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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 19:5

 

 

Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; It rejoices as a strong man to run his course.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Which is as a bridegroom, etc. - This is a reference to the rising of the sun, as the following verse is to the setting. He makes his appearance above the horizon with splendor and majesty; every creature seems to rejoice at his approach; and during the whole of his course, through his whole circuit, his apparent revolution from east to west, and from one tropic to the same again, no part of the earth is deprived of its proper proportion of light and heat. The sun is compared to a bridegroom in his ornaments, because of the glory and splendour of his rays; and to a giant or strong man running a race, because of the power of his light and heat. The apparent motion of the sun, in his diurnal and annual progress, are here both referred to. Yet both of these have been demonstrated to be mere appearances. The sun's diurnal motion arises from the earth's rotation on its axis from west to east in twenty-three hours, fifty-six minutes, and four seconds, the mean or equal time which elapses between the two consecutive meridian-transits of the same fixed star. But on account of the sun's apparent ecliptic motion in the same direction, the earth must make about the three hundred and sixty-fifth part of a second revolution on its axis before any given point of the earth's surface can be again brought into the same direction with the sun as before: so that the length of a natural day is twenty-four hours at a mean rate. The apparent revolution of the sun through the twelve constellations of the zodiac in a sidereal year, is caused by the earth's making one complete revolution in its orbit in the same time. And as the earth's axis makes an angle with the axis of the ecliptic of about twenty-three degrees and twenty eight minutes, and always maintains its parallelism, i.e., is always directed to the same point of the starry firmament; from these circumstances are produced the regular change of the seasons, and continually differing lengths of the days and nights in all parts of the terraqueous globe, except at the poles and on the equator. When we say that the earth's axis is always directed to the same point of the heavens, we mean to be understood only in a general sense; for, owing to a very slow deviation of the terrestrial axis from its parallelism, named the precession of the equinoctial points, which becomes sensible in the lapse of some years, and which did not escape the observation of the ancient astronomers, who clearly perceived that it was occasioned by a slow revolution of the celestial poles around the poles of the ecliptic, the complete revolution of the earth in its orbit is longer than the natural year, or the earth's tropical revolution, by a little more than twenty minutes; so that in twenty-five thousand seven hundred and sixtythree entire terrestrial revolutions round the sun, the seasons will be renewed twenty-five thousand seven hundred and sixty-four times. And in half this period of twelve thousand eight hundred and eighty-two natural years, the points which are now the north and south poles of the heavens, around which the whole starry firmament appears to revolve, will describe circles about the then north and south poles of the heavens, the semi-diameters of which will be upwards of forty-seven degrees.

Coming out of his chamber - מחפתו mechuppatho, from under his veil. It was a sort of canopy erected on four poles, which four Jews held over the bridegroom's head.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 19:5". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-19.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber - That is, when he rises in the morning. He rises from the darkness of the night, and comes forth as the bridegroom comes out of the chamber where he has slept. The allusion is to the bright, and joyful, and cheerful aspect of the rising sun. The image of the bridegroom is employed because we associate with a bridegroom the idea of hilarity, cheerfulness, joy. The essential image is that the sun seems to rise from a night of repose, as man does in the morning, and that after such a night of repose he goes forth with cheerfulness and alacrity to the employments of the day. The figure is an obvious but a very beautiful one, though there is a transition from the image employed in the previous verse, where the sun is represented as dwelling in a tent or tabernacle fitted up for it in the heavens. In the next member of the sentence the figure is again changed, by his being represented as a man prepared to run a race.

And rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race - As a man who is vigorous and powerful, when he enters on a race. He is girded for it; he summons all his strength; he seems to exult in the idea of putting his strength to the test, and starting off on his career. Compare the note at 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. The same comparison which is employed here occurs in the Zendavesta, ii. 106. DeWette. The idea is that the sun seems to have a long journey before him, and puts forth all his vigour, exulting in the opportunity of manifesting that vigour, and confident of triumphing in the race.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 19:5". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-19.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,.... His nuptial chamber, on which Elias writesF25Elias, in his Tishbi, p. 119. The same word is used Isa. iv. 5. and translated "a defence". ,

"we call the garment (or canopy) spread over the head of the bridegroom and bride, supported by four pillars, in the time of their espousals, חפה.'

who looks lovely and beautiful in his nuptial robes, cheerful and pleasant in his countenance, creating pleasure and delight in all his friends that see him and hear his voice: and this simile is expressive of the brightness and glory of the sun when it rises; and of the joy and pleasure which it produces in the minds of men when they behold it: all which sets forth the loveliness and beauty of Christ, as he is held forth in the ministration of the Gospel, and the joy unspeakable and full of glory which his presence yields, after a short departure from his people; see Isaiah 61:10;

and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race; in which he shows his readiness, velocity, and strength; and this denotes the swiftness of the sun in running its course, and its indefatigableness in its constant motion; though it has been employed therein for so many thousands of years, yet every morning rises with the same cheerfulness, pursues its course, and is never weary: all which may point at the readiness of Gospel ministers, their swiftness to run to and fro, and their strength to fulfil the course of their ministry, in which Christ, the sun of righteousness, is held forth in so glorious a manner.


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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 19:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-19.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Which [is] as a bridegroom coming out of his e chamber, [and] rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.

(e) Or vail. The custom was that the bride and bridegroom would stand under a vail together, and after come forward with great solemnity and rejoicing of the assembly.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 19:5". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-19.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.

Bridegroom — Gloriously adorned with light as with a beautiful garment, and smiling upon the world with a pleasant countenance.

Chamber — In which he is poetically supposed to have rested all night, and thence to break forth as it were on a sudden.

Strong man — Conscious and confident of his own strength.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 19:5". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-19.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 19:5 Which [is] as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, [and] rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.

Ver. 5. Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber] sc. After long expectation, with a great, deal of pomp and gaiety; such is the sun rasing, when he first showeth himself above our horizon. Kimchi addeth, that as the bride groom when he is abroad hasteneth home to his bride, so doth the sun to his descent, anhelat ad occasum, Ecclesiastes 1:5.

And rejoiceth as a strong man (or champion) to run a race] Readily running, and effectually affecting all things with his heat. The Persian angari, or posts, the ostrich, the wild ass, the bustard, the dromedary, the eagle, is nothing so swift as the sun. Bellarmine saith ( De Ascens. Mentis in Demn), that he runneth in the eighth part of an hour seven thousand miles. This dumb creature gives check to our dulness; as Balaam’s ass also did to that prophet’s madness.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 19:5". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-19.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Psalms 19:5

This rising sun is here a figure, token, or shadow of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I. Every one may understand that as the sun is beyond comparison the brightest object in these outward and visible heavens, so the great privilege of the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom and Church of Christ's saints, is to have the Sun of Righteousness, God made Man, especially present, abiding, and reigning in it. It is the kingdom and Church of Christ; that is all its hope and glory.

II. As Christ is a Sun to His Church by His glorious abiding in it, so the manner in which He came to be so is likened by the Divine Psalmist to a bridegroom coming out of his chamber. He married the nature of God to the nature of man, by taking on Him our flesh, of the substance of His mother, and that without spot of sin, to make us clean from all sin.

III. The Psalmist goes on, next, to tell us that He is still in a certain sense running His course. Our Saviour, God made Man, born for us, and crucified, and risen again, fills the whole Church and the whole world. But His faithful and considerate people are more particularly made aware of His presence by the outward means of grace and the visible ordinances of the holy catholic Church. The doctrine is given in two words by the Apostle when he says concerning the Church that in it "Christ is all and in all." Christ is in every person, and He is every person's all. Consider these plain thoughts about our duty and practice. (1) According to our profession as Christians, we really regard the most holy Jesus as our all. Surely we shall never willingly miss an opportunity of coming to Him, of prevailing on Him to come more and more to us. (2) Taking that other half of St. Paul's account of how Christ is the Sun of His Church—that He is in all—there is no Christian who is not partaker of Him. This will give us deep thoughts of our duty to our neighbour, as the other of our services paid to Almighty God. It is a remarkable saying of St. Peter, "Honour all men." Do not only deal kindly with them, but respect and honour them. Why? Because they are made after the image of God. By the same rule, and more, the meanest Christian must be honoured, because he bears Christ about within him. In honouring Christians, we are honouring Christ; loving them, we are loving Him; in going out of our way to serve them, we are making a little sacrifice to Him, who thought not His life too dear to be parted with on the Cross for our salvation.

Plain Sermons by Contributors to "Tracts for the Times" vol. i., p. 248 (see also J. Keble, Sermons for the Christian Year: Christmas to Epiphany, p. 12).


References: Psalms 19:5, Psalms 19:6.—J. C. Hare, Sermons in Herstmonceux Church, p. 227. Psalms 19:7.—Spurgeon, My Sermon Notes: Genesis to Proverbs, p. 147. Psalms 19:7-9.—G. Matheson, Expositor, 1st series, vol. xii., p. 89.


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Bibliography
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Psalms 19:5". "Sermon Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/psalms-19.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 19:5. Rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race This is another comparison taken from the vehemence and force with which a warrior runs toward his enemy; and is not, as some expositors fancy, an allusion to the races so famous among the Greeks and Romans; for those sports were of a much later date than the time of David.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 19:5". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-19.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

As a bridegroom; gloriously adorned with light as with a beautiful garment, and smiling upon the lower world with a pleasant countenance.

Coming out of his chamber; in which he is poetically supposed to have rested all night, and thence to break forth as it were on a sudden, as both sacred and profane poets represent the matter.

As a strong man; who being conscious and confident of his own strength, and promising to himself victory and the glory which attends it, sets upon his work with great pleasure.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 19:5". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-19.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

5. As a bridegroom—The figure denotes joy and festivity. The rising sun is like the coming forth of the bridegroom from the nuptial chamber, or canopy, to receive gratulations and diffuse gladness. The figure is wholly oriental. See Matthew 25:1, etc.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 19:5". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-19.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Counsels. We must suppose that those of a pious prince are right. (Calmet) --- This condition is always understood. (Haydock)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 19:5". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-19.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Which is = And he.

chamber = bridal canopy. Hebrew. chuppah. First occurrence; elsewhere, only in Isaiah 4:5 ("defence"). Joel 2:16 ("closet").

And. Omit this "And".

strongman. Hebrew. gibbor. App-14.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 19:5". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-19.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.

Which is as a bridegroom ... and rejoiceth as a strong man - Hebrew, a hero. The point of comparison is his vigour and conscious power.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 19:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-19.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(5) Which is.—Better, and he is. The suddenness of the Oriental sunrise is finely caught in the image of the uplifted tent-curtain and appearance of the radiant hero (“strong man;” Heb., gibbor. Comp. Judges 5:31). This want of twilight, this absence of silent preparation for the supreme moment, distinguishes Eastern songs of sunrise from the poetry of the West. There are no musterings of “mute companies of changeful clouds,” no “avant couriers of the light,” no “grey lines fretting the clouds as messengers of day.” Unheralded, unannounced, the sun leaps forth in all his splendour—a young bridegroom with the joy of the wedding-day still on his countenance, a hero leaping forth on his path of conquest and glory. How different the suggested feeling of this from the wistful tenderness of Milton’s dawn coming forth “with pilgrim steps in amice grey;” or Shakespeare’s “morn in russet clad,” that “walks o’er the dew” of the high eastern hill.

Chamber.—Heb., chuphah, a marriage chamber or bed (Joel 2:16). In later Hebrew the canopy carried over the wedded pair, or even the marriage itself.

Rejoiceth.—Literally, leaps for joy.

A race.—Better, his race, i.e., his daily course or journey.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 19:5". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-19.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
bridegroom
Isaiah 61:10; 62:5; John 3:29
rejoiceth
Ecclesiastes 1:5; 1 Corinthians 9:24-26; Philippians 3:13,14; Hebrews 12:1,2

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 19:5". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-19.html.

Ver. 5. And he is as a bridegroom who comes out of his chamber, rejoices as a hero to run a race. The point of comparison in the first member, is neither the delight beaming from the countenance of the bridegroom, nor his ornaments (Isaiah 61:10), but his vigour, power, or feeling of strength. This appears from the words, "he comes forth from his chamber," prop. e thoro, or, thalamo suo (falsely, therefore, Michaelis: ad sponsam v. excipiendam, v. domum ducendam), and likewise from the second clause, which gives equal prominence to the energetic power of the sun. In German the comparison loses in both members, from the sun being a feminine noun.


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Bibliography
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Psalms 19:5". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/psalms-19.html.

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