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Jamieson, Fausset & Brown :: Commentary on Psalm 34

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The Book of Psalms

Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET


Psa 34:1-22. On the title compare 1Sa 21:13. Abimelech was the general name of the sovereign ( Gen 20:2 ). After celebrating God's gracious dealings with him, the Psalmist exhorts others to make trial of His providential care, instructing them how to secure it. He then contrasts God's care of His people and His punitive providence towards the wicked.

      1-4. Even in distress, which excites supplication, there is always matter for praising and thanking God (compare Eph 5:20 Phl 4:6 ).

      2. make her boast--"glory" ( Psa 105:3; compare Gal 6:14 ).
      humble--"the pious," as in Psa 9:12 25:9.

      3. magnify the Lord--ascribe greatness to Him, an act of praise.
      together--"alike" ( Psa 33:15 ), or, equally, without exception.

      4. delivered. . . fears--as well as actual evil ( Psa 64:1 ).

      5-7. God's favor to the pious generally, and to himself specially, is celebrated.
      looked--with desire for help.
      lightened--or, "brightened," expressing joy, opposed to the downcast features of those who are ashamed or disappointed ( Psa 25:2, 3 ).

      6. This poor man--literally, "humble," himself as a specimen of such.

      7. angel--of the covenant ( Isa 63:9 ), of whom as a leader of God's host ( Jos 5:14 1Ki 22:19 ), the phrase--
      encampeth, &c.--is appropriate; or, "angel" used collectively for angels ( Hbr 1:14 ).

      8. taste and see--try and experience.

      9. that fear him--who are pious--fear and love ( Pro 1:7 9:10 ).
      saints--consecrated to His service ( Isa 40:31 ).

      10. not want any good--"good" is emphatic; they may be afflicted (compare Psa 34:10 ); but this may be a good ( 2Cr 4:17, 18 Hbr 12:10, 11 ).

      11. children--subjects of instruction ( Pro 1:8, 10 ).

      12. What man--Whoever desires the blessings of piety, let him attend.

      13, 14. Sins of thought included in those of speech ( Luk 6:45 ), avoiding evil and doing good in our relations to men are based on a right relation to God.

      15. eyes of the Lord are upon-- ( Psa 32:8 33:18 ).

      16. face. . . against--opposed to them ( Lev 17:10 20:3 ).
      cut off the remembrance--utterly destroy ( Psa 109:13 ).

      17, 18. Humble penitents are objects of God's special tender regard ( Psa 51:19 Isa 57:15 ).

      20. bones--framework of the body.

      21, 22. Contrast in the destiny of righteous and wicked; the former shall be delivered and never come into condemnation ( Jhn 5:24 Rom 8:1 ); the latter are left under condemnation and desolate.

Introduction to Job ← Prior Book
Introduction to Proverbs Next Book →
Commentary on Psalm 33 ← Prior Chapter
Commentary on Psalm 35 Next Chapter →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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