Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 143:2

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And enter not into judgment with thy servant - Do not deal with me on the ground of justice as toward “thee;” do not mark my own offences against thee, when I plead that justice may be done as between me and my fellow-men. While I plead that thou wouldst judge righteously between me and them, I am conscious that I could not claim thy needed interposition on the ground of any righteousness toward thee. There I must confess that I am a sinner; there I can rely only on mercy; there I could not hope to be justified.

For in thy sight - As before thee; in thy presence; by thee.

Shall no man living - No one of the race, no matter what his rank, his outward conduct, his gentleness, his amiableness, his kindness; no matter how just and upright he may be toward his fellow-men.

Be justified - Be regarded as righteous; be acquitted from blame; be held to be innocent. The meaning is, “I do not come before thee and plead for thy favor on the ground of any claim on thee, for I am conscious that I am a sinner, and that my only hope is in thy mercy.” See the notes at Romans 3:20. Compare Job 4:17; Job 9:2, Job 9:20; Job 15:14-16; Job 25:4-6. This is a great and momentous truth in regard to man; it is the foundation of the necessity for a plan of salvation through an atonement - for some way in which man “may” properly be regarded and treated as righteous. Assuredly every man, conscious of what he is in himself, may and should fervently pray that God “would” not enter into judgment with him; that he would not mark his offences; that he would not judge him as strict justice would demand. Our hope is in the “mercy,” not in the “justice” of God.