Psalm 84:2
My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh cries out for the living God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) Longeth.—From root meaning to grow pale, expressing one effect of strong emotion—grows pale with longing. So the Latin poets used pallidus to express the effects of passionate love, and generally of any strong emotion:

“Ambitione mala aut argenti pallet amore.”

HOR., Sat. ii. 3, 78.

Or we may perhaps compare Shakespeare’s

“Sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought.”

For a similar fervid expression of desire for communion with God, comp. Psalm 63:1.

Fainteth.—Or more properly, as LXX., faileth.

Courts.—This, too, seems, like tabernacles above, to be used in a general poetical way, so that there is no need to think of the court of the priests as distinguished from that of the people.

The living God.—Comp. Psalm 42:2, the only other place in the Psalms where God is so named.

84:1-7 The ordinances of God are the believer's solace in this evil world; in them he enjoys the presence of the living God: this causes him to regret his absence from them. They are to his soul as the nest to the bird. Yet they are only an earnest of the happiness of heaven; but how can men desire to enter that holy habitation, who complain of Divine ordinances as wearisome? Those are truly happy, who go forth, and go on in the exercise of religion, in the strength of the grace of Jesus Christ, from whom all our sufficiency is. The pilgrims to the heavenly city may have to pass through many a valley of weeping, and many a thirsty desert; but wells of salvation shall be opened for them, and consolations sent for their support. Those that press forward in their Christian course, shall find God add grace to their graces. And those who grow in grace, shall be perfect in glory.My soul longeth - The word used here means properly to be pale; then, to be faint or weak; and then, to pine after, to long for, to desire earnestly. It would properly denote such a longing or desire as to make one faint or exhausted; that is, it indicates intense desire. In Psalm 17:12, it is applied to a hungry lion; "Like a lion that is greedy of its prey." In Genesis 31:30, it conveys the idea of intense desire: "Because thou sore longedst after thy father's house." For an illustration of the sentiment here expressed, see the notes at Psalm 42:1-2.

Yea, even fainteth - Is exhausted; fails of its strength. The word means properly to be completed, finished; then to be consumed, to be spent, to waste or pine away. Genesis 21:15; Jeremiah 16:4; Lamentations 2:11; Job 19:27.

For the courts of the Lord - The word used here refers to the different areas around the tabernacle or temple, within which many of the services of public worship were conducted, and which were frequented by different classes of persons. See the notes at Matthew 21:12.

My heart and my flesh - My whole nature; my body and my soul; all my desires and aspirations - all the longings of my heart are there. The body - the flesh - cries out for rest; the heart - the soul - for communion with God. Our whole nature demands the benefits which spring from the worship of God. Body and soul were made for his service, and the necessities of neither can be satisfied without religion.

Crieth out - The word used here - רנן rânan - means properly to give forth a tremulous sound; then, to give forth the voice in vibrations, or in a tremulous manner; and thence it may mean either to utter cries of joy, Leviticus 9:24; Job 38:7; Isaiah 12:6, or to utter a loud wail Lamentations 2:19. Its common application is to joy Psalm 98:4; Psalm 132:16; Psalm 65:8; and it might be rendered here, "Sing unto the Lord," or "Rejoice unto the Lord." The connection, however, seems to demand that it be understood as the cry of earnest longing or desire.

For the living God - God, the true God, considered as living, in contradistinction from idols, always spoken of as dead. Compare Psalm 63:1.

2. longeth—most intensely (Ge 31:30; Ps 17:12).

fainteth—exhausted with desire.

courts—as tabernacles (Ps 84:1)—the whole building.

crieth out—literally, "sings for joy"; but here, and La 2:19, expresses an act of sorrow as the corresponding noun (Ps 17:1; 61:2).

heart and … flesh—as in Ps 63:1.

Fainteth, or, is consumed, with grief for want of them, and with vehement desire to enjoy them, and with the deferring and disappointment of his hopes. See Proverbs 13:12.

For the courts; to enter into the outward court with the people, and to see what is done by the priests in the inner court, and to join with them in their religious exercises.

My heart and my flesh crieth out with a doleful cry, of which this word is used also Lamentations 2:19, which elsewhere and commonly signifies a joyful shout. The sense is, my soul and body are pained; or the passion of my heart maketh my tongue cry out. My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord,.... The courts of the tabernacle now at Gibeon, though the ark was in Zion, 2 Chronicles 1:3 as the court of the priests, and the court of the Israelites, in which latter the people in common stood: after these David longed; he longed to enter into them, and stand in them, and worship God there; which soul longings and hearty desires were the fruits and evidences of true grace, of being born again; so newly born souls desire the sincere milk of the word, and the breasts of Gospel ordinances, as a newly born babe desires its mother's milk and breast; and he even "fainted", through disappointment, or length of time, being impatient of the returning season and opportunity of treading in them; see Psalm 42:1,

my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God; he only inwardly desired, and secretly fainted, but audibly cried out in his distress, and verbally expressed, great vehemence, his desire to enjoy the living God: it was not merely the courts, but God in them, that he wanted; even that God which has life in himself, with whom is the fountain of life; who gives life to others, natural, spiritual, and eternal, and in whose favour is life; yea, whose lovingkindness is better than life, and which was the thing longed and thirsted after: and these desires were the desires of the whole man, soul and body; not only he cried with his mouth and lips, signified by his flesh, but with his heart also, sincerely and heartily; his heart went along with his mouth.

My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the {b} courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

(b) For only the priests could enter the sanctuary and the rest of the people into the courts.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. My soul hath pined, yea, even fainted. The verbs are perfects, and it seems best to suppose that he is recalling the earnest longings which are even now finding satisfaction, as his feet stand in the Temple courts, and his heart and flesh sing for joy unto the living God. The latter verb denotes joyous singing, such as that with which pilgrims enlivened their journey. Cp. Jeremiah 31:12; and the cognate substantive in Psalm 42:4. Soul, heart, and flesh, the emotions, the reason and the will, with the living organism of the body through which they act, make up the whole man. See Psalm 16:9; Psalm 73:26; and cp. 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

the living God] The same phrase (El chay) as in Psalm 42:2. God Himself is the final object of desire: the Temple is only the means of realising His Presence.Verse 2. - My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord. These expressions do not imply that the writer is absent from the temple, but only that his delight in it is never satiated. My heart and my flesh; i.e. my whole nature. Crieth out for the living God; rather, rejoiceth; or "sings out a note of joy" unto the living God. So Hengstenberg, who says, "The verb רִנֵּן is of frequent occurrence in the Psalms, and always signifies to rejoice." Compare the comment of Professor Cheyne. With the אלהי, which constrains God in faith, the "thundering down" begins afresh. גּלגּל signifies a wheel and a whirling motion, such as usually arises when the wind changes suddenly, then also whatever is driven about in the whirling, Isaiah 17:13.

(Note: Saadia, who renders the גּלגּל in Psalm 77:19 as an astronomical expression with Arab. 'l-frk, the sphere of the heavens, here has professedly Arab. kâlgrâblt, which would be a plural from expanded out of Arab. grâbı̂l, "sieves" or "tambourines;" it is, however, to be read, as in Isaiah 17:13, Codex Oxon., Arab. kâlgirbâlt. The verb Arab. garbala, "to sift," is transferred to the wind, e.g., in Mutanabbi (edited with Wahidi's commentary by Dieterici), p. 29, l. 5 and 6: "it is as though the dust of this region, when the winds chase one another therein, were sifted," Arab. mugarbalu (i.e., caught up and whirled round); and with other notional and constructional applications in Makkarı̂, i. p. 102, l. 18: "it is as though its soil had been cleansed from dust by sifting," Arab. gurbilat (i.e., the dust thereof swept away by a whirlwind). Accordingly Arab. girbâlat signifies first, as a nom. vicis, a whirling about (of dust by the wind), then in a concrete sense a whirlwind, as Saadia uses it, inasmuch as he makes use of it twice for גּלגּל. So Fleischer in opposition to Ewald, who renders "like the sweepings or rubbish.")

קשׁ (from קשׁשׁ, Arab. qšš, aridum esse) is the cry corn-talks, whether as left standing or, as in this instance, as straw upon the threshing-floor or upon the field. Like a fire that spreads rapidly, laying hold of everything, which burns up the forest and singes off the wooded mountain so that only a bare cone is left standing, so is God to drive them before Him in the raging tempest of His wrath and take them unawares. The figure in Psalm 83:15 is fully worked up by Isaiah, Isaiah 10:16-19; לחט as in Deuteronomy 32:22. In the apodosis, Psalm 83:16, the figure is changed into a kindred one: wrath is a glowing heat (חרון) and a breath (נשׁמה, Isaiah 30:33) at the same time. In Psalm 83:17 it becomes clear what is the final purpose towards which this language of cursing tends: to the end that all, whether willingly or reluctantly, may give the glory to the God of revelation. Directed towards this end the earnest prayer is repeated once more in the tetrastichic closing strain.

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