Page images
PDF
EPUB

PSALM LXII.-al. LXI.

I think this psalm must have been composed much about the

same time with the former. The title is : I FOR THE FIRST MUSICIAN, IEDUTHIN: A'

PSALM OF DAVID. ON God alone my soul reposeth: from him must come my salvation : He alone is my rock and my fafety : while he is my fafe-guard, I shall not much . totter.

How long will ye plot against a single man? will all of you conspire to batter hiin, like a tottering wall, or a broken fence ? They study how to tumble him from his eminence: they delight in falsehood, and, while they bless with their mouths,

in their inmost hearts they curse.
6 . My soul! repose thou on God alone :

for from him is all mine expectation.
My rock and safety alone is he: .
while he is my fafe-guard, I Mall not totter.
From God is my safety, and my glory:
the rock of my strength, my refuge, is God.
Trust in him, at all times, ye people!
before him pour out your hearts !
God is our sole expectation.
Vain are the vulgar of mankind :
fallacious the men of note:
when put together in the balance,
they are lighter than vanity itself.

Put not your confidence in extortion,
and become not vain in rapine,

10

[ocr errors]

Put

I2

When riches increase, fet not your hearts on them.

God hath once spokenTwice have I heard it said That power belongeth to God, and bounty to thee, JEHOVAH ! and that thou wilt render to man, according to his deeds.

PSALM LXIII.--al. LXII. The title of this psalm is suitable to the sulije&t. It must bave been composed by David, not when be was persecuted by Saul in tbe wilderness of Zipb, to wbicb period our concordancewriters refer us; but in bis flight from Absbalom, after bis crossing tbe Jordan. The wilderness of Judab extended much furtber than that river.

A PSALM OF DAVID ; WHEN HE WAS IN THE

WILDERNESS OF JUDAH.

2

O GOD! my strength art thou : I seek thee early. After thee my soul thirsteth; for thee my felh yearneth, like a dry, droughty, waterless land ! Hence, in purity of mind, toward thee I look; to see thy strength and thy glory; for better is thy bounty than any thing in life; therefore, thee my tongue shall celebrate. Thus will I bless thee, through life; in thy name will I lift up mine hands : as if with fat and marrow my soul were satisfied,.. thee with joyful lips my mouth shall praise : when on my bed I call thee to mind, and think of thee at every watch-hour. Because thou hast ever been my helper, in the shadow of thy wings I will rejoice.

Іо

9 To thee my soul fast-cleaveth :

thy right hand holdeth me up:
while they, who seek my life, to destroy it,

shall go down to the lower parts of the earth. II By the sword they shall fall :

for jackals a prey they shall be: 12 But the king shall rejoice in God:

by whom who is besworn may exult, 13 while the mouths of liars shall be stopt up.

NOTES. Ver. 2. My firengto Others, my God. Ib. like a dry, &c. So Syr. Sym. and five mss. The rest, in a diy, &c. Ver. 3. in purity of mind- lit. in boliness commonly rendered in the fan&iuary: but how the word can have that meaning here, I confess I see not. See my C. R.–Ver. 12. by whom who is besworn. It is not easy to ex. press the full force of the Heb. The meaning seems to be : That they who have taken God to be the witness of their veracity, have cause to glory.

PSALM LXIV.-al. LXIII. This psalm is by some supposed to bave been written by David when be was at the court of Saul, against his calumniators. I am inclined to think it was composed during the rebellion of Abshalom.

[ocr errors]

FOR THE FIRST MUSICIAN: A PSALM OF

DAVID. WHEN I pray, O God! hear my voice : from the dreadful foe preserve my life. Hide me from the plots of the malignant, from the insults of the workers of iniquity : who whet their tongues, like a sword; and, like arrows, aim poisonous words, to shoot, secretly, at the innocent! Unawarely they shoot, while they are not seen : they encourage themselves in this evil deed ; they contrive how to hide their snares;

they say: Who shall perceive them ?
They search for faults, consummately search ;
scrutinizing one's interior and inmost heart.

But God will shoot an arrow at them :
unexpectedly shall they be smitten :
on themselves their calumny shall recoil :
all who see them will avoid them.

Then shall all men revere, and proclaim the work of God, when they understand it to be of his doing. In Jehovah the just Mall rejoice and trust : and all the upright of heart in him Thall glory.

NOTES.

Ver. 5. While they are not seen. I follow, with Houbigant and Street, the reading of Syr. and 12 Mss. The rest : and they fear not.Ver. 6. Instead of perceive them ; Syr. Arab. and 1 ms, have perceive us.Ver. 7. In order to make any convenient sense of this verse, which has so much puzzled commentators, I have been obliged to change a letter in the original, and remove that letter to the preceding word. See C. R. David seems here to allude to the eagerness of his enemies to find out imaginary guilt in him. It had been infinuated by Abíhalom, that his father neglected the administration of justice. See 2 Sain. 15. 3, 4. This is the observation of Dimoek. Ver. 9. Their calumny, lit. their tongue : but tongue is here, and ellewhere, taken for its calumnious bitter speeches.

PSALM LXV.-al. LXIV. There is n: thing in this psalm to guide us to the time or occasion of its composition : but iis beauties are truly striking.

FOR THE FIRST MUSICIAN; A SONG OF

DAVID. PRAISE awaiteth thee, O God! in Zion: . · and to thee shall vows be performed:

to thee, who hearest a prayer, shall all flesh apply.
Great indeed were our iniquities :
but our trespasses thou hast pardoned.

Happy is he whom thou selectest,
to be near thee and dwell in thy courts;
where he is satiated with the good things
of thine house—thine holy temple.

Terribly, but justly, thou dealest with us,
O thou, the God of our salvation !
the hope of all the ends of the earth,
and of the remotest seas !
Thou who fixest the mountains by thy power,
begirt as thou art with mightiness!
Thou who stillest the noise of the seas,
the noise of their waves—like a popular tumult!
The most remote inhabitants of the earth
are awed by the tokens of thy power :
The returns of even and morn thou exhilaratest :
The earth thou visitest and waterest;
and enrichest it exceedingly :
full of water is the stream of God.
By thus preparing it:
thou fittest it for grains.
Its furrows thou drencheft :
its clods thou breakest down :
thou mellowest it with showers;
thou blefsest its increase :
and with thy bounty thou crownest the year.
Thy faths distill fertility;
distill it on the pastures of the desert:

and the hills are begirt with joy. 14 The rams fecundate the flocks:

10

LI

« PreviousContinue »