|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 7. - Their eyes stand out with fatness. Their eyes, which gloat upon the luxuries around them, seem to stand out from their fat and bloated faces (comp. Job 15:27; Psalm 17:10). They have more than heart could wish; literally, the imaginations of their heart overflew. The exact meaning is doubtful.
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Or their face, the eyes being put for the whole face; so the Targum,
"their face is changed, because of fatness;''
see Job 15:27, otherwise through fatness the eyes are almost enclosed: or "it goes forth out of the fatness of their eyes" (i); that is, either "pride", which shows itself in haughty looks and scornful airs, through the abundance possessed; or "violence", seen in the fierceness of the eyes, and fury of the countenance; or "their eyes go out through fatness" (k) that is, through the plenty they enjoy, their eyes go out in lust after lawful objects:
they have more than heart could wish; that they themselves could have wished for heretofore, though not now; for what is it that a worldly covetous heart cannot and does not wish for? if it had all the world, it would not satisfy it: or "the imaginations of the heart go on" (l); that is, after more, not being content with such things as they have; or "they", i.e. their pride and violence,
exceed the imaginations of the heart (m); they are more than can be conceived of, they overpass the deeds of the wicked, Jeremiah 5:28 or "they transgress by the imaginations of the heart" (n); which are evil, and that continually.
(i) "prodit vel exit e pinguedine oculorum eorum", Michaelis. (k) "Exivit prae adipe oculus eorum", Montanus; "egreditur prae pinguedine", Gejerus. (l) "pergunt cogitationes cordis eorum", Piscator. (m) "Excesserunt imaginationes cordis", Cocceius; "excedunt", Michaelis. (n) "Transgrediuntur cogitationibus cordis", Gejerus.
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