Psalm 116:11
I said in my haste, All men are liars.
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Psalm 116:11. I said in my haste — Yet once, I confess, I spoke very unadvisedly, through precipitation of mind, for want of due consideration, as the same phrase, בחפזי, bechophzi, is used Psalm 31:22. It may, however, be rendered, in my terror, or amazement, that is, when I was discomposed, and almost distracted with the greatness of my troubles. All men are liars — There is no credit to be given to their promises of deliverance; I am lost and undone. Thus understood, he questions the truth of God’s promises, yet so that he does not reflect directly on God, but only on the instrument by whom the promises were declared. Some render the clause, All men are a lie, or lies, are vain, a thing of nothing, a mere phantom without any solidity; all human help fails me; so that my case is desperate if God do not help me.

116:10-19 When troubled, we do best to hold our peace, for we are apt to speak unadvisedly. Yet there may be true faith where there are workings of unbelief; but then faith will prevail; and being humbled for our distrust of God's word, we shall experience his faithfulness to it. What can the pardoned sinner, or what can those who have been delivered from trouble or distress, render to the Lord for his benefits? We cannot in any way profit him. Our best is unworthy of his acceptance; yet we ought to devote ourselves and all we have to his service. I will take the cup of salvation; I will offer the drink-offerings appointed by the law, in token of thankfulness to God, and rejoice in God's goodness to me. I will receive the cup of affliction; that cup, that bitter cup, which is sanctified to the saints, so that to them it is a cup of salvation; it is a means of spiritual health. The cup of consolation; I will receive the benefits God bestows upon me, as from his hand, and taste his love in them, as the portion not only of mine inheritance in the other world, but of my cup in this. Let others serve what masters they will, truly I am thy servant. Two ways men came to be servants. By birth. Lord, I was born in thy house; I am the son of thine handmaid, and therefore thine. It is a great mercy to be children of godly parents. By redemption. Lord, thou hast loosed my bonds, thou hast discharged me from them, therefore I am thy servant. The bonds thou hast loosed shall tie me faster unto thee. Doing good is sacrifice, with which God is well pleased; and this must accompany giving thanks to his name. Why should we offer that to the Lord which cost us nothing? The psalmist will pay his vows now; he will not delay the payment: publicly, not to make a boast, but to show he is not ashamed of God's service, and to invite others to join him. Such are true saints of God, in whose lives and deaths he will be glorified.I said in my haste - The Hebrew word used here means to flee in haste; to be in alarm and trepidation; and the idea seems to be, that the assertion referred to was made under the influence of excitement - or that it was not the result of sober reflection, but of an agitated state of mind. It does not necessarily imply that that which was said was false, for many true statements may be made when the mind is agitated and excited; but the meaning is, that he was then in such a state of mind as to suggest the belief, and to cause the assertion that all people are liars. Whether calm reflection would, or would not, confirm this impression of the moment would be a fair question after the excitement was over.

All men are liars - Are false; no one is to be relied on. This was said in the time of his affliction, and this added much to his affliction. The meaning is that, in those circumstances of distress, no one came to his aid; no one sympathized with him; there was no one to whom he could unbosom himself; no one seemed to feel any interest in him. There were relatives on whom he might have supposed that he could rely; there may have been those to whom he had shown kindness in similar circumstances; there may have been old friends whose sympathy he might have had reason to expect; but all failed. No one came to help him. No one shed a tear over his sorrows. No one showed himself true to friendship, to sympathy, to gratitude. All people seemed to be false; and he was shut up to God alone. A similar thing is referred to in Psalm 41:5-9; Psalm 88:18; compare also Job 19:13-17. This is not an unnatural feeling in affliction. The mind is then sensitive. We need friends then. We expect our friends to show their friendship then. If they do not do this, it seems to us that the entire world is false. It is evident from the whole course of remark here that the psalmist on reflection felt that he had said this without due thought, under the influence of excitement - and that he was disposed, when his mind was restored to calmness, to think better of mankind than he did in the day of affliction and trouble. This also is not uncommon. The world is much better than we think it is when our own minds are morbid and our nerves are unstrung; and bad as the world is, our opinion of it is not unfrequently the result rather of our own wrong feeling than of just reflection on the real character of mankind.

11. in my haste—literally, "terror," or "agitation," produced by his affliction (compare Ps 31:22). I said; yet once I confess I spake very unadvisedly. In my haste; through hastiness and precipitation of my mind, for want of due consideration, as the same phrase is used, Psalm 31:22. Or, in my terror or amazement, when I was discomposed and distracted with the greatness of my troubles.

All men are liars: the sense is either,

1. All men, yea, even my former friends and companions, prove deceitful and perfidious, all human help faileth me; so that my case is desperate, if God do not help me. Or,

2. All men, God’s own prophets not excepted, are liable to mistakes by the condition of their nature, as they are men, and therefore may easily deceive others; and this might be the case of Samuel in his promise of the kingdom to me. Thus he questions the truth of God’s promises, yet so as he doth not strike directly at God, but only reflects upon the instrument.

I said in my haste, all men are liars. The sin of lying is common to man; there is a natural proneness and propensity to it: men go astray from the womb, speaking lies; yet such who have received the grace of God "put it off" with the rest of "the deeds of the old man", and are "children that will not lie". Wherefore, though the greater part of mankind might deserve this character, yet all and every individual of them did not. However degenerate the age was in which David lived, and the faithful among men were few; yet there were some to whom this imputation did not belong; and therefore, on cool reflection, he owned it was said "in haste"; not with thought and deliberation, but rashly and precipitately, unadvisedly, in a passion, and under a temptation, and when off of his guard; and which he acknowledged and repented of. The Targum is,

"I said in my flight;''

when he made haste and fled from Saul, whom he might call a liar and dissembler, pretending respect to him when he had none; and also his courtiers; nay, even Samuel himself, who had anointed him, and assured him he should be king; and yet now he thought he had deceived him, and he should perish by the hand of Saul, and never come to the kingdom, 1 Samuel 27:1; or when he fled from his son Absalom, whom he might call a liar, who had deceived him with the pretence of a vow; and also Ahithophel and others, who proved treacherous and unfaithful to him. Some take the words in a quite different sense, as an instance of his great faith; that when he was so greatly afflicted, and obliged to fly, yet declared that every man that should say he should not come to the kingdom was a liar; so Kimchi: and others think his meaning is, that every man is a liar in comparison of God, who is true and faithful to his promises, and not a man, that he should lie. Men of both high and low degree are a lie and vanity, and not to be trusted and depended upon; but a man may safely put confidence in the Lord; to this agrees Romans 3:4; where the apostle seems to have some respect to this passage.

I said in my {g} haste, All men are liars.

(g) In my great distress I thought God would not regard man, who is but lies and vanity, yet I overcame this temptation and felt the contrary.

Verse 11. - I said in my haste, All men are liars. The connection of the thoughts is not apparent, unless God's faithfulness (vers. 5-8) suggests man's unfaithfulness. Psalm 116:11Since כּי אדבּר does not introduce anything that could become an object of belief, האמין is absolute here: to have faith, just as in Job 24:22; Job 29:24, with לא it signifies "to be without faith, i.e., to despair." But how does it now proceed? The lxx renders ἐπίστευσα, διὸ ἐλάλησα, which the apostle makes use of in 2 Corinthians 4:13, without our being therefore obliged with Luther to render: I believe, therefore I speak; כי does not signify διὸ. Nevertheless כי might according to the sense be used for לכן, if it had to be rendered with Hengstenberg: "I believed, therefore I spake,hy but I was very much plagued." But this assertion does not suit this connection, and has, moreover, no support in the syntax. It might more readily be rendered: "I have believed that I should yet speak, i.e., that I should once more have a deliverance of God to celebrate;" but the connection of the parallel members, which is then only lax, is opposed to this. Hitzig's attempted interpretation, "I trust, when (כּי as in Jeremiah 12:1) I should speak: I am greatly afflicted," i.e., "I have henceforth confidence, so that I shall not suffer myself to be drawn away into the expression of despondency," does not commend itself, since Psalm 116:10 is a complaining, but not therefore as yet a desponding assertion of the reality. Assuming that האמנתּי and אמרתּי in Psalm 116:11 stand on the same line in point of time, it seems that it must be interpreted I had faith, for I spake (was obliged to speak); but אדבר, separated from האמנתי by כי, is opposed to the colouring relating to the contemporaneous past. Thus Psalm 116:10 will consequently contain the issue of that which has been hitherto experienced: I have gathered up faith and believe henceforth, when I speak (have to speak, must speak): I am deeply afflicted (ענה as in Psalm 119:67, cf. Arab. ‛nâ, to be bowed down, more particularly in captivity, whence Arab. 'l-‛nât, those who are bowed down). On the other hand, Psalm 116:11 is manifestly a retrospect. He believes now, for he is thoroughly weaned from putting trust in men: I said in my despair (taken from Psalm 31:23), the result of my deeply bowed down condition: All men are liars (πᾶς ἄνθρωπος ψεύστης, Romans 3:4). Forsaken by all the men from whom he expected succour and help, he experienced the truth and faithfulness of God. Striding away over this thought, he asks in Psalm 116:12 how he is to give thanks to God for all His benefits. מה is an adverbial accusative for בּמּה, as in Genesis 44:16, and the substantive תּגּמוּל, in itself a later formation, has besides the Chaldaic plural suffix ôhi, which is without example elsewhere in Hebrew. The poet says in Psalm 116:13 how alone he can and will give thanks to his Deliverer, by using a figure taken from the Passover (Matthew 26:27), the memorial repast in celebration of the redemption out of Egypt. The cup of salvation is that which is raised aloft and drunk amidst thanksgiving for the manifold and abundant salvation (ישׁוּעות) experienced. קרא בשׁם ה is the usual expression for a solemn and public calling upon and proclamation of the Name of God. In Psalm 116:14 this thanksgiving is more minutely designated as שׁלמי נדר, which the poet now discharges. A common and joyous eating and drinking in the presence of God was associated with the shelamim. נא (vid., Psalm 115:2) in the freest application gives a more animated tone to the word with which it stands. Because he is impelled frankly and freely to give thanks before the whole congregation, נא stands beside נגד, and נגד, moreover, has the intentional ah.
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