Psalm 71:16
I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) I will go . . .—Rather, I will come with the Lord Jehovah’s mighty deeds, i.e., come with the tale of them (as last verse) and praise of them into the Temple. (Comp. Psalm 5:7; Psalm 66:13.)

71:14-24 The psalmist declares that the righteousness of Christ, and the great salvation obtained thereby, shall be the chosen subject of his discourse. Not on a sabbath only, but on every day of the week, of the year, of his life. Not merely at stated returns of solemn devotion, but on every occasion, all the day long. Why will he always dwell on this? Because he knew not the numbers thereof. It is impossible to measure the value or the fulness of these blessings. The righteousness is unspeakable, the salvation everlasting. God will not cast off his grey-headed servants when no longer capable of labouring as they have done. The Lord often strengthens his people in their souls, when nature is sinking into decay. And it is a debt which the old disciples of Christ owe to succeeding generations, to leave behind them a solemn testimony to the advantage of religion, and the truth of God's promises; and especially to the everlasting righteousness of the Redeemer. Assured of deliverance and victory, let us spend our days, while waiting the approach of death, in praising the Holy One of Israel with all our powers. And while speaking of his righteousness, and singing his praises, we shall rise above fears and infirmities, and have earnests of the joys of heaven. The work of redemption ought, above all God's works, to be spoken of by us in our praises. The Lamb that was slain, and has redeemed us to God, is worthy of all blessing and praise.I will go in the strength of the Lord God - In my future journey through life; in my trials; in my duties; in my conflicts; in my temptations. Admonished in the past of my own weakness, and remembering how often God has interposed, I will hereafter lean only on his arm, and not trust to my own strength. But thus leaning on his arm, I "will" go confidently to meet the duties and the trials of life. If one has the strength of God to lean on, or can use that strength "as if" it were his own, there is no duty which he may not discharge; no trial which he may not bear. The Hebrew here is, "I will come with the mighty deeds (more literally, "strengths") of the Lord God." The word is used to denote the "mighty acts" of Yahweh, in Deuteronomy 3:24; Psalm 106:2; Job 26:14. DeWette proposes to render this, "I will go in the mighty deeds of Yahweh;" that is, I will sing of his mighty deeds. Rosenmuller explains it, "I will go into the temple to celebrate his praise there;" that is, I will bring the remembrance of his mighty acts there as the foundation of praise. So Professor Alexander explains it. It seems to me, however, that our translation has expressed the true idea, that he would go in the strength of God; that he would rely on no other; that he would make mention of no other. Old age, trials, difficulties, arduous duties, were before him; and in all these he would rely on no other strength but that of the Almighty.

I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only - Of thy just and holy character. I will allude to nothing else; I will rely on nothing else as the foundation of my hope, and as my encouragement in the duties and trials of life.

16. in the strength—or, relying on it.

thy righteousness—or, faithful performance of promises to the pious (Ps 7:17; 31:1).

I will not sit down in despair, but I will go on or proceed in my business courageously and cheerfully, in making necessary provisions for my own defence; relying only upon thy strength, and not upon my own military preparations.

Make mention; partly to praise and celebrate it, and partly to support and comfort myself with the remembrance of it.

Of thy righteousness; either,

1. Of thy mercy and goodness. Or rather,

2. Of thy faithfulness in making good all thy promises to me, as this word is commonly used in this book. Of thine only; not of my subjects’ and friends’, who are false and perfidious to thee and to me; nor of my own; for I have been most unfaithful to thee, and have broken my covenant with thee.

I will go in the strength of the Lord God,.... Go on praising him, as he had determined to do in the preceding verses; not in his own strength, knowing that his heart was not always disposed aright or prepared and fit for such service; and that though the daily continuance of favours required constant praise, yet he needed always the aids of divine grace to raise his affection and song: or "I will go into the strengths of the Lord God" (d); the power of God is expressed in the plural number, to show the greatness of it, which is as a garrison to the believer; see 1 Peter 1:5; a strong hold, a strong tower, a strong habitation, as in Psalm 71:3; into which he goes by faith, and is there safe, in all times of distress and danger: or the sense is, that he would go into the house of God, the temple and sanctuary, and in his strength perform the duties of public worship there; and it may include all religious actions, private and public, and every, spiritual undertaking; which ought to be attempted and performed, not in our own strength, but in the strength of the Lord: man is become, through sin, a weak and impotent creature; though he is very hard to be brought to a sense and acknowledgment of his weakness; true believers are sensible of it, and own it; and such, knowing that there is a sufficiency of strength in Christ for them, look and go to him for it; to do otherwise, to attempt to do anything in our own strength, betrays our weakness, folly, and vanity, and is dangerous, attended with bad consequences, and never succeeds well: the Apostle Peter is an instance of this, Matthew 26:33;

I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only; and that before the Lord himself: not his own righteousness, which he knew would not justify him in his sight, nor render him acceptable to him; nor furnish out a plea or argument why he should receive any favour from him; and therefore resolves not to mention it; but the righteousness of Christ, which is the righteousness of God, which he approves of, accepts, and imputes. This is a pure, perfect, and spotless righteousness, which God is well pleased with; honours his law, satisfies his justice, and so justifies in his sight; and renders person and service acceptable to him; and therefore with great pleasure and boldness, may be mentioned unto as it should be to Christ himself also; by ascribing it to him, as the author of it; by expressing a desire to be found in it; to have faith of interest in it, and joy on account of it; and by owning him openly and freely as the Lord our righteousness: and we should make mention of it to others, in praise of it; extolling it as the righteousness of God, and not a creature; and so sufficient to justify many, even all the seed of Israel; as the best robe of righteousness, better than the best of man's, better than Adam's in innocence, or than the angels' in heaven; as a law honouring and justice satisfying one, and as an everlasting one. And we should put ourselves in mind of it, and, by repeated acts of faith, put it on as our justifying righteousness; since much of our joy, peace, and comfort, depend upon it. And this, and this only, is to be made mention of; it is only in the Lord that there is righteousness: as there is salvation in him, and in no other, so there is righteousness in him, and in no other; wherefore no other is to be mentioned along with it: justification is not partly by Christ's righteousness, and partly by our own; but only by his, and through faith in it; see Romans 9:32.

(d) "in fortitudines", Montanus; "in potentias", V. L. Vatablus.

I will {l} go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.

(l) I will remain steadfast, being upheld by the power of God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. I will go &c.] Better, I will come with the mighty acts of the Lord Jehovah, bringing them as my theme for praise. Cp. Psalm 106:2. The A.V. would at any rate require the singular, which is however read by the LXX and some other Versions.

Verse 16. - I will go in the strength of the Lord God; literally, I will come with the mighty acts of the Lord God (Revised Version); i.e. I will bring these acts forward, and make mention of them in my songs of praise. I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only. I will attribute my deliverance to no strength, or efforts, or righteousness of my own (see Psalm 20:7; Psalm 44:3, 6), but to thy righteousness - i.e. thy faithfulness and truth - only. Psalm 71:16In view of Psalm 40:15 (Psalm 70:3), Psalm 35:4, Psalm 35:26; Psalm 109:29, and other passages, the reading of יכּלמוּ, with the Syriac, instead of יכלוּ in Psalm 71:13 commends itself; but there are also other instances in this Psalm of a modification of the original passages, and the course of the thoughts is now climactic: confusion, ruin (cf. Psalm 6:11), and in fact ruin accompanied by reproach and shame. This is the fate that the poet desires for his deadly foes. In prospect of this he patiently composes himself, Psalm 71:14 (cf. 31:25); and when righteous retribution appears, he will find new matter and ground and motive for the praise of God in addition to all such occasion as he has hitherto had. The late origin of the Psalm betrays itself again here; for instead of the praet. Hiph. הוסיף (which is found only in the Books of Kings and in Ecclesiastes), the older language made use of the praet. Ka. Without ceasing shall his mouth tell (ספּר, as in Jeremiah 51:10) of God's righteousness, of God's salvation for he knows not numbers, i.e., the counting over or through of them (Psalm 139:17.);

(Note: The lxx renders οὐκ ἔγνων πραγματείας; the Psalterium Romanum, non cognovi negotiationes; Psalt. Gallicum (Vulgate), non cognovi literaturam (instead of which the Psalt. Hebr., literaturas). According to Bttcher, the poet really means that he did not understand the art of writing.)

the divine proofs of righteousness or salvation עצמוּ מסּפּר (Psalm 40:6), they are in themselves endless, and therefore the matter also which they furnish for praise is inexhaustible. He will tell those things which cannot be so reckoned up; he will come with the mighty deeds of the Lord Jahve, and with praise acknowledge His righteousness, Him alone. Since גּברות, like the New Testament δυνάμεις, usually signifies the proofs of the divine גּבוּרה (e.g., Psalm 20:7), the Beth is the Beth of accompaniment, as e.g., in Psalm 40:8; Psalm 66:13. בּוא בּ, vernire cum, is like Arab. j'â' b (atâ), equivalent to afferre, he will bring the proofs of the divine power, this rich material, with him. It is evident from Psalm 71:18. that בגברות does not refer to the poet (in the fulness of divine strength), but, together with צדקתך, forms a pair of words that have reference to God. לבדּך, according to the sense, joins closely upon the suffix of צדקתך (cf. Psalm 83:19): Thy righteousness (which has been in mercy turned towards me), Thine alone (te solum equals tui solius). From youth up God has instructed him, viz., in His ways (Psalm 25:4), which are worthy of all praise, and hitherto (עד־הנּה, found only in this passage in the Psalter, and elsewhere almost entirely confined to prose) has he, "the taught of Jahve" (למּוּד ה), had to praise the wonders of His rule and of His leadings. May God, then, not forsake him even further on עד־זקנה ושׂיבה. The poet is already old (זקן), and is drawing ever nearer to שׂיבה, silvery, hoary old age (cf. 1 Samuel 12:2). May God, then, in this stage of life also to which he has attained, preserve him in life and in His favour, until (עד equals עד־אשׁר, as in Psalm 132:5; Genesis 38:11, and frequently) he shall have declared His arm, i.e., His mighty interposition in human history, to posterity (דּור), and to all who shall come (supply אשׁר), i.e., the whole of the future generation, His strength, i.e., the impossibility of thwarting His purposes. The primary passage for this is Psalm 22:31.

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