Will the Lord cast off for ever?
&c.] The Syriac version of this, and the two following verses, is not by way of interrogation, but affirmation: "the Lord hath forgotten me for ever, nor will he" and so expresses the language of unbelief; but the Arabic version, in connection with the last words, with which it begins this verse, is, "and I weighed in my spirit whether the Lord" and so makes it a subject of inquiry, and at most of questioning or doubting. The Targum, different from either, begins this and each of the verses thus, "is it possible that the Lord" suggesting that it was not possible that he should do this and the other, and so speaks the language of faith. Unbelief in the psalmist said, the Lord will cast "me", or "his people", off, for either or both may be understood; which so appears when God hides his face, or does not immediately arise to help; or suffers the enemy to prevail, and difficulties and discouragements to obtain and continue; but Faith says, he will not cast off his people, whom he foreknew, from having a share in his affections, from being interested in his covenant, from his sight, and being the objects of his care, from enjoying the privileges of his house and family, or so as to perish eternally:
and will he be favourable no more?
or bear good will, show kindness, be propitious, graciously accept, as the word F16 signifies; this question supposes that he had been favourable, and bore a good will, as the gracious purposes and kind intentions of his heart, the well stored covenant of his grace, and the mission of his Son to be a Saviour, show; that he has been propitious through the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ, and has accepted of the persons and services of his people, and indulged them with near communion with himself; but that now he is not, he having withdrawn the sense of his love, and the communications of his divine favours; and Unbelief says he will be so no more, and adds, I am cut off from before his eyes, and am as the slain, that are remembered no more; and shall go softly all my years, in the bitterness of my soul; but Faith says, he will be favourable again; that joy will come in the morning; that the Lord will hear, and be a light unto the souls of his people, though in darkness; and will bring to the light, and cause to behold his righteousness.
F16 (twurl) "acceptos habere", Cocceius, so Ainsworth; "propitius et gratiosus esse", Michaelis.