Psalms 142:7 MEANING

Psalm 142:7
(7) Out of prison.--This expression, which must certainly be figurative of distress (comp. Psalm 143:11), probably led to the inscription.

Compass me about.--The Hebrew word here employed is used in a hostile sense in Psalm 22:12; Judges 20:43; Habakkuk 1:4. It is better, therefore, to follow the LXX. and render:

"In my case the righteous are waiting

Till," &c

This sense "waiting for," besides being favoured by the construction, suits well the passage, Proverbs 14:18.

"The simple inherit folly,

But the prudent wait for knowledge,

and is Aquila's rendering there of the word as it is here.

Verse 7. - Bring my soul out of prison. The word "prison" is used symbolically, as a metaphor for trouble and distress (comp. Psalm 88:8; Psalm 107:10-14). That I may praise thy Name; or, "that men may praise thy Name." David's deliverance from his enemies would cause the godly generally to "praise the Lord." The righteous shall compass me about; rather, in me shall the righteous triumph (Kay, Cheyne). Viewing my cause as their own, they will glory in my deliverance (comp. Psalm 35:27; Psalm 40:16). For thou shalt deal bountifully with me; i.e. thou writ assuredly "hear my cry" and "deliver me" (see the preceding verse).

142:1-7 David's comfort in prayer. - There can be no situation so distressing or dangerous, in which faith will not get comfort from God by prayer. We are apt to show our troubles too much to ourselves, poring upon them, which does us no service; whereas, by showing them to God, we might cast the cares upon him who careth for us, and thereby ease ourselves. Nor should we allow any complaint to ourselves or others, which we cannot make to God. When our spirits are overwhelmed by distress, and filled with discouragement; when we see snares laid for us on every side, while we walk in his way, we may reflect with comfort that the Lord knoweth our path. Those who in sincerity take the Lord for their God, find him all-sufficient, as a Refuge, and as a Portion: every thing else is a refuge of lies, and a portion of no value. In this situation David prayed earnestly to God. We may apply it spiritually; the souls of believers are often straitened by doubts and fears. And it is then their duty and interest to beg of God to set them at liberty, that they may run the way of his commandments. Thus the Lord delivered David from his powerful persecutors, and dealt bountifully with him. Thus he raised the crucified Redeemer to the throne of glory, and made him Head over all things for his church. Thus the convinced sinner cries for help, and is brought to praise the Lord in the company of his redeemed people; and thus all believers will at length be delivered from this evil world, from sin and death, and praise their Saviour for ever.Bring my soul out of prison,.... Not out of purgatory, to which some Popish writers wrest these words very absurdly; nor out of the prison of his body, as Joseph Ben Gorion (p); knowing that none but God had a power of removing it from thence; but out of the cave, where he was detained as in a prison, while Saul and his men were about the mouth of it; or rather out of all his straits, distresses, and difficulties, which surrounded and pressed him on all sides, as if he was in a prison;

that I may praise thy name; this release he desired not so much for his own sake, that he might be at ease and liberty, but that he might have fresh occasion to praise the Lord, and an opportunity of doing it publicly, in the assembly and congregation of the people;

the righteous shall compass me about; in a circle, like a crown, as the word (q) signifies; when delivered, they should flock to him and come about him, to see him and look at him, as a miracle of mercy, whose deliverance was marvellous; and to congratulate him upon it, and to join with him in praises unto God for it. The Targum is,

"for my sake the righteous will make to thee a crown of praise.''

And to the same purpose Jarchi,

"for my sake the righteous shall surround thee, and praise thy name.''

Aben Ezra interprets it,

"they shall glory as if the royal crown was on their heads;''

for thou shalt deal bountifully with me; in delivering him from his enemies, settling him on the throne, and bestowing upon him all the blessings of Providence and grace; see Psalm 116:7; and thus the psalm is concluded with a strong expression of faith in the Lord, though in such a low estate.

(p) Hist. Heb. l. 6. c. 20. p. 610. (q) "coronabunt", Pagninus, Montanus; "vel in me tanquam eoronati triumphabunt", Cocceius.

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