Page images
PDF

for ever ; his eyes behold (s) the || 15 I called unto him with my people : and such as will not be- || mouth : and gave him praises lieve, shall not be able to exalt with my tongue. themselves.

16 If I incline unto wicked. 7 O praise our God, ye peo ness with mine heart : the Lord ple : and make the voice of his will not hear me. praise to be heard ; .

17 But God hath heard () 8 Who holdeth our soul in || me : and considered the voice of life : and suffereth not our feet my prayer. to slip.

18 Praised be God, who hath 9 For thou, O God, hast

not cast out my prayer : noi proved us : thou also hast tried turned his mercy from me. us, like as silver (t) is tried. 10 Thou broughtest us into

Psalm lxvii (x). the snare : and laidest trouble God be merciful unto us, and upon our loins.

bless us : and shew us the light 11 Thou sufferedst men to of his countenance, and be mer. ride over our heads : we went ciful unto us ; through fire and water, and thou 2 That thy way may be known broughtest us out into a wealthy || upon earth : thy saving health place.

among all nations. 12 I will go into thine house 3 Let the people praise thee, with burnt-offerings : and will O God : yea, let all the people pay thee my vows, which I pro praise thee. mised with my lips, and spake 4 O let the nations rejoice and with my mouth, when I was in be glad : for thou shalt judge the trouble.

folk righteously, and govern the 13 I will offer unto thee fat nations upon earth. burnt-sacrifices, with the incense 5 Let the people praise thee, of rams : I will offer bullocks || O God : let all the people praise and goats.

thee. 14 Ocome hither, and hearken, 6 Then shall the earth bring all ye that fear God : and I will forth her increase : and Gordo tell you what he hath done for

even our own God, shall give us my soul.

his blessing.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Egyptians, and of dividing those of Jordan to let the Priests with the ark and the people pass, were constant topics with the Israelites for praising God. See Ps. lxxviii. 14. and Ps. cxiv.

(s) “ His eyes behold.” God's attention to the actions of men is often mentioned. Solomon says, Prov. xv. 3. “ The eyes of the Lord are in every “ place, beholding the evil and the “ good ;” and Prov. v. 21. “ The ways “ of man are before the eyes of the Lord, “ and he pondereth all his goings.” Job puts the question, Job xxxi. 4.“ Doth

(c) “ As silver,” &c. As silver is tried by fire, so didst thou try us by adversity, by bringing us into the spare, laying trouble upon our loins, &c.

(u) “Hath heard,”' &c. So that this is a proof that I have not inclined unto wickedness with my heart. .

(*) See ante 8, where this Psalm also occurs.

:.7 God shall bless us : and all | let them also be merry and joy. the ends of the world shall fearful. · him.

4 O sing unto God, and sing praises unto his Name : magnify

him that rideth (a) upon the heaa MORNING PRAYER.

vens, as it were upon an horse ;

praise him in his Name JAH, and ... Psalm lxviii. (y)

rejoice before him. in Let God arise (z), and let his 5 He is a Father of the fatherenemies be scattered : let them less, and defendeth the cause of also that hate him, flee before the widows · even God in his him.

holy habitation. 2 Like as the smoke vanisheth, 6 He is the God, that maketh so shalt thou drive them away ; men to be of one mind (b) in an and like as wax melteth at the house, and bringeth the prisoners fire, so let the ungodly perish at out of captivity : but letteth the the presence of God.

runagates (c) continue in scarce3 But' let the righteous be ness. glad, and rejoice before God : 7 O God (d), when thou

(y) An animated triumphal hymn, pro. 1490 years before the birth of Christ, bably upon bringing back the ark after and the ark of God set forward before some viëtory. It calls upon the people, them, Moses addressed God in nearly in a spirited way, to join in praising God, the words with which this Psalm begins: refers to some of the signal instances of “ Rise up, Lord, and let thine enemies God's interposition, perhaps whilst they “ be scattered ; and let them that hate had the ark with them, notices an assur “ thee flee before thee ;' and this beance God had given them of further pro ginning might be intended to bring to tection, describes the state in which the recollection the instances of the proteca ark was carried, and looks forward to 1 tion God there displayed. the times when the heathen nations should (a) “ Rideth,” &c. A highly poetical v. 4. be converted, and brought to the worship idea. So Ps. civ. 3. it is said of him, of God. It was probably sung in parts, that he “ maketh the clouds his chariot, some by particular divisions of the choir " and walketh upon the wings of the answering each other, some by single “ wind.” voices, and some by the whole choir. (6) “ Of one mind," i.e. unanimous, v.6. The different parts are supposed to have without dissensions or disagreements. begun at the ist, 4th, 7th, 11th, 15th, (c) For" runagates," B. T. reads v.6. 19th, 24th, 28th, and 32d verses. It is rebellious," “ scarceness," j. e. want. one of the proper Psalms for Whit. The object probably is, to point out the Sunday,(perhaps) because more especially difference between those whom God of verse 18. which may be considered as thinks fit to favour, and those he discontemplating God's accepting an atone regards. ment to induce him to take his enemies (d) “ O God," &e. This refers to v.7. into favour, and of verse 31. which may what occurred when God led the Israelites look forward to the conversion of the through the wilderness in the time of heathen nations. Bp. Lowth remarks of Moses. Deborah and Barak allude to it, that “were it not for some obscurities," the same thing, in nearly the words here (which probably have arisen from errors used, in their animated hymn after their in transcribing), “it would be a singular triumph over Sisera, about 1296 years “ example of incredible sublimity." before the birth of Christ. Judges v. 4,5.

(z) Let God arise,” &c. When the “ Lord, when thou wentest out of Seir, children of Israel began the journeying when thou marchedst out of the field out of the wilderness of Sinai, about " of Edom, the earth trembled, and the

[ocr errors]

wentest forth before the people : || great was the company of the
when thou wentest through the preachers (i).
wilderness ,

12 Kings with their armies did
8 The earth shook, and flee, and were discomfited : and
the heavens dropped at the pre they of the household (k) divided
sence of God : even as Sinai (e) the spoil.
also was moved at the pre 13 Though ye have lien (O)
sence of God, who is the God of among the pots, yet shall ye be
Israel.

as the wings of a dove : that is 9 Thou, O God, sentest a covered with silver wings, and gracious rain ( upon thine in her feathers like gold. heritance : and refreshedst it, 14. When the Almighty scatwhen it was weary.

tered kings for their sake : then 10 (8) Thy congregation shall were they as white (m) as snow dwell therein : for thou, O God, in Salmon. hast of thy goodness prepared for 15 As the hill of Basan (n!, the poor.

so is God's hill (c) : even an high 1 The Lord gave the word (b): hill, as the hill of Basan.

“ heavens dropped ; the clouds also
“ dropped water : the mountains melted

from before the Lord; even that Sinai
“ from before the Lord God of Israel.”
The author of the Psalm might inten-
tionally adopt the same expressions as
Deborah and Barak, to call into remem-

brance also their deliverance,
1.8. (e) “ As Sinai,” &c. When God de.

scended upon Mount Sinai, to deliver the
ten commandments, (about 1491 years
before the birth of Christ), the mount
" was altogether on a smoke, because the
* Lord descended upon it in fire: and
“ the smoke thereof ascended as the
“ smoke of a furnace; and the whole
mount quaked greatly." Exod. xix. 18.

(f) Rain," i.e. (probably) of manna,
as the Lord said to Moses, Exod. xvi. 4.
“ Behold I will rain bread from heaven
“ for you.” And Ps. lxxviii. 25. " He
rained down manna also upon them for
“ to eat,” &c.

(8) The translation should perhaps be,
" Thou caablcdst thy congregation to
“ dwell therein,” (i.e. in the wilderness);
“ for thou, O God, of thy goodness,

“ didst prepare for the poor.” 9.11. () Gave the word,” i.e. probably,

encouraged them, set them on.
5.11. (©) “ The preachers," i.e. those who

published or repeated it. Much of the
force of this part of the Psalm is lost,
because it is not known to what event it
refers. It is not improbable that it referred

to the triumph over the Midianites, about 1452 years before the birth of Christ. It was by God's command that the Israelites attacked them : five of their kings were slain ; an immense booty was taken; and God ordered it to be divided into two parts, one for those who went out to the battle, and the other for the rest of the congregation. See Numb. xxxi. 2. 8. 27.

(d) “Of the household," i. e. of those : who stayed at home : so abundant was the spoil.

(1) - Lien," i. e. “ lain. The vilest slaves used to lie on the stones upon which the pots were placed : and the meaning is, though your state has been most abject, you shall be highly exalted.

(m) « As white," &c. Dressed in « their whitest garments, their garments of joy: a figurative expression, to express their extacy.

(n) “ Basan," where Og reigned, (Numb, xxi. 33.). not far from the place where the Midianites were overcome.

(0) * God's bill," i. e. Sion. God calls it, Ps. i. 6. " My holy hill of " Sion.” And it is called « his holy « hill,” Ps. xlviii. 1. The object here is, to set off the praises of Sion. Sion is elsewhere described as “ a fair place, the “joy of the whole earth,” Ps. xlviii. 2. the “perfection of beauty,” Ps.1. 2.; but its highest merit is, that God has chosen it for himself, that he will abide in it for ever.

[ocr errors]

16 Why hop ye so (), ye and received gifts (1) for men : high hills ? this is God's hill, in yea, even for thine enemies, that the which it pleaseth him to the Lord God might dwell dwell (9) : yea, the Lord will among them. abide in it for ever.

· 19 Praised be the Lord daily : 17 The chariots (r) of God even the God who helpeth us, are twenty thousand, even thou. and poureth his benefits upon us. sands of angels : and the Lord 20 He is our God, even the is among them, as in the holy God, of whom cometh salvation : place (s) of Sinai.

God is the Lord, by whom we 18 Thou art gone up on high, escape death. thou hast led captivity captive, 21 God shall wound the head

1. 16.

() For “ hop ye so," the reading should probably be, “ exalt ye so your“ selves :" why lift ye up yourselves, to vie with Sion : this at once decides your inferiority, that God hath chosen Sion, that he may dwell there. What can be more poetical, than to address the mountains, as if they could hear, and to impute to them pride and emulation, as

if they were sensible beings ? 16. (9) “ To dwell," &c. So Ps. cxxxii.

14, 15. “ The Lord hath chosen Sion to “ be an habitation for himself; he hath " longed for her: this shall be my rest “ for ever : here will I dwell, for I have “ a delight therein."

(r) “The chariots," &c. This is to shew how much God's state surpasses that of earthly monarchs ; so that his dwelling on Mount Sion must confer upon it much greater distinction than could be conferred upon any other mountain

by the residence of any earthly monarch. wa 1.17.

(s) “ As in the holy place,” &c. i.e. as ' he was theretofore in the tabernacle upon Mount Sinai. See note on verse 8.

(O) “ Led captivity captive, and re“ ceived gifts," &c. This is not very easily understood. But may not the meaning be, ist, literally, thou hast made captive, either, those who wished to impose captivity upon others, or, more boldly, the very power of imposing captivity, and hast taken gifts from those who were before your enemies, so as to allow them to be part of your people, and as it were to dwell among them; and 2dly, figuratively and prophetically, looking forward to the Messiah, thou hast gained the victory over sin, death, &c. and all the powers of darkness, making captives as it were of those who wished

to put all mankind under captivity, and hast accepted a ransom in respect of thine enemies, so as to be induced even to dwell with them, alluding to the acceptance of our Saviour's sufferings, whereby he made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, satisfaction, and oblation, for the sins of the whole world. St. Paul refers to this passage, Ephes. iv. 8. but not in such a way as necessarily to imply that he considered it prophetical. And from his substituting the word “ gave” for “ received,” he probably meant only to accommodate it to his subject. “ Wherefore he saith, when he “ ascended up on high, he led captivity. “ captive, and received gifts for men." The Messiah is often spoken of, prophetically, as one who was “ to proclaim « liberty to the captives, and the open“ ing of the prison to them that are “ bound." Isaiah lxi. 1. “To say to the “ prisoners, go forth," Isaiah xlix. 9. referring to the power he should give mankind to extricate themselves from the dominion of Satan. In Isaiah xiv. 1, 2. is a passage which has some resemblance to this : “ The Lord will have mercy on “ Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and “ set them in their own land : and the

strangers shall be joined with them ; " and they shall cleave to the house of " Jacob : and the people shall take them " captives, whose captives they were." In the song of Deborah and Barak, upon their deliverance from the Canaanites, about 1296 years before the birth of Christ, the same expression occurs : “ Awake, “ awake, Deborah; awake, awake, utter " a song arise Barak, and lead thy " captivity captive, thou son of Abi. “ noam." Judges v. 12.

[ocr errors]

of his enemies : and the hairy | 26 Give thanks, O Israel, unscalp of such a one as goeth on to God the Lord in the congré. still in his wickedness.

gations (Z): from the ground of 22 The Lord hath said, " I the heart (a). “ will bring (u) my people again, 27 There (6) is little Benjamin ";as I did from Basan : mine their ruler, and the princes of “ own will I bring again, as I Judah their council : the princes “ did sometime from the deep of of Zabulon, and the princes of " the sea.

i Nephthali. 23 " That (x) thy foot may 28 Thy God (c) hath sent “ be dipped in the blood of thine forth strength for thee : sta“ enemies : and that the tongue blish (d) the thing, O God, that “ of thy dogs may be red through thou hast wrought in us, “ the same.”

29 For thy temple's sake (e) 24 () It is well seen, O God, at Jerusalem : so shall kings bring how thou goest : how thou, my presents unto thee. God and King; goest in the sanc : 30 When (f) the company of tuary.

the spearmen and multitude of 25 The singers go before; the

| the mighty are scattered abroad minstrels follow after : in the among the beasts of the people, midst are the damsels playing so that they humbly bring pieces with the timbrels.

of silver ; and when he hath

[ocr errors]

V.22. (u) “ I will bring,” &c. i.e. I will is complained of, Is. xxix. 13. “ drat,

work as signal deliverances for them, and « ing near to God with the mouth, and
take such vengeance upon their enemies, « honouring him with the lips, whilst
as when I brought them up from Basan “ the heart is removed far from him."
(where they overcame Og, the king of (6) “There;" i.e. either in the pro- ****
Basan, about 1452 years before the birth cession, or in the congregation, the relle
of Christ), and led them through the gious assembly.
sea, (on their escape from Pharaoh, (c) “ Thy God,” &c. i.e. it is because
about 1490 years before the birth of who hath sent forth strength on thy be-
Christ.)

half, it is through bim thou hast dos
(a) “ That," i. e. so that. In such thy mighty acts. As in Ps. Ix. 13.
abundance shall the blood of thine ene. “ Through God will we do great acts:
mies be shed. So Ps. lviii. 9. a yenge. “ for it is he that shall tread down our
ance is spoken of, where the righteous “ enemies.”.
“ shall wash his footsteps in the blood of the (d) “Stablish," &c. i. e. confin, ***
ungodly.

complete what thou hast begun in us . 24. G) This probably refers to the

(e) “Thy temple's sake." It is oficity state with which the ark, the type of made a topic for soliciting God's God, was carried to the sanctuary. that their success, &c. will advance tk Among the things which astonished the glory of God, and bring in strangers is Queen of Sheba, was Solomon's “ascent, his worship. See Ps. xxv. 10. . " by which he went up to the house of (F). “ When,” &c. The carrying up to " the Lord,” i Kings x. 5. probably the ark naturally leads to the contem on account of its solemnity and magni plation of the future glory of the temple, ficence.

and properly introduces the prediction, (z) “ The congregations,” i. e. the that when God shall have given then religious meetings of the people. See the victory over their enemies, and estan

ante, Ps. xxii. 25.-xxxv. i8.-xl. 11. blished them in peace, the heathen si 4. 26. (a) “ Ground of the heart," to de. || become proselytes, and join in

note its sincerity ; in opposition to what || worship.

« PreviousContinue »