Psalm 123:3
Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.
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(3) Exceedingly filled.—Or, sated more than enough.

Psalm 123:3-4. Have mercy upon us, O Lord — O be gracious unto us, and in much mercy help and save us; for we are exceedingly filled with contempt — Loaded with opprobrious words and injuries. Our soul is exceedingly filled with the contempt of the proud — With the scornful and contemptuous carriage of thine and our enemies, who live in great ease and glory, while we, thy people, are overwhelmed with manifold calamities.

123:1-4 Confidence in God under contempt. - Our Lord Jesus has taught us to look unto God in prayer as our Father in heaven. In every prayer a good man lifts up his soul to God; especially when in trouble. We desire mercy from him; we hope he will show us mercy, and we will continue waiting on him till it come. The eyes of a servant are to his master's directing hand, expecting that he will appoint him his work. And also to his supplying hand. Servants look to their master or their mistress for their portion of meat in due season. And to God we must look for daily bread, for grace sufficient; from him we must receive it thankfully. Where can we look for help but to our Master? And, further, to his protecting hand. If the servant is wronged and injured in his work, who should right him, but his master? And to his correcting hand. Whither should sinners turn but to him that smote them? They humble themselves under God's mighty hand. And lastly, to his rewarding hand. Hypocrites look to the world's hand, thence they have their reward; but true Christians look to God as their Master and their Rewarder. God's people find little mercy with men; but this is their comfort, that with the Lord there is mercy. Scorning and contempt have been, are, and are likely to be, the lot of God's people in this world. It is hard to bear; but the servants of God should not complain if they are treated as his beloved Son was. Let us then, when ready to faint under trials, look unto Jesus, and by faith and prayer cast ourselves upon the mercy of God.Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us - The language of earnest pleading, repeating with emphasis the object of the prayer. The supplicants are represented as standing and urging this petition, feeling that help could come only from God; looking only to him; and watching his countenance, as servants do their master's.

For we are exceedingly filled - The Hebrew word used here means to be saturated; to have the appetite fully satisfied - as applied to one who is hungry or thirsty. Then it comes to mean to be entirely full, and the idea here is, that as much contempt had been thrown upon them as could be; they could experience no more.

With contempt - Contempt has been shown us in every possible way. We are thoroughly despised.

3. contempt—was that of the heathen, and, perhaps, Samaritans (Ne 1:3; 2:19). With opprobrious words and injuries.

Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us,.... Merit is not pleaded; for, though servants, they knew they were unprofitable ones: but mercy is asked; whether by the awakened sinner, under first convictions, or by the backsliding professor, for forgiveness of sins, under a sense of them, or as under the correcting: and chastising hand of God for them: and which is repeated, to show the state of their case, which requires mercy, and in haste; and the eagerness of their spirit, and the earnestness of their suit, their prayer being the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man;

for we are exceedingly filled with contempt; by reason of meanness in outward circumstances, the common lot of God's people; and therefore are reckoned the faith of the world, and the offscouring of all things: and on account of their religion, which wicked men make a jest of; reckon an engine of state, to keep people in awe of the civil magistrate; or a piece of priestcraft, to serve the lucrative views of a set of men; or as mere cant and enthusiasm, and a gloomy melancholy business, which none but fools will give into; and particularly on account of peculiar doctrines embraced, which are branded as novel, irrational, and licentious; and ordinances, which entirely depend on the sovereign will of the institutor of them. For these things, and the like, contempt was plentifully poured upon them; they had enough of it, and too much, so much that they could not bear it; it was become intolerable and loathsome, and the more, as it had been a long time continued on them. So Aben Ezra and Kimchi interpret the word, rendered "exceedingly", of a long time.

Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are {b} exceedingly filled with contempt.

(b) He declares that when the faithful are so full that they cannot endure the oppression and scorning of the wicked any more, there is always help above, if with hungry desires they call for it.

3. Have mercy upon us] Be gracious unto us.

for we are exceedingly filled with contempt] Contumely has been as it were the daily food with which we have been crammed to loathing. Cp. Lamentations 3:15; Lamentations 3:30; Psalm 80:5.

3, 4. The plea of suffering Israel, scorned and despised by its insolent neighbours.

Verse 3. - Have mercy upon us, O Lord; have mercy upon us. The cry is repeated for greater emphasis. For we are exceedingly filled with contempt. This expression can scarcely be said to fix the date of the psalm, since hatred and contempt were the usual feelings wherewith the Jews were regarded by their neighbors. But the time of Nehemiah would certainly be no unsuitable date (see Nehemiah 4:4). Psalm 123:3The second strophe takes up the "be gracious unto us" as it were in echo. It begins with a Kyrie eleison, which is confirmed in a crescendo manner after the form of steps. The church is already abundantly satiated with ignominy. רב is an abstract "much," and רבּה, Psalm 62:3, something great (vid., Bצttcher, Lehrbuch, ֗624). The subjectivizing, intensive להּ accords with Psalm 120:6 - probably an indication of one and the same author. בּוּז is strengthened by לעג, like בּז in Ezekiel 36:4. The article of הלּעג is restrospectively demonstrative: full of such scorn of the haughty (Ew. ֗290, d). הבּוּז is also retrospectively demonstrative; but since a repetition of the article for the fourth time would have been inelegant, the poet here says לגאיונים with the Lamed, which serves as a circumlocution of the genitive. The Masora reckons this word among the fifteen "words that are written as one and are to be read as two." The Kerמ runs viz., לגאי יונים, superbis oppressorum (יונים, part. Kal, like היּונה Zephaniah 3:1, and frequently). But apart from the consideration that instead of גּאי, from the unknown גּאה, it might more readily be pointed גּאי, from גּאה (a form of nouns indicating defects, contracted גּא), this genitival construction appears to be far-fetched, and, inasmuch as it makes a distinction among the oppressors, inappropriate. The poet surely meant לגאיונים or לגּאיונים. This word גּאיון (after the form רעיון, אביון, עליון) is perhaps an intentional new formation of the poet. Saadia interprets it after the Talmudic לגיון, legio; but how could one expect to find such a Grecized Latin word (λεγεών) in the Psalter! dunash ben-Labrat (about 960) regards גאיונים as a compound word in the signification of הגּאים היונים. In fact the poet may have chosen the otherwise unused adjectival form גּאיונים because it reminds one of יונים, although it is not a compound word like דּביונים. If the Psalm is a Maccabaean Psalm, it is natural to find in לגאיונים an allusion to the despotic domination of the יונים.
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