Psalm 40:6
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire; my ears have you opened: burnt offering and sin offering have you not required.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) Mine ears hast thou opened.—Literally, Ears hast thou dug for me, which can hardly mean anything but “Thou hast given me the sense of hearing.” The words are an echo of 1Samuel 15:22. The attentive ear and obedient heart, not formal rites, constitute true worship. Comp. the words so frequent on the lips of Christ, “He that hath ears to hear let him hear.” The fact that the plural ears is used instead of the singular, sets aside the idea of a revelation, which is expressed in Isaiah 48:8 by “open the ear” and 1Samuel 9:15 “uncover the ear.” Not that the idea is altogether excluded, since the outward ears maybe typical of the inward. The same fact excludes allusion to the symbolic act by which a slave was devoted to perpetual servitude (Exodus 21:6), because then also only one ear was bored. For the well-known variation in the LXX. see New Testament Commentary, Hebrews 10:5. The latest commentator, Grätz, is of opinion that the text is corrupt, and emends (comp. Psalm 51:16) to, “Shouldest thou desire sacrifice and offering I would select the fattest,” a most desirable result if his arguments, which are too minute for insertion, were accepted.

Psalm 40:6. Sacrifice, &c. — These and the four following verses may, in an improper sense, belong to the person and time of David; when God might be said, not to desire, or require, legal sacrifices, comparatively. So the sense is, Thou didst desire obedience more, or rather, than sacrifices, as was said 1 Samuel 15:22. But in a proper and full sense, they belong only to the person and time of the Messiah, in whose name David utters these words. And so the sense is, God did not desire or require them for the satisfaction of his own justice and the expiation of men’s sins, which could not possibly be done by the blood of bulls or goats, as is said Hebrews 10:4-6; but only by the blood of Christ, which was typified by them, and which Christ came into the world to shed, in pursuance of his Father’s will, as it here follows, Psalm 40:7-8. So here is a prediction concerning the cessation of the legal sacrifices, and the substitution of a better instead of them. Mine ears hast thou opened — Hebrew, bored. I have devoted myself to thy perpetual service, and thou hast accepted of me as thy servant, and signified so much by the boring of mine ears, according to the law and custom in that case, Exodus 21:5-6. The seventy Jewish interpreters, whom the apostle follows, Hebrews 10:5, translate these words, a body hast thou prepared me. In which translation, though the words differ, the sense is the same; for the ears suppose a body to which they belong, and the preparing of a body implies the preparing of the ears, and the obligation of the person for whom a body was prepared, to serve him who prepared it; which the boring of the ear signified.40:6-10 The psalmist foretells that work of wonder, redemption by our Lord Jesus Christ. The Substance must come, which is Christ, who must bring that glory to God, and that grace to man, which it was impossible the sacrifices should ever do. Observe the setting apart of our Lord Jesus to the work and office of Mediator. In the volume, or roll, of the book it was written of him. In the close rolls of the Divine decrees and counsel, the covenant of redemption was recorded. Also, in all the volumes of the Old Testament something was written of him, Joh 19:28. Now the purchase of our salvation is made, the proclamation is sent forth, calling us to come and accept it. It was preached freely and openly. Whoever undertook to preach the gospel of Christ, would be under great temptation to conceal it; but Christ, and those he calls to that work, are carried on in it. May we believe his testimony, trust his promise, and submit to his authority.Sacrifice and offering - The first of the words used here - זבח zebach - means properly a bloody-offering; the other - מנחה minchāh - an offering without blood, as a thank-offering. See the notes at Isaiah 1:11. The four words employed in this verse - sacrifice, offering, burnt-offering, sin-offering - embrace all the species of sacrifice and offerings known among the Hebrews; and the idea here is, that such offering as they were accustomed to offer was required of him who is here referred to. A higher service was needed.

Thou didst not desire - The word here rendered desire means to incline to, to be favorably disposed, as in reference to doing anything; that is, to will, to desire, to please. The meaning here is, that he did not will this or wish it; he would not be pleased with it in comparison with obedience, or as a substitute for obedience. He preferred obedience to any external rites and forms; to all the rites and forms of religion prescribed by the law. They were of no value without obedience; they could not be substituted in the place of obedience. This sentiment often occurs in the Old Testament, showing that the design of all the rites then prescribed was to bring men to obedience, and that they were of no value without obedience. See the notes at Isaiah 1:10-20; compare 1 Samuel 15:22; Psalm 51:16-17; Hosea 6:6; see also the notes at Hebrews 10:5.

Mine ears hast thou opened - Margin: "digged." The Hebrew word - כרה kârâh - means "to dig;" as, to dig a well, Genesis 26:25; to dig a sepulchre, Genesis 50:5. As used here this would properly mean, "mine ears hast thou digged out;" that is, thou hast so opened them that there is a communication with the seat of hearing; or, in other words, thou hast caused me to hear this truth, or hast revealed it to me. Compare Isaiah 50:5, "The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious." The meaning here would be, that the ear had been opened, so that it was quick to hear. An indisposition to obey the will of God is often expressed by the fact that the ears are "stopped:" Zechariah 7:11; Psalm 58:4-5; Proverbs 21:13. There is manifestly no allusion here, though that has been supposed by many to be the reference, to the custom of boring through the ear of a servant with an awl, as a sign that he was willing to remain with his master: Exodus 21:6; Deuteronomy 15:17. In that case the outer circle, or rim of the ear was "bored through" with an awl; here the idea is that of "hollowinq out," digging, excavating, that is, of making a passage "through," so that one could hear; not the mere piercing of the outer ear. The essential idea is, that this truth had been communicated to him - that God preferred obedience to sacrifice; and that he had been made attentive to that truth, "as if" he had been before deaf, and his ears had been opened. The principal difficulty in the passage relates to its application in the Epistle to the Hebrews, Hebrews 10:5. That difficulty arises from the fact that the Septuagint translates the phrase here by the words "a body hast thou prepared me;" and that the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews founds an argument on that translation, with reference to the work of the Messiah. On this point, see the notes at Hebrews 10:5. It is perhaps not now possible to explain this difficulty in a way that will be entirely satisfactory.

burnt-offering - See the notes at Isaiah 1:11. The uniqueness of this offering was that it was consumed by fire.

And sin-offering - sin-offering was an offering or sacrifice made specifically for sin, with a view to expiate either sin in general, or some specific act of sin. In the Mosaic law there are two kinds of these offerings prescribed; "trespass-offerings," or offerings for guilt or fault, denoted by the word אשׁם 'âshâm; and sin-offering, denoted by the word used here. They are offerings which were consumed by fire, Leviticus 5:1-19; Leviticus 6:1-7; Leviticus 14:10. But the essential "idea" was that they were for "sin," or for some act of guilt. In a general sense, this was true of all bloody offerings or sacrifices; but in these cases the attention of the worshipper was turned particularly to the fact of sin or transgression.

Thou hast not required - That is, thou hast not required them as compared with obedience; in other words, thou hast preferred the latter. These offerings would not meet the case. More was necessary to be done than was implied in these sacrifices. They would not expiate sin; they would not remove guilt; they would not give the conscience peace. A higher work, a work implied in an act of "obedience" of the most exalted kind, was demanded in order to accomplish the work to be done. Compare Psalm 51:16.

6-8. In Paul's view this passage has more meaning than the mere expression of grateful devotion to God's service. He represents Christ as declaring that the sacrifices, whether vegetable or animal, general or special expiatory offerings, would not avail to meet the demands of God's law, and that He had come to render the required satisfaction, which he states was effected by "the offering of the body of Christ" [Heb 10:10], for that is the "will of God" which Christ came to fulfil or do, in order to effect man's redemption. We thus see that the contrast to the unsatisfactory character assigned the Old Testament offerings in Ps 40:6 is found in the compliance with God's law (compare Ps 40:7, 8). Of course, as Paul and other New Testament writers explain Christ's work, it consisted in more than being made under the law or obeying its precepts. It required an "obedience unto death" [Php 2:8], and that is the compliance here chiefly intended, and which makes the contrast with Ps 40:6 clear.

mine ears hast thou opened—Whether allusion is made to the custom of boring a servant's ear, in token of voluntary and perpetual enslavement (Ex 21:6), or that the opening of the ear, as in Isa 48:8; 50:5 (though by a different word in Hebrew) denotes obedience by the common figure of hearing for obeying, it is evident that the clause is designed to express a devotion to God's will as avowed more fully in Ps 40:8, and already explained. Paul, however, uses the words, "a body hast thou prepared me" [Heb 10:5], which are found in the Septuagint in the place of the words, "mine ears hast thou opened." He does not lay any stress on this clause, and his argument is complete without it. It is, perhaps, to be regarded rather as an interpretation or free translation by the Septuagint, than either an addition or attempt at verbal translation. The Septuagint translators may have had reference to Christ's vicarious sufferings as taught in other Scriptures, as in Isa 53:4-11; at all events, the sense is substantially the same, as a body was essential to the required obedience (compare Ro 7:4; 1Pe 2:24).

6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

7 Then said I, Lo, I:come: in the volume of the book it is written of me.

8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest.

10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

Psalm 40:6

Here we enter upon one of the most wonderful passages in the whole of the Old Testament, a passage in which the incarnate Son of God is seen not through a glass darkly, but as it were face to face. "Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire." In themselves considered and for their own sakes the Lord saw nothing satisfactory in the various offerings of the ceremonial law. Neither the victim pouring forth its blood, nor the fine flour rising in smoke from the altar, could yield content to Jehovah's mind; he cared not for the flesh of bulls or of goats, neither had he pleasure in corn and wine, and oil. Typically these offerings had their worth, but when Jesus, the Antitype, came into the world, they ceased to be of value, as candles are of no estimation when the sun has arisen. "Mine ears hast thou opened." Our Lord was quick to hear and perform his Father's will; his ears were as if excavated down to his soul; they were not closed up like Isaac's wells, which the Philistines filled up, but clear passages down to the fountains of his soul. The prompt obedience of our Lord is here the first idea. There is, however, no reason whatever to reject the notion that the digging of the ear here intended may refer to the boring of the ear of the servant, who refused out of love to his master to take his liberty at the year of jubilee; his perforated ear, the token of perpetual service, is a true picture of our blessed Lord's fidelity to his Father's business, and his love to his Father's children. Jesus irrevocably gave himself up to be the servant of servants for our sake and God's glory. The Septuagint, from which Paul quoted, has translated this passage, "A body hast thou prepared me:" how this reading arose it is not easy to imagine, but since apostolical authority has sanctioned the variation, we accept it as no mistake, but as an instance of various readings equally inspired. In any case, the passage represents the Only Begotten as coming into the world equipped for service; and in a real and material body, by actual life and death, putting aside all the shadows of the Mosaic law. "Burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required." Two other forms of offering are here mentioned; tokens of gratitude and sacrifices for sin as typically presented are set aside; neither the general nor the private offerings are any longer demanded. What need of mere emblems when the substance itself is present? We learn from this verse that Jehovah values far more the obedience of the heart than all the imposing performances of ritualistic worship; and that our expiation from sin comes not to us as the result of an elaborate ceremonial, but as the effect of our great Substitute's obedience to the will of Jehovah.

Psalm 40:7

"Then said I." That is to say, when it was clearly seen that man's misery could not be remedied by sacrifices and offerings. It being certain that the mere images of atonement, and the bare symbols' of propitiation were of no avail, the Lord Jesus, in propria persona, intervened. O blessed "then said I." Lord, ever give us to hear and feed on such living words as these, so peculiarly and personally thine own. "Lo, I come." Behold, O heavens, and thou earth, and ye places under the earth! Here is something worthy of your intensest gaze. Sit ye down and watch with earnestness, for the invisible God comes in the likeness of sinful flesh, and as an infant the Infinite hangs at a virgin's breast! Immanuel did not send but come; he came in his own personality, in all that constituted his essential self he came forth from the ivory palaces to the abodes of misery; he came promptly at the destined hour; he came with sacred alacrity as one freely offering himself. "In the volume of the book it is written of me." In the eternal decree it is thus recorded. The mystic roll of predestination which providence gradually unfolds, contained within it, to the Saviour's knowledge, a written covenant, that in the fulness of time the divine I should descend to earth to accomplish a purpose which hecatombs of bullocks and rams could not achieve. What a privilege to find our names written in the book of life, and what an honour, since the name of Jesus heads the page! Our Lord had respect to his ancient covenant engagements, and herein he teaches us to be scrupulously just in keeping our word; have we so promised, is it so written in the book of remembrance? then let us never be defaulters.

Psalm 40:8

"I delight to do thy will, O my God." Our blessed Lord alone could completely do the will of God. The law is too broad for such poor creatures as we are to hope to fulfil it to the uttermost: but Jesus not only did the Father's will, but found a delight therein; from old eternity he had desired the work set before him; in his human life he was straitened till he reached the baptism of agony in which he magnified the law, and even in Gethsemane itself he chose the Father's will, and set aside his own. Herein is the essence of obedience, namely, in the soul's cheerful devotion to God: and our Lord's obedience, which is our righteousness, is in no measure lacking in this eminent quality. Notwithstanding his measureless griefs, our Lord found delight in his work, and for "the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, despising the shame." "Yea, thy law is within my heart." No outward, formal devotion was rendered by Christ; his heart was in his work, holiness was his element, the Father's will his meat and drink. We must each of us be like our Lord in this, or we shall lack the evidence of being his disciples. Where there is no heart work, no pleasure, no delight in God's law, there can be no acceptance. Let the devout reader adore the Saviour for the spontaneous and hearty manner in which he undertook the great work of our salvation.

Psalm 40:9

"I have preached righteousness in the great congregation." The purest morality and the highest holiness were preached by Jesus. Righteousness divine was his theme. Our Lord's whole life was a sermon, eloquent beyond compare, and it is heard each day by myriads. Moreover, he never shunned in his ministry to declare the whole counsel of God; God's great plan of righteousness he plainly set forth. He taught openly in the temple, and was not ashamed to be a faithful and a true witness. He was the great evangelist; the master of itinerant preachers; the head of the clan of open-air missionaries. O servants of the Lord, hide not your lights, but reveal to others what your God has revealed to you; and especially by your lives testify for holiness, be champions for the right, both in word and deed. "Lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest." Never either from love of ease, or fear of men, did the Great Teacher's lips become closed. He was instant in season and out of season. The poor listened to him, and princes heard his rebuke; Publicans rejoiced at him, and Pharisees raged, but to them both he proclaimed the truth from heaven. It is well for a tried believer when he can appeal to God and call him to witness that he has not been ashamed to bear witness for him; for rest assured if we are not ashamed to confess our God he will never be ashamed to own us. Yet what a wonder is here, that the Son of God should plead just as we plead, and urge just such arguments as would befit the mouths of his diligent ministers! How truly is he "made like unto his brethren."

Psalm 40:10

continued...

These words may in an improper sense belong to the person and time of David; when God might be said not to desire or require legal sacrifices comparatively, as negative expressions are frequently understood, as Matthew 9:13 1 Corinthians 1:17, and in this very case of sacrifices, as Psalm 51:16 Jeremiah 7:22,23 Ho 6:6. So the sense is, Thou didst desire obedience more or rather than sacrifices, as was said, 1 Samuel 15:22. But in a proper and literal and full sense they belong only to the person and times of the Messias, in whose name David uttereth these words. And so the sense of the place is, God did not desire or require them for the satisfaction of his own justice, and the expiation of men’s sins, which could not possibly be done by the blood of bulls or goats, as is said, Hebrews 10:4-6; but only by the blood of Christ, which was typified by them, and which Christ came into the world to shed, in pursuance of his Father’s will, as it here follows, Psalm 40:7,8. So here is a prediction concerning the cessation and abolition of the legal sacrifices, and the substitution of a better instead of them.

Mine ears hast thou opened, Heb. bored. The sense is either,

1. Whereas many men have no ears to hear, as is implied, Revelation 2:7,11,17, or stop their ears, as Psalm 58:4 Zechariah 7:11, thou hast given me open ears to hear and obey thy precepts, as this phrase is used, Isaiah 1:5, although indeed there is another verb in that text, which much alters the case. Or,

2. I have wholly devoted myself to thy perpetual service, and thou hast accepted of me as such, and signified so much by the boring of mine ears, according to the law and custom in that case, Exodus 21:5,6 Deu 15:17. And whereas only one ear was then bored, and here it is ears, this may be either an ensilage of the plural number for the singular, whereof divers instances have been given; or else it may be so expressed emphatically, to intimate that Christ was more strictly obliged to a more universal obedience, not only active, to which the legal servants were bound, but passive also, to be obedient even unto the death, to which they were not obliged. The seventy Jewish interpreters, whom the apostle follows, Hebrews 10:5, translate these words, a body hast thou prepared me; wherein though the words differ, the sense is the same; for the ears suppose a body to whom they belong, and the preparing of a body implies the preparing Or disposing of the ears, and the obligation of the person for whom a body was prepared to serve him who prepared it; which the boring of the ear signifies. Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire,.... These were desired, willed, and appointed by God, and that very early, even from the times of our first parents; and, when performed aright, were acceptable to God, quite down to the times of the Messiah: indeed, when offered without faith in Christ, and with a wicked mind, to merit any thing at the hand of God, they were always abominable to him; and he likewise ever preferred love to himself, and of the neighbour, obedience to the commands of the moral law, and works of mercy to men, before all the sacrifices of the ceremonial law, 1 Samuel 15:22; nor were these ever in such esteem with him as the sacrifices of a broken and contrite heart, or of praise and thanksgiving, Psalm 51:16; nor were they ever regarded by him but as they respected Christ; nor were they ever designed to cleanse from sin, and take it away, but to lead to the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ: but none of these senses have place here: the meaning of the words is, that it was not the will of God, at the time this passage refers to, that legal sacrifices should continue any longer; and that they should not be offered up, even by good men, in the best manner, and to the best ends and purposes; the time being come that a better sacrifice should be offered, which was the sum and substance of them, and was prefigured by them;

mine ears hast thou opened; or "dug", or "bored" (m); in allusion, as is thought by many, to Exodus 21:6; though the phrase rather signifies the formation and excavation of the ear; or the preparing and fitting it for its use; that is, to hearken to the will of his heavenly Father, to become man, offer himself a sacrifice, and suffer and die in the room of his people; to which he became obedient, taking upon him the form of a servant, when found in fashion as a man; and was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; see Isaiah 50:4; in Hebrews 10:5, the words are rendered as by the Septuagint, "but a body hast thou prepared me"; and with it the Arabic and Ethiopic versions agree; and so Apollinarius,

"flesh of mortal generation;''

a part of the body being put for the whole; and which, indeed, is supposed: for unless a body had been prepared for him, his ears could not have been opened; and it was in the body, in human nature, that he was the obedient servant; and this is to be understood, not only of a preparation of this body, in the purposes, counsel, and covenant of God; but chiefly of the formation of it in the womb of the virgin, where it was curiously wrought and prepared by the Holy, Ghost, that he might have something to offer, and in it become, as he did, an offering and a sacrifice to God, of a sweet smelling savour;

burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required; any longer; this body being prepared for the Messiah to be offered up in.

(m) "fodisti", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Gejerus, Michaelis; "perfodisti", Tigurine version, Musculus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "perforasti", Cocceius.

Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; {f} mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

(f) You have opened my ears to understand the spiritual meaning of the sacrifices: and here David esteems the ceremonies of the law as nothing in respect to the spiritual service.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. The various kinds of offerings are described according to their material, as sacrifice of slain animals, and offering (‘meal-offering’) of the fruits of the earth (Leviticus 2:1 ff.); and according to their purpose, as burnt-offering; symbolising the dedication of the worshipper to God, and sin-offering, for the reconciliation of the offender and the restoration of interrupted communion.

thou didst not desire] R.V. thou hast no delight in. It is the same word as in Psalm 40:8, and in the parallel passages Hosea 6:6; Isaiah 1:11; cp. 1 Samuel 15:22.

mine ears hast thou opened] Lit. ears hast thou dug (or, pierced) for me. This unique phrase can hardly be an equivalent for the common expression to ‘uncover’ or ‘open the ear,’ to be explained as a parenthetical exclamation that this truth has been impressed upon the Psalmist by a special revelation. It is best to regard it as a statement preparing the way for Psalm 40:7, and placed between the two parallel clauses of Psalm 40:6 for poetic effect. God has endowed man with the faculty of hearing, and the endowment implies a corresponding duty of obedience. ‘Ears’ need not be limited to the physical organ, but may include ‘the ears of the heart.’ The same Hebr. word means to hear and to obey. Cp. the repeated appeals to Israel to hear; Deuteronomy 4:1; Deuteronomy 6:4; &c.

The language does not suggest any reference to the custom of boring to the slave’s ear (Exodus 21:6; Deuteronomy 15:17) in the sense, ‘Thou hast bound me to Thyself for perpetual service.’

hast thou not required] Lit. asked. Cp. Deuteronomy 10:12; Micah 6:8.

6–8. True service consists not in material sacrifices but in obedience to the will of God. The stanza is an answer to the implied question, How should man express his gratitude? It affirms the common prophetic doctrine that sacrifice was in itself of no value apart from the dispositions of heart which it was intended to represent. The new commandment of the Exodus was not sacrifice but obedience (Exodus 15:26). See Psalm 50:7 ff; Psalm 51:16 ff.; 1 Samuel 15:22; Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:8; Jeremiah 7:21 ff.Verse 6. - Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire. Will the right return be by sacrifices and burnt offerings? No, the psalmist answers to himself; it is not these which God really "desires." Samuel had already preached the doctrine, "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams" (1 Samuel 15:22). David goes further. Apart from a spirit of obedience, sacrifice and offering are not desired or required at all; rather, as Isaiah says, they are a weariness and an abomination (Isaiah 1:11, 12). The one thing needed is obedience - a cheerful, willing obedience to all that God reveals as his will. Mine ears hast thou opened. Either, "Thou hast taken away my deafness, and given me ears open to receive and embrace thy Law;" or, perhaps, with special reference to Exodus 21:6 and Deuteronomy 15:17, "Thou hast accepted me as thy voluntary servant, and bored through mine ear, to mark that I am thy servant for ever." Burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Of the four kinds of offering mentioned in this verse, the first (זבח) is the ordinary offering of a victim at the altar in sacrifice; the second (מנחה), the meat offering of flour, with oil and frankincense accompanying it; the third (עולה) is the "whole burnt offering," representative of complete self-sacrifice; and the fourth (חטאה), the "sin offering," or "trespass offering," of which the special intention was expiation. (Heb.: 39:13-14) Finally, the poet renews the prayer for an alleviation of his sufferings, basing it upon the shortness of the earthly pilgrimage. The urgent שׁמעה is here fuller toned, being שׁמעה.

(Note: So Heidenheim and Baer, following Abulwald, Efodi, and Mose ha-Nakdan. The Masoretic observation לית קמץ חטף, "only here with Kametzchateph," is found appended in codices. This Chatephkametz is euphonic, as in לקחה, Genesis 2:23, and in many other instances that are obliterated in our editions, vid., Abulwald, חרקמה ס, p. 198, where even מטּהרו equals מטּהרו, Psalm 89:45, is cited among these examples (Ges. 10, 2rem.).)

Side by side with the language of prayer, tears even appear here as prayer that is intelligible to God; for when the gates of prayer seem to be closed, the gates of tears still remain unclosed (שׁערי דמעות לא ננעלו), B. Berachoth 32b. As a reason for his being heard, David appeals to the instability and finite character of this earthly life in language which we also hear from his own lips in 1 Chronicles 29:15. גּר is the stranger who travels about and sojourns as a guest in a country that is not his native land; תּושׁב is a sojourner, or one enjoying the protection of the laws, who, without possessing any hereditary title, has settled down there, and to whom a settlement is allotted by sufferance. The earth is God's; that which may be said of the Holy Land (Leviticus 25:23) may be said of the whole earth; man has no right upon it, he only remains there so long as God permits him. כּכל־אבותי glances back even to the patriarchs (Genesis 47:9, cf. Psalm 23:4). Israel is, it is true, at the present time in possession of a fixed dwelling-place, but only as the gift of his God, and for each individual it is only during his life, which is but a handbreadth long. May Jahve, then - so David prays - turn away His look of wrath from him, in order that he may shine forth, become cheerful or clear up, before he goes hence and it is too late. השׁע is imper. apoc. Hiph. for השׁעה (in the signification of Kal), and ought, according to the form הרב, properly to be השׁע; it is, however, pointed just like the imper. Hiph. of שׁעע in Isaiah 6:10, without any necessity for explaining it as meaning obline (oculos tuos) equals connive (Abulwald), which would be an expression unworthy of God. It is on the contrary to be rendered: look away from me; on which compare Job 7:19; Job 14:6; on אבליגה cf. ib. Job 10:20; Job 9:27; on אלך בּטרם, ib.Job 10:21; on ואיננּי, ib. Job 7:8, Job 7:21. The close of the Psalm, consequently, is re-echoed in many ways in the Book of Job The Book of Job is occupied with the same riddle as that with which this Psalm is occupied. But in the solution of it, it advances a step further. David does not know how to disassociate in his mind sin and suffering, and wrath and suffering. The Book of Job, on the contrary, thinks of suffering and love together; and in the truth that suffering also, even though it be unto death, must serve the highest interests of those who love God, it possesses a satisfactory solution.

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