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WE possess inspired authority, even that of the apostles, for believing
David to be the author of the present Psalm. Acts iv. 25. More-
so . ther? and, why do the people imagine [me-Acts 4. 25. ditate] a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth stand up, and the Luke 23. 11. rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, Acts 4. 26. and against his Anointed, [saying, ]
3 Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast Jer. 5. 5. away their cords from us.
Luke 19. 14.
1 Why do the people, fc. Their attempts to arrest my progress and to limit my career, how sagaciously soever planned, or how vigorously soever conducted, will, in the end, prove to be “a vain thing," an ineffectual and ruinous contest against a superior power.
2 His Anointed. Kings, priests, and prophets were anointed on the head with oil, as a sign of their being consecrated and set apart for the especial service of God. Exod. xxviii. 41. 1 Sam. xvi. 1. 1 Kings xix. 15, 16. The kings of Israel were usually regarded in the light only of God's vicegerents, or as subordinate governors of his people, He being himself at the head of the nation. See on Psalm cxlv. i. Hence " the Lord's anointed” is a phrase applied indiscriminately to all of them. 1 Sam. xvi. 6: xxiv. 6. To no one, however, did that title so appropriately and so peculiarly belong, as to our Saviour, who is also expressly, styled in the New Testament, “ the Lord's Christ” or Anointed. Luke ii. 26. Rev. xi. 15: xii. 10.
3 Their bonds. The chains of servitude, with which they desire to bind us.- -Their cords. These are said properly to mean the ropes, by which the plough was attached to the yoke and drawn along. The yoke, as is well known, was an emblem of bondage.
Zech. 1. 15.
Acts 2. 34, &c.
Kings 19. 21.
4 He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh Isai. 40. 22, 23. them to scorn: the Lord shall have them in
5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex (trouble] them in his sore displeasure.
6 Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill Ephes. 1. 20, &c. of Sion.
7 I will preach the law (declare the decree], whereof the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
8 Desire of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession.
9 Thou shalt bruise them with a rod of iron, and break them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
Acts 13. 33.
Dan. 7. 13, 14.
Isai. 30. 14.
6 Yet have I set, &c. Two reasons are evidently adduced, why “the kings of the earth” should be unwilling to offer any resistance to the Messiah in the person of his type; namely, the Lord's protection of him hitherto, and the divine promise to give him, in answer to his petitions, the heathen for his inheritance.
7 I will preach, fc. To discourage the rash and impious designs of my enemies, who refuse to have Me for their king, I will now publicly make known the purpose of Jehovah respecting the extent and greatness of my dominion. For he has graciously declared to me by his inspired messenger,—from this time I have adopted thee for my son, and invested thee with sovereign power over all nations. 1 Chron, xvii. -My Son. All kings may, of course, be called the sons of God, as receiving their authority immediately from Him, and being required to exercise it exclusively for His honor. David, however, who more particularly merited this appellation, because he was both the especial object of the divine favour (Psalm Lxxxix. 20), and a distinguished type of the Messiah, may, in some measure, be looked upon as openly adopted for a son and begotten again, when the Lord rescued him from all his domestic dangers, and, establishing him securely on his throne at Sion or Jerusalem, gave him a new, that is, a royal life. But, it should be always remembered, that the divine appointment of David to be king of Israel, the extraordinary kindness shewn him, the victories that he obtained, and the dominion that he exercised over the surrounding nations, were very faint shadows of the events recorded and announced in the Psalm. The Messiah, even Jesus Christ, is really the personage alluded to, he who
was declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. i. 4), and who then received the mediatorial kingdom, as the due reward of his earthly sufferings.
9 A rod of iron. This, probably, signifies such a club as was often carried by warriors in barbarous times. Num. xxiv. 17. 2 Sam. xxüi. 21. To him, whom God honored with the title of Son, it is declared, that he will be able utterly to subdue any nation, which may perversely rise up against him.
10 Be wise now, therefore, 0 ye kings : be Jer. 6. 8. learned [instructed], ye that are judges of the Hos. 14. 9. earth.
11 Serve the Lord in fear, and rejoice unto Phil. 2. 12. him with reverence. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be
so ye John 5. 23. perish from the right way: if his wrath be 1 Pet. 2. 6. kindled, (yea, but a little,) blessed are all they, that put their trust in him.
Heb. 12. 25.
ABSALOM's rebellion (2 Sam. xv. 14.) is said to have given occasion
to this Psalm, though it contains nothing which has any particular connexion with that event. Complaints and petitions for relief are here intermixed by David, as well with expressions of thanksgiving for former mercies, as with announcements of devout trust in God for protection, and of joy in the hope of
a final deliverance. LORD, how are they increased that trouble | Ps. 17.7.
me! many are they that rise against me. 2 Many one there be, that say of my soul, 2 Sam. 16. 5, &c. There is no help for him in his God.
Matt. 10. 21.
Matt. 27. 42, 43.
10 Be wise now, fc. After such a plain declaration of the ample promise made by Jehovah to his Anointed, it is not surprising to find the heathen princes admonished to give proof of their wisdom, by desisting from a vain opposition to the divine will, and by joyfully receiving the king, whom He had set over them. -Judges. This name was assigned by the Israelites to their chief magistrates, whether in peace or war, because, perhaps, the functions of a judge constituted those, which they were oftenest required to exercise. Hence, in the scriptures of the Old Testament, “ to judge” is frequently synonymous with “ to govern." Gen. xix. 9. 1 Sam. viii. 5,9. Psalm Lxvii. 4.
12 Kiss the Son. To kiss was, throughout the East, a sign of submission, as well as an act of homage, to the reigning king. 1 Sam. x. 1. Moreover, it was used, as a mark of adoration, even in the case of images, by the deluded worshippers of them. 1 Kings xix. 18. Hos. xiii. 2.- Hemhis. It is the opinion of some persons, (but our old translators may not have been among the number,) that Jehovah is here meant, inasmuch as He was the guardian and support of the King, who forms the subject of the Psalm.-dnd so ye perish, fc. And, consequently, ye fall into destruction, by not being permitted to follow that true path, which would infallibly lead you to the Son, and to the enjoyment of his protecting power. John iii. 36. The door of mercy will not stand always open to receive mankind; for the fury of the divine vengeance will, in its retributive justice, overtake the obstinately impenitent, and cause them to be shut out. Isai. xliv. 18.
2 My soul. See on Psalm vii. 2.
3 But thou, O Lord, art my defender : thou art my worship [glory], and the lifter up of
Gen. 15. 1.
Lev. 26. 6.
Jer. 29. 12, 13. 4 I did call upon the Lord with my voice, Jam. 5. 13.
and he heard me out of his holy hill.
5 I laid me down and slept, and rose up
again; for the Lord sustained me. 2 Kings 6. 15, &c. 6 I will not be afraid for ten thousands of
the people, that have set themselves against me round about.
7 Up, Lord, and help [save] me, O my God; for thou smitest all mine enemies upon the cheek-bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.
Rom. 8. 31.
Job 29. 17.
3 Thou art my worship. David wishes to point out the Almighty as that Being, the author of his recent greatness, on whom alone he could rely in this his hour of danger. Jer. ii. 11. Several words, and those chiefly derived from the Saxon, occur in the Psalms, which words are, at present, either entirely out of use, or are employed in significations very different from those, which they originally had : such as cunning, in a good sense, for skill, cxxxvii. 5 : fain, (a word now used only adverbially,) for glad, Lxxi. 21 : flittings, for removals from one place to another, Lvi. 8: floods, for rivers, or large streams of junning water, Lxxxix. 26: harnessed, for armed, since the panoply of the mail-clad warrior was called his harness, Lxxviii. 10 : health, for salvation, or a state of safety, li. 14: imagine, for to devise, ii. 1 : leasing, for lying, iv. 2: preacher, for any one who publishes or proclaims abroad, Lxviii. 11 : quick, for living, cxxiv. 2: well, for a spring, or small stream, Lxxxiv. 6: wholesome, for that which causeth safety, xxviii
. 9 : worship, for honor, or dignity, xLv. 4, though it can barely be considered quite obsolete, even in this one of its meanings. Three other words, as blasphemy, hell, and world, will be explained in their proper places. Lxxiii. 8: xvi. 11: xli. 13.- -The lifter up, gc. This expression may signify, either to confer honor and dignity upon any one, or to impart to him prosperity and joy (Gen. XL. 13. Psalm xx. 8. Luke xxi. 28), being the very opposite to that, by which such persons, as are full of any kind of trouble and misery, are said to be bowed down with a sore burden too heavy for them to bear. Psalm xxxviii. 4. Here, then, as also in the two succeeding verses, we have a pious and grateful acknowledgment, that, though, at present, in calamity, the Psalmist had formerly experienced the full extent of the divine mercy in answer to his prayers.
6 I will not be afraid, fc. Buoyed up by the consciousness, that I have already received many mercies from heaven, and thereby rendered assured of being again supported by divine aid, I will not now fear, how numerous soever may be the foes, who have pitched their camp, in a threatening manner, around me.
7 Up, Lord, fc. Jehovah is addressed by his suppliant, as if he had, of late, sat an unconcerned spectator of his misery. Still, he
Acts 3. 26.
8 Salvation belongeth unto the Lord; and Jer. 3. 23. thy blessing is upon thy people.
PSALM IV. It is not, by any means, improbable, that the same distressing cir
cumstances, whioh may have caused the previous Psalm to be written, equally induced David to write this, since it breathes similar sentiments of pious gratitude to God for past benefits,
and of humble trust in him for the future. HEAR me, when I call, O God of my righte-Job 36. 16
ousness; thou hast set me at liberty, when 1 Cor. 1. 30. I was in trouble: have mercy upon me, and hearken unto my prayer:
2 0 ye sons of men, how long will ye blas- 1 Sam. 12. 21. pheme mine honour, and have such pleasure in Ephes 4. 25. vanity, and seek after leasing?
3 Know this also, that the Lord hath chosen Tit. 2. 14. to himself the man that is godly: when I call 2 Pet. 2. 9. upon the Lord, he will hear me.
4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with Jer. B. 22. your own heart, and in your chamber, and be 2 Cor. 13. 5. still. well knew him, from actual experience, to be accustomed to smite down his enemies, and to treat them, as he would ravening wild beasts, which, when their jaws or teeth are broken, become comparatively harmless.
8 Salvation belongeth, &c. God alone could deliver David out of * all his trouble." Isai. xlv. 22. Nor would he ever fail to bless, in a similar manner, his devout servants, who are, in this verse, doubtless, limited to such Israelites, as, continuing stedfast in his covenant, remained therefore faithful to the king, whom He had himself chosen and set over them.
1 O God of my righteousness. Thou, who hast ever shewn thyself the protector and avenger of my innocence, when maliciously persecuted or oppressed. Psalm vii. 8.- -Thou hast set me, &c. In the Psalms it is usual to regard a man, who has fallen into trouble or danger of any kind, as if he were shut up in a confined space, so that he has no power to go where he likes. Consequently, when rescued from his evils, he is said to have his feet set“ in a large room" or place, and to be able to walk at liberty.” xxxi. 9 : cxix. 45.
2 Oye sons of men, &c. “Sons of men” is here, apparently, only a common Hebraism for men Psalm viïi. 4. The persons now addressed may, of course, be those, who had wickedly joined themselves to Absalom, in his rebellion against his father. They are, then, indignantly asked by David, how long they designed to persevere in speaking evil of him and of his royal dignity; in making useless attempts to drive him permanently from his throne; and in spreading lying reports (see on Psalm iii. 3.) among the people respecting him.
4 Stand in awe, &c. Though you fear neither me nor my power,