He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
And shall save the souls of the needy - Will guard and defend them; will be their protector and friend. His administration will have special respect to those who are commonly overlooked, and who are exposed to oppression and wrong.The souls, properly so called; this being Christ’s proper work to save souls; or, the lives, which oppressors shall endeavour to take away.
and shall save the souls of the needy; not to the exclusion of their bodies, which are also his care and charge, are bought with his blood, are preserved by him, will be raised from the dead, and made like his glorious body; but souls are mentioned as being the most excellent part of man, and which having sinned, are liable to damnation and the second death; and are therefore the special objects of redemption and salvation; these are saved by him from all their sins, and from wrath to come they deserve; hence his name is called "Jesus", a Saviour.He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)13. He shall have pity on the weak and needy,
And the souls of the needy shall he save.
The weak may include the sick as well as the poor. Cp. Psalm 40:1; Psalm 82:3-4; Isaiah 10:1; Isaiah 11:4; Amos 4:1. Souls primarily = lives, and so in Psalm 72:14.Verse 13. - He shall spare the poor and needy; or, the weak and needy. And shall save the souls of the needy. He shall not merely deliver them from their cruel oppressors in this life (ver. 4), but also give health and life to their souls. Psalm 72:1 is continued in the form of a wish: may they fear Thee, Elohim, עם־שׁמשׁ, with the sun, i.e., during its whole duration (עם in the sense of contemporary existence, as in Daniel 3:33). לפני־ירח, in the moonlight (cf. Job 8:16, לפני־שׁמשׁ, in the sunshine), i.e., so long as the moon shines. דּור דּורים (accusative of the duration of time, cf. Psalm 102:25), into the uttermost generation which outlasts the other generations (like שׁמי השּׁמים of the furthest heavens which surround the other heavens). The first two periphrastic expressions for unlimited time recur in Psalm 89:37., a Psalm composed after the time of Solomon; cf. the unfigurative expression in Solomon's prayer at the dedication of the Temple in 1 Kings 8:40. The continuance of the kingship, from the operation of which such continuance of the fear of God is expected, is not asserted until Psalm 72:17. It is capricious to refer the language of address in Psalm 72:5 to the king (as Hupfeld and Hitzig do), who is not directly addressed either in Psalm 72:4, or in Psalm 72:6, or anywhere in the Psalm. With respect to God the desire is expressed that the righteous and benign rule of the king may result in the extension of the fear of God from generation to generation into endless ages. The poet in Psalm 72:6 delights in a heaping up of synonyms in order to give intensity to the expression of the thoughts, just as in Psalm 72:5; the last two expressions stand side by side one another without any bond of connection as in Psalm 72:5. רביבים (from רבב, Arab. rbb, densum, spissum esse, and then, starting from this signification, sometimes multum and sometimes magnum esse) is the shower of rain pouring down in drops that are close together; nor is זרזיף a synonym of גּז, but (formed from זרף, Arab. ḏrf, to flow, by means of a rare reduplication of the first two letters of the root, Ew. 157, d) properly the water running from a roof (cf. B. Joma 87a: "when the maid above poured out water, זרזיפי דמיא came upon his head"). גּז, however, is not the meadow-shearing, equivalent to a shorn, mown meadow, any more than גּז, גּזּה, Arabic ǵizza, signifies a shorn hide, but, on the contrary, a hide with the wool or feathers (e.g., ostrich feathers) still upon it, rather a meadow, i.e., grassy plain, that is intended to be mown. The closing word ארץ (accus. loci as in Psalm 147:15) unites itself with the opening word ירד: descendat in terram. In his last words (2 Samuel 23) David had compared the effects of the dominion of his successor, whom he beheld as by vision, to the fertilizing effects of the sun and of the rain upon the earth. The idea of Psalm 72:6 is that Solomon's rule may prove itself thus beneficial for the country. The figure of the rain in Psalm 72:7 gives birth to another: under his rule may the righteous blossom (expanding himself unhindered and under the most favourable circumsntaces), and (may there arise) salvation in all fulness עד־בּלי ירח, until there is no more moon (cf. the similar expression in Job 14:12). To this desire for the uninterrupted prosperity and happiness of the righteous under the reign of this king succeeds the desire for an unlimited extension of his dominion, Psalm 72:8. The sea (the Mediterranean) and the river (the Euphrates) are geographically defined points of issue, whence the definition of boundary is extended into the unbounded. Solomon even at his accession ruled over all kingdoms from the Euphrates as far as the borders of Egypt; the wishes expressed here are of wider compass, and Zechariah repeats them predictively (Psalm 9:10) with reference to the King Messiah.
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