O fear the LORD, you his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Psalm 34:9-10. O fear the Lord, ye his saints — Reverence, serve, and trust in him: for fear is commonly put for all the parts of God’s worship and service. For there is no want to them that fear him — They shall so far have all good things, as to have no reason to complain of the want of any. As to the things of the other world, they shall have grace sufficient for the support of the spiritual life. and as to this life they shall have what is necessary for the support of it. For godliness hath the promise of the life that now is, and they that seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, shall have other things, that are needful, added to them, Matthew 6:33; 1 Timothy 4:8. The young lions do lack, &c. — “All the ancient versions,” says Dr. Dodd, “except the Chaldee, read, great, powerful men, instead of young lions: and Houbigant renders the place, rich men are become poor and hungry; but they who seek the Lord, &c. This sense is undoubtedly good: but I see nothing to object against our own reading: for the meaning is, that if God takes care of the beasts of the field, much more will he take care of them who fear him, and much sooner suffer those to die for want of their prey, than these to perish through want of necessaries, or the failure of his protection.” Shall not want any good thing — Any thing necessary and truly good for them, all circumstances considered; of which God alone is a competent judge. And, therefore, although he doth usually take special care to supply the wants of good men, and hath often done it by extraordinary ways, when ordinary have failed; yet he knows that wants and crosses are sometimes more necessary for, and will be more useful to them, than those things which they may think needful, and in such cases he manifests greater mercy to them in denying them supplies than in granting them.Psalm 31:23.
Ye his saints - His holy ones. All who profess to be his friends. This exhortation is addressed especially to the saints, or to the pious, because the speaker professed to be a friend of God, and had had personal experience of the truth of what he is here saying. It is the testimony of one child of God addressed to others, to encourage them by the result of his own experience.
For there is no want to them that fear him - All their needs will be abundantly supplied. Sooner or later all their real necessities will be met, and God will bestow upon them every needed blessing. The statement here cannot be regarded as absolutely and universally true - that is, it cannot mean that they who fear the Lord will never, in any instance, be hungry or thirsty, or destitute of raiment or of a comfortable home; but it is evidently intended to be a general affirmation, and is in accordance with the other statements which occur in the Bible about the advantages of true religion in securing temporal as well as spiritual blessings from God. Thus, in 1 Timothy 4:8, it is said, "Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." Thus, in Isaiah 33:16, it is said of the righteous man, "Bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure."
And so, in Psalm 37:25, David records the result of his own observation at the end of a long life, "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." But while these statements should not be interpreted as affirming absolutely that no child of God will ever be in need of food, or drink, or raiment, or home, or friends, yet it is generally true that the needs of the righteous are supplied, often in an unexpected manner, and from an unexpected source. It is true that virtue and religion conduce to temporal prosperity; and it is almost universally true that the inmates of charity-houses and prisons are neither the pious, nor the children of the pious. These houses are the refuge, to a great extent, of the intemperate, the godless, and the profligate - or of the families of the intemperate, the godless, and the profligate; and if all such persons were to be discharged from those abodes, our almshouses and prisons would soon become tenantless. A community could most easily provide for all those who have been trained in the ways of religion, but who are reduced to poverty by fire, or by flood, or by ill health; and they would most cheerfully do it. Nothing can be more true than that if a man wished to do all that could be done in the general uncertainty of human affairs to secure prosperity, it would be an advantage to him to be a virtuous and religious man. God never blesses or prospers a sinner as such, though he often does it notwithstanding the fact that he is a sinner; but he does and will bless and prosper a righteous man as such, and because he is righteous. Compare the notes at 1 Timothy 4:8.
saints—consecrated to His service (Isa 40:31).
for there is no want to them that fear him; not in spirituals, since so much goodness is laid up for them; the heart of God is towards them, his secret is with them, his eye is upon them, and the sun of righteousness arises on them; and both grace and glory are given to them; nor in temporals, since godliness, or the fear of God, has the promise of this life, as well as of that which is to come.O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. saints] Not the word commonly so rendered, e.g. in Psalm 30:4; Psalm 31:23; but as in Psalm 16:3, holy ones: those whose character corresponds to their calling as members of the holy nation (Exodus 19:6; Leviticus 11:44-45).
want] A word found here only in the Psalter, but eight times in Proverbs.
9, 10. His saints want for nothing.Verse 9. - O fear the Lord, ye his saints. Fear of God, a reverent and godly fear, will always accompany trust in God, such as God approves. The saints of God both love and fear him (comp. Psalm 31:23). There is no want to them that fear 'him since God supplies all their wants. Psalm 34:2, is intended to have just as much the force of a cohortative as the verbal clause Psalm 34:2. אברכה, like ויגרשׁהו, is to be written with Chateph-Pathach in the middle syllable. In distinction from עניּים, afflicti, ענוים signifies submissi, those who have learnt endurance or patience in the school of affliction. The praise of the psalmist will greatly help to strengthen and encourage such; for it applies to the Deliverer of the oppressed. But in order that this praise may sound forth with strength and fulness of tone, he courts the assistance of companions in Psalm 34:4. To acknowledge the divine greatness with the utterance of praise is expressed by גּדּל with an accusative in Psalm 69:31; in this instance with ל: to offer גּדלּה unto Him, cf. Psalm 29:2. Even רומם has this subjective meaning: with the heart and in word and deed, to place the exalted Name of God as high as it really is in itself. In accordance with the rule, that when in any word two of the same letters follow one another and the first has a Sheb, this Sheb must be an audible one, and in fact Chateph Pathach preceded by Gaja (Metheg), we must write וּנרוממה.
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