Page images
[blocks in formation]

28 Thy God hath sent forth strength for thee: stablish the thing, O God, that thou hast wrought in us,

29 For thy temple’s sake at Jerusalem; so shall kings bring presents unto thee.

30 When the company of the spear-men, and multitude of the mighty, are scattered abroad among the beasts of the people, so that they humbly bring pieces of silver; and when he hath scattered the people, that delight in war;

31 Then shall the princes come out of Egypt;

2 Sam. 8. 2. Jam. 4. 1, 2,

Isai. 45. 14, 23.

being “ there," or taking part in that solemn procession within the tabernacle; but the whole number is, of course, to be understood. Psalm LXXX. 2. Benjamin is called “little,” because it was the youngest of the twelve tribes, as well as the smallest (Gen. xlii. 13. 1 Sam. ix. 21); though, as the tribe of Saul, their late king, it stands first, and is honored with the title of “ruler” of the Israelites. The princes of Judah, &c. See on Psalm Lx. 7.

28 Thy God, &c. Here the Psalmist addresses himself to the assembled multitudes and to God. The phrase " to send forth strength” implies, that the Israelites had, by the divine favor, been rendered strong and formidable to their enemies. It intimates, too, that, purely from God's good pleasure, does success attend all military enterprises.

29 Thy temple's sake, &c. See on Psalm v. 7.- So shall kings, &c. The neighbouring kings, as an earnest of the coming in of the Gentiles, will dedicate their treasures to thy service, when they behold such a remarkable instance of thy power and goodness; in this manner, according to the Eastern custom (see on Psalm xlv. 13.), acknowledging Thy superiority to “all that is called God, or that is worshipped." 1 Kings v. 7, 8: x. 9, 10. 2 Chron. ix. 23, 24.

30 When the company, &c. There is now a prophetic declaration of what would assuredly take place, after the dominion of Israel should have been fully established. When all, who “ delight in war," are scattered, that is, when the chief men of the warlike and surrounding nations, together with their servile and ignorant followers, (who, from the ferocity of their nature, may well be called “the beasts of the people,”) are mixed up in one indiscriminate flight, and so entirely vanquished, that, with presents in their hands, they humbly sue for the protection of Jehovah, and for the friendship of his people, then even Égypt, their old and deadly enemy, will, at length, hasten to Jerusalem, for the purpose of conciliating their favor, and of worshipping their God. The prediction was never fulfilled literally, since, on the contrary, the Israelites appear always to have placed some degree of temporal dependence on the Egyptians, and to have looked to them for succour. 2 Kings xviii. 21. Isai. xxx. 3. Ezek. xvii. 15. It can, therefore, only refer to the spread of the knowledge of the true God by means of the gospel. Isai. xix. 17, &c.

31 The Morians' land. The country of the Moors. “Ethiopia"

the Morians' land shall soon stretch out her Zeph. 3. 8, &c. hands unto God.

32 Sing unto God, O ye kingdoms of the Rev. 15. 3, 4. earth; O sing praises unto the Lord,

33 Who sitteth in the heavens, over all from Job 37.4,5. the beginning : lo, he doth send out his voice, Ps. 29. 3. yea, and that, a mighty voice.

34 Ascribe ye the power to God over Israel: Deut. 33. 26. His worship [excellency], and strength is in the 2 Pet. 1. 17. clouds.

35 O God, wonderful art thou in thy holy Ps. 45.5. places; even the God of Israel: he will give Phil. 4. 19. strength and power unto his people: blessed be God.

Evening Prayer.

Psalm LXIX. SOME season of deep distress, from which David earnestly prays to be

delivered, gave rise to this Psalm. In it he recommends himself to God, as his sovereign judge, for the promotion of whose glory and honor he had exposed himself to be abandoned by all men: moreover, he utters such pointed curses against his enemies for

would have been the more correct rendering. But, when this translation was made, the inhabitants of the Barbary States, from the cruelties inflicted by them on their Christian captives, (whose religion they hated,) were the enemies most dreaded by the followers of Jesus Christ, and were consequently, we may suppose, regarded by all men, as least likely to embrace the humanizing doctrines, and to be guided by the benevolent precepts, of the gospel.– Stretch out her hands. Either in prayer, or to offer gifts. See on Psalm Lxxii. 10.

34 Ascribe ye, fc. Though Jehovah is the creator of all things, as well as the supreme Lord both of heaven and earth, yet refuse not to acknowledge, that to Him belongs, in a peculiar manner, the dominion over the Israelites, that he has taken them for his own inheritance, and that by His wisdom their affairs are uniformly governed. His worship, &c. It would seem, that, among the idolatrous nations of antiquity, the direction of the thunder and lightning was indissolubly connected with their idea of the Deity. Consequently, in order to induce them to sing his praises, David affirms, that the God of Israel is that mighty God, who dwells indeed in heaven, but who manifests his majesty and power in the clouds, as is apparent by the voice of his thunder, which proceeds from them. The thunder in the Eastern regions of the world is particularly awful and terrible.

35 In thy holy places. This is either a plural for a singular (ver. 17), and means solely the sanctuary on mount Sion; or, it includes also God's dwelling “in the heavens,” because from both He may rightly be said to terrify his enemies, and to protect his servants.

their iniquity and malevolence, that they are peculiarly applicable to the Jewish nation, when finally destroyed, in consequence of its cruel treatment of the Messiah; and he concludes by expressing his thankfulness for the triumph and safety, which he fully anticipates. David, both in his sufferings, and in his advancement after them to a kingdom, was an illustrious type of our Saviour.

Acts 16. 30.

Matt. 27. 46.

Jon. 2. 5, 6. SAVE me, O God, for the waters are come

in even unto my soul; Ezek. 27. 26, &c. 2 I stick fast in the deep mire, where no

ground is (there is no standing]; I am come

into deep waters, so that the floods run over me. Lam. 4. 13, &c. 3 I am weary of crying: my throat is dry:

my sight faileth me for waiting so long upon

[for] my God. Ps. 7.3, &c.

4 They, that hate me without a cause, are more than the hairs of my head : they, that are mine enemies, and would destroy me guiltless,

are mighty. Isai. 53. 4, &c. 5 I paid (restored] them the things, that I

never took: God, thou knowest my simpleness, and my faults are not hid from thee.

6 Let not them, that trust in thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my cause [sake]: let not those, that seek thee, be confounded through me, O Lord God of Israel.

John 15. 25.

Luke 24. 17, &c.
Acts 4. 10.

1 For the waters, fc. For the floods rise so high as to endanger my life. David, as usual, when in great affliction and trouble, represents himself to have fallen into water, which is too deep for him. See on Psalm. xviii. 16.

2 In' the deep mire, fc. See on Psalm XL. 2. It was customary to secure prisoners in pits, whence, probably, the expressions employed here, and in verses 15, 16. Jer. xxxviii. 6.

5 I paid them, &c. Since we cannot fancy a charge of theft to have been brought against him, the sentence, instead of containing an assertion of his innocence, is much more likely to form a proverbial expression, used with reference to any one, whom his enemies have unjustly attacked. David, therefore, appeals, in testimony of his uprightness, to God, who, at least, was well acquainted with all his transgressions, whether arising from inconsiderate disobedience to the divine laws, or from premeditated wickedness.

6 Let not them, fc. This entreaty for help is founded on the discouragement, which all the faithful worshippers of Jehovah would naturally feel, if the piety of another was, even in appearance, disregarded. See on Psalm xxii. 5.— Lord God of hosts. See on Psalm xxiv. 10.

7 And why? for thy sake have I suffered Matt. 27. 29, 30.

Mark 13. 13. reproof; shame hath covered my face.

8 I am become a stranger unto my brethren; John 1.11: even an alien unto my mother's children,

7.5. 9 For the zeal of thine house hath even eaten John 2. 17. me; and the rebukes of them, that rebuked thee,

Rom. 15. 3, 4. are fallen upon me. · 10 I wept, and chastened myself with fast- Ps. 35. 13.

Luke 7. 33, &c. ing; and that was turned to my reproof. 11 I put on sackcloth also; and they jested 1 Kings 9. 7.

Jer. 24. 9. upon me.

12 They, that sit in the gate, speak against Job 30. 9, 10. me; and the drunkards make songs upon me. Lam. 3. 61, &c.

13 But, Lord, I make my prayer unto thee Isai. 49. 8: in an acceptable time.

55.6, 7. 14 Hear me, O God, in the multitude of thy | Gen. 24. 27. mercy, even in the truth of thy salvation. Acts 13. 32, 33.

7 And why? Why am I so earnest in offering up these my petitions for succour? Because my devotedness to Thee was the occasion of my present trouble. 1 Sam. xxiv. 10, &c.

8 I am become, fc. They avoided him, from a fear of otherwise being involved in his misfortunes. My mother's children. See on Psalm L. 20.

9 For the zeal, fc. The third reason for applying to God with so much vehemence, is drawn from the intensity of David's zeal for the divine honor, which was not only wearing him away, and consuming him like a hidden fire, but which caused him to be as much annoyed by the blasphemous language of the wicked, as if it was directed intentionally against himself. Ver. 21.

10 Fasting. Fasting has been practised in all ages, and by all nations, in seasons of mourning, sorrow, and affliction. Among the Israelites we find no example of fasting, properly so called, before Moses, though, since his time, instances occur in great numbers. Occasionally, indeed, during some public calamity, extraordinary fasts were appointed, which extended even to infants. Joel ii. 15, 16. The king of Nineveh, when terrified by Jonah's preaching, commanded that the beasts also should neither be allowed to feed, nor drink water, and that they should be covered with sackcloth. Jon. iii. 7, 8.

11 Sackcloth. See on Psalm xxx. 12.

12 They, that sit &c. The gates of the ancient cities formed places, as well for trying all causes and deciding all affairs (Josh. xx. 4. Ruth iv. 1, &c), as for the sale of corn and provisions. There, consequently, idlers were in the habit of loitering, as being the exact spot, in which they would best be able “either to tell or to hear some new thing." Gen. xix. 1. Job xxix. 7. Prov. 1. 21.

13 But, Lord, fc. Unmoved, however, by their ridicule and contempt, I do not hesitate to commend myself in prayer to Thee, who wilt, I humbly trust, deem this the fittest time to shew me favor.

Matt. 12. 40.
Rev. 12. 15, 16.

Job 7. 21.

John 12.27. 15 Take me out of the mire, that I sink not:
Acts 5. 30, 31. 10 let me be delivered from them, that hate me,

and out of the deep waters.
| 16 Let not the water-flood drown me, neither
let the deep swallow me up; and let not the

pit shut her mouth upon me. Ps. 86. 15, &c. 17 Hear me, O Lord, for thy loving-kindness Isai. 63. 7, &c.]

| is comfortable: turn thee unto me, according to the multitude of thy mercies;

18 And hide not thy face from thy servant, Ps. 27. 10, &c.

for I am in trouble: O‘haste thee, and hear me. Josh. 7.9.

19 Draw nigh unto my soul, and save it: 0 Jer. 14. 8, 9.

deliver me, because of mine enemies. Ps. 22. 6, 7. | 20 Thou hast known my reproof, my shame, Heb. 12. 2.

and my dishonor: mine adversaries are all in thy sight.

21 Thy rebuke hath broken my heart: I am Mark 14. 50.

full of heaviness: I looked for some to have pity on me, but there was no man; neither found I

any to comfort me. Matt. 27. 34, 48. 22 They gave me gall to eat; and, when I

was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink.

Ps. 142. 4, 5,

14 In the truth, fc. According to thy usual faithfulness in granting deliverance to all, who devoutly serve and fear thee.

16 Let not the pit, &c. David is imagined to allude to a well or pit, into which when any one has been thrown, he will as certainly meet with destruction, as if he were shut down in it. 2 Sam. xvii. 9. Psalm CXL. 10. Isai. Li. 14.

19 Because of mine enemies. Either to prevent their obtaining a triumph over him, or since he could no longer bear up against the violence of their persecutions.

21 Thy rebuke. The reproachful and impious language, which wicked men delight to utter against Thee and Thy religion. Ver. 9.

22 They gave me gall, &c. Indeed, instead of administering comfort, they rather strove, by wanton insult, to increase my grief. For they acted towards me in precisely the same manner, as if they were to place such things before the hungry, as could not satisfy their wants. The original word, translated“ gall,” properly signifies an herb as bitter as gall, perhaps wormwood or hyssop.- Vinegar. Though this must have been a very refreshing drink in the hot country of Judea, still, being made use of by the lowest of the people (Ruth ii. 14), a person of superior rank would have had good reason to complain, if nothing else were presented to him to allay his thirst. Prov. x. 26. When, as in the present verse, certain minute, though striking, circumstances are adduced with respect to one, who was a manifest type of the Messiah, this would seem to have occurred under the immediate influence of the Holy Ghost, in order that express marks might occasionally shew themselves, which, after the coming of our

« PreviousContinue »