Psalm 69:25
Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) Habitation.—The derivation is from a word meaning circle, and a better rendering is therefore encampment or village. Nomadic tribes pitch their tents in an enclosed ring. The derivation of the English town is precisely similar. The desolation of his homestead was, to the Arab, the most frightful of calamities. (Comp. Job 18:15. For St. Peter’s use of this verse, combined with Psalm 109:8, see Acts 1:20, and Note, New Testament Commentary.)

Psalm 69:25. Let their habitation — Hebrew, שׂירתם, tiratham, their palace, as the same word is rendered Song of Solomon 8:9, or castle, as Genesis 25:16, and Numbers 31:10. It is meant either of their temple, in which they placed their glory and their confidence for safety, or more generally of their strong and magnificent buildings and houses in which they dwelt, as it follows in the next clause. And let none dwell in their tents — None of their posterity, or none at all. Let the places be accounted execrable and dreadful. Bishop Patrick’s paraphrase is, “Let their most magnificent structures be laid waste; and root them out so entirely, that there may not be a man left to dwell in their poorest cottages.” This verse had a most eminent completion in the final destruction of Jerusalem, and of the Jewish state and nation, according to the predictions of the Lord Jesus, Matthew 23:36-38; Luke 21:6, &c. Jerusalem has indeed been again partly rebuilt, and inhabited by Gentiles, by Christians, and by Saracens, but no more by the Jewish people.

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 habitation be desolate - Margin, "their palace." The Hebrew word means properly a wall; then, a fortress or castle; and then it means also a nomadic encampment, a rustic village, a farm-hamlet. The word conveys the idea of an "enclosure," with special reference to an encampment, or a collection of tents. The Septuagint renders it here ἔπαυλις epaulis, meaning a place to pass the night in, especially for flocks and herds. The Hebrew word - טירה ṭı̂yrâh - is rendered "castles" in Genesis 25:16; Numbers 31:10; 1 Chronicles 6:54; "palaces" in Sol 8:9; Ezekiel 25:4; "rows" in Ezekiel 46:23; and "habitation" in this place. It does not occur elsewhere. Here it means their "home," - their place of abode, - but with no particular reference to the "kind" of home, whether a palace, a castle, or an encampment. The idea is, that the place which they had occupied, or where they had dwelt, would be made vacant. They would be removed, and the place would be solitary and forsaken. It is equivalent to a prayer that they might be destroyed.

And let none dwell in their tents - Margin, as in Hebrew, "let there not be a dweller." That is, Let their tents where they had dwelt be wholly forsaken. This passage is quoted in Acts 1:20, as applicable to Judas. See the notes at that passage.

24, 25. An utter desolation awaits them. They will not only be driven from their homes, but their homes—or, literally, "palaces," indicative of wealth—shall be desolate (compare Mt 23:38). Their habitation, Heb. their palace, as this word signifies, Genesis 25:16 Numbers 31:10 Song of Solomon 8:9. Either,

1. Their temple, in which they place their glory and safety. Or rather,

2. and more generally, Their strongest and most magnificent buildings and houses, in which they dwelt, as it follows in the next clause, which explains this.

None; either,

1. None of their posterity. Destroy them both root and branch. Or,

2. None at all. Let the places be accounted execrable and dreadful.

Let their habitation be desolate,.... Which is applied to Judas, Acts 1:20; but not to the exclusion of others; for it must be understood of the habitations of others; even of their princes and nobles, their chief magistrates, high priest and other priests, scribes, and doctors of the law: for the word may be rendered, "their palace" or "castle" (k), as it is by some; and so may denote the houses of their principal men, the members of their sanhedrim; their houses great and fair, of which there were many in Jerusalem when it was destroyed; see Isaiah 5:9; as well as the habitations of the meaner sort of people, which all became desolate at that time; and particularly their house, the temple, which was like a palace or castle, built upon a mountain. This was left desolate, as our Lord foretold it would, Matthew 23:38;

and let none dwell in their tents; the city of Jerusalem was wholly destroyed and not a house left standing in it, nor an inhabitant of it; it was laid even with the ground, ploughed up, and not one stone left upon another, Luke 19:44.

(k) "palatium eorum", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Cocceius, Michaelis; "castella eorum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "palatium vel casteilum eorum", Gejerus; so Ainsworth.

Let their {t} habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents.

(t) Punish not only them, but their posterity, who will be like them.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
25. their habitation] Rather, as R.V. marg., their encampment; cp. Genesis 25:16; Numbers 31:10; Ezekiel 25:4 (R.V.). The language is a survival from the habits of nomad life, with which however the Israelites must always have been familiar. Cp. Jeremiah 4:20; Jeremiah 10:20. To the Oriental no prospect was more terrible than that of the complete extermination of his family. Cp. Job 18:19; Proverbs 14:11.

The quotation in Acts 1:20 is a free adaptation of the LXX.

Verse 25. - Let their habitation be desolate; literally, their encampment Tirah (טִירָה) is the circular enclosure of a nomadic tribe, within which it kept its cattle or took refuge itself (Genesis 26:16; Numbers 31:10). Nomadic expressions remained in use after nomadic habits had ceased (see 1 Kings 12:16). And let none dwell in their tents. A duplication of the preceding clause. Psalm 69:25The description of the suffering has reached its climax in Psalm 69:22, at which the wrath of the persecuted one flames up and bursts forth in imprecations. The first imprecation joins itself upon Psalm 69:22. They have given the sufferer gall and vinegar; therefore their table, which was abundantly supplied, is to be turned into a snare to them, from which they shall not be able to escape, and that לפניהם, in the very midst of their banqueting, whilst the table stands spread out before them (Ezekiel 23:41). שׁלומים (collateral form of שׁלמים) is the name given to them as being carnally secure; the word signifies the peaceable or secure in a good (Psalm 55:21) and in a bad sense. Destruction is to overtake them suddenly, "when they say: Peace and safety" (1 Thessalonians 5:3). The lxx erroneously renders: καὶ εἰς ἀνταπόδοσιν equals וּלשׁלּוּמים. The association of ideas in Psalm 69:24 is transparent. With their eyes they have feasted themselves upon the sufferer, and in the strength of their loins they have ill-treated him. These eyes with their bloodthirsty malignant looks are to grow blind. These loins full of defiant self-confidence are to shake (המעד, imperat. Hiph. like הרחק, Job 13:21, from המעיד, for which in Ezekiel 29:7, and perhaps also in Daniel 11:14, we find העמיד). Further: God is to pour out His wrath upon them (Psalm 79:6; Hosea 5:10; Jeremiah 10:25), i.e., let loose against them the cosmical forces of destruction existing originally in His nature. זעמּך has the Dagesh in order to distinguish it in pronunciation from זעמך. In Psalm 69:26 טירה (from טוּר, to encircle) is a designation of an encamping or dwelling-place (lxx ἔπαυλις) taken from the circular encampments (Arabic ṣı̂rât, ṣirât, and dwâr, duâr) of the nomads (Genesis 25:16). The laying waste and desolation of his own house is the most fearful of all misfortunes to the Semite (Job, note to Psalm 18:15). The poet derives the justification of such fearful imprecations from the fact that they persecute him, who is besides smitten of God. God has smitten him on account of his sins, and that by having placed him in the midst of a time in which he must be consumed with zeal and solicitude for the house of God. The suffering decreed for him by God is therefore at one and the same time suffering as a chastisement and as a witnessing for God; and they heighten this suffering by every means in their power, not manifesting any pity for him or any indulgence, but imputing to him sins that he has not committed, and requiting him with deadly hatred for benefits for which they owed him thanks.

There are also some others, although but few, who share this martyrdom with him. The psalmist calls them, as he looks up to Jahve, חלליך, Thy fatally smitten ones; they are those to whom God has appointed that they should bear within themselves a pierced or wounded heart (vid., Psalm 109:22, cf. Jeremiah 8:18) in the face of such a godless age. Of the deep grief (אל, as in Psalm 2:7) of these do they tell, viz., with self-righteous, self-blinded mockery (cf. the Talmudic phrase ספר בלשׁון הרע or ספר לשׁון הרע, of evil report or slander). The lxx and Syriac render יוסיפוּ (προσέθηκαν): they add to the anguish; the Targum, Aquila, Symmachus, and Jerome follow the traditional text. Let God therefore, by the complete withdrawal of His grace, suffer them to fall from one sin into another - this is the meaning of the da culpam super culpam eorum - in order that accumulated judgment may correspond to the accumulated guilt (Jeremiah 16:18). Let the entrance into God's righteousness, i.e., His justifying and sanctifying grace, be denied to them for ever. Let them be blotted out of ספר חיּים (Exodus 32:32, cf. Isaiah 4:3; Daniel 12:1), that is to say, struck out of the list of the living, and that of the living in this present world; for it is only in the New Testament that we meet with the Book of Life as a list of the names of the heirs of the ζωὴ αἰώνιος. According to the conception both of the Old and of the New Testament the צדיקים are the heirs of life. Therefore Psalm 69:29 wishes that they may not be written by the side of the righteous, who, according to Habakkuk 2:4, "live," i.e., are preserved, by their faith. With ואני the poet contrasts himself, as in Psalm 40:18, with those deserving of execration. They are now on high, but in order to be brought low; he is miserable and full of poignant pain, but in order to be exalted; God's salvation will remove him from his enemies on to a height that is too steep for them (Psalm 59:2; Psalm 91:14). Then will he praise (הלּל) and magnify (גּדּל) the Name of God with song and thankful confession. And such spiritual תּודה, such thank-offering of the heart, is more pleasing to God than an ox, a bullock, i.e., a young ox ( equals פּר השּׁור, an ox-bullock, Judges 6:25, according to Ges. 113), one having horns and a cloven hoof (Ges. 53, 2). The attributives do not denote the rough material animal nature (Hengstenberg), but their legal qualifications for being sacrificed. מקרין is the name for the young ox as not being under three years old (cf. 1 Samuel 1:24, lxx ἐν μόσχῳ τριετίζοντι); מפריס as belonging to the clean four-footed animals, viz., those that are cloven-footed and chew the cud, Leviticus 11. Even the most stately, full-grown, clean animal that may be offered as a sacrifice stands in the sight of Jahve very far below the sacrifice of grateful praise coming from the heart.

When now the patient sufferers (ענוים) united with the poet by community of affliction shall see how he offers the sacrifice of thankful confession, they will rejoice. ראוּ is a hypothetical preterite; it is neither וראוּ (perf. consec.), nor יראוּ (Psalm 40:4; Psalm 52:8; Psalm 107:42; Job 22:19). The declaration conveying information to be expected in Psalm 69:33 after the Waw apodoseos changes into an apostrophe of the "seekers of Elohim:" their heart shall revive, for, as they have suffered in company with him who is now delivered, they shall now also refresh themselves with him. We are at once reminded of Psalm 22:27, where this is as it were the exhortation of the entertainer at the thank-offering meal. It would be rash to read שׁמע in Psalm 69:23, after Psalm 22:25, instead of שׁמע (Olshausen); the one object in that passage is here generalized: Jahve is attentive to the needy, and doth not despise His bound ones (Psalm 107:10), but, on the contrary, He takes an interest in them and helps them. Starting from this proposition, which is the clear gain of that which has been experienced, the view of the poet widens into the prophetic prospect of the bringing back of Israel out of the Exile into the Land of Promise. In the face of this fact of redemption of the future he calls upon (cf. Isaiah 44:23) all created things to give praise to God, who will bring about the salvation of Zion, will build again the cities of Judah, and restore the land, freed from its desolation, to the young God-fearing generation, the children of the servants of God among the exiles. The feminine suffixes refer to ערי (cf. Jeremiah 2:15; Jeremiah 22:6 Chethb). The tenor of Isaiah 65:9 is similar. If the Psalm were written by David, the closing turn from Psalm 69:23 onwards might be more difficult of comprehension than Psalm 14:7; Psalm 51: If, however, it is by Jeremiah, then we do not need to persuade ourselves that it is to be understood not of restoration and re-peopling, but of continuance and completion (Hofmann and Kurtz). Jeremiah 54ed to experience the catastrophe he foretold; but the nearer it came to the time, the more comforting were the words with which he predicted the termination of the Exile and the restoration of Israel. Jeremiah 34:7 shows us how natural to him, and to him in particular, was the distinction between Jerusalem and the cities of Judah. The predictions in Jeremiah 32:1, which sound so in accord with Psalm 69:36., belong to the time of the second siege. Jerusalem was not yet fallen; the strong places of the land, however, already lay in ruins.

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