PSALMS 31      Other translations  -  previous  -  next  -  meaning  -  Psalms  -  BM Home  -  Full Page

PSALM 31

To him that presides over the music, a Psalm of David.

  1. With you, O jehovah, do I take refuge; let me never be ashamed; deliver me in your justice.
  2. Incline your ear to me, deliver me speedily; be to me a rock of strength,a house of defence to save me.
  3. For you are my rock and my fortress, therefore for your name's sake lead me and guide me.
  4. Take me out of the net which they have hid for me, for you are my strength.
  5. Into your hands I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O jehovah god of truth!
  6. I hate them that regard lying vanities; and I trust in jehovah.
  7. I will rejoice and be glad in your mercy, for you have considered my affliction; you have known my soul in distress;
  8. And have not shut me up in the hand of the enemy; you have made my feet to stand in a broad place.
  9. Have mercy upon me, O jehovah, for I am in distress; mine eye is consumed with grief, even my soul and my belly.
  10. For my life is consumed with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
  11. I am become a reproach amongst all mine enemies, and especially amongst my neighbours, and a terror to mine
  12. I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind; I am become like a broken vessel.
  13. For I have heard the slander of many; terror was on every side, while they consulted together against me; they devised to take away my life.
  14. But I trusted in you, O jehovah, I said you are my god.
  15. In your hand are my times; deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
  16. Cause your face to shine upon your servant; save me for your mercy's sake.
  17. Let me not be ashamed, O jehovah, for I have called upon you; let the wicked be ashamed, let them be silent in hell.
  18. Let lying lips be silent, which speak harsh things against the righteous, with pride and scorn.
  19. How great is your goodness which you have reserved for them that fear you! which you have worked for them that take refuge with you, before the sons of man.
  20. You shall hide them in the secret of your presence from the pride of man; you shall conceal them in a tabernacle from the strife of tongues.
  21. Blessed be jehovah, for he makes his mercy wonderful to me in a fenced city.
  22. But I said in my terror, I am cut off from before your eyes; nevertheless you heard the voice of my prayers when I cried to you.
  23. O love jehovah all you his saints; jehovah preserved the faithful, and abundantly recompenses the proud doer.
  24. Be of good courage; he will strengthen your heart, all you that hope in jehovah.

The Internal Sense

A prayer of the lord to the father that he will protect him against those who contrive mischief, verses 1 to 4; and who wish to kill him, verse 5; that thence he has grief of heart, verses 6 to 10; that they assault him with reproaches, as upon the cross, verses 11 to 13; that through his trust in the father is delivered, verses 14 to 21; in despair thinking himself deserted, but he is not, verse 22; put your trust in the lord, verses 23, 24.

Exposition

Verse 5. Into your hands I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O jehovah god of truth. To redeem denotes to deliver from falsities, and to reform by truths, this being the signification of redeeming, it is therefore said, O jehovah god of Truth. AE 328.

Verse 8. You have made my feet to stand in a broad place, That by these Words is signified new life such as appertains to the regenerate man of the church, is manifest from the signification of standing, as denoting to be and to live, and also to sustain, concerning which see above, AE 414; and from the signification feet, as denoting the natural principle, which is the ultimate of Divine order, and the basis on which prior and superior things rest, and on which they subsist, concerning which see also above, AE 69, 600, 606; hence by standing on the feet is signified life in the full, because in the ultimate; and life is then in the full, when what is natural lives from what is spiritual; for the ultimate of man's life is in his natural principle; this ultimate is as a basis to his interior and superior principles, for these close in the ultimate and there subsist, wherefore unless the life be in the ultimate, it is not full, thus neither is it perfect. Moreover all interior or superior principles co-exist in the ultimate, as in their simultaneous abode, hence such as the ultimate is, such are the interior or superior principles, for these accommodate themselves to the ultimate, because it receives them. The like is signified by standing on the feet in David, "You have made my feet to stand in the breadth," Psalm 31:8; by breadth, is signified the Truth of doctrine from the Word, wherefore to make my feet to stand in the breadth, signifies to cause to live according to Divine Truths. AE 666.

By standing on the feet is signified natural life in agreement with spiritual life, and thus vivified by the lord; the reason why this is signified is because by the spirit of life is meant the internal principle of man, which is called the internal man, which viewed in itself is spiritual, for the spirit of man thinks and wills, and to think and will in itself is spiritual; by standing on the feet is signified the external principle of man, which is also called the external man, which in itself is natural, for the body speaks and performs what its spirit thinks and wills, and to speak and to perform is natural. Every man who is reformed, is first reformed as to the internal man, and afterwards as to the external; the internal man is not reformed by merely knowing and understanding the truths and goods by which man is saved, but by willing and loving them, but the external man by speaking and doing those things which the internal man wills and loves, and in proportion as this is done, in the same proportion man is regenerated; the reason why he is not previously regenerated is because his internal principle is not previously in effects, but only in causes, and causes, unless they be in effect, are dissipated, being like a house founded on ice, which falls when the ice is melted by the sun, in a word, he is like a man without feet, on which to stand and walk; the case is the same with the internal or spiritual man unless he be founded in the external or natural. AR 5, 10.

By breadth is signified the Truth of the Church, and the reason is because in the spiritual world there are four quarters, the east, the west, the south and the north, and the east and west make its length, and the south and north its breadth; and because in the east and west they dwell who are in the good of love, and therefore by east and west is signified good, hence in like manner by length; and because in the south and north they dwell who are in the Truths of wisdom, and therefore by south and north is signified Truth, hence in like manner by breadth. That by breadth is signified Truth, may be manifest from the following passages in the Word, "jehovah, you have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy, you have made my feet to stand in a broad place," Psalm 31:8. "I called upon jehovah from my distress, he answered me in the breadth," Psalm 67:5. "jehovah brought me forth into the breadth; he delivered me," Psalm 17:20. "Ashur shall pass through Judah, he shall over-flow and pass through, and the stretching-out of his wings shall be the fullness of breadth," Isaiah 8:8. Nor is any thing else meant by the breadth of the City New Jerusalem, Apocr 21:16; for since by the New Jerusalem is meant a new church, by its breadth and length it is impossible to suppose that breadth and length can be signified but only truth and its good, for these are what constitute a church; as likewise in Zechariah, "I said to the angel, whither go you? He said, to measure Jerusalem, that I may see what is the breadth thereof and the length thereof," Zech 2:2. In like manner by the breadths and lengths of the now temple and new earth in Ezekiel, xl. xlii. xliii. xliv. xlv. xlvi. xlvii. AR 861.

Verse 9. Have mercy upon me, O jehovah, for I am in distress, mine eye is consumed with grief, my soul and my belly. By the eye, the soul, and the belly is here signified the understanding and thence the exterior and interior thought of Truth, thus by belly are signified the interior things of the understanding, which are said to be consumed with grief, when they perish by falses. AE 622.

A state of temptations is also described by the above Words; by the eye is signified the understanding; by the soul faith and the understanding of truth; by the belly faith and the understanding of good; the reason why this is signified by the belly is because the belly receives food, and by food and bread is signified nutritive good; in this case understanding and faith; their defect in temptation is signified by being consumed with grief. AE 750.

Verse 16. Cause your face to shine upon your servant, etc. To cause the face to shine, signifies to illustrate with Divine truth from Divine love; that this is meant by causing the face to shine, is because Divine Truth, which proceeds from the lord as the sun of the angelic heaven gives all light there, and also illustrates the minds of angels and fills them with wisdom, wherefore the face of the lord, in a proper sense, is the sun of heaven, for the lord appears to the angels of the interior heavens as a sun, and this from his Divine love, for love in heaven, when presented to view appears as fire, but the Divine love as a sun. From that sun proceed both heat and light, the heat is the Divine Good, and the light the Divine Truth. Hence it is evident that to cause your face to shine upon your servant is meant to illustrate with Divine truth from Divine good, wherefore it is added, save me for your mercy's sake, mercy is of Divine goodness. AE 412.

Verse 20. You shall hide them in the secret of your faces from the pride of man; you shall conceal them in the tabernacle from the strife of tongues. To hide them in the secret of your faces is in the Divine good not apparent before others; and to conceal them in your tabernacle is in the Divine truth, the pride of men and the strife of tongues are the evils of what is false and the falses of what is evil, for pride is predicated of evils, because they are of self-love, and man signifies what is true and what is false; the strife of tongues is the false of evil. AE 412.

By the secret of faces, in which jehovah hides himself, is signified the Divine good of the Divine love, for the face of jehovah signifies the good of love, and what is hidden what is interior belonging to man; by the pride of man is signified the proud conceit of self-intelligence; by tabernacle is signified Divine truth; by the strife of tongues is signified the false principle of religion, from which men reason against truths. AE 455.

PSALMS 31    Other translations  -  previous  -  next  -  meaning  -  Psalms  -  BM Home  -  Full Page