Psalms 34:5 MEANING

Psalm 34:5
(5) Were lightened.--The Hebrew verb means properly "to flow," but by a natural process, as in the common phrases "streams of light," "floods of light," acquired in Aramaic the sense of "shining." Such must be its meaning in Isaiah 60:5, almost the echo of the thought in the psalm, the thought of a reflex of the Divine glory lighting up the face of those who in trouble seek God. (Theodoret has "He who approaches God, receives the rays of intellectual light.") We naturally think of the dying Stephen.

As to the construction, the subject must either be supplied from Psalm 34:2, or it must be general. The LXX. and Vulg. avoid the difficulty by changing to the second person.

Verse 5. - They looked unto him, and were lightened; or, were brightened (Hengstenberg); i.e. had their countenances lighted up and cheered. And their faces were not ashamed. As they would have been if God had made no response to their appeal (comp. Psalm 25:2, 3; Psalm 74:21).

34:1-10 If we hope to spend eternity in praising God, it is fit that we should spend much of our time here in this work. He never said to any one, Seek ye me in vain. David's prayers helped to silence his fears; many besides him have looked unto the Lord by faith and prayer, and it has wonderfully revived and comforted them. When we look to the world, we are perplexed, and at a loss. But on looking to Christ depends our whole salvation, and all things needful thereunto do so also. This poor man, whom no man looked upon with any respect, or looked after with any concern, was yet welcome to the throne of grace; the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The holy angels minister to the saints, and stand for them against the powers of darkness. All the glory be to the Lord of the angels. By taste and sight we both make discoveries, and have enjoyment; Taste and see God's goodness; take notice of it, and take the comfort of it. He makes all truly blessed that trust in him. As to the things of the other world, they shall have grace sufficient for the support of spiritual life. And as to this life, they shall have what is necessary from the hand of God. Paul had all, and abounded, because he was content, Php 4:11-18. Those who trust to themselves, and think their own efforts sufficient for them, shall want; but they shall be fed who trust in the Lord. Those shall not want, who with quietness work, and mind their own business.They looked to him, and were lightened,.... That is, "the humble" ones, Psalm 34:2; and so this is a reason why they should join in praising and magnifying the Lord; these "looked" up to God in prayer and by faith, when in distressed and uncomfortable circumstances, for help and deliverance, and a supply of every needful good thing; and they were "enlightened"; so the Targum renders it, "their faces were enlightened"; as Jarchi and Aben Ezra interpret it, in opposition to what follows: they must have been enlightened before they could look, but by looking to the Lord more light was gained: this chiefly designs the light of joy, peace, and comfort, which is had in a way of believing: some render the word "and flowed" (l), as a river does, that is, to the Lord, as in Jeremiah 31:12. So Kimchi and Ben Melech explain the word; and it denotes both the numbers of them that looked up to the Lord in their distress, and the swiftness of their motion to him, and their earnestness and fervour of mind; so faith is not only a looking to Christ, but a going forth unto him;

and their faces were not ashamed; having what they prayed and looked for, and what they hoped and believed they should have; namely, deliverance and salvation, and so peace and pleasure.

(l) "et confluunt", Junius & Tremellius, Michaelis; "et instar fluvii irruerint", Piscator, Amama; "et confluxerunt", Gejerus.

Courtesy of Open Bible