Show me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because you, LORD, have helped me, and comforted me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)A token for good—i.e., some sign of continued or renewed providential care and love, such, indeed, as an Israelite under the old covenant saw, and every pious heart under the new sees, in what to others is an every-day occurrence. The expression for good is a favourite one with Nehemiah (Nehemiah 5:19; Nehemiah 13:31) and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 24:5-6, and comp. Romans 8:28. &c).
that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed; of their envy of him, their combinations and conspiracies against him, and of all their efforts to distress him, to hinder him of the kingdom, or deprive him of it, or make him uncomfortable in it:
because thou, Lord, hast holpen me, and comforted me; he comforted him by helping him against his enemies, and out of his troubles; and, by doing both, showed him a token for good, and filled his enemies with shame and confusion.Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)17. a token for good] Some visible and unmistakable sign of Thy favour towards me. Cp. Jeremiah 24:6; Ezra 8:22; Nehemiah 5:19; Nehemiah 13:31.
that they &c.] That they which hate me may be ashamed when they see that thou &c. Cp. Psalm 40:3; Psalm 6:10; Psalm 35:4 : and for holpen … comforted, Isaiah 49:8; Isaiah 49:13.Verse 17. - Show me a token for good; i.e. give me some sign - not necessarily a miraculous one - that thou art dealing with me, not for evil, but "for good" (Jeremiah 24:6), and that thou wilt grant me that which I have requested of thee. That they which hate me may see it. A visible token is therefore requested, not a mere inward conviction or assurance (see 2 Kings 20:8; Isaiah 7:11). And be ashamed (comp. Psalm 6:10; 56:17; 119:78, etc.). Because thou, Lord, hast holpen me, and comforted me. The psalmist's deliverance would be his enemies' shame; it would show that God was on his side, and against them.
Psalm 86:7 follows Psalm 17:6 and other passages; Psalm 86:8 is taken from Exodus 15:11, cf. Psalm 89:9, where, however, אלהים, gods, is avoided; Psalm 86:8 follows Deuteronomy 3:24; Psalm 86:9 follows Psalm 22:28; Psalm 86:11 is taken from Psalm 27:11; Psalm 86:11 from Psalm 26:3; Psalm 86:13, שׁאול תּחתּיּה from Deuteronomy 32:22, where instead of this it is תּחתּית, just as in Psalm 130:2 תּחנוּני (supplicatory prayer) instead of תּחנוּנותי (importunate supplications); and also Psalm 86:10 (cf. Psalm 72:18) is a doxological formula that was already in existence. The construction הקשׁיב בּ is the same as in Psalm 66:19. But although for the most part flowing on only in the language of prayer borrowed from earlier periods, this Psalm is, moreover, not without remarkable significance and beauty. With the confession of the incomparableness of the Lord is combined the prospect of the recognition of the incomparable One throughout the nations of the earth. This clear unallegorical prediction of the conversion of the heathen is the principal parallel to Revelation 15:4. "All nations, which Thou hast made" - they have their being from Thee; and although they have forgotten it (vid., Psalm 9:18), they will nevertheless at last come to recognise it. כּל־גּוים, since the article is wanting, are nations of all tribes (countries and nationalities); cf. Jeremiah 16:16 with Psalm 22:18; Tobit 13:11, ἔθνη πολλά, with ibid. Psalm 14:6, πάντα τὰ ἔθνη. And how weightily brief and charming is the petition in Psalm 86:11 : uni cor meum, ut timeat nomen tuum! Luther has rightly departed from the renderings of the lxx, Syriac, and Vulgate: laetetur (יחדּ from חדה). The meaning, however, is not so much "keep my heart near to the only thing," as "direct all its powers and concentrate them on the one thing." The following group shows us what is the meaning of the deliverance out of the hell beneath (שׁאול תּחתּיּה, like ארץ תּחתּית, the earth beneath, the inner parts of the earth, Ezekiel 31:14.), for which the poet promises beforehand to manifest his thankfulness (כּי, Psalm 86:13, as in Psalm 56:14).
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