|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 21. - Thou hast rebuked the proud. It is difficult to connect this with the preceding. But perhaps the link may be found in the double sense of mishpatim, "judgments," which includes verbal sentences against sinners delivered in the Law, and also actual sentences upon them in deed and fact. These last are in the writer's mind in the present verse - such judgments as those upon Pharaoh (Exodus 14:23-31), Zerah (2 Chronicles 14:9-15), and Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:32-37). That are cursed. This clause is questioned, as metrically redundant. But Hebrew metrology is scarcely as yet an exact science. And the clause finds its justification in Deuteronomy 27:26. Which do err from thy commandments. Such error brings under a curse those who commit it. If it be a blessed thing to walk in God's Law (ver. 1), it must be a cursed thing to transgress against it.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thou hast rebuked the proud,.... Which some understand of the fallen angels, who, in proud wrath, left their habitations, because they would not be subject to the Son of God in human nature; wherefore he scattered them in the imaginations of their hearts, and cast down these mighty ones into hell, where they are reserved in chains of darkness to the judgment of the great day. Others of the Scribes and Pharisees in Christ's time, this psalm being suited, as is thought, to Gospel times; who were proud of their own righteousness, and despised others less holy than themselves; and submitted not to the righteousness of Christ, whom he often rebuked, and at last punished. Rather all proud atheistical persons, profane and wicked men, are meant; who, Pharaoh like, say, who is the Lord that we should obey him? who reckon, their tongues to be their own, and employ them both against God and men, and regard neither: these God resists, sets himself against, and sooner or later severely punishes; for in the things they deal proudly he is above them, Exodus 18:11;
that are cursed which do err from thy commandments; according to the law of God, being transgressors of it, and will hear the awful sentence, "go, ye cursed", Matthew 25:41. The Targum, Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions, join this with the next clause: "cursed are they which do err from thy commandments"; from the way of them, not observing them; from the end of them, Christ, not looking to him for righteousness.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
21-24. God will rebuke those who despise His word and deliver His servants from their reproach, giving them boldness in and by His truth, even before the greatest men.
Psalm 119:21 Parallel Commentaries
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