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upon the face of nature, in language more animated, and descriptions more natural, than in the following Psalms. The Psalmist gives evidence of being in the liveliest sympathy with these manifestations of God in nature. Read 2 Samuel xxi, 1–14.
PS AL M XXIX.
ON THE RETURN of RAIN, AFTER THE THREE YEARS' FAMINE ON ACCOUNT OF THE GIBEONITES.
David exhorteth princes to give glory to God by reason of his power and majesty in nature, 1-10; and of his protection of his people, 11.
* Give "unto the LoRD, O ye mighty! Give unto the LoRD glory and strength. * Give unto the LoRD 'the glory due unto his name; Worship the Lord 'in the beauty of holiness. * The voice of the LoRD is upon the waters: The "God of glory thundereth: The LoRD is upon “many waters. 4 The voice of the Lord is ‘powerful; The voice of the LoRD is ‘full of majesty. * The voice of the LoRD breaketh the cedars; Yea, the LoRD breaketh “the cedars of Lebanon. * He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and "Sirion like a young unicorn. 7 The voice of the LoRD ' divideth the flames of fire. * The voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness; The LoRD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.
a 1 Chron. 16. 28, 29. * Or, in his glorious * Heb. in majesty.
* Heb. we sons of the sanctuary. c Isa. 2. 13. mighty / b Job 37.4, 5. d Deut. 3. 9.
* Heb. the honour of * Or, great waters. * Heb. cutteth out,
his name. * Heb. in power.
* The voice of the Lord maketh the hinds "to calve, And discovereth the forest: And in his temple 'doth every one speak of his glory.
10 The LoRD sitteth upon the flood; Yea, the LoRD sitteth King forever.
* The LoRD will give strength unto his people; The LoRD will bless his people with peace.
oN THE RETURN of RAIN, AFTER THE THREE YEARS" FAMINE ON ACCOUNT OF THE GIBEONITES.
David praiseth God for his grace and confesseth his judgment, 1–3; God's chosen people are blessed by reason both of the goodness and judgments of God, 4-8; his providence in nature, especially in giving rain, is celebrated, 9–13.
T To the chief Musician. A Psalm and Song of David.
1 Praise ‘waiteth for thee, O God! in Zion; And unto thee shall the vow be performed. * O thou that hearest prayer, |Unto "thee shall all flesh come. **Iniquities prevail against me: As for our transgressions, thou shalt "purge them away. * Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, And causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, Even of thy holy temple. * By terrible things in righteousness Wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation!
1 Heb. is silent. Psa. 62. 1. * Heb. words, or, matters b Psalm 51. 2. Isaiah 6, 7. a Isa. 66. 23. of iniquities. Heb. 9. 14. 1 John 1. 7, 9.
Who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, And of them that are afar off upon the sea: * Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; Being girded with power: 7 Which “stilleth the noise of the seas, The noise of their waves, and "the tumult of the people. * They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at thy tokens: Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to "rejoice. * Thou “visitest the earth, and “waterest it; Thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water; Thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. 10 Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly; Thou “settlest the furrows thereof; Thou "makest it soft with showers; Thou blessest the springing thereof. * Thou crownest the year 'with thy goodness; And thy paths drop fatness. * They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness; And the little hills "rejoice on every side. * The pastures are clothed with flocks; The "valleys also are covered over with corn; They shout for joy, they also sing.
e See Job 88.11. * Or, after thou hadst made it to * Heb. dissolvest it.
d Psalm 76. 10. desire rain. See Job 5,10. * Heb. of thy goodness. Isa. 17. 12, 13. Psa. 68. 9, 10. * Heb. are girded with * Or, sing. * Or, causest rain to descend joy.
e Deut. 11.12. into the furrows thereof f Isa, 55.12.
INTRODUCTION TO PSALM XVIII.
PSALM OF DAVID.
The kingdom of Israel had now suffered, within the space of about four years, two insurrections, one headed by Absalom, and the other by Sheba, besides a wasting famine of three years. These events might naturally be supposed to enfeeble the government of David, and unfit the kingdom for military defence. The Philistines, the eternal enemies of Israel, who had long lain restless under the Hebrew yoke, now arise to break these foreign fetters. Of the race of the Anakim, of whom Goliath was one, there were yet living four champions ready to head their armies. The moment seems too favourable to be neglected, and again they sound the clarion of war. David was now old and disinclined to war, yet he once more adventures into the field. The war, though short, was severe. The two armies met at Gob and at Gezer, cities lying north of the Philistine territory on the plain of the Mediterranean, near the western hills of Ephraim.
In the first engagement David grew weary and faint, and was upon the point of being slain by one of the giant champions of the Philistine army, but was rescued, and the giant slain, by the valiant Abishai. His men now remonstrated against his further exposure upon the battle field. It became evident that the day of his martial exploits was ended, and he now yields to the infirmity of age and the entreaty of friends, and retires to the camp, while his faithful generals lead on the sanguinary contest. In three successive engagements they beat the enemy, vieing with each other in prodigies of valour and noble daring. The three last champions of the race of the Rephaim, fell by the sword of three of David's “mighty men.” The last battle was fought before the walls of Gath. The Philistines, unable to maintain their ground in the open field against the desperate assaults of the Hebrew army, retreated southward to the strong city of Gath, the native city of the giants. One only of these war-monsters survived. The Israelites had now learned that they were not demi-gods, but vulnerable like other men, and that their power in battle was not in proportion to the huge bulk of their bodies. The last struggle for the mastery now drew near, and according to custom this last champion of the giants advanced in front of the enemy's ranks, and challenged any officer of the Hebrew army to single combat. His impious defiance of Israel was repelled by the brave Jonathan, son of Shimeah, the brother of David, who met the monster and slew him in sight of the two armies. A fierce battle ensued, in which the Philistines were totally routed and their army destroyed. Victory was now complete, and the pride of the enemy effectually humbled. Thus terminated the last war of David. His kingdom had withstood the severest ordeal of civil and foreign wars, the wasting desolations of famine, and the combinations and intrigues of powerful foes and traitorous friends, in all which he had proved triumphant. His kingdom was too firmly based to be overthrown, and his piety too sincere and ardent to be forsaken of God. His enemies now submit, and his faithful subjects and allies draw around him, in his old age, with stronger affinities, and clearer demonstrations of their attachment.
On this occasion David revises the Psalm which he composed when he was delivered from Saul, and in this improved state, adapted more to the temple worship, (we adopt the opinion of Dr. Wells and others,) he employs it to express his present gratitude for his great deliverances. Read 2 Samuel xxi, 15–22; 1 Chronicles xx, 4–8. (Comp. pp. 203, 204 of this work.)