For his anger [endureth but] a moment
Anger is not properly in God, he being a simple, uncompounded, immovable, and unchangeable being; nor is it ever towards his people in reality, unless anger is distinguished from wrath, and is considered as consistent with his everlasting and invariable love to them; but only in their apprehension, he doing those things which in some respects are similar to those which men do when they are angry; he turns away from them and hides his face, he chides, chastises, and afflicts, and then they conclude he is angry; and when he returns again and takes off his hand, manifests his pardoning love, and comforts them, then they understand it that his anger is turned away from them; for in this improper sense of it, and as his children conceive of it, it is but for a moment, or a very short time: he forsakes them but for a moment, and their light afflictions endure no longer, ( Isaiah 54:7 Isaiah 54:8 ) ( 2 Corinthians 4:17 ) ;
in his favour [is] life;
by which is meant his free love and favour in Christ towards his people; and designs either the duration of it, that it lives and always is, even when he seems to be angry, and that it lasts as long as life does, yea, to all eternity; neither death nor life can separate from it; or the object of it, God delighting not in the death but the life of a sinner; or rather the effects of it, it is what makes the present life to be properly life, and really comfortable; without it men may be said rather to be dead than to live, notwithstanding all enjoyments; and therefore it is better than life, abstracted from it, ( Psalms 63:3 ) ; it quickens the soul in a spiritual sense, and makes grace lively; it invigorates faith, encourages hope, and makes love to abound, and it issues in eternal life;
weeping may endure for a night;
the allusion is to the time when afflictions are usually most heavy and pressing upon persons, when they most feel them, or, however, are free from diversion, and at leisure to bemoan themselves; and may point at the season of weeping, and cause of it, the night of affliction, or of darkness and desertion, and denotes the short continuance of it; weeping is here represented as a person, and as a lodger, for the word may be rendered "lodge" F16; but then it is as a wayfaring man, who continues but for a night; see ( Isaiah 17:14 ) ;
but joy [cometh] in the morning;
alluding to the time when all nature is fresh and gay, when man rises cheerful from his rest, darkness removes, light breaks forth, and the sun rises and sheds its beams, and everything looks pleasant and delightful; moreover, the mercies of God are new every morning, which cause joy, and call for thankfulness; and especially it is a time of joy after weeping and darkness, when the sun of righteousness arises with healing in his wings; as it will be to perfection in the resurrection morn, when the dead in Christ will rise first, and be like to him, and reign with him for evermore.
F16 (Nyly) "diversetur", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "lodgeth", Ainsworth.