|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
48:8-14 We have here the improvement which the people of God are to make of his glorious and gracious appearances for them. Let our faith in the word of God be hereby confirmed. Let our hope of the stability of the church be encouraged. Let our minds be filled with good thoughts of God. All the streams of mercy that flow down to us, must be traced to the fountain of His loving-kindness. Let us give to God the glory of the great things he has done for us. Let all the members of the church take comfort from what the Lord does for his church. Let us observe the beauty, strength, and safety of the church. Consider its strength; see it founded on Christ the Rock, fortified by the Divine power, guarded by Him who neither slumbers nor sleeps. See what precious ordinances are its palaces, what precious promises are its bulwarks, that you may be encouraged to join yourselves to it: and tell this to others. This God, who has now done such great things for us, is unchangeable in his love to us, and his care for us. If he is our God, he will lead and keep us even to the last. He will so guide us, as to set us above the reach of death, so that it shall not do us any real hurt. He will lead us to a life in which there shall be no more death.
Verse 14. - For this God (i.e. the God who has now delivered us) is our God for ever and ever; i.e. he will always remain faithful to us, as we will to him. He will be our Guide even unto death. Dr. Kay translates "even over death," and understands that God's loving protection is promised to the faithful even in the land beyond the grave. But he stands alone in this interpretation. Host moderns question whether the words על־מוּת are any part of the psalm, and, comparing them with the על־מוּת לבּן of the title to Psalm 9, suggest that they are a mere musical notation. But the psalm would end abruptly without the words, and the meaning, "he will be our Guide unto death," is quite satisfactory (so Hengstenberg and the Revised Version).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For this God is our God for ever and ever,.... Who is spoken of throughout the whole psalm as greatly to be praised, as well as is known in Zion, as the stability, security, and protection of her. This is said as pointing unto him as if visible, as Christ is God manifest in the flesh, now in Gospel times, to which this psalm belongs; as distinguishing him from all others, from the gods of the Gentiles, rejected by the people of God; as claiming an interest in him as their covenant God; as exulting in the view of such relation to him; as suggesting how happy they were on this account; and especially since this relation will always continue, being founded in an everlasting covenant, and arising from the unchangeable love of God;
he will be our guide, even unto death; the Lord orders the steps of the righteous, holds them by the right hand, and guides them with his counsel and in judgment: Christ, the great Shepherd of the flock, feeds them, as the antitype of David, according to the integrity of his heart, and guides them by the skilfulness of his hands; he guides their feet in the ways of peace, life, and salvation, by himself; he leads them into green pastures, beside the still waters, and unto fountains of living waters: the Spirit of the Lord leads them to the fulness of Christ; guides them into all truth, as it is in him; directs them into his and his Father's love, and leads them on to the land of uprightness. And this guide is an everlasting one; "even unto death", or "in death", or "above death" (k); so as not to be hurt of the second death. He guides not only to the brink of Jordan's river, but through the deep waters of it, and never leaves till he has landed them safe on the shores of eternity: and some, as Aben Ezra, render the word as if it was "for ever"; and others, as Abendana observes, render it "secretly"; the Lord sometimes leading his people in ways dark and hidden to them: and others give the sense of it, "as in the days of youth"; that is, God is the guide of his people in old age as in youth; he is always their guide, and ever will be: to which sense incline R. Moses in Aben Ezra, others in Kimchi and Abendana, and as also Jarchi and the Chaldee paraphrase; but Kimchi and Ben Melech render it as we do, "unto death", or "unto our death".
(k) "super mortem", Montanus; "supra mortem", Cocceius, Gussetius, Michaelis; so Syr. vers. "in ipsa morte", Pfeiffer, Dub. Ver. loc. 66.
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