« AnteriorContinuar »
There are many hard passages in this otherwise beautiful psalm; which it is not easy to render; and which cannot and ought not to be literally rendered. I trust I have made the whole intelligible.- Ver. 3. Thou bust smelted me. A metaphor taken from the smelting of metals, to purify them from extraneous matter. This and the next ver, are badly pointed and divided in the original; as in our common English version.-Ver. 10. Their bearts they have hardened: lit. they have closed their midriff: shut out all compassion from their hearts..Ver. 15. This is a very difficult passage, and has been variously interpreted. I am confident of having given the true meaning, as literally as our language will admit. The favour of God, and the revival of his wonted protection, are all that the psalmist wishes for. Let others abound in earthly goods and swim in earthly pleasures.
PSALM XVIII.-al. XVII. This psalm is the same with that in 2 Sam. 22., except some small variations and additions, which are of little importance. Tbe title points to the time of its being composed. FOR THE FIRST MUSICIAN: A PSALM OF JEHO. I VAH’s SERVANT DAVID; WHO ADDRESSED THIS SONG TO JEHOVAH, WHEN JEHOVAH HAD DELIVERED HIM FROM THE HANDS OF SAUL,
AND OF ALL HIS ENEMIES. I LOVE thee (faid he) Jehovah ! my strength! 2 JEHOVAH ! my rock, my fortress, and my refuge ! 3 my God! my rock, in whom I trust; my shield, my salvation-horn, my elevated tower !
Penetrated with terror I invoked JEHOVAH ! and from my foes I was preserved. The billows of death had environed me, impetuous torrents had on me rushed : the cords of Hades were enfolding me: laid for me were the fnares of death! In my distress I invoked JEHOVAH:
to my God I cried aloud:
The earth then shook and trembled !
under his feet was a thick dark cloud ! į II Upon a cherub he rode and flew;
he glided on the wings of the wind!
his lightnings he multiplied, and dispersed ! 16 The channels of waters were then seen;
discovered were the foundations of the globe ;
From above he stretched his hand,
out of many waters he drew me up; 18 he rescued me from my powerful foes;
from those who despised me
because stronger than I. 19 In the day of distress they had surprised me,
but JEHOVAH was my leaning-staff,
He brought me out into a wider space; he rescued me because he was pleased with me: JEHOVAH requited me according to mine innocence, 21 repaid me according to the cleanness of mine hands.
Because the ways of JEHOVAH I had kept, and had never revolted from my God because his decrees had ever been before me; and his statutes I had never rejected. because with him I had ever been sincere, and had guarded myself from injustice Jehovah hath repaid me, according to mine integrity; according to the cleanness of my hands in his fight.
To the benign thou also art benign; . with the sincere thou dealest fincerely ; with the pure thou also art pure; but, with the stubborn, thou too art stubborn : Those who are depressed, thou savest : but the haughty thou humblest, with disdain.
'Tis thou, JEHOVAH ! who lightest my lamp: 29 JEHOVAH, my God, enlighteneth my darkness. Enabled by thee, I bound over fences; through my God, I leap over walls ! a God, whose conduct is irreprehensible; for fire-tried is the word of JEHOVAH; he is a shield to all who trust in him.
Who, indeed, is a God, beside JEHOVAH ? who a firm rock, beside our God?' the God who girdeth me with strength; maketh me march without impediment; maketh my feet equal to those of the hinds; and on mine eminences maketh me stand firm : who traineth mine hands to war, and maketh mine arms like a bow of brass,
36. With thy saving shield thou coverest me,
thy right hand is my support;
thine indulgence maketh me great. 37 Ample room thou makest for my steps,
that mine ancles may never stagger. 38 I pursue my foes—I overtake them
I turn not, until they be completely routed. 39 I maul them so that they cannot rise;
they fall flat beneath my feet !
From my opponents thou hast delivered me,
jects: soon as they hear my mandates, they obey. 45 Foreign nations, although feignedly, yet obey me;
foreign nations shrink with fear,
Live, Jehovah ! and blessed be my rock!
and induced the nations to obey me; 49 rescuing me from all mine enemies !
Above mine adversaries thou hast raised me;
who is the great safeguard of his chofen king,
NOTES. Every reader must observe that this psalm is highly metaphorical, and quite in the Oriental exaggerating style. Deep waters--the billows of death the cords of Hadis, &c. express the greatest degree of calamity and distress : but JEHOVAH, who is a rock, a tower, a fortress, a pield, a salvation-born, &c. can easily rescue from all such perils. His coming down in a thunder-storm, to save David and terciíy his enemies, is wonderfully well conceived ; and the description of the storm itself uncommonly sublime.-Ver. 26, 27, 28. The attributes in these verses, applied to God, seem harsh in our refined ideas of the Divinity : but in Hebrew they mean nothing more than that God treats mankind according to their deeds and dispositions.-Ver. 34. The comparison of his feet to those of hinds, or deer, is peculiarly suitable. When persecuted by Saul, he was often obliged to take refuge on the most inaccessible cliffs of mountains; where both speed and sure-footing were absolutely necessary.-Ver. 35. makes mine arms like a bow of brass. Some render : makejt mine arms fit to draw a bow of brass. I cannot think that the original will bear this meaning.–Ver. 40. Thou girdeft me with strength. To be well-girt, was to be well-armed, in the Greek and Latin idioms, as well as in the Hebrew.-Ver. 43. He alludes to the conquered nations, who obeyed with reluctance, through mere compulsion and fear. The whole psalm is a masterly composition, which I have endeavoured to make as intelligible as possible, without deviating into paraphrase.
PSALM XIX.-al. XVIII. The subje&t of this psalm is general; and its tenor is readily perceived. A finer argument against atbeism was never urged, nor better expre; sed. FOR THE FIRST MUSICIAN: A PSALM OF I
DAVID. THE heavens proclaim the glory of God! the works of his hands the expanse declareth!