Psalm 36:10
O continue your loving kindness to them that know you; and your righteousness to the upright in heart.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 36:10. O continue thy loving-kindness unto them, that know thee — That is, that know thee so as sincerely to love thee, for every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God: whereas he that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love, 1 John 4:7. As thou hast begun, so continue the manifestation and exhibition of thy loving-kindness to such, both in this life and the next. Hebrew, משׁךְ חסדךְ, meshok chasdecha, extend, or draw forth thy lovingkindness, or mercy: let it not be like a fountain sealed, but let it be drawn forth for their comfort. And thy righteousness to the upright in heart — By giving them that protection and assistance, which thou art by nature inclined, and by thy promise engaged to give them.36:5-12 Men may shut up their compassion, yet, with God we shall find mercy. This is great comfort to all believers, plainly to be seen, and not to be taken away. God does all wisely and well; but what he does we know not now, it is time enough to know hereafter. God's loving-kindness is precious to the saints. They put themselves under his protection, and then are safe and easy. Gracious souls, though still desiring more of God, never desire more than God. The gifts of Providence so far satisfy them, that they are content with such things as they have. The benefit of holy ordinances is sweet to a sanctified soul, and strengthening to the spiritual and Divine life. But full satisfaction is reserved for the future state. Their joys shall be constant. God not only works in them a gracious desire for these pleasures, but by his Spirit fills their souls with joy and peace in believing. He quickens whom he will; and whoever will, may come, and take from him of the waters of life freely. May we know, and love, and uprightly serve the Lord; then no proud enemy, on earth or from hell, shall separate us from his love. Faith calleth things that are not, as though they were. It carries us forward to the end of time; it shows us the Lord, on his throne of judgment; the empire of sin fallen to rise no more.O continue - Margin, as in Hebrew: "draw out at length." The Hebrew word means "to draw;" hence, "to draw out," in the sense of "continuing" or "prolonging." Compare Psalm 85:5; Psalm 109:12; Jeremiah 31:3. The desire of the psalmist here is, that God would make the manifestation of his loving-kindness "continuous" or "perpetual" to His people; that it might not be fitful and interrupted, but always enduring, or constant. It is the utterance of a prayer that his favor might always be manifested to his friends.

Thy loving-kindness - Thy mercy, Psalm 36:5, Psalm 36:7. "Unto them that know thee." That are thy friends. The word "know" is often used to denote true religion: John 17:3; Philippians 3:10; Ephesians 3:19; 2 Timothy 1:12.

And thy righteousness - Thy favor; thy protection. That is, show to them the righteousness, or the glory of thy character. Deal with them according to those just principles which belong to thy character. Compare the notes at 1 John 1:9.

To the upright in heart - Those who are pure and holy in their intentions or their purposes. Compare Psalm 7:10. All true uprightness has its seat in the heart, and the psalmist prays that God would show his continued favor to those whom he sees to be true in heart to himself.

10. that know thee—right knowledge of God is the source of right affections and conduct.10 O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.

11 Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me.

Psalm 36:10

"O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee." We ask no more than a continuance of the past mercy. Lord, extend this grace of thine to all the days of all who have been taught to know thy faithful love, thy tenderness, thine immutability and omnipotence. As they have been taught of the Lord to know the Lord, so go on to instruct them and perfect them. This prayer is the heart of the believer asking precisely that which the heart of his God is prepared to grant. It Is well when the petition is but the reflection of the promise. "And thy righteousness to the upright in heart." As thou hast never failed the righteous, so abide thou in the same manner their defender and avenger. The worst thing to be feared by the man of God is to be forsaken of heaven, hence this prayer; but the fear is groundless, hence the peace which faith brings to us. Learn from this verse, that although a continuance of mercy is guaranteed in the covenant, we are yet to make it a matter of prayer. For this good thing will the Lord be enquired of.

Psalm 36:11

"Let not the foot of pride come against me." The general prayer is here turned into a particular and personal one for himself. Pride is the devil's sin. Good men may well be afraid of proud men, for the serpent's seed will never cease to bite the heel of the godly. Fain would proud scoffers spurn the saints or trample them under foot: against their malice prayer lifts up her voice. No foot shall come upon us, no hand shall prevail against us, while Jehovah is on our side. "Let not the hand of the wicked remove me." Suffer me not to be driven about as a fugitive, nor torn from my place like an uprooted tree. Violence with both hand and foot, with means fair and means foul, strove to overthrow the Psalmist, but he resorts to his great Patron, and sings a song of triumph in anticipation of the defeat of his foes.

Continue; as this word signifies, Psalm 85:5 Ecclesiastes 2:3 Jeremiah 31:3. As thou hast begun, so continue the manifestation and exhibition of it, both in this life, and to the next. Or, extend, or draw forth. Let it not be like a fountain sealed, but let it be drawn forth for their comfort. Know thee, i.e. sincerely love thee, as it is explained in the next clause; for knowing implies affection, as Psalm 9:10, and oft elsewhere.

Thy righteousness; which will appear in giving them that protection and assistance which thou art by thy nature inclined, and by thy promise engaged, to give them. O continue thy lovingkindness to them that know thee,.... That is, spiritually and experimentally; and such are they that trust in him and love him: and these are the objects of the love of God; not that their knowledge, faith, or love, are the cause of his love to them; but these things describe and point at manifestly the objects of it; and this request regards the open discovery of it unto them: for the love of God itself always continues, though the manifestations of it are not always the same; and it is for the enlargement and continuance of them the psalmist here prays: for it may be rendered, "draw out thy lovingkindness" (g); that is, to a greater length; make a larger and clearer discovery of it, that the height and depth, and length and breadth of it, may be more discerned;

and thy righteousness unto the upright in heart; who are sincere and without guile; who have new hearts created and right spirits renewed in them, and have truth in the inward parts; and unto and upon such is the righteousness of Christ, and where it always continues, for it is an everlasting one; but here it means a clearer and constant revelation of it from faith to faith; unless it should rather intend the righteousness of God in protecting his people from the insults of their enemies, and the continual exertion of it for that purpose.

(g) "trahe", Pagninus, Montanus; "extende", Vatablus, Piscator; "protrahe", Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis.

O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that {h} know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.

(h) He shows who God's children are, that is, they who know him, and live their lives uprightly.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. A prayer for the continued exercise of the attributes which have been celebrated in Psalm 36:5-9. All God’s bounty to man flows from His lovingkindness, yet His righteousness also is concerned in the fulfilment of His covenant and promise.

them that know thee] With an effectual knowledge which must issue in loving obedience (Psalm 9:10; Psalm 91:14); and entitles its possessors to be called upright in heart (Psalm 7:10; Psalm 11:2; Psalm 32:11).

10–12. Concluding prayer for the continuance of God’s lovingkindness and for protection from the wicked, with a confident anticipation of the final downfall of evil-doers. Psalm 36:10 springs naturally out of Psalm 36:5-9, and Psalm 36:11-12 clearly revert to Psalm 36:1-4.Verse 10. - O continue thy loving-kindness unto them that know thee. Here begins the third strophe. Having finished his" instruction," the psalmist passes on to prayer; and is content to ask that God will be in the future such as he has been in the past - that he will "lengthen out," prolong, or "continue his loving-kindness" to his faithful servants, dealing with them as he has hitherto dealt with them (vers. 5, 7), mercifully, graciously, and lovingly. His faithful servants are "those that know him," because, as Hengstenberg observes, "the true and essential knowledge of God is to be found only in a sanctified mind." And thy righteousness to the upright in heart. Continue, i.e., to deal justly with those whose heart is right with thee - who, in spite of occasional lapses, are really in heart sincere. (Heb.: 36:1-4) At the outset the poet discovers to us the wickedness of the children of the world, which has its roots in alienation from God. Supposing it were admissible to render Psalm 36:2 : "A divine word concerning the evil-doing of the ungodly is in the inward parts of my heart" (נאם with a genitive of the object, like משּׂא, which is compared by Hofmann), then the difficulty of this word, so much complained of, might find the desired relief in some much more easy way than by means of the conjecture proposed by Diestel, נעם (נעם), "Pleasant is transgression to the evil-doer," etc. But the genitive after נאם (which in Psalm 110:1; Numbers 24:3., 15f., 2 Samuel 23:1; Proverbs 30:1, just as here, stands at the head of the clause) always denotes the speaker, not the thing spoken. Even in Isaiah 5:1 שׁירת דודי לכרמו is not a song concerning my beloved in relation to His vineyard, but a song of my beloved (such a song as my beloved has to sing) touching His vineyard. Thus, therefore, פּשׁע must denote the speaker, and לרשׁע, as in Psalm 110:1 לאדני, the person or thing addressed; transgression is personified, and an oracular utterance is attributed to it. But the predicate בּקרב לבּי, which is intelligible enough in connection with the first rendering of פשׁע as genit. obj., is difficulty and harsh with the latter rendering of פשׁע as gen. subj., whatever way it may be understood: whether, that it is intended to say that the utterance of transgression to the evil-doer is inwardly known to him (the poet), or it occupies and affects him in his inmost parts. It is very natural to read לבּו, as the lxx, Syriac, and Arabic versions, and Jerome do. In accordance therewith, while with Von Lengerke he takes נאם as part of the inscription, Thenius renders it: "Sin is to the ungodly in the midst of his heart," i.e., it is the inmost motive or impulse of all that he thinks and does. But this isolation of נאם is altogether at variance with the usage of the language and custom. The rendering given by Hupfeld, Hitzig, and at last also by Bצttcher, is better: "The suggestion of sin dwells in the ungodly in the inward part of his heart;" or rather, since the idea of בקרב is not central, but circumferential, in the realm of (within) his heart, altogether filling up and absorbing it. And in connection with this explanation, it must be observed that this combination בקרב לבו (instead of בקרבו, or בלבו, בלבבו) occurs only here, where, together with a personification of sin, an incident belonging to the province of the soul's life, which is the outgrowth of sin, is intended to be described. It is true this application of נאם does not admit of being further substantiated; but נאם (cognate נהם, המה), as an onomatopoetic designation of a dull, hollow sound, is a suitable word for secret communication (cf. Arabic nemmâm, a tale-bearer), or even - since the genius of the language does not combine with it the idea of that which is significantly secretly, and solemnly silently communicated, but spoken out - a suitable word for that which transgression says to the ungodly with all the solemn mien of the prophet or the philosopher, inasmuch as it has set itself within his heart in the place of God and of the voice of his conscience. לרשׁע does not, however, denote the person addressed, but, as in Psalm 32:10, the possessor. He possesses this inspiration of iniquity as the contents of his heart, so that the fear of God has no place therein, and to him God has no existence (objectivity), that He should command his adoration.

Since after this נאם פּשׁע we expect to hear further what and how transgression speaks to him, so before all else the most probable thing is, that transgression is the subject to החליק. We do not interpret: He flatters God in His eyes (with eye-service), for this rendering is contrary both to what precedes and to what follows; nor with Hupfeld (who follows Hofmann): "God deals smoothly (gently) with him according to his delusions," for the assumption that החליק must, on account of בּעיניו, have some other subject that the evil-doer himself, is indeed correct. It does not, however, necessarily point to God as the subject, but, after the solemn opening of Psalm 36:2, to transgression, which is personified. This addresses flattering words to him (אל like על in Proverbs 29:5) in his eyes, i.e., such as are pleasing to him; and to what end? For the finding out, i.e., establishing (מצא עון, as in Genesis 44:16; Hosea 12:9), or, - since this is not exactly suited to פשׁע as the subject, and where it is a purpose that is spoken of, the meaning assequi, originally proper to the verb מצא, is still more natural - to the attainment of his culpability, i.e., in order that he may inculpate himself, to hating, i.e., that he may hate God and man instead of loving them. לשׂנא is designedly used without an object just as in Ecclesiastes 3:8, in order to imply that the flattering words of פשׁע incite him to turn into an object of hatred everything that he ought to love, and to live and move in hatred as in his own proper element. Thenius endeavours to get rid of the harshness of the expression by the following easy alteration of the text: למצא עון ולשׂנא; and interprets it: Yea, it flatters him in his own eyes (it tickles his pride) to discover faults in others and to make them suffer for them. But there is no support in the general usage of the language for the impersonal rendering of the החליק; and the בּעיניו, which in this case is not only pleonastic, but out of place, demands a distinction between the flatterer and the person who feels himself flattered. The expression in Psalm 36:3, in whatever way it may be explained, is harsh; but David's language, whenever he describes the corruption of sin with deep-seated indignation, is wont to envelope itself in such clouds, which, to our difficult comprehension, look like corruptions of the text. In the second strophe the whole language is more easy. להשׂכּיל להיטיב is just such another asyndeton as למצא עונו לשׂנא. A man who has thus fallen a prey to the dominion of sin, and is alienated from God, has ceased (חדל ל, as in 1 Samuel 23:13) to act wisely and well (things which essentially accompany one another). His words when awake, and even his thoughts in the night-time, run upon און (Isaiah 59:7), evil, wickedness, the absolute opposite of that which alone is truly good. Most diligently does he take up his position in the way which leads in the opposite direction to that which is good (Proverbs 16:29; Isaiah 65:2); and his conscience is deadened against evil: there is not a trace of aversion to it to be found in him, he loves it with all his soul.

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