Psalm 27:9
Hide not your face far from me; put not your servant away in anger: you have been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
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(9) Far.—This is unnecessary and misleading.

Psalm 27:9. Hide not thy face far from me — Which, in obedience to thy command, I am now seeking. Let me never want the reviving sense of thy favour; love me, and give me to know that thou lovest me. Put not thy servant away in anger — Namely, from thy face or presence, or from the place of thy worship. Two ways God and he might be parted, either by God’s withdrawing himself from him, which he might do even in the place of his worship; or by God’s putting him away from the place of his worship. Against the first he seems to pray in the first clause, and against the latter in this.27:7-14 Wherever the believer is, he can find a way to the throne of grace by prayer. God calls us by his Spirit, by his word, by his worship, and by special providences, merciful and afflicting. When we are foolishly making court to lying vanities, God is, in love to us, calling us to seek our own mercies in him. The call is general, Seek ye my face; but we must apply it to ourselves, I will seek it. The word does us no good, when we do not ourselves accept the exhortation: a gracious heart readily answers to the call of a gracious God, being made willing in the day of his power. The psalmist requests the favour of the Lord; the continuance of his presence with him; the benefit of Divine guidance, and the benefit of Divine protection. God's time to help those that trust in him, is, when all other helpers fail. He is a surer and better Friend than earthly parents are, or can be. What was the belief which supported the psalmist? That he should see the goodness of the Lord. There is nothing like the believing hope of eternal life, the foresights of that glory, and foretastes of those pleasures, to keep us from fainting under all calamities. In the mean time he should be strengthened to bear up under his burdens. Let us look unto the suffering Saviour, and pray in faith, not to be delivered into the hands of our enemies. Let us encourage each other to wait on the Lord, with patient expectation, and fervent prayer.Hide not thy face far from me - Compare the notes at Psalm 4:6. To "hide the face" is to turn it away with displeasure, as if we would not look on one who has offended us. The favor of God is often expressed by "lifting the light of his countenance" upon anyone - looking complacently or "pleasedly" upon him. The reverse of this is expressed by hiding the face, or by turning it away. The word "far" introduced by the translators does not aid the sense of the passage.

Put not thy servant away in anger - Do not turn me off, or put me away in displeasure. We turn one away, or do not admit him into our presence, with whom we are displeased. The psalmist prayed that he might have free access to God as a Friend.

Thou hast been my help - In days that are past. This he urges as a reason why God should still befriend him. The fact that He had shown mercy to him, that He had treated him as a friend, is urged as a reason why He should now hear his prayers, and show him mercy.

Leave me not - Do not abandon me. This is still a proper ground of pleading with God. We may refer to all His former mercies toward us; we may make mention of those mercies as a reason why He should now interpose and save us. We may, so to speak, "remind" him of His former favors and friendship, and may plead with Him that He will complete what He has begun, and that, having once admitted us to His favor, He will never leave or forsake us.

9. Hide not, &c.—(Ps 4:6; 22:24). Against rejection he pleads former mercy and love. Hide not thy face; which I in obedience to thy command am now seeking.

Put not thy servant away, to wit, from thy face or presence, or from the place of thy worship, from which he either now was or formerly had been driven. Two ways God and he might be parted; either by God’s departure or withdrawing from him, which he might do even in the place of his worship; or by God’s putting him away from his presence. Against the first he seems to direct his prayer in the first clause, and against the latter in this. Hide not thy face far from me,.... Yea, not at all from him; for the word "far" is not in the text: this is sometimes the case of the best of men, and was of the psalmist at times, and might be now, notwithstanding his strong expressions of faith and joy in the preceding verses; for frames are very changeable things; and this case is consistent with the everlasting and unchangeable love of God to his people; though they are ready to impute it to wrath and anger, and is what is very cutting and grievous to them; and therefore deprecate it as the psalmist does here,

put not thy servant away in anger; either cast him not away from thy presence, as being angry with him, though there is just reason for it; or suffer him not to go away angry, fretting and murmuring: he makes mention of his relation to God as a servant, as he was; not only by creation as a man, and by his office as a king, but by efficacious grace as a converted man; and this only as descriptive of himself, and as acknowledging his dependence on the Lord, and his obligation to him; but not as a reason why he should be regarded by him, for he knew he was but an unprofitable servant;

thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me: which request, as the rest, he might put up in faith; for God will not leave his people destitute of his presence finally and totally; nor to themselves and the corruptions of their hearts, nor to the temptations of Satan; nor will he forsake the work of his hands, the work of grace upon their hearts; or so forsake them as that they shall perish: and that the Lord would not leave nor forsake him in such sense, the psalmist had reason to conclude; since he had been his help in times past, a present help in time of trouble; and his arm was not shortened, his power was the same to help as ever, and so were his inclination and will; since he could also call unto him, and upon him, as follows:

O God of my salvation; the author both of his temporal, spiritual, and eternal salvation; and what might he not hope for from him? salvation includes all blessings, both for soul and body, for time and eternity.

Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
9. Hide not thy face from me (R.V.). A prayer grounded on the divine promise which he has obeyed. Cp. Psalm 22:14.

put not &c.] Or, turn not, like the unjust judge who turns the needy from his right (Job 24:4; Isaiah 10:2; Luke 18:1 ff.).

in anger] See note on Psalm 6:1.

thou hast been my help] An appeal to past experience. Surely God cannot have changed.

leave me not] R.V., cast me not off (Psalm 94:14; 1 Kings 8:57).Verse 9. - Hide not thy face far from me. It would he useless for David to "seek God's face," if God should determine to "hide his face" from him. David felt from time to time as if God's face was hidden from him, as we see in other psalms (Psalm 10:1; Psalm 13:1; Psalm 69:17, etc.); and so also did other saints (Psalm 44:24; Psalm 88:14). In most instances, probably, God sends the feeling as a chastisement, that the heart may turn with more sincerity to him. Put not thy servant away in anger; i.e. reject me not - cast me not off. The verb used is very strong and emphatic. Thou hast been my Help. Ever in the past I have had thee for Helper (comp. Psalm 3:3-7; Psalm 4:1; Psalm 6:8-10; Psalm 18:2, etc.). God's goodness to us in the past must ever be our chief ground of confidence in him for the future. Leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation (comp. Psalm 94:14). In this first strophe is expressed the bold confidence of faith. It is a hexastich in the caesural schema. Let darkness break in upon him, the darkness of night, of trouble, and of spiritual conflict, yet Jahve is his Light, and if he is in Him, he is in the light and there shines upon him a sun, that sets not and knows no eclipse. This sublime, infinitely profound name for God, אורי, is found only in this passage; and there is only one other expression that can be compared with it. viz., בּא אורך in Isaiah 60:1; cf. φῶς ἐλήλυθα, John 12:46. ישׁעי does not stand beside אורי as an unfigurative, side by side with a figurative expression; for the statement that God is light, is not a metaphor. David calls Him his "salvation" in regard to everything that oppresses him, and the "stronghold (מעוז from עזז, with an unchangeable ) of his life" in regard to everything that exposes him to peril. In Jahve he conquers far and wide; in Him his life is hidden as it were behind a fortress built upon a rock (Psalm 31:3). When to the wicked who come upon him in a hostile way (קרב על differing from קרב אל), he attributes the intention of devouring his flesh, they are conceived of as wild beasts. To eat up any one's flesh signifies, even in Job 19:22, the same as to pursue any one by evil speaking (in Aramaic by slander, back-biting) to his destruction. In בּקרב (the Shebג of the only faintly closed syllable is raised to a Chateph, as in ולשׁכני, Psalm 31:12, לשׁאול, and the like. The לי of איבי לּי may, as also in Psalm 25:2 (cf. Psalm 144:2), be regarded as giving intensity to the notion of special, personal enmity; but a mere repetition of the subject (the enemy) without the repetition of their hostile purpose would be tame in the parallel member of the verse: לי is a variation of the preceding עלי, as in Lamentations 3:60. In the apodosis המּה כּשׁלוּ ונפלוּ, the overthrow of the enemy is regarded beforehand as an accomplished fact. The holy boldness and imperturbable repose are expressed in Psalm 27:3 in the very rhythm. The thesis or downward movement in Psalm 27:3 is spondaic: he does not allow himself to be disturbed; the thesis in Psalm 27:3 is iambic: he can be bold. The rendering of Hitzig (as of Rashi): "in this do I trust, viz., that Jahve is my light, etc.," is erroneous. Such might be the interpretation, if בזאת אני בוטח closed Psalm 27:2; but it cannot refer back over Psalm 27:2 to Psalm 27:1; and why should the poet have expressed himself thus materially, instead of saying ביהוה? The fact of the case is this, בוטח signifies even by itself "of good courage," e.g., Proverbs 11:15; and בזאת "in spite of this" (Coccejus: hoc non obstante), Leviticus 26:27, cf. Psalm 78:32, begins the apodosis, at the head of which we expect to find an adversative conjunction.
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