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Lord, art to defend and preserve me; and that all thy thou madest to our forefather. Abraham, (Gen. xii. promises annexed to thy commandments (still I think 2.), hath been faithfully fulfilled ; and so shall every of that, ver. 142.) shall faithfully be fulfilled. thing else, which thou hast resolved and declared to
Ver. 152. Concerning thy testimonies, I have known be thy will, be punctually performed to the end of of old, that thou kast founded them for ever.] This the world. hath ever been my support, long before I fell into these troubles, that whatsoever thou hast testified to
SHIN. PART XXI. be thy will and pleasure, is firm and stedfast, and shall never fail those that depend upon it, ver. 144. Ver. 161. Princes have persecuted me without a
cause ; but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.] The RESH. PART XX.
rulers and prime counsellors of the kingdom perse
cute me, for pretended crimes; of which as I am Ver. 153. Consider mine affliction, and deliver me ; not guilty, so I do not fear so much what they can for I do not forget thy Inw.] Shew then that thou dost do against me, as lest I should do any thing in my not neglect me, but art as mindful of me, as I am own vindication, against thy word, (1 Sam. xxiv. 6. of thy law in this afflicted condition ; out of which xxvi. 9.) I beseech thee to deliver me, for none of the evils Ver. 162. I rejoice at thy word, as one that findetb that have befallen ine have made me forget my duty great spoil.] I would not purchase my liberty, my to thee.
peace, or the honour they enjoy, by any lawful Ver. 154. Plead thou my cause, and deliver me: actions ;, for I take far more delight in doing thy will, quicken me according to thy word.] I appeal to thee, and in what thou hast promised to do for me, than in whether I have not a righteous cause, beseeching thee to the completest victory over all my enemies. do me justice upon mine enemies, (1 Sam. xxiv. 15.), Ver. 163. I hate and abbor lying ; but thy law do and rescue me from their persecutions ; for I am in I love.] I hate all fraud and deceit, even to the degreat danger of perishing, but depend upon thy pro- gree of abhorrence and abomination ; but most heartily mise for my safety.
love those honest courses, to which thy law directs me. Ver. 155. Salvation is far from the wicked: før they Ver. 164. Seven times a day do I praise thee, beseek not thy statutes.] Far be it from thee to afford any cause of thy righteous judgements.] It is the subject of help to the wicked, for they have no regard to thy sta- my perpetual thanks and praise, that I have the haptutes; but seek only how they may satisfy their own piness to be acquainted with the justice and goodness lewd and cruel desires.
of those laws whereby thou governest us. Ver. 156. Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD; Ver. 165. Great peace have they wbich love thy law; quicken me according to thy judgements.] To which I op- and nothing shall offend them.] The observance of pose the bowels of thy compassion, O Lord, whose which gives such inward satisfaction, and brings so tender mercies are many and great, and will preserve many and great blessings to those who truly love my life, I hope, according to thy wonted care over them, that they take all things which befal them me, and kindness to me, ver. 149.
in good part, and nothing will tempt them to turn Ver. 157. Many are my persecutors, and mine ene. aside, and leave those virtuous paths wherein they lead mies ; yet I do not decline from the testimonies.] I am them. not discouraged, either by the number or the strength Ver. 166. LORD, I have hoped for thy salvation, (which are both very great) of those that persecute and done thy commandments.] I have met with the me with a deadly enmity ; which doth not move me most grievous discouragements; but, Lord, in the in the least to depart from thy testimonies, (Lev. xix. midst of the greatest straits I have expected deliver18.), by seeking their destruction as they do mine, ance only from thee, and never done any thing for (1 Sam. xxiv. xxvi.)
my preservation contrary to thy commandments. Ver. 158. I beheld the transgressors, and was grievo Ver. 167. My soul bath kept thy testimonies ; and I ed; because they kept not thy word.] It only provokes love theni exceedingly. All my care hath been, still my sorrow, to see that there is no faith, nor truth, most heartily to observe thy testimonies; which I nor gratitude in them, (1 Sam. xxiv. 17. &c. xxvi. prefer infinitely before all earthly enjoyments. 2.), and troubles me beyond measure, that they have Ver. 168. I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonios; tio regard to what thou commandest or forbiddest. for all my ways are before thee.] There is not one of
Ver. 159. Consider how I love thy precepts ; quicken thy laws, of any sort, but I have carefully observed, me, O LORD, according to thy loving-kindness,] Such even then when I might have privily broken them, is the love I have to thy ptecepts, which, 1 beseech and been a gainer by it, (1 Sam. xxix.4. &c.); for thee, let the world see thon dost observe; and both I knew that nothing can be done secretly, but thou preserve my life, O Lord, and, according to the ex- art perfectly acquainted with it. ceeding greatness of thy goodness, deliver me out of this sad condition.
TAU. PART XIV. Ver. 160. Thy word is true from the beginning ; and every one of thy righteous judgements endureth for ever.] Ver. 169. Let my cry come near before tbee, O As: 'I doubt not thou wilt; for none of thy promises LORD; give me understanding according to thy word.] have ever failed; but the very first of them, which As thou art also with my most earnest petitions, to
which, I beseech thee, O Lord, vouchsafe a gracious of the composure, or of the music to which they answer; and in the first place teach me, according as *. were set, or the high esteem they had of them thou hast promised, to walk, not only innocently, but upon some account or other, particularly because pradently, in the midst of all the shares that are laid they were so fit for their use, (though most of them for me.
composed in former times), at and after their return Ver. 170. Let my supplication come before thee ; de. from the captivity of Babylon. Then, some liver me according to thy word.] Do not deny ad- think, this title was given to them, because they mittance to this humble suit, but in due time grant sung them as they went up to their own couatry this farther request ; that I may, according to the again. same promise, be perfectly delivered from this long But this present psalm seems to have been made by persecution.
David, when the calumnies of Doeg and others Ver. 171. My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast forced him to flee his country, and to go as far as taught me thy statutes.] Then will I praise thee with, the Kedarens, or Arabians, (ver. 6.), whose comout ceasing ; first, for instructing me how to please pany was very irksome to him. We do not read thee in all things :
indeed in his history, that he was there ; but we Ver. 172. My tongue shall speak of thy word; for may well think he sought for safety in more places all thy commandments are rigteousness.] And next, for than are particularly mentioned, and might as well fulfilling thy promise to me; which I will loudly be theré as among the Moabites, and in the wil. proclaim with my thankful acknowledgements, that derness of Paron, (i Sain. xxv. I.), which was whatsoever thou hast said is truly and faithfully per- not far from them. As for Mesech, I take that to formed.
signify not a place, but the length of time which Ver. 173. Let thine band help me ; for I have chosen he staid there, before he durst stir froin thence, or thy precepts.] Let thy divine power, therefore, succour which he was forced to spend in exile ; as all the me in this weak and distressed condition wherein I am ; ancient interpreters except one understand it. See for I rely on that alone, having resolved to be guided Bochart, in his Phaleg. L. III. Cap. 12. wholly by thy precepts.
Ver. 174. I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; Ver. 1. IN my distress I cried unto the LORD, and and thy law is my delight.) And I have long expect
be beard me.] I have had frequent exa ed, with most ardent desires, thy help, O Lord, for perience of the goodness of the Lord, who, when I my deliverance; delighting myself, in the mean have earnestly implored his help in my straits and time, in thy laws, while thou art pleased to delay it. difficulties, hath constantly relieved me.
Ver. 175. Let my soul live, and it shall praise tbee ; Ver. 2. Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and let the judgements help me.] O let me not perish and from a deceitful tongue.] May it please thee, o in these straits wherein I am involved, but spare my Lord, still to continue thy mercy toward me; and life, according to thy wonted kindness, and I will now that men strike at my life by calumnies and spend it in thy praises ; send me relief, by execu- cunningly-devised lies, (1 Sam. xxii. 9. xxiv. 9.), to ting the judgements thou hast decreed against my preserve me from the danger into which they have enemies.
thrown me. Ver. 176. I have gone astray like a lost sheep, seek Ver. 3. What shall be given unto thee? or what aby servant ; for I do not forget thy commandments.] shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue ?] Othou Who have so chased me from place to place, during false accuser ! what dost thou hope by these specious this tedious banishment, that, like a wandering sheep tales which thou hast forged? What will they add which hath lost its way, I know not whither to ben to that heap of wealth which thou trcasurest up? take myself for safety ; but be thou pleased, like a (Psal. lii. 7.) careful shepherd, to look after me, and to put thy Ver. 4. Sharp arrows of the Almighty, with coals servant into the right way of escaping all the dangers of juniper.] They shall be so far from turning to to which I am exposed, and of recovering my liberty, thy advantage, that they shall prove thy undoing; rest, and peace again; for, how hard soever my con- for the mighty Lord (whom none can resist) shall dition hath been, (I can still seriously professit), I take a sharp and a swift vengeance on thee, which have not been careless in the observance of thy com. shall never cease, till it hath utterly consumed thee. mandments.
Ver. 5. Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar.] For it is but fit thou
shouldst smart for the mischief thou hast done, unPSALM CXX.
der which I groan most sadly ; not only in a teA Song of Degrees.
dious banishment from my own country, but in that I.
I am forced to seek for shelter among the barbarous TAE ARGUMENT.-There can no certain account Arabs;
be given, why this, and fourteen other psalms Ver. 6.My soul bath long dwelt with bim that hateth which follow, are called songs of degrees or ascents. peace.] Where my mind cannot but perpetually Their conjecture seems to me most probable, who reflect upon the implacable spirit of any enemies, think the title denotes, either the elevation of the whose bitter hatred will not suffer them to come to voice in the singing these songs, or the excellency any terms of agreement. VOL. III.
Ver. 7. I am for peace ; but when I speak, they are and fall asleep, but' he that hath thee in his custody for war.] As I never gave them the least offence, will exercise a most unwearied care over thee. so there is nothing that I more vehemently desire, Ver. 4. Bebold, be that keepeth Israel shall neither than peace and reconciliation ; but when I make a slumber nor sleep.] Be confident of it, he that is the motion of it, they are the more exasperated, and, as protector of all good men, will never in the least if I distrusted my cause, or craftily sought advan- neglect thee, much less abandon the care of thee, tage by a treaty, betake themselves more fiercely and but, by a most watchful providence, keep thee in resolutely to their arms.
Ver. 5. The LORD is thy keeper ; the LORD is tby PSALM CXXI.
shade upon thy right hand.] The omnipotent Lord of
the world is thy guardian; the very same Lord that A Song of Degrees.
covered your forefathers with a glorious cloud, (Exod.
xiii. 21.), is always present with thee, to defend The ARGUMENT.-If David was the author of this and assist thee against all the enemies that assault
Psalm, (and to whom can we with so much likeli. thee. hood ascribe it?), it is an expression of the high
Ver. 6. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the trust and confidence which he reposed in God, moon by night.) Be not troubled that thou art forced when he was in great straits, and saw no hope of to take up thy quarters in the open field; for the sun human help; being either environed by Saul's shall do thee no hurt by its vehement heat in the day, forces, or pursued by his son Absalom. It is hard nor the moon by its cold moisture in the night, (2 to say to which it belongs ; but if by bills in the Sam. xvii. 1. 6. 22.) first verse we understand Sion and Moriah, where
Ver. 7. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil; David's palace and the ark of God were placed, he shall preserve thy soul.] The Lord shall preserve then it must be referred to the latter ; for Sion thee from all manner of harm; he will preserve was not theirs, during Saul's persecution.
thy life, and not suffer thee to fall into the hands of There are those indeed, who, following Kimchi, take those that contrive to take it away, (2 Sam. xvii, 1.
the first verse to be a military form of speech, ?. 14.) and suppose David to have looked round about Ver. 8. The LORD shall preserve thy going out, and bim, as a captain in danger doth, to see if he could thy coming in, from this time forth, and even for ever. spy any assistance coming to him down the neigh. more.] The Lord shall secure thee whithersoever bouring hills where with he was encompassed. But thou marchest, and prosper thee all along in all thy the other sense seems to me more simple, which undertakings, either abroad or within doors; not therefore I have followed; though, if we should only now, but in all future times, to the end of thy adhere to that conjecture, still it will best agree to days. the distress into which Absalom had reduced him ; for then he might well look to see if any of his
PSALM CXXII. .subjects, continuing their fidelity to him, would appear to defend him. Why called a song of de
A Song of Degrees of David. grees, see cxx.
THE ARGUMENT.-Thetitle satisfies us that David was 1
WILL lift up mine eyes to the bills, from the author of this psalm ; who, having settled the
whence cometh my belp.] Though I am ark (which before had no certain place) at Jerusadriven not only from my own palace, but from God's lem, and being, at this time, upon some occasion dwelling-place, (2 Sam. xv. 14. 25.), yet my eyes in the country, heard the good people there speak shall be ever directed thitherward , from whence I one to another, as some of them did to him, of going expect a powerful aid against those numerous ene- to worship God at some of the three solemn feasts. mies that are combined to destroy me.
Which devotion of theirs, as it rejoiced bis heart, Ver. 2. My belp cometh from the LORD, which so it moved him, I conjecture, to compose this made heaven and earth.] I have no dependance on psalm for their use at' such times. any other help, but wait for deliverance wholly from If the Talmudists may be believed, they were wont the presence of the Lord ; to whom all creatures are to sing the first verse of this psalm as they went subject, and who hath angels at his command, to send out of the country towards Jerusalem, carrying to the succour of his servants, for he made the heaven their first-fruits to the house of the Lord, as the as well as the earth.
law (Deut. xxvi. 2.) directed them. And when Ver. 3. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved; he they entered within the gates of the city, they sang that keepeth thee will not slumber.]. And methinks I the second verse. There they were met by some hear his ministers calling to me out of his holy place,
of the citizens, who, if this be true, sang the rest and saying, Fear not, since thou hast placed thy con- of the psalm, it is likely, together with them, as fidence in the Lord alone, he will not let thee bę sub.. they went toward the temple. Of this custom Mr verted; thou hast a stronger guard than the most - Seldens treats, lib. III. de Synedr. cap. 13.
Of valiant army would be to thee, for they may be tired La Song of Degrees, see cxx,
Ver. 1. I Was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the bouse of the Lord.] I was
PSALM CXXIII. exceedingly pleased with the chearful devotion of those who came unto me, before the approaching
A Song of Degrees. feast, and said, Let us go and pay our thankful acknowledgements to the Lord in the place where he Tue ARGUMENT. — This psalm, it is certain, was conv. dwells, and makes himself present among us.
posed in a time of great distress, when they were Ver. 2. Oir feet shall stand within thy gates, o Je- extremely afflicted by some haughty and insolent rusalem.] Which motion ought to be the more rea
enemies, ver. 3. 4. Who those enemies were, dily embraced, because now he hath fixed his habita. there are several conjectures, and I will add mine ; tion; and we need not travel farther than Jerusalem,
that this short form of prayer was made by some to inquire after the ark of his presence.
pious person, when the king of Assyria (whose Ver. 3. Jerusal:m is builded as a city that is com
pride the prophet Isaiah describes, viii. 7. and inany pait together.] To Jerusalem, I say, that fair and other places) sent Rab-shakeh, and other of his beautiful city, whose buildings do not now lie scatter
captains, to besiege Jerusalem ; where they poured and divided, but are all compacted, and united to- ed out most contemptuous, nay, blasphemous words, gether (as we ought to be) in a goodly order, (1 Sam. against God and his people, 2 Kings, xviii. xix. v.9. i Chron. xi. 8.)
It is probable, if this conjecture be admitted, that Ver. 4. W bither the tribes po up, the tribes of the it was made by Isaiah, whom Hezekiah desired to LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto
for the remnant that was left, 2 the name of the LORD.] Thither all the twelve tribes Kin s, xix. 4. Isa. xxxvii. 4. Accordingly we read, of Israel, who own the great Lord for their God, (2 Chron. xxxii. 20.), both he and Hezekiah ried go up from all the parts of the country, by his spe
unto the Lord, and, we may suppose, lift up his cial commandment, (Exod. xxiii. 17.), to acknow- eyes to heaven, and said these words. ledge before the ark of his testimony, (Exod. xxv. 21. 22.), all the benefits they have received from Ver. 1. UNTO thee lift I, up mine eyes, O thou that his almighty goodness; and this above the rest, that
dwellest in the bcayens.] Though all hu. he thereby testifies his singular care and providence man help fail us in this sore distress, yet I do not over them,
despair of relief from thee, O Lord, whose maVer. 5. For there are set thrones of judgement, the jesty and power incomparably excels all earthly thrones of the bouse of David.] Thither also they
monarchs. repair for justice, for the supreme judicatory of the
Ver. 2. Bebold, as the eyes of servants look unto the kingdom sits here, (2 Chron. xix. 8.), and there is band of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the seat of the royal family, (where David and his the band of ber mistress ; so cur eyes wait upon the LORD sons have their residence, and govern the people, 2
our God, until that he have mercy upon us.] Behold Sam. viii. 15. 18.)
how not only I, but the rest of thy faithful people, Ver. 6. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem ; tbey shall wait upon thee ; submitting ourselves to this severé prosper that love thee.] let this be part of your de- punishment, as poor slaves do to the stroke of their vout prayers, when you come there, that God would offended master or mistress, and resolving to bear it preserve Jerusalem in peace! Happy shall they be, patiently, till thou, our Lord, who dost inflict it, wilt who, out of love to the religion and justice which is be pleased to shew thyself our most gracious God, administered in thee, (O beloved city!), contribute and in much pity towards us remove it. their endeavours, as well as their prayers, for thy
Ver. 3 Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy safety and prosperity.
upon us'; for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.] Ver. 7. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity O be gracious unto us, good Lord, be gracious unto within thy palaces.] Let no enemy (this shall be my us, and in much mercy take away this heavy scourge constant prayer) approach so much as to thy outa
from'us ; for we are become so beyond all measure works to disturb thee; and let plenty of all good contemptible, (2 Kings, xviii. 23. 24. xix. 34.), that things abound within thy palaces.
we can scarce any longer endure it. Ver. 8. For my brethren and companions' sakes, I
Ver. 4. Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorna will nou say, Peace be within thee.] The kindness I ing of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of have for my kindred, and my neighbours and friends, the proud.) We have a long time groaned under the whether in the city or the country, will not let me intolerable load of derision and contempt of those cease my most earnest prayers to God, that he will whose constant prosperity puffs them up with pride ; confer his blessings on thee.
nay, makes them insolently oppress all those who are Ver. 9. Because of the house of tbe LORD our God, I unable to resist them, will seek thy good. But above all, the love I have to the Lord our God, whose house is here, (whither
PSALM CXXIV. all his devout servants resort to worship him and ce, lebrate his name), shall excite not only my prayers,
A Song of Degrees of David. but my study to promote thy welfare.
THE ARGUMENT.If the title had not told us, that
this is a Psalm of David's, I should have thought mands, because he made, all creatores ; in whom we it had been composed by the author of the former, ought to place our confidence for ever. to acknowledge the wonderful power and goodness of God in delivering them from Sennacherib's ar
PSALM CXXV. my, which came in like a flood, (Isa. lix. 19.); and had overflown all the country as far as Jerusalem,
A Song of Degrees. (Isa. viji. 7. 8.), which might well make them be THE ARGUMENT.--We may well look upon this called proud waters, (as the psalmist here speaks,
psalm as a pious exhortation to the people to trust ver. 5.), because they fancied nothing could stand in God, when Sennacherib's army threatened to before them. Such, it seems, were either the Phi
destroy Jerusalem. And perhaps these were some listines, upon whom, when they spread theinselves
of the comfortable words, which we read, (2 in the valley of Rephaim, the Lord broke forth
Chron. xxxii. 6. 7. 8.), Hezekiah then spake to as a breach of waters, (2 Sam, v. 19.), or the Am- them ; when God chastised them by that rod of monites and their associates, (2 Sain, x. 6.-15.
his anger, (as he calls Sennacherib, Isa. x. 3.), 16.) Of a Song of Degrees, see cxx.
which the psalınist here foretold, (ver. 3.), should
not long affict them. Of a Song of Degrees, see Ver. 1. If it had not been the LORD who was on our
side, now may Israel say ;] If we had not had such a mighty helper as the Lord, who took Ver. 1.
Ver. 1. THEY that trust in the Lord, shall be as our part, may Israel now most thankfully acknow
Mount Sion, which cannot be removed, but ledge ;
abideth for ever.] There are none so safe as they Ver. 2. If it had not been the LORD who was on our that repose a pious confidence in the Lord; by which side, when men rose up against us ;] If it had not they shall both maintain themselves in a settled peace been the Lord (whom none can resist) who took our and tranquillity, and remain for ever as unmoveable, part, when such numerous enemies united their forces, conspicuous, and illustrious as Mount Sion. as one man, to make war upon us ;
Ver. 2. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, Ver. 3. Then they had swallowed us up quick, when so the LORD is round about his people from benceforth, their wrath was kindled against us.] They would then even for ever:] . For as Jerusalem is surrounded with have made but one morsel of our small army; and, high hills, which makes it not easily accessible by in the furious rage wherein they were, have imme. any enemies, so the Divine Providence encompasses diately devoured us, as inonstrous beasts do their his people, who depend upon him, to guard and deprey, which they greedily swallow down alive. fend them from all dangers; not only now, but in all
Ver. 4. Then the waters had overwhelined use the succeeding ages, to the end of the world. stream bad gone over our soul.] Then they would Ver. 3. For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upor have over-run all the country, like a violent torrent, the lot of the righteous, lest the righteous put forth their and we should have been buried in the fiood.
hands unto iniquity.] The power of wicked tyrants, Ver. 5. Then the proud waters had gone over our indeed, may heavily afflict the righteous for a time; soul.] Having once made a wide breach, by the bat they shall not always harass their country, nor overthrow of our army, they would have poured in continue their oppression so long, as quite to tire out more numerous forces upon us ; till, like an inunda, the patience of the righteous, and tempt them to tion of water, which swells more and more, they had forsake their pious confidence in him, and lay hold wholly overwhelmed us.
on ariy means, though never so unjust, of obtaining Ver. 6. Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us deliverance. as a prey to their teeth.] Thanks be to the Lord, to Ver. 4. Do good, O LORD, unto those that be good, whose infinite mercies we ought to ascribe it, that he and to them that are upright in their hearts.] To prehath not permitted them to domineer 'over us, and went so great an evil, be pleased now; good Lord, to ex.cute their cruel intentions against us.
deal well with those who are truly good; and reward Ver. 7. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare their fidelity, who, notwithstanding all these calamiof the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.) țies, sincerely persist in thy ways, and preserve their They thought they had laid their design so strongly, integrity. that we could not escape, no more than a little bird, Ver. 's As for such as turn aside unto their crooked which a fowler hath taken in his snare ; but, blessed werys, “the LORD shall lead them forth with the workers be the Lord, who hath assisted our weakness, their of iniquity': -but peace shall be upon Israel.] But as for. plot is defeated, they are broken in pieces, and we those who, instead of growing better by these opthereby most wonderfully delivered.
pressions, decline more and more from the ways of Ver. 8. Our help is in the name of the LORD, who piety, unto the most perverse and crooked courses, inade heaven and earth.] This was vot a work of our the Lord shalt deliver them over to be punished. wit, no more than of our power, nor were we be with their oppressors, when Israel, after all these holden to the help of any of our neighbours; but we sore afflictions, shall be settled again in peace and owe it wholly to his alınighty goodness, who com. happiness.