Psalm 28:9
Save your people, and bless your inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) Feed . . . lift them up.—These words suggest comparison with Isaiah 40:11; Isaiah 63:9. The incorporation of this petition in the Te Deum is one of those interesting facts that link the Christian worship with the Jewish.

Psalm 28:9. Bless thine inheritance — Israel, for whom he prays, not as his people, but as God’s. Save thy people: thine inheritance. God’s interest in them lay nearer his heart than his own. Feed them also — As a shepherd does his flock, as רעם, regnem, signifies. Bless them with all things needful for life and for godliness. Or, rule them, as the margin renders it. Direct their counsels and actions aright, and overrule their affairs for good. Set pastors over them that shall feed and rule them with wisdom and understanding, Jeremiah 3:15. And lift them up for ever — Raise them out of their low and afflicted condition, and advance them to a state of safety and honour, and that not for a season only, but with constancy and perpetuity. Lift them up to thy glorious and heavenly kingdom. There, and there only, will the saints be lifted up for ever, never more to sink or be depressed. Observe well, reader, only those whom God feeds and rules, who are willing to be taught, guided, and governed by him, shall be saved, and blessed, and lifted up for ever. 28:6-9 Has God heard our supplications? Let us then bless his name. The Lord is my strength, to support me, and carry me on through all my services and sufferings. The heart that truly believes, shall in due time greatly rejoice: we are to expect joy and peace in believing. God shall have the praise of it: thus must we express our gratitude. The saints rejoice in others' comfort as well as their own: we have the less benefit from the light of the sun, nor from the light of God's countenance, for others' sharing therein. The psalmist concludes with a short, but comprehensive prayer. God's people are his inheritance, and precious in his eyes. He prays that God would save them; that he would bless them with all good, especially the plenty of his ordinances, which are food to the soul. And direct their actions and overrule their affairs for good. Also, lift them up for ever; not only those of that age, but his people in every age to come; lift them up as high as heaven. There, and there only, will saints be lifted up for ever, never more to sink, or be depressed. Save us, Lord Jesus, from our sins; bless us, thou Son of Abraham, with the blessing of righteousness; feed us, thou good Shepherd of the sheep, and lift us up for ever from the dust, O thou, who art the Resurrection and the Life.Save thy people - All thy people. The psalm appropriately closes with a prayer for all the people of God. The prayer is offered in view of the deliverance which the psalmist had himself experienced, and he prays that all the people of God might experience similar deliverance and mercy.

And bless thine inheritance - Thy heritage; Thy people. The Hebrew word properly means "taking possession of anything; occupation." Then it comes to mean "possession; domain; estate:" Num, Psalm 18:21. Thus it is used as applied to the territory assigned to each tribe in the promised land: Joshua 13:23. Thus also it is applied to the people of Israel - the Jewish nation - as the "possession" or "property" of Yahweh; as a people whom he regarded as His own, and whom, as such, He protected: Deuteronomy 4:20; Deuteronomy 9:26, Deuteronomy 9:29. In this place the people of God are thus spoken of as His special possession or property on earth; as that which He regards as of most value to Him; as that which belongs to Him, or to which He has a claim; as that which cannot without injustice to Him be alienated from Him.

Feed them also - Margin, "rule." The Hebrew word refers to the care which a shepherd extends over his flock. See Psalm 23:1, where the same word, under another form - "shepherd" - is used. The prayer is, that God would take the same care of His people that a shepherd takes of his flock.

And lift them up for ever - The word used here may mean "sustain" them, or "support" them; but it more properly means "bear," and would be best expressed by a reference to the fact that the shepherd carries the feeble, the young, and the sickly of his flock in his arms, or that he lifts them up when unable themselves to rise. See Isaiah 40:11, note; Isaiah 63:9, note. The word "forever" here means simply "always" - in all circumstances; at all times. In other words, the psalmist prays that God would "always" manifest Himself as the Friend and Helper of His people, as He had done to him. It may be added here, that what the psalmist thus prays for God's "will" to be done. God "will" save His people; He will bless His heritage; He will be to them a kind and faithful shepherd; He will sustain, comfort, uphold, and cherish them always - in affliction; in temptation; in death, forever. They have only to trust in Him, and they will find Him to be more kind and faithful than the most tender shepherd ever was to his flock.

9. The special prayer for the people sustains this view.

feed them—as a shepherd (Ps 23:1, &c.).

9 Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance' feed them also, and lift them up for ever.

This is a prayer for the church militant, written in short words, but full of weighty meaning. We must pray for the whole church, and not for ourselves alone. "Save thy people." Deliver them from their enemies, preserve them from their sins, succour them under their troubles, rescue them from their temptations, and ward off from them every ill. There is a plea hidden in the expression, "thy people;" for it may be safely concluded that God's interest in the church, as his own portion, will lead him to guard it from destruction. "Bless thine inheritance." Grant positive blessings, peace, plenty, prosperity, happiness; make all thy dearly-purchased and precious heritage to be comforted by thy Spirit. Revive, refresh, enlarge and sanctify thy church. "Feed them also." Be a shepherd to thy flock, let their bodily and spiritual wants be plentifully supplied. By thy word, and ordinances, direct, rule, sustain, and satisfy those who are the sheep of thy hand. "And lift them up for ever." Carry them in thine arms on earth, and then lift them into thy bosom in heaven. Elevate their minds and thoughts, spiritualise their affections, make them heavenly, Christlike, and full of God. O Lord, answer this our petition, for Jesus' sake.

Thine inheritance; Israel, for whom I pray; partly because thou hast in some sort committed them to my charge, and partly because Saul did not take due care of them.

Lift them up; raise them out of their low and afflicted condition, in which they are, by reason of Saul’s weakness and neglect, and by the prevailing power of the Philistines, and advance them to a state of safety and honour, and that not for a season, but with constancy and perpetuity, as it follows. Save thy people,.... The psalmist begins the psalm with petitions for himself, and closes it with prayers for the people of God; whom God has chosen for his people, taken into covenant to be his people, and given them to his son as such; these he has resolved to save, and has appointed Christ, and sent him into the world, to be the Saviour of them; and to them he makes known and applies the great salvation by his Spirit: so that this prayer was a prayer of faith, as are also the following petitions;

and bless thine inheritance; the people whom the Lord has chosen for his inheritance, and has given to Christ as his portion, and are his peculiar possession; and these he blesses with all spiritual blessings, with grace here, and glory hereafter, as is requested;

feed them also; as the shepherd does his flock, by leading them into green pastures, by giving them the bread of life, by nourishing them with the word and ordinances, by the means or his ministering servants, who are under-shepherds appointed to feed the saints with knowledge and understanding;

and lift them up for ever; above their enemies, and out of the reach of them; bear and carry them now, as the shepherd does his lambs, in his arms and bosom; and raise them out of their graves, and give them the dominion in the morning of the resurrection, and cause them to reign as kings and priests with Christ, as they ever will.

Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. thine inheritance] Israel. Cp. Deuteronomy 4:20.

feed them] Lit. shepherd them. Cp. Psalm 23:1; 2 Samuel 7:7. Govern them in the adaptation of this verse in the Te Deum is from the Vulg. rege.

lift them up] Exalt them; as the word is used in 2 Samuel 5:12. But we should probably render as in R.V., bear them up; either as a shepherd carries his sheep (Isaiah 40:11), continuing the idea of the preceding word; or as a father carries his child, a figure often applied to Jehovah’s care for Israel. See Deuteronomy 1:31; Isaiah 46:3-4; Isaiah 63:9. Cp. too Exodus 19:4; Deuteronomy 32:11.Verse 9. - Save thy people, and bless thins inheritance. "In conclusion, the psalmist prays that the Lord would do eternally that which he had done now" (Hengstenberg) - "save" and "bless" his people - keep them from evil, and give them all that is good. Feed them also. As a shepherd does his flock (comp. Psalm 23:1, 2, Isaiah 40:11). And lift them up for ever. Some explain the" lifting up" as carrying in his arms over rough places - a prolongation of the shepherd metaphor (Kay; 'Speaker's Commentary'); but, perhaps, the more ordinary meaning of the Hebrew word - "exalt," "lift up on high," "raise above others" - which is preferred by Bishop Horsley, Rosenmuller, and Hengstenberg, is intended.



This first half of the Psalm (Psalm 28:1) is supplicatory. The preposition מן in connection with the verbs חרשׁ, to be deaf, dumb, and חשׁה, to keep silence, is a pregnant form of expression denoting an aversion or turning away which does not deign to give the suppliant an answer. Jahve is his צוּר, his ground of confidence; but if He continues thus to keep silence, then he who confides in Him will become like those who are going down (Psalm 22:30), or are gone down (Isaiah 14:19) to the pit. The participle of the past answers better to the situation of one already on the brink of the abyss. In the double sentence with פּן, the chief accent falls upon the second clause, for which the first only paratactically opens up the way (cf. Isaiah 5:4; Isaiah 12:1); in Latin it would be ne, te mihi non respondente, similis fiam. Olshausen, and Baur with him, believes that because ונמשׁלתּי has not the accent on the ultima as being perf. consec., it must be interpreted according to the accentuation thus, "in order that Thou mayst no longer keep silence, whilst I am already become like..." But this ought to be ואני נמשׁל, or at least נמשׁלתּי ואני. And if ונמשלתי were to be taken as a real perfect, it would then rather have to be rendered "and I should then be like." But, notwithstanding ונמשׁלתּי is Milel, it is still perf. consecuticum ("and I am become like"); for if, in a sentence of more than one member following upon פן, the fut., as is usually the case (vid., on Psalm 38:17), goes over into the perf., then the latter, in most instances, has the tone of the perf. consec. (Deuteronomy 4:19, Judges 18:25, Proverbs 5:9-12, Malachi 4:6), but not always. The penultima-accentuation is necessarily retained in connection with the two great pausal accents, Silluk and Athnach, Deuteronomy 8:12; Proverbs 30:9; in this passage in connection with Rebia mugrash, just as we may say, in general, the perf. consec. sometimes retains its penultima-accentuation in connection with distinctives instead of being accented on the ultima; e.g., in connection with Rebia mugrash, Proverbs 30:9; with Rebia, Proverbs 19:14 (cf. Proverbs 30:9 with Ezekiel 14:17); with Zakeph. 1 Samuel 29:8; and even with Tiphcha Obad. Oba 1:10, Joel 3:21. The national grammarians are ignorant of any law on this subject.

(Note: Aben-Ezra (Moznajim 36b) explains the perfect accented on the penult. in Proverbs 30:9 from the conformity of sound, and Kimchi (Michlol 6b) simply records the phenomenon.)

The point towards which the psalmist stretches forth his hands in prayer is Jahve's holy דּביר. Such is the word (after the form בּריח, כּליא, עטין) used only in the Books of Kings and Chronicles, with the exception of this passage, to denote the Holy of Holies, not as being χρηματιστήριον (Aquila and Symmachus), or λαλητήριον, oraculum (Jerome), as it were, Jahve's audience chamber (Hengstenberg) - a meaning that is not in accordance with the formation of the word, - but as the hinder part of the tent, from דּבר, Arabic dabara, to be behind, whence dubr (Talmudic דּוּבר), that which is behind (opp. kubl. kibal, that which is in the front), cf. Jesurun p. 87f. In Psalm 28:3, Psalm 28:4 the prayer is expanded. משׁך (instead of which we find אסף in Psalm 26:9), to draw any one down forcibly to destruction, or to drag him to the place of judgment, Ezekiel 32:20, cf. Psalm 10:8; Job 24:22. The delineation of the ungodly David borrows from his actual foes, Should he succumb to them, then his fate would be like that which awaits them, to whom he is conscious that he is radically unlike. He therefore prays that God's recompensing justice may anticipate him, i.e., that He may requite them according to their desert, before he succumbs, to whom they have feigned שׁלום, a good understanding, or being on good terms, whereas they cherished in their heart the רעה that is now unmasked (cf. Jeremiah 9:7). נתן, used of an official adjudication, as in Hosea 9:14; Jeremiah 32:19. The epanaphora of תּן־להם is like Psalm 27:14.

(Note: This repetition, at the end, of a significant word that has been used at the beginning of a verse, is a favourite custom of Isaiah's (Comment. S. 387; transl. ii.134).)

The phrase השׁיב גּמוּל (שׁלּם), which occurs frequently in the prophets, signifies to recompense or repay to any one his accomplishing, his manifestation, that is to say, what he has done and merited; the thoughts and expression call to mind more particularly Isaiah 3:8-11; Isaiah 1:16. The right to pray for recompense (vengeance) is grounded, in Psalm 28:5, upon their blindness to God's just and merciful rule as it is to be seen in human history (cf. Isaiah 5:12; Isaiah 22:11). The contrast of בּנה and חרס, to pull down (with a personal object, as in Exodus 15:7), is like Jeremiah's style (Psalm 42:10, cf. 1:10; Psalm 18:9, and frequently, Sir. 49:7). In Psalm 28:5, the prominent thought in David's mind is, that they shamefully fail to recognise how gloriously and graciously God has again and again acknowledged him as His anointed one. He has (2 Samuel 7) received the promise, that God would build him a house, i.e., grant perpetual continuance to his kingship. The Absolomites are in the act of rebellion against this divine appointment. Hence they shall experience the very reverse of the divine promise given to David: Jahve will pull them down and not build them up, He will destroy, at its very commencement, this dynasty set up in opposition to God.

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