|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
51:16-19 Those who are thoroughly convinced of their misery and danger by sin, would spare no cost to obtain the remission of it. But as they cannot make satisfaction for sin, so God cannot take any satisfaction in them, otherwise than as expressing love and duty to him. The good work wrought in every true penitent, is a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, and sorrow for sin. It is a heart that is tender, and pliable to God's word. Oh that there were such a heart in every one of us! God is graciously pleased to accept this; it is instead of all burnt-offering and sacrifice. The broken heart is acceptable to God only through Jesus Christ; there is no true repentance without faith in him. Men despise that which is broken, but God will not. He will not overlook it, he will not refuse or reject it; though it makes God no satisfaction for the wrong done to him by sin. Those who have been in spiritual troubles, know how to pity and pray for others afflicted in like manner. David was afraid lest his sin should bring judgements upon the city and kingdom. No personal fears or troubles of conscience can make the soul, which has received grace, careless about the interests of the church of God. And let this be the continued joy of all the redeemed, that they have redemption through the blood of Christ, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace.
Verse 19. - Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness. "Then" - when the walls are completed - thou shalt receive the public sacrifices which will naturally be offered on the accomplishment of such a work (Nehemiah 12:43). And these sacrifices, offered willingly by grateful hearts, will be pleasing and acceptable unto thee. With burnt offering, and whole burnt offering. Only the head, the fat, and certain portions of the interior were ordinarily burnt when a victim was offered (Leviticus 1:8, 12; Leviticus 3:3, 4, etc.); but sometimes, when the offerer's heart was full, and he desired to indicate its complete and undivided surrender to God, the entire victim was consumed (see Hengstenberg, ad loc.). Then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar. Bullocks, or oxen, were offered on all great occasions (see 2 Samuel 24:22-25; 1 Kings 8:63; 1 Chronicles 29:21; 2 Chronicles 7:5; 2 Chronicles 29:32, 33; 2 Chronicles 35:7, 9; Ezra 6:17, etc.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then shall thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness,.... Which must be different from the legal ones he desired not, and did not delight in, Psalm 51:16; but design sacrifices under the Gospel dispensation, as the word "then" shows, which connects this verse with Psalm 51:18, and in the first place intend the sacrifice of Christ, which is of a sweet smelling savour to God; and his righteousness, with which he is well pleased, because the law is magnified and made honourable by it; and next the saints themselves, who present their bodies to him a holy, living, and acceptable sacrifice, they being accepted with him in Christ the beloved; as also their good works, particularly acts of charity and beneficence, with which sacrifices God is well pleased; and especially the spiritual sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, which are acceptable to him through Jesus Christ; as all are that are offered in faith through him, and from love, and with a view to the glory of God; see Ephesians 5:2, Romans 12:1;
with burnt offering, and whole burnt offering; the difference between these two, according to Aben Ezra and Kimchi, was, that the "olah", or "burnt offering", was the daily sacrifice; and the additional ones, which were of beasts and birds, Leviticus 1:1, and the "calil", was the meat offering of the priests, which was wholly consumed, Leviticus 6:22; though this also is sometimes used of beasts, 1 Samuel 7:9; and both may signify love to God, and to our neighbour; or a man's devoting himself to the Lord in the flames of love, as a whole burnt offering to him, and which is better than all burnt offerings, Mark 12:33;
then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar; or "calves" (r); meaning the calves of the lips, Hosea 14:2; interpreted the fruit of the lips, even giving thanks to the name of God, Hebrews 13:16; which sacrifices of praise being offered up on the altar Christ, come with acceptance before God, Hebrews 13:10.
(r) "vitulos", V. L. Pagninus, Tigurine version, Musculus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. God reconciled, material sacrifices will be acceptable (Ps 4:5; compare Isa 1:11-17).
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