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Psalms 42 and 43

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#1
ayin jade

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Psalms 42 and 43 should be read and studied together. For this reason Im posting both of them in one thread. 

 

Overview

 

It is not absolutely certain who composed these psalms. Psalm 42 was written with some reference to the “sons of Korah;” that is, to those who presided over the music of the sanctuary. In other words, it was prepared especially to be used by them in the sanctuary, in contrast to psalms which had a more general reference, or which were composed for no such specific design. If it was written by the sons of Korah, that is, by any one of their number, it was intended by the author, undoubtedly, to illustrate the feelings of a man of God in deep trials; and the language and the allusions were possibly drawn from the history of David, as furnishing the best historical instance for such an illustration of feeling. 
 
Psalm 43 is without a title. It bears, however, a very strong resemblance, in its general spirit and in its structure, to Psa_42:1-11, and was likely composed by the same author, and in reference to the same occasion. The resemblance between the two psalms is so striking that many have supposed that they are parts of the same psalm, and as this one terminates with the same language Psa_43:5 as that which occurs at the close of the two parts of Psa_42, verses 5 and 11.
Psa 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. 
Psa 42:11  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, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. 
Psa 43:5  Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. 
 
It has been conjectured by many that Psalm 43 is the third part or strophe of one psalm combined with Psalm 42. The structure of both is the same, though they are separated in most of the Hebrew manuscripts, in the Septuagint and Latin Vulgate. Hebrew manuscripts show that they are in fact two distinct psalms. Either they were originally one psalm broken into two psalms long ago or this psalm was composed by the same author, as a kind of supplement to the former psalm, or as expressing, in a slightly different form, the emotions which passed through his mind on that same occasion. Together they can be viewed in three parts. Psalm 42:1-5 is longing for God. Psalm 42:6-11 as remembering God and Psalm 43:1-5 as trusting God. 
 
Whether or not one sees psalms 42 and 43 as two parts of the same psalm or two separate psalms, together they form a coherent song. The psalm or psalms fall into three parts (psalm 42:1-5, psalm 42:6-11 and psalm 43:1-5), each closing with the same refrain. Longings and tears, remembrances of festal hours passed in the sanctuary melt the singer’s soul, while taunting enemies hiss continual sarcasms at him as forsaken by his God. But his truer self silences these lamentations, and cheers the feebler "soul" with clear notes of trust and hope, blown in the refrain, like some trumpet clang rallying dispirited fugitives to the fight. The stimulus serves for a moment; but once more courage fails, and once more, at yet greater length and with yet sadder tones, plaints and longings are wailed forth. Once more, too, the higher self repeats its half-rebuke, half-encouragement. So ends the first of the psalms; but obviously it is no real ending, for the victory over fear is not won, and longing has not become blessed. So once more the wave of emotion rolls over the psalmist, but with a new aspect which makes all the difference. He prays now; he had only remembered and complained and said that he would pray before. Therefore now he triumphs, and though he still is keenly conscious of his enemies, they appear but for a moment, and though he still feels that he is far from the sanctuary, his heart goes out in hopeful visions of the gladness of his return thither, and he already tastes the rapture of the joy that will then flood his heart. Therefore the refrain comes for a third time; and this time the longing, trembling soul continues at the height to which the better self has lifted it, and silently acknowledges that it need not have been cast down. Thus the whole song is a picture of a soul climbing, not without backward slips, from the depths to the heights, or, in another aspect, of the transformation of longing into certainty of fruition, which is itself fruition after a kind.
 
Psa_42:1-11 consists of two parts, marked by the refrain in Psa_42:5 and Psa_42:11. If you include Psa_43:1-5 together with this psalm, the two would be divided into three parts, marked by the same refrain, in Psa_42:5, Psa_42:11; Psa_43:5. Of each of these parts the general structure is similar, containing
(a) an expression of trouble, sorrow, despondency; and then
(b) a solemn appeal of the author to his own soul, asking why he should be cast down, and exhorting himself to put his trust in God.
 
Psalm 42 records the feelings of one who had been driven away from the place where he had been accustomed to worship God, and his recollections of those sad days when he endeavored to comfort himself in his despondency by looking to God, and by dwelling on his promises. The idea of the whole is that we should not be overwhelmed or cast down in trouble; that we should confide in God; that we should be cheerful, not desponding; that we should go to God, whatever may happen.
I. In the first part Psa_42:1-5 there is
1) An expression of his desire to hold communion with God - the panting of his soul after God, Psa_42:1-2.
2) his tears under the reproaches of his enemies, while they said, “Where is thy God?” Psa_42:3.
3) his remembrance of the former days when he had gone with the multitude to the house of God; and the expression of a firm belief, implied in the language used, that he would go again to the house of God, and with them would keep “holyday,” Psa_42:4. 
4) Self-remonstrance for his despondency, and an exhortation to himself to arouse and to trust in God, with the confident assurance that he would yet be permitted to praise Him, Psa_42:5.
II. The second part contains a series of similar reflections, Psa_42:6-11.
1) a description of his desponding feelings under these circumstances; under the troubles which had rolled over him like waters, Psa_42:6-7.
2) an assurance that God would yet manifest His loving-kindness to him; and, on the ground of that, an earnest appeal to God as his God, Psa_42:8-9.
3) a further statement of his troubles, as derived from the reproaches of his enemies, as if a sword penetrated even to his bones, Psa_42:10.
4) Self-remonstrance again for his despondency, and an exhortation to himself to trust in God (in the same language with which the former part of the psalm closes), Psa_42:11.
 
Psalm 42 contains a prescription for a downcast soul, consisting of three ingredients.
I. The first is inquiry: "Why art thou cast down?" Religious despondency must have a cause; and if we can discover it in any case, the old proverb holds good that a knowledge of the disease is half its cure.
II. The second ingredient is remembrance: (1) the Psalmist’s remembrance of his own experience and (2) his remembrance of God’s gracious dealings with others.
III. The third ingredient is hope: "Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise Him." (1) The hope is to be in God. (2) The downcast soul must hope in God, and not in change of circumstance. (3) Hope is a different thing from faith, while the operations of the two are nevertheless closely allied.
 
Psalm 43 contains
1) an earnest appeal to God to assist the suffering author, and to protect him from the efforts of an ungodly nation, and from the designs of the deceitful and unjust man, Psa_43:1;
2) an appeal to God as his strength, with the language of anxious inquiry why he had cast him off, and had suffered him to go mourning because of the oppression of his enemy, Psa_43:2;
3) an earnest prayer that God would interpose, and would send out his light and his truth, and would permit him to go again to his holy hill, to the tabernacles, and to the altar, Psa_43:3-4; and
4), as in Psa_42:5, Psa_42:11, self-reproach that he is thus dejected and dispirited, and an appeal to his own soul to arouse itself, and to put its trust in God. It is a psalm, like psalm 42, of great practical value to those who, in affliction, are sad and desponding.
 

 

 



#2
ayin jade

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Psa 42:1  To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 
 
To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah – Maschil properly means giving instruction. Why such a title was prefixed to this psalm rather than to others is unknown. So far as appears, the title, in that sense, would be applicable to many other psalms as well as to these, whether understood in the signification of “giving instruction” in general, or of “giving instruction” on any particular subject. It is not easy to give an account of the origin of such titles long after the occasion for affixing them has passed away. 
 
To the chief Musician, for the sons of Korah – This title is prefixed to eleven psalms. The psalms to which this title is prefixed are the Psa_42; 44; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 84; 85; 87; and psalm 88. Please see my study on the Sons of Korah here.
 
for the sons of Korah –The Hebrew may mean for the sons of Korah; of the sons of Korah; or to the sons of Korah. The Septuagint renders the title For the end, [a Psalm] for instruction, for the sons of Core. (Septuagint) The general appellation, the “sons of Korah,” seems to have been given to a company or class of singers. Their office was to preside over the music of the sanctuary; to arrange tunes for the music; to distribute the parts; and possibly to furnish compositions for that service. Whether, however, they actually composed any of the psalms is uncertain. It would seem that the usual custom was for the author of a psalm or hymn designed for public service to deliver it, when composed, into the hands of these leaders of the music, to be employed by them in the public devotions of the people. Thus, in 1Ch_16:7 Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the LORD into the hand of Asaph and his brethren. 
 
for the sons of Korah - Korah was he who was at the head of a conspiracy against Moses and Aaron, for which sin the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed alive him and his company, and fire devoured two hundred and fifty more; the history of which is recorded in Num_16 yet all his posterity were not cut off, Num_26:11 Notwithstanding the children of Korah died not. Some were in David's time porters, or keepers of the gates of the tabernacle, and some were singers; 1Ch_6:33; and to the chief musician was this psalm directed for them to sing.
 
As the hart panteth after the water-brooks - The word rendered hart means commonly a stag, hart, male deer. The word rendered in the text “panteth,” occurs only in this place and in Joe_1:20, where it is applied to the beasts of the field as “crying” to God in a time of drought. The word properly means to rise; to ascend; and then, to look up toward anything; to long for. It is the idea of looking for, longing for, desiring, that is expressed there. It refers here to the intense desire of the hind, in the heat of day, for water; or, in Joel, to the desire of the cattle for water in a time of drought. 
 
so panteth my soul after thee - This language is that of the true Christian believer. The strength that he feels is not the strength of a transient passion of the heart, but the thirst of an enlightened, sanctified, and believing soul. The object of that thirst is God. Its object indicates its origin; for a thirst that stretches upwards to God originates with the inspiration of God, and, like true religion, must have had its origin in God. This thirst is caused by admiration of God; by love of God; by desire after His holiness and His presence, and His promised restoration of all things. But how does the Christian reach the element that will satisfy this the thirst of his soul?
1. First, by thinking upon Him. A Christian in solitude and in silence can think of God. Now, communion with God, thinking of Him, what He is, what He has done what He has promised to do, what He will give, and what He has given, is really letting the water pot descend into that better than Jacob’s well, to bring from its cool depths that which will satisfy our thirst for God, for the living God.
2. A Christian will try to satisfy his thirst for God by reading His holy Word. What is the Bible? Just a description of who God is. It is poetry, and oratory, and history, and all the resources of human thought, of human genius, inspired by the Spirit of God, designed to stimulate your thirst for Him, and to bring you into closer contact with the inexhaustible Fountain out of which you may drink freely.
3. In the next place, you gratify this thirst, and you deepen it also while you do so, in the exercises of public prayer and praise, and public worship.
4. And we gratify this thirst, as well as excite it, by appearing from time to time at the table of our blessed Lord. 
 
so panteth my soul after thee - Genuine piety is the tendency of the soul towards God; the aspiration of the immortal spirit after the Lord, in a desire to know Him and to be like Him. All true piety, all genuine devotion in fallen man, has a near and intimate connection with the Lord Jesus, and is dependent on Him. It is by His mediation that the devout soul aspires towards the blessed God; it thirsts for fuller and clearer discoveries of His glories, as they shine with a mild effulgence in the person of His incarnate Son; it longs to attain that conformity to Him of which it sees in Jesus Christ the perfect model. 
 
so panteth my soul after thee - it elevates and purifies the soul, and produces in the character all that is lovely and of good report. From a world groaning under the ruins of the apostasy, where darkness, and pollution, and misery prevail, and death reigns, the child of God looks up to that glorious Being whose essence pervades the universe, and whose perfections and blessedness are immense, unchanging, and eternal, and he longs to know and resemble Him. Each changing scene of his earthly pilgrimage affords the devout man opportunity of growing in the knowledge and the likeness of God.
 
As the hart panteth after the water brooks - Either through a natural thirst that creature is said to have; or through the heat of the summer season; and especially when hunted by dogs, it betakes itself to rivers of water, partly to make its escape, and partly to extinguish its thirst, and refresh itself. The word here used denotes the cry of the hart, when in distress for water, and pants after it.


#3
ayin jade

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Psa 42:2  My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? 
 
For the living God - God, not merely as God, without anything more definitely specified, but God considered as living, as Himself possessing life, and as having the power of imparting that life to the soul.
 
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God - Who is so called, in opposition to the idols of the Gentiles, which were lifeless statues; and who is the author, giver, and maintainer of natural life; and who has promised and provided eternal life in His Son; and is Himself the fountain of life, and the fountain of living waters. 
 
My soul thirsteth for God - Joh 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, Give Me to drink, you would have asked of Him, and He would have given you living water. Joh 4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. 
 
When shall I come and appear before God? - That is, as I have been accustomed to do in the sanctuary. When shall I be restored to the privilege of again uniting with His people in public prayer and praise? The psalmist evidently expected that this would be; but to one who loves public worship the time seems long when he is prevented from enjoying that privilege.
 
when shall I come and appear before God - meaning in the tabernacle, where were the worship of God, and the ark, the symbol of the divine Presence, and where the Israelites appeared before Him, even in Zion.
 
Psa 42:3  My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
 
My tears have been my meat - The word rendered tears in this place is in the singular number, and means literally weeping. The word meat here means literally bread, and is used in the general signification of food. The idea here is, that instead of eating, he had wept. The state described is that which occurs so often when excessive sorrow takes away the appetite, or destroys the relish for food, and occasions fasting. 
 
My tears have been my meat day and night - My longing has been so intense after spiritual blessings, that I have forgotten to take my necessary food; and my sorrow has been so great, that I have had no appetite for any. I feel more for the honor of my God and his truth than for myself, when the idolaters, who have thy people in captivity, insultingly cry, Where is thy God?
 
Where is thy God? - The meaning here is, “He seems to be utterly forsaken or abandoned by God. He trusted in God. He professed to be his friend. He looked to him as his protector. But it appears to others that he is now forsaken, as if he had no God; and God is treating him as if he were none of his; as if he had no love for him, and no concern about his welfare.”


#4
ayin jade

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Psa 42:4  When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. 
 
When I remember these things - These sorrows; this banishment from the house of God; these reproaches of my enemies. The verb used here is in the future tense, and would be appropriately rendered “I will remember these things, and I will pour out my soul within me.” That is, it is not a mere recollection of the past, but it indicates a state or purpose of mind - a solemn resolution to bear these things ever in remembrance, and to allow them to produce a proper impression on his mind and heart that would not be effaced by time. Though the future tense is used as denoting what the state of his mind would be, the immediate reference is to the past. The sorrows and afflictions which had overwhelmed him were the things he would remember.
 
I pour out my soul in me - The idea is derived from the fact that the soul in grief seems to be dissolved, or to lose all firmness, consistency, or power, and to be like water. 
 
I pour out my soul in me - he had no life nor spirit in him, but was quite overwhelmed with distress and anguish; or he poured out his soul in prayer to God, that it might be with him as in times past; 
 
For I had gone with the multitude - The word here rendered “multitude” occurs nowhere else in the Scriptures. It is supposed to denote properly a thicket of trees; a thick wood; and then, a crowd of men. The Septuagint renders it, Psalms 42:4 I remembered these things, and poured out my soul in me, for I will go to the place of thy wondrous tabernacle, [even] to the house of God, with a voice of exultation and thanksgiving and of the sound of those who keep festival. (Septuagint) The Hebrew verb is in the future - “I shall pass,” or “when I pass,” indicating a confident expectation of a favorable issue of his present trials, and referring not to the fact that he had gone with the multitude in time past, but to the fact that he would be permitted to go with them in solemn procession to the house of God, and that then he would recall these things, and pour out his soul in the fullness of his emotions. The Septuagint renders this in the future. This interpretation, referring it to the future, also brings this part of the psalm into harmony with the subsequent part Psa_42:8, where the author of the psalm confidently expresses the same hope.
 
I went with them to the house of God - The tabernacle; the place of public worship. The Hebrew verb here is also in the future tense, and, in accordance with the interpretation above, the meaning is, “I will go,” etc. The word occurs only here, and in Isa_38:15, “I shall go softly all my years.” It seems here to be used with reference to a movement in a slow and solemn procession, as in the usual processions connected with public worship among the Hebrews. The meaning is, that he would go with the multitude with seriousness and solemnity, as they went up to the house of God to worship.
 
With a multitude that kept holyday - The word here rendered “multitude” is different from that which is employed in the former part of the verse. This is the usual word to denote a multitude. It literally means a noise or sound, as of rain; then, a multitude or crowd making a noise, as of nations, or of an army. The word rendered “that kept holyday” means literally dancing; dancing in a circle; and then, keeping a festival, celebrating a holyday, as this was done formerly by leaping and dancing, Exo_5:1; Lev_23:41. The meaning is, that he would join with the multitude in the joyful celebrations of public worship. This was the bright anticipation before him in exile; this cheered and sustained his heart when sinking in despair.
 
that kept holy day - as especially on the three great festivals in the year, the feasts of passover, pentecost, and tabernacles, when all the males of Israel appeared before God together, and which was a large multitude; and a delightful sight it was to behold them, when they were all engaged in religious worship at once. 


#5
ayin jade

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Psa 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. 
 
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? - 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. Psalms 42:5 Wherefore art thou very sad, O my soul? and wherefore dost thou trouble me? hope in God; for I will give thanks to him; [he is] the salvation of my countenance. (Septuagint)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 had been indulged too freely, and that it was wrong: that it was proper for a man like him to seek for comfort in the Lord. 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. We find our joy in Him despite the circumstances in life. Every sad and desponding Christian ought to say to his soul, “Why art thou thus cast down?”
 
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. Rom 5:3-5 And not only this, but we glory in afflictions also, knowing that afflictions work out patience, and patience works out experience, and experience works out hope. And hope does not make us ashamed, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit given to us. 1Pe 1:6-7 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
 
Hope thou in God - That is, trust in Him. The soul turns to God when all other hope fails, and finds comfort in Him.
 
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 favor 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 – Praise Him in all things, for He is worthy to be praised. 
 
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. 
Compare to
Psa 11:7 For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright. 
Psa 21:6 For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance. 
Psa 44:3 For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them. 
Psa 89:15 Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.
 
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; 
 
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.


#6
ayin jade

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Psa 42:6  O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. 
 
O my God, my soul is cast down within me - This is the utterance of a soul in anguish, notwithstanding the purpose not to be cast down, and the conviction that hope ought to be cherished. The psalmist cannot but say that, despite all this, he is sad. His troubles come rushing over his soul; they all return at once; his heart is oppressed, and he is constrained to confess that, notwithstanding his solemn purpose not to be sad, and the conviction that he ought to be cheerful, yet his sorrows get the mastery over all this, and his heart is filled with grief. What sufferer has not felt thus? When he really wished to trust in God; when he hoped that things would be better; when he saw that he ought to be calm and cheerful, his sorrows have returned like a flood, sweeping all these feelings away for the time, filling his soul with anguish, compelling him to form these resolutions anew, and driving him afresh to the throne of grace, to beat back the returning tide of grief, and to bring the soul to calmness and peace.
 
O my God, my soul is cast down within me - Which the psalmist repeats, partly to show the greatness of his dejection, though he had not lost his view of interest in God as his covenant God; and partly to observe another method he made use of to remove his dejection and refresh his spirits; and that was by calling to mind past experiences of divine goodness; The way to forget our miseries, is to remember the God of our mercies.
 
Therefore will I remember thee - I will look to Thee; I will come to Thee; I will recall Thy former merciful visitations. In this lone land; far away from the place of worship; in the midst of these privations, troubles, and sorrows; having no source of consolation here, I will remember my God. Even here, amidst these sorrows, I will lift up my heart in grateful remembrance of Him, and will think of Him alone. 
 
Therefore will I remember thee - Man’s natural instinct, when his soul is cast down within him, is to forget God, and not to remember Him, to let God and the higher world slip out of his relaxing hand. Despair is reckless, and deep misery tends strongly to despair. Here is the fundamental principle of relief from crushing burdens of care. God cares more for me, for my present and my future, than I care for myself. Here is a fountain of inspiration, the kindling of an unconquerable hope.
 
From the land of Jordan - The words which follow are designed merely to give an idea of the desolation and sadness of his condition, and of the fact of his exile.
 
From the land of Jordan - Referring probably to the fact he was then in that “land.” The phrase would denote the region adjacent to the Jordan, and through which the Jordan flowed, that is the region through which that river flows. The lands adjacent to the Jordan on either side were covered with underbrush and thickets, and were, in former times, the favorite resorts of wild animals: Jer_49:19; Jer_50:44. The psalmist would have been on the eastern side of the Jordan.
 
And of the Hermonites - The land of the Hermonites. The region in which Mount Hermon is situated. This was on the northeast of Palestine, beyond the Jordan. Mount Hermon was a ridge or spur of Antilibanus: Jos_11:3, Jos_11:17. This spur or ridge lies near the sources of the Jordan. It consists of several summits. Perhaps after passing the Jordan the psalmist had gone in that direction in his exile. Current maps show Mount Hermon located on the border between Syria and Lebanon, to the north of Israel.
 
And of the Hermonites - the Hermons, used in the plural because Hermon has a double ridge joining in an angle, and rising in many summits. The river Jordan, and the mountains of Hermon, were the most striking features of the holy land.
 
From the hill Mizar - The little hill according to the Septuagint. Psalm 42:6 O my God, my soul has been troubled within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Ermonites, from the little hill. (Septuagint) The word Mizar, or Mitsar (Hebrew), means properly smallness; and thus, anything small or little. The word seems here, however, to be used as a proper name, and was probably applied to some part of that mountain-range, though to what particular portion is now unknown. This appears to have been the place where the psalmist took up his abode in his exile. As no such name is now known to be given to any part of that mountain-range, it is impossible to identify the spot. It would seem from the following verse, however, that it was not far from the Jordan.


#7
ayin jade

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Psa 42:7  Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. 
 
Deep calleth unto deep - The language used here would seem to imply that the psalmist was near some floods of water, some rapid river or water-fall, which constituted an appropriate illustration of the waves of sorrow that were rolling over his soul. The word rendered deep means properly a wave, billow, surge, and then, a mass of waters; a flood - the deep; the sea. In this latter sense it is used in Deu_8:7; Eze_31:4; Gen_7:11; Job_28:14; Job_38:16, Job_38:30; Psa_36:6. The word “calleth,” here means that one wave seemed to speak to another, or one wave responded to another. 
 
Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of the water spouts - By which are meant afflictions, comparable to the deep waters of the sea, for their multitude and overwhelming nature; these came pouring down, one after another, upon the psalmist: as soon as one affliction over, another came, as in the case of Job; which is signified by one calling to another, and were clamorous, troublesome, and very grievous and distressing; 
 
At the noise of thy waterspouts - literally, “at the voice.” That is, “water-spouts” make a noise. The word “water-spouts” occurs only here and in 2Sa_5:8, where it is rendered gutter. It properly means a cataract, or a waterfall, or a watercourse, as in 2 Samuel. Any pouring of water - as from the clouds, or in a swollen river - would correspond with the use of the word here. It may have been rain pouring down; or it may have been the Jordan pouring its floods over rocks, for it is well known that the descent of the Jordan in that part is rapid, and especially when swollen. 
 
All thy waves and thy billows are gone over me - The waves of sorrow; anguish of soul; of which rolling floods would be an emblem. The rushing, and heaving, and restless waters furnished the psalmist with an illustration of the deep sorrows of his soul. So we speak of “floods of grief ... floods of tears,” “oceans of sorrows,” as if waves and billows swept over us. And so we speak of being “drowned in grief;” or “in tears.” Compare Psa 124:4-5 Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul: Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.
 
all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me - with which he seemed to be covered and overwhelmed, as a ship is at sea. 
 
Psa 42:8  Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. 
 
Yet the Lord – The word Lord is Jehovah, the God of the Covenant. This is the first time the psalmist uses this word for God instead of Elohim. This marks a turning point in the mindset of the psalmist. Here he is remembering that He is the God of the covenant with Israel and that He is with him even in this place.  
 
Yet the Lord will command his loving-kindness in the daytime - literally, “By day the Lord will command his mercy;” that is, He will so order or direct His mercy or His favor. The word “daytime” here refers evidently to times of prosperity; and the expectation of the psalmist was that prosperity would return; that he might hope for better days; that the loving-kindness of God would again be manifested to him. He did not wholly despair. He expected to see better times; and, in view of this, and in the confident assurance of it, he says in the subsequent part of the verse that even in the night - the season of calamity - his song should be unto God, and he would praise Him. 
 
And in the night his song shall be with me - I will praise Him, even in the dark night of calamity and sorrow. God will even then give me such views of Himself, and such manifest consolations, that my heart will be full of gratitude, and my lips will utter praise. 
 
in the night his song shall be with me - signifying that he strongly believed he should have occasion of singing praise to God in the night season, though he was now in such mournful circumstances: 
 
my prayer unto the God of my life - natural, spiritual, and eternal; being the author, giver, and preserver of each; and this is no inconsiderable mercy, to have such a God to pray unto in a time of distress; as well as in a time of salvation, to go to, and make known requests with thanksgiving; which seems to be intended here, since it is joined with a song. Prayer and praise go together, the object of which are not lifeless idols, that cannot save; but the living God, who is a God hearing and answering prayer, and does not despise the prayer of the destitute. 
 
And my prayer unto the God of my life - To God, who has given me life, and who preserves my life. The meaning is, that in the dark night of sorrow and trouble he would not cease to call on God. Feeling that He had given life, and that He was able to sustain and to defend life, he would go to Him and ask for His mercy. He would not allow affliction to drive him from God, but it should lead him the more earnestly and fervently to implore His aid. Afflictions, God’s apparently severe dealings, which it might be supposed would have a tendency to turn people from God, are the very means of leading them to Him.


#8
ayin jade

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Psa 42:9  I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 
 
I will say unto God my rock - God, my Fortress and Support. I will appeal to God as my defense, my helper, my Savior. A name frequently given to the eternal God, Father, Son, and Spirit, Deu 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
 
Why hast thou forgotten me? - He had seemed to forget and forsake him, for He did not come to interpose and save him. This is a part of the prayer which he says Psa_42:8 that he would use.
 
Why go I mourning? - The idea is that of being bowed down, made sad, deeply afflicted, as one forsaken.
 
Because of the oppression of the enemy - In the oppression of the enemy; that is, during its continuance, or on account of it. The word here rendered “oppression” means distress, affliction, straits, Job_36:15; 1Ki_22:27; Isa_30:20. 
 
why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy - it may refer to any spiritual enemy, sin, Satan, and the world; who are very oppressive and afflicting, and cause continual mourning to the children of God.
 
Psa 42:10  As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? 
 
As with a sword in my bones - The treatment which I receive in their reproaches is like death. The word rendered “sword” means properly killing, slaying, breaking in pieces, crushing. It occurs only here and in Eze_21:22, where it is rendered slaughter. Psalm 42:10 While my bones were breaking, they that afflicted me reproached me; while they said to me daily, Where is thy God? (Septuagint) The idea in the Hebrew is, that their reproaches were like breaking or crushing his very bones. 
 
Mine enemies reproach me - That is, as one forsaken of God, and as suffering justly under His displeasure. Their argument was, that if he was truly the friend of God, He would not leave him thus; that the fact of his being thus abandoned proved that he was not a friend of God.
 
As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me - The reproaches of his enemies were grievous and cutting to him, as if a sword pierced through the marrow in his bones, which, being very sensitive, gives exquisite pain. 
 
Psa 42:11  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, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. 
 
Why art thou cast down, O my soul - This closes the second strophe of the psalm, and, with only slight variations, is the same as that which closes the first Psa_42:5. The sense, however, is the same; and the verse contains, as before, self-reproof for being thus cast down, and self-exhortation to put trust in God. In the former part of the psalm Psa_42:5 he had addressed this language to himself, as designed to impress his own mind with the guilt of thus yielding to discouragement and sorrow; but he had then almost immediately admitted that his mind was distressed, and that he was cast down; here he rallies again, and endeavors to arouse himself to the conviction that he ought not to be thus depressed and dejected. He exhorts himself, therefore; he charges his own soul to hope in God. He expresses again the assurance that he would yet be permitted to praise Him. He regards God now as the “salvation of his countenance,” or as his Deliverer. He has reached the true source of comfort to the afflicted and the sad - the living God as his God; and his mind is calm. Why should a man be sorrowful when he has a God? Why should his heart be sad when he can pour out his sorrows before Him? Why should he be cast down and gloomy when he can hope: hope for the favor of God here; hope for immortal life in the world to come!


#9
ayin jade

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Psa 43:1  Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man. 
 
Judge me, O God - This does not mean, Pronounce sentence upon me; but, undertake my cause; interpose in my behalf; do justice in the case. He regarded his own cause as right; he felt that he was greatly wronged by the treatment which he received from people, and he asks to have it shown that he was not guilty of what his enemies charged on him; that he was an upright man, and a friend of God. 
 
Judge me, O God, and plead my cause - properly enough translated, plead my cause, be my counsellor and advocate.
 
Against an ungodly nation - Literally, “from a nation not merciful,” or not; religious. The idea is, that the nation or people referred to manifested none of the spirit of religion in their conduct toward him; that he was treated with severity and injustice. 
 
and plead my cause - which was a righteous one; and therefore he could commit it to God to be tried and judged by him, and could put it into his hands to plead it for him; 
 
Psa 43:2  For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 
 
The second verse of this psalm is almost the very same with the ninth verse of psalm 42.
Psa 42:9  I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 
Psa 43:2  For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 
 
For thou art the God of my strength - The psalmist pours out his soul to God. Here the psalmist refers to God as God of my strength, Psa_43:2, and God, the gladness of my joy, Psa_43:4. 
 
For thou art the God of my strength - Who being the strong and mighty God was able to deliver and save him, as well as to plead his cause; and was the author and giver of strength, natural and spiritual, to him; and was the strength of his heart, life and salvation; and is a good reason why he committed his cause unto him; 
 
Why dost thou cast me off? - As if I were none of thine; as if I were wholly abandoned. The word rendered “cast off” is a word which implies strong disgust or loathing: “Why dost thou cast me off as a loathsome or disgusting object?” The Hebrew word means properly to be foul, to be rancid, to stink: then, to be loathsome or abominable; and then, to treat or regard anything as such. 
 
why dost thou cast me off - this is the language of doubt, but only in appearance: the psalmist was ready to conclude he was cast off and rejected of God, because he was afflicted and left in a desolate condition by him, and he did not immediately arise to his help and deliverance, and had withdrawn the light of his countenance from him; but God does not cast off or reject any of His people; they always continue in His love, and in His covenant, and in the hands of His Son; they are always in His sight and family, and shall never perish eternally; and whoever casts them off, or casts them out, He will not; The psalmist acknowledges this in the last verse.


#10
ayin jade

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Psa 43:3  O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. 
 
O send out thy light and thy truth - Send them forth as from thy presence; or, let them be made manifest. The word light here is equivalent to favor or mercy, as when one prays for the “light of God’s countenance”; Psa 4:6 There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. and the idea is, that now, in the time of darkness and trouble, when the light of God’s countenance seemed to be withdrawn or hidden, he prays that God would impart light; that He would restore His favor; that He would conduct him back again to his former privileges. The word truth here is equivalent to truthfulness or faithfulness; and the prayer is, that God would manifest His faithfulness to him as one of His own people, by restoring him to the privileges and blessings from which he had been unjustly driven. 
 
O send out thy light and thy truth - Psa 27:1  A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? By light is meant the Messiah, the sun of righteousness, and light of the world; who is the author of all light, natural, spiritual, and eternal; and whose coming into the world is often signified by being sent into it. The Spirit of God also is the enlightener of men, both at first conversion and afterwards, and is sent down into their hearts as a comforter of them, by being the Spirit of adoption. The Gospel of Christ is a great and glorious light, which, with the Holy Ghost, is sent down from heaven; though perhaps here rather may be meant the light of God's countenance, the discoveries of His favor and loving kindness, which produce light, life, joy, peace, and comfort: and by "truth" may be meant, either Christ himself, who is the truth; or the Gospel the word of truth; or rather the faithfulness of God in the fulfilment of His promises; and so the words are a petition that God would show forth His loving kindness, and make good His word. 
 
O send out thy light and thy truth - Light and truth are personified as messengers who will bring him to the privileged place of worship.
 
Let them lead me - That is, Let them lead me back to my accustomed privileges; let me go under their guidance to the enjoyment of the blessings connected with the place of public worship.
 
Let them bring me unto thy holy hill - Mount Zion; the place where the worship of God was then celebrated, and hence called the “holy hill” of God.
 
And to thy tabernacles - The tabernacle was the sacred tent erected for the worship of God, and was regarded as the place where the Lord had His abode. The tabernacle was divided, as the temple was afterward, into two parts or rooms, the holy and the most holy place; and hence the plural term, tabernacles, might be employed in speaking of it. 
 
let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles - that is, to the place of public worship, where the tabernacle was.
 
Psa 43:4  Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God. 
 
Then will I go unto the altar of God – Possibly the altar on Mount Zion, where sacrifices were offered: 2Sa_6:17. The meaning is, that he would again unite with others in the public and customary worship of God. 
 
Then will I go unto the altar of God - Which was in the tabernacle, either of burnt offerings, or of incense, there to offer up the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for mercies received. The altar under the Gospel is Christ, on which such sacrifices being offered, are acceptable to God, Heb 13:10  We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.
 
Unto God - Into the immediate presence of God; the place where He was worshipped.
 
My exceeding joy - The Septuagint renders this, “who makes my youth joyous:” or, “the joy of my youth,” The Hebrew is, the gladness of my joy; meaning, that God was the source of his joy, so that he found all his happiness in Him. The text leads to an important discrimination between thinking about God and enjoying Him. Some have God only in idea, in fancy, in opinion; some have God only in the perception of law; but the living God is essential life, and being essential life, is essential joy.
 
Yea, upon the harp will I praise thee - Instruments of music were commonly used in the worship of God.
 
O God, my God - It was not merely God as such that he desired to worship, or to whom he now appealed, but God as his God, the God to whom he had devoted himself, and whom he regarded as his God even in affliction and trouble. 


#11
ayin jade

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Psa 43:5  Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. 
 
Compare to the Psalm 42.
Psa 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. 
Psa 42:11  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, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
 
The sameness of this verse with Psa_42:5, Psa_42:11 proves that this psalm was composed by the same writer. The doctrine which is taught is the same - that we should not be dejected or cast down in the troubles of life, but should hope in God, and look forward to better times, if not in this world, certainly in the world to come. If we are his children, we shall “yet praise him;” we shall acknowledge him as the “health” or the salvation (Hebrew) of our countenance; as one who by giving “salvation” diffuses joy over our countenance; as one who will manifest himself as our God. He who has an eternity of blessedness before him - he who is to dwell forever in a world of peace and joy - he who is soon to enter an abode where there will be no sin, no sadness, no tears, no death - he who is to commence a career of glory which is never to terminate and never to change - should not be cast down - should not be overwhelmed with sorrow.
 
This is a beautiful repetition of what had been said in the foregoing Psalm, in which the humble Petitioner expostulates with his own heart on the unreasonableness of his distrust. He here does what the Lord, commanded to be done by His servant the prophet, stirring himself up to take hold of God’s strength, to find peace, and comfort, and security in God, and which God said he shall find. Isa 27:5  Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.
 
This last verse speaks of how Christians should be in their attitude before the Lord. When we feel low, caught up in our trials, we are to look to the Lord and praise Him in all things. To trust in Him for all things. For He is worthy to be praised. 


#12
angels4u

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This is going to take me a long time to study, I do want to take the time to go deeper in these psalms,thanks for posting all your notes!



#13
FresnoJoe

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Them's Some Good Eats

 

My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word. Psalms 119:28

 

Thank You Jesus~!






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