May 14, 2007

On the Middle Verse

NKJ Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.

"It may perhaps be considered beneath the dignity and solemnity of our subject to remark that this eighth verse of this Psalm is the middle verse of the Bible. There are, I believe, 31,174 verses in all, and this is the 15,587th." Barton Bouchier quoted in C. H. Spurgeon, Psalms (Kregel Publications, 1980), p. 504.

"Literally, "Good is it to trust in Jehovah more than to confide in man." This is the Hebrew form of comparison, and is equivalent to what is stated in our version, "It is better," etc. It is better, (1) because man is weak,--but God is Almighty; (2) because man is selfish,--but God is benevolent; (3) because man is often faithless and deceitful,--God never; (4) because there are emergencies, as death, in which man cannot aid us, however faithful, kind and friendly he may be,--but there are no circumstances in this life, and none in death, where God cannot assist us: and (5) because the ability of man to help us pertains at best only to this present life,--the power of God will be commensurate with eternity." Albert Barnes, Barnes' Notes on the Old & New Testaments: Psalms (Baker, 1978), Vol. 3, p.169-170.

"He that devotes himself to God's guidance and government, with an entire dependence upon God's wisdom, power, and goodness, has a better security to make him easy than if all the kings and potentates of the earth should undertake to protect him." Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible (Hendrickson, 1991), p. 912.

"The allusion is probably to the hostility of the Samaritans and the Persion satraps during the building of the Temple. The Jews had learnt by painful experience how little they could trust in princes, for the work which had begun under Cyrus had been threatened under Cambyses, and had been suspended under the pseudo-Smerdis, and it was not till Darius came to the throne that they were allowed to resume it (Ezra iv.)." J. J. Stewart Perowne, Commentary on the Psalms (Kregel, 1989), p. 341.

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