Psalm 119:122
Be surety for your servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
AIN.

(122) Be surety.—Just as Judah became surety for the safety of Benjamin (Genesis 43:9), so the psalmist asks God to be answerable for the servant who had been faithful to the covenant, and stand between him and the attacks of the proud. So Hezekiah (Isaiah 38:14) asks God to “undertake” for him against the threat of death. There is also, no doubt, the further thought that the Divine protection would vindicate the profession which the loyal servant makes of his obedience, as in Job 17:3, where God is summoned as the only possible guarantee of the sufferer’s innocence. This and Psalm 119:132 are the only verses not actually mentioning, under one of its terms, the Law.

119:121-128 Happy is the man, who, acting upon gospel principles, does justice to all around. Christ our Surety, having paid our debt and ransom, secures all the blessings of salvation to every true believer. The psalmist expects the word of God's righteousness, and no other salvation than what is secured by that word, which cannot fall to the ground. We deserve no favour form God; we are most easy when we cast ourselves upon God's mercy, and refer ourselves to it. If any man resolve to do God's will as his servant, he shall be made to know his testimonies. We must do what we can for the support of religion, and, after all, must beg of God to take the work into his own hands. It is hypocrisy to say we love God's commandments more than our worldly interests. The way of sin is a false way, being directly contrary to God's precepts, which are right: those that love and esteem God's law, hate sin, and will not be reconciled to it.Be surety for thy servant for good - On the meaning of the word here rendered "be surety," see the notes at Job 17:3, and the notes at Isaiah 38:14, in both which places the same Hebrew word occurs: In Isaiah it is rendered "undertake for me." The word means, properly, "to mix, to mingle;" hence, to braid, to interweave; then, to exchange, to barter. Then it means to mix or intermingle interests; to unite ourselves with others so that their interests come to be our own; and hence, to take one under our protection, to become answerable for, to be a surety for: as, when one endorses a note for another, he mingles his own interest, reputation, and means with his. So Christ becomes the security or surety - ἔγγυος enguos - of his people, Hebrews 7:22. The prayer here is, that God would, so to speak, mix or mingle his cause and that of the psalmist together, and that he would then protect the common cause as his own; or, that he would become a "pledge" or "surety" for the safety of the psalmist. This now, through the Mediator, we have a right to ask at the hand of God; and when God makes our cause his own, we must be safe.

Let not the proud oppress me - See the notes at Psalm 119:51. Let them not triumph over me, and crush me.

122. Be surety—Stand for me against my oppressors (Ge 43:9; Isa 38:14).Ver. 122. Do thou undertake and plead my cause against all mine enemies, as a surety rescues the poor persecuted debtor from the hands of a severe creditor.

For good; for my safety and comfort. Be surety for thy servant for good,.... The psalmist was, in a like case with Hezekiah, oppressed; and therefore desires the Lord would undertake for him, appear on his side, and defend him, Psalm 38:14; and if God himself is the surety of his people, and engages in their behalf, they need fear no enemy. What David prays to God to be for him, that Christ is for all his people, Hebrews 7:22. He drew nigh to God, struck hands with him, gave his word and bond to pay the debts of his people; put himself in their legal place and stead, and became responsible to law and justice for them; engaged to make satisfaction for their sins, to bring in everlasting righteousness for their justification, and to preserve and keep them, and bring them safe to eternal glory and happiness; and this was being a surety for them for good. The Syriac version is, "delight that servant with good things"; and to the same sense the Targum and Kimchi interpret it: but Jarchi and Aben Ezra take the word to have the same meaning we do; and so Aquila and Theodotion translate it: the sense Arama gives is,

"be surety for thy servant, that I may be good;''

let not the proud oppress me; the oppressors of God's people are generally proud; they are such who deal in proud wrath; it is in their pride, and owing to it, they persecute them, Psalm 10:2. This has been their character in all ages, and agrees with the man of sin and his followers, who is king over all the children of pride; but wherein such men deal proudly and oppress, God is higher than they, and therefore most proper to be applied unto.

{a} Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.

(a) Put yourself between me and my enemies, as if you were my pledge.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
122. Be surety for thy servant for good] “Guarantee Thy servant’s welfare” (Kay). Cp. Genesis 43:9; Job 17:3; Isaiah 38:14. P.B.V. make thou thy servant to delight in that which is good follows Targ., Syr. and Kimchi, in explaining the verb from the sense which it bears in Psalm 104:34 and elsewhere, but this cannot be the meaning. Coverdale was unfortunately misled by Münster’s dulce fac servo tuo id quod est bonum to substitute this rendering in the Great Bible of 1539 for the correct rendering which he had given in 1535, “Be thou suertie for thy servant to do him good.”Verse 122. - Be surety for thy servant for good (comp. Job 17:3; Isaiah 38:14). "For good" means "so that it may be well with him." Let not the proud oppress me (comp. vers. 51, 69, 78, 85, etc.). The eightfold Samech. His hope rests on God's word, without allowing itself to be led astray by doubters and apostates. סעפים (the form of nouns which indicate defects or failings) are those inwardly divided, halting between two opinions (סעפּים), 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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