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A psalm for David. Of the sons of Jonadab, and the former captives. In thee, O Lord, I have hoped, let me never be put to confusion:

Ver. 1.  Of the sons of Jonadab.  The Rechabites, of whom see Jeremias xxxv.  By this addition of the seventy-two interpreters, we gather that this psalm was usually sung in the synagogue, in the person of the Rechabites, and of those who were first carried away into captivity.  Ch.

 

--- This first captivity happened under Joakim, A.M. 3398, the second, under Jechonias, 3405, and the last, when the city was destroyed and Sedecias w as taken, 3416.  Usher.

 

--- The Rechabites entered Jerusalem a little before the first of these events, and set the people an example of obedience by submitting to Nabuchodonosor, as Jeremias directed.  Bellar.  M.

 

--- S. Jerom considers their being confined within the walls, as their first captivity.  Ep. ad Paul. and ad Rust.

 

--- But there is nothing in this title in Heb. Euseb. &c. and several copies of the Sept. acknowledge the same; (C.) so that it is of no great authority.  Bert.

 

--- The psalm contains the sentiments of the captives, (Theod.) or of David, persecuted by his son: and in a  more sublime sense, of Jesus Christ, complaining of treason and cruelty.  C.

 

--- All the saints, under persecution, may adopt the same language.  Bert.

 

--- Hoped.  These three verses are almost exactly the same.  Ps. xxx.  Bias "being asked what was sweet to men, answered, hope."  Laert. 1.

 

--- Vain is the salvation of man.  But hope confoundeth not.  Ps. lix. 13.  Rom. v. 5.  C.


PSALM LXX.  (IN TE DOMINE.)

A prayer for perseverance.


2 deliver me in thy justice, and rescue me. Incline thy ear unto me, and save me.

Ver. 2.  Justice.  Or mercy.  Ps. xxx. 1.  I have not injured Absalom, &c.  C.

 

--- God avengeth the injuries done to his servants.  W.


3 Be thou unto me a God, a protector, and a place of strength: that thou mayst make me safe. For thou art my firmament and my refuge.

Ver. 3.  Refuge.  The parallel passage seems more complete (C.) in Hebrew, some letters of which may have been altered, since the time of the Sept.  Yet the sense is nearly the same.  Bert.

 

--- "Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort.  Thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress."  Prot.  H.


4 Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the sinner, and out of the hand of the transgressor of the law and of the unjust.

Ver. 4.  Unjust.  Achitophel and Absalom.  C.


5 For thou art my patience, O Lord: my hope, O Lord, from my youth;

Ver. 5.  Patience.  Confiding on thee, I lost not patience; (S. Aug.  W.) or rather, (Amama) all my expectations are from thee.  Ps. lxi. 6.  C.


6 By thee have I been confirmed from the womb: from my mother's womb thou art my protector. Of thee shall I continually sing:

Ver. 6.  Art my.  Heb. "hast taken me," (H.) or "cut the navel string."  Ezec. xv. 4.  Thou hast acknowledged me for thy son, by taking me upon thy knee, as soon as I was born.  Gen. l. 22.  Ps. xxi. 11.


7 I run become unto many as a wonder, but thou art a strong helper.

Ver. 7.  Wonder.  My exaltation, (C.) and present misery, (W.  M.) fill all with astonishment.  H.  Is. viii. 18. and xi. 10.

 

--- God often made his prophets bear about the signs of his vengeance on others.  Is. xix. 20.  C.

 

--- Christ was a sign of contradiction, which shall be contradicted.  Lu. ii. 34.  H.

 

--- He was looked upon as a prodigy.  Euseb.  S. Aug.

 

--- Helper.  He gives all the glory to God.  C.

 

--- None can persevere without his grace.  W.


8 Let my mouth be filled with praise, that I may sing thy glory; thy greatness all the day long. 9 Cast me not off in the time of old age: when my strength shall fail, do not thou forsake me.

Ver. 9.  Old age.  Absalom rebelled when his father was grown old.  C.

 

--- Against the dangers of our last conflict, (H.) Christ has instituted Extreme Unction.  W.


10 For my enemies have spoken against me; and they that watched my soul have consulted together,

Ver. 10.  Watched.  My guards, (Ferrand) or rather my enemies.  C.


11 Saying: God hath forsaken him: pursue and take him, for there is none to deliver him.

Ver. 11.  Him.  Thus the world commonly judges of those in distress.  It was known that David sinned; but none could tell that God was now punishing him rather than putting his virtue to the trial.  "Upbraid not the miserable," said Thales.


12 O God, be not thou far from me: O my God, make haste to my help.
13 Let them be confounded and come to nothing that detract my soul; let them be covered with confusion and shame that seek my hurt.

Ver. 13.  Detract.  Heb. "are satans," or "adversaries," during my trial.  The Fathers say these are predictions.  Ps. xxxiv. 4.  C.

 

--- David certainly wished to spare the chief of the rebels, and host probably speaks of his spiritual enemies.  Bert.


14 But I will always hope; and will add to all thy praise.

Ver. 14.  Praise.  To perform good works, and to praise God, is the best way to advance in virtue.  W.


15 My mouth shall shew forth thy justice; thy salvation all the day long. Because I have not knows learning,

Ver. 15.  Learning.  As much as to say, I build not upon human learning, but only upon the power and justice of God.  Ch.  W.

 

--- I have not leisure to write a canticle at present, as the word known intimates.  Ps. xiii. 3. and lxxiii. 9.  But I will do it hereafter, and record the praises which I now proclaim.  Some would translate, "I know not the number" of thy mercies.  Bert.

 

--- This sense is adopted by the Chal. Theod. &c.  See Ps. xxxix. 6.  Yet it seems more probable, that David acknowledges his inability to speak to God as he deserves, though he promises to do his best to shew the utmost respect.  So Solomon confessed his ignorance, (Prov. xxx. 2.) and Socrates asserted, that all his knowledge consisted in the conviction of his complete ignorance.  If this be true with respect to human science, how much more so is it, when we speak of God, (H.) and attempt to dive into the holy Scriptures?  Geneb.

 

--- David meditated on the law continually.  Ps. i. 2.  C.

 

--- Yet he admits, that he stands in need of a guide (H.) and must enter into the sanctuary, to penetrate such high mysteries.  Ps. lxxii. 17.  S. Aug. and Eusebius understand, that the letter of the Mosaic law is incapable of insuring salvation.  C.

 

--- This text has been abused, to encourage ignorance, as Amama (p. 502.) complains with respect to the Prot. pulpits and colleges abroad.  Know gives a dreadful picture, of their universities in England.  H.

 

--- "With the unlearned Anabaptists and fanatics, such may perhaps conclude, that they will thus more easily approach to God," (Tarnov.) and "may boast, that they have been instructed in the school of the holy Spirit," qeodikatoi, "when they boldly ascend the pulpit, and adduce texts from Scripture, it matters not whether right or wrong."  Amama.

 

--- Is not this generally the case among those who broach new religions?  H.

 

--- Sept. Vat. reads, pragmateiaV, "mercantile affairs."  But the Vulg. follows the edition of Aldus, &c. grammateiaV.  Bert.

 

--- A similar variation occurs, 1 Esd. viii.  The former reading is adduced by the Fathers, and by Gelasius, (dist. 88.) who hence condemns clergymen engaging in merchandise, (Amama) as it was contrary to their calling: and formerly at least, very dangerous for any honest man.  H.

 

--- David had not received a polite education, and he disapproved of Achitophel's worldly prudence.  M.


16 I will enter into the powers of the Lord: O Lord, I will be mindful of thy justice alone. 17 Thou hast taught me, O God, from my youth: and till now I will declare thy wonderful works.

Ver. 17.  Till now.  Here the stop should be placed.  Bert.  C.

 

--- The verb may also be explained in the past time, "till now I have declared."  Bert.



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18 And unto old age and grey hairs: O God, forsake me not, Until I shew forth thy arm to all the generation that is to come: Thy power, 19 and thy justice, O God, even to the highest great things thou hast done: O God, who is like to thee?

Ver. 19.  The great things.  Thou hast even punished the rebel angels.  M.


20 How great troubles hast thou shewn me, many and grievous: and turning thou hast brought me to life, and hast brought me back again from the depths of the earth:

Ver. 20.  Me.  Heb. "us."  Yet Prot. &c. retain the singular, as the context requires.  Bert.

 

--- Earth.  To which I seem to be consigned, (H.) being in the greatest distress.  It may be understood of Christ's return from hell, and from the grave.  Ps. lxviii. 17.  C.


21 Thou hast multiplied thy magnificence; and turning to me thou hast comforted me.

Ver. 21.  Thy.  Heb. and Syr. "my."  Thou hast raised me to the highest honours.  S. Aug. &c. read "thy justice."  C.

 

--- Houbigant prefers the Vulg.  Bert.


22 For I will also confess to thee thy truth with the instruments of psaltery: O God, I will sing to thee with the harp, thou holy one of Israel. 23 My lips shall greatly rejoice, when I shall sing to thee; and my soul which thou hast redeemed. 24 Yea and my tongue shall meditate on thy justice all the day; when they shall be confounded and put to shame that seek evils to me.

Ver. 24.  Meditate.  Or, utter my most serious reflections.  C.


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