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Prayer and praise]
To the chief Musician. A Psalm of David. IN thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
2 Bow down thine ear to me; de liver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to
3 For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.
4 Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.
5 Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.
6 I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD. 7 I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
8 And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.
9 Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.
10 For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
11 I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me,
12 I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.
13 For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.
14 But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, thou art my God.
15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
16 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies' sake.
17 Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.
18 Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought
for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
21 Blessed be the LORD: for he
by some of the early Christian fathers, who were intoxicated with the love of allegory: we, however, consider this scheme not only as fauciful and injudicious; but as dishonourable to Him, whom we doubt not but it was designed to honour. When did the Saviour boast in his prosperity, "I shall never be moved?" He was, at least, from arriving at maturity," a man of sorrows,"
and knew that he came into the world to suffer and to die. Bishop Horsley himself was sensible of this, and owns that this application cannot be here admitted without referring his "prosperity" to his state of glory at the resurrection, after which he was to be no more moved! an interpretation that appears to us violently forced, and unwarrantable.
PSALM XXXI. Ver. 2. Be thou my strong rock -Heb. To me a rock of strength," Ainsworth, A rock of fortresses;" i. e. a fortified rock. Vez, & Lying vanities.-This phrase is often used in reference to idols, Deut. xxxii. 21, &c.
Ver. 10. Because of mine iniquity.That is, says Auswerth, punishment due for iniquity." Gen.
15. But Dr. Boothroyd remarks, that the ancient versions read "affliction," which he follows. Ver. 9, 10. Consumed - That is, wasted, as by
pining disease, to the appearance of a skeleton.
Ver. 12. A broken vessel-Heb. "A vessel that perisheth;" i. e. becomes useless, and of no value Ver. 17. Let them be silent, &c.-Marg. "Let them be cut off for the grave."
Ver. 18. Grievous things-Heb. "A hard thing." Ver. 20. Pride" Conspiracies." Parkhurst, Gesenius.
Ver. 21. A strong city-Marg. “A fenced city.”
[of forgiveness. waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
heavy upon me: my moisture is turned 4 For day and night thy hand was into the drought of summer. Selah.
5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. 6 For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine
9 Be ye not as the horse, or as the
(1) A Psalm of David, pleading for mercy. The occasion of this psalm is not mentioned, but Bishop Patrick, and most other commentators apply it to the period when Saul pursued him in the wilderness of Maon, but was diverted from that pursuit by being informed that the Philistines had invaded Judea. 1 Sam. xxiii. 24-29. Part of the fifth verse having been used by our Saviour upon the cross (Luke xxiii. 46.) many expositors make no hesitation in applying to him the whole psalm; but Mr. Scott judiciously remarks, that when our Saviour used this clause he omitted the following, "Thou hast redeemed me," &c. as more properly relating to the type than to the antitype. Besides which, it should be remembered that the martyr Stephen used the like expression, as did many saints and martyrs in various ages: but the quotation of a single phrase by no means warrants the application of the whole psalm: though it must be allowed that David was an eminent type of our
Redeemer, it by no means follows that he
Sin, in no way, could be attached to our
PSALM XXXII. Title, A Psalm giving Instruction. Heb. Maschil; an instructing, or didactic Psalm. Dr. Hales and others consider this psalm (as well as the 51st) to have been composed on David's repentance for his sin "in the matter of Uriah,"
Ver. 3. When I kept silence-That is, " before I confessed my sin." David might grieve heavily, but refused to confess the cause, until Nathan was sent to him, 2 Sam. xii.
Ver. 6. In a time when, &c.-Heb. " In a time finding."
Ver. 8. I will guide thee with mine eye - He "I will counsel thee; mine eye shall be upon thee Ver. 9. Held in with bit and bridle. — Bish Horsley renders it," But the muzzle must compre his jaws." The Arabian horses, it appears, were wild as to render this necessary. See Horsle p. 223, 224.
mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about. 11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart. (K)
REJOICE in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
[in the Lord.
2 Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.
3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.
4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.
5 He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathereth the waters of the
(K) APsalm of David, giving instruction.-"As the sick is eloquent in the praise of health, (says Bishop Horne,) so the sinner beginneth this his confession of sin with an encomium on righteousness, longing earnestly to be made a partaker of the "evangelical" blessedness; "to be delivered from the guilt and the power of sin, to be pardoned and sanctified through faith which is in Christ Jesus." Sin is compared to a debt which may be discharged in two ways-either by blotting out the record, (Ps.li. 1-9.) or by covering it with a contrary account, namely, the merits or atonement of the Saviour, typified by the mercy-seat which covered the ark. opposition to the blessedness above-mentioned, (continues the good prelate,) the penitent now proceeds to declare his own wretched state, occasioned by his 'keeping silence,' or not confessing his sin, which therefore rankled and festered inwardly, occasioning torment inexpressible. The disorders of the mind, as well as those of the body, should be communicated to persons skilful in assuaging and removing them: many might thereby be saved from the horrible crime of self-murder, which is generally committed in agonies of solitary remorse and despair."
This is called an "instructing or didactic psalm;" and the doctrine of it is explained, by the apostle Paul, to be that of imputed righteousness. "To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness: Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto
whom God imputeth righteousness without works, (saying,) Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." Rom. iv. 1-4. The doctrine of justification by faith, here stated by St. Paul, was justly esteemed by Luther the fundamental article of the Protestant faith, by which the church must either stand or fall.
This psalm is evidently in dialogue (or in a dramatic form) like many others. The two first verses appear to be chorus; the five following the confession of the psalmist. Ver. 8. Bishop Horsley, (and perhaps justly,) considers as an oracular voice from the most holy place. Verses 9 and 10 appear to us the oracle continued, though the prelate just quoted considers them as the language of the psalmist; and the last verse we conceive to be the concluding chorus. The oracle itself, as we consider it, promises instruction and enjoins obedience. Man, in this case, is considered no better than an untamed colt, which must be forcibly restrained" with bit and bridle," and even a kind of muzzle to prevent the animal from attacking his owner. So says Job, "Man is born like a wild ass's colt," (Job xi. 12.) and it is only by a long training in trials and afflictions that he is brought to submission or obedience: but when thus brought to trust in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about; and great matter of joy is this, to those who are thus brought to love and fear God.
PSALM XXXIII. Ver. 2. The psaltery (or Nabla) was made in the form of a leathern bottle, and turned round in playing Bishop Horsley thinks it was the instrument with ten strings; if so, the "and" is
Blest is the man, for ever blest,. Whose guilt is pardoned by his God; Whose sins with sorrow are confess'd," And cover'd with a Saviour's blood."
here improperly supplied; but in Ps. xcii. 3. they appear to be distinguished.
Ver. 5. Goodness-Marg. " mercy."
[providence. sea together as an heap: he layeth safety: neither shall he deliver any up the depth in storehouses. by his great strength.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.
11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
13 The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.
14 From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.
15 He fashioneth their hearts alike;
he considereth all their works.
16 There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.
17 An horse is a vain thing for
18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. 20 Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.
22 Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee. (L)
A Psalm of David when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed.
I WILL bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
(L) A Psalm exhorting to generai joy and praise. The topics of thanksgiving are here derived from the general goodness and fidelity of God, from the display of the divine power in the work of creation, and from the infinite superiority of the divine wisdom in the government of the world. It is in vain for mortals, however high in rank, to combine against him who made the universe. He that spake the world into being, can, with a word, frus trate all the counsels of the heathen, and even "make their diviners mad.” (Isaiah xliv. 25.) As in the second psalm, so in this (which was probably a psalm of David,
though his name is not prefixed to it) JEHOVAH is represented as seated on his celestial throne, whence, looking down upon men, he distributeth among them the gifts of his providence at pleasure. Wisdom, knowledge, power, are all his; it is in vain, therefore, to look to a horse for speed, to a giant for strength, or even to a host of warriors for deliverance. "The eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy:" to him, therefore, are we directed for protection, and not to frail mortals like ourselves.
the creation, Gen. i. 2, 9, 10. this verse should be rendered in the past tense, like the preceding.As an heap-That is, into one place. See Gen. 1. 9. 10. Ver. 10. The Lord bringeth, &c. (Heb. "Frustrateth") the counsel of the heathen.-See Ps. ii. 2—4. Ver.1. Toall generations-Heb. "To generation and generation"
Ver. 15. He fashioneth their hearts alike— Or, "He alike fashioneth all their hearts;" i. e. distributeth wisdom to men at his good pleasure. See Job xxxviii. 36.
30 magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. 4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked unto him, and were lightened and their faces were not ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
90 fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear
10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing. Il Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he
may see good?
13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
16 The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
22 The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate. (M)
(M) 4 Psalm of David, thanking God for his deliverance from Gath.-The history here referred to has already passed before us in 1 Sam. chap. xxi.; some have, indeed, doubted the authenticity of this title; but we think without sufficient reason, as the psalm certainly celebrates an escape from some great and imminent dan ger, and may be suitably and profitably used on any occasion of providential suecour or deliverance. It is a narrative of David's experience in the particular instance before us: "This poor man cried," says he, evidently alluding to himself; and "the Lord delivered him:" others are therefore encouraged to do the same, under expectation of the like deliverance. "0 taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him."
Many of the expressions here used may, without violence, be applied to the circumstances of our divine Redeemer, and Bishop Horsley conceives one passage, "He keepeth all his bones, not one of them is broken," is applied to him by the apostle John (chap. xix. 36.) It is more generally thought that St. John referred to the law of the pascal lamb, (Exod. ix. 46;) but supposing the reference to be to this psalm, we cannot admit it to be inapplicable to the psalmist himself, who often complains respecting his bones waxing old, &c., and might, therefore, well be thankful for their preservation. Nor can we by any means admit the canon of interpretation which the Bishop cites from Mr. Hutchinson, viz., "that any one senteuce which is applicable to the true David (i.e. Messiah,) and to none else, determines
psalmist had no opportunity to commit his thoughts to writing. Ver. 5 They looked---Marg," They flowed;" but we conceive the sense to be, that, as by looking to the light of the sun our eyes are enlightened, so are our minds, by looking unto God: and as the light of the ann makes our countenances shine, so the influences of the divine Spirit cheer the heart.