Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 73:10

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Therefore his people return hither - There are very few verses in the Bible that have been more variously translated than this; and, like the man in the fable, they have blown the hot to cool it, and the cold to warm it. It has been translated, "Therefore God's people fall off to them; and thence they reap no small advantage." And, "Therefore let his people come before them; and waters in full measure would be wrung out from them." That is, "Should God's people come before them, they would squeeze them to the utmost; they would wring out all the juice in their bodies." The Chaldee has, "Therefore, are they turned against the people of the Lord, that they may bruise and beat them with mallets; that they may pour out to them abundance of tears." The Vulgate, "Therefore shall my people return here, and days of abundance shall be found by them." The Septuagint is the same. The Ethiopic, Arabic, and Syriac, nearly the same. The Hebrew text is, למו ימצו מלא ומי הלם עמו ישוב לכן lachen yashub ammo (עמי ammi ) halom ; umey male yimmatsu lamo ; "Therefore shall my people be converted, where they shall find abundance of waters." That is, The people, seeing the iniquity of the Babylonians, and feeling their oppressive hand, shall be converted to me; and I shall bring them to their own land, where they shall find an abundance of all the necessaries of life. I believe this to be the meaning; and thus we find their afflictions were sanctified to them; for they obliged them to return to God, and then God caused them to return to their own land. The Vulgate translates מלא ומי umey male, "abundance of waters," by et dies pleni, "and days of plenty;" for it has read ימי yemey, days, for ומי umey, and waters. Almost all the Versions support this reading; but it is not acknowledged by any MS. The old Psalter is here mutilated.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Therefore his people - Those that truly love God; the pious in the earth.

Return hither - Return to this subject. In their musings - their meditations on divine things - they come back to this inquiry. The subject occupies their minds, and they recur to it as a subject which perplexes them; as a thing that is incomprehensible. They think it over again and again, and are more and more perplexed and embarrassed. The difficulties which these facts suggest about God and his government are such that they cannot solve them.

And waters of a full cup are wrung out to them - literally, “waters of fullness;” or, full waters. The Chaldee renders this, “Many tears flow from them.” The Septuagint, and the Latin Vulgate, “And full days shall be found by them.” The word rendered “are wrung out” - from מצה mâtsâh - means properly to “suck;” then, to suck out; to drink greedily. See Isaiah 51:17. It is applied to one who drinks greedily of an intoxicating cup; and then, to one who drinks a cup of poison to the dregs. Psalm 75:8. The meaning here is, that the facts in the case, and the questions which arose in regard to those facts, and which so perplexed them, were like a bitter cup; a cup of poison, or an intoxicating cup which overpowered their faculties - and that they, in their perplexities, “exhausted” the cup. They drank it all, even to the dregs. They did not merely taste it; but they drank it. It was a subject full of perplexity; a subject that wholly overpowered all their faculties, and “exhausted” all their powers.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The psalmist was strongly tempted to envy the prosperity of the wicked; a common temptation, which has tried the graces of many saints. But he lays down the great principle by which he resolved to abide. It is the goodness of God. This is a truth which cannot be shaken. Good thoughts of God will fortify against Satan's temptations. The faith even of strong believers may be sorely shaken, and ready to fail. There are storms that will try the firmest anchors. Foolish and wicked people have sometimes a great share of outward prosperity. They seem to have the least share of the troubles of this life; and they seem to have the greatest share of its comforts. They live without the fear of God, yet they prosper, and get on in the world. Wicked men often spend their lives without much sickness, and end them without great pain; while many godly persons scarcely know what health is, and die with great sufferings. Often the wicked are not frightened, either by the remembrance of their sins, or the prospect of their misery, but they die without terror. We cannot judge men's state beyond death, by what passes at their death. He looked abroad, and saw many of God's people greatly at a loss. Because the wicked are so very daring, therefore his people return hither; they know not what to say to it, and the rather, because they drink deep of the bitter cup of affliction. He spoke feelingly when he spoke of his own troubles; there is no disputing against sense, except by faith. From all this arose a strong temptation to cast off religion. But let us learn that the true course of sanctification consists in cleansing a man from all pollution both of soul and body. The heart is cleansed by the blood of Christ laid hold upon by faith; and by the begun works of the Lord's Spirit, manifested in the hearty resolution, purpose, and study of holiness, and a blameless course of life and actions, the hands are cleansed. It is not in vain to serve God and keep his ordinances.
Ellen G. White
Education, 144

The accounts of every business, the details of every transaction, pass the scrutiny of unseen auditors, agents of Him who never compromises with injustice, never overlooks evil, never palliates wrong. Ed 144.1

“If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice, ... marvel not at the matter: for He that is higher than the highest regardeth.” “There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.” Ecclesiastes 5:8; Job 34:22. Ed 144.2

“They set their mouth against the heavens.... And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the Most High?” “These things hast thou done,” God says, “and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes,” Psalm 73:9-11; 50:21. Ed 144.3

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