Page images
PDF
EPUB

3

Ver. 1.

TRULY ing soul waiteth tipon God: from him place any confidence in man ; for as the multitude are

cometh my salvation.] Let the dangers be vain, giddy, and unconstant, so the greater sort are never so great which threaten my destruction, I am false, deceitful, and treacherous: take them altogether, resolved quietly and patiently to commit myself to they are no more to be depended on, than the vainGod; expecting what he will be pleased to do for me, est thing in the world; which, thrown into the bawho alone is able to deliver me.

lance against them, will prove more solid and pondeVer. 2. He only is my rock and my salvation : he is rous. my defence, I shall not be greatly moved.] Be my enemies Ver. 10. Trust not in oppression, and become not vain never so powerful, I doubt not by his providence to be in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon safe, so secure, that though they give me some disturb- them.] And do not by any means, when all human ance, they shall not be able to do it long, much less to helps may fail you, betake yourselves to frauds, throw me quite out of my throne.

cheating, and calumnies, for support; much less enVer. How long will ye imagine mischief against a deavour to enrich yourselves by rapine, spoil, and man? ye shall be slain all of you : as a bowing wall robbery. Be not so vain as to trust to ill-gotten shall ye be, and as a tottering fence.] I wonder at your goods; for, if your riches increase by honest means, obstinacy, who continue thus to contrive the ruin of they are not things wherein to place either your confia man whom God hath so visibly declared that he dence and hope, or your love and joy. favours : to what purpose are all your conspiracies, Ver. 11. God hath spoken once ; twice have I heard but only to bring sudden destruction upon yourselves? this, that power belongeth unto God.) For God hath for you shall all perish in this enterprize, and fall frequently declared, in the course of his providence, to the ground, like a wall that is not evenly built; as well as in his word, I myself have been witness or like a partition made only of loose stones, that of it more than once, that by his power he disposes have no mortar to cement and hold them fast toge- things quite otherwise than men project; dashing all ther.

their worldly confidences in pieces, and especially deVer. 4. They only consult to cast him down from his feating the hopes of those that think to prosper in excellency; they delight in lies : they bless with their mouth, evil courses. but they curse inwardly. Selah.] It is plain what they Ver. 12. Also unto thee, O LORD, belungeth mercy : design, and whither all their consultations tend ; to for thou renderest to every man according to his work.] dethrone him whom God hath been pleased to ad. And that thou, O Lord, art also exceeding gracious to vance to the highest dignity : this they hope now to those that piously trust in thee; preserving and proeffect by lies and calumnies; in which they please viding for them, when they are destitute of human themselves, as formerly they did in fawning and flat- succour: for thou art not an idle spectator of men's tery : speaking fairly to me with their mouth, when actions, nor acceptest any man's person ; but an exin their heart they wished my utter ruin. (See Psal. act dispenser of rewards and punishments, to every lv. 21.)

man according to his work. Ver. 3. My soul, wait thou only upon Ged: for my expectation is from him.] But let not this discourage

PSA L M LXIII. thee, O my soul! resolve still to wait upon God with quietness and patience :. for from him I expect my A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of deliverance.

Judah. Ver. 6. He only is my rock and my salvation : he is my defence ; I shall not be moved.] Bý his providence, as THE ARGUMENT.--This psalm, the title informs us, reI said before, I doubt not I shall be so safe, so secure, presents the thoughts which David had when he was that, do what they can, they shall not be able to take in the wilderness of Judah. But whether by that one step more, to throw me out of my throne.

he meant the forest of Hareth, wherein, after other Ver. 7. In God is my salvation, and my glory : the places, he secured himself when he fled from Saul, rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.] Both (1 Sam. xxii. 5.), or the wilderness he went my safety, and my honour and dignity, depends upon through when he fled froin Absalom, (2 Sam. God alone, and not upon their will and pleasure : xvii. 29.), may be questioned. Theodoret takes and I trust not either in fortresses or armies, but it for the former, but I incline to the latter, for the make him my confidence, on whom I rely for defence same reason I gave before; because he calls himand protection against the strongest enemies.

self a king, ver. 11. which he would not have Ver. 8. Trust in him at all times, je people ; pour cut done, as I said, (upon Psal. Isi.), during the reign your heart before him : God is a refuge for us. Selah.] of Saul; because it would have given him too jast And so I would advise all my people to do continual cause to persecute him, and made the people look ly ; in whatsoever condition you be, repose a pious upon him as a traitor. Unless we say that he did confidence in him : be not fearful, nor too solicitous, not publish this psalm, but reserve it for his own but commit yourselves to God by earnest prayer, and private use, till he came to the kingdom. When implore his help; for he will never fail us.

he delivered it to the chief musician, for the serVer. 9. Surely men of low degree are vanity, and vice of the tabernacle ; where he longed very men of high degree are a lie : to be laid in the balance; much to be, when he was in his banishment. As they are altogether lighter than vanity.) But do not appears by this psalm, in which he expresses exVOL. III,

U

Ver. I.

ceeding great love to God, (as Thcodoret notes), fall upon those that endeavour to destroy me; who and predicts the destruction of his enemies. seeking to take away life, shall lose their own, (2

Sam. xviii. 7. 8. &c.) 0

God, thou art my God; early will I seek Ver. 10. They shall fall by the sword: they shall be

thee : : my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh a portion for foxes.] They shall perish by the sword; longeth for thee, in a dry and thirsty land, wbere no wa and their carcases have no other sepulchres but in the ter is :j o God, the governor of the world, who bowels of foxes, and other such like ravenous creahast ever been my gracious God, and art my only tures, who live as they do by stealth and deceit. confidence; to thee I early direct my morning Ver. 11. But the king shall rejoice in God: every one thoughts, most earnestly beseeching thee to take pity that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them upon me, in this desolate condition : wherein 1 lan- that speak lies shall be stopped.j But I their sovereign guish, and am ready to faint, as I travel through this shall be filled with joy; and so shall all pious men, dry and tiresome wilderness, (2 Sam. xvii. 29.), where who preserved their loyalty, and would by no means there is no water to refreshi me.

violate their oath, wherein they stood engaged to me : Ver. 2. To see thy power, and thy glory, so as I have they shall triumph when my calumniators, (2 Sam. seen thee in the sanctuary.] It is not so much some xv. 2. 3.), and all perfidious persons, shall be so si. satisfaction to my hunger and thirst that I desire, as lenced, that they shall not have a word to say for to be restored again to worship thee before the ark of themselves. thy presence, (2 Sam. xv. 25.); which is the token of thy power and majesty residing among us : and

PSALM LXIV. there to enjoy thee, as I have done heretofore, when I had the liberty to go into thy sanctuary.

To the chief musician. A Psalm of David. Ver. 3. Because they loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.] My lips shall then praise The ARGUMENT.—The enemy of whom David here thee with the same devotion that I now pray unto complains, it is most probable, was Saul; whose thee : for nothing is so dear unto me as thy favour hatred to him was very much heightened, and made and love ; without which, life itself, and the all plea more malignant, by the calumnies and false stories sures of my court, would be of little value.

which were told of him by some ill men in his Ver. 4. Thus will I bless thee while I live : I will. court; who were always plotting and contriving in lift up hands in thy name.] The greatest pleasure of their cabals, (as we speak), how to compass his demy life shall be continually to bless thee for such a struction, (and found no means more effectual for happy, restoration ; and with the most thankful ac. that end than lies and calumnies), though in truth knowledgements for what thou hast done for me, to they were all that time (as he foretold) devising implore thy future kindness towards me.

their own. . In memory of which he delivered this Ver. 5. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow psalm, together with several others, (which he and fatness : and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful made on the same subject), to the master of music, lips.] My hungry appetite would not now receive to be sung in the tabernacle. greater satisfaction, if the best cheer in the world

was presented to me, than my soul

shall be filled Ver. 1. HEAR my voice, O God, in my prayer ;

withal in that sweet employment; when, with the

preserve my life from fear of the enemy.] highest expressions of joy, my mouth shall, with a O God, the governor of the world, who seest the loud voice, sing thy praises.

danger I am in by a dreadful enemy, be thou my Ver. 6. When I remember thee upon my bed, and me friend, I humbly beseech thee ; and preserve the life ditate on thee in the night-watches.] Mean time I of thy persecuted servant, who by earnest prayer comfort myself with the hope of that happiness; commends himself unto thy custody. calling to mind, as I lie upon my bed, and seriously Ver. 2. Hide me from the secret ccunsel of the wicconsidering, as oft as I awake, how gracious thou hast ked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity.] been unto me.

Protect me from the secret plots, and the open violence Ver. 7. Because thou hast been nty help, therefore in of those wicked men who make a great stir against the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.] From whence I me, and unjustly seek my ruin. conclude, that since thou hast relieved me in my great Ver. 3. Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend est straits, I shall be safe under thy almighty protec- their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words.] tion ; and at last triumph over all my enemies. Their tongue is their principal weapon ; which they

Ver. 8. My soul followeth hard after thee : thy right have in readiness (as soldiers have their swords) upon hand upholdeth me.] Though thou seemest to cast me all occasions, to wound my reputation : calumnies off, my soul, notwithstanding, cleaveth fast unto thee; and slanders, like so many poisoned arrows, are ever and will not part with its hope in thee : and I feel the at their tongue's end. happy fruit of it, for by thy mighty aid I am support Ver. 4. That they may shoot in secret at the perfect ; ed and preserved from sinking under these sore cala- suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not.] Which, - mities that have lain upon me.

when they are in private with Saul, they shoot at me, Ver. 9. But those that seek my soul to destroy it, shall who never did him or them any wrong; but am pergo into the lower parts of the earth.) Which now shall fectly guiltless of that which they charge me withala

yet I find these false accusations, which I never ex plentiful showers of rain, the psalmist gives God pected, spread abroad by those who have no fear of public thanks in this hymn, for sending them seaGod to restrain them from doing mischief to their in sonably to his people, whom he had formerly nocent neighbours.

obliged by several other great benefits, as he doth Ver. 5. They encourage themselves in an evil matter : all other nations, which David here first of all they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who commemorates. shall see them?'] They use their utmost endeavours I can find nothing more probable than this.. For as to to make their calumnies be believed, and confirm one the title which I find in the vulgar Latin, out of another in their resolved prosecution of their wicked some Greek copies, that it is a psalm sung by Jeredesign ; which they consult how to effect, though it miah and Ezekiel, with the people of the captivi. be by falsehood and treachery, or by wiles and crafty ty, when they were about to go into or come out practices, so subtily contrived, that nobody, they of it, (I know not well which they mean); there hope, shall be able to discover thein.

is no sense that I can see to be made of it. For Ver. 6. They search out iniquities, they accomplish a Jeremiah was not carried captive, as Theodoret obdiligent search : both the inward thought of every one of serves, but left at liberty to go whither he pleased, them, and their heart, is deep.] They employ all their and Ezekiel was gone long before ; nor are there wit and diligence in these wicked devices, and leave any such words, as the same Theodoret notes, to be nothing unattempted to produce the most exquisite found either in the Hebrew, or in other interpreand absolute piece of villany that can be invented by ters; no, not in the LXX. which was in the Hexamen of the deepest reach and policy.

plus. But somebody who neither attended to the Ver. 7. But God shall shoot at them with an arrow : sense of the psalm, (as he passes this censure,) nor suddenly shall they be wounded.] But all to no pur understood the history, added this inscription. pose; for when they little think of it, they and all Yet he himself thinks it was spoken by them in their projects shall perish, by a sudden stroke of the captivity, when, far from their own land, they divine vengeance.

longed to sing God's praises, but could not do it Ver. 8. So they shall make their own tongue to fall publicly in Babylon; and therefore prayed God, upon tbemselves ; all that seek them sball flee away.] in the words of this hymn, to turn their capTheir slanders shall reflect. upon themselves; and tivity, and to bring them again to Sion; which I their wicked counsels prove so pernicious to those know not how to contradict; but seeing no proof that gave them, that they shall be forsaken even of of it, I shall not meddle with that sense in my their friends, and they that were wont to visit them paraphrase. shall flee away from them. Ver. 9. And all men shall fear, and sbal! declare the Ver. 1. PRAISE waiteth

for thee, o God, in Sion ; work of God, for they shall wisely consider of his

and unto thee shall the vow be performed.] doing.) And all other men shall be afraid to imitate It becomes us, O God, above all other people, to them, not being able to deny the just vengeance of praise thee in thy sanctury, (though we cannot worGod, the judge of all, upon them; for they shall be thily express, but must rather silently adore, thy inconvinced, that it was not by chance, but by his coun- comparable excellences), and to pay the vows which sel, that they were not only defeated, but insnared we made unto thee in the time of our distress. in their own contrivances.

Ver. 2. O thou that bearest prayer, unto thee skall all Ver. 10. The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, flesh come.] And more especially to magnify thy cleand shall trust in him, and all the upright in heart shall mency in hearing my prayer, (2 Sam. xxi. 1.), whiclı glory. ] Which shall both fill my heart, whom they may invite all mankind, even those that are most unjustly maligned, with such joy in the Lord, as miserable, to make their addresses unto thee. shall encourage me to commit myself unto him for Ver. 3. Iniquities prevail against me ; as for our ever in well-doing; and make all true lovers of piety transgressions, thou shalt purge them away.] Nor need triumph in the victory, which integrity and simplici- their sins discourage them, for thou hadst matter ty hath gotten over falsehood and subtilty.

enough of that kind against me, to have hindered the

prevalency of my prayer, if thou hadst charged my PSALM LXV. .

iniquities upon me; but thou hast been graciously

pleased to forgive not only me, but all thy people To the chief musician. A Psalm and Song of David. their transgressions, whereby they have provoked

thee. THE ARGUMENT.-The latter part of this excellent Ver. 4. Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and

hymn of praise (as the title calls it ; see more, causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in tby Psal. Ixvii.) hath moved some judicious interpre- courts ; we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy ters to think, that it was delivered by David to the house, even of thy holy temple.] O how happy is the master of music, after some great drought, which condition of a priest, or a Levite, whom thou hast chohad brought, or threatened to bring, a dearth upon sen to minister before thee, and hath the privilege the land, and there are those who imagine it re to be continually employed in thy service! though lates to the three years famine after the rebellion we cannot all be so blessed, yet such is thy goodness, of Absalom, 2 Sam. xxi. which being removed by we enjoy most sweet refreshments in thy house, when

we offer our prayers and praises to thee, and taste of wheeled about, and every where distilled a fattening the sacrifices of thanksgiving which we there present juice into the earth. for the benefits we have received from thee :

Ver. 12. They drop upon the pastures of the wilderVer. 5. By terrible things in righteousness, wilt thou ness ; and the little bills rejoice on every side.] They answer us, O God of our salvation, who art the confi- have made green pastures, even in desolate places; dence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are and the little hills, which before looked ruefully, apafar off upon the sea.] Who hast done wonderful and pear now most beautiful, and have, as it were, put astonishing things for us, out of thy mere mercy and on the garments of joy and gladness. bounty, when in our necessity we implored thy help, Ver. 13. The pastures are cloatbed with focks ; tbe O God; who not only marvellously savest and deliver- valleys also are covered over with corn ; they shout for est us in this nation from destruction, but art the sup- joy, they also sing.] The pastures, which were bare port and safeguard of all mankind in the remotest before, are cloathed now with flocks, as they are with parts of the earth, or islands of the sea.

grass; the fields also are so covered with corn, that Ver. 6. Which by his strength settest fast the moun the face of the earth cannot be seen ; they keep a tains, being girded with power.] For God's power, kind of festival, which hath filled us all with an uni. which is ready at all times to execute his pleasure, is versal mirth, and made us triumph in thy goodness. not inferior to his mercy, but hath settled the mountains in their places, and sustains their vast weight from sinking down into the earth.

PSALM LXVI. Ver. 7. Which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.] Against To the chief musician. A Song or Psalm. which, when the sea beats tempestuously, he composes and silences its swelling and roaring waves; THE ARGUMENT.—The vulgar Latin here again (s0 as he doth, with the same ease, the rage and fury of little trust is to be given to it) hath an inscription, the people, when, by the breath of unquiet sedi which, as Theodoret witnesses, is not to be found tious spirits, they rise up tumultuously, and break in other interpreters, no more than in the Hebrew; out into rebellion.

no, not in the LXX. translation, which was in the Ver. 8. They also that dwell in the uttermost parts, famous Hexaplus. Nor can any good reason be are afraid at thy tokens ; thou makest the outgoings of given why they call it, A song-psalm concerning the morning and evening to rejoice.] The most bar the resurrection ; unless thereby we understand the barous people, who live in the remotest corners of resurrection of the dry bones, of which Ezekiel the earth, behold with wonder and amazement the prophesied, chap. xxxvii. which was the bringing heavenly bodies, which thou hast appointed for signs the people in Babylon, where they seemed to be and tokens, (Gen. 1. 14.), by the rising of the sun, buried, to their own land again, ver. 12. And so the moon and stars, in the morning and evening, thou Theodoret himself takes it for a psalm which Dafillest them with joy, as well as admiration.

vid, by a prophetical spirit, composed for the peoVer. 9. Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it i

ple in captivity, not praying for their return (as, thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is he fancies they do in the psalm foregoing), but upfull of water : thou preparest them corn when thou hast on their way home, and praising God for their liso provided for it.] But we are more particularly berty. bound unto thee, whose land, which was lately visit- Certain it is, this psalm was made after a very reed with drought, thou hast now refreshed and en. markable deliverance from some sore calamity unriched with such liberal showers out of the clouds, der which the nation liad groaned. And it not be. (which, like a vast river, are never exhausted), as ing said by whom it was penned, nor who the enehave made it exceeding fruitful, for from thence thou mies were that oppressed them, it is generally hast ordained it should be constantly replenished. thought not to be David's, whose name it doth not

Ver. 10. Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundant bear in the title, as the foregoing do ; but to have ly ; thou settlest the furrows thereof; thou makest it soft been made by some holy man after, or in their rewith showers; thou blessest the springing thereof :] And turn from the fore-mentioned captivity. But he accordingly, when the ground is ploughed up, thou that collected the psalms contained in this second se!:dest abundance of rain upon its ridges, which settle book, though he did not find David's name in the the clods, and make them sink down upon the seed front of it; yet took him, I believe, to be the authat is newly sown; and when the ground grows too thor both of this and of the next psalm, as well as hard, and hinders its sprouting forth, thou softenest and of the foregoing : otherwise he would not have openest it with gentle showers, which bringeth up the placed them between those on both sides which blade; and that thy blessing makes to prosper and certainly belong to him, when he intended, it ap. thrive, till it grow up into corn.

pears by the conclusion of this book, (lxxii. 20.), Ver. 11. Tkou crownest the year with thy goodness, to put together all the prayers that he had then and thy paths drop fatness.] Thus thy goodness hath met withal of David's. - He that considers also that made this a most plentiful year, and magnificently the 71st and 72d psalms have not David's name adorned it with variety of fruits; for thy clouds have in the title, and yet are generally thought to be of.

his composing, will not take the want of the usual enemies submit themselves unto thee.] Saying, O God, inscription here to be a sufficient argument why thy stupendous works fill us with wonder and amazewe should seek for some other author of this ment; but we are not able to express the greatness psalm.

of them : they strike terror into the hearts of thy eneWhich was penned, I judge, after God had advan. mies, who, feeling the dreadful effects of thy power,

ced David to his throne, and peacefully settled him dare not oppose thee any longer, but, dissembling in his kingdom. Till which time they had been their hostility, shall come and offer thee their service, in a very unsettled condition, not only during the (2 Sam. viii. 1.) rule of the judges, (when, as he speaks here, ver. Ver. 4. All the earth shall worship thee, and shall 12., many of their neighbours rid over their heads, sing unto thee ; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.] or, as we now speak, domineered over them as For which be thou adored by all the inhabitants of they pleased), but also in the reign of Saul, when this country ; let them all sing joyful hymns unto the Philistines were so powerful, that the Israelites thee : let them sing the praise of thy power, which durst not look them in the face, but hid themselves hath thus daunted our enemies, and delivered us. in caves, and thickets, and in rocks, and in high Ver. 5. Come and see the works of God: he is terplaces, and in pits, 1 Sam. xiii. 6. For they had rible in bis doings toward the children of men.] Apdisarmed them ; so that when they came to fight, proach, I beseech you, and attentively consider what there was not a man had a sword or a spear but only our God hath done, and then I need not exhort you Saul and Jonathan, ver. 22. And though they to praise his name ; for the works and counsels of his prevailed over the Philistines afterward in several providence over all mankind are very astonishing : battles, chap. xiv. xvii. ; yet they grew so strong Ver. 6. He turned the seu into dry land : they went , again, that they penetrated into the country as far through the flood on foot; there did we rejoice in him.] as Mount Gilboa, where Saul and his sons were Especially over us, for whose fathers, to their unslain, (chap. xxxi.); and the people thereupon speak able joy, (Exod. xv.), he opened a passage were so dismayed, that they about Jordan forsook through the Red Sea ; when they were so shut up their cities, and the Philistines came and dwelt in between that before, and the army of Pharaoh bethem, ver. 7. To these things the roth, 11th, and hind, there was no way left for their escape, (Exod. 12th verses of this psalm may have respect. And xiv. 16.). And also led them dry-shod through the then the freeing the country from that oppression, river Jordan, when it was so full of water, that it and forcing these insolent enemies to submit to Da- overflowed its banks, (Josh. iii. 15. 16. 17.) ; which vid, ver. 3. (where there is the same expression created a new joy in the hearts of our nation. in substance with that which he uses, Psal. xviii. Ver. 7. He ruletb by bis power for ever ; bis eyes be45. after he had overcome all his enemies), bold the nations : let not the rebellious exalt themselves. may be the thing for which he here gives praise to Selah.] And it ought to continue still in succeeding God; exciting all the country to join with him, in ages, since the same divine power which did those wonblessing his divine Majesty, not only for this, but ders governs the world throughout all generations : hc for former deliverances he had vouchsafed to that sees and observes the motions of all nations, who may nation. Which he would have acknowledged with learn, by the Egyptians and Canaanites, that they their most chearful thanksgivings, (which may be who contemn his authority, in vain endeavour to the meaning of a song-psalm, see lxvii.), especially exalt themselves to greater eminence ; for they shall in the public service of God, at the tabernacle. certainly be abased. Into which he promises to go, ver. 13. 14. (a sign Ver. 8. O bless our God, ye people, and make the the psalm was not made at their coming out of Ba. voice of his praise to be heard.] We have reason to bylon, when there was no house to go unto), and say, that he is our God, and takes care of us, as well pay his vows, which he had made before these vic as of those before us; and therefore let all the tribes tories. But at their return from Babylon, it is like of Israel agree together to bless him, and proclaim they might use this psalm, and apply it to that pur- his praises ; that it may be for ever known how good pose, going to the place where the house of God he is, and how yrateful they are. formerly stood.

Ver. 9. Whib boldeth our soul in life, and sufferet

not our, feet to be moved.] For he hath wonderfully Ver. 1. MAKE a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:] preserved us from perishing in our afliction ; and not

Let all the people of this land shout suffered our enemies to pursue their advantages to aloud, and triumph in the liberty which God hath our utter overthrow and ruin. restored unto us.

Ver. 1o. For thou, O God, bast proved us : thou Ver. 2. Sing forth the honour of his name : make his hast tried us, as silver is tried.] Thou hast proved praise glorious.] Sing psalms in honour of his most glo- our constancy indeed, O God, by most severe chasrious majesty ; and do not merely praise him, but do tisements; and as a refiner tries iis silver by throw it in the most splendid manner; and place your prin- ing it into the fire, so thou hast dealt with us, as well cipal glory in this, that you have the honour to sing as with our forefathers; whose labours in the iron his praises.

furnace of Egypt, we have been forced io imitate Ver. 3. Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy under our oppressors. works ! through the greatness of thy power shall thine Ver. 11. Thou broughtest us into the net, thou laidest

« PreviousContinue »