I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Psalm 9:4; Psalm 9:16.Psalm 140:12-13. I know, &c. — Both by God’s word, who hath promised it, and by my own experience of it in the course of God’s providence; that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, &c. — That he will not suffer might always to prevail against right, though it be but the right of the poor. God is, and will be, the patron of oppressed innocence, much more of persecuted piety; they that know him at all cannot but know this. Surely the righteous shall give thanks — Shall have occasion to praise thee for their deliverance; the upright shall dwell in thy presence — Shall constantly enjoy thy gracious and powerful presence, protection, and assistance. Psalm 9:4. The psalmist here doubtless refers primarily to himself, as having a confident belief that the Lord would maintain "his" cause, or would defend "him." At the same time he makes the statement general, implying that what would be done to him would be done to all in similar circumstances. The idea is that God, in all his attributes, in all his providential arrangements, in all his interpositions on earth, would be found to be on the side of the oppressed, the afflicted, and the wronged. He has no attribute that can take part with an oppressor or a wrong doer. The wicked cannot come to him with the belief that he will be on their side: the righteous - the oppressed - the afflicted - can.
13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name - the upright shall dwell in thy presence.
"I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor." All through the Psalm the writer is bravely confident, and speaks of things about which he had no doubt: in fact, no Psalm can be more grandly positive than this protest against slander. The slandered saint knew Jehovah's care for the afflicted, for he had received actual proofs of it himself. "I will maintain it" is the motto of the great Defender of the rights of the needy. What confidence this should create within the bosoms of the persecuted and poverty-stricken! The prosperous and wealthy can maintain their own cause, but those who are otherwise shall find that God helps those who cannot help themselves. Many talk as if the poor had no rights worth noticing, but they will sooner or later find out their mistake when the judge of all the earth begins to plead with them.
"Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name." The former Psalm had its "surely," but this is a more pleasing one. As surely as God will slay the wicked he will save the oppressed, and fill their hearts and mouths with praises. Whoever else may be silent, the righteous will give thanks; and whatever they may suffer, the matter will end in their living through the trial, and magnifying the Lord for his delivering grace. On earth ere long, and in heaven for ever, the pure heart shall sing unto the Lord. How loud and sweet will be the songs of the redeemed in the millennial age, when the meek shall inherit the earth, and delight themselves in the abundance of peace!
"The upright shall dwell in thy presence." Thus shall they give thanks in the truest and fullest manner. This abiding before the Lord shall render to him "songs without words," and therefore all the more spiritual and true. Their living and walking with their God shall be their practical form of gratitude. Sitting down in holy peace, like children at their father's table, their joyful looks and language shall speak their high esteem and fervent love to him who has become their dwelling-place. How high have we climbed in this Psalm - from being hunted by the evil man to dwelling in the divine presence; so doth faith upraise the saint from the lowest depths to heights of peaceful repose. Well might the song be studded with Selahs, or uplifters.I know, both by God’s word, which hath promised it, and by my own experience of it in the course of God’s providence.
that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor; of his poor and afflicted people, that are afflicted within and without, by men and devils; and who are poor as to the things of this world, and poor in spirit, and sensible of their spiritual poverty, but rich in grace: the cause of these God will maintain against their oppressors, and right their wrongs, and avenge their injuries; this the psalmist knew, and was assured of from the word of God, from instances and examples in former times, and from his own experience, Psalm 9:4.I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. Jehovah is the Judge Who rights the weak and oppressed. Cp. Psalm 7:8-9; Psalm 9:4; &c.
12, 13. The destiny of the righteous contrasted with the fate of the wicked.Verse 12. - I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted. The psalmist is confident, not only that the wicked will be punished, but also that the righteous, whatever sufferings may come upon them, will ultimately be delivered out of their afflictions (comp. Psalm 9:4, 9, 12, 18, etc.). And the right of the poor. It is not to be supposed that "the right" is always with "the poor;" but, when it is, God will assuredly be their champion. Psalm 140:8 and Psalm 140:8 point to the helmet as being מעוז ראשׁ, Psalm 60:9; cf. the expression "the helmet of salvation" in Isaiah 59:17. Beside מאויּי, from the ἅπ. λεγ. מאוה, there is also the reading מאויי, which Abulwald found in his Jerusalem codex (in Saragossa). The regular form would be מאוי, and the boldly irregular ma'awajjê follows the example of מחשׁכּי, מחמדּי, and the like, in a manner that is without example elsewhere. זממז for מזמּתו is also a hapaxlegomenon; according to Gesenius the principal form is זמם, but surely ore correctly זמם (like קרב), which in Aramaic signifies a bridle, and here a plan, device. The Hiph. חפיק (root פק, whence נפק, Arab. nfq) signifies educere in the sense of reportare, Proverbs 3:13; Proverbs 8:35; Proverbs 12:2; Proverbs 18:22, and of porrigere, Psalm 144:13, Isaiah 58:10. A reaching forth of the plan is equivalent to the reaching forth of that which is projected. The choice of the words used in this Psalm coincides here, as already in מעגּל, with Proverbs and Isaiah. The future ירוּמוּ expresses the consequence (cf. Psalm 61:8) against which the poet wishes to guard.
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