Psalm 147:3
He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) Broken in heart.—As in Psalm 34:18. (Comp. Isaiah 61:1.)

Wounds.—See margin, and comp. Job 9:28; Proverbs 15:13.

147:1-11 Praising God is work that is its own wages. It is comely; it becomes us as reasonable creatures, much more as people in covenant with God. He gathers outcast sinners by his grace, and will bring them into his holy habitation. To those whom God heals with the consolations of his Spirit, he speaks peace, assures them their sins are pardoned. And for this, let others praise him also. Man's knowledge is soon ended; but God's knowledge is a dept that can never be fathomed. And while he telleth the number of the stars, he condescends to hear the broken-hearted sinner. While he feeds the young ravens, he will not leave his praying people destitute. Clouds look dull and melancholy, yet without them we could have no rain, therefore no fruit. Thus afflictions look black and unpleasant; but from clouds of affliction come showers that make the soul to yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness. The psalmist delights not in things wherein sinners trust and glory; but a serious and suitable regard to God is, in his sight, of very great price. We are not to be in doubt between hope and fear, but to act under the gracious influences of hope and fear united.He healeth the broken in heart - Referrring primarily to the fact that he had healed those who were crushed and broken in their long captivity, and that he had given them comfort by returning them to their native land. At the same time, however, the language is made general, as describing a characteristic of God that he does this; that it is his character to do this. See the notes at Psalm 34:18. See also Psalm 51:17. Compare Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18.

And bindeth up their wounds - See the notes at Isaiah 1:6. Margin, griefs. The word refers to those who are afflicted with griefs and troubles. The reference is to mental sorrows; to a troubled spirit; to a heart made sad in any way. God has provided healing for such; on such he bestows peace.

3. Though applicable to the captive Israelites, this is a general and precious truth.

wounds—(Compare Margin).

The broken in heart, either with the sense of their sins, or with their sorrows and grievous calamities. He seems to speak peculiarly of the captive Israelites now returned.

He healeth the broken in heart,.... Christ is a physician; many are the diseases of his people; he heals them all by his blood, stripes, wounds; and among the rest their broken hearts, which none can cure but himself; hearts broken by the word, as a hammer, accompanied with a divine power; which have a true sense of sin, and godly sorrow for it; are truly contrite, such as the Lord has a respect unto, dwells with, and accepts of; and these he heals, and only he, by pouring in oil and wine, as the good Samaritan; or by applying pardoning grace and mercy to them, streaming through his blood;

and bindeth up their wounds; or "griefs" (n); and so gives them ease, health, and peace, for which they have abundant reason to call upon their souls to bless his name and sing his praise; see Psalm 103:1; compare with this Isaiah 61:1.

(n) "dolores eorum", Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Gejerus.

He healeth the {c} broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

(c) With affliction, or sorrow for sin.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. Cp. Isaiah 59:1; Hosea 6:1. Israel, crushed with grief and despair, wounded with sorrow and shame in its exile, is meant. Nehemiah’s feelings (Psalm 1:4; Psalm 2:3) represent those of every true Israelite. Cp. Psalms 137. Possibly the further thought is implied that sorrow had wrought contrition (Psalm 51:17) and made restoration possible.

Verse 3. - He healeth the broken in heart (comp. Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 57:15). Israel in exile was broken-hearted, wretched, miserable (see Psalm 137:1-4; Isaiah 64:6 - 12). Their restoration to their own land "healed" them. And bindeth up their wounds (comp. Isaiah 61:1, "He hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted"). Psalm 147:3The Hallelujah, as in Psalm 135:3, is based upon the fact, that to sing of our God, or to celebrate our God in song (זמּר with an accusative of the object, as in Psalm 30:13, and frequently), is a discharge of duty that reacts healthfully and beneficially upon ourselves: "comely is a hymn of praise" (taken from Psalm 33:1), both in respect of the worthiness of God to be praised, and of the gratitude that is due to Him. Instead of זמּר or לזמּר, Psalm 92:2, the expression is זמּרה, a form of the infin. Piel, which at least can still be proved to be possible by ליסּרה in Leviticus 26:18. The two כּי are co-ordinate, and כּי־נעים no more refers to God here than in Psalm 135:3, as Hitzig supposes when he alters Psalm 147:1 so that it reads: "Praise ye Jah because He is good, play unto our God because He is lovely." Psalm 92:2 shows that כּי־טוב can refer to God; but נעים said of God is contrary to the custom and spirit of the Old Testament, whereas טוב and נעים are also in Psalm 133:1 neuter predicates of a subject that is set forth in the infinitive form. In Psalm 147:2 the praise begins, and at the same time the confirmation of the delightful duty. Jahve is the builder up of Jerusalem, He brings together (כּנּס as in Ezekiel, the later wozd for אסף and קבּץ) the outcasts of Israel (as in Isaiah 11:12; Isaiah 56:8); the building of Jerusalem is therefore intended of the rebuilding up, and to the dispersion of Israel corresponds the holy city laid in ruins. Jahve healeth the heart-broken, as He has shown in the case of the exiles, and bindeth up their pains (Psalm 16:4), i.e., smarting wounds; רפא, which is here followed by חבּשׁ, also takes to itself a dative object in other instances, both in an active and (Isaiah 6:10) an impersonal application; but for שׁבוּרי לב the older language says נשׁבּרי לב, Psalm 34:19, Isaiah 61:1. The connection of the thoughts, which the poet now brings to the stars, becomes clear from the primary passage, Isaiah 40:26, cf. Isaiah 40:27. To be acquainted with human woe and to relieve it is an easy and small matter to Him who allots a number to the stars, that are to man innumerable (Genesis 15:5), i.e., who has called them into being by His creative power in whatever number He has pleased, and yet a number known to Him (מנה, the part. praes., which occurs frequently in descriptions of the Creator), and calls to them all names, i.e., names them all by names which are the expression of their true nature, which is well known to Him, the Creator. What Isaiah says (Isaiah 40:26) with the words, "because of the greatness of might, and as being strong in power," and (Isaiah 40:28) "His understanding is unsearchable," is here asserted in Psalm 147:5 (cf. Psalm 145:3): great is our Lord, and capable of much (as in Job 37:23, שׂגּיא כּח), and to His understanding there is no number, i.e., in its depth and fulness it cannot be defined by any number. What a comfort for the church as it traverses its ways, that are often so labyrinthine and entangled! Its Lord is the Omniscient as well as the Almighty One. Its history, like the universe, is a work of God's infinitely profound and rich understanding. It is a mirror of gracious love and righteous anger. The patient sufferers (ענוים) He strengthens (מעודד as in Psalm 146:9); malevolent sinners (רשׁעים), on the other hand, He casts down to the earth (עדי־ארץ, cf. Isaiah 26:5), casting deep down to the ground those who exalt themselves to the skies.
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