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A psalm for Asaph. The God of gods, the Lord hath spoken: and he hath called the earth. From the rising of the sun, to the going down thereof:

Ver. 1.  For Asaph.  The prep. L is placed before his name, as it is before David's.  H.


--- Yet whether he was the author of the psalm, (C.) or only set it to music, (W.) is uncertain.  M.


--- The 72d, and ten following psalms, bear his name, and it is observed, that the style is not so flowing as those which are attributed to the royal prophet.  Moller.


--- It is certain, that Asaph was a prophet, and chief musician in the days of David.  1 Par. vi. 39. and xxv. 2. and 2 Par. xxix. 30.  Bert.


--- But the psalms that have this title relate to the captives, and may have been composed by some of his descendants. This and the following seem designed to shew, that something more than bloody victims is required by God; and thus the Israelites, who could not offer sacrifices at Babylon, were comforted; and the people taught by degrees, to look for something more excellent than the law of Moses.  C.


--- The first and second coming of Christ are here described.  D.


--- God's angels, just men, judges, (C.) idols, &c.  W.


--- Heb. El Elohim, Yehova, "the mighty God, the Lord."  H.


--- From these three titles, some of the Fathers have proved the blessed Trinity.  E.


--- But this argument is not conclusive.  Bert.



--- They ought, however, to fill us with awe, when he shall come to judge the earth, his chosen people, (v. 4.  C.) or all mankind.  Bert.  M.


--- Christ will come, surrounded by many legions of angels.  H.


The coming of Christ: who prefers virtue and inward purity before the blood of victims.

2 out of Sion the loveliness of his beauty.

Ver. 2.  Beauty.  This may refer to God, or to Sion, (C.) where the Church of Christ began.  W.

3 God shall come manifestly: our God shall come, and shall not keep silence. A fire shall burn before him: and a mighty tempest shall be round about him.

Ver. 3.  Silence.  Christ displayed the light of truth from Sion, at his first coming.  But he would not judge any till the second.  Jo. iii. 17. and viii. 15.  S. Jer.  C.


--- Before him, at the last day, (H.) or in hell.  S. Athan.


--- Our Saviour appeared formerly with great mildness: but he will come with majesty and terror, after fire shall have destroyed all transitory things.  W.

4 He shall call heaven from above, and the earth, to judge his people.

Ver. 4.  Earth.  As if they were animated.  Deut. iv. 26. and xxxii. 1.  Is. i. 2.  Jer. ii. 12.


--- Some understand the angels and apostles by heaven.  C.


--- Judge.  Lit. "to divide," discernere, (H.) the goats from the sheep.  Matt. xxv. 32.  C.  M.


--- The whole earth, particularly the elect, will approve of God's decree.  1 Cor. vi. 2.

5 Gather ye together his saints to him: who set his covenant before sacrifices.

Ver. 5.  His saints.  Heb. "my merciful ones," (H.) the chosen people, (C.) particularly priests, (Theod.) who might have too high an opinion of the legal sacrifices, (S. Chrys.) or all the elect are meant.  Matt. xxiv. 30.  Euseb.


--- The Hebrews were the only nation which then offered sacrifices to the true God, though some individuals might do it among the Gentiles.  C.


--- Before, super, or, "who make a covenant with him respecting sacrifices."


--- Prot. "those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice."  Mal. i. 12.  H.


--- The Sept. seem to have read v for i, more accurately, as the prophet speaks till v. 7.  Bert.


--- Judgment should begin at the house of God.  And if first at us, what shall be the end of them that believe not the gospel of God?  1 Pet. iv. 17.  Rom. ii. 9.  H.


--- Those who believe not, are already judged.  Jo. iii.


--- Sacrifice generally precedes a covenant.  Gen. xv. 17.  M.

6 And the heavens shall declare his justice: for God is judge.

Ver. 6.  Heavens.  Apostles, (S. Jer.) or angels.  Chal.  S. Athan.


--- God is judge.  His sentence must therefore be just, (M.) and we ought to tremble.  1 Cor. iv. 4.  H.

7 Hear, O my people, and I will speak: O Israel, and I will testify to thee: I am God, thy God.

Ver. 7.  Testify.  I will require thee to speak the truth, and attest the world.  Ps. lxxx. 9.  C.

8 I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices: and thy burnt offerings are always in my sight.

Ver. 8.  Sight.  I complain of no neglect (M.) in these outward ceremonies.  H.


--- God required no victims during the captivity; but he always demanded praise, (v. 14.  C.) a contrite heart.  Ps. l. 19. &c.  H.


--- The prophets often admonished the people of this truth, (Is. i. 2.  Jer. vii. 20.  C.) that they might not set too high a value on sacrifices, (H.) which, though pleasing to God, are of no service to him; as all the world is his property.  W.

9 I will not take calves out of thy house: nor he goats out of thy flocks. 10 For all the beasts of the woods are mine: the cattle on the hills, and the oxen.

Ver. 10.  Oxen.  S. Jer. and Prot. "the cattle upon a thousand hills."  But our version is very good, and adopted by the Syr. Ferrand, &c.  C.


--- Aleph means an ox as well as a thousand; and i may have been added to the preceding word, instead of u, at the beginning of this.  Bert.


--- We find u here improperly in either, "beast."  Houbig.


--- No mention is made of fishes, because they were not used as victims.  C.

11 I know all the fowls of the air: and with me is the beauty of the field.

Ver. 11.  I know your number, and have absolute dominion over all.  Is. xxxvii. 28.  C.


--- Field.  Ripe fruits.  S. Cyr.  Alex.


--- With God all things are present.  S. Aug.  Lombard, 1 dist. 35.  F.  Amama.

12 If I should be hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.


13 Shall I eat the flesh of bullocks? or shall I drink the blood of goats?

Ver. 13.  Goats?  Can any of you be so stupid?  M.


--- Some of the pagans believed, that their idols delighted in the smell of victims.  H.

14 Offer to God the sacrifice of praise: and pay thy vows to the most High.

Ver. 14.  Vows.  A faithless promise is very displeasing.  Eccle. v. 3.  True religion must be interior, (C.) also 1 Cor. xiv. 15.  H.


--- We must discharge, not only our general, (M.) but also our particular vows, (W.) and obligations.  H.

15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Ver. 15.  Call.  Prayer is a perfect act of religion, and a confession of God's dominion.


Qui fingit sacros auro vel marmore vultus,

Non facit ille Deos: qui rogat, ille facit.   Mart. viii. v. 24.


To neglect prayer is, in some sense, to deny God.  C.


--- He is pleased to exercise our confidence, (H.) and will have us to call upon him in distress.  M.

16 But to the sinner God hath said: Why dost thou declare my justices, and take my covenant in thy mouth?

Ver. 16.  Sinner.  He is not blamed for praying: but his hypocrisy is condemned.  Bert.


--- The world is full of such hypocrites, who have God in their mouths, but not in their hearts, and whose voice alone is the voice of Jacob.  Gen. xxvii. 22.  Is. xxix. 13.  Tit. i. 16.


--- The wicked judges, who condemned Susanna, (Dan. xiii.) should have attended to these lessons.  C.


--- Thou that teachest another, teachest not thyself.  Rom. ii. 21.


--- It is surely to be expected, (H.) that those who undertake to teach others, should shew good example, and serve God with sincerity, (W.) and not content themselves with the glory of their vocation.  M.

17 Seeing thou hast hated discipline: and hast cast my words behind thee. 18 If thou didst see a thief thou didst run with him: and with adulterers thou hast been a partaker. 19 Thy mouth hath abounded with evil, and thy tongue framed deceits. 20 Sitting thou didst speak against thy brother, and didst lay a scandal against thy mother's son:

Ver. 20.  Lay.  Heb. "slanderest."  (Prot.)  But dophi occurs on where else.  Bert.


--- The sinner sits to detract, or with pleasure, (M.) habitually offends.  H.

21 these things hast thou done, and I was silent. Thou thoughtest unjustly that I should be like to thee: but I will reprove thee, and set before thy face.

Ver. 21.  Silent, and deferred punishment, (S. Aug.) waiting for thy conversion.  Rom. ii. 4.


--- Unjustly, is not expressed in Heb.  Bert.


--- Face, judgment and hell, (Chal.) or all these things, (S. Jer.) and thy manifold transgressions.  The sight will be most intolerable.  C.

22 Understand these things, you that forget God; lest he snatch you away, and there be none to deliver you.

Ver. 22.  Lest he.  Heb. "I tear you in pieces."  Prot.  H.


--- Rapiat ut Leo.  S. Aug.


--- It may be understood of death, (Theod.) or of God.  C.

23 The sacrifice of praise shall glorify me: and there is the way by which I will shew him the salvation of God.

Ver. 23.  Praise.  This king of improper sacrifice, and those of justice, and of a contrite heart, (Ps. iv. and l.) must accompany outward sacrifices, to make them acceptable.  The latter has always been obligatory, (W.) as well as the former.  H.


--- This ps. proves, that the old victims should give place to one far more excellent, the body of Christ, the sacrifice of praise which the Church offers, S. Aug. con. advers. xx. orat. con Jud. vi. and ep. cxx. 18.  W.


--- Eucharist means "good grace," or thanksgiving, being intended to enable us to render that tribute of praise, which he requires.  H.


--- There.  Heb. " to him that ordereth his conversation aright, will I," &c.  Prot.


--- The difference consists only in the points.  Bert.


--- Syr. "There I will shew him the way of his salvation," or, according to S. Chrys. "even my salvation."  C.


--- By adoring God in spirit and truth, (H.) we may be saved.  M.

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