I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Psalm 127:2.
I awaked - Still safe and secure. He had not been suddenly attacked by his foes, and made to sleep the sleep of death; he had not been crushed by anguish of spirit. That we are "awaked" in the morning after a night's refreshing slumber; that we are raised up again to the enjoyments of life; that we are permitted again to greet our friends and to unite with them in the privileges of devotion, should always be regarded as a new proof of the goodness of God, and should lead to acts of praise. We have no power to awake ourselves; and when we remember how many are taken away from our world each night - how many there are who lie down to sleep to wake no more, we should never rise from a bed of repose without giving our first thoughts in gratitude to our Great Preserver.
For the Lord sustained me - He kept me from danger; he preserved me from death. And it is as true now as it was then, that God is the supporter of life when men sleep. He guards us; he causes the action of the heart to be continued as it propels the blood through our frame; he secures the gentle heaving of the lungs, both when we slumber and when we wake.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.
David's faith enabled him to lie down; anxiety would certainly have kept him on tiptoe, watching for an enemy. Yea, he was able to sleep, to sleep in the midst of trouble, surrounded by foes. "So he giveth his beloved sleep." There is a sleep of presumption; God deliver us from it! There is a sleep of holy confidence; God help us so to close our eyes! But David says he awaked also. Some sleep the sleep of death; but he, though exposed to many enemies, reclined his head on the bosom of his God, slept happily beneath the wing of Providence in sweet security, and then awoke in safety. "For the Lord sustained me." The sweet influence of the Pleiades of promise shone upon the sleeper, and he awoke conscious that the Lord had preserved him. An excellent divine has well remarked - "This quietude of a man's heart by faith in God, is a higher sort of work than the natural resolution of manly courage, for it is the gracious operation of God's Holy Spirit upholding a man above nature, and therefore the Lord must have all the glory of it."
Buckling on his harness for the day's battle, our hero sings, "I will not be afraid often thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about." Observe that he does not attempt to under-estimate the number or wisdom of his enemies. He reckons them at tens of thousands, and he views them as cunning huntsmen chasing him with cruel skill. Yet he trembles not, but looking his foeman in the face he is ready for the battle. There may be no way of escape; they may hem me in as the deer are surrounded by a circle of hunters; they may surround me on every side, but in the name of God I will dash through them; or, if I remain in the midst of them, yet shall they not hurt me; I shall be free in my very prison.
But David is too wise to venture to the battle without prayer; he therefore betakes himself to his knees, and cries aloud to Jehovah.I laid me down and slept, to wit, securely, casting all my cares and fears upon God, and relying upon his help. I awaked in due time and manner, after a sweet and undisturbed sleep.
Sustained me; or, supported me, as it were with his right hand, that I should not fall under my burden. He upheld my spirit, and person, and cause. 1 Kings 19:4; or rather this is expressive of the calmness and serenity of his mind amidst his troubles; he laid himself down in peace, and slept quietly and comfortably; he did not lose a night's rest, his sleep was sweet unto him; which was a blessing of life from the Lord that everyone does not enjoy; see Psalm 127:2;
I awakened; in the morning, alive and cheerful, Some lay themselves down and never awake more, as Sisera the captain of Jabin's army, and Ishbosheth the son of Saul; and this might have been David's case, considering the circumstances he was in: and others, through perplexing thoughts and cares, or pains of body, or uneasy dreams, rise fatigued and distressed; but David arose in good health of body, and tranquillity of mind, and comfortably refreshed;
for the Lord sustained me; the psalmist committed himself to the care and protection of God; he laid himself down in his arms, and there slept in safety; the Lord preserved him, who is Israel's keeper, that neither slumbers nor sleeps: and he rose in health and cheerfulness in the morning, supported by his right hand. This shows, that lying down to sleep, when in such circumstances, and awaking with cheerfulness, were not owing to rashness, stupidity, and insensibility, but to divine supports. These words may be interpreted, as they are by some of the ancients, of the death of Christ, and of his resurrection from the dead by the power of God; death is often expressed by sleep, and the resurrection of the dead by an awaking out of sleep, Daniel 12:2; and Christ's death being signified by lying down and sleeping, may denote both the voluntariness of it, that he laid down his life freely and willingly; and his short continuance under the power of death, it was but like a night's sleep; and his resurrection from the dead, being expressed by an awaking through the Lord's sustaining him, shows that it was by the power of God, even the exceeding greatness of his power: and the whole of this may be applied to the case and state of the saints and people of God, who at times have rest and peace amidst their enemies; though they have tribulation in the world, they have peace in Christ; and notwithstanding the temptations of Satan, and the corruptions of their own hearts, they have joy and comfort through believing in Christ; the Lord sustains them with precious promises, and supports them with the discoveries of his love, and upholds them with the right hand of his righteousness.I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)5. The pronoun is emphatic:—I, pursued by enemies, despaired of by friends:—and the words refer to the actual experience of the past night. The calmness which could thus repose in the face of danger was a practical proof of faith.
sustained] R.V. sustaineth. The tense suggests the unceasing, ever active care by which he is upheld. The same word is used in Psalm 37:17; Psalm 37:24; Psalm 71:6; Psalm 145:14. Contrast Psalm 27:2.
5, 6. Not only past but present experience justifies this confidence.Verse 5. - I laid me down and slept; literally, as for me, I laid me down, etc. A contrast seems intended between the king and some of his companions. "I, for my part," he says, "confident in God, calmly laid me down and slept; I did not allow the danger which I was in to interfere with my repose at night." Others, probably, were less trustful. I awaked. When morning came, i.e., I awoke, as usual, from quiet and refreshing slumbers. For the Lord sustained me; rather, sustaineth me. Now and always I am sustained by the Almighty. 1 John 2:28), itaque, appropriate conclusions are drawn from some general moral matter of face (e.g., Proverbs 5:7) or some fact connected with the history of redemption (e.g., Isaiah 28:22). The exhortation is not addressed to those whom he has seen in a state of rebellion, but to kings in general with reference to what he has prophetically seen and heard. שׁפטי ארץ are not those who judge the earth, but the judges, i.e., rulers (Amos 2:3, cf. 1:8), belonging to the earth, throughout its length or breadth. The Hiph. השׂכּיל signifies to show intelligence or discernment; the Niph. נוסר as a so-called Niph. tolerativum, to let one's self be chastened or instructed, like נועץ Proverbs 13:10, to allow one's self to be advised, נדרשׁ Ezekiel 14:3, to allow one's self to be sought, נמצא to allow one's self to be found, 1 Chronicles 28:9, and frequently. This general call to reflection is followed, in 1 Chronicles 28:11, by a special exhortation in reference to Jahve, and in Psalm 2:12, in reference to the Son. עבדוּ and גּילוּ answer to each other: the latter is not according to Hosea 10:5 in the sense of חילוּ Psalm 96:9, but, - since "to shake with trembling" (Hitz.) is a tautology, and as an imperative גילו everywhere else signifies: rejoice, - according to Psalm 100:2, in the sense of rapturous manifestation of joy at the happiness and honour of being permitted to be servants of such a God. The lxx correctly renders it: ἀγελλιᾶσθε αὐτῷ ἐν τρόμῳ. Their rejoicing, in order that it may not run to the excess of security and haughtiness, is to be blended with trembling (בּ as Zephaniah 3:17), viz., with the trembling of reverence and self-control, for God is a consuming fire, Hebrews 12:28.
The second exhortation, which now follows, having reference to their relationship to the Anointed One, has been missed by all the ancient versions except the Syriac, as though its clearness had blinded the translators, since they render בר, either בּר purity, chastity, discipline (lxx, Targ., Ital., Vulg.), or בּר pure, unmixed (Aq., Symm., Jer.: adorate pure). Thus also Hupfeld renders it "yield sincerely," whereas it is rendered by Ewald "receive wholesome warning," and by Hitzig "submit to duty" (בּר like the Arabic birr equals בּר); Olshausen even thinks, there may be some mistake in בר, and Diestel decides for בו instead of בר. But the context and the usage of the language require osculamini filium. The Piel נשּׁק means to kiss, and never anything else; and while בּר in Hebrew means purity and nothing more, and בּר as an adverb, pure, cannot be supported, nothing is more natural here, after Jahve has acknowledged His Anointed One as His Son, than that בּר (Proverbs 31:2, even בּרי equals בּני) - which has nothing strange about it when found in solemn discourse, and here helps one over the dissonance of פּן בּן - should, in a like absolute manner to חק, denote the unique son, and in fact the Son of God.
(Note: Apart from the fact of בר not having the article, its indefiniteness comes under the point of view of that which, because it combines with it the idea of the majestic, great, and terrible, is called by the Arabian grammarians Arab. 'l-tnkı̂r lt'dı̂m or ltktı̂r or lthwı̂l; by the boundlessness which lies in it it challenges the imagination to magnify the notion which it thus expresses. An Arabic expositor would here (as in Psalm 2:7 above) render it "Kiss a son and such a son!" (vid., Ibn Hishâm in De Sacy's Anthol. Grammat. p. 85, where it is to be translated hic est vir, qualis vir!). Examples which support this doctrine are בּיר Isaiah 28:2 by a hand, viz., God's almighty hand which is the hand of hands, and Isaiah 31:8 מפּני־חרב before a sword, viz., the divine sword which brooks no opposing weapon.)
The exhortation to submit to Jahve is followed, as Aben-Ezra has observed, by the exhortation to do homage to Jahve's Son. To kiss is equivalent to to do homage. Samuel kisses Saul (1 Samuel 10:1), saying that thereby he does homage to him.
(Note: On this vid., Scacchi Myrothecium, to. iii.((1637) c. 35.)
The subject to what follows is now, however, not the Son, but Jahve. It is certainly at least quite as natural to the New Testament consciousness to refer "lest He be angry" to the Son (vid., Revelation 6:16.), and since the warning against putting trust (חסות) in princes, Psalm 118:9; Psalm 146:3, cannot be applied to the Christ of God, the reference of בו to Him (Hengst.) cannot be regarded as impossible. But since חסה בּ is the usual word for taking confiding refuge in Jahve, and the future day of wrath is always referred to in the Old Testament (e.g., Psalm 110:5) as the day of the wrath of God, we refer the ne irascatur to Him whose son the Anointed One is; therefore it is to be rendered: lest Jahve be angry and ye perish דּרך. This דּרך is the accus. of more exact definition. If the way of any one perish. Psalm 1:6, he himself is lost with regard to the way, since this leads him into the abyss. It is questionable whether כּמעט means "for a little" in the sense of brevi or facile. The usus loquendi and position of the words favour the latter (Hupf.). Everywhere else כּמעט means by itself (without such additions as in Ezra 9:8; Isaiah 26:20; Ezekiel 16:47) "for a little, nearly, easily." At least this meaning is secured to it when it occurs after hypothetical antecedent clauses as in Psalm 81:15; 2 Samuel 19:37; Job 32:22. Therefore it is to be rendered: for His wrath might kindle easily, or might kindle suddenly. The poet warns the rulers in their own highest interest not to challenge the wrathful zeal of Jahve for His Christ, which according to Psalm 2:5 is inevitable. Well is it with all those who have nothing to fear from this outburst of wrath, because they hide themselves in Jahve as their refuge. The construct state חוסי connects בו, without a genitive relation, with itself as forming together one notion, Ges. 116, 1. חסה the usual word for fleeing confidingly to Jahve, means according to its radical notion not so much refugere, confugere, as se abdere, condere, and is therefore never combined with אל, but always with בּ.
(Note: On old names of towns, which show this ancient חסה. Wetzstein's remark on Job 24:8 [Comm. on Job, en loc.]. The Arabic still has hsy in the reference of the primary meaning to water which, sucked in and hidden, flows under the sand and only comes to sight on digging. The rocky bottom on which it collects beneath the surface of the sand and by which it is prevented from oozing away or drying up is called Arab. hasâ or hisâ a hiding-place or place of protection, and a fountain dug there is called Arab. ‛yn 'l-hy.)
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