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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 28:2

 

 

Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You for help, When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Toward thy holy oracle - קדשך דביר debir kodshecha ; debir properly means that place in the holy of holies from which God gave oracular answers to the high priest. This is a presumptive proof that there was a temple now standing; and the custom of stretching out the hands in prayer towards the temple, when the Jews were at a distance from it, is here referred to.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 28:2". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-28.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Hear the voice of my supplications - It was not mental prayer which he offered; it was a petition uttered audibly.

When I lift up my hands - To lift up the hands denotes supplication, as this was a common attitude in prayer. See the notes at 1 Timothy 2:8.

Toward thy holy oracle - Margin, as in Hebrew, “toward the oracle of thy holiness.” The word “oracle” as used here denotes the place where the answer to prayer is given. The Hebrew word - דביר debı̂yr - means properly the inner sanctuary of the tabernacle or the temple, the place where God was supposed to reside, and where He gave responses to the prayers of His people: the same place which is elsewhere called the holy of holies. See the notes at Hebrews 9:3-14. The Hebrew word is found only here and in 1 Kings 6:5, 1 Kings 6:16, 1 Kings 6:19-23, 1 Kings 6:31; 1 Kings 7:49; 1 Kings 8:6, 1 Kings 8:8; 2 Chronicles 3:16; 2 Chronicles 4:20; 2 Chronicles 5:7, 2 Chronicles 5:9. The idea here is that he who prayed stretched out his hands toward that sacred place where God was supposed to dwell. So we stretch out our hands toward heaven - the sacred dwelling-place of God. Compare the notes at Psalm 5:7. The Hebrew word is probably derived from the verb to “speak;” and, according to this derivation, the idea is that God spoke to His people; that he “communed” with them; that He answered their prayers from that sacred recess - His special dwelling-place. See Exodus 25:22; Numbers 7:89.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 28:2". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-28.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry unto thee,

When I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.

Draw me not away with the wicked,

And with the workers of iniquity;

That speak peace with their neighbors,

But mischief is in their hearts."

"When I lift up my hands" (Psalms 28:2). "Psalms 28:1-2, here are a prelude to the prayer proper, on the double ground of his helplessness apart from God, and of his lifting up his hands in prayer."[6] David is in such danger that unless God hears him, he will lose his life. "Hands lifted up in prayer can be expressive of prayer in many moods, such as calling down the power of heaven upon others as in Exodus 17:9f."[7] Paul also associated this action with prayer in 1 Timothy 2:8.

"Toward thy holy oracle" (Psalms 28:2). Dummelow identified this as the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle.[8] The ASV marginal reading supports this view, offering as an alternative rendition, "Toward the innermost place of thy sanctuary."

"That speak peace with their neighbors" (Psalms 28:3). The wicked appearing in the prayer here are proved to be so by, "The conflict between their public well-wishing and their inner mischief-planning."[9]

"That speak peace" (Psalms 28:3). Leupold suggested that, "This may well refer to the customary Jewish greetings, "As conveyed by the word Shalom, which means `peace.'"[10] Such a view certainly reflects what the conduct of Absalom must have been. He maintained his usual acceptance around David's palace by such friendly greetings at the same time while he was plotting the overthrow of his father the King.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Psalms 28:2". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/psalms-28.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Hear the voice of my supplications,.... Which proceed from the Spirit of grace and of supplication, and are put up in an humble manner, under a sense of wants and unworthiness, and on the foot of grace and mercy, and not merit;

when I cry unto thee; as he now did, and determined he would, and continue so doing, until he was heard;

when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle: the holy of holies, in the tabernacle and in the temple, which was sometimes so called, 1 Kings 6:23; compared with 2 Chronicles 3:10; where were the ark, the mercy seat, and cherubim, between which the Lord dwelt, and gave responses to his people; or heaven itself, which the holy of holies was a figure of; where is the throne of God, and from whence he hears the prayers of his people directed to him; or else Christ himself, who is the most Holy, and the "Debir", or Oracle, who speaks to the Lord for his people; and by whom the Lord speaks to them again, and communes with them. The oracle had its name, "debir", from speaking. Lifting up of the hands is a prayer gesture, and here designs the performance of that duty to God in heaven, through Christ; see Lamentations 3:41; it was frequently used, even by the Heathens, as a prayer gestureF18"Duplices manus ad sidera tendit--et paulo post--et ambas ad coelum tendit palmas", Virgil. Aeneid. 10. vid. Aeneid. 2. "Ad coelum manibus sublatis", Horat. Satyr. l. 2. satyr. 5. v. 97. "Coelo supines si tuleris manus", ib. Carmin. l. 3. Ode 23. v. 1. "Et pandere palmas ante Deum delubra", Lucretius l. 5. prope finem δη χειρα ανασχων, Homer. Iliad. 5. v. 174. ; see Psalm 141:2.


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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 28:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-28.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy b holy oracle.

(b) He counts himself as a dead man, till God shows his favour toward him, and grants him his petition.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 28:2". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-28.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

lift up my hands — a gesture of prayer (Psalm 63:4; Psalm 141:2).

oracle — place of speaking (Exodus 25:22; Numbers 7:89), where God answered His people (compare Psalm 5:7).


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 28:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-28.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.

Towards — Towards the holy of holies, because there the ark was; from whence God gave oracular answers to his people.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 28:2". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-28.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

2.Hear the voice of my prayers when I cry to thee. This repetition is a sign of a heart in anguish. David’s ardor and vehemence in prayer are also intimated by the noun signifying voice, and the verb signifying to cry. He means that he was so stricken with anxiety and fear, that he prayed not coldly, but with burning, vehement desire, like those who, under the pressure of grief, vehemently cry out. In the second clause of the verse, by synecdoche, the thing signified is indicated by the sign. It has been a common practice in all ages for men to lift up their hands in prayer. Nature has extorted this gesture even from heathen idolaters, to show by a visible sign that their minds were directed to God alone. The greater part, it is true, contented with this ceremony, busy themselves to no effect with their own inventions; but the very lifting up of the hands, when there is no hypocrisy and deceit, is a help to devout and zealous prayer. David, however, does not say here that he lifted his hands to heaven, but to the sanctuary, that, aided by its help, he might ascend the more easily to heaven. He was not so gross, or so superstitiously tied to the outward sanctuary, as not to know that God must be sought spiritually, and that men then only approach to him when, leaving the world, they penetrate by faith to celestial glory. But remembering that he was a man, he would not neglect this aid afforded to his infirmity. As the sanctuary was the pledge or token of the covenant of God, David beheld the presence of God’s promised grace there, as if it had been represented in a mirror; just as the faithful now, if they wish to have a sense of God’s nearness to them, should immediately direct their faith to Christ, who came down to us in his incarnation, that he might lift us up to the Father. Let us understand, then, that David clung to the sanctuary with no other view than that by the help of God’s promise he might rise above the elements of the world, which he used, however, according to the appointment of the Law. The Hebrew word דביר, debir, which we have rendered sanctuary, (594) signifies the inner-room of the tabernacle or temple, or the most holy place, where the ark of the covenant was contained, and it is so called from the answers or oracles which God gave forth from thence, to testify to his people the presence of his favor among them.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 28:2". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-28.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 28:2 Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.

Ver. 2. When I lift up my hands] An ordinary gesture in prayer, expressing faith (for they held out their open hands, as craving beggars with the palms upward, 1 Kings 8:22) and helping fervency; while hands and heart went up together to God in the heavens, Lamentations 3:40. Preces fundimus, ecelum tundimus, miserieordiam extorquemus, &c. (Tertul.).

Toward thy holy oracle] Called Debhir, because therehence God spake and gave answer. Toward this (a type of Christ, the Word essential) David lifteth up his hands; that it might be as a ladder whereby his prayer might get up to heaven. The devil also, who delighteth to be God’s ape, but for man’s mischief, gave oracles at Delphi and elsewhere (Herod. Clio); but λοξα et mendacia, doubtful and lying; as to Croesus, Pyrrhus, others. But the eternity of Israel cannot lie, 1 Samuel 15:29; every word of God is pure, he is a shield to them that put their trust in him, Proverbs 30:5.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 28:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-28.html. 1865-1868.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

Here also, as in numberless other instances, with an eye to Jesus, we have a lovely example, how to tell the Rock of our Salvation what our confidence is; and how to supplicate all suited grace, when we lift up our hearts, and hands, and eyes, to a God in Christ, as his holy oracle. The mercy-seat was the Old Testament propitiatory, as representing Christ. And what is the New Testament but Christ? Exodus 25:21-22. See a beautiful example of answers given from thence: Numbers 7:89.


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Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 28:2". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/psalms-28.html. 1828.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

i.e. Towards the holy of holies, which is so called, 1 Kings 6:23, compared with 2 Chronicles 3:10: compare also 1 Kings 6:5 8:6, because there the ark was; from whence God gave oracular answers to his people; and to which they accordingly directed their prayers, not only when they drew near to it, but when they were at a distance from it, as Daniel 6:10.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 28:2". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-28.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

2. I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle—The “oracle” was the inner sanctuary, or “holy of holies.” 1 Kings 6:16; 1 Kings 8:6. On praying with hands outspread towards the most holy place when exiled or absent, see Daniel 6:10


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 28:2". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-28.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 28:2. When I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle — Earnestly desiring and confidently expecting an answer of peace from thence. The most holy place within the veil is here, as elsewhere, called the oracle. There the ark and the mercy-seat were; there God was said to dwell between the cherubim, and thence he spake to his people, Numbers 7:89. This was a type of Christ, and it is to him that we must lift up our eyes and hands, for through him all good comes from God to us. It was also a figure of heaven, Hebrews 9:24. And from God, as our Father in heaven, we are taught to expect an answer to our prayers.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 28:2". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/psalms-28.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Honour. Hebrew, "strength," which we must acknowledge. (Haydock) --- The first design of sacrifice is to adore God in spirit. (Worthington) --- Holy court. Hebrew, "in the holy beauty," 1 Paralipomenon xvi. 29. Even the priests were obliged to remain in the court, where they adored God, as sitting upon the Cherubim, in the most holy place (Calmet) in the Catholic Church. (Worthington) --- External worship must be observed. (Berthier)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 28:2". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-28.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

lift up my hands. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), App-6, for praying.

holy. See note on Exodus 3:5.

oracle = speaking place. Occurs only here in Psalms. See note on 2 Samuel 16:23.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 28:2". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-28.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry unto thee when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.

Hear ... my supplications ... holy oracle - so the most holy of the tabernacle or temple was called (1 Kings 6:16-19) [ d


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 28:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-28.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(2) Lift up my hands.—For interesting illustrations of this Oriental custom see Exodus 9:29; 1 Kings 8:22, &c. Compare the well-known line:—

“If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer.”

TENNYSON: Morte d’Arthur.

Holy oracle.—Better, the shrine of thy sanctuary (see margin)—i.e., the holy of holies, the adytum, or inner recess of the Temple in which the ark was placed, as we see from 1 Kings 6:19-22. The Hebrew word, which is of doubtful derivation, is, with the exception of this place, only found in Kings and Chronicles. The margin, “the oracle of thy sanctuary,” is a better rendering than the text.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 28:2". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-28.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.
when
63:4; 125:5; 134:2; 141:2; 143:6; 2 Chronicles 6:13; 1 Timothy 2:8
thy holy oracle
or, the oracle of thy sanctuary.
5:7; 138:2; 1 Kings 6:19,22,23; 8:6-8,28-30,38; Daniel 6:10

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 28:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-28.html.

Ver. 2. Hear the voice of my supplication when I cry to Thee, when I lift my hands to Thy holy oracle. The lifting of the hands was the usual attitude of prayer, not only among the Israelites,—comp. Exodus 9:29, Exodus 17:11-12; 1 Kings 8:54; Psalms 63:4; Lamentations 3:41; 1 Timothy 2:8,—but also among the heathen: comp., the passages in Iken, Dissert. i. p. 220. The lifting up of the hands symbolized the lifting up of the heart. That the Psalmist lifted up his hands,—not to heaven, but to the most holy place, where was the ark of the covenant (comp. 1 Kings 6:19), is to be understood in the same sense in which we call upon God in Christ. God had, in loving condescension to the weakness of His people, who were unable to rise to that which is unseen, except through the medium of something visible, taken, as it were, a form in the midst of them, in anticipation of the incarnation of His Son, by which this want, which lies deep in the nature of man, was satisfied in a manner infinitely more real: compare the Beitr. P. iii. p. 629 , and at Psalms 26:8. That by דביר is meant the most holy place in the tabernacle and temple, admits of no doubt. The derivation, however, and the import of the word, may be disputed. According to the ancient expositors, the most holy place was so termed, because it was from it that God returned answers to those who consulted Him: Aquila and Symmachus, χπρματιστή ριον; Jerome, λαλητή ριον. Modern expositors again, after the example of Simon and Iken, Diss. i. p. 214 , give the word the sense of "the back part:" compare particularly Gesenius's Thes. It appears, however, that this exposition owes its introduction merely to the ground which has been assigned for considering the primary sense of כפרת to be "a covering,"—viz. awe for what is deep. Etymologically, there can be no objection to the old exposition. דביר is, properly, "what is said," and secondarily, "the place where it is said;" just as אסיף is, properly, "what is gathered," and then, "the season when the fruits are gathered." The appellation given to this part—the place where God speaks to His people, or converses with them—stands in most beautiful harmony with the appellation given to the whole, אחל מועד, the tabernacle of meeting, where God meets with His people. The most holy place is, as it were, the audience-chamber. But the proper basis of this exposition, which its opponents pass over altogether in silence, is given in the passages, Numbers 7:89, "And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with Him, then he heard the voice of one speaking with him from off the mercy-seat, that was upon the ark of testimony," and Exodus 25:22. Finally, the signification given by the old expositors answers remarkably well to the passage before us:—this passage alone is sufficient to refute the objection of Iken, that דביר is never used in a connection in which there is any reference to a speaking on the part of God. The Psalmist had prayed that God would not be silent to him—that He would hear his supplication. What, in these circumstances, could be more natural, than that he should stretch out his hands to the place whence God speaks with His people, and that he should, with full confidence, look for an answer from thence to his cry for help?


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Bibliography
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Psalms 28:2". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/psalms-28.html.

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