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Bible Commentaries

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Psalms 41

Verses 1-13

Psalms 41:0

Psalms 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

Psalms 41:9 Comments - Psalms 41:9 is a prophecy of the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot, which is referred to in John 13:18.

John 13:18, “I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.”

“Yea, mine own familiar friend” Judas was chosen by Jesus Christ to be one of the twelve apostles (Matthew 10:1). Jesus spent three years with these men, training them and befriending them. In the story of Absalom’s effort to upsurpt the throne of David (2 Samuel 15:1 to 2 Samuel 18:33), many of David’s government officials forsook the king and followed Absalom. These betrayers had eaten at the king’s table for years. One possible friend David could be referring to in Psalms 41:9 is Ahithophel, the counselor of David. Note the similar experiences of Ahithophel and Judas. Both ate bread with their master on many occasions (2 Samuel 15:31 and John 13:26). Both betrayed their master and went out and hung themselves (2 Samuel 17:23 and Matthew 27:5).

Matthew 10:4, “Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.”

2 Samuel 15:31, “And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.”

John 13:26, “Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.”

2 Samuel 17:23, “And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.”

Matthew 27:5, “And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.”

“in whom I trusted” Judas Iscariot was entrusted with the money bag as Jesus and the Twelve travelled throughout Palestine (John 12:6; John 13:29).

John 12:6, “This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.”

John 13:29, “For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.”

“hath lifted up his heel against me” - Judas Iscariot lifted up his heel against Jesus Christ in the sense that he tried to crush Him and destroy Him through his betrayal. Note the use of this same idiom in Genesis 3:15, which describes the heel of the Messiah bruising the head of Satan.

Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

Psalms 41:13 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.

Psalms 41:13 Comments - Psalms 41:13 is considered the closing doxology of Book 1 of Psalms. Therefore, this verse can be considered as a separate verse from Psalms 41:0.

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Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Psalms 41". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.