To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Though we have rebelled against him - The word used here and rendered "though" (כי kı̂y) may mean either "though" or "for." That is, the passage may mean that mercy belongs to God, and we may hope that he will show it, "although" we have been so evil and rebellious; or it may mean that it belongs to him, and he only can show it, "for" we have rebelled against him; that is, our only hope now is in his mercy, "for" we have sinned, and forfeited all claims to his favor. Either of these interpretations makes good sense, but the latter would seem to be most in accordance with the general strain of this part of the prayer, which is to make humble and penitent confession. So the Latin Vulgate "quia." So Theodotion, ὅτι hoti. So Luther and Lengerke, "denn." In the same way, the passage in Psalm 25:11 is rendered, "For thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity, for (כי kı̂y) it is great" - though this passage will admit of the other interpretation, "although it is great."
though we have rebelled—rather, "since," &c. [Vulgate], (Ps 25:11). Our punishment is not inconsistent with His "mercies," since we have rebelled against Him.
1. Because it was less than their sin deserved, for it was rebellion.
2. Because their punishment was God’s chastisement, which to his people is an act of love and mercy, as you see, Hebrews 12:6-9.
3. Because God preserved them in their captivity, and delivered them from it. They therefore that pray to God under their sin and misery must eye God’s mercies, as well as his justice, Psalm 2:1 130:4. For as the one doth east them down, so the other bears them up, and gives them hope; or else we might he swallowed up of too much sorrow and despair, 2 Corinthians 2:7,11, wherein Satan would be too hard for us, as well as in dedolency or want of godly sorrow. Psalm 130:4,
though we have rebelled against him: there is mercy with the Lord, and forgiveness with him, even for rebellious ones; which is an exaggeration and illustration of his pardoning grace and mercy: or, "for we have sinned against him" (g); so that it is a plain case that he is merciful and has forgiven our iniquities, since he has spared us, and not destroyed us, and now is about to put an end to our captivity, according to his promise; and if he had not mercy on us, and did not forgive our sins, we must perish in them, and there would be no hope of salvation for us.To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. mercies] The word often rendered ‘tender mercies’ (Psalm 25:6; Psalm 40:11, &c.). The cognate verb and adj. are often rendered by have compassion on (e.g. Isaiah 49:15), and full of compassion (e.g. Psalm 78:38). Compassion would be the best word to adopt uniformly for this word and its cognates.
forgivenesses] Psalm 130:4, ‘With thee is forgiveness’; and Nehemiah 9:17, ‘a God of forgivenesses.’
though] because or for. The clause explains how it is that there is need for the exercise of forgiveness by God.Verses 9, 10. - To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. The Septuagint renders the last clause, "The Law which thou gavest before Moses, and us by thy servants the prophets." There is a change here which has the appearance of marking an interpolation. The prayer ceases, and an explanatory narrative begins. In content it resembles the parallel passage in Bar. 1, but is much briefer, and therefore more likely to be the older. "Forgivenesses" occurs only here and Nehemiah 9:17 in a prayer that otherwise seems borrowed from that before us. Daniel 4:9)
At the same time the tree abounded with leaves and fruit, so that birds and beasts found shadow, protection, and nourishment from it. שׁגיא, neither great nor many, but powerful, expressing the quantity and the greatness of the fruit. The בּהּ the Masoretes have rightly connected with לכלּא, to which it is joined by Maqqeph. The meaning is not: food was in it, the tree had food for all (Hv., Maur., and others), but: (it had) food for all in it, i.e., dwelling within its district (Kran., Klief.). The words, besides, do not form an independent sentence, but are only a further view of the שׁגיא (Kran.), and return in the end of the verse into further expansion, while the first and the second clauses of the second hemistich give the further expansion of the first clause in the verse. אטלל, umbram captavit, enjoyed the shadow; in Targg. The Aphel has for the most part the meaning obumbravit. The Kethiv ידרוּן is not to be changed, since the צפּרין is gen. comm. The Keri is conform to Daniel 4:18, where the word is construed as fem. The expression all flesh comprehends the beasts of the field and the fowls of heaven, but is chosen with reference to men represented under this image. For the tree, mighty, reaching even to the heavens, and visible over the whole earth, is an easily recognised symbol of a world-ruler whose power stretches itself over the whole earth. The description of the growth and of the greatness of the tree reminds us of the delineation of Pharaoh and his power under the figure of a mighty cedar of Lebanon, cf. Ezekiel 31:3., also Ezekiel 17:22., Ezekiel 19:10. The comparison of the growth of men to the growth of the trees is every frequent in biblical and other writings.
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