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eat and drink with him at the blessed table which he promises them, Luke xxii, 30. and which is here said to be preparing for him. And then they will dwell with him for ever in the house of heavenly temple of the Lord. As in the foregoing psalm the psalmist represented Cbrist dying for his sheep, so here he represents christians réceiving the benefit of all the care and tenderness of that great and good shepherd.
VER. 1. “ The Lord is my sbepherd.")-This shews the strength of David's faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that he was his shepherd, to lead him, lo guide him, to watch over him, to feed him, to restore him. This office he was called and appointed to by his Father, and wbich through his condescending grace he undertook to execute, and for which be is abundantly qualified; being omniscient, and so knows all his sheep and their maladies, wbere to find them, what is their case, and what is to be done for them; and being omnipotent,, he can do every thing proper for them; and having all power in heaven and in earth, can protect, defend, and save them; and all the treasures of wisdom and knowledige being in him, he can guide and direct them in the best maquer; wberefore he is called the great shepherd, and the chief shepherd, and the good shepherd.
Ver. 2. “ He maketh me to lie down in green pastures."]–Or pastures of tender grass; this is one part of the shepherd's work, and which is performed by Christ, Ezek. xxxiv. 15. John X. I. By these « green pastures," may be meant the covenant of grace, its blessings and promises, where there is delicious feeding; likewise the fulness of grace in Christ, from whence grace for grace is, received; also the flesh and blood, righteousness and sacrifice of Christ, which faith is led unto, and lives upon, and is refreshed and invigorated by; to which may be added the doctrines of the gospel, with which Christ's under-shepherds feed his lambs and sheep, there being in them milk for babes and meat for strong men; and likewise the ordinances of the gospel, the goodness and fatness of the Lord's house, the feast of fat things, and breasts of consolation : here Christ's sheep are made to lie down, denoting their satiety and fulness ; they having in these green pastures what is satisfying and replenishing; as also their rest and safety, these being sure dwellings and quiet resting-places.
Ver. 3. “ le restoreth my soul.”]-Either when backslidden, and brings it back again when led or driven away, and heals its backslidings; or rather, when fainting, swooding, and ready lo dic away, he fetches it back again, relieves, refreshes, and comforts with the discoveries of his love, with the promises of his word, and with the consola. tions of his Spirit, and such like reviving cordials.
" He leadeth me in tbe patbs of righteousness.”]-In the plain paths of truth and boliness, in which men, though fools, shall not err.
Ver. 4.“ Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death."—Whicb designs pot a state of spiritual darkness, but the afflictions that attend the people of God in tbis life; there is a continued series of them, so that they may be said to walk in them; these are the ways in which they walk to heaven, and througb which they enter the kingdom ; for though they continue long, and one affliction comes after another, yet ibere will be an end at last ; they will walk and wade through them, and come out of great tribulations; and in the midst of such dark dispensations, comparable to a dark and gloomy valley, covered with the shadow of death. Some understand this prophetically of the human nature of Christ, and of bis triumphs over death."
“For thou art with me."]—Sheep are timorous crea. tures, and so are Christ's people; but when he, the shepherd, is with them, to sympathize with them under all their afflictions, to revive and comfort them with the cordials of bis love and promises of his grace, to bear them up and support them with his mighty arm of power, to teach and instruct them by every providence, and sanctify all unto them; their fears are driven away, and they pass through the dark valley, the deep waters, and fiery trials, with cou.. rage and cheerfulness; see Isaiah xli. 10. and xliii. 1, 2. • " Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."]-Not the rod of afflictions and chastiscnients, which is tbe sense of some christian interpreters; though these are in love, and the saints bave often much consolation under them; but these are designed by the valley of the shadow of death, and cannot have a place bere; but rather the rod of the word, called the rod of Christ's strength, and the staff of the promises, and the provisions of God's house, the whole staff and stay of bread and water, which are sure unto the saints, and refresh and comfort tbem.
Ver. 5. “ Thou preparest a table before me.")-lo a providential way, granting a sufficiency, and even an afflu.
ence of temporal good things; the providence of God lays · and spreads a table for bis people in the wilderness, and sets them down at it, and bids them welcome to it; see Psalm
Ixxviii. 19. and in a way of grace, the Lord making large provisions in his house for them, called the goodness and fatness of his house, and a feast of fat things; and under the gospel dispensation, the table of the Lord, on which are set his flesh and blood for faith to fecd upon; see Prov. ix. 2. and also in heaven, the joys of which are compared to a feast, and the enjoyment of them to sitting at a table, and which are prepared by the Lord for his people, from the foundation of the world; and of which they have some forcsight and foretaste in this world.
Ver. 6. “Surely goodness and mercy sball follow me.”] -The free grace, love, favour, and mercy of God in Christ, wbich endures continually, and is always the same from ererlasting to everlasting; or the effects of it: and these either temporal good things, which flow from the goodness and mercy of God, and not the merits of men; and which are in great mercy and loying-kindness bestowed on his people, and which follow them.
This psalm is entitled by the Septuagint, 'For the first day of the weck:' and
"for that day it seems well fitted, as a triumphal song of the church on
that blessed day of her Lord's resurrection; when, having conquered
death and all the powers of darkness by the agonies and pains of the * cross, and a passing through the valley of the shadow of death, as i en pointed at in the two foregoing psalms, he proved himself to be the *.115 Lord, and to have all power both in heaven and carth. The earth
therefore with all its fulness, it then appeared, was his; and the place where his kingdom (represented by the prophets under the figure of " The mountain of the Lord's house,") was to be established abore, or potwithstanding all the opposition of the seas and floods; that is, of those, who laboured to overwhelm it, as with a flood. "That this is what is pointed at in ver. 1, 2. of this psalm, under the figure of founding the earth “ upon the seas and above the floods," seems to appear plain from what follows, concerning the qualifications of those who shall be accounted wortby to ascend, and dwell in this “ monntain of the Lord.” As also from the latter part, where the church celebrates her Lord's ascension, and entrance into his glory; after he had proved himself “mighty in the battle," against the enemies of our salvation. This psalm is concerning the kingdom of Jesus Christ : (1.) His provideniial kingdom, by wbich he rules the world, ver. 1, 2. (2.) 'The kingdom of his grace, by which he rules in his church. 1. Conceruing the subjects of that kingilom; their character, ver. 4,
5. 7. Their charter, ver. 5. 2. Concerning tlie King of that jf kingdom; and an invitation to give him adınission, ver. 7-10. It
'is supposed, that the psalm was penned upon occasion of David's
bringing up the ark to the place prepared for it; and the intention of it was, to lead the people above the pomp of external ceremonies to faith in Christ, of whom the ark was a type.
VER. 3. “And who shall stand in his holy place?"]These words are to be understood in allusion to the temple, which is called the hill of the Lord, being built upon mount Moriah : and by the holy place we are to understand the holy of holics; and the words, who shall stand there, point forth the high priest with blood before the mercy-seat, wbich leads us to Christ the great antitype,
Ver. 4. “ He that hath clean hands and a pure heart."] -This may be applied to the spiritual members of the church below : and it ultimately may be applied to the Lord Jesus Christ, who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. And who so fit to enter into the holy place as this Holy One, who hath by his own blood obtained eternal redemption for us? For as the latter part of this psalm describes the glory of Christ's resurrection, so these words set forth Christ's entering into the holy of holies, as the head and representative of his people, receiving all blessings and supplies of grace for tbem ; see Psalm lxvii. 18.
Ver. 6. “ This is the generation of them that seek him." -These words are a description of the church of Christ, and of the converts of Zion who seek the Lord Jesus Christ, at the throne of grace, in his bouse and in his ways, tbat they may enjoy his presence, power, grace, and love.
" That seek thy face, O Jacob.”]~By Jacob we are to understand the Messiah and Mediator, who is called Jacob, Isa. xliv. 5. the name of the type being put for the antitype; for Jacob was not only a type of Christ in his prevailing both wilh God and man, but likewise in his name, wbich primarily signifies, one that taketh hold, and which was applied to hiin at his birth : so Christ is represented as “ taking hold of the seed of Abraham,” Heb. ji. 16. who were sinking by sin; and these sinking souls wboin Christ bas taken hold of by the arm of bis salvation, these are they that seek bis face, that is, his favour, bis love, and divine blessings.
“ Selab."]--This word some understand to be a solemn pause at what went before : others, to lift up the voice by way of exultation, or a note of admiration of what has been declared : others, a note of affirmation, of truth and veracity; but most commonly it is to be understood of something remarkable, or a devout or solemn meditation.
Ver. 7. “ Lift up your heads, o ye gates.”]-These words do not imply a power in believers to lift up their heads, or that Zion can open her gates, but it is a revelation of God's will, that they should be listed up with joy, praise, and adoration, upon viewing the resurrection and conquest of their King of glory. Or it may denote the triumphs and the acclamations of joy, which were afterwards sung by the church at the opening of the temple gates, and which joy spreads through the heavens and the heaven of heavens, in the exaltation of Christ at his resurrection and session at God's right hand, being crowned with glory and honour: then every saint and seraph, every angel and archangel, every patriarch and prophet, burst forth with the highest hallelujahs, new songs, and praises, to the conqueror, who rose in triumph over sin, death, and hell; for the resurrec. tion of Jesus filled all heaven with new joy.
"And the King of glory shall come in."]-The Lord Jesus Christ, called the Lord of glory, 1 Cor. ii. 8. James ii. 1. who is glorious in himself, in the perfections of bis divine nature, as the Son of God; being the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person ; and in his office as Mediator, being full of grace and truth, and having a glory given him before the world was; and wbich became manifest upon bis resurrection, ascension to heaven, and session at God's right band : and particularly he is glorious as a King, being made higher than the kings of the earth, and crowned with glory and honour.
Ver. 8. " Who is the King of glory?"]-Which question is put by the church, or particular believers, not hrough ignorance, as the daughters of Jerusalem, Cant. v. I. but as wondering at the glories and excellencies of his person, and as desirous of knowing more of him.
It is Christ, says Anstin, who is speaking here, as head of the church; that is,
of the whole body of the church, or considered as a body of which he has vouchsafed to be the head, even “ froin the foundation of the world." For this his body, thus living and growing through all ages,