Psalm 40:14
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether who seek to snatch away my life; let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt!

King James Bible
Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.

American Standard Version
Let them be put to shame and confounded together That seek after my soul to destroy it: Let them be turned backward and brought to dishonor That delight in my hurt.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Let them be confounded and ashamed together, that seek after my soul to take it away. Let them be turned backward and be ashamed that desire evils to me.

English Revised Version
Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it: let them be turned backward and brought to dishonour that delight in my hurt.

Webster's Bible Translation
Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.

Psalm 40:14 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The connection of the thoughts is clear: great and manifold are the proofs of Thy loving-kindness, how am I to render thanks to Thee for them? To this question he first of all gives a negative answer: God delights not in outward sacrifices. The sacrifices are named in a twofold way: (a) according to the material of which they consist, viz., זבח, the animal sacrifice, and מנחה, the meal or meat offering (including the נסך, the wine or drink offering, which is the inalienable accessory of the accompanying mincha); (b) according to their purpose, in accordance with which they bring about either the turning towards one of the good pleasure of God, as more especially in the case of the עולה, or, as more especially in the case of the הטּאת (in this passage חטאה), the turning away of the divine displeasure. The fact of the זבח and עולה standing first, has, moreover, its special reason in the fact that זבח specially designates the shelamı̂m offerings, and to the province of these latter belongs the thank-offering proper, viz., the tôda-shelamı̂m offering; and that עולה as the sacrifice of adoration (προσευχή), which is also always a general thanksgiving (εὐχαριστία), is most natural, side by side with the shalemim, to him who gives thanks. When it is said of God, that He does not delight in and desire such non-personal sacrifices, there is as little intention as in Jeremiah 7:22 (cf. Amos 5:21.) of saying that the sacrificial Tra is not of divine origin, but that the true, essential will of God is not directed to such sacrifices.

Between these synonymous utterances in Psalm 40:7 and Psalm 40:7 stands the clause אזנים כּרית לּי. In connection with this position it is natural, with Rosenmller, Gesenius, De Wette, and Stier, to explain it "ears hast Thou pierced for me" equals this hast Thou engraven upon my mind as a revelation, this disclosure hast Thou imparted to me. But, although כּרה, to dig, is even admissible in the sense of digging through, piercing (vid., on Psalm 22:17), there are two considerations against this interpretation, viz.: (1) that then one would rather look for אזן instead of אזנים after the analogy of the phrases גּלה אזן, חעיר אזן, and פּתח אזן, since the inner sense, in which the external organs of sense, with their functions, have their basis of unity, is commonly denoted by the use of the singular; (2) that according to the syntax, חפצתּ, כּרית, and שׁאלתּ are all placed on the same level. Thus, therefore, it is with this very אזנים כרית לי that the answer is intended, in its positive form, to begin; and the primary passage, 1 Samuel 15:22, favours this view: "Hath Jahve delight in whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices as in one's obeying the voice of Jahve? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, to attend better than the fat of rams!" The assertion of David is the echo of this assertion of Samuel, by which the sentence of death was pronounced upon the kingship of Saul, and consequently the way of that which is well-pleasing to God was traced out for the future kingship of David. God - says David - desires not outward sacrifices, but obedience; ears hath He digged for me, i.e., formed the sense of hearing, bestowed the faculty of hearing, and given therewith the instruction to obey.

(Note: There is a similar expression in the Tamul Kural, Graul's translation, S. 63, No. 418: "An ear, that was not hollowed out by hearing, has, even if hearing, the manner of not hearing." The "hollowing out" meaning in this passage an opening of the inward sense of hearing by instruction.)

The idea is not that God has given him ears in order to hear that disclosure concerning the true will of God (Hupfeld), but, in general, to hear the word of God, and to obey that which is heard. God desires not sacrifices but hearing ears, and consequently the submission of the person himself in willing obedience. To interpret it "Thou hast appropriated me to Thyself לעבד עולם," after Exodus 21:6; Deuteronomy 15:17, would not be out of harmony with the context; but it is at once shut out by the fact that the word is not אזן, but אזנים. Concerning the generalizing rendering of the lxx, σῶμα δὲ κατηρτίσω μου, following which Apollinaris renders it αὐτὰρ ἐμοί Βροτέης τεκτήναο σάρκα γενέθλης, and the Italic (which is also retained in the Psalterium Romanum), corpus autem perfecisti mihi; vide on Hebrews 10:5, Commentary, S. 460f. transl. vol. ii. p. 153.

The אז אמרתּי, which follows, now introduces the expression of the obedience, with which he placed himself at the service of God, when he became conscious of what God's special will concerning him was. With reference to the fact that obedience and not sacrifice has become known to him as the will and requirement of God, he has said: "Lo, I come," etc. By the words "Lo, I come," the servant places himself at the call of his master, Numbers 22:38; 2 Samuel 19:21. It is not likely that the words בּמגלּת ספר כּתוּב עלי then form a parenthesis, since Psalm 40:9 is not a continuation of that "Lo, I come," but a new sentence. We take the Beth, as in Psalm 66:13, as the Beth of the accompaniment; the roll of the book is the Tra, and more especially Deuteronomy, written upon skins and rolled up together, which according to the law touching the king (Deuteronomy 17:14-20) was to be the vade-mecum of the king of Israel. And עלי cannot, as synonymous with the following בּמעי, signify as much as "written upon my heart," as De Wette and Thenius render it-a meaning which, as Maurer has already correctly replied, עלי obtains elsewhere by means of a conception that is altogether inadmissible in this instance. On the contrary, this preposition here, as in 2 Kings 22:13, denotes the object of the contents; for כּתב על signifies to write anything concerning any one, so that he is the subject one has specially in view (e.g., of the judicial decision recorded in writing, Job 13:26). Because Jahve before all else requires obedience to His will, David comes with the document of this will, the Tra, which prescribes to him, as a man, and more especially as the king, the right course of conduct. Thus presenting himself to the God of revelation, he can say in Psalm 40:9, that willing obedience to God's Law is his delight, as he then knows that the written Law is written even in his heart, or, as the still stronger expression used here is, in his bowels. The principal form of מעי, does not occur in the Old Testament; it was מעים (from מע, מעה, or even מעי), according to current Jewish pronunciation מעים (which Kimchi explains dual); and the word properly means (vid., on Isaiah 48:19) the soft parts of the body, which even elsewhere, like רחמים, which is synonymous according to its original meaning, appear pre-eminently as the seat of sympathy, but also of fear and of pain. This is the only passage in which it occurs as the locality of a mental acquisition, but also with the associated notion of loving acceptance and cherishing protection (cf. the Syriac phrase סם בגו מעיא, som begau meajo, to shut up in the heart equals to love). That the Tra is to be written upon the tables of the heart is even indicated by the Deuteronomion, Deuteronomy 6:6, cf. Proverbs 3:3; Proverbs 7:3. This reception of the Tra into the inward parts among the people hitherto estranged from God is, according to Jeremiah 31:33, the characteristic of the new covenant. But even in the Old Testament there is among the masses of Israel "a people with My law in their heart" (Isaiah 51:7), and even in the Old Testament, "he who hath the law of his God in his heart" is called righteous (Psalm 37:31). As such an one who has the Tra within him, not merely beside him, David presents himself on the way to the throne of God.

Psalm 40:14 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Let them be ashamed. The verbs in the preceding verse, in which the psalmist simply prays for deliverance, are in the imperative; but here, and in the following verses, they are in the future tense, and naturally express the language of lively faith and hope, rather than that of wishing the destruction foreseen and predicted.

Psalm 31:17,18 Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called on you: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave...

Psalm 35:4,26 Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt...

Psalm 70:2,3 Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt...

Psalm 71:13 Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonor that seek my hurt.

Isaiah 41:11 Behold, all they that were incensed against you shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing...

Isaiah 45:24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come...

that

Matthew 21:38-41 But when the farmers saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him...

driven

Psalm 9:3 When my enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at your presence.

John 18:6 As soon then as he had said to them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.

Acts 9:4-6 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why persecute you me...

Acts 12:23,24 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost...

Cross References
Psalm 35:4
Let them be put to shame and dishonor who seek after my life! Let them be turned back and disappointed who devise evil against me!

Psalm 35:26
Let them be put to shame and disappointed altogether who rejoice at my calamity! Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves against me!

Psalm 54:3
For strangers have risen against me; ruthless men seek my life; they do not set God before themselves. Selah

Psalm 63:9
But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth;

Psalm 70:2
Let them be put to shame and confusion who seek my life! Let them be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt!

Psalm 71:13
May my accusers be put to shame and consumed; with scorn and disgrace may they be covered who seek my hurt.

Psalm 119:95
The wicked lie in wait to destroy me, but I consider your testimonies.

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