corner graphic

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 42:5

 

 

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? - Bad as the times are, desolate as Jerusalem is, insulting as are our enemies, hopeless as in the sight of man our condition may be, yet there is no room for despair. All things are possible to God. We have a promise of restoration; he is as good as he is powerful; hope therefore in him.

I shall yet praise him - For my restoration from this captivity. He is the health of my soul. I shall have the light and help of his countenance, his approbation, and a glorious deliverance wrought by his right hand.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 42:5". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-42.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? - Margin, bowed down. The Hebrew word means to bow down, to incline oneself; then, usually, to prostrate oneself as in public worship; and then, to sink down under the weight of sorrow; to be depressed and sad. The Septuagint renders it, “Why art thou grieved?” - περίλυπος perilupos So the Vulgate. This is an earnest remonstrance addressed by himself to his own soul, as if there were really no occasion for this excessive depression; as if he cherished his grief improperly. There was a brighter side, and he ought to turn to that, and take a more cheerful view of the matter. He had allowed his mind to rest on the dark side, to look at the discouraging things in his condition. He now felt that this was in some measure voluntary, or had been indulged too freely, and that it was wrong: that it was proper for a man like him to seek for comfort in brighter views; that it was a duty which he owed to himself and to the cause of religion to take brighter views. We may remark,

(1) That there are two sides to the events which occur, and which seem so discouraging to us - a dark side and a bright side.

(2) That in certain states of mind, connected often with a diseased nervous system, we are prone to look only on the dark side, to see only what is gloomy and discouraging.

(3) That this often becomes in a sense voluntary, and that we find a melancholy satisfaction in being miserable, and in making ourselves more unhappy, as if we had been wronged, and as if there were a kind of virtue in dejection and gloom - in “refusing,” like Rachel, “to be comforted” Jeremiah 31:15; perhaps also feeling as if by this we were deserving of the divine approbation, and laying the foundation for some claim to favor on the score of merit.

(4) That in this we are often eminently guilty, as putting away those consolations which God has provided for us; as if a man, under the influence of some morbid feeling, should find a kind of melancholy pleasure in starving himself to death in the midst of a garden full of fruit, or dying of thirst by, the side of a running fountain. And

(5) That it is the duty of the people of God to look at the bright side of things; to think of the past mercies of God; to survey the blessings which surround us still; to look to the future, in this world and the next, with hope; and to come to God, and cast the burden on him. It is a part of religious duty to be cheer ful; and a man may often do more real good by a cheerful and submissive mind in times of affliction, than he could by much active effort in the days of health, plenty, and prosperity. Every sad and desponding Christian ought to say to his soul, “Why art thou thus cast down?”

And why art thou disquieted in me? - Troubled, sad. The word means literally,

(1) to growl as a bear;

(2) to sound, or make a noise, as a harp, rain, waves;

(3) to be agitated, troubled, or anxious in mind: to moan internally. See the notes at Isaiah 16:11; compare Jeremiah 48:36.

Hope thou in God - That is, trust in him, with the hope that he will interpose and restore thee to the privileges and comforts heretofore enjoyed. The soul turns to God when all other hope fails, and finds comfort in the belief that he can and will aid us.

For I shall yet praise him - Margin, give thanks. The idea is, that he would yet have occasion to give him thanks for his merciful interposition. This implies a strong assurance that these troubles would not last always.

For the help of his countenance - literally, “the salvations of his face,” or his presence. The original word rendered help is in the plural number, meaning salvations; and the idea in the use of the plural is, that his deliverance would be completed or entire - as if double or manifold. The meaning of the phrase “help of his countenance” or “face,” is that God would look favorably or benignly upon him. Favor is expressed in the Scriptures by lifting up the light of the countenance on one. See the notes at Psalm 4:6; compare Psalm 11:7; Psalm 21:6; Psalm 44:3; Psalm 89:15. This closes the first part of the psalm, expressing the confident belief of the psalmist that God would yet interpose, and that his troubles would have an end; reposing entire confidence in God as the only ground of hope; and expressing the feeling that when that confidence exists the soul should not be dejected or cast down.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 42:5". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-42.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Psalms 42:5

Why art thou cast down, O my soul?
and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God.

A prescription for a downcast soul

I. Inquiry. “Why art thou cast down?” Many a man is in great spiritual darkness, without knowing, or being able to discover the reason. He has been trying to live rightly, so far as he knows. He has not neglected prayer nor the house of God, and yet God seems to have hidden His face; his peace is gone; his soul is full of harrowing doubts. Christians sometimes forget that they have bodies; and that the condition of their bodies has a good deal to do with the brightness or darkness of their spiritual moods; and now and then a man, through sheer ignorance, persists in some habit of eating or drinking which, by keeping his body in an unhealthful state, correspondingly lowers the tone of his spiritual life. Often the devil which torments him is one that goeth not out but by fasting.

2. Or the cause may lie deeper, in some mental disease--possibly inherited. Cowper.

3. On the other hand, the distress may arise from estrangement between man and God. Peter, when he went out and wept bitterly, was cast down and disquieted as he deserved to be.

4. If you cannot, on inquiry, discover that sin is at the bottom of your disquietude, it may occur to you that God has sent it. Thou art satisfied that the source of thy trouble is Divine; is that something to be disquieted about? Or dost thou fear it will be more than thou canst bear? O reflect that the Father is the husbandman. He is pruning thee that thou mightest bring forth more fruit. Dost thou forget Him who was made perfect through suffering, and who was in all points tempted and tried like as thou arty Why art thou disquieted? Is it because thou canst not see the end thy God has in view in thy trial, or wilt thou forget that this “light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh out for thee a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”?

II. Remembrance.

1. The psalmist remembers his own experience. Ah, how often we need the psalmist’s admonition to his own soul not to forget all God’s benefits. They will crowd, at the summons of memory, thickly down to the very edge of to-day’s trouble, like the cloud which followed the Israelites down to the merge of the Red Sea; and like that cloud will send light over the troubled waters through which lies the line of march. To-day’s trouble will be lighter, and to-day’s outlook more hopeful through the remembrance of the blessed past.

2. But this remembrance of the psalmist also takes in God’s dealings with His people. No one has such a range of history at his command as the believer who is in trouble; since the history of God’s children is largely made up of trouble, and as largely of God’s deliverances out of trouble. Sometimes a man is so engrossed with the pleasure and business of the present, that memory has no chance to do her work, and he is in danger of forgetting God’s benefits altogether; and so God leads him away alone, whither he does not like to go, but where, cut off from the occupations of the present, he has opportunity to survey the rich and fruitful past, and to grow grateful amid his sorrow. Yea, often the very land of exile is the land of precious memories. Men of old have had their faith, their courage, their patience tried sorely in the very places where our faith and courage and patience are tried; and their experience of God’s saving goodness and power calls on us to remember that the God of salvation is the same, yesterday, to-day, and for ever.

III. Hope.

1. This hope is in God. Trouble opens a man’s eyes to the need of a personal God. True hope, the psalmist’s hope, would say, “This loss is God’s work; I am God’s child; this is God’s discipline; through this He may be working out for me something far better than worldly prosperity. The best thing I have left, the thing to which I anchor my present and my future is--God is mine. This matter is all in God’s hands, and whatever he may do with me or with my fortune, whether He give me back my prosperity or not, I shall yet praise Him who is the health of my countenance and my God.”

2. This hope is a different thing from faith, while the operations of the two are nevertheless closely allied. When a physician gives to a sick man a remedy which for the time increases his distress, he does not realize nor feel that the work of restoration is going on; and in the dark places of Christian experience through which God causes a man to pass in the course of His discipline, the man does not always realize that God is doing a beneficent work upon him, or how He is doing it. Then hope comes in. “If we hope for what we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” (M. R. Vincent, D. D.)

Despondency

I. The unreasonableness and virtual impiety of the over-anxious, foreboding spirit manifested by so many.

1. This spirit is rebuked by your whole experience. The vast preponderance with you has always been on the side of happiness. If you have been long of this foreboding habit, not one in a hundred of the sorrows that you have apprehended has reached you. Those, also, that have overtaken you have been lighter than you feared.

2. What can your anxiety do for you? Can it avert what you dread? No. But it may hasten it. In many respects, our health, our outward well-being, and that of our household, are committed to our own keeping, and can be safely kept only by a self-collected mind and a quiet heart.

3. Sorrow in prospect is much more bitter and grievous than it is in actual experience. Every trial comes with its alleviating circumstances, its mild preparatives, and abounding consolations. Sickness summons sympathy and patience for its ministers. Unmerited disesteem fortifies itself by the testimony of a good conscience. Poverty moves on under the guidance of health and hope. Bereaved affection meets the risen Saviour at the grave-side.

4. Why do you dread aught that can befall you, when none of these things can take place without your Father? Under Him, all things will work together for your good. Lean, then, as children upon His arm, and commit yourselves as children to His keeping.

II. Inculcate the lesson of implicit trust in a wise and paternal providence.

1. An unexplored future is before us. But, as Christians, we have every possible ground for trust and hope; for that unexplored future is in the hands of our Father.

2. We have under God one object of hope continually in view, namely, the growth of our characters; and this is the great end for which, were we wise, we should desire to live. Does He send outward favours and mercies? It is that gratitude may engrave His image on our hearts, and write His law on our lives. Does He remove from us cherished blessings? He takes gifts which we were in danger of loving more than the Giver. He takes wealth that bound our souls to the sordid pathway which He bids us leave.

3. Heaven and eternity, brought to light by Jesus, re-echo the exhortation--“Hope thou in God.” Have we the testimony of His love within? Are we living by the law and in the spirit of Christ? Have we the consciousness of pardoned sin and of souls at peace with God? If so, however heavy our outward burdens or sorrows, we may well ask, in self-rebuke, “Why art thou cast down?” etc. (A. P. Peabody.)

Disquietude and hope

I. David’s disquietude.

1. God’s forgetfulness.

2. His own mourning.

3. Enemy’s oppression.

II. David’s hopefulness.

1. God is.

2. God is mine.

3. God will yet be praised by me. (Homiletic Review.)


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

Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Psalms 42:5". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/psalms-42.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"Why art thou cast down, O my soul?

And why art thou disquieted within me?

Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him

For the help of his countenance."

This verse, as Henry noted, finds, "Faith silencing the complaint with the assurance of good times at last."[11]

"Hope thou in God" (Psalms 42:5b), etc. These last two lines are repeated almost verbatim in Psalms 42:11 and in Psalms 43:5, concluding each of the three stanzas which comprise these two psalms.

McCaw has understood the meaning of these three `refrains' as, (1) "Being Faith's rebuke to dejection in Psalms 42:5, (2) Faith's exhortation in bewilderment in Psalms 42:11, and (3) Faith's triumphant declaration of certainty in Psalms 43:5."[12]


Copyright Statement
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 42:5". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/psalms-42.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Why art thou cast down, O my soul?.... The psalmist corrects himself, as being too much depressed in spirit with his present circumstances, and expostulates with himself; adding,

and why art thou disquieted in me? which suggests, that the dejections of God's people are unreasonable ones; sin itself is no just cause and reason of them; for though it is very disagreeable, loathsome, and abhorring, troublesome and burdensome, to a spiritual man, and is ingenuously confessed, and heartily mourned over, and is matter of humiliation; yet no true reason of dejection: because there is forgiveness of it with God; the blood of Christ has been shed for the remission of it; it has been bore and done away by him; nor is there any condemnation for it to them that are in him; and though it rages, and threatens to get the ascendant; yet it is promised it shall not have the dominion over the saints; neither the nature of it, being great, as committed against God himself, nor the multitude of sins, nor the aggravated circumstances of them, are just causes of dejection, since the blood of Christ cleanses from all sin; nor are Satan and his temptations; he is indeed an enemy, very powerful, subtle, and terrible; he is the strong man armed, the old serpent, and a roaring lion; and his temptations are very troublesome and grieving; and it becomes the saints to be upon their guard against him and them; but they have no reason to be cast down on account hereof; for God, who is on the side of his people, is mightier than he; Christ is stronger than the strong man armed, and the divine Spirit who is in them is greater than he that is in the world: Satan is under divine restraints, and can go no further in tempting than he is suffered, and his temptations are overruled for good; besides, good armour is provided for the Christian to fight against him with, and in a short time he will be bruised under his feet: nor are the hidings of God's face a sufficient reason of dejection; for though such a case is very distressing, and gives great trouble to those that love the Lord; nor can they, nor does it become them to sit easy and unconcerned in such circumstances, as they are great trials of faith and patience; yet it is the experience of the people of God in all ages: some good ends are answered hereby, as to bring saints to a sense of sins, which has deprived them of the divine Presence, to make them prize it the more when they have it, and to be careful of losing it for the future. Besides, the love of God continues the same when he hides and chides; and he will return again, and will not finally and totally forsake his people; and in a little while they shall be for ever with him, and see him as he is; and though by one providence or another they may be deprived for a while of the word, worship, and ordinances of God, he that provides a place for his church, and feeds and nourishes her in the wilderness, can make up the lack of such enjoyments by his presence and Spirit. The means and methods the psalmist took to remove his dejections and disquietudes of mind are as follow;

hope thou in God; for the pardon of sin; for which there is good ground of hope, and so no reason to be cast down on account of it; for strength against Satan's temptations, which is to be had in Christ, as well as righteousness; and for the appearance of God, and the discoveries of his love, who has his set time to favour his people, and therefore to be hoped, and quietly waited for. Hope is of great use against castings down; it is an helmet, an erector of the head, which keeps it upright, and from bowing down: it is an anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast, and is of great service in the troubles of life, and against the fears of death;

for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance; or "the salvations of his countenance"F8ישועות פניו "salutes faciei ipsius", Cocceius; so Michaelis. ; which implies that the psalmist believed, notwithstanding his present circumstances, that he should have salvation upon salvation; salvation of every kind; or a full and complete one, which should spring, not from any merits of his, but from the free grace and favour of God, expressed in his gracious countenance towards him; and also intimates, that the light of his countenance would be salvation to himF9"Salutes sunt facies ejus", De Dieu. now; and that his consummate happiness hereafter would lie in beholding his face for evermore: all which would give him occasion and opportunity of praising the Lord. Now such a faith and persuasion as this is a good antidote against dejections of soul, and disquietude of mind; see Psalm 27:13.


Copyright Statement
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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 42:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-42.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and [why] art thou disquieted in me? e hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him [for] the help of his countenance.

(e) Though he sustained grievous assaults of the flesh to cast him into despair, yet his faith grounded on God's accustomed mercies gets the victory.

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

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 42:5". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-42.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Hence he chides his despondent soul, assuring himself of a time of joy.

help of his countenance — or, “face” (compare Numbers 6:25; Psalm 4:6; Psalm 16:11).


Copyright Statement
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 42:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-42.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

For — Heb. for the salvations of his face, for those supports, deliverances and comforts which I doubt not I shall enjoy both in his presence and sanctuary, and from his presence, and the light of his countenance.


Copyright Statement
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 42:5". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-42.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

5O my soul! why art thou cast down? From this it appears that David contended strongly against his sorrow, lest he should yield to temptation: but what we ought chiefly to observe is, that he had experienced a strong and bitter contest before he obtained the victory over it; or we might rather say, that he was not delivered from it after one alarming assault, but was often called upon to enter into new scenes of conflict. It need not excite our wonder that he was so much disquieted and cast down, since he could not discern any sign of the divine favor towards him. But David here represents himself as if he formed two opposing parties. In so far as in the exercise of faith he relied upon the promises of God, being armed with the Spirit of invincible fortitude, he set himself, in opposition to the affections of his flesh, to restrain and subdue them; and, at the same time, he rebuked his own cowardice and imbecility of heart. Moreover, although he carried on war against the devil and the world, yet he does not enter into open and direct conflict with them, but rather regards himself as the enemy against whom he desires chiefly to contend. And doubtless the best way to overcome Satan is, not to go out of ourselves, but to maintain an internal conflict against he desires of our own hearts. It ought, however, to be observed, that David confesses that his soul was cast down within him: for when our infirmities rise up in vast array, and, like the waves of the sea, are ready to overwhelm us, our faith seems to us to fail, and, in consequence we are so overcome by mere fear, that we lack courage, and are afraid to enter into the conflict. Whenever, therefore, such a state of indifference and faint-heartedness shall seize upon us, let us remember, that to govern and subdue the desires of their hearts, and especially to contend against the feelings of distrust which are natural to all, is a conflict to which the godly are not unfrequently called. But here there are two evils specified, which, however apparently different, yet assail our hearts at the same time; the one is discouragement, and the other disquietude When we are quite downcast, we are not free of a feeling of disquietude, which leads us to murmur and complain. The remedy to both of them is here added, hope in God, which alone inspires our minds, in the first place, with confidence in the midst of the greatest troubles; and, secondly, by the exercise of patience, preserves them in peace. In what follows, David very well expresses the power and nature of hope by these words, I shall yet praise him; for it has the effect of elevating our thoughts to the contemplation of the grace of God, when it is hidden from our view. By the term yet, he confesses that for the present, and in so far as the praises of God are concerned, his mouth is stopped, seeing he is oppressed and shut up on all sides. This, however, does not prevent him from extending his hope to some future distant period; and, in order to escape from his present sorrow, and, as it were, get beyond its reach, he promises himself what as yet there was no appearance of obtaining. Nor is this an imaginary expectation produced by a fanciful mind; but, relying upon the promises of God, he not only encourages himself to cherish good hope, but also promises himself certain deliverance. We can only be competent witnesses to our brethren of the grace of God when, in the first place, we have borne testimony to it to our own hearts. What follows, The helps of his countenance, may be differently expounded. Commentators, for the most art, supply the word for: so that, according to this view, David here expresses the matter or cause of thanksgiving — that yet he would give praise or thanks to God for the help of his countenance This interpretation I readily admit. At the same time, the sense will not be inappropriate if we read the terms separately, thus: helps or salvations are from the countenance of God; for as soon as he is pleased to look upon his people he sets them in safety. The countenance of God is taken for the manifestation of his favor. His countenance then appears serene and gracious to us; as, on the contrary, adversity, like the intervening clouds, darkens or obscures its benign aspect.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 42:5". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-42.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and [why] art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him [for] the help of his countenance.

Ver. 5. Why art thou cast down, O my soul?] Here David seemeth to be Homo divisus in duas partes, saith Vatablus, a man divided into two parts, as indeed every new man is two men; and what is to be seen in the Shulamite but as it were the company of two armies? Song of Solomon 6:13. David chideth David out of his dumps. So did Alice Benden, the martyr, rehearsing these very words (when she had been kept in the bishop’s prison all alone nine weeks with bread and water), and received comfort by them in the midst of her miseries (Acts and Mon. 1797).

And why art thou disquieted in me?] A good man’s work lieth most within doors; he hath more ado with himself than with all the world besides; he prayeth oft, with that ancient, Libera me Domine a malo homine meipso, Deliver me, Lord, from that naughty man, myself. How oft do we punish ourselves by our passions, as the lion that beateth himself with his own tail! Grief is like lead to the soul, heavy and cold, sinking it downward, taking off the wheels of it, and disabling it for duty; like as a limb that is out of joint can do nothing without deformity and pain. Keep up thy spirit, therefore, and watch against dejection, whatsoever befalls thee, yea, against all distempers; since they hinder comfortable intercourse with God, and that spiritual composedness, that sabbath of spirit, that we must enjoy, or else we cannot keep that continual holyday ( εορταζωμεν), 1 Corinthians 5:8. How many are there who through unnecessary sadness come to heaven before they are aware!

Hope thou in God] Faith quieteth the soul first or last, saith reverend Dr Sibbes on these words. There will be stirring at the first; as in a pair of balances, there will be a little stirring when the weight is put in, till it come to a poise; so in the soul, it comes not to a quiet consistency till there be some victory of faith, till it rest and stay the soul.

For I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance] Heb. the healths of his countenance, Adhuc confitebor ei salutes vultus eius. Chrysostom bringeth in a man laden with troubles coming into the church, where, when he heard this passage read, Why art thou cast down? hope in God, he presently recovered (Homil. in Genes.).


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

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 42:5". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-42.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 42:5. Why art thou cast down, &c.— Bishop Hare, Mr. Mudge, &c. &c. concur in reading this period in the same manner as the last periods of this and the next Psalm are read.


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

Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 42:5". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-42.html. 1801-1803.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

The holy mourner seems to have found strength from having given vent to his full soul, and therefore expostulates with himself and his unbelief. What! shall I despond, shall I be cast down, who have found God faithful in all that is past? Will Jehovah be less Jehovah to me than to all his people? Will Christ's suretyship be less blessed to me? has his blood lost its efficacy to cleanse? can his righteousness justify me no more? Oh no! I will believe. I will depend. I have hope and sustaining grace still, though the comfortable views of Jesus's smiles; I see not.


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

Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 42:5". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/psalms-42.html. 1828.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Why art thou cast down with excessive sorrow and despair?

For the help of his countenance, Heb. for the salvations of his face, i.e. for those supports, deliverances, and comforts which I doubt not I shall ere long enjoy, both in his presence and sanctuary, to which he will restore me, and from his presence, and the light of his countenance, which he will graciously afford to me.


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

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 42:5". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-42.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Why are you cast down, O my soul?

And why are you disquieted within me?

Hope you in God,

For I will yet praise him

For the help of his countenance.

And so he rebukes himself and speaks to his inner soul, and asks it why it is disquieted within him. He reminds himself that because he serves the living God (Psalms 42:2) he can have confident hope in God, knowing that God will come to his aid. He is sure therefore that one day he will once again be found in His House praising Him, because God will look on him with favour (give him the help of His countenance) and will therefore ensure his final restoration.


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

Bibliography
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Psalms 42:5". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/psalms-42.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

5. The apostrophic address of this verse shows the highly impassioned state of the author.

Cast down—Calvin says, “David here presents himself divided into two parts.” “It is the struggle,” says Perowne, “between the spirit of faith and the spirit of dejectionbetween the higher nature and the lower.” “It is the spirit, mighty in God, which here meets the trembling soul.”Hengstenberg.

For the help of his countenance—Hebrew, The deliverance, or salvation, of his face; that is, the deliverance which is assured by the turning of his face to me, or looking upon me, according to the Oriental custom of looking upon the suppliant as a sign of granting his request, or turning away the face as a token of denial. See note on Psalms 42:11


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

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 42:5". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-42.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The psalmist encouraged himself rhetorically by reminding himself that he would again praise God. He needed to continue to hope in God until then.


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

Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 42:5". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/psalms-42.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 42:5. Why art thou cast down, O my soul — With excessive sorrow and despair. Why art thou disquieted within me? — Is there any cause that anxiety of mind should put thee into a state of such perturbation, as if all hopes of this felicity were lost for ever? Hope thou in God — Trust in him, and patiently wait upon him. For I shall yet praise him — The time will come when I shall go again to his house, and praise him for his favour toward me. For the help of his countenance — Hebrew, For the salvations of his face, for those supports, deliverances, and comforts, which, I doubt not, I shall ere long enjoy, both in his presence and sanctuary, to which he will restore me, and from his presence, and the light of his countenance, which he will graciously afford me.


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

Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 42:5". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/psalms-42.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

My God. This word is singular; but the former "Elohim," is plural, to intimate one God in three persons. (Worthington) --- Harp. Hebrew cinnor, which Symmachus renders, "the psaltery." The sons of Core were chiefly door-keepers: but they also played on musical instruments. (Calmet)


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

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 42:5". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-42.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Why . . . ? Figure of speech Cycloides. The question repeated in Psalms 42:11 and Psalms 43:5. See the Structure, above.

And why . . . ? This second "why" is in the text of some codices, with Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, as in Psalms 42:11 and Psalms 43:5.

help. Hebrew, plural salvations. Plural of majesty = great help, or great salvation.

His. Hebrew text reads "my", so that, where I go I am delivered.

countenance. Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Part), put for the whole person.


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

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 42:5". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-42.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? He is affected in a double manner:

(1) by dejection (Hebrew, 'bowed down');

(2) by tumultuous, noisy restlessness ( tehemiy (Hebrew #1993)) - literally, disquiet like that of the roaring sea (Psalms 46:3; Jeremiah 5:22). His spiritual self debates with his flesh in its unbelieving despondency.

Hope thou in God the remedy against the weakness of the flesh Hope thou in God - the remedy against the weakness of the flesh.

For I shall yet praise him (for) the help of his countenance. Faith assures him that God will "help" him with "His countenance," and so will give him cause for "praise." There is no "for" in the Hebrew: the relation in which David will praise "Him" is in respect to "the help of (or rather, as the same Hebrew is translated in Psalms 42:11, the health-literally, plural, healths; saving healths; the manifold salvation emanating from) His countenance." Salvation is ascribed to 'the countenance of God,' as in the Mosaic blessing, "The Lord make His face shine upon thee ... the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace" (Numbers 6:25-26). The countenance of God is turned toward His servants, to bless them (Psalms 31:16; Psalms 44:3). The Septuagint, Vulgate, and Syriac read, 'The health of my countenance, and my God,' substituting 'my' for His, adding 'and,' and joining to this verse the words, "my God," of Psalms 42:6. Thus they make this verse exactly the same as Psalms 42:11, and Psalms 43:5. But the Hebrew poets introduce variations in repeating similar sentiments (Psalms 24:7; Psalms 24:9; Psalms 49:12; Psalms 49:20; Psalms 56:4; Psalms 56:11; Psalms 59:9; Psalms 59:17; cf. Psalms 42:2, "the living God," with Psalms 42:8, "the God of my life;" Psalms 42:9 with Psalms 43:2).

Moreover, the address, "O my God" (Psalms 42:6), is needed to escape the abruptness which would ensue by joining it to Psalms 42:5, end. Above all, there is a beautiful correspondence between "His countenance" here and "my countenance," Psalms 42:11. The health, or salvation, goes forth from God's loving countenance upon the afflicted countenance of the Psalmist. The light of God's countenance illuminates the darkness of his countenance (Hengstenberg). Compare 1 Samuel 30:6, as beautifully in undesigned coincidence with the character of David as it appears in this psalm - "David was greatly distressed ... but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God."

The sixth verse is a prefatory summary to the following strophe of five verses (Psalms 42:7-11). Psalms 42:7 is an expansion of the thought, "my soul is cast down;" Psalms 42:8-10 expands 'I will remember thee.'


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

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 42:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-42.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(5) Why art thou.—The refrain here breaks in on the song like a sigh, the spirit of dejection struggling against the spirit of faith.

Cast down.—Better, as in margin, bowed down, and in the original with a middle sense, “why bowest thou down thyself?”

Disquieted.—From root kindred to and with the meaning of our word “hum.” The idea of “internal emotion” is easily derivable from its use. We see the process in such expressions as Isaiah 16:11, “My bowels shall sound like a harp for Moab.”

For the help of his countenance.—There is no question but that we must read the refrain here as it is in Psa. , and in Psalms 43:5. The LXX. and Vulg. already have done so, and one Hebrew MS. notices the wrong accentuation of the text here. The rhythm without this change is defective, and the refrain unnecessarily altered. Such alteration, however, from comparison of Psalms 24:8; Psalms 24:10; Psalms 49:12; Psalms 49:20; Psalms 56:4; Psalms 56:10; Psalms 59:9; Psalms 59:17, is not unusual.


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

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 42:5". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-42.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
Why art thou cast down
Heb. Why art thou bowed down.
11; 35:14; 43:5; 55:4,5; 61:2; 142:2,3; 143:3,4; 1 Samuel 30:6; Mark 14:33,34
hope
27:13,14; 37:7; 56:3,11; 71:14; Job 13:15; Isaiah 50:10; Lamentations 3:24-26; Romans 4:18-20; Hebrews 10:36,37
praise him
or, give thanks. for the help, etc. or, his presence is salvation.
44:3; 91:15,16; Numbers 6:26; Matthew 1:23; 28:20

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

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 42:5". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-42.html.

Ver. 5. Why art thou troubled, my soul, and art so disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall still praise him, the salvation of his countenance. Calvin: "David represents himself here to us as divided into two parts. In so far as he rests through faith in God's promises, he raises himself, equipped with the spirit of an invincible valour, against the feelings of the flesh, and at the same time blames his weakness." It is the spirit mighty in God, which here meets the trembling soul, that in the book of Job appears personified as Job's wife. The weakness of the Psalmist manifests itself in a twofold manner, first, through deep dejection, ( שחח, in hithp. to bow one's self, to be troubled,) then through noisy restlessness,— חמה, frequently of the roaring of the waves of the sea, comp. Psalms 46:3, Jeremiah 4:19, Jeremiah 5:22. The means of help for his weakness, is hope in God, and the ground of hope his believing confidence, that the Lord, who is still always his God, will by his deliverance give him occasion for thanks. The expression: the salvation of his countenance, is appos. to the suffix of the verb. The salvation is attributed to the countenance of God, with reference to the Mosaic blessing, in which the bestowal of grace and peace goes forth from the countenance of the Lord, which is turned toward the blessed, compare Psalms 31:16, Psalms 44:3, Psalms 16:10, Psalms 17:15. On the plural ישועות compare on Psalms 18:50. Some expositors, after the example of the LXX, Vulgate, Syriac, read: ישועת פני ואלהי, the salvation of my countenance and my God, while they draw the אלהי of the following verse to this. They rest on the circumstance, that it is required in order to maintain uniformity between this, and the two terminating verses, Psalms 42:11, and Psalms 43:5. But that the Israelitish poets were accustomed, for the sake of shunning sameness of sound, such as might carry the appearance of want of feeling, to introduce into their reiterations small changes, is shown by Psalms 24:7, Psalms 24:9; Psalms 49:12, Psalms 49:20; Psalms 56:1, Psalms 56:11, Psalms 59:9, Psalms 59:17. In our religious poetry, also, this is to be met with. In the song: "wer weiss wie nahe mix mein ende," for ex. the regular form of reiteration is: "mein Gott ich bitt' durch Christi Blut, mach's nur mit meinem Ende gut," while in the last ver. it runs: "durch deine Gnad and Christi Blut machst du mein letztes Ende gut." The reading of the text, besides having the external proof on its side, is supported by the following reasons:—1. In the other passages which agree with each other in these Psalms, the coincidence is never a literal one, but is always attended with some slight variation. If men would change here, they must also, to be consistent, change the אל חי of Psalms 42:2, into the אלהיי of Psalms 42:8, the באמר of Psalms 42:3, into the באמרם of Psalms 42:10, as also conform to each other Psalms 42:9, and Psalms 43:2. 2. The "my God" cannot be wanted in the following verse. The address to God: I remember thee, comes in too abruptly, if it is cut off. 3. There manifestly exists between "his countenance" here, and "my countenance" in Psalms 42:11, a very perceptible connection. The salvation goes forth from the friendly countenance of God, and upon the afflicted countenance of the Psalmist. The light of the countenance of God illuminates the darkness of his countenance.


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

Bibliography
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Psalms 42:5". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/psalms-42.html.

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