisdom; when we acquiesce in, and accommodate ourselves to, all the dispensations of his providence, and patiently expect a doubtful event, with an entire satisfaction in his righteousness and goodness, however it be. The LXX. render this clause, ουχι τω Θεω υποταγησεται η ψυχη μου; shall not my soul be subject to God? Certainly it ought so to be; for, from him cometh my salvation —

I have no hope of deliverance or safety but from and by him.62:1-7 We are in the way both of duty and comfort, when our souls wait upon God; when we cheerfully give up ourselves, and all our affairs, to his will and wisdom; when we leave ourselves to all the ways of his providence, and patiently expect the event, with full satisfaction in his goodness. See the ground and reason of this dependence. By his grace he has supported me, and by his providence delivered me. He only can be my Rock and my salvation; creatures are nothing without him, therefore I will look above them to him. Trusting in God, the heart is fixed. If God be for us, we need not fear what man can do against us. David having put his confidence in God, foresees the overthrow of his enemies. We have found it good to wait upon the Lord, and should charge our souls to have such constant dependence upon him, as may make us always easy. If God will save my soul, I may well leave every thing else to his disposal, knowing all shall turn to my salvation. And as David's faith in God advances to an unshaken stedfastness, so his joy in God improves into a holy triumph. Meditation and prayer are blessed means of strengthening faith and hope.Truly - Indeed; really. The state of mind indicated by this particle is that of one who had been seriously contemplating a subject; who had looked round on his own actual condition; who had taken an estimate of all his resources, and of all his means of reliance, and who had carefully examined his own state of mind to see what was his real trust, and what were his real feelings toward God. Having done all this, he, at last, breaks out with the expression - "My soul does sincerely confide in God; I have no other resource; I have no power to meet my foes, and I am sure - my inmost soul testifies - that my real trust is, where it ought to be, in God; I see nothing in myself on which to rely; I see so much crime, falsehood, treachery in people, that I cannot confide in them; I have had so much painful experience of their insincerity and baseness that I cannot rely on them; but I do see that in God which leads me to trust in him, and I am sure that my heart truly does rely on him."

My soul waiteth upon God - Margin, is silent. Septuagint, "Is not my soul subject to God?" So the Latin Vulgate. Luther, "My soul is still (calm) in God." The Hebrew word - דומיה dûmı̂yâh - means "silence, quiet, rest"; and then, a silent expectation or hope. The idea here is, "Truly toward God is the silent waiting of my soul"; that is, "In him alone do I trust; there is calmness of mind; I have no apprehension as to what can happen. My mind is at peace, for I feel that all is in the hands of God, and that lie is worthy of entire trust and confidence." The feeling is that which exists when we have entrusted all to God; when, having entire confidence in his power, his goodness, his wisdom, his mercy, we commit the whole case to him as if it were no longer our own. Such is the calmness - the peace - the quiet - the silence of the soul - when all is left with God. See the notes at Isaiah 26:3, and Philippians 4:6-7.

From him cometh my salvation - That is, My safety is from him; my security is with him. It is true, also, that all that is ever implied in this word salvation, whether pertaining to this life or the life to come, is derived from God.

PSALM 62

Ps 62:1-12. To Jeduthun—(See on [603]Ps 39:1, title). The general tone of this Psalm is expressive of confidence in God. Occasion is taken to remind the wicked of their sin, their ruin, and their meanness.

1. waiteth—literally, "is silent," trusts submissively and confidently as a servant.

1 Truly my soul waiteth upon God; from him cometh, my salvation.

2 He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.

3 How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence.

4 They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah.

Psalm 62:1

"Truly," or verily, or only. The last is probably the most prominent sense here. That faith alone is true which rests on God alone, that confidence which relies but partly on the Lord is vain confidence. If we Englished the word by our word "verily," as some do, we should have here a striking reminder of our blessed Lord's frequent use of that adverb. "My soul waiteth upon God." My inmost self draws near in reverent obedience to God. I am no hypocrite or mere posture maker. To wait upon God, and for God, is the habitual position of faith; to wait on him truly is sincerity; to wait on him only is spiritual chastity. The original is, "only to God is my soul silence." The presence of God alone could awe his heart into quietude, submission, rest, and acquiescence; but when that was felt, not a rebellious word or thought broke the peaceful silence. The proverb that speech is silver but silence is gold, is more than true in this ease. No eloquence in the world is half so full of meaning as the patient silence of a child of God. It is an eminent work of grace to bring down the will and subdue the affections to such a degree, that the whole mind lies before the Lord like the sea beneath the wind, ready to be moved by every breath of his mouth, but free from all inward and self-caused emotion, as also from all power to be moved by anything other than the divine will. We should be wax to the Lord, but adamant to every other force. "From him cometh my salvation." The good man will, therefore, in patience possess his soul till deliverance comes: faith can hear the footsteps of coming salvation because she has learned to be silent. Our salvation in no measure or degree comes to us from any inferior source; let us, therefore, look alone to the true fountain, and avoid the detestable crime of ascribing to the creature what belongs alone to the Creator. If to wait on God be worship, to wait on the creature is idolatry; if to wait on God alone be true faith, to associate an arm of flesh with him is audacious unbelief.

Psalm 62:2

"He only is my rock and my salvation." Sometimes a metaphor may be more full of meaning and more suggestive than literal speech; hence the use of the figure of a rock, the very mention of which would awaken grateful memories in the Psalmist's mind. David had often lain concealed in rocky caverns, and here he compares his God to such a secure refuge; and, indeed, declares him to be his only real protection, all-sufficient in himself and never failing. At the same time, as if to show us that what he wrote was not mere poetic sentiment, but blessed reality, the literal word "salvation" follows the figurative expression: that our God is our refuge is no fiction, nothing in the word is more a matter of fact. "He is my defence," my height, my lofty rampart, my high-fort. Here we have another and bolder image; the tried believer not only abides in God as in a cavernous rock; but dwells in him ass Warrior in some bravely defiant tower or lordly castle. "I shall not be greatly moved." His personal weakness might cause him to be somewhat moved; but his faith would come in to prevent any very great disturbance: not much would he be tossed about. "Moved," as one says, "but not removed." Moved like a ship at anchor which swings with the tide, but is not swept away by the tempest. When a man knows assuredly that the Lord is his salvation, he cannot be very much cast down: it would need more than all the devils in hell greatly to alarm a heart which knows God to be its salvation.

Psalm 62:3

"How long will ye imagine mischief against a man?" It is always best to begin with God, and then may we confront our enemies. Make all sure with heaven, then may you grapple with earth and hell. David expostulates with his insensate foes; he marvels at their dogged perseverance in malice, after so many failures and with certain defeat before them. He tells them that their design was an imaginary one, which they never could accomplish however deeply they might plot. It is a marvel that men will readily enough continue in vain and sinful courses, and yet to persevere in grace is so great a difficulty as to be an impossibility, were it not for divine assistance. The persistency of those who oppose the people of God is so strange that we may well expostulate with them and say, "How long will ye thus display your malice?" A hint is given in the text as to the cowardliness of so many pressing upon one man; but none are less likely to act a fair and manly part than those who are opposed to God's people for righteousness' sake. Satan could not enter into combat with Job in fair duel, but must needs call in the Sabeans and Chaldeans, and even then must borrow the lightning and the wind before his first attack was complete. If there were any shame in him, or in his children, they would be ashamed of the dastardly manner in which they have waged war against the seed of the woman. Ten thousand to one has not seemed to them too mean an advantage; there is not a drop of chivalrous blood in all their veins. "Ye shall be slain all of you." Your edged tools will cut your own fingers. These who take the sword shall perish with the sword. However many or fierce the bands of the wicked may be, they shall not escape the just retribution of heaven; rigorously shall the great Lawgiver exact blood from men of blood, and award death to those who seek the death of others. "As a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence." Boastful persecutors bulge and swell with pride, but they are only as a bulging wall ready to fall in a heap; they lean forward to seize their prey, but it is only as a tottering fence inclines to the earth upon which it will soon lie at length. They expect men to bow to them, and quake for fear in their presence; but men made bold by faith see nothing in them to honour, and very, very much to despise. It is never well on our part to think highly of ungodly persons; whatever their position, they are near their destruction, they totter to their fall; it will be our wisdom to keep our distance, for no one is advantaged by being near a falling wall; if it does not crush with its weight, it may stifle with its dust.

The passage is thought to be more correctly rendered as follows: - "How long will ye press on one man, that ye may crush him in a body, like a toppling wall, a sinking fence?" We have, however, kept to our own version as yielding a good and profitable meaning. Both senses may blend in our meditations; for if David's enemies battered him as though they could throw him down like a bulging wall, he, on the other hand, foresaw that they themselves would by retributive justice be overthrown like an old, crumbling, leaning, yielding fence.

Psalm 62:4

"They only consult to cast him down from his excellency." The excellencies of the righteous are obnoxious to the wicked, and the main object of their fury. The elevation which God gives to the godly in Providence, or in repute, is also the envy of the baser sort, and they labour to pull them down to their own level. Observe the concentration of malice upon one point only, as here set in contrast with the sole reliance of the gracious one upon his Lord. If the wicked could but ruin the work of grace in us, they would be content; to crush our character, to overturn our influence, is the object of their consultation. "They delight in lies;" hence they hate the truth and the truthful, and by falsehood endeavor to compass their overthrow. To lie is bad enough, but to delight in it is one of the blackest marks of infamy. "They bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly." Flattery has ever been a favourite weapon with the enemies of good men; they can curse bitterly enough when it serves their turn; meanwhile, since it answers their purpose, they mask their wrath, and with smooth words pretend to bless those whom they would willingly tear in pieces. It was fortunate for David that he was well practised in silence, for to cozening deceivers there is no other safe reply. "Selah." Here pause, and consider with astonishment the futile rancour of unholy men, and the perfect security of such as rest themselves upon the Lord. This Psalm was made in a time of great danger and distress, or at least with respect to it, as is manifest from Psalm 62:3,4.

To Jeduthun, a famous musician; of whom see 1 Chronicles 9:16 16:42. Heb. upon Jeduthun; which might be the name of a musical instrument or tune, invented by that Jeduthun, and therefore called by his name.

David testifieth his safety and quietness in God, to the discouragement of his enemies, Psalm 62:1-7, but to the encouragement of the godly, Psalm 62:8. No trust to be put in man, or worldly things; but in God, Psalm 62:9,10, to whom power, mercy, and justice belong, Psalm 62:11,12.

Truly, or surely. This is my certain and fixed resolution. Or, nevertheless, as this particle is oft rendered. So the beginning of this Psalm is abrupt, as it is in some and hard conflict, which David had within himself, as he often had, what course he should take to get out of his trouble.

Waiteth, Heb. is silent, as it is also Psalm 37:7, i.e. silently. quietly, and patiently looks up to God for deliverance, and that in his time and way without murmuring or despair, or using indirect and sinful practices.

From him cometh my salvation; I have no hope hope of deliverance but from and by him.

Truly my soul waiteth upon God,.... In the use of means, for answers of prayer, for performance of promises, and for deliverance from enemies, and out of every trouble: or "is silent" (e), as the Targum; not as to prayer, but as to murmuring; patiently and quietly waiting for salvation until the Lord's time come to give it; being "subject" to him, as the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions; resigned to his will, and patient under his afflicting hand: it denotes a quiet, patient, waiting on the Lord, and not merely bodily exercise in outward ordinances; but an inward frame of spirit, a soul waiting on the Lord, and that in truth and reality, in opposition to mere form and show; and with constancy "waiteth", and "only" (f) on him, as the same particle is rendered in Psalm 62:2; and so Aben Ezra here;

from him cometh my salvation; both temporal, spiritual, and eternal, and not from any creature; the consideration of which makes the mind quiet and easy under afflictive provide uses: the contrivance of everlasting salvation is from the Father, the impetration of it from the Son, and the application of it from the Spirit.

(e) "silet", Pagninus, Munster, Cocceius; "silens", Montanus, Tigurine version; so the Targum. (f) "tantum", Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus; "tantummodo", Junius & Tremellius, Schmidt.

<> Truly {a} my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.

(a) Though Satan tempted him to murmur against God, yet he bridled his affections, and resting on God's promise.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1. Truly] The particle ak is characteristic of this Ps., in which it occurs six times, and of Psalms 39, in which it occurs four times. It stands at the beginning of Psalm 62:1-2; Psalm 62:4-6; Psalm 62:9. It may be affirmative, ‘truly,’ ‘surely,’ or restrictive, ‘only.’ Either sense will suit, and possibly the shade of meaning may not always be the same; but ‘only’ appears to be preferable throughout. Literally the line means: Only unto God is my soul silence; unto God alone does my soul look in patient calmness, waiting for the deliverance which will surely come, and can come from Him alone. For such ‘silent’ waiting cp. Psalm 62:5; Psalm 37:7; Psalm 39:2; Lamentations 3:26.

1–4. Patiently the Psalmist awaits God’s help, and remonstrates with his enemies for their malice and hypocrisy.Verse 1. - Truly my soul waiteth upon God; rather, my soul waiteth only upon God (Revised Version). The initial word, ak (אַך), which occurs six times in this psalm (vers. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9), is best translated "only" in every instance. It always intensifies the word or phrase to which it is attached - "only upon God" - "only he" - "only from his excellency" - "only vanity." From him cometh my salvation (comp. Psalm 35:3; Psalm 37:39; Psalm 65:5, etc.). Hurled out of the land of the Lord in the more limited sense

(Note: Just as in Numbers 32:29. the country east of Jordan is excluded from the name "the land of Canaan" in the stricter sense, so by the Jewish mind it was regarded from the earliest time to a certain extent as a foreign country (חוצה לארץ), although inhabited by the two tribes and a half; so that not only is it said of Moses that he died in a foreign land, but even of Saul that he is buried in a foreign land (Numeri Rabba, ch. viii. and elsewhere).)

into the country on the other side of the Jordan, David felt only as though he were banished to the extreme corner of the earth (not: of the land, cf. Psalm 46:10; Deuteronomy 28:49, and frequently), far from the presence of God (Hengstenberg). It is the feeling of homelessness and of separation from the abode of God by reason of which the distance, in itself so insignificant (just as was the case with the exiles later on), became to him immeasurably great. For he still continually needed God's helpful intervention; the enveloping, the veiling, the faintness of his heart still continues (עטף, Arab. ‛tf, according to its radical signification: to bend and lay anything round so that it lies or draws over something else and covers it, here of a self-enveloping); a rock of difficulties still ever lies before him which is too high for his natural strength, for his human ability, therefore insurmountable. But he is of good courage: God will lead him up with a sure step, so that, removed from all danger, he will have rocky ground under his feet. He is of good courage, for God has already proved Himself to be a place of refuge to him, to be a strong tower, defying all attack, which enclosed him, the persecuted one, so that the enemy can gain no advantage over him (cf. Proverbs 18:10). He is already on the way towards his own country, and in fact his most dearly loved and proper home: he will or he has to (in accordance with the will of God) dwell (cf. the cohortative in Isaiah 38:10; Jeremiah 4:21) in God's tabernacle (vid., on Psalm 15:1) throughout aeons (an utterance which reminds one of the synchronous Psalm 23:6). With גּוּר is combined the idea of the divine protection (cf. Arabic ǵâr ollah, the charge or proteg of God, and Beduinic ǵaur, the protecting hearth; ǵawir, according to its form equals גּר, one who flees for refuge to the hearth). A bold figure of this protection follows: he has to, or will trust, i.e., find refuge, beneath the protection of God's wings. During the time the tabernacle was still being moved from place to place we hear no such mention of dwelling in God's tabernacle or house. It was David who coined this expression for loving fellowship with the God of revelation, simultaneously with his preparation of a settled dwelling-place for the sacred Ark. In the Psalms that belong to the time of his persecution by Saul such an expression is not yet to be found; for in Psalm 52:7, when it is desired that Doeg may have the opposite of an eternal dwelling-place, it is not the sacred tent that is meant. We see also from its second part that this Psalm 61:1-8 does not belong to the time of Saul; for David does not speak here as one who has drawn very near to his kingly office (cf. Psalm 40:8), but as one who is entering upon a new stage in it.

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