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ON THE ERECTION OF THE GREAT ALTAR AT JERUSALEM, AFTER THE RETURN OF THE EXILES.
An exhortation to praise God for his excellence, 1–5; and for his condescending goodness, 6–9.
1 'Praise ye the LoRD ! Praise, O ye servants of the LoRD, Praise the name of the LoRD ! * Blessed be the name of the LoRD From this time forth and for evermore * From "the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same The LoRD's name is to be praised. 4 The Lord is high above all nations, And his glory above the heavens. * Who is like unto the LoRD our God, Who 'dwelleth on high, 6 Who humbleth himself to behold The things that are in heaven, and in the earth ! 7 He “raiseth up the poor out of the dust, And lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; * That he may set him with princes, Even with the princes of his people. * He "maketh the barren woman 'to keep house, And to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LoRD !
a Psalms cziii to cxviii form the celebration of the Pass- b Isa. 59. 19. Mal. 1. 11. what is called by the He- over; see Mat. 26. 30. c 1 Sam. 2. 8. Psa. 107.41. brews The Great IIallel, Mark 14. 26.-Ed. d 1 Sam. 2.5. Psa. 68, 6. or praise, which was sung Heb. hallelujah. Isa. 54.1. Luke 1.18–15. on their most solemn festi- ? Heb. earalteth himself to Gal. 4, 27.
vals, and particularly after dwell. * Heb. to dwell in a house.
oN THE ERECTION OF THE GREAT ALTAR AT JERUSALEM, AFTER THE RETURN OF THE EXILES.
An exhortation to fear God for the majesty of his miracles, and his sovereignty over his people. 1 When "Israel went out of Egypt, The house of Jacob from a people of strange language; * Judah "was his sanctuary, And Israel his dominion. * The “sea saw it, and fled; Jordan "was driven back. * The mountains skipped like rams, And the little hills like lambs. * What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? Thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back? * Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; And ye little hills, like lambs 7 Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the LoBD, At the presence of the God of Jacob; * Which “turned the rock into a standing water, The flint into a fountain of waters.
a Exod. 18, 8. c Exod. 14. 21. e Exod. 17. 6. b Exod. 6.7. and 19. 6. and 25, 8. Psa. 77. 16. Num. 20. 11. and 29.45, 46. Deut. 27.9. d Joshua 8, 18, 16.
oN THE ERECTION OF THE GREAT ALTAR AT JERUSALEM, AFTER THE RETURN OF THE EXIIES.
The Psalmist professeth his love and duty to God for his deliverance, 1–11; he studieth to be thankful, 12–19.
! I love the LoRD, because he hath heard My voice and my supplications. * Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, Therefore will I call upon him 'as long as I live. * The sorrows of death compassed me, And the pains of hell 'gat hold upon me; I found trouble and sorrow. * Then called I upon the name of the LoRD; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. * Gracious is the LoRD, and righteous; Yea, our God is merciful. * The LoRD preserveth the simple; I was brought low, and he helped me. 7 Return unto thy "rest, O my soul; For the LoRD hath dealt bountifully with thee. * For thou hast delivered my soul from death, Mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. 9 I will walk before the LORD In " the land of the living. " I "believed, therefore have I spoken; I was greatly afflicted; * I said in my haste, “All "men are liars.” * What shall I render unto the LORD For all his benefits toward me?
* Heb. in my days. a Jer. 6. 16. Mat. 11. 29. c 2 Cor. 4. 18. * Heb. found me. Gen. 44, 34. b Gen. 5, 22. Psa. 27. 13. d Ron. 8, 4.
*I will take the cup of salvation, And call upon the name of the LoRD. *I* will pay my vows unto the LoRD Now in the presence of all his people. * Precious in the sight of the LoRD Is the death of his saints. * O Lord, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thy handmaid; Thou hast loosed my bonds. o 17 I will offer to thee 'the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the LoRD. * I will pay my vows unto the LoRD Now in the presence of all his people. 19 In the courts of the Lord's house, In the midst of thee, O Jerusalem! Praise ye the LoRD !
e Psa. 22. 25. Jonah 2. 9. Mat. 5. 33. t Lev. 7. 12, Psa, 50, 14.
INTRODUCTION TO PSALMS LXXXIW AND LXVI.
While the Jews were worshipping at the great altar, amid the surrounding ruins of the city and temple, they were diligent also in preparations for building the temple. The edict of Cyrus had provided that the costs of the temple should be paid from the royal treasury, but for some cause this was not done, and the people contributed liberally of their own substance for the work. Ezra vi, 3, 4. Compare iii, 6, 7. The cedar timber was brought from Lebanon to the port of Tyre, and floated to Joppa, whence it was conveyed overland to Jerusalem. Phoenician workmen had been engaged to superintend the building, and every preparation was made to revive the splendour of the former edifice. In the second month (April) of the second year after their return, the workmen had completed their preparations for laying the foundations of the second temple, and the people assembled, from all parts of the land, at Jerusalem, to solemnize the occasion. “Then stood Jeshua [the high priest] with his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites. And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the Lord, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord ; because he is good, for his mercy endureth forever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.” Ezra iii, 9–11. By the decree of Cyrus, as found in the records of Ecbatana in the reign of Darius Hystaspes, the dimensions of the new temple, exclusive of the courts and chambers, were to be much larger than that of Solomon. Ezra vi, 1–4. Compare 1 Kings vi, 2; 2 Chronicles iii, 3, 4. The expenses, also, as before mentioned, were to be paid from the king's revenues. But for some cause, probably the growing jealousies and opposition of the Samaritans and others, the liberal grant of Cyrus was not made available, and the costliness and splendour of the temple were much diminished, and even its proposed dimensions were not carried out. Altogether it presented a marked contrast to the magnificent edifice of Solomon. Most of the Jews then living had never seen Solomon's temple, nor, indeed, had they ever witnessed the former glory of Jerusalem, and when they beheld the foundations of this second temple laid, they were filled with transports of joy. But not so with the aged men. For “many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: so that the people could not discern the