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Bible Commentaries

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Psalms 30

 

 

Introduction

Psalms 30

This Psalm, which consists in all of twelve verses, may be naturally divided into two parts—an introduction of five, and a main body of seven verses. In the introduction, the Psalmist takes a rapid survey of the subject of his poem: the Lord has graciously delivered him out of great danger, danger which threatened him with entire destruction, Psalms 30:1-3; then, intimating that he sings for the Church, he exhorts all the pious to praise the glory of God, His forgiving mercy, which had been manifested to him on this occasion, Psalms 30:4 and Psalms 30:5. In the detail, he first gives an account of his misfortune: prosperity had produced in him pride and false confidence; out of this sinful state he had been roused by a judgment which God had permitted to befall him, Psalms 30:6-7. He next tells us what the prayer was which he had offered up to God from the depths of that misery into which he had been sunk by Him in punishment of his pride, Psalms 30:8-10; narrates the deliverance which, in answer to this prayer, had been vouchsafed to him, Psalms 30:11; and concludes with a promise of eternal gratitude for the deliverance thus wrought out, Psalms 30:12.

The occasion for which the Psalm was written is announced in the title: "A Psalm, a song of the dedication of the house of David." We cannot, with De Wette (Introd. p. 32), consider these words as designative of the tune,—as if the Psalm were to be sung to a tune which was generally sung at the dedication of houses. The words do not admit this interpretation; a song of the dedication of a house cannot possibly be a song like the song of the dedication of a house; the contents possess nothing at all similar to what would be the contents of a poem composed for such an occasion. Every attempt has failed to prove that the titles ever indicate the tune to which the Psalms are to be sung; and this idea has simply originated in the difficulty felt in endeavouring to give a satisfactory explanation. In like manner, we must reject the explanation given by Calvin, Grotius, and others, that the house is the palace of David; and that the Psalm was composed when David consecrated his house a second time by a religious service, after it had been polluted by Absalom. The term חנכה is never used except as applicable to the consecration of a new building, and the contents of the Psalm do not at all accord with such an occasion. The house clearly is the house of God, the temple. And the title indicates that the Psalm was sung at the dedication by David of the site of the future temple, as recorded in 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 25. The object of the Psalm is very correctly given by Venema: "That the remembrance might be perpetuated to all posterity of the occasion on which the site of the temple to be erected by Solomon was selected, and the temple itself consecrated by a sign from heaven."

Against this view nothing of any consequence can be urged, except that the dedication of the future site of the temple, by the erection of an altar, can scarcely be called the dedication of a house. But really one does not see why it may not. That a house of God may be where there are no splendid buildings, but only a simple altar, is evident from Genesis 28:22; and that the house of the Lord was really here present, is unquestionably evident from 1 Chronicles 21:26 : "And David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, and called upon the Lord; and He answered him from heaven by fire, upon the altar of burnt-offering." The place was, in the fullest sense of the word, even in David's time, a sanctuary, yea, the sanctuary, and therefore the house of God; and in reality there was nothing added to its dignity by Solomon. The Lord had declared it to be His house; He had granted David the forgiveness of his sin on the condition of his erecting the altar; He had, at its dedication, consecrated it by fire from heaven. David recognised in this altar the sanctuary of the Lord; he sacrificed there not only once, but he used it ever afterwards as a place of sacrifice. Besides all this, we have one passage in which it is expressly said, that David gave to that place the name of the house of the Lord,—an appellation which he would regard as all the more appropriate from the circumstance, that he foresaw that the form would very soon be superadded to the reality, in that edifice which he knew would be completed by his son, and in the preparation for which he henceforth himself engaged with so much alacrity: compare 1 Chronicles 22:2, etc. The passage is 1 Chronicles 22:1 : "And David said, This is the house of the Lord, and this is the altar of the burnt-offering for Israel."

On the other hand, and in favour of this interpretation, we have the contents of the Psalm, in exact agreement with 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21. First, there is an agreement in reference to David's sin. Here, as there, it was no outward sin on the part of David that brought down the Divine judgment: it was a sin which lay concealed within the recesses of the heart. His sin here, as there, was pride, which led him to consider what had been given him by the Lord as acquired by his own might, and as a lasting possession. Here David expressly tells us this, in the (Psalms 30:7) 7th verse, where his sin is represented as consisting in his saying, in his prosperity, "I shall never be moved." Buddaeus, who remarks on the numbering of the people, "The thing itself shows that David, in the whole matter, was actuated by pride and vainglory," takes a correct view of the matter, in opposition to that of J. D. Michaelis, who cannot understand what a sin is, which lies wholly within the heart; and by others who follow; him, such as Keil, on Chronicles, p. 351 , who maintains that the numbering of the people was for military purposes, was like an enrolment for service, and proceeded from that love of conquest which David had acquired in his old age, in consequence of having brought so many wars to a successful termination. It is expressly said in 2 Samuel 24:2, that David's design was "to take the number of the people;" and the remark of Joab in 2 Samuel 24:3 renders it evident that David, in so doing, was seeking to gratify his pride and vain-glory much in the same way that an avaricious man gratifies his avarice by counting his gold. It is clearly evident from Exodus 30:12, that the numbering of the people, which is in itself an action entirely innocent, and in some circumstances absolutely necessary, may very easily become a sin through pride. The punishment also shows that the essence of the sin was pride: quia David multitudine populi superbire voluit, ideo Deus eum diminutione populi punivit. Thenius, in his remarks on the passage, has shown clearly, that it is only by a false interpretation that 2 Samuel 24:5 can be made to favour the view taken by J. D. Michaelis.

Further, the calamity spoken of is one which came upon the Psalmist after a long season of peace and prosperity, Psalms 30:6-7. This was the case at the numbering of the people. The pride, which prompted David to that act, had been induced by prosperity.

The calamity referred to in the Psalm was very severe, but it was of short duration: the pain was quickly and suddenly changed into joy; compare Psalms 30:2; Psalms 30:11, and especially Psalms 30:5 : "Weeping lasts for an evening, and in the morning there is joy." Such was exactly the case at the numbering of the people. The calamity—which so rent the heart of David, that, in a state in which it might be said that he was rather dead than alive, he besought the Lord to make an end of it, at the expense of his own life—came suddenly to a close, after it had lasted less than one entire day. The calamity, according to 2 Samuel 24:15, "lasted from morning till the time of meeting." That by this, we are to understand, "the evening religious assembly," i.e. "till the time of the evening sacrifice" (1 Kings 18:36, comp. with 1 Kings 18:29; 2 Kings 16:15), is clear from the context. Of the two religious assemblies of the day, the first is excluded by the expression, "from the morning." The interpretation given by many, "till the time appointed," is inadmissible, inasmuch as with the morning only a part of the same day can be contrasted, and, from the succeeding context, it is evident that the judgment did not last till the time appointed by God, but was shortened in consequence of David's repentance.

The punishment, according to Psalms 30:7 of our Psalm, was one which broke the power of the kingdom. This was the case at the numbering of the people. The enemy, the usual instrument of Divine judgments in the Psalms, especially in those that were composed by David, comes into notice, here only as rejoicing over the calamity of the Psalmist—an expression which indicates simply his presence; and this is in accordance with 2 Samuel 24:13, where, among the three evils submitted to David's choice, we find this, "that he was to flee three months before his enemies while they pursued him."

Here, as there, the deliverance followed in immediate connection with the prayer of David.

Psalms 30:11, "Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness," may be compared with 1 Chronicles 21:16, "Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces." Lastly, Psalms 30:4 th indicates, in accordance with our view of the title, that the Psalm was prepared for the purpose of being used in public worship.

Our Psalm affords a very remarkable proof of the correctness and originality of the Titles. The circumstances above adverted to, are so very far from being obvious, that the title could not possibly have been framed from a later combination thereof.

The idea, arbitrarily entertained by Hitzig, that the Psalm was composed by Jeremiah, is refuted by the obvious allusions to it in the song of Hezekiah, as recorded in the (Isaiah 38) 38th Chapter of Isaiah: compare Isaiah 38:18 and Isaiah 38:19 of that chapter, with the (Psalms 30:9) 9th verse of this Psalm.

The forgiving mercy of God towards His own people is expressly pointed out in Psalms 30:5 as the kernel of the Psalm. It is very remarkable that, previous to the laying of the material foundation of the temple, this should have been pointed out by God Himself, as the spiritual basis on which the temple was to rest. David comes forth in this Psalm, as the interpreter of this announcement,—an announcement implied in the procedure adopted on the occasion by God.


Verse 1

Ver. 1. I wilt exalt Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast exalted me, and hast not permitted my foes to rejoice over me. Muis: "I will praise thee, is followed in the second clause by the ground, why he desires to praise God; and he expands this in the two following verses, for the purpose of shoving how great is his obligation to praise Him." The three verses are bound together as one whole; by the thrice-repeated address to God. The first clause, "I will exalt Thee," stands in manifest reference to the second, "because Thou hast exalted me." Calvin: "Because he was, as it were, exalted from the grave to the vital air, he promises that he will exalt the name, of God. For as God exalts on high by His hand when we are sunk in the deep, so it is, on the other hand, our duty to exalt His praise with heart and lips." The term דלה, properly to draw water, is explained by the circumstance, that the calamity is represented under the figure of a deep well, into which the Psalmist had sunk. That we are not to dream of a literal rendering, is manifest from the (Psalms 30:3) 3d verse, "Thou hast brought up my soul from the grave;" and from Psalms 30:2, where "Thou hast drawn me up" corresponds to "Thou hast healed me." שמה with ל designates, according to the connection, malicious pleasure. It signifies, properly, to rejoice at any one, so that the joy pertains to him, or bears reference to him. David's enemies, like those of every pious king, were the numerous enemies of the Lord,—the ungodly: compare 2 Samuel 12:14, "Because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die." As these had hitherto contemplated with envy the previous manifestations of the grace of God towards him, so now they derived a peculiar gratification from the calamity with which he had been visited. They hoped that he would now be utterly destroyed—a consummation which they had in vain looked for in the days of Absalom. This hope was frustrated, when they saw that God had forgiven the infirmity of His repentant servant, and that He did not destroy him along with the ungodly.


Verse 2

Ver. 2. O Lord, my God, I cried to Thee, and Thou didst heal me. Every severe suffering appears under the figure of a sickness, and the Lord, who remove it, under the figure of a physician. Compare Isaiah 6:10; 2 Chronicles 36:16. "To heal," here, is explained by the "helping" of Psalms 30:10, and the "gladdening" of Psalms 30:11. To conclude from the expression, "Thou didst heal me," that David had been literally ill of a bodily disease, would be as absurd as to conclude from the expression, "Thou hast drawn me out," of the 1st verse, that he had fallen into a well.


Verse 3

Ver. 3. O Lord, Thou hast brought up my soul from hell; Thou hast brought me alive from among those who go down to the pit. David had been brought near death, through grief, on account of the sufferings in which his criminal conduct had involved his people: compare on Psalms 6:6-7. He was, as it were, dead, though still literally alive: compare 2 Corinthians 10. Calvin: "He thought that he could not otherwise adequately describe the greatness of the favour of God, than by comparing the darkness of that time to that of the grave and the pit." In reference to יוֹרְדֵי בוֹר, compare on Psalms 28:1. "From those," is "taking me out of the number of those." The marginal reading מִיָּרְדִי, "from my going down," that is, "so that I may not go down," is to be decidedly rejected. For the infinitive of ירד, is always רדת (compare Psalms 30:9), and the Psalmist represents himself in the first clause as one who had already sunk to Sheol. The Masorites made the change because they could not understand how the Psalmist reckoned himself among the dead.

After this short glance at the circumstances, there follows in the (Psalms 30:4) 4th and (Psalms 30:5) 5th verses the announcement of the kernel of the doctrine which they contain, which extends far beyond the range of individual and personal experience, and is of importance to the whole community of believers. These are exhorted to concur in the praise of the Psalmist for the deliverance vouchsafed to him, because it gloriously illustrates the nature of God.


Verse 4

Ver. 4. Sing to the Lord, ye saints of His, and praise His holy memorial. The memorial of the Lord is what presents itself to the mind when we think of Him; therefore, everything by which He makes known His nature,

His historically manifested properties, His character as exhibited in His acts. "Were He the hidden God, He would have no name, no Memorial. The fundamental passage is Exodus 3:15 : "This (viz. Jehovah, the God of your fathers) is My name for ever, and My memorial unto all generations,"—that is, I shall always from this time make Myself known as possessed of this property, so that it shall not be possible for men to name Me except by it, or to think of Me except according to it. Compare Isaiah 26:8; Psalms 135:13, Psalms 97:12; Hosea 12:6. The addition קדשו presents us with the contents of the memorial. The holiness of God is, in this passage also, His infinite elevation above all created being: compare on Psalms 22:3. This the Lord manifests in the most glorious manner, in the "being compassionate, gracious, andmerciful." Compare Hosea 11:9, where, in like manner, the forbearance and the grace of God are represented as the outgoing of His holiness. What is mentioned here in two words as the holy memorial of God; is set before us in a more expanded form in the (Psalms 30:5) 5th verse. The historical character of God, as the Holy One, rich in forgiveness, and infinitely elevated above all human passion, had been manifested in the experience of David. This furnished an opportunity for calling upon the whole Church to praise Him in this aspect. What the Lord does in the first instance to an individual, pertains for ever to the whole Church; and the people of God ought joyfully to avail themselves of every such opportunity to grow in the knowledge and love of God.


Verse 5

Ver. 5. For His anger brings on a moment, His favour life; weeping in the evening remaineth over the night, and in the morning joy is there. This verse gives the basis of the exhortation to praise the Lord, and especially His holiness. That באפו is not to be translated, "during His anger," but, "through His anger," is obvious from the opposite term, "through His favour:" compare the ברצונך in Psalms 30:7. The literal rendering is: "Because a moment (is) through His anger, life through His favour:" the import is: "Because through His anger there comes only one sorrowful moment, and then there comes again life through His favour." The "moment" is defined by the connection and the parallelism to be a sorrowful one. The life is to be explained neither as bare life, nor simpliciter as deliverance. It includes both,—life in the proper sense, and deliverance: compare on Psalms 17:11. It is explained, on the one hand, by Psalms 30:3, where the Psalmist says, that the Lord had brought him back to life from the death, into which he had as good as fallen, and by the "my blood," in Psalms 30:9 th; and on the other hand, by Psalms 30:11, and by the parallel term " joy." God delivers His people from apparent death, and bestows upon them deliverance. Mere life could not be called life; it would only be death in disguise.

From attempting to bring out the most exact parallelism possible, and from not at the same time observing that the רגע is defined by the connection to be a moment of sorrow, denoting suitably the opposite of חיים, critics have been led into two false expositions. Several, like the Septuagint and Hitzig force out of רגע a false sense: "sudden death lies in His anger." Most, however, display their ingenuity on חיים. It is made to denote the whole of life: "His anger lasts only one moment; His favour, on the other hand, diffuses happiness among His people throughout their whole lifetime." But then, חיים never occurs as equivalent to "all the days of life;" it is rather used throughout the Psalms in opposition to death, in the full sense of that term: compare, for example, Psalms 16:11, Psalms 34:12, Psalms 36:9. Even in the second clause, there is nothing said of the long continuance of the deliverance, of which the Psalmist could as yet know nothing, but only of the short duration of the suffering and of the sudden transition to joy. The same observation may be applied to Psalms 30:2 and Psalms 30:11.

In the second half of the verse, WEEPING is personified, and represented by the figure of a wanderer, who leaves in the morning the lodging into which he had entered the preceding evening. After him another guest arrives, viz. JOY. ילין can refer only to the first clause: in the second, the substantive verb must be supplied.

The contents of the verse are applicable to those only who are exhorted in the (Psalms 30:4) 4th verse to praise the glory of God therein represented, which forms the ground of their joyful hope and of their patience in affliction, viz. the pious. The Divine judgments are frequently annihilating in their character to the ungodly: in their case, joy never follows weeping.

There follows after the introduction a more full and distinct description, on the one hand, of the distress which David by his own sin had brought upon himself; and, on the other, of the grace of God which had wrought out his deliverance.


Verse 6

Ver. 6. And I said in my security, I shall never be moved. Calvin: "An effeminate indolence had stolen over his spirit, so that he was disinclined to prayer, and had no sense of his dependence upon Divine grace, but trusted too much to frail transitory prosperity." The "speaking" here, is the speaking of the heart. There is no necessity arising from this passage for supposing that there is another form of the noun שלו, instead of the usual one, שלוה: compare on the dropping of the feminine termination before the suffixes, Hitzig on Hosea 13:2. The phrase itself, "in my security," may be understood either as equivalent to "when I was prosperous" (Luther), or as indicating that carnal security of the soul which is also caused by worldly prosperity, as in Proverbs 1:32, "The prosperity of fools shall destroy them," and the adj. in Ezekiel 23:42. In favour of this last interpretation it may be urged, that the words, except when considered in this view, are not sufficiently explicit. It is only from the spirit in which they are spoken that they have a sinful character. Considered in themselves, they might be taken as an expression of living faith.

The deepest insight into the dangers of prosperity, and the necessity which thence arises for affliction, had previously been exhibited in the law: compare, for example, Deuteronomy 32:15, "But Jeshurun waxed fat and kicked thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation:" but especially Deuteronomy 8:11-18, where almost every word agrees exactly with the case before us: "Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and thine heart be lifted up, and thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth; but thou shalt remember the Lord thy God, for He it is that giveth thee power to get wealth." Besides Israel (compare Hosea 13:16, "According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten Me") and David, we have in the Old Testament a remarkable example of the dangers of prosperity in the case of Hezekiah, who stood so nobly when in adversity. These dangers are not only incident to worldly prosperity, but are also to be dreaded in a season of spiritual enjoyment. J. Arnd says: "Behold! we have here a very affecting warning in the example of beloved David, which should teach us to fear God during our days of prosperity, and never to be confident, or to put our dependence on earthly things. How did the prophets preach against the mighty kings and nations in their prophecies against Babylon and others! All those mighty nations, cities, and kings who depended on their own might and riches, have been broken and laid waste, and levelled with the ground; while, on the other hand, all who acted humbly, feared God, and cherished a sense of dependence on His grace, have been maintained, and shall continue to exist for ever. The sentence also is to be understood in a spiritual sense: many a one is so strong in faith, so spiritually minded, so joyful, so full of confidence, that he bids defiance to the devil and the world, and says, with David, ‘I will not fear though hundreds of thousands were encamped against me.' But when our beloved God tries us a little, when He withdraws from us His grace, O then all is over with us, and we are ready to sink into hell, and to give up all for lost. This God does, that we may become acquainted with our own weakness, and may know that we are entirely dependent on Divine grace." The Berleb. Bib.: "A change is necessary, in order that the soul may be brought to know that its firmness is entirely dependent on the strength which God has imparted. If its beautiful day had no evening, if its sun were never darkened, the soul would infallibly ascribe all to its own power and care. But as soon as God withdraws His sensible co-operation, evening and darkness destroy its beautiful day: and it then knows that everything comes from this source and sun, and that everything proceeds from the will of God, and through the working of His grace, without any merit on our own part at all."


Verse 7

Ver. 7. O Lord, through Thy mercy Thou hadst imparted strength to my mountain: Thou didst hide Thy face, and I was confounded. David complains of his folly, in that it was necessary for him to learn by misfortune that his prosperity was nothing else than a gift of Divine grace, the continuance of which did not depend on any power in its possessor, but on its heavenly Author. The verse may be thus paraphrased: "I have learned by painful experience that the power of my kingdom had its root in Thy favour; for, when Thou didst withdraw Thy grace, I was in a miserable condition, and felt myself to be irretrievably lost." It is of importance to compare the history here. How speedily were all the foolish ideas, which led David to number the people, dissipated, when the Divine judgments broke in upon him! העמיד, with the accusative of the thing and the dative of the person, is "to appoint anything to any one:" compare 2 Chronicles 33:8, "The land which I have appointed for your fathers;"—in the parallel passage, 2 Kings 21:8, it is נתן "gave." The "mountain" is in general a striking emblem of dominion. But there was in the case before us a particular reason why the Psalmist selected this figure. A mountain was the centre, and therefore the natural symbol, of David's kingdom: compare 2 Samuel 5:9, "And David dwelt in the fort, and called it the City of David." On the top of the high and steep eminence, in the ἄ νω πό λις, the royal city was situated (Nehemiah 3:25), which was termed the King's upper house. Its situation must have rendered it a place of great security. This is evident from the contemptuous language used by the Jebusites when David wasendeavouring to obtain possession of it. They insinuated that the blind and the lame were sufficient to defend it. Micah 4:8 is exactly parallel to our passage. The prophet employs the hill of the daughter of Zion, and specially the tower of the city built upon it, as an emblem of the dominion of the seed of David: compare Christol. P. III. p. 273. Those passages are analogous, in which the hill of Sion appears as the symbol of the kingdom of God, on account of the sanctuary erected upon it: Isaiah 2:3; Psalms 68:17, etc. Hence the expression, "Thou hast imparted strength to my mountain," is, "Thou hast imparted strength to my kingdom:" compare 2 Samuel 5:12, "And David perceived that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that He had exalted his kingdom." Those expositions are to be rejected in which the mountain is considered as symbolical either of security, of dignity and greatness. Neither security nor dignity can have strength imparted to them. According to our exposition, the passage stands in remarkable agreement with the history. The Divine judgment, which followed the numbering of the people, destroyed to a great extent the strength of the kingdom.

There follows now (Psalms 30:8-10) the prayer which David, after he had been brought to a right state of mind, offered up to God as the fruit of the Divine chastisement. Calvin: "David, who had hitherto been sound asleep, is suddenly alarmed, and begins to cry to God. For as iron, when it has become rusty through long rest, cannot again be made use of till it has passed anew through the fire, and been struck again with the hammer, so, when carnal confidence has obtained the mastery, it is impossible for any man to address himself in right earnest to prayer, until he has been struck by the cross, and made fit for the work."


Verse 8

Ver. 8. To Thee, O Lord, I cried; and I supplicated the Lord for His grace. Several expositors consider this verse as expressive of future time, and consequently read it with marks of quotation, as if it formed part of the prayer. This is the view taken by Luther: "I will call upon Thee, O Lord; I will supplicate the Lord." But in opposition to this, it may be urged, that, in the second clause, God is not addressed, but is spoken of. Hence it is better to interpret the future, as arising from the living realization of the events which should take place in it.


Verse 9

Ver. 9. "What profit is there to Thee in my blood, that I should go down to the grave? Will dust praise Thee? will it make known Thy truth?" The two first questions (literally, "What gain is there in my blood? What gain hast Thou if Thou spill my blood, if Thou suffer me to die; or in my going down to the grave?") are answered in the two verses which follow. God would have very little profit. He would be deprived of the praise of the Psalmist, who, in the midst of all his weakness, had continued to be His servant, and whose praise consequently had been pleasant to Him: compare the parallel passage, Psalms 6:5. אמת is neither "grace," nor "faithfulness," nor "friendship," but, as always, "truth." Prominence is here given to that attribute of God which the Psalmist will praise, if God does not give him over to death: compare the song of Hezekiah in Isaiah 38:19, "The living, he shall praise Thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known Thy truth;" and ver. 18: "For the grave cannot praise Thee, death cannot celebrate Thee; they that go down into the pit cannot make known Thy truth." God would be chargeable with untruth, were He to punish His own people with irremediable destruction, after having declared in His word His readiness to forgive their infirmities on their sincere repentance.—1 Chronicles 2:14-17 shows how exactly these words suit the situation to which we suppose them to refer. David had made an offer of his own life, for the deliverance of his people, to the angel with the drawn sword, whom he beheld with eyes which had been opened by a sense of his guilt. Even this offer shows that he looked upon himself as rather dead than alive. The sufferings of his people, of which he himself had been the cause, pierced his heart so severely, that he believed he must have died had they been prolonged.


Verse 10-11

Ver. 10. "Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me; Lord, be my helper."

David, after repeating his prayer, tells us that he had been heard. Ver. 11. Thou turnedst for me my mourning into dancing: Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness. שק is a hair garment, which mourners put on: it was, as it were, the robe of penitence in which they were led through suffering to self-examination, and through it to humiliation, under the mighty hand of God, to the acknowledgment of their sin, and to penitent prayer for forgiveness.

The conclusion consists of promises of thanks.


Verse 12

Ver. 12. In order that glory may praise Thee, and not be silent; O Lord, my God, I will praise Thee for ever. Several translators give: "for this reason," etc. But למען, when joined to verbs, never signifies "for this reason," but always, "in order that:" and this signification, as Calvin saw, is here even more suitable than any other. As David, in Psalms 30:9, had grounded his prayer for deliverance on the plea that otherwise he would not have it in his power to praise God, so now he sets forth the praise of God as the final aim of the deliverance which had been actually wrought out for him. And what a motive was there in this for David not to become weary in praising God! The "glory" indicates what value God puts upon the praises of the Psalmist. He is made after the image of God, there is something divine in him: compare at Psalms 7:5, Psalms 16:9. The expression, "in order that glory may praise Thee," is, "in order that my soul may praise Thee, which is glory; or, whose praise is pleasant to Thee, because it is glory." We are not to think of an elision of the suffix, which never takes place. The reference to the Psalmist, that the glory which is to praise God belongs to him, comes out from the connection. The "for ever," indicates that the Psalmist will set no limits to the praise of God. In reality, it corresponds to "all the days of our life" of Hezekiah, in the (Isaiah 38:20) 20th verse.

 


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Bibliography Information
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Psalms 30:4". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/psalms-30.html.

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