Psalm 121:6

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 6. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. None but the Lord could shelter us from these tremendous forces. These two great lights rule the day and the night, and under the lordship of both we shall labour or rest in equal safety. Doubtless there are dangers of the light and of the dark, but in both and from both we shall be preserved -- literally from excessive heat and from baneful chills; mystically from any injurious effects which might follow from doctrine bright or dim; spiritually from the evils of prosperity and adversity; eternally from the strain of overpowering glory and from the pressure of terrible events, such as judgment and the burning of the world. Day and night make up all time: thus the ever present protection never ceases. All evil may be ranked as under the sun or the moon, and if neither of these can smite us we are indeed secure. God has not made a new sun or a fresh moon for his chosen, they exist under the same outward circumstances as others, but the power to smite is in their case removed from temporal agencies; saints are enriched, and not injured, by the powers which govern the earth's condition; to them has the Lord given "the precious things brought forth by the sun, and the precious things put forth by the moon," while at the same moment he has removed from them all glare and curse of heat or damp, of glare or chill.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 6. -- The sun shall not smite thee. hrh of the sun signifies to smite injuriously (Isa 49:10), plants, so that they wither ( Psalms 102:5 ), and the head ( John 4:8 ), so that symptoms of sunstroke ( 2 Kings 4:19 ; Judges 8:2 seq.) appear. The transferring of the word to the word is not zeugmatic. Even the moon's rays may become insupportable, may affect the eyes injuriously, and (more particularly in the equatorial regions) produce fatal inflammation of the brain. From the hurtful influences of nature that are round about him the promise extends in verses 7,8 in every direction. Jahve, says the poet to himself, will keep (guard) thee against all evil, of whatever kind it may be and whencesoever it may threaten; he will keep thy soul, and therefore thy life both inwardly and outwardly; he will keep thy going out and coming in, i.e., all thy business and intercourse of life... everywhere and at all times; and that from this time forth even for ever. --Franz Delitzsch.

Verse 6. -- The sun shall not smite thee by day, etc. A promise made with allusion unto, and application of that care which God had over his people, when he brought them out of Egypt through the wilderness, when he guarded them from the heat of the sun by a cloud by day, and from the cold and moistness of the night and moon by a pillar of fire by night. --David Dickson.

Verse 6. -- Nor the moon by night.

The moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
That rheumatic diseases do abound.

--William Shakespeare (1564-1616), in "The Midsummer Night's Dream".

Verse 6. -- Joseph Hart in one of his hymns speaks of some who "travel much by night". To such this promise is precious. --Biblical Treasury.

Verse 6. -- Nor the moon by night. The effect of the moonlight on the eyes in tiffs country is singularly injurious... The moon here really strikes and affects the sight, when you sleep exposed to it, much more than the sun, a fact of which I had a very unpleasant proof one night, and took care to guard against it afterwards; indeed, the sight of a person who should sleep with his face exposed at night would soon be utterly impaired or destroyed. - -John Carne, in "Letters from the East", 1826.

Verse 6. -- Nor the moon by night. In the cloudless skies of the East, where the moon shines with such exceeding clearness, its effects upon the human frame have been found most injurious. The inhabitants of these countries are most careful in taking precautionary measures before exposing themselves to its influence. Sleeping much in the open air, they are careful to cover well their heads and faces. It has been proved beyond a doubt that the moon smites as well as the sun, causing blindness for a time, and even distortion of the features. Sailors are well aware of this fact; and a naval officer relates that he has often, when Sailing between the tropics, seen the commanders of vessels waken up young men who have fallen asleep in the moonlight. Indeed, he witnessed more than once the effects of a moonstroke, when the mouth was drawn on one side and the sight injured for a time. He was of opinion that, with long exposure, the mind might become seriously affected. It is supposed that patients suffering under fever and other illnesses are affected by this planet, and the natives of India constantly affirm that they will either get better or worse, according to her changes. --C.W., in, "The Biblical Treasury".

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 6. -- The highest powers, under God, prevented from hurting believers, and even made to serve them.

Verse 6. -- Our Horoscope.

  1. Superstitious fears removed.
  2. Sacred assurances supplied.