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to vouchsafe him aid in all his troubles : he asserts, that even the kings of the heathen nations will, doubtless, be equally ready to publish abroad Jehovah's wonderful deeds and great glory; and then concludes by expressing his confidence in heaven, under any dangers, into which he may hereafter fall, entreating, at the same time, that he may ever remain the object of the divine care and mercy. It has been conjectured, that David wrote the Psalm, after he had overcome all his difficulties, and was now, by the death both of Saul and of his son Ish-bosheth, raised to
the undisputed possession of the whole kingdom, I WILL give thanks unto thee, O Lord, with Ps. 119. 46.
my whole heart; even before the gods will I John 4. 24. sing praise unto thee.
Ž I will worship toward thy holy temple, Mic. 7. 18, &c. and praise thy name, because of thy loving- 1 John 4. 9, 10. kindness and truth; for thou hast magnified thy name, and thy word, above all things.
3 When I called upon thee, thou heardest Zech. 10. 12. me, and enduedst my soul with much strength. Ephes
. 3. 16. 4 All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, Isai
. 49. 23. O Lord, for they have heard the words of thy Rev. 11. 15. mouth;
5 Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the Isai. 60. 3. Lord, that great is the glory of the Lord.
2 Cor. 4. 6.
1 Even before the gods, fc. The holy angels shall be witnesses of my gratitude. Psalm Lxxxix. 7. Perhaps David rather meant, that, whenever necessary, he should not be backward to proclaim the praises of Jehovah in the presence also of the most powerful heathen princes, who might visit him; and this, as well in contempt of the objects of their idolatrous worship, as for a strong protest against it. See on Psalm Lxxxii. I.
2 Toward thy holy temple. See on Psalm v. 7.- -For thou hast, fc. David adores the Almighty for his recent manifestations of might and goodness in having carried into effect his repeated promise, and, therefore, bringing him at length to the throne, notwithstanding every obstacle. Or, the sense may be:-thou hast rendered thy divine perfections very glorious, by accomplishing thy word in a most ample and abundant manner; since this thou hast even more than fulfilled.
4 All the kings, fc. All those princes, who knew of David's existence and of the circumstances, which attended his elevation. I Chron. xiv. 17.-The words, ge. The promises, which thou didst make to me, and the exactness with which they have been brought to pass.
5 They shall sing, fc. This and the preceding verse contain an evident and remarkable prophecy respecting the calling of the gentiles, typified, as it is, by their becoming, in the first instance, proselytes to the Mosaic law. - In the ways, &c. Whilst travelling along those ways, which lead to God's sanctuary at Jerusalem. Psalm Lxxxiv. 5.
Isai. 66. 1, 2. 1 Pet. 5. 5.
Job 19. 25, 26.
16 For, though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly; as for the proud, he beholdeth them afar off.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, yet shalt thou refresh me; thou shalt stretch forth thy hand upon the furiousness of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.
8 The Lord shall make good [will perfect] his loving-kindness toward me; yea, thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever; despise [forsake] not, then, the works of thine own hands.
Job 10.3, &
THE TWENTY NINTH DAY.
It seems manifest from the latter part of the present Psalm, that
David, who was, most probably, its author, wrote it at a time, when he was calumniated and persecuted under the imputation of harbouring evil designs against Saul (1 Sam. xxiv. 9); and, if regarded in this view, it constitutes a solemn appeal to the allseeing Judge of mankind in testimony of his innocence. He intimates, therefore, how foolish and impious it would be for him to attempt to dissemble with a Being, whose knowledge and power it was quite impossible to elude; who, not only was intimately acquainted with all his actions, and even with his inmost thoughts, but who, as his Maker, ordained and superintended the first arrangement of his members in the womb: moreover, he acknowledges God's providential care of him every moment of his life; and then, in the remainder of the Psalm, implores the divine aid against his cruel enemies, desiring also, that the very secrets of his heart may be diligently scrutinized, and that he may be gradually perfected in holiness.
6 High. « The Lord's seat is in heaven.” Psalm xi. 4.. -Не beholdeth them, &c. In his displeasure he keeps aloof from them, nor condescends to afford them any assistance, when in trouble.
7 Thou shalt stretch forth, &c. God's hand, to “speak after the manner of men,” was to be extended, either for the purpose of restraining the fury of the Psalmist's enemies, or to punish them because of it.
8 The Lord, fc. He will not leave his work unfinished; having, in spite of all opposition, raised me to the throne, he will undoubtedly maintain me there.- Despise not, fc. David, if considered only as to his temporal circumstances, was, in an extraordinary degree, the creation of God, since he had been taken by him from the sheep-folds, to rule over his people Israel. Psalm Lxxviii. 71, 72.
O LORD, thou hast searched me out, and Matt
. 9:40 known me; thou knowest my down-sitting, John 2: 24, 25. and mine up-rising; thou understandest my thoughts long before ;
2 Thou art about my path, and about my Job 31. 4. bed; and spiest out [art acquainted with] all my ways.
3 For, lo, there is not a word in my tongue, Heb. 4.13. but thou, O Lord, knowest it altogether.
4. Thou hast fashioned me behind and before, Jer. 18. 6. and laid thine hand
5 Such knowledge is too wonderful and excel- Job 11. 7. lent [high] for me; I cannot attain unto it.
6 Whither shall I go, then, from thy Spirit ? Jer. 23. 24. or, whither shall I go, then, from thy presence ? Jon. 1. 3.
7 If I climb up into heaven, thou art there : Prov. 15. 11. if I go down to hell, thou art there also :
8 If I take the wings of the morning, and Ps. 19. 6. remain [dwell] in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Prov. 30. 2, &c.
Amos 9. 2, &c.
1 My down-sitting, &c. No part of my daily life is hid from Thee, whether I remain quietly at home, or employ myself in matters demanding active exertion. Psalm cxxi. 8. Isai. xxxvii. 28.--Long before. Whilst yet existing only in my own mind, and continuing still unuttered.
2 All my ways. The whole of my life : the most private occupations, in which I engage. See on Psalm i. l.
3 But thou, O Lord, &c. Even before I open my mouth, thou well knowest all that is passing within me, all, therefore, that I design to say.
4 Thou hast fashioned me, fc. The verse, though evidently somewhat out of place, doubtless describes the formation of the embryo in the womb, which was entirely God's work, for upon it he had laid his skilful hand, and moulded it into shape. Ver. 12.
5 Such knowledge, fc. The knowledge, by which all this is accomplished, is so extraordinary and amazing, that I cannot either admire it enough, or even conceive of it aright.
6 Whither shall I go, &c. David, on the supposition that he was really desirous of avoiding the divine Spirit and presence, asks to what place he could flee, with the least hope of accomplishing his purpose. -Thy Spirit. Many, both of the ancient Fathers, and of modern interpreters, understand this of the Holy Ghost. See on Psalm li. 12.
7 Hell. Neither the grave, nor the invisible region of departed spirits (see on Psalm xvi. 11.) seems now pointed out, but only the deep and interior part of the earth, which is set in opposition to the high places of heaven.
8 If I take, fc. Some persons suggest, that in this manner is depicted the quickness, with which the divine Spirit moves; and that
Ps. 73. 22:
Job 12. 22.
Dan. 2. 22.
Isai. 44. 2.
9 Even there also shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
10 If I say, Peradventure the darkness shall cover me, then shall my night be turned to day;
11 Yea, the darkness is no darkness with thee, but the night is as clear as the day; the darkness and light to thee are both alike. 12 For
my reins are thine; thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
13 I will give thanks unto thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well.
14 My bones are [My body was] not hid from thee, though I be made secretly, and fashioned beneath in the earth.
Job 5. 9.
Job 31. 15.
David, though flying with the beams of the sun, here called “the wings of the morning,” could not, as he asserts of himself, outstrip the presence, or get beyond the power, of God. Nevertheless, it is by no means impossible, that, as he had opposed “heaven and hell” in the former verse, so now he opposes the east and the west, with the view of pointing out still more plainly the omnipresence of the Deity. If, being in the east, I should hasten, like the sun in his daily course, towards the west, fancying that thus I could withdraw myself from thy superintendence, I should only deceive myself, for even there, &c. “ The sea” cannot refer to any other than that, which lay to the west of the land of Israel, and in which the sun consequently appeared to set.
9 Lead me-hold me. These expressions must not be taken in the
usual acceptation, as if they signified guidance and protection, but in that, in which they might be applied to captives, who are led and held, lest they should escape from their master's power.
10 My night. That darkness, in which I foolishly thought to shroud myself and my actions from thine all-seeing eye.
12 For my reins, fc. Nor ought it to be, in any way, surprising, that I can no where lie hid from Thee; when the most secret parts of my body were Thy work, and when it was Thou who didst cover my bones (with skin and flesh-Job x. 11.) in my mother's womb. Since the reins or kidneys were, according to the Hebrew writers, the seat of the affections and thoughts (see on Psalm xvi. 8), David may wish to assert, that the spiritual, as well as the corporeal, part of him came from God.
13 Fearfully. Nothing terrible is meant, for this word here alludes only to what excites an earnest attention, or serious consideration, and a reverential fear of God in the structure of the human body :-I am curiously composed, consisting of a variety of distinct parts, wonderfully united in a whole, and adjusted together, as with perfect sympathy, so with the nicest symmetry.
14 Are not hid. See on Psalm xxxii. 4. -And fashioned. The
15 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet Eccles. 11.5. being imperfect; and in thy book were all my members written, 16 (Which day by day were fashioned,) Jer
. 1.5. when as yet there was none of them. 17 How dear are thy counsels [thoughts] Isai
. 55. 8, 9 unto me, O God! O how great is the sum of Ephes. 3. 8, &c. them!
18 If I tell them, they are more in number Dan. 12. 2, 3. than the sand: when I wake up, I am present 1 Thess. 5. 10. [still] with thee. process by which our bodies are formed, the extraordinary mechanism of them, the various implication of veins, arteries, fibres, membranes, and “the inexplicable texture” of the whole fabric, are likened to the art of designing in needle-work, or of fashioning in the loom; which kinds of workmanship, so far, at least, as regarded the decorations of the tabernacle, were the result even of supernatural guidance. Exod. xxxv. 30, &c. In the Bible version it is,“when I was made in secret and curiously wrought.”- -Beneath in the earth. The womb of the mother is thus described, from a comparison of it to the dark and secret caverns of the earth; or, because the fætus is there gradually matured for the birth, like plants and flowers under ground. Are the words intended to imply any opposition between the earth and that height of heaven, where God sits, and inspects, and orders, all things ? Psalm cxiii. 5.
15 Thine eyes, &c. We have now an illustration drawn from the practice of human artists, who frequently work by a sketch or pattern lying before them. Though the matter, out of which I was to be made, still continued a shapeless mass, it yet was distinctly visible to Thee, how every muscle, vein, and artery, with all the other parts of my body, would be arranged. For, even before there existed so much as one of them, they were delineated, according to a settled plan in thy book (see on Psalm Lvi. 8), and then, by degrees, prepared for the various uses, which they had been severally designed to fulfil; nor was the smallest, and least important, amongst them either omitted or left imperfect.
17 How dear, &c. From the wonders of God's creating hand, the Psalmist, at length, proceeds to those of his all-directing providence, which afforded additional proof of his omniscience and omnipresence. The gracious designs and intentions of the Deity towards bim constituted delightful, as well as inexhaustible, subjects of meditation and praise. It is a common notion, that the expressions contained in the verse refer also to the divine counsels in the formation of man.
18 When I wake up, fc. The mercies of his providential care, bestowed by God on David, were new every morning, and were increased in number with each returning day. Perhaps he alludes to the occupation of his mind, when he retired to rest, which was then always engaged in ruminating upon the Almighty and upon his works, so that, on waking in the morning, his thoughts naturally recurred to the same pleasing theme.