Psalm 61:7
He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him.
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(7) He shall abide.—Better, may he sit enthroned.

Prepare.—Rather, appoint. But the LXX. had a different reading, and an ingenious emendation has been suggested from a comparison with Psalm 40:11, viz., “let mercy and truth continually preserve him.”

61:5-8 There is a people in the world that fear God's name. There is a heritage peculiar to that people; present comforts in the soul, earnests of future bliss. Those that fear God have enough in him, and must not complain. We need desire no better heritage than that of those who fear God. Those abide to good purpose in this world, who abide before God, serve him, and walk in his fear; those who do so, shall abide before him for ever. And these words are to be applied to Him of whom the angel said, the Lord shall give unto him the throne of his father David, and of his kingdom there shall be no end, Lu 1:32. God's promises, and our faith in them, are not to do away, but to encourage prayer. We need not desire to be better secured than under the protection of God's mercy and truth. And if we partake of that grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ, we may praise him, whatever be our outward circumstances. But renewed experience of God's mercy and truth towards his people in Christ, is the main matter of our joy in him, and our praise unto him.He shall abide before God for ever - That is, perpetually; without danger of change, or of being driven into exile. This may allude, however, to the hope which David had that he would always live with God in a higher world - a world where there would be no danger of change or banishment. His restoration to his home, to his throne, and to the privileges of the sanctuary, he may have regarded as an emblem of his ultimate reception into a peaceful heaven, and his mind may have glanced rapidly from the one to the other. On earth, after his restoration, he would have no fear that he would be banished again; in heaven, of which such a restoration might be regarded as an emblem, there could be no change, no exile.

O prepare mercy and truth - literally, divide, or divide out; then, allot or appoint; and then, make ready or prepare. The prayer is, that God would measure out to him, or impart to him, such favor that this desire of his heart would be realized. On the phrase mercy and truth, see Psalm 25:10, note; Psalm 57:3, note; Psalm 57:10, note.

Which may preserve him - They will preserve him. That is, the manifestation of such mercy and truth would make his permanent occupancy of his throne on earth, and his ultimate reception into heaven, secure.

7. abide before God—literally, "sit as a king in God's presence," under His protection. He shall abide, or sit, to wit, in the throne, Jeremiah 13:13.

Before God; living and ruling as in God’s presence, and serving God with his royal power, and worshipping him in his tabernacle.

Prepare, or order, or appoint, as this word signifies, Jonah 1:17 4:6.

Mercy and truth; either,

1. The graces of mercy or compassion, and truth or faithfulness; which are the great supporters of thrones, Proverbs 20:28 29:14. Or rather,

2. Thy mercy and truth, i.e. the effects of them; thy truth in giving me those mercies which thou hast promised to me, and thy mercy in giving me such further blessings as I need and thou seest fit to give me. He shall abide before God for ever,.... Or "sit" (b); or "may he sit". Being raised from the dead he was received up to heaven into the presence of God, and sat down at his right hand; where he abides for ever, a Priest upon his throne, having an unchangeable priesthood, Hebrews 7:24;

and prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him; which, if literally understood of David, is a prayer that the Lord would show him favour and kindness, and perform his promises to him, whereby his life would be preserved from the plots and, conspiracies of his enemies, and his kingdom be established; or that he might be exalted to exercise mercy towards his subjects, and administer justice, or execute the judgment of truth among them; which would make for the preservation of his person, and the support of his throne and government, Proverbs 20:28. But as the words may be applied to the Messiah, they are to be understood, not of the preservation of his corporeal life while here on earth; but either of the preservation of his people, in whom he lives, through the mercy and truth of God, expressed in the exertion of his power, by which they are preserved unto the heavenly kingdom and glory; or of the security of his kingdom, which not being of this world, is not supported by worldly power and policy, but in a spiritual manner, and by spiritual means; such as mercy, or "grace and truth"; that is, the doctrines of grace and truth, which came by Christ, and are preached by his ministers, and are the means of continuing, promoting, and preserving his kingdom and interest in the world, Or the words may be rendered, "may mercy and the truth of manna keep thee"; the true manna, Christ; see John 6:32; or "mercy and truth, as the manna, keep thee" (c); as that was kept in the golden pot, Exodus 16:33; or rather as that kept and sustained the Israelites in the wilderness.

(b) "sedebit", Tigurine version, Vatablus, Musculus, Cocceius, Michaelis; so Ainsworth; "vel sedeat", Vatablus, Gejerus, Amama. (c) Vid. Hackman. Praecidan. Sacr. tom. 1. p. 71.

He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare {e} mercy and truth, which may preserve him.

(e) For the stability of my kingdom stands in your mercy and truth.

7. He shall abide before God for ever] Rather, He shall sit enthroned before God for ever, an allusion to the promise of eternal dominion to the house of David, ‘in the presence of God,’ enjoying His favour and protection. See 2 Samuel 7:16 (read with LXX before me), 26, 29; Psalm 21:6; Psalm 89:36 b: and for the pregnant sense of ‘sit’ cp. Psalm 9:7.

O prepare &c.] Appoint lovingkindness and truth that they may guard him. Cp. Psalm 40:11; 2 Samuel 15:20; Psalm 42:8; Psalm 89:14. God’s covenant love and faithfulness to His promise are like guardian angels to the king; and the reflection of these attributes of God in his own character and administration will be the safeguard of his throne (Proverbs 20:28).

The word prepare (‘appoint’) is ignored by some of the Ancient Versions (Jer. Aq. Symm.), and variously rendered by others. It is in itself suspicious both for its form and for its position, and perhaps should simply be omitted. Possibly it may be a corruption of the word for ‘continually’ (Psalm 40:11), or of an emphatic they (‘Lovingkindness and truth shall continually—or, even they shall—guard him’). Such a statement agrees better with Psalm 61:6-7 a than a prayer does.Verse 7. - He shall abide (or, may he abide) before God forever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him; literally, appoint that mercy and truth may preserve him. Let "mercy and truth," the highest of thy attributes, preserve him, and keep him in life forever. Hurled out of the land of the Lord in the more limited sense

(Note: Just as in Numbers 32:29. the country east of Jordan is excluded from the name "the land of Canaan" in the stricter sense, so by the Jewish mind it was regarded from the earliest time to a certain extent as a foreign country (חוצה לארץ), although inhabited by the two tribes and a half; so that not only is it said of Moses that he died in a foreign land, but even of Saul that he is buried in a foreign land (Numeri Rabba, ch. viii. and elsewhere).)

into the country on the other side of the Jordan, David felt only as though he were banished to the extreme corner of the earth (not: of the land, cf. Psalm 46:10; Deuteronomy 28:49, and frequently), far from the presence of God (Hengstenberg). It is the feeling of homelessness and of separation from the abode of God by reason of which the distance, in itself so insignificant (just as was the case with the exiles later on), became to him immeasurably great. For he still continually needed God's helpful intervention; the enveloping, the veiling, the faintness of his heart still continues (עטף, Arab. ‛tf, according to its radical signification: to bend and lay anything round so that it lies or draws over something else and covers it, here of a self-enveloping); a rock of difficulties still ever lies before him which is too high for his natural strength, for his human ability, therefore insurmountable. But he is of good courage: God will lead him up with a sure step, so that, removed from all danger, he will have rocky ground under his feet. He is of good courage, for God has already proved Himself to be a place of refuge to him, to be a strong tower, defying all attack, which enclosed him, the persecuted one, so that the enemy can gain no advantage over him (cf. Proverbs 18:10). He is already on the way towards his own country, and in fact his most dearly loved and proper home: he will or he has to (in accordance with the will of God) dwell (cf. the cohortative in Isaiah 38:10; Jeremiah 4:21) in God's tabernacle (vid., on Psalm 15:1) throughout aeons (an utterance which reminds one of the synchronous Psalm 23:6). With גּוּר is combined the idea of the divine protection (cf. Arabic ǵâr ollah, the charge or proteg of God, and Beduinic ǵaur, the protecting hearth; ǵawir, according to its form equals גּר, one who flees for refuge to the hearth). A bold figure of this protection follows: he has to, or will trust, i.e., find refuge, beneath the protection of God's wings. During the time the tabernacle was still being moved from place to place we hear no such mention of dwelling in God's tabernacle or house. It was David who coined this expression for loving fellowship with the God of revelation, simultaneously with his preparation of a settled dwelling-place for the sacred Ark. In the Psalms that belong to the time of his persecution by Saul such an expression is not yet to be found; for in Psalm 52:7, when it is desired that Doeg may have the opposite of an eternal dwelling-place, it is not the sacred tent that is meant. We see also from its second part that this Psalm 61:1-8 does not belong to the time of Saul; for David does not speak here as one who has drawn very near to his kingly office (cf. Psalm 40:8), but as one who is entering upon a new stage in it.

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