Blessed is the man that hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Watching daily at my gates.—A figure taken from an ardent scholar waiting till the doors of the school are opened, and he can begin his studies. Or it represents a courtier expecting the appearance of his sovereign, or a lover that of his mistress. (Comp. Wisdom Of Solomon 8:2.)Psalm 134:1; Psalm 135:2. Not less blessed than theirs is the lot of those who wait upon Wisdom in the temple not made with hands. Luke 10:16; they have their commission from him; are his ambassadors, and represent him; receive their gifts from him; speak according to his mind and will, revealed in his word, and preach him himself. This shows with what attention and reverence the Gospel should be heard; what credit should be given unto it; how it ought to be put in practice; this accounts for the efficacy of it on the souls of men, it being no other than the word of Christ, or Christ himself speaking; and from hence it appears how sad and dreadful will be the case of such that despise it: to hear it is the way to have the knowledge of Christ, and an increase of it; faith in Christ, and a growth therein; the joy of faith, and a furtherance of it; love to Christ, and aboundings in it; and to have spiritual food and nourishment; wherefore it is both the duty and privilege of persons to hear the Gospel of Christ, since these things come by it;
watching daily at my gates; the gates of Wisdom's house, the church of Christ, which are the public ordinances thereof; called in Scripture the gates of Zion, Psalm 87:2; in allusion to the gates of cities, where Wisdom cries, or the ministers of Christ preach, Proverbs 1:21; see Isaiah 26:1; or to the gates of kings, palaces, where courtiers watch to be admitted and received as favourites, or to give in their petitions for themselves or others, Esther 6:10. The church is the palace of the great King; it is an honour to be admitted here, to have a name and a place here, and to sit with the King at his table. Or to the door of the tabernacle, where the people of Israel assembled for worship; or to the gates of the temple, where the priests and Levites watched, Exodus 29:42. "Watching" is opposed to sleep, both to bodily sleep and to sleepy frames of soul; and to intemperance, not only by eating and drinking, but with the cares of this life; and it denotes circumspection, diligence, and attention. Here sensible sinners watch in the ministry of the word and ordinances, if anything drops that they can catch at, suitable to their case and circumstances; as Benhadad's servants did, 1 Kings 20:33; and here souls, under darkness and desertion, watch for spiritual light and comfort, as they that watch for the morning; and here every believer watches for his spiritual edification and establishment in the truth; and which should be "daily" or "day after day", one Lord's day after another; taking all opportunities, in season and out of season, consistent with the duties of their calling, to hear the word; and so they are to continue to the end of life; for happy is he that shall be found thus watching when his Lord cometh, Luke 12:37;
waiting at the posts of my doors; either in allusion to scholars, who wait the opening of the school doors to go in first, as Jarchi observes: Christ is a teacher; sensible souls are his disciples or scholars; the church is the school where they learn of him, and learn him; and waiting at the door posts of it shows early seeking to Christ, and eagerness for instruction from him, Luke 21:38. Or the allusion may be to clients, waiting at the doors of counsellors (y), for counsel, and for patronage and protection, to plead their cause for them; Christ is the wonderful Counsellor, the Advocate with the Father, the Redeemer, mighty and strong, to plead the cause of his people; and therefore it is right to wait at his doors, with whom are counsel and sound wisdom: or else to beggars, that wait at the door for alms; who knock, and wait until the door is opened; tell their case, and wait for relief; receive repulses, and wait still; and will not depart till something is given. So saints should wait at the throne of grace, and upon the word and ordinances, for answers of prayer, performance of promises, and the presence of God and Christ: and so should sinners wait on the outward ministry of the word, remembering the ease of the poor man at the pool, who waited long, and at last had a cure, John 5:5; since faith comes hereby; the Spirit and his graces, Christ and the knowledge of him, are had by such means, as follows.Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 34. - Watching daily at my gates. The idea suggested has been variously taken; e.g. as that of eager students waiting at the school door for their teacher's appearance; clients besieging a great man's portals; Levites guarding the doors of the temple; a lover at his mistress's gate. This last notion is supported by Wisd. 8:2, "I loved her, and sought her out from my youth; I desired to make her my spouse, and I was a lover of her beauty." Waiting at the posts of my doors; keeping close to the entrance, so as to be quite sure of not missing her whom he longs to see. Proverbs 8:28, Proverbs 8:29, these two features of the figure of the creation of the world return (the beginning of the firmament, and the embankment of the under waters); hence we see that the discourse here makes a fresh start with a new theme:
28 "When He made firm the ether above,
When He restrained the fountains of the waters;
29 When He set to the sea its bounds,
That the waters should not pass their limits
When He settled the pillars of the earth;
30 Then was I with Him as director of the work,
And was delighted day by day,
Rejoicing always before Him,
31 Rejoicing in His earth,
And having my delight in the children of men."
We have, with Symmachus, translated שׁחקים (from שׁחק, Arab. shaḳ, to grind, to make thin) by αἰθέρα, for so the fine transparent strata of air above the hanging clouds are called - a poetic name of the firmament רקיע. The making firm עמּץ is not to be understood locally, but internally of the spreading out of the firmament over the earth settled for continuance (an expression such as Psalm 78:23). In 28b the Masora notices the plur. עינות instead of עינות with לית as unicum (cf. Michlol 191a); the transition of the sound is as in גּלית from galajta. The inf. עזוז appears on the first look to require a transitive signification, as the lxx and the Targ., the Graec. Venet. and Luther (da er festiget die Brnnen der tieffen equals when He makes firm the fountains of the deep) have rendered it. Elster accordingly believes that this signification must be maintained, because בּ here introduces creative activity, and in itself is probably the transitive use of עזז, as the Arab. 'azz shows: when He set His עז against the מים עזּים (Isaiah 43:16). But the absence of the subject is in favour of the opinion that here, as everywhere else, it is intransitive; only we may not, with Hitzig, translate: when the fountains of the flood raged wildly; but, since 28b, if not a creative efficiency, must yet express a creative work, either as Ewald, with reference to מעוז, fortress: when they became firm, or better as Fleischer, with reference to מים עזים: when they broke forth with power, with strong fulness. Whether the suff. of חקּו, 29a, refers back to the sea or to Jahve, is decided after the parallel פּיו. If this word is equivalent to its coast (cf. Psalm 104:9), then both suffixes refer to the sea; but the coast of the sea, or of a river, is called שׂפה, not פּה, which only means ostium (mouth), not ora. Also Isaiah 19:7 will require to be translated: by the mouth of the Nile, and that פי, Psalm 133:2, may denote the under edge, arises from this, that a coat has a mouth above as well as below, i.e., is open. Thus both suff. are to be referred to God, and פיו d is to be determined after Job 23:12. The clause beginning with ומים corresponds in periodizing discourse to a clause with ut, Ewald, 338. בּחוּקו is the same form, only written plene, as Proverbs 8:27, בּחקו equals בּחקּו equals בּחקקו.
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