Psalm 9:18
For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.
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(18) Not alway.—In the original the negative comes emphatically at the commencement, ruling both clauses, as in Psalm 35:19.

The expectation of the poor.—The sufferer’s hope will at some time be realised: the hope of being righted. In this confidence the psalmist goes on to call on Jehovah to appear as judge.

Psalm 9:18. The needy shall not always be forgotten — Though God, for a time, may seem to forget or neglect them, and suffer their enemies to triumph over them; The expectation of the poor — Namely, of their receiving help from God, shall not perish for ever — Though they may be tempted to think it shall. The vision is for an appointed time, and at the end it shall speak. He that believeth shall not make haste.

9:11-20 Those who believe that God is greatly to be praised, not only desire to praise him better themselves, but desire that others may join with them. There is a day coming, when it will appear that he has not forgotten the cry of the humble; neither the cry of their blood, or the cry of their prayers. We are never brought so low, so near to death, but God can raise us up. If he has saved us from spiritual and eternal death, we may thence hope, that in all our distresses he will be a very present help to us. The overruling providence of God frequently so orders it, that persecutors and oppressors are brought to ruin by the projects they formed to destroy the people of God. Drunkards kill themselves; prodigals beggar themselves; the contentious bring mischief upon themselves: thus men's sins may be read in their punishment, and it becomes plain to all, that the destruction of sinners is of themselves. All wickedness came originally with the wicked one from hell; and those who continue in sin, must go to that place of torment. The true state, both of nations and of individuals, may be correctly estimated by this one rule, whether in their doings they remember or forget God. David encourages the people of God to wait for his salvation, though it should be long deferred. God will make it appear that he never did forget them: it is not possible he should. Strange that man, dust in his and about him, should yet need some sharp affliction, some severe visitation from God, to bring him to the knowledge of himself, and make him feel who and what he is.For the needy - The poor; those who are dependent and helpless.

Shall not always be forgotten - That is, by God. He will interfere and save them by destroying their enemies. He will not suffer the wicked always to persecute and oppress the righteous. In due time he will vindicate his own cause; will deliver the oppressed and down-trodden, and will consign their oppressors to deserved punishment. This is as true now, in regard to all the oppressed and their oppressors, as it was in the time of the psalmist.

The expectation of the poor - Of the afflicted and the oppressed. The word "expectation" refers to their hope; their desire; their earnest looking for deliverance. In that state men naturally look for the divine interposition, and the psalmist says that in that they will not always be disappointed.

Shall not perish for ever - The word "not" is supplied here by our translators, but not improperly. It is thus supplied in the Targum, and in the Syriac, the Vulgate and the Greek. Such forms of construction are not uncommon. Compare Psalm 1:5; Deuteronomy 33:6. "The negative is repeated from the preceding member." - Michaelis.

18. (Compare Ps 13:1-6).

the needy—literally, "poor," as deprived of anything; hence miserable.

expectation of the poor—or, "meek," "humble," made so by affliction.

The needy shall not alway be forgotten, though God for a time may seem to neglect or forget them, and suffer their enemies to triumph over them.

Shall not perish; which negative particle is fitly understood out of the former clause, as it is Psalm 1:5 44:18 Isaiah 23:4 28:27,28.

For the needy shall not always be forgotten,.... The people of God are poor and needy for the most part; they are so in things temporal, and they are poor in spirit, or in things spiritual, of which they are sensible; their needs are many, and frequently return; but God has provided a throne of grace for them to come to for help in time of need, and he will supply all their wants out of the fulness of grace in Christ; nor is he unmindful of them, and of his covenant with them; strictly speaking, they are never forgotten by him, being engraven on his hands, and set as a seal on his heart; but they sometimes seem to be so both to themselves and others, Psalm 42:3; and they may continue so long; God may seem for a long time to take no notice of them, but suffer them to lie under affliction and persecution; the holy city is trodden under foot forty two months, or one thousand two hundred and sixty days, that is, so many years; so long the witnesses prophesy in sackcloth, so long the church is in the wilderness, and so long will be the reign of antichrist, Revelation 11:2; but as great Babylon will come up in remembrance before God, and he will remember her sins, and render her double; the set time to favour his poor and needy will come, and he will arise and have mercy on them, and bring them into a glorious and comfortable state and condition;

the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever; the negative particle, though not in the original text, is rightly supplied from the preceding clause, as it is by the Targum, Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Kimchi, and as the sense requires; and the expectation of Christ's poor ones is not only a supply of grace here and eternal happiness hereafter; but they expect a glorious state of the church on earth, and that Christ will descend in person from heaven, and his tabernacle will be among men; and that they shall be kings and priests, and possess the kingdom, and reign with Christ a thousand years; and though these things may seem to be deferred, and their expectation put off to a length of time, yet it shall not perish for ever; there will be a performance of the things promised and expected.

For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation {i} of the poor shall not perish for ever.

(i) God does not promise to help us before we have felt the cross.

18. For the needy shall not perpetually be forgotten;

Nor the hope of the afflicted be disappointed for ever.

Man forgets God; but God does not forget man.

expectation] The patient hope which waits upon God in faith (LXX ὑπομονή: Vulg. patientia). Comp. the frequent use of the cognate verb generally rendered wait: Psalm 25:3; Psalm 25:5; Psalm 25:21, Psalm 27:14, Psalm 37:9; Psalm 37:34, Psalm 40:1, Psalm 130:5; Isaiah 25:9; Isaiah 26:8 : and elsewhere.

the poor] Here the traditional reading is ‘aniyyîm, ‘afflicted,’ though the text has ‘anâvîm, ‘meek.’ See note on Psalm 9:12.

Verse 18. - For the needy shall not alway be forgotten. The peer and needy, the oppressed and down-trodden (vers. 9, 12), seem for a time to be forgotten of God; but even this seeming oblivion comes to an end when judgment fails on the oppressors (ver. 17). The expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever. "The expectation of the poor" is deliverance. It shall not "perish," or be disappointed, "for ever," i.e. always. There shall be a time when their expectation shall have its accomplishment. Psalm 9:18(Heb.: 9:18-19) Just as in Psalm 9:8. the prospect of a final universal judgment was opened up by Jahve's act of judgment experienced in the present, so here the grateful retrospect of what has just happened passes over into a confident contemplation of the future, which is thereby guaranteed. The lxx translates ישׁוּבוּ by αποστραφήτωσαν, Jer. convertantur, a meaning which it may have (cf. e.g., 2 Chronicles 18:25); but why should it not be ἀναστραφήτωσαν, or rather: ἀναστραφήσονται, since Psalm 9:19 shows that Psalm 9:18 is not a wish but a prospect of that which is sure to come to pass? To be resolved into dust again, to sink away into nothing (redactio in pulverem, in nihilum) is man's return to his original condition, - man who was formed from the dust, who was called into being out of nothing. To die is to return to the dust, Psalm 104:29, cf. Genesis 3:19, and here it is called the return to Sheτl, as in Job 30:23 to death, and in Psalm 90:3 to atoms, inasmuch as the state of shadowy existence in Hades, the condition of worn out life, the state of decay is to a certain extent the renewal (Repristination) of that which man was before he came into being. As to outward form לשׁאולה may be compared with לישׁעתה in Psalm 80:3; the ל in both instances is that of the direction or aim, and might very well come before שׁאולה, because this form of the word may signify both ἐν ᾅδου and εἰς ᾅδου (cf. מבּבלה Jeremiah 27:16). R. Abba ben Zabda, in Genesis Rabba cap. 50, explains the double sign of the direction as giving intensity to it: in imum ambitum orci. The heathen receive the epithet of שׁכחי אלהים (which is more neuter than שׁכחי, Psalm 50:22); for God has not left them without a witness of Himself, that they could not know of Him, their alienation from God is a forgetfulness of Him, the guilt of which they have incurred themselves, and from which they are to turn to God (Isaiah 19:22). But because they do not do this, and even rise up in hostility against the nation and the God of the revelation that unfolds the plan of redemption, they will be obliged to return to the earth, and in fact to Hades, in order that the persecuted church may obtain its longed for peace and its promised dominion. Jahve will at last acknowledge this ecclesia pressa; and although its hope seems like to perish, inasmuch as it remains again and again unfulfilled, nevertheless it will not always continue thus. The strongly accented לא rules both members of Psalm 9:19, as in Psalm 35:19; Psalm 38:2, and also frequently elsewhere (Ewald 351, a). אביון, from אבה to wish, is one eager to obtain anything equals a needy person. The Arabic ‛bâ, which means the very opposite, and according to which it would mean "one who restrains himself," viz., because he is obliged to, must be left out of consideration.
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