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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 146:9

 

 

The LORD protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, But He thwarts the way of the wicked.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Preserveth the strangers - He has preserved you strangers in a strange land, where you have been in captivity for seventy years; and though in an enemy's country, he has provided for the widows and orphans as amply as if he had been in the promised land.

The way of the wicked he turneth upside down - He subverts, turns aside. They shall not do all the wickedness they wish; they shall not do all that is in their power. In their career he will either stop them, turn them aside, or overturn them.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 146:9". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-146.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The Lord preserveth the strangers - He regards them with interest; he defends and guides them. This is the ninth reason why those who trust in the Lord are happy. The stranger - away from home and friends; with no one to feel an interest in him or sympathy for him; with the feeling that he is forsaken; with no one on whom he can call for sympathy in distress - may find in God one who will regard his condition; who will sympathize with him; who is able to protect and befriend him. Compare Exodus 12:49; Exodus 22:21; Exodus 23:9; Leviticus 19:33; Deuteronomy 1:16; Deuteronomy 10:18-19; Isaiah 56:3, Isaiah 56:6.

He relieveth the fatherless and widow - He is their friend. This is the tenth reason why those who put their trust in the Lord are happy. It is that God is the Friend of those who have no earthly protector. See the notes at Psalm 68:5: “A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.”

But the way of the wicked he turneth upside down - He overturns their plans; defeats their schemes; makes their purposes accomplish what they did not intend they should accomplish. The Hebrew word here means to bend, to curve, to make crooked, to distort; then, to overturn, to turn upside down. The same word is applied to the conduct of the wicked, in Psalm 119:78: “They dealt perversely with me.” The idea here is, that their path is not a straight path; that God makes it a crooked way; that they are diverted from their design; that through them he accomplishes purposes which they did not intend; that he prevents their accomplishing their own designs; and that he will make their plans subservient to a higher and better purpose than their own. This is the eleventh reason why those who put their trust in God are happy. It is that God is worthy of confidence and love, because he has all the plans of wicked men entirely under his control.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 146:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-146.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Psalms 146:9

He relieveth the fatherless.

The fatherless relieved

The Lord “relieveth the fatherless”--

I. By exciting the compassion of others in their behalf. The feeling of sympathy is one of the noblest affections of our rational nature. To be without compassion for the miserable and the helpless is a strong indication of deep moral depravity. That all are not thus depraved must be owing to the distinguishing goodness and grace of God.

1. Even among those who are still in an unregenerate state we find many who are easily affected with the calamities of others, and who listen with eagerness, as well as with deep concern, to the tale of woe.

2. When Christians behold others around them in poverty and affliction they ascribe it to undeserved mercy that they themselves are not in similar, or even in worse, circumstances. This thought moves their compassion.

II. By exciting the liberality of others towards their support.

1. Even those who are strangers to the power of His grace are often led by a natural principle of benevolence, or perhaps of self-gratification, to abound in alms-deeds. But more especially the Lord endows many of His own servants with a kind and liberal spirit. Being conscious that they have nothing but what they have received, they consider themselves as stewards, who are bound to be faithful. They endeavour, therefore, to honour the Lord with their substance, and with the first-fruits of their increase.

III. By stirring up others to active exertions in their behalf.

IV. By rendering the exertions of others, and especially of His own servants, effectual for this end.

V. More especially by bringing them to an acquaintance with Himself, and sometimes by placing them in stations of usefulness, and even of eminence in the world. (D. Dickson.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Psalms 146:9". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/psalms-146.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

The Lord preserveth the strangers,.... The life of them, as he did the daughter of: the Greek, a Syrophenician woman, and a Samaritan, by healing them of their diseases, Mark 7:26; and in a spiritual sense he preserves the lives and saves the souls of his people among the Gentiles, who are aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenant of promise; for these he laid down his life a ransom, and became the propitiation for their sins; to these he sends his Gospel, which is the power of God to salvation unto them;

he relieveth the fatherless and widow; in their distresses and troubles, who have no helper; a wonderful instance of his relieving a widow, in the most disconsolate circumstances, we have in raising the widow of Nain's son to life, and restoring him to his mother, Luke 7:12; in him "the fatherless", and all that in a spiritual sense are destitute of help in the creatures, and see they are so, "find mercy"; nor will he leave his people comfortless, or as orphans and fatherless ones, but will and does come and visit them, relieve and supply them with everything convenient for them; though his church here on earth may seem to be as a widow, he being in heaven at the right hand of God, yet he cares for her in the wilderness, and provides for her support, where she is nourished with the word and ordinances, and will be until he comes again; see Hosea 14:3;

but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down; so that they cannot find it; nor their hands perform their enterprise; their schemes and counsels are all confounded and blasted by him, and all their policy and power are not able to prevail against his church and people; see Psalm 1:6.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 146:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-146.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

The LORD preserveth the g strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

(g) Meaning, all who are destitute of worldly means and help.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 146:9". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-146.html. 1599-1645.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

9.Jehovah guarding, etc. By strangers, orphans, and widows, the Psalmist means all those in general who are destitute of the help of man. While all show favor to those who are known to them and near to them, we know that strangers are, for the most part, exposed to injurious treatment. We find comparatively few who come forward to protect and redress widows and orphans; it seems lost labor, where there is no likelihood of compensation. Under these cases the Psalmist shows that whatever the grievance may be under which we suffer, the reason can only be with ourselves if God, who so kindly invites all who are in distress to come to him, does not stretch forth his arm for our help. On the other hand, he declares that everything will have an adverse and unfortunate issue to those who wickedly despise God. We have said upon the first Psalm, that by the way is meant the course of life in general. God will destroy the way of the wicked, inasmuch as he will curse all their counsels, acts, attempts, and enterprises, so that none of them shall have good success. However excellent they may be in planning, although they may be crafty and sharp-sighted, and abound in strength of resources of every kind, God will overturn all their expectations. While he extends his hand to those who are his people, and brings them through all obstacles, and even impassable ways, he on the contrary destroys the path of the wicked, when apparently most open and plain before them.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 146:9". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-146.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 146:9 The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

Ver. 9. The Lord preserveth] These all are his clients, because neglected by the world, as yielding no profit.

He turneth upside down] As one doth a dish that is washed and wiped, 2 Kings 21:13.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 146:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-146.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 146:9. But the way, &c.— The way—he will overthrow. Mudge. Their steps shall be perplexed and puzzled, so that they shall stumble and fall, and all their projects be defeated.

REFLECTIONS.—1st, David's heart overflowed with gratitude, and therefore his lips were filled with praise. He could say, with deeper sensibility of the blessing, My God, and could not therefore but add, I will praise him while I have any being. Sensible of the vanity of all besides to help, and the insignificance of every creature, he bids us put no trust in any son of man, not even in the mightiest princes. They are changeable, their favour precarious, their promises often delusive: but be they never so able to help us, never so willing, the greatest are dying worms, returning to the dust from whence they came; their breath expires, their projects vanish, and all their thoughts of aggrandizing themselves, or their friends, are at an end. Note; (1.) Whatever a man may possess in this world, all that he can properly call his earth, is that pittance of a grave allotted for his last abode. (2.) Hope in man is delusory; hope in God knows no disappointment. (3.) Though in man there is no help, there is a Son of Man mighty to save; and blessed are they that put their trust in him.

2nd, What is the true happiness of man? The question is here resolved. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, in all his trials, temptations, and afflictions; whose hope is in the Lord his God, the never-failing refuge of all who fly to him for succour; the Saviour of the faithful in every distress, and to the uttermost. For he is,

1. Able to save them. He is the creator of all things; heaven, and earth, and sea, with all their inhabitants, are the works of his hands; and he that is the almighty Author of all, must needs be as almighty to preserve.

2. He hath promised to help them. He keepeth truth for ever; he is the Amen, the faithful and true witness; and truth itself must fail before his word of promise can disappoint the faithful soul.

3. He is just. He executeth judgment for the oppressed; vindicates their injured innocence, and brings deserved vengeance on their enemies; as in the last day, if not before, will abundantly appear.

4. His tender mercies are over all his works. He giveth food to the hungry; not only the bread of earth to nourish their bodies, but himself, the bread of life, which cometh down from heaven, to nourish the immortal soul.

5. The distressed who seek him, have ever found him their ready friend. He looseth the prisoners, bound by disease, or bound with chains of iron. He opens the eyes of the blind, and raises up those that are bowed down with infirmity. Abundant instances of which appeared, when in the days of his flesh he wrought such miraculous cures, Luke 13:11-12., Matthew 11:5., John 9:32; John 9:41. But greater works than these he doth. The prisoners of sin are loosed by the preaching of his gospel, and the power of Satan broken. The eyes of our mind, blinded by corruption, receive divine illumination; and the impotent faculties of our souls are delivered from their infirmities. The burdens of sin, of sorrow, of temptation, are loosed by him; and with the discoveries of his love, the heads bowed down as the bulrush, under a sense of guilt, are lifted up in praise and joy.

6. His love is upon his people, the righteous, completely such by virtue of their union with him, and as such the objects of his high regard; who are also renewed by his Spirit, and enabled to walk before him and please him.

7. The destitute are relieved by him. The strangers, whom no man careth for; the fatherless and widow, whose situation lays them open to oppression, he preserves. The Syro-Phoenician woman, the Samaritans, the widow of Nain, proved the truth of this: and the strangers of the Gentiles, the spiritually destitute, have found him a merciful God.

8. The wicked will be destroyed by him. Their way he turneth upside down; he will blast their designs, and break their power; and, if not prevented by a timely and penitent return to him, will turn them into hell, to receive the eternal punishment of their sins.

9. The kingdom of Christ shall endure for ever. He shall reign, and therefore his faithful people may be satisfied he will assuredly help them: even thy God, whose perfections are all engaged for their salvation, unto all generations: and such reviving hope cannot but make their souls happy, and engage their everlasting praises. Hallelujah!


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 146:9". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-146.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He overthroweth their goings, as the phrase is, Psalms 140:4. He maketh them to lose their way; he not only frustrateth their plots and enterprises but turneth them against themselves. This and all the foregoing sentences are so many arguments to encourage all good men to trust in God in all their straits and afflictions.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 146:9". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-146.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

9. The word upside is not in the Hebrew, and is not desirable. The way of the wicked is turned down, toward the abyss of darkness, while that of the just is turned upward, toward the perfect day.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 146:9". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-146.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Young. Literally, "the sons of ravens," which may denote those birds in general, as well as their young. God provides for all. Many fables have been recounted concerning ravens, as if they neglected or forgot their young ones; and the Hebrews seem to have entertained some of these opinions, to which the sacred writers conform themselves, Job xxxviii. 41. (Calmet) --- St. Luke (xii. 24.) specifies ravens, though St. Matthew (vi. 26.) has the birds, when relating the same speech. --- Upon him, must be understood in Hebrew. See Psalm ciii. 21., (Berthier) and Joel i. 20. (Calmet) --- If God take such care of the neglected ravens, how much more will he provide for his servants? (St. Chrysostom) (Worthington)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 146:9". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-146.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

strangers = aliens.

relieveth. Plenty of saving "help" here. Compare the contrast with "man", (Psalms 146:3), "no help".

wicked = lawless. Hebrew. rasha".


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 146:9". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-146.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

The Lord preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow - (Psalms 68:5-6.) Therefore he will preserve those who are not strangers, but His own people, when in danger, and will relieve (or stablish; raise up) His widowed (Luke 18:3; Luke 18:7) and orphan-like (John 14:18, margin) Church.

But the way of the wicked he turneth upside down - he makes their fate the very opposite of what their own "thoughts" devised it (Psalms 146:4; Proverbs 19:21): instead of happiness, which they thought to attain by perverse ways, their end is misery.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 146:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-146.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(9) The stranger, the widow, and the orphan are constantly presented in the Law as objects of compassion and beneficence. The orphan and widow are mentioned as under God’s care (Psalms 68:5).

Relieveth.—Or rather, restoreth, by taking up their cause and seeing justice done. Certain forms of the verb are used of bearing witness, and possibly here there is allusion to a court of justice, in which God appears as witnessing on the side of the weak and defenceless.

Turneth upside down.—Rather, bends aside. The same word in Psalms 119:78 is rendered” dealt perversely.” The idea seems in both cases to be that of interference, to thwart and impede a course of action. In Psalms 119 it is an evil-disposed person who interferes with the righteous. Here it is the Divine providence which, when the wicked man has laid out his plans, and looks as it were along a plain and level road of prosperity, bends the prosperous course aside; makes the path crooked, instead of straight; full of trouble and calamity, instead of prosperous and sure.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 146:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-146.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.
preserveth
68:5; Deuteronomy 10:18,19; 16:11; Proverbs 15:25; Jeremiah 49:11; Hosea 14:3; Malachi 3:5; James 1:27
the way
18:26; 83:13-17; 145:20; 147:6; 2 Samuel 15:31; 17:23; Esther 5:14; 7:10; Esther 9:25; Proverbs 4:19; Job 5:12-14; 1 Corinthians 3:19

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 146:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-146.html.

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