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Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, by Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsh, [1857-78], at

Psalms Chapter 43

Psalms 43:1

psa 43:1

The Elohimic Judica (the introit of the so-called Cross or Passion Sunday which opens the celebritas Passionis), with which the supplicatory and plaintive first strophe of the Psalm begins, calls to mind the Jehovic Judica in Psa 7:9; Psa 26:1; Psa 35:1, Psa 35:24 : judge me, i.e., decide my cause (lxx κρῖνόν με, Symmachus κρῖνόν μοι). ריבה has the tone upon the ultima before the ריבי which begins with the half-guttural ר, as is also the case in Psa 74:22; Psa 119:154. The second prayer runs: vindica me a gente impia; מן standing for contra in consequence of a constr. praegnans. לא־חסיד is here equivalent to one practising no חסד towards men, that is to say, one totally wanting in that חסד, by which God's חסד is to be imitated and repaid by man in his conduct towards his fellow-men. There is some uncertainty whether by אישׁ one chief enemy, the leader of all the rest, is intended to be mentioned side by side with the unloving nation, or whether the special manner of his enemies is thus merely individualised. עולה means roguish, mischievous conduct, utterly devoid of all sense of right. In Psa 43:2 the poet establishes his petition by a twofold Why. He loves God and longs after Him, but in the mirror of his present condition he seems to himself like one cast off by Him. This contradiction between his own consciousness and the inference which he is obliged to draw from his afflicted state cannot remain unsolved. אלהי מעזּי, God of my fortress, is equivalent to who is my fortress. Instead of אלך we here have the form אתהלּך, of the slow deliberate gait of one who is lost in his own thoughts and feelings. The sting of his pain is his distance from the sanctuary of his God. In connection with Psa 43:3 one is reminded of Psa 57:4 and Exo 15:13, quite as much as of Psa 42:9. "Light and truth" is equivalent to mercy and truth. What is intended is the light of mercy or loving-kindness which is coupled with the truth of fidelity to the promises; the light, in which the will or purpose of love, which is God's most especial nature, becomes outwardly manifest. The poet wishes to be guided by these two angels of God; he desires that he may be brought (according tot he Chethb of the Babylonian text יבואוני, "let come upon me;" but the אל which follows does not suit this form) to the place where his God dwells and reveals Himself. "Tabernacles" is, as in Psa 84:2; Psa 46:5, an amplificative designation of the tent, magnificent in itself and raised to special honour by Him who dwells therein.

Psalms 43:4

psa 43:4

The poet, in anticipation, revels in the thought of that which he has prayed for, and calls upon his timorous soul to hope confidently for it. The cohortatives in Psa 43:4 are, as in Ps 39:14 and frequently, an apodosis to the petition. The poet knows no joy like that which proceeds from God, and the joy which proceeds from Him he accounts as the very highest; hence he calls God אל שׂמחת גּילי, and therefore he knows no higher aim for his longing than again to be where the fountainhead of this exultant joy is (Hos 9:5), and where it flows forth in streams (Psa 36:9). Removed back thither, he will give thanks to Him with the cithern (Beth instrum.). He calls Him אלהים אלהי, an expression which, in the Elohim-Psalms, is equivalent to יהוה אלהי in the Jahve-Psalms. The hope expressed in Psa 43:4 casts its rays into the prayer in Psa 43:3. In Psa 43:5, the spirit having taken courage in God, holds this picture drawn by hope before the distressed soul, that she may therewith comfort herself. Instead of wthmy, Psa 42:6, the expression here used, as in Ps 42:12, is וּמה־תּהמי. Variations like these are not opposed to a unity of authorship.

Next: Psalms Chapter 44