O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger, neither chasten me in your hot displeasure.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)O Lord, rebuke me not.—Repeated with change of one word in Psalm 38:1. The sublime thought that pain and sorrow are a discipline of love might be found in these words (as in Psalm 94:12; Proverbs 3:11-12; Jeremiah 10:24; Hebrews 12:3; Hebrews 12:11; Revelation 3:19), did not the context show that the sufferer in this case is praying for the chastisement to be altogether removed.Psalm 6:1. O Lord, rebuke me not — That is, do not chasten or correct me, as the next clause explains it; in thine anger — With rigour or severity, as my sins deserve, but with gentleness and moderation, Jeremiah 10:24; or, in such a manner that the chastisement may not be the effect of thy strict justice, or anger, but of thy mercy and faithfulness.
Neither chasten me - A word denoting substantially the same thing; used here in the sense of "punishing."
In thy hot displeasure - literally, "in thy heat." We speak of anger or wrath as "burning," or "consuming." Compare Genesis 39:19; Numbers 11:33; Deuteronomy 11:17; Psalm 106:40; Job 19:11; Job 32:2-3; Psalm 2:12.
Ps 6:1-10. On Neginoth (See on Ps 4:1, title) upon Sheminith—the eighth—an instrument for the eighth key; or, more probably, the bass, as it is contrasted with Alamoth (the treble, Ps 46:1) in 1Ch 15:20, 21. In deep affliction the Psalmist appeals to God's mercy for relief from chastisement, which otherwise must destroy him, and thus disable him for God's service. Sure of a gracious answer, he triumphantly rebukes his foes.
2 Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed.
3 My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O Lord, how long?
4 Return, O Lord, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake.
5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
6 I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.
7 Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.
Having read through the first division, in order to see it as a whole, we will now look at it verse by verse. "O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger." The Psalmist is very conscious that he deserves to be rebuked, and he feels, moreover, that the rebuke in some form or other must come upon him, if not for condemnation, yet for conviction and sanctification. "Corn is cleaned with wind, and the soul with chastenings." It were folly to pray against the golden hand which enriches us by its blows. He does not ask that the rebuke may be totally withheld, for he might thus lose a blessing in disguise; but, "Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger." If thou remindest me of my sin, it is good; but, oh, remind me not of it as one incensed against me, lest thy servant's heart should sink in despair. Thus saith Jeremiah, "O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing." I know that I must be chastened, and though I shrink from thy rod yet do I feel that it will be for my benefit; but, oh, my God, "chasten me not in thy hot displeasure," lest the rod become a sword, and lest in smiting, thou shouldest also kill. So may we pray that the chastisements of our gracious God, if they may not be entirely removed, may at least be sweetened by the consciousness that they are "not in anger, but in his dear covenant love."
"Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak." Though I deserve destruction, yet let thy mercy pity my frailty. This is the right way to plead with God if we would prevail. Urge not your goodness or your greatness, but plead your sin and your littleness. Cry, "I am weak," therefore O Lord, give me strength and crush me not. Send not forth the fury of thy tempest against so weak a vessel. Temper the wind to the shorn lamb. Be tender and pitiful to a poor withering flower, and break it not from its stem. Surely this is the plea that a sick man would urge to move the pity of his fellow if he were striving with him, "Deal gently with me, 'for I am weak.'" A sense of sin had so spoiled the Psalmist's pride, so taken away his vaunted strength, that he found himself weak to obey the law, weak through the sorrow that was in him, too weak, perhaps, to lay hold on the promise. "I am weak." The original may be read, "I am one who droops," or withered like a blighted plant. Ah! beloved, we know what this means, for we, too, have seen our glory stained, and our beauty like a faded flower.
"O Lord heal me; for my bones are vexed." Here he prays for healing, not merely the mitigation of the ills he endured, but their entire removal, and the curing of the wounds which had arisen therefrom. His bones were "shaken," as the Hebrew has it. His terror had become so great that his very bones shook; not only did his flesh quiver, but the bones, the solid pillars of the house of manhood, were made to tremble. "My bones are shaken." Ah, when the soul has a sense of sin, it is enough to make the bones shake; it is enough to make a man's hair stand up on end to see the flames of hell beneath him, an angry God above him, and danger and doubt surrounding him. Well might he say, "My bones are shaken." Lest, however, we should imagine that it was merely bodily sickness - although bodily sickness might be the outward sign - the Psalmist goes on to say, "My soul is also sore vexed." Soul-trouble is the very soul of trouble. It matters not that the bones shake if the soul be firm, but when the soul itself is also sore vexed this is agony indeed. "But thou, O Lord, how long?" This sentence ends abruptly, for words failed, and grief drowned the little comfort which dawned upon him. The Psalmist had still, however, some hope; but that hope was only in his God. He therefore cries. "O Lord, how long?" The coming of Christ into the soul in his priestly robes of grace is the grand hope of the penitent soul; and, indeed, in some form or other, Christ's appearance is, and ever has been, the hope of the saints.
Calvin's favourite exclamation was "Domine usque quo" - "O Lord, how long?" Nor could his sharpest pains, during a life of anguish, force from him any other word. Surely this is the cry of the saints under the altar, "O Lord, how long?" And this should be the cry of the saints waiting for the millennial glories, "Why are his chariots so long in coming; Lord, how long?" Those of us who have passed through conviction of sin knew what it was to count our minutes hours, and our hours years, while mercy delayed its coming. We watched for the dawn of grace, as they that watch for the morning. Earnestly did our anxious spirits ask, "O Lord, how long?"
"Return, O Lord; deliver my soul." As God's absence was the main cause of his misery, so his return would be enough to deliver him from his trouble. "Oh save me for thy mercies' sake." He knows where to look, and what arm to lay hold upon. He does not lay hold on God's left hand of justice, but on his right hand of mercy. He knew his iniquity too well to think of merit, or appeal to anything but the grace of God.
continued...Neginoth; of which See Poole "Psalm 4:1".
neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure; when God chastens his own people it is not in a way of vindictive wrath, or as a proper punishment for sin; for this would be contrary to Christ's suretyship engagements and performances, and to the doctrine of his satisfaction for sin; it would draw a veil over it, and render it of none effect; it would be contrary to the justice of God to punish both surety and principal; and to the everlasting love of God to them, in which he always rests, and from which there can be no separation; nor would they be dealt with as children; and besides would be condemned with the world, and killed with the second death; whereas they will not, though chastened of God, it is the chastening of a father, is very instructive to them, and is always for their good, spiritual and eternal; is in measure, in judgment, and in love; and never in fury and hot displeasure; but this being feared, is deprecated.<
(a) Though I deserve destruction, yet let your mercy pity my frailty.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)1. The emphasis in the original lies on the words not in Thine anger, neither in Thy hot displeasure. The Psalmist pleads that his present suffering exceeds the measure of loving correction (Job 5:17; Proverbs 3:11-12; Jeremiah 10:24; Revelation 3:19). He can only interpret it as a sign that the wrath of God is resting upon him. Perhaps, like Job, he can detect no special sin to account for it. At least it is noteworthy that the Psalm contains no explicit confession of sin, and in this respect it is a remarkable contrast to the kindred Psalms 38, which opens with the same words.
1–3. The Psalmist pleads for mercy, deprecating the severity of God’s visitation.Verse 1. - O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger. The psalmist begins by deprecating God's wrath and displeasure. He is conscious of some grievous sin, deserving rebuke and chastisement, and he does not ask to be spared his chastisement; but he would fain be chastised in love, not in anger (comp. Jeremiah 10:24, "O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing"). Neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure; or, in thy wrath. In its primary sense, humah (חמה) is no doubt "heat," "glow; ' but the secondary sense of "anger," "wrath," is quite as common. Psalm 5:8 state what he, on the contrary, may and will do (Psalm 66:13). By the greatness and fulness of divine favour (Psalm 116:14) he has access (εἴσοδον, for בּוא means, according to its root, "to enter") to the sanctuary, and he will accordingly repair thither to-day. It is the tabernacle on Zion in which was the ark of the covenant that is meant here. That daily liturgical service was celebrated there must be assumed, since the ark of the covenant is the sign and pledge of Jahve's presence; and it is, moreover, attested by 1 Chronicles 16:37. It is also to be supposed that sacrifice was offered daily before the tabernacle. For it is not to be inferred from 1 Chronicles 16:39. that sacrifice was only offered regularly on the Bama (high place) in Gibeon before the Mosaic tabernacle.
(Note: Thus, in particular, Sthelin, Zur Kritik der Psalmen in the Deutsch. Morgenl. Zeitschr. vi. (1852) S. 108 and Zur Einleitung in die Psalmen. An academical programme, 1859. 4to.)
It is true sacrifice was offered in Gibeon, where the old tabernacle and the old altars (or at least the altar of burnt-offering) were, and also that after the removal of the ark to Zion both David (1 Chronicles 21:29.) and Solomon (1 Kings 3:4; 2 Chronicles 1:2-6) worshipped and sacrificed in Gibeon. But it is self-evident sacrifices might have been offered where the ark was, and that even with greater right than in Gibeon; and since both David, upon its arrival (2 Samuel 6:17.), and Solomon after his accession (1 Kings 3:15), offered sacrifices through the priests who were placed there, it is probable-and by a comparison of the Davidic Psalms not to be doubted-that there was a daily service, in conjunction with sacrifices, before the ark on Zion.
But, moreover, is it really the אהל in Zion which is meant here in v. 8 by the house of God? It is still maintained by renowned critics that the tabernacle pitched by David over the sacred ark is never called בית ה or היכל or משׁכן ה or מקדשׁ or קדשׁ. But why could it not have all these names? We will not appeal to the fact that the house of God at Shilo (1 Samuel 1:9; 1 Samuel 3:3) is called בית and היכל ה, since it may be objected that it was really more of a temple than a tabernacle,
(Note: Vid., C. H. Graf, Commentation de templo Silonensi ad illustrandum locum Jude 18.30, 31, (1855, 4to.), in which he seeks to prove that the sanctuary in Shilo was a temple to Jahve that lasted until the dissolution of the kingdom of Israel.)
although in the same book, 1 Samuel 2:22 it is called אהל מועד, and in connection with the other appellations the poetic colouring of the historical style of 1 Samuel 1-3 is to be taken into consideration. Moreover, we put aside passages like Exodus 23:19; Exodus 34:26, since it may be said that the future Temple was present to the mind of the Lawgiver. But in Joshua 6:24; 2 Samuel 12:20, the sanctuary is called בית ה without being conceived of as a temple. Why then cannot the tabernacle, which David pitched for the ark of the covenant when removed to Zion (2 Samuel 6:17), be called בית ה? It is only when אהל and בּית are placed in opposition to one another that the latter has the notion of a dwelling built of more solid materials; but in itself beit (bt) in Semitic is the generic term for housing of every kind whether it be made of wool, felt, and hair-cloth, or of earth, stone, and wood; consequently it is just as much a tent as a house (in the stricter sense of the word), whether the latter be a hut built of wood and clay or a palace.
(Note: The Turkish Kamus says: "Arab. byt is a house (Turk. ew) in the signification of châne (Persic the same), whether it be made of hair, therefore a tent, or built of stone and tiles." And further on: "Beit originally signified a place specially designed for persons to retire to at night from Arab. bâta he has passed the night, if it does not perhaps come from the בוא, Arab. bayya, which stands next to it in this passage, vid., Job at Job 29:15-17]; but later on the meaning was extended and the special reference to the night time was lost." Even at the present day the Beduin does not call his tent ahl, but always bêt and in fact bêt sha'r (בית שׂער), the modern expression for the older bêt wabar (hair-house).)
If a dwelling-house is frequently called אהל, then a tent that any one dwells in may the more naturally be called his בּית. And this we find is actually the case with the dwellings of the patriarchs, which, although they were not generally solid houses (Genesis 33:17), are called בית (Genesis 27:15). Moreover, היכל (from יכל equals כּוּל to hold, capacem esse), although it signifies a palace does not necessarily signify one of stone, for the heavens are also called Jahve's היכל, e.g., Psalm 18:7, and not necessarily one of gigantic proportions, for even the Holy of holies of Solomon's Temple, and this par excellence, is called היכל, and once, 1 Kings 6:3, היכל הבּית. Of the spaciousness and general character of the Davidic tabernacle we know indeed nothing: it certainly had its splendour, and was not so much a substitute for the original tabernacle, which according to the testimony of the chronicler remained in Gibeon, as a substitute for the Temple that was still to be built. But, however insignificant it may have been, Jahve had His throne there, and it was therefore the היבל of a great king, just as the wall-less place in the open field where God manifested Himself with His angels to the homeless Jacob was בּית אלהים (Genesis 28:17).
Into this tabernacle of God, i.e., into its front court, will David enter (בּוא with acc. as in Psalm 66:13) this morning, there will he prostrate himself in worship, προσκυνεῖν (השׁתּחוה) reflexive of the Pilel שׁחוה, Ges. 75, rem. 18), towards (אל as in Psalm 28:2, 1 Kings 8:29, 1 Kings 8:35, cf. ל Psalm 99:5, Psalm 99:9) Jahve's היכל קדשׁ, i.e., the דּביר, the Holy of holies Psalm 28:2, and that "in Thy fear," i.e., in reverence before Thee (genit. objectivus). The going into the Temple which David purposes, leads his thoughts on to his way through life, and the special de'eesis, which only begins here, moulds itself accordingly: he prays for God's gracious guidance as in Psalm 27:11; Psalm 86:11, and frequently. The direction of God, by which he wishes to be guided he calls צדקה. Such is the general expression for the determination of conduct by an ethical rule. The rule, acting in accordance with which, God is called par excellence צדיק, is the order of salvation which opens up the way of mercy to sinners. When God forgives those who walk in this way their sins, and stands near to bless and protect them, He shows Himself not less צדיק (just), than when He destroys those who despise Him, in the heat of His rejected love. By this righteousness, which accords with the counsel and order of mercy, David prays to be led למען שׁוררי, in order that the malicious desire of those who lie in wait for him may not be fulfilled, but put to shame, and that the honour of God may not be sullied by him. שׁורר is equivalent to משׁורר (Aquila ἐφοδεύων, Jerome insidiator) from the Pilel שׁורר to fix one's eyes sharply upon, especially of hostile observation. David further prays that God will make his way (i.e., the way in which a man must walk according to God's will) even and straight before him, the prayer one, in order that he may walk therein without going astray and unimpeded. The adj. ישׂר signifies both the straightness of a line and the evenness of a surface. The fut. of the Hiph. הישׁיר is יישׁיר in Proverbs 4:25, and accordingly the Ker substitutes for the imper. הושׁר the corresponding form הישׁר, just as in Isaiah 45:2 it removes the Hiphil form אושׁר (cf. Genesis 8:17 הוצא Keri היצא), without any grammatical, but certainly not without some traditional ground.
כּי in Psalm 5:10 is closely connected with למען שׁוררי: on account of my way-layers, for the following are their characteristics. אין is separated by בּפיהוּ ( equals בּפיו Psalm 62:5) from נכונה the word it governs; this was the more easily possible as the usage of the language almost entirely lost sight of the fact that אין is the construct of אין, Ges. 152, 1. In his mouth is nothing that should stand firm, keep its ground, remain the same (cf. Job 42:7.). The singular suffix of בפיהו has a distributive meaning: in ore unuiscujusque eorum. Hence the sing. at once passes over into the plur.: קרבּם הוּות their inward part, i.e., that towards which it goes forth and in which it has its rise (vid., Psalm 49:12) is הוות corruption, from הוּה which comes from הוה equals Arab. hawâ, to yawn, gape, χαίνειν, hiare, a yawning abyss and a gaping vacuum, and then, inasmuch as, starting from the primary idea of an empty space, the verbal significations libere ferri (especially from below upwards) and more particularly animo ad or in aliquid ferri are developed, it obtains the pathological sense of strong desire, passion, just as it does also the intellectual sense of a loose way of thinking proceeding from a self-willed tendency (vid., Fleischer on Job 37:6). In Hebrew the prevalent meaning of the word is corruption, Psalm 57:2, which is a metaphor for the abyss, barathrum, (so far, but only so far Schultens on Proverbs 10:3 is right), and proceeding from this meaning it denotes both that which is physically corruptible (Job 6:30) and, as in the present passage and frequently, that which is corruptible from an ethical point of view. The meaning strong desire, in which הוּה looks as though it only differed from אוּה in one letter, occurs only in Psalm 52:9; Proverbs 10:3; Micah 7:3. The substance of their inward part is that which is corruptible in every way, and their throat, as the organ of speech, as in Psalm 115:7; Psalm 149:6, cf. Psalm 69:4, is (perhaps a figure connected with the primary meaning of הוות) a grave, which yawns like jaws, which open and snatch and swallow down whatever comes in their way. To this "they make smooth their tongue" is added as a circumstantial clause. Their throat is thus formed and adapted, while they make smooth their tongue (cf. Proverbs 2:16), in order to conceal their real design beneath flattering language. From this meaning, החליק directly signifies to flatter in Psalm 36:3; Proverbs 29:5. The last two lines of the strophe are formed according to the caesura schema. This schema is also continued in the concluding strophe.
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