Psalm 30:7
LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.
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(7) Lord, by thy favouri.e., and all the while thou (not my own strength) hadst made me secure. The margin gives the literal rendering, but the reading varies between the text “to my mountain,” “to my honour” (LXX., Vulg., and Syriac), and “on mountains,” the last involving the supply of the pronoun “me.” The sense, however, is the same, and is obvious. The mountain of strength, perhaps mountain fortress, is an image of secure retreat. Doubtless Mount Zion was in the poet’s thought.

Thou didst . . .—The fluctuation of feeling is well shown by the rapid succession of clauses without any connecting conjunctions.

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.Lord, by thy favor thou hast made my mountain to stand strong - Margin: "settled strength for my mountain." This refers, I apprehend, to his former state of mind; to his confidence in that which constituted his prosperity as referred to in the previous verse; to his feeling, in that state, that everything pertaining to himself was safe; to his freedom from any apprehension that there would be any change. The word "mountain" seems to be used as denoting that on which he relied as his security or strength, as the mountain, or the inaccessible hills, constituted a refuge and security in times of danger. See Psalm 18:1-2, Psalm 18:33; Psalm 27:5. It does not refer to Mount Moriah, or Mount Zion, as some have supposed, for the passage relates to a former period of his life when these were not in his possession; but he speaks of himself as having, through the favor of God, put himself into a strong position - a position where he feared no enemy and no change; where he thought himself entirely secure - the state of "prosperity" to which he had referred in the previous verse. In that state, however, God showed him that there was no real security but in his favor: security not in what a man can draw around himself, but in the favor of God alone.

Thou didst hide thy face - That is, at the time when I was so confident, and when I thought my mountain stood so strong, and that I was so secure. Then I was shown how insecure and uncertain was all that I relied on, and how absolutely, after all that I had done, I was dependent for safety on God. To "hide the face" is synonymous in the sacred writings with the withdrawing of favor, or with displeasure. See the notes at Psalm 13:1. Compare Psalm 104:29.

And I was troubled - I was confounded, perplexed, agitated, terrified. I was thrown into sudden fear, for all that I had so confidently relied on, all that I thought was so firm, was suddenly swept away. We do not know what this was in the case of the psalmist. It may have been the strength of his own fortifications; it may have been the number and discipline of his army; it may have been his own conscious power and skill as a warrior; it may have been his wealth; it may have been his bodily health - in reference to any of which he may have felt as if none of these things could fail. When that on which he so confidently relied was swept away, he was agitated, troubled, anxious. The same thing may occur now, and often does occur, whenpeople rely on their own strength; their health; their wealth. Suddenly any of these may be swept away; suddenly they are often swept away, to teach such men - even good men - their dependence on God, and to show them how vain is every other refuge.

7. troubled—confounded with fear (Ps 2:5). Thou hast made my mountain to stand strong; thou hast so firmly settled me in my kingdom; which he calls his

mountain, partly because kingdoms are usually called mountains in prophetical writings, as Psalm 46:3,4 Isa 2:2 Jeremiah 51:25 Daniel 2:34,35,44,45; and partly with respect to Mount Zion, where he built his royal palace, the dedication whereof is mentioned in the title of the Psalm.

Thou didst hide thy face, i.e. withdraw thy favour and help, and I was quickly brought into such distresses of body, and anxiety of mind, that I saw the vanity of all my carnal confidences.

Lord, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong,.... The psalmist found himself mistaken, and acknowledges it; that as it was not owing to his own merit that he enjoyed the prosperity that he did, so neither was the continuance of it owing to his goodness, power, and strength, but to the free grace and favour of God; as the church of God is compared to a mountain, and the several individuals of believers are like to Mount Zion, so the soul of a child of God may be called his mountain, which is made strong by the Lord as to its state in Christ, being set on him, the Rock of ages, and sure foundation, where it is safe and secure; and as to its grace, whenever it is in any strong exercise, which is altogether owing to the favour of God, and continues as long as he pleases;

thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled; the Lord may hide his face from his people, and yet their state be safe; their mountain stands strong in that respect; yet this generally produces a change of frames; it gives trouble, and faith and hope become feeble and languid in their acts and exercises; this shows the changeableness of frames, that they are not to be depended upon; that they are entirely owing to the pleasure of God, and that rejoicing only should be in him: very likely some regard is had to the affair of Absalom's rebellion, which came unawares, unthought of, when David was in the greatest prosperity and security.

LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my {h} mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I {i} was troubled.

(h) I thought you had established me in Zion most surely.

(i) After you had withdrawn your help, I felt my misery.

7. R.V., Thou, Lord, of thy favour hadst made my mountain to stand strong; lit. hadst established strength for my mountain. Zion, strong by position and art, may be thought of, partly in itself, partly as an emblem of the Davidic kingdom. Fortress and kingdom alike derived their real strength from Jehovah. Cp. 1 Kings 15:4; 2 Chronicles 9:8. But the reading is doubtful. The LXX, Vulg., and Syr. represent, hadst established strength for my majesty. The Targum, which rarely departs from the Massoretic Text, gives hadst made me stand upon strong mountains; a figure for security. Cp. Psalm 18:33; Psalm 27:5.

thou didst hide thy face] Withdrawing the light of thy favour. Then I was troubled (omit and which A.V. inserts): a strong word, expressing the confusion and helplessness of terror, as in Psalm 6:2-3; Psalm 6:10 (A.V. vexed); Psalm 104:29.

Verse 7. - Lord, by thy favour thou hast (rather, hadst) made my mountain to stand strong. It was thy favour which had given me the "prosperity" whereby I was exalted, and which I thought rooted in myself - which had made Zion strong, and enabled me to triumph over my enemies. But, lo! suddenly all was changed - Thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled. God turned his face away, declared himself angry with his servant (1 Chronicles 21:7-12), and sent the dreadful plague which in a single day destroyed seventy thousand lives. Then David, feeling that God's face was indeed turned from him, "was troubled." Psalm 30:7(Heb.: 30:7-8) David now relates his experience in detail, beginning with the cause of the chastisement, which he has just undergone. In ואני אמרתּי (as in Psalm 31:23; Psalm 49:4) he contrasts his former self-confidence, in which (like the רשׁע, Psalm 10:6) he thought himself to be immoveable, with the God-ward trust he has now gained in the school of affliction. Instead of confiding in the Giver, he trusted in the gift, as though it had been his own work. It is uncertain, - but it is all the same in the end, - whether שׁלוי is the inflected infinitive שלו of the verb שׁלי (which we adopt in our translation), or the inflected noun שׁלו (שׁלוּ) equals שׁלו, after the form שׂחוּ, a swimming, Ezekiel 47:5, equals שׁלוה, Jeremiah 22:21. The inevitable consequence of such carnal security, as it is more minutely described in Deuteronomy 8:11-18, is some humbling divine chastisement. This intimate connection is expressed by the perfects in Psalm 30:8, which represent God's pardon, God's withdrawal of favour, which is brought about by his self-exaltation, and the surprise of his being undeceived, as synchronous. העמיד עז, to set up might is equivalent to: to give it as a lasting possession; cf. 2 Chronicles 33:8, which passage is a varied, but not (as Riehm supposes) a corrupted, repetition of 2 Kings 21:8. It is, therefore, unnecessary, as Hitzig does, to take ל as accusatival and עז as adverbial: in Thy favour hadst Thou made my mountain to stand firm. The mountain is Zion, which is strong by natural position and by the additions of art (2 Samuel 5:9); and this, as being the castle-hill, is the emblem of the kingdom of David: Jahve had strongly established his kingdom for David, when on account of his trust in himself He made him to feel how all that he was he was only by Him, and without Him he was nothing whatever. The form of the inflexion הררי, instead of הרי equals harri, is defended by Genesis 14:6 and Jeremiah 17:3 (where it is הררי as if from הרר). The reading להדרי (lxx, Syr.), i.e., to my kingly dignity is a happy substitution; whereas the reading of the Targum להררי, "placed (me) on firm mountains," at once refutes itself by the necessity for supplying "me."
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