You have given him his heart's desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Request.—The Hebrew word occurs nowhere else, but is connected with a root, to be poor, and, therefore, in want. The “not” is emphatic: “And the request of his lips thou hast by no means withheld.” The mention in Psalm 21:4 of a prayer for long life, or perhaps, rather, continuance of life, suggests that this “request” was uttered in sickness. On the other hand the general tone of the psalm connects it with a victory.Psalm 21:2. Thou hast given him his heart’s desire — Thou hast granted all that he desired in his heart, as well as that which he openly requested with his lips. “The desire of Christ’s heart was his own resurrection and exaltation, for the benefit of his church; and now he ever liveth to make request with his lips, for the conversion and salvation of sinners. Such desires will be granted, and such requests will never be withholden. Let us be careful to frame ours after that all-perfect model of divine love.” — Horne.Psalm 20:4. This had been the prayer of the people that God would "grant him according to his own heart, and fulfil all his counsel," and this desire had now been granted. All that had been wished; all that had been prayed for by himself or by the people, had been granted.
And hast not withholden - Hast not denied or refused.
The request of his lips - The request, or the desire which his lips had uttered. The meaning is, that his petitions had been filly granted.
Selah - See the notes at Psalm 3:2.Psalm 20:4; whatever Christ's heart desired, or his lips requested, has been given him;
and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Whatever he asked in the council and covenant of peace was granted; he asked for all the elect, as his spouse and bride; these were the desire of his heart and eyes, and they were given him; he asked for all the blessings of grace for them, and all grace was given to them in him; he asked for glory, for eternal life, and it was promised him; and not only the promise of it was put into his hand, but the thing itself; see Psalm 2:8, 1 John 5:11; and Psalm 20:4; whatever he requested of his Father, when here on earth, was granted; he always heard him; that memorable prayer of his in John 17:1 is heard and answered, both in what respects himself, his own glorification, and the conversion, sanctification, union, preservation, and glorification of his people; whatever he now desires and requests in heaven, as the advocate and intercessor for his saints, is ever fulfilled; which is an instance of the great regard Jehovah has unto him, and may be considered as a reason of his joy in him.
Selah; on this word; see Gill on Psalm 3:2.Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2. This verse refers chiefly, but not exclusively, to the prayers for the success of the expedition referred to in Psalm 20:3-5.Verse 2. - Thou hast given him his heart' s desire (comp. Psalm 20:4, "Grant thee according to thine own heart"). And hast not withholden the request of his lips. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." The deliverance from his enemies, which David had earnestly desired in his heart, he had also devoutly requested with his lips (Psalm 20:1, 5). Selah. The pause here may have been for the presentation of a thank-offering. Psalm 20:2, standing five times at the head of the climactic members of the parallelism, are optatives. ימלּא, Psalm 20:6, also continues the chain of wishes, of which even נרננה (cf. Psalm 69:15) forms one of the links. The wishes of the people accompany both the prayer and the sacrifice. "The Name of the God of Jacob" is the self-manifesting power and grace of the God of Israel. יעקב is used in poetry interchangeably with ישראל, just like אלהים with יהוה. Alshךch refers to Genesis 35:3; and it is not improbable that the desire moulds itself after the fashion of the record of the fact there handed down to us. May Jahve, who, as the history of Jacob shows, hears (and answers) in the day of distress, hear the king; may the Name of the God of Jacob bear him away from his foes to a triumphant height. שׂגּב alternates with רומם (Psalm 18:49) in this sense. This intercession on the behalf of the praying one is made in the sanctuary on the heights of Zion, where Jahve sits enthroned. May He send him succour from thence, like auxiliary troops that decide the victory. The king offers sacrifice. He offers sacrifice according to custom before the commencement of the battle (1 Samuel 13:9., and cf. the phrase קדּשׁ מלחמה), a whole burnt-offering and at the same time a meat or rather meal offering also, מנחות;
(Note: This, though not occurring in the Old Testament, is the principal form of the plural, which, as even David Kimchi recognises in his Lexicon, points to a verb מנח (just as שׂמלות, גּבעות, שׁפחות point to שׂמל, גּבע, שׂפח); whereas other old grammarians supposed נחה to be the root, and were puzzled with the traditional pronunciation menachôth, but without reason.)
for every whole offering and every shelamim - or peace-offering had a meat-offering and a drink-offering as its indispensable accompaniment. The word זכר is perfectly familiar in the ritual of the meal-offering. That portion of the meal-offering, only a part of which was placed upon the altar (to which, however, according to traditional practice, does not belong the accompanying meal-offering of the מנחת נסכים, which was entirely devoted to the altar), which ascended with the altar fire is called אזכּרה, μνημόσυνον (cf. Acts 10:4), that which brings to remembrance with God him for whom it is offered up (not "incense," as Hupfeld renders it); for the designation of the offering of jealousy, Numbers 5:15, as "bringing iniquity to remembrance before God" shows, that in the meal-offering ritual זכר retains the very same meaning that it has in other instances. Every meal-offering is in a certain sense a מנחת זכּרון a esnes . Hence here the prayer that Jahve would graciously remember them is combined with the meal-offerings.
As regards the ‛olah, the wish "let fire from heaven (Leviticus 9:24; 1 Kings 18:38; 1 Chronicles 21:26) turn it to ashes," would not be vain. But the language does not refer to anything extraordinary; and in itself the consumption of the offering to ashes (Bttcher) is no mark of gracious acceptance. Moreover, as a denominative from דּשׁן, fat ashes, דּשּׁן means "to clean from ashes," and not: to turn into ashes. On the other hand, דּשּׁן also signifies "to make fat," Psalm 23:5, and this effective signification is applied declaratively in this instance: may He find thy burnt-offering fat, which is equivalent to: may it be to Him a ריח ניחח [an odour of satisfaction, a sweet-smelling savour]. The voluntative ah only occurs here and in Job 11:17 (which see) and Isaiah 5:19, in the 3 pers.; and in this instance, just as with the cohortative in 1 Samuel 28:15, we have a change of the lengthening into a sharpening of the sound (cf. the exactly similar change of forms in 1 Samuel 28:15; Isaiah 59:5; Zechariah 5:4; Proverbs 24:14; Ezekiel 25:13) as is very frequently the case in מה for מה. The alteration to ידשּׁנה or ידשׁנהּ (Hitzig) is a felicitous but needless way of getting rid of the rare form. The explanation of the intensifying of the music here is, that the intercessory song of the choir is to be simultaneous with the presentation upon the altar (הקטרה). עצה is the resolution formed in the present wartime. "Because of thy salvation," i.e., thy success in war, is, as all the language is here, addressed to the king, cf. Psalm 21:2, where it is addressed to Jahve, and intended of the victory accorded to him. It is needless to read נגדּל instead of נדגּל, after the rendering of the lxx megaluntheeso'metha. נדגּל is a denominative from דּגל: to wave a banner. In the closing line, the rejoicing of hope goes back again to the present and again assumes the form of an intercessory desire.
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