|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:21-36 Having stated his distress and temptation, the prophet shows how he was raised above it. Bad as things are, it is owing to the mercy of God that they are not worse. We should observe what makes for us, as well as what is against us. God's compassions fail not; of this we have fresh instances every morning. Portions on earth are perishing things, but God is a portion for ever. It is our duty, and will be our comfort and satisfaction, to hope and quietly to wait for the salvation of the Lord. Afflictions do and will work very much for good: many have found it good to bear this yoke in their youth; it has made many humble and serious, and has weaned them from the world, who otherwise would have been proud and unruly. If tribulation work patience, that patience will work experience, and that experience a hope that makes not ashamed. Due thoughts of the evil of sin, and of our own sinfulness, will convince us that it is of the Lord's mercies we are not consumed. If we cannot say with unwavering voice, The Lord is my portion; may we not say, I desire to have Him for my portion and salvation, and in his word do I hope? Happy shall we be, if we learn to receive affliction as laid upon us by the hand of God.
Verse 26. - Should both hope and quietly wait; rather, should wait in silence. "Silence" is an expression of the psalmist's (the Lamentations are psalms) for resignation to the will of God; comp. Psalm 62:1 (Hebrew, 2); Psalms 65:1 (Hebrew, 2), and see Authorized Version, margin. The thought of the verse is that of Psalm 37:7.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait,.... This follows from the former; for if God is good to such, it must be good for them to hope and wait for him; it is both their duty and their interest: and it may be observed, that hope is the ground of patient waiting, and is here promised to it; where there is no hope of a thing, there will be no waiting for it, much less quietly: hope is of things unseen, future, difficult, and yet possible, or there would be no hope; and where there is that, there will be waiting; for "if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it", Romans 8:25; here in the original text it is, "hope, and be silent" (z); or, "a good man will both hope" or "wait, and be silent" (a); that is, under the present dispensation, though an afflictive one; men should be still, as David exhorts, and be dumb, as he was; and hold their peace, as Aaron did, at such seasons: not that they should indulge a stoical apathy, or be insensible of their condition, and disregard the rod, and him that has appointed it, or be altogether silent and speechless; but should own the hand of God, and their deserts, cry to him for deliverance, be thankful it is no worse, and speak of the gracious dealings of God with them; yet should not murmur and complain, or charge God foolishly; but be resigned to his will, and wait the issue of Providence quietly, even wait
for the salvation of the Lord; for temporal deliverance from outward evils and present afflictions, and for spiritual and eternal salvation. The saints, under the Old Testament, waited for Christ, the author of salvation, appointed and promised by the Lord. He is come, and has obtained salvation, which is published in the Gospel. Sensible sinners are made acquainted with their need of it, and see the fulness and suitableness of it, and are earnestly desirous of knowing their interest in it; this is not immediately had; it is good to wait quietly for it, in an attendance on the word and ordinances; and this being come at, still the complete enjoyment is yet behind: saints are now heirs of it, are kept unto it; it is nearer them than when they believed; Christ will appear unto it, and it becomes them to wait patiently for it; which will be a salvation from the very being of sin; from the temptations of Satan; from all troubles inward and outward; from all troublesome persons and things; from all doubts, fears, darkness, and unbelief; and will consist in perfect happiness and glory, and is worth waiting for.
(z) "et expectet et silens", Pagninus, Montanus; "qui et expectat et silet", Piscator. (a) "Bonus ergo et expectabit et silens erit", Schmidt.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. quietly wait—literally, "be in silence." Compare La 3:28 and Ps 39:2, 9, that is, to be patiently quiet under afflictions, resting in the will of God (Ps 37:7). So Aaron (Le 10:2, 3); and Job (Job 40:4, 5).
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