Psalm 109:11
Let the extortionist catch all that he has; and let the strangers spoil his labor.
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(11) Let the extortioner.—Better, let the usurer lay traps to catch all that he hath. So Timon:

“Let prisons swallow them,

Debts wither them to nothing.”

Psalm 109:11-12. Let the extortioner catch, &c. — Hebrew, ינקשׁ נשׁה, jenakkesh nosheh, the creditor, or usurer, shall insnare all that he hath: that is, take it away, not only by oppression and violence, but by cunning artifices and fraud, whereby such persons are wont to entangle, and so ruin their debtors. Let the stranger — Who hath no right to his goods, and will use no pity in spoiling him; spoil his labour — All the fruits of his labour. Let there be — There shall be none to extend mercy to him, &c. — He and his offspring shall be unpitied and hated as the public enemies of mankind. “Since the destruction of Jerusalem how often hath this race been seized, pillaged, stripped, and empoverished by prince and people, in all the nations of the known world, none appearing, as in other cases, to favour and extend mercy to them:” see notes on Leviticus 26:21-39; Deuteronomy 28:29-68. “They have had no nation, none,” says Dr. Jackson, “to avenge their grievous wrong, which the Lord God of their forefathers had ordained they should suffer at all times and in all places, wheresoever they have come, without redress. Nay, their general carriage hath been so odious and preposterous, that albeit Christian magistrates had conspired together for their good, they would themselves have certainly provoked their own misery.”109:6-20 The Lord Jesus may speak here as a Judge, denouncing sentence on some of his enemies, to warn others. When men reject the salvation of Christ, even their prayers are numbered among their sins. See what hurries some to shameful deaths, and brings the families and estates of others to ruin; makes them and theirs despicable and hateful, and brings poverty, shame, and misery upon their posterity: it is sin, that mischievous, destructive thing. And what will be the effect of the sentence, Go, ye cursed, upon the bodies and souls of the wicked! How it will affect the senses of the body, and the powers of the soul, with pain, anguish, horror, and despair! Think on these things, sinners, tremble and repent.Let the extortioner catch all that he hath - literally, "Let the extortioner cast a snare over all that he hath;" that is, let him seize all his property. The word rendered "catch" - נקשׁ nâqash - is a word which means to lay a snare, as for birds and wild animals, and hence, it means to ensnare, to entrap, to catch. The word rendered "extortioner" means literally one who lends or borrows money; a money-loaner; in our times, a "broker." Here it refers to one who loaned money on interest; or who took advantage of the necessities of others to lend money at high rates - thus sooner or later seizing upon and securing the property of another. The prayer here is, that he might be in such circumstances as to make it necessary to fall into the hands of those who would thus come into possession of all his property.

And let the strangers spoil his labor - Let strangers "plunder" his labor; that is, the fruit of his labor. Let them seize and possess what he has earned and gained to enjoy it themselves. The remarks made on Psalm 109:10, will apply to this verse and the following.

9, 10. Let his family share the punishment, his children be as wandering beggars to prowl in their desolate homes, a greedy and relentless creditor grasp his substance, his labor, or the fruit of it, enure to strangers and not his heirs, and his unprotected, fatherless children fall in want, so that his posterity shall utterly fail. Extortioner; or, usurer, or creditor. Catch, Heb. insnare, which is an emphatical expression, i.e. take away not only by oppression and violence, but also by cheats and cunning artifices, whereby such persons entangle, and so ruin their debtors.

The strangers; who have no right to his goods, and will use no pity nor measure in spoiling him.

His labour; all the fruits of his labours. 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 {f} the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour.

(f) He declares that the curse of God lies on the extortioners, who thinking to enrich their children by their unlawfully gotten goods, are by God's just judgment deprived of all.

11. Let a creditor ensnare all that he hath,

And let foreigners plunder his labour.

Ensnare is a graphic word for the wily schemes by which an unscrupulous creditor or usurious money-lender would contrive to get possession of all a man’s property. For examples of the destitution to which Israelites were sometimes brought by creditors see 2 Kings 4:1 ff.; Nehemiah 5:1-7.Verse 11. - Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; rather, the creditor, or the usurer; i.e. the man from whom he has borrowed money. And let the strangers (rather, let foreigners) spoil his labor; i.e. plunder his lands, carry off his crops, and leave him destitute. A sign for help and complaints of ungrateful persecutors form the beginning of the Psalm. "God of my praise" is equivalent to God, who art my praise, Jeremiah 17:14, cf. Deuteronomy 10:21. The God whom the Psalmist has hitherto had reason to praise will also now show Himself to him as worthy to be praised. Upon this faith he bases the prayer: be not silent (Psalm 28:1; Psalm 35:22)! A mouth such as belongs to the "wicked," a mouth out of which comes "deceit," have they opened against him; they have spoken with him a tongue (accusative, vid., on Psalm 64:6), i.e., a language, of falsehood. דּברי of things and utterances as in Psalm 35:20. It would be capricious to take the suffix of אהבתי in Psalm 109:4 as genit. object. (love which they owe me), and in Psalm 109:5 as genit. subject.; from Psalm 38:21 it may be seen that the love which he has shown to them is also meant in Psalm 109:4. The assertion that he is "prayer" is intended to say that he, repudiating all revenges of himself, takes refuge in God in prayer and commits his cause into His hands. They have loaded him with evil for good, and hatred for the love he has shown to them. Twice he lays emphasis on the fact that it is love which they have requited to him with its opposite. Perfects alternate with aorists: it is no enmity of yesterday; the imprecations that follow presuppose an inflexible obduracy on the side of the enemies.
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