Psalm 69:9
For the zeal of your house has eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached you are fallen on me.
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(9) Of thine housei.e., for thine house. Hosea 8:1, shows that house might stand for congregation, but very probably we are to understand zeal for the restoration or repair of the Temple, or more likely regard for its purity and honour. So at least one applied the words long after, John 2:17 (where see Note in New Testament Commentary).

And the reproaches.—See St. Paul’s application of these words Romans 15:3. If the author had been thinking chiefly of his sin as the cause of the reproach of God, surely he would have said “the reproaches of these that reproach me are fallen upon Thee.” The intention seems to be that though in his own eyes a very insignificant and unworthy member of the community, yet being one who burnt with zeal for it, he felt as personally directed against himself all the taunts aimed at Jehovah and His religion.

69:1-12 We should frequently consider the person of the Sufferer here spoken of, and ask why, as well as what he suffered, that, meditating thereon, we may be more humbled for sin, and more convinced of our danger, so that we may feel more gratitude and love, constraining us to live to His glory who died for our salvation. Hence we learn, when in affliction, to commit the keeping of our souls to God, that we may not be soured with discontent, or sink into despair. David was hated wrongfully, but the words far more fully apply to Christ. In a world where unrighteousness reigns so much, we must not wonder if we meet with those that are our enemies wrongfully. Let us take care that we never do wrong; then if we receive wrong, we may the better bear it. By the satisfaction Christ made to God for our sin by his blood, he restored that which he took not away, he paid our debt, suffered for our offences. Even when we can plead Not guilty, as to men's unjust accusations, yet before God we must acknowledge ourselves to deserve all that is brought upon us. All our sins take rise from our foolishness. They are all done in God's sight. David complains of the unkindness of friends and relations. This was fulfilled in Christ, whose brethren did not believe on him, and who was forsaken by his disciples. Christ made satisfaction for us, not only by putting off the honours due to God, but by submitting to the greatest dishonours that could be done to any man. We need not be discouraged if our zeal for the truths, precepts, and worship of God, should provoke some, and cause others to mock our godly sorrow and deadness to the world.For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up - My zeal - my ardor - in the cause of religion (that is, of thy pure worship) has been so great as to consume me. It has been like a devouring fire within me. Zeal is represented under the idea of heat - as it is in the Greek language; and the characteristics of heat or fire are here applied to it. This passage is quoted in John 2:17, and applied to the Saviour, not as having had originally a reference to him, but as language which would accurately describe his character. See the notes at that passage.

And the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me - This, too, is applied, in the same way, to the Saviour, by the Apostle Paul, in Romans 15:3. See the notes at that passage.

7-12. This plea contemplates his relation to God as a sufferer in His cause. Reproach, domestic estrangement (Mr 3:21; Joh 7:5), exhaustion in God's service (Joh 2:17), revilings and taunts of base men were the sufferings. For: this is the reason of that alienation of my brethren and others from me, because there is a vast difference and contrariety in our tempers. They mind not the concerns of God and of religion, but are wholly intent upon wealth, and honour, and worldly greatness.

The zeal of thine house; that fervent passion which I have for thy house, and service, and glory, and people.

Eaten me up; exhausted and wasted my natural moisture and vital spirits, which is oft effected by grief and anger, and fervent love and desire; of which passions zeal is composed.

That reproached thee: that speak contemptuously or wickedly of thy name, or providence, or truth, or worship and service. Fallen upon me; either,

1. By imputation. They reflect upon me, because I am engaged in the defence of thy cause and glory, which wicked men oppose and despise, and therefore must needs suffer in it, and with it. Or,

2. By choice and affection. I have been as deeply affected with thy reproaches as with mine own. This whole verse, though truly belonging to David, yet was also directed by him, at least by the Spirit of God in him, to a higher use, to represent the disposition and condition of Christ, in whom this was more truly and fully accomplished than in David; to whom therefore it is applied in the New Testament, the first part of it, John 2:17, and the latter, Romans 15:3. For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up,.... Of the house of the sanctuary, as the Targum; that is, the temple, which was Christ's Father's house, where he was worshipped and dwelt; and zeal for his Father, and his glory in it, and indignation against those that made it an house of merchandise, inflamed him; put him upon driving out the buyers and sellers in it, whereby this passage had its accomplishment, John 2:14; and this may be applied to the church of God which is the house of God, of his building, and where he dwells; and zeal may design the fervent affection of Christ for it, for the doctrine, discipline, and salvation of it. His zeal for the Gospel appeared in his warm and lively preaching it, in his assiduity and constancy in it; in the wearisome journeys he took to spread it, in the risks he run, and dangers he exposed himself to, for the sake of it; in the miracles he wrought to confirm it, and in the care he took to free it from calumny and reproach: his zeal for the worship and discipline of God's house was shown by his asserting the purity of worship in spirit and truth; by his severe inveighing against the traditions, superstition, and will worship of men, and against the vices and corruptions of professors of religion, the Scribes and Pharisees: his zeal for the salvation of his people is easily seen in his suretyship engagements for them; in coming into this world to do the will of him that sent him; in his early regards unto it, and vehement desire, even of suffering death, in order to accomplish it, and in his voluntary and cheerful submission and obedience, even to the death of the cross: this zeal of his was according to knowledge, and was cordial, hearty, and unfeigned; and this "eat him up": inflamed like fire his spirit and affections; consumed his time and strength, and even life itself;

and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me: the same persons that reproached the one reproached the other; and the reproaches of his divine Father were as cutting to him as if cast on himself; it went to his heart that his Father's house should be made an house of merchandise; that his doctrine should be despised, his worship neglected, and his glory lessened; to have the name of God, his ways and truth, evil spoken of, were not pleasing to him; he took all reproach of this kind to himself, and bore it becomingly; and yet showed zeal for his Father's glory, and indignation against those that reproached him; see Romans 15:1.

{i} For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.

(i) When I saw your enemies claim your Name in mouth only, and in their life deny the same, your Holy Spirit thrust me forward to reprove them and defend your glory.

9. His jealousy for the honour of God’s house was like a consuming fire within him. Cp. Psalm 119:139; Psalm 39:3; Jeremiah 20:9. It is difficult to determine whether ‘thine house’ means the Temple only, or as in Numbers 12:7, Hosea 8:1, bears the wider meaning of the land or the people of Israel. (1) In the former case the reference may be to the burning indignation which was stirred by the sight of abominations such as those which Ezekiel describes as polluting the Temple (ch. 8); and it is noteworthy that he particularly mentions “the image of jealousy which provoketh to jealousy,” i.e. some image or symbol which was a direct challenge of the “jealous God” who could brook no rival, and which must have stirred the grief and indignation of His faithful servants. (2) In the latter case it is the general condition of the nation, the contrast between its calling to be a holy nation and the universal corruption prevalent, which stirs his deepest emotion. This alternative gains some support from Jeremiah’s usage (Jeremiah 11:15; Jeremiah 12:7; Jeremiah 23:11).

The zeal of Christ for His Father’s desecrated house recalled these words to the minds of His disciples (John 2:17 : the reading of the true text follows the LXX (B), shall eat me up).

the reproaches &c.] Better as R.V., the reproaches of them that reproach thee are fallen upon me. On the one hand their blasphemies against God wound and crush the spirit of His servant; and on the other hand they shew their contempt for God by their mockery of His servant. Such was Jeremiah’s experience: his contemporaries mocked God’s message, and mocked him for delivering it (ch. Psalm 6:10; Psalm 20:8): such too was the experience of Christ Himself, to whom St Paul applies these words in Romans 15:3.Verse 9. - For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. David's "zeal for God's house" was shown, first, in his establishment of the tabernacle on Mount Zion (2 Samuel 6:12-19); next, in his earnest desire to build a permanent and magnificent dwelling for the ark of the covenant (2 Samuel 7:2; Psalm 132:2-5); then, in his careful collection of materials for the building which he was forbidden to erect himself (1 Chronicles 28:11-18; 1 Chronicles 29:2-5); and finally, in the directions that he left to Solomon with respect to it (1 Chronicles 28:9, 10, 20). It was also shown, if we take "house" in a wider sense, by his careful government of the land and people, the kingdom and household of God, for forty years. And the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. David may either mean that every reproach uttered against God was as keenly felt by him as if it had been directed against himself, or that, when men reproached him, they really meant to reproach God (i.e. religion) in him. Out of deep distress, the work of his foes, the complaining one cries for help; he thinks upon his sins, which is sufferings bring to his remembrance, but he is also distinctly conscious that he is an object of scorn and hostility for God's sake, and from His mercy he looks for help in accordance with His promises. The waters are said to rush in unto the soul (עד־נפשׁ), when they so press upon the imperilled one that the soul, i.e., the life of the body, more especially the breath, is threatened; cf. Jonah 2:6; Jeremiah 4:10. Waters are also a figure of calamities that come on like a flood and drag one into their vortex, Psalm 18:17; Psalm 32:6; Psalm 124:5, cf. Psalm 66:12; Psalm 88:8, Psalm 88:18; here, however, the figure is cut off in such a way that it conveys the impression of reality expressed in a poetical form, as in Psalm 40, and much the same as in Jonah's psalm. The soft, yielding morass is called יון, and the eddying deep מצוּלה. The Nomen Hophal. מעמד signifies properly a being placed, then a standing-place, or firm standing (lxx ὑπόστασις), like מטּה, that which is stretched out, extension, Isaiah 8:8. שׁבּלת (Ephraimitish סבּלת) is a streaming, a flood, from שׁבל, Arab. sbl, to stream, flow (cf. note on Psalm 58:9). בּוא בּ, to fall into, as in Psalm 66:12, and שׁטף with an accusative, to overflow, as in Psalm 124:4. The complaining one is nearly drowned in consequence of his sinking down, for he has long cried in vain for help: he is wearied by continual crying (יגע בּ, as in Psalm 6:7, Jeremiah 45:3), his throat is parched (נחר from חרר; lxx and Jerome: it is become hoarse), his eyes have failed (Jeremiah 14:6) him, who waits upon his God. The participle מיחל, equal to a relative clause, is, as in 18:51, 1 Kings 14:6, attached to the suffix of the preceding noun (Hitzig). Distinct from this use of the participle without the article is the adverbially qualifying participle in Genesis 3:8; Sol 5:2, cf. חי, 2 Samuel 12:21; 2 Samuel 18:14. There is no necessity for the correction of the text מיּחל (lxx apo' τοῦ elpi'zein me). Concerning the accentuation of רבּוּ vid., on Psalm 38:20. Apart from the words "more than the hairs of my head" (Psalm 40:13), the complaint of the multitude of groundless enemies is just the same as in Psalm 38:20; Psalm 35:19, cf. Psalm 109:3, both in substance and expression. Instead of מצמיתי, my destroyers, the Syriac version has the reading מעצמותי (more numerous than my bones), which is approved by Hupfeld; but to reckon the multitude of the enemy by the number of one's own bones is both devoid of taste and unheard of. Moreover the reading of our text finds support, if it need any, in Lamentations 3:52. The words, "what I have not taken away, I must then restore," are intended by way of example, and perhaps, as also in Jeremiah 15:10, as a proverbial expression: that which I have not done wrong, I must suffer for (cf. Jeremiah 15:10, and the similar complaint in Psalm 35:11). One is tempted to take אז in the sense of "nevertheless" (Ewald), a meaning, however, which it is by no means intended to convey. In this passage it takes the place of זאת (cf. οὕτως for ταῦτα, Matthew 7:12), inasmuch as it gives prominence to the restitution desired, as an inference from a false assumption: then, although I took it not away, stole it not.

The transition from the bewailing of suffering to a confession of sin is like Psalm 40:13. In the undeserved persecution which he endures at the hand of man, he is obliged nevertheless to recognise well-merited chastisement from the side of God. And whilst by אתּה ידעתּ (cf. Psalm 40:10, Jeremiah 15:15; Jeremiah 17:16; Jeremiah 18:23, and on ל as an exponent of the object, Jeremiah 16:16; Jeremiah 40:2) he does not acknowledge himself to be a sinner after the standard of his own shortsightedness, but of the divine omniscience, he at the same time commends his sinful need, which with self-accusing modesty he calls אוּלת (Psalm 38:6) and אשׁמות (2 Chronicles 28:10), to the mercy of the omniscient One. Should he, the sinner, be abandoned by God to destruction, then all those who are faithful in their intentions towards the Lord would be brought to shame and confusion in him, inasmuch as they would be taunted with this example. קויך designates the godly from the side of the πίστις, and מבקשׁיךa from the side of the ἀγάπη. The multiplied names of God are so many appeals to God's honour, to the truthfulness of His covenant relationship. The person praying here is, it is true, a sinner, but that is no justification of the conduct of men towards him; he is suffering for the Lord's sake, and it is the Lord Himself who is reviled in him. It is upon this he bases his prayer in Psalm 69:8. עליך, for thy sake, as in Psalm 44:23; Jeremiah 15:15. The reproach that he has to bear, and ignominy that has covered his face and made it quite unrecognisable (Psalm 44:16, cf. Psalm 83:17), have totally estranged (Psalm 38:12, cf. Psalm 88:9, Job 19:13-15; Jeremiah 12:6) from him even his own brethren (אחי, parallel word בּני אמּי, as in Psalm 50:20; cf. on the other hand, Genesis 49:8, where the interchange designedly takes another form of expression); for the glow of his zeal (קנאהּ from קנא, according to the Arabic, to be a deep or bright red) for the house of Jahve, viz., for the sanctity of the sanctuary and of the congregation gathered about it (which is never directly called "the house of Jahve" in the Old Testament, vid., Khler on Zechariah 9:8, but here, as in Numbers 12:7; Hosea 8:1, is so called in conjunction with the sanctuary), as also for the honour of His who sits enthroned therein, consumes him, like a fire burning in his bones which incessantly breaks forth and rages all through him (Jeremiah 20:9; Jeremiah 23:9), and therefore all the malice of those who are estranged from God is concentrated upon and against him.

He now goes on to describe how sorrow for the sad condition of the house of God has brought noting but reproach to him (cf. Psalm 109:24.). It is doubtful whether נפשׁי is an alternating subject to ואבכּה (fut. consec. without being apocopated), cf. Jeremiah 13:17, or a more minutely defining accusative as in Isaiah 26:9 (vid., on Psalm 3:5), or whether, together with בּצּום, it forms a circumstantial clause (et flevi dum in jejunio esset anima mea), or even whether it is intended to be taken as an accusative of the object in a pregnant construction ( equals בּכה ושׁפך נפשׁו, Psalm 42:5; 1 Samuel 1:15): I wept away my soul in fasting. Among all these possible renderings, the last is the least probable, and the first, according to Psalm 44:3; Psalm 83:19, by far the most probable, and also that which is assumed by the accentuation.

(Note: The Munach of בצום is a transformation of Dech (just as the Munach of לחרפות is a transformation of Mugrash), in connection with which נקשי might certainly be conceived of even as object (cf. Psalm 26:6); but this after ואבכּה (not ואבכּה), and as being without example, could hardly have entered the minds of the punctuists.)

The reading of the lxx ואענּה, καὶ συνέκαψα (Olshausen, Hupfeld, and Bttcher), is a very natural (Psalm 35:13) exchange of the poetically bold expression for one less choice and less expressive (since ענּה נפשׁ is a phrase of the Pentateuch equivalent to צוּם). The garb of mourning, like the fasting, is an expression of sorrow for public distresses, not, as in Psalm 35:13, of personal condolence; concerning ואתּנה, vid., on Psalm 3:6. On account of this mourning, reproach after reproach comes upon him, and they fling gibes and raillery at him; everywhere, both in the gate, the place where the judges sit and where business is transacted, and also at carousals, he is jeered at and traduced (Lamentations 3:14, cf. Lamentations 5:14; Job 30:9). שׂיח בּ signifies in itself fabulari de... without any bad secondary meaning (cf. Proverbs 6:22, confabulabitur tecum); here it is construed first with a personal and then a neuter subject (cf. Amos 8:3), for in Psalm 69:13 neither הייתי (Job 30:9; Lamentations 3:14) nor אני (Lamentations 3:63) is to be supplied. Psalm 69:14 tells us how he acts in the face of such hatred and scorn; ואני, as in Psalm 109:4, sarcasmis hostium suam opponit in precibus constantiam (Geier). As for himself, his prayer is directed towards Jahve at the present time, when his affliction as a witness for God gives him the assurance that He will be well-pleased to accept it (עת רצון equals בעת רצון, Isaiah 49:8). It is addressed to Him who is at the same time Jahve and Elohim, - the revealed One in connection with the history of redemption, and the absolute One in His exaltation above the world, - on the ground of the greatness and fulness of His mercy: may He then answer him with or in the truth of His salvation, i.e., the infallibility with which His purpose of mercy verifies itself in accordance with the promises given. Thus is Psalm 69:14 to be explained in accordance with the accentuation. According to Isaiah 49:8, it looks as though עת רצון must be drawn to ענני (Hitzig), but Psalm 32:6 sets us right on this point; and the fact that ברב־חסדך is joined to Psalm 69:14 also finds support from Psalm 5:8. But the repetition of the divine name perplexes one, and it may be asked whether or not the accent that divides the verse into its two parts might not more properly stand beside רצון, as in Psalm 32:6 beside מצא; so that Psalm 69:14 runs: Elohim, by virtue of the greatness of Thy mercy hear me, by virtue of the truth of Thy salvation.

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