|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
73:1-14 The psalmist was strongly tempted to envy the prosperity of the wicked; a common temptation, which has tried the graces of many saints. But he lays down the great principle by which he resolved to abide. It is the goodness of God. This is a truth which cannot be shaken. Good thoughts of God will fortify against Satan's temptations. The faith even of strong believers may be sorely shaken, and ready to fail. There are storms that will try the firmest anchors. Foolish and wicked people have sometimes a great share of outward prosperity. They seem to have the least share of the troubles of this life; and they seem to have the greatest share of its comforts. They live without the fear of God, yet they prosper, and get on in the world. Wicked men often spend their lives without much sickness, and end them without great pain; while many godly persons scarcely know what health is, and die with great sufferings. Often the wicked are not frightened, either by the remembrance of their sins, or the prospect of their misery, but they die without terror. We cannot judge men's state beyond death, by what passes at their death. He looked abroad, and saw many of God's people greatly at a loss. Because the wicked are so very daring, therefore his people return hither; they know not what to say to it, and the rather, because they drink deep of the bitter cup of affliction. He spoke feelingly when he spoke of his own troubles; there is no disputing against sense, except by faith. From all this arose a strong temptation to cast off religion. But let us learn that the true course of sanctification consists in cleansing a man from all pollution both of soul and body. The heart is cleansed by the blood of Christ laid hold upon by faith; and by the begun works of the Lord's Spirit, manifested in the hearty resolution, purpose, and study of holiness, and a blameless course of life and actions, the hands are cleansed. It is not in vain to serve God and keep his ordinances.
Verse 10. - Therefore his people return hither; rather, therefore he turns his people hitherward; i.e. by his great pretensions and his audacity, he (the wicked man) turns his followers to his own courses, and induces them to act as he acts. And waters of a full cup are wrung out to them; rather, and waters in abundance are drained by them. They "drink iniquity like water" (Job 15:16), "draining" the cup which is handed to them.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Therefore his people return hither,.... Either the true people of God, and so the Targum, the people of the Lord, and whom the psalmist owned for his people; for the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, read "my people"; who seeing the prosperity of the wicked, and feeling their own afflictions, return to the same way of thinking, and fall by the same snare and temptation as the psalmist did; or such who were only the people of God by profession, but hypocrites, who observing the trouble that attends a religious life, and the prosperity of wicked men, return from the good ways of God they have outwardly walked in for some time, to the conversation of these men, and join themselves to them: or else, "his" being put for "their", the sense is, the people of these wicked men, of everyone of them, return unto them, and flock about them, and caress and flatter them, because of their prosperous circumstances, and join with them in their evil practices of oppression and slander; which sense seems best to agree with what goes before and follows after:
and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them; meaning either to the people of God, and to be understood either of the abundance of their tears, on account of their afflictions inward and outward; see Psalm 6:6, so the Targum,
"and many tears flow unto them;''
or of their afflictions themselves, which are oftentimes compared to waters in Scripture; see Psalm 42:7, which are given them in measure: it is a cup of them that is put into their hands, and in full measure; they have a full cup of them; many are their tribulations, through which they enter the kingdom, and they are all of God; it is he that wrings them out to them with his fatherly hand: or else, taking the people to mean the followers and companions of the wicked, the words are to be understood of the plenty of good things which such men enjoy in this life, their cup runs over; and indeed these seem to be the persons who are introduced speaking the following words.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10-12. Hence God's people are confounded, turned hither (or back) and thither, perplexed with doubts of God's knowledge and care, and filled with sorrow.
Psalm 73:10 Parallel Commentaries
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