Psalm 90:15
Make us glad according to the days wherein you have afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.
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(15) A prayer that prosperity may follow, proportionate to the mercy that has been endured.

90:12-17 Those who would learn true wisdom, must pray for Divine instruction, must beg to be taught by the Holy Spirit; and for comfort and joy in the returns of God's favour. They pray for the mercy of God, for they pretend not to plead any merit of their own. His favour would be a full fountain of future joys. It would be a sufficient balance to former griefs. Let the grace of God in us produce the light of good works. And let Divine consolations put gladness into our hearts, and a lustre upon our countenances. The work of our hands, establish thou it; and, in order to that, establish us in it. Instead of wasting our precious, fleeting days in pursuing fancies, which leave the possessors for ever poor, let us seek the forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance in heaven. Let us pray that the work of the Holy Spirit may appear in converting our hearts, and that the beauty of holiness may be seen in our conduct.Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us - Let the one correspond with the other. Let our occasions of joy be measured by the sorrows which have come upon us. As our sufferings have been great, so let our joys and triumphs be.

And the years wherein we have seen evil - Affliction and sorrow. They have been continued through many wearisome years; so let the years of peace and joy be many also.

15. As have been our sorrows, so let our joys be great and long. Our afflictions have been sharp and long, let not our prosperity be small and short. Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us,.... The days of affliction are times of sorrow; and days of prosperity make glad and joyful; and the psalmist here seems to desire an equal number of the one as of the other; not that an exact precise number of the one with the other is intended; but that there might be a proper proportion of the one to the other; and commonly God does "set the one over against the other": there is a mixture of both in the believer's life, which is like unto a chequer of black and white, in which there is a proper proportion of both colours; and so prosperity and adversity are had in turns, "and work together for good" to them that love the Lord: and when it is said "make us glad", that is, with thy favour and presence, it suggests, that these are a sufficient recompence for all affliction and trouble; and if so here, what must the enjoyment of these be in heaven! Between this and present afflictions there is no proportion, neither with respect to the things themselves, nor the duration of them; see Romans 8:18 and "the years" wherein "we have seen evil"; afflictions are evils; they flow from the evil of sin, and to some are the evil of punishment; and even chastisements are not joyous, but grievous: this may have respect to the forty years' travel in the wilderness, in which the Israelites saw or had an experience of much affliction and trouble; and even to the four hundred years in which the seed of Abraham were afflicted in a land not their's; see Numbers 14:33. Hence the Jews (i) make the times of the Messiah to last four hundred years, answerable to those years of evil, and which they take to be the sense of the text; and so Jarchi's note on it is,

"make us glad in the days of the Messiah, according to the number of the days in which thou hast afflicted us in the captivities, and according to the number of the years in which we have seen evil.''

(i) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 99. 1.

Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.
15. Make us glad according to the days &c.] Let the joy of restoration to Thy favour be proportioned to the depth of our humiliation. Cp. Isaiah 61:7. The form of the word for ‘days’ (y’môth) occurs elsewhere only in Deuteronomy 32:7; and the word for afflicted is the same as that rendered to humble thee in Deuteronomy 8:2-3; Deuteronomy 8:16.Verse 15. - Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us. Proportion our time of joy to our time of sorrow: as the one has lasted many long years, so let the other. And the years wherein we have seen evil; or, "suffered adversity." After the transitoriness of men has now been confirmed in Psalm 90:6. out of the special experience of Israel, the fact that this particular experience has its ground in a divine decree of wrath is more definitely confirmed from the facts of this experience, which, as Psalm 90:11. complain, unfortunately have done so little to urge them on to the fear of God, which is the condition and the beginning of wisdom. In Psalm 90:9 we distinctly hear the Israel of the desert speaking. That was a generation that fell a prey to the wrath of God (דּור עברתו, Jeremiah 7:29). עברה is wrath that passes over, breaks through the bounds of subjectivity. All their days (cf. Psalm 103:15) are passed away (פּנה, to turn one's self, to turn, e.g., Deuteronomy 1:24) in such wrath, i.e., thoroughly pervaded by it. They have spent their years like a sound (כּמו־הגה), which has hardly gone forth before it has passed away, leaving no trace behind it; the noun signifies a gentle dull sound, whether a murmur (Job 37:2) or a groan (Ezekiel 2:10). With בּהם in Psalm 90:10 the sum is stated: there are comprehended therein seventy years; they include, run up to so many. Hitzig renders: the days wherein (בהם) our years consist are seventy years; but שׁנותינו side by side with ימי must be regarded as its more minute genitival definition, and the accentuation cannot be objected to. Beside the plural שׁנים the poetic plural שׁנות appears here, and it also occurs in Deuteronomy 32:7 (and nowhere else in the Pentateuch). That of which the sum is to be stated stands first of all as a casus absol. Luther's rendering: Siebenzig Jar, wens hoch kompt so sinds achtzig (seventy years, or at the furthest eighty years), as Symmachus also meant by his ἐν παραδόξῳ (in Chrysostom), is confirmed by the Talmudic הגיע לגבורות, "to attain to extreme old age" (B. Moכd katan, 28a), and rightly approved of by Hitzig and Olshausen. גבוּרת signifies in Psalm 71:16 full strength, here full measure. Seventy, or at most eighty years, were the average sum of the extreme term of life to which the generation dying out in the wilderness attained. ורהבּם the lxx renders τὸ πλεῖον αὐτῶν, but רהבּם is not equivalent to רבּם. The verb רהב signifies to behave violently, e.g., of importunate entreaty, Proverbs 6:3, of insolent treatment, Isaiah 3:5, whence רהב (here רהב), violence, impetuosity, and more especially a boastful vaunting appearance or coming forward, Job 9:13; Isaiah 30:7. The poet means to say that everything of which our life is proud (riches, outward appearance, luxury, beauty, etc.), when regarded in the right light, is after all only עמל, inasmuch as it causes us trouble and toil, and און, because without any true intrinsic merit and worth. To this second predicate is appended the confirmatory clause. חישׁ is infin. adverb. from חוּשׁ, הישׁ, Deuteronomy 32:35 : speedily, swiftly (Symmachus, the Quinta, and Jerome). The verb גּוּז signifies transire in all the Semitic dialects; and following this signification, which is applied transitively in Numbers 11:31, the Jewish expositors and Schultens correctly render: nam transit velocissime. Following upon the perfect גּז, the modus consecutivus ונּעפה maintains its retrospective signification. The strengthening of this mood by means of the intentional ah is more usual with the 1st pers. sing., e.g., Genesis 32:6, than with the 1st pers. plur., as here and in Genesis 41:11; Ew. 232, g. The poet glances back from the end of life to the course of life. And life, with all of which it had been proud, appears as an empty burden; for it passed swiftly by and we fled away, we were borne away with rapid flight upon the wings of the past.

Such experience as this ought to urge one on to the fear of God; but how rarely does this happen! and yet the fear of God is the condition (stipulation) and the beginning of wisdom. The verb ידע in Psalm 90:11, just as it in general denotes not merely notional but practically living and efficient knowledge, is here used of a knowledge which makes that which is known conduce to salvation. The meaning of וּכיראתך is determined in accordance with this. The suffix is here either gen. subj.: according to Thy fearfulness (יראה as in Ezekiel 1:18), or gen. obj.: according to the fear that is due to Thee, which in itself is at once (cf. Psalm 5:8; Exodus 20:20; Deuteronomy 2:25) more natural, and here designates the knowledge which is so rarely found, as that which is determined by the fear of God, as a truly religious knowledge. Such knowledge Moses supplicates for himself and for Israel: to number our days teach us rightly to understand. 1 Samuel 23:17, where כּן ידע signifies "he does not know it to be otherwise, he is well aware of it," shows how כּן is meant. Hitzig, contrary to the accentuation, draws it to למנות ימינו; but "to number our days" is in itself equivalent to "hourly to contemplate the fleeting character and brevity of our lifetime;" and כּן הודע prays for a true qualification for this, and one that accords with experience. The future that follows is well adapted to the call, as frequently aim and result. But הביא is not to be taken, with Ewald and Hitzig, in the signification of bringing as an offering, a meaning this verb cannot have of itself alone (why should it not have been ונקריב?). Bttcher also erroneously renders it after the analogy of Proverbs 2:10 : "that we may bring wisdom into the heart," which ought to be בּלב. הביא, deriving its meaning from agriculture, signifies "to carry off, obtain, gain, prop. to bring in," viz., into the barn, 2 Samuel 9:10, Hagg. Psa 1:6; the produce of the field, and in a general way gain or profit, is hence called תּבוּאה. A wise heart is the fruit which one reaps or garners in from such numbering of the days, the gain which one carries off from so constantly reminding one's self of the end. לבב חכמה is a poetically intensified expression for לב חכם, just as לב מרפּא in Proverbs 14:30 signifies a calm easy heart.

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