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would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.
10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God ever since I was born.
11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me they pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
19 But be not thou far from me, LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
23 Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for
27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
28 For the kingdom is the LORD's: and he is the governor among the nations.
Ver. 2. Am not silent-Heb. "There is no silence for me;" i. e. no interval of rest, or ease.
Ver. 3. Inhabitest the praises, &c.-That is, that dwellest in the temple, where praises are perpetually
Ver. 6. A worm-A maggot; implying excessive weakness in himself, and contempt from others, as in the verse following.
Ver. 8. He trusted (Heb. " he rolled himself") on the Lord-A Hebrew phrase, expressing faith and confidence; but used here in ridicule.-Seeing he delighted-Or, "If he delighteth in him." See Matt. xxvii. 43.
Ver. 9. Thou didst make me hope-Marg. " Keepest me in safety."
Ver. 10. Ever since I was born.-These words are borrowed from the Version in the Common Prayer Book; the Bible translation, "from my mother's belly," being not only indelicate, but also irreverent, in speaking of the mother of our Lord.
Ver. 11. None to help-Heb. "No helper." Ver. 12. Strong (bulls) of Bashan - A country famous for cattle and sheep. Deut. xxxii. 14, 15; Amos iv. 1. Ver. 13. They gaped upon me-Heb, “Opened their mouths against me."
Ver. 14. I am poured out. This describes a state of extreme lassitude and weakness.
Ver. 16. Dogs have compassed me.-Dogs in the
East are not domesticated as with us. See Note on Exod. xi. 7; they are therefore furious and dangerous. See Orient. Lit. No. 757.
Ver. 17. Tell all my bones.-The body of our Lord, being distended by crucifixion Le Clerc. They look and stare--Who? It is generally supposed his enemies are here referred to; but may not the bones themselves, by a bold prosopopæia, be intended? Is it not often said, of a person in the last stage of consumption, that his bones stare through the skin?
Ver. 20. My darling-Heb. " only one;" i. e. my life. See Ps. xxxv. 17.-From the power-Heb. "From the hand;" i. e. the paw of the dog, ready to tear the sufferer to pieces.
Ver. 21. For thou hast heard me.-This is unhap pily transposed, contrary to the order of the original. Ainsworth reads literally," from the horns of the unicorns, thou hast answered me." Bishop Horne renders it," From the horne, &c. hear thou me." But Bishop Horsley's conjecture, given in our Expe sition, removes all the obscurity.
Ver. 29. All they that be fat-That is, says Ainsworth," "the rich and mighty.... fat with plenty." See Isa. Ix. 1-10; Rev. xxi. 24. If so, the following sentence refers to the poor and wretched,
None (of whom) can keep alive his own soulThat is, the poor as well as rich shall bow before him. But see Exposition.
(Z) A Psalm of David.-Our Lord is here set forth, as Bishop Horne remarks, under the image of a hind (or bart) roused early in the morning of his mortal life, chased all the day, and, in the evening of that day, hunted to the death. This psalm appears to belong exclusively to the Mes siah, several passages not meeting the circumstances of David, whose garments were not parted by lot; whose hands and feet were never pierced, &c. Dr. Kennicott (with many others) divides this psalm into two parts-a prayer and thanksgiving. The first sentence of the former was uttered by our Saviour on the cross in an agony of distress, and with a voice so loud, that it is here compared to the roaring of a lion: a cry so strong and agonizing as to be indistinct, which accounts for its being misunderstood by the by-standers, some of whom supposed he was calling for Elias. The other circumstances herewith connected, imply a state of extreme lassitude, weakness, and fatigue, previous to the execution of our Lord, in consequence of which he fainted in carrying his cross; and the peculiarity of his death by crucifixion, which was not a Jewish, but a Roman punishment, is here pointed out by the "piercing of his hands and feet, and the parting of his garments;" but the casting lots for his vesture was still more singular, and occurred perhaps in no other instance. (Compare Matt. xxvii. 35, and John xix. 23, 24.)
The twenty-first verse, which concludes the petitionary part of the psalm, is obscure and difficult, (as may be seen in our note subjoined :) but Bishop Horsley has a very ingenious conjecture, which removes the difficulty without violence to the text. By restoring the words to the order of the
Hebrew original, he divides the verse thus
"Save me from the mouth of the lion,
Thou hast answered me.
I will declare," &c.
And then the psalmist proceeds (according to Bishop Lowth's idea) with the hymn of praise here referred to. This second part of the psalm expresses Messiah's tri umph after his resurrection, the universal spread of his gospel among the rich and the poor-those who are fattened like the bulls of Bashan, and those, who, for poverty and distress, can scarcely keep life in them all, that is, many of both classes shall submit, and become "a seed to serve him," even the generation of the righteous.
On the authority of the Septuagint, and some of Kennicott's Hebrew manuscripts, Bishop Lowth disjoins the last member of the twenty-ninth verse, in a manner similar to the above correction of Bishop Horsley on ver. 21; and, by a very slight departure from the present edition of the Hebrew Bible, reads as follows, ver.35: "But my soul shall live to him; my seed shall It shall be accounted," &e.
With this correction, agree Bishop Horsley and others, and it is mentioned by Bishop Horne without censure.
The two great points to be considered by us in this psalm, are, 1. The extreme sufferings of the Son of God for our sins, which ought to humble us at his feet with gratitude and with shame; and, 2. The blessed consequences resulting to maukind from his death and resurrection, which call upon us for the most animated praises, and the utmost devotion to his service.
PSALM XXIII. Ver. 2. In green pastures-Heb. "Pastures of tender grass."- Beside the still waters-Heb. "Waters of quietness, or stillness ;' i. e. a gently purling stream.
Ver. 3. He restoreth my soul-from backsliding as a wandering sheep from the mountains. Se Luke xv. 4, 5.
valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art, with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and 1 will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. (A)
A Psalm of David. THE earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. 3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.
7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah. (B)
(A) A Psalm of David, in pastoral language. Of the author of this psalm there is no doubt; and we are inclined to date it among the first of the writer's compositions, when he had not forgotten the pleasures of the pastoral life, though at the same time be had become acquainted with the dangers of the wilderness, and had traversed the deep ravines between the mountains, from which he drew the fearful image of "the valley of the shadow of death." The psalmist appears overwhelmed with a grateful sense of the many blessings and privileges he then enjoyed, and encouraged to brave any dangers he might meet by faith in the divine protection. By "the valley of the shadow of death," may be intended any situation of danger, whether in sickness or in war, in which he looked for protection to the rod (or sceptre) of the Almighty, and for support to the staff of his holy word.
Contemplating a situation in the barren wilderness, though even surrounded with
enemies, he is encouraged by the divine goodness, not only to expect necessary supplies, but to sit down composedly as to a feast-his head fattened with oil (as the Hebrew phrase is,) and his cup running over with the choicest wine; that is, the divine presence and communion with his God was to him a feast in the wilderness, and a guard of protection when surrounded with foes. He looks forward, therefore, to end his days on earth in peace, where he could constantly attend God's earthly tabernacle, and from thence to be removed to his palace in the heavens.
"Still hope, and grateful praise,
(B) A Psalm of David.-The sovereignty of God, and the resurrection of Christ.The occasion of this psalm is not stated,
Ver. 5. Thou anointest (Heb. "makest fat") my head with oil. This was customary at the feasts both of the Hebrews and Greeks. Eccl. ix. 7, 8; Matt. vi. 17. Homer's Iliad, x, 577, &c.-My cup
eth over-This was also a piece of ancient hospitality, to make a guest welcome. See Orient. Crest. Nos. 889, 890.
Ver.6. For ever-Heb. "To length of days."
PSALM XXIV. Ver. 2. Founded it on the floods. -See Note on Job xxxviii. 6.
Ver. 4. He that hath clean hands-Heb. "The clean of hands and pure of heart." Nor sworn deceitfully-Comp. Ps. xv. 4.
Ver. 6. That seek thy face, O Jacob-Marg. " O (God of) Jacob." So Lowth, Borne, Horsley, &c. Ver. 7. Lift up your heads.-It may be remarked, in addition to the Ethiopian eustom above alluded to, that in London itself we have an ancient enstom of shutting the gates of Temple Bar, whenever the King comes into the city; who is therefore obliged to demand admittance by a herald. ·
A Psalm of David.
UNTO thee, O LORD, do I lift up
2 O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.
4 Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
6 Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy loving kindnesses; for
3 Yea, let none that wait on thee they have been ever of old.
EXPOSITION-Psalm XXIV. Continued.
Bishop Lowth supposes it to have been composed on the removal of the ark to mount Sion, Chron. xv. xvi; but it is remarkable that another psalm is there given, as composed on this occasion, totally different from the one before us: nor is the expression, "Lift up your heads, ye gates," well adapted to the occasion, since the tabernacle had neither gates nor doors (much less everlasting ones); and when the temple was erected, the gates do not appear to have been made to lift up, but to fold, as usual in both ancient and modern times. The only way to account for this is, to suppose that on ascending the hill some temporary impediments were placed in the way, analogous to what is related by Mr. Bruce to have taken place at a grand festival occasion at which he was present, in Ethiopia, which was kept on (March 18) the day of our Saviour's entry into Jerusalem. On this occasion, a chorus of noble virgins stretched a silken cord across where the king was to pass, and demanded, "Who are you?" The answer was, "I am your king, the king of Ethiopia!" This is denied, and the king withdraws. The ceremony is three times repeated, and at the last, the king draws his sword, and cuts the silken cord-on which the virgins shout, “You are our king, the king of Sion!" and they are immediately joined by the Court and the army, singing Hallelujah! accompanied with the sound of trumpets, drums, and fire-arms! (Bruce's Trav. vol. ii. p. 278-280.)
This ceremony seems evidently borrowed from the psalm before us; or may probably allude to some ceremony of more ancient date not on record, which might illucidate the phrase here used of lifting up the gates of Sion, and the repetition of this important question, "Who is the King of glory?" Supposing, however, some temporary impediment to have been placed in different parts of the hill of Zion, it will sufficiently account for the reiterated demand and reply here m de by the semi-chorus and chorus in this | sal n.
But to come to the psalm itself, which was evidently sung in dialogue. It first opens with claiming, on the part of the
God of Israel, the sovereignty of the whole earth, though he had made his dwellingplace in Sion. The inquiry then is, Who will this great and illustrious Being admit to reside with him? And the answer is, None but upright and faithful men; none but those who seek the blessing of God and his righteousness; none but the genera tion of those who seek communion with the God of Jacob. In short, neither painted hypocrites, nor self-righteous Pharisees, nor mere formal professors; but the true worshippers only of the true God-the God of Jacob.
The character of the God of Israel, and of his true worshippers, being ascertained a demand is now made to admit him, with his attendants, into his holy temple. This psalm, according to the Rabbins, was al ways sung on the first day of the week and is marked as such in some copies o the Septuagint. Whether or not they con sidered it as a prophecy of the resurrectio of Christ, to that event it has been, h Christians, uniformly applied, and wit the greatest propriety, considering that hath, on his vesture and on his thigh, th name written, "King of kings, and Lo of lords." (Rev. xix. 16.)
"We must now form to ourselves an id of the Lord of Glory, after his resurrecti from the dead, making his entry into eternal temple in heaven, as of old, by symbol of his presence, he took possess of that figurative and temporary struct which once stood upon the hill of S We are to conceive him gradually ris from mount Olivet, taking the clouds his chariot, and ascending up on hi while some of his augels (like the Lev in this procession) demand that those e lasting gates and doors, hitherto shut barred against the race of Adam, sh be thrown open for his admission. up your heads, O ye gates!' and if any should ask, Who is the King of Glo to heaven and earth be it proclaimed a by men and angels-that God our Sav
He is the LORD of Hosts ;-He is King of Glory.' Amen. Hallelujah Bishop Horne.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.
8 Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.
10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
11 For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.
12 What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.
13 His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.
14 The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew
them his covenant.
15 Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.
16 Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.
18 Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.
19 Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.
20 O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.
21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.
22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles. (C)
(C) A Psalm of David-in great distress. "It is much the same, whether we suppose the church, or any single member thereof, to be speaking throughout this psalm, and praying for help and protection against spiritual enemies; and for knowledge and direction in the way of godliness." For this purpose the psalmist pleads God's ancient mercies, and the glory of his own name. He then describes the blessedness of those who fear the Lord, and concludes with praying for the redemption of God's Israel. Some passages, however, require a distinct remark. When David prays, (ver. 11.) "Pardon my iniquity, for it is great," we are not to consider (as some have done) the greatness of our sins as an argument for divine forgiveness; but because our sin is great, therefore should we the more earnestly pray for pardon. Again,
by" the secret of the Lord," ver. 14. we do not understand any knowledge of the divine decrees, or of mysteries unrevealed; but rather, the assurance of his mercy, and that secret and divine communion with
God, through Jesus Christ, in which consists the essence of true Christianity. (See John xiv. 22, 23; 1 John i. 3.)
On the psalmist's concluding prayer, "Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles," Bishop Horne remarks, "In the common salvation, all have an interest; and for that reason, all should pray for it. The earthly David petitioned for Israel; the heavenly David ever continueth to intercede for the church; and every Christian ought to become a suppliant for his brethren, still looking and longing for that glorious day, when, by a joyful resurrection unto life eternal, God shall indeed "redeem Israel out of all his troubles."
PSALM XXV. Title.-The name of David is prefixed to this and other psalms without the word Psalm or Prayer. Whether it were so originally, or for what cause omitted, we know not. This is the first of the alphabetical psalms, each verse beginning with a different letter, with some exceptions, supposed to be owing to the errors of the transcribers. See Bishop Horsley.
Ver. 3. Transgress without cause - Ainsworth, "In vain," falsely, perfidiously.
Ver. 6. Tender mercies-Heb, "Bowels."