Psalm 147:3
He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.
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(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.

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"). The five lines beginning with Jahve belong together. Each consists of three words, which in the main is also the favourite measure of the lines in the Book of Job. The expression is as brief as possible. התּיר is transferred from the yoke and chains to the person himself who is bound, and פּקח is transferred from the eyes of the blind to the person himself. The five lines celebrate the God of the five-divisioned Tra, which furnishes abundant examples for these celebrations, and is directed with most considerate tenderness towards the strangers, orphans, and widows in particular. The orphan and the widow, says the sixth line, doth He recover, strengthen (with reference to עודד see Psalm 20:9; Psalm 31:12). Valde gratus mihi est hic Psalmus, Bakius observes, ob Trifolium illud Dei: Advenas, Pupillos, et Viduas, versu uno luculentissime depictum, id quod in toto Psalterio nullibi fit. Whilst Jahve, however, makes the manifold sorrows of His saints to have a blessed issue, He bends (יאוּת) the way of the wicked, so that it leads into error and ends in the abyss (Psalm 1:6). This judicial manifestation of Jahve has only one line devoted to it. For He rules in love and in wrath, but delights most of all to rule in love. Jahve is, however, the God of Zion. The eternal duration of His kingdom is also the guarantee for its future glorious completion, for the victory of love. Hallelujah!
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