Psalm 119:78
Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(78) Dealt.—Better, wronged me; literally, bent me.

Psalm 119:78-79. Let the proud be ashamed — Confound all the proud contemners of thy law; let them be brought either to repentance or to shame; for they have dealt perversely with me, either by their calumnies, putting false and perverse constructions on my words and actions, or endeavouring to overthrow and destroy me, by turning me out of the way of my duty; but I will meditate in thy precepts — All their wicked attempts shall never drive me from the study, and love, and practice of thy precepts. Let those that fear thee, &c. — Let all pious men, who have a due regard for thy testimonies, be convinced of this, and turn their hearts and affections to me, which have been alienated from me, either by the artifices and calumnies of my adversaries, or by my sore and long distresses, causing them to think that I had deceived them with false pretences, or that God, for my sins, had utterly forsaken me. And those that have known thy testimonies — That is, that have loved and practised them. The sense of this verse is much the same with that of the seventy-fourth; that good men, seeing what God had done for him, should turn themselves to him, take encouragement from him, and recognise the righteousness of God in protecting his friends.

119:73-80 God made us to serve him, and enjoy him; but by sin we have made ourselves unfit to serve him, and to enjoy him. We ought, therefore, continually to beseech him, by his Holy Spirit, to give us understanding. The comforts some have in God, should be matter of joy to others. But it is easy to own, that God's judgments are right, until it comes to be our own case. All supports under affliction must come from mercy and compassion. The mercies of God are tender mercies; the mercies of a father, the compassion of a mother to her son. They come to us when we are not able to go to them. Causeless reproach does not hurt, and should not move us. The psalmist could go on in the way of his duty, and find comfort in it. He valued the good will of saints, and was desirous to keep up his communion with them. Soundness of heart signifies sincerity in dependence on God, and devotedness to him.Let the proud be ashamed - Referring here to his enemies, who appear to have been in the higher ranks of life, or to have been those who prided themselves on their wealth, their station, or their influence. See the notes at Psalm 119:51. The psalmist asks here that they might be confounded or put to shame; that is, that they might fail of accomplishing their purposes in regard to him. See Psalm 25:2-3, notes; Job 6:20, note.

For they dealt perversely with me - They were not honest; they deceived me; they took advantage of me; they were not true to their professions of friendship. Compare the notes at Isaiah 59:3; notes at Job 8:3; notes at Job 34:12.

Without a cause - Hebrew, "by a lie." That is, They have been guilty of falsehood in their charges or accusations against me. I have given them no occasion for such treatment, and their conduct is based on an entire misrepresentation. See the notes at John 15:25.

But I will meditate in thy precepts - See the notes at Psalm 1:2. I will not be diverted from thee, from thy law, from thy service, by all that man can do to me; by all the false charges which the enemies of religion may bring against me; by all the contempt or persecution that I may suffer for my attachment to thee. See Psalm 119:23, note; Psalm 119:69, note.

78. but I … meditate in thy precepts—and so shall not be "ashamed," that is, put to shame (Ps 119:80). They dealt perversely with me, Heb. they have perverted me; either by their calumnies, whereby they have put false and perverse constructions upon all my words and actions; or by endeavouring to overthrow and destroy me, or to turn me out of the way of thy precepts. But all their wicked attempts against me shall never drive me from the study, and love, and practice of thy precepts.

Let the proud be ashamed,.... The same persons he before speaks of as accursed, who had him in derision, and forged a lie against him. Here he prays that they might be ashamed of their scoffs and jeers, of their lies and calumnies, the evils and injuries they had done him; that they might be brought to a sense of them, and repentance for them; when they would be ashamed of them in the best manner: or that they might be disappointed of their ends, in what they had done, and so be confounded and ashamed, as men are when they cannot gain their point; or be brought to shame and confusion eternally;

for they dealt perversely with me without a cause; or, "they perverted me with falsehood" (w); that is, they endeavoured to pervert him with lies and falsehood, and lead him out of the right way; or they attempted, by their lies and calumnies, to make him out to be a perverse and wicked man, and pronounced and condemned him as such, without any foundation or just cause for it;

but I will meditate in thy precepts; he was determined, in the strength of grace, that those ill usages should not take off his thoughts from religious things, or divert him from his duty to his God: none of these things moved him; he still went on in the ways of God, in his worship and service, as Daniel did, when in like circumstances.

(w) "mendacio me opprimere quaerunt", Tigurine version; "mendaciis", Piscator, Cocceius, Michaelis.

Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
78. for they dealt perversely with me without a cause] Better, for they have subverted me by falsehood. Cp. Lamentations 3:36.

Verse 78. - Let the proud be ashamed; i.e. put them to shame (comp. Psalm 35:4, 26; Psalm 40:14; Psalm 70:2; Psalm 83:17, etc.). For they dealt perversely with me without a cause; rather, for with lies they subvert me (comp. ver. 69). But I will meditate in thy precepts. Repeated from ver. 15. Psalm 119:78The eightfold Jod. God humbles, but He also exalts again according to His word; for this the poet prays in order that he may be a consolatory example to the God-fearing, to the confusion of his enemies. It is impossible that God should forsake man, who is His creature, and deny to him that which makes him truly happy, viz., the understanding and knowledge of His word. For this spiritual gift the poet prays in Psalm 119:73 (cf. on 73a, Deuteronomy 32:6; Job 10:8; Job 31:15); and he wishes in Psalm 119:74 that all who fear God may see in him with joy an example of the way in which trust in the word of God is rewarded (cf. Psalm 34:3; Psalm 35:27; Psalm 69:33; Psalm 107:42, and other passages). He knows that God's acts of judgment are pure righteousness, i.e., regulated by God's holiness, out of which they spring, and by the salvation of men, at which they aim; and he knows that God has humbled him אמוּנה (accus. adverb. for בּאמוּנה), being faithful in His intentions towards him; for it is just in the school of affliction that one first learns rightly to estimate the worth of His word, and comes to feel its power. But trouble, though sweetened by an insight into God's salutary design, is nevertheless always bitter; hence the well-justified prayer of Psalm 119:76, that God's mercy may notwithstanding be bestowed upon him for his consolation, in accordance with the promise which is become his (ל as in Psalm 119:49), His servant's. עוּת, Psalm 119:78, instead of being construed with the accusative of the right, or of the cause, that is perverted, is construed with the accusative of the person upon whom such perversion of right, such oppression by means of misrepresentation, is inflicted, as in Job 19:6; Lamentations 3:36. Chajug' reads עוּדוּני as in Psalm 119:61. The wish expressed in Psalm 119:79 is to be understood according to Psalm 73:10; Jeremiah 15:19, cf. Proverbs 9:4, Proverbs 9:16. If instead of וידעי (which is favoured by Psalm 119:63), we read according to the Chethb וידעוּ (cf. Psalm 119:125), then what is meant by ישׁוּבוּ לּי is a turning towards him for the purpose of learning: may their knowledge be enriched from his experience. For himself, however, in Psalm 119:80 he desires unreserved, faultless, unwavering adherence to God's word, for only thus is he secure against being ignominiously undeceived.
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