Psalm 138:6
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Though the LORD is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly; though lofty, he sees them from afar.

New Living Translation
Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud.

English Standard Version
For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.

New American Standard Bible
For though the LORD is exalted, Yet He regards the lowly, But the haughty He knows from afar.

King James Bible
Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Though the LORD is exalted, He takes note of the humble; but He knows the haughty from a distance.

International Standard Version
Though the LORD is highly exalted, yet he pays attention to those who are lowly regarded, but he is aware of the arrogant from afar.

NET Bible
Though the LORD is exalted, he takes note of the lowly, and recognizes the proud from far away.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And high is Lord Jehovah who sees in the deep, and he who is exalted knows from afar off!

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Even though the LORD is high above, he sees humble people [close up], and he recognizes arrogant people from a distance.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For the LORD, who is high and lifted up, looks upon the humble, but the proud he does not know.

King James 2000 Bible
Though the LORD be high, yet has he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knows from afar.

American King James Version
Though the LORD be high, yet has he respect to the lowly: but the proud he knows afar off.

American Standard Version
For though Jehovah is high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly; But the haughty he knoweth from afar.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For the Lord is high, and looketh on the low: and the high he knoweth afar off.

Darby Bible Translation
For Jehovah is high; but he looketh upon the lowly, and the proud he knoweth afar off.

English Revised Version
For though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the haughty he knoweth from afar.

Webster's Bible Translation
Though the LORD is high, yet hath he respect to the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.

World English Bible
For though Yahweh is high, yet he looks after the lowly; but the proud, he knows from afar.

Young's Literal Translation
For high is Jehovah, and the lowly He seeth, And the haughty from afar He knoweth.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

138:6-8 Though the Lord is high, yet he has respect to every lowly, humbled sinner; but the proud and unbelieving will be banished far from his blissful presence. Divine consolations have enough in them to revive us, even when we walk in the midst of troubles. And God will save his own people that they may be revived by the Holy Spirit, the Giver of life and holiness. If we give to God the glory of his mercy, we may take to ourselves the comfort. This confidence will not do away, but quicken prayer. Whatever good there is in us, it is God works in us both to will and to do. The Lord will perfect the salvation of every true believer, and he will never forsake those whom he has created anew in Christ Jesus unto good works.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 6. - Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly. Notwithstanding all God's glory and greatness, he condescends to look upon the lowly, to consider their needs, and to supply them (comp. Isaiah 57:15). Hence David feels sure that he will not be overlooked (see vers. 7, 8). But the proud he knoweth afar off. God keeps proud men at a distance, does not draw near to them, much less make his abode with them, but leaves them to themselves until they are ripe for punishment.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Though the Lord be high,.... Above all the earth, and all the nations of it, and the highest of men in it; above the heavens, and the angels there, who are his creatures and at his command; above all the blessings and praises of his saints: the perfect knowledge of him is so high as not to be attained; and his thoughts and ways are higher than ours, as the heavens are higher than the earth; he is indeed the most High, higher than the highest; see Psalm 113:4. According to Arama, here begins the song,

"the kings of the earth shall sing in the ways of the Lord?''

yet hath he respect unto the lowly; for good, as the Targum; that are low in their own eyes, humbled under a sense of sin, convinced, of the insufficiency of their own righteousness to justify them, and made to submit to the righteousness of Christ; ascribe the whole of their salvation to the free grace of God; patiently and quietly bear every afflictive providence; think the worst of themselves, and the best of others; and, being the followers of the lowly Jesus, learn of him, imitate him, and become like unto him: these the Lord has a gracious respect unto; he looks upon them with a look of love; he has respect to their persons in Christ, and to their sacrifices for his sake, which are those of a broken and contrite heart; he regards their prayers, though low and destitute, and gives more grace unto them; yea, he condescends to dwell with them, and in due time highly exalts them; see Isaiah 57:15. David may have in view his own low state and condition as a shepherd, in which he was when the Lord took him, and raised him to the throne of Israel;

but the proud he knoweth afar off; the Targum adds,

"to destroy them:''

such who are proud of themselves and what they have; of their wisdom and knowledge, of their strength or beauty, of their wealth and riches; or of their righteousness and holiness; of the purity and goodness of their hearts, and power of their free will, they vainly think themselves possessed of; and despise others below them in these things, or the practice of them: these the Lord takes notice of, and looks upon them at a distance with scorn and contempt; nor will he admit them to nearness to him, nay, opposes himself to them, and sooner or later abases them; see Proverbs 3:34. The Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions render it, "high things he knoweth afar off"; things too high for creatures, that are out of their reach; he sees and knows all persons and things, whether in heaven or in earth. Others render them, "and the high One knoweth afar off" (u); knows the lowly, owns and acknowledges them for his own; takes care of them, provides for them, and protects them: and then the sense is the same with the preceding clause.

(u) So Pagninus; "quamvis", Junius & Tremellius.

The Treasury of David

6 Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.

7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me, thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

8 The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever - forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Psalm 138:6

"Though the Lord be high." In greatness, dignity, and power, Jehovah is higher than the highest. His nature is high above the comprehension of his creatures, and his glory even exceeds the loftiest soarings of imagination. "Yet hath he respect unto the lowly." He views them with pleasure, thinks of them with care, listens to their prayers, and protects them from evil. Because they think little of themselves he thinks much of them. They reverence him, and he respects them. They are low in their own esteem, and he makes them high in his esteem. "But the proud he knoweth afar off." He does not need to come near them in order to discover their utter vanity: a glance from afar reveals to him their emptiness and offensiveness. He has no fellowship with them, but views them from a distance; he is not deceived, but knows the truth about them, despite their blustering; he has no respect unto them, but utterly abhors them. To a Cain's sacrifice, a Pharaoh's promise, a Rabshakeh's threat, and a Pharisee's prayer, the Lord has no respect. Nebuchadnezzar, when far off from God, cried, "Behold this great Babylon which I have builded;" but the Lord knew him, and sent him grazing with cattle. Proud men boast loudly of their culture and "the freedom of thought," and even dare to criticize their Maker: but he knows them from afar, and will keep them at arm's length in this life, and shut them up in hell in the next.

Psalm 138:7

"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me." If I am walking there now, or shall be doing so in years to come, I have no cause for fear; for God is with me, and will give me new life. When we are somewhat in trouble it is bad enough, but it is worse to penetrate into the centre of that dark continent and traverse its midst: yet in such a case the believer makes progress, for he walks; he keeps to a quiet pace, for he does no more than walk; and he is not without the best of company, for his God is near to pour fresh life into him. It is a happy circumstance that, if God be away at any other time, yet he is pledged to be with us in trying hours: "when thou passest through the rivers I will be with thee." He is in a blessed condition who can confidently use the language of David, m "thou wilt revive me." He shall not make his boast of God in vain: he shall be kept alive, and made more alive than ever. How often has the Lord quickened us by our sorrows! Are they not his readiest means of exciting to fulness of energy the holy life which dwells within us? If we receive reviving, we need not regret affliction. When God revives us, trouble will never harm us. "Thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me." This is the fact which would revive fainting David. Our foes fall when the Lord comes to deal with them; he makes short work of the enemies of his people, - with one hand he routs them. His wrath soon quenches their wrath; his hand stays their hand. Adversaries may be many, and malicious, and mighty; but our glorious Defender has only to stretch out his arm and their armies vanish. The sweet singer rehearses his assurance of salvation, and sings of it in the ears of the Lord, addressing him with this confident language. He will be saved, - saved dexterously, decidedly, divinely; he has no doubt about it. God's right hand cannot forget its cunning; Jerusalem is his chief joy, and he will defend his own elect.

Psalm 138:8

"The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me." All my interests are safe in Jehovah's hands.

"The work which his goodness began,

The arm of his strength will complete;

His promise is yea and Amen,

And never was forfeited yet."

God is concerned in all that concerns his servants. He will see to it that none of their precious things shall fail of completion; their life, their strength, their hopes, their graces, their pilgrimage, shall each and all be perfected. Jehovah himself will see to this; and therefore it is most sure. "Thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever." The refrain of the former Psalm is in his ears, and he repeats it as his own personal conviction and consolation. The first clause of the verse is the assurance of faith, and this second one reaches to the full assurance of understanding. God's work in us will abide unto perfection because God's mercy towards us thus abideth. "Forsake not the works of thine own hands." Our confidence does not cause us to live without prayer, but encourages us to pray all the more. Since we have it written upon our hearts that God will perfect his work in us, and we see it also written in Scripture that his mercy changeth not, we with holy earnestness entreat that we may not be forsaken. If there be anything good in us, it is the work of God's own hands: will he leave it? Why has he wrought so much in us if he means to give us up? - it will be a sheer waste of effort. He who has gone so far will surely persevere with us to the end. Our hope for the final perseverance of the believer lies in the final perseverance of the believer's God. If the Lord begins to build, and does not finish, it will not be to his honour. He will have a desire to the work of his hands, for he knows what it has cost him already, and he will not throw away a vessel upon which he has expended so much of labour and skill. Therefore do we praise him with our whole heart, even in the presence of those who depart from his Holy Word, and set up another God and another gospel; which are not another, but there be some that trouble us.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

6, 7. On this general principle of God's government (Isa 2:11; 57:15; 66:2), he relies for God's favor in saving him, and overthrowing his enemies.

knoweth afar off—their ways and deserts (Ps 1:6).

Psalm 138:6 Additional Commentaries
Context
I will Give Thanks with My Whole Heart
5And they will sing of the ways of the LORD, For great is the glory of the LORD. 6For though the LORD is exalted, Yet He regards the lowly, But the haughty He knows from afar. 7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.…
Cross References
Luke 1:48
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,

James 4:6
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble."

1 Peter 5:5
In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble."

Psalm 18:35
You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great.

Psalm 40:4
Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.

Psalm 101:5
Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate.

Psalm 113:4
The LORD is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens.

Psalm 113:6
who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?

Proverbs 3:34
He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.

Isaiah 57:15
For this is what the high and exalted One says-- he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.

Jeremiah 48:29
"We have heard of Moab's pride-- how great is her arrogance!-- of her insolence, her pride, her conceit and the haughtiness of her heart.

Ezekiel 16:49
"'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.
Treasury of Scripture

Though the LORD be high, yet has he respect to the lowly: but the proud he knows afar off.

though

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite …

Psalm 113:5,6 Who is like to the LORD our God, who dwells on high…

1 Samuel 2:7,8 The LORD makes poor, and makes rich: he brings low, and lifts up…

Proverbs 3:34 Surely he scorns the scorners: but he gives grace to the lowly.

Isaiah 57:15 For thus said the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose …

Isaiah 66:2 For all those things has my hand made, and all those things have …

Luke 1:51-53 He has showed strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in …

Luke 14:11 For whoever exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself …

Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than …

James 4:6 But he gives more grace. Why he said, God resists the proud, but …

1 Peter 5:5,6 Likewise, you younger, submit yourselves to the elder. Yes, all of …

but the proud

Exodus 18:11 Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing …

Job 40:11,12 Cast abroad the rage of your wrath: and behold every one that is …

Isaiah 2:11,17 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men …

Ezekiel 28:1-9 The word of the LORD came again to me, saying…

Daniel 4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, …

Daniel 5:20-24 But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, …

Acts 12:22,23 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and …

afar off

Psalm 139:2 You know my sitting down and my rising up, you understand my thought afar off.

Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also to them on the left hand, Depart from me, …

2 Thessalonians 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence …

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