1 Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee.
2 Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble;
incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me
3 For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as
4 My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget
to eat my bread.
5 By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my
6 I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the
7 I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.
8 Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad
against me are sworn against me.
9 For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with
10 Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast
lifted me up, and
cast me down.
11 My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered
12 But thou, O LORD, shall endure for ever; and
unto all generations.
13 Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to
favour her, yea, the set time, is come.
14 For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the
15 So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the
kings of the earth thy glory.
16 When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his
17 He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise
18 This shall be written for the generation to come: and the
people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.
19 For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from
heaven did the LORD behold the earth;
20 To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose
those that are
appointed to death;
21 To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in
22 When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to
serve the LORD.
23 He weakened my strength
in the way; he shortened my days.
24 I said, O my God, take me not away
in the midst of my days:
years are throughout all generations.
25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the
heavens are the work of thy hands.
26 They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them
shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and
they shall be changed:
27 But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.
28 The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed
shall be established before thee.1
1. Speedily. The depth of the psalmist's dejection and the intensity of his appeal are emphasized by the cumulative pleas for divine aid in vs.
3. For. Verse 3 marks the beginning of
the psalmist's complaint.2
An hearth is heated or burnt by the coals which are laid upon it.6
So that I forget.
Or, "have forgotten," that is, in my distress (Ps 107:18), and hence
5. Skin. My flesh being quite consumed.6
6. Pelican. Heb. qa'ath,
translated "cormorant" in Isa. 34:11; Zeph. 2:14. The exact species of bird
referred to is not known, although it has been observed that the pelican is an
appropriate symbol of utter loneliness and melancholy.2
7. I watch. Or, "I am wakeful".
Sparrow. Heb. sippor, a general term
for winged animals (see Gen. 7:14; Deut. 1:17). "Alone" is perhaps an allusion to a bird bereft of its mate.2
Sworn against me. Or literally, "by me," wishing others as miserable as
I am (Nu 5:21).5
9. Ashes. A figure of grief, my bread; weeping
or tears, my drink (Ps 80:5).5
Bread. The sense is, dust and ashes are as familiar to
me as the eating of my bread; I cover my head with them; I sit, yea, lie down in
them, as mourners often did.6
10. Lifted me.
As a man lifts up a
thing as high as he can, that he may cast it to the ground with
Cast me down. Or, "cast me away"
as stubble by a whirlwind (Isa 64:6).5
11. Shadow that declineth.
A striking figure of the approach of death (see Job 14:2). Samuel Butler said, "My years slip through me as water through a sieve."2
12. But thou. Abruptly, the psalmist finds consolation in the contemplation of the eternal sovereignty of God, and rises above his complaint. Because God does not change, His promises are sure, despite His apparent disregard
for the psalmist's suffering for the time being.2
Thy remembrance. That by which Thou
art remembered, Thy promise.5
14. Stones. The exiles
even enjoy contemplating the piled-up stones and dust of what was once their glorious city Jerusalem, so deeply in love with
Zion are they (see Neh. 4:2,10; Ps. 79:1). There is a pathetic touch of nostalgia in the concept of this verse. Even the ruins of our childhood home are dear to us.2
15. Shall fear. According to God's plan, restored
Zion would compose a people fulfilling the divine destiny in the choice of
Israel. Missionary activities would convert many of the heathen and the prosperity of the new state would attract many nations. Unfortunately Israel failed. Had they been faithful the whole earth would have been prepared for the first advent of Christ.2
16. He shall appear.
The Messiah would have come to the restored state (see on v. 15).
This wonderful deliverance shall be carefully recorded by thy people.6
Written. This seems to be the only mention in the psalms where the record of God's providences is said to be written.2
People shall be created.
(compare Ps. 22:31), an
organized body, as a Church.5
Those that are appointed to death. Literally, "children of death" (see
Ps. 79:11 ).2
21. To declare.
That they might publish the name and praises of God in his church.6
Or, that God's name may be celebrated in the assemblies of His
Church, gathered from all nations (Zec 8:20-23), and devoted to His
When the Gentiles shall gather themselves to the Jews, and join with
them in the worship of the true God.6
"afflicted," and made fearful of a premature end, a figure of the apprehensions
of the Church, lest God might not perform His promise, drawn from those of a
person in view of the dangers of early death (compare Ps 89:47).5
My strength. From the consolation
of God's eternal sovereignty the psalmist falls back again for an instant on his own, weakness and the shortness of his life- but it is only for an instant. Almost
immediately he is swallowed up again in the contemplation of the unchangeableness of God.2
In the way. Of providence.5
24. I said. Do
not wholly destroy thy people Israel.6
In the midst. The psalmist's prayer is evidently prompted in part by his desire to see the restoration of Jerusalem. He cannot bear the thought of dying before seeing the
fulfilment of his hopes. In the face of God's eternal existence he feels how fleeting and transient are his own days (see vs. 11, 12; Ps. 90:2; Hab. 1:12).2
Though we die, yet thou art the everlasting God.6
25. Hast thou laid. See Gen.
1:1. Verses 25-27 are quoted in
Heb. 1:10-12 as an address to Christ. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews is proving that Christ, as the Son of God, also has a place of pre-eminence above the angels. Here is proof also of the position of Christ as Creator.
26. Garment. Ugaritic literature also compares the heavens to a
garment that "will wear away."2
References and notes
1. King James Authorized Version
Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary Vol. 3 pg 859
Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible
Clarke's Commentary - http://www.godrules.net/library/clarke/clarkepsa102.htm
Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown -
6. John Wesley's Notes on the Bible - http://eword.gospelcom.net/comments/psalm/wesley/psalm102.htm