Psalm 9:19
Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight.
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(19) Let not man prevail.—Better, let not mere man be defiant.

Psalm 9:19-20. Arise, O Lord — Stir up thyself, exert thy power: let not man prevail — Consult thine own honour and let not men, Hebrew, weak, miserable, and mortal men, prevail against the kingdom and interest of the almighty and immortal God: shall mortal man be too hard for God, too strong for his Maker? Let the heathen be judged in thy sight — Let them be evidently called to an account for all the dishonour done to thee, and the mischief done to thy people. Impenitent sinners will be punished in God’s sight, and when their day of grace is over, the bowels even of infinite mercy will not relent toward them, Revelation 14:10. Put them in fear, O Lord: that the nations may know themselves to be but men — Subdue their proud and insolent spirits, strike a terror upon them, and make them afraid of thy judgments. God knows how to make the strongest and stoutest of men to tremble, and to flee when none pursues. That the nations may know themselves to be but men — Weak, miserable, and mortal men, and therefore altogether unable to oppose the omnipotent and eternal God. He speaks thus because wicked men, when they are advanced to great power and majesty, are very prone to forget their own frailty, and to carry themselves as if they were gods: and because it is much for the glory of God, and the peace and welfare of the world, that all, even the highest and haughtiest, should know and consider themselves to be dependant, mutable, mortal, and accountable creatures.

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.Arise, O Lord - See the notes at Psalm 3:7.

Let not man prevail - Against thee and thy cause. The war waged against the psalmist he regarded as waged against God, and he calls upon him, therefore, to interpose and vindicate his own cause. The word rendered "prevail" is be strong; that is, let not man seem to be stronger than thou art, or let, him not succeed in his efforts in opposing thy cause.

Let the heathen be judged in thy sight - The nations to whom the writer had referred in the psalm, that were arrayed against him and against God. He desired that a just judgment should be passed on them, and that God would vindicate the righteous, and save them from the power of those who oppressed and wronged them.

19. Arise—(compare Ps 4:7).

let not man—(Ps 8:4).

let … be judged—and of course condemned.

19 Arise, O Lord; let not man prevail; let the heathen be judged in thy sight.

20 Put them in fear, O Lord, that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.

Psalm 9:19

Prayers are the believer's weapons of war. When the battle is too hard for us, we call in our great ally, who, as it were, lies in ambush until faith gives the signal by crying out, "Arise, O Lord." Although our cause be all but lost, it shall be soon won again if the Almighty doth but bestir himself. He will not suffer man to prevail over God, but with swift judgments will confound their gloryings. In the very sight of God the wicked will be punished, and he who is now all tenderness will have no bowels of compassion for them, since they had no tears of repentance while their day of grace endured.

Psalm 9:20

One would think that men would not grow so vain as to deny themselves to be but men, but it appears to be a lesson which only a divine schoolmaster can teach to some proud spirits. Crowns leave their wearers but men, degrees of eminent learning make their owners not more than men, valour and conquest cannot elevate beyond the dead level of "but men;" and all the wealth of Croesus, the wisdom of Solon, the power of Alexander, the eloquence of Demosthenes, if added together, would leave the possessor but a man. May we ever remember this, lest like those in the text, we should be put in fear.

Before leaving this Psalm, it will be very profitable if the student will peruse it again as the triumphal hymn of the Redeemer, as he devoutly brings the glory of his victories and lays it down at his Father's feet. Let us joy in his joy, and our joy shall be full.

No text from Poole on this verse.

Arise, O Lord,.... To the destruction of thine enemies, and the salvation of thy people; See Gill on Psalm 7:6;

let not man prevail; the man of sin, antichrist, that is, let him not always prevail; he is the little horn that was to prevail against the saints, and has prevailed, Daniel 7:21; but he shall not always prevail; this petition will be heard and answered; for though he shall cast down many thousands, he shall not be "strengthened" by it, Daniel 11:12; where the same word is used as here; the Lamb at last shall overcome him and his ten kings, his supporters, and all that shall aid and assist him, Revelation 17:14;

let the Heathen be judged in thy sight; that is, the antichristian nations that adhere to the man of sin, let them be judged and punished in the sight of God, the Judge of all the earth, whose eyes are as a flame of fire; compare with this Joel 3:12.

Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight.
19, 20. This stanza should begin with Kaph, but (if the text is sound) the similar letter Qoph is substituted for it. [Kaph is prefixed to Psalm 9:18 in Dr Scrivener’s text; but this verse belongs to the stanza of Yod.] It is a prayer for further and still more complete judgment upon the nations, that they may be taught to know their human weakness.

Arise, O Jehovah; let not mortal man wax strong:

Let the nations be Judged in thy presence.

Ordain terror for them, O Jehovah,

Let the nations know they are but mortal.

The word for ‘man’ (enôsh) denotes man in his weakness as contrasted with God (2 Chronicles 14:11; Job 4:17; Isaiah 51:7; Isaiah 51:12). ‘Strength’ is the prerogative of God (Psalm 62:11); though men and nations are apt to think that it is inherent in themselves (Psalm 52:7); and therefore the Psalmist prays that the proud antagonism of the nations may receive a salutary lesson. They are to be summoned to Jehovah’s presence and there judged.

Verse 19. - Arise, O Lord (comp. Psalm 7:6, and the comment ad loc.). Let not man prevail; or, let not weak man prevail. The word used for "man," enosh, carries with it the idea of weakness. That "weak man" should prevail over God is preposterous. Let the heathen be judged in thy sight. If judged, then, as being wicked, condemned; if condemned, then punished - defeated, ruined, brought to nought (see ver. 5) Psalm 9:19(Heb.: 9:20-21) By reason of the act of judgment already witnessed the prayer now becomes all the more confident in respect of the state of things which is still continually threatened. From י the poet takes a leap to ק which, however, seems to be a substitute for the כ which one would expect to find, since the following Psalm begins with ל. David's קוּמה (Psalm 3:8; Psalm 7:7) is taken from the lips of Moses, Numbers 10:35. "Jahve arises, comes, appears" are kindred expressions in the Old Testament, all of which point to a final personal appearing of God to take part in human history from which He has now, as it were, retired into a state of repose becoming invisible to human eyes. Hupfeld and others wrongly translate "let not man become strong." The verb עזז does not only mean to be or become strong, but also to feel strong, powerful, possessed of power, and to act accordingly, therefore: to defy, Psalm 52:9, like עז defiant, impudent (post-biblical עזּוּת shamelessness). אנושׁ, as in 2 Chronicles 14:10, is man, impotent in comparison with God, and frail in himself. The enemies of the church of God are not unfrequently designated by this name, which indicates the impotence of their pretended power (Isaiah 51:7, Isaiah 51:12). David prays that God may repress the arrogance of these defiant ones, by arising and manifesting Himself in all the greatness of His omnipotence, after His forbearance with them so long has seemed to them to be the result of impotence. He is to arise as the Judge of the world, judging the heathen, while they are compelled to appear before Him, and, as it were, defile before Him (על־פּני), He is to lay מורה on them. If "razor" be the meaning it is equivocally expressed; and if, according to Isaiah 7:20, we associate with it the idea of an ignominious rasure, or of throat-cutting, it is a figure unworthy of the passage. The signification master (lxx, Syr., Vulg., and Luther) rests upon the reading אמת, which we do not with Thenius and others prefer to the traditional reading (even Jerome translates: pone, Domine, terrorem eis); for מורה rof , which according to the Masora is instead of מורא (like מכלה Habakkuk 3:17 for מכלא), is perfectly appropriate. Hitzig objects that fear is not a thing which one lays upon any one; but מורא means not merely fear, but an object, or as Hitzig himself explains it in Malachi 2:5 a "lever," of fear. It is not meant that God is to cause them to be overcome with terror (על), nor that He is to put terror into them (בּ), but that He is to make them (ל( m in no way differing from Psalm 31:4; Psalm 140:6; Job 14:13) an object of terror, from which to their dismay, as the wish is further expressed in Psalm 9:20, they shall come to know (Hosea 9:7) that they are mortal men. As in Psalm 10:12; Psalm 49:12; Psalm 50:21; Psalm 64:6; Genesis 12:13; Job 35:14; Amos 5:12; Hosea 7:2, ידּעוּ is followed by an only half indirect speech, without כּי or אשׁר. סּלה has Dag. forte conj. according to the rule of the אתי מרחיק (concerning which vid., on Psalm 52:5), because it is erroneously regarded as an essential part of the text.
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