Psalm 102:17
He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.
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(17) The destitute.—Literally, the naked one. Here the exiled people, stripped of home and religious rites. The word is only found once more, in Jeremiah 17:6 (comp. Jeremiah 48:6 for a kindred form), where it is translated “heath,” and in Arabic it is to this day the name of a stunted bush that grows in Palestine.

102:12-22 We are dying creatures, but God is an everlasting God, the protector of his church; we may be confident that it will not be neglected. When we consider our own vileness, our darkness and deadness, and the manifold defects in our prayers, we have cause to fear that they will not be received in heaven; but we are here assured of the contrary, for we have an Advocate with the Father, and are under grace, not under the law. Redemption is the subject of praise in the Christian church; and that great work is described by the temporal deliverance and restoration of Israel. Look down upon us, Lord Jesus; and bring us into the glorious liberty of thy children, that we may bless and praise thy name.He will regard the prayer - literally, "He looks upon," or "he 'turns himself' to their prayer." He does not any longer seem to turn away from them and disregard them. He shows by thus building up Zion that he does regard prayer; that he hears the supplications of his people. There is no higher proof that prayer is heard than that which is often furnished in a revival of pure religion. All such revivals, like that on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1 ff), are usually preceded, as that was Acts 1:13-14, by special prayer; in those revivals there are often most manifest and clear answers to prayer for the conversion of individuals; to prayer for a blessing on a preached gospel; to prayer for particular relatives and friends.

Of the destitute - literally, "of the poor." The word - ערער ‛ar‛âr - occurs only here and in Jeremiah 17:6, where it is rendered "heath:" "He shall be like the 'heath' in the desert." The word, according to its etymology, means "naked;" then, poor, stripped of everything, impoverished, wholly destitute. It would thus be eminently applicable to the poor exiles in Babylon; it is as applicable to sinners pleading with God, and to the people of God themselves, destitute of everything like self-righteousness, and feeling that they have nothing in themselves, but that they are wholly dependent on the mercy of God. Compare Revelation 3:17.

And not despise their prayer - Not treat it with contempt; not pass it by unheard. This is stated as one of the reasons why the nations would be struck with awe - that God, the infinite God, would hear the prayers of those who were so poor, so powerless, so friendless. There is, in fact, nothing more suited to excite wonder than that God does hear the prayer of poor, lost, sinful man.

16. When the Lord shall build—or better, "Because the Lord hath built," &c., as a reason for the effect on others; for in thus acting and hearing the humble, He is most glorious. Of the destitute, i.e. of his poor forsaken, despised people in Babylon.

Not despise, i.e. will accept and answer.

He will regard the prayer of the destitute,.... Of the destitute of human help and support, protection and defence; as the church in the wilderness; of the "poor", as the Syriac and Arabic versions, both in spirit and in purse; of the "humble", as the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin: the word (c) signifies a low shrub or plant; it is rendered, the heath in the wilderness, Jeremiah 17:6 and designs the saints in their low and afflicted state, during the reign of antichrist, and while the witnesses prophesy in sackcloth; these are the elect that pray day and night, and give the Lord no rest till he establish and make Jerusalem a praise in the earth; and the prayers of these are regarded and looked to by the Lord; his eyes are upon and his ears are open to these praying ones; and all the glorious things which shall be done for the church of God will be in consequence of their prayers:

and not despise their prayer; not reject it with contempt and abhorrence; more is intended than is expressed: the meaning is, that he will receive it with pleasure, and return an answer to it; the prayer of these poor destitute ones is delightful to him, Proverbs 15:8.

(c) "eorum, qui sunt veluti myricae", Pagninus, Vatablus, Cocceius.

He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.
Verse 17. - He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer; rather, he hath regarded... and hath not despised (see the Revised Version). The word translated "destitute" is elsewhere (Jeremiah 17:6) only used as the name of a shrub - probably the dwarf juniper, still so called by the Arabs. The dwarf juniper has "a gloomy stunted appearance" (Tristram), and well symbolizes the Israel of the Captivity period, dry and withered, like a wretched desert shrub. Psalm 102:17With וייראוּ we are told what will take place when that which is expected in Psalm 102:14 comes to pass, and at the same time the fulfilment of that which is longed for is thereby urged home upon God: Jahve's own honour depends upon it, since the restoration of Jerusalem will become the means of the conversion of the world - a fundamental thought of Isaiah 40:1 (cf. more particularly Isaiah 59:19; Isaiah 60:2), which is also called to mind in the expression of this strophe. This prophetic prospect (Isaiah 40:1-5) that the restoration of Jerusalem will take place simultaneously with the glorious parusia of Jahve re-echoes here in a lyric form. כּי, Psalm 102:17, states the ground of the reverence, just as Psalm 102:20 the ground of the praise. The people of the Exile are called in Psalm 102:18 הערער, from ערר, to be naked: homeless, powerless, honourless, and in the eyes of men, prospectless. The lxx renders this word in Jeremiah 17:6 ἀγριομυρίκη, and its plural, formed by an internal change of vowel, ערוער, in Jeremiah 48:6 ὄνος ἄγριος, which are only particularizations of the primary notion of that which is stark naked, neglected, wild. Psalm 102:18 is an echo off Psalm 22:25. In the mirror of this and of other Psalms written in times of affliction the Israel of the Exile saw itself reflected.
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