Psalms 102

1 The prayer of a poor man, when he was anguished, and shedded out his speech before the Lord. Lord, hear thou my prayer; and my cry come to thee. (The prayer of a poor man, when he was anguished, and poured out his words before the Lord. Lord, hear thou my prayer; and let my cry come unto thee.)
2 Turn not away thy face from me; in whatever day I am troubled, bow down thine ear to me. In whatever day I shall inwardly call thee; hear thou me swiftly. (Turn not away thy face from me; on whatever day I am troubled, bow down thy ear to me. On whatever day that I shall call to thee, please swiftly answer thou me.)
3 For my days have failed as smoke; and my bones have dried up as croutons/as cracklings, either (the) leaving(s) of frying. (For my days have vanished like smoke; and my bones have dried up like croutons.)
4 I am smitten as hay, and mine heart (hath) dried up; for I have forgotten to eat my bread. (I am beaten down like dry grass; and I have forgotten to eat my food.)
5 Of the voice of my wailing; my bone cleaved to my flesh. (My voice waileth; for my bones cleave to my flesh.)
6 I am made like a pelican of (the) wilderness; I am made as a night crow in an house.
7 I waked; and I am made as a solitary sparrow in the roof. (I lie awake; and I am like a solitary sparrow on the rooftop.)
8 All day mine enemies despised me; and they that praised me swore against me. (All day long my enemies despise me; and those who be angry with me/and those who mock me, conspire against me.)
9 For I ate ashes as bread; and I meddled my drink with weeping. (For I have eaten ashes for food; and I have mixed my tears with my drink.)
10 From the face of the ire of thine indignation; for thou raising me [up] hast hurtled me down. (All because of thy anger, and thy indignation; for first thou hast raised me up, and then thou hast hurtled me down.)
11 My days bowed away as a shadow; and I waxed dry as hay. (My days disappeared like a shadow; and I am dried up like the hay, or the grass.)
12 But, Lord, thou dwellest [into] without end; and thy memorial in generation and into generation. (But, Lord, thou livest forever; and shalt be remembered by all generations.)
13 Lord, thou rising up, shalt have mercy on Zion (Lord, thou shalt rise up, and have mercy on Zion); for the time to have mercy thereof cometh, for the time cometh.
14 For the stones thereof pleased thy servants; and they shall have mercy on the land thereof. (For its stones pleased thy servants; and they even love its dust.)
15 And, Lord, heathen men shall dread thy name; and all kings of earth shall dread thy glory. (And, Lord, the heathen shall fear thy name; and all the kings of the earth shall fear thy glory.)
16 For the Lord hath built [up] Zion; and he shall be seen in his glory. (And when the Lord buildeth up Zion again; he shall be seen in all his glory.)
17 He beheld on the prayer of meek men; and he despised not the prayer of them. (He heareth the prayers of the humble; and he did not despise their prayers.)
18 Be these things written in another generation; and the people that shall be made shall praise the Lord. (These things be written for another generation; and then those people, yet to be, shall praise the Lord.)
19 For he beheld from his high holy place; the Lord looked from heaven into earth (the Lord looked down from heaven onto the earth).
20 For to hear the wailings of fettered men; and for to unbind the sons of slain men.
21 That they tell in Zion the name of the Lord; and his praising in Jerusalem. (So that they tell out the Lord's name in Zion; and his praises in Jerusalem.)
22 In gathering together peoples into one; and kings, that they serve the Lord. (Yea, when all peoples, and kingdoms, shall be gathered together into one, to serve the Lord.)
23 It answered to him in the way of his virtue; Tell thou to me the fewness of my days. (But he hath weakened my strength along the way; he hath shortened my days.)
24 Again-call thou not me in the middle of my days; thy years be in generation and into generation. (Please do not call me back in the middle of my days; thy years last for all generations.)
25 Lord, thou foundedest the earth in the beginning; and (the) heavens be the works of thine hands.
26 Those shall perish, but thou dwellest perfectly; and all shall wax eld as a cloth. And thou shalt change them as a covering, and those shall be changed; (They shall perish, but thou shalt live forever; all of them shall grow old like a cloak. And thou shalt change them like a covering, and they shall be changed;)
27 but thou art the same thyself, and thy years shall not fail. (but thou thyself art the same, and thy years shall have no end.)
28 The sons of thy servants shall dwell; and the seed of them shall be (ad)dressed, (or directed,) into the world. (The sons and daughters of thy servants shall live; and their children shall be secure before thee/and their descendants shall be established before thee.)

Psalms 102 Commentary

Chapter 102

A sorrowful complaint of great afflictions. (1-11) Encouragement by expecting the performances of God's promises to his church. (12-22) The unchangeableness of God. (23-28)

Verses 1-11 The whole word of God is of use to direct us in prayer; but here, is often elsewhere, the Holy Ghost has put words into our mouths. Here is a prayer put into the hands of the afflicted; let them present it to God. Even good men may be almost overwhelmed with afflictions. It is our duty and interest to pray; and it is comfort to an afflicted spirit to unburden itself, by a humble representation of its griefs. We must say, Blessed be the name of the Lord, who both gives and takes away. The psalmist looked upon himself as a dying man; My days are like a shadow.

Verses 12-22 We are dying creatures, but God is an everlasting God, the protector of his church; we may be confident that it will not be neglected. When we consider our own vileness, our darkness and deadness, and the manifold defects in our prayers, we have cause to fear that they will not be received in heaven; but we are here assured of the contrary, for we have an Advocate with the Father, and are under grace, not under the law. Redemption is the subject of praise in the Christian church; and that great work is described by the temporal deliverance and restoration of Israel. Look down upon us, Lord Jesus; and bring us into the glorious liberty of thy children, that we may bless and praise thy name.

Verses 23-28 Bodily distempers soon weaken our strength, then what can we expect but that our months should be cut off in the midst; and what should we do but provide accordingly? We must own God's hand in it; and must reconcile this to his love, for often those that have used their strength well, have it weakened; and those who, as we think, can very ill be spared, have their days shortened. It is very comfortable, in reference to all the changes and dangers of the church, to remember that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. And in reference to the death of our bodies, and the removal of friends, to remember that God is an everlasting God. Do not let us overlook the assurance this psalm contains of a happy end to all the believer's trials. Though all things are changing, dying, perishing, like a vesture folding up and hastening to decay, yet Jesus lives, and thus all is secure, for he hath said, Because I live ye shall live also.

Chapter Summary


\\<>\\; Whether this psalm was written by David, under a prophetic spirit, concerning future times; or whether by one of the Babylonish captivity, as Daniel, Nehemiah, Ezra, or any other; either just at the close of it, or upon their return from it; since it is said that "the set time to favour Zion was come", is not certain: however, since Zion was a type of the Gospel church, it may be very well applied to Gospel times; and the rather, since some passages in it are cited by the apostle in Heb 1:10-12 as to be understood of Christ: see Ps 102:25-27. The Syriac version calls it, ``a prophecy concerning the new people, namely, the Gentiles in the faith:'' it is entitled, "a prayer of the afflicted", or "poor" {e}; which Austin understood of Christ, who became poor for our sakes, and was afflicted of God and men. Aben Ezra, Jarchi, and Kimchi, interpret it of the Jews suffering affliction in the Babylonish captivity; the former observes, that it was the opinion of some of their interpreters that this prayer was composed by some wise and understanding man that fell into the hand of his enemies. It may very well be applied to any afflicted person; all the people of God are more or less a poor and afflicted people; outwardly afflicted in body, in estate, and in their good name and character; inwardly with the corruptions of their own hearts, the temptations of Satan, and divine desertions; when it is a very proper time for prayer, Jas 5:13, and it is their privilege that they have a God of grace and mercy to pray unto, a throne of grace to come to at all times, a spirit of grace and supplication to assist them, and Christ their Advocate and High Priest, to present their petitions for them: and this everyone may do, "when he is overwhelmed"; pressed with the burden of sin, without a view of pardon, covered, as the word {f} signifies, with shame and sorrow for it; almost overset with, and ready to faint and sink under, afflictions, which like waves and billows roll over him; and at the same time is attended with much darkness and unbelieving frames of soul: "and poureth out his complaint before the Lord"; concerning his trials and afflictions, especially concerning the badness and haughtiness of his heart, the hardness of it, being so unaffected with providences, and under the word, and at the ordinances; concerning his leanness, barrenness, and unfruitfulness under the means of grace; his lukewarmness and indifference, his deadness and dulness in duty; his unbelief, distrust, and dejection of mind; as well as of the low estate of Zion, the little success of the Gospel, the few instances of conversion, and the unbecoming walk of many professors. Such a "complaint" as this, or "meditation" {g}, which he has thought of and digested in his mind; or all that is in his heart, as Aben Ezra observes, "he pours out" which denotes enlargement in prayer, the abundance of his heart, out of which his mouth speaketh; the fulness of his petition, as also freedom of expression it signifies a parrhsia, a telling all one's mind, speaking out with great liberty; laying it in an humble manner before the Lord, before whom all things are naked and open, and leaving it with him, in entire submission and resignation to his will, to do as seems good in his sight.

Psalms 102 Commentaries

Copyright © 2001 by Terence P. Noble. For personal use only.