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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 30:7

 

 

O LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong; You hid Your face, I was dismayed.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Thou didst hide thy face - Thou didst show thyself displeased with me for my pride and forgetfulness of thee: and then I found how vainly I had trusted in an arm of flesh.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 30:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-30.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Lord, by thy favor thou hast made my mountain to stand strong - Margin: “settled strength for my mountain.” This refers, I apprehend, to his former state of mind; to his confidence in that which constituted his prosperity as referred to in the previous verse; to his feeling, in that state, that everything pertaining to himself was safe; to his freedom from any apprehension that there would be any change. The word “mountain” seems to be used as denoting that on which he relied as his security or strength, as the mountain, or the inaccessible hills, constituted a refuge and security in times of danger. See Psalm 18:1-2, Psalm 18:33; Psalm 27:5. It does not refer to Mount Moriah, or Mount Zion, as some have supposed, for the passage relates to a former period of his life when these were not in his possession; but he speaks of himself as having, through the favor of God, put himself into a strong position - a position where he feared no enemy and no change; where he thought himself entirely secure - the state of “prosperity” to which he had referred in the previous verse. In that state, however, God showed him that there was no real security but in his favor: security not in what a man can draw around himself, but in the favor of God alone.

Thou didst hide thy face - That is, at the time when I was so confident, and when I thought my mountain stood so strong, and that I was so secure. Then I was shown how insecure and uncertain was all that I relied on, and how absolutely, after all that I had done, I was dependent for safety on God. To “hide the face” is synonymous in the sacred writings with the withdrawing of favor, or with displeasure. See the notes at Psalm 13:1. Compare Psalm 104:29.

And I was troubled - I was confounded, perplexed, agitated, terrified. I was thrown into sudden fear, for all that I had so confidently relied on, all that I thought was so firm, was suddenly swept away. We do not know what this was in the case of the psalmist. It may have been the strength of his own fortifications; it may have been the number and discipline of his army; it may have been his own conscious power and skill as a warrior; it may have been his wealth; it may have been his bodily health - in reference to any of which he may have felt as if none of these things could fail. When that on which he so confidently relied was swept away, he was agitated, troubled, anxious. The same thing may occur now, and often does occur, whenpeople rely on their own strength; their health; their wealth. Suddenly any of these may be swept away; suddenly they are often swept away, to teach such men - even good men - their dependence on God, and to show them how vain is every other refuge.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 30:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-30.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Psalms 30:7

Thou didst hide Thy face, and I was troubled.

The withdrawal of the Divine presence

Of all the sources of sorrow to which a good man is exposed here, there is none whose waters are so bitter, nor whose grief is so poignant, as the withdrawal of the Divine presence. But there is one practical benefit to be derived from it; it affords additional evidence of our real state before God. If we can endure the absence of God’s favourable presence from our souls without sorrow, our love to Him cannot be genuine.

I. the extent of this withdrawal. We speak not of His withdrawal from the unconverted--but from the real child of God.

1. It does not include the withdrawal of His loving-kindness. Indeed, the very act of withdrawal is prompted by love.

2. It does not include the withdrawal of the real presence and indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit may not reflect the shining of God’s love upon the believer’s soul, and yet He may, at the same time, so work in his heart, as to make his faith lively; his desires strong; his conscience tender; and his life fruitful.

3. This withdrawal may be experienced indifferent degrees by different Christians, and by the same Christians at different times and under different circumstances. With some it is only a cloudy day; with others it is twilight, neither dark nor light; with some the Sun of Righteousness is overcast, with others He appears to be totally eclipsed.

II. when God may be said to hide his face.

1. When He does not interpose on their behalf, and though He sees them in trouble does not step forward to their relief.

2. When He removes from His people the symbols of His presence--the ordinances and sacraments of religion.

3. When His people do not prize the means of grace, and when their profiting does not appear.

4. When He denies His people access to Himself, and breaks off communion with them.

III. the reasons of this hiding.

1. When Christians commit gross sins, and bring a disgrace upon religion, then God hides His face from them, to show to them His displeasure, and to show to the world that the falls and sins of professors are not to be attributed to, neither to be charged upon, his religion.

2. When Christians become earthly-minded, and begin to prefer possessions, delights, and engagements of the world to Jesus and His great salvation, then God hides His face from them.

3. When Christians grow formal, cold, and lifeless in their religious duties, then God frequently hides His face from them. It is the lively, active, zealous, spiritual worshipper, with whom God has engaged to dwell.

4. When Christians neglect the great medium of access to God, the Lord Jesus Christ, then Jehovah resents the insult offered to His Son by hiding His face.

IV. the spirit to be exercised in these seasons of desertion. “I was troubled.” This implies:

1. That we are truly sensible of our loss, of our sin, and of the fearful consequences that must inevitably follow a continuance of this state of things.

2. That we recognize the presence of God as the only permanent source of comfort and happiness.

3. That we exert all the powers and faculties of our souls to recover the presence and favour of God. For this purpose we should use all the appointed means of grace. In all duties and ordinances our souls should follow hard after Him, and pursue Him closely from one ordinance to another till we find Him.

V. why Christians are thus troubled at the hiding of his face,

1. Because of the blessings they have lost.

2. Because of the positive evils that always attend this withdrawal of God’s favourable presence from the soul.

VI. practical lessons and cautions.

1. How few are true believers.

2. How awful is the condition of unconverted men.

3. How awful is the state of the backslider.

4. How happy are the people of God. (W. Gregory.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Psalms 30:7". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/psalms-30.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Lord, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong,.... The psalmist found himself mistaken, and acknowledges it; that as it was not owing to his own merit that he enjoyed the prosperity that he did, so neither was the continuance of it owing to his goodness, power, and strength, but to the free grace and favour of God; as the church of God is compared to a mountain, and the several individuals of believers are like to Mount Zion, so the soul of a child of God may be called his mountain, which is made strong by the Lord as to its state in Christ, being set on him, the Rock of ages, and sure foundation, where it is safe and secure; and as to its grace, whenever it is in any strong exercise, which is altogether owing to the favour of God, and continues as long as he pleases;

thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled; the Lord may hide his face from his people, and yet their state be safe; their mountain stands strong in that respect; yet this generally produces a change of frames; it gives trouble, and faith and hope become feeble and languid in their acts and exercises; this shows the changeableness of frames, that they are not to be depended upon; that they are entirely owing to the pleasure of God, and that rejoicing only should be in him: very likely some regard is had to the affair of Absalom's rebellion, which came unawares, unthought of, when David was in the greatest prosperity and security.


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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 30:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-30.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my h mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, [and] I i was troubled.

(h) I thought you had established me in Zion most surely.

(i) After you had withdrawn your help, I felt my misery.


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 30:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-30.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

troubled — confounded with fear (Psalm 2:5).


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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 30:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-30.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.

Mountain — My kingdom: kingdoms are usually called mountains in prophetical writings.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 30:7". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-30.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

7.O Jehovah! of thy good pleasure. This verse describes the difference which exists between the confidence which is founded upon the word of God and the carnal security which springs from presumption. True believers, when they rely upon God, are not on that account neglectful of prayer. On the contrary, looking carefully at the multitude of dangers by which they are beset, and the manifold instances of human frailty which pass before their eyes, they take warning from them, and pour out their hearts before God. The prophet now failed in duty as to this matter; because, by anchoring himself on his present wealth and tranquillity, or spreading his sails to the prosperous winds, he depended not on the free favor of God in such a manner as to be ready at any time to resign into his hands the blessings which he had bestowed upon him. The contrast should be observed between that confidence of stability which arises from the absence of trouble, and that which rests upon the gracious favor of God. When David says that strength was established to his mountain, some interpreters expound it of mount Zion. Others understand by it a stronghold or fortified tower, because in old time fortresses were usually built upon mountains and lofty places. I understand the word metaphorically to signify a solid support, and therefore readily admit that the prophet alludes to mount Zion. David thus blames his own folly, because he considered not, as he ought to have done, that there was no stability in the nest which he had formed for himself, but in God’s good will alone.

Thou hast hidden thy face. Here he confesses, that, after he was deprived of God’s gifts, this served to purge his mind as it were by medicine from the disease of perverse confidence. A marvellous and incredible method surely, that God, by hiding his face, and as it were bringing on darkness, should open the eyes of his servant, who saw nothing in the broad light of prosperity. But thus it is necessary that we be violently shaken, in order to drive away the delusions which both stifle our faith and hinder our prayers, and which absolutely stupify us with a soothing infatuation. And if David had need of such a remedy, let us not presume that we are endued with so good a state of heart as to render it unprofitable for us to be in want, in order to remove from us this carnal confidence, which is as it were diseased repletion which would otherwise suffocate us. We have, therefore, no reason to wonder, though God often hides his face from us, when the sight of it, even when it shines serenely upon us, makes us so wretchedly blind.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 30:7". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-30.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 30:7 LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, [and] I was troubled.

Ver. 7. Lord, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain, &c]. Yea, but there is no mountain so strong that may not be moved, if not removed with an earthquake. Is it not as easy with God to blast an oak as trample a mushroom? And what though God in his favour had settled strength to David’s mountain? what though he had constituted and established it sure as Mount Zion (for there was David’s arx, et aula regia) which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever? Psalms 125:1; yet, by a turn of his countenance only, God can soon dissweeten all in his enjoyments, and plunge him into a deplorable condition.

Thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled] i.e. Thou didst suspend the actual influence and communication of thy grace (the Chaldee calleth it Shechinah, the divine presence), and I was all death. The life of some creatures consisteth in the end; so doth that of the saints in the light of God’s countenance. And as in an eclipse of the sun there is a drooping in the whole face of nature, so when God hideth his face the good soul laboureth and languisheth. And as none look at the sun but when it is in the eclipse, so neither prize we God’s loving countenance till we have lost it.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 30:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-30.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Thou hast made my mountain to stand strong; thou hast so firmly settled me in my kingdom; which he calls his

mountain, partly because kingdoms are usually called mountains in prophetical writings, as Psalms 46:3,4 Isa 2:2 Jeremiah 51:25 Daniel 2:34,35,44,45; and partly with respect to Mount Zion, where he built his royal palace, the dedication whereof is mentioned in the title of the Psalm.

Thou didst hide thy face, i.e. withdraw thy favour and help, and I was quickly brought into such distresses of body, and anxiety of mind, that I saw the vanity of all my carnal confidences.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 30:7". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-30.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

7. By thy favour thou hast made, etc.The judgment of God upon the nation, in sweeping away 70,000 people in two days and threatening the king’s life, taught him that his mountain or governmentCalvin: “solid support”that on which he firmly trustedwas made strong only by divine favour, not by the multitude of his hosts nor his great skill in war. Thus when we listen not to milder methods, God by judgments teaches us our entire dependence on himself. In this verse David “contrasts his former self-confidence, in which he thought himself to be immovable, with the Godward trust he has now gained in the school of affliction.”Delitzsch.

Troubled—In the greatest trepidation, terror, and perplexity, as the word denotes. So weak are kings without the favour of God.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 30:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-30.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Now that David had regained a more realistic view of his dependence on God, he acknowledged that it was only the Lord"s blessing that made him secure. The figure of a mountain to represent a kingdom occurs often elsewhere in Scripture (cf. Isaiah 2:2; Isaiah 41:15; Jeremiah 51:25; Daniel 2:35; Daniel 2:44; Revelation 17:9). God hiding His face pictures the removal of blessing and watch-care.


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 30:7". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/psalms-30.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Vanities. Idols, (Calmet) superstitious practices, (Hammond) and lies. It may refer to Saul, who performed his promises so ill, and neglected the laws which he had made against witches. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "I have hated them that regard lying vanities." (Haydock) --- The ancient interpreters, with St. Jerome, seem not to have seen the i, which changes the second into the first person, though here it would be less agreeable to the context. This i would appear unnecessary, if the present Hebrew were correct. (Berthier) (Houbigant)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 30:7". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-30.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

my mountain: i.e. Zion, which David had but recently taken (2 Samuel 5:7-10).

hide Thy face. Probably refers to a sickness which followed.

face. Figure of speech Anthropopatheia. App-6.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 30:7". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-30.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.

By thy favour ... - "by thy favour" (not because of my merits), answering to "in His favour is life" (Psalms 30:5) - literally, 'thou hast established strength for my mountain;' thou hast made my affairs and kingdom stand secure as a mountain: cf. for "mountain" as an image of unshaken firmness, Isaiah 2:2; Psalms 76:4, especially applicable to David's dominion, the central seat of which was on Mount Zion (cf. 2 Samuel 5:8-9; 2 Samuel 5:12; Nehemiah 3:25; Micah 4:8).

I was troubled - `confounded;' referring to the stupifying effect on David of the sudden stroke whereby God so thinned Israel's numbers, on which David had so prided himself.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 30:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-30.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(7) Lord, by thy favour—i.e., and all the while thou (not my own strength) hadst made me secure. The margin gives the literal rendering, but the reading varies between the text “to my mountain,” “to my honour” (LXX., Vulg., and Syriac), and “on mountains,” the last involving the supply of the pronoun “me.” The sense, however, is the same, and is obvious. The mountain of strength, perhaps mountain fortress, is an image of secure retreat. Doubtless Mount Zion was in the poet’s thought.

Thou didst . . .—The fluctuation of feeling is well shown by the rapid succession of clauses without any connecting conjunctions.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 30:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-30.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.
by thy
5; 5:12; 18:35,36; 44:3; 89:17; Job 10:12
made, etc
Heb. settled strength for my mountain.
40:2; 1 Chronicles 17:26,27
thou
10:1; 13:1,2; 102:10; 104:29; 143:7; Job 30:26-31; Isaiah 38:17

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 30:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-30.html.

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."


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Bibliography
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Psalms 30:7". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/psalms-30.html.

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