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UNTO the end; for the octave, a psalm for David.

PSALM XI.  (SALVUM ME FAC.)

The prophet calls for God's help against the wicked.


2 Save me, O Lord, for there is now no saint: truths are decayed from among the children of men.

Ver. 2.  Save.  David, persecuted by Saul, (Bossuet) or Absalom; (Grot.) the captives at Babylon; (C.) our Saviour suffering, or coming to judge; (S. Aug.) in a word, any just man who sees the corruption of men, may use this language.  H.

 

--- We cannot open the writings of the prophets, or of the Fathers, without meeting with such complaints.  Heb. "no saint;" chasid, "pious" (Pagn.  H.) clement person.  C.

 

--- Truths.  Heb. "people of veracity."  C.

 

--- Bias said, "All men are bad;" (Clem. strom. 1.) or, as Laertius expresses it, "Most people are wicked." Hence few are chosen.  H.

 

--- Christ is the truth.  If we admire his doctrine, let us put it in practice.  Bert.


3 They have spoken vain things every one to his neighbour: with deceitful lips, and with a double heart have they spoken.

Ver. 3.  Deceitful.  Heb. "flattering;" and of course not fee from deceit.  Bert.

 

--- "That man I hate, e'en as the gates of hell,                       

Who thinks one thing, and will another tell."  Iliad I.

 

--- None can have (H.) confidence in a liar.  S. Jam. i. 8.  C.


4 May the Lord destroy all deceitful lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things.

Ver. 4.  Lips.  "The saints do not curse, but foretell what will happen."  S. Jer.

 

--- Heb. "the Lord will destroy" the deceitful, (Bert.) who mean to injure men; (H.) and the proud, who attack God and religion, which they pretend they can prove (Bert.) to be a mere fiction , by their superior eloquence!  H.


5 Who have said: We will magnify our tongue; our lips are our own; who is Lord over us?

Ver. 5.  Own.  "We have lips," (Sym.) or eloquence to gain our cause against these miserable exiles.  C.

 

--- Lord.  Heb. adon, "master."  We admit of no superior, neither in heaven nor on earth.  H.

 

--- Such was the haughtiness of Pharao, &c.  Ex. v. 2. and 4 K. xviii. 19.  Dan. iii. 15.  C.


6 By reason of the misery of the needy, and the groans of the poor, now will I arise, saith the Lord. I win set him in safety; I will deal confidently in his regard.

Ver. 6.  Arise, and redeem lost man; (Theod.) or, protect my servants (C.) from such insolent oppressors.  H.

 

--- Regard.  This may be put in the mouth of the afflicted.  C.

 

--- "I will place my confidence in the Saviour, and will act boldly in him."  H.

 

--- His promises give me full assurance, v. 7.  The Heb. seems to be incorrect, and very different from what the ancients read.  C.

 

--- S. Jer. has, "I will place their aid in salvation;" (H.) which he explains of Jesus Christ.  See Is. xii. 2.  C.

 

--- Moderns insert many words.  "I will save him, that hey may learn to trust in me."  German.

 

--- "I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him." Prot.  Or "would ensnare him."  Margin.  We may better translate, "I will put in safety, the Lord will act freely herein;" or, "safety which will act freely upon him," the poor.  Bert.

 

--- "I will raise up a Saviour, who with his breath will destroy the wicked."  Prin. disc.


7 The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried by the fire, purged from the earth refined seven times.

Ver. 7.  Pure words, very different from those of the deceitful, v. 3.  C.

 

--- Earth, dross, or in the crucible, or "for the ruler of earth:" (Pagnin.  H.) current money.  If we alter the Heb. a little, it may be, "with care, (bahalil, which is never elsewhere used for a crucible) gold refined seven times;" often, (Prov. xxiv. 16.) or as much as possible.  C.



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8 Thou, O Lord, wilt preserve us.: and keep us from this generation for ever.

Ver. 8.  This corrupt generation; or, both in this world and in the next.  Heb. "preserve them;" the just, or thy words.  C.

 

--- "And thou wilt keep him."  Pagn.

 

--- Prot. marg. i.e. "Every one of them."  S. Jerom reads, "us."  H.


9 The wicked walk round about: according to thy highness, thou best multiplied the children of men.

Ver. 9.  About.  Their life is a circle of relapses; or rather they continually attack the just, (C.) but their designs are made subservient to their advancement in virtue, by the power of God.  T.

 

--- Heb. "They (the just) shall go round the wicked, when baseness shall have raised herself up,  on account of the children of men."  When God shall  have restored the Jews to liberty, the Babylonians shall be, in their turn, oppressed by Cyrus and the Persians, whom they now despise: or, when the miserable shall be placed in power, the wicked shall not dare to approach them.  C.

 

--- "The wicked shall walk round about, when the vilest of the sons of men shall be exalted."  S. Jerom.  H.

 

--- The former have spent their life in vanity, and shall be kept for ever out of the kingdom of heaven; as the error of the Platonists, who assert that all things will come to pass again, the world being compared to a wheel, is manifestly refuted by Scripture, which assures us that God will preserve the just from this generation, (S. Aug.) and the wicked will knock at the door, like the foolish virgins, and will be rejected with, I never knew you.  Matt. xxv.  S. Jer. or some other learned author.  W.

 

--- For some suspect that the commentary which goes under the name of S. Jerom, is not in the state in which it came from his hands. H.


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