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Bible Commentaries

Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 112

Verse 1

Psalms 112:0.

Godliness hath the promises of this life, and of the life to come. The prosperity of the godly shall be an eye-sore to the wicked.

הללויה halleluiah. THIS psalm is composed after the same manner as the former, and seems to be a short commentary upon the last verse of it. It sets forth the wisdom of being religious, and the good effects that attend it. Concerning the main subject of it, we refer the reader to the note on Psalms 1:4. Fenwick is of opinion, that the psalm speaks of the Messiah, under the character of the man that fears the Lord; declaring that his seed shall be mighty on earth, and that he shall be had in everlasting remembrance, or be the praise of all ages; and that his horn or kingdom shall be exalted with honour, while Satan, the wicked one, beholds and grieves. These things, says he, cannot with truth or propriety be applied to any but Christ; but in Him, and his seed, or faithful servants, they will all in due time be fulfilled.

Psalms 112:1. That delighteth greatly in his commandments As He did, whose meat and drink it was to do his Father's will; and of whom, by this character, we may reasonably presume the whole psalm is speaking. Fenwick.

Verse 4

Psalms 112:4. And righteous Fenwick renders it, The just one, meaning the Messiah.

Verse 5

Psalms 112:5. A good man sheweth favour, &c.— A man that sheweth favour and lendeth, shall do well. He shall support his matters in judgment, Psalms 112:6. For he shall never be shaken, &c. Mudge: who observes, that it seems agreeable to the language to make טוב tob, good, the predicate in the first clause; "a generous man shall look cheerful, and enjoy himself;" and in the second, it is natural to say that he shall support his matters in judgment. Absalom used the same expression; thy matters are right: It is a common sentiment, that the righteous shall stand in judgment; shall carry his cause, because by his goodness he has made God and man his friends. Fenwick, agreeably to his idea of the psalm, renders the clause thus:

This kind communicative man's our joy; He in the judgment will his cause maintain,

Verse 6

Psalms 112:6. For he by no means can be overthrown; But every age the Just One's praise shall tell.

And he observes, that the Hebrew word טוב tob, should be rendered a good thing: "He is a good thing, what we delight in, and esteem our joy; since he is kind, communicative, or ready to lend the gifts or talents of his grace or good Spirit."

Verse 7

Psalms 112:7. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings Heb. He is not afraid of ill reports: "He fears not, though his name or religion be evil spoken of, as trusting in the Lord, and knowing that he shall be able to maintain the cause for all his servants in the judgment." Fenwick.

Verse 8

Psalms 112:8. Until he see his desire upon his enemies Until he look upon his enemies, i.e. as seeing them all subdued, and made his footstool.

Verse 9

Psalms 112:9. He hath given to the poor To the poor helpless sons of Adam. He is distributing his gifts and graces among them, and will ever do it, because his righteousness endureth for ever. Fenwick.

Verse 10

Psalms 112:10. The wicked That is, the devil; for the Hebrew here is singular, and so denotes that wicked one, whose power and kingdom must melt away, while he beholds with rage the exaltation of Christ and his servants; and then, the desire of wicked men also (for in the last line the word is plural) shall perish. The expression melt away, is strong, and signifies that his envy shall be like a slow fire in the bowels. The word desire is put for the things themselves which are the objects of desire; as hope or confidence are put for their objects in Job 17:15; Job 18:14.

REFLECTIONS.—1st. The Psalmist opens this psalm with ascribing praise to God, who is to be acknowledged in all he doth for and in his believing people; for by his grace they are what they are.

1. He describes the character of the truly blessed and happy man. He feareth the Lord, and only him; he delighteth greatly in his commandments; he counts obedience his highest privilege, and God's service perfect freedom: he is upright, sincere before God in his professions, and in all his dealings with men just and true: he is gracious, full of compassion, sensibly touched with the distresses of others, and ready to relieve them, and righteous; what he bestows on the necessitous is honestly come by: he shewth favour, and lendeth; not with a view to his own advantage, but of pure charity to assist the industrious poor, hoping for nothing again; he will guide his affairs with discretion, or his words with judgment; he is careful of what he speaks, that neither hastily, falsely, nor imprudently, his tongue may offend, but that all he saith may be well weighed, and the result of sound reflection and judgment; and in the management of his affairs he acts with such prudence and oeconomy, as both to shew piety at home in the becoming provision of his own house, and to have withal a portion to spare for him that needeth.

2. The man who perseveres in this spirit and conduct, is truly blessed and happy; he is the object of God's care and protection; the blessings of grace and love are laid up for him, and God himself is his portion, and his exceeding great reward; his posterity shall partake of his blessing, exalted on earth, and mighty in the grace which is in Jesus Christ. Wealth and riches, as much as God sees will be profitable for him and them, shall be in his house; nor shall his worldly prosperity turn away his heart from God, as it is too apt to do: his righteousness endureth for ever: God will preserve him, and enable him to prosper in his soul, as his substance is increased, and never suffer him to decay or decline. If at any time a dark cloud passes over him, either of temptation in his soul, or of affliction in his body, family, or substance, God will lift up the light of his countenance upon him, and cheer his heart with fresh visits of his love, minister new strength and consolation to his soul, and make the most afflictive dispensations issue to his good.

2nd, The Psalmist goes on,
1. To instance, in other particulars, the blessedness of the man who thus perseveringly feareth the Lord. [1.] His stability is ensured. [2.] The memory of his piety shall descend to latest ages, and his righteousness God will to all eternity remember and reward. [3.] No dangers shall terrify, no evil tidings dismay him; neither the world with all its snares and opposition, nor Satan with all his legions, nor death with all its terrors, shall be able to shake his confidence, or deject his spirit; for his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. [4.] He shall see his desire upon his enemies; expecting in faith the salvation of God, he shall see all his spiritual foes finally destroyed, his temporal foes subdued or made his friends, and himself in all things made more than conqueror. [5.] He shall be exalted to honour, the highest honour, that which cometh from God, who will remember his labours of love, his charity, liberality, and persevering continuance in well-doing; and at the resurrection-day crown him with glory, honour, and immortality.

2. This blessedness of the righteous will be the envy and torment of the wicked; they shall see it with grief and bitter anguish, and through vexation shall pine away in their iniquities, till at last they shall be cut off from all the good things on which their desires were placed, and doomed to that place of eternal torment, where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. Lord, gather not my soul with sinners!

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 112". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1801-1803.