« PreviousContinue »
sacred volume, which has been vouchsafed to them. He entreats, in conclusion, that his own transgressions may be pardoned ; and that, having been kept, for the future, from all sins, but, particularly, from presumptuous sins, his prayers and meditations may be acceptable in God's sight. St. Paul appļies the
fourth verse to the general propagation of the gospel. THE THE heavens declare the glory of God, and Isai. 40. 22. )"
the firmament sheweth his handy-work. 2 One day telleth another, and one night Gen. 1. 17, 18. certifieth another.
3 There is neither speech nor language, but Deut. 4. 19. their voices are heard among them [where their voice is not heard].
4 Their sound is gone out into all lands, and Rom. 10. 18. their words into the
ends of the world. 5 In them hath he set a tabernacle for the Eccles. 1. 5. sun; which cometh forth, as a bridegroom, out of his chamber, and rejoiceth, as a giant, to run his course.
6 It goeth forth from the uttermost part of Col. 1. 23. the heaven, and runneth about unto the end of it again; and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
1 The heavens, &c. The divine glory is proclaimed, in a preeminent manner, by the order, beauty, and magnificence, of the heavenly bodies, and by the formation of that vast expanse, in which they move. -His handy-work. The work of his hands. Psalm viii. 3: cii. 25.
2 One day telleth, &c. The days and nights succeed one another with so great regularity, that David poetically supposes each one of them to instruct the next in the duty, which it has to perform. Psalm Lxv. 8.
3 There is, fc. The voice of these celestial orbs, chanting, in silent majesty, their maker's praise, is equally heard by all nations, how different soever in language, though the prevalence of idolatry demonstrates, that it is not equally understood.
5 In them hath he set, fc. Among the starry host Jehovah is here said to have placed a tent or habitation for the sun. See on Psalm Lxix. 26. From this tent the sun, at his rising, comes forth, with the same splendor as a bridegroom, about to take part in his marriage festivities, (when he is unusually conspicuous for the magnificence of his clothing,) issues from his chamber; and, apparently, with the same signs of joy too, at the idea of commencing his daily journey, that a strong man would exhibit, if going to give a proof of his great swiftness (see on Psalm xviii. 33), either by engaging in a race, or by bearing, as a courier, the message, which had been intrusted to him.
Col. 3. 16.
Neh. 9. 13. Rom. 7.12.
Gen. 22. 12. Rev. 16.7.
Ps. 119. 127.
7 The law of the Lord is an undefiled law, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, and giveth wisdom unto the simple.
8 The statutes of the Lord are right, and rejoice the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, and giveth light unto the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is clean, and endureth for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and the honey-comb (dropping of honeycombs.
11 Moreover, by them is thy servant taught, and in keeping of them there is great reward.
12 Who can tell how oft he offendeth ? O cleanse thou me from my secret faults.
13 Keep thy servant also from presumptuous sins, lest they get the dominion over me; so
Prov. 29. 18.
Lev. 4. 2.
1 Sam. 25. 33. Rom. 6. 12.
7 The law, fc. See the introduction to Psalm cxix. for an explanation of the several names, under which God's law is now mentioned. The divine revelation is entirely “ without spot or blemish :" it gives countenance to no vice; rather, it turns (see on Psalm xxxviii. 17.) the heart of every person from error to truth, from the death of sin to the life of righteousness.- -Sure. Certain and infallible in its directions.
8 The statutes, fc. God's statutes, unlike the precepts of men, being free from all error and deceit, lead us by a direct and straight path
to the true enjoyment of this world, and to the firm expectation of that which is to come. Pure, fc. Resplendent, as it were, with a pure and bright light, so that the darkness of ignorance is thereby removed from the eyes of the mind, and we may go on our way in confidence and joy. Eccles. viii. 1.
9 And endureth, fc. The religion of Jehovah is thus characterised, not only from the unchangeableness of its precepts, but from the certainty of its blessings and the permanency of its rewards.Righteous altogether. _So righteous, that nothing can be added thereto.
10 Honey, fc. The same distinction is evidently intended between the two descriptions of honey, as, in the former part of the verse, between the two descriptions of gold. Honey, which distilled from the comb of its own accord, was anciently most liked, since, from its peculiar sweetness, as well as from its being without any mixture or sediment, it was deemed far superior to honey in general. Prov. v. 3: xxiv, 13.
12 My secret faults. Faults, which have escaped my observation or memory.
13 The great offence. What was designed by the phrase is by no means clear. Perhaps David alludes to that heinous transgression,
shall I be undefiled, and innocent from the great offence.
14 Let the words of my mouth, and the me- Prov. 15. 8. ditation of my heart be alway acceptable in thy 1 Pet. 2. 5. sight,
15 O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.
It seems not to be an improbable opinion, that this Psalm was written
and publicly sung, when David was about to engage in some dangerous expedition, perhaps, in that against the Ammonites and Syrians. 2 Sam. X.
The first five verses contain a prayer for success, addressed, as it would appear, by the priests of the tabernacle to the king, on his coming to offer sacrifice before he quitted Jerusalem: the sixth verse must be assigned to the high priest, when he perceived, by some indisputable tokens, that the sacrifice had been accepted: the last three verses are the words of David himself and of his attendants, who express their reliance on the divine aid, rather than on any human means of
protection. THE THE Lord hear thee in the day of trouble: Prov. 18. 10.
the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; 2 Send thee help from the sanctuary, and 1 Kings 8. 44, 45. strengthen thee out of Sion;
2 Chron. 20.8, 9. 3 Remember all thy offerings, and accept Gen. 4. 4. [turn to ashes] thy burnt sacrifice;
Ephes. 5. 2. 4 Grant thee thy heart's desire, and fulfil all Matt. 21. 22. thy mind.
John 16. 23.
open rebellion against the divine law, and, therefore, against God, the author of it.
15 My redeemer. Thou, by whose goodness alone, I can be preserved from the defilement and penalty of sin. See on Psalm cxix. 154.
1 The name, fc. The might and power of Jehovah, Jacob's God. Gen. xxviii. 20, &c. Psalm cxlvi. 4.
2 From the sanctuary. From the tabernacle on mount Sion; though, in the sixth verse, God is manifestly declared by the high priest, to be ready to hear and answer David “from his holy heaven.”
3 All thy offerings. Those Israelites, who had any petition of importance to ask of God, were accustomed to join sacrifices to their prayers, that they might, at the same time, testify their own piety and propitiate the divine favor. 1 Sam. xiii. 9. 2 Sam. xxiv. 25.
-Accept, gc. Under the law, God's acceptance of the sacrifices offered up to him was supposed to be shewn by their being entirely consumed: sometimes, fire even came down from heaven and burnt them up. Lev. ix. 24. 1 Kings xviii. 38. 2 Chron. vii. 1.
1 Sam. 17. 45. Mic. 4.5.
4. 10, &c.
5 We will rejoice in thy salvation, and triumph in the name of the Lord our God: the Lord perform all thy petitions.
6 Now know I, that the Lord helpeth his anointed, and will hear him from his holy heaven, even with the wholesome [saving] strength of his right hand.
7 Some put their trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
8 They are brought down, and fallen; but we are risen, and stand upright.
9 Save, Lord, and hear us, o King of heaven, when we call
2 Chron. 32. 8. Ps. 33. 15, 16.
Judg. 5. 31.
Matt. 21. 9.
PSALM XXI. This has been designated “ a Psalm of triumph,” and may be re
garded as closely connected with the last; for in it David appears to commemorate, as having actually been completed, those conquests, which were before only anticipated. He also predicts still further victories; and utters an ardent wish for the manifestation and perfect establishment of Jehovah's power. It is generally considered, that the exaltation, glory, and majesty, of our Saviour are here described, (many even of the Jews themselves applying the expressions to their expected Messiah,) because the Psalm contains some things, which were more literally fulfilled in Him than in David.
5 In thy salvation. In thy preservation from danger and victorious return home.
With the wholesome, fc. God is, of course, not to be understood as hearing, but as helping or saving, David by the might of his arm ; · unless, (which seems, indeed, to be the case,) “to hear,” means, in this instance, as it often does, “to answer.” Psalm Lxxxvi. 7. John ix. 31. See on Psalm iii. 3.
7 In chariots, fc. The chariots of war, and the cavalry, of their enemies very naturally became objects of terror to the Israelites at this early period of their monarchy, because they themselves were strictly forbidden to have many horses. Deut. xvii. 16. Isai. ii. 7. See on Psalm xviii. 33. Still, instead of coveting them, they deemed it better to remember or celebrate Jehovah, as their protector, both by praying to him and by trusting in his power. Isai. xxxi. 1.
8 They are brought down, &c. Notwithstanding their formidable preparations, our enemies will, most assuredly, be overthrown; whilst, on the contrary, we, whom they despised, shall rise from our dejected state, and stand immovable, merely through our confidence in the Lord. Psalm xxvii. 6.
9 When we call, &c. Whensoever we entreat thy favor: not only now, but at all times. Psalm Lvi. 9.
Heb. 7. 25.
Heb. 2. 9.
Rev. 1. 18.
Lord; exceeding glad shall he be of thy 2 Pet. 1. 17. salvation.
2 Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and Rom. 8. 26, 27. hast not denied him the request of his lips.
3 For thou shalt prevent him with the bless- Ps. 132. 19. ings of goodness, and shalt set a crown of pure gold upon his head.
4 He asked life of thee, and thou gavest him 2 Sam. 7. 19. a long life, even for ever and ever.
5 His honor is great in thy salvation: glory 2 Sam. 7. 8, and great worship (majesty] shalt thou lay Matt. 28. 18.
6 For thou shalt give him everlasting felicity, Luke 2. 10, 11. and make him glad with the joy of thy coun- Gal. 3. 14. tenance.
7 And why? because the king putteth his Ps. 91. 14, &c. trust in the Lord; and, in the mercy of the Isai. 8. 17. most Highest, he shall not miscarry.
8 All thine enemies shall feel thy hand: thy Heb. 10. 28, 29. right hand shall find out them that hate thee.
1 The king. David elsewhere speaks of himself under this title. Psalm cxi. 6 : lxii. 12. He declares, that the powerful aid of Jehovah, as manifested by the victory, which has just been wrought for him, will henceforth fill his heart with joy and gladness.
3 For thou shalt, fc. For, having a favor unto him, thou wilt never omit an opportunity of affording him timely succour: thou wilt bless him with thy protection, even before he asks for it (see, on the verb “ to prevent,” Psalm xxxvii. 17): thou wilt not fail to establish his royal dignity, nor to render his kingdom secure from every danger. But see on Psalm cxvi. 10.
4 He asked life, &c. In answer to his prayers God had preserved David's life from the dangers, which threatened him: moreover, he had given him the assurance of continuing the throne in his family for many generations, and in the Messiah, as his descendant, for ever.
5 His honor, &c. Great are the honor and dignity (see on Psalm iii. 3.) about to accrue to him from his subjects, in consequence of the success, which thou hast vouchsafed to confer upon him. But this “ honor and dignity” constituted only a faint and imperfect type of that “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. iv. 17), which, after his resurrection, was imparted to Christ, as the reward of his sufferings in the flesh.
6 With the joy, fc. See on Psalm iv. 7.
7 The most Highest. See on Psalm ix. 2. -He shall not miscarry. If David's throne was to continue immovable, in spite of the attacks of his adversaries, much more was the Church of Christ appointed to survive the fury of its unrelenting persecutors. Matt. xvi. 18.
9 Like a fiery oven. The smoke of God's enemies, when he de“stroys them and their dwellings, as he destroyed the cities of the