Psalm 66:10
For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
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Psalm 66:10. For thou, O God, &c. — Or, nevertheless. Though thou hast hitherto helped us: and now delivered us, yet for a season thou hast sorely afflicted us; hast tried us as silver is tried — That is, severely, as if it were in a burning furnace; and with a design to try our sincerity, and to purge the dross out of our hearts, and the wicked from among us. Observe, reader, we are proved by afflictions, as silver in the fire, 1st, That our graces, by being tried, may be made more evident, and so we may be approved as silver is when it is marked sterling, which will be to our praise at the appearing of Jesus Christ, 1 Peter 1:7. And, 2d, That our graces, by being exercised, may be made more strong and active, and so may be improved, as silver is when it is refined by the fire, and made more clear from its dross; and this will be to our unspeakable advantage, for thus shall we be made partakers of God’s holiness, Hebrews 12:10. Then are we likely to get good by our afflictions when we look upon them in this light; for then we see that they proceed from God’s mercy and love, and are intended for our honour and benefit. Public troubles, we must observe, are for the purifying of the church.

66:8-12 The Lord not only preserves our temporal life, but maintains the spiritual life which he has given to believers. By afflictions we are proved, as silver in the fire. The troubles of the church will certainly end well. Through various conflicts and troubles, the slave of Satan escapes from his yoke, and obtains joy and peace in believing: through much tribulation the believer must enter into the kingdom of God.For thou, O God, hast proved us - That is, Thou hast tried us; thou hast tested the reality of our attachment to thee, as silver is tried by the application of fire. God had proved or tried them by bringing calamity upon them to test the reality of their allegiance to him. The nature of the proof or trial is referred to in the following verses.

Thou hast tried us, as silver is tried - That is, by being subjected to appropriate tests to ascertain its real nature, and to remove from it imperfections. Compare the notes at 1 Peter 1:7; notes at Isaiah 1:25; notes at Isaiah 48:10; see also Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:3.

10-12. Out of severe trials, God had brought them to safety (compare Isa 48:10; 1Pe 1:7). For, or yet, or nevertheless. Though thou hast hitherto helped us, and now delivered us, yet for a season thou hast sorely afflicted us.

Tried us, as silver is tried, i.e. severely, as if it were in a burning furnace; and with a design to try our sincerity, and to purge out the dross, or the wicked, from among us.

For thou, O God, hast proved us,.... And by the experiment found them to be true and faithful; to have the truth of grace, and the root of the matter in them; not reprobate silver, or their grace counterfeit grace; but of the right kind, solid and substantial;

thou hast tried us as silver is tried; in a furnace, where it is put and melted by the refiner, and purified from the dross that attends it. So the Targum,

"thou hast purified us as the silversmith purifieth the silver;''

or tries it by melting and purifying it. Thus the Lord puts his people into the furnace of afflictions, and sits as a refiner and purifier of them; hereby he tries their graces, faith, patience, hope, and love, their principles and their professions; refines their graces, and makes them more bright and illustrious; removes their dross and tin, and reforms their manners; and proves them to be good silver, and approves of them, and esteems them as such, even as his peculiar treasure. From whence it appears, as well as from the following verses, that afflictions are of God; that they are for the good of his people, and not their hurt; like silver they are put into the fire of affliction, not to be destroyed and lost, but to be purged and refined; and that they are not in wrath, but in love: and this, with what follows, may respect the sufferings of the saints under Rome, Pagan and Papal; when Christ's feet, the members of his mystical body, were like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; when their graces were tried, their works were known, and their persons proved and approved, Revelation 1:15; see Zechariah 13:9.

For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
10. proved us … tried us] Words used of testing precious metals, and smelting away the dross (Psalm 17:3; Psalm 26:2; Proverbs 17:3; Jeremiah 9:7; Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:2-3). God had declared His intention of smelting out the dross from His people by the Assyrian troubles (Isaiah 1:25).

Verse 10. - For thou, O God, hast proved us. The calamity bad been sent as a trial, to prove and purify (comp. Psalm 7:9; Psalm 11:5). Thou hast tried us, as silver is tried (comp. Psalm 12:6; Proverbs 17:3; Proverbs 25:4; Isaiah 1:22, 25; Isaiah 48:10; Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:3). Silver, according to ancient methods, required a prolonged process of refining before it could be pronounced pure. The calamity under which Israel had suffered had been of long duration. Psalm 66:10The character of the event by which the truth has been verified that the God who redeemed Israel out of Egypt still ever possesses and exercises to the full His ancient sovereign power, is seen from this reiterated call to the peoples to share in Israel's Gloria. God has averted the peril of death and overthrow from His people: He has put their soul in life (בּחיּים, like בּישׁע in Psalm 12:6), i.e., in the realm of life; He has not abandoned their foot to tottering unto overthrow (mowT the substantive, as in Psalm 121:3; cf. the reversed construction in Psalm 55:23). For God has cast His people as it were into a smelting-furnace or fining-pot in order to purify and to prove them by suffering; - this is a favourite figure with Isaiah and Jeremiah, but is also found in Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:3. Ezekiel 19:9 is decisive concerning the meaning of מצוּדה, where הביא במצודות signifies "to bring into the holds or prisons;" besides, the figure of the fowling-net (although this is also called מצוּדה as well as מצודה) has no footing here in the context. מצוּדה (vid., Psalm 18:3) signifies specula, and that both a natural and an artificial watch-post on a mountain; here it is the mountain-hold or prison of the enemy, as a figure of the total loss of freedom. The laying on of a heavy burden mentioned by the side of it in Psalm 66:11 also accords well with this. מוּעקה, a being oppressed, the pressure of a burden, is a Hophal formation, like מטּה, a being spread out, Isaiah 8:8; cf. the similar masculine forms in Psalm 69:3; Isaiah 8:13; Isaiah 14:6; Isaiah 29:3. The loins are mentioned because when carrying heavy loads, which one has to stoop down in order to take up, the lower spinal region is called into exercise. אנושׁ is frequently (Psalm 9:20., Psalm 10:18; Psalm 56:2, Isaiah 51:12; 2 Chronicles 14:10) the word used for tyrants as being wretched mortals, perishable creatures, in contrast with their all the more revolting, imperious, and self-deified demeanour. God so ordered it, that "wretched men" rode upon Israel's head. Or is it to be interpreted: He caused them to pass over Israel (cf. Psalm 129:3; Isaiah 51:23)? It can scarcely mean this, since it would then be in dorso nostro, which the Latin versions capriciously substitute. The preposition ל instead of על is used with reference to the phrase ישׁב ל: sitting upon Israel's head, God caused them to ride along, so that Israel was not able to raise its head freely, but was most ignominiously wounded in its self-esteem. Fire and water are, as in Isaiah 43:2, a figure of vicissitudes and perils of the most extreme character. Israel was nigh to being burnt up and drowned, but God led it forth לרויה, to an abundant fulness, to abundance and superabundance of prosperity. The lxx, which renders εἰς ἀναψυχήν (Jerome absolutely: in refrigerium), has read לרוחה; Symmachus, εἰς εὐρυχωρίαν, probably reading לרחבה (Psalm 119:45; Psalm 18:20). Both give a stronger antithesis. But the state of straitness or oppression was indeed also a state of privation.
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