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and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.
5 And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. 6 For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD?
7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.
8 O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee?
9 Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.
10 Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong
PSALM LXXXVIII. (P) The lamentation of Heman the Ezrahile. The author of this psalm is so distinguished, says Mr. Scott," according to the general opinion of learned men, as a descendant of Zerah, the son of Judah," and therefore "a different person from Heman, the chief singer in the reign of David, who was a Levite. It is not certain either at what time, or on what occasion, the psalm was composed :" but it was undoubtedly in a time of much calamity and distress, both in the church, and in the writer's own experience. This ode, therefore, resembles Ezekiel's roll, which was "written within and without-lamentations, and mourning, and woe." (Ezek. ii. 9, 10.)
The psalm was evidently composed either in deep captivity, or in a state of per
sonal affliction, which the writer compares thereto; and in which the author considers himself as a dead man, with respect to all the hopes and comforts of the present life; and without that consolation, in reference to the future, which other good men have in like circumstances enjoyed. In this view the psalm has been, and we think justly, applied to him, who was eminently distinguished as of sorrows," and "acquainted with" all the "griefs" to which man is subject; while at the same time, for our sakes, he submitted himself to that " fierce wrath which allowed no intermixture of comfort, such as we are permitted to enjoy.
PSALM LXXXIX. Ver. 1. To all generationsHeb. "To generation and generation."
"Deep in our hearts let us record The dying sorrows of our Lord, When he complain'd in tears and blood,
As one forsaken of his God.”
meaning the gods of the heathen.
Ver. 7. Greatly to be feared" Daunting terrible," says Mr. Ainsworth; meaning, an object of
awe and reverence, as in the following line.
Ver. 2. In the very heavens-Ainsworth renders this both more literally and more elegantly; "The heavens, thou wilt establish thy faithfulness in Ver. 10. Rahab-That is, Egypt. P's. lxxxvii. 4; them;" i. e. it shall be there recorded, so long as the heavens themselves endure. See ver. 5. Ver. 12. Tubor and Hermon-Well known hills Ver.6. Sons of the mighty-Or of the gods, (elim) in the east and west of Canaan.
Isa. li. 9.
=Dr and his seed]
hast created them: Tabor and Her- him; nor the son of wickedness afflict
mon shall rejoice in thy name.
13 Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.
14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.
15 Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. 16 In thy name shall they rejoice all the day and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted.
17 For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted.
18 For the LORD is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our king. 19 Then thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people. 20 I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: 21 With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him.
23 And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him.
24 But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him and in my name shall his horn be exalted.
25 I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers. 26 He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.
27 Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.
28 My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him.
29 His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.
30 If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments;
31 If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments;
32 Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity
22 The enemy shall not exact upon with stripes. (Q)
PSALM LXXXIX. (Q) Ver. 1-32. God's covenant with David and his seed.· "Many learned men," says Mr. Scott, "are of opinion that this Psalm was written during the Babylonish captivity, when the family of David being entirely dethroned, the pro
mises of God seemed to be made void : but if it were composed at so late a period, 10 account can possibly be given why it as ascribed to Ethan the Ezrahite." (See Kings iv. 31; 1 Chron. ii. 6.) "Indeed, it seems," adds that judicious commentalor," to contain internal evidence that it belongs to earlier times; for none of the
deliverances vouchsafed to Judah, after the days of David, are mentioned in it: and the psalmist, in complaining of the degraded and deplorable condition of David's family, is silent as to any desolatious of Jerusalem and the temple, and the captivity and dispersion of the people; which the psalms evidently relating to Nebuchadnezzar's devastations, particularly insist upon." Mr. Scott refers the psalm, therefore, to the reign of Rehoboam. "Ten of the tribes (he remarks) had revolted from him Jeroboam, the king placed over them, was his powerful adversary; and Shishak, king of Egypt, so en
Ver. 13. A mighty arm - Heb. "An arm with ht," i, e. clothed with might. Establishment."
Ver. 14. Habitation-Marg
Ver. 18. The Lord is our defence-Heb." Shield;" Marz. Our shield is of the Lord."
Ver. 19. Thy holy one-The prophet Samuel, or Nathan, See Exposition.
Ver. 2. Shall not exact upon him-Bp. Horne, "Deceive him."-Nor the son of wickedness affict-Horne, "Subdue him." The allusion appeara to us to be made to a cruel and unjust creditor, who exacts not only his just debt, but some exag
gerated demand, with usurious interest, which was not permitted.
Ver. 25. His hand in the sea, &c.-Meaning, that he should reign from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates So the Scythian ambassadors said to Alexander, "If the gods had given thee a body as great as thy mind, thou wouldest reach with one hand to the east, and with the other to the west."-Orient. Lit. No. 788.
Ver. 31. If they break-Heb. "Profane ;" i, e. violate.
Prayer for the 33 Nevertheless my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.
34 My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.
35 Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David.
36 His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.
37 It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.
38 But thou hast cast off and abhorred, thou hast been wroth with thine anointed.
EXPOSITION-Psalm tirely reduced and impoverished him, that he seems only to have retained the kingdom by the clemency, and perhaps coutempt, of his haughty conqueror." Supposing Ethan to have lived to this period, which is very possible, and to have witnessed the declension of Solomon and the degradation of Rehoboam, it may seem to account sufficiently for all the circumstances here referred to.
The two first verses professing strong confidence in God, with a determination to record his faithfulness to future generations, the verses following, Bishop Horne remarks" assign the ground of such faith; namely, the covenant which God is here introduced as declaring that he had made with David, and which he did make with him by the prophet Nathan; (2 Sam. vii. 12, &c.) The covenant relates to David's seed, and to the establishment of his throne' in that seed: literally, in Solomon for a time-spiritually, in Christ for ever: When thy days shall be fufilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son.' These last words are cited by the apostle, (Heb. i. 5.) as spoken of Christ, to evince his superiority over the angels. Yet that the whole passage does, in the letter, relate to Solomon, can admit of no doubt, he being the seed' and immediate suc
NOTES-Psalm Ver. 33. Not utterly take Heb. Not make Void."
Ver. 35. Will not lie-Heb. "If I lie," the most solemn form of negative in that language.
Ver. 44. Remember, how short my time is-Aino
[church in distress.
39 Thou hast made void the covenant of thy servant: thou hast profaned his crown by casting it to the ground.
40 Thou hast broken down all his hedges; thou hast brought his strong holds to ruin.
41 All that pass by the way spoil him he is a reproach to his neighbours.
42 Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries; thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice.
43 Thou hast also turned the edge of his sword, and hast not made him to stand in the battle.
44 Thou hast made his glory to
LXXXIX. Continued. cessor of David, and the person appointed to build an house for God's name.' Here, then, we have an incontestable proof that the covenant with David had Messiah for its object; that Solomon was a figure of him, and that the scripture hath sometimes a double sense. It is, moreover, to be observed, that the covenants made with Abraham, David, &c. all had their original in the covenant made with the Messiah, who was the true Father of the Faithful, the Beloved and Choseu of God, the great Prophet, Priest, and King; the only person qualified to be a sponsor (or surety,) and to engage in a covenant with the Father for mankind. His sufferings were the price of our redemption; and because he suffered in the flesh as the Son of David,' therefore is he established for ever, and
his throne built up to all generations. Remarkable are the words of the angel to Mary: The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: aud he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.'" (Luke i. 32.)
Most beautiful jis the allusion to the divine attributes, (verses 13 to 15.) His arm is arrayed in strength and raised on high, to cut down his enemies. Justice and judgment are in waiting to support the establishment of his throne; Mercy and Truth are the heralds, which go before to proclaim his goodness with the trumpets of the jubilee; and "blessed are the people who know the joyful sound" of his salvation!
worth, "How transitory I am."- All men in vain - Ainsworth, Unto what vanity thou hast made all the sons of Adam." Vor. 50. Of thine anointed--Beb, Messiah."
A prayer] cease, and cast his throne down to the ground.
45 The days of his youth hast thou shortened: thou hast covered him with shame. Selah.
46 How long, LORD? wilt thou hide thyself for ever? shall thy wrath burn like fire?
47 Remember how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain?
48 What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah.
49 LORD, where are thy former loving-kindnesses, which thou swarest unto David in thy truth?
50 Remember, LORD, the reproach
(R) Ver. 33-52. God's faithfulness justified. As it respects the covenant of peculiarity above referred to, Bishop Horne remarks "The posterity of David were to enjoy God's favour or be deprived of it, as they proved obedient or disobedient to his law; as they executed or perverted its civil judgments;' as they observed or neglected its ceremonial' statutes, or religious institutions;' as they kept or broke its 'commandments' or inoral, precepts. When they became rebellious, idolatrous, and profligate, the rod was lifted up, and due chastisement inflicted; sometimes by the immediate hand of heaven, sometimes by the instrumentality of their heathen adversaries. Famine and pestilence, war and captivity, were at different times employed to reclaim backsliding Israel. But still the covenant' of God in Christ stood sure; the Jewish nation was preserved through all changes and revolutions, until the seed came to whom the promise was made;' nor was Jerusalem destroyed before the new and spiritual kingdom of Messiah was set up in the earth. Christian communities and the individuals that compose them, are, in like manner, corrected and punished for their offences. Nevertheless, God's loving-kindness will he not utterly take from us, nor suffer his faithfulness to fail. His covenant will he not break, nor alter the thing that is
gone out of his lips.' So I am with you always, (says the Redeemer,) even to the end of the world: and the gates of hell shall not prevail against my church."" (Matt. xxviii. 20; xvi. 18.)
When we charge God foolishly with the want of fidelity to his word, it is either, 1. Because we misconstrue its meaning; or, 2. From want of considering that we can have no claim upon God for the fulfilment of his promises, while we neglect bis precepts.
In the conclusion of this psalm, we find what was the "reproach of Christ" which Moses suffered. (Heb. xi. 26.) The promise of a Messiah was given to Adam immediately after the fall, and renewed to all the succeeding patriarchs. Moses repeated it to the Israelites, to encourage their hope of deliverance; but they retorted upon him in the language of infidels of later times -"Where is the promise of his coming?" (2 Peter iii. 3, 4.) Thus slow were the footsteps of his anointed, that is, of Messiah, and this was "the reproach of his footsteps," in which Moses gloried. But "He that shall come, will come;" and, when the appointed time arrives, he "will not tarry." "Even so, Come, Lord Jesus."
"That glorious hour, that dreadful day,
PSALM XC. Ver. 1. In all "In generation and generation.' Ver. 3. And supest return.--See Gen. iii. 19. Vet.5. They are as a sleep: in the morning.-
Dr. Durell, "They are like sleep in the morning;" changing the punctuation.Like the grass which groweth up-Marg. "Which is changed" i, e. sud. denly.
and sayest, Return, ye children of men. 4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
5 Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.
6 In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.
7 For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.
8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.
9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.
10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
[and man mortal.
(S) A contemplation on the transitory nature of human life. This psalm is entitled, "A Prayer of Moses, the man of God;" and was probably written by him, about the time that God shortened the days of Israel in the wilderness. (See Num. xii.) It is, however, a psalm of no private interpretation; but of general use to all who are involved in the like sentence. For this reason it is incorporated in the funeral service of the Church of England, where its effect is peculiarly solemu.
It opens with an address to the eternal Being, who has been, in all ages, the refuge of all that trust in him: whose being is not regulated by any of the motions of the heavenly bodies; to whom "a thousand years are but as one day, and one day as a thousand years;" (2 Pet. iii. 8.) and that day not as rolling slowly over us; but as "a day when it is past," its business and its cares forgotten; or, 66 as a watch in the night" passed, of which we know nothing, but that it is gone.
The writer has elsewhere thus remarked on the beauty of the sentiments expressed in the succeeding verses (7 to 9.) "Observe, that God not only seeth those actions which are also exposed to the world, but our most secret iniquities; the word that yet is upon our tongue; yea, the thought that is within our heart; he not only seeth these, but placeth them in the most conspicuous view before him in the light of hi countenance;' he beams his glory directly upon them: sets them in contrast to hi own purity. Thus seeth he the whole o our most secret impurities, and seeth then all in their deformity. But the fulness o the text is not yet exhausted. When ou secret sins are placed in the light of God countenance, then we behold them to and in a very different manner from wh we were used to do. In his light we s light.' Motes are visible in the su beams so those sins which appear trivi to us, or rather, which do not appear, other times, now strike us as enormiti His glory discovers our vileness, his ho