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PSALM VIII.

A CONTEMPLATION ON THE GREATNESS AND GOODNESS OF GOD IN HIS WORKS AND PROVIDENCE.

God's glory is manifested by his works, and by his love to man.

To the chief Musician, upon Gittith, [i. e. upon the harp of Gath, or in the Gathic style.] A Psalm of David.

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1 O LORD our Lord,

How excellent is thy name in all the earth!

Who hast set thy glory above the heavens. 2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings

Hast thou 'ordained strength because of thine enemies, That thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,

The moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him?

And the son of man, that thou visitest him?

5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, And hast crowned him with glory and honour.

6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works

of thy hands;

e

Thou hast put all things under his feet:

7'All sheep and oxen,

Yea, and the beasts of the field;

8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea,

a See Mat. 11. 25; 21.16.

1 Cor. 1. 27.

1 Heb. founded.

And whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. 9 O LORD our Lord,

How excellent is thy name in all the earth!

b Psa. 111. 2. See Gen. 1. 1, 14.

c See Job 7. 17.

d Gen. 1. 26, 28.

e 1 Cor. 15. 27. Heb. 2. 8.

2 Heb. flocks and oxen all of them.

INTRODUCTION TO PSALM XIX.

PSALM OF DAVID.

This Psalm celebrates the glorious majesty and perfections of God in his works, and in his written word, or revelation. The former part is similar to Psalm viii, with this addition, that here the sun is mentioned, which is represented as having its tent pitched in the midst of the stars. Verse 4. The idea of verses 3 and 4 is better given in Mr. Noyes' translation. Speaking of the heavenly bodies the Psalmist says:

"They have no speech, nor language,
And their voice is not heard;

Yet their sound goeth forth to all the earth,
And their words to the ends of the world."

The transition from material nature to the moral law and government is very abrupt, (verses 6, 7,) according to the cus tom of the Hebrew poets, but the subjects are treated with great clearness and precision, and the allusions to the physical universe are majestic and beautiful. Verse 1 seems to be the basis of Paul's declaration, Romans i, 19-20, that God may be known by his works sufficiently to condemn and leave without excuse all polytheism. Verse 4 is quoted by Paul, Romans x, 18, and applied to the general promulgation of the Gospel throughout the world. Before this God of majesty and glory, and before his pure, spiritual, and just laws, sin can find no apology, or tolerance, or hope of impunity; hence, the last three verses of the Psalm form the key and moral application of the whole.

PSALM XIX.

THE GLORY OF GOD MANIFESTED IN HIS WORKS AND IN HIS MORAL GOVERNMENT.

The works of God declare his glory, 1–6; the revelation of God, his grace and rectitude, 7-11; David prayeth for inward purity, and acceptance with God, 12–14.

T To the chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;

And the firmament showeth his handiwork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech,

And night unto night showeth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language,

Where their voice is not heard.

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4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world.

In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,

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5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, And rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.

6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, And his circuit unto the ends of it;

And there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

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The 'law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the

simple.

8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever:

a Bee Gen. 1. 6, 14.

1 Or, without these their voice

is heard. Heb. without
their voice heard.

The judgments of the LORD are 'true and righteous altogether.

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10 More to be desired are they than gold,

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Yea, than much fine gold:

Sweeter also than honey and 'the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned;

And in keeping of them there is great reward.
Who can understand his errors?

12

Cleanse Thou me from secret faults.

13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me:

Then shall I be upright,

And I shall be innocent from 'the great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart,

Be acceptable in thy sight,

O LORD, my 'strength, and my redeemer.

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PSALM OF DAVID.

It is the opinion of some that David composed this beautiful Psalm while he was yet a shepherd boy, tending his father's flocks. The associations are purely pastoral, and the scene is evidently laid in the mountains and vales of the desert of Judah, where lofty, precipitous, barren hills, overshadow deep, narrow, verdant valleys; and thither the shepherds of Judah often repaired in the wet season, in quest of pasture. Here was solitude, and here was danger from robbers and wild animals, furnishing occasion for the various allusions in the Psalm.

But the Psalm before us was evidently written in David's

maturer life, when he had experienced the bitterness of having violent enemies, (verse 5,) and when he had become inured to the cares of government. "He speaks the language of experience, and sings,” says Hengstenberg, "from the soul of every pious man." There is in this Psalm an ineffable sweetness. and simplicity of faith and hope, expressed in language and metaphors altogether inimitable.

DAVID CELEBRATES THE

PSALM XXIII.

over.

EVER-WATCHFUL

PROVIDENCE OF GOD.

David's confidence in God's grace.

TA Psalm of David.

1 The LORD is my shepherd-I shall not want.

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2 He maketh me to lie down in 'green pastures: He leadeth me beside the 'still waters.

b Phil. 4. 19.

© Ezek. 84. 14.

3 He restoreth my soul:

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his

name's sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the 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

a Isa. 40. 11. Jer. 23. 4. Ezek.

34. 11, 12, 23.

John 10. 11.
Rev. 7. 17.

1 Peter 2. 25.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:

And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

CARE AND

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