|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
131:1-3 The psalmist's humility. Believers encouraged to trust in God. - The psalmist aimed at nothing high or great, but to be content in every condition God allotted. Humble saints cannot think so well of themselves as others think of them. The love of God reigning in the heart, will subdue self-love. Where there is a proud heart, there is commonly a proud look. To know God and our duty, is learning sufficiently high for us. It is our wisdom not to meddle with that which does not belong to us. He was well reconciled to every condition the Lord placed him in. He had been as humble as a little child about the age of weaning, and as far from aiming at high things; as entirely at God's disposal, as the child at the disposal of the mother or nurse. We must become as little children, Mt 18:3. Our hearts are desirous of worldly things, cry for them, and are fond of them; but, by the grace of God, a soul that is made holy, is weaned from these things. The child is cross and fretful while in the weaning; but in a day or two it cares no longer for milk, and it can bear stronger food. Thus does a converted soul quiet itself under the loss of what it loved, and disappointments in what it hoped for, and is easy whatever happens. When our condition is not to our mind, we must bring our mind to our condition; then we are easy to ourselves and all about us; then our souls are as a weaned child. And thus the psalmist recommends confidence in God, to all the Israel of God, from his own experience. It is good to hope, and quietly to wait for the salvation of the Lord under every trial.
Verse 2. - Surely I have behaved and quieted myself; rather, I have stilled and quieted my soul. I have brought my soul into a state of peacefulness and content. As a child that is weaned of his mother. The weaned child is quiet and content; the suckling always impatient and restless. My soul is even as a weaned child. Another repetition for the sake of emphasis (see Psalm 130:5, 6).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Surely I have behaved and quieted myself,.... Or "my soul" (o); behaved quietly and peaceably towards all men, even his inferiors in Saul's court and elsewhere, and had given no tokens of a restless, turbulent, and ambitious spirit; as well as behaved patiently under all his troubles and afflictions, reproaches and calumnies: or "if I have not" (p), being in the form of an oath or imprecation, as Kimchi and Aben Ezra observe; if I have not thus behaved, let it come to me so and so, or let me be as a weaned child. Noldius renders it by way of interrogation, "have I not composed and quieted myself?" &c. The Targum is,
"if I have not put the hand to the mouth, and caused my soul to be silent, until it heard the words of the law;''
as a child that is weaned of his mother: and, for the further confirmation of it, it is added,
my soul is even as a weaned child; innocent and harmless, had no more ill designs against Saul than a weaned child; humble, meek, and lowly, and had no more aspiring and ambitious views than such an one; like that, weaned from the world, the riches, honours, pleasures, and profits of it; as well as from nature, from self, from his own righteousness, and from all dependence on it; and as a child that is weaned from the breast wholly depends on its nurse for sustenance, so did he wholly depend upon God, his providence, grace, and strength; and as to the kingdom, he had no more covetous desires after it than a weaned child has to the breast, and was very willing to wait the due time for the enjoyment of it. The Targum,
"as one weaned on the breasts of its mother, I am strengthened in the law.''
This is to be understood not of a child while weaning, when it is usually peevish, fretful, and froward; but when weaned, and is quiet and easy in its mother's arms without the breast.
(o) "animam meam", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, &c. (p) "si non", Montanus; "male sit mihi si non", Tigurine version.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. Surely, &c.—The form is that of an oath or strongest assertion. Submission is denoted by the figure of a weaned child. As the child weaned by his mother from the breast, so I still the motions of pride in me (Mt 18:3, 4; Isa 11:8; 28:9). Hebrew children were often not weaned till three years old.
soul—may be taken for desire, which gives a more definite sense, though one included in the idea conveyed by the usual meaning, myself.
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