Psalm 89:51

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 51. Wherewith thine enemies have reproached, O Lord. Here is another forcible point; the scoffers are the Lord's enemies as well as ours, and their reproach falls upon him as well as upon us; therefore we cry for the Lord's interposition. When Jehovah's own name is in the quarrel, surely he will arise.

Wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed. Tracking him and finding occasion to blaspheme at every turn; not only watching his words and actions, but even his harmless steps. Neither Christ nor his church can please the world, whichever way we turn scoffers will rail. Does this verse refer to the oft repeated sarcasm -- "Where is the promise of his coming?" Is the reproach aimed at the delays of the Messiah, those long expected footfalls which as yet are unheard? O Lord, how long shall this threadbare taunt continue? How long? How long?

"Come, for creation groans
Impatient of thy stay,
Worn out with these long years of ill,
These ages of delay."
"Come, in thy glorious might,
Come with the iron rod,
Scattering thy foes before thy face,
Most Mighty Son of God."

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 51. They have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed. This phrase is obscure in diction, and therefore variously interpreted

  1. Some by the footsteps of Christ, judge that his advent in the flesh is meant: others refer the words to David, and take the meaning to be, imitation of him. The first exposition yields this sense: Be mindful, O Lord, of the reproach of thy enemies wherewith they insult our expectation of thy Anointed, and scoff at his advent as if it would never come. The second interpretation is this: Recollect, O Lord, what contempt thy enemies heap upon us on account of thy servant David, because we fondly cherish his memory and his example, and nourish the hope of thy covenant with him, clinging tenaciously thereto ... Thirdly, this clause may be so interpreted that by twbq[, that is, the heel, we may understand the extremities of the Kingdom of Christ, of David. Thus we may imagine the enemies of God threw this in the teeth of the people of Israel, that they had already come to the end and extremity of the Kingdom of David. --Musculus.

Verse 51. (second clause). The Chaldee has: "They have scoffed at the tardiness of Thy Messiah's footsteps." So Kimchi: "He delays so long, they say He will never come." Compare 2 Peter 3:4 2 Peter 3:9 . The Arabic aqaba is used in the sense of "delaying." --William Kay.

Verse 51. The footsteps, or foot soles, that is, the ways, life, actions, and sufferings, Psalms 56:6 Psalms 49:5 . This referred to Christ, respecteth the oracle, Genesis 3:15 , that the Serpent should bruise the foot sole of the woman's seed; referred to Christians which follow his footsteps, in suffering and dying with him, that we may be glorified with him ( 1 Peter 2:21 Romans 8:17 ); it notes the scandal of the Cross of Christ, "to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness." ( 1 Corinthians 1:23 1 Peter 4:13-14 .) The Chaldee understands it of the slackness of the footsteps. --Henry Ainsworth.