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النشر الإلكتروني

The blessings of


To the chief Musician upon Gittith. A Psalm for the sons of Korah.


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2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

3 Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God."

4 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house they will be still praising thee. Selah.

5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.

[public worship.

6 Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.

7 They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.

8 O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.

9 Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.

10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wicked


11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

12 O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee. (L)



(L) The blessings of public worship. "This psalm, for the subject matter of it, (says Bishop Horne,) bears a resemblance to the forty-second. Under the figure of an Israelite deprived of all access to Jerusalem and the sanctuary, (whether it were David when driven away by Absalom, or any person in like circumstances at a different time,) we are presented with the earnest longing of a devout soul after the house and presence of God

a beautiful and passionate eulogy on the blessedness of his ministers and servants; a fervent prayer for a participation of that blessedness; and an act of faith in his power and goodness, which render him both able and willing to grant requests of this nature." He seems to wish that he were a bird, that he might be allowed to take up his residence in the sanctuary, to see and hear all that passed in the inner courts, where only the priests were allowed to enter and to worship. After a passionate


PSALM LXXXIV. Title-For the sons of KoTah. It is admitted, that the Hebrew preposition here used (lamed) may be translated either by, to, or for. When applied to an individual, we consider it as marking the author by whom it was written, or the musician to whose care it was addressed, for adapting it to music. But when addressed to a company of choristers, as the sons of Koráb, there seems no doubt but it was intended for them to sing it. Ver. 3. And the swallow Hebrew, Deror.Many think this rather means "the ring-dove;" and that the term altars is used metonymically, for the turrets of the temple. Among the Arabs, birds which built their nests on the temple of Mecca were inviolable, from the earliest times. The following lines are translated from the poem of an ancient Arab prince, whose tribe had been deprived of the protection of that sanctuary.

"We lament the house, whose dove
Was never suffered to be hurt,
She remained there secure; in it also
The sparrow built its nest."

Orient. Lit. No. 787.

Ver. 5. In whose heart are the ways of thern.We have supplied the pronoun thy, as more intelligible and natural: the "high-ways" here intended, are probably the causeys (or causeways) leading to the temple.

Ver. 6. Passing through the valley of Baca.--"Baca," according to some, means mulberry trees, which some say grow best in the driest situations: or tears, (so LXX) or a rugged valley.

Ibid. The rain also filleth the pools.-Bp. Horsley reads, "The pools which the rain hath filled;" which he explains to mean: They quench their thirst with rain water, as well satisfied as with the pure waters of a spring.

Ver. 7. From strength to strength- Horsley, "From wall to wall," Merrick," From station to station;" others, "From virtue to virtue," in the military sense. All come to the same effect; they persevere through all difficulty or opposition, having their hearts set on reaching Zion's hill.

Ver. 9. Face of thine anointed - Heb. Messiah, See Ps. 1xxx, 17.

A prayer for]



To the chief Musician. A Psalm for the sons of Korah.

LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.

2 Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.

3 Thou hast taken away all thy wrath thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger.

4 Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to


5 Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?

6 Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?

[deliverance from captivity. 7 Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.

8 I will hear what God the LORD will speak for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.

9 Surely his salvation is nigh them dwell that fear him; that glory may in our land.

10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

11 Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

12 Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.

13 Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the of way his steps. (M)

admiration of God's tabernacle, he ex-

Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee,
In whose heart are [thy] highways.
Passing through the valley of Baca, they make a

Yea, the rain overfloweth the pools,
They shall go from strength to strength;

The God of gods shall appear [to them] in Zion."
Then the psalmist resumes his first idea:
"For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand,
I would choose to keep the threshold of my God,
Rather than to inhabit the tents of wickedness."

"This beautiful, but difficult psalm, describes the character of an Old Testament believer, as one who delighted in the house of God, because there he enjoyed communion with him; as one that preferred sitting on the threshold of the tabernacle, to a splendid residence in the tents of sinners. The world to such, may be as the rugged and thirsty vale of Baca; yet here faith will find resources in the fountain of mercy, and with joy shall they draw water from the wells of salvation. Or, if we prefer the other rendering, the vale of tears' becomes a vale of blessings, when the believer, refreshed by the teachings of the Spirit, (which some understand by the rain,) is enabled to go on from strength to strength, from station to station, till, at the completion of his journey, he shall behold the face of God in Zion."


To such the Lord is both a sun and shield to them he communicates both grace and glory:-grace to strengthen them in the way, and glory to crown them in the end. Well may the psalmist conclude, "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord." (Historic Defence of Experimental Religion, p. 114, 415.)

"They go from strength to strength
Through this dark vale of tears,
Till each arrives at length,

Till each in heaven appears:
O glorious seat, when God our king,
Shall hither bring our willing feet!" Watts.


(M) A Prayer for deliverance from captivity, as typical of salvation by Christ.The first three verses of this psalm, Bishop Horne remarks, "Speak of the deliverance from captivity, as already brought about, whereas in the subsequent parts of the psalm, it is prayed for and predicted as a thing future. To account for this, some suppose that the psalmist first returns thanks for a temporal redemption, and then prophecies of the spiritual salvation of Messiah. Others are of opinion, that the same eternal redemption is spoken of throughout, but represented in the beginning of the psalm as already accomplished in the divine decree, though the eventual completion was yet to come. The


PSALM LXXXV. Ver. 2. Thou hast covered.-To cover sin, is to pardon it through an atonement. See Ps. xxxii. 1.

Ver. 3. Thou hast turned-" Thine anger from waxing hot" Marg.

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[divine mercy.

5 For thou, LORD, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon


6 Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.

7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee for thou wilt answer me.

8 Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O LORD; neither are there any works like unto thy works. 9 All nations whom thou hast made


difficulty, perhaps, may be removed, by rendering these first three verses in the present time; Lord, thou art favourable to thy land, thou bringest back the captivity of thy people,' &c. that is, thou art the God whose property it is to do this, and to shew such mercy to thy people, who therefore call upon thee for the same. But, indeed, to us Christians, who now use the psaim, the difference is not material, since a part of our redemption is past, and a part of it is yet to come, for the hastening of which latter we daily pray."

Speaking of the concluding verses of this psalm, Bishop Lowth observes, "How admirable is that celebrated personification of the divine attributes by the psalmist! How just, elegant, and splendid, does it appear, if applied only according to the literal sense, to the restoration of the Jewish nation from the Babylonish captivity! but if interpreted as relating to that sublimer, more sacred, and mystical sense, which is not obscurely shadowed under the ostensible image, it is certainly uncommonly noble and elevated, mysterious and sublime.


Mercy and truth are met together: Righteousness and Peace have kissed each other." "These four divine attributes," says Bishop Horne (above referred to,) "parted at the fall of Adam, and met again at the (cross) of Christ. Mercy was ever inclined to save mau, and Peace could not be his enemy: but Truth exacted the perform ance of God's threat, 'The soul that sinneth, it shall die,' and Righteousness could not but give to every man his due.

Jehovah must be true in all his ways, and righteous in all his works. Now, there is no religion upon earth, except the Christian, which can satisfy the demands of all these claimants, and restore an union between them; which can shew how God's word can be true, and his work just, and the sinner, notwithstanding, find mercy and obtain peace.

"When Christ appeared in our nature, the promise was fulfilled, and Truth' sprang out of the earth.' And now Righteousness, looking down from heaven,' beheld in him every thing that she required-an undefiled birth, a holy life, an innocent death; a spirit and a mouth without guile, a soul and a body without sin. She saw, and was satisfied, and returned to earth. Thus all the four parties met again in perfect harmony. Truth ran to Mercy, and embraced her; Righteousness to Peace, and kissed her. . . . . Those that are thus joined as attributes in Christ, says the same admirable writer, ought not, as virtues, to be separated in a Christian, who may learn how to resemble his blessed Lord and Master, by observing that short, but complete rule of life, comprehended in the few following wordsShew mercy and speak truth; do righteousness and follow peace."

Mr. Merrick has ingeniously, and perhaps justly, turned the latter part of this psalm into a prayer for the conversion of the Jewish nation.


PSALM LXXXVI. Ver. 2. I am holy-Marg. “One whom thou favourest," a subject of thy grace.

Ver.3. Of thy grace daily—Heb. “Every day," or "all the day."

Ibid. From the lowest hell- arg.." Grave;"

"Thy quickening Spirit, Lord, impart, And wake to joy each grateful heart; While Israel's rescued tribes in thee, Their bliss and full salvation see!"

but Mr. Peters remarks, that if Sheol here meant only a deliverance from death and the grave, the expression lower, or lowest, would be quite unnecessary.

Ver. 14. Violent men -- Heb. "The violent," or terrible.

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shall come and worship before thee, O LORD; and shall glorify thy name.

10 For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.

11 Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.

12 I will praise thee, O LORD my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.

13 For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.

14 O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them.

15 But thou, O LORD, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

16 O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid.

[of Zion. they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me. (N)


A Psalm or Song for the sons of Korah.

HIS foundation is in the holy


2 The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. 3 Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.

4 I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.

5 And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.

6 The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.

7 As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my 17 Shew me a token for good; that springs are in thee. (O)



(N) A Prayer of David for divine mercy, founded on the experience of former deliverances.-The plea for mercy in the second verse of this psalm, has often been mistaken or abused through a mistake, as to the sense of the Hebrew words; "Preserve my soul, for I am holy :" whereas, the term may by no means be taken as a plea grounded on the pealmist's natural purity, or personal merits; but upon his having becn already made a monument of special mercy, and a subject of divine grace. Naming the God of Israel with the gods of the heathen, he says they are not to be compared. Among the gods, there are none like unto thee, O God; neither any works like unto thy works: for thou art God alone. For thou, O Jehovah, art a God full of compassion and gracious," &c.


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(0) The praise of Zion.- Some commentators consider this psalm as having been composed on occasion of laying the foundation of Solomon's temple; and it was probably written on that, or some similar, occasion. Bp. Horne remarks,

"The psalmist, after having meditated on the strength, the beauty, and the glory of Jerusalem, being smitten with the love of the holy city, and imagining the thoughts of his hearers, or readers, to have been employed on the same subject, breaks forth at once in this abrupt mauner: It is HIS foundation on the holy mountains!" By the holy mountains,' are meant those hills of Judea which Jehovah had chosen, and separated to himself from all others, whereon to construct the highly-favoured city and temple. As the dwellings of Jacob in the promised land were beloved by him more than the dwellings of other nations, so he loved the gates of Sion more


PSALM LXXXVII. Ver. 4. Rahab-That is, Egypt. So Ps. lxxxix. 11; Isa. li. 9.-Philistia, the country of the Philistines. Ethiopia, the land of Cush, which was in Arabia.

Ver. 5. This and that man-Heb. " A man and a man;" or, one and another. Dr. Durell renders it, “The wan, even the man;" & e. "the man" se

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A prayer for]


PSALMS. [deliverance from the grave.

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LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee: 2 Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry;

3 For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.

4 I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:

5 Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand.

6 Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.

7 Thy wrath lieth hard upon me,

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and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.

8 Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them:

I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.

9. Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.

10 Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah.

11 Shall thy loving-kindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?

12 Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

13 But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.


than all the dwellings of Jacob. Jerúsalem was exalted and fortified by its situation, but much more so by the protection of the Almighty. What Jerusalem was, the christian church is; built' by God on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.' (Eph. ii. 20.) It is HIS foundation in the holy mountains; she is beloved of God above the kingdoms and empires of the earth, which rise and fall only to fulfil the divine counsels concerning her. When those counsels shall be fulfilled, in the salvation of all believers, the world, which subsists only for their sake, will be at an end."

The substance of what is said, as to the cities here named, seems to amount to

this that whereas they have all, in their turns, been famous for producing great and eminent men, Zion shall, in this respect, excel them all; and especially when He comes, whose" name is above every name," and whose glory shall give to Zion a preeminence, before which all other glories shall sink into insignificance, like the stars before the rising sun.

The concluding sentiment, (which some suppose to be the chorus to the ode) “ All my springs are in thee," may probably mean, in the English idiom, "all my hopes are there;" or, as David expresses it in another case, "Herein is all my salvation, and all my desire!" (2 Sam. xxiii. 5.)


PSALM LXXXVIII. Title-Mahalath-leannoth. We have noticed the division of the Hebrew musical instruments into Neginoth, or stringed, and Nehiloth, or wind instruments; of these latter, some appear to have been called Mahaloth, which, if we may judge from the odes to which they were appropriated, this psalm and the 53d) was particularly adapted to plaintive and mournful subjects. The term leannoth evidently refers to au alternate performance, either in turn with other instruments, or with female morers For Maschil, see title of Ps. xxxii.

Ver. 4. As a man-Heb. (Geber) “A strong man without strength."

Ver. 5. Free among the dead-Liberated from the cares and labours of this life. Job iii. 18, 19. Com

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pare Isa. liii. 8. "Cut off from all intercourse with the living," Bp. Lowth. See 2 Kings xv. 5. "Cast ont among the dead," (as mortally wounded.) Bp. Horsley.

Ver. 6. In the lowest pit-Alluding to the dungeons of the captives.

Ver. 8. Shut up-Or rather, perhaps, shut down; namely, in the pit. Comp. Ps. lxix. 14, 15.

Ver. 13. Prevent thee-Come before the usual hour of morning prayer. See Mark i. 35.

Ver. 15. Ready to die-Ainsworth, "Breathing out the ghost." See Matt. xxvii. 50.—I am distracted-Ainsworth, "Doubtfully troubled!” i, e. harassed with the most distressing feelings.

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