Psalm 34:2
My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) Humble.—See Note on Psalm 9:12. The LXX.

and Vulg., “the meek.” It means here those who have learnt patience in the school of suffering.

34:1-10 If we hope to spend eternity in praising God, it is fit that we should spend much of our time here in this work. He never said to any one, Seek ye me in vain. David's prayers helped to silence his fears; many besides him have looked unto the Lord by faith and prayer, and it has wonderfully revived and comforted them. When we look to the world, we are perplexed, and at a loss. But on looking to Christ depends our whole salvation, and all things needful thereunto do so also. This poor man, whom no man looked upon with any respect, or looked after with any concern, was yet welcome to the throne of grace; the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The holy angels minister to the saints, and stand for them against the powers of darkness. All the glory be to the Lord of the angels. By taste and sight we both make discoveries, and have enjoyment; Taste and see God's goodness; take notice of it, and take the comfort of it. He makes all truly blessed that trust in him. As to the things of the other world, they shall have grace sufficient for the support of spiritual life. And as to this life, they shall have what is necessary from the hand of God. Paul had all, and abounded, because he was content, Php 4:11-18. Those who trust to themselves, and think their own efforts sufficient for them, shall want; but they shall be fed who trust in the Lord. Those shall not want, who with quietness work, and mind their own business.My soul shall make her boast in the Lord - I myself will rejoice and exult in him. The word "boast" here refers to that on which a man would value himself; that which would be most prominent in his mind when he endeavored to call to remembrance what he could reflect on with most pleasure. The psalmist here says that when He did this, it would not be wealth or strength to which he would refer; it would not be his rank or position in society; it would not be what he had done, nor what he had gained, as pertaining to this life. His joy would spring from the fact that there was a God; that he was such a God, and that he could regard him as His God. This would be his chief distinction - that on which he would value himself most. Of all the things that we can possess in this world, the crowning distinction is, that we have a God, and that he is such a being as he is.

The humble shall hear thereof - The poor; the afflicted; those who are in the lower walks of life. They should hear that he put his trust in God, and they should find joy in being thus directed to God as their portion and their hope. The psalmist seems to have referred here to that class particularly, because:

(a) they would be more likely to appreciate this than those of more elevated rank, or than those who had never known affliction; and

(b) because this would be specially fitted to impart to them support and consolation, as derived from his own experience.

He had been in trouble. He had been encompassed with dangers. He had been mercifully protected and delivered. He was about to state how it had been done. He was sure that they who were in the circumstances in which he had been would welcome the truths which he was about to state, and would rejoice that there might be deliverance for them also, and that they too might find God a protector and a friend. Calamity, danger, poverty, trial, are often of eminent advantage in preparing the mind to appreciate the nature, and to prize the lessons of religion.

And be glad - Rejoice in the story of my deliverance, since it will lead them to see that they also may find deliverance in the day of trial.

2. make her boast—"glory" (Ps 105:3; compare Ga 6:14).

humble—"the pious," as in Ps 9:12; 25:9.

My soul shall glory in this, that I have so powerful and so gracious a Lord and Master. The

humble; or, the meek, i.e. the godly, oft called in Scripture by that title; and particularly my friends and favourers in Israel, whom he thus calls in opposition to his proud and furious adversaries in Saul’s court and camp.

Be glad; both for their love to me and to the public good of Israel, which they know that I design and seek above all things; and for the comfort and benefit of my example to them in like straits and difficulties. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord,.... Not in men, nor in any outward enjoyment, nor in any works of righteousness, but in the Lord; "in the Word of the Lord", as the Targum; in the Lord Jesus Christ; in his wisdom, strength, riches, righteousness, redemption, and salvation; in interest in him, and communion with him: and this is not tongue but soul boasting; and not flashy and selfish, but solid, spiritual, and hearty; and with all the powers and faculties of the soul; see 1 Corinthians 1:29;

the humble shall hear thereof; either of the deliverance the psalmist had out of the hands of his enemies; or of his blessing and praising the Lord for the same, and making his boast in him as the God of his salvation; or of both: of these humble ones; see Gill on Psalm 10:12;

and be glad; for such rejoice with them that rejoice, and are glad at heart that others share in the goodness and grace of God; and also because by such an instance of the divine power and kindness they are encouraged to hope that he will, in his own time, deliver them out of their afflictions and distresses also.

My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the {b} humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

(b) They who are beaten down with the experience of their own evils.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. In the Lord stands emphatically at the beginning of the sentence in the original; in Him, and not in any of the worldling’s objects of self-congratulation (Psalm 49:6; Jeremiah 9:23-24), shall be my boast.

the humble &c.] Probably, let the humble (or, meek) hear and be glad. Cp. Psalm 5:11. He claims the sympathy of those who have learned humility in the school of suffering. See note on Psalm 9:12.Verse 2. - My soul shall make her boast in the Lord (comp. Psalm 44:8; and for the meaning of "boasting in the Lord," see Jeremiah 9:24, "Let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which executeth loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth" ). The humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. They will anticipate joy for themselves when they hear of my rejoicing. Hence the call to praise God is supported (2) by a setting forth of that which His people possess in Him. This portion of the song is like a paraphrase of the אשׁרי in Deuteronomy 33:29. The theme in Psalm 33:12 is proved in Psalm 33:13 by the fact, that Jahve is the omniscient Ruler, because He is the Creator of men, without whose knowledge nothing is undertaken either secretly or openly, and especially if against His people. Then in Psalm 33:16 it is supported by the fact, that His people have in Jahve a stronger defence than the greatest worldly power would be. Jahve is called the fashioner of all the hearts of men, as in Zechariah 12:1, cf. Proverbs 24:12, as being their Maker. As such He is also the observer of all the works of men; for His is acquainted with their origin in the laboratory of the heart, which He as Creator has formed. Hupfeld takes יחד as an equalisation (pariter ac) of the two appositions; but then it ought to be וּמבין (cf. Psalm 49:3, Psalm 49:11). The lxx correctly renders it καταμόνας, singillatim. It is also needless to translate it, as Hupfeld does: He who formed, qui finxit; for the hearts of men were not from the very first created all at one time, but the primeval impartation of spirit-life is continued at every birth in some mysterious way. God is the Father of spirits, Hebrews 12:9. For this very reason everything that exists, even to the most hidden thing, is encompassed by His omniscience and omnipotence. He exercises an omniscient control over all things, and makes all things subservient to the designs of His plan of the universe, which, so far as His people are concerned, is the plan of salvation. Without Him nothing comes to pass; but through Him everything takes place. The victory of the king, and the safety of the warrior, are not their own works. Their great military power and bodily strength can accomplish nothing without God, who can also be mighty in the feeble. Even for purposes of victory (תּשׁוּעה, cf. ישׁוּעה, Psalm 21:2) the war-horse is שׁקר, i.e., a thing that promises much, but can in reality do nothing; it is not its great strength, by which it enables the trooper to escape (ימלּט). "The horse," says Solomon in Proverbs 21:31, "is equipped for the day of battle, but התּשׁוּעה לה, Jahve's is the victory," He giveth it to whomsoever He will. The ultimate ends of all things that come to pass are in His hands, and - as Psalm 33:18. say, directing special attention to this important truth by הנּה - the eye of this God, that is to say the final aim of His government of the world, is directed towards them that fear Him, is pointed at them that hope in His mercy (למיחלים). In Psalm 33:19, the object, לחסדּו, is expanded by way of example. From His mercy or loving-kindness, not from any acts of their own, conscious of their limited condition and feebleness, they look for protection in the midst of the greatest peril, and for the preservation of their life in famine. Psalm 20:8 is very similar; but the one passage sounds as independent as the other.
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