Psalm 42:11
Why are you cast down, O my soul? and why are you disquieted within me? hope you in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBTODWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 42:11. Why art thou cast down, &c. — See note on Psalm 42:5. Who is the health of my countenance — Hebrew, The salvations of my face: which will make my face to shine, and my countenance cheerful, which supposes the gladness of the heart and the bettering of his condition. And my God — As he formerly was, so he is still, and ever will be; and will assuredly show himself to be my God, although, for a season, he may hide his face, or withdraw his help from me. 42:6-11 The way to forget our miseries, is to remember the God of our mercies. David saw troubles coming from God's wrath, and that discouraged him. But if one trouble follow hard after another, if all seem to combine for our ruin, let us remember they are all appointed and overruled by the Lord. David regards the Divine favour as the fountain of all the good he looked for. In the Saviour's name let us hope and pray. One word from him will calm every storm, and turn midnight darkness into the light of noon, the bitterest complaints into joyful praises. Our believing expectation of mercy must quicken our prayers for it. At length, is faith came off conqueror, by encouraging him to trust in the name of the Lord, and to stay himself upon his God. He adds, And my God; this thought enabled him to triumph over all his griefs and fears. Let us never think that the God of our life, and the Rock of our salvation, has forgotten us, if we have made his mercy, truth, and power, our refuge. Thus the psalmist strove against his despondency: at last his faith and hope obtained the victory. Let us learn to check all unbelieving doubts and fears. Apply the promise first to ourselves, and then plead it to God.Why art thou cast down, O my soul? - This closes the second strophe of the psalm, and, with one or two slight and immaterial variations, is the same as that which closes the first Psalm 42:5. In this latter, the word "why" is inserted, and the expression "the salvation of my countenance" occurs instead of "salvations of his countenance," with the addition of the words "and my God" at the close. The sense, however, is the same; and the verse contains, as before, self-reproof for being thus cast down, and self-exhortation to put trust in God. In the former part of the psalm Psa 42:5 he had addressed this language to himself, as designed to impress his own mind with the guilt of thus yielding to discouragement and sorrow; but he had then almost immediately admitted that his mind was distressed, and that he was cast down; here he rallies again, and endeavors to arouse himself to the conviction that he ought not to be thus depressed and dejected. He exhorts himself, therefore; he charges his own soul to hope in God. He expresses again the assurance that he would yet be permitted to praise him. He regards God now as the "salvation of his countenance," or as his Deliverer and Friend, and expresses the conviction that he would yet make such manifestations of himself as to clear up and illuminate his countenance, at present made dark and saddened by affliction; and he appeals to him now as "his God." He has reached the true source of comfort to the afflicted and the sad - the living God as his God; and his mind is calm. Why should a man be sorrowful when he feels that he has a God? Why should his heart be sad when he can pour out his sorrows before Him? Why should he be cast down and gloomy when he can hope: hope for the favor of God here; hope for immortal life in the world to come! 11. This brings on a renewed self-chiding, and excites hopes of relief.

health—or help.

of my countenance—(compare Ps 42:5) who cheers me, driving away clouds of sorrow from my face.

my God—It is He of whose existence and favor my foes would have me doubt.

The health of my countenance, Heb. the salvations of my face i.e. either,

1. Which are present and manifest, being before my face. Or,

2. Which will make my face to shine, and my countenance cheerful, which supposeth the gladness of the heart, and the bettering of his condition. Or,

3. Of his person; as the face sometimes signifies, as 2 Samuel 17:11 Isaiah 3:15. As also the Greek word signifying face, is very frequently put for the person, whereof the face is an eminent part. My God: as he formerly was, so he still is, and ever will be, and will suddenly show himself to be, my God, although for a season he may hide his face, or withdraw his help from me. Why art thou cast down, O my soul?.... The same expostulation as in Psalm 42:5; and so is what follows,

and why art thou disquieted within me? and the same argument and means are made use of to remove dejection and disquietude;

hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him; See Gill on Psalm 42:5; to which is added a new argument, taken from the grace and goodness of God, and covenant interest in him;

who is the health of my countenance, and my God; as the bodily health of man is seen in the countenance, and for the most part to be judged of by it; so is the spiritual health of the saints, and which they have from the Lord; when he, as the sun of righteousness, arises upon them with healing in his wings, he, by his gracious presence, makes their countenances cheerful, fills them with joy unspeakable and full of glory, and causes them to lift up their heads with an holy boldness and confidence, and without shame and fear: or as it may be rendered, who "is the salvations of my countenance" (o); that is, who is or will be the author of full and complete salvation to me; which will be so public and open, so clear and manifest, as to be beheld by myself and others; and this the psalmist mentions, in order to remove his present dejections; and besides, this God of salvation he believed was his covenant God, and would be so even unto death; and therefore he had no just reason to be dejected and disquieted.

(o) "salutes", Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Michaelis.

{k} Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

(k) This repetition declares that David did not overcome at once, to teach us to be constant, for as much as God will certainly deliver his.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 11. - Why art thou cast down (or, bowed down), O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me! hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him. Thus far is identical with ver. 5; but what follows is slightly different: who is the health of my countenance, and my God, instead of "for the help (health?) of his countenance." Most commentators assimilate the text in ver. 5 to that of the present verse, which can be effected by a mere alteration of the pointing; but Hengstenberg, Kay, Professor Alexander, and others regard the variant forms as preferable.



(Heb.: 42:2-6) The poet compares the thirsting of his soul after God to the thirsting of a stag. איּל (like other names of animals is epicoene, so that there is no necessity to adopt Bצttcher's emendation כּעיּלת תערג) is construed with a feminine predicate in order to indicate the stag (hind) as an image of the soul. ערג is not merely a quiet languishing, but a strong, audible thirsting or panting for water, caused by prevailing drought, Psalm 63:2; Joel 1:20; the signification desiderare refers back to the primary notion of inclinare (cf. Arab. 'l-mı̂l, the act of inclining), for the primary meaning of the verb Arab. ‛rj is to be slanting, inclined or bent, out of which has been developed the signification of ascending and moving upwards, which is transferred in Hebrew to an upward-directed longing. Moreover, it is not with Luther (lxx, Vulgate and authorized version) to be rendered: as the (a) stag crieth, etc., but (and it is accented accordingly): as a stag, which, etc. אפיק equals אפק is, according to its primary signification, a watercourse holding water (vid., Psalm 18:16). By the addition of מים the full and flowing watercourse is distinguished from one that is dried up. על and אל point to the difference in the object of the longing, viz., the hind has this object beneath herself, the soul above itself; the longing of the one goes deorsum, the longing of the other sursum. The soul's longing is a thirsting לאל חי. Such is the name here applied to God (as in Psalm 84:3) in the sense in which flowing water is called living, as the spring or fountain of life (Psalm 36:10) from which flows forth a grace that never dries up, and which stills the thirst of the soul. The spot where this God reveals Himself to him who seeks Him is the sanctuary on Zion: when shall I come and appear in the presence of Elohim?! The expression used in the Law for the three appearings of the Israelites in the sanctuary at solemn feasts is אל־פני ה נראה or את־פני, Exodus 23:17; Exodus 34:23. Here we find instead of this expression, in accordance with the license of poetic brevity, the bare acc. localis which is even used in other instances in the definition of localities, e.g., Ezekiel 40:44). Bttcher, Olshausen, and others are of opinion that אראה in the mind of the poet is to be read אראה, and that it has only been changed into אראה through the later religious timidity; but the avoidance of the phrase ראה פּני ה is explained from the fundamental assumption of the Tra that a man could not behold God's פנים without dying, Exodus 33:20. The poet now tells us in Psalm 42:4 what the circumstances were which drove him to such intense longing. His customary food does not revive him, tears are his daily bread, which day and night run down upon his mouth (cf. Psalm 80:6; Psalm 102:20), and that בּאמר, when say to him, viz., the speakers, all day long, i.e., continually: Where is thy God? Without cessation, these mocking words are continually heard, uttered again and again by those who are found about him, as their thoughts, as it were, in the soul of the poet. This derision, in the Psalms and in the Prophets, is always the keenest sting of pain: Psalm 79:10; Psalm 115:2 (cf. Psalm 71:11), Joel 2:17; Micah 7:10.

In this gloomy present, in which he is made a mock of, as one who is forsaken of God, on account of his trust in the faithfulness of the promises, he calls to remembrance the bright and cheerful past, and he pours out his soul within him (on the עלי used here and further on instead of בּי or בּקרבּי, and as distinguishing between the ego and the soul, vid., Psychol. S. 152; tr. p. 180), inasmuch as he suffers it to melt entirely away in pain (Job 30:16). As in Psalm 77:4, the cohortatives affirm that he yields himself up most thoroughly to this bittersweet remembrance and to this free outward expression of his pain אלּה (haecce) points forwards; the כּי (quod) which follows opens up the expansion of this word. The futures, as expressing the object of the remembrance, state what was a habit in the time past. עבר frequently signifies not praeterire, but, without the object that is passed over coming into consideration, porro ire. סך (a collateral form of סך), properly a thicket, is figuratively (cf. Isaiah 9:17; Isaiah 10:34) an interwoven mass, a mixed multitude. The rendering therefore is: that I moved on in a dense crowd (here the distinctive Zinnor). The form אדּדּם is Hithpa., as in Isaiah 38:15, after the form הדּמּה from the verb דּדה, "to pass lightly and swiftly along," derived by reduplication from the root דא (cf. Arab. d'ud'u), which has the primary meaning to push, to drive (ἐλαύνειν, pousser), and in various combinations of the ד (דא, Arab. dah, דח, Arab. da‛, דב, דף) expresses manifold shades of onward motion in lighter or heavier thrusts or jerks. The suffix, as in גּדלני equals גּדל עמּי, Job 31:18 (Ges. 121, 4), denotes those in reference to whom, or connection with whom, this moving onwards took place, so that consequently אדּדּם includes within itself, together with the subjective notion, the transitive notion of אדדּם, for the singer of the Psalm is a Levite; as an example in support of this אדּדּם, vid., 2 Chronicles 20:27., cf. v. 21. המון חוגג is the apposition to the personal suffix of this אדדם: with them, a multitude keeping holy-day. In Psalm 42:6 the poet seeks to solace and encourage himself at this contrast of the present with the past: Why art thou thus cast down... (lxx ἵνα τί περίλυπος εἶ, κ. τ. λ., cf. Matthew 26:38; John 12:27). It is the spirit which, as the stronger and more valiant part of the man, speaks to the soul as to the σκεῦος ἀσθενέστερον; the spiritual man soothes the natural man. The Hithpa. השׁתּוחח, which occurs only here and in Psalm 43:1-5, signifies to bow one's self very low, to sit down upon the ground like a mourner (Psalm 35:14; Psalm 38:7), and to bend one's self downwards (Psalm 44:26). המה (the future of which Ben-Asher here points ותּהמי, but Ben-Naphtali ותּהמּי), to utter a deep groan, to speak quietly and mumbling to one's self. Why this gnawing and almost desponding grief? I shall yet praise Him with thanksgiving, praise ישׁוּעות פּניו, the ready succour of His countenance turned towards me in mercy. Such is the text handed down to us. Although it is, however, a custom with the psalmists and prophets not to express such refrainlike thoughts in exactly the same form and words (cf. Psalm 24:7, Psalm 24:9; Psalm 49:13, 21; Psalm 56:5, Psalm 56:11; Psalm 59:10, 18), nevertheless it is to be read here by a change in the division both of the words and the verses, according to Psalm 42:5 and Psalm 43:5, ישׁוּעות פּני ואלהי, as is done by the lxx (Cod. Alex.), Syriac, Vulgate, and most modern expositors. For the words ישׁועות פניו, though in themselves a good enough sense (vid., e.g., Psalm 44:4, Isaiah 64:9), produce no proper closing cadence, and are not sufficient to form a line of a verse.

(Note: Even an old Hebrew MS directs attention to the erroneousness of the Soph pasuk here; vid., Pinsker, Einleitung, S. 133 l.)

Links
Psalm 42:11 Interlinear
Psalm 42:11 Parallel Texts


Psalm 42:11 NIV
Psalm 42:11 NLT
Psalm 42:11 ESV
Psalm 42:11 NASB
Psalm 42:11 KJV

Psalm 42:11 Bible Apps
Psalm 42:11 Parallel
Psalm 42:11 Biblia Paralela
Psalm 42:11 Chinese Bible
Psalm 42:11 French Bible
Psalm 42:11 German Bible

Bible Hub






Psalm 42:10
Top of Page
Top of Page