INTRODUCTION TO Psalm 109
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. This psalm was written by David, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, concerning Judas the betrayer of Christ, as is certain from Acts 1:16 hence it is used to be called by the ancients the Iscariotic psalm. Whether the occasion of it was the rebellion of Absalom, as some, or the persecution of Saul, as Kimchi; and whoever David might have in view particularly, whether Ahithophel, or Doeg the Edomite, as is most likely; yet it is evident that the Holy Ghost foresaw the sin of Judas, and prophesies of that, and of the ruin and misery that should come upon him; for the imprecations in this psalm are no other than predictions of future events, and so are not to be drawn into an example by men; nor do they breathe out anything contrary to the spirit of Christianity, but are proofs of it, since what is here predicted has been exactly accomplished. The title in the Syriac version is,
"a psalm of David when they created Absalom king without his knowledge, and for this cause he was slain; but to us it expounds the sufferings of the Christ of God;''
and indeed he is the person that is all along speaking in this psalm.
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise;Hold not thy peace,.... Or be not as a deaf or dumb man, or like one that turns a deaf ear and will give no answer; so the Lord seems to his people when he does not give an immediate answer to their prayers, and does not arise to help them; he seems to have forsaken them, and to stand at a distance from them; nor does he avenge them of their enemies; it is the Messiah, as man, that puts up this petition, and it agrees with Psalm 22:2.
O God of my praise; worthy of all praise, because of the perfections of his nature, and for the mercies he bestows; and is and ought to be the constant object of the praise of his people, and was the object of the praise of Christ; see Psalm 22:22, who praised him for his wonderful formation as man, having such a holy human nature, so suitable to his divine Person, and so fit for the service of his people; for his preservation from his enemies, and the deliverance of him from death and the grave, by his resurrection; for hearing his petitions, and for the special grace bestowed on his people; see Psalm 139:14. Or, "O God of my glorying (w)"; in whom he gloried, of whom he boasted; as he often with exultation spoke of him as his God and Father: or, "the God that praises me"; for his praise was not of men, but of God, who by a voice from heaven declared him his beloved Son, in whom he was well pleased, Matthew 3:17.
(w) "gloriationis meae", Cocceius; "de quo glorior", so some in Vatablus.
For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me,.... Or "of deceit" (x) itself; most wicked and very deceitful men, who sometimes flattered and pretended friendship, as the Jews did to Christ, when they designed ill against him; though at other times their mouths were opened, and they poured out their calumnies and reproaches very freely and largely; traducing his person, and aspersing his character as a wicked man; blaspheming his miracles, as if done by the help of the devil; charging his doctrine with novelty, falsehood, and blasphemy; loading him with invidious names, as Samaritan, madman, &c; representing him as an enemy to the state, as a seditious person, and a disturber of the nation's peace; particularly their mouths were opened against him when they called for his crucifixion, and would have no denial; and especially when he was on the cross, where they gaped upon him with their mouths, and poured out their scoffs and jeers at him; see Psalm 22:14.
They have spoken against me with a lying tongue, false witnesses rose up against him, and laid things to his charge he knew nothing of, and which they could not prove, Matthew 26:59.
(x) "os doli", Vatablus, Cocceius; "os fraudis", Gejerus, Michaelis; so Ainsworth.
They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause.They compassed me about also with words of hatred,.... They surrounded him as he hung on the cross, and expressed their malice and hatred against him; then was he enclosed with these spiteful snarling dogs, and encompassed by them as with so many bees, who everyone left their sting in him, Psalm 22:16.
And fought against me without a cause: they were of an hostile spirit, enemies and enmity itself against him; fought against him both with words and blows, with their tongues and with their fists; sought his life, and at length took it away; he was attacked by the body of the Jewish nation, and by the whole posse of devils; and all this without any cause or just reason: he gave them no occasion for this enmity and malice, and opposition to him; and it was in the issue without effect, it was in vain and to no purpose; for though they gained their point in putting him to death, yet he rose again a triumphant Conqueror over them all.
For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.For my love they are my adversaries,.... For the love that Christ showed to the Jews; to their bodies, in going about and healing all manner of diseases among them; to their souls, in preaching, the Gospel to them in each of their cities; and for the love he showed to mankind in coming into the world to save them, which should have commanded love again; but instead of this they became his implacable adversaries: they acted the part of Satan; they were as so many Satans to him, as the word signifies.
But I give myself unto prayer; or "I am a man of prayer" (y); as Aben Ezra and Kimchi supply it; so he was in the days of his flesh, Hebrews 5:7, he was constant at it, and fervent in it; sometimes a whole night together at it: his usual method was, when at Jerusalem, to teach in the temple in the daytime, and at night to go to the mount of Olives, and there abide and pray, Luke 6:12. This was the armour he alone made use of against his enemies, when they fought against him, and acted the part of an adversary to him; he betook himself to nothing else but prayer; he did not return railing for railing, but committed himself in prayer to God, who judgeth righteously, 1 Peter 2:23, yea, he prayed for those his adversaries: and so Aben Ezra and Kimchi interpret it, that he was a man of prayer for them, and prayed for them; as it is certain Christ did, when he was encompassed by his enemies, and they were venting all their spite and malice against him, Luke 23:34.
(y) "et ego vir orationis", Pagninus, Gejerus.
And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.And they have rewarded me evil for good,.... For the good words and sound doctrine he delivered to them; for the good works and miracles he wrought among them, to the healing of them; see John 10:32.
And hatred for my love; he came to seek and save that which was lost, and yet they hated him, and would not have him to rule over them, Luke 19:10.
Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.Set thou a wicked man over him,.... Or "them", as the Syriac version; over everyone of his adversaries, and all of them: and which may be interpreted, as it is by Cocceius, of tyrannical princes and governors, set over the Jews, as Tiberius, Caius, Claudius, Nero, &c. and their deputies, Pilate, Felix, Festus, Florus; all wicked men, and which were a judgment on them for their usage of Christ. Though here some single person is designed, even Judas, notorious for his enmity and ingratitude to Christ; and by the wicked one set over him may be meant Satan, as in the next clause, as he is sometimes called, Matthew 13:38, into whose hands and power Judas was put, under whose influence he was; who entered into him, took possession of him, and put it into his heart to betray his Master, John 13:2.
And let Satan stand at his right hand; to direct and influence him, to solicit and tempt him to do the evil he did, and to accuse him for it when done; see Zechariah 3:1.
When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.When he shall be judged, let him be condemned,.... When he shall be arraigned at the bar of his own conscience, and be charged with the sin of which he is guilty, let conscience, which is as a thousand witnesses, rise up against him, and condemn him; so it did Judas, Matthew 26:1, or when he shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ at the last day,
let him go out a wicked, or a guilty or condemned man (z); let him hear the awful sentence, "go, thou cursed, into everlasting fire": and let him go out immediately from the presence of the Judge into eternal punishment, the condemnation of the devil: so Judas is said to go to his own place, Acts 1:25.
And let his prayer become sin, let it be fruitless and in vain; and so far from being heard, let it he treated as an abomination; let it be considered as an aggravation of his crime, as Haman's was, Esther 7:7, let his prayer being without faith in the blood of Christ, be reckoned sinful, as it was; let his cries, and tears, and repentance issue in desperation, and that in sin, as it did in destroying himself, Matthew 27:5.
(z) "exeat impius", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, De Dieu, Gejerus; "damnatus", Junius & Tremellius; "condemnatus", Cocceius.
Let his days be few; and let another take his office.Let his days be few,.... The days of men in common are but few at most: length of days, either beyond or according to the usual term of life, is reckoned a blessing; and to be cut off in the midst of a man's days a curse; when this is by the immediate hand of God, as a visible token of his displeasure; or by the hand of the civil magistrate, for some capital offence; or by a man's own hands, which was the case of Judas; whose days were but few, in comparison of the other apostles, who outlived him many years; especially the Apostle John, who lived sixty years after, at least. The Syriac version renders it, "let their days be few"; and so it reads the whole context in the plural number, both in the verses preceding and following; and the whole may be interpreted of the Jews, as it is by Theodoret, as well as of Judas; since they were concerned in the same sin, and are equally charged as the betrayers and murderers of Christ, Acts 7:52, and their days as a nation and church after the death of Christ were very few; within forty years, or thereabout, their city and temple were destroyed.
And let another take his office; or bishopric, as the Septuagint version and the Apostle Peter call it; who cites this passage, and applies it to Judas, in Acts 1:20. His office was the office of an apostle, an high and honourable one, the chief office in the church: it was a charge, as the word signifies; a charge of souls, an oversight of the flock; which is to be taken not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre's sake, but of a ready mind. Judas took it for filthy lucre's sake, and it was taken away from him, and given to another; to Matthias, on whom the lot fell, and who was numbered with the apostles in his room, Acts 1:21. This is true also of the priests, Scribes, and Pharisees, who were divested of their offices in a very little time; three shepherds were cut off in one month, Zechariah 11:8. There being a change of the priesthood, law, and ordinances, there was a change of offices and officers; new ordinances were appointed by Christ, and new officers created, on whom gifts were bestowed suitable to their work.
Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. This sometimes is the case of good men, who leave widows and fatherless children, whom the Lord shows mercy to; being the Father of the fatherless, and the Judge of the widow, Psalm 68:5, but sometimes it is threatened and comes as a judgment, when the Lord shows no mercy and favour to them, Exodus 22:24. And this is the case here, which very probably was literally fulfilled in Judas, who might have a wife and children; since it looks as if the other apostles had, and certain it is that one of them had a wife, even Peter, in the times of Christ; see 1 Corinthians 9:5. And this was verified in the people of the Jews; whom the Lord divorced from himself, and wrote a "loammi" upon them, and left them as orphans and fatherless, Hosea 1:9. This will never be the case of Christ's people, or the Christian church, John 14:18, though it will be of the antichristian one, Revelation 18:7.
Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg,.... Wander from place to place, begging their bread: this is denied of the children of good men in David's time, Psalm 37:25 yet was threatened to the children of Eli, 1 Samuel 2:36 and was very likely literally true of the children of Judas; and was certainly the case of multitudes of the children of the Jews, the posterity of them that crucified Christ, at the time of their destruction by the Romans; when great numbers were dispersed, and wandered about in various countries, as vagabonds, begging their bread from door to door; which is reckoned (a) by them a great affliction, and very distressing.
Let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places; either describing, as Kimchi thinks, the miserable cottages, forlorn and desolate houses, in which they lived, and from whence they went out to everyone that passed by, to ask relief of them; or it may be rendered,
because of their desolate places (b); or, "after them"; so the Targum, "after their desolation was made"; when their grand house was left desolate, their temple, as our Lord said it should, and was, Matthew 23:38, and all their other houses in Jerusalem and in Judea; then were they obliged to seek their bread of others elsewhere, and by begging. The Syriac version wants this verse.
(a) Mifchar Hapeninim apud Buxtorf. Florileg. Heb. p. 262, 263. (b) So De Dieu, Gejerus, and some in Michaelis.
Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour.Let the extortioner catch all that he hath,.... Or, "lay a snare for all" (c); as the Romans did, by bringing in their army, invading the land of Judea, and besieging the city of Jerusalem; who are "the extortioner or exacter that demanded tribute of them"; which they refused to pay, and therefore they seized on all they had for it. The Syriac and Arabic versions render it, "the creditor"; who sometimes for a debt would take wife and children, and all that a man had; see 2 Kings 4:1. It might be literally true of Judas; who dying in debt, his wife and children, and all he had, might be laid hold on for payment.
And let the stranger spoil his labour; plunder his house of all his goods and substance he had been labouring for: which was true of the Romans, who were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel; who came into the land, and spoiled their houses, fields, and vineyards, they had been labouring in; they took away their place and nation, and all they had, John 11:48.
(c) "illaqueet", Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus, Piscator, Gejerus; "iretiat", Vatablus, Michaelis.
Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children.Let there be none to extend mercy unto him,.... No pity is ever expressed at hearing or reading the sad case of Judas; and though the Jews were pitied of those that carried them captive to Babylon, Psalm 106:46, yet, in their last destruction by the Romans, no mercy was shown them; the wrath of God and man came upon them to the uttermost, 1 Thessalonians 2:16.
Neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children: to bestow any benefit upon them; to relieve their wants, nor to protect their persons; no more respect shown them than to their father, being shunned and hated for their father's sake.
Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.Let his posterity be cut off,.... As the seed of the wicked are said to be, Psalm 37:28, or cut down, as a tree to the very root; as the Jewish nation was by the axe of God's judgment, which, John says, was laid to the root of the tree, and the blow just going to be given, as it was in a few years after, Matthew 3:10 or, as the Targum,
"let his end be for destruction;''
and so the Syriac version, "let their end be for destruction"; their last end, which it is said shall be cut off, and issue in death, eternal death; when the end of a good man is peace and eternal life, see Psalm 37:37.
And in the generation following let their name be blotted out: or, in another age (d); the next age, the third generation; meaning the name of the posterity of Judas, and the name of the people of the Jews, so as to be spoken of with honour and reputation; but, instead of that, they are for a taunt, a proverb, and a curse, in all places.
(d) "in generatione altera", Pagninus, Montanus, &c.
Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the Lord,.... Not of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; who, though they had their failings, they were not remembered, and much less punished in their posterity, but were forgiven: rather of the Amorites and Hittites; the one being said to be the father, and the other the mother, of the Jews, Ezekiel 16:3, they succeeding them in their land, and imitating their example, and committing the same sins they did: or rather of their wicked ancestors, who killed the prophets; and the measure of whose sins Judas and the Jews filled up in crucifying Christ, see Matthew 23:31. The iniquity of these may be said to be remembered, it not being forgiven, when it was brought to account, and punished in their posterity, doing the same wicked actions; compare with this Revelation 16:19.
And let not the sin of his mother be blotted out: or forgiven; but stand as a debt to be accounted for: meaning not the sin of his mother Eve, nor of his immediate parent; but either of the Hittite as before, or of the synagogue of the Jews, or Jerusalem, which killed the prophets of the Lord.
Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.Let them be before the Lord continually,.... And not cast behind his back, or into the depths of the sea, never to be seen more, as sins are when forgiven; but be always in sight, as loathsome and abominable, and causing those that committed them to be abhorred for them; and be before him, as a Judge, to examine them, the nature and kind of them, and to condemn and punish for them; see Exodus 20:5. The Targum is,
"let them be before the Word of the Lord always;''
see Hebrews 4:13.
That he may cut off the memory of them from the earth; so that they may not be remembered with any applause, or their name spoken of with any commendation; see Job 18:17.
Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart.Because that he remembered not to show mercy,.... As Judas did not; neither to the poor, whom he cared not for, John 12:6 nor to Christ, whom he betrayed with a kiss to his enemies: nor had these words of Christ any effect upon him, to move his pity and compassion, "Friend, wherefore art thou come?" Matthew 26:49 nor did the Jews show mercy to him: they were a merciless and hardhearted people; though mercy was one of the weightier matters of the law, this they omitted, Matthew 23:23, their want of compassion may be observed in the priest and Levite passing by the man wounded by thieves, Luke 10:30. Nor did they show any mercy to Christ, when they smote and buffeted him; nor did it move their pity when Pilate brought him forth with a crown of thorns on his head, and in a miserable condition, saying, "Behold the man"; but they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him"; and gave him gall for his meat, and vinegar to drink; and mocked him when in all his miseries and agonies.
But persecuted the poor and needy man; Christ, who became poor for our sakes, and stood in need of the ministration of others to him, 2 Corinthians 8:9 and was poor in spirit, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with griefs; him Judas and the Jews persecuted to death, as follows:
that he might even slay the broken in heart; Christ, whose heart was broken with the reproach and cruel usage of men, Psalm 69:20, whose life the Jews sought to take away, and by means of Judas did.
As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him,.... Judas loved that which brought a curse upon him, sin; and so he may be said to love the curse; just as sinners are said to love death, Proverbs 8:36. He was desirous of and sought after it, to bring Christ to an accursed death; and which he accomplished and pleased himself with; and therefore it was a just retaliation upon him that the curse should light on him, and he himself come to a shameful and ignominious death. The Jews loved the cursing law, the flying roll, called the curse in Zechariah 5:2, which curses every transgressor of it: they boasted of it, rested in it, and sought for righteousness by it; and submitted not unto, but despised, the righteousness of Christ; and therefore it was but just they should come under the curse of the law: they imprecated the curse on them and their children, saying, "His blood be upon us and them", Matthew 27:25 and which accordingly came upon them, and remains to this day.
As he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him; Judas delighted not in the good will and good wishes of any to Christ, as appears from his dislike of the ointment being poured on his head by the poor woman, in John 12:4, and so the Jews were displeased at the children, and at the disciples in the temple, blessing Christ, pronouncing him blessed, and wishing blessings to him, Matthew 21:15, yea, they delighted not in their own blessedness, or in that which only could give it to them; they delighted not in Christ, who was sent to bless them, but despised and rejected him; nor in the Gospel, which is full of blessings; and particularly not in the doctrine of justification by Christ's righteousness, which commonly makes a man blessed: yea, in a sense, they judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life; and therefore it was but a righteous thing that blessing should be far from Judas and the Jews, as it was; even temporal, spiritual, and eternal blessings: yet there have been a sort of heretics (e), that have highly praised and commended Judas, as doing a brave and noble action in betraying Christ, whereby the work of salvation was hastened.
(e) Epiphan. contra Haeres. l. 1. Haer. 38.
As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones.As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment,.... He was full of it; his mouth was full of cursing and bitterness; it was visible in him, easy to be discerned; he took pride as well as pleasure in it, it was in his esteem an ornament to him, as his clothes were. The Syriac version renders it, "as armour"; as if it was a protection to him, or he thought it to be so.
So let it come into his bowels like water; the meaning is, let the wrath of God and the curse of the law come into his conscience, and make sad work there, and fill him with dread and terror, and that in great abundance, and with great force; like a flood of waters that carry all before it; or like the waters of jealousy which made the belly to swell and the thigh to rot; or the flying roll of the curse, which entering into the house of the sinner destroyed it, and all in it, Numbers 5:22.
And like oil into his bones; which is more piercing and penetrating than water; and signifies the inward and quick sense he should have of his sins, and of the wrath of God for them; see Job 20:11.
Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually.Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him,.... Let him be surrounded on all sides with the wrath of God; and let it be visible to all, as a man's garment on him is: see Isaiah 66:24.
And for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually; let him be in the utmost straits and distress, being encompassed about with the curse and wrath of God; and let that stick close unto him as a man's belt does; and let him not be able to get clear of it, or extricate himself out of it, as no man can on whom it is.
Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the LORD, and of them that speak evil against my soul.Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the Lord,.... Who were so many Satans, as the word used signifies; and Judas particularly is called a devil; and of the same malevolent and diabolical disposition were the Jews in general, John 6:70 and what is before imprecated upon them is the just recompence of reward for their hatred to Christ and ill usage of him.
And of them that speak evil against my soul; or "life" (f); in order to take it away, as did the false witnesses that rose up against him, and the Jews who charged him with sedition and blasphemy.
(f) "contra vitam meam", Gejerus.
But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy name's sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me.But do thou for me, O God the Lord, for thy name's sake,.... The sense of the petition is, and which is a prayer of Christ as man, that the Lord God would take his part, be on his side, be present with him, work with him, help and assist him, and that for his own honour and glory, for his truth and faithfulness sake, who had promised him help and assistance, Psalm 89:21.
Because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me; or "thy kindness" (g); meaning the lovingkindness of God to Christ, which he always bore to him, and was eminently and superlatively good; which he makes use of as an argument for his deliverance out of all his troubles, and from death itself; see Psalm 69:14.
(g) "benignitas tua", Musculus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.For I am poor and needy,.... As he was in human nature, being born of poor parents, brought up in a mean manner, had not where to lay his head, and was ministered to by others; though he was Lord of all, and immensely rich in the perfections of his nature, and in his vast empire and dominion, and the revenues arising from thence; see 2 Corinthians 8:9. It may here chiefly respect his helpless and forlorn estate as man, at the time of his sufferings and death; see Psalm 40:17.
And my heart is wounded within me; with the sins of his people on him, with a sense of divine wrath, and when under divine desertions, especially when his soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death, Matthew 26:38.
I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust.I am gone like the shadow when it declineth,.... When the sun is setting, and the shadow is going off; man's life is often compared to a shadow, because fleeting, momentary, and soon gone, 1 Chronicles 29:15 and death is expressed by going the way of all flesh; and by going to the grave, the house for all living, a man's long home, Joshua 23:14 and so is the death of Christ, Luke 22:22, it may be rendered, "I am made to go" (h), denoting the violent death of Christ, who was cut off out of the land of the living, and whose life was taken away from the earth, Isaiah 53:8.
I am tossed up and down as the locust; or "shaken out" (i) by the wind, as the locust is by the east wind, and carried from place to place, Exodus 10:13, or when a swarm of them by a strong wind are crowded together and thrown upon one another; or like the grasshopper, which leaps from hedge to hedge, and has no certain abode: and such was the case of Christ here on earth; and especially it may have respect not only to his being sometimes in Judea and sometimes in Galilee, sometimes in the temple and sometimes in the mount of Olives; but to his being tossed about after his apprehension, when he was led to Annas, and then to Caiaphas, then to Pilate, then to Herod, then delivered to the soldiers, and by them led to Calvary, and crucified.
(h) "cogor abire", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius; "abire factus sum", Gejerus, Michaelis. (i) "excussus sum", Montanus, Vatablus Gejerus, Michaelis; "excutior", Tigurine version, Musculus, Cocceius.
My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness.My knees are weak through fasting,..... Either voluntary or forced, through want of food or refreshment; this was verified in Christ, when he kneeled and prayed, and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground; see Psalm 69:10.
And my flesh faileth of fatness; or "for want of oil" (k); the radical moisture of his flesh being dried up like a potsherd, Psalm 22:15.
(k) , Sept. "propter oleum", V. L. "propter defectum olei", Eth. Arab.
I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads.I became also a reproach unto them,.... Or they reproached him; not only in life, traducing his conversation, blaspheming his miracles, calling him a Samaritan, saying he had a devil, and charging him with sedition; but at the time of his death they reviled him, and treated him in the most opprobrious manner.
When they looked upon me, they shaked their heads; which was verified in the Jews as they passed by the cross of Christ, whither they came to stare upon him and scoff at him, Matthew 27:39.
Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy:Help me, O Lord my God,.... Jehovah the Father is here addressed, who is the God of Christ, as Christ is man; who formed him, supported him, and glorified him; and whom Christ loved, believed in, obeyed and prayed unto; nor did he pray to a God that could not hear, but to one that was able to save him from death: as a divine Person he needed no help, being the mighty God, the most Mighty, the Almighty: but as man he did, being encompassed about with infirmities; and as Mediator help was promised him, he expected it, and he had it, Psalm 89:21.
O save me according to thy mercy; or "kindness"; as before in Psalm 109:21 from sufferings, and out of them; from death and the grave, as he was; or his people by him, who are saved not by works of righteousness, but according to the mercy of God, Titus 3:5.
That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, LORD, hast done it.That they may know that this is thy hand,.... Which inflicted vengeance, and executed judgments on Judas and the Jews, as before imprecated: so the Targum,
"that they may know that this is thy stroke;''
or which was concerned in all the sorrows and sufferings of the Messiah, which could never have come upon him had it not been the will of God; it was his hand and council that determined it, or men could never have effected it; see Acts 4:28, or which wrought deliverance and salvation as before prayed for; see Psalm 118:21.
That thou, Lord, hast done it: one or other, or all the above things; the finger of God was to be seen in them; particularly in the sufferings of Christ, and in his exaltation; see Acts 2:23.
Let them curse, but bless thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice.Let them curse, but bless thou,.... Let them curse me, as Shimei did David, the type of Christ; let them curse themselves, as they did; or my people: or "let them be cursed", as the Syriac version; cursed in life and at death, and to all eternity: but "bless thou me", the Messiah; as he did, when he raised him front the dead, set him at his right hand, and gave him a name above everyone, and made him most blessed for evermore; and bless my people with all spiritual blessings of grace, and with eternal glory and happiness. Or "be thou blessed"; let honour, blessing, and praise, be continually ascribed to thee; if God does but bless, it is no matter if wicked men curse, so Aben Ezra and Kimchi interpret it; see 2 Samuel 16:11.
When they arise, let them be ashamed; be suffered to do those things which may bring shame and disgrace upon them; or let them be disappointed and so confounded, as the Jews were; who though they so far gained their point as to bring Christ to the dust of death and the grave, yet to their great confusion he arose again from the dead; or let them be ashamed at the last day, as they will be when Christ shall come in the clouds of heaven and be their Judge, who will then be glad to shelter themselves in rocks and caves. This is imprecated to be done
when they shall arise: rise up against Christ to take away his life; rise up against his disciples to persecute them, against his Gospel to contradict and blaspheme it, and against his cause and interest to crush it; or against the Romans, to shake off their yoke, when they were brought to great shame and confusion; or when they shall arise at the resurrection of the dead, which will be to shame and everlasting contempt, Daniel 12:2.
But let thy servant rejoice; the Messiah, who appeared in the form of a servant; came not as a temporal lord and prince, to be ministered unto, but as a servant, to minister to others; and who is a servant of God's choosing, calling, and sending, and whom he faithfully served; and who, as prayed for, did rejoice in the strength of the Lord, given him as man; and in the salvation wrought for and by him, Psalm 21:1, in the work of the Lord prospering in his hand; in his victory over sin, Satan, the world, and death; in the presence of God he was made glad with, and in the glory promised him, which he had with his Father before the world was, Psalm 16:11.
Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame,.... This is only explanative of what is said before,
And let them cover themselves with their own confusion as with a mantle: the Arabic version is, "as with a breastplate." Some understand it as a petition of Christ, that they might be brought to repentance for their sins, and so to shame for them; which is an instance of his wondrous grace and goodness; and it is certain he prayed for the forgiveness of his enemies when on the cross, Luke 23:34.
I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth,.... Vocally, and in the highest strains.
Yea, I will praise him among the multitude: of converted persons, both Jews and Gentiles, and by them: or, "among the mighty" (l); or great ones; the great congregation, as in Psalm 22:25 among the innumerable and mighty angels in heaven; or, as the Targum,
"among the wise men;''
his own disciples, made wise unto salvation, and to win souls; being filled with the gifts of wisdom and knowledge; among and with whom Christ sung an hymn of praise after the celebration of the supper, Matthew 26:30.
(l) "in magno coetu", Tigurine version.
For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor,.... Of the Messiah, as in Psalm 109:22 at whose right hand the Lord was, to guide and direct, help and assist, protect and defend, Psalm 16:8, or of his people, who are poor in every sense; but the Lord is on their side, and is a present help in time of trouble, Psalm 46:1.
To save him from those that condemn his soul: the Messiah: from his judges, the high priest and Jewish sanhedrim, and Pilate the Roman governor, who condemned him to death; but he committed his spirit, or soul, to God, who received it, and raised his body from the dead; and would not suffer it to see corruption, as a testimony of his innocence: or the soul of the poor saints, which the Lord saves from the condemnation of sin, Satan, the law, and their own consciences, Romans 8:1.