Page images

The blessings of


[public worship.

6 Who passing through the valley PSALM LXXXIV.

of Baca make it a well; the rain also

filleth the pools. To the chief Musician upon Gittith. 7 They go from strength to strength, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.

every one of them in Zion appeareth HOW amiable are thy tabernacles, before God. O Lord of hosts!

8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my 2 My soul longeth, yea, even faint- prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. eth for the courts of the Lord: my Selah. heart and my flesh crieth out for the 9 Behold, O God our shield, and living God.

look upon the face of thine anointed. 3 Yea, the sparrow hath found an 10 For a day in thy courts is bethouse, and the swallow a nest for her- ter than a thousand. I had rather be self, where she may lay her young, a doorkeeper in the house of my God, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, than to dwell in the tents of wickedmy King, and my God.

4 Blessed are they that dwell in 11 For the LORD God is a sun and thy house : they will be still praising shield : the Lord will give grace and thee. Selah..

glory: no good thing will he withhold 5 Blessed is the man whose strength from them that walk uprightly. is in thee; in whose heart are the 12 O LORD of hosts, blessed is the ways of them.

man that trusteth in thee. (L)



a beautiful and passionate eulogy on the (L) The blessings of public worship.- blessedness of his ministers and servants;

" This psalm, for the subject matter of a fervent prayer for a participation of that it, (says Bishop Horne,) bears a resem- blessedness; and an act of faith in his blance to the forty-second. Under the power and goodness, which render him figure of an Israelite deprived of all ac- both able and willing to grant requests of cess to Jerusalem and the sanctuary, (whe- this nature.” He seems to wish that he ther it were David when driven away by were a bird, that he might be allowed to Absalom, or any person in like circum- take up his residence in the sanctuary, to stances at a different time,) we are pre- see and hear all tbat passed in the inner sented with the earnest longing of a devout courts, where only the priests were allowed soul after the house and presence of God to enter and to worship. After a passionate

NOTES. PSALM LXXXIV. Title--For the sons of Ko- Ver. 0. In n hose heart are the ways of ther. -fak. It is admitted, that the Hebrew preposition We have supplied the pronoun thy, as more intellibere used (lamed) may be translated either by, to, or gible and natural: the bigh-ways" here intended, for. When applied to an individual, we consider it are probably the causeys (or causeways) leading to As marking the author by whom it was written, or the temple. the musician to whose care it was addressed, for Ver. 6. Passing through the valley of Baca. adapting it to yousic. But wben addressed to a com- “ Baca,” according to some, menns mulberry trees, pany of choristers, as the sons of Koráh, there seems wlrich some say grow best in the driest situations : Do doubt but it was intended for them to sing it. or tears, (so LXX) or a rugged valley. Ver. 3. And the swallon -- Hebrew, Deror:- Ibid. The rain also filleth the pools.-Bp. Forsley Many think this rather means “the ring-dove;" reads, " The pools which the rain hath filled;" which and that the term altars is used metonymically, for he explains to mean: They quench their thirst with the turrets of the temple. Among the Arabs, birds rain water, as well satisfied as with the pure waters wbich built their nests on the temple of Mecca

of a spring. were inviolable, froin the earliest times. The Ver. 7. From strength to strength Horsley, following lines are translated from the porm of ". Prom wall to wall;" Verrick," From station to an ancient Arab prince, whose tribe had been de- station;" others, " from virtue to virtue,"' in the prired of the protection of that sanctuary.

military sense. All come to the same effect; they “ We lament the honse, whose dore

persevere through all difficulty or opposition, having Was nerer soffered to be hurt,

their hearts set on reaching Zion's hill. She remained there secure; in it also

Ver. 9. Face of thine anointed. Heb. Messiah,
The sparrow built its nest."

Sce P's. lxxx. 17.
Orient, Lil. No. 787.

A prayer for]

PSALMS. [deliverance from captivity.

7 Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, PSALM LXXXV.

and grant us thy salvation. To the chief Musician. A Psalm for the

8 I will hear what God the LORD sons of Korah.

will speak : for he will speak peace LORD, thou hast been favourable unto his people, and to his saints : but

unto thy land: thou hast brought let them not turn again to folly. back the captivity of Jacob.

9 Surely his salvation is nigh them 2 Thou hast forgiven the iniquity that fear him; that glory may dwell of thy people, thou hast covered all in our land. their sin. Selah.

10 Mercy and truth are met toge3 Thou hast taken away all thy ther; righteousness and peace have wrath : thou hast turned thyself from kissed each other. the fierceness of thine anger.

11 Truth shall spring out of the 4 Turn us, O God of our salvation, earth; and righteousness shall louk and cause thine anger toward us to down from heaven.

12 Yea, the LORD shall give that 5 Wilt thou be angry with us for which good; and our land shall ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger yield her increase. to all generations?

13 Righteousness shall go before 6 Wilt thou not revive us again : him; and shall set us in the way of that thy people may rejoice in thee? his steps. (M)


EXPOSITION-Psalm LXXXIV. Continued. admiration of God's tabernacle, he ex- To such the Lord is both a sun and claims

shield to them he communicates both Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee, grace and glory :- grace to strengthen In whose heart are (thy) bighways.

them in the way, and glory to crown them Passing through the valley of Baca, they make a

in the end. Well may the psalmist couclude, well; Yea, the rain overfloweth the pools,

“Blessed is the man that trusteth in They shall go from strength to strength;

the Lord.”—(Historic Defence of ExperiThe God of gods shall appear (to them) in Zion." mental Religion, p. 114, 415.) Then the psalmist resumes his first idea :

« They go from strength to strength • "For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand,

Through this dark vale of tears, I would choose to keep the threshold of my God,

Till each arrives at iength, Rather than to inhabit the tents of wickedness.”

Till each in heaven appears :

O glorious seat, when God our king, “ This beautiful, but difficult psalm, Shall hither bring our willing feet! Watts. describes the character of an Old Testament believer, as one who delighted in the

PSALM LXXXV. house of God, because there he enjoyed (M) A Prayer for deliverance from cap. communion with him ; as one that preferred tivity, as typical of salvation by Christ.sitting on the threshold of the tabernacle, The first three verses of this psalm, to a splendid residence in the tents of sin. Bishop Horne remarks, "Speak of the ners. The world to such, may be as the deliverance from captivity, as already rugged and thirsty vale of Baca; yet bere brought about, whereas in the subsequent faith will find resources in the fountain of parts of the psalm, it is prayed for and premercy, and with joy shall they draw water dicted as a thing future. To account for from the wells of salvation. Or, if we pre- this, some suppose that the psalmist first fer the other rendering, the vale of tears' returns thanks for a temporal redemption, becomes a vale of blessings, when the be- and then prophecies of the spiritual salvaliever, refreshed by the teachings of the tion of Messiah. Others are of opinion, Spirit, (which somie understand by the that the same eternal redemption is spoken rain,) is enabled to go on from strength to of throughout, but represented in the bestrength, from station to station, till, at ginning of the psalm as already accomthe completion of his journey, he shall be plished in the divine decree, though the hold the face of God in Ziou."

eventual completion was yet to come. The

NOTES. PSALM LXXXV. Ver. 2. Thou hast corered.- Ver. 3. Thou hast turned_" Thine anger from 'To cover sin, is to pardou it through an atonement. waxing hot” Marg. See Ps. xxxi. 1.

A prayer for]


(divine mercy.

5 For thou, Lord, art good, and PSALM LXXXVI.

ready to forgive; and plenteous in A Prayer of David.

mercy unto all them that call upon Bow down thine ear, O Lord, thee.

hear me: for I am poor and 6 Give ear, O LORD, unto my needy.

prayer; and attend to the voice of my 2 Preserve my soul; for I am holy: supplications. O thou my God, save thy servant that 7 In the day of my trouble I will trusteth in thee.

call upon thee : for thou wilt answer 3 Be merciful unto me, O LORD, me. for I cry unto thee daily.

8 Among the gods there is none 4 Rejoice the soul of thy servant : like unto thee, O Lord; neither are for unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up there any works like unto thy works.

9 All nations whom thou hast made

my soul.

EXPOSITION. difficulty, perhaps, may be removed, by Jehovah must be true in all his ways, tendering tbese first three verses in the and righteous in all his works. Now, present time; • Lord, thou art favourable there is no religion upon earth, except the to thy land, thou bringest back the capti. Christian, which can satisfy the demands vity of thy people,' &c. that is, thou art of all these claimants, and restore an the God whose property it is to do this, and union between them ; which can shew how to shew such mercy to thy people, who God's word can be true, and his work just, therefore call upon thee for the same. But, and the siuner, notwithstanding, find indeed, to us Christians, who now use the mercy and obtain peace. psalm, the difference is not material, since “When Christ appeared in our nature, a part of our redemption is past, and a the promise was fulfilled, and “Truth' part of it is yet to come, for the bastening sprang out of the earth. And now Righof which latter we daily pray."

teousness, 'looking down from heaven,' Speaking of the concluding verses of beheld in him every thing that she rethis psalm, Bishop Lowth observes, "How quired-an undefiled birth, a holy life, an admirable is that celebrated personifica- innocent death; a spirit and a mouth with. tion of the divine attributes by the psalm- out guile, a soul and a body without sin. ist! How just, elegant, and splendid, She saw, and was satisfied, and returned to does it appear, if applied only according earth. Thus all the four parties met again to the literal sense, to the restoration of in perfect harmony. Truth ran to Mercy, the Jewish nation from the Babylonish and embraced her; Righteousness to captivity! 'but if interpreted as relating to Peace, and kissed her..... Those that that sublimer, more sacred, and mystical are thus joined as attributes in Christ, sense, which is not obscurely shadowed says the same admirable writer, ought under the ostensible image, it is certainly not, as virtues, to be separated in a Chrisuncommonly noble and elevated, myste- tian, who may learn how to resemble his rious and sublime.

blessed Lord and Master, by observing * Merty and truth are met together:

that short, but complete rule of life, comRighteousness and Peace bave kissed each other." prehended in the few following words

“ These four divine attributes," says Shew mercy and speak truth; do righBishop Horne (above referred to,) « parted teousness and follow peace.” at the fall of Adam, and met again at the

Mr. Merrick has ingeuiously, and per(cross) of Christ. Mercy was ever inclined haps justly, turned the latter part of this to save mao, and Peace could not be his psalm into a prayer for the conversion of enemy; but Truth exacted the perform- the Jewish pation. ance of God's threat, The soul that sin- “ Thy quickening Spirit, Lord, impart, neth, it shall die;' and Righteousness

And wake to joy each gratefal heart;

While Israel's rescued tribes in thee, could not but give to every man his due. Their bliss and full salvation see!"

NOTES PSALM LXXXVI. Ver. 2. I am holy-Marg. .but Mr. Peters remarks, that if Sheol here meant

One whom thod favourest," a subject of thy only a deliverance fron death and the grave, the grace.

cessary. se all the day.

Ver. 14. Violent mes - Heb. “ The violent," or Ibid. From the lowest hell - arg.: “ Grave;" terrible.

(of Zion.

The praise]

PSALMS. shall come and worship before thee, 0 they which hate me may see it, and LORD; and shall glorify thy name. be ashamed : because thou, Lord, hast

10 For thou art great, and doest holpen me, and comforted me. (N) wondrous things: thou art God alone. 11 Teach me thy way, O LORD;

PSALM LXXXVII. I will walk in thy truth: unite my

A Psalm or Song for the sons of Korah. heart to fear thy name.


IS foundation is in the holy 12 I will praise thee, O Lord my mountains. God, with all my heart: and I will 2 The Lord loveth the gates of Zion glorify thy name for evermore. more than all the dwellings of Jacob.

13 For great is thy mercy toward 3 Glorious things are spoken of thee, me: and thou hast delivered ny soul O city of God. Selalı. from the lowest hell.

4 I will make mention of Rahab 14 O God, the proud are risen and Babylon to them that know me: against me, and the assemblies of vio- behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiolent men have sought after my soul; pia; this man was born there. and have not set thee before them. 5 And of Zion it shall be said,

15 But thou, O LORD, art a God This and that man was born in her: full of compassion, and gracious, and the highest himself shall establish long-suffering, and pleuteous in mercy her. and truth.

6 The LORD shall count, when he 16 O turn unto me, and have mercy writeth up the people, that this man upon me; give thy strength unto thy was born there. Selah. servant, and save the son of thine 7 As well the singers as the players handmaid.

on instruments shall be there : all my 17 Shew me a token for good ; that springs are in thee. (O)


PSALM LXXXVII. (N) A Prayer of David for divine mercy, (0) The praise of Zion. - Some comfounded on the experience of former deli

mentators consider this psalm as having verances. — The plea for mercy in the been composed on occasion of laying the second verse of this psalın, bas olten been foundation of Solomon's temple; and it mistaken or abused through a mistake, as

was probably written on that, or some simito the sense of the Hebrew words; “ Pre- lar, occasion. Bp. Horne remarks, serve my soul, for I am holy:" whereas, the

“The psalmist, after having meditated term may by no means be taken as a plea

on the strength, the beauty, aud ihe glory grounded on the pealmist's natural purity, or

of Jerusalem, being smitten with the live personal merits; but upon hi-jhaving been of the holy ciiy, and imagining the thoughts already made a monument of special of his hearers, or readers, to have been mercy, and a subject of divine grace. employed on the same subject, breaks Naming the God of Israel with the guds of forth at once in this abrupt manner : ?! the heathen, he says they are not to be is his foundation on the holy mountains!' compared. “ Among the gods, there are

By' the holy mountains,' are meant those none like 'unto thee, O Gud; peither any hills of Judea which Jehovah had chosen, works like unto thy works : for thou art

and separated to himself from all others, God alone. For thou, O Jehuvah, art a

whereon to construct the highly-favoured God full of compassion and gracious," &c.

city and temple. As the dwellings of “ Great is thy mercy, and my tongue

Jacob in the promised land were beloved Shall those sweet wonders tell; How by thy grace, my sinking soul

by him more than the dwellings of other Rose from ibe deeps of hell."

nations, so he loved the gates of Sion more


NOTES. PSALM LXXXVII. Ver. 4. Rahab-That is, long promised and foretold; the Messiah. Egypt. So Ps. lxxxix. 11; Isa. Ii. 9. -Philistia, Ver. 7. As nell the singers as players-Or dancers, the country of the Philistines. Ethiopia, the land shall be there ; i.e. the whole chorus of joy and of Cush, which was in Arabia.

praise. Dr. Chandler renders il, " They shall sung Ver. 5. I his and that man--Heb.“ A mon and a like those that lead up the dance;" 1. e. with joy and man ;'' or, one and another. Dr. Durell renders it, exultation. - The won, even be man;"' * e. "ido 14"


A prayer for)

PSALMS. [deliverance from the grave. PSALM LXXXVIII.

and thou hast afflicted me with all thy

A Song or Psalm for the sons of Korah.
To the chief Musician upon Mahalath

8 Thou hast put away mine acLeannoth : Maschil of Heman the Ez- quaintance far from me; thou hast rahite.

made me an abomination unto them: O LORD God of my salvation, I have I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.

cried day and night before thee: 9. Mine eye mourneth by reason of 2 Let my prayer come before thee : affliction : Lord, I have called daily incline thine ear unto my cry; upon thee, I have stretched out my

3 For my soul is full of troubles : hands unto thee. and my life drawethnigh unto the 10 Wilt thou shew wonders to the grare.

dead? shall the dead arise and praise 41 am counted with them that go thee? Selah. down into the pit: I am as a man 11 Shall thy loving-kindness be dethat hath no strength :

clared in the grave? or thy faithful5 Free among the dead, like the ness in destruction ? slain that lie in the grave, whom thou 12 Shall thy wonders be known in rememberest no more: and they are the dark ? and thy righteousness in cut off from thy hand.

the land of forgetfulness? 6 Thou hast laid me in the lowest 13 But unto thee have I cried, O pit, in darkness, in the deeps.

LORD; and in the morning shall my 7 Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, prayer prevent thee.

[ocr errors]

EXPOSITION. than all the dwellings of Jacob. Jerusa- this : that whereas they have all, in their lem was exalted and fortified by its situa- turus, been famous for producing great and tiou, but much more so by the protection eminent men, Zion shall, in this respect, of the Almighty. What Jerusalem uus, excel them all ; and especially when He the christian church is; built' by God comes, whose“ name is above every name,”

on the foundation of the apostles and and whose glory shall give to Ziou a preprophets, Jesus Christ himself being the eminence, before which all other glories chief corner stone; in whom all the build- shall sink into insignificance, like the ing, fitly framed together, groweth unto an stars before the rising sun. boly temple in the Lord. (Eph. ii. 20.) The concluding sentiment, (which some It is his foun-lation in the holy moun- suppose to be the chorus to the ode) “ All tains;' she is bcloved of God above the my spriogs are in thee,” may probably kingdoms and empires of the earth, which mean, in the English idiom, “ all my rise and fall only to fulfil the divine coun- hopes are there;" or, as David expresses sels concerning' ber. When those coun- it in another case, “ Herein is all iny salsels shall be fulfilled, in the salvation of vation, and all my desire!" (2 Sam. xxiii. 5.) all believers, the world, which subsists " Come then, O) come from erery land, only for their sake, will be at an end."

And worship at his shrine; The substance of what is said, as to the And walking in the light of God, cities bere named, seems to amount to

With holy beanty shine."


NOTES. PSALM LXXXVIII. Title-Mahalath-leannoth.

“ Cut off from all intercourse We bare noticed the division of the Hebrew musical with the living," Bp. Lonth. See 2 Kings xv. 5. instruments into Neginoth, or stringed, and Neniloth, “Cast ont among the dead,”(as mortally wounded.) of wind instruments of these latter, some appear to By. Horsicy. have been called Mahaloth, which, if we may judge 'Ver. 6. In the lowest pit-Alluding to the dun. frore the odes to which they were appropriated, geons of the captives. this psalm and the 534) was particularly adapted to Ver. 8. Shut up--Or rather, perlaps, shut down; plaintive and mournful subjects. The term leannoth namely, in the pit. Comp. Ps. Ixix. 14, 15. evidently refers to au alternate performance, either Ver. 13. Prevent thee-Come before the usual in tum with other iostruments, or witb feruale lo:ir of morning prayer. See Mark i. 35. mgarters For Maschil, see title of Ps. xxxii. Ver. 15. Ready to die Ainsworth, “ Breathing Fer. 4. As a man-Heb. (Geber) " A strong man out the ghost." See Matt. xxvii. 50.--I am disa

pare Tsa. liii. 8.

tracted-Ainsworth, “ Doubtfully troubled!" i.. Ver. 5. Free among the dead-Libernted from the harassed with the most distressing feelings. Cates and labours of this life. Job iii. 18, 19. Com

without strength.”

« PreviousContinue »