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UNTO the end. A psalm for David.

Ver. 1.  Heb. Lamnatseach lidavid, (H.) "to the master of music or, or to David."  C.


--- S. Jerom supplies the word psalm.  That David, or any other, should give the title of master of music to so great a prince may seem strange; and therefore the Vulg. may perhaps be as accurate.  S. Jerom and Pagnin have "to the victor of David."  Almost all agree that he composed this psalm (H.) when he began to be persecuted by Saul.  He expresses his confidence in God; when his friends advised him to flee.  C.


--- The Fathers take hence occasion to caution the faithful against the insidious speeches of those who pretend that they can procure greater security than the Church affords, (H.) and that they teach a doctrine of greater perfection.  SS. Aug. Jer. &c.  C.


The just man's confidence in God in the midst of persecutions.

2 In the Lord I put my trust: how then do you say to my soul: Get thee away from hence to the mountain like a sparrow?

Ver. 2.  How.  My friends...say, &c.  W.


--- To the.  Heb. now, "to your mountain," as the words are joined which were formerly divided, while a v has been lost, and another placed instead of i, as we may gather from the ancient interpreters.  Chal. Syr. S. Jer. &c.


--- Most people suppose that David's friends exhort him to withdraw: but he waits for the divine order.  Others think (C.) that these are the words of his enemies, who wished to fill him with dismay, that he might retire among the Gentiles, and adore their idols, 1 K. xxvi. 19.  Mariana.


--- Sparrow.  Heb. tsipor, any little "bird."  H.  Prov. xxvii. 8.  M.


--- Heretics false style their conventicles the mountains.  S. Aug.  W.

3 For, lo, the wicked have bent their bow; they have prepared their arrows in the quiver; to shoot in the dark the upright of heart.

Ver. 3.  Quiver.  Heb. "on the string," ready to shoot.  C.


--- But yether (H.) means "abundance," and may be well understood of the quiver.  Bert.


--- Persecutors use all rigour, though they disguise the real cause of their resentment against the innocent.  W.


--- Dark.  Sept. add "moon."  M.

4 For they have destroyed the things which thou hast made: but what has the just man done?

Ver. 4.  Made.  In choosing me for king, Heb. "the foundations are, or shall be destroyed; and what shall the just do? or, what has the just man done?"  The foundations, both of religion and of the kingdom, depend on God's ordinances, as the Sept. well explain.  Bert.


--- Pagnin has, "the nets;" S. Jerom, "the laws."  In these days of infidelity and rebellion, the just must experience the greatest perplexity.  H.


--- If faith be lost, who shall be just?  Bert.


--- Persecutors, and especially heretics, pull down what others have built.  W.

5 The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven. His eyes look on the poor man: his eyelids examine the sons of men.

Ver. 5.  Heaven.  This is the source of my confidence.  C.


--- The admirable mother of the Machabees suggested this consoling motive, (Bert.) to strengthen her youngest son.  2 Mac. vii. 28.  Heaven is  the temple of the Lord, (H.) though the tabernacle may be so styled here.  See Ps. x. 8.  C.


--- The poor man is not in Heb. but it is chiefly of him that the psalmist speaks; (Bert.) and the Sept. and Arab. (C.) seem to (H.) have read it.  Eliphaz remarks, that God does not disregard human affairs, as the wicked supposed.  Job  xxii. 12.  C.


--- If his eyes seem to be shut, his providence watcheth.  W.


6 The Lord trieth the just and the wicked: but he that loveth iniquity hateth his own soul.

Ver. 6.  Trieth, interrogat, which is rendered by examine, v. 5.  H.


--- God juridically questions all, (C.) and makes them give an exact account of themselves, even of every idle word.  H.


--- The word also means that he punishes, or chastises.  C.


--- Heb. "the Lord trieth the just, but his soul hateth the wicked, and the lover of iniquity."  S. Jer. &c.  H.


--- Yet the original may be explained in the sense of the Sept. which is more beautiful and instructive; as the sinner will hardly believe that he is his own greatest enemy.  Bert.


--- By continuing in sin he brings damnation on his soul.  W.

7 He shall rain snares upon sinners: fire and brimstone and storms of winds shall be the portion of their cup.

Ver. 7.  Snares.  Wonderful expression!  The wicked cannot escape.  H.


--- Brimstone, as he did upon Sodom.  Gen. xix. 4.  Jude 7.


--- Cup.  At feasts, each person (C.) had his portion and his own cup.  Dreadful indeed is the inheritance of the wicked.  See Ps. xv. 5.  Bert.


--- If God spare for a time, He must at last punish severely.  W.

8 For the Lord is just, and hath loved justice: his countenance hath beheld righteousness.

Ver. 8.  Righteousness.  As, on the other hand, (H.) the upright shall behold God, (Matt. v. 8.) while the wicked shall be driven into darkness (C.) for all eternity.  In vain do modern sophists pretend that hell will not last for ever because God is incapable of revenge, or of delighting in the torture of his creatures.  They use the word revenge in a wrong sense.  Bert.


--- God is not subject to any passion; but his justice requires that those should be eternally punished, whose will is always impious.  H.


--- Can they shew that there will be room for repentance in the other world? (Bert.) or that the wicked would make use of it, if granted, since they would not repent as long as they lived?  By the same arguments, they might as well prove that God could not punish at all.  H.  Dan. iii. 27.

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