Verse 8. The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind. Jesus did this very frequently, and hereby proved himself to be Jehovah. He who made the eye can open it, and when he does so it is to his glory. How often is the mental eye closed in moral night! And who can remove this dreary effect of the fall but the Almighty God This miracle of grace he has performed in myriads of cases, and it is in each case a theme for loftiest praise.
The Lord raiseth them that are bowed down. This also Jesus did literally, thus doing the work peculiar to God. Jehovah consoles the bereaved, cheers the defeated, solaces the despondent, comforts the despairing. Let those who are bowed to the ground appeal to him, and he will speedily upraise them.
The LORD loveth the righteous. He gives to them the love of complacency, communion, and reward. Bad kings affect the licentious, but Jehovah makes the upright to be his favoured ones. This is greatly to his glory. Let those who enjoy the inestimable privilege of his love magnify his name with enthusiastic delight. Loved ones, you must never be absent from the choir! You must never pause from his praise whose infinite love has made you what you are.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 8. Openeth the eyes of the blind. Literally, "openeth the blind" -- i.e., maketh them to see. The expression may be used figuratively, as a remedy applied either to physical helplessness, as Deuteronomy 28:29 Isaiah 59:9-10 Job 12:25 or to spiritual want of discernment, as Isaiah 29:18 42:7,18 43:8. Here the context favours the former. --J.J. Stewart Perowne.
Verse 8. The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind. The Hebrew does not mention the eyes of the blind. Hilary renders it sapientificat. The Arabic version follows the same. Jehovah by his wisdom illumines dark minds. It is mental blindness which is the common affliction of men. --John Lorinus.
Verse 8. The blind. The large number of blind persons to be seen feeling their way along the streets in Cairo and Alexandria has been noticed by Volney. "Walking in the streets of Cairo", he says, "out of a hundred persons whom I met, there were often twenty blind, eighteen one eyed, and twenty others with eyes red, purulent, or spotted. Almost every one wears bandages, indicating that they either have or are recovering from ophthalmia." Ophthalmia is, in fact, one of the scourges of Egypt, as all physicians know. Its prevalence must be attributed in a great degree to the sand which the wind blows into the eyes; but one can understand how in Oriental countries in general the excessive heat of the sun must make blindness much commoner than it is with us.
It is not therefore surprising to any one who knows the East to find the blind so often mentioned in the gospel history, and to meet in Scripture with so many allusions to this infirmity. Of the twelve maledictions of the Levites there is one against him "who maketh the blind to go out of the way": Deuteronomy 27:18 . "The spirit of God hath anointed me", said Jesus, quoting from Isaiah, "to preach the gospel to the poor, and recovery of sight to the blind": Luke 4:19 . "The Lord", says David, "setteth at liberty them that are bound; the Lord giveth sight to the blind." --Felix Bovet (1824--), in "Egypt, Palestine, and Phoenicia", 1882.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 8. (first clause). Spiritual blindness, its curse, cause, and cure.
Verse 8. (second clause). -- Who are the people? Who raises them? How he does it. And what then?
Verse 8. (third clause). -- God's love to the righteous.
- He made them righteous.
- They are like him.
- They love him.
- Their purposes are one with his own.