Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 22:29

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

All they that be fat upon earth - The rich, the great, the mighty, even princes, governors, and kings, shall embrace the Gospel. They shall count it their greatest honor to be called Christian; to join in the assemblies of his people, to commemorate his sacrificial death, to dispense the word of life, to discourage vice, and to encourage the profession and practice of pure and undefiled religion.

That go down to the dust - Every dying man shall put his trust in Christ, and shall expect glory only through the great Savior of mankind.

None can keep alive his own soul. The Vulgate has: Et anima mea illi vivet, et semen meum serviet ipsi; "and my soul shall live to him, and my seed shall serve him." And with this agree the Syriac, Septuagint, Ethiopic, Arabic, and Anglo-Saxon. The old Psalter follows them closely: And my saule sal lyf til him; and my sede hym sal serve. I believe this to be the true reading. Instead of נפשו naphsho, His soul, some MSS., in accordance with the above ancient versions, have נפשי naphshi, My soul. And instead of לא lo, not, two MSS., with the versions, have לו lo, to Him. And for חיה chiyah, shall vivify, some have יחיה yichyeh, shall live. The text, therefore, should be read, My soul (נפשי napshi ) shall live (לו lo ) to him: my seed (זרעי zari ) shall serve him. These may be the words of David himself: "I will live to this Savior while I live; and my spiritual posterity shall serve him through all generations."

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

All they that be fat upon the earth - The general meaning of this verse is, that “all classes of persons” will come and worship the true God; not the poor and needy only, the afflicted, and the oppressed, but the rich and the prosperous. There are three classes mentioned as representing all:

(1) the rich and prosperous;

(2) they who bow down to the dust, or the crushed and the oppressed;

(3) those who are approaching the grave, and have no power to keep themselves alive.

The first class comprises those who are mentioned here as being fat. This image is often used to denote prosperity: Judges 3:29; Job 15:27; Psalm 17:10; Psalm 73:4 (Hebrew); Deuteronomy 31:20; Deuteronomy 32:15. The meaning is, that the rich, the great, the prosperous would be among the multitudes who would be converted to the living God.

Shall eat and worship - This expression is derived from the custom of offering sacrifices, and of feasting upon portions of the animal that was slain. In accordance with this, the blessings of salvation are often represented as a “feast” to which all are invited. See the notes at Isaiah 25:6. Compare Luke 14:16.

All they that go down to the dust - All those descending to the dust. Those who are bowed down to the dust; who are crushed, broken, and oppressed; the poor, the sad, the sorrowful. Salvation is for them, as well as for the rich and the great.

Shall bow before him - Shall worship before the true God.

And none can keep alive his own soul - Or rather, and he who cannot keep his soul (that is, himself) alive. So the Hebrew properly means, and this accords better with the connection. The class here represented is composed of those who are ready to perish, who are about to die - the aged - the infirm - the sick - the dying. These, thus helpless, feeble, and sad, shall also become interested in the great plan of salvation, and shall turn unto the Lord. These classes would represent all the dwellers on the earth; and the affirmation is equivalent to a statement that men of all classes would be converted, and would partake of the blessings of salvation.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The Saviour now speaks as risen from the dead. The first words of the complaint were used by Christ himself upon the cross; the first words of the triumph are expressly applied to him, Heb 2:12. All our praises must refer to the work of redemption. The suffering of the Redeemer was graciously accepted as a full satisfaction for sin. Though it was offered for sinful men, the Father did not despise or abhor it for our sakes. This ought to be the matter of our thanksgiving. All humble, gracious souls should have a full satisfaction and happiness in him. Those that hunger and thirst after righteousness in Christ, shall not labour for that which satisfies not. Those that are much in praying, will be much in thanksgiving. Those that turn to God, will make conscience of worshipping before him. Let every tongue confess that he is Lord. High and low, rich and poor, bond and free, meet in Christ. Seeing we cannot keep alive our own souls, it is our wisdom, by obedient faith, to commit our souls to Christ, who is able to save and keep them alive for ever. A seed shall serve him. God will have a church in the world to the end of time. They shall be accounted to him for a generation; he will be the same to them that he was to those who went before them. His righteousness, and not any of their own, they shall declare to be the foundation of all their hopes, and the fountain of all their joys. Redemption by Christ is the Lord's own doing. Here we see the free love and compassion of God the Father, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, for us wretched sinners, as the source of all grace and consolation; the example we are to follow, the treatment as Christians we are to expect, and the conduct under it we are to adopt. Every lesson may here be learned that can profit the humbled soul. Let those who go about to establish their own righteousness inquire, why the beloved Son of God should thus suffer, if their own doings could atone for sin? Let the ungodly professor consider whether the Saviour thus honoured the Divine law, to purchase him the privilege of despising it. Let the careless take warning to flee from the wrath to come, and the trembling rest their hopes upon this merciful Redeemer. Let the tempted and distressed believer cheerfully expect a happy end of every trial.
Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 215.5

The soul is through the Lifegiver capable of living through eternal ages, and man is to take special care of the soul which Christ has purchased with His own blood. With Christ is Omnipotence. He also is able to keep that which I have committed to His trust against that day. If the preciousness of the soul has not been appreciated, if its temple courts have been defiled with buyers and sellers, and with committing it to the rule and indwelling of Satan in thought or in feeling, I would in deep earnestness beseech you to make no delay, but come before God in sincere prayer without one moment's speculation or hesitation, and say, “O Lord, I have opened the door of my heart to Thy worst enemy, and the worst enemy of my soul. I have acted as though I could save my own soul, as if I could sin and then reform when I choose to do so; but I find a power holding me in his keeping. Thou alone can save me that my soul shall not be eternally ruined.... No longer will I withhold it from Thee. I dare not trust it with any power but Thine.... I lay it at Thy feet. Thou Lamb of God, wash my soul in the blood of the Lamb; clothe it with Thine own garments of purity and righteousness (Manuscript 73, 1893). LHU 215.5

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