Psalm 89:42
You have set up the right hand of his adversaries; you have made all his enemies to rejoice.
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89:38-52 Sometimes it is not easy to reconcile God's providences with his promises, yet we are sure that God's works fulfil his word. When the great Anointed One, Christ himself, was upon the cross, God seemed to have cast him off, yet did not make void his covenant, for that was established for ever. The honour of the house of David was lost. Thrones and crowns are often laid in the dust; but there is a crown of glory reserved for Christ's spiritual seed, which fadeth not away. From all this complaint learn what work sin makes with families, noble families, with families in which religion has appeared. They plead with God for mercy. God's unchangeableness and faithfulness assure us that He will not cast off those whom he has chosen and covenanted with. They were reproached for serving him. The scoffers of the latter days, in like manner, reproach the footsteps of the Messiah when they ask, Where is the promise of his coming? 2Pe 3:3,4. The records of the Lord's dealings with the family of David, show us his dealings with his church, and with believers. Their afflictions and distresses may be grievous, but he will not finally cast them off. Self-deceivers abuse this doctrine, and others by a careless walk bring themselves into darkness and distress; yet let the true believer rely on it for encouragement in the path of duty, and in bearing the cross. The psalm ends with praise, even after this sad complaint. Those who give God thanks for what he has done, may give him thanks for what he will do. God will follow those with his mercies, who follow him with praises.Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries - Hast given them the victory. Thou hast suffered them to accomplish their purposes.

Thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice - They joy or rejoice in the success of their plans; in their triumphs over thy servant and over his people.

40-45. The ruin is depicted under several figures—a vineyard whose broken "hedges," and "strongholds," whose ruins invite spoilers and invaders; a warrior, whose enemies are aided by God, and whose sword's "edge"—literally, "rock" or "strength" (Jos 5:2) is useless; and a youth prematurely old. Thou hast given them courage, and power, and success. Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries,.... Suffered them to become powerful, and to prevail against him; as the wicked Jews, and Satan, and his principalities and powers, at the time of Christ's apprehension, crucifixion, and death; for then were their hour, and the power of darkness, Luke 22:53, death also had dominion over him, and held him under the power of it for awhile: the enemies of his interest, Rome Pagan, and Rome Papal, have, in their turns, had their right hands set up, and have had power, and prevailed over it; and the latter will again, at the slaying of the witnesses: all which, though it seems contrary to Psalm 89:21, yet is not; for Satan, though he bruised Christ's heel, yet Christ bruised his head, destroyed his works, and him himself, and that by dying; and spoiled his principalities and powers; and death could not hold him long, nor has it now any dominion over him, and is abolished by him; and antichrist, and all the antichristian powers, will be destroyed by him ere long:

thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice; as they did when they had got him on the cross; and especially when he was laid in the grave, Psalm 22:7, and as the antichristian party will when his witnesses are slain, Revelation 11:10, but as the joy of the former was short lived, and was soon turned into sorrow, so will be that of the latter.

Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries; thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice.
42. Thou hast set up] R.V. thou hast exalted. Contrast Psalm 89:19; Psalm 89:24.

to rejoice] The malignant delight of enemies is constantly deprecated as an aggravation of the bitterness of misfortune. Cp. Psalm 25:2; Psalm 30:1; Psalm 35:19; Psalm 35:24 ff.; Psalm 38:16; and the close parallel in Lamentations 2:17.Verse 42. - Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries; i.e." thou hast increased their power and strength, exalted them, and depressed him." Thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice (comp. Psalm 35:15, "In mine adversity they rejoiced;" and see also Micah 7:8; Obadiah 1:10-12). Every depression of Israel caused the neighbouring nations, who alike feared them and detested them, to rejoice. Now follows the paraphrase of 2 Samuel 7:14, that the faithlessness of David's line in relation to the covenant shall not interfere with (annul) the faithfulness of God - a thought with which one might very naturally console one's self in the reign of Rehoboam. Because God has placed the house of David in a filial relationship to Himself, He will chastise the apostate members as a father chastises his son; cf. Proverbs 23:13. In 1 Chronicles 17:13 the chronicler omits the words of 2 Samuel 7:14 which there provide against perverted action (העוות) on the part of the seed of David; our Psalm proves their originality. But even if, as history shows, this means of chastisement should be ineffectual in the case of individuals, the house of David as such will nevertheless remain ever in a state of favour with Him. In Psalm 89:34 חסדּי לא־אפיר מעמּו corresponds to וחסדּי־לא־יסוּר ממּנּוּ in 2 Samuel 7:15 (lxx, Targum): the fut. Hiph. of פרר is otherwise always אפר; the conjecture אסיר is therefore natural, yet even the lxx translators (ου ̓ μὴ διασκεδάσω) had אפיר before them. שׁקּר בּ as in Psalm 44:18. The covenant with David is sacred with God: He will not profane it (חלּל, to loose the bonds of sanctity). He will fulfil what has gone forth from His lips, i.e., His vow, according to Deuteronomy 23:24 [23], cf. Numbers 30:3 [2]. One thing hath He sworn to David; not: once equals once for all (lxx), for what is introduced by Psalm 89:36 (cf. Psalm 27:4) and follows in Psalm 89:37, Psalm 89:38, is in reality one thing (as in Psalm 62:12, two). He hath sworn it per sanctitatem suam. Thus, and not in sanctuario meo, בּקדשׁי in this passage and Amos 4:2 (cf. on Psalm 60:8) is to be rendered, for elsewhere the expression is בּי, Genesis 22:16; Isaiah 45:23, or בּנפשׁו, Amos 6:8; Jeremiah 51:14, or בּשׁמי, Jeremiah 44:26, or בּימינו, Isaiah 62:8. It is true we do not read any set form of oath in 2 Samuel 7, 1 Chronicles 17, but just as Isaiah, Isaiah 54:9, takes the divine promise in Genesis 8:21 as an oath, so the promise so earnestly and most solemnly pledged to David may be accounted by Psalm-poesy (here and in Psalm 132:11), which reproduces the historical matter of fact, as a promise attested with an oath. With אם in Psalm 89:36 God asserts that He will not disappoint David in reference to this one thing, viz., the perpetuity of his throne. This shall stand for ever as the sun and moon; for these, though they may one day undergo a change (Psalm 102:27), shall nevertheless never be destroyed. In the presence of 2 Samuel 7:16 it looks as if Psalm 89:38 ought to be rendered: and as the witness in the clouds shall it (David's throne) be faithful (perpetual). By the witness in the clouds one would then have to understand the rainbow as the celestial memorial and sign of an everlasting covenant. Thus Luther, Geier, Schmid, and others. But neither this rendering, nor the more natural one, "and as the perpetual, faithful witness in the clouds," is admissible in connection with the absence of the כּ of comparison. Accordingly Hengstenberg, following the example of Jewish expositors, renders: "and the witness in the clouds is perpetual," viz., the moon, so that the continuance of the Davidic line would be associated with the moon, just as the continuance of the condemned earth is with the rainbow. But in what sense would the moon have the name, without example elsewhere, of witness? Just as the Book of Job was the key to the conclusion of Psalm 88, so it is the key to this ambiguous verse of the Psalm before us. It has to be explained according to Job 16:19, where Job says: "Behold in heaven is my witness, and my surety in the heights." Jahve, the אל נאמן (Deuteronomy 7:9), seals His sworn promise with the words, "and the witness in the sky (ethereal heights) is faithful" (cf. concerning this Waw in connection with asseverations, Ew. 340, c). Hengstenberg's objection, that Jahve cannot be called His own witness, is disposed of by the fact that עד frequently signifies the person who testifies anything concerning himself; in this sense, in fact, the whole Tra is called עדוּת ה (the testimony of Jahve).
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