Page images
PDF
EPUB

every sort of enjoyment: and some modern interpreters have adopted that meaning: but the context seems to require the meaning which I have given. Only the next comma must be separated from this verse, and added to verse 4. This makes the sense clear and consistent. The psalmist repines not at the prosperity of the wicked; but de precates chastisement immediately inflicted on him by the hand of God. Ver. 9. If the last comma of this verse be not likewise disjoined from it, I cannot see how any tolerable sense can be made out of it: but join it to ver, 10, and consider the whole as a resumption of what had before been said in ver. 3, and all will be plain and congruous. Compare the whole book of Job. For the rest, I must warn the reader, that in rendering the last comma of ver. 9. I follow the reading of Sep. Vulg. Arab.--Ver. 12. like a cancer. Others, like a motb. Sep. like a spider.

PSALM XL.-al. XXXIX.

This is partly a psalm of thanksgiving, and partly of supplie cation. The time of its composition is uncertain. Some parts of it bave been supposed to relate to Jesus Christ; and ver. 7. is applied to him by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The title is,

I

FOR THE FIRST MUSICIAN: A PSALM OF

DAVID.

I HAVE stedfastly looked up to JEHOVAH;
and he hath listened, and heard my cry:
hath brought me out of the pit of misery,
out of the dregs of miry mud :
and, by setting my foot upon a rock,
hath made all my goings sure.

He hath put in my mouth a new song;
a song of praise to our God..
Many shall fee—and Mall revere
and shall put their trust in JEHOVAH.
Happy the man who trusteth in JEHOVAH,

9

and regardeth not infolent impostors.

Very many, JEHOVAH ! my God! are the wonderful works thou hast done thy friendly purposes, toward us, are beyond all estimation. To thyself I would declare and rehearse them, but they are more than can be numbered. Yet for this, thou desirest not facrifice nor donative: 7 (for mine ears thou hast opened to thy bebest) neither holocaust nor sin-offering requirest thou. Then I said: “Lo! I come at thy meaning : “In the written volume it is prescribed to me : "TO DO WHAT IS PLEASING TO Thee." This, my God! is my delight: for thy law is in the midst of my bowels. In the grand assembly I have proclaimed thee just: 10 lo! my lips, from this I have never restrained. Thou thyself, JEHOVAH! knowest it. Thy justice I hide not within my heart; thy truth and thy saving mercy I proclaim : I conceal not from the grand assembly thy truth and thy benevolence.

Withdraw not, Jehovah! from me thy bounty; 12 · may thy benevolence and truth ever be my guard :

for evils innumerable environ me: 'mine afflictions have so overpowered me, that I cannot bear the fight of them. They are more than the hairs of mine head!.. and, therefore, mine heart forsaketh me! Be pleased, JEHOVAH! to rescue me: Jehovah! come speedily to mine aid. May all those be confounded and covered with shame, 15 - who seek to take away my life!

II

backward may they speed, and be confounded,
who wish evil to me!
may they be overwhelmed with sudden shame,
who say of me: “Ahah ! ahah !"
But let all those, who seek thee,
be joyful and rejoice in thee :
let those who delight in being faved by thee,
fay: “ Be Jehovah, for ever, magnified !”

When I am afflicted and destitute,
may JEHOVAH consider my case !
Thou art my helper and deliverer :
my God! make no delay.

18

NOTES. Ver. 4. Many fall see, &c. The meaning is: That many, by seeing God's merciful dealings to David, shall be induced to revere the same God, and put their trust in him.-Ver. 6. The last part of this verse is commonly rendered : “ and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee :” which who understands, may. I believe I have given the true meaning; by disjoining a word from the first comma, and adding it to the second.Ver. 16. Ahab! This is an interjection of contemptuous triumph ; . which David's enemies are supposed to utter, by way of insult.

PSALM XLI.-al. XL. This psalm appears to bave been composed during the revolt of Absbalom ; and about the time wben David was so seasonably succoured by Shobi, Macbir, and Barzillai; to whom be probably alludes in the u bole first paragrapb: I FOR THE FIRST MUSICIAN: A PSALM OF

DAVID. 2 HAPPY is he, who attendeth to the distressed :

him JEHOVAH will rescue in the time of trouble. 3 Jehovah will preserve him, and keep him alive;

will make him happy upon the earth; and will not give him up to the will of his enemies. On his bed of sickness, JEHOVAH will comfort him; 4 during his infirmity, he will shake his whole couch.

When I said: “JEHOVAH! have pity on me: 6 heal me-although against thee I have finned :” mine enemies, then, spoke evil of me : :: “ When shall he die, and his name perifh ?” :

And if one came to see me, he spoke falsehood, whilst his heart was collecting iniquity; which, as soon as he went forth, he uttered ! All who hated me, con-whispered against me: against me they devised my ruin. 6 A lawless deed (faid they) sticketh to him : “ from where he lieth, he shall never rise !" Nay, my familiar friend, in whom I trusted he who ate of mine own breadEven he egregiously betrayed me.

But thou, Jehovah ! have pity on me: raise me up, that I may requite them. By this shall I know, that thou favourest me, if mine enemies triumph not over me : if thou support me in mine innocence, and replace me in thy presence for ever.

Blessed be JEHOVAH, the God of Israel, from eternity, to eternity, Amen, and amen!

NOTES. Ver. 4. be will shake his whole couch, i. e. make it easy for him, by turning and shaking it.-Ver. 9. a lawless deed. The common version is “an evil disease :” but the meaning I take to be: a lawless deed-namely, David's fin in the case of Uriah: which his enemies now assign as the cause of his present calamity : as if they said: “ His sin hath, at length, overtaken him," &c.—Ver. 10. Even be egregiously betrayed me: commonly rendered, “even he lifted up his heel against me,” But I am persuaded that the Heb, word here signifies not beel, but deceit, treachery.–Ver. 13. replace me in thy presence, i. e. restore me to Zion and thy sanctuary.--Ver. 14. seems to be a sort of doxology, added by the compiler of the psalms; who divided them into five parts ; the first of which is concluded by this pfalm.

PSALM XLII.-al. XLI. This and the following psalm, which make but one in 46 mss. seem to bave been composed by David, during his flight from Absbalom ; and not long before the decisive battle in the forest of Epbraim. See 2 Sam. 7.

I

FOR THE FIRST MUSICIAN; A DIDACTIC, BY

THE SONS OF KORAH. ·

[ocr errors]

AS the hart panteth after streams of water;
so panteth my soul after thee, O God!
For God, the living God, my soul thirsteth;
when shall I come and behold his face?

My tears are my food, by day and by night:
while my foes are daily saying to me:
“ Where now is thy God?”.
My foul I pour out, when I call to mind those

days ;
in which I was wont to frequent thy tabernacle,
’midst shouts of joy, and the praises of a festal

throng.
But why, my foul, art thou dejected;
why thus disquieted within me ?
Trust in God—that yet I shall praise him,
as my faviour, as well as my God.

« PreviousContinue »