|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
121:1-8 The safety of the godly. - We must not rely upon men and means, instruments and second causes. Shall I depend upon the strength of the hills? upon princes and great men? No; my confidence is in God only. Or, we must lift up our eyes above the hills; we must look to God who makes all earthly things to us what they are. We must see all our help in God; from him we must expect it, in his own way and time. This psalm teaches us to comfort ourselves in the Lord, when difficulties and dangers are greatest. It is almighty wisdom that contrives, and almighty power that works the safety of those that put themselves under God's protection. He is a wakeful, watchful Keeper; he is never weary; he not only does not sleep, but he does not so much as slumber. Under this shade they may sit with delight and assurance. He is always near his people for their protection and refreshment. The right hand is the working hand; let them but turn to their duty, and they shall find God ready to give them success. He will take care that his people shall not fall. Thou shalt not be hurt, neither by the open assaults, nor by the secret attempts of thine enemies. The Lord shall prevent the evil thou fearest, and sanctify, remove, or lighten the evil thou feelest. He will preserve the soul, that it be not defiled by sin, and disturbed by affliction; he will preserve it from perishing eternally. He will keep thee in life and death; going out to thy labour in the morning of thy days, and coming home to thy rest when the evening of old age calls thee in. It is a protection for life. The Spirit, who is their Preserver and Comforter, shall abide with them for ever. Let us be found in our work, assured that the blessings promised in this psalm are ours.
Verse 8. - The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in (comp. Deuteronomy 28:6; 1 Samuel 29:6; 2 Samuel 3:25; 1 Kings 3:7; 2 Kings 19:27). The phrase is an equivalent of "The Lord shall preserve thee in all thy ways" (Psalm 91:11). From this time forth, and even forevermore; i.e. so long as thou hast "goings out" and "comings in." But the phrase used rather implies that these will never cease.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in,.... In transacting all the business of life, in going in and out about it; in all ways, works, and conversation; in journeying and travelling; in all affairs, civil and religious; and not only preserve, but prosper in all, Psalm 1:3; the Lord blessing him, coming in and going out, Deuteronomy 28:6; and such, with the poet (x), are said to go with a good or prosperous foot. And such persons, in the Punic language, are called Namphanians, as Austin observes (y); who says the word signifies a man of a good foot: and the word seems to be the contraction of , which signifies "his good" or "pleasant foot" (z); and so one that, wherever he comes and goes, things prosper with him, and with those that are in connection with him: such an one was Jacob in the house of Laban, whom the Lord blessed, as he says, "since my coming", or at "my foot"; see Gill on Genesis 30:30; and such a foot Joseph had wherever he went, Genesis 39:5. Arama interprets it of a man's going out into the air of this world, and of his entrance into the world to come. The Targum is,
"the Lord will keep thy going out to business, and thy coming in to study in the law.''
from this time forth, and even for evermore; for the Lord not only preserves his people in life and at death, but in heaven, to all eternity; in the utmost safety and peace from all molestations by men or devils, and from their wrath and malice: not only his purpose and decree, but his power and providence, are the vast gulf between the one and the other; by means of which the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest, Luke 16:26.
(x) Virgil. Aeneid. l. 8. "Adi pede sacra secundo"; & l. 10. "adsis pede diva secundo." (y) Epist. 44. (z) Vid. Sterringae Philol. Sacr. p. 169. Reinesium de Lingua Punica, c. 8. s. 10.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. thy going out, &c.—all thy ways (De 28:19; Ps 104:23).
evermore—includes a future state.
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