|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
41:5-13 We complain, and justly, of the want of sincerity, and that there is scarcely any true friendship to be found among men; but the former days were no better. One particularly, in whom David had reposed great confidence, took part with his enemies. And let us not think it strange, if we receive evil from those we suppose to be friends. Have not we ourselves thus broken our words toward God? We eat of his bread daily, yet lift up the heel against him. But though we may not take pleasure in the fall of our enemies, we may take pleasure in the making vain their designs. When we can discern the Lord's favour in any mercy, personal or public, that doubles it. If the grace of God did not take constant care of us, we should not be upheld. But let us, while on earth, give heartfelt assent to those praises which the redeemed on earth and in heaven render to their God and Saviour.
Verse 5. - Mine enemies speak evil of me. Another head of suffering, viz. misrepresentation, calumny, abuse, on the part of enemies. Absalom had stolen away the hearts of the children of Israel from David by misrepresenting him (2 Samuel 15:3, 4). Shimei had followed the example, adding to his misrepresentation abuse and cursing (2 Samuel 16:5-8). Absalom's aiders and abettors generally, no doubt, joined in the chorus. This, then, is David's second subject of complaint, and one that he felt keenly - his enemies spoke evil of him. Farther, they desired and anticipated his death. When (they said) shall he die, and his name perish? David evidently was, or had been, when his enemies thus spoke, on the bed of sickness, prostrate, and in danger of his life. While he thus suffered, they rejoiced, expecting his early demise. When he was dead, they intended that his name should "perish;" i.e. that his memory should be utterly rooted out.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Mine enemies speak evil of me,.... That is, the Jews, who were enemies to his person, people, doctrines and ordinances, and would not have him to reign over them; these spake evil of him, charged him with being a glutton and a winebibber; said he had a devil, and was a Samaritan; imputed his miracles to diabolical influence; branded his doctrine with blasphemy, and spoke against his religion and worship, and wished him ill, saying,
when shall he die; they had a good will to assassinate him privately, but upon mature deliberation they consulted and determined to take what advantage they could against him, and deliver him up to the Roman governor; they feared, should he go on and succeed, through his doctrines and miracles, as he did, it would go ill with them; and they concluded, could he be brought to death, it would clearly appear to the common people that he was not the Messiah; though this was the very thing he came into the world for, and which he himself was very desirous of; because hereby, and hereby only, the salvation of his people could be brought about; and though this was a thing foretold in prophecy, yet it seems as if Christ's enemies the Jews, and Satan himself, were ignorant of it, and of its virtue and use to save men; however, though it was an ill wish in them, it was well for us that he did die, though the consequence is not as they wished;
and his name perish? that is, the fame of his doctrine and miracles, the memory of him and his worthy deeds, particularly his Gospel, which so fully expresses the glory of his person and grace; yea, he himself, for they hoped that upon his death he would come into general disgrace, that his name would never be mentioned but with reproach, that his Gospel would be no more preached, and that he would be accursed of God and men: in all which they were sadly disappointed; for, upon his resurrection from the dead, he had a name given him above every name; his memory became precious to thousands; an ordinance was appointed to remember him to the end of the world in all his churches; his Gospel was ordered to be preached to all the world, as it was; and he himself is blessed for evermore.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5, 6. A graphic picture of the conduct of a malignant enemy.
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