I have done judgment and justice: leave me not to my oppressors.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)AIN.
Psalm 119:121-124. I have done judgment and justice — That is, just judgment, Ecclesiastes 5:7, namely, toward mine oppressors, whom I have no way injured. Be surety for thy servant for good — For my safety and comfort. Do thou undertake and plead my cause against all my enemies, as a surety rescues the poor persecuted debtor from the hands of a severe creditor. Mine eyes fail, &c., for the word of thy righteousness — For the performance of thy righteous, or faithful, or merciful word, or promise. Deal, &c., according to thy mercy — Not according to strict justice, nor according to my sins.
Leave me not to mine oppressors - To the people who would do me wrong; who seek my hurt. He urged this on the ground that he had been obedient to the divine law, and might, therefore, with propriety, make this request, or might claim the divine protection. Man has no merit of his own, and no claim on God; but when he is his true friend, it is not improper to expect that he will interpose in his behalf; nor is it improper to present this in the form of a prayer. Our loving God, and serving him, though it is done imperfectly, is, in fact, a reason why he should and will interpose in our behalf.
121-126. On the grounds of his integrity, desire for God's word, and covenant relation to Him, the servant of God may plead for His protecting care against the wicked, gracious guidance to the knowledge of truth, and His effective vindication of the righteous and their cause, which is also His own.
122 Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.
123 Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the word of thy righteousness.
124 Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes.
125 I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.
126 It is time for thee, Lord, to work - for they have made void thy law.
127 Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.
128 Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.
"I have done judgment and justice." This was a great thing for an Eastern ruler to say at any time, for these despots mostly cared more for gain than justice. Some of them altogether neglected their duty, and would not even do judgment at all, preferring their pleasures to their duties; and many more of them sold their judgments to the highest bidders by taking bribes, or regarding the persons of men. Some rulers gave neither judgment nor justice, others gave judgment without justice, but David gave judgment and justice, and saw that his sentences were carried out. He could claim before the Lord that he had dealt out even-handed justice, and was doing so still. On this fact he founded a plea with which he backed the prayer - "Leave me not to mine oppressors." He who, as far as his power goes, has been doing right, may hope to be delivered from his superiors when attempts are made by them to do him wrong. If I will not oppress others, I may hopefully pray that others may not oppress me. A course of upright conduct is one which gives us boldness in appealing to the Great Judge for deliverance from the injustice of others. Nor is this kind of pleading to be censured as self-righteous: when we are dealing with God as to our shortcomings, we use a very different tone from that with which we face the censures of our fellow-men; when they are in the question, and we are guiltless towards them, we are justified in pleading our innocence.
"Be surety for thy servant for good." Answer for me. Do not leave thy poor servant to die by the hand of his enemy and thine. Take up my interests and weave them with thine own, and stand for me. As my Master, undertake thy servants' cause, and represent me before the faces of haughty men till they see what an august ally I have in the Lord my God.
"Let not the proud oppress me." Thine interposition will answer the purpose of my rescue, when the proud see that thou art my advocate they will hide their heads. We should have been crushed beneath our proud adversary the devil if our Lord Jesus had not stood between us and the accuser, and become a surety for us. It is by his suretiship that we escape like a bird from the snare of the fowler. What a blessing to be able to leave our matters in our Surety's hands, knowing that all will be well, since he has an answer for every accuser, a rebuke for every reviler.
Good men dread oppression, for it makes even a wise man mad, and they send up their cries to heaven for deliverance; nor shall they cry in vain, for the Lord will undertake the cause of his servants, and fight their battles against the proud. The word "servant" is wisely used as a plea for favour for himself, and the word "proud" as an argument against his enemies. It seems to be inevitable that proud men should become oppressors, and that they should take most delight in oppressing really gracious men.
Ver. 121. Judgment and justice, i.e. just judgment, as Ecclesiastes 5:8, to wit, towards mine oppressors, whom I have no way injured.
AIN. I have done judgment and justice,.... As king of Israel; which is the character given of him, 2 Samuel 8:15; and in which he was a type of Christ, Jeremiah 23:5; and as a private person; which is everyone's duty, and every good man especially will be desirous of performing it: it is not indeed perfectly done by any, and therefore not to be trusted to; nor was it so done by David; nor did he place his confidence in it; nor did he say this in a boasting way, but in defence of himself and his innocence against those who oppressed him with their calumnies, as appears from the next clause. The Syriac version takes it to be an address to God, and as describing him, "O thou that doest judgment and justice!" to whom the following petition is directed:
leave me not to mine oppressors; David had his oppressors, as all good men have, and power was on their side; but they could do no more, nor further exercise it, than as they were permitted by the Lord; for they had no power but what was given them from above; and he applies to God, and not men, for relief; and deprecates being given up to them, and left in their hands.I have done judgment and justice: leave me not to mine oppressors.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)121. Conscious of his own rectitude the Psalmist prays that he may not be abandoned to the will of his oppressors. His conduct corresponds to the character of God. Cp. Psalm 33:5; Psalm 89:14.
121–128. Ayin. It is time for Jehovah to interpose on behalf of His servant, but the faithlessness of men only confirms his love for the law.Verse 121. - I have done judgment and justice (comp. vers. 30, 31, 55, 56, etc). Leave me not to mine oppressors; rather, thou wilt not leave me to mine oppressors. The nexus of the thought seems to be, "As I have not oppressed any, so wilt thou not suffer me to be crushed by oppression." 1 Kings 18:21, who do homage partly to the worship of Jahve, partly to heathenism, and therefore are trying to combine faith and naturalism. In contrast to such, the poet's love, faith, and hope are devoted entirely to the God of revelation; and to all those who are desirous of drawing him away he addresses in Psalm 119:115 (cf. Psalm 6:9) an indignant "depart." He, however, stands in need of grace in order to persevere and to conquer. For this he prays in Psalm 119:116-117. The מן in משּׁברי is the same as in בּושׁ מן. The ah of ואשׁעה is the intentional ah (Ew. 228, c), as in Isaiah 41:23. The statement of the ground of the סלית, vilipendis, does not mean: unsuccessful is their deceit (Hengstenberg, Olshausen), but falsehood without the consistency of truth is their self-deceptive and seductive tendency. The lxx and Syriac read תּרעיתם, "their sentiment;" but this is an Aramaic word that is unintelligible in Hebrew, which the old translators have conjured into the text only on account of an apparent tautology. The reading השּׁבתּ or חשׁבתּ (Aquila, Symmachus, and Jerome; lxx ἐλογισάμην, therefore חשׁבתי) instead of חשׁבתּ might more readily be justified in Psalm 119:119; but the former gives too narrow a meaning, and the reading rests on a mistaking of the construction of השׁבית with an accusative of the object and of the effect: all the wicked, as many of them as are on the earth, dost Thou put away as dross (סגים( ssor). Accordingly משׁפטיך in Psalm 119:120 are God's punitive judgments, or rather (cf. Psalm 119:91) God's laws (judgments) according to which He judges. What is meant are sentences of punishment, as in Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28. Of these the poet is afraid, for omnipotence can change words into deeds forthwith. In fear of the God who has attested Himself in Exodus 34:7 and elsewhere, his skin shudders and his hair stands on end.
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