Ver. 1. Alleluia. Theodoret repeats this word here and in the following psalm. The author of this psalm is unknown. It was sung after the captivity, to thank God for the favours and peace granted to his people, and to foretell the conquests gained under the Machabees, and more fully under the Messias. Orig.
--- The Jews still looked for them in vain. Why do thy not open their eyes, to see all accomplished by the propagation of the gospel? Muis refers the psalm to the beginning of David's reign over Israel, when the people entertained the strongest expectations of victory; and this opinion is very plausible, though we prefer that of the Fathers. C.
--- The prophet undoubtedly invites the faithful to praise God. Bert.
--- New, and excellent; (C.) nova carmina, (Virg. Ec. 3.) is explained magna miranda, by Servius. This psalm deserves the title, as it speaks of the new covenant. S. Chrys.
--- Saints of Israel, dedicated to God's service. Ex. xxii. 31. C.
--- Though all creatures are bound to praise the Lord, he accepts only praises of those who live in the Church. W.
PSALM CXLIX. (CANTATE DOMINO.)
The Church is particularly bound to praise God.
Ver. 2. In him. Heb. "them." The plural is used out of respect, (Rabbins, C.) or rather to insinuate the blessed Trinity, as in Gen. i. Job xxxv. 10. Is. liv. 5. Bert.
--- King David, or the Lord, who was the true king of Israel. 1 K. viii. 7.
Ver. 3. Choir. A musical instrument, though it imply also a dance, &c.
Ver. 4. Unto. Heb. "in Jesus," (S. Jer.) or "he will adorn the neck with salvation," as with a precious robe. Ps. cxxxi. 9. 16.
--- The captives shall be restored to glory. C.
Ver. 5. Beds. In eternal rest. W.
--- The prosperity of the Israelites but feebly represents the happiness of the elect. C.
Ver. 6. Hands. He seems to allude to the regulation of Nehemias, (2 Esd. iv. 17. H.) or to the Machabees, who were priests and soldiers. They shall proclaim God's praises, and defend the nation. In the spiritual sense, Catholics employ the two-edged sword of the Old and New Testament against heretics, and exercise the power of Christ in excommunicating the wicked. S. Jer.
--- Our Saviour enables the saints to judge at the last day. Matt. xix. 28. C.
--- This chiefly regards such as have left all things, like the apostles, and those who embrace a monastic life. Matt. iv. 20. and xix. 27. Acts iv. 34. and 1 Cor. vi. 3.
--- They shall judge whether people have made good or bad use of their possessions. S. Aug. Ven. Bede.
--- All the blessed will approve of God's sentence; and their example in overcoming difficulties, will evince the baseness of the wicked, who have yielded to less temptations. W.
Ver. 8. Iron. These poetical expressions denote victory. The Machabees made great conquests, and the Jews expect greater under the Messias. But this has been verified in the conversion of nations to Christ. Is. xlix. 23. and lx. 14. C.
--- The victories of the Machabees were of short duration. Bert.
Ver. 9. Written. In God's decrees. W. Job xxxi. 35. Dan. vii. 10. C.
--- This judicial power is part of the glory of the saints. W. 1 Cor. vi. 2. Wisd. iii. 7. H.
--- All shall judge the wicked who have imitated the disinterestedness of the apostles. C.