|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
81:8-16 We cannot look for too little from the creature, nor too much from the Creator. We may have enough from God, if we pray for it in faith. All the wickedness of the world is owing to man's wilfulness. People are not religious, because they will not be so. God is not the Author of their sin, he leaves them to the lusts of their own hearts, and the counsels of their own heads; if they do not well, the blame must be upon themselves. The Lord is unwilling that any should perish. What enemies sinners are to themselves! It is sin that makes our troubles long, and our salvation slow. Upon the same conditions of faith and obedience, do Christians hold those spiritual and eternal good things, which the pleasant fields and fertile hills of Canaan showed forth. Christ is the Bread of life; he is the Rock of salvation, and his promises are as honey to pious minds. But those who reject him as their Lord and Master, must also lose him as their Saviour and their reward.
Verse 15. - The haters of the Lord. Israel's enemies are always spoken of as God's enemies also (comp. Psalm 3:2, 7; Psalm 9:3; Psalm 68:1; Psalm 79:6, 7, etc.). They "hate" Jehovah (Psalm 21:8; Psalm 83:2), not merely as Israel's Protecter, but as the Source of all good, whereas they delight in evil. Should have submitted themselves unto him; rather, should submit themselves, or "should yield feigned obedience" (Authorized Version, margin). But their time (i.e. Israel's time) should have endured forever; rather, should endure.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The haters of the Lord should have submitted themselves unto him,.... Or, "lied unto him" (h); feignedly submitted to him, flattered him, pretended friendship to him, and entered into a league with him; either Israel, mentioned Psalm 81:13, our God, whom and whose worship and people they hated; as every natural man is an hater of God, and all that is good, and enmity itself unto him; but these shall all submit to Christ, sooner or later, in one way or another, and acknowledge him Lord, and that he is superior to them, and themselves not a match for him; as Julian the emperor when wounded, said, Thou hast overcome me, O Galilean:
but their time should have endured for ever; which Jarchi and Aben Ezra interpret of the calamities and vengeance that should come upon the haters of God, who will be punished with everlasting destruction; their worm will never die, nor their fire be quenched; it is everlasting, and the smoke of their torment will ascend for ever and ever; in which sense the word is used, Isaiah 13:22 or rather this is to be understood of the time, or happy state and condition, of the Israelites, which would have been of long continuance, had they hearkened to the Lord, and walked in his ways; particularly, they would have long enjoyed the land of Canaan, which was given to Abraham and his seed for an everlasting possession, and which they held by the tenure of their obedience, Genesis 17:8, and so all truly gracious souls, that hearken to the voice of Christ, and walk in his ways, are in a happy state, which will endure for ever; they are blessed with all spiritual blessings, and those are for ever; the heavenly land of Canaan they shall dwell in for ever; their mansions or habitations in Christ's Father's house are everlasting; their house, not made with hands, is eternal in the heavens; their estate, possession, and inheritance is an eternal one; it is incorruptible, and fades not away; their being with Christ is for ever; and their happiness is often expressed by eternal life and eternal glory.
(h) "mentientur", Montanus; "mentiti fuissent", Vatablus; "mentirentur", Musculus, Cocceius, Gejerus; "mendaciter se dedissent", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
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