Psalms 65:3 MEANING

Psalm 65:3
(3) Iniquities.--Literally, Words (or, things) of iniquities, i.e., details of crime, or instances of wickedness. (Comp. Psalm 35:20; Psalm 105:27; Psalm 145:5.)

Prevail.--Better, have prevailed, have overcome me, been too much for me. No doubt, though the pronoun is singular, we are to think of Israel at large here, confessing, by the mouth of the poet, its unworthiness of that Divine communion for which still (see next verse) God had chosen them. This is more in keeping with the general tone of the psalm than to refer the confession to an individual. The LXX. and Vulg. give the pronoun in the plural.

There appears in this verse an antithesis between iniquity and transgression. The latter certainly sometimes seems to be applied in distinction to the violation of the covenant, and possibly the distinction is present here. The frailty and sin common to all flesh has not exempted Israel; but the chosen people have to mourn besides transgressions of their own law. These, however, will be by sacrifice purged away, and then, brought back into full covenant privilege, the offenders will approach the earthly dwelling-place of the Divine, and dwell there.

Verse 3. - Iniquities prevail against me. Not so much, perhaps, his own iniquities, as these of his nation. Compare the expression, "our transgressions," in the next clause. As for our trangressions, thou shalt purge them away; or, cover them.

65:1-5 All the praise the Lord receives from this earth is from Zion, being the fruit of the Spirit of Christ, and acceptable through him. Praise is silent unto thee, as wanting words to express the great goodness of God. He reveals himself upon a mercy-seat, ready to hear and answer the prayers of all who come unto him by faith in Jesus Christ. Our sins prevail against us; we cannot pretend to balance them with any righteousness of our own: yet, as for our transgressions, of thine own free mercy, and for the sake of a righteousness of thine own providing, we shall not come into condemnation for them. Observe what it is to come into communion with God in order to blessedness. It is to converse with him as one we love and value; it is to apply ourselves closely to religion as to the business of our dwelling-place. Observe how we come into communion with God; only by God's free choice. There is abundance of goodness in God's house, and what is satisfying to the soul; there is enough for all, enough for each: it is always ready; and all without money and without price. By faith and prayer we may keep up communion with God, and bring in comfort from him, wherever we are. But it is only through that blessed One, who approaches the Father as our Advocate and Surety, that sinners may expect or can find this happiness.Iniquities prevail against me,.... Or, "are mightier than I" (h); this may be understood either of the iniquities of others, his enemies; their "words of iniquities" (i) or iniquitous words, as in the Hebrew text; their calumnies, reproaches, false charges, and accusations, which prevailed against David in Saul's court; or rather his own iniquities, inward lusts, indwelling sins, as well as open transgressions, which he considers as his enemies, as numerous and powerful, too mighty for him, which warred against him, and sometimes got the better of him, and threatened him with utter ruin and destruction; but amidst all this he spies atonement and pardon through the blood and sacrifice of Christ, as follows;

as for our transgressions, thou shall purge them away; not only his own, but others, which Christ has done by the sacrifice of himself; and when his blood is applied to the conscience of a sensible sinner, it purges it from all his sins, Hebrews 1:3; it may be rendered, "thou shall expiate them", or "make atonement for them" (k); which Christ, our propitiation, has done: this was the work appointed him, which he undertook, came into the world to do, and has performed, Daniel 9:24, Hebrews 2:17; or "thou shalt cover them"; with the blood and righteousness of Christ; or forgive them for the sake of them, Psalm 32:1.

(h) "prae me", Muis, Michaelis. (i) "verba iniquitatum", Montanus, Vatablus, Gejerus, Michaelis; so Ainsworth. (k) "propitiaberis", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus; "expiabis", Vatablus, Gejerus, Michaelis.

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