|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
141:5-10 We should be ready to welcome the rebuke of our heavenly Father, and also the reproof of our brethren. It shall not break my head, if it may but help to break my heart: we must show that we take it kindly. Those who slighted the word of God before, will be glad of it when in affliction, for that opens the ear to instruction. When the world is bitter, the word is sweet. Let us lift our prayer unto God. Let us entreat him to rescue us from the snares of Satan, and of all the workers of iniquity. In language like this psalm, O Lord, would we entreat that our poor prayers should set forth our only hope, our only dependence on thee. Grant us thy grace, that we may be prepared for this employment, being clothed with thy righteousness, and having all the gifts of thy Spirit planted in our hearts.
Verse 5. - Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness; rather, let the righteous smite me kindly, as in the margin. And let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head; rather, which my head shall not refuse. The psalmist will prefer the reproof of the righteous to the dainty allurements of the wicked. He will regard their words as an oil of welcome, such as was poured upon the head of favored guests (Luke 7:36), and his head will not refuse it. For yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities; rather, their wickednesses. This healing oil will strengthen him to continue to pray for his enemies, even though they still continue in their "wickednesses."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness,.... Or, "smite me in kindness" (a). In love; in a loving and friendly manner, which makes reproofs the more agreeable and effectual. Not the righteous God, as Arama; though he does sometimes smite his people for their sins, Isaiah 57:17; that is, reproves, corrects, and chastises them, and that in love and for their good; and therefore such smitings and corrections should be taken in good part by them, and received as fatherly chastisements, and as instances of his paternal care of them, and love to them; but rather righteous and good men; who, when there is occasion for it, should reprove and rebuke one another; but then it should be in a kind and tender manner, and with the spirit of meekness; and such reproofs should be as kindly received: "for faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful", Proverbs 27:6. Or, "let the righteous beat me with kindness" or "goodness" (b); with precepts of goodness, by inculcating good things into him; which he should take, as if he overwhelmed and loaded him with benefits; even though it was like striking with a hammer, as the word signifies;
and let him, reprove me; which explains what is meant by smiting;
it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head; give no pain nor uneasiness to his head or his heart, but rather supple and heal the wounds sin reproved for has made. The Targum is,
"the oil of the anointing of the sanctuary shall not cease from my head;''
with which he was anointed king; and signifies that he should enjoy the dignity, and continue in it. The Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, render it, "the oil of the ungodly", or "sinners": meaning their flattering words, which, though smooth as oil, were deceitful; and therefore he deprecates them, "let not the oil of the wicked", &c. as being hurtful and pernicious;
for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities; that is, when the righteous, that smote and reproved him for his good, should be in any distress; such a grateful sense should he retain of their favour in reproving him, that he would pray for them, that they might be delivered out of it; which would show that he took it kindly at their hand. Or, "in their evils", or "against them" (c); which some understand of the evil practices of wicked men; which the psalmist prayed against, and that he might be kept and delivered from.
(a) , Sept. "in misericordia", V. L. "benigne ac clementer", Michaelis. (b) "benignitate", Tigurine version; "bonitate", Gejerus; "seu praeceptis bonitatis", Gussetius, p. 212. (c) "in malis eorum", Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius; "adversus mala eorum", Musculus, Michaelis; so some in Vatablus.
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