Psalm 142:7
Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise your name: the righteous shall compass me about; for you shall deal bountifully with me.
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(7) Out of prison.—This expression, which must certainly be figurative of distress (comp. Psalm 143:11), probably led to the inscription.

Compass me about.—The Hebrew word here employed is used in a hostile sense in Psalm 22:12; Judges 20:43; Habakkuk 1:4. It is better, therefore, to follow the LXX. and render:

“In my case the righteous are waiting

Till,” &c

This sense “waiting for,” besides being favoured by the construction, suits well the passage, Proverbs 14:18.

“The simple inherit folly,

But the prudent wait for knowledge,

and is Aquila’s rendering there of the word as it is here.

142:1-7 David's comfort in prayer. - There can be no situation so distressing or dangerous, in which faith will not get comfort from God by prayer. We are apt to show our troubles too much to ourselves, poring upon them, which does us no service; whereas, by showing them to God, we might cast the cares upon him who careth for us, and thereby ease ourselves. Nor should we allow any complaint to ourselves or others, which we cannot make to God. When our spirits are overwhelmed by distress, and filled with discouragement; when we see snares laid for us on every side, while we walk in his way, we may reflect with comfort that the Lord knoweth our path. Those who in sincerity take the Lord for their God, find him all-sufficient, as a Refuge, and as a Portion: every thing else is a refuge of lies, and a portion of no value. In this situation David prayed earnestly to God. We may apply it spiritually; the souls of believers are often straitened by doubts and fears. And it is then their duty and interest to beg of God to set them at liberty, that they may run the way of his commandments. Thus the Lord delivered David from his powerful persecutors, and dealt bountifully with him. Thus he raised the crucified Redeemer to the throne of glory, and made him Head over all things for his church. Thus the convinced sinner cries for help, and is brought to praise the Lord in the company of his redeemed people; and thus all believers will at length be delivered from this evil world, from sin and death, and praise their Saviour for ever.Bring my soul out of prison - Bring me out of my present condition which is like a prison. I am as it were shut up; I am encompassed with foes; I do not know how to escape. Compare Psalm 25:17.

That I may praise thy name - Not merely for my own sake, but that I may have occasion more abundantly to praise thee; that thus "thou" mayest be honored; an object at all times much more important than our own welfare - even than our salvation.

The righteous shall compass me about - They shall come to me with congratulations and with expressions of rejoicing. They will desire my society, my friendship, my influence, and will regard it as a privilege and an honor to be associated with me. David looked to this as an object to be desired. He wished to be associated with the righteous; to enjoy their friendship; to have their good opinion; to be reckoned as one of them here and forever. Compare the notes at Psalm 26:9. It "is" an honor - a felicity to be desired - to be associated with good people, to possess their esteem; to have their sympathy, their prayers, and their affections; to share their joys here, and their triumphs in the world to come.

For thou shalt deal bountifully with me - Or, when thou shalt deal bountifully with me. When thou dost show me this favor, then the righteous will come around me in this manner. They will see that I am a friend of God, and they will desire to be associated with me as his friend.

7. (Compare Ps 25:17).

that I may praise—literally, "for praising," or, "that Thy name may be praised," that is, by the righteous, who shall surround me with sympathizing joy (Ps 35:27).

Bring my soul out of prison; bring me safe out of this cave, wherein I am imprisoned, and set me at perfect liberty.

Shall compass me about; shall flock to me from all parts, partly out of curiosity to see such a spectacle and miracle of God’s power and mercy; and partly to rejoice and bless God with me and for me, and for all the benefits which they expect from my government. Bring my soul out of prison,.... Not out of purgatory, to which some Popish writers wrest these words very absurdly; nor out of the prison of his body, as Joseph Ben Gorion (p); knowing that none but God had a power of removing it from thence; but out of the cave, where he was detained as in a prison, while Saul and his men were about the mouth of it; or rather out of all his straits, distresses, and difficulties, which surrounded and pressed him on all sides, as if he was in a prison;

that I may praise thy name; this release he desired not so much for his own sake, that he might be at ease and liberty, but that he might have fresh occasion to praise the Lord, and an opportunity of doing it publicly, in the assembly and congregation of the people;

the righteous shall compass me about; in a circle, like a crown, as the word (q) signifies; when delivered, they should flock to him and come about him, to see him and look at him, as a miracle of mercy, whose deliverance was marvellous; and to congratulate him upon it, and to join with him in praises unto God for it. The Targum is,

"for my sake the righteous will make to thee a crown of praise.''

And to the same purpose Jarchi,

"for my sake the righteous shall surround thee, and praise thy name.''

Aben Ezra interprets it,

"they shall glory as if the royal crown was on their heads;''

for thou shalt deal bountifully with me; in delivering him from his enemies, settling him on the throne, and bestowing upon him all the blessings of Providence and grace; see Psalm 116:7; and thus the psalm is concluded with a strong expression of faith in the Lord, though in such a low estate.

(p) Hist. Heb. l. 6. c. 20. p. 610. (q) "coronabunt", Pagninus, Montanus; "vel in me tanquam eoronati triumphabunt", Cocceius.

Bring my soul out of {c} prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall {d} compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

(c) For he was on all sides beset with his enemies as though he had been in a severe prison.

(d) Either to rejoice at my wonderful deliverer, or to set a crown on my head.

7. Bring my soul out of prison] Probably to be understood figuratively, ‘bring my soul out of distress’ (Psalm 143:11). Cp. Isaiah 42:7, of the Exile; Psalm 107:10. But it may mean that he was actually in prison. Cp. Psalm 143:3.

praise thy name] Give thanks unto thy name, as in Psalm 140:13.

the righteous shall compass me about] The loyal worshippers of Jehovah will gather round him to share in his thanksgivings. Cp. Psalm 22:22 ff. The meaning of the verb however is not certain, and some authorities, both ancient and modern, render, as in R.V. marg., crown themselves because of me, i.e. rejoice in my deliverance; but this explanation is improbable, as is also the rendering of the LXX, “the righteous will wait for me, till thou hast recompensed me.” There were then some ‘righteous’ men left; the Psalmist was not so absolutely isolated as his complaint in Psalm 142:4 seemed to shew; but probably friends and sympathisers were in no position to help him in his present distress, and practically he was alone, like Elijah in the wilderness.

because thou dealest bountifully with me] Cp. Psalm 13:6.Verse 7. - Bring my soul out of prison. The word "prison" is used symbolically, as a metaphor for trouble and distress (comp. Psalm 88:8; Psalm 107:10-14). That I may praise thy Name; or, "that men may praise thy Name." David's deliverance from his enemies would cause the godly generally to "praise the Lord." The righteous shall compass me about; rather, in me shall the righteous triumph (Kay, Cheyne). Viewing my cause as their own, they will glory in my deliverance (comp. Psalm 35:27; Psalm 40:16). For thou shalt deal bountifully with me; i.e. thou writ assuredly "hear my cry" and "deliver me" (see the preceding verse).

The emphasis of the first two lines rests upon אל־ה. Forsaken by all created beings, he confides in Jahve. He turns to Him in pathetic and importunate prayer (זעק, the parallel word being התחנּן, as in Psalm 30:9), and that not merely inwardly (Exodus 14:15), but with his voice (vid., on Psalm 3:5) - for audible prayer reacts soothingly, strengtheningly, and sanctifyingly upon the praying one - he pours out before Him his trouble which distracts his thoughts (שׁפך שׂיח as in Psalm 102:1, cf. Psalm 62:9; Psalm 64:2; 1 Samuel 1:16), he lays open before Him everything that burdens and distresses him. Not as though He did not also know it without all this; on the contrary, when his spirit (רוּחי as in Psalm 143:4; Psalm 77:4, cf. נפשׁי Jonah 2:7, Psalm 107:5, לבּי Psalm 61:3) within him (עלי, see Psalm 42:5) is enshrouded and languishes, just this is his consolation, that Jahve is intimately acquainted with his way together with the dangers that threaten him at every step, and therefore also understands how to estimate the title (right) and meaning of his complaints. The Waw of ואתּה is the same as in 1 Kings 8:36, cf. Psalm 35. Instead of saying: then I comfort myself with the fact that, etc., he at once declares the fact with which he comforts himself. Supposing this to be the case, there is no need for any alteration of the text in order to get over that which is apparently incongruous in the relation of Psalm 142:4 to Psalm 142:4.
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