Page images
PDF
EPUB

Hos. 8. 7.
Gal. 6. 8.

7 Whereof the mower filleth not his hand; neither he, that bindeth up the sheaves, his bosom.

8 So that they, who go by, say not so much as, The Lord prosper you; we wish you good luck in the name of the Lord.

Ps. 118. 26.
2 John 10, 11.

PSALM CXXX. The last verse is considered capable of proving, that the present

Psalm was written during the Babylonish captivity by some pious Israelite, who supplicates earnestly to have his sins forgiven him, and the consequences of them remitted ; who also encourages his brethren, by his own example, to pray devoutly to God, and to trust confidently in his abundant mercy, both for

pardon and for restoration to their native land. Lam. 3. 55, &c. OUT of the deep have I called unto thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my

voice. Dan. 9. 17, &c. 2 0 let thine ears consider well [be attentive

to] the voice of my complaint.

If thou, Lord, wilt shouldst] be extreme Rom. 3. 20, &c. to mark what is done amiss, O Lord, who may

abide it?

Ps. 143. 2.

any

vail in some parts of the East of pulling up the ripe corn by the roots, instead of reaping it; which observation will tend to illustrate the latter part of the verse. But, if the language here employed should be strictly confined to grass, the sense of the passage will nevertheless remain, in all respects, the same, though, with the following verse, a new idea will be introduced, as well as a fresh image. For the Psalmist must then be supposed to wish, not only that the schemes of his enemies may be rendered abortive, but that those enemies may themselves become objects of contempt to his countrymen, just as the grass alluded to is too worthless to have solicitude bestowed upon it by man, no one desiring to cut it down, and house it, like corn; nor, from its abundance, does it provoke the salutations and blessings of those, “that pass by.”

7 He, that bindeth up, 8c. These words may denote the gleaner, who, having collected a few ears of corn and bound them in small bundles, carried them in the

skirts of his garment, which was held up for that purpose. See on Psalm xxxv. 13. But the man, who followed the mower or reaper, seems, rather, the person intended, he, whose duty it was to collect the handfuls, in order that he might bind them up into sheaves.

8 The Lord prosper you, fc. This constituted the usual salutation of travellers and passers by to the reapers (Ruth ii. 4); which custom of wishing a good harvest, and a favorable gathering in of it, was likewise observed by the heathen nations.

1 Out of the deep. See on Psalm Lxix. 1.

4 For there is mercy with thee, therefore Rom. 2. 4. shalt thou be feared.

1 John 1.8, 9. 5 I look for the Lord: my soul doth wait Isai. 30. 18. for him : in his word is my trust.

6 My soul fleeth unto the Lord, before the Ps. 63. 7. morning watch, I say, before the morning watch.

7 O Israel, trust in the Lord; for with the Isai. 55.6, 7. Lord there is mercy, and with him is plente- Rom. 11. 26, 27. ous redemption :

8 And he shall redeem Israel from all his Matt. 1. 21. sins.

PSALM CXXXI. David is conjectured to have put forth this Psalm, in order to vin

dicate himself from the imputation of aspiring to the throne of Israel during the lifetime of Saul. In answer, therefore, to the charge of entertaining ambitious views, he strongly asserts the greatness of his humility. The Psalm is eminently appli

cable to Christ, in his state of humanity on earth. LORD, I am not high-minded; I have no Rom: 12:16.

2 I do not exercise myself in great matters, John 13. 13, &c. which are too high for me.

3 But I refrain my soul, and keep it low, Matt. 18. 3. like as a child, that is weaned from his mother; yea, my soul is even as a weaned child.

1 Thess. 2. 10.

1 Cor. 14. 20.

4 For there is mercy, fc. Because (see on Psalm xvi. 9.) thou art merciful and forgiving, men will be disposed cheerfully to love, and reverently to worship, thee; whereas, if thou wert severe and inexorable, despair might render them hopelessly irreligious.

6 Before the morning watch. By the word “watch” is not here signified one of those portions, into which, as mentioned on Psalm xc. 4, the Jews were accustomed to divide their nights, but the men themselves, to whom it appertained to guard the city during the night, and who, from the nature of the expression, would seem to have succeeded each other by turns. The Psalmist, in the fervor of his devotion, betook himself to his prayers even before the morning watch” came forth to perform their appointed duty. Psalm cxix. 148.

8 And he shall redeem, fc. And he will assuredly rescue them from their present afflictions, which have been sent on them, as the just punishment of their iniquities. John v. 14. See on Psalm xxxi. 12.

3 Refrain. See on Psalm xxxviii. 17. — Like as a child, fc. The point of the comparison is, doubtless, humility, and this quality David declares himself to possess in as great a degree, as a young child. The

[ocr errors]

Jer. 17. 7, 8.

4 O Israel, trust in the Lord, from this time forth for evermore.

THE TWENTY EIGHTH DAY.

Morning Prayer.

PSALM CXXXII.

It is considered to be a very probable supposition, that Solomon was

the author of this Psalm, because he concludes his prayer at the dedication of the temple with three verses of it (8-10); but, particularly, because of the expressions contained in the tenth verse, which strongly militate against the notion of its having been composed by David, the only other person, to whom it has been definitely assigned. In that case, it was, perhaps, sung, while the Levites were carrying the ark towards the building, which the king had just erected with great splendor for its reception. The Psalmist recounts the burning zeal, by which David was actuated in the service of God : he beseeches Jehovah to take possession of the habitation prepared for him, reminding him, at the same time, of his promise to bless his chosen people, and to send them a race of kings, which should continue until the coming of that great King, who was to reign over them for ever. Many parts of the Psalm refer plainly to the Messiah.

1 Chron. 13.1, &c.

L
ORD, remember David and all his trou-
ble:

weaning of the child may be no more than a poetic ornament. See Cant. vi. 6. Isai. xi. 8. Mark x. 15. But, to the idea of humility he, possibly, wished to add, either that of indifference to worldly advantages, as the weaned child becomes careless about its mother's milk, when it has learned to relish other nutriment ; or, of dependence on divine providence, as that same child depends absolutely on its parents for every thing, and learns quietly to acquiesce in her appointments.

4 O Israel, fe. And the same disposition of mind, which I myself possess, I earnestly recommend all my countrymen to acquire. For I exhort them, in like manner, to place all their confidence and hopes in Jehovah ; and to choose rather to be depressed in their worldly circumstances, than to aim at raising themselves by any unholy means to greatness and honor.

1 Lord, remember David, gc. David had certainly experienced numerous afflictions, and seen much trouble, during his eventful life. But Solomon, in concert with his people, now supplicates, that God would deign both to bear in mind and to recompense the great devotion and untiring solicitude, with which he had striven to pro2 How he sware unto the Lord, and vowed Gen. 49. 24, &c. a vow unto the Almighty God of Jacob;

3 I will not come within the tabernacle of Eccles. 9. 10. mine house, nor climb up into my bed;

Hag. 1. 4. 4 I will not suffer mine eyes to sleep, nor mine eye-lids to slumber, neither the temples of my head to take any rest;

5 Until I find out a place for the temple of Acts 7. 46, 47. the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.

6 Lo, we heard of the same at Ephrata, and found it in the wood.

7 We will go into his tabernacle, and fall Ps. 5. 7. low on our knees before his footstool.

Isai. 2. 3.

mote the divine honor, as well by bringing the ark to mount Sion, as by collecting together every kind of material necessary for the building and ornament of the future temple. 1 Chron. xxii. 14.

2 How he sware, fc. Of this oath and vow we have no account in the sacred history, though we read (2 Sam. vii. 2.) of the uneasiness, which he felt at the thought of his dwelling in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God dwelt only within the curtains of a tent. See on Psalm cv. 18.

3 I will not come, fc. The expressions in this and the next verse are entirely figurative, and designed to shew a passionate and unbounded desire to complete his purpose : he would enjoy neither rest nor comfort until he had done so. We learn, however (1 Chron. xvi. 43), that David did not bless, and consequently, did not inhabit, his own house, before he had brought the ark to Sion. See the introduction to Psalm xxx. -The tabernacle, &c. See on Psalm Lxix. 26.

6 Lo, we heard, &c. This is a very difficult verse and, perhaps, refers, like ver. 2, to some circumstance not recorded in scripture. Ephrata is, indeed, frequently used by the inspired writers, as another name for Bethlehem (Gen. xlviii. 7. Mic. v. 2); but no light can thereby be thrown upon the passage, since the ark is nowhere said to have been ever stationed in that place. On the other hand, Ephrata seems also occasionally to stand for the tribe of Ephraim (1 Sam. i. l. 1 Kings xi. 26), where the ark did continue for above three hundred years, Joshua (xviii. 1.) having set up the tabernacle at Shiloh, which city belonged to that tribe : besides, the word Kirjath-jearim signifies the woodlands, and such was the name of the town, in which the ark remained, after it had been restored by the Philistines (1 Sam. vii. 1, 2), and whence David fetched it to Sion. Thus, then, Solomon may intend himself and his people to say,—formerly, when our ancestors asked respecting the place of God's sanctuary, they heard that it was in the tribe of Ephraim, at Shiloh : after it had been moved thence, they again found it at Kirjath-jearim, and were, consequently, obliged to go about from place to place, to perform that worship, which they owed to their heavenly King. Now, however, as a house

2 Chron. 6. 41, 42.

Job 29. 14.

1 Kings 2. 20.

Num. 23. 19.
Ps. 89. 3, 4.

8 Arise, O Lord, into thy resting-place, thou, and the ark of thy strength.

9 Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness, and let thy saints sing with joyfulness.

10 For thy servant David's sake, turn not away the presence [face] of thine anointed.

11 The Lord hath made a faithful oath unto David, and he shall not shrink from it:

12 Of the fruit of thy body shall I set upon thy seat [throne].

13 If thy children will keep my covenant, and my testimonies that I shall learn (teach] them, their children also shall sit upon thy seat for evermore.

14 For the Lord hath chosen Sion to be an habitation for himself; he hath longed for her.

2 Sam. 7. 12. Luke 1. 69.

Isai. 9.7:

59. 21.

I sai. 14. 32. Heb. 12. 22.

has been here erected for his permanent resting-place, let us hasten to carry thither the ark of his strength ; and neither on the present occasion, nor throughout our whole lives, let us hesitate to enter, with sincere devotion, his dwelling, and to bow down, with reverential awe, before his footstool. See on Psalm xcix. 5.

8 Arise, 8c. The form of words used by Moses, when, during the wanderings in the wilderness, they removed the ark to a different station, is now somewhat changed, because it was, at length, going into a fixed and settled place of abode, not to a mere transitory residence. See on Psalm Lxviii. 1. For it continued uninterruptedly in that part of the temple called the holy of holies until the Babylonish captivity, at which period it was either lost or destroyed. The ark, fc.

The symbol of thy power and majesty ; the evidence, also, of thy gracious presence with thy people.

9 Be clothed, fc. See on Psalm cix. 17. This expression has been asserted to bear a direct reference to the ornaments worn by the priests, during their public ministrations in the temple.—Thy saints. If the Levites were not included under the name of priests (Psalm cxv. 10), they are, most likely, meant in this place. But it seems preferable to understand here the whole body of the people, as that party, on whose behalf the present petition is uttered. Ver. 17. See on Psalm xxx. 4.

10 Turn not away, fc. In mercy and in loving-kindness grant the prayers of thy servant, whom thou hast appointed, as a descendant of David, and as a type of the Messiah, to take upon himself the government of thine inheritance. See on Psalm ii. 2.

12 Of the fruit, fc. St. Peter (Acts ii. 30.) applies this promise, by which God engages to perpetuate the kingly power in David's family, prophetically to the Messiah, and affirms, that David himself well knew its spiritual intent. See on Psalm cx. 7.

14 For the Lord, fc. The remainder of the Psalm is clearly designed to be joined in connexion with the seventh verse. - Sion.

« PreviousContinue »