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Isai. 12. 6.
15 This shall be my rest for ever : here will Ps. 68. 16. I dwell, for I have a delight therein. 16 I will bless her victuals with increase, and Hag. 2. 19.
Mark 8. 6, &c. will satisfy her poor with bread.
17 I will deck her priests with health (sal- John 16. 24. vation], and her saints shall rejoice and sing.
18 There shall I make the horn of David to 2 Chron. 21.7. flourish: I have ordained a lantern for mine Ezek. 29. 21. anointed.
19 As for his enemies, I shall clothe them Matt. 28. 18. with shame; but upon himself shall his crown Luke 1. 32, 33. flourish.
See on Psalm xiv. 11. The city of Jerusalem, as well as the temple, seems alluded to.
16 I will bless, fc. Since the Israelites were strongly attached to every kind of rural occupation (see on Psalm Lxxviii. 72), God spake not to them of riches produced by human ingenuity; rather, he promised them such as more immediately descended from above. Consequently, in agreement with this promise, he blessed their flocks, their herds, their store-houses, and their presses for wine and oil. Psalm iv. 8. Hos. ii. 8.
17 I will deck, fc. This verse constitutes the answer to that petition of the Psalmist, which he had uttered, ver. 9. Here, however, health or a state of safety (see on Psalm iii. 3.) is used instead of “ righteousness," since the one is the natural effect and recompence of the other. Jehovah, then, promises, not only that his peculiar servants shall enjoy a continued succession of mercies, as the due reward of their sincere and devout attendance on his altar, but that all his people shall likewise have ample cause to commemorate his loving-kindness, in return for their own undeviating obedience to his laws. Some persons imagine, that we have an allusion to a victory over national enemies, and to the shout of triumph consequent thereupon.
18 There shall I make, fc. After the decease of David, his kingly power (see on Psalm xviii. 1.) flourished by divine appointment in his various descendants, until, at length, it became firmly and everlastingly established in the Messiah.- -I have ordained, &c. A past tense is here put for a future, to denote the certain fulfilment of God's promise. Under the figure of a lantern or lamp a constant succession of royal offspring, equally with the honor, which they would reflect upon their progenitor, is, apparently, comprised. 1 Kings xv. 4. 2 Kings viii. 19. Job xviii. 6. The idea may have been derived from the ever-burning lamp of the temple. Exod. xxvii. 20.
19 I shall clothe them, fc. They shall not succeed in any of their attempts to extinguish that family, which I have peculiarly set apart, and “made so strong," for myself. Similar was the declaration of Christ respecti g his Church. Matt. xvi. 18.
PSALM CXXXIII. We have now a glowing commendation of the blessings of concord
and unity, which are declared to be as pleasing, in their effects, to the mind, as the odour of costly perfumes is to the senses, or as a copious dew is to the thirsty soil. David wrote it, either when, after an eight years' civil war, all the tribes came together to anoint him king over Israel (2 Sam. v. 1, &c.); or, more probably, in consequence of their loyal and affectionate contention to bring him back in triumph to his throne, from the place whither the
rebellion of Absalom had driven him. 2 Sam. xix. 9, &c. 1 Cor. 1. 10, 11. BEHOLD, how good and joyful a thing it is,
brethren, to dwell together in unity! Prov. 27. 9, 10.
2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down unto the beard, even unto
Aaron's beard, and went down to the skirts of his clothing;
3 Like as the dew of Hermon, which fell upon the hill of Sion.
Heb. 13. 1.
1 Pet. 3. 8.
2 It is like, &c. The comparison points, not merely to the refreshing fragrance of the perfumed ointment, but to its pervading the person and garments of the high priest; for, in the same manner, does the feeling of mutual love cheer all the individuals of a united family or community. The name of Aaron stands indefinitely for that of any high priest. Moreover, the ointment, with which he and his successors in the same important office were consecrated, was very precious, being prepared from such ingredients, and in such proportions, as God himself had commanded. Exod. xxx. 23, &c.- The skirts, fc. The upper part, or collar, of his robe is especially meant, that about the neck, near the beard.
3 Like as the dew, fc. In the hot countries of the East, where it never rains during the summer months (Psalm xxxii. 4), the want of it is supplied by the dew, which falls every night in great abundance. The force of the comparison is very considerably increased by the introduction of mountains, inasmuch as they are naturally more subject to drought in consequence of their height, and have, therefore, a proportionably greater need of the moisture arising from dew. 2 Sam. i. 21. As it is impossible, by any method whatever, to explain, how the dew, which descended on one mountain to the north-east of the Jordan, should descend also on another at a considerable distance to the south-west of the same river, the only way to solve the difficulty is by suggesting, that the Psalmist intended, in both members of the verse, to refer to the same mountain (see on Psalm xl. 19); which, also, he may very readily be conceived to have done, since Ilermon is elsewhere called Sirion and even Sion. Deut. iv. 48. Psalm xxix. 6. In the Bible version the words “ and as the dew” are inserted after
Hermon,” which render the passage very easy to be understood.
4 For there the Lord promised his blessing, John 4. 14: and [even] life for evermore.
11. 25, 26.
It is quite uncertain by whom this Psalm was composed. But, on
the other hand, it seems to have been used by the Levites, at the closing of the gates of the temple, to excite their brethren, whose turn it was to watch that night (1 Chron. ix. 33), to be diligent in their office of chanting hymns in honor of God, and of putting up devout prayers on behalf of the people. The first three verses, in conformity with this notion, are assigned to such of the Levites as were going away, and were, perhaps, sung upon the steps leading to the great gate; the fourth verse is considered to belong to all those, who remained within the temple. This is the last of those fifteen Psalms, which are severally entitled “a
song of degrees.” BEHOLD: now praise the Lord, all ye ser- / Ps. 103. 20, &e.
vants of the Lord; 2 Ye that by night stand in the house of the Luke 2. 37. Lord, even in the courts of the house of our God.
3 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and Ezra 9. 5. praise the Lord.
4 The Lord, that made heaven and earth, Rom. 11. 26. give thee blessing out of Sion.
1 Tim. 2. 8.
4 There. Where brethren “dwell together in unity.”—Life for evermore. Both length of days and an uninterrupted course of worldly prosperity were esteemed by the Israelites especial blessings, and clear marks of the divine favor. At the same time, however, it must not be forgotten, that in the scriptures of the Old Testament there are innumerable promises of eternal blessedness, and of a neverending life in heaven. See on Psalm cxxviii. 7.
1 Now. See on Psalm cxviii. 25. Indeed, both the first two words in this verse are particles of exhortation.,
2 Stand. The word, which has been thus translated, is applied in the original to the attendants upon royal personages, who waited in the presence of their masters, ready to execute promptly all their commands. 1 Kings X. 8. Prov. xxii
. 29. Well, then, might it be now used of the Levites, whose duty it was to minister continually in the temple, and to take part in the services there offered up to God. Deut. x. 8: xviii. 7. 1 Chron. xxiii. 30.
4 Give thee blessing, fc. The retiring body of the Levites is addressed as one person.
Neh. 9. 5.
In an animated strain of devotion are here pointed out the good
ness and power of Jehovah, who is particularly extolled for his works of creation, for his favor to his chosen people, for his destruction of their enemies, and for his supremacy over the false gods of the nations. The heathen idols are then described in expressive terms, very similar to those employed in a former Psalm (cxv.); and, in conclusion, all the worshippers of the living God are exhorted to render unto Him his due honor. This may have been the morning hymn sung by the Levites on opening the gates of the temple. Not only the time of its com
position, but also the name of its author, is unknown. Ps. 33. 1, 2: O PRAISE the Lord; laud Cpraise) ye the
name of the Lord; praise it, 0 ye servants of the Lord;
2 Ye that stand in the house of the Lord, in
the courts of the house of our God. Matt. 19. 17. 3 O praise the Lord, for the Lord is gracious:
O sing praises unto his name, for it is lovely. Deut. 7. 6, &c. 4 For why ? the Lord hath chosen Jacob 1 Pet. 2. 9, 10. unto himself, and Israel for his own possession
[his peculiar treasure].
5 For I know, that the Lord is great, and Isai. 40. 22, 25. that our Lord is above all gods.
6 Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, and in the sea, and in
all deep places. Job 38. 22, &c. 7 He bringeth forth the clouds from the ends
of the world; and sendeth forth lightnings with the rain, bringing the winds out of his treasures [treasuries].
Deut. 10. 17.
Amos 4. 13:
Zech. 10. 1.
1 The name, fc. See on Psalm v. 12.
2 In the courts, fc. Because there were two courts pertaining to the temple, one for the priests, the other for the people (2 Chron. iv. 9), the exhortation implied in the latter member of the verse is, probably, addressed expressly to the whole nation. See on Psalm cxxxiv. 2, for an explanation of the word “stand.”
3 For it is lovely. This may mean, either that the praising of God, or that God's name itself, “is lovely."
6 In heaven. The visible heavens are now referred to, perhaps also that region, in which the clouds are and the birds fly. Psalm cxiii. 5. See on Psalm viii. 1.- -Deep places. The hollow caves and secret caverns of the earth. The tenses in the present verse do not exactly accord with those in the next. See on Psalm xxxii. 4.
7 The ends, fc. The horizon is, doubtless, intended, which, as it bounds our view, appears to be rightly so called. The dark clouds,
8 He smote the first-born of Egypt, both of Ex. 12. 12, 29. man and beast.
9 He hath sent tokens and wonders into the Isai. 51. 9, 10. midst of thee, O thou land of Egypt, upon Pha-Acts 7. 36. raoh, and all his servants.
10 He smote divers nations, and slew mighty Ps. 44. 1, &c. kings;
11 Sehon king of the Amorites, and Og the Num. 21. 24, 35 king of Basan; and all the kingdoms of Ca- Deut. 3. 1, &c. naan; 12 And
their land to be an heritage, Num. 33. 54. even an heritage unto Israel his people.
13 Thy name, O Lord, endureth for ever; so Ex. 31. 5, &c. doth thy memorial, O Lord, from one generation Matt. 6. 13. to another.
14 For the Lord will avenge his people, and Deut. 32. 36. be gracious unto she will repent himself concerning] his servants.
15 As for the images of the heathen, they are Hab. 2. 18, 19. but silver and gold, the work of men's hands :
16 They have mouths, and (but they] speak Isai. 6. 9, 10. not: eyes have they, but they see not:
17 They have ears, and yet they hear not; 1109. 8. 5, 6. neither is there any breath in their mouths.
Josh. 11. 23.
Acts 17. 29.
too, which precede and announce a tempest, generally come from thence.—Bringing the winds, &c. It was in perfect accordance with the simplicity of early times, to imagine that the winds were deposited in some unknown receptacles, and were let out, in such a manner and degree, as pleased the Deity. The word treasures” is similarly circumstanced with the phrase “in two parts." See on Psalm cxxxvi. 13.
9 Tokens. Instances and proofs of his irresistible power.- -His servants. Slaves or inferior domestics are not alluded to in this place, but solely the great men and officers about Pharaoh's court. Exod. v. 21: vii. 10.
11 The kingdoms, fic. The Canaanitish kings, together with their subjects. Josh. xii. 3, &c.
13 Thy memorial. “ Memorial” is often only another word for “ name” (Exod. iii. 15. Hos. xii. 5); besides, it is not unusual (see on Psalm cxL. 13.) for both members of the verse to refer to the same thing, which, in the present instance, would thus be the eternal existence of Jehovah. Still, our translators may now have employed the term in its ordinary acceptation, to express the remembrance or memory of Him and of His works.
14 For the Lord, fc. This would seem to depend, either on the third verse, or on some similar expressions, which are here to be supplied.
15 As for the images, &c. See on Psalm cxv. 3, 8.