View Psalms 40 in the note window.
This psalm is a celebration of God's great goodness to him, and all
his people. In it there are some passages which cannot belong to
Christ, and some which do not properly belong to David, or to that
time and state of the church, but only to Christ, and to the times of
the New Testament.
He praises God for delivering him out of deep distress, ver. 1 - 5.
Thence takes occasion to speak of the work of our redemption by Christ,
ver. 6 - 10.
Prays for mercy and grace both for himself and for his brethren,
ver. 11 - 17.
To the chief musician, A psalm of David.
2: Pit - Desperate dangers and calamities. Rock - A place of
strength and safety. Established - Kept me from falling into mischief.
3: And fear - Shall stand in awe of that God, whom they see to have
so great power, either to save or to destroy.
4: The proud - Or, the mighty, the great and proud potentates of
the world, to whom most men are apt to look and trust. Turn - From God,
in whom alone they ought to trust. To lies - To lying vanities, such as
worldly power and wisdom, and riches, and all other earthly things, or
persons, in which men are prone to trust: which are called lies, because
they promise more than they perform.
5: Many - This verse seems to be interposed as a wall of partition,
between that which David speaks in his own person, and that which he
speaks in the person of the Messiah, in the following verses.
6: Sacrifice - These and the following words, may in an improper
sense belong to the time of David; when God might be said, not to
desire or require legal sacrifices comparatively. Thou didst desire
obedience rather than sacrifices, but in a proper sense, they belong
only to the person and times of the Messiah, and so the sense is, God
did not desire or require them, for the satisfaction of his own justice,
and the expiation of mens sins, which could not possibly be done by the
blood of bulls or goats, but only by the blood of Christ, which was
typified by them, and which Christ came into the world to shed, in
pursuance of his father's will, as it here follows, ver.(Ps 40:7,8).
So here is a prediction concerning the cessation of the legal sacrifice,
and the substitution of a better instead of them. Opened - Heb. bored.
I have devoted myself to thy perpetual service, and thou hast accepted
of me as such, and signified so much by the boring of mine ears,
according to the law and custom in that case, (Ex 21:5,6). The
seventy Jewish interpreters, whom the apostle follows, (Heb 10:5),
translate these words, a body hast thou prepared me.
7: Them - These words literally and truly belong to Christ, and the
sense is this; seeing thou requirest a better sacrifice than those of the
law, lo, I offer myself to come, and I will in due time come, into the
world, as this phrase is explained in divers places of scripture, and
particularly (Heb 10:5), where this place is expressly applied to Christ.
Volume - These two words, volume and book are used of any writing,
and both express the same thing. Now this volume of the book is the law
of Moses, which is commonly and emphatically called the book, and was
made up in the form of a roll or volume, as the Hebrew books generally
were. And so this place manifestly points to Christ, concerning whom
much is said in the books of Moses.
8: I delight - This is eminently true, of Christ, and is here observed
as an act of heroic obedience, that he not only resolved to do, but
delighted in doing the will of God, or what God had commanded him, which
was to die, and that a most shameful, and painful, and cursed death.
My heart - I do not only understand it, but receive it with heartiest love,
delighting both to meditate of it, and to yield obedience to it.
9: Righteousness - Thy faithfulness. Great congregation - In
the most public and solemn assemblies: not only to the Jews, but
also to all nations; to whom Christ preached by his apostles, as
is observed (Eph 2:17).
Not refrained - From preaching it, even to the face of mine enemies.
11: With - hold not - David, having been transported by the spirit
of God to the commemoration of the great mystery of the Messiah, he
now seems to be led back by the same spirit, to the consideration of
his own case.
12: Taken hold - Mens sins are figuratively said to take hold of
them, as an officer takes hold of a man whom he arrests. To look - Unto
God or men, with any comfort: I am ashamed and confounded.
15: Shame - Their sinful and shameful actions.