Psalm 138:3
In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) Strengthenedst me with strength.—Or, encouragest me strongly. (See Note to Song of Solomon 6:5, where the same Hebrew form occurs.)

In my soul.—Or, at my desire.

Psalm 138:3. In the day when I cried thou answeredst me — Didst give me to understand that my prayer was accepted, and should have a gracious return in due time; and strengthenedst me, in my soul — This clause limits and explains the former, and shows in what way God answered him so speedily, namely, not by giving him the very thing which he desired in that very instant, but by giving him inward support and patience, to wait God’s time, and to bear all his troubles cheerfully in the mean time, which was a singular mercy, and, indeed, greater than the actual donation of any temporal blessing. Observe, reader, if God give us strength in our souls, to bear the burdens, resist the temptations, and to do the duties, of an afflicted state; if he strengthen us to rely on him by faith, to maintain the peace of our own minds, and to wait with patience for the issue, we must own that he hath answered us, and are bound to be thankful.

138:1-5 When we can praise God with our whole heart, we need not be unwilling for the whole world to witness our gratitude and joy in him. Those who rely on his loving-kindness and truth through Jesus Christ, will ever find him faithful to his word. If he spared not his own Son, how shall he not with him freely give us all things? If God gives us strength in our souls, to bear the burdens, resist the temptations, and to do the duties of an afflicted state, if he strengthens us to keep hold of himself by faith, and to wait with patience for the event, we are bound to be thankful.In the day when I cried - Referring to some former period of his life when he was in trouble.

Thou answeredst me - In the very day when I called, thou gavest me the answer: that is, immediately.

And strengthenedst me with strength in my soul - literally, "Thou didst embolden - or, didst make me courageous with strength." Thou didst enable me to meet danger, and to overcome fear. It would seem probable that this was on some occasion when he was in danger from his enemies.

3-5. That promise, as an answer to his prayers in distress, revived and strengthened his faith; and, as the basis of other revelations of the Messiah, it will be the occasion of praise by all who hear and receive it (Ps 68:29, 31; Isa 4:3). The last clause limits and explains the former, how God answered him so speedily, not by giving him the thing which he desired in that very instant, but by giving him inward support and patience to wait God’s time, and to bear all his troubles cheerfully in the mean time, which was a singular mercy, and indeed greater than the actual donation of any temporal blessing.

In the day when I cried thou answeredst me,.... When in distress through Saul's persecution, he cried to the Lord, and he immediately answered him, and delivered him out of his troubles; and such immediate answers of prayer are to be remembered with thankfulness: see Psalm 18:6;

and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul; put him good heart and spirit, when before ready to faint; strengthened his heart and grace in it, particularly faith, and drew it forth into lively act and exercise so that he sunk not under the weight of affliction and trouble, but was filled with courage to withstand his enemies, and with strength to do the will and work of God; this is to be understood of inward spiritual strength; see Ephesians 3:16.

In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and {c} strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.

(c) You have strengthened me against my outward and inward enemies.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. and strengthenedst me] R.V. thou didst encourage me, giving me a proud consciousness of strength; a bold use of the word, which elsewhere denotes pride in a bad sense.

Verse 3. - In the day when I cried thou answeredst me. Thy answer came to my prayer almost as soon as it was out of my mouth. And strengthenedst me with strength in my soul. The promptness of thy answer gave my soul fresh strength. Psalm 138:3There are two things for which the poet gives thanks to God: He has answered him in the days of trouble connected with his persecution by Saul and in all distresses; and by raising him to the throne, and granting him victory upon victory, and promising him the everlasting possession of the throne, He has filled him with a proud courage, so that lofty feeling has taken up its abode in his soul, which was formerly fearful about help. Just as רהב signifies impetuosity, vehemence, and then also a monster, so הרהיב signifies both to break in upon one violently and overpowerlingly (Sol 6:5; cf. Syriac arheb, Arabic arhaba, to terrify), and to make any one courageous, bold, and confident of victory. בּנפשׁי עז forms a corollary to the verb that is marked by Mugrash or Dech: so that in my soul there was עז, i.e., power, viz., a consciousness of power (cf. Judges 5:21). The thanksgiving, which he, the king of the promise, offers to God on account of this, will be transmitted to all the kings of the earth when they shall hear (שׁמעוּ in the sense of a fut. exactum) the words of His mouth, i.e., the divine אמרה, and they shall sing of (שׁיר with בּ, like דּבּר בּ in Psalm 87:3, שׂיח בּ in Psalm 105:2 and frequently, הלּל בּ in Psalm 44:9, הזכּיר בּ in Psalm 20:8, and the like) the ways of the God of the history of salvation, they shall sing that great is the glory of Jahve. Psalm 138:6 tells us by what means He has so super-gloriously manifested Himself in His leadings of David. He has shown Himself to be the Exalted One who is His all-embracing rule does not leave the lowly (cf. David's confessions in Psalm 131:1; 2 Samuel 6:22) unnoticed (Psalm 113:6), but on the contrary makes him the especial object of His regard; and on the other hand even from afar (cf. Psalm 139:2) He sees through (ידע as in Psalm 94:11; Jeremiah 29:23) the lofty one who thinks himself unobserved and conducts himself as if he were answerable to no higher being (Psalm 10:4). In correct texts וגבה has Mugrash, and ממרחק Mercha. The form of the fut. Kal יידע is formed after the analogy of the Hiphil forms ייליל in Isaiah 16:7, and frequently, and ייטיב in Job 24:21; probably the word is intended to be all the more emphatic, inasmuch as the first radical, which disappears in ידע, is thus in a certain measure restored.

(Note: The Greek imperfects with the double (syllabic and temporal) augment, as ἑώρων, ἀνέῳγον, are similar. Chajuǵ also regards the first Jod in these forms as the preformative and the second as the radical, whereas Abulwald, Gramm. ch. xxvi. p. 170, explains the first as a prosthesis and the second as the preformative. According to the view of others, e.g., of Kimchi, יידע might be fut. Hiph. weakened from יהדע (יהידיע), which, apart from the unsuitable meaning, assumes a change of consonants that is all the more inadmissible as ידע itself springs from ודע. Nor is it to be supposed that יידע is modified from יידע (Luzzatto, 197), because it is nowhere written יידע.)

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