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A psalm for David himself. Mercy and judgment I will sing to thee, O Lord: I will sing,

Ver. 1.  Himself.  He describes the conduct which he was resolved to follow in ruling, (C.) or alluding to the pious king Josias.  Theod.  4 K. xx. ii.  The sentiments are not confined to rulers alone, (Bert.) though this psalm might be styled, "the mirror of princes."  Muis.

 

--- Mercy and judgment.  The chief qualifications of a king.  C.

 

--- Whether I am treated with clemency or with rigour, I will praise thee.  Chal.

 

--- No one should presume, since there is judgment, nor despair, since mercy goes before.  S. Jer.  S. Aug.

 

--- I will sing, and I will understand.  Piety is one of the best means to acquire the intelligence of these heavenly hymns, and of the whole scripture.  H.

 

--- We might translate the Heb. (C.) and Vulg. Mercy and judgment I will sing, to thee, Lord, will I sing psalms.  H.


PSALM C.  (MISERICORDIAM & JUDICIUM.)

The prophet exhorteth all, by his example, to follow mercy and justice.


2 and I will understand in the unspotted way, when thou shalt come to me. I walked in the innocence of my heart, in the midst of my house.

Ver. 2.  I will understand, &c.  That is, I will apply my mind, I will do my endeavour, to know and to follow the perfect way of thy commandments: not trusting in my own strength, but relying on thy coming to me by thy grace.  Ch.

 

--- I will watch over my conduct.

 

--- When thou.  So S. Jer. and Houbigant read, though Sept. have "when wilt thou come to me?"  Bert.

 

--- He is impatient of having the ark: but is well apprized that God will not dwell in a polluted soul, or in a wicked city: therefore he promises to remove such obstacles.

 

--- I walked.  Or "will walk."  All the other verbs should be in the future; (C.) though that is of no consequence.  Bert.

 

--- David had studied to regulate his interior and his family before, as much as he did afterwards.  H.

 

--- His fall was most likely (Bert.) subsequent to this event.  1 K. vi. 11.  H.

 

--- He acknowledges that he had done what he here mentions, by God's assistance.  W.


3 I did not set before my eyes any unjust thing: I hated the workers of iniquities.

Ver. 3.  Thing.  Or Heb. "word of Belial."  I will neither suffer an evil word or action to pass without reproof.  C.


4 The perverse heart did not cleave to me: and the malignant, that turned aside from me, I would not know.

Ver. 4.  Know.  I looked upon them with such contempt, (Euseb.) or I highly disapproved of their conduct, (S. Aug.) and would have no society with them.  C.

 

--- David was, in a manner, forced to tolerate Joab; but he shewed sufficiently his displeasure, and ordered his successor to punish him, as soon as it could be done with safety to the state.  M.


5 The man that in private detracted his neighbour, him did I persecute. With him that had a proud eye, and an unsatiable heart, I would not eat.

Ver. 5.  Persecute.  Or abhor (W.) with a perfect hatred.  We must shew our displeasure if we hear detraction, (H.) that we may not partake in the crime.  S. Jer.

 

--- The court is most likely to be infected with this vice, as people are continually endeavouring to supplant their rivals.  C.

 

--- Secret thoughts of resentment must be stifled in their birth.  Euseb.

 

--- Heart.  Heb. "wide heart," which is sometimes taken in a good sense.  3 K. iv. 29.  But here it denotes the ambitious and misers.  Prov. xxviii. 25.  C.


6 My eyes were upon the faithful of the earth, to sit with me: the man that walked in the perfect way, he served me.

Ver. 6.  Faithful.  A prince cannot do every thing himself.  But he ought to make choice of the most virtuous and skilful ministers.  C.


7 He that worketh pride shall not dwell in the midst of my house: he that speaketh unjust things did not prosper before my eyes.

Ver. 7.  Prosper.  Heb. "shall not be pleasing," (S. Jer.  H.) or "maintain himself."  C.


8 In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land: that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord.

Ver. 8.  Morning.  Without delay, (W.  Jer. xxi. 12.  H.) and with a mind composed.  S. Isid.  Pelus i. ep. 321.

 

--- The Jews explain this of the judgment of zeal, by which a person might kill a notorious criminal, without any trail, (C.) in imitation of Phinees and Mattathias.  1 Mac. ii. 24.  H.

 

--- God alone will punish all malefactors at the last day.  S. Aug.

 

--- The Fathers admonish us to resist temptations at the beginning.  C.

 

Principiis obsta; sero medicina paratur

Cum mala per longas convaluere moras.  Ovid.


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