The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Psalm 30

Psa 30:1

SUPERSCRIPTION: "A PSALM. A SONG. FOR THE DEDICATION OF THE TEMPLE. OF DAVID". The title should read: "A Psalm: a Song of the Dedication (Heb Hanukkah) of the House: (a Psalm) of David". The temple was dedicated years after the death of David. Therefore this must refer to his setting up of the Tabernacle on mount Zion (v 7) and the bringing of the Ark to its place there. The details in 2Sa 6 fit perfectly. There the sequence is:
YOU LIFTED ME OUT OF THE DEPTHS: The Heb word normally means: to draw a bucket out of a well.

AND DID NOT LET MY ENEMIES GLOAT OVER ME: 2Sa 8 describes concerted efforts by surrounding nations to smash David's kingdom before he became too powerful.

Psa 30:2

Vv 2,3: That 3 months illness (2Sa 6:11) which nearly ended David's life. Was it a form of leprosy (cp Psa 38)?

YOU HEALED ME: "If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, WHO HEALS ME" (Exo 15:26).

Psa 30:3

V 3: The Lord's resurrection.

Psa 30:4

SING TO THE LORD, YOU SAINTS OF HIS: The impressive procession: 2Sa 6:12,13; 1Ch 15:16-28. (NT) The inevitable joy of believers, esp at news of their Lord's resurrection.

SAINTS: Because now all were most carefully sanctified: 1Ch 15:12.

PRAISE: "Give thanks" (AV): 1Ch 16:7,8.

HIS HOLY NAME: "The remembrance of his holiness" = His holy memorial, that is, the name Jehovah/Yahweh, used nine times in this psalm (Exo 3:15). Since God's Name is holy, then any who bear that Name must be holy too (1Pe 1:15-17).

Psa 30:5

'For a moment is his anger, but a lifetime is his favor. Weeping may lodge for an evening (a mere passing traveler, on his way to another destination!: cp idea, Jer 14:8), but the joy of singing will arrive in the morning (with no intention ever to leave!).' Other passages with such a dramatic change of tone: Psa 125:5,6; Joh 16:20-22; 2Co 4:17; Isa 53:10,12.

HIS ANGER LASTS ONLY A MOMENT: 2Sa 6:7: the anger of the Lord kindled esp against Uzzah, but actually against David as well.

(NT) God's anger, not with Jesus himself, of course. But did not the Lord lay on him the iniquity of us all (just as, poss, the neglect in the proper service of the Ark was laid at David's door as well as on Uzziah)? Consider Isa 53:5; 2Co 5:21; 1Pe 2:24; etc.

HIS FAVOR: A word used often of acceptable sacrifice: 2Sa 6:13.

WEEPING MAY REMAIN FOR A NIGHT: Lit, as RV mg: "may come in to lodge at evening" -- precisely as happened when the Ark, now a symbol of woe and judgment, was brought into the house of Obed-edom: 2Sa 6:10.

BUT REJOICING COMES IN THE MORNING: It needed only the next day to make evident that when God's law was respected, the Ark was a token of rich blessing: 2Sa 6:11. (NT) The resurrection again!

Psa 30:6

WHEN I FELT SECURE: The capture of Jerusalem, military successes, complete unification of the nation, the building of his palace, etc.

I SAID, "I WILL NEVER BE SHAKEN": Pride at work. 'As for me, I once said...' Here David is near to Psa 10:6; Deu 8:10-14.

(NT) The Jews of Christ's day were very proud of their unique standing before God: "We have Abraham to our father" (Mat 3:12; Joh 8:33). But is it also poss that there was a time early in the ministry of Jesus when the exhilaration of what looked like a sweeping success became such a temptation as nearly to cause him to fall? Cp Paul, near to ruin through the wide success of his preaching (2Co 12:7); thus he rejoices in the trials that cause him to know how dependent upon God he really is (2Co 12:9,10).

Psa 30:7

WHEN YOU FAVORED ME: The glory belongs to God, not to himself.

YOU MADE MY MOUNTAIN STAND FIRM: Mt Zion had been lately conquered from the Jebusites; and the threshing floor of Araunah had been lately purchased as the only suitable site for the sanctuary (2Sa 24).

(NT) "This mountain" Zion (with its corrupt temple) was sym cast into the "sea" (Mat 21:21; cp Mic 7:19). But when Jesus is enthroned on Zion -- and his resurrection (v 3) guarantees this (Psa 2:6,7) -- then his mount will stand strong indeed (Psa 125:1,2).

BUT WHEN YOU HID YOUR FACE, I WAS DISMAYED: The divine displeasure: 2Sa 6:7 again. In Psalms, always ref God's presence in ark/tabernacle/temple: see VL, Psalms, God's face.

(NT) Along with v 8: The prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane? Is this why he said: "Let this cup pass from me" (Mat 26:39; Mar 14:36; Luk 22:42)? Notice also the discouragement predicted in Isa 49.

Psa 30:8

Add "saying" at the end of this verse.

Psa 30:9

The word "saying" needs to be supplied here at the beginning. The Heb text at times takes this for granted: eg Psa 2:6; 9:12; 22:7; 39:3; 41:5; 52:6; 109:5,6; 132:2,11.

WHAT GAIN IS THERE IN MY DESTRUCTION?: "What profit is there in my blood?" asks David. None whatsoever (cp Psa 49:7) -- yet "Thou hast healed me" (v 2), by the blood of one who is greater than I!

WILL THE DUST PRAISE YOU?: Cp Psa 6:4,5, and Hezekiah in Isa 38:18,19. It was this eagerness to live to the glory of God which made David a man after God's own heart.

Psa 30:11

YOU TURNED MY WAILING INTO DANCING: Very literally so! 2Sa 6:9,14.

(NT) Does this explain the almost universal non-recognition of the risen Lord (Luk 24:16; Joh 20:14; 21:4)? -- ie the marked ct between the man of sorrows and the same individual still getting used to the wonderful exhilaration of having conquered death, not only for himself but also for his friends.

YOU REMOVED MY SACKCLOTH AND CLOTHED ME WITH JOY: In his joy David was "girded with a linen ephod" (2Sa 6:14) -- the priestly garment!

(NT) "My sackcloth" = that linen winding sheet was not better than this, and therefore was left behind in the tomb. "Clothed me with joy": The coat worn by Jesus (Joh 19:23,24; Mat 27:35,36; Mar 15:24; Luk 23:34) was a "chiton" (in Heb: k'toneth) -- a priestly garment. Cp David's priestly ephod.

Psa 30:12

MY HEART: "My glory" (AV). Fig, my tongue or my soul: man's special glory, above all other creatures -- because of his capacity to give glory to his Creator (Jam 3:5-9; see Psa 16:9; 108:1). ("Glory" of Psa 16:9 is translated "tongue" by Peter in Act 2:26.)


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