Psalm 28:9
Save thy people, and bless thine 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.



Psalm 28:9The first half of the Psalm prayed for deliverance and for judgment; this second half gives thanks for both. If the poet wrote the Psalm at one sitting then at this point the certainty of being answered dawns upon him. But it is even possible that he added this second part later on, as a memorial of the answer he experienced to his prayer (Hitzig, Ewald). It sounds, at all events, like the record of something that has actually taken place. Jahve is his defence and shield. The conjoined perfects in Psalm 28:7 denote that which is closely united in actual realisation; and in the fut. consec., as is frequently the case, e.g., in Job 14:2, the historical signification retreats into the background before the more essential idea of that which has been produced. In משּׁירי, the song is conceived as the spring whence the הודות bubble forth; and instead of אודנּוּ we have the more impressive form אהודנּוּ, as in Psalm 45:18; Psalm 116:6; 1 Samuel 17:47, the syncope being omitted. From suffering (Leid) springs song (Lied), and from song springs the praise (Lob) of Him, who has "turned" the suffering, just as it is attuned in Psalm 28:6 and Psalm 28:8.

(Note: There is a play of words and an alliteration in this sentence which we cannot fully reproduce in the English. - Tr.)

The αὐτοί, who are intended by למו in Psalm 28:8, are those of Israel, as in Psalm 12:8; Isaiah 33:2 (Hitzig). The lxx (κραταίωμα τοῦ λαοῦ αὐτοῦ) reads לעמּו, as in Psalm 29:11, which is approved by Bצttcher, Olshausen and Hupfeld; but למו yields a similar sense. First of all David thinks of the people, then of himself; for his private character retreats behind his official, by virtue of which he is the head of Israel. For this very reason his deliverance is the deliverance of Israel, to whom, so far as they have become unfaithful to His anointed, Jahve has not requited this faithlessness, and to whom, so far as they have remained true to him, He has rewarded this fidelity. Jahve is a עז a si evhaJ to them, inasmuch as He preserves them by His might from the destruction into which they would have precipitated themselves, or into which others would have precipitated them; and He is the מעוז ישׁוּעות of His anointed inasmuch as He surrounds him as an inaccessible place of refuge which secures to him salvation in all its fulness instead of the destruction anticipated. Israel's salvation and blessing were at stake; but Israel is in fact God's people and God's inheritance - may He, then, work salvation for them in every future need and bless them. Apostatised from David, it was a flock in the hands of the hireling - may He ever take the place of shepherd to them and carry them in His arms through the destruction. The נשּׂאם coupled with וּרעם (thus it is to be pointed according to Ben-Asher) calls to mind Deuteronomy 1:31, "Jahve carried Israel as a man doth carry his son," and Exodus 19:4; Deuteronomy 32:11, "as on eagles' wings." The Piel, as in Isaiah 63:9, is used of carrying the weak, whom one lifts up and thus removes out of its helplessness and danger. Psalm 3:1-8 closes just in the same way with an intercession; and the close of Psalm 29:1-11 is similar, but promissory, and consequently it is placed next to Psalm 28:1-9.

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