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IN that day shall this canticle be sung the land of Juda. Sion the city of our strength a saviour, a wall and a bulwark shall be set therein.

Ver. 1.  Day.  Under the law of grace, Christians sing this and such like canticles.  W.

 

--- Sion.  This word is not in Heb. &c. though it be understood.  C.

 

--- Other nations have their respective cities.  All Christians admit this one.  W.

 

--- The captives continue to return thanks.  Yet the Holy Ghost speaks chiefly of the Church, and of the general resurrection.  C.

 

--- Bulwark.  Faith and good works.  W.




2 Open ye the gates, and let the just nation, that keepeth the truth, enter in.

Ver. 2.  Truth.  The Jews who returned from Babylon, were more virtuous than their ancestors, as the prophets intimate; though they have Christians principally in view.


3 The old error is passed away: thou wilt keep peace: peace, because we have hoped in thee.

Ver. 3.  Away: condemning the virtuous, as if they were fools.  M.

 

--- Sym. "our work, or fiction, is taken away."  Heb. may have other meanings.  H.


4 You have hoped in the Lord for evermore, in the Lord God mighty for ever.

Ver. 4.  You, people of Juda.


5 For he shall bring down them that dwell on high, the high city he shall lay low. He shall bring it down even to the ground, he shall pull it down even to the dust.

Ver. 5.  High: Nabuchodonosor and his empire.


6 The foot shall tread it down, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.

Ver. 6.  Needy.  The Jews shall behold the ruin of the city by Cyrus, (C.) who was of a contemptible nation.  H.


7 The way of the just is right, the path of the just is right to walk in.

Ver. 7.  In.  God will remove every obstacle, at their return.


8 And in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, we have patiently waited for thee: thy name, and thy remembrance are the desire of the soul. 9 My soul hath desired thee in the night: yea, and with my spirit within me in the morning early I will watch to thee. When thou shalt do thy judgments on the earth, the inhabitants of the world shall learn justice.

Ver. 9.  Night of distress.


10 Let us have pity on the wicked, but he will not learn justice: in the land of the saints he hath done wicked things, and he shall not see the glory of the Lord.

Ver. 10.  Justice.  Clemency would therefore be ill placed.  If the Israelites had not been led away captives, would they ever have been reformed?


11 Lord, let thy hand be exalted, and let them not see: let the envious people see, and be confounded: and let fire devour thy enemies.

Ver. 11.  Not see.  Let them perish, or live to witness the glory of the Jews.


12 Lord, thou wilt give us peace: for thou hast wrought all our works for us.

Ver. 12.  Works, both in punishing and rewarding.  C.

 

--- God crowns his own gifts.  E.


13 O Lord our God, other lords besides thee have had dominion over us, only in thee let us remember thy name.

Ver. 13.  Lords of Babylon, (C.) and our own passions.  H.


14 Let not the dead live, let not the giants rise again: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and best destroyed all their memory.

Ver. 14.  Giants; the proud emperors of Babylon, whom thou wilt destroy.  Sept. "physicians;" as Rephaim has also this meaning.


15 Thou hast been favourable to the nation, O Lord, thou hast been favourable to the nation: art thou glorified? thou hast removed all the ends of the earth far off.

Ver. 15.  Nation of the Jews.  C.

 

--- Sept. "add evils to them, O Lord; add evils to the nobles of the land."  H.

 

--- Heb. may have the same sense.

 

--- Ends: princes, or the Chaldees, sending them also into captivity; or thou hast propagated thy Church over the world.


16 Lord, they have sought after thee in distress, in the tribulation of murmuring thy instruction was with them.

Ver. 16.  They.  Sept. "We," &c.  C.

 

--- Affliction is a wholesome medicine.  H.


17 As a woman with child, when she draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs: so are we become in thy presence, O Lord. 18 We have conceived, and been as it were in labour, and have brought forth wind: we have not wrought salvation on the earth, therefore the inhabitants of the earth have not fallen.

Ver. 18.  Wind.  Our expectation of aid from others has been disappointed.  C.

 

--- Sept. "the spirit of thy salvation, which thou hast wrought on the earth.  We shall not fall, but the inhabitants of the earth shall fall."  H.

 

--- Their copies must have been different from ours.

 

--- Fallen.  The Chanaanites are left for our trial and punishment.  C.


19 Thy dead men shall live, my slain shall rise again: awake, and give praise, ye that dwell in the dust: for thy dew is the dew of the light: and the land of the giants thou shalt pull down into ruin.

Ver. 19.  Dead: a civil death, shall regain their liberty; and those who have left this world in a state of virtue, shall be happy.

 

--- Ruin.  Cyrus liberated the Jews, having conquered Babylon.


20 Go, my people, enter into thy chambers, shut thy doors upon thee, hide thyself a little for a moment, until the indignation pass away.

Ver. 20.  Away, and Cambyses be destroyed.  Ezec. xxxviii. 11.  C.


21 For behold the Lord will come out of his place, to visit the iniquity of the inhabitant of the earth against him: and the earth shall disclose her blood, and shall cover her slain no more.

Ver. 21.  Shall cover her stain no more.  This is said with relation to the martyrs, and their happy resurrection.  Ch.

 

--- The blood of the saints shall demand vengeance.  C.



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