Page images

JEHOVAH, God of hosts, restore us;

20 let thy countenance shine upon usand we shall be saved !

NOTES. Title. Some render the words, ON SHOSHANIM-EDUTH, &c. by ON THE HEXACHORD; A TESTIMONY OF ASAPH.—It is of little importance, how they be rendered : as the titles themselves are often false indices, and of small authority : as has been more than once already observed. Ver. 9. A vine, i. e. the people of Israel. The metaphor is continued throughout.-Ver. 18. Protect the man of thine own right hand, &c. i. e. the people whom thy right hand raised from a state of slavery, the Israelites.-Ib. wbom thou broughtest up for thyfelf. Not badly our first translators : 6 whom thou madest so much of for thine own self.”


I conjecture, that this psalm was written also by a bard of Israel, during the reign of Joasb ; “ who retook all the cities which had been taken in war out of the hands of his father Joahaz." See 2 Kings, 13. 25.



THITH : A PSALM OF ASAPH. SING joyfully to God, our strength : fing melodiously to the God of Jacob. Raise the psalm-song-strike the tabor, the sweet-founding harp, and the lute. Blow the trumpet at the new-moon, at the full-moon, and other folemnities. For this was made a statute for Ifrael, an ordinance of the God of Jacob;


which he gave for a testimony to the Josephites,
when they came out of the land of Egypt:
where we heard a language, we knew not.
" Your shoulders (faid he) I relieved from their

your hands were delivered from the mortar-tub :
" When in distress ye invoked me, I rescued you :
“ I heard your secret murmuring-
“ I proved you at the waters of Meriba-
“ Hear (said I), my people ! that I may obtest you :
“ Ifraelites ! if to me ye will listen:
“ let there be no strange gods among you:
“ Nor worship ye any foreign god :
“), JEHOVAH, am your God,
« who brought you out of the land of Egypt:
« open wide your mouths, and I will fill them.
“ But my people would not listen to my voice;
66 and Ifrael corresponded not with my wish!
66 So I gave them up to their own obstinacy;
66 and they walked according to their own conceits !

“Oh! that my people had listened to me! " that Ifrael had walked in my ways: “ foon would I have humbled their enemies, 66 and against their adversaries turned mine hand! “ The haters of Jehovah should have crouched to

- "them : . 6 but their felicity should have been perpetual. " With the best of wheat I would have fed them, - and satiated them with honey from the rock !”


NOTES. Ver. 6,7. There are in the text, perhaps not altogether uncorrupted, such transitions from the third person to the first, and from the third to the second, that the whole is not easily understood. I have tried to make it intelligible, with very few alterations, and these supported by the antient versions. For particulars I must refer, as usual, to my Critical Remarks.-Ver. 8. I beard your secret murmurings. The common rendering is : “I answered thee (i. e. you) in the secret place of thunder.” Which appeared so strange to Houbigant, that he ventured a conjectural emendation, which no one, I believe, has adopted. I change nothing in the text, but give another meaning to one word, which it readily admits, and which is perfectly agreeable to the context.


In this psalm, of uncertain date, God is poetically introduced, as chief judge among tbe judges of the eartb, and giving them a ebarge to administer justice uprightly.

A PSALM OF A SAPH. GOD, seated in his sacred divan, giveth this charge to the judges : “ How long will ye judge unjustly, 6 and favour the cause of the wicked ? 56 Defend the poor and the fatherless : “ do justice to the oppressed and destitute: 66 relieve the poor and the indigent : “ deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

They are ignorant, and unintelligent ! in darkness they walk! Hence totter all the foundations of the land!

I thought, ye were inferior gods : and all of you children of the Most High! .

But ye shall die like common men;
and fall like one of the perverse !

Arise, O God! and judge the earth :
for all nations are thy domain.

Notes. Ver. 1. God feated in his sacred divan. This is quite in the oriental style. The divan is the great council-room, where all important matters are agitated, and decided.--Ver. 7. ard fall like one of the perverse. The common rendering is “like one of the princes,” but I cannot think that this is the true meaning. Some think the line fhould be rendered thus: 1p sball all of you, ye princes, fall together : in my opinion, a forced translation.

PSALM LXXXIII._al. LXXXII. This psalm seems to have been composed in the days of Josbapbat, wben a combination of the neighbouring kings was formed against Judab. See 2 Chron, 20.1–12.


A PSALM-SONG OF A SAPH. O GOD! be thou not dumb : be not silent, nor still, O GOD! .. For, lo ! thine enemies are tumultuous and they who hate thee lift up their heads. Against thy people they hatch secret plots; and consult together against thy dependants. “Come,” say they, “let us so totally extirpate them, " that the name of Israel be no more remembered.” With one consent they consult together: Against thee they are confederated. The Edomites, Ishmaelites, Moabites and Haga

renians ;


the Gebalites, Ammonites and Amalekites, the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre ; the Assyrians too are conjoined with them, and become an arm to the children of Lot!

Do to them as thou didst to the Midianites; as to Siserah and Jabin, at the brook Kishon : who, perishing at Endor, were dung to the earth! Make their chiefs like Oreb and Zeeb : like Zebah and Zalmunah make all their princes : who have said: “Let us seize on God's habitations.” Make them, my God! like whirling chaff, like stubble before the wind ! As fire consumeth the forest, and as flame fetteth the mountains in a blaze; fo pursue them with thy tempest, and terrify them with thy whirlwind! Cover their faces with ignominy, that they may acknowledge thy name, JEHOVAH ! May they be confounded, and perpetually terrified; and learn that thou, whose name is Jehovah, art alone the supreme God, over all the earth.




Ver. 1. Thy dependants, lit. thy bidden ones, i. e. those who shelter themselves under thy protection.-Ver. 2. an arm. We might say auxiliaries: but the Hebrew metaphor is readily understood : fo I thought it proper to retain it.

PSALM LXXXIV.mal. LXXXIII. Tbis psalm, which describes the bappiness of those wbo can attend God's worship at his sanctuary, may have been composed by David, or for David, during his exile. The title is,

« PreviousContinue »