Psalm 31:17
Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
31:9-18 David's troubles made him a man of sorrows. Herein he was a type of Christ, who was acquainted with grief. David acknowledged that his afflictions were merited by his own sins, but Christ suffered for ours. David's friends durst not give him any assistance. Let us not think it strange if thus deserted, but make sure of a Friend in heaven who will not fail. God will be sure to order and dispose all for the best, to all those who commit their spirits also into his hand. The time of life is in God's hands, to lengthen or shorten, make bitter or sweet, according to the counsel of his will. The way of man is not in himself, nor in our friend's hands, nor in our enemies' hands, but in God's. In this faith and confidence he prays that the Lord would save him for his mercies's sake, and not for any merit of his own. He prophesies the silencing of those that reproach and speak evil of the people of God. There is a day coming, when the Lord will execute judgment upon them. In the mean time, we should engage ourselves by well-doing, if possible, to silence the ignorance of foolish men.Let me not be ashamed, O Lord, for I have called upon thee - That is, I have reposed entire confidence in thee, and in thy promises, in the time of trial; let now the result be such as to show that I had reason thus to trust in thee; that thy character is such that the persecuted and the afflicted may always find thee to be a safe and secure refuge. In other words, Let me not be disappointed, and thus be made "ashamed" before men, as if I had put my trust where no relief was to be found, or where there was nothing to authorize an act of unreserved confidence. See the notes at Psalm 25:2-3.

Let the wicked be ashamed - Let them be disappointed in that on which they had put their trust; let it be seen that they, in their wicked plans, had no safe ground of confidence. They rely on their strength; their skill; their courage; their resources; and not on God. Let it now be seen that these things constitute no safe ground of trust, and let not others be encouraged to follow their example by any success that shall attend them in their designs.

And let them be silent in the grave - Margin, "let them be cut off for the grave." Hebrew: "for Sheol." The more correct translation is that which is in the text, "Let them be silent." That is, let them go down to the grave - to "Sheol" - to the "underworld" - to the "land of silence." On the meaning of the word used here - "Sheol," the grave - see the notes at Isaiah 14:9; compare the notes at Job 10:21-22; and the notes at Psalm 16:10. This is represented as a land of "silence." This idea is derived from "the grave," where the dead repose in silence; and the meaning here is, let them be cut off and consigned to that land of silence. It is a prayer that the wicked may not triumph.

16. Make … shine—(Compare Nu 6:25; Ps 4:6). Deprecating from himself, he imprecates on the wicked God's displeasure, and prays that their virulent persecution of him may be stopped. I have called upon thee; and therefore thy honour will be eclipsed in my disappointment, as if thou didst not hear prayers, nor keep promise, nor make any difference between good and bad men.

Let the wicked be ashamed; frustrated in their wicked designs and carnal confidences. Seeing they are implacable in their malice and rage against innocent and good men, do thou cut them off by thy just judgment; and since either the righteous or the wicked must be cut off, let destruction fall upon them, who most deserve it.

Let me not be ashamed, O Lord,.... The same petition as in Psalm 31:1;

for I have called upon thee; who is nigh unto all that call upon him in truth, and is rich unto them, and has promised to help and save them; which should he not do, not only he would be made ashamed, but the promise of God would seem to fail: for the psalmist does not plead any duty of his, nor make a merit of his prayers; but has respect to the promise and faithfulness of God;

let the wicked be ashamed; as they will be, sooner or later, of their wickedness, and of their false trust and confidence; of their being incensed against Christ, and their rage against his people, and persecution of them;

and let them be silent in the grave; as all are that are there; and the sense is, let them be brought to the grave, where they will be silent, or cease (f); that is, from their evil words and works, and particularly from troubling the saints, Job 3:17.

(f) "Verbum est" "quod significat cessare ab aliquo opere, vel sermone", Psal. iv. 5. Gejerus.

Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be {m} silent in the grave.

(m) Let death destroy them to the intent that they may hurt no more.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
17. The prayer of Psalm 31:1 is repeated. While my prayers are answered, let my enemies be silenced and consigned to Sheol. A similar prayer in Psalm 25:2-3; Jeremiah 17:18.

Verse 17. - Let me not be ashamed, O Lord (see the comment on ver. l). For I have called upon thee. "I have," i.e., "been ever thy true worshipper." Even when I have sinned (ver. 10), my sins have not been "sins of unfaithfulness," but lapses, sins of infirmity, unpremeditated yieldings to temptation. Let the wicked be ashamed. Bring shame, i.e., upon those who are at once my enemies and thine - the wicked and impenitent generally - and, among them on my present adversaries, those who are collected together to carry on war against me. And let them be silent in the grave; or, in Sheol. Let a stop be put to their slanders (ver. 13) and lying speeches (ver. 18); let them he silenced by removal from this world to the land of the departed. Psalm 31:17(Heb.: 31:15-19) But, although a curse of the world and an offscouring of all people, he is confident in God, his Deliverer and Avenger. By ואני prominence is given to the subject by way of contrast, as in Psalm 31:7. It appears as though Jahve had given him up in His anger; but he confides in Him, and in spite of this appearance, he even confides in Him with the prayer of appropriating faith. עתּות or אתּים (1 Chronicles 29:30) are the appointed events and circumstances, the vicissitudes of human life; like the Arabic 'idât (like עת from ועד), the appointed rewards and punishments. The times, with whatsoever they bring with them, are in the Lord's hand, every lot is of His appointment or sending. The Vulgate follows the lxx, in manibus tuis sortes meae. The petitions of Psalm 31:16, Psalm 31:17, spring from this consciousness that the almighty and faithful hand of God has mould his life. There are three petitions; the middle one is an echo of the Aaronitish blessing in Numbers 6:25. כּי קראתיך, which gives the ground of his hope that he shall not be put to shame (cf. Psalm 31:2), is to be understood like אמרתּי in Psalm 31:15, according to Ges. 126, 3. The expression of the ground for אל־אבושׁה, favours the explanation of it not so much as the language of petition (let me not be ashamed) of as hope. The futures which follow might be none the less regarded as optatives, but the order of the words does not require this. And we prefer to take them as expressing hope, so that the three petitions in Psalm 31:16, Psalm 31:17, correspond to the three hopes in Psalm 31:18, Psalm 31:19. He will not be ashamed, but the wicked shall be ashamed and silenced for ever. The form ידּמוּ, from דּמם, is, as in Jeremiah 8:14, the plural of the fut. Kal ידּם, with the doubling of the first radical, which is customary in Aramaic (other examples of which we have in יקּד, ישּׁם, יתּם), not of the fut. Niph. ידּם, the plural of which would be ידּמּוּ, as in 1 Samuel 2:9; conticescere in orcum is equivalent to: to be silent, i.e., being made powerless to fall a prey to hades. It is only in accordance with the connection, that in this instance נאלם, Psalm 31:19, just like דּמם, denotes that which is forcibly laid upon them by the judicial intervention of God: all lying lips shall be dumb, i.e., made dumb. עתק prop. that which is unrestrained, free, insolent (cf. Arabic 'âtik, 'atı̂k, unrestrained, free

(Note: But these Arabic words do not pass over into the signification "insolent."))

is the accusative of the object, as in Psalm 94:4, and as it is the nominative of the subject in 1 Samuel 2:3.

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