Psalm 41:2
The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) And he shall be blessed.—Not as in margin Isaiah 9:16, and in Symmachus “called happy,” but with deeper meaning, as in Proverbs 3:18. Another derivation is possible, giving the meaning, “he shall be led aright,” i.e., shall have right moral guidance. The context, however, does not favour this.

Upon the earth.—Rather, in the land, i.e., of Canaan.

Psalm 41:2-3. The Lord will keep him alive — Hebrew, Will quicken him, that is, revive and restore him. God will either preserve him from trouble, or, if he see that trouble is necessary, or will be useful for him, and therefore suffers him to fall into it, he will raise him out of it. Thou wilt not deliver him, &c. — To the destruction which his enemies earnestly desire and endeavour to effect. Wilt make all his bed in his sickness — Wilt give him ease and comfort, which sick men receive by the help of those who turn and stir up their bed, to make it soft and easy for them.

41:1-4 The people of God are not free from poverty, sickness, or outward affliction, but the Lord will consider their case, and send due supplies. From his Lord's example the believer learns to consider his poor and afflicted brethren. This branch of godliness is usually recompensed with temporal blessings. But nothing is so distressing to the contrite believer, as a fear or sense of the Divine displeasure, or of sin in his heart. Sin is the sickness of the soul; pardoning mercy heals it, renewing grace heals it, and for this spiritual healing we should be more earnest than for bodily health.The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive - This is a farther statement of the same principle, and it refers to a general, not a universal rule in the divine administration, that acts of piety will be partially rewarded on the earth; or that the divine favor will be shown to those who deal kindly with others. This principle is often referred to in the Scriptures. See Psalm 1:3, note; Psalm 37:3-4, note; Psalm 37:11, note; Psalm 37:23-26, note; Psalm 37:37, note; compare Matthew 5:5; 1 Timothy 4:8. The par ticular application here is, that if any one showed kindness to him that was sick or enfeebled by disease, he might expect that God would interpose in his case under similar circumstances, and would "preserve" him, or "keep him alive." Of course this is to be regarded as a statement made under the general principle. It is not to be interpreted as teaching that this would be universally true, or that he who did this would never die, but the meaning is, that he might look for special divine aid and favor, when he in turn should be sick.

And he shall be blessed upon the earth - This is in accordance with the doctrine noticed above, and so often referred to in the Psalms and elsewhere, that the effect of religion will be to promote happiness and prosperity in this life.

And thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies - Margin: "Do not thou deliver." The margin, perhaps, expresses most correctly the sense of the original, but still it is an expression of the confident belief of the psalmist that this will not occur; a belief expressed here rather in the form of a prayer than of a direct assertion. The idea is, that he would find God to be a defender and a helper when he was attacked by his foes.

2. shall be blessed—literally, "led aright," or "safely," prospered (Ps 23:3).

upon the earth—or land of promise (Ps 25:13; 27:3-9, &c.).

Keep him alive, Heb. quicken him, i.e. revive and restore him. Either he will preserve him from trouble; or if God see trouble necessary or fit for him, and therefore suffer him to fall into it, he will raise him out of it.

Unto the will of his enemies, i.e. to destruction, which they earnestly desire and endeavour to procure.

The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive,.... Amidst a thousand deaths, to which he is exposed for making a profession of his faith in Christ; see 2 Corinthians 1:10; or this may refer to his spiritual life, which is hid and preserved in Christ, in whom he believes; and is safe and secure; because Christ lives he shall live also, and shall never die the second death, nor be hurt by it, but shall have everlasting life;

and he shall be blessed upon the earth; with temporal blessings; for whatever he has, be it more or less, he has it with the blessing of God, and as a blessing of the covenant, and in love, and so is a blessing indeed: and with spiritual blessings; with peace, pardon, righteousness, and a right and title to eternal glory and happiness; and he will be blessed in the new earth, in which righteousness will dwell, and where he will dwell, live, and reign with Christ a thousand years;

and thou wilt not deliver him into the will of his enemies; not into the will of Satan, that roaring lion who would devour him if he might; nor of wicked men, and furious persecutors, whose wrath the Lord makes to praise him; and the remainder of it is restrained by him; some read these words as a prayer, "do not thou deliver him", &c. see Psalm 27:12; so Pagninus, Montanus, Junius and Tremellius, Ainsworth, and others.

The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2, 3. It is possible to render as in P.B.V. and R.V. marg., The Lord perserve him … the Lord support him: but it is more natural to regard these clauses as descriptive of the blessings which await the compassionate man, rather than as a prayer on his behalf.

he shall be blessed upon the earth] He shall be made prosperous, or more probably, counted happy (Job 29:11; Psalm 72:17), in the land. Cp. Psalm 37:3 ff.

and thou wilt not deliver him] Rather, as R.V., and deliver not thou him. Cp. Psalm 27:12. The language of promise passes into that of prayer, doubtless with a tacit reference to the Psalmist’s own need.

Verse 2. - The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive. Continuance in life is always regarded as a blessing in the Old Testament; it is only in the New that to "depart, and be with Christ," is pronounced "far better" (Philippians 1:23). And he shall be blessed upon the earth; i.e. his long life shall be a happy one. And thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies; rather, as in the margin, do not thou deliver him (comp. Psalm 27:12; Psalm 74:19). The psalmist changes from dogmatic assertion to prayer, not, however, intending to express any doubt that his prayer will be granted. Psalm 41:2(Heb.: 41:2-4) The Psalm opens by celebrating the lot, so rich in promises, of the sympathetic man. דּל is a general designation of the poor (e.g., Exodus 30:15), of the sick and weakly (Genesis 41:19), of the sick in mind (2 Samuel 13:4), and of that which outwardly or inwardly is tottering and consequently weak, frail. To show sympathising attention, thoughtful consideration towards such an one (השׂכּיל אל as in Nehemiah 8:13, cf. על Proverbs 17:20) has many promises. The verb חיּה, which elsewhere even means to call to life again (Psalm 71:20), in this instance side by side with preserving, viz., from destruction, has the signification of preserving life or prolonging life (as in Psalm 30:4; Psalm 22:30). The Pual אשּׁר signifies to be made happy (Proverbs 3:18), but also declaratively: to be pronounced happy (Isaiah 9:15); here, on account of the בּארץ that stands with it, it is the latter. The Chethb יעשּׁר sets forth as an independent promise that which the Ker ואשּׁר joins on to what has gone before as a consequence. אל, Psalm 41:3 (cf. Psalm 34:6 and frequently), expresses a negative with full sympathy in the utterance. נתן בּנפשׁ as in Psalm 27:12. The supporting in Psalm 41:4 is a keeping erect, which stops or arrests the man who is sinking down into death and the grave. דּוי ( equals davj, similar form to שׁמי, מעי, but wanting in the syllable before the tone) means sickness. If Psalm 41:4 is understood of the supporting of the head after the manner of one who waits upon the sick (cf. Sol 2:6), then Psalm 41:4 must, with Mendelssohn and others, be understood of the making of the couch or bed. But what then is neat by the word לך? משׁכּב is a sick-bed in Exodus 21:18 in the sense of being bedridden; and הפכתּ (cf. Psalm 30:12) is a changing of it into convalescence. By כל־משׁכבו is not meant the constant lying down of such an one, but the affliction that casts him down, in all its extent. This Jahve turns or changes, so often as such an one is taken ill (בחליו, at his falling sick, parallel with דוי על־ערשׂ דוי htiw). He gives a complete turn to the "sick-bed" towards recovery, so that not a vestige of the sickness remains behind.
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