Verse 13. That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. The chastening hand and instructive book are sanctified to us, so that we learn to rest in the Lord. We see that his end is our everlasting benefit, and therefore abide quiet under all trying providences and bitter persecutions, waiting our time. The Mighty Hunter is preparing the pit for the brutish ones; they are prowling about at this time, and tearing the sheep, but they will soon be captured and destroyed, therefore the people of the Lord learn to rest in days of adversity, and tarry the leisure of their God. Wicked men may not yet be ripe for punishment, nor punishment ready for them: hell is a prepared place for a prepared people; as days of grace ripen saints for glory, so days of wantonness help sinners to rot into the corruption of eternal destruction.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 13. That thou mayest give him rest. Here usually, but hereafter certainly. Mors aerumnarum requies, was Chaucer's motto: those that die in the Lord shall rest from their labours. Meanwhile they are chastened of the Lord, that they may not be condemned with the world. 1Co 11:32. John Trapp.
Verse 13. To give him rest. This is the end of God's teaching, that his servant may wait in patience, unmoved by, safe from, the days of evil (comp. Ps 49:5) seeing the evil all round lifting itself up, but seeing also the secret, mysterious retribution, slowly but surely accomplishing itself. In this sense the "rest" is the rest of a calm, self possessed spirit, as Isaiah 7:4 30:15 32:17 57:20; and "to give him" signifies "that thou mayest give him." J. J. S. Perowne.
Verse 13. Rest. Let there be a revival of the passive virtues. Mr. Hume calls them the "monkish virtues." Many speak of them slightingly, especially as compared with the dashing qualities so highly esteemed in the world. But quietness of mind and of spirit, like a broken heart, is of great price in the sight of God. Some seem to have forgotten that silence and meekness are graces. William S. Plumer.
Verse 13. Rest from the days of adversity. To rest from the days of adversity is not to be disturbed by them to such an extent as to murmur, or despond in spirit, but to trust in God, and in silence of the mind and affections expect from God deliverance. See Isaiah 7:4 ; Isaiah 26:20 , &c. Moreover he says not ymyk in, but ymym from the days of adversity, an expression of greater elegancy and wider range of meaning. For there is a reference to the primary form of the verb fqf to sink, to settle down, as when the dregs of disturbed liquor fall to the bottom; when it is applied to the mind when shaken with a great agitation of cares, and full of bitterness. The dregs, therefore, sprung from the days of adversity, are pointed out as settling down. Besides, not only is rest of mind while the evils continue indicated, but also while they are ceasing, since m, from, has here, as not infrequently elsewhere, a negativ force. Venema.
Verse 13. Until the pit be digged for the wicked. Behold, thou hast the counsel of God, and the reason why he spareth the wicked; the pit is being digged for the sinner. You wish to bury him at once: the pit is as yet being dug for him: do not be in haste to bury him. Augustine.