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9 But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
10 'They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.
11 But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.
* Heb. They shall make Mm run out like water by the hands of the sword.
Title, ' When he was in the wilderness of Judah.'— David was often in the wilderness of Judah in the time of Saul; bat after he came to the throne only once—when he fled through this wilderness to the Jordan from his son Absalom. It is clear from v. 11, which mentions 'the king,' that the latter is the occasion to which the psalm refers.
Verse 4. '/ will lift up my hands in thy name.'—That
is, he would swear by that name and no other. According to the prevalent notion of most nations, it is paying the utmost reverence to a name to swear by it. An illustration of the sentiment may be found in the species of honour formerly paid to a chieftain in the Hebrides, by swearing in his name, and paying as great respect to that as to the most sacred oath. Pinkerton's Collection, x. 264.
1 David prayeth for deliverance, complaining of his enemies. 7 lie promiseth himself to see such an evident destruction of his enemies, that the righteous shall rejoice at it.
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
2 Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity:
3 'Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:
4 That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not.
> Pal. 11.8. « Or, speech. 'Heb. to hide snares.
5 Heb. a search searched.
5 They encourage themselves in an evil 'matter: they commune "of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them?
6 They search out iniquities ; 'they accomplish 'a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep.
7 But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly 6 shall they be wounded.
8 So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away.
9 And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing.
10 The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.
* Or, tee are consumed by that which they have throughly searched. 6 Heb. their wound shall be.
Psalm Lxtv.—It is not agreed whether this psalm should be referred either to the time of Saul's persecution or Absalom's rebellion; but the references to slanderous
imputations which it contains, seem to belong to the former period of affliction rather than to the latter.
1 David praiseth Godfor his grace. 4 The blessedness of God's chosen by reason of benefits.
To the chief Musician, A Psalm and Song of David.
Praise 'waiteth for thee, O God, iu Sion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed.
2 O thou that nearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.
3 "Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away.
4 Blessed is t/ie man whom thou choosest,
i Heb. is silent.
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.
5 By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea:
6 "Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power.
7 Which stilleth the noise of the seas, the
8 Heb. words, or, matters of iniquities.
noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.
8 They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at thy tokens: thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening 3to rejoice.
9 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 abund
antly: 'thou settlest the furrows thereof: "thou makest it soft with showers: thou blessest the springing thereof.
11 Thou crownest 'the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.
12 They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness: and the little hills 'rejoice on every side.
13 The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing.
■ Or, to sing. * Or, after l/uu hadst ntade it to desire run. 5 Or, thou causett rain to descend into the furrows thereof.
0 Heb. thou dissolvest it. 7 Heb. the year of thy goodness. 8 Heb. are girded with joy.
Psalm Lxv.—It is the general opinion that this psalm was composed by David, on occasion of the return of plenty, after the three years of drought and famine which followed Absalom's rebellion, as recorded in 2 Sam. xxi. The style and sentiment of the psalm confirm the title in
ascribing it to David, but there seems no clear intimation of the occasion to which it should be referred. It is, like many other psalms, of that general character which seems to reqnire no particular occasion to call forth the sentiments it embodies.
1 Davidexhorteth to praise God, 5 to observe hit great works, 8 to bless him for his gracious benefits. 12 He vowelh for himself religious service to God. 16 He declareth God's special goodness to himself.
To the chief Musician, A Song or Psalm.
Make a joyful noise unto God, 'all ye lands:
2 Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.
3 Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works [ through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies 2 "submit themselves unto thee.
4 All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.
5 Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.
6 He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him.
7 He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.
8 O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:
t licb. all the earth. * Or, yield feigned obedience. ■ Heb
9 Which 'holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.
10 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
11 Thou broughtest us into the net: thou laidst affliction upon our loins.
12 Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a "wealthy place.
13 I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows,
14 Which my lips have 'uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.
15 1 will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of rfatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.
16 Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.
17 1 cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.
18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
20 Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
Psalm Lxvi.—The author and occasion of this psalm are not well determined. The writer signalises the Lord's mercies to Israel in general, and to himself in particular, in a connection of ideas which reminds us of David, who was probably the author. Some conceive that it rather
relates to the restoration of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity; bnt v. 13 seems conclusive against litis opinion. It is urged from that verse that the temple was standing; but the general term 'house' is equally applicable to the tabernacle.
1 A prayer for the enlargement of God's kingdom, 3 to tlie joy of the people, 6 and to the increase of God's blessings.
To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm or Song.
God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine 'upon us. Selah.
2 That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.
3 Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.
l Heb. with us.
4 O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and "govern the nations upon earth. Selah.
5 Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.
6 Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.
7 God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.
« Heb. lead.
Psalm Lxvii.—It is agreed that this psalm was written by the same author as the preceding. Bishop Patrick concludes that its time may be placed after the settlement of David in his kingdom and the removal of the ark to Mount Zion, when he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of Hosts (2 Sam. vi. 17,18), perhaps in the words of this psalm. But Calmet thinks that this, as well
as the two preceding psalms, were composed after the return from Babylon; and that the particular occasion was the restoration of fertility to the soil, after the long period of drought and scarceness recorded by Haggai (chop. i. 10, 11; ii. 17-19); but there is nothing in it which might not be applicable as a thanksgiving for any plentiful harvest.
1 A. prayer at the removing of the ark. 4 An exhortation to praise God for his mercies, 7 for his care of the church, 19 and for his great works.
To the chief Musician, A Psalm or Song of David.
Let 'God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee "before him.
2 As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish in the presence of God.
3 But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them "exceedingly rejoice.
4 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.
5 A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.
6 God setteth the solitary 4in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
7 O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah:
8 The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
9 Thou, O God, didst "send a plentiful
> Nam. 10. 35. 'Hob. confirm it.
rain, whereby thou didst 'confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary.
10 Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.
11 The Lord gave the word: great was the 'company of those that published it.
12 Kings of armies "did flee apace: and she that tarried at home divided the spoil.
13 Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.
14 When the Almighty scattered kings "in it, it was white as snow in Salmon.
15 The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan; an high hill as the hill of Bashan.
16 Why leap ye, ye high hills? this is the hill ivhich God desireth to dwell in; yea, the Lord will dwell in it for ever.
17 The chariots of God are twenty thousand, 10cven thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.
18 "Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts "for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.
19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
20 He that is our God is the God of salva
ice villi gladness. * Heb. in a house. * Heb. shahe out.
• Or, for her, she was. >• Or, even maw
1* Heb. fa the man.
tion; and unto God the Lord belong the issues from death.
21 But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses.
22 The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea:
23 That thy foot may be 13dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same.
24 They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.
25 The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels.
26 Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, "from the fountain of Israel.
27 There is little Benjamin with their ruler, the princes of Judah "'and their council, the princes of Zebulun, and the princes of Naphtali.
28 Thy God hath commanded thy strength:
18 Or, red. H Or, ye that are of the fountain of Israel,
>7 Or, he tcatteret/i. 10 I
strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.
29 Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee.
30 Rebuke 'rthe company of spearmen, the multitude of the bulls, with the calves of the people, till every one submit himself with pieces of silver: ^scatter thou the people that delight in war.
31 Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.
32 Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah:
33 To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth 1 "send out his voice, and that a mighty voice.
34 Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength it in the "clouds.
35 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.
is Or, with their company. >8 Or, the beasts of the reeds.
<• give. '» Or, heavens.
Psalm Lxviii.—This noble psalm, which begins with the well-known exordium on the removal of the ark, is usually concluded to have been composed by David, in order to be sung in the procession of the ark from the house of Obed-edom to Mount Zion. It is divided into nine parts, suited to the several divisions of the march, and which were probably sung by different choirs.
Verse 13. ' Though ye have lien among the pots.'—This is a very difficult verse, perhaps the most difficult in the Psalms; and Lowth and others, with whom we are inclined to concur, regard it as inexplicable by any information we now possess. The word 0\F)B&K) mishpetayim is the same which is rendered 'hooks' in the text of the Auth. Vers, and 'hearth-stones' in the margin. Without the formative D, that is, as D'flQ'J' shepathayim, it also occurs in Gen. xlix. 14, where it is rendered 'two burdens,' and in Judg. v. 16, where we have 'sheepfolds.' Here is a sufficient diversity of translation; and it is curious that one version should afford nearly all the varieties of interpretation which have been suggested. The interpretation 'sheepfolds' is supported by high authority. 'To lie down among the folds,' says Gesenius, 'seems to be taken proverbially of shepherds and husbandmen living in leisure and quiet;' and he thinks that the word is in the dual because the folds were usually divided into two compartments for the different kinds of flocks. Some, retaining this interpretation, preserve also the contrast which our translation exhibits between the two clauses of the verse, and which he does not admit, by supposing the reference to be to the time when the Israelites abode with their flocks in the wilderness as to a season of hardship and privation. In Judg. v. 1C, which is the strongest place for 'sheepfolds,' we have, 'Why abidest thou among the sheepfolds, to hear the bleatings of thy flocks?' where the last clause is in Hebrew ' the pipings of the flocks,' that is, of the shepherds who play ou the pipe while guarding their flocks. Hence Hengstenberg has some ground for urging that the sense of 'sheepfolds' is not
6trictly applicable even to that text, seeing that he who lies down among the sheepfolds does not hear the shepherd's flute, but is the shepherd himself. He further objects that if we took the sense of' sheepfolds,' the passage in Ezekiel would be too much disjoined from the others. He, with Jerome and others, prefers the sense of 'boundaries.' We do not see but the same word may have both meanings, as the sense of' sheepfolds' is obvionsly applicable by an easy transition of ideas to 'boundaries.' How the sense of 'boundaries' agrees here, may be seen from Hengstenberg's translation: 'When ye rest between the boundaries, ye shall be like the wings of doves covered with silver, and their feathers with the gleam of gold:' that is to say, when they rest once more within their own boundaries, after the strife of war, they shall be in a condition of prosperity and honour. Here the antithesis is lost, but a very good sense is obtained, to which, however, the word ' sheepfolds,' if taken as a symbol of rest, is not so inapplicable as Hengstenberg supposes. The sense of 'between the pots' is not a very happy one, and it has the sanction of no ancient version. However, it is in fact equivalent to that of hearth-stones, which is given to the same word in the margin of Ezek. xj. 43, and which French and Skinner have introduced here:—
'Although they lie among the hearth stones, They are become like a dove's wings overlaid with silver,
And her pinions overlaid with yellow gold.'
To this is applicable the illustration of Harmer, who ingeniously conjectures that the former state of Israel in Egypt is here compared to that of a dove, making its abode in the hollow of a rock, which had been smutted by the fires which shepherds had made in it for the heating of their milk and other culinary purposes. He supposes the word rendered 'pots' denotes the small heaps of stones on which the pots were set, having a hollow under them to receive the fuel, this being a common way of cooking under such circumstances.
— * Tlte wings of a dove, covered with silver, and her fiathers with yellow gold.'—This second member of the vers* is perhaps not less difficult than the preceding. The plumage of some of the doves of the East might very well be compared to silver; but there is no source of comparison to gold, unless in those brilliant and sometimes golden reflections which the lustrous plumage of some doves exhibits. And that this is intended is the more probable when we consider that the reference is not necessarily to the colour but to the brilliancy of gold, whatever be the hue. Thus understood, the image affords a very intelligible contrast of condition, which might perhaps thus be interpreted:—' Although you were reduced to lie down among the ashes, ye rose therefrom with the silver wings of a dove, her feathers lustrous as gold.' Harmer conjectures that, as the doves were sacred among the Syrians, and as it was customary among the ancients to adorn their sacred animals with trinkets of gold, there may here be some reference to a dove thus adorned. However, those who assign a warlike interpretation to the first member of the verse, sustain their view by concluding that the dove referred to was one wrought in vivid colours upon a standard; and that there is a reference, perhaps prophetic, to the Assyrian standard, which is assumed to have borne the image of that bird; and then, by an altered but warranted construction, the passage may refer to the humiliation of such a standard as borne by the Assyrians, Syrians, Canaanites, or others; or, on the other hand, as some think, to its triumph after previous humiliation, as borne by the Hebrews themselves. We prefer the more simple explanation, but should not like to insist upon it.
14. ' White as snow in Salmon.'—There was a mountain of this name in the tribe of Ephraim (Judg. ix. 48) which may be here intended; particularly if the reference be, as some suppose, retrospectively, to the defeat of the kings of Canaan. Some however doubt whether a mountain be at all intended. Boothroyd has, 'The Almighty, having scattered those kings, hath by this turned death-shade to splendour;' the version after Parkhurst, 'It snowed in Salmon;' Carrieres, in his paraphrase, has, 'You became white as the snow on Mount Salmon;' and Calmet, more paraphrastically, 'You were covered with a lustre like that of the snow which covers Mount Salmon;' French and Skinner, ' They glisten therein as snow upon Salmon;' Hengstenberg, 'When the Almighty scattereth kings in it, it snows on Salmon.' We certainly think that Carrieres has seized the right idea. The intention evidently is to describe, by a figure, the honour and prosperity the Hebrews acquired by the defeat of their enemies; and to express this by whiteness, and, superlatively, by the whiteness of snow. Nothing can be more usual, in Persia for instance, than for a person to say, under an influx of prosperity or honour, or on receiving happy intelligence, •My face is made white;' or, gratefully, in return for a faTonr or compliment, 1 You have made my face white:' so also, 'His face is whitened,' expresses the sense which is entertained of the happiness or favour which another has received. When Sir Gore Ouseley, the British ambassador to Persia, spoke to the king in high terms of the manner in which the Persian ambassador to England had
discharged his functions, the king, highly pleased, said to the latter, 'You have made my face white in a foreign country, and I will make your face white in this.' And when, many years after, the king addressed some complimentary expressions, the same former ambassador to England, who was present as master of the ceremonies, said, addressing the English envoy (Sir J. Macdonald), 'Your face is whitened, your consequence is increased by his Majesty's condescension.' Such a figurative use of the idea of whiteness does, we imagine, furnish the best explanation of the present and some other texts of Scripture.
25. 'Tlie singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels.'—This is, without doubt, the description of a religious procession in the time of David. On such occasions now in Western Asia, under the Moslem rule, men and women do not appear together; and we must look to Eastern Asia for illustrations of this and many other customs which the West no longer exhibits. 'In the sacred and domestic processions of the Hindoos,' says Roberts,' they observe the same order, and have the same class of people in attendance. See them taking their god to exhibit to the people, or to remove some calamity; he is put into his car or tabernacle, and the whole is placed on men's shoulders. As they move along, the men and women precede, and sing his praises; then follow the mnsicians, who play with all their might in honour of the god and for the enjoyment of the people.'
27. 'There is little Benjamin,' etc.—In this enumeration of the tribes which took part in the procession, the Psalmist must be considered as naming a few as representatives of the whole. In the choice of these he may have been guided in the first instance by geographical considerations: Benjamin is on the south, Zebulun and Naphtali on the north. But this assuredly was not the only—it was not even the chief—consideration that guided him. 'The epithets which are applied to the first two tribes,' says Hengstenberg, ' and the circumstance that those only are named which were particularly distinguished in the conflict, shew that it was considerations of this kind that chiefly influenced the Psalmist. The first Judges belonged to the tribes mentioned, Othniel to Judah, Ehud to Benjamin; Zebulun and Naphtali distinguished themselves particularly in the conflicts under Deborah and Barak (compare Judges v. 18); and Saul was from Benjamin, and David from Judah. Everything that is there said of the tribes bears upon their relation to their enemies.'
30. ' The company of spearmen.'—The marginal reading, 'The beasts of the reeds,' is doubtless the most correct. It is not agreed whether this phrase denotes lions, boars, river-horses, or crocodiles. We apprehend that all wild and savage beasts inhabiting the banks of rivers are intended, without any particular reference to the species.
— ' Calves of the people.'—This expression may probably denote the mass of the people, undistinguished for rank or power, and particularly the young men; while the 'bulls' are probably their mature and influential leaders. Some apply this in a military sense, and understand that the calves were the troops, and the bulls the commanders.
1 David complaineth of his affliction. 13 He prayeth for deliverance. 22 He devoleth his enemies to destruction. 30 He praiseth God with thanksgiving.
To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, A Psalm of David.
Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.
1 Heb. mire of depth.
2 I sink in 'deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into 'deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
3 I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.
4 They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrong
« Ileb. depth of maters.