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in our public version rendered “O thou most high !"' a meaning which it has never elsewhere ; and which, in my opinion, it cannot have here. Others make it an adverb, and render proudly. Others supply a letter, and render from on bigb.-Ver. 5. The first comma of this verse is, in our common version, rendered “ In God I will praise his word.”-Much more intelligibly Coverdale; “ I will comfort myself in God's word '—and our Liturgical version : “ I will praise God, because of his word,” i. e. bis promise. And this or a similar version has been adopted by some of the best modern translators. I cannot however think that this is the true meaning. The Heb. term rendered word, has a great variety of meanings: and here it appears to have a very general one, namely, whatever may happen. Iț occurs again twice, in this fame psalm, and certainly in the same meaning, whatever that meaning be. I will not here trouble the English reader with all the conjectures that have been risked on it, and the learned reader I must refer to my Critical Remarks.Ver. 6. They are daily devising my destruction : commonly rendered “ They are daily wresting my words.” I think the other the true meaning. Ver. 6. as if it could not escape them. I disjoin this comma from ver. 8. and add it to ver. 7. Then following the reading of Sep. and Syr. I find the most natural interpretation to be that which I give in my version. They who prefer the present Heb. lection render vari. ously. Our last translators : “ shall they escape by iniquity!"Coverdale : “ but in vain ; for it shall escape them :'' certainly a more consonant rendering; and followed by some more modern inter, preters.— Ver. 9. puttefl my tears in a bottle. Most of the antients read “ puttest my tears before thee :" but the other reading is more poetical and emphatic. The remainder, I think, is all pretty clear, and requires no further illustration.
PSALM LVII.--al. LVI. This psalm may bave been composed at the period mentioned in
the title; wbicb is, FOR THE FIRST MUSICIAN: [AL-THASHETH) A GOLDEN PSALM OF DAVID; WHEN HE
ESCAPED FROM SAUL, IN THE CAVE. HAVE pity on me, O GOD! have pity on me : for in thee my soul taketh shelter.
In the shadow of thy wings I shelter myself; until these calamities pass over.
God I invoke, the most high God; who to me is ever bountiful : who from the heavens sendeth me salvation; disgracing those, who pant for my life. His bounty and truth God has here displayed !
My life was in the midst of lions : I lay among ferocious men; whose teeth were lances and arrows; and whose tongues were sharp swords.
Exalt thyself, O GOD! above the heavens : manifest thy glory over all the earth. · A net they had prepared for my steps ; a trap they had prepared for my life; a pit they had digged before me: but into it they stumbled themselves.
Mine heart is ready, O God ! mine heart is ready : 8 to thee I will fing and psalmodize. Awake, my glory; awake, my lyre and harp! I will wake the early morning! I will praise thee, JEHOVAH! among the people; 10 will psalmodize to thee among the nations : for magnified is thy bounty, unto the heavens : thy veracity, unto the ethereal skies.
Exalt thyself, O God! above the heavens : manifest thy glory over all the earth.
Notes. The word in the title, which I have put within brackets, is supposed here and elsewhere to be the name of some air; to which this pfalm was to be sung. See the Notes on the foregoing pfalm.-Ver. 7. a trap they had prepared for my life. This comma is commonly rendered : “my soul is bowed down;" as in our public version : or, “ they have bowed down my soul :" as most of the antients, who read
the Heb. verb in the plural. But I cannot think that the word is here a verb at all. I believe it to be a noun, and to signify 'a trap, or cavity made to entrap.-Ver. 9. I will wake the early morning : poeticallySo Milton : “ Cheerly rouse the slumbering morn!”
PSALM LYIII.-al. LVII. .
A strong and bitter inveftive against iniquitous and precipitate judges. It may bave allusion to Saul's basty condemnation and slaugbter of the priests of Nob. See 1 Sam. 22. 11,&c.
FOR THE FIRST MUSICIAN : [AL-THASHETH]
A GOLDEN PSALM OF DAVID.
ADMINISTER ye justice, truly and faithfully?
The wicked are strangers to compassion;
Break, O God ! their teeth in their mouths : demolish, JEHOVAH! the grinders of those young
lions. 8 May they melt away like a flux of water ! ... When they aim their shafts, may they miss the
mark ! 9 May they be like a flux, flowing fastly off:
like an abortion, who seeth not the fun! 10 Before their thorns have gathered strength,
may they be dispersed, like teafils and thistles !
Then shall the righteous man rejoice, when he beholdeth such vengeance taken: when he may bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked ! Then will men say:
12 « Truly, there are rewards for the righteous : 66 Truly, there is a God, who is judge on the earth.”
Ver. 2. This abrupt apostrophe is quite poetical. There is a word in the original that has much puzzled interpreters, and various conjectures have been made concerning it. I have, with our common version, followed the Septuagint.-Ver. 4. The wicked are frangers to compassion, &c. This is commonly rendered : “ The wicked are estranged from the womb, they go astray as soon as they be born :" wrongly, I think, with Green.- Ver. 6. This has allusion to the charlatans, who, in the East, go about with tamed and harmless ser. pents, which they pretend to have rendered fo by spells and inchantments.-Ver. 9. The first comma of this verse is commonly rendered : “ as a snail, which melteth.” The antients vàry. Sep. Vulg. Syr. Arab. have wax. I believe the word means a water-flush. Ver. 10. This has been deemed one of the most difficult passages in the Psalter; and is in our public version rendered thus: “Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living and in his wrath :" which he who understands may. To make sense of the Heb. I have been obliged to make some slight corrections ; but which are either authorised by some ms. authority, or fome antient version; or naturally present themselves, and give a fit and fair meaning
PSALM LIX.mal. LVIII. This psalm, if we trust to the title, must be referred to what is related in 1 Sam. 19. 11, &c. but some parts of it seem bardly suitable to that occasicn. I am cpt to think, that it relates to the time of Hezekiab, when Jerusalem was besieged by the Assyrians. Comp. ver. 6,7. with 2 Kings 18. 19.
FOR THE FIRST MUSICIAN: [AL THASHËTH]
FOR THE PURPOSE OF KILLING HIM.
Each evening they return to the charge:
My strength! to thee I will psalmodize!
Slay them not; left my people forget it: .