Psalm 119:61
The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten your law.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(61) The bands . . .—Rather, cords of the wicked surrounded me. (See Psalm 18:5-6.) So all ancient versions except the Targum.

119:57-64 True believers take the Lord for the portion of their inheritance, and nothing less will satisfy them. The psalmist prayed with his whole heart, knowing how to value the blessing he prayed for: he desired the mercy promised, and depended on the promise for it. He turned from by-paths, and returned to God's testimonies. He delayed not. It behoves sinners to hasten to escape; and the believer will be equally in haste to glorify God. No care or grief should take away God's word out of our minds, or hinder the comfort it bestows. There is no situation on earth in which a believer has not cause to be thankful. Let us feel ashamed that others are more willing to keep from sleep to spend the time in sinful pleasures, than we are to praise God. And we should be more earnest in prayer, that our hearts may be filled with his mercy, grace, and peace.The bands of the wicked - Margin, "companies." The Hebrew word properly means a cord, a rope; then a snare, gin, net; then, a band or a company of men. The reference is to some time in the life of the psalmist when he was surrounded by wicked men.

Have robbed me - Rather, have surrounded me; have environed me - for so the Hebrew word means.

But I have not forgotten thy law - I have not been deterred from keeping it by the dangers to which I have been exposed.

61, 62. This the more, if opposition of enemies, or love of ease is overcome in thus honoring God's law.

have robbed me—better, surrounded me, either as forcible constraints like fetters, or as the cords of their nets. Hengstenberg translates, "snares."

Robbed me; or, made a prey of me; done me many injuries for my respect to thy law. The bands of the wicked have robbed me,.... Very probably Saul and his ministers seized on his effects, when he fled from him; and the Amalekites plundered him of all his substance, when they took Ziklag; and Absalom and the conspirators with him robbed him, when he was obliged, because of them, to flee from his palace and court, which they entered and took possession of. But Aben Ezra rejects this sense of the word, which Jarchi and Kimchi espouse, and we follow, and renders it, "took hold of me"; and so the Targum,

"the company of the wicked were gathered together against me:''

they surrounded him and put him into fear, great numbers of them encompassing him about; see Psalm 18:4;

but I have not forgotten thy law; this was written in his heart; he kept it in his memory, and retained an affection for it; and could not be deterred from obedience to it by the numbers and violence of wicked men, who hated and persecuted him for his attachment to it.

The bands of the wicked have {c} robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law.

(c) They have gone about to draw me into their company.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
61. The cords of the wicked have entangled me] A metaphor from the snare or noose of the hunter. Cp. Psalm 119:110; Psalm 18:5. Though the wicked lay snares for him, he will not cast in his lot with those who forget God. P.B.V. and A.V. follow some Jewish authorities, and Luther.Verse 61. - The bands of the wicked have robbed me; rather, the snares of wicked men entangled me (comp. vers. 23, 157, 161). But I have not forgotten (or, I did not forget) thy Law. The 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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