Psalms 102:20 AV
To hear the groaning of the prisoner;
to loose those that are appointed to death
New American Standard Bible
To hear the groaning of the prisoner, To set free those who were doomed to death
JPS Tanakh 1917
To hear the groaning of the prisoner; To loose those that are appointed to death
in order to hear the painful cries of the prisoners, and to set free those condemned to die
Young’s Literal Translation
To hear the groan of the prisoner, To loose sons of death
To hear the groanings of the prisoner
Not of a single person only, but of many, who lie in prisons, where they lie and groan, in darkness and misery, under dreadful tortures.
The Lord hears their cries and groans; His heart yearns towards them; He looks with pity on them; and, because of the sighing of these poor and needy ones, He will arise in due time, and set them in safety from him that puffs at them.
It is true also of such who are prisoners of sin, Satan, and the law; and, when sensible of it, groan under their bondage, and cry to the Lord for help, who hears them, and directs them, as prisoners of hope, to turn to Christ, their strong hold ( Zechariah 9:11 Zechariah 9:12 ).
To loose those that are appointed to death
Delivered to death, as the Targum; delivered over to the secular power, in order to be put to death; who are arraigned and condemned as malefactors, and put into the condemned hole, in order for execution; these the Lord will loose, and save them from the death they are appointed to by men.
This is not to be understood of persons appointed by the Lord to death, either corporeal or eternal, from which none can be loosed, so appointed: in the original text the phrase is “children of death”; the same as “children of wrath”, (Ephesians 2:3) , that is, deserving of death, and under the sentence of it; as all men are in Adam, even the Lord’s own people.
Who are, in their own apprehension, as dead men, when awakened and convinced of their state by the Spirit of God; these Christ looses from the shackles and fetters of sin, from the bondage of the law, from the tyranny of Satan, and from fears of death, and puts them into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
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Explanatory notes and quaint sayings
To hear the groaning of the prisoner.
God takes notice not only of the prayers of his afflicted people, which are the language of grace; but even of their groans, which are the language of nature.
— Matthew Henry.
Appointed unto death.
Who, in their captivity, are experiencing so much affliction, that it is manifest their cruel enemies are desirous of destroying them utterly; or, at least, of bringing them into such a low and pitiable state, as to blot out their name from among the nations of the earth.
— William Keatinge Clay.
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