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His excellency is over Israel, And his strength is in the "clouds. * O God! "thou art terrible out of thy holy places: The God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.
17 Or, heavens. u Psalm 45. 4.
INTRODUCTION TO PsAIM CXXXII.
PSALM OF DAVID.
The first attempt to remove the ark was unsuccessful. The extravagant joy of the nation was marked with a degree of irreverence more befitting the occasion of a heathen festival than a solemn act of homage to Jehovah. Besides, instead of bearing the ark on the priests’ shoulders, according to the express direction of the law of Moses, David had conceived the novel plan of carrying it in a cart. Indeed, in the whole transaction, the king seemed to have consulted more with his military captains and the populace than with the Levites, whose business it was to direct in reference to all the sacred things. 1 Chron. xiii, 1, 2. They had placed the ark in the cart, and the innumerable multitude moved on with unrestrained expressions of joy. They had not advanced far before the oxen by which it was drawn, stumbling, shook the cart, and came near precipitating the ark to the ground. Immediately Uzzah, a priest, walking in procession by the side of the ark, put forth his hand to steady it. The whole disorderly proceeding had now reached the limit of the Divine forbearance, and the irreverent priest is smitten with instant death: not that his act, or the intention of his act of steadying the ark, was in itself so criminal; but, as a priest, he should have maintained the order prescribed by Moses, and not thus have given countenance to an innovation upon that order, and set an example of disobedience to the nation. The Hebrews were ever prone to fall into the habits and spirit of the idolatrous nations around them, with whom a sacrilegious irreverence in religion was universal. To teach the Hebrews that God was holy, and that reverence and conformity to his will were the first dictates of true religion, were the most difficult lessons which their priests and prophets were called to enforce. As the death of Uzzah was, by the manifest interposition of God, expressive of his displeasure, it arrested proceedings and spread a gloom over all minds. The vast procession stopped. Even the king “was afraid of the Lord that day, and said, ‘How shall the ark of Jehovah come to me?” The assembly were forthwith dismissed, to return to their homes in sadness, and the ark itself left there, at the house of Obed-edom, near to the place where the fatal “breach of Uzzah” was made. Here it remained for three months. 2 Samuel vi, 1–11. The blessing of God rested on the pious house of Obed-edom. The people and the king observed it, and were encouraged. At length David saw that the irregularity of the former attempt was the true cause of its failure, and now, with better advisement, prepares a second time for the removal of the ark to Zion. Instead of consulting “his captains,” he now directs the priests and the Levites to sanctify themselves preparatory to this solemn occasion; “For,” said he, “because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.” 1 Chronicles xv, 13. At the same time also, David prepares a prayer to be chanted on the occasion, in which “he repeats his vow that he would bring the ark to Jerusalem, together with the prayer he had made on the first attempt to remove it, (Psalm cxxxii, 1–8,) and concludes by pleading the promises of God that his posterity shall sit forever on his throne, and that from him the Messiah should descend. He considers the removal of the ark as the sign and pledge of the certain accomplishment of these promises.” Read 2 Samuel vi, 12–15; 1 Chronicles xv, 1–28. Verse 6 of the Psalm should read thus:
David commends to God the pious care he had for the ark, 1–7; he prays for the indicelling shekinah in his place between the cherubim, 8; for the religious prosperity of the priests and the people, 9, 10; he repeats the Divine promises formerly made to him and to the nation, 11–18.
T A Song of degrees.
* LoRD, remember David, And all his afflictions: *How he sware unto the LoRD, And "vowed unto "the mighty God of Jacob; *Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, Nor go up into my bed; *I will “not give sleep to mine eyes, Or slumber to mine eyelids, * Until "I find out a place for the LoRD, "A habitation for the mighty God of Jacob. * Lo! we heard of it “at Ephratah: We f found it g in the fields of the wood. 7 We will go into his tabernacles: We h will worship at his footstool. * Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; Thou, and * the ark of thy strength ! * Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; And let thy saints shout for joy. !" For thy servant David's sake Turn not away the face of thine anointed. * The "LoRD hath sworn in truth unto David;
* Psa. 65. 1. e 1 Sam. 17. 12. i Numb, 10,85. 2 Chron. 6. b Gen. 49.24. f 1 Sam. 7. 1. 41, 42.
* Prov. 6.4. & 1 Chron. 18, 5. k Psa. 78. 61.
d Acts. 7.46. h Psa. 5, 7. ! Job 29. 14. Isa. 61. 10.
* Heb. habitations. m Psa. 89.3, 4, 88, &c.
He will not turn from it; “Of "the fruit of thy 'body will I set upon thy throne. 1* If thy children will keep my covenant And my testimony that I shall teach them, Their children shall also sit upon thy throne for everIn Ore. 13 For "the LoRD hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for his habitation. 14 This P is my rest forever: Here will I dwell; for I have desired it. 15 I will "abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread. 16 I" will also clothe her priests with salvation; And her saints shall shout aloud for joy. 17 There * will I make the horn of David to bud: It have ordained a “lamp for mine anointed. 18 His enemies will "I clothe with shame: But upon himself shall his crown flourish.”
The immense host now moves forward in complete order, according to the directions of the law of Moses. Num. iv, 2–15; Deut. x, 8; xxxi, 9. The Levites were organized into bands, for the sacred chants and the various kinds of instrumental music, and for performing the different sacrifices and other ceremonies of the occasion. The Psalm delivered to the Levites on this occasion was subsequently revised for the temple service, and in its improved form it stands in the arrangement as Psalm cv. (See page 231.)
PSALM RECORDED 1 CHRONICLES XVI.
ON THE OCCASION OF THE SECOND REMOVAL OF THE ARK,
Then on that day David delivered "first this Psalm to thank the LoRD into the hand of Asaph and his brethren:
* Give thanks unto the LoRD, call upon his name, Make known his deeds among the people. * Sing unto him, sing Psalms unto him, Talk ye of all his wondrous works. 10 Glory ye in his holy name: Let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LoRD. 11 Seek the LoRD and his strength, Seek his face continually. * Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, His wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; 13 O ye seed of Israel his servant, Ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones! 14 He is the LoBD our God; His judgments are in all the earth. * Be ye mindful always of his covenant; The word which he commanded to a thousand generations; * Even of "the covenant which he made with Abraham, And of his oath unto Isaac ; 17And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, And to Israel for an everlasting covenant,
a See 2 Sam. 28. 1. * b Gen. 17.2; 26.8; 28. 18; 35.11.