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UNTO the end, in verses, a psalm for David, for the octave.

Ver. 1.  For the octave.  That is, to be sung on an instrument of eight strings.  S. Augustin understands it mystically, of the last resurrection, and the world to come; which is, as it were, the octave, or eighth day, after the seven days of this mortal life; and for this octave, sinners must dispose themselves, like David, by bewailing their sins, whilst they are here upon the earth.  Ch.  W.


--- It may also signify, that this psalm was to be sung by "the eighth" of the 24 bands.  1 Par. xv. 21.  David might compose it after sickness, with which he had been punished for his adultery; (C.) or under any distress: he expresses the sentiments of a true penitent, (Bert.) with which he was ever after impressed.  H.


--- It is applicable to penitents of the new law.  W.


A prayer of a penitent sinner, under the scourge of God.  The first penitential Psalm.

2 O Lord, rebuke me not in thy indignation, nor chastise me in thy wrath.

Ver. 2.  Indignation.  Lit. "fury."  H.


--- Such strong expressions were requisite to make the carnal Jews fear God's judgments, though a being of infinite perfection can have no passion.  S. Chrys.


--- David does not beg to be free from suffering, (H.) but he requests that God would chastise him with moderation.  Jer. x. 24. and xlvi. 28.  C.


--- Justice without mercy is reserved for the last day.  S. Greg.


--- Wrath.  This regards those who have built wood, &c. on the foundation.  They shall be purified by fire.  S. Aug.  Purgatory was then believed in the 4th Cent.  Bert.


--- Let me not be condemned either to it, or hell.  S. Greg. hic. and Ps. xxxvii.


3 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak: heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.

Ver. 3.  Troubled, with grief.  W.


--- I am sinking under my illness: my virtue is lost.  C.


--- The whole human race is this sick man, requiring the aid of Jesus Christ.  S. Aug.


--- The ineffable name Jehova, (H.) is repeated thrice, to insinuate that salvation must come from the Blessed Trinity.  Bert. v. 9.


--- Under the allegory of sickness, the ravages of sin appear.  M.

4 And my soul is troubled exceedingly: but thou, O Lord, how long?

Ver. 4.  Long?  Wilt thou leave me in distress?  W.


--- He breaks off abruptly to express his sorrow.  See Isai. vi. 11; Jer. xiii. 26.  Bert.


--- True converts are often tried a long time, that they may conceive how God will treat those who never return him, (S. Aug.  Euseb.) and that they may beware of a relapse.  C.

5 Turn to me, O Lord, and deliver my soul: O save me for thy mercy's sake.

Ver. 5.  Turn.  God never abandons us first.  Jer. ii. 27.  Bert.


--- We drive him away by sin.  S. Athan.


--- Sake.  I cannot take one step without thee.  C.


--- Treat me not as my sins deserve; but mercifully restore me to favour.  W.

6 For there is no one in death, that is mindful of thee: and who shall confess to thee in hell?

Ver. 6.  Hell.  The hardened sinner will not praise thee, (S. Aug.) much less will the damned, who are confirmed in evil.  Bert.


--- Even those who are in "the grave," though just, cannot sound forth thy praises; and consequently, if I be cut off, the number of they adorers will be diminished.  This motive is often urged, as if God was forgotten in the rest of the world.  Ps. xxix. 10.  Isai. xxxviii. 18.  C.


--- This life is the time for repentance.  After death there is no conversion, but eternal blasphemies in hell.  I will strive to prevent this misery, by continuing to do penance, till I am watered with thy grace.  W.


7 I have laboured in my groanings, every night I will wash my bed: I will water my couch with my tears.

Ver. 7.  Bed.  S. Jerom, "I will make my bed swim" (H.) with tears, or sweat.  Bert.


--- Here we behold the effects of true repentance, which will not suffer the sinner to enjoy any repose, (C.) when he reflects on the pains of hell, and the perfections of God.  H.


--- "O sweet affliction, which extinguishes the fire of hell, and restores man to the friendship of his God."  S. Chrys.

8 My eye is troubled through indignation: I have grown old amongst all my enemies.

Ver. 8.  Indignation of God (Theod.) or of my enemies.  I am also indignant when I behold my foes exulting in my ruin.  C.


--- I have.  Heb. "It," the eye.  Bert.


--- The eye is naturally injured by excessive grief.  Yet David could not think of his sins, without floods of tears.  H.

9 Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity: for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping.

Ver. 9.  Iniquity, who have fostered my passions, (Bert.) or sought my ruin.  I now perceive who were my true friends.  C.


--- Lord.  He is twice mentioned in the next verse, in honour of the blessed Trinity, as a German commentator remarks, after the ancient interpreters (Bert.) and Fathers.  They have constantly had an eye to these grand truths, which are nevertheless proved by clearer passages of Scripture.  H.


--- David confides in God, as every true penitent may do, for protection.  W.


--- He had also been assured of pardon by Nathan, the prophet.  H.


10 The Lord hath heard my supplication: the Lord hath received my prayer. 11 Let all my enemies be ashamed, and be very much troubled: let them be turned back, and be ashamed very speedily.

Ver. 11.  Troubled.  This is a prophecy, (S. Aug.) or a prayer for their speedy and earnest conversion, (S. Jer.  C.) or a threat if they persist.  W.


--- Speedily.  At the last day, the wicked will perceive how short life has been.  Tunc sentient peccatores quam non sit longa omnis vita quæ transit.  S. Aug.

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Holy Spirit