corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Psalms 142

 

 

Verse 1

I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication.

Psalms 142:1-7.-The Psalmist's overwhelmed state (Psalms 142:1-4); he promises praise to God in the event of his deliverance, in which the righteous will sympathize (Psalms 142:5-7).

Maschil - i:e., Instruction, (Psalms 32:1-11, Introduction). The general instruction from the particular experience of David appears in Psalms 142:6, the conclusion.

A prayer when he was in the cave - (cf. Psalms 57:1-11, Introduction.) The Hebrew for "Prayer," Tephillah, implies, not prayer in general, but 'supplicatory prayer.' The mention of "the cave" includes in the thought, not merely the particular fact of David's being in the cave of Adullam, when he fled from Saul; but also that the psalm is suited to the people of God when they are in the cave-like darkness of trials and persecutions. Compare Introduction, Psalms 57:1-11.

I cried unto the Lord with my voice. Hilary saith, 'Even the silent and spiritual expectation of every believer is a cry to God.' But the prayer of the heart is not confined there; it finds utterance aloud with the voice. What David did himself (Psalms 3:4), he would have his posterity and all believers in their trouble to do.

With my voice unto the Lord did I make my supplication - (Psalms 30:8.)


Verse 2

I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.

I poured out my complaint before him - (Psalms 102:1-28, Title; 62:8; Isaiah 26:16.)


Verse 3

When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.

When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path - (Psalms 143:4; Psalms 102:1-28, Title; 77:3.) What urged him to 'cry' with "supplication," 'pouring out his complaint before' God, was his deep depression of spirit, caused by his perilous position, as well as his conviction that God 'knew his path' at the very time when "there was no man that would know him" (Psalms 142:4). Observe the beautiful opposition between "Thou knewest" and "no man would know me" (Psalms 1:6; Psalms 31:7). So as to Israel in the wilderness, "He knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness" (Deuteronomy 2:7). When I am utterly at a loss to know where to turn, my consolation is that my sufferings and perils are not unknown to thee.

In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me - (Psalms 140:5; Psalms 141:9.) Hengstenberg, from Psalms 143:8, translates, 'In the way wherein I should walk.' But here he speaks of his way, or path in life, as a fact; in Psalms 143:8 he desires God to show him what it ought to be, in order to avoid falling into the enemies' snares.


Verse 4

I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.

I looked on (my) right hand, and beheld, but (there was) no man that would know me. So the Chaldaic, Septuagint, Vulgate, Arabic, and Syriac. Hengstenberg, after Muis, etc., take the Hebrew as imperative, 'Look on the right hand, and see;' an appeal to God, who already 'knew his path' (Psalms 142:3), to take that cognizance of his helplessness which will lead the Divine Helper to interpose in his behalf. The Lord is His people's shade on their "right hand" (Psalms 121:5). Their extremity is His opportunity: they implicitly trust in Him as their Deliverer at their right hand (the post of defense and the hand for action) in extremities (Psalms 22:8; Psalms 16:8; Psalms 109:31).

But there was no man that would know me - (Psalms 38:11; Psalms 31:11; Psalms 69:8; Psalms 88:8; Psalms 88:18; Job 19:13-14). When 'no man But there was no man that would know me - (Psalms 38:11; Psalms 31:11; Psalms 69:8; Psalms 88:8; Psalms 88:18; Job 19:13-14). When 'no man would know me,' then 'thou knewest' me.

Refuge failed me - literally, 'perished;' i:e., 'from me' (Jeremiah 25:35; Amos 2:14). But "thou hast been my refuge in the day of my trouble" (Psalms 59:16).

No man cared for my soul - literally, sought after it, namely, for good. So the verb is used, Deuteronomy 11:12, margin; Proverbs 29:10.


Verse 5

I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.

I cried unto thee, O Lord. The second strophe resumes the same 'cry' as the beginning of the first.

I said, Thou art my refuge (and) my portion in the land of the living - I have none on earth to depend upon save thee. Compare "the land of the living," Psalms 52:5; Psalms 27:13, "My refuge," a different Hebrew word [ mach


Verse 6

Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.

Attend unto my cry - (Psalms 17:1; Psalms 61:1).

For I am brought very low - `attenuated,' 'poor' (Psalms 79:8; Psalms 116:6). The primary passage is Judges 6:6, "greatly impoverished." The ultimate reference of the psalm is to Israel in her low state in the latter days. Her cry to the Lord in her distress will bring Him to her help.

Deliver me from my persecutors (Psalms 7:1); For they are stronger than I. But they are not stronger than THOU. Thou cast make us 'stronger than our enemies' (Psalms 105:24). He who is 'stronger than the strong man' (Luke 11:22), Israel's oppressor, and whose very 'weakness is stronger than men' (1 Corinthians 1:25), shall 'ransom' her 'from him that was stronger than' she (Jeremiah 31:11; Psalms 18:17).


Verse 7

Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name - answering to "bring my soul out of trouble" (Psalms 143:11; Psalms 25:17). The Lord will hear this prayer, because "The Lord looseth the prisoners" (Psalms 146:7). The prison is an image of 'overwhelming trouble' and "affliction" (Psalms 142:2-3; Psalms 107:10). Joseph is the type of Israel in trouble. As he was brought out of prison to sit among princes, so shall Israel be (Psalms 105:17-22). Hengstenberg, with the Chaldaic Targum, takes it, 'that men may praise thy name.' Rather, 'that my soul may praise thy name.' So the Ethiopic, and apparently the Septuagint, Syriac and Arabic support the English version.

The righteous shall compass me about - `forming a crown;' so the Hebrew. Compare Psalms 5:12, margin. The righteous shall flock round me to congratulate me, and to exult in my deliverance as involving their own, seeing that my cause and theirs is identified (Psalms 22:22.) Compare his anticipation of the same sympathy of the righteous (Psalms 40:16; Psalms 35:27).

For thou shalt deal (i:e., when thou shalt have dealt) bountifully with me - literally, 'when thou shalt have recompensed ( tigmol (Hebrew #1580)) upon me;' i:e., shalt have dealt with me graciously in answer to my prayer.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 142:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-142.html. 1871-8.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology