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Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
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PSALM 143

Ps 143:1-12. In structure and style, like the preceding (Psalms 104-142), this Psalm is clearly evinced to be David's. It is a prayer for pardon, and for relief from enemies; afflictions, as usual, producing confession and penitence.

1. in thy faithfulness … and … righteousness—or, God's regard to the claims which He has permitted His people to make in His covenant.

2. enter … judgment—deal not in strict justice.

shall no … justified—or, "is no man justified," or "innocent" (Job 14:3; Ro 3:20).

3, 4. The exciting reason for his prayer—his afflictions—led to confession as just made: he now makes the complaint.

as those that have been long dead—deprived of life's comforts (compare Ps 40:15; 88:3-6).

5, 6. The distress is aggravated by the contrast of former comfort (Ps 22:3-5), for whose return he longs.

a thirsty land—which needs rain, as did his spirit God's gracious visits (Ps 28:1; 89:17).

7. spirit faileth—is exhausted.

8. (Compare Ps 25:1-4; 59:16).

the way … walk—that is, the way of safety and righteousness (Ps 142:3-6).

9. (Compare Ps 31:15-20).

10. (Compare Ps 5:8; 27:11).

land of uprightness—literally, "an even land" (Ps 26:12).

11. (Compare Ps 23:3; 119:156).

12. God's mercy to His people is often wrath to His and their enemies (compare Ps 31:17).

thy servant—as chosen to be such, entitled to divine regard.

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