|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
70:1-5 The speedy destruction of the wicked, and the preservation of the godly. - This psalm is almost the same as the last five verses of #Ps 40". While here we behold Jesus Christ set forth in poverty and distress, we also see him denouncing just and fearful punishment on his Jewish, heathen, and antichristian enemies; and pleading for the joy and happiness of his friends, to his Father's honour. Let us apply these things to our own troubled circumstances, and in a believing manner bring them, and the sinful causes thereof, to our remembrance. Urgent trials should always awake fervent prayers.
Verse 1. - Make haste, O God, to deliver me. In Psalm 40:13 we find, "Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;" and this would seem to be the right way of supplying the ellipse here. Make haste to help me, O Lord.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Make haste, O God, to deliver me,.... The phrase, "make haste", is supplied from the following clause in Psalm 40:13; it is, "be pleased, O Lord", or "Jehovah". The Targum renders it, "to deliver us"; very wrongly;
make haste to help me, O Lord; See Gill on Psalm 22:19.
The Treasury of David
1 Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O Lord.
2 Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt.
3 Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha.
4 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified.
5 But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O Lord, make no tarrying.
This is the second Psalm which is a repetition of another, the former being Psalm 53:1-6, which was a rehearsal of Psalm 14:1-7. The present differs from Psalm 40:13-17 at the outset, for that begins with, "Be pleased," and this, in our version, more urgently with, "Make haste;" or, as in the Hebrew, with an abrupt and broken cry, "O God, to deliver me; O Lord, to help me hasten." It is not forbidden us, in hours of dire distress, to ask for speed on God's part in his coming to rescue us. The only other difference between this and Psalm 40:13, is the putting of Elohim in the beginning of the verse for Jehovah, but why this is done, we know not; perhaps, the guesses of the critics are correct, but perhaps they are not. As we have the words of this Psalm twice in the letter, let them be doubly with us in spirit. It is most meet that we should day by day cry to God for deliverance and help; our frailty and our many dangers render this a perpetual necessity.
Here the words, "together," and, "to destroy it," which occur in Psalm 40 are omitted: a man in haste uses no more words than are actually necessary. His enemies desired to put his faith to shame, and he eagerly entreats that they may be disappointed, and themselves covered with confusion. It shall certainly be so; if not sooner, yet at that dread day When the wicked shall awake to shame and everlasting contempt. "Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt;" turned back and driven back are merely the variations of the translators, When men labour to turn others back from the right road, it is God's retaliation to drive them back from the point they are aiming at.
"Let them be turned back." This is a milder term than that used in Psalm 40, where he cries, "let them be desolate." Had growing years matured and mellowed the Psalmist's spirit? To be "turned back," however, may come to the same thing as to be "desolate;" disappointed malice is the nearest akin to desolation that can well be conceived. "For a reward of their shame that say, Aha, aha." They thought to shame the godly, but it was their shame, and shall be their shame for ever. How fond men are of taunts, and if they are meaningless "Ahas," more like animal cries than human words, it matters nothing, so long as they are a vent for scorn and sting the victim. Rest assured, the enemies of Christ and his people shall have wages for their work; they shall be paid in their own coin; they loved scoffing, and they shall be filled with it - yea, they shall become a proverb and a by-word for ever.
Anger against enemies must not make us forget our friends, for it is better to preserve a single citizen of Zion, than to kill a thousand enemies. "Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee." All true worshippers, though as yet in the humble ranks of seekers, shall have cause for joy. Even though the seeking commence in darkness, it shall bring light with it. "And let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified" Those who have tasted divine grace, and are therefore, wedded to it, are a somewhat more advanced race, and these shall not only feel joy, but shall with holy constancy and perseverance tell abroad their joy, and call upon men to glorify God. The doxology, "Let the Lord's name be magnified," is infinitely more manly and ennobling than the dog's bark of "Aha, aha."
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ps 70:1-5. This corresponds to Ps 40:13-17 with a very few variations, as "turn back" (Ps 70:3) for "desolate," and "make haste unto me" (Ps 70:5) for "thinketh upon me." It forms a suitable appendix to the preceding, and is called "a Psalm to bring to remembrance," as the thirty-eighth [see on Ps 38:1, title].
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