Psalm 89:50
Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people;
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(50)The phrase, “bear in my bosom,” is explained by Psalm 79:12.

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.Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants - Remember this, so as to cause it to pass away; he not forgetful or unmindful of this. Compare Psalm 89:47. The psalmist desired that all this might be before the mind of God as a reason why he should help him. These promises had been made to David and his people. They had relied on them, and they were now reproached as having trusted to promises which had never been made. This reproach was consequent on what seemed to be the failure to fulfill those promises; and as this reproach came upon God, and was a reflection on his fidelity, the psalmist prays that he would allow it to come before him.

How I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people - literally, "I bear in my bosom all the many people." That is, everything that pertained to them came upon him. All their troubles; all their reverses; all their complaints; all their murmurings, seemed to come upon him. He was held responsible for everything pertaining to them; all this pressed upon his heart. Compare the bitter complaint of Moses in Numbers 11:11-15. The phrase "to bear in the bosom" here, is equivalent to bearing it on the heart. Trouble, anxiety, care, sorrow, seem to press on the heart, or fill the bosom with distressing emotions, and lay on it a heavy burden. The allusion here is not merely to reproach, but the meaning is that everything pertaining to the people came on him, and it crushed him down. The burdens of his own people, as well as the reproaches of all around him, came upon him; and he felt that he was not able to bear it.

50. bear in my bosom—as feeling the affliction of the people (Ps 69:9).

footsteps—ways (Ps 56:6).

I, i.e. we thy servants, as he now said; our king and his people; of whom he speaks as of one person, as is very usual in Holy Scripture. Or the psalmist showeth how particularly and passionately he resented those reproaches which were cast upon their king and kingdom, as if they were east upon himself.

Bear in my bosom: this phrase may denote either, first, the multitude of these reproaches, things being said to be given or received into a man’s bosom, which are given or received in great plenty, as Isaiah 65:6 Luke 6:38; or, secondly, their grievousness, that they pierced him to the very heart, which is sometimes called the bosom, as Ecclesiastes 7:9. Of all the mighty people; of the great potentates and princes of the world, who now reproached the house of David with their vain and confident boasting of the everlastingness of their kingdom, which was now in a desperate and lost condition. Or, all the reproaches of many people.

Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants,.... The apostles of Christ, his servants, and the servants of the living God, that showed unto men the way of salvation, and other saints with them that believed in Christ, and were made willing to serve and follow him; these were now reproached by the Scribes and Pharisees for believing in him, and professing him; and were scoffed and laughed at, when they had crucified him, and laid him in the grave, triumphing over him and them, believing he would never rise again, as he had given out he should, and for which his followers were reproached; and therefore desire the Lord would remember the reproach cast upon Christ, and them, for his sake, and roll it away:

how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people; the ecclesiastical and civil rulers of the Jews, their chief priests, Scribes, and Pharisees, who poured out their reproaches very plentifully on the followers of Christ, whom the psalmist here represents; which fell very heavily upon them, as a very great weight and burden, and pressed them sore, and went to their very hearts, and therefore said to be "in their bosom"; and which is mentioned to excite the divine compassion, that he would appear for them, and raise his Son from the dead, as was promised and expected; that their enemies might have no more occasion to reproach him and them: it is in the original, "I bear in my bosom all the many people" (c); which some understand of the people of God, and of Christ's sustaining their persons, and making satisfaction for their sins; but the other sense is preferable: Kimchi supplies the words as we do; and so the Targum, which renders them thus,

"I bear in my bosom all the reproaches of many people.''

(c) "omnes multos populos", Montanus; "omnes, quam multi sunt, populos", Cocceius.

Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants; how I do bear in my {i} bosom the reproach of all the mighty people;

(i) He means that God's enemies not only slandered him behind his back, but also mocked him to his face and as it were cast their injuries in his bosom.

50. the reproach of thy servants] The taunts which they have to bear as the servants of a God Who, say their enemies, cannot or will not help them. Cp. Psalm 74:10; Psalm 74:18; Psalm 74:22; Psalm 79:4; Psalm 79:10.

how I do bear &c.] The Massoretic text must be rendered, How I do bear in my bosom all the many peoples. It is grammatically anomalous and gives no satisfactory sense. A simple emendation, which has some support from Ancient Versions, reads thus:

How I bear in my bosom the dishonouring of the peoples.

Cp. the similar phrase with the same word for ‘dishonouring’ (A.V. shame) in Ezekiel 34:29; Ezekiel 36:6; Ezekiel 36:15. As a faithful Israelite he must perforce bear the burden of his people’s shame.

Verse 50. - Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants; i.e. the reproach under which all thy people lie so long as their enemies are allowed to plunder and oppress them at their pleasure (see vers. 40-44). Remember also how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people. The reproach under which his countrymen lie - a reproach laid on them by "all the mighty people among whom they dwell - falls on the psalmist's heart with especial weight through his deep sympathy with all of them. Psalm 89:50After this statement of the present condition of things the psalmist begins to pray for the removal of all that is thus contradictory to the promise. The plaintive question, Psalm 89:47, with the exception of one word, is verbatim the same as Psalm 79:5. The wrath to which quousque refers, makes itself to be felt, as the intensifying (vid., Psalm 13:2) לנצח implies, in the intensity and duration of everlasting wrath. חלד is this temporal life which glides past secretly and unnoticed (Psalm 17:14); and זכר־אני is not equivalent to זכרני (instead of which by way of emphasis only זכרני אני can be said), but אני מה־חלד stands for מה־חלד אני - according to the sense equivalent to אני מה־חדל, Psalm 39:5, cf. Psalm 39:6. The conjecture of Houbigant and modern expositors, זכר אדני (cf. Psalm 89:51), is not needed, since the inverted position of the words is just the same as in Psalm 39:5. In Psalm 89:48 it is not pointed על־מה שׁוא, "wherefore (Job 10:2; Job 13:14) hast Thou in vain (Psalm 127:1) created?" (Hengstenberg), but על־מה־שּׁוא, on account of or for what a nothing (מה־שׁוא belonging together as adjective and substantive, as in Psalm 30:10; Job 26:14) hast Thou created all the children of men? (De Wette, Hupfeld, and Hitzig). על, of the ground of a matter and direct motive, which is better suited to the question in Psalm 89:49 than the other way of taking it: the life of all men passes on into death and Hades; why then might not God, within this brief space of time, this handbreadth, manifest Himself to His creatures as the merciful and kind, and not as the always angry God? The music strikes in here, and how can it do so otherwise than in elegiac mesto? If God's justice tarries and fails in this present world, then the Old Testament faith becomes sorely tempted and tried, because it is not able to find consolation in the life beyond. Thus it is with the faith of the poet in the present juncture of affairs, the outward appearance of which is in such perplexing contradiction to the loving-kindness sworn to David and also hitherto vouchsafed. חסדים has not the sense in this passage of the promises of favour, as in 2 Chronicles 6:42, but proofs of favour; הראשׁנים glances back at the long period of the reigns of David and of Solomon.

(Note: The Pasek between חראשׁנים and אדני is not designed merely to remove the limited predicate from the Lord, who is indeed the First and the Last, but also to secure its pronunciation to the guttural Aleph, which might be easily passed over after Mem; cf. Genesis 1:27; Genesis 21:17; Genesis 30:20; Genesis 42:21, and frequently.)

The Asaph Psalm 77 and the Tephilla Isaiah 63 contain similar complaints, just as in connection with Psalm 89:51 one is reminded of the Asaph Psalm 79:2, Psalm 79:10, and in connection with Psalm 89:52 of Psalm 79:12. The phrase נשׂא בחיקו is used in other instances of loving nurture, Numbers 11:12; Isaiah 40:11. In this passage it must have a sense akin to חרפּת עבדיך. It is impossible on syntactic grounds to regard כּל־רבּים עמּים as still dependent upon חרפּת (Ewald) or, as Hupfeld is fond of calling it, as a "post-liminiar" genitive. Can it be that the כל is perhaps a mutilation of כּלמּת, after Ezekiel 36:15, as Bttcher suggests? We do not need this conjecture. For (1) to carry any one in one's bosom, if he is an enemy, may signify: to be obliged to cherish him with the vexation proceeding from him (Jeremiah 15:15), without being able to get rid of him; (2) there is no doubt that רבּים can, after the manner of numerals, be placed before the substantive to which it belongs, Ezekiel 32:10, Proverbs 31:29; 1 Chronicles 28:5; Nehemiah 9:28; cf. the other position, e.g., Jeremiah 16:16; (3) consequently כּל־רבּים עמּים may signify the "totality of many peoples" just as well as כּל גּוים רבּים in Ezekiel 31:6. The poet complains as a member of the nation, as a citizen of the empire, that he is obliged to foster many nations in his bosom, inasmuch as the land of Israel was overwhelmed by the Egyptians and their allies, the Libyans, Troglodytes, and Ethiopians. The אשׁר which follows in Psalm 89:52 cannot now be referred back over Psalm 89:51 to חרפּת (quâ calumniâ), and yet the relative sense, not the confirmatory (because, quoniam), is at issue. We therefore refer it to עמים, and take אויביך as an apposition, as in Psalm 139:20 : who reproach Thee, (as) Thine enemies, Jahve, who reproach the footsteps (עקּבות as in Psalm 77:20 with Dag. dirimens, which gives it an emotional turn) of Thine anointed, i.e., they follow him everywhere, wheresoever he may go, and whatsoever he may do. With these significant words, עקּבות משׁיחך, the Third Book of the Psalms dies away.

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