Psalm 69:23
Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.
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(23) Their eyes.—The darkened eyes and trembling limbs (comp. Nahum 2:10; Daniel 5:6) are expressive of terror and dismay.

Psalm 69:23. Let their eyes, &c. — Their eyes shall be darkened — Not the eyes of their bodies, (for, in that sense, the prediction was neither accomplished in David’s nor in Christ’s enemies,) but of their minds, that they will not discern God’s truth, nor their own duty, nor the way of peace and salvation. As they shut their eyes and will not see, so they shall be judicially blinded. This was most solemnly threatened, or rather foretold, Isaiah 6:9-12, and most awfully fulfilled: see the margin. “They who loved darkness rather than light,” says Dr. Horne, “were permitted by the righteous judgment of God to go on in darkness, while the blind led the blind. And such still continues to be the state of the Jews, notwithstanding that intolerable weight of wo which made their loins to shake, and bowed down their backs to the earth. The veil remaineth yet upon their hearts, in the reading of the Old Testament, nor can they see therein the things which belong to their peace.”69:22-29 These are prophecies of the destruction of Christ's persecutors. Verses 22,23, are applied to the judgments of God upon the unbelieving Jews, in Ro 11:9,10. When the supports of life and delights of sense, through the corruption of our nature, are made the food and fuel of sin, then our table is a snare. Their sin was, that they would not see, but shut their eyes against the light, loving darkness rather; their punishment was, that they should not see, but should be given up to their own hearts' lusts which hardened them. Those who reject God's great salvation proffered to them, may justly fear that his indignation will be poured out upon them. If men will sin, the Lord will reckon for it. But those that have multiplied to sin, may yet find mercy, through the righteousness of the Mediator. God shuts not out any from that righteousness; the gospel excludes none who do not, by unbelief, shut themselves out. But those who are proud and self-willed, so that they will not come in to God's righteousness, shall have their doom accordingly; they themselves decide it. Let those not expect any benefit thereby, who are not glad to be beholden to it. It is better to be poor and sorrowful, with the blessing of the Lord, than rich and jovial, and under his curse. This may be applied to Christ. He was, when on earth, a man of sorrows that had not where to lay his head; but God exalted him. Let us call upon the Lord, and though poor and sorrowful, guilty and defiled, his salvation will set us up on high.Let their eyes be darkened ... - See the notes at Romans 11:10.

And make their loins continually to shake - As under a heavy burden. The apostle Romans 11:10 varies the language, but retains the idea: "and bow down their back alway."

23. continually to shake—literally, "to swerve" or bend in weakness. Their eyes; not the eyes of their bodies, (for so this was not accomplished in David’s nor in Christ’s enemies,) but of their minds, that they may not discern God’s truth, nor their own duty, nor the way of peace and salvation. Punish them in their own kind; as they shut their eyes and would not see, so do thou judicially blind them. This was threatened and inflicted upon the Jews, Isaiah 6:10 John 12:39,40.

Their loins: this also belongs to the loins of their minds or souls; of which we read Luke 12:35 1 Peter 1:13. The loins of the body are the seat of strength, and the great instrument of bodily motions and actions; which being applied to the mind, the sense may be, either,

1. Take away their courage and alacrity, and give them up to pusillanimity, and terror, and despair; or rather,

2. Take away their strength and ability for spiritual actions. In the former branch, he wisheth that they may not be able to see or choose their way; and here, that they may not be able to walk in it, nor to execute the good counsels which others may give them. As, on the other side, when God gives men strength, they are able not only to walk, but to run in the ways of God, Psalm 119:32 Song of Solomon 1:4 Isaiah 40:31. Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not,.... Not literally, the eyes of their bodies; but figuratively, the eyes of their understanding; which were so darkened, and they given up to such judicial blindness, that they could not discern the signs of the times that the Messiah must be come, Daniel's weeks being up; could not see any glory, excellency, and comeliness in Christ; could not see the evidence of the Messiahship of Jesus in the miracles he wrought; nor in the prophecies of the Old Testament fulfilled in him: that book was a sealed book unto them; the Gospel, and the doctrines of it, were hid from them, even from the wise and prudent among them; yea, also those things which belonged to their temporal peace; they were so blinded and infatuated, they could not see what was for their outward good and happiness: and, in proof of this their blindness, the words are cited by the apostle in Romans 11:7; see Matthew 16:3;

and make their loins continually to shake; weaken their loins, in which a man's strength lies, that they may not be able to rise up against their enemies; and that they might not be able to flee and escape from them; see Deuteronomy 33:11; or fill them with horror, dread, and trembling, as they will be when Christ shall come in the clouds of heaven; and they shall see him whom they have pierced, Revelation 1:7. The apostle renders the words "bow down their back alway"; See Gill on Romans 11:10.

Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their {s} loins continually to shake.

(s) Take both judgment and power from them, Ac 1:20.

23. Let the eyes which gloated over another’s misfortunes be blinded: let the limbs which are the seat of the strength they have abused be palsied.Verse 23. - Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not. This may be taken either literally, "let blindness come upon those who have so misused their eyes;" or metaphorically, "let their understandings, which they have partially blinded, be wholly darkened." And make their loins continually to shake. Deprive them of the strength whereof they have boasted, and which they have misapplied. In this second part the petition by which the first is as it were encircled, is continued; the peril grows greater the longer it lasts, and with it the importunity of the cry for help. The figure of sinking in the mire or mud and in the depths of the pit (בּאר, Psalm 55:24, cf. בור, Psalm 40:3) is again taken up, and so studiously wrought out, that the impression forces itself upon one that the poet is here describing something that has really taken place. The combination "from those who hate me and from the depths of the waters" shows that "the depths of the waters" is not a merely rhetorical figure; and the form of the prayer: let not the pit (the well-pit or covered tank) close (תּאטּר with Dagesh in the Teth, in order to guard against its being read תּאטר; cf. on the signification of אטּר, clausus equals claudus, scil. manu) its mouth (i.e., its upper opening) upon me, exceeds the limits of anything that can be allowed to mere rhetoric. "Let not the water-flood overflow me" is intended to say, since it has, according to Psalm 69:3, already happened, let it not go further to my entire destruction. The "answer me" in Psalm 69:17 is based upon the plea that God's loving-kindness is טּוב, i.e., good, absolutely good (as in the kindred passion-Psalm, Psalm 109:21), better than all besides (Psalm 63:4), the means of healing or salvation from all evil. On Psalm 69:17 cf. Psalm 51:3, Lamentations 3:32. In Psalm 69:18 the prayer is based upon the painful situation of the poet, which urgently calls for speedy help (מהר beside the imperative, Psalm 102:3; Psalm 143:7; Genesis 19:22; Esther 6:10, is certainly itself not an imperative like הרב, Psalm 51:4, but an adverbial infinitive as in Psalm 79:8). קרבה, or, in order to ensure the pronunciation ḳorbah in distinction from ḳārbah, Deuteronomy 15:9, קרבה (in Baer,

(Note: Originally - was the sign for every kind of o6, hence the Masora includes the חטוף also under the name קמץ חטף; vid., Luther. Zeitschrift, 1863, S. 412,f., cf. Wright, Genesis, p. xxix.))

is imperat. Kal; cf. the fulfilment in Lamentations 3:57. The reason assigned, "because of mine enemies," as in Psalm 5:9; Psalm 27:11, and frequently, is to be understood according to Psalm 13:5 : the honour of the all-holy One cannot suffer the enemies of the righteous to triumph over him.

(Note: Both נפשׁי and איבי, contrary to logical interpunction, are marked with Munach; the former ought properly to have Dech, and the latter Mugrash. But since neither the Athnach-word nor the Silluk-word has two syllables preceding the tone syllable, the accents are transformed according to Accentuationssystem, xviii. 2, 4.)

The accumulation of synonyms in Psalm 69:20 is Jeremiah's custom, Jeremiah 13:14; Jeremiah 21:5, Jeremiah 21:7; Jeremiah 32:37, and is found also in Psalm 31 (Psalm 31:10) and Psalm 44 (Psalm 44:4, Psalm 44:17, Psalm 44:25). On הרפּה שׁברה לבּי, cf. Psalm 51:19, Jeremiah 23:9. The ἅπαξ γεγραμ, ואנוּשׁה (historical tense), from נוּשׁ, is explained by ענוּשׁ from אנשׁ, sickly, dangerously ill, evil-disposed, which is a favourite word in Jeremiah. Moreover נוּד in the signification of manifesting pity, not found elsewhere in the Psalter, is common in Jeremiah, e.g., Psalm 15:5; it signifies originally to nod to any one as a sign of a pity that sympathizes with him and recognises the magnitude of the evil. "To give wormwood for meat and מי־ראשׁ to drink" is a Jeremianic (Jeremiah 8:14; Jeremiah 9:14; Jeremiah 23:15) designation for inflicting the extreme of pain and anguish upon one. ראשׁ (רושׁ) signifies first of all a poisonous plant with an umbellated head of flower or a capitate fruit; but then, since bitter and poisonous are interchangeable notions in the Semitic languages, it signifies gall as the bitterest of the bitter. The lxx renders: καὶ ἔδωκαν εἰς τὸ βρῶμά μου χολήν, καὶ εἰς τὴν δίψαν μου ἐπότισάν με ὄξος. Certainly נתן בּ can mean to put something into something, to mix something with it, but the parallel word לצמאי (for my thirst, i.e., for the quenching of it, Nehemiah 9:15, Nehemiah 9:20) favours the supposition that the בּ of בּברוּתי is Beth essentiae, after which Luther renders: "they give me gall to eat." The ἅπαξ γεγραμ. בּרוּת (Lamentations 4:10 בּרות) signifies βρῶσις, from בּרה, βιβρώσκειν (root βορ, Sanscrit gar, Latin vor-are).

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