The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep your precepts with my whole heart.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Have forged.—Rather, patched. The verb occurs twice besides (Job 13:4; Job 14:17). Gesenius compares the Greek, δόλον ἐάπτειν, and the Latin, suere dolos. Comp. also
“You praise yourself by laying defects of judgment to me;
but you patched up your excuses.”
Antony and Cleopatra: Acts 2, Scene 2.Psalm 119:69-70. The proud have forged a lie against me — A slander, charging me with hypocrisy toward God, and other sins. But I will keep thy precepts — My practice shall confute their calumnies. “Every disciple of Christ, who, like his Master, goeth contrary to the ways of the world, and condemneth them, must expect to be, like that Master, slandered and calumniated by the world. To such slanders and calumnies, a good life is the best answer.” — Horne. Their heart is as fat as grease — Hebrew, שׂפשׁ כחלב, tapash chacheleb, which Dr. Waterland renders, is gross, as with fat: and Houbigant, gross as fat. The sense is, either, 1st, They are dull, stupid, insensible, and past feeling, neither affected with the terrors nor comforts of God’s word: so a similar phrase signifies, Isaiah 6:10, compared with John 12:40. Or, 2d, They prosper exceedingly, and are even glutted with the wealth and comforts of this life. But I delight in thy law — I do not envy them their prosperity and pleasure: for I have as much delight in God’s law as they have in worldly things.Psalm 119:51. He here reverts to another form in which he had suffered from them.
Have forged a lie against me - Compare Job 13:4. The word rendered "forged," means to patch together; and then it is applied to charges or accusations against anyone, perhaps from their being made up (as they often are) of shreds and patches - hints, small matters, things having no necessary connection in themselves, but brought together as if they pertained to the same transaction - words dropped here and there in conversation, which, being artfully woven together, seem to make out a plausible case against a man. Most slanders are formed and sustained in this way, for it is rare that an absolutely forged slander is uttered against a man, or that a charge is brought which cannot be made to have plausibility from such circumstances as those referred to above. Even the most pure and circumspect cannot always avoid this, for there is something in every man's life of which a malignant and cunning enemy may take advantage, and which he may weave into a story which some will believe, and which it may not be easy to confute. A malicious man may thus start a slander which may require years to correct, and which may even operate injuriously against a man all his life.
But I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart - Notwithstanding their accusations, and their attempts to turn me away from thee, or to represent me as false and hypocritical. Whatever they may do; whatever reports they may start to my disadvantage, it is my fixed purpose to obey entirely and always thy law. See the notes at Psalm 119:51.Forged a lie; a slander, charging me with hypocrisy towards God, and rebellion against my prince.
But I will keep thy precepts; my practice shall confute their calumnies. 1 Samuel 24:9; or with respect to religion; so some proud scornful men, that derided him for his piety, and scoffed at his seriousness, gave out that it was all grimace and hypocrisy; raised calumnies upon him, and laid things to his charge he knew nothing of; and which were all lies, forged out of their own brains, and artfully and purposely put together to blacken his character, and lessen his esteem among men: and it is no unusual thing for wicked men to speak all manner of evil falsely against the people of God;
but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart; observe the commands of God sincerely, heartily, and affectionately, and not in show and appearance only; and so make it evident that it was a lie that was forged against him; and this is the best way of answering such liars and defamers; see 1 Peter 3:16.The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)69. The proud have forged a lie against me] Lit. have plastered falsehood over me, “making his true character unrecognisable” (Del.), or perhaps, questioning the sincerity and disinterestedness of his service; but his answer to their calumny is a more resolute determination to obey: as for me, with my whole heart will I keep thy precepts.Verse 69. - The proud have forged a lie against me; literally, patched up a lie against me (comp. vers. 22, 23, 42, 78, etc.). But I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart (comp. vers. 2, 10, 34, etc.). "The connection of the clauses is - that all the craft and malice of his enemies should only lead him to obey God with a more undivided heart than ever" (Professor Alexander). Psalm 16:5; Psalm 73:26, the words חלקי ה belong together. Psalm 119:57 is an inference drawn from it (אמר ל as in Exodus 2:14, and frequently), and the existing division of the verse is verified. חלּה פּני, as in Psalm 45:13, is an expression of caressing, flattering entreaty; in Latin, caput mulcere (demulcere). His turning to the word of God the poet describes in Psalm 119:59 as a result of a careful trying of his actions. After that he quickly and cheerfully, Psalm 119:60, determined to keep it without any long deliberation with flesh and blood, although the snares of wicked men surround him. The meaning of חבלי is determined according to Psalm 119:110 : the pointing does not distinguish so sharply as one might have expected between חבלי, ὠδῖνας, and חבלי, snares, bonds (vid., Psalm 18:5.); but the plural nowhere, according to the usage of the language as we now have it, signifies bands (companies), from the singular in 1 Samuel 10:5 (Bttcher, 800). Thankfulness urges him to get up at midnight (acc. temp. as in Job 34:20) to prostrate himself before God and to pray. Accordingly he is on friendly terms with, he is closely connected with (Proverbs 28:24), all who fear God. Out of the fulness of the loving-kindness of God, which is nowhere unattested upon earth (Psalm 119:64 equals Psalm 33:5), he implores for himself the inward teaching concerning His word as the highest and most cherished of mercies.
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