Page images

Isai. 21. 4.

2 Chron. 21. 18, 19. 7 For my loins are filled with a sore disease,

and there is no whole part in my body. Job 3. 24.

8 I am feeble, and sore smitten: I have Isai. 59. 11.

roared for the very disquietness of my heart. Rom. 8. 23.

9 Lord, thou knowest all my desire; and my 2 Cor. 5. 2, &c. groaning is not hid from thee. Ps. 31. 10.

10 My heart panteth, my strength hath failed me, and the sight of mine eyes is gone

from me. Job 19. 13, &c. 11 My lovers and my neighbours did stand Matt. 26. 56.

looking upon my trouble, and my kinsmen stood

afar off. 2 Sam. 16. 7, &c. | 12 They also, that sought after my life, laid 17. 1, &c.

snares for me; and they, that went about to do me evil, talked of (spoke] wickedness, and

imagined deceit all the day long. John 8. 6.

13 As for me, I was like a deaf man, and heard not; and as one that is dumb, who doth

not open his mouth: Amos 5. 13. 14 I became even as a man that heareth not,

and in whose mouth are no reproofs ; Ps. 39. 8:

15 For in thee, O Lord, have I put my trust; 65. 5.

thou shalt answer for me, O Lord my God. Ps. 35. 26.

16 I have required, that they, even mine Mark 14. 36. enemies, should not triumph over me; for, when

my foot slipped, they rejoiced greatly against | me.

Acts 8. 32.

10 My heart panteth. “It flutters, moves irregularly up and down," as the heart of a person in extreme distress and anxiety.

11 My lovers, fc. As soon as they perceived me bowed down with heavy affliction, they began to stand aloof from me, as if I were polluted with the leprosy, and might contaminate them (Lev. xiii. 44, &c); and to contemplate at a distance my wretched state, without thinking of coming near, either to aid or comfort me.

12 Talked of wickedness. Their discourse was wholly filled with the “mischievous things,” which they were designing to my hurt. The particle “of” is here redundant: so is it also after several other verbs in the Psalms; as, to hear, li. 8: to indite, xiv. 1: to shew, cxlii. 2: to sing, Lix. 16: to speak, Lxxiii. 8: to tell, cxlv. 6.

14 In whose mouth, fc. Who could devise no measures, nor had even any desire to recriminate, so as to stop their iniquitous proceedings. David, in the patience and meekness, with which he endured his complicated sufferings, was a type of Him, of whom it is peculiarly said, that, when he was reviled, he reviled not again.

15 Thou shalt answer, fc. By inflicting upon them the punishment, which their wickedness has deserved. Thus Christ was silent before his false accusers and unjust judges, and “committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.” 1 Pet. ii. 23.

17 And I, truly, am set in the plague, and Isai. 53. 3. my heaviness is ever in my sight.

18 For I will confess my wickedness, and be Prov. 28. 13. sorry for my sin.

2 Cor. 7.9, 10. 19 But mine enemies live, and are mighty ; Matt. 10. 22. and they, that hate me wrongfully, are many in | Joh

John 15. 19, &c. number.

20 They also, that reward evil for good, are 1 Sam. 19. 4, 5. against me, because I follow the thing that Matt. 5. 10. good is.

21 Forsake me not, O Lord my God: be not Ps. 22. 11, 24. thou far from me.

22 Haste thee to help me, O Lord God of Ps. 62. 6. my salvation.

Isai. 12. 2. Psalm XXXIX. It is a common notion, that the same circumstance, whatever it

was, which gave occasion to the foregoing Psalm, also gave occasion to this. David, still persecuted by his enemies, had determined to impose a strict silence upon himself, but, through the violence of his feelings, he is, at length, compelled to break his resolution. Reflecting, however, on the shortness of human life, and consequently, on the speedy termination of his sufferings; moreover, calling to mind how easy it was for God to cut off those who afflicted him, he utters a fervent prayer for deliverance, so that he may pass the remainder of his existence in endeavoring to minister to the divinė glory.

17 1, truly, am set, fc. I indeed am exposed to the stroke of God's scourge. Psalm Lxxxix. 32. Many words occur in the Psalms, which, though employed as if common English words, are really Latin in their signification: to consider, for to behold, xi. 5: conversation, for intercourse, L. 23: to convert, for to turn back, xxiii. 3: to err, for to wander, cxix. 21: to inform, for to teach, xxxii. 9: instantly, for earnestly, Lv. 18: to laud, for to praise, cxxxv. 1: to magnify, for to praise highly, xcix. 5: malice, for wickedness, xciv. 23: to offend, for to stumble, or to cause to stumble, xix. 12; cxix. 165: to persecute, for to pursue, xxxv. 6: plague, for stroke, cvii. 39: ports, for gates, ix. 14: present, for powerful, xlvi. 1: to prevent, for to get the start of, cxix. 148: to refrain, for to restrain, Lxxvi. 10: to spoil, for to plunder, Lxxxix. 40: vagabonds, for wanderers, cix. 9: to vex, for to agitate greatly, Lv. 2: volume, for roll, xl. 10.

18 For I will confess, &c. But all this has come upon me justly, for I will, &c.

19 But mine enemies, &c. Still, notwithstanding my sincere repentance for having offended thee, and my ready endurance of every affliction, it is evident, that thy anger is not yet turned away from me, since my enemies continue to enjoy good and prosperous days (see on Psalm xxxiv. 12), and to abound with all earthly advantages.

20 They also, fc. Men, who ungratefully injure their benefactors.

Ps. 141. 3.
Prov. 18. 21.

Jam. 3. 2, 8.

Matt. 27. 12.
Acts 4. 20.

Jer. 20. 9.

IT SAID, I will take heed to my ways, that 1 I offend not in [sin not with] my tongue;

2 I will keep my mouth, as it were, with a bridle, while the ungodly is in my sight.

3 I held my tongue, and spake nothing: I kept silence, yea, even from good words, but it was pain and grief to me.

4 My heart was hot within me; and, while I was thus musing, the fire kindled ; and, at the last, I spake with my tongue:

5 Lord, let me know mine end, and the number of my days, that I may be certified how long I have to live.

Ô Behold, thou hast made my days, as it were, a span long; and mine age is even as nothing in respect of thee; and, verily, every man living is altogether vanity.

7 For [Surely 7 man walketh in a vain shadow, and disquieteth himself in vain: he heapeth up riches, and cannot tell, who shall gather them.

Deut. 32. 29.
Eccles. 9. 5.

Gen. 47.9. 2 Pet. 3. 8.

Luke 12. 20, 21.
Jam. 4. 14.

1. I said, &c. I resolved within my mind to be extremely guarded and silent, whilst in the presence of the wicked, lest I should impiously murmur at the divine dispensation, which exposed me to their insults, and, by my expressions of impatience, give them some occasion of triumph. - Offend. See on Psalm xxxviii. 17.

2 I will keep, &c. “My mouth as with a muzzle shall be bound.” A bridle could not preclude a person from speaking.

3 Even from good words. I refrained even from giving God the glory in relation to my temporal afflictions, by acknowledging, on the one hand, His greatness and justice, on the other, my own corruption and nothingness.

5 Lord, let me know, &c. Some persons have thought, that David here prays for a special revelation from the Almighty, as to the length of time, which he himself had yet to pass in the world. But to be forewarned of the day of our death is a thing totally unfit for us to ask, and which, if granted, would very rarely contribute to our happiness. Probably, therefore, he entreats to have strongly impressed upon his mind, in a general way, the fact, that each individual must certainly die after a determinate and short number of years are expired, and thus be induced seriously to consider and lay to heart this great truth, so as to live accordingly. Psalm xc. 12.

7 Man walketh, fc. Man's path is surrounded by an unsubstantial shadow, through the midst of which he hastens on, in pursuit only of the mere image and ideal representation of things. 1 John i. 6, 7.

He heapeth up riches, fc. A comparison seems designed with a 8 And now, Lord, what is my hope? truly, | Luke 2. 25. my hope is even in thee.

Rom. 15. 13. 9 Deliver me from all mine offences, and make Joel 2. 17, 18. me not a rebuke unto the foolish.

Mic. 7. 19. 10 I became dumb, and opened not my mouth, | 2 Sam. 16. 10. for [because] it was thy doing.

Job 40. 4,5. 11 Take thy plague away from me: I am Job 2. 10: even consumed by the means [the blow] of thy 9. 34. heavy hand.

12 When thou with rebukes dost chasten man | Isai. 50. 9. for sin, thou makest his beauty [that, which is Hos. 5. 12. to be desired in him] to consume away, like as it were a moth fretting a garment; every man, therefore, is but vanity.

13 Hear my prayer, O Lord; and with thine 2 Kings 20. 5. ears consider my calling: hold not thy peace at Job le my tears;

14 For I am a stranger with thee, and a Heb. 11. 13, &c. sojourner, as all my fathers were.

15 O spare me a little, that I may recover Job 10. 20, 21: my strength, before I go hence, and be no more 14. 5, 6. seen.

person, who, in the time of harvest, causes his laborers to bind the corn and lay it in heaps, but who knows not, whether he shall live to have it carried into the barn. See on Psalm cxxxii. 16.

9 Deliver me, fc. See on Psalm xxxi. 12.—Make me not, fc. Suffer me not to be exposed to the scorn and insults of wicked men, who understand nothing of Thee and of Thy ways; but who, when they behold the righteous worshipper bowed down with misery, immediately imagine, that piety brings with it no reward. See on Psalm xiv. 2, for an explanation of the word “foolish.”

11 Thy plague. See on Psalm xxxviii. 17.

14 I am a stranger, 8c. The land of Canaan was peculiarly the land of Jehovah (Lev. xxv. 23), and the children of Israel resided in it only by his permission, as those who, having left their native country, are allowed to dwell in the territory of a foreign prince. David, therefore, supplicates, that he may experience the same protection, which God had enjoined his people to shew towards such strangers, as might, at any time, reside among them. Lev. xix. 33. Deut. xxiv. 17, 18. He may, however, have desired merely to represent Jehovah, as a hospitable friend, and himself, as taking shelter under his roof, and, consequently, as dependent solely on Him for support, as well as for safety. I Chron. xxix. 14, &c. .

15 That I may recover, fc. That I may have sufficient strength and health restored to me, to prove myself, by my actions, thy worshipper “ in spirit and in truth.” Psalm Lxxi. 16: cxix. 17.

Psalm XL. It would be in vain to search, in the written accounts of David's life,

for that particular trouble, which caused him to become the author of the present Psalm. Nor need we wonder at this ; since it is not to be supposed, that none befel him, but such as the sacred historians have related. See on Psalm cv. 18. He first thankfully acknowledges the divine goodness to himself, in having formerly caused his deliverance from some great and imminent danger: he then declares the resolution, which, as an acknowledged type of the Messiah, he, at that time, formed, to serve God faithfully and cheerfully, by a sedulous fulfilment of his will: he mentions the earnestness, with which he had publicly celebrated the divine praises; and he commends his cause again to God, beseeching him to complete what he had begun, by vouchsafing to him a continuation of his powerful assistance. The circumstance of three verses of this Psalm being quoted by St. Paul, with respect to our Saviour's coming into the world (Heb. x.5, &c), prove, that they, at least, were a direct prophecy of the Messiah, even if they are not to be looked upon as containing his

very words. Ps. 27. 16. IT WAITED patiently for the Lord; and he Jam. 5. 7, &c. I inclined unto me, and heard my calling. Isai. 24. 22.

2 He brought me also out of the horrible pit, Zech. 9.11.

Jout of the mire and clay; and set my feet upon

the rock, and ordered my goings. Luke 1. 68.

3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth,

even a thanksgiving unto our God. Hos. 3. 5.

4 Many shall see it, and fear, and shall put Acts 4. 4.

their trust in the Lord. Isai. 44. 18, &c. 1 5 Blessed is the man, that hath set his hope Jer. 17. 7, 8.

in the Lord, and turned not unto the proud, and to such as go about with [as turn aside to] lies.

1 He inclined unto me. He bowed down (his ear) to me. Psalm xvii. 6: xxxi. 2.

2 The horrible pit, &c. David, to represent the greatness of his danger, compares himself to a man, who, having fallen into a deep pit, fears to be suffocated in the mud, which covers its bottom, and which is too soft to afford him a sure footing.– Set my feet, fc. Having extricated me from my perilous situation, he placed me on rocky ground, where I could, at length, stand firmly, and then “he did guide my way.” Psalm xxxvii. 23.

4 Many shall see it, &c. Many, who have hitherto been negligent in their religious duties, will observe this wonderful instance of divine mercy, and, duly considering it, will be struck with such feelings of reverential awe, as humbly to put their trust also in the Lord.

5 Turned not, &c. Who, through want of confidence in Jehovah's

« PreviousContinue »