Psalm 40:8
I delight to do your will, O my God: yes, your law is within my heart.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 40:8. I delight to do thy will — This also, though in a general sense it may be true of David, and of all God’s people, yet, if it be compared with the foregoing verse, and with the explication thereof in the New Testament, (in which those mysteries, which were darkly and doubtfully expressed in the Old Testament, are fully and clearly revealed,) it must be appropriated to Christ, of whom it is eminently true; and it is here observed as an act of heroic obedience, that he not only resolved to do, but delighted in doing the will of God, or what God had commanded him, which was to die, and that a most shameful, and painful, and cursed death. Yea, thy law is within my heart — I do not only understand it, but receive it with heartiest love, delighting both to meditate on it, and to yield obedience to it.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.I delight to do thy will, O my God - To wit, in obeying the law; in submitting to all the trials appointed to me; in making an atonement for the sins of men. See the notes at Hebrews 10:7. Compare Philippians 2:8; Matthew 26:39.

Yea, thy law is within my heart - Margin, "In the midst of my bowels." So the Hebrew. The idea is, that the law of God was within him. His obedience was not external, but proceeded from the heart. How true this was of the Redeemer it is not necessary here to say.

7. Then—in such case, without necessarily referring to order of time.

Lo, I come—I am prepared to do, &c.

in the volume of the book—roll of the book. Such rolls, resembling maps, are still used in the synagogues.

written of me—or on me, prescribed to me (2Ki 22:13). The first is the sense adopted by Paul. In either case, the Pentateuch, or law of Moses, is meant, and while it contains much respecting Christ directly, as Ge 3:15; 49:10; De 18:15, and, indirectly, in the Levitical ritual, there is nowhere any allusion to David.

I delight to do thy will. This, though in a general sense it may be true of David and of all God’s people, yet if it be compared with the foregoing verse, and with the explication thereof in the New Testament, (in which those mysteries which were darkly and doubtfully expressed in the Old Testament are fully and clearly revealed,) must be appropriated to Christ, of whom it is eminently true, and is here observed as an act of heroical obedience, that he not only resolved to do, but delighted in doing, the will of God, or what God had commanded him and he had promised to do, which was to die, and that a most shameful, and painful, and cursed death. See Luke 12:50 John 10:18 Hebrews 10:9,10.

Thy law is within my heart, i.e. I do not only hear and understand it, but I receive it with heartiest love and affection, delighting both to meditate of it, and to yield obedience to it. I delight to do thy will, O my God,.... This he came down from heaven to do, and this he did do, by preaching the Gospel, and working miracles; and above all by obtaining eternal redemption for his people, which he effected by fulfilling the law, becoming a sacrifice, and suffering and dying in their room; all which were the will of God, and grateful to him, and in doing which Christ took the utmost delight and pleasure, John 4:34;

yea, thy law is within my heart; either the whole moral law, under which he was, as man, and the surety of his people; and which was written upon his heart, and which he perfectly obeyed; or that particular law, injunction, and command laid upon him by his Father, to offer himself a sacrifice, and lay down his life for men; which he agreed to, had it in his mind, his heart was set upon it, and he cheerfully complied with it, John 10:18.

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. I delight] Cp. Psalm 40:6. What is God’s delight is his delight. Contrast the delight of the wicked in evil, Psalm 40:14.

thy will] Thy good pleasure: what Thou approvest (Proverbs 15:8; Psalm 19:14).

thy law is within my heart] Lit. in the midst of my body, as though God’s law were itself the heart which gives life to his whole being (Psalm 22:14). Such was God’s demand of Israel (Deuteronomy 6:6); such is the characteristic of the righteous (Psalm 37:31; Isaiah 51:7): such is to be the universal condition in the Messianic age (Jeremiah 31:33). The law will be graven not on tablets of stone (Exodus 32:15 f.), but on the tablet of the heart (Proverbs 3:3; Proverbs 7:3).

Psalm 40:6-8 a are quoted in Hebrews 10:5-7 according to the LXX[17], with some slight variations. The writer is contrasting Christ’s perfect obedience with the inefficacy of the sacrifices of the Law, and he puts these words into His mouth as the most fitting expression of the purpose of His life. The willing obedience which the Psalmist of old was taught to recognise as the divine requirement for himself and Israel was carried to its completion, was ‘fulfilled,’ in Christ. The variation of the LXX from the Hebrew may seem to present a serious difficulty. But the appropriateness of the quotation does not depend on this particular clause, and the rendering of the LXX, whatever its origin, has in effect a sense analogous to the sense of the original. As the ear is the instrument for receiving the divine command, so the body is the instrument for fulfilling it. The possession of a body implies the duty of service, in the same way that the possession of hearing implies the duty of obedience. See Bp. Westcott’s note.

[17] The reading of the LXX is σῶμα δὲ κατηρτίσω μοι, a body didst thou Prepare for me. This reading is attested by the Vulgate. Aures in the Gallican Psalter is a correction. καταρτίζεσθαι occurs in the LXX as the rendering of several Hebrew words, and might easily have been chosen to represent the obscure thou hart dug. ‘Body’ for ‘ears’ may then have been a free paraphrase. But the reading may have originated in an ancient corruption of the Greek text. Through a repetition of the final ϲ of the preceding word and the change of ⲰⲧⲓⲀ into ⲰⲘⲀ, ⲎθελⲎⲤⲀⲤωⲦⲓⲁ might easily have become ⲎθελⲎⲤⲀⲤⲤωⲘⲀ.Verse 8. - I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy Law is within my heart. The obedience to be rendered will be a true and acceptable obedience,

(1) cheerful, and

(2) from the heart.

Consciously or unconsciously, David speaks as the type of Christ (see Hebrews 10:5-7). David, who, though not without some hesitation, we regard as the author, now finds himself in a situation in which, on the one hand, he has just been rescued from danger, and, on the other, is still exposed to peril. Under such circumstances praise rightly occupies the first place, as in general, according to Psalm 50:23, gratitude is the way to salvation. His hope, although תּוחלת ממשּׁכה (Proverbs 13:12), has not deceived him; he is rescued, and can now again sing a new song of thanksgiving, an example for others, strengthening their trust. קוּה קוּיתי, I waited with constancy and perseverance. יהוה is the accusative as in Psalm 25:5; Psalm 130:5, and not the vocative as in Psalm 39:8. אזנו is to be supplied in thought to ויּט, although after the analogy of Psalm 17:6; Psalm 31:3, one might have looked for the Hiph. wayaT instead of the Kal. בור שׁאון does not mean a pit of roaring (of water), since שׁאון standing alone (see, on the other hand, Psalm 65:8, Isaiah 17:12.) has not this meaning; and, moreover, "rushing, roaring" (Hengstenberg), tumultuous waters of a pit or a cistern does not furnish any idea that is true to nature; neither does it mean a pit of falling in, since שׁאה does not exhibit the signification deorsum labi; but the meaning is: a pit of devastation, of destruction, of ruin (Jeremiah 25:31; Jeremiah 46:17), vid., supra on Psalm 35:8. Another figure is "mire of the marsh" (יון found only here and in Psalm 69:3), i.e., water, in the miry bottom of which one can find no firm footing - a combination like מטר־גּשׁם, Zechariah 10:1, אדמת־עפר, Daniel 12:2, explained in the Mishna, Mikvaoth ix. 2, by טיט הבורות (mire of the cisterns). Taking them out of this, Jahve placed his feet upon a rock, established his footsteps, i.e., removed him from the danger which surrounded him, and gave him firm ground under his feet. The high rock and the firm footsteps are the opposites of the deep pit and the yielding miry bottom. This deliverance afforded him new matter for thanksgiving (cf. Psalm 33:3), and became in his mouth "praise to our God;" for the deliverance of the chosen king is an act of the God of Israel on behalf of His chosen people. The futures in Psalm 40:4 (with an alliteration similar to Psalm 52:8) indicate, by their being thus cumulative, that they are intended of the present and of that which still continues in the future.
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