|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
142:1-7 David's comfort in prayer. - There can be no situation so distressing or dangerous, in which faith will not get comfort from God by prayer. We are apt to show our troubles too much to ourselves, poring upon them, which does us no service; whereas, by showing them to God, we might cast the cares upon him who careth for us, and thereby ease ourselves. Nor should we allow any complaint to ourselves or others, which we cannot make to God. When our spirits are overwhelmed by distress, and filled with discouragement; when we see snares laid for us on every side, while we walk in his way, we may reflect with comfort that the Lord knoweth our path. Those who in sincerity take the Lord for their God, find him all-sufficient, as a Refuge, and as a Portion: every thing else is a refuge of lies, and a portion of no value. In this situation David prayed earnestly to God. We may apply it spiritually; the souls of believers are often straitened by doubts and fears. And it is then their duty and interest to beg of God to set them at liberty, that they may run the way of his commandments. Thus the Lord delivered David from his powerful persecutors, and dealt bountifully with him. Thus he raised the crucified Redeemer to the throne of glory, and made him Head over all things for his church. Thus the convinced sinner cries for help, and is brought to praise the Lord in the company of his redeemed people; and thus all believers will at length be delivered from this evil world, from sin and death, and praise their Saviour for ever.
Verse 4. - I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me. I looked about, i.e., for human aid, but there was no one who would so much as know me. I was utterly deserted in my trouble. Refuge failed me. I had nowhere to flee unto - no safe and sure abiding-place. The "cave of Adullam" was but a miserable spot to hide in. No man cared for my soul; or, "looked after my soul" (comp. Jeremiah 30:17).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I looked on my right hand, and beheld,.... On the left, so Kimchi supplies it, and after him Piscator; he looked about him every way to the right and left, to see if he could get any help, or find out any way of deliverance. To this sense the Targum, Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions render the words; and so Kimchi and Aben Ezra understand them: but some render them in the imperative, "look on the right hand, and behold" (n); and consider them; either as spoken to his own soul, to stir up himself to look around him for help and relief; or as an address to God, to look and behold, as in Psalm 80:14; and R. Obadiah reads them, "look, O right hand"; O right hand of God, that does valiantly: but looking cannot properly be ascribed to the right hand; and besides it is not the Lord the psalmist is speaking to, or looking after, but men, as follows;
but there was no man that would know me; take notice of him, and acknowledge and own him, or show him any favour, or even own that they had any knowledge of him; which is often the case when men are in affliction and distress, their former friends, acquaintance, yea, relations, keep at a distance from them; so it was with Job, the Messiah, and others; see Job 19:13;
refuge failed me; as he could get no help from men, so there was no way open for his escape, or by which he could flee and get out of the hands and reach of his enemies; in these circumstances he was when in the cave;
no man cared for my soul; or "life" (o); to save it, protect and defend it, that is, very few; otherwise there were some that were concerned for him, as the men that were with him, and Jonathan, Saul's son; but none of Saul's courtiers, they were not solicitous for his welfare, but on the contrary sought his life, to take it away. This is an emblem of a soul under first awakenings and convictions, inquiring the way of salvation, and where to find help, but at a lois for it in the creature.
(n) "respice dexteram et vide", Montanus; "vel ad dexteram", Musculus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Michaelis. (o) "vitam meam", Junius & Tremellius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. Utter desolation is meant.
right hand—the place of a protector (Ps 110:5).
cared for—literally, "sought after," to do good.
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