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uncertain. From the last verse some learned men have supposed it to have been written during the time of Absalom's rebellion, when the ark was in possession of his party: (See 2 Sam. xix. 9-15,) others refer it to the period of the Babylouish cap, tivity; but St. Paul plainly refers us to the days of Messiah, and to a future restoration of the Jews subsequent to their conversion. (Rom. xi. 26, &c. compare Psalm ex. 2; Isa. Ixii. 11; Zech, ix. 9.) The chief subject of this psalm, however, is the infidelity of the human heart, for infidelity is unquestionably more a disease of the heart than of the head; the corruption of our nature gives an unhappy bias to the judgment. S:n makes fools of us all; and he is the greatest fool whose mind is most under the influence of depraved passions, which not only lead to abominable actions, but incapacitate for doing good. "The consideration of the apostacy and corruption of mankind, described in this psalm, makes the prophet express a longing desire for the salvation of Israel,' which was to go forth out of Zion,' and to bring back the people of God from that most dreadful of all captivities, the captivity under sin and death; a salvation at which Jacob would indeed rejoice, and Israel be glad."-Bishop Horne)
PA Psalm of David, describing a citiEra of Zion.-We agree with Bishop Horsley, that this psalin has "no allusion to
the offices of the Levitical priesthood;" but is simply intended to point out, that moral "righteousness is the qualification which alone can fit any one to be a guest in God's tabernacle,”—a citizen of Zion. This qualification, however, implies no claim of merit, but simply moral fitness. "The man (says Bishop Horne,) who would be a citizen of Zion, and there enter into the rest and joy of his Lord, must set that Lord always before him. Renewed through grace, endued with a lively faith, and an operative charity, he must consider and imitate the life of that blessed Person, who walked amongst men without partaking of their corruptions; who conversed unblaneably with sinners; who could give this challenge to his inveterate enemies, Which of you convinceth me of sin?' in whom the grand accuser, when he came found nothing;' who being himself the truth,' thought and spake of nothing else, making many promises and performing them all,
"In the above comment (says Bishop Horne) it was thought most advisable to open and display the full intent of what was both enjoined aud forbidden, by exeimplifying each particular. Whoever shall survey and copy these virtues and graces as they present themselves in his life, [relying at the same time on his atonement,] will, it is humbly apprehended, take the best and shortest way to the heavenly Zion;" and shall never be expelled from the eternal city.
PSALM XV. Ver. 3-Nor taketh up. -Heb. Receiveth, or endureth."
Ver. 4. Changeth no!-That is, will not violate his cath for self-interest.
Ver. 6. Usury.--See Exod. xxii. 25, 25; Lev. ITF. 35-7. Neh. v.5-7.
PSALM XVI. Title,- Michtam. Marg. "A golden (psalm) of David." D'Herbetot observes of the works of seven of the most excellent Arabian poets, that they are called Al Modhahebat, which signifies golden, because they were written in letters of gold upon Egyptian paper. Might not the six psalms which are thus distinguish.
earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.
4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.
5 The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.
6 The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
7 I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also in
struct me in the night seasons.
8 I have set the LORD always before me because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Q)
(Q) A golden Psalm of David.-Different conjectures have been formed respecting the occasion of penning this psalm, and that of Dr. Hales seems as probable as any; namely, that it was composed just after David had received by Nathan the promise that his house should be built up for ever in the person of Messiah. (1 Chron. xvii. 11-27.
The late Dr. Kennicott calls it-" An hymn prophetically descriptive of the Messiah, as expressing his abhorrence of the general idolatry of mankind, and his own zeal for the honour of Jehovah with
the full assurance of his being raised from the dead, before his body should be corrupted in the grave. That David did not here speak of himself, but of the Messiah, and of him only, is asserted by St. Peter and St. Paul: (see Acts ii. 25-32, with xiii. 35-37.) And if this psalm speaks in a literal sense, concerning an actual and speedy resurrection, by that same literal sense David himself is necessarily excluded."
The former part of the psalm has, by most commentators, been considered as applicable to David; but if, as some think, ver. 4 implies the priestly character of the
NOTES-Psalm XVI. Con.
and Ps. lv.-1x.) be so called from their having been, on some occasion, written in letters of gold, and hung up in the sanctuary? Such a title would have been agreeable to the Eastern taste, as D'Herbelot has mentioned a book, entitled "Bracelets of Gold." Orient. Cust. No. 168. See Title of Psalm xxii.
Ver. 2. O my soul, Thou hast said, &c -The LXX. and several MSS. (probably to avoid the supplementary words) read," I have said," &c.; but this makes no difference in the meaning.- -My goodness (extendeth) not to thee," the LXX render it," Thou hast no need of my goods (or goodness.) Compare Job xxxv. 7. The Chaldee and Syriac render the words, My goodness is from thee."-Kennicott reads, "Is not without thee."
Ver. 3. In the earth" In the land." Bp. Horsley. Ver. 4. That hasten (run) after another (God).— Ainsworth renders it, that endow another; and Kennicott," that go whoring after strauge gods."
Their drink offerings of blood.-The drink offerings of the Jews were of wine only, (Levit. xvii. 10-14.) part of which was poured on the head of the victim; but the heathen offered "drink offerings of blood, even of human blood, the blood of their enemies." See Horne's Introduction (vol. i. 128.) In Dupuis' Journal in Ashantee, mention is made of a wretched tyrant who delighted in drinking the blood of his enemies. In one instance, he had an enemy bound and laid before him. He then had "his body pierced with hot irons, gathering the blood which issued from him in a vessel, one half of which he drank, and offered up the rest unto his god." See also Orient, Lit. No. 306, 752
Ver. 5. Portion of mine inheritance-Heb. " Of my part." See Num. xvi. 20.
Ver. 6. The lines are fallen.-That is, the measuring cords by which heritages are allotted out.
See Ps. lxxviii. 55.—My reins instruct me.—See Note on Job xix. 27.
Ver. 9. Rest in hope-Heb. “ Dwell confidently." Ver. 10. My soul in hell-The apostles Peter and Paul both explain these words exclusively of our Saviour Christ, as in our Exposition, but there is some difficulty as to the translation. The word rendered Hell, is Sheol, which we have already shown to mean both the grave and the invisible world. Our translators frequently render it by the former word, as Gen. xlii. 38.-xliv. 31; 1 Kings ii. 9; Job xvii. 13, 14 and often Heil, as here, Job xxvi. 6; Ps. ix. 17. But it is generally admitted to include (like Hades) the invisible world in general. See Exposition and Notes on Job xxvi. 5,6. Bishop Pearson says, "It appeareth that the first intention of putting these words into the Creed was only to express the burial of our Saviour, or the descent of his body into the grave." It is most certain, however, that the phrase was afterwards explained, even by the Christian fathers, of Christ's descent into the place of punishment See 1 Peter iii. 18. "But that it was actually so, or that the apostle intended so much," the Bishop confesses is not manifest." See also Professor Witsius, who contends, "that Christ descended into hell, (the place of torment is no where expressly affirmed in Scripture, nor in the most ancient creeds. The creeds which mentioned the descent, were generally silent with respect to the burial; nor was it without some mistake that both were afterwards joined together." Sacred Dissertations on the Apostle's Creed, (translated by D. Fraser) Diss. Xxviii.—Dr. J. P. Smith renders the first clause of this verse (10), "Thou wilt not leave my life in the grave;" which nearly corresponds with Dr. Kennicott's version, "Thou wilt not abandon my life to the grave."
A Prayer of David.
8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings;
9 From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.
10 They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.
11 They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth;
12. Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.
13 Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:
14 From men which are thy hand, O LORD; from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.
15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness. (R)
speaker, David is excluded from this as well as from the latter part of the psalm. One thing seems here intimated, which we have not before remarked, that the priests under the law, when they offered the sacrifice of an individual, named the offerer before the Lord; a circumstance that beautifully points to the intercession of the Saviour. (See Rev. viii. 3, 4.)
those paths which lead to everlasting bliss,
(R) A Prayer of David against his enemies. From the description of his enemies The latter part of the psalm being ex- here given, there can be little doubt but pressly applied to the resurrection of Christ Saul and his followers were intended; and by the apostles themselves, as above re- their charge against David was no less marked, can apply to others only as inthan treason-that he aspired to the crown terested in and virtually raised with him and sought the life of Saul; which was "to newness of life," and introduced into not only false, but exactly the reverse of
PSALM XVII. Ver.1. Hear the right, O LordHeb. Justice;" or, "Hear. O righteous Lord." Horne-Feigned lips-Heb. "Lips of deceit." Fer. 5. Slip not-Heb." Be not moved." Ver.1. That savest by thy right hand-Marg. "That savest them which trust (in thee) from those that rise up against thy right hand:" rather, "at thy right hand." See Zech. iii. 1.
Ver.9. My deadly enemies-Heb. "My enemies against the soul," i.e. my soul's enemies, or the enemies of my life.
Ver. 10. Enclosed in their own fat-Or, "They have closed up their mouth with fat." Dr. Hammond.
Nee Job XV. 27.
Ver. 11. Bowing down to the ground-Or, “ Bend
ing (us) down to the earth," Ainsworth an 1 Horne. Ver. 12. Like as a lion, &c.-Heb. "The likeness of him (i. e. every one of them) is as a lion that desireth to ravin.'
Ver. 13. Disappoint him - Heb. "Prevent his face."From the wicked which is thy swordMarg. "(By) thy sword."
Ver. 14. From men which are thy hand-Marg. "By) thy hand." The difference in both these verses relates merely to the supplementary words.
Ibid. Whose bellies thon fillest, &c. That is, "Whom thou permittest to enjoy temporal blessings See Luke xvi. 24. in abundance." Bishop Horne. They are full of children-See Job xxi, 11. Or, "Their children are led," &c. Marg.
2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
4 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.
5 The sorrows of hell compassed me about the snares of death prevented me.
6 In my distress I called upon the
LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and
my cry came before him, even into his
7 Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he
8 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth de
voured coals were kindled by it. 9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness his feet.
10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
12 At the brightness that was be fore him his thick clouds passed, hail
stones and coals of fire.
13 The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his
voice; hail stones and coals of fire. 14 Yea, he sent out his arrows,
EXPOSITION-Psalm XVII. Continued.
the truth. (1 Sam. xxiv.) The psalmist, therefore, confident in the justice of his cause, appeals to the Almighty for his decision. His "heart condemus him not, and he has confidence towards God," who is the witness as well as judge of his integrity. He had been tried, and lived in the expectation of farther trials: but he attributes his preservation to the word of God. "By the word of thy lips I have kept (me) from the paths of the destroyer
The description here given of David's enemies, (as already hinted) naturally leads us to look to Saul and his party as laying snares for him, as sportsmen were accustomed to do for game in the forests, or for wild beasts in the woods. Saul himself resembled "a lion greedy of his prey," who had been lurking and watch
ing for him "in secret places." From these men, these "mortals of this transitory world," (as Ainsworth and Horne render it,) he prays to be delivered; and in confidence that he shall be so, he con cludes with declaring, "As for me, I wil behold thy face in righteousness; I shal be satisfied, when I awake, with thy like ness ;" an expression that may be referre either to the immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the body. Dr. Wa includes both, and paraphrases the ver in three beautiful stanzas, which we shou be glad to transcribe, but can only refer
Some commentators apply this psalm well as the preceding, to Christ hims who, though he assumed in his de "the form of a slave," arose in all glories of the Divinity.
PSALM XVIII. Ver. 1. I will love-The original implies tenderness; " with bowels of compassion." Ver. 2. My strength-Heb. "rock," but a different word from that in the preceding line.
Ver. 3. I will call.-This being a P'saim of thanksgiving, Bishop Horne thinks the verbs should be rendered in the preter tense: so Dr. Kennicolt. Butas the Heb. is future, we rather think with Mr. Scott, that the future was used purposely, to express “the feelings of David's heart, while struggling with his difficulties," he then said, "I will love," &c.
Ver. 4. The sorrows.-So the word is used for the
pains of childbirth and of death; see Acts i but the same word (with a slight variation points) is used also for cords, ropes, and the t the fowler (made of cord) to ensnare his game
Ver. 5. The sorrows (or cords) of hell; Sheol. See Note on ver. 4. Sheol and Had cording to Archbishop Usher, “ when spoker body, signify the grave; when of the soul, the to the state in which the soul is without the whether in Paradise or Hell, prop rly so calle Ver. 8. Smoke out of his nostrils - Ain. "Smoke ascended in his anger."
[mercies, scattered them; and he shot out light- the cleanness of my hands hath he renings, and discomfited them.
15 Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.
16 He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.
17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me for they were too strong for me. 18 They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.
19 He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
20 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to
21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.
22 For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.
23 I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity.
24 Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight. (S)
25 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;
26 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.
(S) Ver. 1-24. To the chief musician: a Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord.The title of this psalm is literally transcribed from 2 Sam. xxii. 1., where the psalm itself follows, nearly as in this place, except that the first verse is now introduced, with some verbal corrections in the following verses. The variations between the two copies (says Mr. Scott, the commentator) seem to have been principally poetical improvements of the style, as few of them materially alter the sense, and several evidently render the composition more elegant. Indeed, the whole psalm seems one of the most finished poetical compositions extant in any language."
The first verse of the psalm just referred to, is noticed by the critics as peculiarly emphatic. With all the yearnings of affection, I will love thee," is the paraphrase of Bishop Horne; and we may remark, that we can never too forcibly express our attachment to the Author of our mercies, while we are careful to keep our language unalloyed: our expressions can never be too strong, while they are pure and chaste: but we sometimes meet with a familiarity or puerility of address in Christians to the Most High, which can only be excused by the simplicity of their piety, and unconscious ignorance. But David reverenced the
God he loved; and accumulates the strongest terms he could recollect to express his obligations to his deliverer: the rock on whom all his hopes were built; the fortress to which he looked alone for safety, and the horn of his salvation."
The psalmist now looks back upon the sorrows and dangers from which he had been at different times rescued. He had been in imminent danger of his life. "The sorrows," or rather toils " (i. e. snares) of death had been thrown around him but "the horn of his salvation" tore them to pieces. "The floods of Belial," or of wickedness, had been cast after him, as it were, to overwhelm him. (See Rev. xii. 15.) But he fled to the rock that was higher than himself, and there he found a refuge. The psalmist then goes on to describe the deliverance wrought for him in allusion to the awful tempests at mount Sinai, meaning thereby to intimate that, in some instance at least, his rescue from death and destruction had been attended with a similar display of the divine power and majesty,
and he ascribes the cause of it to the divine bounty: "He delivered me, because he delighted in me." Nor is this contradicted by the words following: for though his character and conduct, especially in respect of zeal and uprightness, may not be the cause of his deliverance, it may be the NOTES.
Ver. 15. At the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. -Ainsworth, At the breath of the wind of thine This is supposed to refer to the passage of
the Red Sea.
Ver. 16. Many waters-Marg. "Great waters," i.e. aetions, terrors.
Ver. 1. They prevented me-Anticipated, sur
Ver. 21. Wickedly departed. - Ainsworth, "Did not wickedly from "(or before) God.
Ver. 23. From mine iniquity-That is, says Ainsworth, from the iniquity I am prone to." This shows that the Psalms should not be applied indiscriminately to the Messiah.
Ver.24. In his eyesight. Heb. "Before his eyes."