Psalm 30:11
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing: you have put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
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(11) Thou hast turned for me.—This verse gives the answer to the prayer. Mourning is literally beating the breast, and therefore dancing forms a proper parallelism; or else, according to one derivation of the word, machôl would suggest piping. (See margin, Psalm 149:3; Psalm 150:4; see Smith’s Bible Dictionary, under “Dance;” and Bible Educator, vol. ii., p. 70; and comp. Note to Song of Solomon 6:13.)

Psalm 30:11. Thou hast turned for me, &c. — Having related his prayer, he now declares the gracious answer which God gave him. Thou hast put off my sackcloth — Hast given me occasion to put it off, alluding to the sackcloth which they used to wear in times of mourning, and with which possibly, in an humble compliance with the divine providence, David had clothed himself, in his distress; or, perhaps, he speaks figuratively, and only means that God had taken away his sorrow with the causes of it. And girded me with gladness — Either with garments of gladness, or rejoicing: or with joy, as with a garment, surrounding me on every side; as Psalm 18:32, for a similar reason he is said to be girded with strength.30:6-12 When things are well with us, we are very apt to think that they will always be so. When we see our mistake, it becomes us to think with shame upon our carnal security as our folly. If God hide his face, a good man is troubled, though no other calamity befal him. But if God, in wisdom and justice, turn from us, it will be the greatest folly if we turn from him. No; let us learn to pray in the dark. The sanctified spirit, which returns to God, shall praise him, shall be still praising him; but the services of God's house cannot be performed by the dust; it cannot praise him; there is none of that device or working in the grave, for it is the land of silence. We ask aright for life, when we do so that we may live to praise him. In due time God delivered the psalmist out of his troubles. Our tongue is our glory, and never more so than when employed in praising God. He would persevere to the end in praise, hoping that he should shortly be where this would be the everlasting work. But let all beware of carnal security. Neither outward prosperity, nor inward peace, here, are sure and lasting. The Lord, in his favour, has fixed the believer's safety firm as the deep-rooted mountains, but he must expect to meet with temptations and afflictions. When we grow careless, we fall into sin, the Lord hides his face, our comforts droop, and troubles assail us.Thou hast turned for me - In my behalf. That is, God had heard his prayer; he had brought his troubles to an end; he had caused his sorrows to be succeeded by correspondent joy.

My mourning into dancing - Joy, exultation, every expression of rejoicing, had been made to succeed his deep sorrows. Compare Psalm 30:5. It was this which he commemorated at the dedication of his house; this joy succeeding scenes of sorrow that he now called to remembrance as he entered the place which he had reared for a permanent abode. The contrast of his circumstances now - in a palace, with every comfort of plenty and peace around him - with his former circumstances which had been so sad, made it proper for him thus to celebrate the goodness of God.

Thou hast put off my sackcloth - That which I wore, or had girded around me, as an emblem of sorrow, or in the time of my mourning. See Isaiah 3:24, note; Job 16:15, note; and Matthew 11:21, note.

And girded me with gladness - Instead of a girdle of sackcloth he had been clothed in a festive dress, or with such a dress - girded with an elegant girdle - as was worn on joyous and festive occasions. See the notes at Matthew 5:38-41.

11. sackcloth—was used, even by kings, in distress (1Ch 21:16; Isa 37:1) but "gladness," used for a garment, shows the language to be figurative.11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.

12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thank unto thee for ever.

Psalm 30:11

Observe the contrast, God takes away the mourning of his people; and what does he give them instead of it? Quiet and peace? Ay, and a great deal more than that. "Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing." He makes their hearts to dance at the sound of his name. He takes off their sackcloth. That is good. What a delight to be rid of the habiliments of woe! But what then? He clothes us. And how? With some common dress? Nay, but with that royal vestment which is the array of glorified spirits in heaven. "Thou hast girded me with gladness." This is better than to wear garments of silk or cloth of gold, bedight with embroidery and bespangled with gems. Many a poor man wears this heavenly apparel wrapped around his heart, though fustian and corduroy are his only outward garb; and such a man needs not envy the emperor in all his pomp. Glory be to thee, O God, if, by a sense of full forgiveness and present justification, thou hast enriched my spiritual nature, and filled me with all the fulness of God.

Psalm 30:12

"To the end" - namely, with this view and intent - "that my glory" - that is, my tongue or my soul - "may sing praise to thee, and not be silent." It would be a shameful crime, if, after receiving God's mercies, we should forget to praise him. God would not have our tongues lie idle while so many themes for gratitude are spread on every hand. He would have no dumb children in the house. They are all to sing in heaven, and therefore they should all sing on earth. Let us sing with the poet: -

"I would begin the music here,

And so my soul should rise:

Oh for some heavenly notes to bear

My passions to the skies."

"O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever."

"I'll praise him in life; I'll praise him in death;

I'll praise him as long as he lendeth me breath;

Anti say when the death-dew lies cold on my brow.


Having related his prayer, he now declares the gracious answer which God gave him.

Put off my sackcloth, i.e. given me occasion to put off that sackcloth, which they used to wear in times of mourning. See Esther 4:1 Psalm 35:13 Isaiah 32:11 Joel 1:13.

With gladness; either with garments of gladness or rejoicing; or with joy, as with a garment surrounding me on every side; as he is for the like reason said to be girded with strength, Psalm 18:32. Those hast turned for me my mourning into dancing,.... This, with what follows, expresses the success he had in seeking the Lord by prayer and supplication; there was a sudden change of things, as it often is with the people of God; sometimes they are mourning by reason of sin, their own and others; or on account of afflictions; or because of spiritual decays; or through the temptations of Satan; or, as it was the case of the psalmist now, because of the hidings of God's face; but this mourning is exchanged for joy and gladness when the Lord discovers his pardoning love, revives his work in their souls, takes off his afflicting hand from them, rebukes the tempter, and delivers out of his temptations, and shows himself, his grace and favour;

thou hast put off my sackcloth; which was used in mourning for relations, and in times of calamity and distress, and as a token of humiliation and repentance, Genesis 37:34;

and girded me with gladness; by these phrases the same thing is signified as before; see Isaiah 61:3.

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
11. Better, Thou didst turn … didst loose … and gird. He looks back to the moment when his prayer was answered.

mourning … dancing] The gestures of sorrow and joy are contrasted, for mourning means literally the beating of the breast (planctus). Cp. Lamentations 5:15. In place of the sackcloth which was the mourner’s garb, gladness clothes him like a festal garment. Cp. Isaiah 61:3.

11, 12. Prayer answered: life prolonged, and its purpose.Verse 11. - Thou hast turned (rather, thou turnedst) for me my mourning into dancing. Suddenly, in a moment, all was changed. The angel ceased to slay. God bade him hold his hand. The Prophet Gad was sent with the joyful news to David, and commanded him at once to build an altar at Jehovah. Then the mourning ceased, and a joyful ceremonial was instituted, of which dancing, as so often, formed a part (see Exodus 15:20; 1 Samuel 18:6; 2 Samuel 6:14-16; Psalm 149:3; Jeremiah 31:4). Thou hast put off (rather, didst put off) my sackcloth. That the king had clothed himself in sackcloth on the occasion, is mentioned by the author of Chronicles (1 Chronicles 21:16). And girded (girdedst) me with gladness (comp. 1 Chronicles 21:26). (Heb.: 30:5-6) Psalm 30:4 call upon all the pious to praise this God, who after a short season of anger is at once and henceforth gracious. Instead of שׁם of Jahve, we find the expression זכר in this instance, as in Psalm 97:12 after Exodus 3:15. Jahve, by revealing Himself, renders Himself capable of being both named and remembered, and that in the most illustrious manner. The history of redemption is, as it were, an unfolding of the Name of Jahve and at the same time a setting up of a monument, an establishment of a memorial, and in fact the erection of a זכר קדשׁ; because all God's self-attestations, whether in love or in wrath, flow from the sea of light of His holiness. When He manifests Himself to His won love prevails; and wrath is, in relation to them, only a vanishing moment: a moment passes in His anger, a (whole) life in His favour, i.e., the former endures only for a moment, the latter the whole life of a man. "Alles Ding whrt seine Zeit, Gottes Lieb' in Ewigkeit." All things last their season, God's love to all eternity. The preposition בּ does not here, as in the beautiful parallel Isaiah 54:7., cf. Psalm 60:10, denote the time and mode of that which takes place, but the state in which one spends the time. Psalm 30:6 portrays the rapidity with which love takes back wrath (cf. Isaiah 17:14): in the evening weeping takes up its abode with us for the night, but in the morning another guest, viz., רנּה, appears, like a rescuing angel, before whom בּכי disappears. The predicate ילין etaci does not belong to Psalm 30:6 as well (Hupfeld, Hitzig). The substantival clause: and in the morning joy equals joy is present, depicts the unexpectedness and surprise of the help of Him who sends בכי and רנה.
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