Page images
PDF
EPUB

When false witnesses rise up against me,
and iniquity layeth for me snares ::
I think I shall no more fee
JEHOVAH’s favour in the land of the living.

Look up to JeHOVAH : be firm, and courageous; and look up to JEHOVAH.

NOTES. Ver. 2. When to devour my fleß, exaggeratively, as when we say be would eat me up. He seems here to allude to a prior period, when he was persecuted by Saul.-Ver. 5. And place me in perfeit security. Lit. And exalt me on a rock: but there was no rock in the sanctuary; and this is a mere metaphor, which I thought I might render equivalently.-Ver. 12. In this and the following verse there is some confusion in the original. The words are badly divided, and one word evidently corrupted. The corruption, however, is readily removed by the change of a single letter. On this change I have formed my version ; but am not quite sure that I have given the true meaning. To me the meaning seems to be, that when the psalmist considers the false testimony that is brought against him, and the snares that are laid for him, he has little hope of being again restored to temporal prosperity; but he instantly checks that desponding thought, and encourages himself to “ look up to Jehovah.”

PSALM XXVIII.-al. XXVII.
A pathetic prayer for bimself and the people of Israel. .

[ocr errors]

A PSALM OF DAVID. TO thee, JEHOVAH, my rock! I cry! be not thou deaf to my call : left if thou be filent, in my regard, I become like those who go down to the pit. Hear my fupplications, when to thee I cry: when mine hands I raise toward thy sanctuary.

Rank me not with the wicked and iniquitous;

[ocr errors]

who speak peaceably to their neighbours,

while mischief is in their hearts.
4. Repay such, according to their deeds,

and according to their evil dispositions ::
according to the works of their hands repay them,
recompense them according to their deserts.
Since they mind not the deeds of JeHOVAH,
nor care for the work of his hands :
he will overthrow, but never re-establish them.

Blessed be JEHOVAH;
who heareth my supplications.
JEHOVAH is my strength, and my shield::
in him mine heart confideth.
When I am helped by him my heart exulteth;
and with my songs him I celebrate.
Jehovah is the strength of his people ;

and the safe-guard of his anointed is he.
9 Save thy people; and bless thine inheritance; .
and feed them, and exalt them for ever.

notes. Ver. 8. There is a corruption here in the original, which runs thus : Jebovab is their strengtb; followed by our English translators : but all the antients, save Chald., read otherwise; agreeably to my version : the strength of his people. The addition of a single letter, which was easily dropt out of the text, makes this difference.

[ocr errors]

PSALM XXIX.--al. XXVIII.
This psalm contains a beautiful description of an eastern tbun-
der storm. By Grotius it is thougbi to bave been composed after
the defeat of the Syrians. 2 Sam. 8. 5.

A PSALM OP DAVID.
GIVE to JEHOVAH, ye great ones!
Give to JEHOVAH glory and power :

TO JEHOVAH give the glory due to his name: 2 and worship him with holy decorum.

The voice of Jehovah, upon the waters ! ... 3 the God of glory thundereth! Jehovah on the great waters ! The voice of Jehovah is full of power! The voice of JEHOVAH is full of majesty! The voice of JEHOVAH shivers the cedars ! Jehovah shivers the cedars of Lebanon ! maketh Lebanon skip like a calf; and Sirion like a young buffalo! The voice of Jehovah scattereth lightnings ! The voice of JEHOVAH shaketh the wilderness : the wilderness of Kadesh JEHOVAH shaketh!The voice of Jehovah shaketh the oaks, and bareth the trees of the forest : while, in his palace, every thing speaketh his glory. 10 Above the storm Jehovah fitteth; and fitteth king for ever.

May JEHOVAH give strength to his people : 1 may JEHOVAH bless his people with prosperity.

NOTES. Ver. 3. The voice of Jehovah upon the waters. He alludes to the great or Mediterranean sea, whence the storm is supposed to proceed. Ver. 6. Maketh Lebanon skip, &c. i. e. maketh the trees on it shake and bound. Sirion is the same with Hermon.-Ver. 9. Sbaketh the oaks. The common version is, maketh the binds to calve : but I am perfuaded that this cannot be the meaning; nor have I any doubt of either the oak or some other tree being the proper rendering, as I fhall elsewhere endeavour to prove. Indeed, any other version destroys the harmony of the pfalm, and the parallelism of the sentence.-Ver. 10. Wbile in his own palace, &c. i. e. the heavens, above the clouds and storms, where he resideth in pure majesty, and reigneth as king for ever. This I take to be the true meaning of the text, which has been much misunderstood, and variously rendered.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

PSALM XXX.—al. XXIX.
A PSALM-SONG AT THE DEDICATION OF DA-

vid's HOUSE.
I WILL extol thee, JEHOVAH, because thou

hast exalted me;
and hast not suffered my foes to rejoice over me.
JEHOVAH! my God! to thee I cried :
and thou, JEHOVAH ! restoredst me to health,
From Hades thou broughtest back my soul;
preservedst me from descending into the pit.

Sing to JEHOVAH, ye his pious ones;
and commemorate, with praife, his holiness.
For, although in his frown there is rebuke,
there is life in his favour:
in the evening there may be forrow;
but joy in the morning.

In my prosperity, indeed, I thought
I should never be shaken:
so firmly hadft thou, JEHOVAH !
been pleased to establish my mountain.

Thou withdrewest thy countenance
I was suddenly dismayed !
Thee, JehovAH! I then invoked;
to JEHOVAH I made fupplication :
6 What gain, said I, from my blood,
« when I shall have gone down to the pit ?
ob will dust thee praise? will it preach thy truth?
Hear, JEHOVAH! and pity me:
6 JEHOVAH! be thou mine helper."
Thou turnedst my mourning into mirth;
Thou strippedst me of my fack-cloth;
and clothedst me with a robe of joy!

[ocr errors]

13

Therefore I will praise thee, my glory!
nor will I ever be filent in thy praise :
Thee, JEHOVAH! my God! I will praise for ever.

NOTES. : Ver. 8. My mountain. He alludes to Mount Zion; the base, as it were, on which his kingdom seemed so firmly to be fixed, that there was no danger of an overthrow. The Greek interpreters read another word, the English of which is bonour ; as if the psalmist had said, tbou badpt ro firmly established mine bonour : and this reading is preferred hy some late translators. The other I think more poetical and expressive.Ver. 13. I will praise thee, my glory! The present Hebrew runs thus : Glory will praise tbee, and will not be silent. But the Syriac translator read both verbs in the first person ; and I have no doubt of this being the original lection.

PSALM XXXI.-al. XXX. ' This psalm is generally thought to bave been composed during

Saul's persecution. FOR THE FIRST MUSICIAN : A PSALM OF DAVID. I

IN thee, JEHOVAH ! I put my trust; let me never be confounded : rescue me for thy justice's fake. Lend me thine ear-speedily rescue me be to me a tower of strength a fortress for my prefervation : for my rock and fortress art Thou ! For thy name's fake, lead and direct me: draw me out of the snare, my foes have laid for me, 5 for thou, JEHOVAH ! art my strength. To thee I recommend my life : redeem me, JEHOVAH! God of truth!

Thou hatest the worshippers of idols : but I in JEHOVAH put my trust.

« PreviousContinue »