Psalm 119:51
The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 119:51-52. The proud have had me in derision — For my fear of thee and trust in thy word; yet have I not declined from thy law — From faith in, or obedience to, thy revealed will, in order to avoid that derision. I remembered thy judgments of old — Thy former and ancient dispensations to the children of men, in punishing the ungodly, and protecting and delivering thy faithful servants, and this has been my support and encouragement. Here then we have the great remedy against that temptation which arises from the reproaches of the ungodly and unbelieving, namely, a remembrance of God’s judgments of old; “whether we understand thereby the judgments of his mouth, or those of his hand; his righteous decrees for the punishment of bad and reward of good men, or the many and wonderful instances of his executing those decrees, from the beginning of the world, recorded in the sacred history. These are sources of real comfort upon such occasions; because nothing can happen to us which hath not happened to God’s people of old; no case of which there is not a precedent in Scripture, where we may read the process of similar trials, their issue, and the final sentence of the Judge, who is still the same, and whose rule of procedure and determination is invariable.” — Horne.

119:49-56 Those that make God's promises their portion, may with humble boldness make them their plea. He that by his Spirit works faith in us, will work for us. The word of God speaks comfort in affliction. If, through grace, it makes us holy, there is enough in it to make us easy, in all conditions. Let us be certain we have the Divine law for what we believe, and then let not scoffers prevail upon us to decline from it. God's judgments of old comfort and encourage us, for he is still the same. Sin is horrible in the eyes of all that are sanctified. Ere long the believer will be absent from the body, and present with the Lord. In the mean time, the statutes of the Lord supply subjects for grateful praise. In the season of affliction, and in the silent hours of the night, he remembers the name of the Lord, and is stirred up to keep the law. All who have made religion the first thing, will own that they have been unspeakable gainers by it.The proud have had me greatly in derision - Those of rank; those in high life: perhaps, as we should say, the frivolous and fashionable world. They have ridiculed me; they have held me up to contempt for my scruples, my seriousness, my conscientiousness, my unwillingness to mingle with them in the pursuits, the pastimes, the frivolities of life. It is now no new thing to be held in contempt by the "proud" and the frivolous, on account of serious piety; to be thus held in contempt has been rather the rule than the exception in the treatment which the friends of religion have received from the world.

Yet have I not declined from thy law - I have not been deterred from the avowal of my religious belief; I have not turned away from the duties of piety on account of the ridicule and scorn to which I have been exposed. Compare Psalm 44:17-19.

50. for—rather, "This is my comfort … that," &c. [Maurer].

hath quickened—What the Word has already done is to faith a pledge of what it shall yet do.

Greatly in derision, for my godliness and trust in thy word, as the following words imply.

The proud have had me greatly in derision,.... Profane sinners, proud and haughty scorners, that make a jest of religion, and scoff at everything serious and good: these derided the psalmist for his piety and religion, his principles and practices; in which he was a type of Christ, who was both the song of the drunkards, and was derided by the proud and haughty Scribes and Pharisees; as all self-righteous persons are, they who trust in themselves, and despise others, Psalm 69:11;

yet have I not declined from thy law; from walking according to it, as a rule of life and conversation; from professing and maintaining the doctrine of the word, the truths of the Gospel, he had knowledge and experience of; and from going on in the ways of God and true religion he was directed in; and this testimony the Lord himself gave of him, 1 Kings 14:8 see Psalm 44:19.

The {b} proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law.

(b) Meaning the wicked who contemn God's word, and tread his religion under foot.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
51. have had me greatly in derision] Lit. have scorned me exceedingly. The ‘proud’ men of whom the Psalmist speaks belonged to the class of ‘scorners,’ the freethinkers who make what is good and holy the object of their ridicule. Cp. Proverbs 21:24; and note on Psalm 1:1. Though they ridicule him, he does not swerve from his adherence to God’s law.

Verse 51. - The proud have had me greatly in derision; rather, proud men. There is no article. (For the "derision" to which the righteous are always exposed, see Job 30:1, 9; Psalm 35:16; Psalm 44:13, 14; Lamentations 3:14; Jeremiah 20:7, etc.) Yet have I not declined (or, swerved) from thy Law (see the comment on ver. 31). Psalm 119:51The eightfold Zajin. God's word is his hope and his trust amidst all derision; and when he burns with indignation at the apostates, God's word is his solace. Since in Psalm 119:49 the expression is not דּברך but דּבר, it is not to be interpreted according to Psalm 98:3; Psalm 106:45, but: remember the word addressed to Thy servant, because Thou hast made me hope (Piel causat. as e.g., נשּׁה, to cause to forget, Genesis 41:51), i.e., hast comforted me by promising me a blessed issue, and hast directed my expectation thereunto. This is his comfort in his dejected condition, that God's promissory declaration has quickened him and proved its reviving power in his case. In הליצוּני (הליצוּני), ludificantur, it is implied that the זדים eht taht d are just לצים, frivolous persons, libertines, free-thinkers (Proverbs 21:24). משׁפּטיך, Psalm 119:52, are the valid, verified decisions (judgments) of God revealed from the veriest olden times. In the remembrance of these, which determine the lot of a man according to the relation he holds towards them, the poet found comfort. It can be rendered: then I comforted myself; or according to a later usage of the Hithpa.: I was comforted. Concerning זלעפה, aestus, vid., Psalm 11:6, and on the subject-matter, Psalm 119:21, Psalm 119:104. The poet calls his earthly life "the house of his pilgrimage;" for it is true the earth is man's (Psalm 115:16), but he has no abiding resting-place there (1 Chronicles 29:15), his בּית עולם (Ecclesiastes 12:5) is elsewhere (vid., supra, Psalm 119:19, Psalm 39:13). God's statutes are here his "songs," which give him spiritual refreshing, sweeten the hardships of the pilgrimage, and measure and hasten his steps. The Name of God has been in his mind hitherto, not merely by day, but also by night; and in consequence of this he has kept God's law (ואשׁמרה, as five times besides in this Psalm, cf. Psalm 3:6, and to be distinguished from ואשׁמרה, Psalm 119:44). Just this, that he keeps (observat) God's precepts, has fallen to his lot. To others something else is allotted (Psalm 4:8), to him this one most needful thing.
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