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Bible Commentaries

Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 130

A.M. 2946. B.C. 1058.

This Psalm, which relates not to any temporal concern, either personal or public, but wholly to matters of a spiritual nature, is reckoned one of the seven penitential Psalms, which have sometimes been made use of by penitents on their admission into the church. It consists of two parts: in the first of which the author prays God to forgive his sins, and to remit the consequences of them, in strong expectation that, pursuant to his word, he would grant his petitions, Psalms 130:1-6 . In the second, having obtained his request, he encourages all his brethren to trust in God for redeeming them from their sins, and the punishment of them, Psalms 130:7 , Psalms 130:8 .

Verses 1-2

Psalms 130:1-2. Out of the depths Being overwhelmed with deep distresses and terrors, and ready to despair; have I cried unto thee “Like another Jonas, entombed in the whale’s belly, and surrounded by all the waves of the ocean.” Observe, reader, “Fervent prayer will find its way through every obstruction to the ears of him who sitteth upon his holy hill.”

Verses 3-4

Psalms 130:3-4. If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities Observe them accurately, and punish them severely, as they deserve; O Lord, who shall stand? In thy presence, or at thy tribunal. No man could acquit himself, or escape the sentence of condemnation, because all men are sinners. To stand is a judicial phrase, and imports a man being absolved or justified upon a fair trial. But there is forgiveness with thee Thou art able and ready to forgive repenting sinners; that thou mayest be feared Not with a slavish, but a filial fear and reverence, This mercy of thine is the foundation of all religion, without which men would desperately proceed in their impious courses, without any thought of repentance.

Verse 5

Psalms 130:5. I wait for the Lord That he would manifest his favour to me in the pardon of my sins, and thereby give me relief and comfort. My soul doth wait I wait for him in sincerity, and not in profession only; with fervency, and not in a spirit of lukewarmness and indifference. And in his word do I hope Wherein he hath declared his merciful nature, Exodus 34:6-7, and his gracious purpose and promises for the pardoning of sinners.

Verse 6

Psalms 130:6 . My soul waiteth for the Lord This verse in the original is remarkably concise, forcible, and elegant. It is literally, My soul for the Lord, (namely, waiteth,) more than watchers for the morning, than watchers for the morning. The psalmist is thought to intend those that kept the night-watches in the city, or the priests or Levites who watched in the temple; who, being wearied with hard service and want of rest, earnestly desired and eagerly expected the break of day, that they might be discharged from duty. Or, as Dr. Hammond and some others interpret the words, he means those priests, or their officers, “who were peculiarly appointed from a tower to expect the first appearance of the break of day.” The repetitions in this and the preceding verse beautifully and forcibly express that ardent desire with which true penitents expect and long for the salvation of God.

Verses 7-8

Psalms 130:7-8. Let Israel hope in the Lord Every true Israelite, every one that devotes himself to God, being encouraged by my example. For with the Lord there is mercy Not only inherent in his nature, but ready to be exercised in pardoning and saving every penitent sinner. And with him is plenteous redemption Abundantly sufficient for all persons who will accept it upon God’s terms, and for the remission of, and deliverance from, all sins; and therefore here is good ground of hope for all contrite and returning sinners. And he The Lord, either God the Father, by his Son, or the Son of God, by his blood; shall redeem Israel Israel, according to the spirit; all those that turn to God in repentance and faith, and become Israelites indeed, in whom there is no guile; from all his iniquities From the guilt, and power, and defilement of sin, and from all its consequences. “See here,” says Henry, “1st, The nature of this redemption; it is redemption from sin, from all sin; and therefore can be no other but that eternal redemption, of which Jesus Christ became the author; for it is he that saves his people from their sins, Matthew 1:21; that redeems them from all iniquity, Titus 2:14; and turns away ungodliness from Jacob, Romans 11:26. 2d, The riches of this redemption; it is plenteous; there is an all-sufficient fulness of merit and grace in the Redeemer, enough for all, enough for each; enough for me, says the believer. Redemption from sin includes redemption from all other evils, and therefore is a plenteous redemption.” Reader, see thou do not rest short of this redemption; seek it with all thy heart, by faith and prayer, and thou wilt assuredly find it.”

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 130". Benson's Commentary. 1857.