|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
69:13-21 Whatever deep waters of affliction or temptation we sink into, whatever floods of trouble or ungodly men seem ready to overwhelm us, let us persevere in prayer to our Lord to save us. The tokens of God's favour to us are enough to keep our spirits from sinking in the deepest outward troubles. If we think well of God, and continue to do so under the greatest hardships, we need not fear but he will do well for us. And if at any time we are called on to suffer reproach and shame, for Christ's sake, this may be our comfort, that he knows it. It bears hard on one that knows the worth of a good name, to be oppressed with a bad one; but when we consider what a favour it is to be accounted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Jesus, we shall see that there is no reason why it should be heart-breaking to us. The sufferings of Christ were here particularly foretold, which proves the Scripture to be the word of God; and how exactly these predictions were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, which proves him to be the true Messiah. The vinegar and the gall given to him, were a faint emblem of that bitter cup which he drank up, that we might drink the cup of salvation. We cannot expect too little from men, miserable comforters are they all; nor can we expect too much from the God of all comfort and consolation.
Verse 21. - They gave me also gall for my meat. Here, at any rate, the psalmist is inspired to be Messianic, i.e. to use words which, while they can only be applied to himself metaphorically and loosely, are in the strictest and most literal sense applicable to Christ. Gall was actually mingled with the drink which was given to Christ just before he was crucified, and which he tasted, but would not swallow (Matthew 27:34). And in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. Similarly, when upon the cress Christ uttered the words, "I thirst," those who stood by "filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his month. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished; and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost" (John 19:29, 30); comp. Psalm 22:16-18, where little facts, not true of David, but true of Christ, are recorded of an afflicted one, who partly represents David, partly his great Descendant.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They gave me also gall for my meat,.... Either some bitter herb mentioned with wormwood and hemlock, Deuteronomy 29:18; or the gall of some animal The Targum renders it,
"the gall of the heads of serpents:''
the poison of some serpents is in their heads, and the word that is here used signifies the head; see Deuteronomy 32:33. This was literally fulfilled in Christ, Matthew 27:34; and showed that he bore the curse of the law; that being given to him for food, which was not fit to be eaten; thereby intimating, that he deserved not to have the common food and necessaries of life; which is the case of those in whose place and stead he suffered: and this may be a rebuke to such who, through fulness and affluence, are apt to slight and contemn some of the good creatures of God, which ought to be received with thanksgiving; let them remember the gall that was given Christ for meat. And this may serve to reconcile poor Christians to that mean fare and low way of living they are obliged to; though they, have but a dinner of herbs, or bread and water, it is better fare than their Lord's; it is not gall;
and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink; Christ, when on the cross, was athirst, which was occasioned by a fever that usually attended persons in his circumstances; see Psalm 22:15; and, that this Scripture might be fulfilled, he signified it, saying, "I thirst"; upon which vinegar was given to him, as all the evangelists relate; Matthew 27:48. This shows the truth of Christ's human nature; that it was a true and real body that he assumed, which was subject to hunger and thirst, and was supported by food and drink, as our bodies are; also the truth of divine revelation; since such a minute circumstance as this, predicted so many hundred years ago, should, after so long a time, be exactly fulfilled; and likewise the truth of the Messiahship of Jesus, in whom this, and every thing else said Messiah, in the Law, the Prophets, and the book of Psalms, were fully accomplished; and therefore it may be strongly concluded that this is he of whom they spoke. Moreover, this expresses the inhumanity of the enemies of Christ, to use him in this manner, when he was suffering and dying; see Proverbs 31:6.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
21. Instead of such, his enemies increase his pain by giving him most distasteful food and drink. The Psalmist may have thus described by figure what Christ found in reality (compare Joh 19:29, 30).
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