Psalm 40:5
Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
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(5) Many, O Lord.—Better,

“In numbers hast Thou made, Thou Jehovah my God,

Wonderful deeds and purposes for us.

There is nothing comparable to Thee. . . .

Would I declare, would I speak,

They are too many to number.”

For the third clause, “There is nothing comparable with Thee,” which is the rendering of the LXX., Vulg. and Syriac, comp. Isaiah 40:17.

Psalm 40:5. Many are thy wonderful works — For which I and the rest of thy people, included in the plural pronoun us, have abundant cause to praise and to trust in thee, as was said Psalm 40:3. And by which it will appear that he that trusteth in thee is in a most blessed and safe condition, as expressed Psalm 40:4. And this verse, wherein he passes from the singular to the plural number, may seem to be interposed as a wall of partition between that which David speaks in his own person, and that which he speaks in the person of the Messiah. And thy thoughts — Thy gracious counsels or contrivances; which are to us-ward — To me and the rest of thy people; to whom David often joins himself in this book. They cannot be reckoned up, &c. — It passes our skill to order or reckon them up in order unto thee, because, indeed, they are innumerable.

40:1-5 Doubts and fears about the eternal state, are a horrible pit and miry clay, and have been so to many a dear child of God. There is power enough in God to help the weakest, and grace enough to help the unworthiest of all that trust in him. The psalmist waited patiently; he continued believing, hoping, and praying. This is applicable to Christ. His agony, in the garden and on the cross, was a horrible pit and miry clay. But those that wait patiently for God do not wait in vain. Those that have been under religious melancholy, and by the grace of God have been relieved, may apply ver. 2 very feelingly to themselves; they are brought up out of a horrible pit. Christ is the Rock on which a poor soul can alone stand fast. Where God has given stedfast hope, he expects there should be a steady, regular walk and conduct. God filled the psalmist with joy, as well as peace in believing. Multitudes, by faith beholding the sufferings and glory of Christ, have learned to fear the justice and trust in the mercy of God through Him. Many are the benefits with which we are daily loaded, both by the providence and by the grace of God.Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done - literally, "Many (things), O Lord my God, hast thou done; thy wonderful things and thy thoughts toward us, it is not (possible) to state unto thee." The recollection of the particular kindness shown to the speaker, as referred to in the previous verses, suggests the recollection of the great number of wonders that God had done for his people - the acts of his kindness which it would be hopeless to attempt to recount before him. And who "could" enumerate and record all the acts of God's benevolence toward men in the works of creation, providence, and redemption; all that he has done in the history of the Church, and for the individual members of the Church in past times; all that he has done to save his people in the days of persecution; all that has been accomplished in our own individual lives? Obviously these things are beyond all power of enumeration by man. They can be admired now only in the gross; eternity alone will be sufficient for us to look at them and to recount them in detail. The phrase "wonderful works" means here remarkable interventions; things fitted to excite astonishment; things that surpass what man could have anticipated; things that could have been done only by God.

And thy thoughts which are to us-ward - Toward us; or which pertain to us. The word "thoughts" here refers to the plans, purposes, arrangements of God designed for our welfare; the things that are the result of his thinking of our wants - of what we need - of what would do us good. See Psalm 40:17.

They cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee - Margin, "None can order them unto thee." Literally, "There is no putting them in order before thee;" that is, there is no such arranging of them, or disposing of them in order, that they can all be brought into their proper place, so as to be perceived or numbered. The Hebrew word - ערך ‛ârak - means properly, to place in a row; to put in order; to arrange; as, to put an army in battle array, or to draw it up for battle, Judges 20:20, Judges 20:22; to put words in order for an argument, or to arrange thoughts so as to present an argument, Job 32:14; to set a cause in order before a judge, or to lay it before him, Job 13:18. The word also means to place together with anything, or by the side of anything - that is, to make a comparison. Gesenius (Lexicon) supposes that this is the idea here, and that the proper interpretation is, "Nothing can be compared unto thee." But the other interpretation seems best to accord with the connection, as referring to the wonderful works of God, and to his thoughts of mercy and goodness as being beyond the power of computation, or as too numerous to be brought into order and arrangement before the mind.

If I would declare and speak of them - If I should attempt to speak of them; or to recount them.

They are more than can be numbered - More than man can enumerate. They go beyond the power of language to express them. This is literally true. No language of man can describe what God has done and has purposed in fitting up this world as an abode for people, and in his mercy toward them.

5. be reckoned up in order—(compare Ps 5:3; 33:14; Isa 44:7), too many to be set forth regularly. This is but one instance of many. The use of the plural accords with the union of Christ and His people. In suffering and triumph, they are one with Him. Thy wonderful works; for which I and the rest of thy people, included in the pronoun plural us, have abundant cause to praise thee, and to trust in thee, as was said, Psalm 40:3; and by which it will appear that he that trusteth in thee is in a most blessed and safe condition, as he said, Psalm 40:4. And this verse, wherein he passeth from the singular number to the plural, may seem to be interposed as a wall of partition, between that which David speaks in his own person, and that which he speaks in the person of the Messias, in the following verses.

Thy thoughts, i.e. thy gracious counsels or contrivances.

To us-ward, i.e. to me and to the rest of thy people, with whom David oft joins himself in this book. But these words may be, and are by some, joined to the following words, and the place thus rendered: It is not with us, or in our power, i.e. it passeth our skill, (and reach,) to order or to reckon them up in order unto thee, because indeed they are innumerable, and therefore cannot be digested into any order.

If I would declare; so the particle if or when is wanting, and to be supplied here, as it is Psalm 39:11, and in many other places. Heb. yet I will declare and speak, to wit, some part of them; which accordingly he doth in the following verses.

They are more than can be numbered; although I am not able to express or reckon them all.

Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done,.... This is the "new song", as Aben Ezra rightly observes, which is said in Psalm 40:3, to be put in the mouth of the Messiah; who sometimes speaks in the plural number, being the representative of his people, and sometimes in the singular; for it is the same person that speaks here who is continued speaking in Psalm 40:6, and following; and which are applied to Christ, Hebrews 10:5; the "works" here said to be done, and to be "many" and "wonderful", are not the creation of the world, the dividing of the sea, and feeding the people of Israel forty years in the wilderness, as Jarchi interprets them; but the incarnation of Christ, redemption by him, the resurrection of him from the dead; regeneration and conversion, and the preservation of the saints from the evil of the world, safe to the kingdom and glory of God; all which, as they are many and various, and display the manifold wisdom and grace of God, so they are marvellous, and will be the subject of the wonder of saints to all eternity;

and thy thoughts which are to us-ward; that is, the decrees of God, as Aben Ezra truly explains them; the purposes, counsels, and intentions of God; which, though mentioned last, are before his works, and are the spring of them: these were in the mind of God from everlasting, were unknown till revealed, were thoughts of peace, and not of evil, and are unfrustrable, and ever fulfilled, and are manifold, precious, and amazing, Psalm 139:17; and these were concerning all the elect of God as considered in Christ, and members of his; and therefore he says to us-ward; and all the works before mentioned were done to them, or for them, and on their account; and so Jarchi and Aben Ezra interpret the phrase, "because of us", or "for our sakes"; even the incarnation, sufferings, death, and resurrection of Christ, and the thoughts of them, were for them;

they cannot be reckoned up in order to thee; or "there is none can order them unto thee" (l); there is no power in man to do it, as Aben Ezra observes; or "there is none like unto thee", as Jarchi and the Oriental versions; see Exodus 15:11; though this sense seems to break in upon the account of the wonderful works and thoughts of God, which are still designed in the following clause;

if I could declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered; that is, by men: from this general account of, the many and wonderful works and thoughts of God, the Messiah passes on to take notice of one particular design and work of the Lord, the redemption of his people by the sacrifice of himself.

(l) "non est qui ordinet apud te", Pagninus; "none can count them in order to thee", Ainsworth.

Many, {e} O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

(e) David goes from one king of God's favour to the contemplation of his providence over all, and confesses that his counsels toward us are far above our capacities, we cannot so much as tell them in order.

5. Abundantly hast Thou wrought, even Thou, O Jehovah my God,

Thy marvellous works and Thy thoughts to us-ward:

There is none to be compared unto Thee.

Multa fecisti tu Domine Deus meus mirabilia tua et cogitationes tuas pro nobis. Jerome. Thou is emphatic. Jehovah is contrasted with all such objects of reliance as those mentioned in the preceding verse. His ‘marvellous works’ (Psalm 9:1 note) are the embodiment of His ‘thoughts’ or purposes of love toward His people. Cp. Psalm 92:5; Isaiah 55:8-9; Jeremiah 29:11. The rendering of R.V. marg., there is none to be compared unto thee, an exclamation of reverent wonder (cp. Psalm 89:6; Psalm 71:9), is decidedly preferable to that of the A.V., and that of R.V. text, they cannot be set in order unto thee. The P.B.V. and yet there is no man that ordereth them unto thee (cp. Isaiah 40:14) is improbable.

they are moe than can be numbered] Or, than I can tell of (Psalm 26:7). Moe as the comparative of many is an archaism which has disappeared from modern editions of the Bible. The word for they are more may mean they are mightier. Their number and their greatness alike baffle human powers to celebrate. Cp. John 21:25.

Verse 5. - Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done. It is not only for his recent deliverance (ver. 2) that the psalmist owes thanks and gratitude to God. God's mercies in the past have been countless, and have laid him under unspeakable obligations. And thy thoughts which are to us-ward. God's thoughtfulness for man, his consideration and providential care, deserve praise and thanks equally with his wondrous acts. They cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee. They are so numerous that it is impossible to reckon them up. Many of them, moreover, are secret, and escape our notice. If I would declare and speak of them. they are more than can be numbered. Words, therefore, are insufficient; and some better return than mere words must be found. Psalm 40:5He esteems him happy who puts his trust (מבטחו, with a latent Dagesh, as, according to Kimchi, also in Psalm 71:5; Job 31:24; Jeremiah 17:7) in Jahve, the God who has already made Himself glorious in Israel by innumerable wonderful works. Jeremiah 17:7 is an echo of this אשׁרי. Psalm 52:9 (cf. Psalm 91:9) shows how Davidic is the language. The expression is designedly not האישׁ, but הגּבר, which is better adapted to designate the man as being tempted to put trust in himself. רהבים from רהב (not from רהב) are the impetuous or violent, who in their arrogance cast down everything. שׂטי כזב, "turners aside of falsehood" (שׁוּט equals שׂטה, cf. Psalm 101:3), is the expression for apostates who yield to falsehood instead of to the truth: to take כּזב as accusative of the aim is forbidden by the status construct.; to take it as the genitive in the sense of the accusative of the object (like תם הלכי, Proverbs 2:7) is impracticable, because שׂוט (שׂטה) does not admit of a transitive sense; כזב is, therefore, genit. qualit. like און in Psalm 59:6. This second strophe contains two practical applications of that which the writer himself has experienced. From this point of view, he who trusts in God appears to the poet to be supremely happy, and a distant view of God's gracious rule over His own people opens up before him. נפלאות are the thoughts of God realized, and מחשׁבות those that are being realized, as in Jeremiah 51:29; Isaiah 55:8. רבּות is an accusative of the predicate: in great number, in rich abundance; אלינוּ, "for us," as e.g., in Jeremiah 15:1 (Ew. 217, c). His doings towards Israel were from of old a fulness of wondrous deeds and plans of deliverance, which was ever realizing and revealing itself. There is not ערך אליך, a possibility of comparison with Thee, οὐκ ἔστι (Ew. 321, c) ἰσουν τί σοι - ערך as in Psalm 89:7; Isaiah 40:18 - they are too powerful (עצם of a powerful sum, as in Psalm 69:5; Psalm 139:17, cf. Jeremiah 5:6) for one to enumerate. According to Rosenmller, Stier, and Hupfeld, אין ערך אליך even affirms the same thing in other words: it is not possible to lay them forth to Thee (before Thee); but that man should "lay forth" (Symmachus ἐκθέστηαι) before God His marvellous works and His thoughts of salvation, is an unbecoming conception. The cohortative forms, which follow, אגּידה ואדבּרה ,wollof h, admit of being taken as a protasis to what follows, after the analogy of Job 19:18; Job 16:6; Job 30:26; Psalm 139:8 : if I wish to declare them and speak them forth, they are too powerful (numerous) to be enumerated (Ges. 128, 1, d). The accentuation, however, renders it as a parenthetical clause: I would (as in Psalm 51:18; Psalm 55:13; Psalm 6:10) declare them and speak them forth. He would do this, but because God, in the fulness of His wondrous works and thoughts of salvation, is absolutely without an equal, he is obliged to leave it undone - they are so powerful (numerous) that the enumeration of them falls far short of their powerful fulness. The words alioqui pronunciarem et eloquerer have the character of a parenthesis, and, as Psalm 40:7 shows, this accords with the style of this Psalm.
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