Monthly Archives: March 2016

Psalm 93


The author of this psalm is unknown, and there is nothing by which we can determine this, or its date, or the occasion on which it was written. It seems, from Psalm 93:5, to have been composed with some reference to the sanctuary, and to the service there: “Holiness becometh thine “house,” O Lord,” and it may have been designed, with the last psalm, to have been used in the place of public worship on the sabbath-day. It would appear, also, from the structure of the psalm, that it was composed in view of some danger which may have threatened the nation from some hostile power Psalm 93:1-4, and that the design was to impart confidence in God, or to keep up the assurance in the mind of the people that God presided over all, and that his kingdom was safe. With this view, it is adapted to inspire confidence in God in all ages, and in all times of danger. In the Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate, the title is, “The praise of an ode by David, for the day preceding the sabbath, when the earth was founded.” The origin of this title is unknown, and it has no authority. There is no evidence that it was composed by David, and the presumption from Psalm 93:5 is that it was composed after the temple was built, and consequently after the death of David.

Verse 1
The Lord reigneth – The same commencement of a psalm occurs in Psalm 97:1-12; Psalm 99:1-9. The same idea is often found in the Scriptures. 1 Chronicles 16:31; Psalm 47:8; Isaiah 52:7; Revelation 19:6. The thought seems abrupt here. It would appear as if the psalmist had been meditating on the dark things which occur in the world; the mysteries which abound; the things which seem irreconcilable with the idea that there is a just government over the world, and that suddenly the idea occurs, as a flash of lightning in a storm, that Yahweh reigns over all, and that all must be right. Amidst all these things God sits upon the throne; he orders all events; he sways his scepter over all; he orders all things according to his own will; he secures the accomplishment of his own purposes.

He is clothed with majesty – That is, he puts on, or wears this; he appears in this as a garb, or robe. The word rendered “majesty” means properly “loftiness,” and is applied to the swelling of the sea Psalm 89:9, or to a column of smoke, Isaiah 9:18. The idea here is, that God is exalted; and that he appears in such a manner as to indicate his proper dignity. See the notes at Isaiah 6:1.

The Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself – There is an allusion here to the mode of dress among the Orientals – the custom of girding the loins when one labored, or walked, or ran. See the notes at Matthew 5:38-41.

The world also is stablished – Is firm; is on a solid foundation. It cannot be shaken or destroyed by natural convulsions, or by the power of man.

That it cannot be moved – Moved out of its place; overthrown; destroyed. This seems to have been spoken in view of some impending calamity, as if everything were to be swept away. The psalmist consoles himself with the thought that the world was firmly established; that no storm or tempest could be so violent as to remove it out of its place. The ground of consolation is the essential stability of what God has ordained.

Verse 2
Thy throne is established of old – Whatever might occur, the throne of God was firm. That could not be moved. It had been set up from all eternity. It had stood through all the convulsions and changes which had occurred in the universe; and it would stand firm forever. Whatever might change, that was immovable; and as long as that is unchanged we have a ground of security and hope. Should “that” be moved, all would be gone. The margin here is, as in Hebrew, “from then:” but it means “of old;” from the most ancient times; that is, from the period indicated by the next clause, “from everlasting.”

Thou art from everlasting – From all eternity; thou hast always existed; thou art ever the same Psalm 90:1.

Verse 3
The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice – The word here rendered “floods,” means properly rivers, and then it may be applied to any waters. The word voice here refers to the noise of raging waters when they are agitated by the winds, or when they dash on the shore. See the notes at Psalm 42:7.

The floods lift up their waves – As if they would sweep everything away. The allusion here is to some calamity or danger which might, in its strength and violence, be compared with the wild and raging waves of the ocean. Or if it refers literally to the ocean in a storm, then the psalm may have been the reflections of the author as he stood on the shore of the sea, and saw the waves beat and dash against the shore. To one thus looking upon the billows as they roll in toward the shore, it seems as if they were angry; as if they intended to sweep everything away; as if the rocks of the shore could not resist them. Yet they have their bounds. They spend their strength; they break, and retire as if to recover their force, and then they renew their attack with the same result. But their power is limited. The rocky shore is unmoved. The earth abides. God is over all. His throne is unshaken. No violence of the elements can affect that; and, under his dominion, all is secure.

Verse 4
The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters – That is, he is more powerful than those waters; he is able to control them. See Psalm 65:7, note; Job 38:11, note. The original here is more rapid in the course of the thought; more emphatic and forcible: “More than the voice of waters – many – mighty – the breakers of the sea – in the high place is Jehovah.” He is over all those billows and breakers; more mighty than they all. They can proceed no further than he permits; they will be stayed when and where he commands. We can conceive of few things which more illustrate the power and the majesty of God than the fact that he thus presides over, and controls, the waves of the ocean.

Yea, than the mighty waves of the sea – The original word here corresponds precisely with our word “breakers” – the mighty waves that “break” on the beach.

Verse 5
Thy testimonies are very sure – All that thou hast borne witness to; all that thou hast affirmed or declared to be true. This would embrace “all that” God has spoken, whether his law, his promises, his commands, his prophecies, or his statements of what has occurred and of what will occur. See the notes at Psalm 19:7.

Holiness becometh thine house, O Lord – The psalm seems to have been intended to be used in the sanctuary, as a part of public worship, and the word “holiness” here would seem to mean a proper respect for God; confidence in him; a state of mind free from all doubt, and from all that is impure. Perhaps there may be here, also, the idea that in all the convulsions of the world; in all that threatens to overthrow truth and righteousness; in all the attacks which are made on the divine government; in all the efforts of the defenders of error, and in the midst of abounding iniquity, the church should maintain a firm adherence to the principles of “holiness,” to that which is right and true. There should be one place – the church – where there would be no wavering in regard to truth and holiness; one place, where the truth would be defended whatever commotions might be abroad. The main idea, therefore, in the psalm is, that, in view of the fact that God reigns, and that nothing can frustrate his plans, or disturb his throne, we should approach him with reverence, with humble trust, with sincere and pure hearts.

In a larger sense, also, in the largest sense conceivable – it is true that “holiness,” purity, freedom from evil thoughts, from a wanton eye and a wanton imagination, from unholy plans and purposes, should prevail in the house of God, and should be regarded as indispensable to proper worship. As heaven is pure, and as there shall enter there nothing “that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie” Revelation 21:27, so in the place where we seek to prepare for that holy world – the sanctuary of God – nothing should be allowed to enter that is impure and polluting; nothing that tends to corrupt or defile the soul. It may be added, that attendance in a place of public worship is calculated to make the heart pure, and to banish unholy thoughts and purposes from the soul. A man who feels that he is in the presence of a holy God, will not be likely to welcome into his soul polluted images and unholy desires.

Forever – Margin, as in Hebrew, “to length of days.” The idea is, that it is always appropriate. See the notes at Psalm 23:6.


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Psalm 70


This psalm bears to the closing part of Psalm 40:13-17, see the notes in the Introduction to that psalm) a resemblance similar to that between Psalm 14:1-7 and Psalm 53:1-6. The one is not indeed a mere copy of the other, but the one is substantially the same as the other, with some slight variations, apparently introduced to fit it for some new occasion on which it was to be used. We do not know what the occasion in either case was; but it would seem that in this instance, the psalmist found, in the closing verses of the fortieth psalm, language which “very nearly” expressed what he felt on some particular occasion, and which might, by a slight change, be applied to the use for which it was then desired.

We have no further knowledge of the “occasion” on which this was done, than what is implied in the title: “to bring to remembrance.” For the meaning of this, see thenotes at the title to Psalm 38. It determines nothing, however, as to the reason why the closing part of Psalm 40 was selected as the subject of a separate psalm, or why the changes were made which here occur. It merely denotes that there were things which it was proper to preserve in the recollection; or principles which it was of importance for the people of God to remember.

It will be necessary, in considering the psalm, only to note, in each verse successively, the alterations which are made from Psalm 40.

Verse 1
Make haste – These words are supplied by our translators. The first word in Psalm 40:13, rendered “be pleased,” is here omitted in the original. The psalm in the Hebrew begins abruptly – “O God, to deliver me,” – leaving the impression that this is a fragment – a fragment commencing without even the care necessary to make the grammatical construction complete.

O God – Hebrew, אלהים ‘Elohiym In the corresponding place in Psalm 40:13 the word is “Yahweh.” Why the change was made is unknown. The remainder of the verse is the same as in Psalm 40.


Verse 2
Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul – The only change here from Psalm 40:14, is the omission of the word “together” which occurs there, and the omission of the words “to destroy it.”

Let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt – This corresponds in the Hebrew entirely with Psalm 40:14.

Verse 3
Let them be turned back for a reward of their shame – The only change which occurs in this verse is the substitution of the milder phrase “Let them be turned back,” for “Let them be desolate.” See the notes at Psalm 40:15.

Verse 4
Let all those that seek thee … – The only change in this verse from Psalm 40:16, is in the insertion of the word “and” in the beginning of the second clause – “and let such as love,” etc.

Verse 5
But I am poor and needy – This is the same as in Psalm 40:17.

Make haste unto me, O God – Hebrew, אלהים ‘Elohiym In the parallel place in Psalm 40:17, this is, “The Lord thinketh upon me,” – where the Hebrew word is not אלהים ‘Elohiym but אדני tub ,my ‘Adonāy (Lord). The word “make haste” seems to have been introduced here by design – thus carrying out the main idea in Psalm 40, but turning here to “petition” what is there stated as a “fact.”

Thou art my help and my deliverer … – The close of the psalm is the same as the close of Psalm 40, except that the word Lord (Yahweh) is used here instead of “God” (אלהים ‘Elohiym ). It is not possible to ascertain whether these changes were mere matters of taste, or whether they were designed to adapt the psalm to some new circumstance, or to the special feelings of the psalmist at the time. There is no evidence that they are mere errors of transcribers, and indeed the changes are so made that this cannot be supposed. The change of the names אלהים ‘Elohiym יהוה Yahweh and אדני ‘Adonāy for example, is such as must have been by design, and could not have been made by copyists. But what that design was must remain unknown. The alterations do not in any way, as far as we can understand, affect the sense.

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Psalm 69


This psalm is said in the title to be a psalm of David, but on what occasion it was composed is not there intimated, nor can it be determined from the psalm itself. There is nothing “in” the psalm which is inconsistent with the supposition that it was composed by David; and, in fact, it has, in many respects, a strong resemblance to not a few of his undoubted compositions, as Psalm 6:1-10; Psalm 42:1-11. On the expression in the title “To the chief Musician,” see Notes in the Introduction to Psalm 4:1-8. On the words “upon Shoshannim,” see the notes on the Title to Psalm 69:34-36 demonstrate that it must have been written in the time of the exile. Rosenmuller coincides with that opinion in regard to those verses, but supposes that they were added to the psalm (as originally composed) by some later author. It will be found, however, on examination of these verses, that there is nothing in them inconsistent with the supposition that the entire psalm was composed by David. The psalm evidently pertains to an individual sufferer; a man who regarded himself as suffering in the cause of religion, or on account of his zeal for the service of God. It is this fact which is laid at the foundation of the psalmist‘s prayer for the divine intervention. The author is a sufferer in the cause of God and of truth, and he beseeches God, in whose cause he suffers, on that account to interpose in his behalf.

There are several passages in the psalm which are applied in the New Testament to the Messiah and his times; Psalm 69:9, compare John 2:17, and Romans 15:3; Psalm 69:4, compare John 15:25; Psalm 69:21, compare Matthew 27:34, Matthew 27:48 (Mark 15:23, and John 19:29); Psalm 69:25, compare Matthew 23:38, and Acts 1:20. These passages, however, are of so “general” a character that they do not seem to have been designed to refer exclusively to the Messiah, or even to have had “any” original reference to him. The language is such that it “would accurately describe” the events to which it is applied; and the fact that the language is quoted in this manner in the New Testament history does not prove that the psalm had any original reference to the Messiah.

In the psalm, the sufferer first Psalm 69:1-6 describes his condition; he then Psalm 69:7-13 represents himself as suffering in the cause of God or of religion; then Psalm 69:14-18, prays to be delivered from these troubles. In Psalm 69:19-21 he again adverts to his sufferings with a more explicit reference to their cause, the malice of his enemies; and then Psalm 69:22-28 prays that his enemies may be destroyed. He anticipates that his prayer will be heard, and that this will have a favorable effect on others, leading them to praise God Psalm 69:29-33; and this leads him to look forward to the general prosperity of Zion – to the fact that Zion will be delivered out of all its troubles – as laying the foundation for universal praise Psalm 69:34-36.

Verse 1
Save me, O God – That is, Interpose and deliver me from the dangers which have come upon me.

For the waters are come in unto my soul – So as to endanger my life. Waters, deep, raging, overwhelming, are images of calamity or danger. See the notes at Psalm 32:6. Compare Psalm 42:7.

Verse 2
I sink in deep mire – Margin, as in Hebrew, “the mire of the depth.” This would denote either mire which was itself so deep that one could not extricate himself from it; or, mire found in a deep place, as at the bottom of a pit. Compare the notes at Psalm 40:2. An illustration of this might be drawn from the case of Joseph, cast by his brethren into a deep pit Genesis 37:24; or from the case of Jeremiah, thrown into a deep dungeon: “And they let down Jeremiah with cords; and in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire,” Jeremiah 38:6.

Where there is no standing – No solid ground; nothing for the foot to rest on. “I am come into deep waters.” Margin, as in Hebrew, “depth of waters.” That is, waters where he could not touch the bottom – an image of some peril that threatened his life.

Where the floods overflow me – The waters. They break over my head. My life is “in danger.”

Verse 3
I am weary of my crying – The word “crying” here does not mean weeping, or shedding tears, but calling upon God for help. He had grown weary; his strength had been exhausted in the act of calling upon God to assist him. See the notes at Psalm 6:6. This was an instance where one had called so long on God, and prayed so much and so earnestly, that his strength was gone. Compare Matthew 26:41.

My throat is dried – Or, “is parched up.” The Hebrew word denotes to burn; to be enkindled; and then, to be inflamed. Here it means that by the excessive exertion of his voice, his throat had become parched, so that he could not speak.

Mine eyes fail – That is, become dim from exhaustion. I have looked so long in that one direction that the power of vision begins to fail, and I see nothing clearly. See the notes at Psalm 6:7. Compare Job 17:7; Psalm 31:9; Psalm 38:10.

While I wait for my God – That is, by continued “looking” to God. The word “wait” is not used here, nor is it generally in the Bible, as it is now with us, in the sense of looking for “future” interposition, or of doing nothing ourselves in expectation of what “may” occur; but it is used in the sense of looking to God alone; of exercising dependence on him; of seeking his aid. This is indeed connnected with the ordinary idea of abiding his will, but it is also an “active” state of mind – a state expressive of intense interest and desire. See the notes at Psalm 62:5.

Verse 4
They that hate me without a cause – Without any just reason; without any provocation on my part. There were many such in the case of David, for to those who rose up against him in the time of Saul, and to Absalom also, he had given no real occasion of offence. An expression similar to the one used here occurs in Psalm 35:19. See the notes at that passage. The “language” is applied to the Saviour John 15:25, not as having had original reference to him, but as language which received its most perfect fulfillment in the treatment which he received from his enemies. See the notes at John 15:25.

Are more than the hairs of mine head – The number is so great that it cannot be estimated.

They that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty – literally, “More than the hairs of my head are my haters falsely (those who hate me falsely); strong are those destroying me; my enemies.” The idea is, that those who were numbered among his foes without any just provocation on his part were so numerous and strong that he could not contend with them.

Then I restored that which I took not away – Prof. Alexander renders this, “What I did not rob, then must I restore.” This seems to have a proverbial cast, and the idea is, that under this pressure of circumstances – borne down by numbers – he was compelled to give up what he had not taken away from others. They regarded and treated him as a bad man – as if he had been a robber; and they compelled him to give up what he possessed, “as if” he had no right to it, or “as if” he had obtained it by robbery. This does not seem to refer to anything that was “voluntary” on his part – as if, for the sake of peace, he had proposed to give up that to which they had no claim, or to surrender his just rights, but to the act of compulsion by which he was “forced” to surrender what he had, “as if” he had been a public offender. How far it is proper to yield to an unjust claim for the sake of peace, or to act “as if” we had done wrong, rather than to have controversy or strife, is a point which, if this interpretation is correct, is not settled by this passage. It seems here to have been merely a question of “power.”

Verse 5
O God, thou knowest my foolishness – The errors and follies of my life. Though conscious of innocence in this case – though he felt that his enemies hated him “without cause,” and that they took what belonged to him and not to them, yet he was not insensible to the fact that he was a sinner, and he was not unwilling to confess before God, that, however conscious of uprightness he might be in his dealings toward people, yet toward God, he was a sinful man. From him he deserved all that had come upon him. Indeed the very calamities which had been permitted to come upon him were proof to his own mind that he was a sinner, and served, as they were doubtless designed, to turn his mind to that fact, and to humble him. The effect of calamities coming upon us, as reminding us of the fact that we are sinners, is often referred to in the Psalms. See Psalm 38:2-4; Psalm 40:12.

And my sins are not hid from thee – Margin, “guiltiness.” The word used here has always attached to it the idea of “guilt.” The meaning is, that God knew all his life; and that however unjust the conduct of “men” toward him might be when they treated him as if he had wronged them, yet considered as a part of the dealings of God, or as having been suffered to come upon him from God, all that had occurred was right, for it was a proper expression of the divine displeasure against his sins. We may feel that we have not wronged our fellow-men; yet even the treatment which we receive from them, however unjust so far as they are concerned, may be regarded as deserved by us at the hand of God, and as proper on his part as an expression of his displeasure for our transgressions against him, and as a proof that we are sinners. Trial never comes to us from any quarter except as founded on the fact that we are sinners; and even where there is entire innocence toward our fellow-men, God may make use of their passions to rebuke and discipline us for our sins toward himself.

Verse 6
Let not them that wait on thee – Those who worship thee; those who are thy true friends. True piety is often, in the Scriptures, represented as waiting on the Lord. See Psalm 25:3, Psalm 25:5; Psalm 37:9; Isaiah 40:31.

Be ashamed for my sake – On account of me; or, in consequence of what I do. Let me not be suffered to do anything that would make them ashamed of me, or ashamed to have it known that I belong to their number. I know that I am a sinner; I know that judgments come justly on me; I know that if left to myself I shall fall into sin, and shall dishonor religion; and I pray, therefore, that I may be kept from acting out the depravity of my heart, and bringing dishonor on the cause that I profess to love. No one who knows the evil of his own heart can fail to see the propriety of this prayer; no one who remembers how often people high in the church, and zealous in their professed piety, fall into sin, and disgrace their profession, can help feeling that what has happened to others “may” happen to him also, and that he has need of special prayer, and special grace, that he may go down into the grave at last without having brought dishonor upon religion.

Let not those that seek thee – Another phrase to denote people of true piety – as those who are “seeking” after God; that is, who are desirous of understanding his character, and obtaining his favor.

Be confounded for my sake – Let them not feel “disgraced” in me; let them not feel it a dishonor to have it said that I am one of their number, or that I profess to be united to them.

Verse 7
Because for thy sake I have borne reproach – In thy cause; in defense of thy truth; because I have professed to be a friend of God. The true reason why these calamities have come upon me is that I have been thy professed friend, and have endeavored to do my duty to thee. The reproach connected with religion in a world of sin, or where true religion is hated, has fallen on me.

Shame hath covered my face – The idea here is not that he had himself been ashamed of religion or of the service of God, but that he had suffered shame, derision, reproach among people for his professed attachment to the truth. Compare Psalm 44:15-16.

Verse 8
I am become a stranger unto my brethren – That is, They treat me as they would a stranger; as one in whom they have no interest, and whom they regard with no friendship. Compare the notes at Psalm 31:11.

And an alien unto my mother‘s children – A foreigner; one of another tribe or nation; one to whom they were bound by no tie of relationship. The allusion in the language “unto my mother‘s children” is intended to denote the most intimate relationship. In families where a man had many wives, as was common among the Hebrews, the nearest relationship would be denoted by being of the same “mother” rather than of the same “father.” See the notes at Psalm 50:20. The same thing occurs also where polygamy is not practiced, in cases where a man has married more wives than one. The idea of the psalmist here, therefore, is, that his nearest relatives treated him as if he were a stranger and a foreigner. Compare Job 19:13-19.

Verse 9
For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up – My zeal – my ardor – in the cause of religion (that is, of thy pure worship) has been so great as to consume me. It has been like a devouring fire within me. Zeal is represented under the idea of heat – as it is in the Greek language; and the characteristics of heat or fire are here applied to it. This passage is quoted in John 2:17, and applied to the Saviour, not as having had originally a reference to him, but as language which would accurately describe his character. See the notes at that passage.

And the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me – This, too, is applied, in the same way, to the Saviour, by the Apostle Paul, in Romans 15:3. See the notes at that passage.

Verse 10
When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting – The words “and chastened” are not in the original. The literal translation would be, “And I wept (away) my soul with fasting;” that is, I gave myself so much to fasting accompanied with weeping, that my strength was exhausted. This refers to his acts of devotion; to his endeavors to discipline his soul so as to lead a strictly religious life.

That was to my reproach – This may either mean that they accused him of hypocrisy and insincerity; or, that they charged him with folly for being so religious, so strict, so self-sacrificing, so serious – perhaps they would say, so superstitious, so gloomy, so fanatical. The latter best accords with the connection, since it was for his “religion” mainly that they reproached him, Psalm 69:7-9.

Verse 11
I made sackcloth also my garment – I put on sackcloth. This was often done as expressive of grief and sorrow. See Psalm 30:11, note; Psalm 35:13, note. Compare Isaiah 22:12; Daniel 9:3. In the case here referred to, this was an act of religion; an expression of penitence and humiliation.

And I became a proverb to them – A jest; a subject of derision; a by-word. They ridiculed me for it. Compare 1 Kings 9:7.

Verse 12
They that sit in the gate speak against me – The gates of cities were places of concourse; places where business was transacted; places where courts were frequently held. See the notes at Job 29:7. Compare Isaiah 14:31; Isaiah 28:6; Psalm 9:14. Calvin supposes that as the gates were the places where the judges sat to administer justice, the meaning here is that magistrates, or those who were high in rank and power, joined in the cry of reproach against him. The more probable interpretation, however, is, that he was subject to the reproach of those who were gathered around these places – the people of business, and the idlers who were assembled there; or, as we should say, that he was the subject of “towntalk.”

And I was the song of the drunkards – Margin, as in the Hebrew, “drinkers of strong drink.” They made ballads or low songs about me. They selected me for an example in their drunken songs. David was not alone in this. It has not been uncommon that the songs of revellers and drunkards have been designed to turn piety and the pious into derision. Compare, alas! some of the songs of Burns. See Job 30:9, note; Psalm 35:15-16, notes.

Verse 13
But as for me – In respect to my conduct and my feelings in these circumstances, and under this treatment.

My prayer is unto thee – I indulge in no reproaches of others, and no recriminations. I do not permit myself to indulge in any revengeful feelings. I give myself to prayer. I look to God alone. I keep up my devotions, I maintain my habits of religion, notwithstanding their reproaches, and revilings. I do not allow these things to alter my course of life. Compare the notes at Daniel 6:10.

In an acceptable time – A time that is well-pleasing to thee; a time when thou wilt hear me. See Isaiah 61:2; 2 Corinthians 6:2. This implies

(a) that he had come to God when he was “disposed” to hear; and

(b) that he had heard him, and had answered his requests.

While others mocked, he continued to pray, and the Lord heard him. No time for prayer can be more “acceptable” to God than when others are reproaching us because we are his friends.

In the multitude of thy mercy hear me – In the abundance of thy mercy; or, in thy abounding compassion. This was the substance of his prayer.

In the truth of thy salvation – In the exercise of that faithfulness on which salvation depends; or which is manifested in the salvation of people. He prayed that God would show himself faithful to the promises which he had made to those who were seeking salvation.

Verse 14
Deliver me out of the mire – Out of my troubles and calamities. See Psalm 69:1-2.

And let me not sink – As in, mire. Let me not be overwhelmed by my sorrows.

Let me be delivered from them that hate me – All my enemies. Let me be saved from their machinations and devices.

And out of the deep waters – See Psalm 69:1-2. From my troubles.

Verse 15
Let not the waterflood overflow me – The stream; the volume of waters. The idea is that of a flood or stream rolling along, that threatened to drown him.

Neither let the deep swallow me up – The abyss; the deep waters.

And let not the pit shut her mouth upon me – In his anguish and distress he passes here from the idea of running streams, and deep waters, to that of a well, pit, or cavern – representing himself as “in” that pit, and praying that it might not be closed upon him, leaving him in darkness and in mire, from which he could not then escape. The general idea in all these expressions is the same – that of overwhelming calamities from which he prayed to be delivered.

Verse 16
Hear me, O L RD, for thy lovingkindness is good – Thy mercy – thy favor – is good; that is, it is ample, abundant, great: it delights in deeds of mercy; in acts of benevolence. This was the only ground of his plea; and this was enough. Compare Psalm 63:3.

Turn unto me – Incline thine ear unto me; turn not away, but be favorable to me.

According to the multitude of thy tender mercies – See the notes at Psalm 51:1. He felt that he had occasion for the exercise of “all” the mercy of God; that the case was one which could be reached only by the exercise of the highest kindness and compassion.

Verse 17
And hide not thy face from thy servant – See the notes at Psalm 27:9.

For I am in trouble – In the midst of dangers and sorrows. Literally, “there is trouble upon me.”

Hear me speedily – Margin, as in Hebrew, “Make haste to hear me.” That is, Grant me without delay what I ask. The case is one of urgent necessity. I “must” have relief or I shall perish. It is not wrong to ask God to interpose at once in our behalf when we are in trouble, though it is our duty to be patient and resigned if his interposition is delayed, for he may have important ends to accomplish by our continuing to suffer. In our distress on account of sin also, it is right to plead with him to interpose “at once,” and to relieve us by forgiveness. In this respect we are not to be contented with delay; we are to cast ourselves upon his mercy, and to plead for immediate pardon, for as it is our only safety, so it is for the honor of God that we should be forgiven, and that we should not continue in a state of guilt. An afflicted child of God will be safe in the final issue, whether he is relieved at once, or whether he is suddenly cut off by death, or whether he continues to suffer for even many years; but an unpardoned sinner is “not” safe for a moment, and if he should be cut off, unforgiven, even when under the deepest conviction for sin, he would perish. Every consideration, therefore, makes it proper that he should plead for forgiveness at once, and ask that God would not “delay” to show him mercy.

Verse 18
Draw nigh unto my soul – To me – for my life is in danger.

And redeem it – Ransom it; save it from ruin. See the notes at Isaiah 43:3; notes at Isaiah 44:22.

Deliver me, because of mine enemies – Because they are so numerous, so powerful, and so determined on my destruction. Compare Psalm 13:4.

Verse 19
Thou hast known my reproach – The reproach that has come upon me; the shame and contempt which I am called to endure. God had seen all this; and the psalmist appeals to him as having seen it, as a reason why he should now interpose and save him.

And my shame, and my dishonor – These are different words to express the same idea. They are accumulated here to denote the “greatness” of his distress. In other words, shame and reproach bad come upon him in every possible form.

Mine adversaries are all before thee – All who persecute and oppose me are constantly in thine eye. Thou knowest who they are; thou seest all that they do. Nothing in their conduct is concealed from thee. God, therefore, could take an accurate view of his troubles, and could see all the reasons which existed for interfering in his behalf.

Verse 20
Reproach hath broken my heart – The reproaches, the calumnies, the aspersions, the slanders of others, have crushed me. I am not able to bear up under them; I fail under the burden. Distress may become so great that life may sink under it, for many die of what is called “a broken heart.” Undeserved reproaches will be as likely to produce this result on a sensitive heart as any form of suffering; and there are thousands who are crushed to the earth by such reproaches.

And I am full of heaviness – Or, I am sick; I am weak; I am ill at ease. My strength is gone.

And I looked for some to take pity – Margin, “to lament with me.” The meaning of the Hebrew word is to pity; to commiserate; to show compassion. Job 2:11; Job 42:11; Isaiah 51:19; Jeremiah 16:5.

But there was none – There was no one whose heart seemed to be touched with compassion in the case; none who sympathized with me.

And for comforters – For those who would show sympathy for me; who would evince a friendly feeling in my distress.

But I found none – He felt that he was utterly forsaken by mankind. There is no feeling of desolation like that.

Verse 21
They gave me also – My enemies; all persons around me. No one would show me even so much kindness as to give me food when I was hungry, or drink when I was thirsty. They utterly forsook me; they left me to die unpitied. Nay, they did more than this. When I was perishing with hunger, they not only refused to give me wholesome food, but they mocked my sufferings by giving me a bitter and poisonous herb for food, and vinegar for my drink.

Gall for my meat – For my food. Or, they gave me this “instead” of wholesome food. The word here rendered “gall” – ראשׁ rô’sh – is the same “in form” which is commonly rendered “head,” and occurs in this sense very often in the Scriptures. It is also used to denote a “poisonous plant,” perhaps from the idea that the plant referred to was distinguished for, or remarkable for its “head” – as the poppy; and “then” the name may have been given also to some other similar plants. The word then comes to denote poison; venom; anything poisonous; and then, anything very bad-tasted; “bitter.” It is rendered “gall,” as here, in Deuteronomy 29:18; Jeremiah 8:14; Jeremiah 9:15; Jeremiah 23:15; Lamentations 3:5, Lamentations 3:19; Amos 6:12; “venom” in Deuteronomy 32:33; “poison,” in Job 20:16; and “hemlock,” in Hosea 10:4. In Deuteronomy 29:18, it is rendered, in the margin, “rosh,” or “a poisonful herb.” It does not occur elsewhere with any such signification. It may not be possible to determine precisely what is denoted here by the word, but it undoubtedly refers to some poisonous, bitter, deadly, stupefying substance given to a sufferer, “instead” of that which would be wholesome food, or suited to sustain life.

And in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink – Instead of giving me pure water, they gave me sour wine – vinegar – that which would not slake my thirst, or which would not answer the purpose of drink. The form of trial here referred to is that where one is dying of thirst, and where, instead of giving water to assuage the thirst, one should give, in mockery, that which could not be drunk, or which would answer none of the purposes required. The word translated “vinegar” – חמץ chômets – is rendered in the ancient versions “sour grapes,” but the proper signification here seems to be vinegar – the usual meaning of the word. What is here stated to have been done to David was also done to the dying Saviour, though without any intimation that the passage here had an original reference to him – or that what was done to him was intended to be a fulfillment of what is here said. See Matthew 27:34, Matthew 27:48; Mark 15:23; John 19:29. In the case of the Saviour, they first gave him vinegar mingled with myrrh – a usual custom in reference to those who were crucified – for the purpose of deadening the pain, or stupefying the sufferer. Matthew 27:34. At a subsequent part of the crucifixion they gave him vinegar, extended to him in a sponge affixed to a reed. Matthew 27:48; John 19:29. This was for a different purpose. It was to allay his thirst, and it seems (as the former may have been) to have been an act of kindness or compassion on the part of those who were appointed to crucify him. The former he refused to take, because he came to suffer; the latter he just tasted as he died. John 19:30. The “coincidence” in the cases of David and the Saviour was remarkable; but in the case of the Saviour no further use is made of what occurred to David than to employ the “language” which he employed to describe his own sufferings. The one was not, in any proper sense, a “type” of the other; nor does the language in the psalm refer to the Saviour.

Verse 22-23
Let their table become a snare before them – These verses are quoted by Paul Romans 11:9-10 as descriptive of the character of persons in his time, or as “language” which would express what he desired to say. See the passage explained at length in the notes at Romans 11:9-10. The whole passage is a prayer that they might receive a proper recompense for what they had done. The word “table” here means the table at which they were accustomed to eat. As they refused food to a hungry man, the prayer is, that they might find the recompense for their conduct “in that very line;” or that, as they refused food to the hungry, they might find “their” food a “snare” to them. That is, Let it be the means of punishing them for their not giving wholesome food to the hungry, or for their offering poisonous herbs to a starving man. The word “snare” here means unexpected danger; danger sprung suddenly upon them – as a snare is upon a wild beast.

And that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap – Much of this is supplied by the translators. The literal rendering would be, “And to those at peace (or secure) a trap.” The word here rendered “welfare” is the plural form of the word meaning “peace,” and may denote those who feel that they are at peace; that they are secure; that they are in no danger. The ancient versions give it the sense of “requitals,” that is, a recompence for their transgressions; but the other signification best accords with the connection. The word “trap” is usually applied to the devices for capturing wild beasts, and the meaning is, “Let the recompence come suddenly upon them, while they think themselves at peace, or when they are surrounded by all the comforts and luxuries of life.” This prayer is such as occurs frequently in the Psalms. It cannot be “proved” that it was uttered in a malignant spirit, or that anything more is intended by it than that the psalmist desired that justice might be done to all people – an object which all magistrates, and all good citizens, should pray for.

Psalm 69:23

Let their eyes be darkened … – See the notes at Romans 11:10.

And make their loins continually to shake – As under a heavy burden. The apostle Romans 11:10 varies the language, but retains the idea: “and bow down their back alway.”

Verse 24
Pour out thine indignation upon them – That is, Punish them for their sins; or, do justice to them.

And let thy wrathful anger – literally, “the burning of thy wrath;” glow of anger; burning wrath. See Numbers 25:4; Numbers 32:14, 1 Samuel 28:18. This is undoubtedly a petition that God would visit them with the severity of his indignation; or, it expresses the belief of the psalmist that they “deserved” such tokens of his displeasure.

Take hold of them – Seize upon them; overtake them when they expect to escape.

Verse 25
Let their habitation be desolate – Margin, “their palace.” The Hebrew word means properly a wall; then, a fortress or castle; and then it means also a nomadic encampment, a rustic village, a farm-hamlet. The word conveys the idea of an “enclosure,” with special reference to an encampment, or a collection of tents. The Septuagint renders it here ἔπαυλις epaulis meaning a place to pass the night in, especially for flocks and herds. The Hebrew word – טירה ṭı̂yrâh – is rendered “castles” in Genesis 25:16; Numbers 31:10; 1 Chronicles 6:54; “palaces” in Ezekiel 25:4; “rows” in Ezekiel 46:23; and “habitation” in this place. It does not occur elsewhere. Here it means their “home,” – their place of abode, – but with no particular reference to the “kind” of home, whether a palace, a castle, or an encampment. The idea is, that the place which they had occupied, or where they had dwelt, would be made vacant. They would be removed, and the place would be solitary and forsaken. It is equivalent to a prayer that they might be destroyed.

And let none dwell in their tents – Margin, as in Hebrew, “let there not be a dweller.” That is, Let their tents where they had dwelt be wholly forsaken. This passage is quoted in Acts 1:20, as applicable to Judas. See the notes at that passage.

Verse 26
For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten – That is, instead of pitying one who is afflicted of God, or showing compassion for him, they “add” to his sorrows by their own persecutions. The psalmist was suffering as under the hand of God. He needed sympathy from others in his trials. Instead of that, however, he found only reproaches, opposition, persecution, calumny. There was an entire want of sympathy and kindness. There was a disposition to take advantage of the fact that he was suffering at the hand of God, to increase his sorrows in all ways in which they could do it.

And they talk to the grief of those – What they say adds to their sorrow. They speak of the character of those who are afflicted; they allege that the affliction is the punishment of some crime which they have committed; they take advantage of any expressions of impatience which they may let fall in their affliction to charge them with being of a rebellious spirit, or regard it as proof that they are destitute of all true piety. See the notes at Psalm 41:5-8. It was this which added so much to the affliction of Job. His professed friends, instead of sympathizing with him, endeavored to prove that the fact that he suffered so much at the hand of God demonstrated that he was a hypocrite; and the expressions of impatience which he uttered in his trial, instead of leading them to sympathize with him, only tended to confirm them in this belief.

Whom thou hast wounded – literally, as in the margin, “thy wounded.” That is, of those whom “thou” hast afflicted. The reference is to the psalmist himself as afflicted by God, while, at the same time, he makes the remark general by saying that this was their character; this was what they were accustomed to do.

Verse 27
Add iniquity unto their iniquity – Margin, “punishment of iniquity.” The literal rendering is, “Give iniquity upon their iniquity.” Luther understands this as a prayer that “sin may be made a punishment for sin;” that is, that they may, as a punishment for their former sins, be left to commit still more aggravated crimes, and thus draw on themselves severer punishment. So Rosenmuller renders it, “Suffer them to accumulate sins by rushing from one sin to another, until their crimes are matured, and their destined punishment comes upon them.” An idea similar to this occurs in Romans 1:28, where God is represented as having “given the pagan over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient”

d fit, or proper – “because they did not like to retain him in their knowledge.” Perhaps this is the most natural interpretation here, though another has been suggested which the original will bear. According to that, there is an allusion here to the double sense of the equivocal term rendered “iniquity” – עון ‛âvôn – which properly denotes sin as such, or in itself considered, but which sometimes seems to denote sin in its consequences or effects. This latter is the interpretation adopted by Prof. Alexander. Thus understood, it is a prayer that God would add, or give, to their sin that which sin deserved; or, in other words, that he would punish it “as” it deserved.

And let them not come into thy righteousness – Let them not be treated “as” righteous; as those who are regarded by “thee” as righteous. Let them be treated as they deserve. This is the same as praying that a murderer may not be treated as an innocent man; a burglar, as if he were a man of peace; or a dishonest man, as if he were honest. Let people be regarded and treated as they “are in fact;” or, as they deserve to be treated. It seems difficult to see why this prayer may not be offered with propriety, and with a benevolent heart – for to bring this about is what all officers of justice are endeavoring to accomplish.

Verse 28
Let them be blotted out of the book of the living – That is, Let them cease to live; let them not be numbered among living people; let them be cut off. This language is taken from the custom of registering the names of persons in a list, roll, or catalogue, Exodus 32:32. See the notes at Philemon 4:3. Compare Revelation 3:5. The language has no reference to the future world; it is “not” a prayer that they should not be saved.

And not be written with the righteous – Let them not be registered or numbered with the righteous. As they “are” wicked, so let them be numbered; so regarded. Let them be reckoned and treated as they are. They deserve to be punished; so let them be. All that this “necessarily” means is, that they should not be treated as righteous, when they were in fact “not” righteous. It cannot be shown that the author of the psalm would not have desired that they should “become” righteous, and that they should “then” be regarded and treated as such. All that the language here implies is, a desire that they should be regarded and treated as they were; that is, as they deserved. The language is evidently derived from the idea so common in the Old Testament that length of days would be the reward of a righteous life (see Job 5:26; Proverbs 3:2; Proverbs 9:11; Proverbs 10:27), and that the wicked would be cut off in the midst of their days. See the notes at Psalm 55:23.

Verse 29
But I am poor and sorrowful – I am afflicted and suffering. The word here rendered “poor” often means “afflicted.”

Let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high – Let thy help raise me up from my low condition, and exalt me to a place of safety.

Verse 30
I will praise the name of God with a song – As the result of my deliverance, I will “compose” a song or a psalm especially adapted to the occasion, and suited to express and perpetuate my feelings. It was in such circumstances that a large part of the psalms were composed; and since others besides the psalmist are often in such circumstances, the Book of Psalms becomes permanently useful in the church. It is not always necessary now to “compose” a song or hymn to express our feelings in the circumstances in which we are placed in life – for we may commonly find such sacred songs ready at our hand; yet no one can doubt the propriety of adding to the number of such by those who can do it, or of increasing the compositions for praise in the church in view of the ever-varied experience of the children of God.

And will magnify him – Will exalt his name; will endeavor to make it “seem” greater; or, will spread it further abroad.

With thanksgiving – I will use expressions of thanks to make his name more widely known.

Verse 31
This also shall please the Lord – This will be more acceptable to the Lord.

Better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs – Better than a burnt sacrifice – horns, and hoofs, and all. The original here is, “horning and hoofing;” that is, an ox whose horns were fully grown, and whose hoofs were compact and solid; a perfect animal in its kind, offered whole on the altar. The psalmist does not say that such an offering would “not” be acceptable to the Lord, but that the offering of the heart – the sacrifice of praise – would be “more” acceptable than any such offering in itself considered. This sentiment accords with the common language of the Old Testament. See the notes at Psalm 40:6-8. Compare Psalm 51:16-17; 1 Samuel 15:22.

Verse 32
The humble shall see this, and be glad – Margin, “The meek.” That is, Others who are thus afflicted – the poor, the needy, the oppressed, the sad – shall be made acquainted with what has been done in my behalf, and shall take courage, or be strengthened. They will learn to trust that God will also interpose in “their” troubles, and bring them out of “their” distresses.

And your heart shall live that seek God – Shall be revived; shall be encouraged, strengthened, animated.

Verse 33
For the Lord heareth the poor – The needy; the humble; the unprotected. The reference is to those who are in circumstances of want and distress. The truth stated here is in accordance with all that is said in the Scriptures. Compare the notes at Psalm 34:6. See also Job 5:15; Psalm 10:14; Psalm 12:5; Psalm 35:10; Psalm 68:10.

And despiseth not his prisoners – He does not overlook them; he does not treat them as if they were worthy of no attention or regard. The word “prisoners” here may refer to those who are, as it were, bound by affliction under his own providential dealings; or to those who are oppressed, or are held as captives, or are thrown into prison, on his account. The particular reference here seems to be to David, and to those associated with him, who were straitened or deprived of their freedom in the cause of God.

Verse 34
Let the heaven and earth praise him – All things; all above and all below.

The seas – The waters – the oceans. This is in accordance with what often occurs in the Scriptures, when all things, animate and inanimate, are called on to praise God. Compare Psalm 148:1-14.

And everything that moveth therein – Margin, as in Hebrew, “creepeth.” Compare the notes at Psalm 8:8. See also the notes at Isaiah 55:12.

Verse 35
For God will save Zion – See the notes at Psalm 51:18. That is, he will save his people; he will protect and defend them. This expresses the confident assurance of the psalmist that, whatever might be the existing troubles, God would not forsake his people, but would interpose in their behalf.

And will build the cities of Judah – Though they may now lie waste, or be desolate. See the notes at Psalm 51:18. The general idea here is, that God would be favorable to his land; that he would give success and prosperity to his people; that he would manifest his mercy to them. There is no necessity from the language used here to suppose, as DeWette and Rosenmuller do, that there is an allusion to the time of the exile, and to the restoration of the Jews from Babylon, and that consequently either the whole psalm must have been composed at that time – or (as Rosenmuller supposes) that the last verses of the psalm were added by a later hand, and that thus the whole psalm was adapted to the time of the exile. From Psalm 69:9 it would seem that, when the psalm was composed, the place of public worship was still standing, and the language here, as in Psalm 51:18, is so general that it might have been employed at any time.

That they may dwell there … – That his people may dwell there according to the ancient promise. The idea is, that he would be the protector of his people, and that all his promises to them would be fulfilled.

Verse 36
The seed also of his servants – The children or the descendants of his people.

Shall inherit it – Shall continue to dwell in it.

And they that love his name – They that love him; they that are his true friends.

Shall dwell therein – They shall be safe there; they shall find there a home. This indicates the confident belief of the author of the psalm that the favor of God would be shown to the land. Whatever might be the present troubles, his faith was unwavering – his confidence unshaken – in regard to the faithfulness of God. Palestine – the promised land – would still be the inheritance of those who loved God, and the interests of those who dwelt there would be secure. As applied to the church of God now, the idea is, that it is safe; that it will always be under the divine protection; and that it will be the loved and the secure abode of all that “love the name” of their God and Saviour.

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Psalm 149


This belongs to the group of psalms already referred to Psalm 149:1-5.

II. The exhortation to carry out the purposes of God in regard to the people who had them, and who wronged were still hostile to them: to inflict on them the punishment which was due to them, and which God designed to bring upon them – regarding themselves as called of God to be his instruments in executing that punishment, in token of the divine displeasure at the conduct of those who had oppressed and wronged them, Psalm 149:6-9.

Verse 1
Praise ye the Lord – Margin, Hallelujah. See the notes at Psalm 146:1.

Sing unto the Lord a new song – As if there was a new and a special occasion for praise. This would be so if the psalm was composed on the return from the exile; on the rebuilding of the city; and on the re-dedication of the temple. On the meaning of the language, see Psalm 33:3, note; Revelation 5:9, note; Revelation 14:3, note; see also Psalm 96:1; Isaiah 42:10.

And his praise in the congregation of saints – In the assembly of the people of God. See Psalm 148:14, note; Psalm 111:1, note.

Verse 2
Let Israel – The people of Israel; the Hebrew people; the people of God.

Rejoice in him that made him – Him, who has made the people what they are. All that they have and are is to be traced to him, as really as the universe of matter is to be traced to his power. Their condition is not one of development, or one which is the result of their own wisdom, grace, or power. See the notes at Psalm 100:3: “It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves.” Compare Isaiah 54:5.

Let the children of Zion – Those who dwell in Zion or Jerusalem.

Be joyful in their King – In God as their king.

(a) That they have a king, or that there is one to rule over them;

(b) That they have such a king; one so wise, so powerful, so good;

(c) That he administers his government with so much efficiency, impartiality, equity, wisdom, goodness. Compare Psalm 100:3-5.

Verse 3
Let them praise his name in the dance – Margin, with the pipe. The Hebrew word here – מחול mâchôl – is rendered dancing in Psalm 30:11; dance, as here, Psalm 150:4 (where also the margin has pipe); Jeremiah 31:13; Lamentations 5:15; dances, Jeremiah 31:4. It does not elsewhere occur. On the verb חול chûl see Psalm 10:5, note; Psalm 51:5, note. Here it cannot be improper to regard it as referring to that measured tread, or solemn movement which sometimes constituted a part of worship: 2 Samuel 6:14. Such a movement cannot be proved to be wrong in worship; whether it is wise or expedient is a different matter. Customs in worship change as the customs of a people change; and that might be very proper in one stage of society, or in one period of the world, which, though not in itself wrong, might be very unadvisable in another. There was much in the Hebrew mode of worship which cannot be transferred to the forms of Christian worship without an obvious incongruity and disadvantage; and because a thing has been done, and is not in itself wrong, we should not infer that it should always be done, or that it would be always best. If people like the Shakers dance in worship, they have an undoubted right to do so, and it may be the most edifying mode of worship for them with their low notions of religion; let not others ridicule them; nor let others go to see them as they would any other “outr‘e” performance from idle curiosity. Such absurdities might soon die away if they were not kept alive by the notice which they attract, and by the foolish curiosity of wiser people. There are some things which are more certain to come to an end by neglect than they could by sober argument; some things which live merely because they are ridiculed, and because they who practice them are exalted into conspicuity by their own folly, and by the idea that they are martyrs.

Let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp – On these instruments, see the notes at Isaiah 5:12; notes at Job 21:12; notes at Psalm 68:25; notes at Psalm 81:2.

Verse 4
For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people – Let them rejoice on this account. He loves them; he approves their conduct; he bestows his favors upon them. All this should add to their joy, and fill their hearts with gladness. Compare the notes at Psalm 35:27. The Hebrew word here rendered “taketh pleasure” conveys the idea of complacency, satisfaction, delight. It is the opposite of being pained or offended. God has complacency in his people. He delights in their welfare; he delights in doing them good.

He will beautify the meek with salvation – The word here rendered beautify means to adorn, to honor, as the sanctuary, Isaiah 60:7 (rendered glorify); and it here means that the salvation which God would bestow upon them would be of the nature of an ornament, as if they were clothed with costly or splendid raiment. Compare Psalm 132:16. The word meek here means humble or lowly, and may refer to those who are humble in rank or condition, or those who are humble in heart. Perhaps the two ideas are here combined. They have not external adorning, but God will give them an honor and beauty in salvation which no outward adorning could impart.

Verse 5
Let the saints be joyful in glory – In the glory of their condition; in the favor of God; in the honor which he bestows upon them. Let them rejoice in this; let them shout and triumph over this. Other men rejoice in honor; in wealth; in houses, lands, parks, libraries, works of art: let the saints rejoice in the glory of being the friends of God; in the hope of heaven. Compare Psalm 84:11.

Let them sing aloud upon their beds – Compare Job 35:10, note; Acts 16:25, note; Psalm 34:1, note. The idea is, that in the meditations of the night, when darkness is around them, when alone with God, they may find occasion for exultation and praise. Their hearts may be full of joy, and alone they may give expression to their joy in songs of praise.

Verse 6
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth – Margin, as in Hebrew, in their throat. Literally, “Praises of God in their throat; and a sword of two edges in their hand.” That is, In the very work of executing the purposes of God on his enemies, there should be the feeling and the language of praise. Their hearts should be full of confidence in God; they should feel that they are engaged in his service; and while they defend themselves, or inflict punishment on the enemies of God, they should chant His praise. The idea is, that even in the work of war they might feel that they were engaged in the service of God, and that the passions usual in war should be subdued and kept under by the consciousness that they are mere instruments in the hand of God to accomplish His purposes. Perhaps the Hebrew word rendered “high praises” – רוממה rômemâh – may imply more than mere praise. It may embrace anything that is lofty and exalted, and may mean here that they would have the consciousness that they were engaged in high and lofty aims; that they were carrying out the great designs of God; that they were executing purposes more momentous than their own could be – even the eternal purposes of the Most High. This would give an importance, a dignity, an elevation to their conduct which could spring from no other source.

And a two-edged sword in their hand – literally, a sword of edges; that is, a sword with an edge on both sides of the blade. Roman swords were often made in this manner. They were made for piercing as well as for striking. See the notes at Hebrews 4:12.

Verse 7
To execute vengeance upon the heathen – To inflict punishment upon them as a recompence for their sins. The word pagan here means nations. The allusion is, doubtless, to those who had oppressed and injured the Hebrew people – perhaps referring to those who had destroyed the city and the temple at the time of the Babylonian captivity. They were now to receive the punishment due for the wrongs which they had done to the nation; a just recompence at the hand of God, and by the instrumentality of those whom they had wronged. Compare the notes at Psalm 137:7-9.

And punishments upon the people – The people of those lands. Those who had waged war with the Hebrew nation.

Verse 8
To bind their kings with chains – To make them prisoners and captives. This is but carrying out the idea in the previous verses, of inflicting punishment upon them for the wrongs which they had done to the people of God. There is no evidence that this refers to a spiritual conquest, or to a spiritual subjection of those nations to the true religion. The whole idea is in accordance with what is so often expressed in the Psalms – that of inflicting just punishment on the wicked. See the General Introduction, Section 6.

And their nobles with fetters of iron – To make them prisoners. That is, to subdue them. Captives in war, even those of elevated rank, were often led in chains to grace the triumph of conquerors.

Verse 9
To execute upon them the judgment written – Either, that which is written in the law in general as what is threatened to wicked men; or, that which was written for their particular case, or which they were specifically commanded to do. Compare Deuteronomy 7:1-2; Deuteronomy 32:41-43. Most probably the reference is to some particular command in this case.

This honor have all his saints –

(a) It is an honor to engage in executing or carrying out the purposes of God. As it is an honor to be a magistrate, a judge, a sheriff, a constable, a commander of an army, an admiral in a navy, to execute the purposes of a government – an honor sought with great avidity among people as among the most valued distinctions of life – why should it be less honorable to execute the purposes of God? Are the objects which he seeks in his administration less important than those which are sought among people? Are his laws of less importance? Are his aims less pure? Is there less of justice, and equity, and benevolence in his plans?

(b) It is an honor which pertains to “all the saints” – to all who love and fear God – to be engaged in carrying out or executing his plans. In their own way, and in their own sphere – it may, indeed, be a very humble sphere – but each and all in their own sphere, are engaged in executing the purposes of God. In the duties of a family; in kindness to the poor; in the office of a teacher or a magistrate; in clearing a farm; in cultivating the land; in building a schoolhouse; in founding a church, a college, an asylum for the blind, the dumb, the lame, the insane; in contributing to send the gospel abroad over our own land, or among the pagan, or in going to carry that gospel to a benighted world – in some of these ways all who are truly the friends of God, or who are entitled to be enrolled among the “saints of the Lord” are, in fact, carrying out the purposes of the Lord – the “judgments written” to guide mankind; and man‘s highest honor here, as it will be in heaven, is to carry out the purposes of the Lord.

Praise ye the Lord – Hallelu-jah. It is a subject of praise and thanksgiving, it should lead us to shout Hallelujah, that we are permitted to be employed in any way, however humble, in carrying out the divine plans, or in accomplishing those great designs which he contemplates toward our race.

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Psalm 66


Psalm 66 — Israel in Her Gethsemane
66:1 Make a joyful noise unto God, all the earth:
66:2 Sing forth the glory of his name: Make his praise glorious.
66:3 Say unto God, How terrible are thy works! Through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.
66:4 All the earth shall worship thee, And shall sing unto thee; They shall sing to thy name. Selah
66:5 Come, and see the works of God; [He is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.
66:6 He turned the sea into dry land; They went through the river on foot: There did we rejoice in him.
66:7 He ruleth by his might for ever; His eyes observe the nations: Let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah
66:8 Oh bless our God, ye peoples, And make the voice of his praise to be heard;
66:9 Who holdeth our soul in life, And suffereth not our feet to be moved.
66:10 For thou, O God, hast proved us: Thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
66:11 Thou broughtest us into the net; Thou layedst a sore burden upon our loins.
66:12 Thou didst cause men to ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water; But thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
66:13 I will come into thy house with burnt-offerings; I will pay thee my vows,
66:14 Which my lips uttered, And my mouth spake, when I was in distress.
66:15 I will offer unto thee burnt-offerings of fatlings, With the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah
66:16 Come, and hear, all ye that fear God, And I will declare what he hath done for my soul.
66:17 I cried unto him with my mouth, And he was extolled with my tongue.
66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear:
66:19 But verily God hath heard; He hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
66:20 Blessed be God, Who hath not turned away my prayer, Nor his lovingkindness from me.

The revival in the Tribulation (vss. 1-4).
Israel at the end of the Tribulation (vss. 5-7).
Israel in the beginning of the Millennium (vss. 8-15).
A special message to the people of God today (vss. 16-20).
Again let me call attention to the fact that the Psalms are the poetical version of the messages of Moses and the Prophets. In order therefore for one to understand these poems, one must have a fairly thorough and accurate knowledge of the messages that have come to us through Moses and the Prophets. If a poem is written today by anyone — provided it is real poetry — it is only suggestive and can be fully appreciated only when one understands the facts lying back behind the composition of the poem and the things to which reference is made within the composition. The same principle obtains throughout the Scriptures when applied to the Psalms.

I. The Revival in the Tribulation
Make a joyful noise unto God, all the earth:
Sing forth the glory of his name:
Make his praise glorious.
Say unto God, How terrible are thy works!
Through the greatness of thy power shall thine
enemies submit themselves unto thee.
All the earth shall worship thee,
And shall sing unto thee;
They shall sing to thy name. {Selah}” (vss. 1-4).

From these verses it is clear that someone is calling upon the nations of the world to give glory to God and to sing His praises (vss. 1,2). That the psalmist saw the time of the Tribulation is evident from the fact that He declares, “How terrible are thy works!” The works of God which the writer sees are terrific and are recognized both by the inspired writer and by those for whom he writes. God’s terrible work toward the children of men will be manifested only at the time of the great Tribulation. It is true that He wiped out the human family by the Flood in Noah’s day, but never since that time has He dealt with mankind on a universal scale as is here set forth. In comparison with the judgments of the Tribulation all other calamities or catastrophes that have overtaken any nation or group of nations pale into insignificance. Since these verse foreshadow universal judgment, we are logical in believing that the psalmist was carried forward and was depicting to us the judgments of the day of Jehovah. Moreover, it is evident that at the end of this period of judgment the people who survive this ordeal will accept God and turn to Him. Many of them will be sincere and earnest, but there will be those who will render feigned obedience to Him, as we see presently. In view of the entire context it is clear that immediately following these judgments we are told by the psalmist the great, glorious era will dawn.

What light have we on this great theme of revival? Some excellent brethren are telling us that we may expect a nationwide or even an international revival at the present time if we will but pray to God for such an awakening. Do we have any promise in the Scriptures to this effect? As I read the Word, I note the fact that this age will end in apostasy, that men will depart from the truth and turn unto fables; that many will have itching ears and will not endure sound doctrine; and that perilous times will come in the closing days of this dispensation. Moreover, our Lord compared the closing days of this age to those immediately preceding the Flood. Humanity sank to the lowest level then. Because of that fact, God sent the universal Flood which blotted out the whole race with the exception of Noah and those who entered into the ark with him. In view of the clear predictions concerning the condition which will exist at the end of this age, I cannot believe that there can be a revival now, no matter how earnestly we may pray for it. The Lord Jesus Christ and the scriptural writers saw accurately what would be and have told us that these conditions will exist. We therefore have no right to believe that the picture will be changed because we sincerely pray for a different situation.

On the other hand, the Scriptures tell us about a world-wide sweeping revival that will bring multiplied millions of people to a saving knowledge of the truth. When does that occur? If we will study, for instance, Isaiah, chapter 24, carefully, we shall see that the first 20 verses set forth in vivid graphic terms the horrors of the great Tribulation. But in verse 14-16a we see a mighty turning to God in the midst of the horrors of this terrible day of Jehovah: “these shall lift up their voice, they shall shout; for the majesty of Jehovah they cry aloud from the sea. Wherefore glorify ye Jehovah in the east, even the name of Jehovah, the God of Israel, in the isles of the sea. From the utter most part of the earth have we heard songs: Glory to the righteous” (Isaiah 24:14-16a).

This revival breaks out in a country west of Palestine. From there it goes over to the Holy Land, from there as a center it spreads out all over the world. Notwithstanding the distress and sorrow of that time, there will be songs of jubilation and praise the content or gist of which is “Glory to the righteous.”

This same thing we see in the seventh chapter of the Book of Revelation. An examination of this chapter shows that there will be 144,000 Jews, 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. Immediately after we see this vision of the Jewish servants of God, we see a mighty turning to God on the part of multitudes from every tribe, tongue, and language. These come out of the great Tribulation and wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. When all of these facts are taken into consideration, one comes to the conclusion that these 144,000 Jewish servants are the evangelists who bring about this mighty revival in the Tribulation Period. There is no escape from this conclusion. The Word of God must be given to these people now. We must sow the seed in all Israel. When this seed is watered by the judgments of the great Tribulation, then will arise these 144,000 Jewish evangelists who will conduct this mighty revival in the beginning of the Tribulation especially, though it does extend all the way through it to the very end.

Having seen what is foretold in the prophetic word we may now turn back to Psalm 66 and view it in the light of these prophetic utterances. The sacred writer calls upon the people of earth to praise God and to render worship to Him. This call to universal worship and praise will be carried out literally by these 144,000 Jewish evangelists of whom we have just gotten a glimpse. These evangelists will likewise call the people’s attention to the terrible works of God that will be manifest in all the world. When we study the specific judgments that are to fall during the Tribulation as they are narrated in Revelation, chapters 6, 8, 9, and 16, we can understand what is meant by the exhortation: “Say unto God, How terrible are thy works! Through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.” At the conclusion of the Tribulation all the world will worship God and sing praise unto His name.

II. Israel at the end of the Tribulation
Come, and see the works of God;
He is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.
He turned the sea into dry land;
They went through the river on foot:
There did we rejoice in him.
He ruleth by his might for ever;
His eyes observe the nations;
Let not the rebellious exalt themselves {Selah}” (vss. 5-7).

In verse 5 of this quotation we see that the psalmist issues a call to the peoples of the earth again to observe the works of God — to recognize the invisible, mighty, omnipotent hand of the Almighty in the events that are transpiring. Moreover, the psalmist calls attention to the fact that the Almighty is terrible in His doings — in His treatment of “the children of men.” It is indeed a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God — those who are unprepared to meet God.

Verse 6 refers to this fact that God has turned the sea into dry land and that the people of God have gone through the river on foot. Some would identify this reference as an echo of the deliverance from Egyptian bondage when Moses by the power of God opened up the Red Sea and Israel and pass through on dry land. While that historic event may have furnished the suggestion for the imagery, it cannot be the specific thing referred to in this verse. Israel at the Exodus passed through the Red Sea; but this passage refers to their passing through the river — two different things. It is quite likely that this same event is referred to in Isaiah 11:15, where reference is made to the Lord’s destroying the tongue of the Egyptian sea and waving his hand over the river, the Euphrates. There is a possible reference to this found in Isaiah 42:15 which undoubtedly speaks of Israel’s final restoration to the land of the fathers. It is altogether possible that Revelation 16:12 refers to the same event.

The psalmist speaks of the opening up of the river and Israel’s passage through it as if it is already past, that is, past so far as the view point of this prophecy is concerned. Since God will open up these ways for Israel’s return at the end of the Tribulation, we may with confidence believe that this is a vision of Israel at the very end or practically at the end of that period of distress.

Israel will have at that time had her eyes open and will recognize that her God is the true God of the universe and that it is in Him that all people live, move, and have their continual being. It is He who rules with His might for ever and who observes all the nations. “Man proposes, but God disposes.”

This section ends with the following exhortation to the rebellious: “Let not the rebellious exalt themselves.” The correlative thought of this is that they should bow in humble submission to God at that time.

III. Israel in the beginning of the Millennium
Oh bless our God, ye peoples,
And make the voice of his praise to be heard;
Who holdeth our soul in life,
And suffereth not our feet to be removed.
For thou, O God hast proved us:
Thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
Thou broughtest us into the net;
Thou layedst a sore burden upon our loins.
Thou didst cause men to ride over our heads;
We went through fire and water;
But thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
I will come into thy house with burnt-offerings;
I will pay thee my vows,
Which my lips uttered,
And my mouth spake, when I was in distress,
I will offer unto thee burnt-offerings of fatlings,
With the incense of rams;
I will offer bullocks with goats. {Selah}” (vss. 8-15).

A glance at these verse shows us that the Tribulation is viewed in this passage as having passed and Israel is seen here as looking back upon the horrors of the night from which he has just emerged. These facts show that this is a vision of the remnant of Israel that survives the great Tribulation, after our Lord has returned and is there present to bless His people. In verse 8 the psalmist calls upon the peoples of the earth to bless “our God.” God revealed Himself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; then to Moses and Israel at the time of the Exodus. He therefore calls Himself “God of Israel.” It is quite significant that He does not call Himself the God of any other nation. Why does He thus choose this title? Undoubtedly it is because of the fact that He created the Jewish nation to be the channel through which His revelation and blessing would flow out to the entire world. Israel is the chosen nation, to represent God to the peoples of earth. Because of these facts the Lord calls Himself the “God of Israel” and Israel speaks of Him as “our God.”

Those Jews who survive the Tribulation are the ones who, when they are given the truth concerning their Messiah and the salvation which He wrought for them at Calvary, repent of their sins and make the confession of the nation’s sin. When they do this and plead for Him to return, He will do so (see Hosea 5:14-6:3).

This remnant of Israel will confess that it is Messiah “Who holdeth our soul in life, And suffereth not our feet to be moved.” They will recognize the fact that it is He who has all through the centuries protected them and has brought them to that blessed moment at the beginning of the great Kingdom Age.

According to verse 10 they will say to their Messiah: “… Thou, O God, hast proved us: Thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.” The Lord has chosen Israel in the furnace of affliction. He has never as yet tried her as silver is refined, but will do so in the future (Isaiah 48:10). This same fact is set forth in Malachi 3:1-6. The Tribulation will be the fire into which the nation will be thrown and by which all the dross will be purged from her.

Looking back at her past trials, the converted remnant will say to the Lord that He brought them into the net and did lay a sore burden upon them. This of course will refer to the fiery trials through which they will pass during the Tribulation.

According to verse 12 the remnant of the nation will recognize the fact that it is God, their Messiah, who caused nations to triumph over them temporarily and who guided them through the fiery trials and brought them out into a large, wide, “wealthy” place — the liberty and the freedom of the great Millennial Age.

When Israel is in the darkest, deepest valley of the Tribulation, she will make a vow to her God. This is seen for instance in Psalm 65:1 as well as in verse 13 of Psalm 66. There can be no doubt that in connection with the confession of the national sin Israel will make a vow. When the Tribulation is past, the remnant will remember that vow and will declare publicly that they will fulfill it. In connection with the paying of these vows, there will be the offering up of burnt offerings, as we see in verses 13 and 15. A study of the matter of offerings during the Millennium is quite and interesting one. Ezekiel, in chapter 40-48, gives us a picture of the land of Israel, the city of Jerusalem, and the Temple with its elaborate ritual as they will be in the great Millennial Age. There we are told that various offerings and sacrifices will be made. From the fourteenth chapter of Zechariah we know that the feast of tabernacles will be observed. From our Lord’s language at the last supper, we see that He will observe the passover supper in the kingdom when He returns. Will all of the offerings that were authorized by the Lord at Sinai be reinaugurated and offered again? To this question no one can give a positive answer. We can only say in the light of the scanty data which we have that some of these offerings will be resumed. They, when they were inaugurated, were typical, looking forward, pointing to the realities which we have in Christ. In the Millennial Age they will have a retrospective look, pointing back to Calvary and the atonement which the Lord Jesus Christ made for those who believe in Him and accept Him. Though we may not understand all the facts concerning these future offerings, we by faith can accept them and wait for the Lord to give us further light.

In verse 14 the psalmist declared that he will, in making these offerings, be carrying out the promises and the pledges that he made to the Lord when he was in distress. From our own experiences and from observation, we see that man is prone to wait until he is brought to his extremity before he surrenders to God. When he is in difficulty, very frequently he turns to God, making promises, vows, and pledges. All too frequently, when the danger has past and the distress has been removed, we forget those vows and pledges. But remember, God never does. He knows and understands, and He expects men and women to keep their vows and their pledges.

IV. Special Message for the People of God Today
Come, and hear, all ye that fear God,
And I will declare what he hath done for my soul.
I cried unto him with my mouth,
And he was extolled with my tongue.
If I regard iniquity in my heart,
The Lord will not hear,
But verily God hath heard;
He hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God,
Who hath not turned away my prayer,
Nor his lovingkindness from me” (vss. 16-20).

The inspired writer calls upon all who fear to come to listen to his testimony regarding what the Lord had done for his soul. Those who are spoken of as being fearers of God are those who believe in God and in the Lord Jesus Christ and who have given their hearts and life’s to Him. In other words they are the born-again ones. All such people are invited by the psalmist to listen to his testimony regarding the experiences which he had had with the Lord. In this connection let me say that it warms the heart, strengthens the faith clarifies the vision to hear the genuine testimony of people who have had an experience with God. Let us keep our experiences up-to-date by walking with the Lord daily. The Lord is very eager to keep working for us. The soul is the important thing. Of course, we are not to defile our bodies with sin, but the spiritual realities are the eternal ones. The one who neglects his soul is making the fatal mistake of life. To bestow one’s interest and labors upon the material things of life is to miss the real purpose which God had in placing us here.

In verse 17 the writer tells us that he cried unto God with his mouth and extolled the Almighty with his tongue. In other words, he rendered genuine, true worship, praise, and adoration to the Lord. But before continuing his story, he tells us in verse 18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” God despises and hates formalism, hypocrisy, and cant. He wants sincerity, truth, genuineness, love. The Lord sees everything. He knows every motive that prompts each action. He does not look at the outward appearance, but rather upon the heart. If there are hypocrisy, and deceit, no matter how long and loudly we may pray, the Lord will not hear.

But in verse 19 the psalmist declares that God had heard him and had attended unto his prayer, that is, the Lord granted his petition. He therefore concludes in verse 20 with these words: “Blessed be God, Who hath not turned away my prayer, Nor his lovingkindness from me.” God does hear and answer prayer. If one has faith as small as that of a mustard seed — but if it is genuine — it can remove mountains of difficulty. God, as George Mueller used to say, delights to exercise the faith of his children. He is interested in everything that pertains to them. Everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. To everyone who knocks, the door is open. The fulfillment of these promises of course, is contingent upon one’s being in fellowship with the Lord and asking according to his wil

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Psalm 59


The general title to this psalm is the same as in the two preceding psalms. That it was written by David, as is affirmed in the title, there is every reason to believe. The “occasion” on which it is said to have been composed was “when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him.” This incident is related in 1 Samuel 19:11: “Saul also sent messengers unto David‘s house to watch him, and to slay him in the morning.” There is nothing in the psalm inconsistent with this statement in regard to the time and the occasion of its composition, unless it is in the word “heathen” – גוים gôyim – twice used Psalm 59:5, Psalm 59:8 – a term, which (DeWette maintains) belongs properly to people of a foreign nation, and a foreign religion. It is true, however, that while the word originally had this meaning, it came to be used to denote any people or persons who had the general character and spirit which was supposed to distinguish nations without the knowledge of the true God; those who were cruel, harsh, unfeeling, oppressive, savage. Psalm 2:1, Psalm 2:8; Psalm 9:5, Psalm 9:15, Psalm 9:19-20; Psalm 10:16; Psalm 79:6, Psalm 79:10; Psalm 106:47, et al. In this sense it might be used here, without impropriety, as applicable to the enemies of David.

At what precise “time” the psalm was composed, it is, of course, impossible now to ascertain. All that is determined by the title is that it was on that occasion, or with reference to that event; but whether it was at the very time when those enemies were known to be watching the house, or whether it was in view of that scene as recollected afterward, recalling the feelings which then passed through his mind, cannot now be determined with certainty. That David was aware that his enemies were thus watching him is apparent from 1 Samuel 19:11; that such thoughts as are recorded in the psalm passed through his mind in that time of danger is not improbable, but it can hardly be supposed that such an occasion would allow of the leisure necessary to express them in the form in which we now have them in the psalm. The probability, therefore, seems to be, that the psalm is a subsequent composition, recording the thoughts which then actually passed through his mind.

The psalm has no very regular order. The mind passes from one thing to another – now uttering fervent prayer; now describing the enemy – his character and plans; and now expressing the confident hope of deliverance, and the purpose to praise God. Indeed the very structure of the psalm seems to me to furnish evidence that it describes feelings which “would” pass through the mind on such an occasion. Thus we have in Psalm 59:1-2, Psalm 59:5, Psalm 59:11-15, “prayer” for deliverance; in Psalm 59:3-4, Psalm 59:6, Psalm 59:12, intermingled with these prayers, a description of the character and designs of these enemies; and in Psalm 59:8-9, Psalm 59:16-17, an expression of confident hope – a purpose to praise God, for deliverance and mercy. All this is indicative of such feelings as “might,” and probably “would,” pass through the mind in such a time of peril as that referred to in the title.

On the different phrases in the title, see Introductions to Psalm 4; 47; 16.

Verse 1
Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God – See the notes at Psalm 18:48. This prayer was offered when the spies sent by Saul surrounded the house of David. They had come to apprehend him, and it is to be presumed that they had come in sufficient numbers, and with sufficient power, to effect their object. Their purpose was not to break in upon him in the night, but to watch their opportunity, when he went forth in the morning, to slay him 1 Samuel 19:11, and there seemed no way for him to escape. Of their coming, and of their design, Michal, the daughter of Saul, and the wife of David, seems to have been apprised – perhaps by someone of her father‘s family. She informed David of the arrangement, and assured him that unless he should escape in the night, he would be put to death in the morning. She, therefore, let him down through a window, and he escaped, 1 Samuel 19:12. It was in this way that he was in fact delivered; in this way that his prayer was answered. A faithful wife saved him.

Defend me from them that rise up against me – Margin, as in Hebrew, “Set me on high.” The idea is that of placing him, as it were, on a tower, or on an eminence which would be inaccessible. These were common places of refuge or defense. See the notes at Psalm 18:2.

Verse 2
Deliver me from the workers of iniquity – The workers of iniquity here referred to were Saul and those whom he employed to carry out his murderous purpose – the people that had been sent to slay him.

And save me from bloody men – Hebrew, “Men of bloods;” that is, men whose trade is blood; who seek to shed my blood, or who seek my life. See Psalm 5:6, note; Psalm 26:9, note; Psalm 55:23, note.

Verse 3
For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul – They lie in wait as wild beasts do for their prey, ready to spring upon it. The word used here is often employed to denote the act of lying in ambush; of watching in secret places to spring upon a victim: Judges 9:32; Judges 21:20; Psalm 10:9. The word “soul” here means “life.” They lie in ambush that they may kill me.

The mighty are gathered against me – Strong men; hostile men; cruel men. Saul would employ on this occasion not the weak, the cowardly, the faint-hearted, but men of courage and strength; men who were unscrupulous in their character; men who would not be likely to be moved by entreaty, or turned from their purpose by compassion. It is not mere “strength” that is here referred to, but that kind of strength or courage which can be employed in a desperate enterprise, and which is suited to accomplish any scheme of wickedness, however daring or difficult.

Not for my transgression, nor for my sin – This is done not on account of my violating the laws of the land, nor because it is alleged that I am a sinner against God. David was conscious that he did not deserve this treatment from the hand of man. He bad been guilty of no wrong against Saul that exposed him to just punishment. He carried with him the consciousness of innocence as to any crime that could have made this treatment proper; and he felt that it was all the result of unjust suspicions. It was not improper for him to refer to this in his prayer; for, however he might feel that he was a sinner in the sight of God, yet he felt that a great and grievous wrong was done him by man; and he prayed, therefore, that a righteous God would interpose. See Psalm 7:8, note; Psalm 17:2, note; Psalm 35:24, note; Psalm 43:1, note.

Verse 4
They run and prepare themselves – That is, they “hasten” to accomplish this; they are quick to obey the command of Saul requiring them to slay me. The word “prepare” refers to whatever was deemed necessary to enable them to accomplish what they had been commanded to do – arming themselves, making provision for their journey, etc.

Without my fault – That is, without anything on my part to deserve this, or to justify Saul and those employed by him in what they attempt to do. David, in all this, was conscious of innocence. In his own feelings toward Saul, and in all his public acts, he knew that he had sought only the king‘s welfare, and that he had been obedient to the laws.

Awake to help me – That is, “arouse,” as one does from sleep. See the notes at Psalm 7:6. Compare Psalm 35:23. The word rendered “to help me,” is rendered in the margin, “to meet me.” This is the meaning of the Hebrew. It is a prayer that God would meet him, or come to him, and aid him.

Verse 5
Thou therefore, O Lord God of hosts – God of armies: commanding all the armies of heaven – the angels, and the stars and constellations drawn out in the form of armies; thou, thus endowed with all power, and able to subdue all people though arrayed and combined for purposes of evil – awake to my help. On the meaning of the phrase “God of hosts,” see the notes at Isaiah 1:9.

The God of Israel – The God of the Hebrew people – the descendants of Jacob or Israel – the Protector of thy people – awake to help me, one of those who, being of that covenant people, come under the promise of protection.

Awake to visit all the heathen – On the word here rendered “heathen” – גוים gôyim – see the notes at Psalm 2:1. It is from the use of this word in this verse and in Psalm 59:8, as remarked in the Introduction to the psalm, that DeWette infers that the psalm could not have been composed on the occasion referred to in the title, and argues, that this term could not be applied by David to Saul and his followers. This objection, however, will lose its force if the word is understood as denoting people who had the usual character of pagans, who were fierce, bloody, savage, cruel. In this sense the word might be employed with reference to those who were engaged in seeking the life of David. David, using the common word “heathen” or “nations,” as denoting those who are wicked, cruel, harsh, prays that God would awake to visit them; that is, to visit them for purposes of punishment, or so to visit them as to prevent their carrying out their designs.

Be not merciful to any tricked transgressors – That is, Arrest and punish them “as” transgressors, or “being” transgressors. This prayer is not inconsistent with a desire that such people might be converted, and “thus” obtain mercy; but it is a prayer that God would not suffer them, being wicked people, to go at large and accomplish the work of wickedness which they designed. See General Introduction Section 6. (5) (e).

Selah – A musical pause. See the notes at Psalm 3:2.

Verse 6
They return at evening – Many have rendered this in the imperative, as in Psalm 59:14, “Let them return at evening,” etc. So Luther renders it, and so also DeWette. But the more natural and obvious interpretation is to render it in the indicative, as describing the manner in which his enemies came upon him – like dogs seeking their prey; fierce mastiffs, howling and ready to spring upon him. From the phrase “they return at evening,” thus explained, it would seem probable that they watched their opportunity, or lay in wait, to secure their object; that having failed at first, they drew off again until evening, perhaps continuing thus for several days unable to accomplish their object.

They make a noise like a dog – So savages, after lurking stealthily all day, raise the war-whoop at night, and come upon their victims. It is possible that an assault of this kind “had” been attempted; or, more probably, it is a description of the manner in which they “would” make their assault, and of the spirit with which it would be done.

And go round about the city – The word “city” is used in a large sense in the Scriptures, and is often applied to places that we should now describe as “villages.” Any town within the limits of which David was lodged, would answer to this term.

Verse 7
Behold, they belch out with their mouth – The word rendered “belch out” means properly to boil forth; to gush out, to flow; and then, to pour forth copiously, or in a running stream, as a fountain does. Hence, the word means also to pour out “words” – words that flow freely – words of folly, abuse, or reproach. Proverbs 15:2, “the mouth of fools poureth out (Margin, belcheth or babbleth) foolishness.” Proverbs 15:28, “the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things;” that is, “gushes over” with wicked things – as a fountain overflows. In this place, the word means that the enemies of David who were in pursuit of his life, poured out reproaches and threatenings like a gushing fountain.

Swords are in their lips – Their words are as sharp swords. See the notes at Psalm 57:4.

For who, say they, doth hear? – That is, no one hears who will be able to punish us. They dread no man; and they have no fear of God. Compare the notes at Psalm 10:11. The words “say they” are, however, supplied here by the translators, and are not in the original; and the language “may” be understood as that of David himself, “as if” no one heard; that is, It is no wonder that they thus pour out words of reproach, for who “is” there to hear and to punish them? The former interpretation, however, is to be preferred. The language expresses the feelings of the enemies of David, who indulged freely in language of abuse and reproach “as if” there were none to hear.

Verse 8
But thou, O Lord, shalt laugh at them – That is, God will hear them, and will have all their efforts in derision, or will treat them with contempt. See Psalm 2:4, note; Psalm 37:13, note.

Thou shalt have all the heathen in derision – All those referred to in this psalm – the enemies of David – who have the character, and who manifest the spirit of the pagan; that is, of those who are not actuated by true religion. See the notes at Psalm 59:5. This verse expresses the strong conviction of David, that all the efforts of his enemies would be vain; that God “would be” his Protector; and that he would save him from their evil designs.

Verse 9
Because of his strength will I wait upon thee – literally, “His strength – I will wait upon thee.” The reference here is not to the strength or power of God, as if the fact that “He” was powerful was a reason why the psalmist should look to him – but it is to the strength or power of the enemy – of Saul and his followers. There is much abruptness in the expression. The psalmist looks at the power of his enemy. “‹His strength,‘ he cries. It is great. It is beyond my power to resist it. It is so great that I have no other refuge but God; and because it is so great, I will fix my eyes on him alone.” The word rendered “wait upon” means rather to look to; to observe; to fix the eyes upon.

For God is my defense – Margin, “My high place.” That is, God was to him “as” a high place, or a place of refuge; a place where he would be safe. See the notes at Psalm 18:2.

Verse 10
The God of my mercy shall prevent me – Or rather, “My God – his mercy shall prevent me.” This is in accordance with the present reading of the Hebrew text, and is probably correct. The psalmist looks to God as his God, and then the feeling at once springs up that his mercy – favor – his loving-kindness – “would” “prevent” him. On the word “prevent” see the notes at Psalm 21:3; compare Psalm 17:13; Psalm 18:5. The meaning here is, that God would “go before him,” or would “anticipate” his necessities.

God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies – That is, He will let me see them discomfited, and disappointed in their plans. This is equivalent to saying that God would give him the victory, or would not suffer them to triumph over him. See the notes at Psalm 54:7.

Verse 11
Slay them not, lest my people forget – The meaning of this seems to be, Do not destroy them at once, lest, being removed out of the way, the people should forget what was done, or should lose the impression which it is desirable should be produced by their punishment. Let them live, and let them wander about, as exiles under the divine displeasure, that they may be permanent and enduring proofs of the justice of God; of the evil of sin; of the danger of violating the divine law. So Cain wandered on the earth Genesis 4:12-14, a living proof of that justice which avenges murder; and so the Jews still wander, a lasting illustration of the justice which followed their rejection of the Messiah. The prayer of the psalmist, therefore, is that the fullest expression might be given to the divine sense of the wrong which his enemies had done, that the salutary lesson might not be soon forgotten, but might be permanent and enduring.

Scatter them by thy, power – Break up their combinations, and let them go abroad as separate wanderers, proclaiming everywhere, by being thus vagabonds on the earth, the justice of God.

And bring them down – Humble them. Show them their weakness. Show them that they have not power to contend against God.

O Lord our shield – See Psalm 5:12, note; Psalm 33:20, note. The words “our” here, and “my” in the former part of the verse, are designed to show that the author of the psalm regarded God as “his” God, and the people of the land as “his,” in the sense that he was identified with them, and felt that his cause was really that of the people.

Verse 12
For the sin of their mouth … – That is, in belching out words of reproach and malice, Psalm 59:7.

Let them even be taken in their pride – In the very midst of their schemes, or while confidently relying on the success of their plans. Even while their hearts are elated, and they are sure of success, let them be arrested, and let their plans be foiled.

And for cursing and lying which they speak – That is, on account of the false charges which they have brought against me, and of their bitter imprecations on me. The allusion is to the accusations brought against David, and which were believed by Saul, and which were the foundation of the efforts made by Saul to take his life.

Verse 13
Consume them in wrath – Or, in thy justice. The idea in the word “consume” here is to finish; to complete; to bring to an end. It does not mean to “burn” them as our word might seem to imply, nor is there any reference to the “mode” or “manner” in which their power was to be brought to an end. It is merely a prayer that all their plans might be frustrated; that there might be an entire completion of their attempts; or that they might be in no sense successful.

Consume them – The expression is repeated for the sake of emphasis, implying a desire that the work might be “complete.”

That they may not be – That things might be as if they were not in the land of the living.

And let them know – Those who are now plotting my death.

That God ruleth in Jacob – That God rules among his people, protecting them and guarding them from the attacks of their enemies; that he is their friend, and that he is the enemy of all those who seek to injure and destroy them.

Unto the ends of the earth – Everywhere. All over the world. Let it be shown that the same principles of government prevail wherever man abides or wanders – that God manifests himself everywhere as the friend of right, and the enemy of wrong. The phrase “the ends of the earth,” is in accordance with the prevailing conception that the earth was an extended plane, and that it had limits or boundaries. Compare the notes at Isaiah 40:22, notes at Isaiah 40:28.

Verse 14
And at evening let them return – See the notes at Psalm 59:6. The original here is the same as in Psalm 59:6, with the exception of the word “and” at the beginning. This qualifies the sentence, and makes the construction in our version proper. The language is that of confident triumph. They came around the city to take David; they shouted and shrieked as dogs bark and howl when they come upon their prey. David asked God to interpose and save him; and then, says he, let them come if they will, and howl around the city; they will find no prey; they will be like hungry dogs from whom their anticipated victim has escaped. Let them come, and howl and rage. They can do no harm. They will meet with disappointment; and such disappointment will be a proper punishment for their sins.

Verse 15
Let them wander up and down for meat – Let them be like dogs that wander about for food, and find none. The idea is, that they would not find him, and would be then as dogs that had sought in vain for food.

And grudge if they be not satisfied – Margin, If they be not satisfied, then they will stay all night. The marginal reading is most in accordance with the Hebrew. The sentence is obscure, but the idea seems to be that they would not be satisfied – that is, they would not obtain that which they had sought; and, like hungry and disappointed dogs, they would be compelled to pass the night in this miserable and wretched condition. The word which our translators have rendered “grudge” – from לוּן lûn – means properly to pass the night; then, to abide, to remain, to dwell; and then, in Hiphil, to show oneself obstinate and stubborn – from the idea of remaining or persisting in a bad cause; and hence, the word sometimes means to complain: Numbers 14:29; Exodus 17:3. It has not, however, the signification of grudging, though it might mean here to murmur or complain because they were disappointed. But the most natural meaning is that which the word properly bears – that of passing the night, as referring to their wandering about, disappointed in their object, and yet still hoping that they might possibly obtain it. The anticipated feeling in the mind of the psalmist is that which he would have in the consciousness of his own safety, and in the pleasure of knowing that they must sooner or later find out that their victim had escaped.

Verse 16
But I will sing of thy power – That is, I will praise thee for the manifestation of thy power in rescuing me from danger.

Yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning – When the light dawns; when these troubles are over; when the night of calamity shall have passed by. There is an allusion here, probably, to the fact that they encompassed the place of his abode at night Psalm 59:6, Psalm 59:14; but there is also the implied idea that that night was emblematic of sorrow and distress. The morning would come; morning after such a night of sorrow and trouble; a morning of joy and gladness, when he would feel that he had complete deliverance. Then would he praise God aloud. Compare the notes at Isaiah 21:12.

For thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble – That is, he looked to the time when he would feel this; when looking back he could say this; when in view of it he would praise God.

Verse 17
Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing – The source of strength to me; the real strength by which I have obtained deliverance is in thee. See the notes at Psalm 18:1.

For God is my defense – See the notes at Psalm 59:9.

And the God of my mercy – The God who has showed mercy to me; he from whom all these favors have sprung. Whatever means might be used to secure his own safety (compare 1 Samuel 19:12 ff) still he felt that his deliverance was to be traced wholly to God. He had interposed and had saved him; and it was proper, therefore, that praise should be ascribed to him. The experience of David in the case referred to in this psalm should be an inducement to all who are in danger to put their trust in God; his anticipated feelings of gratitude, and his purpose to praise God when he should be delivered, should awaken in us the resolution to ascribe to God all the praise when we are delivered from impending troubles, and when our lives are lengthened out where we have been in imminent danger. Whatever may have been the means of our rescue, it is to be traced to the interposition of God.

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Psalm 45


This psalm is entitled “To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, for the sons of Korah, Maschil. A song of love.” On the phrase” To the chief Musician,” see the notes at the title to Psalm 4:1-8. The words “Upon Shoshannim” occur also, as a title, or part of a title, in Psalm 60:1-12, “Shushan-eduth.” The word Shoshan – שׁושׁן shôshân – occurs in 1 Kings 7:22, 1 Kings 7:26; 2 Chronicles 4:5; Hosea 14:5; in all which it is rendered lily, or lilies. The word, therefore, probably means a lily; and then it came to denote, probably, a musical instrument that had a resemblance to a lily, or that was shaped like a lily. It is not known to what kind of musical instrument there is a reference, but it would seem probable that something like the trumpet or the cymbal was intended.

The special reference here would seem to be to the chief musician who presided over this part of the musical instruments employed in public worship – as it would seem not improbable that each of the different parts, as trumpets, horns, viols, harps, etc., would have a special leader. On the portion of the title, “for the sons of Korah,” and on the word “Maschil,” see the notes at the title to Psalm 42:1-11. The portion of the title, “A Song of Loves,” would properly denote a song devoted to love, or in celebration of love; that is, in which love would be the main idea. The phrase “a lovely song,” or “a charming song,” as Gesenius renders it here, would not, it seems to me, express the meaning of the original. An author would hardly prefix such a title to a psalm himself, as indicating that the psalm had special beauty, or was especially adapted to please; and if we suppose that the titles were prefixed by some other person than the author, or by common usage, it would be difficult to see why such a title should be prefixed to this psalm rather than to many others. It has, indeed, great beauty; but so have very many of the rest. If we suppose, however, that the title was prefixed as indicating the general subject of the psalm, or as indicating the feelings of the author toward the main persons referred to in it, the title is eminently appropriate. In this sense the title would be proper whether we regard the psalm as having reference to the Messiah, or as an epithalamium – a bridal or marriage hymn.

The author of the psalm is wholly unknown, and nothing can be determined on the subject, unless it be supposed that the portion of the title “for the sons of Korah,” or “of the sons of Korah,” conveys the idea that it was the composition of one of that family. On that point, see the notes at the title to Psalm 42:1-11. That it may have been written by David no one can disprove, but there is no certain evidence that he was the author, and as his name is not mentioned, the presumption is that it is not his.

Very various opinions have been entertained in regard to the reference of the psalm, and the occasion on which it was composed. A very material question is, To whom does the psalm refer? And especially, Has it reference to the Messiah, and is it to be classed with the Messianic Psalms?

Nearly all the older Christian interpreters, without hesitation, suppose that it refers to the Messiah. This opinion has been held, also, by a large part of the modern interpreters of the Bible, among others by Michaelis, Lowth, Dathe, Rosenmuller (in his second edition), Hengstenberg, Tholuck, Professor Alexander. Many, however, have defended the opposite opinion, though they have not been agreed on the question to whom the psalm refers. Grotius, Dereser, and Kaiser suppose it to have been sung at the marriage of Solomon with a foreign princess, probably the daughter of the king of Egypt. Doederlein supposes the king whose praises are sung to be an Israelite. Augusti thinks that it was sung at the nuptials of a Persian king. This last opinion DeWette adopts.

On this question it may be remarked,

(1) There is no evidence that the psalm refers to David; and, indeed, from the psalm itself it is evident that it could not have such a reference. The term “O God” Psalm 45:6 could not be applied to him, nor the expression “Thy throne is forever and ever,” ibid. In the life of David, moreover, there was no marriage with a foreign princess that would correspond with the statement here; and no occasion on which the “daughter of “Tyre” was present with a gift, Psalm 45:12.

(2) it seems equally clear that the psalm does not refer to Solmon. In addition to the considerations already suggested as reasons why it does not refer to David, and which are as applicable in the main to Solomon as to him, it may be added that Solomon was never a warlike prince, and was never distinguished for conquests. But the “hero” of the psalm is a warrior – a prince who goes forth to conquest, and who would be distinguished for his victories over the enemies of the king, Psalm 45:3-5.

(3) for stronger reasons still the Psalm cannot be supposed to refer to a Persian prince. Such a supposition is a mere conjecture, with not even the pretence that there are any historical facts that would justify such an application, and without even the suggestion as to a particular case to which it could be applicable. It is, moreover, wholly improbable that a nuptial ode designed to celebrate the marriage of a Persian king – a foreigner – would have been introduced into a book of sacred poetry among the Hebrews.

(4) The remaining opinion, therefore, is, that the psalm had original and exclusive reference to the Messiah. For this opinion the following reasons may be assigned:

(a) The authority of the New Testament. If the Bible is an inspired book, then one part of it may properly be regarded as an authoritative interpretation of another; or a statement in one part must be admitted to be proof of what is meant in another, since the entire book has one Author only – the Holy Spirit. But there can be no doubt that the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews meant to quote this psalm as having reference to the Messiah, or as containing an intended statement in regard to him which might be appealed to as proof that he was divine. Thus, in Hebrews 1:8-9, he quotes Psalm 45:6-7, of the psalm, “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever,” etc., in proof that the Son of God is superior to the angels. See the notes at the Epistle to the Hebrews, on the passage referred to, where this point is considered at length. There can be no doubt that the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews meant to quote the passage as having original reference to the Messiah; and his argument would have no force whatever on the supposition that the psalm had original reference to David, or to Solomon, or to a Persian prince.

(b) The testimony of tradition, or of early interpretation, is in favor of this supposition. Thus, the Chaldee Paraphrase Psalm 45:3 applies the psalm expressly, to the Messiah: “Thy beauty, king Messiah – משׁיחא מלכא malekâ’ meshı̂yachâ’ – is more excellent than the sons of men.” This may not improperly be understood as representing the current opinion of the Hebrews at the time when the Chaldee interpretation was made, in regard to the design and reference of the psalm. The two eminent Jewish interpreters, Aben-Ezra and Kimchi, explain the psalm in the same manner, and may be supposed also to represent the prevailing mode of explaining it away among the Hebrews. On this point, also, the Epistle to the Hebrews may be referred to, as showing that such was the current explanation up to the time when that was written. I have referred to the fact that the author of that epistle quotes the psalm as an inspired man, and as thus furnishing the authority of inspiration in favor of this interpretation. I now refer to it as showing that this must have been the prevailing and well-understood opinion in regard to the design of the psalm. The author of the epistle was establishing by argument, not by authority, the claims of the Messiah to a rank above that of the angels. He made use of an argument which he evidently believed would have force among those who regarded the Old Testament as of divine origin. But the argument which he used, and on which he relied, would have no weight with those for whom he wrote unless they admitted that the psalm had reference to the Messiah, and that this point might be assumed without further proof. The fact, therefore, that he thus quotes and applies the psalm demonstrates that such was its current and admitted interpretation in his time.

(c) The internal evidence may be referred to. This will be further illustrated in the notes. At present it is necessary only to remark:

(1) That there are passages in this psalm which cannot be applied to any man – to any created being – and which can be applied only to one who may properly be called God, Psalm 45:6.

(2) The characteristics of the principal personage in the psalm are such as accurately describe the Messiah. These points will be illustrated in the notes.

(d) The psalm, on the supposition that it refers to the Messiah, is in accordance with a prevailing mode of writing in the Old Testament. See the notes at Hebrews 1:8; compare Introduction to Isaiah, Section 7; and Introduction to Ephesians 5:23-32; notes at 2 Corinthians 11:2; notes at Revelation 21:2, notes at Revelation 21:9; notes at Revelation 22:17.

The proof, therefore, seems to me to be conclusive that the psalm had original and sole reference to the Messiah.

The contents of the psalm are as follows:

I. A statement of the purpose or design of the psalm. It is to speak of the things which the psalmist had meditated on respecting the “king;” some one in his view to whom that title was applicable, and whose praises he intended particularly to set forth Psalm 45:1.

II. A description of the king, Psalm 45:2-9.

(a) He is the fairest among people; distinguished for grace and beauty, Psalm 45:2.

(b) He is a warrior – a conqueror. He will go forth to conquest, and will be successful in overcoming his enemies, Psalm 45:3-5.

(c) His throne is the throne of God, and will endure forever, Psalm 45:6.

(d) His character is eminently righteous, Psalm 45:6-7.

(e) He is clad in robes of beauty; his garments are rich with perfumes; his attendants are the daughters of kings, Psalm 45:8-9.

III. A description of the queen, the bride, Psalm 45:9-17.

(a) She is clad in robes of gold – the gold of Ophir, Psalm 45:9.

(b) She is entreated to forget her own people, and her father‘s house – to become wholly devoted to him who had espoused her, assured that thus she would secure his heart, and be certain of his love, Psalm 45:10-11.

(c) She would be honored with the favor of the rich, and the attendance of foreign princesses, represented by the “daughter of Tyre;” Tyre, distinguished for wealth and splendor; Tyre, the representative of the commercial world, Psalm 45:12.

(d) The daughter of the king – the bride – is glorious and beautiful, as seen “within” her own palace or dwelling, Psalm 45:13.

(e) Her raiment is of wrought gold; of needlework of delicate finish and taste, Psalm 45:13-14.

(f) She is attended by virgins, her companions, who with her shall enter into the palace of the king, Psalm 45:14-15.

IV. An address to the king. He is to be honored by his children, who will be more to him than even his ancestors. His praise will spring from those children rather than from the luster and fame of his great progenitors. He will be remembered in all coming generations, and praised forever and ever, Psalm 45:16-17. See the notes at Psalm 45:16.

Such is the outline or substance of this exquisite specimen of sacred song – this very beautiful Hebrew ode. It must be apparent, I think, at once, that it cannot be applied with propriety to either David, or Solomon, or to a Persian prince. How far it is applicable to the Messiah and the church; to him as the bridegroom, and to the church as a bride – will be made apparent in the exposition of its particular words and phrases.

Verse 1
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.

Verse 2
Thou art fairer than the children of men – That is, Thou art more fair and comely than men; thy comeliness is greater than that which is found among men. In other words, Thou art beautiful beyond any human standard or comparison. The language, indeed, would not necessarily imply that he was not a man, but it means that among all who dwell upon the earth there was none to be found that could be compared with him. The Hebrew word rendered “thou art fairer” – יפיפית yāpeyāpiytha – is a very unusual term. It is properly a reduplication of the word meaning “beautiful,” and thus means to be very beautiful. It would be well expressed by the phrase “Beautiful – beautiful – art thou above the children of men.” It is the language of surprise – of a sudden impression of beauty – beauty as it strikes at the first glance – such as the eye had never seen before. The impression here is that produced by the general appearance or aspect of him who is seen as king. Afterward the attention is more particularly directed to the “grace that is poured into his lips.” The language here would well express the emotions often felt by a young convert when he is first made to see the beauty of the character of the Lord Jesus as a Saviour: “Beautiful; beautiful, above all men.”

Grace is poured into thy lips – The word here rendered “is poured” means properly to pour, to pour out as liquids – water, or melted metal: Genesis 28:18; 2 Kings 4:4. The meaning here is, that grace seemed to be spread over his lips; or that this was strikingly manifest on his lips. The word grace means properly favor; and then it is used in the general sense of benignity, kindness, mildness, gentleness, benevolence. The reference here is to his manner of speaking, as corresponding with the beauty of his person, and as that which particularly attracted the attention of the psalmist: the mildness; the gentleness; the kindness; the persuasive eloquence of his words. It is hardly necessary to remark that this, in an eminent degree, was applicable to the Lord Jesus. Thus if is said Luke 4:22, “And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.” So John 7:46: “Never man spake like this man.” See also Matthew 7:29; Matthew 13:54; Luke 2:47.

Therefore God hath blessed thee for ever – In connection with this moral beauty – this beauty of character – God will bless thee to all eternity. Since he has endowed thee with such gifts and graces, he will continue to bless thee, forever. In other words, it is impossible that one who is thus endowed should ever be an object of the divine displeasure.

Verse 3
Gird thy sword upon thy thigh – That is, Arm or prepare thyself for battle and conquest. The Messiah is introduced here as a conquering king; as about to go forward to subdue the nations to himself; as about to set up a permanent kingdom.

O most mighty – That is, Hero; Warrior; Conqueror.

With thy glory and thy majesty – With the glory and majesty appropriate to thee; or which properly belong to thee. This is at the same time the expression of a wish on the part of the author of the psalm, and a prophetic description. The psalmist desired that he would thus go forth to the conquest of the world; and saw that he would do it. Compare Psalm 45:5-6. It is needless to remark that this is easily and naturally applicable to the Messiah – the Lord Jesus – as going forth for the subjugation of the world to the authority of God. Compare 1 Corinthians 15:25, 1 Corinthians 15:28. See also, in reference to the figure used here, Isaiah 49:2; Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 1:16; Revelation 19:15.

Verse 4
And in thy majesty ride prosperously – Margin, “Prosper thou, ride thou.” The majesty here referred to is the glory or magnificence which became a prince of such rank, and going forth to such deeds. The prayer is, that he would go forth with the pomp and glory becoming one in that station. The word used here, rendered in the margin, “prosper thou,” means properly to go over or through, to pass over, and may be correctly rendered here, pass on; that is, move forward to conquest. The word “ride” refers to the way in which warriors usually went forth to conquest in a chariot of war. The idea is that of one caparisoned for war, and with the glory appropriate to his rank as king, going forth to victory. This language is such as is often employed in the Scriptures to describe the Messiah as a conquering king.

Because of truth – On account of truth; or in the cause of truth. That is, the great purpose of his conquests would be to establish a kingdom based on truth, in contradistinction from the existing kingdom of darkness as based on error and falsehood. The “object” of his conquests was to secure the reign of truth over the minds of people. Compare John 18:37.

And meekness and righteousness – literally, “humility-righteousness;” or, humble right. It would be a kingdom or a conquest of righteousness,” not” established, as most kingdoms are, by pride and arrogance and mere power, but a dominion where humility, meekness, gentleness would be at the foundation – that on which the whole superstructure would be reared. Its characteristic would be righteousness or justice – a righteousness and justice, however, not asserted and established by mere power, or by the pride of conquest, but which would be established and maintained by meekness or gentleness: a kingdom not of outward pomp and power, but the reign of the gentle virtues in the heart.

And thy right hand – The instrument of martial power and success; that which, in war, wields the sword and the spear. “Shall teach thee.” Shall guide thee, or lead thee to the performance of terrible things.

Terrible things – Fearful deeds; things that are suited to excite astonishment or wonder. They were such things as would be regarded as distinguished achievements in war, indicating extraordinary valor; such conquests as would strike the world with amazement. We have here, therefore, a description of the Messiah as going forth to the great conquest of the world; and at the same time we have this intimation of the nature of his kingdom, that however great the “power” which would be exerted in securing its conquests, it would be founded on “truth:” it would be a kingdom where righteousness would prevail, and whose essential characteristic would be gentleness and peace.

Verse 5
Thine arrows are sharp in the heart … – literally, “Thine arrows are sharp – the people under thee shall fall – in the heart of the enemies of the king.” The process of “thought” in the verse seems to be this: First. The “arrows” are seen as sharp or penetrating. Second. The “people” are seen falling as those arrows are shot forth. Third. It is seen that those who fall are the “enemies of the king,” and that the arrows have pierced the “heart.” The word “sharp” is applied to the arrows as denoting that they were adapted to “pierce.” Sometimes arrows are blunted, or with a thick head, rather adapted to smite with force than to wound by penetrating. The bow and the arrow were common instruments in ancient wars, and were mainly used by those who went forth to battle in a chariot. Compare 1 Kings 22:34; 2 Kings 9:21-24. As pertaining to the Messiah, the reference here is, of course, to the “truth,” and to the power of that truth in penetrating the hearts of people. Compare the notes at Hebrews 4:12.

In the heart of the king‘s enemies – That is, the “truths” stated by the Messiah, the conquering king, would penetrate deep into the soul, and slay the sinner, the enemy of the king, that is, of the Messiah. The idea is, that truth would produce an effect in regard to the hopes of the sinner – his self-confidence – his life “as” a sinner – like that which the arrow does when it penetrates the heart. Compare Romans 7:9: “For I was alive without the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.” See also the notes at Romans 7:10-11.

Whereby the people fall under thee – As the effect of the arrows; as the effect of truth. The representation is that of victory. As here represented, it is the victory of truth; a conquest by subjecting people to the authority and reign of God.

Verse 6
Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever – This passage is quoted by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews in proof that the Messiah is exalted above the angels, and it is, beyond all question, adduced by him as having original reference to the Messiah. See the passage explained at length in the notes at Hebrews 1:8. I do not perceive, after an interval of nearly twenty years since those notes were written, that it is necessary to alter or to add anything to what is there said in explanation of the passage. It is undoubtedly an address to the “king” here referred to as God – as one to whom the name “God” – אלהים ‘Elohiym – may be properly applied; and, as applied to the Messiah by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, it clearly proves that Christ is Divine.

Verse 7
Thou lovest righteousness … – See this verse explained in the notes at Hebrews 1:9, where it is applied to the Messiah. The word “God” is rendered in the margin “O God”; “O God, thy God, hath anointed thee,” etc. According to this construction, the thought would be carried on which is suggested in Psalm 45:6, of a direct address to the Messiah as God. This construction is not necessary, but it is the most obvious one. The Messiah – the Lord Jesus – though he is described as God himself (John 1:1, et al.), yet addresses God as “his” God, John 20:17. As Mediator, as appearing in human form, as commissioned to perform the work of redemption, and to subdue the world to the divine authority, it was proper thus to address his Father as “his” God, and to, acknowledge Him as the source of all authority and law.

Verse 8
All thy garments smell of myrrh – The word “smell” is not in the original. The literal translation would be, “Myrrh, and aloes – cassia – all thy garments;” that is, they were so impregnated with perfumes that these seemed to constitute his very clothing. The mention of the “anointing” in the previous verse may have suggested the idea of these perfumes, as the anointing with a richly perfumed unguent seemed to have spread over, and to have pervaded all his raiment. Compare Psalm 133:2. It was common, however, for Orientals to use much perfumery, particularly on festive occasions. Myrrh – מר môr or מוּר mur – is an article which exudes from a tree found in Arabia, and still more extensively in Abyssinia. It is obtained by making an incision in the bark. It constituted one of the earliest articles of commerce Genesis 43:11, and was highly esteemed by the Egyptians and Jews, as well as by the Greeks and the Romans. It is mentioned in Esther 2:12 as an article used in the purification of women; and as a perfume, Exodus 30:23; Matthew 2:11; Mark 15:23; John 19:39. Of the tree which produces the myrrh, however, we have as yet no very accurate accounts. See Kitto‘s Encyc., art. “Mor.”

And aloes – The word rendered “aloes” – אהלות ‘ăhâlôth – occurs four times in the Old Testament: Numbers 24:6, where it is rendered “lign-aloes;” and here, as in Proverbs 7:17; Exodus 30:24; Ezekiel 27:19. This, as well as “aloes,” is a production of India and its islands. See Kitto‘s Encyc., art. “Ketzioth.”

Out of the ivory palaces – That is, As thou comest out of the ivory palaces. The representation is that of the king as coming out of the palace where he dwelt, and as clad in apparel appropriate to his station, and surrounded by his attendants, diffusing joy all around them. The imagery has “chanqed” from what it was in Psalm 45:3-5, where he goes forth as a conqueror, with his sword on his “thigh,” and ascending his war-chariot. Here he appears clothed, indeed, in regal splendor, in the magnificence of state, but as the husband of the bride, and as encircled with the attendants of an Oriental court. Ivory palaces are palaces adorned with ivory, or where ivory constituted a prominent and striking part of the ornaments. It cannot be supposed that the palace was constructed entirely of ivory. Kitto supposes that this refers to the interior decorations, or that the walls were “inlaid” with ivory, gold, etc., as constituting a part of the decorations of the building. “Ivory,” it would seem, was so abundant and conspicu ous that the name might be given to the whole structure. Such a palace was that built by Ahab: 1 Kings 22:39.

Whereby they have made thee glad – Hebrew, “from them (or thence) they have gladdened thee.” That is, They, the attendants referred to more particularly in the following verses, have gladdened thee; have diffused around a general joy; have contributed to make thee happy. He was clad in robes that became his station, and was accompanied and surrounded by attendants who diffused around a general joy, and who made his own heart glad. The “idea” may be, that the Redeemer, the Messiah, is made happy by the affection and the companionship of the redeemed, his people.

Verse 9
Kings‘ daughters were among thy honorable women – Those who were in attendance on him and on the bride were from the most elevated ranks; among the most honorable of the earth. The word rendered “honorable women,” means properly, precious, costly; and then, dear, beloved; and this might be rendered “kings‘ daughters are among thy beloved ones;” that is, in the number of thy maidens, or of those attending on thee. The allusion is to a marriage, and the description is drawn from the usual accompaniments of a marriage in the east. The design, as applicable to the Messiah and to his union with the Church, his bride, is to describe him as accompanied with every circumstance of distinction and honor, to throw around him all that constituted beauty and splendor in an Oriental marriage ceremony. Nothing of earth could be too rich or beautiful to illustrate the glory of the union of the Redeemer with his redeemed Church.

Upon thy right hand did stand the queen – The right hand is the place of honor, and that idea is intended here: 1 Kings 2:19; Mark 14:62; Mark 16:19; Hebrews 1:3; Acts 7:55. The idea here is, that the Church, the bride of the Lamb of God, as seen in the vision, is exalted to the highest post of honor. That Church has the place in his affections which the newly-married bride has in the affections of her husband.

In field of Ophir – In garments decked or ornamented with the finest gold. On the phrase “the gold of Ophir,” see the notes at Isaiah 13:12.

Verse 10
Hearken, O daughter, and consider – This is probably to be understood as the language of the psalmist, in vision, as uttering counsel and advice which would be appropriate to the new condition of the bride. Some have understood it as the language of the father of the bride, uttering appropriate counsel to his daughter on entering upon her new relationship; exhorting her to affection and obedience in that relationship; charging her to feel that she is his, that she is to go with him, that she is to identify herself with his interests, and to “forget,” – that is, not improperly to long for her own people and her father‘s house. All this would be good advice for a father to give to his daughter in such circumstances; but the most natural interpretation is to regard the language here as that of the psalmist, or as inspired wisdom, in regard to the proper feeling in entering on such a relation. If this be the meaning, the word “daughter” may be used as a term of affection or kindness, as the word “son” often is, to denote one who is a disciple or learner. The “thought” suggested here is, that counsel or advice in regard to the manner in which she should demean herself to secure the continual confidence of her husband, may be very properly given to a newly-married bride. The counsel here suggested, considered with reference only to that relation, would be eminently wise.

And incline thine ear – Attend to what is now said. The address is repeated – “Hearken;” “consider;” “incline thine ear;” as if the matter were of great importance. On the phrase “incline thine ear,” see the notes at Psalm 31:2; compare Psalm 78:1.

Forget also thine own people – This is said on the supposition that the bride was a foreign princess. As such, it is to be supposed that she had been trained under other customs, under other forms of religion, and with reference to other interests than those which would now pertain to her. The counsel is, that she must now forget all these, and identify herself with her husband, and with his interests. The word “forget” cannot denote absolute forgetfulness, or that she was to cast off all affection for those who had trained her up; but the meaning is, that she was not to pine after them; that she was not to be dissatisfied with her new home and her new relations; that she was not to carry the institutions of her native country with her; that she was not to make use of her new position to promote the ends of her native country if they were adverse to, or hostile to, the interests of her husband and his country.

As applied to a bride now, the advice would mean that she is not to pine for her old home; that she is not to make complaining and unfavorable comparison between that and her new home; that she is not to divert her husband from his plans, and the proper pursuits of his life, by endeavoring to induce him to forsake his friends, and to abandon his position, in order that she may be restored to the society of her earlier friends; that she is not to introduce habits, customs, amusements, modes of living into her husband‘s arrangements, derived from her former habits and modes of life, which would interfere with what is the proper economy of his house, and which would inconsistent with his principles, and with his means of living. When she marries, she should make up her mind, while she cherishes a proper regard for her old friends, and a proper memory of her past life, to identify her interests with his; to go where he goes; to live as he lives; and to die, if such be the will of God, where he dies, and to be buried by his side.

As applied to the Church – the bride of the Lamb – the idea here is that which we find so often enforced in the New Testament, that they who become the followers of the Saviour must be willing to forsake all for him, and to identify themselves with him and his cause. See the notes at Matthew 10:37; notes at Luke 14:26. We are to forsake the world, and devote ourselves to him; we are to break away from all worldly attachments, and to consecrate all to him; we are to bid adieu to worldly companions as our chosen friends, and make the friends of Christ our friends: we are not to pine after the world, to seek to return to it, to pant for its pleasures; we are not to take advantage of our position in the church to promote the objects which we had pursued before we entered it; we are not to introduce the customs, the habits, the plans which we before pursued, “into” the church. We are in all things to become identified with him to whom we have become “espoused” 2 Corinthians 11:2; we are to live with him; to go with him; to die with him; to be his forever.

And thy father‘s house – The home of thy childhood; the house where thy father dwells. The strongest earthly ties are to be made subservient to a higher and stronger tie, if we would become true followers of the Saviour. See Luke 9:59-62.

Verse 11
So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty – That is, in consequence of your love to him, and your entire devotion of yourself to him. The word “desire” here is equivalent to having pleasure in; as meaning that his affliction would thus be fixed on her. In this way – by forgetting her own home, and devoting herself to him – she would secure his affection. In the married life, mere “beauty” will not secure permanently the love of a husband. The heart, as given to him, and as faithful to him, will alone secure his love. In like manner, it is nothing but sincere affection – true love on the part of the professed friends of the Saviour – the forgetting and forsaking of all else – that will secure his love, or make the church to him an object of desire.

For he is thy Lord – That is, as a husband he sustains this relation to thee; or, this appellation may be given to him. In what sense this is true in respect to a husband, see the notes at 1 Peter 3:6; notes at 1 Corinthians 11:3. In respect to the Saviour, the dominion implied in the word “Lord” is absolute and entire.

And worship thou him – That is, as applicable to a bride, Show him respect, honor, reverence. See the notes at Ephesians 5:33. The word means properly to bow down; then, to show respect, as to a superior; and then, to show proper respect to God, to wit, by worshipping or adoring him. See the notes at Matthew 2:11; see Matthew 8:2; Matthew 14:33; Matthew 15:25; Matthew 18:26; Matthew 28:9; Revelation 19:10; Revelation 22:9; compare the notes at Hebrews 1:6.

Verse 12
And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift – On the situation of Tyre, and its ancient splendor, see the notes at Matthew 11:21; the introduction to Isaiah 60:5-7, note; Isaiah 60:9, note; Isaiah 60:11, note; Isaiah 60:13 note.

Even the rich among the people – Rich men scattered among the people. Compare the notes at Psalm 22:29.

Shall entreat thy favor – Margin, as in Hebrew, “thy face.” Shall desire thy smile; the light of thy countenance; thy friendship. The word rendered “entreat” – חלה châlâh – means properly to be rubbed; then, to be polished; and then, in the form used here (Piel) to rub, or stroke the face of anyone; to soothe or caress; to flatter, to court; and the idea is literally that of one who caresses or soothes, or seeks to conciliate. The sense here is, “the richest of the nations shall make court to thee with gifts.” Gesenius, Lexicon. Ultimately, this will be true in regard to the Messiah. Compare as above, Isaiah 60. The wealth of the world will yet be laid at his feet, and, placed at his disposal. The effect of true conversion is always to make people willing to consecrate to the Saviour all that they possess.

Verse 13
The king‘s daughter – This evidently refers to the bride, the daughter of the foreign king. The verse contains a description of her beauty – her splendor of attire – before she is brought to the king, her future husband. She is represented here as in the palace or home of her father, before she is conducted forth to be given to her future husband in marriage. Is all “glorious.” Is all splendor or beauty; is altogether splendor. There is nothing that is not splendid, rich, magnificent in her appearance, or in her apparel. As seen in Psalm 45:9, she is clad in gold; she is surrounded by honorable women – the daughters of kings Psalm 45:9, and encompassed with the rich, Psalm 45:12. As seen here, she is in her father‘s house, adorned for the marriage, and to be brought to the king, her future husband, attired in all that could give grace and beauty to her person. The allusion here, as referring to the church – the “bride of the Lamb” – “may be” to that church considered as redeemed, and about to be received to heaven, to dwell with its Husband and Saviour. Compare the notes at Revelation 19:7-8; notes at Revelation 21:2, notes at Revelation 21:9.

Within – This does not refer to herself, as if she was not merely splendid in her attire, but holy and pure – glorious and lovely – in “heart;” it refers to her as seen while yet “within” the palace or home of her father, in her own dwelling. The Hebrew word – פנימה penı̂ymâh – means properly, “at or by the inner wall of a house, room, or court; that is, opposite to or in front of the door, and of those entering.” Gesenius, “Lexicon” As seen in her dwelling – within the palace – in the most honored place – she is arrayed in gorgeous apparel, and adorned as becomes a king‘s daughter about to be married.

Her clothing is of wrought gold – Gold embroidery. See Psalm 45:9. That is, she is arrayed in the richest apparel.

Verse 14
She shall be brought unto the king – She shall be conducted to the king in the marriage procession, and be presented to him, clad in this magnificent raiment. The entire imagery is that of an Oriental marriage procession, where the bride is conducted forth to her future husband, attended by her virgin companions, or (as we should say) “bridesmaids.”

In raiment of needlework – The word used here means properly “something variegated” or “versicolored,” and would here denote a garment of divers colors, or “versicolored raiment.” The word – רקמה riqmâh – occurs in the following places: Judges 5:30, twice, where (as here) it is rendered “needlework;” 1 Chronicles 29:2; Ezekiel 17:3, rendered “divers colors;” and Ezekiel 16:10, Ezekiel 16:13, Ezekiel 16:18; Ezekiel 26:16; Ezekiel 27:7, Ezekiel 27:16, Ezekiel 27:24, where it is rendered “broidered work.” It has reference probably to embroidery or needlework, though the particular idea is rather that of the variegated “appearance” of the garment than to the manner in which it is made.

The virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee – literally, “virgins after her, her companions, brought unto thee.” That is, they will be brought to the king. They will come in the same state as the queen herself; they, her companions, will be of so illustrious rank and birth, and apparelled with so much richness, that even “they” will be regarded as worthy to be treated as queens, or in the manner of queens. The design of the whole is to show the rank, the dignity, the splendor of the bride; herself gorgeously apparelled, and attended with companions so exalted as to he worthy of being treated as queens themselves. If this is to be regarded as applicable to the church, “the Lamb‘s wife” Revelation 21:9, it is designed to describe that church as beautiful and glorious, and as worthy of the affection of its Saviour. Compare Ephesians 5:27.

Verse 15
With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought – They shall come forth, attending the bride, with music and songs; the procession will be one of hilarity and joy.

They shall enter into the king‘s palace – That is, Moving from the palace of the royal father of the bride, or from her home, they will enter the palace of her husband, her future home. If this is designed to refer to the church, it is a beautiful description of what will occur when the church redeemed shall enter heaven, the home – the palace – the glorious abode – of the great king its Saviour, and of the joy that will attend its triumphant admission into those everlasting abodes. Compare the notes at Revelation 21.

Verse 16
Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children – Instead of thy fame – thy celebrity – thy distinction – being derived from thine illustrious predecessors, it will be derived hereafter rather from thy sons; from the fact that they will be made princes and rulers in the earth. In our translation, this would seem to be an address to the bridal-queen, as if to console her for leaving the home of her illustrious ancestors, by the assurance that she would have children of her own, who would be still more illustrious. The connection, however, and the original; at least, in the Masoretic pointing, demands that this should be understood as an address to the king himself – the main subject in the poem, as in Psalm 45:2-9. The idea is, that he would derive his dignity and honor ultimately, not so much from his ancestors as his descendants; that those who would be born unto him would be more illustrious, and would have a wider dominion, than any who had gone before him in the line in which he was descended. It is not easy or practicable to apply this to Solomon, or to any other Hebrew prince; it is not difficult to apply it to the Messiah, and to the fact that those who would be descended spiritually from him, and who would ultimately be regarded as deriving true rank and honor from him, would far surpass in dignity all those who, in the line of kings, had been his predecessors.

Whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth – Not merely assigning to them provinces, to be governed as a part of the, empire, but in all lands, or where thy dominion shall be acknowledged all over the world. The image here is derived, undoubtedly, from the custom prevailing among kings of assigning portions of an empire as provinces to their sons. The meaning, however, considered as referring to the Messiah, is, that his luster and dignity on earth would not be derived from a distinguished earthly ancestry, or from an illustrious line of kings from whom he was descended, but from the fact that those who would derive their authority from him would yet possess the world, and that this their authority under him would extend to all lands. Compare the notes at Daniel 7:14, notes at Daniel 7:27.

Verse 17
I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations – The psalmist here evidently speaks as an inspired man, and the idea is that his thus singing the praises of the “king” – the Messiah – would be among the means of causing His name to be celebrated in all future ages. This song would go down to future times, and would serve to keep up the true knowledge of the Messiah in the far distant ages of the world. No one can doubt that this has been thus far accomplished; no one has any reason to doubt that this psalm “will be” among the means of keeping up the true knowledge of the Messiah, and of securing the remembrance of him upon the earth in all future periods of the world‘s history. This psalm has been on million of lips, in praise of the Messiah; it will be on hundreds of million more in future times, as expressive of tender love for the Redeemer.

Therefore shall the people praise thee forever and ever – Thy praise will never cease to be celebrated. The time will never come on earth when that praise will die away; and in all the eternity beyond the termination of this world‘s history there never will arrive a period when thy name will not be honored, and when thy praises shall cease to be sung. Compare the notes at Revelation 4:10; notes at Revelation 5:9-13. Happy are they who join in that song on earth; happy they who will unite in it in the heavenly world!

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