|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
119:17-24 If God deals in strict justice with us, we all perish. We ought to spend our lives in his service; we shall find true life in keeping his word. Those that would see the wondrous things of God's law and gospel, must beg him to give them understanding, by the light of his Spirit. Believers feel themselves strangers on earth; they fear missing their way, and losing comfort by erring from God's commandments. Every sanctified soul hungers after the word of God, as food which there is no living without. There is something of pride at the bottom of every wilful sin. God can silence lying lips; reproach and contempt may humble and do us good, and then they shall be removed. Do we find the weight of the cross is above that we are able to bear? He that bore it for us will enable us to bear it; upheld by him we cannot sink. It is sad when those who should protect the innocent, are their betrayers. The psalmist went on in duty, and he found comfort in the word of God. The comforts of the word of God are most pleasant to a gracious soul, when other comforts are made bitter; and those that would have God's testimonies to be their delight, must be advised by them. May the Lord direct us in exercising repentance of sin, and faith in Christ.
Verse 18. - Open thou mine eyes. Since the Fall, men's eyes are naturally blinded, or, at any rate, have a veil over them, which God must remove before they can see clearly (compare the comment on ver. 15). That I may behold wondrous things out of thy Law. Wonderful spiritual truths that lie hidden, even under the very simplest precepts of God's Law (comp. Matthew 5:21-37).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Open thou mine eyes,.... The eyes of my heart or understanding, as Kimchi; or, "reveal mine eyes" (t); take off the veil from them: there is a veil of darkness and ignorance on the hearts of all men, with respect to divine and spiritual things; their understandings are darkened, yea, darkness itself. This veil must be removed; the scales must drop from their eyes; their eyes must be opened and enlightened, before they can discern spiritual things contained in the word of God; and even good men need to have the eyes of their understandings more and more enlightened into these things, as the psalmist here petitions, and the apostle prays for his Ephesians, Ephesians 1:17;
that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law; the law strictly taken, which had great and excellent things in it; and was wonderful for the compendiousness of it; for the justice, holiness, and equity of its precepts; especially for its spirituality, and above all for Christ, being the end of it; the two last more particularly could only be discerned by a spiritual man: or rather the five books of Moses, the almost only Scriptures extant in David's time, in which there were many wonderful things concerning Christ; some delivered by way of promise and prophecy of him, under the characters of the seed of the woman, the seed of Abraham, the Shiloh, and the great Prophet; and many others in dark figures, types, and shadows, which required a spiritual sight to look into; of which the rock and manna, the brasen serpent, passover, &c. are instances: but rather, as the word "law" signifies "doctrine", the doctrine of the Gospel may be meant; which contains mysteries in it, respecting the trinity of Persons in the Godhead, the person of Christ, his incarnation, sufferings and death; the blessings of grace through him; the doctrines of peace, pardon, righteousness, eternal life, and the resurrection of the dead; with many others.
(t) "revela oculos meos", Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus, Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis; "velamen detrahe oculis meis", Tigurine version.
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