My times are in your hand: deliver me from the hand of my enemies, and from them that persecute me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)My times are in thy hand—i.e., the vicissitudes of human life (LXX. and Vulg. have “my destinies”) are under Divine control, so that the machinations of the foe cannot prevail against one whom God intends to deliver. For the expression comp. 1Chronicles 29:30, “the times that went over him,” Isaiah 33:6.
The sense of security in this trusting phrase may be contrasted with the feeling of danger in another Hebrew phrase, “my soul is continually in my hand,” Psalm 119:109.
Deliver me from the hand of mine enemies - That is, since all these things are under thy control; since thou hast power over my life and over all that pertains to me, I pray that thy power may be exerted in my behalf, and that my life may be rescued from danger. This was his prayer in the midst of his troubles, and this prayer was heard.
deliver … hand—opposed to "shut me up," &c., of Ps 31:8.My times; either,
1. The time of my life, how long I shall live. Or,
2. My opportunities or fit seasons for working out my deliverance. Or rather,
3. All the affairs and events of my life; for time is oft put for things done or accidents happening in time, as 1 Chronicles 29:30 Job 11:17 Psalm 37:18 Ecclesiastes 9:11 Daniel 2:21 Acts 17:26.
Are in thy hand, i.e. are wholly in thy power, to dispose and order as thou seest fit, and not at all in mine enemies’ power, who can do nothing against me, unless it be given them from above. 1 Chronicles 29:30; and all his times of trouble in it; times of prosperity and of adversity; of darkness, desertion, and temptation; and of joy, peace, and comfort; these were all in the hands of the Lord, at his disposal, and ordered by him for the good of his servant, and for the glory of his own name; and this was a quieting consideration to the psalmist under his present trials and exercises; the Targum is, "the times of my redemption"
deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me; a good man has many enemies, and even his very goodness creates him such; for wicked men are enemies to all that is good; and those are persecuting ones, in one way or other; either by words or deeds; and deliverance out of their hands is by the Lord, who sometimes gives his people rest from adversity, and suffers not the rod of the wicked to continue on them; and therefore it is best to apply to him for it.My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)15. My times &c.] Cp. 1 Chronicles 29:30. The vicissitudes of my life are all under Thy control.Verse 15. - My times are in thy hand. "My times," i.e. "all the varied events, happy or sad, which make up the parti-coloured web of life" (Kay). Not one of them but is shaped by thee and ordered by thee. Deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me (camp. vers. 1, 2, 4). The great need under existing circumstances was deliverance. Absalom was looked for daily to "pass over Jordan, and all the men of Israel with him" (2 Samuel 17:24). A battle was imminent. If the day went against David, and his army was defeated, he would necessarily fall into the hands of his "enemies" and "persecutors," in which case he could not hope that they would spare his life (2 Samuel 17:2, 12). Psalm 69:18, cf. Psalm 18:7. Psalm 31:10 is word for word like Psalm 6:8, except that in this passage to עיני, the eye which mirrors the state of suffering in which the sensuous perception and objective receptivity of the man are concentrated, are added נפשׁ, the soul forming the nexus of the spirit and the body, and בּטן, the inward parts of the body reflecting the energies and feelings of the spirit and the soul. חיּים, with which is combined the idea of the organic intermingling of the powers of soul and body, has the predicate in the plural, as in Psalm 88:4. The fact that the poet makes mention of his iniquity as that by which his physical strength has become tottering (כּשׁל as in Nehemiah 4:4), is nothing surprising even in a Psalm that belongs to the time of his persecution by Saul; for the longer this persecution continued, the more deeply must David have felt that he needed this furnace of affliction.
The text of Psalm 31:12 upon which the lxx rendering is based, was just the same as ours: παρὰ πάντας τοὺς ἐχθρούς μου ἐγενήθην ὄνειδος καὶ τοῖς γείτοσί μου σφόδρα καὶ φόβος τοῖς γνωστοῖς μου. But this σφδόρα (Jerome nimis) would certainly only be tolerable, if it could be rendered, "I am become a reproach even to my neighbours exceedingly" - in favour of this position of מאד we might compare Judges 12:2, - and this rendering is not really an impossible one; for not only has ו frequently the sense of "even" as in 2 Samuel 1:23, but (independently of passages, in which it may even be explained as "and that," an expression which takes up what has been omitted, as in Amos 4:10) it sometimes has this meaning direct (like καὶ, et -etiam), Isaiah 32:7; Hosea 8:6 (according to the accents), 2 Chronicles 27:5; Ecclesiastes 5:5 (cf. Ew. @a7352, b). Inasmuch, however, as this usage, in Hebrew, was not definitely developed, but was only as it were just developing, it may be asked whether it is not possible to find a suitable explanation without having recourse to this rendering of the ו as equivalent to גּם, a rendering which is always hazardous. Olshausen places ולשׁכני after למידעי, a change which certainly gets rid of all difficulty. Hitzig alters מאד into מנּד, frightened, scared. But one naturally looks for a parallel substantive to חרפּה, somewhat like "terror" (Syriac) or "burden." Still מגור (dread) and משּׂאת (a burden) do not look as though מאד could be a corruption of either of those words. Is it not perhaps possible for מאד itself to be equivalent in meaning to משׂאת? Since in the signification σφόδρα it is so unsuited to this passage, the expression would not be ambiguous, if it were here used in a special sense. J. D. Michaelis has even compared the Arabic awd (awdat) in the sense of onus. We can, without the hesitation felt by Maurer and Hupfeld, suppose that מאד has indeed this meaning in this passage, and without any necessity for its being pointed מאד; for even the adverb מאד is originally a substantive derived from אוּד, Arab. âd (after the form מצד from צוּד) gravitas, firmitas, which is then used in the sense of graviter, firmiter (cf. the French ferme). אוּד, Arab. âd, however, has the radical signification to be compressed, compact, firm, and solid, from which proceed the significations, which are divided between âda, jaı̂du, and âda, jaûdu, to be strong, powerful, and to press upon, to burden, both of which meanings Arab. 'dd unites within itself (cf. on Psalm 20:9).
The number of opponents that David had, at length made him a reproach even in the eyes of the better disposed of his people, as being a revolter and usurper. Those among whom he found friendly shelter began to feel themselves burdened by his presence because they were thereby imperilled; and we see from the sad fate of Abimelech and the other priests of Nob what cause, humanly speaking, they, who were not merely slightly, but even intimately acquainted with him (מידּעים as inn Psalm 55:14; Psalm 88:9, 19), had for avoiding all intercourse with him. Thus, then, he is like one dead, whom as soon as he is borne out of his home to the grave, men are wont, in general, to put out of mind also (נשׁכּח מלּא, oblivione extingui ex corde; cf. מפּה, Deuteronomy 31:21). All intimate connection with him is as it were sundered, he is become כּכלי אבד, - a phrase, which, as we consider the confirmation which follows in Psalm 31:14, has the sense of vas periens (not vas perditum), a vessel that is in the act of אבד, i.e., one that is set aside or thrown away, being abandoned to utter destruction and no more cared for (cf. Hosea 8:8, together with Jeremiah 48:38, and Jeremiah 22:28). With כּי he gives the ground for his comparison of himself to a household vessel that has become worthless. The insinuations and slanders of many brand him as a transgressor, dread surrounds him on every side (this is word for word the same as in Jeremiah 20:10, where the prophet, with whom in other passages also מגור מסּביב is a frequent and standing formula, under similar circumstances uses the language of the psalmist); when they come together to take counsel concerning him (according to the accents the second half of the verse begins with בּהוּסדם), they think only how they may get rid of him. If the construction of ב with its infinitive were intended to be continued in Psalm 31:14, it would have been וזממוּ לקחת נפשׁי or לקחת נפשׁי יזמּוּ.
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