Psalm 72:12
For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.
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(12) For he shall deliver.—Here the verb must be present, “for he delivereth” giving the reason of the wide sway asked for this monarch. The prayer is based on the justice and beneficence of his reign (“to him that hath shall be given”), in which the weak and poor find their lives safe from violence, and their property protected against fraud. The verse is almost word for word the same as Job 29:12.

Poor.—Rather, afflicted.

Psalm 72:12-14. For he shall deliver the needy, &c. — The fame of his just and merciful government shall induce multitudes either to put themselves under his rule and protection, or to show great respect and reverence for him. He shall spare the poor and needy — He shall take pity on them, and add no heavier burden unto that of their lamentable poverty. And shall save the souls — That is, the lives, of the needy. He shall not be prodigal of their lives, but as tenderly careful to spare and preserve them as those of his greatest subjects. If applied to Christ it means, that he shall save their souls, properly so called, namely, from the guilt and power of sin, into the favour and image of God, and a state of communion with him here, and the everlasting enjoyment of him hereafter, it being Christ’s proper work to save men’s souls. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence — The two ways whereby the lives and souls of men are usually destroyed. And precious shall their blood be in his sight — He shall set so high a value upon their lives, and love them so dearly, as never to expose them to imminent danger, much less to cast them away, merely to gratify his own revenge, covetousness, or insatiable desire of enlarging his empire, as earthly kings commonly do; but, like a true father of his people, will tenderly preserve them, and severely avenge their blood upon those that shall shed it.

72:2-17 This is a prophecy of the kingdom of Christ; many passages in it cannot be applied to the reign of Solomon. There were righteousness and peace at first in the administration of his government; but, before the end of his reign, there were troubles and unrighteousness. The kingdom here spoken of is to last as long as the sun, but Solomon's was soon at an end. Even the Jewish expositors understood it of the kingdom of the Messiah. Observe many great and precious promises here made, which were to have full accomplishment only in the kingdom of Christ. As far as his kingdom is set up, discord and contentions cease, in families, churches, and nations. The law of Christ, written in the heart, disposes men to be honest and just, and to render to all their due; it likewise disposes men to live in love, and so produces abundance of peace. Holiness and love shall be lasting in Christ's kingdom. Through all the changes of the world, and all the changes of life, Christ's kingdom will support itself. And he shall, by the graces and comforts of his Spirit, come down like rain upon the mown grass; not on that cut down, but that which is left growing, that it may spring again. His gospel has been, or shall be, preached to all nations. Though he needs not the services of any, yet he must be served with the best. Those that have the wealth of this world, must serve Christ with it, do good with it. Prayer shall be made through him, or for his sake; whatever we ask of the Father, should be in his name. Praises shall be offered to him: we are under the highest obligations to him. Christ only shall be feared throughout all generations. To the end of time, and to eternity, his name shall be praised. All nations shall call HIM blessed.For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth - The sufferer; the down-trodden; the oppressed. See the notes at Psalm 72:4. Compare the notes at Isaiah 61:1.

The poor also ... - All who have no protector; all who are exposed to injustice and wrong from others. This is everywhere declared to be the characteristic of the reign of the Messiah. See the notes at Isaiah 11:4.

12-14. They are not the conquests of arms, but the influences of humane and peaceful principles (compare Isa 9:7; 11:1-9; Zec 9:9, 10).12 For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.

13 He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.

14 He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.

Psalm 72:12

"For he shall deliver the needy." Here is an excellent reason for man's submission to the Lord Christ; it is not because they dread his overwhelming power, but because they are won over by his just and condescending rule. Who would not fear so good a Prince, who makes the needy his peculiar care, and pledges himself to be their deliverer in times of need? "When he crieth." He permits them to be so needy as to be driven to cry bitterly for help, but then he hears them, and comes to their aid. A child's cry touches a father's heart, and our King is the Father of his people. If we can do no more than cry it will bring omnipotence to our aid. A cry is the native language of a spiritually needy soul; it has done with fine phrases and long orations, and it takes to sobs and moans; and so, indeed, it grasps the most potent of all weapons, for heaven always yields to such artillery. "The poor also, and him that hath no helper." The proverb says, "God helps those that help themselves;" but it is yet more true that Jesus helps those who cannot help themselves, nor find help in others. All helpless ones are under the especial care of Zion's compassionate King; let them hasten to put themselves in fellowship with him. Let them look to him, for he is looking for them.

Psalm 72:13

"He shall spare the poor and needy." His pity shall be manifested to them; he will not allow their trials to overwhelm them; his rod of correction shall fall lightly; he will be sparing of his rebukes, and not sparing in his consolations. "And shall save the souls of the needy." His is the dominion of souls, a spiritual and not a worldly empire; and the needy, that is to say, the consciously unworthy and weak, shall find that he will give them his salvation. Jesus calls not the righteous, but sinners to repentance. He does not attempt the superfluous work of aiding proud Pharisees to air their vanity; but he is careful of poor Publicans whose eyes dare not look up to heaven by reason of their sense of sin. We ought to be anxious to be among these needy ones whom the Great King so highly favours.

Psalm 72:14

"He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence." These two things are the weapons with which the poor are assailed: both law and no law are employed to fleece them. The fox and the lion are combined against Christ's lambs, but the Shepherd will defeat them, and rescue the defenceless from their teeth. A soul hunted by the temptations of Satanic craft, and the insinuations of diabolical malice, will do well to fly to the throne of Jesus for shelter. "And precious shall their blood be in his sight." He will not throw away his subjects in needless wars as tyrants have done, but will take every means for preserving the humblest of them. Conquerors have reckoned thousands of lives as small items; they have reddened fields with gore, as if blood were water, and flesh but manure for harvests; but Jesus, though he gave his own blood, is very chary of the blood of his servants, and if they must die for him as martyrs, he loves their memory, and counts their lives as his precious things.

The fame of his just and merciful government shall induce multitudes either to put themselves under him, or to show great respect and reverence to him.

For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth,.... Such as are not only in want, but are sensible of it, see their need of Christ and his righteousness, and salvation by him, and cry to him for the same, under a sense of their misery and danger; these he delivers out of all their troubles, and out of the hands of all their enemies, and supplies all their need;

the poor also; the poor in spirit; who acknowledge their spiritual poverty, and apply to him for the true riches; to these he gives gold tried in the fire, that they may be rich; he gives them grace here, and glory hereafter;

and him that hath no helper; that is in an helpless condition; can neither help himself, nor can any creature, angel or man, give him any help: but this being laid on Christ, and found in him, is given to him, whereby he is delivered out of a miserable state into a very comfortable and happy one; and such humane, kind, and tender regard to the needy, poor, and helpless, in this great King spoken of, is what engages to a cheerful subjection to him, and worship and reverence of him; more of which is expressed in the following verses, as the reason of the great esteem he should be had in.

For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.
12. For he shall deliver] His claim to this universal homage rests not on the strength of his armies but on the justice and mercifulness of his rule. Cp. Isaiah 16:4-5. The true victory of the kingdom of God is a moral victory, Psalm 72:9, it is true, refers to the forced submission of his enemies; but the same inconsistency is found in Zechariah 9:9 ff.: it was only by slow degrees that the triumph of the kingdom of God came to be completely dissociated from the idea of material conquest, and was realised to be entirely a moral triumph.

the poor also &c.] And the afflicted, when he hath no helper. The verse closely resembles Job 29:12.

Verse 12. - For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper (comp. ver. 4); rather, and the poor who has no helper. Two classes of persons are spoken of, not three (comp. Job 29:12). Psalm 72:12The confirmation of these prospects is now given. Voluntative forms are intermingled because the prospect extending into the future is nevertheless more lyrical than prophetic in its character. The elevation of the king to the dominion of the world is the reward of his condescension; he shows himself to be the helper and protecting lord of the poor and the oppressed, who are the especial object upon which God's eye is set. He looks upon it as his task to deal most sympathizingly and most considerately (יחס) just with those of reduced circumstances and with the poor, and their blood is precious in his eyes. Psalm 72:12 is re-echoed in Job 29:12. The meaning of Psalm 72:14 is the same as Psalm 116:15. Instead of יקר, by a retention of the Jod of the stem it is written ייקר. Just as in Psalm 49:10, ייקר here also is followed by ויחי. The assertion is individualized: and he (who was threatened with death) shall live (voluntative, having reference to the will of the king). But who is now the subject to ויתּן-? Not the rescued one (Hitzig), for after the foregoing designations (Psalm 72:11.) we cannot expect to find "the gold of Sheba" (gold from Jeman or Aethiopia) in his possession. Therefore it is the king, and in fact Solomon, of whom the disposal of the gold of Sheba (Saba) is characteristic. The king's thought and endeavour are directed to this, that the poor man who has almost fallen a victim shall live or revive, and not only will he maintain his cause, he will also bestow gifts upon him with a liberal hand, and he (the poor one who has been rescued and endowed from the riches of the king) shall pray unceasingly for him (the king) and bless him at all times. The poor one is he who is restored to life and endowed with gifts, and who intercedes and blesses; the king, however, is the beneficent giver. It is left for the reader to supply the right subjects in thought to the separate verbs. That clearly marked precision which we require in rhetorical recital is alien to the Oriental style (vid., my Geschichte der jdischen Poesie, S. 189). Maurer and Hofmann also give the same interpretation as we have done.
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