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9 Hide thy face from my sins, PSALM LI.
blot out all mine iniquities. To the chief Musician. A Psalm of David,
10 Create in me a clean heart, O when Nathan the prophet came unto him, God; and renew a right spirit within
after he had gone in to Bathsheba. HA'
AVE mercy upon me, O God, ac- 11 Cast me not away from thy pre
cording to thy loving-kindness: sence; and take not thy holy spirit according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgres- 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy sions.
salvation; and uphold me with thy 2 Wash me throughly from mine free spirit. iniquity, and cleanse me from iny sin. 13 Then will I teach transgressors
3 For I acknowledge my transgres- thy ways; and sinners shall be consions: and my sin is ever before me. verted unto thee.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I 14 Deliver me from blood-guiltisinned, and done this evil in thy ness, O God, thou God of
salsight: that thou mightest be justified vation: and my tongue shall sing when thou speakest, and be clear when aloud of thy righteousness. thou judgest.
15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and 5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. and in sin did my mother conceive me. 16 For thou desirest not sacrifice;
6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the else would I give it: thou delightest inward parts: and in the hidden part not in burnt offering. thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 17 The sacrifices of God are a
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I broken spirit: a broken and a contrite shall be clean: wash me, and I shall heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. be whiter than snow.
18 Do good in thy good pleasure 8 Make me to hear joy and glad- unto Zion : build thou the walls of ness; that the bones which thou hast Jerusalem. broken may rejoice.
19 Then shalt thou be pleased with
EXPOSITION. fold and the forest, cannot be gratified with day of general judgment; and others, as the effusion of goats' and bullocks' blood. Bishops Horne and Horsley, to the promul “He that offereth praise glorifieth God;" gation of the gospel in the end of the Jewish and “to him that ordereth his conversa. dispensation : to this, indeed, the forme tion ariglit," that is, according to his word, prelate bas applied it with excellent effect “ to him will be show his salvation." But but in our view, the simple topic is, th. to the wicked he speaks in thunder : danger of hypocrisy. “ What hast thou to do to declare my sta. tutes? or that thou shouldest take my cove
“ God is the judge of hearts: no fair disguises nant in thy mouth ?".
Can screen the guilty when bis vengeance rises
Wat Some bave applied this psalm to the
NOTES. PSALM LI. Title, When Nathan, &c. Seo extensive import, and means esther to be formed 2 Sam. xii. 1, &c. But Bishop Horsley is contident the womb, as Deut. xxxii. 18. or otherwise, Ps. Ne this psalın was not written on that occasiou, from -Conceive-Heb. " Warm." May not this re ver. Å and 18, on which see our Notes.
to bearing in the womb ?
Ver. 7. Purge me with hyssop.-See Levit. xiv
only. — The prefix Ver. 10. A right spirit – Morg. “ A const (lameu! sometimes means before, in the presence spirit;"' not fickle, but persevering: of, and is so rendered, Gen. xxiii. 11.- xlv. 1. See Ver. 12. With thy free spirit-With a spiri also Gesenius. This answers Bishop Horsley's first freedom; i.e. from the slavery of sin. Rom. objection. David's adultery was a secret sin, before 15, 16. God only :--That thou mightest-Rather, “There- Ver. 14. From blood-guiltiness fore thou wilt be justified when thou speakest, (i.e. bloods;" the plural being used for emphasis.
* TI to pronounce sentence) and clear when thou judgest.” Ver. 16. Else would I give it
Marg. Bp. Horne.
sbould give it." See Ps. I. 8, &c. Ver. 3. I was shapen.- The Hebrew word is of
- Heb. "r
PSALMS. [of Doeg, the Edomite. the sacrifices of righteousness, with 2 Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs ; burnt offering and whole burnt offering: like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. then shall they offer bullocks upon 3 Thou lovest evil more than good; thine altar. (F)
and lying rather than to speak righPSALM LII.
teousness. Selah. To the chief Musician, Maschil. A Psalın
4 Thou lovest all devouring words, of David, when Doeg the Edomite came
O thou deceitful tongue. and told Saul, and said unto him, David 5 God shall likewise destroy thee is come to the house of Ahimelech. for ever: he shall take thee away,
and WHY boastest thou thyself in mis- pluck thee out of thy dwelling place,
chief, O mighty man? the good- and root thee out of the land of the ness of God endureth continually.
that God would build the walls of Jerusa(F) A penitential Psalm of David, on lem, which seems to imply that it was occasion of his sin with Bathsheba. So it written during the captivity. To this, 1. has been universally considered, on autho- Some have replied, that these two last rity of the title above prefixed, and upon verses, which seem to have no immediate internal evidence, which we think conclu- connexion with the rest, might be added sive. As a peniteotial psalm, it bas always by some pious worshipper of that period. been considered as the natural overflowing 2. It might be said, as some parts of Jeruof a broken heart, deeply penetrated with salem (particularly the strong bold of a sense of extreme guilt “ before God," on Zion) had not now been more than about a which account the writer compares himself dozen years in the possession of David, it to a polluted leper. This is evidently im- is very possible that they might then have plied in calling for hyssop as a ceremonial been much damaged, and not since repurification, while, at the same time, he paired; and other parts, as Mount Moriah, prays earnestly for pardon ; and that he where the temple was afterwards erected, may experience the cleansing and re-crea- not yet built on; and that his prayer might tive power of God's Holy Spirit. It is obu. have particular reference to the erection servable also, that he rests not in the con- of that Temple (already contemplated, fession of actual transgression; but, as 2 Sam. vii. 1, &c.) where sacrifices of unBishop Horne observes, traces his sinful precedented magnitude were to be offered. actions to their source in the pollution of 3. Perhaps the expression should be taken his fallen nature: himself a sinner, the rather figuratively than literally. Men child of sinful parents, and they the poste- build with brick or stone, but God with rity of the first human, guilty, pair. This, living stones; and for him to build up however, though a matter of humiliation, a house or a city, is to furnish it with is never pleaded by bim as an excuse. inhabitants, and to crown it with his
But it is not adultery only that he laments: blessing. (See Psalm lxix. 35; cii. 16; be complains of “ blood-guiltiness," and cxlvii. 2.) Lastly, it is probable, or ra. Do doubt his conscience was haunted by ther more than probable, that this prayer the image of his murdered friend Uriah. had a particular reference to“ the future Sin seems but a little thing when com- age" of the Messiah, in whom the Lord mitted, and wears a smiling form; but has siuce declared himself, not only when it visits the conscience afterwards, pleased, but satisfied. (See Dan. ix. 25—27's it assumes a gigantic size, and (like the Amos ix. 11; Matt. iii. 17.) ghosts in Ossiau,) its head is shrouded To return, however, to the psalm before with the storm. As we have in David a uš, the most profitable use that we, as sinmost aggravated instance of backsliding, ners, can make of it, is to make it the so have we a most exemplary example of model of our own petitions; and the sum the contrition of a heart agitated alter- of it is well compressed in the following bately with grief and shame, and terrified emphatic lines: with the judgments of the Almighty.
“Mercy, good Lord ! mercy I ask, Bishop Horsley and others, object to the
This is the total sum : title, as not authentic, because the au
For mercy, Lord, is all my suit,
O let thy mercy come!” thor prays, in the close of this psalm,
NOTES. PSALM LII. Ver. 4. O thou deceitful tongue:- Ver. 5. Shall destroy the Heb. “ Beat thee Marg." And the deceitful tongue."
The depravity of man.)
PSALMS. [The treachery of the Ziphim. Ry 6 The righteous also shall see and that did seek God. 3 Every one of thetn fear, and shall laugh at him:
is gone back: they are altogether become 7 Lo, this is the man that made filthy; there is none that dueth good, no
4 Have the workers of ininot God his strength ; but trusted in quity no knowledge? who eat up my peo the abundance of his riches, and ple as they eat bread : they have not called strengthened bimself in his wickedness. upon God. 5 There were they in great 8. But I am like a green olive-tree fear, where no fear was ; for God hath scat
tered the bones of him that encampeth in the house of God: I trust in the against thee : thou hast put them to shame, mercy of God for ever and ever. because God hath despised them.
9 I will praise thee for ever, be- that the salvation of Israel were come cause thou hast done it: and I will
out of Zion! When God bringeth back wait on thy name; for it is good before joice, and Israel shall be glad.
the captivity of biš people, Jacob shall rethy saints. (G)
To the chief Alusician on Neginoth. Masehil;
A Psalm of David, when the Ziphims [Omit this and the following Psalm in came and said to Saul, Doth not David Family Reading.)
hide himself with us? To the chief Musician upon Mahalath. Maschil; A Psalm of David.
SAVE me, 0 God, by thy name, and
judge me by thy strength. THE
HE fund hath said in his heart, There my prayer, O God; give ear to the words
is no God. Corrupt are they, and have of my mouth. 3 For strangers are risen done abominable iniquity: there is none up against me, and oppressors seek after that doeth good. 2 God looked down my soul : they have not set God before from heaven upon the children of men, to them. Selah, 4 Behold, God is mine see if there were any that did understand, helper : the Lord is with them that uphold
his unmanly cowardice, in falling upon the (G) The wicked character and miserable unarmed priests and their helpless famifate of Doeg -The history of tbis wretch lies, David seems, bere to taunt him to has already passed under our review tran- “Oh, mighty man!” and “Oh, deceitful the siently: (i Sam, xxi. 7; xxii. 9, &c.) And tongue !" from what occurs in this short psalm, we It is probable that, by this time, the may farther remark, that his cbaracter was vengeance of God bad overtaken him, not only execrable to David, but detestable for (in ver. 7.) he points at him and says, in the sight of God. Doeg appears to have “Lo! this is the man that made not God been one of those sycophants, with whom his strength, but trusted in his riches," tyrants are generally surrounded, and who &c. Now Doeg, as chief of Saul's herds. are ready to engage in any dirty work men and master of his mules, might take which they think will recommend them- care to enrich himself; but he was a selves to promotion or reward. His first stranger to God, and probably never wor wish was, no doubt, to betray David; but, shipped in his house. On the contrary, being disappointed by David's prudence David represents himself " like a young and activity, he wreaks his vengeance on olive fresh aod green," planted, aud fou. God's high priest and his attendants. On rishing in the house of God.
NOTES. Ver. 7. In his wickedness - Marg. « substance." destroyed them utterly. We are inelined to consider As he was Saul's chief herdsman, it is probable his the former psalm as the original, written by David, ricbes consisted chiefly in cattle.
and this as altered by some later prophet, to adapo
it to another occasion. PSALM LIII. Title, -- Mahalath is supposed to mean the same (or nearly so) with Nehiloth, title PSALM LIV. Title The bistory referred to in of Psalm v. which see. Maschil has occurred re- The title of this psalm, we have already reaarhed peatedly.
upon in 1 Sam. xxiii. 19, &c. ---xxvi. I, &c. The We have omitted this psalm in family reading, Ziphites, in order to obtain favoor with Saal, ben being the same as Psalm xiv. except a few ve bal trayel David; and the troops of Saul had nearly dillerences, the principal of which here follows: surrounded him and his company, wben they were
Ver. 3. Where no fear was. - See Deut xxviii. 65. sent for a way to repel an invasion ni the Philistine Instead of the words following in psalm xiv. viz. and thus David providentially escaped, and penned * Cod is in the eongregation of the righteous," this short psalm in graternt acknowledgment of the which gave their enemies sutlicient ground to fear, mercy. But we have omitted this psalm also in family the expression seems here applied to Israel: They reading, because we consider it of a private nature, leared where there was no ground to fear, consider. and tind in it no devotional sentiment but what **. ing God was on their side, as is since evident, by his curs, and is more fully expressed, in other paisan scattering the bones of their besiegers; 1. e, he hath It requires neither pote nor explanation.
[of Ahithophei. my soul.
5 He shall reward evil unto 11 Wickedness is in the midst mine enemies . cut them off in thy truth. thereof: deceit and guile depart not 6 I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good.
from her streets. For he hath delivered me out of all trou
12 For it was not an enemy that ble: and mine eye bath seen his desire reproached me; then I could have upon mine enemies.
borne it : neither was it he that hated
me that did magnify himself against PSALM LV.
me; then I would have hid myself To the chief Musician on Neginoth. Mase from him : chil :A Psalm of David.
13 But it was thou, a man mine GIVE ear to my prayer, O God; equal, my guide, and mine acquaint
and hide not thyself from my ance. supplication.
14 We took sweet counsel together, 2 Attend unto me, and hear me: 1 and walked unto the house of God in mourn in my complaint, and make a company.
15 Let death seize upon them, and 3 Because of the voice of the enemy, let them go down quick into hell: for because of the oppression of the wick- wickedness is in their dwellings, and ed: for they cast iniquity upon me, among them. and in wrath they hate me.
16 As for me, I will call upon God, 4 My heart is sore pained within and the Lord shall save me. me: and the terrors of death are fallen 17 Evening, and morning, and at upon me.
aloud : and 5 Fearfulness and trembling are he shall bear my voice. come upon me, and horror hath over- 18 He hath delivered my soul in
peace from the battle that was against 6 And I said, Oh that I had wings me: for there were many with me. like a dove! for then would I fly away,
19 God shall hear, and afflict them,
even he that abideth of old. Selah. 7 Lo, then would I wander far off, Because they have no changes, thereand remain in the wilderness. Selah. fore they fear not God.
8 I would hasten my escape from 20 He hath put forth his hands the windy storm und tempest. against such as be at peace with him :
9 Destroy, 0 LORD, and divide he hath broken his covenant. their tongues : for I have seen violence 21 The words of his mouth were and strife in the city.
smoother than butter, but war was in 10 Day and night they go about his heart : his words were softer than it , upon the walls thereof: mischief also oil, yet were they drawn swords. and sorrow are in the midst of it. 22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD,
noon, will I
and be at rest.
NOTES. PSALM LV. Ver. 2. I mourn-Boothroyd," Am against me-Or, (as the LXX) “ from them that distressed, confused, distracted.” And make a draw near to (fight) me.'
For there were many 24se" like the waves of the sen." Br. Horne. with ine_Or rather, “ Many (to fight) with me." Ver. 4. My heart is sore pained
"Trembleth See Ainsworth. with pain.” Ainsworth, Hammond, &c.
Ver. 19. Even he that abideth of old - Ainsworth, Ver. 9. Divide their congues—That is, their coun. "from antiquity ;' Boothroyd, “ from eternity.”sls, which actually caise to pass. 2 Sam. xvii. 7. Because they have no changes (" no reverses,")
- Violence and Strife are bere personified, as therefore, &c. - That is, they suppose they also antirels, or patrol, who guard the city; Sorrow, shall live for ever; or, at least, that things will go on Siekess, &e, as reigning in the midst.
the same for ever. See 2 Peter iii. 4. Ver. 13. A man, mine equal-Heb.“ According to Ver. 20, He h broken- Heb. “ Prosaned," or nyota rank," namely, Abithophel.
violated. Ver. 14. We took sweet counsel – Heb. “ Who Ver. 21. His words were drawn swords - That is, Wattened counsel ;” counsel is sweetened by
weapons of destruction.
Ver. 22. Cast thy burden-Mar. “Gist;" allotment. Ver. 15. Quick inte hell - Or, " alive is to the Ver. 23. Bloody and deceitful men--Heb. " Men stave," like Koral and his company. Num. xvi. of blood and deceit.” ~Shall not live out half, &c.
-.e. they shall be cut off in the midst of their days. Ser. Je, Freak the bellle (or conflict) that mas See Jer. xvii, 11
PSALMS. (of Saul and his party. and he shall sustain thee: he shall hide themselves, they mark my steps:
7 Shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. when they wait for my soul. 23 But thou, O God, shalt bring cast down the people, ó God.
they escape by iniquity? in thine anger
8 Thou them down into the pit of destruction : tellest my wanderings : put thou my tears bloody and deceitful men shall not live into thy hottle : are they not in thy book? out half their days; but I will trust in 9 When I cry unto thee, then shall mine thee. (H)
enemies turu back : this I know; for God is for me.
10 In God will I praise his
word : in the LORD will I praise his word. PSALM LVI.
11 In God have I put my trust: I will not [Omit in Family Reading.)
be afraid what man can do unto me. To the chief Musician upon Jonath-elem
12 Thy vows are upon me, o God : I will rechokim, Michtam of David, when the
render praises unto thee,
13 For thou Philistines took him in Gath.
hast delivered my soul from death ; will
not thou deliver my feet from falling, that BE merciful unto ine, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting living ?
I may walk before God in the light of the daily oppresseth me. 2 Mine enemies would daily swallow me up; for they be
PSALM LVII. many that fight against me, ( thou Most High. 3 What time I am afraid, I will To the chief Musician. Al-taschith : Michtrust in thee. 4 In God I will praise his tam of David, when he fled from Saul in word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. 5. Every day they wrest my words : "wali BE merciful unto me, o God, be their thoughts are against me for evil.
merciful unto me: for my soul 6 They gather themselves together, they trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow
circumstance that marks conspicuously PSALM LV.
the difference between the type and an(H) David's Prayer against his enemies. titype, and between the Jewish and Chris. There seems no doubt but this psalm tian dispensations. was composed with reference to Absalom's Toward the close, however, of this psalm, rebellion, and the desertion of Ahithophel to mingled with language which seeins the his cause, as recorded 2 Sam. xv. 30–37. result of aggravated and exasperated feelA period this of great alarm and singular ings, we have some sentiments full of distress, which led David not only to pray piety and wisdom, from which we shall to God; but to wish for “the wings of a select the sixteenth verse. “Cast thy burdove," that he might find refnge in the wil- den (or allotment) upon the Lord," &c.; og derness. The circumstance which seemed which we may remark, that whatever almost to affect David was, that Ahithophel, lotment we receive from God, whether of who had been one of his confidential coun- prosperity or adversity, it is our duty to sellors, should join in the conspiracy: a refer it back to him : " He that giveth to circumstance which has been compared the poor lendeth to the Lord," and he will with the conduct of Judas, who betrayed repay him; or, if our lot be adverse," he our Lord, though it does not appear that will sustain" under every burden, and Judas was ever remarkable for his wisdom, “ never suffer the righteous to be moved" or distinguished by his master above his from his soundation. other apostles, as was the case with Peter,
“ His arm will well sustain James, and John ; nor did our Lord fol
The children of his love; low his betrayer with execrations, as David The ground on which their safety stands did Ahithophel, and the other traitors, a No earthly pow'r can move."- Watts.
NOTES. PSALM LVI. Title - Jonath-elem-rechokim. and from this verse it should seem that the Hebrews « The dumb dove in far (or distant) places.” The had a similar custom, late learned Editor of Calmet, from comparing this Ver. 13. Thou hast delivered.--The event here retitle with ver. 6. of the psalm preceding, had a sus. ferred to, will be found 1 Sam. xxix. 3, &c. We omit picion that it is here misplaced, and belonged origin. this psalm for the same reason as we omitted the ally to that psalm-Expos. Index, p. 138.
54th. The first verses will be found in the psalm Ver. 2. Mine encies-Heb.“ observers;" spies. following; the last, in psalm cxvi. 8. The same term is used in several other psalms.
Ver.8. Put thou my tears in thy bottle. - The Ro. PSALM LVII. Title - Al-taschith-Marg. “ Demans used to preserve some of their tears in a sort stroy not;" meaning, probably, that this was a of urns, or vials, called ampuller, and which they prayer to God, not to sufler bim to be destroyed. deposited in the sepulcbres of tbeir deceased friends; The two psalms following bear the same title.