My heart is inditing a good matter - רחש rachash, boileth or bubbleth up, as in the margin. It is a metaphor taken from a fountain that sends up its waters from the earth in this way. The Vulgate has eructavit, which is most literally translated by the old Psalter: Mi hert ryfted gude word. My heart belcheth - Anglo-Saxon.
I speak of the things which I have made touching the king - למלך מעשי אני אמר , literally, "I dedicate my work unto the king." Or, as the Psalter, I say my werkes til the kyng. This was the general custom of the Asiatic poets. They repeated their works before princes and honorable men; and especially those parts in which there was either a direct or constructive compliment to the great man. Virgil is reported to have a part of his Aeneid before Augustus, who was so pleased with it that he ordered ten sestertia to be given him for every line. And the famous Persian poet Ferdusi read a part of his Shah Nameh before Sultan Mahmoud, who promised him thirty thousand denars for the poem.
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer - I shall compose and speak as fluently the Divine matter which is now in my heart, as the most expert scribe can write from my recitation. My tung of maister swiftly wrytand. "That es, my tung is pen of the Haly Gast; and nout but als his instrument, wham he ledis als he wil. For I speke noght bot that he settis on my tung; als the pen dos noght withouten the writer. Swyftly wrytand, for the vertu of goddes inspiracioun is noght for to thynk with mons study, that he schewes til other of the purete of heven; that es some for to com that he wrytes." - Old Psalter.
My heart is inditing - That is, I am engaged in inditing a good matter; though implying at the same time that it was a work of the heart - a work in which the heart was engaged. It was not a mere production of the intellect; not a mere work of skill; not a mere display of the beauty of song, but a work in which the affections particularly were engaged, and which would express the feelings of the heart: the result or effusion of sincere love. The word rendered is “inditing” - רחשׁ râchash - is rendered in the margin, boileth or bubbleth up. It means properly to boil up or over, as a fountain; and the idea here is that his heart boiled over with emotions of love; it was full and overflowing; it found expression in the words of this song. The Hebrew word does not occur elsewhere in the Bible.
A good matter - literally, a good word; that is, it was something which he was about to say which was good; something interesting, pure, important; not only a subject on which his heart was engaged, but also which was worthy of attention.
I speak of the things which I have made - literally, “I say my works to the king.” That is, My work - that which I meditate and am about to compose - pertains to the king.
Touching the king - He is to be the main subject of my song. Compare the notes at Isaiah 5:1. If the remarks made in the introduction to the psalm are correct, then the “king” here referred to was the future Messiah - the great personage to whom all the writers of the Old Testament looked forward, and whose glory they were so anxious to see and to describe. Compare the notes at 1 Peter 1:10-12.
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer - Let my tongue in speaking of him be as the pen of a rapid writer. That is, let my tongue rapidly and freely express my thoughts and feelings. The word rendered “pen” - עט ‛êṭ - means a stylus, usually made of iron, used for the purpose of inscribing letters on lead or wax. See the notes at Job 19:24. The idea is that the psalmist‘s mind was full of his subject, and that he desired to express his thoughts in warm, free, gushing language - the language of overflowing emotion.
God Will Give Fit Words—What a privilege it is to labor for the conversion of souls! Our calling is high.... To fit us to do this work, He will strengthen our mental faculties as verily as He did the mind of Daniel. As we teach those in darkness to understand the truths that have enlightened us, God will teach us to understand these truths still better ourselves. He will give us apt words to speak, communicating to us through the angel standing by our side.—Manuscript 126, 1902. Ev 172.1
Less Controversy-More of Christ—We need far less controversy, and far more presentation of Christ. Our Redeemer is the center of all our faith and hope. Those who can present His matchless love, and inspire hearts to give Him their best and holiest affections, are doing work that is great and holy.—The Colporteur Evangelist, 60, 61 (1902). Ev 172.2
The many argumentative sermons preached seldom soften and subdue the soul.—Letter 15, 1892. Ev 172.3Read in context »