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PSALM CIX.—al. CVIII. This psalm is generally ascribed to David; and was, probably, composed by bim during the revolt of Abshalom. The imprecations seem levelled chiefly at Abitbopbel. St. Peter, Aets 1. 16. accommodates the words of ver. 8. to the traitor Judas. With respect to the imprecations themselves, I must refer the reader to my Critical Remarks: and only observe here, that the spirit of Judaism was not the spirit of Jesus. 1 FOR THE FIRST MUSICIAN: A PSALM OF
and war against me without a cause. 4. In return for my love,
they are become mine adversaries;
and may a stranger occupy his charge!
widow ! 10 May his fons be vagabonds and beggars ;
and, driven from their homes, seek their bread! May his creditor seize on all that he hath, and may a stranger plunder his substance ! May there be no one to show him compaffion; no one to pity his orphans ! May his whole posterity be cut off; in the next generation, may his name be blotted out ! May the iniquities of his forefathers be remembered by JEHOVAH : and may the fin of his mother be never blotted out! May their crimes be continually before Jehovah,' 75 and from the earth' may their remembrance be cut off! Because himself remembered not to show pity; 16 but persecuted the afflicted and destitute, and fought the death of the broken-of-heart! As he loved malediction, may that be his lot: 17 as he willed not benedi&tion, be it far from him! Be he clothed with malediction, as with a garment: 18 may it enter, like water, into his bowels; and, like oil, may it penetrate his bones! May it stick to him like the robe that covereth him; 19 and like the girdle with which he is begirt ! May such, from Jehovah, be the reward of my foes, 20 and of them who devise evil against my life !
But do thou, JEHOVAH, my God! take part with me, for thine own name's sake: and, out of thy singular bounty, deliver me. For I am afflicted and destitute : and mine heart is wounded within me. I am going off like a declining shadow :
like a locust I am tossed to and fro !
To my foes I am a subject of reproach :
I will loudly praise Jehovah with my mouth; 30 in the midst of the multitude I will praise him : because he standeth at the right hand of the destitute, 31 to save him from those who adjudge him to death.
NOTES. Ver. 6. May be be tried by a wicked judge. He alludes to courts of judicature: and wishes that his enemy may have a severe, nay wicked judge : certainly one of the greatest curses that can befal one. Ib. and at his right hand be placed the accuser ! Instead of a friend or advocate to stand by him, let his only attendant be an accuser. What imagery this! But the height of the metaphor is in the next verse: may his deprecation only aggravate bis crime! Ver. 13. || bis name. The present text has their name : but above 50 MSS. with Sep. and even some copies of Chald. have, more agreeably to the context, bis name.-Ver. 23. like a locust I am tossed to and fro. It is observed by Shaw and other travellers that the swarms of locusts are easily agitated hither and thither by the shifting wind. Or, perhaps the psalmist alludes to their being driven about from
place to place by fire, noise, and other means employed by the people to disperse those dreadful ravagers.
PSALM CX. This psalm seems to have been composed by David, or rather, for David, by some courtly bard : after his being fully estal lished on his throne' at Jerusalem ; after the suppression of the rebellions of Alshalom and Shelah ; and, most prolally, after the imminent danger which he escaped in a war with the Philistines, 2 Sam. 21. 15. when his people conjured him to go no more forth at the head of his armies, “lest the lamp of Israel should be extinguished.”—Although the psalm be a very short one, it abounds in difficulties; some of which are, perhaps, insurmountable, without remoulding the text in an uncommon degree. I have done the best I could to clear the way. As to its general purport and particular applications, I leave all that to commentators : my aim shall be to give as fair and literal a version of my original, as I can. Its title may be rendered either
A PSALM OF DAVID; OR, A PSALM FOR DAVID.
TO my-lord JEHOVAH hath said : “ Sit thou still at my right hand; . “ until I make thy foes thy fout-stool. “ JEHOVAH will, himself, from Zion “ extend thy sceptral-power : · “ Rule thou, at home, in the midst of thine ene
6 mies. “ Thy people, by these hallowed mountains, « shall ever be thy voluntary bulwark : “ From affection they shall hasten to thine aid, “ like the morning dew of thy youth. “ JEHOVAH hath swornnor will he repent ::
" thou art a perpetual priest, “ according to the order of Melchizedeck. 56 JEHOVAH, standing on thy right hand, “ will, in the day of his wrath, pierce those kings : “ will execute justice on those nations : . . 6 6 will fill the field with carcasses ; " and pierce the chief of the land of Rhaba; .... 6 who, because watered by a torrent in the way, ' 7 " therefore raised high his head.”
NOTES. Ver. I, To my-lord. My-lord whom : David evidently in the literal sense : whatever it be in the mystical.—The courtly bard, in consequence of the people's general wish, attempts to persuade the king not to expose his own person to the dangers of war; and intro. duces God himself as giving him that counsel. Be thou content to rule at home : 1, Jehovah, will fight for thee: and thy people will spontaneously offer themselves for thy defence. This simple hypothesis makes the psalm congruous and consistent; and removes the principal difficulties that seem otherwise insurmountable.- Ver. 3. This has been deemed a most puzzling passage ; and a variety of corrections of the text, and consequently of different explications, has been given of it. Without changing any thing in the original, (but one letter, and that supported by manuscript authority,) I have given a clear, and what I take to be the genuine meaning of the psalmist. I am only at a loss how to explain in an intelligible manner the last line : like the morning dew of thy youth. I will try, however, to make the reader comprehend the whole verse by a few remarks. In the first place, I suppose that it is Jehovah who speaks to David throughout the psalm ; and, with other assurances, tells him, that his own - people will always freely offer themselves as a bulwark against all his enemies, while he remains quietly in possession of empire on the holy hills of Jerusalem ; the same as mentioned Ps. 87. 1. which corroborates the true reading here. See C. R.-In the next place, let it be supposed that the war which David was now carrying on against the Ammonites, was that war mentioned in 2 Sam. 11. 1. when “ David