O love the LORD, all you his saints: for the LORD preserves the faithful, and plentifully rewards the proud doer.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Preserveth the faithful.—Or, perhaps, by rendering by the abstract instead of the concrete, keeps faith. The LXX. and Vulg. have “requireth truths.”Psalm 31:23. O love the Lord, all ye his saints — Those that have their own hearts full of love to God, cannot but desire that others also should love him: for in his love there is no need to fear a rival. It is the character of all the saints, that they love God; and yet they must still be called upon to love him; to love him more, and to give better proofs of their love. For the Lord preserveth the faithful — Who receive and walk in the truth, who are steady and constant in their attachment to God and his cause, and are faithful to every trust reposed in them by God and man. They are opposed to the proud doer mentioned in the next clause. The words, however, נצר
אמונים, may be rendered, who keepeth faithfulness, or faithfulnesses, that is, is faithful in fulfilling his promises; and plentifully rewardeth — Hebrew, על יתר, gnal jether, rewardeth with abundance, the proud doer — The enemies and persecutors of God’s faithful ones, before mentioned, are here intended. These he terms proud doers, because of their rebellion against God’s will, and their contempt of his threatenings and judgments, and their most insolent and contemptuous conduct toward his people; all which proceeded from the pride of their hearts, Psalm 10:4.
For the Lord preserveth the faithful - The faithful; those who put their trust in him; those who do not give up in despondency and despair in time of danger and trouble; those who do not forsake him even though for a time he seems to forsake them. What God looks for mainly in his people is confidence; faithfulness; trust; fidelity.
And plentifully rewardeth - "Abundantly" rewards. Literally, "in plenty." That is, his punishment does not fall short of the desert of the wicked man. It is ample or full. He does full justice.
24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.
"O love the Lord, all ye his saints." A most affecting exhortation, showing clearly the deep love of the writer to his God: there is the more beauty in the expression, because it reveals love towards a smiting God, love which many waters could not quench. To bless him who gives is easy, but to cling to him who takes away is a work of grace. All the saints are benefited by the sanctified miseries of one, if they are led by earnest exhortations to love their Lord the better. If saints do not love the Lord, who will? Love is the universal debt of all the saved family: who would wish to be exonerated from its payment? Reasons for love are given, for believing love is not blind. "For the Lord preserveth the faithful." They have to bide their time, but the recompense comes at last, and meanwhile all the cruel malice of their enemies cannot destroy them. "And plentifully rewardeth the proud doer." This also is cause for gratitude: pride is so detestable in its acts that he who shall mete out to it its righteous due, deserves the love of all holy minds.
"Be of good courage." Keep up your spirit, let no craven thoughts blanch your cheek. Fear weakens, courage strengthens. Victory waits upon the banners of the brave. "And he shall strengthen your heart." Power from on high shall be given in the most effectual manner by administering force to the fountain of vitality. So far from leaving us, the Lord will draw very near to us in our adversity, and put his own power into us. "All ye that hope in the Lord." Every one of you, lift up your heads and sing for joy of heart. God is faithful, and does not fail even his little children who do but hope, wherefore then should we be afraid?The Lord preserveth the faithful; or, keepeth faithfulness, or faithfulnesses, i.e. is faithful in fulfilling his promises; or rather, the faithful, who is opposed to the proud doer in the next clause of the verse.
Plentifully, Heb. with (for so the Hebrew al sometimes signifies) abundance.
The proud doer; the enemies and persecutors of God’s faithful ones before mentioned, whom he calls here proud doers, because of their rebellion against God’s will, and their contempt of his threatenings and judgments, and their most insolent and contemptuous carriage towards his people; all which proceeds from the pride of their heart, Psalm 10:4.
for the Lord preserveth the faithful; such as trust in him, believe in Christ, and are faithful to his word and ordinances, abide by them, and stays near his people; these he not only preserves in a providential way, but he preserves them in a way of special grace; he keeps them "from evil", as the Targum; from the evil of sin; from a total and final falling away by it; from the evil of the world, so as not to be drawn off from Christ and his ways, either by its frowns or flatteries; and from the evil one, Satan, from being destroyed by him and his temptations; and these are preserved safe to the kingdom and glory of Christ, by the mighty power of God: some render the words, "the Lord keepeth faithfulness" (i); he will never suffer his own faithfulness to fail; he is a covenant keeping God, and is always true to his word and promise;
and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer; such as all self-righteous persons are, and all that speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the truly righteous, Psalm 31:18; who bear hard upon them, and oppress them; and such as antichrist and his party, who exalts himself above all that is called God; but in what those deal proudly, God is above them, an more than a match for them, and he sets himself against them; he resists them, and will reward them according to their works.O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)23, 24. Concluding exhortation to the faithful. Cp. Psalm 30:4; Psalm 27:14; Psalm 32:11.
preserveth the faithful] Or, keepeth faithfulness. Cf. Exodus 34:7, note.
plentifully rewardeth the proud doer] The judgment of the wicked is, in the view of the O.T., the necessary complement of the triumph of the saints. See Introd. p. xci.Verse 23. - O love ye the Lord, all ye his saints. The psalmist winds up with a short burst of song, in which his heart goes out to others. He calls upon all God's saints to "love" him, on the ground of his own experience, which is that the Lord preserveth the faithful (literally, those who stand firm, Kay), and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer; i.e. visits with ample vengeance such as in their pride set themselves against him and against his people. 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."))
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