Psalms 22:29 MEANING

Psalm 22:29
(29) Shall eat.--The figure of the banquet is resumed from Psalm 22:26, and extended. The mention of the "fat upon earth," as included in this feast, seems certainly out of place, and injures the parallelism. We must change the text to either (1) "Shall eat and do homage all earth's mourners," or (2) "Ah! to him shall be bowed all the fat ones of earth."

They that go down to the dust--i.e., those on the point to die through their sufferings.

And none can keep.--Better, And he who cannot keep his soul alive. Literally, has not kept. But the parallelism shows that this is not spoken of those actually dead, but of those not able from poverty to keep body and soul together.

Verse 29. - All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship. The Christian feast is not for the poor and needy only, like Jewish sacrificial feasts, but for the "fat ones" of the earth as well - the rich and prosperous. As Hengstenberg observes, "This great spiritual feast is not unworthy of the presence even of those who live in the greatest abundance: it contains a costly viand, which all their plenty cannot give - a viand for which even the satisfied are hungry; and, on the other hand, the most needy and most miserable are not excluded" ('Commentary on the Psalms,' vol. 1. p. 396). All they that go down to the dust shall bow before him; i.e. all mortal men what-soever - all that are on their way to the tomb - shall bow before Christ, either willingly as his worshippers, or unwillingly as his conquered enemies, made to lick the dust at his feet. And none can keep alive his own soul. Life is Christ's gift; the soul cannot be kept alive except through him, by his quickening Spirit (John 6:53, 63).

22:22-31 The Saviour now speaks as risen from the dead. The first words of the complaint were used by Christ himself upon the cross; the first words of the triumph are expressly applied to him, Heb 2:12. All our praises must refer to the work of redemption. The suffering of the Redeemer was graciously accepted as a full satisfaction for sin. Though it was offered for sinful men, the Father did not despise or abhor it for our sakes. This ought to be the matter of our thanksgiving. All humble, gracious souls should have a full satisfaction and happiness in him. Those that hunger and thirst after righteousness in Christ, shall not labour for that which satisfies not. Those that are much in praying, will be much in thanksgiving. Those that turn to God, will make conscience of worshipping before him. Let every tongue confess that he is Lord. High and low, rich and poor, bond and free, meet in Christ. Seeing we cannot keep alive our own souls, it is our wisdom, by obedient faith, to commit our souls to Christ, who is able to save and keep them alive for ever. A seed shall serve him. God will have a church in the world to the end of time. They shall be accounted to him for a generation; he will be the same to them that he was to those who went before them. His righteousness, and not any of their own, they shall declare to be the foundation of all their hopes, and the fountain of all their joys. Redemption by Christ is the Lord's own doing. Here we see the free love and compassion of God the Father, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, for us wretched sinners, as the source of all grace and consolation; the example we are to follow, the treatment as Christians we are to expect, and the conduct under it we are to adopt. Every lesson may here be learned that can profit the humbled soul. Let those who go about to establish their own righteousness inquire, why the beloved Son of God should thus suffer, if their own doings could atone for sin? Let the ungodly professor consider whether the Saviour thus honoured the Divine law, to purchase him the privilege of despising it. Let the careless take warning to flee from the wrath to come, and the trembling rest their hopes upon this merciful Redeemer. Let the tempted and distressed believer cheerfully expect a happy end of every trial.All they that be fat upon earth,.... Rich men, who abound in worldly substance, are in very flourishing and prosperous circumstances, of whom for the most part this is literally true; yea, by these sometimes are meant princes, rulers, the chief among the people in power and authority, as well as in riches; see Psalm 78:31; the phrase may design such who are in prosperous circumstances in their souls, in spiritual things, in faith, comfort, and spiritual joy, Psalm 92:14; but the former sense is best: Jarchi inverts the words, "they shall eat", that is, the meek shall eat, "all the fat of the earth, and worship"; which may be understood of the spiritual blessings of grace, which converted persons shall feed and live upon, Psalm 63:5; the allusion may be to the fat parts of the earth, and what grows thereon, made so by ashes, which the word used has the signification of; for some lands are fattened by ashes being strewed upon them (p); but rather the rich and great men of the earth are intended, who yet are but dust and ashes. They

shall eat, and worship; for as, in the first times of the Gospel, not many mighty and noble were called, yet some were; so more especially, in the latter day, many of this sort will be called, even kings and queens; who will not live upon their titles of honour, their grandeur and glory, but upon Christ and his Gospel, and will fall down before him, and serve and worship him; see Psalm 72:10;

all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him; such as are in mean circumstances of life; so that both rich and poor shall serve him; or who are mean in their own eyes, sit in the dust of self-abhorrence, and put their mouths in the dust, are in a low condition, out of which the Lord raises them, Psalm 113:7. The Targum paraphrases it, "who go down to the house of the grave"; that is, the dead; and then the sense is, that Christ is the Lord, both of the dead and living, and that those that are under the earth, and are reduced to dust, as well as they that live and are fat upon it, shall bow the knee to Christ, when raised again, who is the Judge of quick and dead; see Romans 14:9, Philippians 2:10;

and none can keep alive his own soul; as no man can quicken himself when dead in trespasses and sins; so when he is made alive, he cannot preserve his life, nor nourish himself, nor make himself lively and comfortable, nor cause his heart to live, as in Psalm 22:26; but by eating the flesh, and drinking the blood of Christ, feeding and living upon him by faith: though some take the sense to be, that such as are before described as converted persons, will not seek to save their lives, but will freely lay them down and part with them for Christ's sake; but rather the meaning is, that so universal will the kingdom of Christ be, as that high and low, rich and poor, will be bowing to him; whoever are his enemies, and will not have him to rule over them, will be brought before him and slain, and none of them will be able to save themselves; so the Targum, "he will not quicken", or "keep alive, the soul of the wicked"; or as Jarchi interprets it,

"he will have no mercy on them, to keep their souls alive from hell.''

(p) "Effoetos cinerem immundum jactare per agros", Virgil. Georgic. l. 1. v. 79.

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