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3. The mountains (y) also shall bring peace (z): and the little hills righteousness unto the people.
4. He shall keep the simple folk by their right: defend the children of the poor, and punish the wrong-doer.
5. They (a) shall fear (b) thee, as long as the sun and moon endureth: from one generation to another.
6. He shall come down like the rain into a fleece of wool (c): even as the drops that water the earth.
judging, and attention to the poor, were among the characteristics elsewhere foretold of the Messiah. Thus it is said prophetically with reference to him, Isaiah xi. 3,4. "He shall not judge after the sight of his "eyes, neither reprove after the hearing "of his ears; but with righteousness shall "he judge the poor, and reprove with "equity for the meek of the earth." And Jer. xxxiii. 15. "He shall execute "judgment and righteousness in the "land."
(y) v. 3. "The mountains," i.e. probably, "the places of strength, the situ"ations usually seized upon by armed "forces; the points from which war has "generally come down."
(z) "Peace." The disposition to produce peace upon earth, was another of the characteristics of the Messiah. In the spirited prophecy, Isaiah ix. 6. one of the appellations given him is, "the Prince of "Peace;" in Haggai ii. 9. he is called "Peace;" and part of the triumphant song sung by the angels at his birth, was, "on earth peace. Luke ii. 14."
(a) v. 5. "They, &c." i. e. " mankind." «« Thou shalt be feared."
(b) "Fear," i. e. " reverence, worship."
(c) v.6. "Into a fleece of wool," or "upon the mown grass," (B. T.) i. e. " he "shall bring as great blessings upon the "earth, as rain does upon a new-mown "field." The same idea occurs, Hos. vi. 3. "If we follow on to know the Lord, he "shall come unto us as the rain; as the "latter and former rain unto the earth;"
7. In his time shall the righteous flourish : yea, and abundance of peace, so long as the moon endureth.
8. His dominion (d) shall be also from the one sea to the other: and from the flood (e) unto the world's end.
9. They (g) that dwell in the wilderness shall kneel before him: his enemies shall lick the dust (h)
10. The kings of Tharsis (i) and of the isles (i) shall give presents (A-) : the kings of Arabia (*') and Saba (») shall bring gifts. (*)
and see note on Ps. exxxiii. 3. — Deuter. xxxii. 1,2.— Prov. xix. 12.—Hos. xiv.S.
(d) v. 8. "His dominion, &c." So when Zechariah foretold the meek and humble character of the Messiah, his disposition to make wars to cease throughout the earth, and to speak peace unto the heathen, he adds, "His dominion shall be "from sea even to sea, and from the river "even to the ends of the earth. Zech. ix. "10." and in Ps. lxxxix. 26. where the success of the Messiah's kingdom is probably contemplated, God is represented as saying, "I will set his dominion also in "the sea, and his right hand in the floods." Numberless other passages intimate how widely the kingdom of Christ, Christianity, should extend.
(e) "Flood," or, (as in the passage in Zechariah) " river," (B. T.) referring to the Euphrates.
(g) v. 9. "They, &c." i. e. "the mort "barbarous nations." (Jerome, "TheEthi"opians.")
(A) "Lick the dust," i. e. (probably) "bow down before him in token of sub"jection," as in Isaiah xlix. 23. "King* "shall be thy nursing fathers, and their "queens thy nursing mothers: they shall "bow down to thee with their face toward "the earth, and lick up the dust o/*% "feet."
(t)v.lO. "Tharsis," "the Isles," "Ara"bia," and "Saba," i. e. "all heathen "nations."
(k) "Presents," and " gifts." In token "of submission and homage." So in look
11. All kings shall fall down (/) before him : all nations shall do him service.
12. For he shall deliver the poor (m) when he crieth : the needy also, and him that hath no helper.
13. He shall be favourable to the simple and needy : and shall preserve the souls of the poor.
14. He shall deliver their souls («) from falsehood and wrong: and dear (o) shall their blood be in his sight.
15. He shall live, and unto him shall be given of the gold of Arabia : prayer (p) shall be made ever unto him, and daily shall he be praised.
16. There shall be an heap of corn in the earth, high (y) upon the hills : his fruit shall shake like Libanus, and shall be green in the city, like grass upon the earth.
17. His Name shall endure for ever; his Name shall remain under the sun among the posterities : which shall be blessed through him (r); and all the heathen shall praise him.
18. Blessed (s) be the Lord God, even the God of Israel : which only doeth wondrous things;
19. And blessed be the Name of his Majesty for ever : and all the earth shall be filled with his Majesty. Amen, Amen.
ing forward prophetically to the Messiah's kingdom, Isaiah says, "The forces of the "Gentiles shall come unto thee, the mul"titude of camels shall cover thee, the "dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all "they from Sheba shall come: they shall "bring gold and incense; and they shall "shew forth the praises of the Lord. "Isaiah lx. 5, 6.'' Upon our Saviour's birth, wise men from the east sought him out, and " presented unto him gifts; gold, "frankincense, and myrrh, Matt. ii. 1.11."
(/) v. 11. "All kings shall fall down." It is said of our Saviour, Philipp. ii. 9, 10, 11. that "God hath highly exalted him, "and given him a name that is above "every name; that at the name of Jesus "every knee should boui, of things in hea"ven,and things in earth, and things under "the earth; and that every tongue should "confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the "glory of God the Father."
(m) v. 12, 13. "The poor" and "the "needy." According to the prophecy, Is. "lxi. 1. it was to be part of the Messiah's "office, to preach good tidings unto the "meek, and to bind up the broken-hearted.''
(n) v. 14. "Souls," i. e. "lives."
(o) "Dear," i. e. "precious." So Ps. cxvi. IS. "Right dear in the sight of the "Lord is the death of his saints." See also 1 Sam. xxvi. 21. and 2 Kings i. IS. And what can be a greater proof of Christ's love for man, than his laying down his life for our sakes?
(p) v. 15. "Prayer, &c." So that it was the language of prophecy, that he should be for ever one of the objects of prayer and praise.
(q) v. 16. "High upon the hills." It strongly marks a time of abundance, when even upon the tops of the hills, which are in general barren, there are heaps of corn. See Ps. Ixv. 13. And it will mark the time of spiritual abundance, when the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
(r) v. 17. "Blessed through him." It was part of the promise to Abraham, Gen. xxii. 18. that in his seed (i. e. the Messiah) should "all the nations of the earth be "blessed."
(s) v. 18, 19. Dr. Kennicott considers these verses as a doxology, added by the compiler of the 2d book, which ends with this Psalm.
Lessons for the Fourteenth Day of the Month throughout the Year.
(1) ante, 59. 67. 62. (2) ante, 108. (3) ante, 44. 37. (4) ante, 179. (5) ante, 67. K.
(6) ante, 108. (7) ante, 61. (8) ante, 187. (9) ante, 91. (10) ante, SO. (II, ante, 100.
(12) ante, 96. (13) ante, 152. 147.
Psalm Ixxiii. (t)
Truly God is loving unto Israel: even unto such as are of a clean heart.
2. Nevertheless, my feet (u) were almost gone : my treadings had well nigh slipped.
3. And why? I was grieved at the wicked : I do also see the ungodly in such prosperity.
4. For they are in no peril of death : but are lusty and strong.
5. They come in no misfortune like other folk: neither are they plagued like other men.
6. And this is the cause that they are so holden with pride: and overwhelmed with cruelty.
7. Their eyes swell with fatness (x): and they do even what they lust.
8. They corrupt other (y) and speak of wicked blasphemy (s): their talking is against the Most High.
9. For they stretch forth their mouth unto the heaven : and their tongue goeth through the world.
10. Iherefore fall the people unto them: and thereout suck they no small advantage.
(t) Upon the instability of the successes of the wicked, the certainty of their final discomfiture, and the ultimate advantages of righteousness. The same subject as Psalm xxvii. This is the first Psalm of the 3d book.
(u) v. 2. "My feet, &c.*' i.e. (probably) "I had almost inclined to sin," or " I was "almost led to doubt, from the successes "of the ungodly, whether sin did not lead "to happiness.'
(i) v. 7. "With fatness." A common expression to denote pride. Thus Ps. xrii. 10. "They are inclosed in their ove»/tt-" And Ps. cxix. 70. "Their heart is ujat "as brawn."
(y) v. 8. " Corrupt," or " deride, scoff "at." Hamm.
(z) "Blasphemy," in speaking to God'« disparagement, as in verse 11, "how "should God perceive it ?" &c. See ftlxxiv. 11. 19. — lxxix. 13.
11. "Tush («")," say they, "how should God perceive it: "is there knowledge in the Most "High r'
12. Lo, these are the ungodly, these prosper in the world, and these have riches in possession: and I said, "Then have I cleansed "my heart (£) in vain, and "washed mine hands in inno"cency;
13. "All the day long have I "been punished : and chastened "every morning."
14. Yea, and I had almost said even as they: but lo, then I should have condemned the generation of thy children, (c)
15. Then thought I to understand this: but it was too hard for me;
16. Until I went into the sanctuary of God: then understood I the end of these men;
17. Namely, how thou dost set them in slippery places: and castest them down, and destroyest them.
18. O, how suddenly do they consume: perish, and come to a fearful end!
19. Yea, even like as a dream (d)
(a) v. 11. " Tush, &c." Eliphaz imputes Job's distresses, though unjustly, to similar arrogance, "Thou sayest, how doth God "know? Can he judge through the dark "cloud?"
(4) v. 12. "Heart** and " hands." Properly referring true religion to the thoughts and actions: the restraint must be put upon the thoughts, or how can it be expected the actions will be controlled?
(c) v. 1*. "Thy children," i. e. "the "righteous: those who look up to thee as "their Father."
(d) v. 19. "As a dream, &c." The same idea occurs in that fine passage, Job xx. I to 8. "Knowest thou not this of old, "since man was placed upon earth, that "the triumphing of the wicked is short, "and the joy of the hypocrite but for a
when one awaketh : so shalt thou make their image to vanish out of the city.
20. f hus my heart was grieved: and it went even through my reins.
21. So foolish was I, and ignorant : even as it were a beast before thee.
22. Nevertheless, I amalwayby thee: for thou hast holden me by my right hand.
23. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel: and after that receive (e) me with glory.
24. Whom have I in heaven but thee : and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of thee.
25. My flesh and my heart faileth : but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion (jg) for ever.
26. For lo, they that forsake thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that commit fornication (//) against thee.
27. But it is good for me to hold me fast by God, to put my trust in the Lord God: and to speak of all thy works in the gates of the daughter of Sion.
"moment? Though his excellency mount "up to the heavens, and his head reach "unto the clouds, yet he shall perish for "ever: they which have seen him shall "say, where is he? He shall fly away "as a dream, and shall not be found; yea, "he *hall be chased away as a vision of "the night."
(e) v. 2S. "Receive me, &c." i. e. (perhaps) "into heaven after death.*' As in Ps. xlix. 15. "God hath delivered my soul "from the place of hell, for he shall re"ceive me."
(g) v. 25. " My portion." See note on Ps. xvi. 6.
(h) v. 26. "Commit fornication against "thee," i. e. "worship idols and false "gods."
Psalm Ixxiv. (i) O God, wherefore art thou absent from us so long : why is thy wrath so hot against the sheep (k) of thy pasture?
2. O think upon thy congregation: whom thou hast purchased, and redeemed of* old.
3. Think upon the tribe of thine inheritance : and mount Sion, wherein thou hast dwelt. (J)
4. Lift up thy feet, that thou mayest utterly destroy every enemy; which hath done evil in thy sanctuary.
5. Thine adversaries roar in the midst of thy congregations (m): and set up their banners for tokens, (w)
6. He (o) that hewed timber afore out of the thick trees; was known to bring it to an excellent work.
7. But now they break down all the carved work thereof; with axes and hammers.
8. They have set fire upon thy holy places: and have defiled the dwelling-place of thy Name (p), even unto the ground.
9. Yea, they said in their hearts, "Let us make havock of them "altogether:" thus have they burnt up all the houses (y) of God in the land.
10. We see not our tokens (r): there is not one prophet more:
(i) An anxious prayer for deliverance, probably written after the sacking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, when the house of the Lord, and the king's house, and all the houses in Jerusalem were burnt, and the people carried to Babylon. See 2 Kings xxv. and Jer. xxxix. and Hi. It notices the relation they bore to God, the dishonour they and their places of worship had suffered, calls to mind their deliverance from Egypt and the destruction of Pharaoh and his host, observes upon God's general superintendance and power, and insinuates that it is God's own cause to protect them. The 79th Psalm is upon the same subject.
(k) v. 1. " The sheep, &c." The Israelites are so called, Ps. c. 2. "We are his "people, and the sheep of his pasture."
(1) v. 3. See below, note on v. 8.
(m) v. 5. " Of thy congregations," i.e. (probably) " where the people used to meet "for religious purposes; in the temple."
(«) "Tokens,"I.e. "of triumph."
(o) v. 6, 7- The meaning is, "exquisite "was the workmanship in building and "fitting up the temple, but that is now "destroyed."
[p) v. 8. "The dwelling-place of thy Name,'' i. e. "the temple at Jerusalem. He was to be worshipped in the place which he should choose to put his Name there, Deut.xii.5., and the place afterwards tixed upon was Jerusalem.
ly) v. 9. "The houses, &-c." i. e. " the "synagogues and other places of public "worship, as well as the temple."
(r) v. 10. "Tokens." God was in the habit of communicating with the Jews in ways long since discontinued. They used to inquire of him, and he used to answer them by a voice, or by tokens, or by other means. In 1 Sam. xxiii. 2. 4. " David "inquired of the Lord whether he should "go and smite the Philistines, and the "Lord said unto him, Go, &c." In 1 San), xxviii. 6. " Saul inquired of the Lord, "and the Lord answered him not, neither "by dreams, nor by urim," (i. e. certain tokens to the high priest,) "nor by pro"phcts." Before Jehoshaphat would so up with the king of Israel against the king of Syria, he said unto the king of Israel, "Inquire I pray thee at the word "of the Lord to-day." And when God'i indignation was raised against the people for their iniquities, one of his denunciations against them was, "Shall I be inquired "of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, "saith the Lord God, I will not be inquired "of by you. Ezek. xx. 3. 31." See also Ezek. xiv. 3. and 2 Sam. ii. 1. The suffering himself to be thus inquired of, would keep up in the minds of the people a high opinion of God's superintending care, would inspire in them devotion and respect, and would have a tendency to deter them from the idolatry of the neighbouring nations.