|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:8-13 Those truly penitent for sin, will see great reason to be patient under affliction. When we complain to the Lord of the badness of the times, we ought to complain against ourselves for the badness of our hearts. We must depend upon God to work deliverance for us in due time. We must not only look to him, but look for him. In our greatest distresses, we shall see no reason to despair of salvation, if by faith we look to the Lord as the God of our salvation. Though enemies triumph and insult, they shall be silenced and put to shame. Though Zion's walls may long be in ruins, there will come a day when they shall be repaired. Israel shall come from all the remote parts, not turning back for discouragements. Though our enemies may seem to prevail against us, and to rejoice over us, we should not despond. Though cast down, we are not destroyed; we may join hope in God's mercy, with submission to his correction. No hinderances can prevent the favours the Lord intends for his church.
Verse 8. - Israel in her sorrow and captivity asserts her undiminished confidence in the Lord. O mine enemy. The oppressor of the Church, the worldly power, is represented at one time by Asshur, at another by Babylon. God uses these heathen kingdoms as agents of his vengeance. When I fall; have I fallen; if I have fallen; i.e. suppose I have suffered calamity and loss (Amos 5:2). Sit in darkness. Darkness is another metaphor for distress (Psalm 23:4; Isaiah 9:2; Lamentations 3:6; Amos 5:18). The Lord shall be a light unto me, giving me gladness and true discernment (comp. Psalm 27:1; Psalm 97:11). The distinction between darkness and the full light of day is more marked in Eastern countries than in our Northern climes.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy,.... These are the words of the prophet in the name of the church, continued in an apostrophe or address to his and their enemy; by whom may be meant, literally, the Chaldeans or Edomites, or both, who rejoiced at the destruction of Jerusalem, and the calamities the people of the Jews were brought into at it; see Psalm 137:7; spiritually, Satan the great enemy of mankind, and especially of the church and people of God, to whom it is a pleasure to draw them into any sin or snare, and to do them any hurt and mischief; and also the Inert of the world, who hate and persecute the saints; and watch for their haltings, and rejoice at their falls into sin, and at any calamity and affliction that may attend them, though there is no just reason for it; since this will not always be the case of the saints, they will be in a better situation, and in more comfortable circumstances; and it will be the turn of their enemies to be afflicted, punished, and tormented:
when I fall, I shall arise; or, "though I fall" (z), or "have fallen"; into outward afflictions and distresses, which come not by chance, but by divine appointment; or into the temptations of Satan, and by them, which sometimes is suffered for wise and purposes; or into sin, which even a good man, a truly righteous man, is frequently left unto; but then he does not fall from real goodness, from true grace, nor from his justifying righteousness, which is everlasting, and connected with eternal life: he may fall from a lively exercise of grace, from steadfastness in the faith, and a profession of it; but not from the principle of grace, nor a state of grace; or from the love and favour of God: he may fall, but not totally or finally, or so as to perish everlastingly; nor is he utterly cast down, the Lord upholds him, and raises him up again; he rises, as the church here believes she should, out of his present state and condition, into a more comfortable one; not in his own strength, but in the strength of the Lord, under a sense of sin, by the exercise of true repentance for it, and by faith in Christ, and in a view of pardoning grace and mercy; see Psalm 37:24;
when I sit in darkness; or "though" (a). The Targum is,
"as it were in darkness;''
not in a state of unregeneracy, which is a state of total darkness, but in affliction and distress; for, as light often signifies prosperity, so darkness adversity, any afflictive dispensation of Providence; and especially when this attended with desertion, or the hidings of God's face; it is to be, not without any light of grace in the heart, or without the light of the word, or means of grace; but to be without the light of God's countenance; which is very uncomfortable, and makes dark providences darker still; see Isaiah 50:10; yet, notwithstanding all this,
the Lord shall be a light unto me; by delivering out of affliction; by lifting up the light of his countenance; by causing Christ the sun of righteousness to arise; by sending his Spirit to illuminate, refresh, and comfort; by his word, which is a lamp to the feet, a light to the path, a light shining in a dark place; see Psalm 27:1. This passage is applied by the Jews (b) to the days of the Messiah.
(z) "quamvis cecidi", Drusius, Burkius. (a) "quamvis sedero", Drusius; "quamvis sedeam", Burkius. (b) Debarim Rabba, parash. 11. fol. 245. 3.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. Rejoice not—at my fall.
when I fall, I shall arise—(Ps 37:24; Pr 24:16).
when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light—Israel reasons as her divine representative, Messiah, reasoned by faith in His hour of darkness and desertion (Isa 50:7, 8, 10). Israel addresses Babylon, her triumphant foe (or Edom), as a female; the type of her last and worst foes (Ps 137:7, 8). "Mine enemy," in Hebrew, is feminine.
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