|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 4. - For there are no bands in their death; or, no sufferings (δυσπάθειαι, Aquila; "torments," Cheyne); comp. Job 21:13, "They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave;" and ver. 23, "One dieth in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet." Such deaths often happen, and are a severe trial of faith to those who have no firm conviction of the reality of a hereafter. But their strength is firm; literally, their body is plump (Cheyne). But the Authorized Version probably gives the true meaning. They drop into the grave while their strength is still undiminished.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For there are no bands in their death,.... Nothing that binds and straitens them, afflicts and distresses them; they have no pain of mind nor of body, but die at once, suddenly, in a moment, wholly at ease and quiet, without any bitterness of soul; see Job 21:13, or "there are no bands until their death" (f); they have no straits nor difficulties all their life long, no distempers nor diseases which may be called "bonds", Luke 13:12, till they come to die: the Vulgate Latin version is, "there is no respect to their death"; they take no notice of it, they have no care or concern about it; or, as the Targum,
"they are not terrified nor troubled because of the day of their death;''
they put it away far from them, and think nothing about it: but their strength is firm; they are hale and robust, healthful and sound, to the day of their death; their strength is not weakened in the way by diseases and distempers. Some take the word rendered "strength" to signify a porch or palace, and translate it, they are strong as a palace, or in a palace, or their palace is strong (g) their houses are well built, and continue long.
(f) "usque ad mortem eorum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Gejerus, Michaelis. (g) "palatium vel sicut palatium"; so some in Piscator; "porticus", Schmidt; so R. Jonah, Arama, and Jerom.
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