corner graphic

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 90:13

 

 

Do return, O LORD; how long will it be? And be sorry for Your servants.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Return, O Lord, how long? - Wilt thou continue angry with us for ever?

Let it repent thee - הנחם hinnachem, be comforted, rejoice over them to do them good. Be glorified rather in our salvation than in our destruction.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 90:13". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-90.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Return, O Lord - Come back to thy people; show mercy by sparing them. It would seem probable from this that the psalm was composed in a time of pestilence, or raging sickness, which threatened to sweep all the people away - a supposition by no means improbable, as such times occurred in the days of Moses, and in the rebellions of the people when he was leading them to the promised land.

How long? - How long shall this continue? How long shall thy wrath rage? How long shall the people still fall under thy hand? This question is often asked in the Psalms. Psalm 4:2; Psalm 6:3; Psalm 13:1-2; Psalm 35:17; Psalm 79:5, et al.

And let it repent thee - That is, Withdraw thy judgments, and be merciful, as if thou didst repent. God cannot literally “repent,” in the sense that he is sorry for what he has done, but he may act “as if” he repented; that is, he may withdraw his judgments; he may arrest what has been begun; he may show mercy where it seemed that he would only show wrath.

Concerning thy servants - In respect to thy people. Deal with them in mercy and not in wrath.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 90:13". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-90.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Psalms 90:13

Return, O Lord, how long?
and let it repent Thee concerning Thy servants.

God’s return to the soul or nation

I. God doth sometimes desert and depart from His people for a time. Not in regard of their union, but in regard of communion and manifestation. Though nothing is hid from the heat of this sun, yet our souls may be hid from the light of this sun: God doth sometimes depart from His own people. There are some graces that do not open nor show themselves but in the sunshining day of God’s presence--thankfulness, joy, assurance. But there are other graces, that are best seen when God withdraws, and when God is absent--faith in God, and love to God especially.

II. The people of God are very sensible of His displeasure. They look upon it as a very tedious thing; and most afflictions. “O Lord, how long?” Without the presence of God they have no enjoyment, their enjoyments are as no enjoyments: the presence of God with them is the top of all their enjoyments. If the sun be down, it is not all the torches and candles lighted up that will give you a day; and if God be gone, it is not all your creature comforts will give you joy.

III. In the time of those departures their great desire is that God would return. What is the presence of God but the most desirable thing in the world? (Acts 3:19). God’s presence is the saint’s pleasure. God never returns empty-handed to His people. When He hath stricken them, He will let out more love unto them than ever before.

IV. When the Lord doth return unto His people, He doth then repent Him concerning His servants.

1. God doth not repent by the changing of His affection, but by the changing of His dispensation.

2. God will more easily repent of His judgments than of His mercies.

3. How it may appear that when God returns unto His people, that then He will repent Him concerning His servants. Why that appears by the thing itself. If a man say he will go from such a town and never return again, and then do return, he doth repent him concerning the thing, by his return; and so concerning God (Jeremiah 18:7-8).

4. But then, how shall we know in case God be absent, or God be departed, to know that God will return again? You may know it by your relations. If you be in covenant with God, God will return again to you though now He be absent; “Though He afflict you with rods, His lovingkindness will He not take away, nor suffer his faithfulness to fail.”

V. What shall we do that God may return again?

1. Be sure of this, that you keep your door open, the door of your hearts open for Christ’s return. When the master is abroad, the servant sits up to keep the door open for his coming in.

2. Be sure of this, that now in the time of Christ’s absence you neglect no duty, though very unsavoury to you. The more unsavoury the duty now is unto you through the absence of Christ, the more acceptable unto Christ.

3. Be sure that you go and stand there where Christ used to be. (W. Bridge, M.A.)


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

Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Psalms 90:13". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/psalms-90.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Return, O Lord,.... Either from the fierceness of thine anger, according to Aben Ezra and Jarchi; of which complaint is made, Psalm 90:7, or unto us, from whom he had departed; for though God is everywhere, as to his being and immensity, yet, as to his gracious presence, he is not; and where that is, he sometimes withdraws it; and when he visits again with it, be may be said to return; and when he returns, he visits with it, and which is here prayed for; and designs a manifestation of himself, of his love and grace, and particularly his pardoning mercy; see Psalm 80:14.

how long? this is a short abrupt way of speaking, in which something is understood, which the affection of the speaker would not admit him to deliver; and may be supplied, either thus,

how long wilt thou be angry? God is sometimes angry with his people, which, when they are sensible of, gives them a pain and uneasiness they are not able to bear; and though it endures but for a moment, yet they think it a long time; see Psalm 30:5. Arama interprets it,

"how long ere the time of the Messiah shall come?'

or "how long wilt thou hide thyself?" when he does this, they are troubled; and though it is but for a small moment he forsakes them, yet they count it long, and as if it was for ever; see Psalm 13:1, or "how long wilt thou afflict us?" as the Targum; afflictions come from the Lord, and sometimes continue long; at least they are thought so by the afflicted, who are ready to fear God has forgotten them and their afflictions, Psalm 44:23, or "how long wilt thou defer help?" the Lord helps, and that right early, at the most seasonable time, and when difficulties, are the greatest; but it sometimes seems long first; see Psalm 6:3,

and let it repent thee concerning thy servants; men are all so, of right, by creation, and through the benefits of Providence; and many, in fact, being made willing servants by the grace of God; and this carries in it an argument for the petition: repentance does not properly belong to God; it is denied of him, Numbers 23:19, yet it is sometimes ascribed to him, both with respect to the good he has done, or promised, and with respect to the evil he has brought on men, or threatened to bring; see Genesis 6:6, and in the latter sense it is to be understood here; and intends not any change of mind or will in God, which cannot be; but a change of his dispensations, with respect to desertion, affliction, and the like; which the Targum expresses thus,

"and turn from the evil thou hast said thou wilt do to thy servants:'

if this respects the Israelites in the wilderness, and their exclusion from Canaan, God never repented of what he threatened; he swore they should not enter it, and they did not, only their children, excepting two persons: some render the words, "comfort thy servants"F6הנחם "consolare", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus. ; with thy presence, the discoveries of thy love, especially pardoning grace, and by removing afflictions, or supporting under them.


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 90:13". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-90.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Return, O LORD, m how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.

(m) Meaning, will you be angry?

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

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 90:13". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-90.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

(Compare Psalm 13:2).

let it repent — a strong figure, as in Exodus 32:12, imploring a change in His dealings.


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 90:13". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-90.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.

Return — To us in mercy.

How long — Will it be before thou return to us? Repent thee - Of thy severe proceedings against us.


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 90:13". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-90.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

13.Return, O Jehovah! how long? After having spoken in the language of complaint, Moses adds a prayer, That God, who had not ceased for a long time severely to punish his people, would at length be inclined to deal gently with them. Although God daily gave them in many ways some taste of his love, yet their banishment from the land of promise was a very grievous affliction; for it admonished them that they were unworthy of that blessed inheritance which he had appointed for his children. They could not fail often to remember that dreadful oath which he had thundered out against them,

“Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness,”
(
Numbers 14:23.) (573)

Moses, no doubt, combines that sore bondage which they had suffered in Egypt with their wanderings in the wilderness; and therefore he justly bewails their protracted languishing in the words how long? As God is said to turn his back upon us, or to depart to a distance from us, when he withdraws the tokens of his favor, so by his return we are to understand the manifestation of his grace. The word נחם, nacham, which we have translated be pacified, signifies to repent, and may therefore not improperly be explained thus: Let it repent thee concerning thy servants. According to the not unfrequent and well known phraseology of Scripture, God is said to repent, when putting away men’s sorrow, and affording new ground of gladness, he appears as it were to be changed. Those, however, seem to come nearer the mind of the Psalmist who translate, Comfort thyself over thy servants; for God, in cherishing us tenderly, takes no less pleasure in us than does a father in his own children. Now that is nothing else than to be pacified or propitious, as we have translated it, to make the meaning the more obvious.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 90:13". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-90.html. 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes

repent

(See Scofield "Zechariah 8:14").


Copyright Statement
These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.

Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Psalms 90:13". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/psalms-90.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 90:13 Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.

Ver. 13. Let it repent thee] Or, comfort thou thy servants.


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

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 90:13". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-90.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 90:13. Return, O Lord! how long Return, O Lord! how long [will it be first]? Mudge: giving rather the meaning, than the emphatical energy of the original; which is best expressed by the abruptness of our version.


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

Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 90:13". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-90.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Return, O Lord, to us in mercy; for thou seemest to have forsaken us and cast us off.

How long; understand, wilt thou be angry; or, will it be ere thou return to us?

Concerning thy servants; i.e. of thy severe proceedings against us, and change thy course and carriage to us.


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

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 90:13". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-90.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

13. Return, O Lord—These terrible judgments are viewed as the result of the divine withdrawal. God is supposed to withdraw when he punishes, and to return when he renews his mercy. The previous verse is a prayer that they might return to God; this that he would return to them.

How long— That is, how long wilt thou afflict us?

Let it repent thee—Have compassion. The word denotes a change of treatment, which, with men, would imply a change of feeling, or repentance, but as applied to God it is anthropopathic.


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

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 90:13". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-90.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Asp. Which kills in eight hours time at farthest, making the blood congeal.--- Basilisk. "The little king" of serpents. What is related of it seems fabulous. (Pliny, [Natural History?] viii. 21.; Solin xxx.) (Calmet) --- Yet there might be some species known by this name, possessing fascinating qualities like the rattle-snake. (Berthier) --- The sight of it alone could not destroy a man; otherwise how could any account of it have been given? Hebrew ssel means a lion in Job, (Berthier) and phethen, "an asp," (Calmet) or basilisk. (Bochart) --- Dragon. Crocodile. (Calmet) --- The most noxious animals, both of sea and land, shall prove quite harmless to the true servants of God, when he intends to prove the truth of his religion, as he did in the cases of Daniel, and of the disciples of Christ, Mark xvi. If they be suffered to kill the saints here, it is in order that they may be glorified in heaven, ver. 15. (Haydock) --- The devil is styled an asp, &c. (Berthier) --- He sometimes attacks the Church, by craft, and at other times by open violence. But she [the Church] remains secure, (St. Augustine) and her children can only be preserved by continuing in her bosom. To know which is the true Church; "see, says St. Gregory, (Mor. xx. 29.) which are the most recent sects." (Berthier) --- Methodists may now wrest this honour from the rest of Protestants. (Haydock)


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

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 90:13". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-90.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Return. Same word as Psalms 90:3.

LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

how long. Supply Ellipsis: "how long [shall we wait for Thy return]? "


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

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 90:13". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-90.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(13) Return.—Better, turn, either from anger (Exodus 32:12), or merely as in Psalms 6:4, “turn to thy servant.”

Plainly we have here the experience of some particular epoch, and a prayer for Israel. From his meditation on the shortness of human existence the poet does not pass to a prayer for a prolonged life for himself, like Hezekiah, but for some intervention in relief of the suffering community of which he forms. part.

How long?—See Note, Psalms 74:9.

Let it repent thee.—Better, have pity on. (See Deuteronomy 32:36.)


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

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 90:13". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-90.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.
Return
6:4; 80:14; Jeremiah 12:15; Joel 2:13,14; Zechariah 1:16
how
89:46
let it
106:45; 135:14; Exodus 32:14; Deuteronomy 32:36; Hosea 11:8; Amos 7:3,6; Jonah 3:9

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

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 90:13". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-90.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