Psalm 119:22
Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) Remove.—Some render “roll,” with allusion to Joshua 5:9. But it is more probably the same word as that rendered “openin Psalm 119:18 (see Note) which may have for object the covering taken off (Isaiah 22:8; Nahum 3:5), or of the thing from which the covering is taken, as in Psalm 119:18.

Psalm 119:22-24. Remove from me reproach — Which I suffer, and that unjustly, for thy sake; for I have kept thy testimonies — And therefore I am innocent of those things for which they censure and reproach me: or, and therefore thou wilt maintain mine honour and interest, according to thy promise made to such as keep thy testimonies. Princes also did sit and speak, &c. — Did continually speak against me; for sitting denotes continuance. When they sat upon their seats of judicature, or sat together in companies, they entertained one another with discourses to my prejudice. But thy servant did meditate, &c. — All their contumelies and reproaches did not discourage, nor divert me from the study, belief, and practice of thy word. Thy testimonies also are my delight — My chief comfort under all their censures and persecutions; and my counsellors — To teach me how to conduct myself under them.

119:17-24 If God deals in strict justice with us, we all perish. We ought to spend our lives in his service; we shall find true life in keeping his word. Those that would see the wondrous things of God's law and gospel, must beg him to give them understanding, by the light of his Spirit. Believers feel themselves strangers on earth; they fear missing their way, and losing comfort by erring from God's commandments. Every sanctified soul hungers after the word of God, as food which there is no living without. There is something of pride at the bottom of every wilful sin. God can silence lying lips; reproach and contempt may humble and do us good, and then they shall be removed. Do we find the weight of the cross is above that we are able to bear? He that bore it for us will enable us to bear it; upheld by him we cannot sink. It is sad when those who should protect the innocent, are their betrayers. The psalmist went on in duty, and he found comfort in the word of God. The comforts of the word of God are most pleasant to a gracious soul, when other comforts are made bitter; and those that would have God's testimonies to be their delight, must be advised by them. May the Lord direct us in exercising repentance of sin, and faith in Christ.Remove from me reproach and contempt - Show me thy favor, and let me not suffer in the estimation of mankind on account of my religion. Let me not be exposed to malicious charges; to accusations of hypocrisy, insincerity, and unfaithfulness on account of my religion. This "reproach and contempt" might arise from two sources;

(1) on account of religion itself, or because he was a true friend of God; or

(2) he may have been charged with hypocrisy and insincerity; with doing things inconsistent with the profession of religion. These accusations he prays may be removed from him:

(a) in order that the true religion might not be in itself a matter of reproach, but that God might honor his own religion, and make it esteemed among people;

(b) because he was conscious that so far as he was concerned, the charges were unfounded. He did not deserve the "reproach and contempt" that properly belong to a life of hypocrisy and insincerity.

For I have kept thy testimonies - My conscience assures me of this. I can appeal to thee, my God, in proof that I do not deserve the charge of insincerity and hypocrisy. Every professedly pious man ought to be able thus to appeal to conscience and to God, and to say, in the most solemn manner, that he does not deserve the reproach of hypocrisy and insincerity.

21-24. God will rebuke those who despise His word and deliver His servants from their reproach, giving them boldness in and by His truth, even before the greatest men. Reproach, which I suffer unjustly and for thy sake, as he elsewhere complains.

I have kept thy testimonies, and therefore I am innocent from those crimes for which they censure and reproach me. Or, and therefore thou wilt maintain mine honour and interest according to thy promise made to such as keep thy testimonies, and I beg with some confidence that thou wilt do it.

Remove from me reproach and contempt,.... Or, "roll it from me" (u). It lay as a load, as a heavy burden upon him, which pressed him sore; and he therefore desired ease from it, being probably in a low frame of soul; otherwise saints do and should rejoice when reproached for Christ's sake; and esteem it, with Moses, more than all the treasures in Egypt, being what is common to them with their Lord;

for I have kept that testimonies; which was the reason why he was reproached and despised; for having a regard to the word of God, and embracing and professing the doctrines of it. Thus the word of the Lord was made a reproach to Jeremiah, or he was reproached for delivering it; as many good men have been vilified, and have suffered for the testimony of Jesus, Jeremiah 20:8; and for walking according to the directions, of it; wicked men thinking it strange they do not run into the same excess of not with them, and therefore speak evil of them, 1 Peter 4:3.

(u) "devolve a me", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. Remove] R.V. take away, lit. strip off, shame being regarded as a covering; but probably gôl, ‘roll away,’ should be read instead of gal, shame being regarded as a burden. This verse is to be connected with Psalm 119:21. ‘Thou rebukest the proud; rebuke them now, and relieve me of the contempt which they heap upon me for my observance of Thy law.’

Verse 22. - Remove from me reproach and contempt. God's servants almost necessarily incur the reproach and contempt of the worldly, to whom their conduct seems folly or madness. Christ himself was "despised;" (Isaiah 53:3) and reproached (Matthew 11:19). For I have kept thy testimonies (comp. vers. 31, 51, 87, etc.). Psalm 119:22The eightfold Gimel. This is his life's aim: he will do it under fear of the curse of apostasy; he will do it also though he suffer persecution on account of it. In Psalm 119:17 the expression is only אחיה as Psalm 118:19, not ואחיה as in Psalm 119:77, Psalm 119:116, Psalm 119:144 : the apodosis imper. only begins with ואשׁמרה, whereas אחיה is the good itself for the bestowment of which the poet prays. גּל in Psalm 119:18 is imper. apoc. Piel for גּלּה, like גס in Daniel 1:12. נפלאות is the expression for everything supernatural and mysterious which is incomprehensible to the ordinary understanding and is left to the perception of faith. The Tפra beneath the surface of its letter contains an abundance of such "wondrous things," into which only eyes from which God has removed the covering of natural short-sightedness penetrate; hence the prayer in Psalm 119:18. Upon earth we have no abiding resting-place, we sojourn here as in a strange land (Psalm 119:19, Psalm 39:13; 1 Chronicles 29:15). Hence the poet prays in Psalm 119:19 that God would keep His commandments, these rules of conduct for the journey of life, in living consciousness for him. Towards this, according to Psalm 119:20, his longing tends. גּרס (Hiph. in Lamentations 3:16) signifies to crush in pieces, Arab. jrš, and here, like the Aramaic גּרס, גּרס, to be crushed, broken in pieces. לתאבה (from תּאב, Psalm 119:40, Psalm 119:174, a secondary form of אבה) states the bias of mind in or at which the soul feels itself thus overpowered even to being crushed: it is crushing form longing after God's judgment, viz., after a more and more thorough knowledge of them. In Psalm 119:21 the lxx has probably caught the meaning of the poet better than the pointing has done, inasmuch as it draws ἐπικατάρατοι to Psalm 119:21, so that Psalm 119:21 consists of two words, just like Psalm 119:59, Psalm 119:89; and Kamphausen also follows this in his rendering. For ארוּרים as an attribute is unpoetical, and as an accusative of the predicate far-fetched; whereas it comes in naturally as a predicate before השּׁגים ממּצותיך: cursed (ארר equals Arab. harra, detestari), viz., by God. Instead of גּל, "roll" (from גּלל, Joshua 5:9), it is pointed in Psalm 119:22 (מעל) גּל, "uncover" equals גּלּה, as in Psalm 119:18, reproach being conceived of as a covering or veil (as e.g., in Psalm 69:8), cf. Isaiah 22:8 (perhaps also Lamentations 2:14; Lamentations 4:22, if גּלּה על there signifies "to remove the covering upon anything"). גּם in Psalm 119:23, as in Jeremiah 36:25, has the sense of גּם־כּי, etiamsi; and גּם in Psalm 119:24 the sense of nevertheless, ὅμως, Ew. 354, a. On נדבּר בּ (reciprocal), cf. Ezekiel 33:30. As in a criminal tribunal, princes sit and deliberate how they may be able to render him harmless.
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