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UNTO the end, a psalm for David.

Ver. 1.  David.  S. Peter attributes it to him, and gives us the key to this psalm, by applying (v. 8.) to the traitor Judas.  Acts i. 16, 20.  Bert. T. vii.

 

--- Our Saviour seems to allude to it, when he styles Judas, the son of perdition.  Jo. xvii. 8.  It may also have a reference to Doeg, or Achitophel, who were his forerunners.  Ven. Bede thinks it was composed by the Machabees, against apostates.  The Church used it in the deposition of bishops, and against usurpers of ecclesiastical goods: (Grot.) and, in times of ignorance, some thought hereby to discover thieves.  The style is very vehement, (C.) containing the sentence pronounced by the sovereign judge against the reprobate.  H.


PSALM CVIII.  (DEUS LAUDEM MEAM.)

David, in the person of Christ, prayeth against his persecutors; more especially the traitor Judas; foretelling and approving his just punishment for his obstinacy in sin and final impenitence.


2 O God, be not thou silent in thy praise: for the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful man is opened against me.

Ver. 2.  Praise.  Heb. "God of my praise," (C.) whom I always adore, under every dispensation of Providence.  H.

 

--- Yet the original may agree with the Vulg. and Christ desires to be glorified, (Jo. xii. 23. and xvii. 5.  Bert.) and styles his passion, his praise.  Theod.

 

--- David appeals to God's judgment.  C.

 

--- Man.  The Pharisees, &c. endeavoured to entangle Christ.  Matt. xxii.  W.


3 They have spoken against with deceitful tongues; and they have compassed me about with words of hatred; and have fought against me without cause.

Ver. 3.  Cause.  Or provocation.  H.

 

--- So Catiline gratuito potius malus quam crudelis erat.  Sallust.

 

--- The sanctity of Jesus Christ could not be overwhelmed, or hidden, (H.) even with the torrent of abuse thrown upon him.


4 Instead of making me a return of love, they detracted me: but I gave myself to prayer.

Ver. 4.  Detracted.  Heb. and Sept. "calumniated," as v. 20. and 29.  C.

 

--- Prayer.  Jesus Christ prayed for his enemies, (Lu. xxiii. 34.  Flam.) and did many good works for the benefit of all.  Jo. x. 32.  Acts x. 38.  David had also signalized himself in the defence of his country, and yet was banished.  He shews that he was animated with the perfect spirit of the gospel, though the law permitted retaliation.  Ex. xxi. 24.  C.


5 And they repaid me evil for good: and hatred for my love. 6 Set thou the sinner over him: and may the devil stand at his right hand.

Ver. 6.  Set thou the sinner over him, &c.  Give to the devil, that arch-sinner, power over him: let him enter into him, and possess him.  The imprecations contained in the thirty verses of this psalm, are opposed to the thirty pieces of silver for which Judas betrayed our Lord: and are to be taken as prophetic denunciations of the evils that should befall the traitor, and his accomplices, the Jews; and not properly as curses.  Ch.

 

--- The devil entered into Judas, (Jo. xiii. 2.  C.) who hung  himself in despair.  W.

 

--- The Jews were abandoned over to cruel masters, as Doeg and Achitophel presently perished.  Ps. li. 5.  It was customary at trials, for a satan, or "adversary," to be stationed at the right hand of the accused.  Zac. iii. 1.  C.


7 When he is judged, may he go out condemned; and may his prayer be turned to sin.

Ver. 7.  Prayer.  Or may his supplication to judges for pardon irritate them, (C.) and let it not move God to mercy any more than a sin.  M.

 

--- God rejects such prayers as are destitute of the proper conditions, as he did those of Antiochus, (S. Aug.  C.) and they are a fresh sin.  Bert.

 

--- Yet the prayer of a sinner is not so, when he acts sincerely.  H.


8 May his days be few: and his bishopric let another take.

Ver. 8.  Bishopric.  Episkophn, "inspection or pre-eminence" of any kind.  Judas lost his spiritual office, and the Jews all dominion in a very short time.  S. Peter quotes this passage, and only the Socinians will assert that he does not adhere to the literal sense.  Bert.

 

--- The apostleship (W.) was given to S. Matthias.  C.

 

--- The priesthood of Aaron was forced to give place to that of Melchisedech.  M.



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9 May his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.

Ver. 9.  Wisdom.  Judas was married, (S. Aug.) and stole for his family; (Lyran.) though as the Scripture is silent, S. Chrys. believes the contrary.  M.

 

--- The synagogue being rejected, the Jews are in a manner orphans.  C.

 

--- The posterity of persecutors prosper not long.  W.

 

--- All sorts of imprecations are used that some may fall upon the guilty.  Geneb.  M.


10 Let his children be carried about vagabonds, and beg; and let them be cast out of their dwellings.

Ver. 10.  Out.  Heb. "seek."  S. Jer. "be sought after," which implies that the are rejected.  Houbig.

 

--- The being reduced to beg, is terrible to one who has been brought up in a better manner.

 

--- Dwellings.  Sept. (M.) and S. Jer. "ruins."  The Jews were forbidden to weep over the ruins of Jerusalem, and are become vagabonds.  C.


11 May the userer search all his substance: and let strangers plunder his labours.

Ver. 11.  Usurer.  The Romans forced the miserable Jews to pay taxes, and Domitian banished them from Rome, to live in a wood, where their furniture was only a basket and some hay, and their wives came to beg.

Cophino fænoque relicto

Arcanam Judæa tremens mendicat in aurem.  Juv. Sat. xi. 540.  C.

 

--- At the last siege, some of their bodies were ripped open, to discover the gold which they might have swallowed.  Joseph. Bel. vi. 15.  See Deut. xxiv. 10.  M.


12 May there be none to help him: nor none to pity his fatherless offspring.
13 May his posterity be cut off; in one generation may his name be blotted out.

Ver. 13.  In one.  Heb. "another."  Let none remember them.  The ruin of Jerusalem took place within forty years time.  C.

 

--- Arch-heretics are not long followed; their disciples make fresh discoveries.  W.


14 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered in the sight of the Lord: and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.

Ver. 14.  Out.  As children derive great advantages from the piety of their parents, so they also feel the punishment of their crimes, when they imitate them.  Deut. xxiv. 16.  Ezec. xviii. 20.  If they share in the afflictions of their family, and are free from sin, this must be considered as a trial, and they will be amply rewarded in a future world.  God is the arbiter of the life and death of all.  External miseries may afflict both the just and sinners; but the motive for their being sent is very different.  The Jews prayed, Let his blood be upon us, and upon our children; (Matt. xxvii. 25.) and they became chargeable with all the crimes of their ancestors.  Matt. xxiii. 35.  C.


15 May they be before the lord continually, and let the memory of them perish from the earth:

Ver. 15.  They.  Iniquities, (H.) or may the sinners be "against the Lord," and He against them.  Lev. xxvi. 21.  C.


16 because he remembered not to show mercy,

Ver. 16.  Mercy.  Therefore he, the chief, and each of his adherents, can expect to find no mercy.  Jam. ii. 13.  H.

 

--- By the most crying injustice, the Jews put to death, the man of sorrows, (C.) who had been pleased to assume our nature, and had not where to lay his head.  Lu. ix. 58.  M.


17 But persecuted the poor man and the beggar; and the broken in heart, to put him to death. 18 And he loved cursing, and it shall come unto him: and he would not have blessing, and it shall be far from him. And he put on cursing, like a garment: and it went in like water into his entrails, and like oil in his bones.

Ver. 18.  Bones.  This strikingly describes the malediction of a person who has swallowed iniquity like water.  Job xv. 16.  Prov. iv. 17.  The Jews had spoken ill of Christ, and of his disciples.  Matt. xxvii. 25.  Jo. ix. 17.  C.

 

--- Let all who delight in cursing, attend to this sentence.  W.

 

--- They like those things, which bring both temporal and eternal misery.  M.


19 May it be unto him like a garment which covereth him; and like a girdle with which he is girded continually. 20 This is the work of them who detract me before the Lord; and who speak evils against my soul.

Ver. 20.  Work.  They effect their own ruin.  H.

 

--- The Jews pretended to act for the glory of God, being influenced with a zeal with knowledge.  Some translate, "let such be the recompense;" which is not amiss.  Bert.


21 But thou, O Lord, do with for thy names sake: because thy mercy is sweet. Do thou deliver me.

Ver. 21.  With me.  Many ancient psalters supply, "thy mercy," with the Arab.  C.

 

--- Grace must always accompany our endeavours.  1 Cor. xv. 10.  Bert.


22 for I am poor and needy, and my heart is troubled within me.

Ver. 22.  Within me.  In the garden.  Christ did penance for sin all his life.  He wept over Jerusalem.  Lu. xix. 41.  H.


23 I am taken away like the shadow when it declineth: and I am shaken off as locusts.

Ver. 23.  Locusts.  David was forced to wander about.  Christ continually sought after the lost sheep, (C.) and was hurried to different tribunals.  M.

 

--- S. Jerom applies this to the Jews, and S. Aug. to Christians under persecution.  C.


24 My knees are weakened through fasting: and my flesh is changed for oil.

Ver. 24.  For oil, propter oleum.  The meaning is, my flesh is changed, being perfectly emaciated, and dried up, as having lost all its oil, or fatness.  Ch.

 

--- Or, "on account of the privation of perfumes," (Bert.) which the Jews looked upon as necessary.  David and Jesus Christ were exposed to many inconveniences.


25 And I am become a reproach to them: they saw me and they shaked their heads,

Ver. 25.  Heads, and saying, Vah, &c. (Matt. xxvii. 40.) as Semei insulted David, (2 K. xvi. 5.  C.) though he is not said to have shaken his head, for which reason the prophecy may rather relate solely to Christ.  Bert.

 

--- "To pay our ransom, he was crucified; to be crucified, he was despised; and to be despised, he appeared in a state of abjection."  S. Aug.

 

--- These three steps were requisite, as the Jews would never have dared to lay hands on him, if he had appeared in glory.  Bert.


26 Help me, O Lord my God; save me according to thy mercy. 27 And let them know that this is thy hand: and that thou, O Lord, hast done it.

Ver. 27.  It.  My suffering, (Bert.) or deliverance.  C.

 

--- Jesus Christ prays for a glorious resurrection, and that his enemies may be covered with all possible confusion.  W.


28 They will curse and thou will bless: let them that rise up against me be confounded: but thy servant shall rejoice. 29 Let them that detract me be clothed with shame: and let them be covered with the their confusion as with a double cloak.

Ver. 29.  Cloak.  DiploiV, means the outward robe.  Heb. mehil.  H.  Gal. iii. 13.

 

--- "The cross of Jesus Christ shall be the glory of believers, and the confusion of infidels."  S. Leo, ser. xviii. de pas.

 

--- A salutary and inward shame may be of great advantage.  H.

 

--- Christ prays that his enemies may feel such a sorrow, and be converted.  S. Jerom

 

--- "He speaks not against, but in favour of, the Jews."  S. Aug.  C.


30 I will give great thanks to the Lord with my mouth: and in the midst of many I will praise him.

Ver. 30.  Many.  In the Catholic Church, (H.) till the end of the world.  C.

31 Because he hath stood at the right hand of the poor, to save my soul from persecutors

Ver. 31.  My.  Heb. "his soul from the judges," Pilate and the Jews, (C.) particularly the Sanhedrim.  How many still continue to persecute Christ, and do not tremble!  Bert.


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