Psalm 30:3
O LORD, you have brought up my soul from the grave: you have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) Grave.Sheôl (See Note to Psalm 6:5.)

That I should not go down to the pit.—This follows a reading which is considered by modern scholars ungrammatical. The ordinary reading, rightly kept by the LXX. and Vulg., means from these going down to the pit, i.e., from the dead. (Comp. Psalm 28:1.)

30:1-5. The great things the Lord has done for us, both by his providence and by his grace, bind us in gratitude to do all we can to advance his kingdom among men, though the most we can do is but little. God's saints in heaven sing to him; why should not those on earth do the same? Not one of all God's perfections carries in it more terror to the wicked, or more comfort to the godly, than his holiness. It is a good sign that we are in some measure partakers of his holiness, if we can heartily rejoice at the remembrance of it. Our happiness is bound up in the Divine favour; if we have that, we have enough, whatever else we want; but as long as God's anger continues, so long the saints' weeping continues.O, Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave - My life; me. The meaning is, that he had been in imminent danger of death, and had been brought from the borders of the grave. The word here rendered "grave" is "Sheol" - a word which, properly used, commonly denotes the region of the dead; the underworld which is entered through the grave. Compare Isaiah 14:9, note; Psalm 6:5, note.

Thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit - More literally, "thou hast caused me to live from them which go down to the pit;" that is, thou hast distinguished me from them by keeping me alive. The word "pit" here means the same as the grave. See the notes at Psalm 28:1.

3. The terms describe extreme danger.

soul—or, "myself."

grave—literally, "hell," as in Ps 16:10.

hast kept me … pit—quickened or revived me from the state of dying (compare Ps 28:1).

Thou hast brought up my soul from the grave; my deliverance is a kind of resurrection from the grave, upon the very brink whereof I was.

Thou hast kept me alive: this he adds to explain the former phrase, which was ambiguous.

To the pit, i.e. into the grave, which is oft called the pit, as Psalm 28:1 69:15 88:4 Isaiah 38:17. O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave,.... When his life being in danger, was near unto it, Job 33:22; otherwise the soul dies not, nor does it lie and sleep in the grave; or "thou hast brought up my soul from hell" (m); that is, delivered him from those horrors of conscience and terrors of mind, by reason of sin, which were as hell itself unto him; see Psalm 116:3;

thou hast kept me alive: preserved his corporeal life when in danger, and maintained his spiritual life; and quickened him by his word, under all his afflictions, and kept him from utter and black despair;

that I should not go down to the pit; either of the grave or hell. There is in this clause a "Keri" and a "Cetib"; a marginal reading, and a textual writing: according to the latter it is, "from them that go down to the pit"; which some versions (n) follow; that is, thou hast preserved me from going along with them, and being where and as they are: our version follows the former; the sense is the same.

(m) "ab inferno", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Gejerus, Michaelis; so Ainsworth. (n) So Sept. V. L. Pagninus, Musculus, Gejerus, Michaelis, Ainsworth.

O LORD, thou hast brought up my {d} soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

(d) Meaning, that he escaped death most narrowly.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. So desperate was his sickness that his recovery was as life from the dead, a veritable resurrection from the grave.

from the grave] R.V. from Sheol. See note on Psalm 6:5. Cp. 1 Samuel 2:6.

thou hast kept me alive that I should not go down to the pit] Better, thou hast restored me to life from among them that go down to the pit. He was already as good as dead, when Jehovah raised him up again. Cp. Psalm 9:13; Psalm 88:4 ff. This is the reading of the Kthîbh, which is supported by the LXX and Syr., and by Psalm 28:1. The A.V. that I should not go down follows the Qrç, which is supported by the Targ. and Jer., but involves an anomalous grammatical form, and gives a less vigorous sense.Verse 3. - O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave; i.e. when I was on the verge of the grave, just ready to depart to the unseen world, thy interposition saved me, and brought me, as it were, back to life. Thou hast kept me alive. Lest the hyperbole of the preceding clause should be misunderstood, the writer appends a prosaic account of what had happened. God had "kept him alive" when he was in peril of death, and saved him, that he should not go down to the pit. Now follows the description of the revelation of God's power, which is the ground of the summons, and is to be the subject-matter of their praise. The All-glorious One makes Himself heard in the language (Revelation 10:3.) of the thunder, and reveals Himself in the storm. There are fifteen lines, which naturally arrange themselves into three five-line strophes. The chief matter with the poet, however, is the sevenfold קול ה. Although קול is sometimes used almost as an ejaculatory "Hark!" (Genesis 4:10; Isaiah 52:8), this must not, with Ewald (286, f), be applied to the קול ה of the Psalm before us, the theme of which is the voice of God, who announced Himself from heaven - a voice which moves the world. The dull sounding קול serves not merely to denote the thunder of the storm, but even the thunder of the earthquake, the roar of the tempest, and in general, every low, dull, rumbling sound, by which God makes Himself audible to the world, and more especially from the wrathful side of His doxa. The waters in Psalm 29:3 are not the lower waters. Then the question arises what are they? Were the waters of the Mediterranean intended, they would be more definitely denoted in such a vivid description. It is, however, far more appropriate to the commencement of this description to understand them to mean the mass of water gathered together in the thick, black storm-clouds (vid., Psalm 18:12; Jeremiah 10:13). The rumbling

(Note: The simple rendering of קול by "voice" has been retained in the text of the Psalm, as in the Authorised Version. The word, however, which Dr. Delitzsch uses is Gedrhn, the best English equivalent of which is a "rumbling." - Tr.)

of Jahve is, as the poet himself explains in Psalm 29:3, the thunder produced on high by the אל הכּבוד (cf. מלך הכבוד, Psalm 24:7.), which rolls over the sea of waters floating above the earth in the sky. Psalm 29:4 and Psalm 29:4, just like Psalm 29:3 and Psalm 29:3, are independent substantival clauses. The rumbling of Jahve is, issues forth, or passes by; ב with the abstract article as in Psalm 77:14; Proverbs 24:5 (cf. Proverbs 8:8; Luke 4:32, ἐν ἰσχύΐ Revelation 18:2), is the ב of the distinctive attribute. In Psalm 29:3 the first peals of thunder are heard; in Psalm 29:4 the storm is coming nearer, and the peals become stronger, and now it bursts forth with its full violence: Psalm 29:5 describes this in a general form, and Psalm 29:5 expresses by the fut. consec., as it were inferentially, that which is at present taking place: amidst the rolling of the thunder the descending lightning flashes rive the cedars of Lebanon (as is well-known, the lightning takes the outermost points). The suffix in Psalm 29:6 does not refer proleptically to the mountains mentioned afterwards, but naturally to the cedars (Hengst., Hupf., Hitz.), which bend down before the storm and quickly rise up again. The skipping of Lebanon and Sirion, however, is not to be referred to the fact, that their wooded summits bend down and rise again, but, according to Psalm 114:4, to their being shaken by the crash of the thunder-a feature in the picture which certainly does not rest upon what is actually true in nature, but figuratively describes the apparent quaking of the earth during a heavy thunderstorm. שריון, according to Deuteronomy 3:9, is the Sidonian name of Hermon, and therefore side by side with Lebanon it represents Anti-Lebanon. The word, according to the Masora, has ש sinistrum, and consequently is isriyown, wherefore Hitzig correctly derives it from Arab. srâ, fut. i., to gleam, sparkle, cf. the passage from an Arab poet at Psalm 133:3. The lightning makes these mountains bound (Luther, lecken, i.e., according to his explanation: to spring, skip) like young antelopes. ראם,

(Note: On Arab. r'm vid., Seetzen's Reisen iii. 339 and also iv. 496.)

like βούβαλος, βούβαλις, is a generic name of the antelope, and of the buffalo that roams in herds through the forests beyond the Jordan even at the present day; for there are antelopes that resemble the buffalo and also (except in the formation of the head and the cloven hoofs) those that resemble the horse, the lxx renders: ὡς υἱὸς μονοκερώτων. Does this mean the unicorn Germ. one-horn depicted on Persian and African monuments? Is this unicorn distinct from the one horned antelope? Neither an unicorn nor an one horned antelope have been seen to the present day by any traveller. Both animals, and consequently also their relation to one another, are up to the present time still undefinable from a scientific point of view.

(Note: By ראם Ludolf in opposition to Bochart understands the rhinoceros; but this animal, belonging to the swine tribe, is certainly not meant, or even merely associated with it. Moreover, the rhinoceros Germ. nose-horn is called in Egypt charnin (from Arab. chrn equals qrn), but the unicorn, charnit. "In the year 1862 the French archaeologist, M. Waddington, was with me in Damascus when an antiquary brought me an ancient vessel on which a number of animals were engraved, their names being written on their bellies. Among the well known animals there was also an unicorn, exactly like a zebra or a horse, but with a long horn standing out upon its forehead; on its body was the word Arab. chrnı̂t. M. Waddington wished to have the vessel and I gave it up to him; and he took it with him to Paris. We talked a good deal about this unicorn, and felt obliged to come to the conclusion that the form of the fabulous animal might have become known to the Arabs at the time of the crusades, when the English coat of arms came to Syria." - Wetzstein.)

Each peal of thunder is immediately followed by a flash of lightning; Jahve's thunder cleaveth flames of fire, i.e., forms (as it were λατομεῖ) the fire-matter of the storm-clouds into cloven flames of fire, into lightnings that pass swiftly along; in connection with which it must be remembered that קול ה denotes not merely the thunder as a phenomenon, but at the same time it denotes the omnipotence of God expressing itself therein. The brevity and threefold division of Psalm 29:7 depicts the incessant, zigzag, quivering movement of the lightning (tela trisulca, ignes trisulci, in Ovid). From the northern mountains the storm sweeps on towards the south of Palestine into the Arabian desert, viz., as we are told in Psalm 29:8 (cf. Psalm 29:5, according to the schema of "parallelism by reservation"), the wilderness region of Kadesh (Kadesh Barnea), which, however we may define its position, must certainly have lain near the steep western slope of the mountains of Edom toward the Arabah. Jahve's thunder, viz., the thunderstorm, puts this desert in a state of whirl, inasmuch as it drives the sand (חול) before it in whirlwinds; and among the mountains it, viz., the strong lightning and thundering, makes the hinds to writhe, inasmuch as from fright they bring forth prematurely. both the Hiph. יהיל and the Pil. יחולל are used with a causative meaning (root חו, חי, to move in a circle, to encircle). The poet continues with ויּחשׂף, since he makes one effect of the storm to develope from another, merging as it were out of its chrysalis state. יערות is a poetical plural form; and חשׂף describes the effect of the storm which "shells" the woods, inasmuch as it beats down the branches of the trees, both the tops and the foliage. While Jahve thus reveals Himself from heaven upon the earth in all His irresistible power, בּהיכלו, in His heavenly palace (Psalm 11:4; Psalm 18:7), כּלּו (note how בהיכלו resolves this כלו out of itself), i.e., each of the beings therein, says: כבוד. That which the poet, in Psalm 29:1, has called upon them to do, now takes place. Jahve receives back His glory, which is immanent in the universe, in the thousand-voiced echo of adoration.

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