|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
102:12-22 We are dying creatures, but God is an everlasting God, the protector of his church; we may be confident that it will not be neglected. When we consider our own vileness, our darkness and deadness, and the manifold defects in our prayers, we have cause to fear that they will not be received in heaven; but we are here assured of the contrary, for we have an Advocate with the Father, and are under grace, not under the law. Redemption is the subject of praise in the Christian church; and that great work is described by the temporal deliverance and restoration of Israel. Look down upon us, Lord Jesus; and bring us into the glorious liberty of thy children, that we may bless and praise thy name.
Verse 20. - To hear the groaning of the prisoner (see Exodus 2:24, "God heard their groaning;" and comp. Exodus 3:7; Exodus 6:5). To loose those that are appointed to death; literally, the sons of death (comp. Psalm 79:11). Captive Israel regarded its life in Babylon as little better than death (see Ezekiel 37:11).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
To hear the groanings of the prisoner,.... Not of a single person only, but of many, who lie in prisons in Popish countries, especially in the Inquisition; where they lie and groan, in darkness and misery, under dreadful tortures; their cries and groans the Lord hears; his heart yearns towards them; he looks with pity on them; and, because of the sighing of these poor and needy ones, he will arise in due time, and set them in safety from him that puffs at them: it is true also of such who are prisoners of sin, Satan, and the law; and, when sensible of it, groan under their bondage, and cry to the Lord for help, who hears them, and directs them, as prisoners of hope, to turn to Christ, their strong hold, Zechariah 9:11,
to loose those that are appointed to death; delivered to death, as the Targum; delivered over to the secular power, in order to be put to death; who are arraigned and condemned as malefactors, and put into the condemned hole, in order for execution; these the Lord will loose, and save them from the death they are appointed to by men; for this is not to be understood of persons appointed by the Lord to death, either corporeal or eternal, from which none can be loosed, so appointed: in the original text the phrase is "children of death" (d); the same as "children of wrath", Ephesians 2:3, that is, deserving of death, and under the sentence of it; as all men are in Adam, even the Lord's own people; and who are, in their own apprehension, as dead men, when awakened and convinced of their state by the Spirit of God; these Christ looses from the shackles and fetters of sin, from the bondage of the law, from the tyranny of Satan, and from fears of death, and puts them into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
(d) "filios mortis", Montanus, Vatablus, Musculus, Gejerus, Michaelis.
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