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Psalms 40:6 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Sacrifice and offering thou hast no delight in; Mine ears hast thou opened: Burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not required.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired; My ears You have opened; Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; my ears hast thou opened: burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not required.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Sacrifice and oblation thou didst not desire: ears hast thou prepared me. Burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not demanded;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Sacrifice and meal-offering, thou didst not delight in, Ears, didst thou pierce for me,—Ascending-sacrifice and sin-bearer, thou didst not ask:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Sacrifice and present Thou hast not desired, Ears Thou hast prepared for me, Burnt and sin-offering Thou hast not asked.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Sacrifice and oblation thou didst not desire; but thou hast pierced ears for me. Burnt offering and sin offering thou didst not require:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire, mine eares hast thou opened: burnt offering and sinne-offering hast thou not required.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not; but a body hast thou prepared me: whole-burnt-offering and [sacrifice] for sin thou didst not require.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Sacrifice 2077
{2077} Prime
From H2076; properly a slaughter, that is, the flesh of an animal; by implication a sacrifice (the victim or the act).
and offering 4503
{4503} Prime
From an unused root meaning to apportion, that is, bestow; a donation; euphemistically tribute; specifically a sacrificial offering (usually bloodless and voluntary).
thou didst not x3808
(3808) Complement
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
desire; 2654
{2654} Prime
A primitive root; properly to incline to; by implication (literally but rarely) to bend; figuratively to be pleased with, desire.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
mine ears 241
{0241} Prime
From H0238; broadness, that is, (concretely) the ear (from its form in man).
hast thou opened: 3738
{3738} Prime
A primitive root; properly to dig; figuratively to plot; generally to bore or open.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
burnt offering 5930
{5930} Prime
Feminine active participle of H5927; a step or (collectively stairs, as ascending); usually a holocaust (as going up in smoke).
and sin offering 2401
{2401} Prime
Feminine of H2399; an offence, or a sacrifice for it.
hast thou not x3808
(3808) Complement
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
required. 7592
{7592} Prime
A primitive root; to inquire; by implication to request; by extension to demand.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Psalms 40:6-8

_ _ In Paul’s view this passage has more meaning than the mere expression of grateful devotion to God’s service. He represents Christ as declaring that the sacrifices, whether vegetable or animal, general or special expiatory offerings, would not avail to meet the demands of God’s law, and that He had come to render the required satisfaction, which he states was effected by “the offering of the body of Christ” [Hebrews 10:10], for that is the “will of God” which Christ came to fulfil or do, in order to effect man’s redemption. We thus see that the contrast to the unsatisfactory character assigned the Old Testament offerings in Psalms 40:6 is found in the compliance with God’s law (compare Psalms 40:7, Psalms 40:8). Of course, as Paul and other New Testament writers explain Christ’s work, it consisted in more than being made under the law or obeying its precepts. It required an “obedience unto death” [Philippians 2:8], and that is the compliance here chiefly intended, and which makes the contrast with Psalms 40:6 clear.

_ _ mine ears hast thou opened — Whether allusion is made to the custom of boring a servant’s ear, in token of voluntary and perpetual enslavement (Exodus 21:6), or that the opening of the ear, as in Isaiah 48:8; Isaiah 50:5 (though by a different word in Hebrew) denotes obedience by the common figure of hearing for obeying, it is evident that the clause is designed to express a devotion to God’s will as avowed more fully in Psalms 40:8, and already explained. Paul, however, uses the words, “a body hast thou prepared me” [Hebrews 10:5], which are found in the Septuagint in the place of the words, “mine ears hast thou opened.” He does not lay any stress on this clause, and his argument is complete without it. It is, perhaps, to be regarded rather as an interpretation or free translation by the Septuagint, than either an addition or attempt at verbal translation. The Septuagint translators may have had reference to Christ’s vicarious sufferings as taught in other Scriptures, as in Isaiah 53:4-11; at all events, the sense is substantially the same, as a body was essential to the required obedience (compare Romans 7:4; 1 Peter 2:24).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalms 40:6-10

_ _ The psalmist, being struck with amazement at the wonderful works that God had done for his people, is strangely carried out here to foretel that work of wonder which excels all the rest and is the foundation and fountain of all, that of our redemption by our Lord Jesus Christ. God's thoughts, which were to us-ward concerning that work, were the most curious, the most copious, the most gracious, and therefore to be most admired. This paragraph is quoted by the apostle (Hebrews 10:5, etc.) and applied to Christ and his undertaking for us. As in the institutions, so in the devotions, of the Old Testament saints were aware of; and, when the apostle would show us the Redeemer's voluntary undertaking of his work, he does not fetch his account out of the book of God's secret counsels, which belong not to us, but from the things revealed. Observe,

_ _ I. The utter insufficiency of the legal sacrifices to atone for sin in order to our peace with God and our happiness in him: Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; thou wouldst not have the Redeemer to offer them. Something he must have to offer, but not these (Hebrews 8:3); therefore he must not be of the house of Aaron, Hebrews 7:14. Or, In the days of the Messiah burnt-offering and sin-offering will be no longer required, but all those ceremonial institutions will be abolished. But that is not all: even while the law concerning them was in full force it might be said, God did not desire them, nor accept them, for their own sake. They could not take away the guilt of sin by satisfying God's justice. The life of a sheep, which is so much inferior in value to that of a man (Matthew 12:12), could not pretend to be an equivalent, much less an expedient to preserve the honour of God's government and laws and repair the injury done to that honour by the sin of man. They could not take away the terror of sin by pacifying the conscience, nor the power of sin by sanctifying the nature; it was impossible, Hebrews 9:9; Hebrews 10:1-4. What there was in them that was valuable resulted from their reference to Jesus Christ, of whom they were types — shadows indeed, but shadows of good things to come, and trials of the faith and obedience of God's people, of their obedience of God's people, of their obedience to the law and their faith in the gospel. But the substance must come, which is Christ, who must bring that glory to God and that grace to man which it was impossible those sacrifices should ever do.

_ _ II. The designation of our Lord Jesus to the work and office of Mediator: My ears hast thou opened. God the Father disposed him to the undertaking (Isaiah 50:5, Isaiah 50:6) and then obliged him to go through with it. My ear hast thou digged. It is supposed to allude to the law and custom of binding servants to serve for ever by boring their ear to the doorpost; see Exodus 21:6. Our Lord Jesus was so in love with his undertaking that he would not go out free from it, and therefore engaged to persevere for ever in it; and for this reason he is able to save us to the uttermost, because he has engaged to serve his Father to the uttermost, who upholds him in it, Isaiah 42:1.

_ _ III. His own voluntary consent to this undertaking: “Then said I, Lo, I come; then, when sacrifice and offering would not do, rather than the work should be undone; I said, Lo, I come, to enter the lists with the powers of darkness, and to advance the interests of God's glory and kingdom.” This intimates three things: — 1. That he freely offered himself to this service, to which he was under no obligation at all prior to his own voluntary engagement. It was no sooner proposed to him than, with the greatest cheerfulness, he consented to it, and was wonderfully well pleased with the undertaking. Had he not been perfectly voluntary in it, he could not have been a surety, he could not have been a sacrifice; for it is by this will (this animus offerentismind of the offerer) that we are sanctified, Hebrews 10:10. 2. That he firmly obliged himself to it: “I come; I promise to come in the fulness of time.” And therefore the apostle says, “It was when he came into the world that he had an actual regard to this promise, by which he had engaged his heart to approach unto God.” He thus entered into bonds, not only to show the greatness of his love, but because he was to have the honour of his undertaking before he had fully performed it. Though the price was not paid, it was secured to be paid, so that he was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 3. That he frankly owned himself engaged: He said, Lo, I come, said it all along to the Old Testament saints, who therefore knew him by the title of ho erchomenosHe that should come. This word was the foundation on which they built their faith and hope, and which they looked and longed for the accomplishment of.

_ _ IV. The reason why he came, in pursuance of his undertaking — because in the volume of the book it was written of him, 1. In the close rolls of the divine decree and counsel; there it was written that his ear was opened, and he said, Lo, I come; there the covenant of redemption was recorded, the counsel of redemption was recorded, the counsel of peace between the Father and the Son; and to that he had an eye in all he did, the commandment he received of his Father. 2. In the letters patent of the Old Testament. Moses and all the prophets testified of him; in all the volumes of that book something or other was written of him, which he had an eye to, that all might be accomplished, John 19:28.

_ _ V. The pleasure he took in his undertaking. Having freely offered himself to it, he did not fail, nor was discouraged, but proceeded with all possible satisfaction to himself (Psalms 40:8. 9): I delight to do thy will, O my God! It was to Christ his meat and drink to go on with the work appointed to him (John 4:34); and the reason here given is, Thy law is within my heart; it is written there, it rules there. It is meant of the law concerning the work and office of the Mediator, what he was to do and suffer; this law was dear to him and had an influence upon him in his whole undertaking. Note, When the law of God is written in our hearts our duty will be our delight.

_ _ VI. The publication of the gospel to the children of men, even in the great congregation, Psalms 40:9, Psalms 40:10. The same that as a priest wrought out redemption for us, as a prophet, by his own preaching first, then by his apostles, and still by his word and Spirit, makes it know to us. The great salvation began to be spoken by the Lord, Hebrews 2:3. It is the gospel of Christ that is preached to all nations. Observe, 1. What it is that is preached: It is righteousness (Psalms 40:9), God's righteousness (Psalms 40:10), the everlasting righteousness which Christ has brought in (Daniel 9:24); compare Romans 1:16, Romans 1:17. It is God's faithfulness to his promise, and the salvation which had long been looked for. It is God's lovingkindness and his truth, his mercy according to his word. Note, In the work of our redemption we ought to take notice how brightly all the divine attributions shine, and give to God the praise of each of them. 2. To whom it is preached — to the great congregation, Psalms 40:9 and again Psalms 40:10. When Christ was here on earth he preached to multitudes, thousands at a time. The gospel was preached both to Jews and Gentiles, to great congregations of both. Solemn religious assemblies are a divine institution, and in them the glory of God, in the face of Christ, ought to be both praised to the glory of God and preached for the edification of men. 3. How it is preached — freely and openly: I have not refrained my lips; I have not hid it; I have not concealed it. This intimates that whoever undertook to preach the gospel of Christ would be in great temptation to hide it and conceal it, because it must be preached with great contention and in the face of great opposition; but Christ himself, and those whom he called to that work, set their faces as a flint (Isaiah 50:7) and were wonderfully carried on in it. It is well for us that they were so, for by this means our eyes come to see this joyful light and our ears to hear this joyful sound, which otherwise we might for ever have perished in ignorance of.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Psalms 40:6

Sacrifice — These and the following words, may in an improper sense belong to the time of David; when God might be said, not to desire or require legal sacrifices comparatively. Thou didst desire obedience rather than sacrifices, but in a proper sense, they belong only to the person and times of the Messiah, and so the sense is, God did not desire or require them, for the satisfaction of his own justice, and the expiation of mens sins, which could not possibly be done by the blood of bulls or goats, but only by the blood of Christ, which was typified by them, and which Christ came into the world to shed, in pursuance of his father's will, as it here follows, Psalms 40:7-8. So here is a prediction concerning the cessation of the legal sacrifice, and the substitution of a better instead of them. Opened — Heb. bored. I have devoted myself to thy perpetual service, and thou hast accepted of me as such, and signified so much by the boring of mine ears, according to the law and custom in that case, Exodus 21:5-6. The seventy Jewish interpreters, whom the apostle follows, Hebrews 10:5, translate these words, a body hast thou prepared me.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Psalms 40:6

Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; (f) mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

(f) You have opened my ears to understand the spiritual meaning of the sacrifices: and here David esteems the ceremonies of the law as nothing in respect to the spiritual service.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Psalms 50:8 I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, [to have been] continually before me.
Psalms 51:16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give [it]: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams.
Isaiah 1:11 To what purpose [is] the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
Isaiah 66:3 He that killeth an ox [is as if] he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, [as if] he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, [as if he offered] swine's blood; he that burneth incense, [as if] he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.
Jeremiah 7:21-23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh. ... But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
Matthew 9:13 But go ye and learn what [that] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Matthew 12:7 But if ye had known what [this] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
Hebrews 10:5-12 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: ... But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

mine ears:

Exodus 21:6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.
Job 33:16 Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,
Isaiah 50:4-5 The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to [him that is] weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. ... The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.

Heb. digged
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Ex 21:6. 1S 15:22. Jb 33:16. Ps 50:8; 51:16. Is 1:11; 50:4; 66:3. Jr 7:21. Ho 6:6. Mt 9:13; 12:7. He 10:5.

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