Psalm 41

Psalm 41


A Personal Study Version by R.C. Wagoner,

adapted from the Zondervan Interlinear Hebrew and English Psalter, 1970.

Original Translators unknown. Hebrew text prepared by Van der Hooght.

Italics required for understanding.


Psalm 41 To the leader. A Psalm of David.


The Expectation of Preservation for the One who cared for the poor.


1 O the blessings of Him who considers the poor one

Yahveh will sustain Him in a day of evil.

2 Yahveh will preserve Him and keep Him alive,

And He shall be blessed in the land;

He will not be given over to the will of His enemies.

3 Yahveh will lift Him up from a couch of extreme weakness;

In His discomfort, You have changed His bed from misery to restoration.


Jesus applies these promises to Himself

in the context of the extreme hardship of His last days.


4 I said, "Yahveh, be gracious to Me;

Heal my soul, for in My weakness I have failed You."


The expressed hope of Jesus' enemies


5 My enemies speak evil to Me,

"When will He die, and His name perish?"


The vain Judas begins to make his arrangements


6 And when he comes to see Me, his words are vanity

His heart gathers iniquity itself;

He will go to the outsiders and talk with them.


Jesus' enemies consult in whispers as they prepare their response to Judas


7 Those who hate Me whisper together against Me;

They plan evil for Me."


Judas gives his promise to do the work of Satan, Jesus' enemies accept his terms.


8 "He is firmly committed to a word of Belial

When he has laid down his terms, he cannot add to them."

Judas, the betrayer, had enjoyed a special relationship with Jesus.


9 He is a man of My peace, in whom I confided,

One who shared My bread, has magnified his heel against Me.


Jesus trusts in His Father to raise Him up from the dead

and to make Him their judge when this is over.


10 But You, Yahveh, be gracious to Me and raise Me up,

And I will repay them.

11 By this I have known that You delighted in Me,

Because my enemy will not shout in triumph over me.

12 As for Me, in My righteousness You have maintained Me.

And You will make Me to stand in Your presence forever.


The Psalmist celebrates Yahveh


13 Blessed be Yahveh, the God of Israel,

From the eternity to the eternity.

Amen and Amen.




Meditation Starters


Verses 1-3 If it were not for similar language throughout Psalm 109, I would not have known how to relate these words to Jesus or this Psalm. Father, Your Son sees Himself as the One cares for the poor, but knows that He will also be the One in great need. His enemies will come against Him in His time of great weakness and exhaustion. And He is expressing His trust in You, in advance of His need. I know that there are other scriptures which tell of His depleted physical condition even before He was arrested, and that He had been fasting and was under the most extreme stress. Even Pilate was surprised at how quickly He died. And Paul mentioned Jesus' weakness. Help me to understand how Your Son felt during those last days and hours,and how these verses gave Him hope. Could this have been the Psalm that Jesus and the Disciples sang after the Last Supper before they went to Gethsemane? It was certainly relevant to the occasion.

Verse 4. Since Jesus said "soul" I do not consider any of this to be about a literal disease. But in the context of Jesus' last hours, there was so much at stake, and He was in such bad condition, that His heart was being torn apart. I know that the word for "sin" is in this verse, but John said that there is a least one kind of sin that does not lead to death, and I don't know anyone who really understands that. Was Your Son so tired that He knew that He was not doing His best? When He prayed three times that He might not have to die this way, doesn't that imply that His will was traumatized? What was Your Son really feeling? Did He think that He had let You down by praying such a prayer? Help me to see how real the stress on Jesus was, and how He trusted You, even in His depleted condition. Please reveal to me how You will help me when my time comes to feel that way.

Verse 5. The New Testament does not mention it in this context, but it is clear that later on some of the Jewish Sanhedrin were and had been thinking thoughts like this. He did die, but His name did not perish. They eventually died as well, but their names are almost totally forgotten, and those few that were remembered are still condemned for what they did. Father, I don't know anyone who has personally known this kind of hatred aimed at them. Please help me and everyone I know not to be guilty of such hatred. But also, help me to understand how this effected Jesus, how He felt about it and how He responded. Perhaps such "anti-Christ" hatred is in our future, too.

Verse 6. This is not about the visit of Nicodemus. Did Judas have a private meeting with Jesus? Father is this what happened? Did Judas have a private moment with Jesus in which he displayed his personal vanity? Was he so disappointed with Jesus' response that he went to talk with some Pharisees? This verse seems to say that Judas worked himself up to the point that he was willing to do something even more wicked than he was used to. “Church People” still do things like this, don’t they? Oh, its not just “Church People” is it?

Verse 7. Jesus knew they were planning to kill Him. This Psalm alone was enough for Him to know that, even without the rumors that were certainly brought to His attention by His followers. How are Christians to deal with such circumstances? Paranoia is not the answer. Having a mindset that is always suspicious of conspiracies is a waste of time. But, in Jesus case, it really happened. Help me to know how He handled this. Help us to understand and recognize and deal wisely with those who choose to be our enemies because of what they think of Jesus.

Verse 8. Judas made a pact with the devil. Not literally, but that is what it turned out to be. And once it was done, there was no way out. Satan, aka Belial, was driving Judas, and Judas had made it possible by his attitudes and vanity. Father, please protect all those who love Your Son from the strong and proud among us who make themselves useful to Satan.

Verse 9. Please help us to take Jesus’ attitude and faith into our hearts when we are threatened by those we love, but who do not know You. No one can hurt us more than those we trust. Please remove the Judas’s from among us before it is too late. I would rather die than become someone’s Judas.

Verse 10-12. Jesus knew that You would raise Him from the dead, and that You would make Him the judge of those who murdered Him. He knew by Your favor, He would be victorious over them. And He knew that His immortal glory would be restored to Him when He stands in Your presence forever. Father, help us to absorb Jesus’ confidence in You. Help us to be above reproach in the eyes of everyone who loves You, especially when we are dying inside because of the schemes of others who think they are doing Your will.

Verse 13. Father, Yahveh, God of Israel, open the eyes of my mind to conceive the Blessings that are Yours, that always have been and always will be. And Your intent to share them with those who love Your Son.