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AH 5SP7 a 

r f 



r Witton Davies BA 


V .'/ 







1. MATTHEW, by ProC W. F. Slater, M.A. 

2. MARK, by the Ute Principal Salhovd, D.D. 

3. LUKE, by Principal W. P. Adewby, M.A., D.D. 

4. JOHN, by the Rev. J. A. M«CLYiiOirT, D.D. 

5. ACTS, by Prof. J. VBRMOir Bartlbt, M.A., D.D. 

6. ROMANS, by the Rev. A. B. Garvib, M.A., D.D. 

7. I AMD II CORINTHIANS, by Prof. J . Massib, M.A , D.D. 


PIANS, by the Rev.G. CURRIB Martiv. MA., B.D. 

W F Adbvby M.A. D.D. 

M.A., DJ>. 
If. HEBREWS, by Prof. A. S. Pbakb, M.A. 
ij. THE GENERAL EPISTLES, by Prof. W. H. Behkbtt, 

I J. REVELATION, by the Rev. C. AMDEBflOW ScOTT, M.A. 

GENESIS, by the Rev. Prof. W. H. Bemhett, Litt.D., D.D. 
JUDGES AKD RUTH, by the Rev. G. W. Thatches, M.A., 

I AHO II SAMUEL, by the Rev. Prof: A. R. S. Kemmbdy, 

M.A., D.D. 
I AMD II KINGS, by the Rev. Prof. SKIMMER, D.D. 
JOB, by Prof. A. S. Pbakb, M.A. 
PSALMS (VoL I) I TO LXXII, by the Rev. Prof. Davuom, 

M.A., D.D. 
PSALMS (VoL II) LXXIII to END. by the Rev. Prof. 

T. WiTTOM Davibs, B.A., Ph.D. 
ISAIAH (Vol. I) I TO XXXIX, by the Rev. OWEM C. Whitbhousb, 

MINOR PROPHETS: Hosba. Joel, AMOS, Obadiah, Jomah, 

MiCAH, by the Rev. R. F. HORTOM, M.A., D.D. 
MINOR PROPHETS: Nahum, Habakkuk. Zbphamiah, 

Haggai^echariah, Malachi, by the Rev. Canon Driver, 

LtttD., D.D. 

General Editor : 
Principal Walter F. Adeney, M.A., D.D. 

t^t (|)0afm0 

(Lxiaii— CL) 














The Rkvised Version is printed by permission of the 
Universities of Oxford and Cambridge 

i-Jr 334 









Intropuctxon :— 

I. Name of the Psalter and of the Individual Psalms . 3 

a. Divisions of the Psalter : Books, Groups, Psalms, 

Verses 4 

3. The Messianic idea in the Psalms .... 7 

4. Testimony of the Psalter concerning the Life beyond 

Death 14 

5. The Speaker in the M ' Psalms . ... 19 

6. Sacred Music among the Ancient Hebrews 05 

Abbreviations 33 

Text or the Revised Version with Annotations 35 

Additional Note — Zion (with Plan of the Royal 

Buildings) 368 

Index 370 


Lxxm— CL 





I. Name of thb Psalter akd of the individual 

The original text of the Hebrew Psalter has no 
heading. The Massorites or Editors of our Hebrew Bible 
prefixed such names to the books of the O. T. as were 
current in their day. * Tehillim ' (shortened to * Tillim *), 
a word meaning ' Praises/ is the name prefixed by these 
Jewish Editors to the Psalter, a name far from suitable, 
since a targe number of the Psalms are made up of 
petitions, confessions, complaints, and meditations. Five 
Psalms^ are, in the titles, called * prayers ' {tephillim *), and 
at the close of Ps. Ixxii in an editorial postscript the 
* David' Psalms are described as 'prayers* (tephilloth). 

Far more suitable is the title generally given to the 
book in the Greek translations, and also by Greek writers 
of the early Church : i.e. Psalms * aild * Bookef Psalms V 
The word * Psalm ' is the English form of a word which 
in Hellenistic Greek means a song sung to the accom- 
paniment of a stringed instrument. The cognate Greek 
verb means * to pluck,' * pull ' : and then * to play a stringed 
instrument with the fingers ' (not with the plectrum). 

The Greek word Psalmos is the one used in the titles of 
individual Psalms for the Hebrew word Mixmdr, and 

^ This iBtroduction deals almost exclusively with matters 
not treated of in vol. i. 
* Pss. xvii, Ixxxvi, xc, cii, cxUi. 

' On the meaning of this Hebrew word see at Ixxxvi, TitU. 
^ See Luke xxiv. 44. ® Luke xx. 4a ; Acts i. 20. 

B 2 

4 BOOK OF PSALMS (73-150) 

it is generally assumed that the Hebrew has the same 
meaning that Psalmos has in Hellenistic Greek. But the 
Hebrew word seems to have meant, originally, a * song ' as 
such, for the cognate verb in both Assyrian and Arabic 
relates to the use of the voice : ' to cry out/ ' to sing/ 
' to speak into a reed-pipe.' 

The Greek word Psalmos may be thought of as having 
an extension of meaning comparable to that in our 
English word ' lyric/ which from meaning ' a song to be 
accompanied by the lyre/ has come to include all singable 
poems, or poems of that chanurter. The Hebrew name 
Mizmdrmzy have had a similar original signification and 
a similar extension of meaning, but the evidence for 
this is not conclusive. Though the Hebrew name occurs 
in the titles of fifty-seven Psalms (always represented by 
the Greek Psalmos) j it is not once met with anywhere else 
in the O. T. It occurs, however, in the recently discovered 
fragments of the Hebrew text of Sir.^, but it is unfortunate 
that in this solitary example outside the Psalm titles it has 
a different meaning. 

2. Divisions of the Psalter : Books, Groups, 
Psalms, Verses. 

Owing to exigencies of space the author must refer, 
for fuller information concerning books and groups, to 
what may be seen in voL i. pp. 6 C and at pp. 37 f. and 
127 f. of the present voL 

Canon Cheyne * makes large use of the divisions within 
the Psalter — books and groups — for the purpose of 
determining the age of individual Psahns. His guiding 
principle is this : ' When certain Psalms, all of which 
agree in some leading features and positively disagree in 
none, have come to us from ancient times in one group, 

^ xlix. I. < As a MtMfndr (LXX '^ music '') in a banquet of 
2 O. P. p. 6. 


we are bound to assign them to the same period^ though 
it is only in one instance that we can, from internal 
evidence, speak positively as to their date/ Armed with 
this principle of Psalm criticism, he comes to the con« 
elusion that no Psalm is of pre-exilic date with the possible 
exception of a part cf Ps. xviii, and this belongs to the 
reign of Josiah (640-609). The main difficulty in the 
application of the principle followed by Cheyne is, that 
our knowledge of pre-exilic history is much slighter than 
that of the later history. Perhaps if we were better 
informed as to the earlier history of the nation we shouki 
be able to find many incidents in that history suitable as 
occasions and backgrounds for the Psalms. 

Prof. James Robertson in his Croall Lectures^ draws 
a conclusion from the divisions into books and groups 
which is exactly the opposite of Cheyne's. This is how he 
reasons': Each of the five Books existed, probably, 
as an mdependent hymn-book, before it was joined to 
the rest. The smaller Psalters must have had a separate 
existence before they were incorporated into the larger 
one. The individual Psalms would be yet older. 

There is ground for believing, however, that Dr. Robert- 
son is not quite correct in his suppositions. Books IV and 
V existed as one collection before they were broken up 
into two books. They have many common features which 
point to this conclusion : see the Introduction to these 
Books. Book I (except Pss. i and ii) was used by itself for 
a long time, as it contains older Psalms than the other 
books, and, in fact, it included all the Psalms known at the 
time of its compilation. But Books II and III were 
never used separately, though they contain groups that 
were, and to them Dr. Robertson's reasoning applies. 

^ Poitiy and R§i»gi<m qfth$ P^iims, 1898. 
* Ibid., see Lecture VI. 

6 BOOK OF PSALMS (73-160) 

Psalms: Number vf, and Numbering of. 
There aie 150 Psalms in our Hebrew Bible, and also in 
the LXX and Vulgate— what is added to the LXX as 
number 151 being distinctly declared to be * outside the 
number.' Some ancient Hebrew authorities give the 
number of the Psalms as 149, others as 147, the number 
being thus reduced by uniting one or more of the pairs 
I f., 9 f., 114^ Though, however, the M.T. and the LXX 
agree in the sum total of the Psalms, they differ in the 
redconing of the individual Psalms, and as the LXX and 
the Vulgate (which in the Psalter follows the LXX) agree 
together against the enumeration followed in the Hebrew 
and modem English, some confusion may be obviated if 
we put side by side the number of the Psalms in the 
M.T. and also in the prindpal versions. 

Hebrew {English, 
German, Welsh, &c.) 

LXX {Vulgate i 
Roman Catholic X 









cxivi t 

It will be helpful to remember that in the Hebrew the 
number is generally one in advance of the LXX after 
Ps. ix : thus Ps. x in the LXX is number xi in the M.T« 
What is true of the LXX applies to the Vulgate and also 
to the Roman Catholic Versions^ all of which are based 
on the Vulgate. 

Verses, When the title of the Psalm includes three or 
more words it is commonly counted as a separate verse 
in the Hebrew Bible, but not so in the English versions 
nor in other modem versions, though the LXX, in most 
printed editions, is made to follow the practice of the 


Hebrew Bibles. Some Hebrew titles are so long as to be 
counted as two verses (so Ps. li). The following rule 
will be found a useful one to follow : when there is a title 
of several words the number of the verse in Hebrew will 
be one in advance of the number in English : thus verse 6 
in Hebrew will be verse 5 in English. It is of importance 
to remember this deviation in the numbering, since com<» 
mentaries do not agree in their way of quoting, some 
ibllowing the numbering of verses in the M»T., others 
adopting the English enumeration. In a commentary on 
the Hebrew text it is a good practice to give the number 
of the verse in the Hebrew, followed by the number in 
English in brackets : thus vi. 20 (19). In a commentary 
on the English text the reverse is desirable. As, however^ 
the dual numbering would occupy more space than can 
be spared in this small commentary, it is the English 
verse numbers that will alone be given. 

3. The Messianic idea in the Psalms. 

It must be remembered that in the Psalter we have 
a collection of songs, and not of theolo^cal treatises 
or even of prophetical utterances : and these songs are 
eminently subjective, as songs are apt to be. There are 
very few poems of the didactic kind, Ps. cxix being one. 
Though, however, these Psalms utter for the most part 
the feelings of the writers or of those for whom they 
write, yet they reflect the ideas and sentiments by which, 
at the time of composition, the nation was swayed, just 
as the songs of any age have on them the impress of 
that. age, its governing moods, its dominant thoughts. 

The word ^ messiah ' is of Hebrew origin, and means 
literally 'one who is anointed*: see on Ixxxix. ao, cv. 15* 
Among the Israelites, kings, prophets, and priests were 
all alike set apart for office by having oil poured on. the 
head, a sign probably of the pouring forth of the Divine 
Spirit qualifying for the office. * The messiah,' i. e. * the 
anointed one/ is therefore a term that could with 

8 BOOK OF PSALMS <73-160) 

equal propriety be ascribed to every king, prophet, and 
priest who had received the anomting of oil. As a 
matter of fact it is only the priest that is described in 
this absolute way — *the anointed one'— -in the O.T.*, 
though the king is characterized in a very similar way, 
for he is spoken of as ' Jehovah's messiah ' (or ' anointed 
one ')• This last expression is used in reference to Saul *, 
David \ and many of their successors, and it is also 
a designation of the Davidic king in general. Zven 
Cyrus the heathen king is so spoken of ^ The term 
^messiah' is never applied in the O.T. to that king on 
whose advent all eyes were fixed and from whose right* 
eons reign so much was eaqpected. Dan. ix. 25 £ may be an 
exception, but that passage is of very uncertain interpreta* 
tion, and cannot by itself be held to prove the contrary of 
what has just been stated. In his commentary on The 
Epistles of St John * Westcott writes : ' The history of the 
title *' Messiah " . • • is very remarkable. It is not a 
characteristic title of the promised Saviour in the O. T. 
It is not even specifically applied to Him, unless perhaps 
in Dan. ix. 35 f., a passage of which the interpretation 
is very doubtful' The earliest certain occurrence of the 
word in the sense current among Jews and Samaritans 
in the time of our Lord appears to be in the ' Psalms of 
Sotomon,' which belong to about B. c 50'. But the ideas 
out of which the expectation of a future Deliverer grew 
are present in the oldest parts of the O. T., and they 
abound in the Psalter. The leading idea wrapped up in the 
term ' messiah ' in the later sense is that of ' delivierance,' 
and the attitude of mind awakened by that thought is 
one of hope and confidence for the future. Now nothing 
•tands out more prominently in the Psalter than the 
immovable confidoice in the final issue of things which 

* See Lev. iv, 3, v. 16, vi. 15. ' i Sam. xil. 3, 15. 

' X Sam. zvL 6. ^ Isa. zlv. z. 

' p. 189W ' See xvii. 36, xviii. 6, & 


the writers display. When the nation is at its lowest, and 
most people woidd have lost hope, these religious poets 
and the people who sang their songs were baoyed up by a 
hope that never failed them: Jehovah can and will deliver 
the nation, or at least the righteous part of it, let their 
foes do their worst : see Pss. vii, xiii, xxii, xxxv, xxxvii, lix, 
Ixviii, hcxiv, boxiii, xc, cvi, cxv, cxxiii, cxxvt, cxxx, cxliv. 

In the so-called ^ Royal' or 'Theocratic Psalms* 
there rings out such joy and jubilant trust as have 
rarely been equalled and never surpassed by poet or 
seer : see Pss. xciii and xcv-c. The cause of all the re« 
joicing IS that Jehovah has once again asserted His 
sovereignty. He was king aforetime and all along, 
but He has given a fresh proof that His people are His 
in a special manner: that as their king He protects 
as well as chastises them. Jehovah is king; that fact 
supplies the ground for absolute trust in the present and 
for fearlessly facing the future. What is it that lies at 
the bottom of this attitude of confidence and hope? 
Mainly it is the covenant which Jehovah was believed 
to have made with Israel. Them only had He called 
forth from among all the nations of the earth, entering 
into covenant relations with them at the very beginning, 
even at Sinai ^ and undertaking to guide, protect, and 
prosper them on condition that they were loyal to Him. 
This conception of a covenant is most prominent in 
the O. T. writings which belong to what is known as the 
Deuteronomic period: s.e. in Deut, Jer., &c.: yet the 
thought meets us in Amos iii. 2 (cf. i. 9), and the word as 
well as the thought in Hos. vi. 7, viii. i, xi. 11. 

When the nation's affairs were at a low ebb the 
pious among them took heart of comfort from the 
covenant Jehovah had made with them through their 
fathers, and from the belief that, if they only repented 
of the sins which had brought upon them all their mis- 

1 See Exod. vi, xix, xxiii. 

fo BOOK OF PSALMS (73-160) 

fortunes, He would renew the favours of the past. The 
earnest entreaties for pardon are to be understood on]y 
in the light of the covenant. They mean this : ' O do 
thou forgive us those sins by which we forfeited the 
blessings secured by the covenant with us. Help us now 
to have clean hearts and to live straight lives, so that we 
may secure for ourselves the covenanted blessings.' 

Why did this nation alone of all earth's peoples have 
such confidesce in the triumph of righteousness, for the 
idea of the covenant carries that with it ? Surely God bad 
revealed Himself to them as to no other people : though 
not for their sakes alone, but that through them the light 
Divine might shine throughout the world. 

The Psalms in which this hope is embodied are in the 
strict, though not in the narrow sense. Messianic: the 
hope that breathes in them appears in the Gospel in 
a much clearer light, and, in addition, we have in Christ 
the basis of that hope. 

Some have confined the name 'Messianic Psalms' 
to those Psalms which in the N. T. are quoted in refer* 
ence to Jesus Christ. Judged by that standard there are 
but nine, or at most ten, Messianic Psalms. Some of the 
Psalms quoted in the N. T. in reference to Jesus Christ 
are less tnily charged with the Messianic hope than those 
noticed above. The early Christian Fathers, followed by 
the mystic writers of the Middle Ages, saw a reference to 
Christ in every verse of the Psalter, and even in the titles i 
this is, however, not exegesis, but pious fancy gone mad. 

There is a large number of Psalms which connect 
the nation's hope with a king of the line of David. When 
the good time comes, the throne will be occupied by 
a descendant of David, whose rule will be just. He will 
defend the nation from foreign oppression and from 
Internal injustice. A reign of righteousness and pros- 
perity will be inaugurated : sin, and that which follows 
in its trail, suffering, will be things of the past. 

This expectation is based on 2 Sam. vii, which recites 


the covenant made with David, according to which 
there was to be a king on David's throne for ever. 
In Pss. xviiit Ixxii, Ixxxix, and cxxxii blessings are 
promised or anticipated, which no merely human king 
could bring. The Son of David is idealized: he is 
to be greater than any that had been, and the medium 
of greater blessings. We have this thought developed 
in Ps. Ixxii, and in * Psalms of Solomon,' Xvli. The resem- 
blance between these last is so great that one cannot but 
suspect that the occurrence of the name Solomon in the 
title of both is due to the fact that an idealized Solomon 
was thought to be described. Cf. our Lord's worcls, ' A 
greater than Solomon is here \* 

In the Psalms of the kind now under consideration the 
expected king is not to be the Redeemer, the Saviour, 
the Deliverer: Jehovah is always regarded as playing 
this r61e. The King who is to come will reign over a peo- 
ple vfhom/eA(n/aA has redeemed. Does this exclude the 
thought of a redeeming King ? Of one who at once delivers 
us from our sins and is at the same time our supreme 
King? By no means. We may assume that God gave 
the saints of these ancient times as much knowledge of 
His ways as they were capable of taking in. > 

The Psahns contain nothing more definite concerning 
the conception of the Messiah than has been noticed 
above. We have the experience and expression of hopei 
such as Christ brings in perfection: we have also the 
hope and expectation of a king. 

In later times the Messiah came to be regarded, not 
merely, as in O.T. prophecy, as the King of a redeemed 
people, but as Himself the Redeemer and Deliverer. The 
idea of Messiahship began to be separated from the notion 
of a civil ruler at the time when the later Hasmoneans 
or Maccabeans so grossly abused their power. Though 
not themselves of the family of David, they were for 

1 Matt. xii. 49 (IfUke zi. 31), 

12 BOOK OF PSALMS (73-160) 

a long time regarded by the bulk of the nation as 
realizing the covenant made with David : but continued 
corruption of life and of rule made that thought impos* 
sible, and the pious or Pharisee party, of which the 
'Psalms of Solomon' are the manifesto, adopted the 
belief in a Messiah of a different kind, viz. one who 
would rule in men's hearts and lives. 

Is there anything in the Psalter concerning a suffering 
Messiah ? The answer must be an unequivocal denial, 
though such a denial is very far from being a denial of 
the doctrine itself. 

What is to be said of those Psalms or parts of Psalms 
which are quoted in the N. T. in reference to our Saviour ? 
Had the original O. T. writers in view the specific inci- 
dents in connexion with which these quotations stand in 
the N. T. ? Each case must be considered by itself, and 
reference may be made to the notes on the passages 
involved in voL i and in the present volume of the 
Century Bible. 

It would seem that, at least in a large number of 
examples, the Psalms and other parts of the O.T. are 
quoted in a loose way as having some affinity of thought 
with what the writer is saying. Ps. viii. 5 is quoted in 
Heb. ii. 7 in a sense which the Hebrew forbids. The 
original says: 'Thou hast made him but little lower 
than God ' : hi the N. T. it is : ' Thou madest him a little ' 
(or 'for a little') Mower than the angels.' It is the 
inaccurate rendering of the LXX that is followed in the 
N.T. Moreover, the original passage has in view man 
and only man, but in the N. T. the words are made to 
apply to Jesus. We have, in fact, a sort of allegorical 
reasoning: that which reads into things principles which 
they suggest, though no primary allusion to these principles 
lay in the words as first written. In Ps. xvi. 10 we have 
^ Thou wilt not leave my soul in Sheol ; neither wilt thou 
suffer thine holy one to see the grave.' In the N. T. Sheol 
is interpreted by the Greek HadeSy which is not identical. 


and by both Peter and Paul the word parallel to Sheol 
(lit* * the pit '-the grave) is taken after the LXX to mean 
corruption, and the reasoning of both writers depends 
wholly on this inaccurate rendering. Ps. bcviiL 18 is 
quoted in Eph. iv. 8 as describing the work of Christ, 
but the verse is altered so much as to make its meaning 
very different. In the Psalm the words are ^Thou 
(Jehovah) received gifts among men': i.e. the nations 
conquered by Israel through Jehovah's help would come 
bringing tribute to Jehovah as the real King of Israel. 
In the Epistle it is the ascended Christ who is represented 
as bestowing an men spiritual gifts : 'Thou (Christ) gavest 
gifts to men.' 

We ought surely to deduce from these actual examples 
the principle on which in the N. T. references are made 
to the Psahns and to other parts of the O. T. when the 
person and work of Jesus Christ are under conaideraCion. 
To do this, instead of coming with a ready-made theory, is 
to save our Lord Himself and the writers of the N. T. 
from a charge of inaccuracy which would otherwise lie at 
their door. 

The great preacher and theologian Schleicrmacher 
denied that the N. T. stands in closer connexion with the 
O.T. than with Greek philosophy. For him the O.T. 
was not needed as a support for the claims of Jesus Christ 
to be the Saviour of the world. The fact that He saves 
is the one unanswerable proof of His Saviourhood. He 
is the light of the world, and He shines by His own 
inherent light. Hb claims are pre-eminently in Himself. 
Schleicrmacher missed his way in not seeing the shadow- 
ings forth of the Christ in the utterances of O. T. seers 
and poets. He was never a true student of the O.T.: 
never preached from it To him the legalism of the 
Pentateuch represented the ipirit and tendency of the 
whole of the O.T. : yet he was surely right m the emphasis 
he laid upon the testimony which Jesus Christ is to His 
own character and work. 

14 BOOK OF PSALMS (73-160) 

4. Testimony of the Psalter concerning 
THE Life beyond Death. 

Ffom early times students of the O.T. have been 
impressed by the comparative silence of the Scriptures 
of the O. T. with regard to a life beyond the present one« 
The madiinery of O.T. religion was largely, and for 
a long period wholly, propelled without the help of that 
belief now regarded as vital to the very existence of 
religion. That great Englishman, Bishop Warborton, 
wrote a book displaying marvellous insight for his time. 
In which he endeavoured to prove the divinity of the 
religion of Moses, from the fact that it was accepted and 
acted upon without the sanctions arising from die belief 
in a system of future rewards and punishments. 

This belief appears to be wholly absent fitom the pre* 
exilic writings of the O. T., and it occnpies only an uxnxn* 
portant place in the writings which came into being after 
the Exile. 

This state of things is to be explained in a measure by 
the fact that in early Israel, as in the ancient world 
generally, the sense of personality was hardly realixed. 
The human tmtt was the nation, the community, or, at 
most, the family, and not the individual man. The latter 
was thought of and derived his significance in connexion 
with the whole of which he was a part, and it was about 
that whole that these Israelites speculated, its character 
and its destiny. There can be no doctrine of a future life 
for the individual unless there b first of all a dear con« 
sciousness of the eg» or /. Before this consciousness is 
dearly reached, the future thought of will be one for the 
society to wbidi the individual man bdongs. Under the 
domhiion of this thought of the solidarity of the nation no 
eschatology of the individual could arise. Among the 
early Hebrews it was the nation that sinned and was 
punished : it was the nation that was encouraged to look 
forward to immortality if only it obeyed the command- 


ments of its God. We relegate the principal part of 
human reward and penalty to the life beyond the grave, 
but in the thoaght of the Israelites it is in this present 
life that Jehovah metes out to men their deserts. Defisat 
by. a foreign foe, exile in a foreign land— these and the 
like were conceived of as the punishment of national sin 
—unfaithfulness to the nation's God. The future contem- 
plated was one for the nation, and it was of the nation 
that the early prophets spoke. There were m the insistence 
upon national righteousness the seeds of the belief in in- 
dividual responsibility and in personal immortality : but 
so long as it was the nation, and not the mdividual, that 
constituted the unit of moral action and of responsibility, 
no eschatology of the individual could be developed. 

There was indeed an eschatology of the individual, but 
it formed no integral part of Yabwism or the true religion 
of Israel, and never tooK root in that religion : I refer 
to the belief in Sheol. This belief was an import, a bor* 
rowed element from Semitic heathenism. . According to it 
when men die some shadowy remnants of their former 
selves go to a region between the earth on which man 
dwells and the subtenanean waters \ This place waa 
called Skeoi^ a word meaning probably * whal is low,' ^ deep 
down.' It does not denote strictly the grave any more^ 
than does the Gi«ek Hades or the Latin Orcus^ though it 
derives much of the knageiy with which it is dothed from 
the grave. In Sheol the departed spirits of good and 
bad meet togeth^, and their condition in that realm of 
shadows seems quite independent of the moral character 
of the Hfie lived on the earth : see i Sam. xxviii. 19 ; 
Job iii. 17, 19; Ecdes. ix. 5. For the earlier and later 
conceptions of Sheol see on hcxxviii. 10-13. Dillmann, 
Smend, Charles, and Cheyne think that in the Sheol of 
the O. T. there are grades of happiness and misery corre- 
sponding to the life on earth of the persona : they refer for 

* See Htbnw Cosmology, pp. i74f. 

x6 BOOK OF PSALMS (73-150) 

proof to Ixxxvt. 13; Deut xxxiL 22; Issu xxxvii. 2; 
Ezek. xxxii. But these passages cannot bear the weight 
that is thus set on them, and they are not inconsistent 
with the view advocated by the late A. B. Davidson and 
S. D. F. Salmond that, in the Sheol of the O. T., there are 
no retributive distinctions; the bad man faring as well 
in the shadow woHd as the good one. Isa. Ivii. 2 cannot, 
perhaps, be explained in harmony with the view here 
maintained if the present text is retained ; but there are 
good reasons for holding that the M. T. is here corrupt : 
see Marti in loco. Those who care to pursue the subject 
further are referred to the following English works and 
the authorities thereixl cited : S. D. F. Sahnond, Th^ 
Christian Doctrine of Immortality^ Book II, chap, ii ; 
Charles, A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future 
Life in Israel y in Judaism and in Christianity^ chaps, ii-hr; 
A. B. Davidson, The Theology of the Old Testament^ 
pp. 425 ff. See also Dillmann, Handbuch der alttettament-^ 
lichen Theologie^ pp. 389^.9 and Smend, Lehrbuch der 
alttestamentlichen ReligUmswissenschaft^^ pp. 478 ff. 

Charles, in his exceedingly fresh and interesting work, 
distinguishes several shades of meaning in the use of 
Sheol in the O. T«, but the matter cannot be further dis* 
cussed here. 

With the breaking up of the nation at the Exile, thought 
gravitated from the nation to the individual, and it is 
what might have been predicted that in the writings of 
Jeremiah ^ and Ezekiel * the sense of personality stands out 
clearly. See also Job xA, 16-34. 

Sheol is several times mentioned in the Psalter; see 
xviii. 6y XXX. 4, xhx. 15 f., hr. 16, Ixxxix. 49, cxvi. 3, cxxxix. 8, 
cxli. 7, and in every case it appears to the present writer 
to stand, m a general way, for the locality in which the 
departed were supposed to live. 'To be saved from 
Sheol ' or ' from the pit ' means simply to be preserved 

^ See xxxiv. 99-34.. ' ^^^ xviii. a. 


ht the upf>^ worlds where fellowship with G6d is possible, 
and wheUe He oaii> be praised. i < • :; 

The ddetfine of Sheol and the practice of heeromanoy,' 
^hich is io dbsfely connected with it, are realiy survivals 
of that ancestor worship which the Isiraelites- found In* 
Osnaan, and which^ in paf ty they adopted. But no doctrinief 
of retribution in knother life is involved hi the belief in 
Sheol : that ihad to be elaborated out ofYkhwism, and in 
Job and dther late books it seems to be taught.* Bat !t ia 
mote than dofibtfui whether the Psalter, aa we havt) it»' 
has anrythingt at all to say of futate refwards and punish^ 
mefits* If th^ writers^ of tJte coitimunity whose sentimentif 
thfeyuttef, believed in a hereafter iib will bd 
well whh the ngktcous and ill with the wiicked, they must 
have fiequently' referred to such a belief as a source bf 
comfort to the fetthfui and. as a. ground of warning ta 
the wicked. Baf, on the contrary, these singers long and 
pray to- besared from Sheol because once they die their 
opportunities of praising Jehovah are gdne for ever^: thefy 
wish to have justice done to themselves and speedy punish^ 
ment in(licted upon^ their foes, since after death retribution 
ib impossible '; The ipromises made to the faithful relate 
to the here and. now'. There are, however^ i four. Psak^ 
passages which have been thought by muiy to<break the 
general silence about the Utfe of bliss and woe beyond> vie.i 
xv\\t 15, xxxvik' II, 'X]ixj.i5y bodii* 24 :> see the notes oti 
these verses in this Commentary (vols, i and ii). In the 
last two verses the langtsige is supposed to be.dvggested 
by Gen. v. 34, but in both cases • the translation and 
meaning are, to- say the least, too uncertain to make them 
prove a doctfine about which, admittedly, the rest of the 
Psalter is almost silent^ Moreover, even if it be granted 
that in both these passages a spiritual world is referred to^ 
they say nothing about a life following death, but speak only 
qfa spiritual world attained withciut passing through death. 

* vi. 5, Ixxxviii, i6. ■ ' cxUvi 7. • Ixxxv. is, anil often. 

i8 BOOK OF PSALMS (73-160) 

. Both the other verses (xvii. 15 and xxxvii. 11) are better 
understood in the light of their context if their reference is 
confined to the present Hfe. In xvii. 15 the second number 
simply repeats the sense of the first. ^ Thy face ' and 
* Thy form ' (not likeness) stand for the same thing. The 
Hebrew rendered ' when I awake ' is simply a dittograph for 
the Hebrew of ' in righteousness ' — ^the Hebrew letters are 
almost identical though the order is varied. I would thea 
render : ' I being righteous ' (in contrast with the wicked 
of the preceding verses) * shall gaze on thy faoe : I shall 
be satisfied with thy form ' : i. e. ' He would be content to 
have fellowship with God in this world.' If the text is 
kept, translate the last member of the verse: ' I shall be 
satisfied when thy form appears (ItV. " wakes up *') to me.' 
The latter rendering has the support of the LXX, and is 
adopted by Wellhausen. Ps. xxxvii. 11 presents no diffi- 
culty when made to refer to the present life only. 

We are not questioning, much less denying, the doctrine 
of a life beyond death in which tibe wrongs of time shall 
be set right : that is clearly revealed in certain late parts 
of the O. T. ^ and especially in the N. T. : the question 
we have been discussing is whether that doctrine is taught 
directly or indirectly in the Psalter, and to this we are 
inclined to give a negative answer. The truth of any 
doctrine does not depend upon the manner or time of its 
being revealed. The latter is a question of fact to be 
investigated as such. 

Men that could saffet for then: religion as fsuthful 
Israelites did, with no prospect of any reward hereafter, 
must have had very convincing reasons of some kind for 
believing in that religion. God must have manifested 
Himself to them in a very real and blessed way, for they 
counted it their highest joy and their greatest privilege to 
be with Him and to join in His praise. 

If the Psalter says nothing about a hereafter, that may 

1 Job i. 91, xix. 25 ; Isa. xxvi ; Dan. xii. i. 


constitute a powerful argument in flavour of an earlier 
date than most modems are inclined to assign to the 
Book of Psalms. 

5. The Speaker in the * I Psalms/ 
More than half the songs in our Psalter are uttered 
in part or wholly in the first person singular, and in 
Germany they are, for that reason, generally called the 
H Psalms.' During the last fifty years or so much has 
been written concerning the significance of tfiis ' I ' : 
whether it stands for the poet himself or for the 
personified nation or religious community. The view 
which has generally obtained, especially in former times, 
among Jews and Christians is that the ' I ' is the individual 
Psalmist, his personal song being appropriated for con- 
gregational use because the experience of the author was 
typical, and the sentiments be expressed general. It will 
be noted that this is exactly what may be said of the 
hymns sung by Christian congregations, only it has to be 
borne in mind that promiscuous congregational singing, 
such as we are familiar with, had no existence in the 
temple : see the next section. 

It has, however, been maintained by Hengstenberg, 
Reuss, R. Smend, Baethgen, and Cheyne, that we have in 
these Psalms not many voices uttering the sentiments of 
many individuals, but one voice, that of the Jewish com- 
munity. Smend has written an elaborate essay on the 
subject \ and in it he enunciates the following principle : 
the ' I ' Psalms must all be interpreted as congregational 
unless exegesis makes this impossible. On the other 
hand, Ndldeke in the same publication ^ puts forth the 
contrary principle ; every * I ' Psalm is to be interpreted 
as individual unless exegesis makes this impossible. 
Gunkel makes N6ldeke*s opinion his own. It is this last 
view that was defended by Ndldeke's teacher Ewald, and 

1 Stade's Oid Ttstament Magasint, 1888, pp. 49-X47W 
'lb. 1900, p. 9a f. 

C 2 

?o BOOK. OF. PSALMS (73-150) 

U is supported by Dithm and Dr. James Robertson* The 
la^ named has an interesting and able ticatment of the 
subject in his Croall Lectures ^ Hupfeld refhses to admit 
that any, of the 'I' Psalms are congregational, though 
Ps. cxxix and some other Psalms of the group are 
obviously of that kind. In a later utterance Smend denies 
that the three or four * I ^ Psalms admitted in his Essay to 
be individual are other than congregational. , 

ft ^W not be doubted by any one that, in the O.T., nations 
are personified and addressed in the singular. See Num. 
x<. i8, xxi. 22 ; Deut. ii. 27^29 ; Judges i. 3, ix.' 19 ; Zech. 
vfi. 3, vlii. 2. See on cv. In these cases, however, the per- 
sonification IS ni^nifest, and quite in keeping with ordinary 
literary usage. But it is a very different thing to say that 
in some eighty Psalms, full of subjectivity, crammed with 
deep feeling arid spontaneity, 'the * I ' is not the poet, but a 
kind of impersonal society either political or religious— on 
this last matter opinion varies. When in the Psalm some 
* I ' complaihs of cruel and treacherous conduct on the part 
of foes, it is the Jewish nation, or the faithful part of that 
nation j that is expressing its sorrow, pain, and sometimes 
indignation at the treatment received from hostile heathen 
nations (Reuss) or from faithless Jews who have macle; 
common cause with the Babylonians, the Samaritans, or 
the Syrians. To say the least, such an extension of the 
meanings of *I* and 'me' is very unnatural, and is to 
be allowed only in obecfience to very imperious deitiands. 
What are the grounds on which this explanatioti rests ? 
The principal are these. 

I. The Psalter is said to be the prayer-book of the 
post-exilic temple, and its .constituent Psalms were com-' 
posed primarily ind immediately for use in the temple. 
Now Smend and othej's take this for granted, but no 
conclusive evidence for it has yet been put forward. It 
may be, as most modems agree, that our Psalter took on 

' Tkt Poefty dud the Religion of the Psalms, chap, xi, f^c. 


its pretefnt ibrm to meet the needs of temple worship sifter 
the Exile, and it rtoty be also admitted that the nidividultl 
Psalms Ate oeariy all, if not all, of post-exilic date. But 
judging fvofn the Psalter itself,' and from the analogy of 
later hymns, Jewish and Christian, it seems much likelier 
that the bu>k of the Psalms' came from private authors, 
and that, originally, they were individual uttensinces. Th6 
Ifymns of Cowper and Ch^rleS' Wesley were, In the first 
instimce, wkh but few exceptions, pi^mpted by what 
th^ir authors thought and fbh: they have been incoi> 
porated in oui> congregational ' Psalmodies because these 
Christian' poets had an experience that is representative. 
It should be remembered that the Psalms were made foi- 
^rivate use as wen as for public worship^ Ps. cxix was 
ivet made to be sung, and the same is pi^obably true bf 
other Psalms. 

2. Cheyne (O. P} and Com.^) •) sees an objection to the 
^divfdualtstic interpretation of the * T Ps&Ms in the fact 
that the sense of individuality was not developed among 
the Jews until Istte times. But if the Psalms are as late 
t.% Smehd and Cheyne make them out to be, this sens« 
iof individuality had shownitsdf in the nation before any 
iA\Yit Psalms wc^recomposeif, (br it is reflected in* Jeremiah 
And £zekie!l,'ncl! to mention thfe Wisdom Literature (Pr6v.> 
Bccies;), in N^hich it figures largiely. 

3. Smend says that the claim made in the ' I * Psalmii 
to personal integrity and innoicence can be understood 
only if we assume that the community, and not an in- 
dividual, \^ speaking. But ^uch claims are usually pot 
forth as reasons why God should not afflict the writer, and 
what tliey Amount to is the plea that no sin deserving the 
sufllt^ririg end&red has been committed: see lix. 3, and 
cf. xliv.i7fF.'i' A similar claim is set up by Job in the 
replies he makes to his friends ; but Smend has his dbubts 
as to whether' < Job' also is ndt the personified nation. 

» p. 265. " i, Ixiv ff. 

22 BOOK OF PSALMS (73-150) 

4. It has been pointed out as an argument for this view 
that in the same Psalms ^ I ' and * we ' often come together : 
e*g. Psa. XX, xxii. . The ^ we/ it is said, interprets the * U 
|«^ow the hict that both ' I ' and * we ' are employed in the 
same context would seem to show that they have a different 
connotation. If the ' 1 ' has the same meaning as the 
* we ' the latter would be used all through. When a poet is 
animated by emotions and aspirations which he. knows to 
be the common stock of cultured and religious men, he is 
very apt to drop into the * we/ identifying himself for the 
time with his fellows. In some cases, without dropping 
the 'I' and 'me/ he may feel conscious of being the 
mouthpiece of others. Thus Tennyson wrote of the 
' In Memoriam ': * 'U " is not always t^e author speaking 
of himself, but the voice of the human race speaking 
through him/* Yet in the *In Memoriam' Tennyson 
expressed what he himself believed and felt, though he 
happened at the same time to be voicing the beliefs and 
emotions of the race. 

It cannot be denied that many of the Psalms, some 
even of the 'I' Psalms, have a liturgical origin: they 
were made primarily for purposes of social worship, and 
it is natural to think that in them the congregation or the 
pation speaks. Many of these are compilations*, and 
in the original context the ' I ' had probably its strict 

Smend and Cheyne call attention to the fact that in the 
choruses of some of the greatest Greek dramas the * I ' is 
used though it stands for the choir. But this feature is 
quite exceptional, and if it were common it would have 
little bearing upon the present case, which is that of lyrics 
with all the features of personal lyrics, yet interpreted by 
Smend, Cheyne, and others as the utterance of a society 
and not of individuals. 

Isa. lii. 12-liii, the well-known 'servant' passage, is 

^ Ltfi, vol. i p. 305. * cxxxv f. 


addttcedaffoonfinnation;of the congregational interpretation 
of the ' I ' Psahns, because in that section the nation ii 
portrayed as one individual But this is hardly analogous 
with songb articulated in the first person. Moreover, the 
prindpal^ servant' passages in Isaiah are thought by 
Cheyne and most recent scholars to be excerpts intro- 
duced into their present context from an independent poem 
now lost as such. We know too little what these passages 
meant when fiist composed to be able safely to draw 
conclusions from them. There are many considerations 
which favour the natural interpretation of the ^ I ' in the 
Psalms now under consideration, though Psalm cxxix and 
some others are exceptions. 

I. In many of these Psalms no other interpretation i^ 
possible. Takt the following examples :— ^ 

' For my father and my mother have forsaken me. But 
Jehovah will take me up,' xxvii. la 

' Violent witnesses rise up : They ask me of things I 
know not,' xxxv. 11. 

' Behold I was shapen in iniquity ; And in sin did my 
mother conceive me,' li. 5. 

'But it was not an enemy that reproached me$ ... 
but it was thou, a man mine equal, and my familiar 
friend,' Iv. 12-14. 

* I am become a stranger unto my brethren, And an 
aUen unto my mother's children,' Ixix. 8. 

* Cast me not off in the time of old age ; Forsake me 
not when my strength faileth,' Ixxi. 9. 

* O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me ; Give thy 
strength unto thy servant. And save the son of thine 
handmaid,' Ixxxvi. 16. 

* At midnight I will arise and give thanks unto thee,' 
cxix. 63. 

Further reference may be made to xxii. 22, 25 : how 
could the congregation or the nation make vows, and in 
what way was it possible for it to praise God in the midst 
of itself? 

<24 BOOK^ OE PSALMS <73-150) 

. AU the 40-C4IM 'siplm^s .P^abnt^' .anpiily'^sttaiff 
jBvidence of the same kind;.e.g< vi, icciiy «]cX|3C]0cviit| iqIh 
^ix, Ixxxyiii, cii# . 

, 2. Ii> other lyrics articuUted in the first pei9on no 
doubt is felt or has be^n expressed that the th^ 
iittfifance of the poet's mindL ^ 

. 3, These Psalms have such, spontaikeity and intensity 
pC ieeliog as to osal^e it. almost certain ttet they am the 
genuine oMtQome of individual experiences. The attitude 
pf the writers is iH>t ohjectivie hut strongly ^Ifjective i 
tbey express the thof^htfi and feeiiags by. whieh they 
(hfimseb^s were flwayed. If we reduce them to the level 
of mere spokesmen, hired to put into singable fi>rm the 
preyaj)ing sentiments, we rob the PsaimeiiVt question of 
their reality and force. It is the individitsi chaj^sicter of 
the Psa)ms which has been, in eU ages, theiir charm, and 
which makes them an unfailing source of comfort and 
encouragement p men struggling with sickness^ sin» or 
outward foes. The God who was the refuge and strength 
qf these ancient saints is still Ipiat, and, in Jesus Christ, 
even more, to tried and tempted ones in our •own thne« 
The natural expression which comes to a reader. is likely 
to be the right one, ^nd there csjn be tio mistake as to 
what the impression is on the great majority of readei^ 
Jo qnuirty these Psalms of their individual character is to 
take from them their chief religious element They be* 
cQme then, as Smend as good as admits, sectarian, or, at 
most, political poems, though, of course, charged .witi» 
the thepcratic sfMrit' They body forth the anguish of the 
persecuted party or nation^ ;ind contain prayers that 
Jehovah may defend His own people : but thq element 
of personal religion is practically expunged. 

The Church in all ages has seen in these soqgs the 
heartfelt cries of pious sopls of the olden time. They 
egress the deepest sense of sin, the desire for pardon 
and a faith (in God, which has raiiply been, eqqaUed and 
never surpassed. They were sung in the temple, and ihey 


ieue 'Sung iii th& modern Synag^sve i^.ip tl^ Church 
bciSaus^' tbeyt voice: the. convictionA la^d .^spirafionf^^of 
mil ages. 

Smend elin&inates from other 0»T. jiopgs, their iPr 
dividual character, as 4t.g. Miria^'9 ^o^g; (Ex. xy), 
Haj^ah's sOng (i Sam. ii. i foUOirHjez^kiah's prjiy^r 
<Isai kxxviii, iio-'3o), and Hahakkuk's I?49drn (tj^alv; riif)^ 
Now the iitiestk>n is not whether tbf^se poe$n$ Yvere comr- 
poscd bythQse iwith whose names thfy, a<0 a^^oci^t^A 
but whethftc th0 original reference ii)jhem .is.p^sos^ 
br natlonah ••.',[• '•..•• 

6. Sacred Music among the Ancient Hebrews. ^ 
It is surprising bow meagre ouiT information is rqgardr 
ing the music of^hQiaacient £gypt^ms».As«y^aASf Greeks, 
and Hebrews* Thi^ is largely due to, th^ (act that no 
system ( of .Jp^qbtatio;! in use among thesft a^pie;nt« peoples 
has come to us, for our present systems of n>usical notation 
are of comparatively recent invention, the old notation 
being generally ascribed to Guido d'Arezzo (d. 1050). 
There ave good grounds ibr concluding' that the mebdy 
of'thfa aiicient Hebrews was of a simple, elementary^ and 
vaHable kind, such as obtains among Oriental peoples of 
our orwn time. We owe ottr fixed unvacying melody« t6 
musical script, Just as fixed spelling is duC| lacgely, to tho 
printing press. Among the Arabs of Egypt and Palestine 
the same tune is< sqng with considerable variation in 
details though with general agreement, and it is seldom 
that Arabid music gbek outside the octave. There is 
among the same people a great fondness* for kmd) shrilly 
claxiging sounds t it is the quantity aS sound 4md not i€s 
quality that tells. Hence it. is that the; drdm apd ofehei 
instruments of percussion are much favoniiBd ih.the East 
The kind of music thus brieily described id that rwhich^ In 
all probability, obtained among the Hebrews in Bible times, 
for in the unchanging East one may safety argue, from the 
present to the past within reasonable limits^ 

26 BOOK OF PSALMS (73-160) 

Neither harmony nor counterpomt was. known until 
some time on in Uie Middle Ages : one may therefore 
conclude, with fair confidence, that these characteristics 
of mediaeval and modem music were absent from the 
music of the Bible. The lack of these was made up 
to some extent by a large use of antiphony, different parts 
of the poem being sung by different persons^* Thus in 
Ps. cxxxvi the first part of each verse would be sung by 
the whole choir, the second by a part of it. See Intro- 
duction to Pss. cxv, cxviii* Variety of voice and of instru- 
mental sound (' timbre ') was another thing that helped 
to fill up the place now held by harmony and counterpoint. 
Cicero says of the ancient Egyptians that ' they considered 
the arts ctf singing and playing upon musical instruments 
a very principal part of learning *' : there is no evidence 
that this was the Case among the early Hebrews, though 
music of some kind was traced by this people to a very 
remote period in the past *• 

Must ml Insirumenis. 

In primitive times musical instruments were played to 
the accompaniment of the voice, but rarely, if at ^, for 
their own sake as we now play the piano, violin, &c 
Wind instruments do seem, however, to have been blown 
for certain purposes, as in summoning to war, announcing 
the advent of a festival, &&, but even these were hardly 
used by themselves for musical purposes. 

Our only direct contemporary evidence with regard to 
the musical instruments of the Bible is that which the 
Bible itself supplies. This is often so meagre and in- 
decisive tiiat without the aid of pictorial representation it is 
often impossible to make clear to ourselves what were the 
forms and what the uses of these instruments. In 
Madden's Coins cf the Jews^ illustrations of some 

^ See Psulnis xiii, xx, xxxviii, Ixviii, Ixxxix, &c. 
' Tusc Quistf lib. i. ' Gen. iv. ai 

* Second edition, 1885. 


stringed instruments in vogue among the Jews are 
given : these are taken from Jewishsooins of about B.a 
66-70, so that they do not carry us back very hr. The 
monuments of ancient Egypt, Assyria, and Babylonia 
supply us with a goodly number of pictures of instruments 
used among the peoples of these countries, and sines 
these are very similar it is exceedingly Hkely that the Jews 
had instruments closely resembling those of their neigh* 

The musical instruments mentioned in the Bible are 
thus classified :— 

1. Wind instruments. 

2. Stringed instruments. 

3. Instruments of percussion. 

Examples of each of these three classed may be seen in 
Ps. cl. 

Of the wind instruments associated with modem 
worship no one is so important as the organ : but, though 
the word occurs four times in the A.V.\ it is demonstrable 
that what we call the 'organ' did not exist for some 
centuries after the Christian era set in, because at no 
earlier time was the device of the keyboard known. For 
* organ ' the R. V. substitutes * pipe ' ; the Hebrew word 
(C/gad) means a wind instrument of some kind. See on 
Ps. cl. 4. Stringed instruments are of the harp and of 
the violin kind. In the former the strings are fastened at 
the ends alone, and have no sounding-board to which they 
are attached. In the case of the violin class of instruments 
there is a sounding-board across which the strings are 
stretched, as e.g. in the lute, guitar, violin, &c. 

In the O. T. it is the stringed instruments that are 
almost exclusively associated with worship, and of these 
three only are mentioned, all of the harp kind, viz. the harp, 
lyre, and trigon. In the E.W. the words used are 
psaltery, harp, and sackbut, respectively. The above 

^ Gen. iv. az ; Job xxi, xs, xxx. 31 ; Ps. cl. 4. 

as BOOK .OP PSALMS i (73-150) 

Mndering gttes the lesiUisi to which the piresent writer 
has been brought by. a somewhat careful examination of 
tb'd available evidence^ though laQk of $pa<;:e makes it 
hnpd9sible to discniss the questjion in this comipentaryf 
The f trigon ' (£.VV» ^ Sackbut ') is mentioned |n Dan. ii^ 
fV7» io> iSt and was probably a triangul^ in^prnnient of 
the harp kind, but haviiag four sti^'ngs only. The other 
ti4^ ^Stringed: instruments, Heb. «<^^/.and kinuor^ are 
frequently named in the Psalter, and in our English 
versions are translated \ psaltery ' an4 * harp ' respectively. 
By the former our translators seem to have me^nt a kind 
of lute with convex belly, a mistake due to the apposed 
etymology of the word. But there is. good reason for 
concluding that no instrument of the. violin kind was 
known aihong the Hebrews, and> iporeover, the tubel was 
heavier and larger than the kinnor^ for the latter could 
te bnag on. poplar (or wi)low ?) trees \ Both were made 
ibf wdod *, and both were , portable .^ In Ps. xxxiii. 2 
mention is ^made pi:^:neb€l of ten strings, implying tha^ 
the nombor of strings varied^ though some think that in 
(this passage a sepanue instrument pf te^ strings is meant;. 
-See on. the verse in vol. i; 

^ 'jEhe wwd * psaltery/ in the p.VV, is from the Greek 
*^a/iW»7V7ji» which generally stan4s for nedei^x ^e LXX ; 
Init this word means^ strictly a stringed instrument of any 
kinds «in English, however, the word came to more 
i^cific meaning ; see ^boye. ■ Harp ^ is the .best English 
yrofd tor tuM, apd. *iyre ' for. kfnnar. In the. latter the 
strings. were festered at the ends. only, as in the case of 
the harp, but the instrument was smaller, the number of 
strings were fewer, and. these strings were stre^eid; usually 
in a vestioal, though sometimes in a. horizontal, direction. 
JSee the iUustratlQUs. 
: Of' the wind instruments reference will be made 

* See Ps. cxxxvii. a. * i Kings x. la. 

* I Sam. x.:s; 9 Cbron. xx. 28. 



to two on)y> yia« tiie shofar. or.rAmfa horn, aoikd thci 
kkeisots^m or trumpet, whith are, in tthis tolume, caUeid 
'comet' and 'trumpet' respectively* It ia a pity tJu0} 
the English versions do not npresent ^ach by a distinet 
word (as in the R«V. might- e^cially have been eic- 
pected)v instead of confuang die Biere English reader 
by transiatpng the two Hebrew ( words by ' trumpet»^ 
except wheoo both words occur in the same connexioa^ 

Fig. I. 
Assyrian Hfrp. 

Fid. 2. Jewish Lyres (fh)m Jewish coins 
of d9tes;6«a 70-^ k Seq IMdfn's 
Coins of, th^JjtwsP^^^ pp. 231^ 243. ^ . 

'cornet' and- '.trumpet V being then employed as above. 
In fpur; cases the Hebrew, word for horn is translate 
' comet/ rightly in so. far as the meaning i$ cpncemec];!; 
though in: ten other passages the same word is xendj^f ,(]l^ 
' horn * (* raising the horn,' &c.). , . I 

The shophar or comet is simply the primitive form of 
the metallic tmmpet, abd served the same purposes, 
though some have tried to show that the cornet was used 

30 BOOK OF PSALMS (73-150) 

on secular occasions *, the trumpet having a specially re* 
Itgious nse. But it is in the later literature of the O.T. 
that matters of ritual, music, and the like are dealt with, 
and in the later time the trumpet takes the place of the 
shofar. It may he gathered from Rabbinical authorities 
that in later times the word ' shofur' came to be used for 
the straight metallic trumpet. The Mishna permits the 
use in the synagogue of the horn of any dean animal 
except the cow, but from the earliest times the syni^ogue 
prefers the ram's horn, which under the influence of beat 
is flattened and otherwise adapted. The trumpet, as 
represented on the arch of Titus in Rome, is straight and 
apparently metallic. The comet was, of course, crooked, 
though a good deal straightened out before being used. 
It can be proved from the O.T. that the shofar was blown 
on sacred^ as weU as se<mlar occasions, and that the 
trumpet was blown on secular * as well as sacred occasions. 
The relation between the comet and the tmmpet is much 
the same as that existing between flint and steel knives, 
and in the continued employment of the comet or shofar 
in the synagogue we have a survival corresponding to the 
use of stone knives in circumcision at times when better 
knives must have been at handl It may be repeated 
here that stringed instruments (harp and lyre) appear to 
have been alone used in public worship proper, and it is 
significant of this that the technical words for Psalm, 
Greek and perhaps Hebrew, mean a song or hynm to be 
sung to the accompaniment of a stringed instrument 
But see Introduction, p. 3 f 

The function of the harp and lyre was to keep the time 
rather than to supplement the voices. Indeed, it is the 
sense of rhythm rather than that of melody which makes 
for the Oriental the principal charm of music. This sense 
lies nearest the primitive instincts (cf. respiration and 

' Judges Hi. 27 ; i Sam. xiii. sff.; a Sam. xv. lo ; Amos iil 6, 
• Lev. XXV. 9, 13 ; Joshua vi. 5 ; a Sam. vi. 15. 
' d Kings xi. 14 ; Hos. v. 8. * Joshua v. 3* 


circulation of blood, both rhythmic movements), and it is 
a leading feature in poetry (cf. Hebrew parallelism) and 
in the dance. 

Many and bitter have been the discussions in the 
Christian Church as to the propriety or otherwise of 
introducing musical instruments (organ, violin, &c.) into 
our churches to help the worship. The Fathers, and 
also the Anglican Church--judged by its homiliea-^pror 
nounced a negative opinion, and the Puritans were strongly 
opposed to any except vocal worship in churches* Modem 
churches of all creeds seem to have, settled down to a 
contrary view, and there are few places of worship to-day 
without either organ or harmonium* 

Where was worship conducted among the Israelites ? At 
all the sanctuaries of the land, as much at the high places 
as at the temple, until in the time of Josiah ^ (d. B. c. 609)^ 
or perhaps in that of Hezekiah (d. B.C* 699} \ these were 
condemned and suppressed. Since no one was allowed to 
enter the house or the temple proper, except the priests, 
one has to dismiss the idea that Psalms were sung in the 
sacred structure itself. In the first temple there was but 
one court', and it must have been in this that the singers 
and players led the worship of the people on Sabbaths 
and festivals* In the second temple there were an inner 
and an outer court, and since, during the existence of that 
temple the singers and players belonged to the Levites 
(but see below) in the main if not whdily, it is extremely 
likely that the choir and the orchestra or band took up 
their position in the court of the Israelites. 

Who were the musicians, those who sang and those 
who played the instruments? Though our data for 
judging of the methods of worship in vogue among the 

^ 9 Kings xxiii. 9. 

* a Kings xviii. i ff. ; Isa. xxxvi. 7 : see, however, Harti on 
the latter verse. ' 

' See Article * Temple ' (by the present writer) in Hastings* 
DkHonary oftht BibU, 

$k BOOIC OF PSALMS <«3-150) 

Jews before tbe: Exile are slight, there seems >good reason 
lor coACltiditig chat there Was no distinct class afammcisMs, 
no musical guild or order. The choir and baiul "were 
made np of picked men ^ (no women of course), though 
these would 'be very often priests and Levhes. The set 
of influences which led to the increased' power .6f the 
|>riests and 'to* the enlargement of their order by ike 
addition to them ef tlie Levites Issaed in havh^ the 
functions «f saored song limited to the Levites^ XIm ktst 
H the stateof things' which -seems to hareprevaiieddaring 
Che wlKole period represented by the Psalteif* But* though 
the lay Israeiiie toigfat not tkke part in temple music he 
was supposed to share- in it vicarionsly^ as is the case 
ili^th women ih thb modem synagogue^ 
' It has to be remembsred, however, thatour Pmlm book 
is not mei-ely a collection of the hymns sung m^ the temple 
sfTea; M^y of thetii could not haVe beite stmg at all 
anywhere^ as e.g. Ps. €x\x, which was probably composed 
to be i^ad privately ; Ps. cxiiif., which seem to have been 
dianted in the family circle ; Ps. cxU and otheife s^pear 
to have been intended for use by individuals. See also 
hx, t6t xcli. Uf cxlx.: 62. It cannot be conceived 4hac 
male Israelites who were not priests or LeVites worshiped 
at the three annual ^sts at Jerusalem alone^ and then 
dniy by proxy. Ndr is it- likely thai Israelkisb wom«i 
were wholly etdoded from par^cipation in the sacrifices 
of praise and fiwmlesgTving. 

' The synago^tte was, until after the final destrudtioh of 
the temple, a mere place of instruction, ib which the scrips 
twes were read and expounded, but no woDship was can'red 
on; There must have been united and individual Worship 
m Jewish homes^ and in that worship the Psalms played, 
it is highly probable, a larger part than it is the custom 
to think. 

. ^ 

> ^ See 2 Sam. vl 5 ; I^. xxx. 09 ; Ames vi. 31^09. 



I. General. 

ptif,m perfect, 

pf^. s preposition. 

proH* B pronoun. 

Z>5.= Dictionary of the Bible 

Encyc» Bib, - Encyclopaedia 


€tcc. B accusative, 
^m.-i feminine. 
£VM.« genitive. 
tfnp/, = imperfect. 
t'fftpv, - imperative. 
fftasc. ^ masculine. 
pass. = passive. 

Hiph., Ni.| and Pi. denote forms of the Hebrew verb which 
express (most commonly) the following modificaUons of the simple 
idea of the verb (i.e. Uie Qal) : causative, passive, and intensive— 

J (Jahwist), E (Elohist), JE (Jehovist), D (Deuteronomist), 
and P (Priestly Writer) stand for the authors of the documents 
on which the Pentateuch (or Hexateuch) is supposed to be chiefly 

a. Texts and 
I. Hebrew. 

Af.r. = MassoreticTexL (That 
of the ordinary vocalized He- 
brew Bible.) 

keth.'mkethib, (The consonants 
and the implied vowels of the 
Hebrew Bible.) 

qr, B q£re. (The textas emended 
by the Massorites.) 

//#^. a Hebrew. 

a. Greek. 

LXXimThe Septuagint. 
Sym, K Symmachus. 

3. Latin. 
/m>.— Jerome. 
Vulg. -Vulgate (on the Psalms, 

a mere translation of the 




4. English. 
P. B. v. « Prayer Book Version . 
A, K. B Authorized Version. 
R. y, « Revised Version, 
f.^r: « All these three English 

^./?.K.-A.V. andR.V. 
O. r.»01d TesUment 
N, T. - New Testament. 

The {Saadiaa) Arabic (Ar) and 
Ethiopic (fM) versions have 
been consulted, and are occa- 
sionally referred to. The 
Peshitta (Sy riac) and Targum 
(Aramaic) have been con- 
tinually used. 




For genera! remarks concerning the formation of the Paalter 
and the division into five books see pp. 4 f., 37 f., 197 f., and vol. i. 
p. 6 if. 

Books II and III were at first apparently a miscellaneous 
collection containing within itself several minor collections of 
which the following may be noted. 

I. Davidk Psaims, H-lxxil. 

a. Levitical groups^ viz. Korahitic and Asaphic. 

Books II and III are almost wholly Elohistic Books I, IV, 
and y are, on the other hand, Yahwistic. In Pss, xlii-lxxxiii 
Elohim occurs aoo times, Yahweh forty-three. In Ixxxiv-Ixxxix 
Elohim is found ten times alone and four times in combination with 
Yahweh ; the latter being found thirty-six times. For the differ- 
ence between these two Divine names see vol. i. 358 f., and cf. the 
note in this vol. on cviii. 3. 

Asaph Psaltna* Ps. Ixxiii is the first of the eleven Asapb 
Psalms in Book III, Ps. 1 (Book II) being the only other one. 
No doubt these twelve formed a collection which originated and 
was used among the members of the Levitical guild of Asaph. 
That authorship is not implied by 'A Psalm of Asaph* seems 
sliowi) by the title ^ A Psalm of (or belonging to) the Rorahites,' 
found before Pss. Ixxxiv f. and nine other Psahns. We have 
no Biblical information at all concerning an individual called 
Asaph or of his descendants outside the books Chronicles, Ezra, 
and Nehemiah (which formed originally but one Hebrew book 
arranged in the order just given), the more strictly historical books 
—Samuel and Kings — being quite silent about them. According 
to Chronicles— Asaph, Heman and Ethan were chosen by the 
Levites to conduct the music when David brought up the ark to 
Jerusalem ^ David is said to have appointed Asaph to take 
charge of the music atUr the ark had been fixed*. Under their 
father's superintendence Asaph*s sons presided over the twenty- 
four courses of musicians ', and they took part in the dedication of 
the templet All these intimations, however, occur in a book 

* I Chron. xv. 16*19. ' * Chron. xvi.4£.>37. 

' I Chron. xvi. iff. ^ 3 Chron. vi. 12. 

38 THE PSALMS 73. i 

78 A Psalm of Asaph. 

I Surely God i^ jgood to Israel, ' • . 

written for other than historical purposes, a book not older than 
B. c. 300, though the period xfeseribed above is about seven 
hundred years earlier. In the time of the writer there were 
Levitical guilds called Asaph,. Hemanj^ Ethan, and Korah, and the 
individual names were, in die manner of ancient times, invented to 
account for the existence of the guilds thus designated. The 
musical arrangements ascribe to David's time in Chronicles could 
not, for many reasons, have existed so early. 


Theme, The problem presented by tbe prosperity of the 
wicked and the suffering of the righteous, and its solution 
through faith in God. . 

*l. Contents, (i) The problem, verses 1-14. The poet contrasts 
God's general dealings with His people and his own recent 
suffering (verses 1-3), and then passes on to speak Of the 
prosperity and pride of the wicked (verses 4-9) and the evil 
effect of their example (verses 10-14). 

(a) The solution of the ptx>blem, ver9es 15-28. He seeks an 
oracle from God in tiie temple, and obtains a satisfactory answer 
(verses 15-20). He confesses the folly of his previous reasoning, 
for in the end it will be ill with the wicked and weU with the 
righteous (vei^s ai-98). 

11. Authorship and Date, There is nothing in the Psalm to 
connect it definitely with any one period. 

That it is not pre-exilic is proved by the style of the Hebrew, 
which is in parts late, and by the problem raised in the Psalm, 
the happy lot of the wicked in this world and the misery of the 
good. This problem did not exist for the pre-exilic mind, or at 
least found ho expression^ The Psalm is not exiUc, for the writer 
is at Jerusalem and the temple is in existence (vbrse 17). 

Tlie problem of the present Psalm is that of Pss: xxxvii, xlix, 
and xciv, and also of Job, and in a modified form of Eccles., all 
of which are post- exilic. This Psalm may have been composed 
undbr the stress of the persecution of the Samaritan party in 
NehemiahV day, or it may owe its. existence to -the Syrian 
persecution of the Maccabean age. But such problems as the 
one that here confronts the Psalmist may occur to a -thoughtful 
mind at any time. 

1-14. The prosperity of the wicked, 
1. Render: <God is only good to the upright one. 
Even Jehovah to the pure in heart* 

THE PSALMS 73, 3-6 39 

Even to such as are puie in heart. 

But as for me, my feet were almost gone ; 

My steps had well nigh slipped. 

For I was envious at the arrogant, 

When I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 

For there are no bands in their death : 

But their strength is firm. 

They are not in trouble as other men ; 

Neither are they plagued like other men. 

Therefore pride is as a chain about their neck ; < 

* good ! i. e. * kind,' as in Ixxxvi. 5. 
to Zsrael : read, ' to the upright one * : the Hebrew diffefs 
very little. 

S. Render : < But as for me my feet were veiy near giving 
way : There was, as it were, nothing to prevent my steps from 

Though he now admits the general principle that God is kiiid 
and only kind to the upright, yet his own unhappy lot had almost 
led him to fall away from faith in the Divine love. 

3 ff. give the grounds for the shock to faith described in 
verse a. 

af. envloiis. The construction of the verb proves that it is 

properly rendered in the R. V. : so xxxviL i. Wellhausen*s 

rendering ' indignant ' is excluded by the preposition in Hebrew. 

arrosrant : we should probably render ' fools,* understanding 

the word in its ethical sense, as in v. 6, Ixxv. 5. 

4. Render: *For they have no pangs, 

Sound and fat is their body,* 
bands: this word must be assumed, like another Hiebrew 
word {Khebef), to have the double meaning, bands and torments : 
here the latter. 

in thslr dsath : dividing the Hebrew letters differently, as 
should be done, we obtain the above rendering. 

. strvnirttai: the Hebrew word, occurring here only^ means, 
according to an Arabic cognate, < body.' 

5. Render: *They are not in (such) trouble as (othc;r) men; 
Nor are they smitten (of God) as. the (rest of) the human race.' 

ylAgiMd : the Hebrew woi'd means being smitten of God : 
see verse 14 ; laa. liii. 4, 

6. Render : < Therefore (because more happily situated than 

40 THE PSALMS 73. 7-10 

Violence covereth them as a garment. 

7 Their eyes stand out with fatness : 
They have more than heart could wish« 

8 They scoff, and in wickedness utter oppression : 
They speak loftily. 

9 They have set their mouth in the heavens, 
And their tongue walketh through the earth. 

10 Therefore his people return hither: 

other men), pride (is made to) adorn them as a necklace : The 
garment of violence clothes them/ 

These people take pride in their pride : violence is as present 
to them as the clothes they wear. 

7. Render : < Their iniquity issues from fatness (of hearts) : The 
imaginings of (their) heart over£k>w ' (becoming violent speeches). 

•jTM I read (with LXX, Pesh., and most moderns) ' iniquity ' 
—making a very slight change in the Hebrew. 
&t]Mi«i i. e. grossness of heart : see xvii. 10. 

8. Render : ^ They give themselves to mocking and utter evil 
rthings) : From their (assumed) lofty place they utter wicked 
(lit, perverted : i. e. from the right) things.' 

in witfkedneM s read evil (thingi). 

ovpKMsioB. { translate, ' what is perverted * ; to ^ what is 
wicked/ following Aramaic usage. 

thej utter : tliej vpeftk 1 in the Hebrew the same verb is 
used : it often means ^ to speak inwardly/ ^ to meditate,' * scheme.* 

9. The sense of the verse is : ' They blaspheme God, and go 
about in the earth slandering men,' So the ancient versions, 

in the ]ie»T«ne : render : ' against God ' : the Hebrew 
' preposition often means ^ against * ; ^ heavens/ or rather * heaven ' 
(the Hebrew word is always pi.), means 'God/ as in Rabbinkal 
Hebrew ; cf. ' Heaven helps those who help themselves.' 

10. If we retain the M. T. we must render : * Therefore (as 
a result of their arrogant speech against God and man) their 
people ^those subject to them, i. e. the Israelites), turn thither (to 
the wicked party, adopting their principles), and (in a dry land) 
water in full measure is drained by them.' But the text is 
obviously corrupt ; making a few changes we obtain this render- 
ing : ' Nevertheles.': they ( « the wicked) have bread enough, and 
water in abundanc:: is drained by them.' 

The uncorrected Hebrew text (kiik,) yields this renderiiigonly : 
' Therefore He will bring back' (or < turn') < His people hkher' 
(or < thither ') : i. e. to Palestine. 

THE PSALMS 78. 11-14 41 

And waters of a full cup are wrung out by them. 

And they say, How doth God know ? 11 

And is there knowledge in the Most High ? 

Behold, these are the wicked ; is 

And, being alway at ease, they increase in riches. 

Surely in vain have I cleansed nay heart, 13 

And washed my hands in innocency ; 

For all the day long have I been plagued, 14 

And chastened every morning. 

nurtfortt read the simiUr Aramaic word for 'neveiv 

11. The speakers are those described in the foregoing verses, 
— the wicked. 

Mow doth OoA kaow ? better, ' how can God know 7 ' 

10-14. Tht Pdalmist is tfn sUaktr, Formerly these verses 
were ascribed to faithless Israelites who had been induced to 
adopt the principles of their oppressors, an interpretation based 
on a wrong translation of verse zo» that based on tne M. T. 

18. these t i. e. < such,' as in Job xviii. 91 : cf. Ps. viii. 19 ; 
Isa, Ixvi. IX. The wicked are such as have been described t they 
are prosperous though God-defiant. 

Z3f. The conclusion which the writer draws from the iact 
that the wicked prosper while the righteous are afilicted. It is 
to no purpose that the good life is lived, for the contrary life 
pays best. The fact that the writer or those he speaks for con- 
tinued to walk in the good way proves that this way was re« 
garded as the right one though it led to suffering ; yet it reveals 
the belief of the time that even here and now virtue is rewarded. 
Jero. makes verses 13 f., as Luther verse 13, interrogative. 

13. Surelj 1 the Hebrew word has probably here, as it has in 
verse i, its restrictive meaning ^only' : Mt can issue only in 
nothing that I have cleansed,* &c. 

have Z oleaased mj htaxt 1 i. c. purified my thoughts and 
feelings. In the Psychology, of the Hebrews the heart is usually 
regarded as the seat of thought and feeling ; cf. Prov. xx. 9. 

▲ad wMihed my luiads ia ianoeeAoy ; cf. Ps. xxvi. 6. 
There is a reference to the custom of washing the hands as 
a sign of being innocent, clean, with regard to some supposed 
guilt : see I>eutxxi,6 f. ; Matt, xxvii. 94, The Psalmist had kept 
himself free from both the thought and the act of sin. 

14. plagMd I visited by a Divine affliction \ see on verse 5. 

4a THE PSALMS 73« 15-18 

15 If I had saidi I will speak thus ; 

Behold, I had dealt treacherously with the generation of 
thy children. 
s6 When I thought how I might know this, 

It was too patnfiil for me ; 

17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God, 
And considered their latter end 

18 Surely thou settest them in slippery places : 
Thou castest them down to destruction. 

15-28. In the sanctuary thg scales fall from his eyes. The 
mystery is at length soh^. In the end it will be will wkh the 
r^hteous and HI with the wicked, 

16. Render ; ' I said : I will speak such things : Behold, I have 
been (in saying that) false to the generation of my people.' 

Zf Z iMd said I the Hebrew word for < \V n doe to dittogrsphy, 
and must be omitted. He had said this, 
'said' : i.e. inwardly : so often in Hebrew. 
19. Render : ' So I set about thinking as to how I might under- 
stand this (thing) : (but the conclusion I came to was that the 
problem) was, in my estimatioi^ weariness.' 

Wlisn Z tlumglits this translation assumes the change of one 
vowel in the Hebrew word, the conjunction being then changed 
from weak to strong i»aw. But the received text yields the 
excellent meaning < So I began to think/ or, as above — ' So I set 
about thinking,' &c. 

too palaftat Heb. <it was wearying,* < tiresome.' The 
original word is a noun (jAmSl) used often in Eccles. for the 
toil that is dull, uninteresting, unprofitable, yet exhausting. 

17. VntU Z went, &c. : rather, 'Until I entered,' &c. The 
ancient versions have the future owing to a misunderstanding 
of the Hebrew idiom. . 

tbs saaotiuury of Ck>d. It was believed among the ancients 
that by sleeping in a temple the god of the place revealed secrets 
to the sleeper. See Isa. Ixv. 4. Jehovah met the Psalmist in the 
temple, and opened his eyen to see His real purpose in regard to 
the wicked and the righteous. 

Sbelr Iftttor fnAi lit* ' what is after.' There is no thought 
here of the life beyond death. 

i8-flio. The fatie of the wicked deufibed, 

18. Wmx%lti the Hebriewword may have the restricttve sense 
* only,' as in verses 1, 13.. 

AMtvnofeimi 1 the Hdbrew is plural of iMsasi^, <«lScr min.' 

THE PSALMS 79. t^n 43 

How are they become a desolation in a moment I 19 

They are utterly consumed with terrors. 
As a dream when one awaketh; . < ao 

So^ O Lord, when thou awakest^ thou sbalt despise their 

For my heart was grieved, ai 

And I was pricked in my reins : 

The Hebrew word, which is peculiar, occurs also in Ixxiv. 3. 
The meaning < delusion,* though supported by Duhm and favoured 
by the M. T., does not suit the latter passage. 

19. Render : * How as in a moment are they undone * (/lY. * do 
the^ become a desolation *) t ' They come to a full end through 
their dire calamities.' 

80t Render : ^ They shall be as a dream when one wakes : 
When Thou rousest Thyself Thou sbalt despise their image.* 

Aovdi the Hebrew word is that read for Yahweh (Jehovah >^. 
The latter was almost certainly the earlier word, and this again 
took the place of the almost identically spelt verb rendered above 
* they shall be ' (singular for pli^ral). 

To make the comparison perfect it should be said that the 
wicked perish when God rpuses Himself, just as dreams vanish 
after waking. 

when thou awaktiti a different verb from the preceding 
one : render as above : * When thou rousest thyself.* The same 
Hebrew letters mean also ^ in the city ' (i* c. Jerusalem or heaven), 
and in the LXX, Pesh., Jero. this is the rendering adopted. But 
parallelism and sense support the other rendering. 

91 f. The Psalmist acknowledges his error, and rebukes himself 
for questioning the correctness of the Divine rule. 

81 contains the protasis or condition of a compound sentence, 
verse aa supplying the apodosis. 

Render verse ai f, : * ai Wh<;n my heart ( - 1 myself) was em- 
bittered, And I felt myself bitten at my reins, aa Then was 
I stupid as a brute, having no knowledge ; I was a downright 
beast towards tbee«* 

If with the R. V. we begin verse ai with Tor and not *when,* 
verses az f. must then be regarded as continuing the thought of the 
foregoing words : but in that case the connexion is a rather 
loose one, 

wMi.gvitv«4i Heb. ' was aoured * or ' embittered.* 
pstokea^ the. Hebrew verb ia probably a denominative from 

' See on cviii. 3* 

44 THE PSALMS 7Z. ja-H 

ja So brutish was I, and ignorant ; 

I was as a beast before thee. 
93 Nevertheless I am continually with thee : 

Thou hast holden my right hand 
J4 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel. 

And afterward receive me to gbry. 

the nouns ' tooth.* * I was toothed,' L e. the pain I felt was com- 
parable to that of being bitten. 

reins (« kidneys) : supposed to be the seat of the emotioiis : 
see Ps. viL 9, xvl 7 ; Job xix. 96; Prov. xxiii. x6. 

aa. Of a bMMts Heb. <as a behemoth,' the word used in 
Job xl. 15 fL for the hippopotamus, and until recently thought to 
be an Egyptian word. Here it is simply the plural of intensity o( 
the ordinary Hebrew word for beast (usually a domestic bast, 
cattle, Sec). So *a very beast ' (Driver). 

Iiefdrs tlieez Delitzsch's rendering Hn comparison with 
thee* has no support in either Hebrew or in Arabic, notwith- 
standing his statements to the contrary. 

93-96. True satisfaction is to be found in God. Having Him 
other things can be dispensed with. This is the true solution of 
the problon suggested by the prosperity of the wicked. They 
miss the best, the one thing needful and the only thing fliat is 
really Indispensable. 

23. To hold the right hand means to help in all plans and 
achievements : see xvL 8. 

84. gnlAet the same verb as m xxiii. 9, <He leadeth me/ ftc. 
< Thou wilt lead (direct) me into thy plan * (for me), L e. make me 
walk in the way devised for me by thee. 

afterward : the Hebrew word is generally used as a prep., 
and Ewald and Hitzig so regard it here : < Thou takest me af^ 
(« towards) honour.* But the adverbial sense is well supported 
in the O. T., see Gen. x 18, xviii. 5, &c, and it gives the best 
sense and the best Hebrew here. 

recelTe mm to glory : the Hebrew word for ' reeeive * is used 
in the sense of taking along with, conducting towards some goal : 
see Gen. xlviii. i ; Exod. xii. 39, xiv. 6 ; Num. xxiii. 97, &c. 
Parallelism as well as the connexion favours this meaning here: 
see verses 93 f. < Thou layest hold of my right hand : Thou 
guidest me into thy planned course of life, and, after thus guiding 
me, thou conductest me to honour/ In the end, at all events, the 
good man comes to his own, being honoured, and not, as before, 

There does not seem to be any alhision to the life beyond death 

THE PSALMS 78. 95-38 45 

Whom have I in heaven M thee} 15 

And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 
My flesh and my heart faileth : 96 

But God is the strength of my heart and my portion for 

For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish : 37 

Thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. 
But it is good for me to draw near unto God : a8 

I have made the Lord God my refuge, 
That I may tell of all thy works. 

here or in xlix. 15, though the contrary is maintained by most 
expositors, Jewish and Christian. 

as. M fhm; render < beside thee.* The Hebrew word so 
rendered must be restored^ its omission being due to the double 
occurrence of the same word with only one letter in Hebrew 

86. flesh and heart embrace the whole men. including the 
physical and the mental. The word heart is to be taken in the 
Kantian sense of < mind/ embracing all mental power, emotional, 
intellectual, and volitional. 

ftdleth I i. e. not come to an end, but become enfeebled, as of 
fading grass (Isa. xv. 6), of flesh (Job xxxiii. ai), of vital strength 
(Ps. Ixxi. zi), of man's spirit (Pa. cxliii. 7). 

the etrength ef mjr heaart 1 rather, < the rock of my heart ' 
(of my inner being) : what I myself stand securely on. Dtihm 
expunges these words on the ground that in the previous clause 
the heart is supposed to have come to a complete end : but his 
inference rests on a wrong translation : see above. 

mr povtloA t cf. xvi. 5. 
•7 f. confirm what is stated on verse 06. The wicked perish. 
I And in Jehovah a refuge from all ills : He is my eternal portion. 
aV. thej that ave flur, &c. : i. e. do not approach thee in wor« 
ship : or have no fellowship with thee. 

that vo a whovtagi faithlessness to Jehovah is conceived 
under the figure of hariotry, see cvi. 99 ; Exod. xxxiv, 15 f. ; Deut. 
xxxi. z6 ; Hos. ii« 7, iv. 25 ; Isa. Ivii. 3. 

as. gooA 3 i. e. not in the moral sense, < right,' ' proper ' : the 
word means here 'profitable.' 

to draw wm9 vnto Ood 1 i. e. to worship Him as the true 
God : or perhaps union with God in the mystic sense is meant. 
For such mystical union the cognate Arabic word {qurb) is 
often used. 

48 THE PSALMS 74. 3-7 

3 Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual rums. 

All the evil that the enemy hath done in the sanctuary. 

4 Thine adversaries have roared in the midst of thine 

They have set up their ensigns for signs. 

5 They seemed as men that lifted up 
Axes upon a thicket of trees. 

6 And now all the carved work thereof together 
They break down with hatchet and hammers. 

7 They have set thy sanctuary on fire; 

rendering of the versions (except Jero.) 'this mount Zion* is 
excluded by the Hebrew. On mount Zion see additional note 
pp. 368ff. 

3. flMt : read < eyes,' varying the Hebrew slightly. The LXX 

mlwi t better, * utter ruin.* See on Ixxiii. 18 : dl i Hacc. 
iv. 38. 
4-9. Deaeripiion ofihi DivaslaHon offhe TempU. 

4. rourod 1 the temple courts resounded with the idle boasts 
of the eonqueror instead of with the praises of God. LXX, Vulg; 
for voaaroA have < boasted.' 

tldaa aMMmUjs rather, 'thy temple' : lit 'thy meeting 
place.' See Lam. ii. 6. 

th«lv MMlgns ftv idgas t in Hebrew the same noun is used 
in both cases : 'they have set up their signs for ours.' It is the 
symbob or rites of Israel's religion that are referred to : Sabbath, 
sacrifice, phylacteries, &c. These were suppressed, and instead of 
them idolatrous rites introduced : see verse 9 and i Mace i 45-49^ 
V. 49^ and eL Exod. xxxl 13. 

5 f. The enemy, in tearing down the carved work on walls and 
doors, resemble wood-cutters who are hewing down treesi The 
sanctuary is to the former no more sacred than common trees 
to the latter. The Hebrew text in these two verses is probably 
corrupt If we retain the M.T. the following rendering seems best : 

6. ' Each one * (of the foes) ' appears n one lifting up axes in 
a thicket of trees.' 

9. ' And now they strike down with hatchet and hammers all 
its carved work.' 

iNurvaA wovk t palm trees and open flowers were engraved 
on the temple walls (i Kings vi 09). 

7-9, Tempie and Synagogma dntroyid, RHigUma chstrvantts 

THE PSALMS 74. S-ii 49 

They have proteisd the dwelling place of thy name even 

to the ground. 
They said in their heart, Let us make havoc of them 8 

altogether : 
They have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land. 
We see not our signs : 9 

There is no more any prophet ; 
Neither is there among us any that knoweth how long. 
How long, O God, shall the adversary reproach ? lo 

Shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever? 
Why drawest thou back thy hand, even thy right hand ? 1 1 

7.' It is not said nor implied that the temple was wholly burnt 
down (as in a Kings xxv. 9 f.). 

proftasA , . . to tHo gvovaAt Ixxxix. $9 sug^^ts the 
meaning : * profaned it by levelling it with the ground.' 

thm dwaUlnr pUee of thj mune 1 i. e. which is called by thy 
name : ci. Deut. xii^ 11. 

8. Render : * They say in their hearts, let us destroy them 
altogethec : They have burnt all the meeting houses of God in 
the land.* 

bet Ml make haTOot read (with Pesh.» Duhm) <Let us 
destroy* (verb yagah). Most Jewish and many Christian ex- 
positors read ' Let us oppress,* the verb in £zek, xlv» 8 {yanah). 
The LXX, Jero. make a noun of the word : * They said in their 
heart, (viz.) ail thnr hindnd (said).* 

tho syaMroffneai these institutions were probably esf 
tablished during the Exile, and in Palestine after the return. 
Down to the destruction of the temple in a. d. 71 the synagogue 
was merely a place of instruction {tith midrash). 

9. idgas I see on verse 4. 

TlMre to ao more any prophet 1 a characteristic of the 
Maccabean age : see i Mace. iv. 46, ix. a?, xiv. 41. 

Note that the function of the prophet here is that of a foreteller- 
one who can tell * how long.' The . O. T. prophet is usually 
rather a teacher and leader in religious things than a diviner— 
a 'forthteller.* 

10*17. Anotktr mpmd to Cod : homltmgf > 

10. Maaphe—e i m. 'contemn': < despise.* The reproaehmg 
and the despising is not so much in words as in deeds. 

11. Render : < Why drawest thou baok thy hand, and restnuneat 
thy right hand in thy bosom t ' 

11 £ 

50 THE PSALMS 74. M-14 

Pluck it out of thy bosom and consume iiAMv. 

12 Yet God is my King of old, 

Working salvation in the midst of the earth. 

13 Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength : 

Thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters. 

14 Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, 

PIfMlfc U \ not in the Hebrew : nor should it be supplied in 

out of (thy bosom) : change one c3nsonant in the Hebrew 
(m to V) and render, < in * (literaUy <in the midst of). 

ooamuno t read (with a trivial change) ' restrain/ 

12-17. God^B acts ofddivirance in tht pwt^ a f>roof4>fn^uii Ht is 
able to do, 

IS. Render : < Nevertheless thou, J«h, art our King from of old. 
Performing acts of deliverance in the earth/ 

TetCNtd: in the following verseS the second person is used, and, 
by making changes in the Hebrew that are not great, we cl)tain 
a text which yields : * But ' or * Nevertheless thou Jah,' &c. 

my Klttir s better foHow LXX, Vulg. and read ' our King.* It 
is the plural that is used in the context : cf. verse 9. 

•alvatioB : the word is plural in Hebrew, and denotes * acts 
of deliverance ^ : * deliverances.' 

la the Bikbrt t Hebrew, and especially Aramaic, idiom for ' in.' 
13 f. The allusion is to the ancient creation>myth preserved in 
Babylonian inscriptions. See 'Genesis' in this series p. 67C 
There is nothing in this Psalm to indicate that the post history of 
Israel is in the writer's mind : cf. the historical Psalms Ixxviii, 
cv f. We have an account of the creation in verse 15 ff., suggest- 
ing that what is described in verse 13 f. occurred biefore the 

13. Thou dlAst divide the Ma; He cut in two the sea- 
monster : cf. what is said of Marduk and Tiamat. < Sea * here, as 
in vii. 13, stands for sea-monster, the primaeval Chaos. 

Thou hMkMt the hoads of fho dxatfons : the parallelism of 
sea and dragons shows that the sense is Shnilar if not identical. 
Here the dragons are the offspring of the sea-monster. 

14. Thou bnOcest th« heads of levltttawA: the nea-monster 
is represented as having seven heads. W. R cbertsoo Smith 
thinks that the Meviathan ' of Scripture and the Ukfmm of 
the Arabs is a personificatton of the waterqxmt {ReU Stm,^ I4f ). 
See cxlviii. 7. 

THE PSALMS 74. 15-^18 51 

Thou gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the 

Thou didst cleave fountain and flood : 15 

Thou driedst up mighty rivers. 

The day is thine, the night also i^ thine : 16 

Thou hast prepared the light and the sun. 
Thou hast set all the borders of the earth : 17 

Thou hast made summer and winter. 
Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O Lord, 18 
And that a foolish people have blasphemed thy name. 

tli« pMpto iBhaUtinir th« wiUtoniMS 1 render : * wild 
animals of the desert.' 

There is a peculiar point in what is said here of Leviathan — God 
rescued the dry land from Leviathan after much fighting : and the 
flesh of the monster is cut up and given to wild animals that 
inhabited that veiy dry land which he battled his hardest to 
prevent from coming into being as such. What God did to the 
great enemy of the universe is pleaded as a reason why He should 
now come to the rescue of His people. 

18. Render: ^Thon Aidit oleavt (cut a way for) fountains 
(collective) and winter torrents (wadies) : Thou didst dry up 
perennial streams/ i. e. God lessened the area of the aU*pervading 
primaeval ocean, causing the surplus water to bubble up in springs 
and to course between mountains as winter brooks. 

16. The monster is killed : fountains and brooks flow. Next 
the creation of light is described. 

tkiiM I i. e. Thou art their creator. 

t]i« Ught Mid tlM mwi perhaps luminaries together with 
the sun : the lesser together with the greater. But probably we 
must drop the conjunction * and * before sun : translating, ' the 
luminary* (or * light bearer*), (i. e.) ' the sun.* 

ly. Ibovdera t what separates people from people, viz. moun- 
tains, deserts, seas, &c. Hardly (as Kirkpatrick thinks), the 
divisions of land and sea. 

1 8-93. PrayfT to bi proiie/id from shanu and crutlty, 
18. Render : < Notwithstanding this * (the power thou hast 
displayed, see verses 13 if.) 'the eacmy has reproached (thee) 
O Jehovaih, And a foolish people have shown contempt for thy 
name ("thy reputed character). 

» wa—s » e g tldfl 1 read imth a slight change < Notwithstanding 

\ (pMpto) I in the moiml sensci : see xhr. 7. 

E 2 

Sa THE PSALMS 74. 19-23 

19 O deliver, not the soul of thy turtle-dove uoto the wild 

beast : 
Forget not the life of thy poor for ever. 

20 Have respect unto the covenant : 

. For the dark places of the earth are full of the habita- 
tions of violence. 
ai O let not the oppressed return ashamed : 
Let the poor and needy praise thy name. 
29 Arise, O God, plead thine own cause : 

Remember how the foolish man reproachetb thee all the 
33 Forget not the voice of thine adversaries : 

The tumult of those that rise up against thee ascendeth 

19. Render : ' Do not give over to wild beasts the soul of thy 
turtle-dove. Do not forget for ever thy afflicted ones.' 

turtla-dOT* t an emblem of innocent helplessness. 

th« Ufe: omit with LXX, Jero., Duhm. In Hebrew the 
same word means ' wild beast ' and * life.' This word is repeated 
by mistake from the rest of the verse. The result of the omission 
is shown in the rendering given above. 
SO. oormuuit: see Exod. xxiv. 8. 

the dark plaoM of the earth: rather, 'of the land^; the 
secret hiding-places of the persecuted Israelites (i Mace i 53, 
it 37-38). 

the hftUtatioiui of vlflileiioe 1 i. e. spots in which violence 
dwells. Better, however, read ^ haughtiness and violence/ the 
Hebrew being very much the same. 

81. retnm: better, 'turn away/ 'turn from'— the radical 
meaning of the verb: ' Let not the oppressed turn back (from thee).* 

MOuuned: 'disappointed.' The Hebrew words for 'being 
ashamed' have this sense frequently. 

the poor and needy : rather, 'the wretched' (or 'the afflicted') 
* and poor.' 
na. ftoUsh: in the ethical sense as m vene 18. 
AS- ftMemdeth eenttimrily t Hebu 'keeps on asernitrng.* 
The Hebrew noun for 'whole burnt offering' baa the same 
etymology as the verb translated 'aacendeth,' and this now is 
0ften .attoetated with the word tnmalated 'conttMiaHy' : see 
Exod. xxix. 4a ; Num. xxviii (frequently). The phrase here has 
surely some, refereoce to the awifidal senaib ^t ?1ifl jMslerous 

THE PSALMS 76. i S3 

FortheChiefMusidmi; 9^//0'AI-tfisRhetb. 76 

A Psalm of Asaph, a Song. 

We give thanks ufito thee^ O God; . . i 

We give thanks^ for thy name is near : 
Men tell of thy wondrous MTorks. . 

noise of thy foes is their daily offering«-Jthey present thee with 
no other.' Changing one Hebrew vowel we have tbe same 
expression exactly as in Num. xxviii. 3 (^a continual burnt 

Psalm LXXV. 
Thtffti, Acknowledgement of God^s power and goodness in 
delivering His people. 

I. TiiU Vos tlie OUef XwHoUiii see vol. i» p. 14. 4l.tMliheth: 
lit. *do not destroy' : the title of a harvest song (see Isa* Ixy. 8), 
probably the two first words of this song : the present Psalm was to 
be sung to the melody of this song. See vol. i. p. i6w 

Pvalm I a lyric .from the point of view of the music. 
Song I a lyric from the point of view of the matter. 

II. Contents, (i) The people express their gratitude to God for 
some deliverance (verse i). 

(9) God reminds the wicked that it will be ill with them and 
well with the righteous (verses a-4). 

(3) The Psalmist warns the same people, reminding them that 
there is no help except in God who humbles the proud and exalts 
the humble (verses 5-8). 

(4) A- promise to praise God who undertakes to abase the 
haughty (verses 9 f.). 

The prayer for deliverance in Ps. Ixxiv is suitably followed by 
two songs which celebrate deliverance granted. 

III. Authorship and Date. This Psalm celebrates some national 
deliverance, but Which one we have no means of ascertaining. 
Many (Ewald, &c.) refer this Psalm and the next to the deliverance 
from Assyria (9 Kings xix) : others say that it was some signal 
victory over Syria that called forth both Psalms. 

1. The expression of thanks and praise. 

Render : < We give thanks unto thee^ O God, We give thanks : 
and we call upon thy name : We recount thy wonderful acts.* 

for tl^ name is noar 1 read (with LXX^ Pesh,) : | W^ call 
upon Thy name' : the difference in the Hebrew is not great. 

llontoU I read (with Pesh., Vulg.) ; 'we recount ' s LXX has 
* I will recount.* The LXX and Vulg. very rarely differ in the 

This verse seems to imply that some extraordinary deliverance 
had been vouchsafed^ 

S4 THE PSALMS 75. a^ 

a When I shall find the set time, 
I will judge uprightly. 

3 The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved : 
I have set up the pilkrs 6f it. [Selah 

4 I said unto the arrogant, Deal not arrogantly : 
And to the wicked, Lift not up the horn : 

5 Lift not up your horn on high ; 
Speak not with a stiff neck. 

a-i^, Godf who is the speaker in these verses, warns the wicked cf 
their latter end, 

a. WlMii I idwli flffld I better, ' whenever I take or choose/ 
I wtU jvdir*> better, 'I jadge/ the verb induding in H 
mUng as well as admhiistering justice. 

3. Render: < Though the earth and its people be dissolved, 
I— I will assuredly set up aright its pillars.* Righteousness and the 
like are the pillars or supports for God*s rule in the world. These 
WtU never give way, however unjust and defiant men may be. 

Z bflive ssts render : < I— I will certainly set,' &c. ('perf. of 


4. Render:— 

'I say to the fools, do not play the fool: 
And to the wicked, toss not up (your) horn.* 
anrogaat : render : < fools * : see on Ixxiii. 3. 
Ztift not up tlie horn : the same sense as om* *• be holds his 
head high ' : the sense is, <be not proud,' < haughty.' The ligare 
is taken from the habit of homed animals of tossing their horns in 
the air when under feeling analogous to hnman pride. The tossing 
of the horns is a sign of strength, and, when the words are appUed 
to men, of victory as well as of pride, arrogance, &c. (see verse 
lo). The same figure is employed in verMS 5, xo, and in Uxzix. 
17, 94, xciL 10, czii. 9, clxviii. 14; i Sam. ii. lo. In Deut.xxxiii. 
17 the phrase is used in the sense of attacking, goring. 
3-8. Words of warning by the Psalmist, 

5. Render : 'Lift not your horn against the Lofty one, Norqxak 
arrogantly agamst the Rock.' 

OB high i render : ' against the lofty one • : lU, ^ to the height/ 
the noun < height * standing probably for God, as does ' heaven ' in 
Rabbinical Hebrew. The parallel word in the next clause stands 
for God : see below, see xcii. a 

•peak not with a stiff nooks better, if the M. T. is retained, 
* Do not speak arrogantly with a (sdfi) neck.' The adjective goes 
with the verb as in xxxi. 19, and means 'arrogantly.' The 

THE PSALMS 75. ^-9 55 

For neither from the east, nor from the west, 6^ 

Nor yet from the south, ccmeth lifting up. 

But God is the judge : 7 

He putteth down one, and liflteth up another. 

For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the 8 

wine foameth ; 
It is full of mixture, and he poureth out of the same : 
Surely the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall 

wring them out, and drink them. 
But I will declare for ever, 9 

I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. 

substantive neck means by itself a ^ stiff neck ' as in Job xv. 96 
(R. V: « stiff neck/ Heb. * neck '). 

But the sense would be greatly improved if by making a trivial 
change in the Hebrew we read * against the rock ' for * with 
a (stiff) neck/ This is implied in the LXX, which renders verse 
^^ : ' Speak not unrighteousness against God.' In this Greek 
version the Hebrew word for rock is translated * God ' whenever 
it stands for the Divine Being, e.g. xviii. 9, 46, xxviii. i. There 
are but one or two exceptions : see on Ixxviii. 35, Perhaps it 
was to avoid a name of God which might suggest image worship. 

6 f. give the ground for the warning uttered in verse 5. 

6. Render 6 f : ^ For not from the east nor from the west Nor 
from the . mountainous waste (comes redress), But God judges 
(redresses) : He sets one down and raises another.' 

lUtinir up I the Hebrew allows of this rendering, and also of 
the rendering ' of the mountains ' : the latter id what is intended 
here. *The wilderness' (strictly, 'wild pasture land*) *of the 
mountains ' » the mountainous waste of Judaea, i. e. the south. 
The Targ, add the north, assuming * the wilderness * to be that of 

8. Render : * For a cup there is in the hand of Jehovah with 
foaming Tor ruddy) wine ftiU of mixed spices : And He pours 
out from it (the cup) : Surely its dregs shall all the wicked of the 
earth drain out.* 

fUl of mlztttra I charged with spices that increase its in- 
toxicating power. 

9 f. The Pschntisfs promise to praise God* 

9. d«ol»M : better, ' exult ' : so LXX and parallelism. - The 
Hebrew is much the same. 

56 THE PSALMS 75. lo^TG. 3 

ro AH the horns of the wicked also Will I cut off; 
But the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up. 

76 For the Chief Musician ; on stringed 

instruments. A Psalm of Asaph, a Song. 

T In Judah is God known : 

His name is great in Israel. 

2 In Salem also is his tabernacle, 
And his dwelling place in Zion. 

3 There he brake the arrows of the bow ; 

10. wlU Z out off. If we retain tho M. T. tbe < I ' of this verse 
can only be the * I ' of the foregoing. * I will gjory in Jehovah, 
and with His strength I will cut short the pride of the wicked.' 
If, however, we change but one letter in the verb we get a more 
sensible rendering : ' He ' (* Jehovah, in wiiom I exult,' &c.) 
< will cut ofi;*&c. 


Themg, Jehovah has subdued His enemies and returns in 

I. Contents. The course of thought in this Psalm is clear in the 
four strophes of which it is made up. 

(i) God is known in Zion where He dwells (verses x-3). 

(a) God^s glory is manifested in the discomfiture of Israel's foes 
(verses 4-6). 

fs) Who can stand before God ? (verses 7-9), 

(4) It is the duty of Israel to praise Him (verses 10-12). 

11. Authorship and Date, See on Ps. Ixxv. 

1. known: Heb. (prob.) * God is one who has made Himself 
known in Judah ' : L e. in the victories won by the Jews over 
their adversaries : see xlviii. 3. 

Israel is parallel with Judah, and means the same. 
S. Salem : shortened form of Jerusalem, taken here from Gen. 
xiv. z8 (?) : see also Heb. vii. i f. Since Gen. xiv. 18 is late, the 
present Psalm depending on it must be later. 

taboraaole . . . dwelling stand here for the temple^ The 
sanctuary in Jewish and other ancient religions was believed to 
afford protection against foes. The cities of refuge were originally 
sacred places. See Ps. xxvii. 3 f. 

3. Render : ' He has broken the fiery shafts of the bow, the 
shield, and the sword : And He has made war (to cease).' 

There. The Hebrew word is almost certainly a verb belong- 
ing to the preceding verse and meaning <He set it* ('His 

THE PSALMS 76. 4-6 S7 

The shield, and the sword, and the battle. ' [Selah r 
Glorious art thou afid excellent, from the mountains 4 

of prey* • « 
The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep ; 5 
And none of the men of might hkve found their hands. 
At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, < 6 
Both chariot and horse are cast into* a dead sleep. 
-*— - — — - — — — ' ' ' f 

dwelling*). No chgnge in the consonantal text is required (sh 
and 5 are written alike in unpointed Hebrew). 

'•rwws (of the bow). The Hebrew means < flashes of 
lightning * : from their swiftness arrows are thus termed. < Fiery 
shafts* would keep up the figure without concealing the sense. 

iNktUe I better, ' war.' We must, according to the rhetorical 
figure called ftnakoloMihoHf supply with this noun the appro|>riate 
verb— here, * to make cease.* 

4-6. God's gtoiy manifested in the discontfittire of His enemies, 

4. Render: 'lerrible art thou and Majestic on the glorious 
eternal mountain.' 

Oloxibus: read ^terrible/ rearranging the same letters r so 
Targ., Theod. 

•zotUmit I better, < majestic* 

firom tiM mountains of preys for 'from* render ^on/ 
a common meaning of this preposition. ' Mountains * is the plural 
of majesty: render, * glorious mountain.' Zion is obviously 
intended. For * prejr ' read * eternity,* rendering in the manner of 
Semitie as on miiyective. One Hebrew word (W) tneant both 

< eternity ' and * prey.* The present Hebrew word means * prey * 
only, and is probably originally a scribal gloss substituted for the 
word glossed. So Hitzig. If the M. T. is kept unchanged Zion 
will be called the ' mountain of prey ' because Israel's foes fell on it. 

5. Vhs stottthMXtsd I cf. Isa. x. xa fi*. 

sleep 3 the sleep of death is meant as in xiii. 4 ; Jer. U. 39, 
57 ; Nahum iii. x8. 

ittSB of Btigttiti rather, < courageous or brave men,* referring 
to the defeated warriors in the recent war, see cxviii. 15. 

lk»w foitMA their )uuiAs 1 i. e. found strength to hold out in 
the battle. The word ' hands,' as the instruments of achievement, 
is often used for power, resource : see Joshua viii. ao ; a Sam. iv. i ; 
cf. Deut. xxxvi. 36. 

6. oliarlot snd horse 1 used by metonymy for their riders : 

< charioteers and horsemen * arc meant. 

OMit into a dssp sleep 1 the verb so rendered is often Used of 
a supernaturally induced sleep t see Judges. iv» si ; Dan. x* 9. 

58 THE PSALMS 76. 7-II 

7 Thou, even thou^ art to be feared : • 

And who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry? 

8 Thou didst cause sentence to be heard from h^ven ; 
The earth feared, and; was still, 

9 When God arose to judgement, 

• To save all the meek of the earth, [Selah 

10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee : 
The residue of wrath shalt thou gird upon thee. 

11 Vow, and pay unto the Lord your God : . .. 

Let all that be round about him bring presents unto him 
that ought to be feared. 

7-9. Who can stand when God judges ? 

7. Render : < And thou —terrible art thou : who then can stand 
in front of thee, on account of the intensity of thy wrath t ' 

wlxtn one* thou art angry : render as abpve, changing one 
vowel only in the Hebrew (* intensity ' for ' anger *). 

8. Thou didst oau8« santence : when God gave His people 
victory He pronounced sentence of condemnation upon the enemy: 
cf. xlvi. 6. 

from heaTen : Jehovah dwells in Zion (verses a, 4)/ but His 
permanent and principal abiding place is heaven. We have 
a similar mixture of figures in Ixviii. 17 £-33 (in verse 17** read : 
* Jehovah is come from Sinai into the sanctuary ') : see on cxxiii. i. 

lo-ia. The duty of grateful homage to the aU-Mivering God, 

10. Render : * Surely the wrath of ntan will praise thee : with 
the residue of great wrath thou wilt deck (gird) thyself,* i e. the 
wrathful enemies of Zioa will praise God when they see His 
power displayed, and Jehovah will get Himself glory by con- 
quering those that remain rebellious.' But this is at once 
astray from the connexion and in itself improbable. Better 
read, making unimportant changes : * All the tribes of mankind 
shall praise Thee : the residue of the tribes shall keep festival to 
thee.* So Ewald, &c. 

resldu* : a technical term for the people who remain after 
God*s final judgement has been executed. 

11. Tow, and pay : render according to Hebrew idiom : ^ If ye 
vowed (in the event of victory), then pay (your vows).' 

th« XiOXD your CK>d c i. e. Jehovah your God. It is strange 
that the name Jehovah should be found in an Elohistic collection 
of Psalms. 

ronnd alnmt hla : i. e« in the neighbourhood of Zion. 

THE PSALMS 76. 12— 77. r 59 

He shall cut off the spirit of princes r la 

He is terrible to the kings of the earth. 

For the Chief Musician j after the manner of Jeduthiun. 77 

A Psalm of Asaph. 

I will cry unto God with my Voice ; i 

la. Render: — 

* He will cut short the hfe of rulers. 
He is terrible to the kings of the earth,' 
spirit : it is the living principle that is meant. The Hebrew 
word rendered ' soul * (nephesh) means the life actually lived with 
its outward manifestations. With the Hebrew words for ' spirit ' 
and ' soul ' may be compared the Greek words zo€ and bios» The 
two Hebrew words, referred to' are never spoken of as distinct 
parts of man, but only as two sides of the same inner life. The 
O. T, does not teach the doctrine of three natures in man 0>o<Jy» 
soul, and spirit), even if the N. T. does, which is doubtful : see 
Schmiedet and von Soden on the N. T. passages (i Thess. v. 03; 
Heb. iv. 12). 


Theme, A wail of sorrow. God's wonderful dealings with His 
people in the past, a source of confidence for the present and future. 

I. Tifle. after th« manner of Jeduthun : i. e. to be sung to 
a melody called Jeduthun or (less likely) a melody composed by 
Jeduthun. The name Jeduthun occurs in the O. T. also in the 
form Jedethun. Both these names stand for the person called 
elsewhere Ethan *. See on Asaph Psalms^ p. 37 f. 

II. Contents. 

(i) The Psalmist's intense anguish ; no relief is felt from prayer 
or from a contemplation of the Divine goodness in the past (verses 

(fl) In contradiction to his present sad lot, forgotten of God as 
he seems to be, he recalls the miracles of mercy wrought by God 
on behalf of His people in the past (verses ii-ao). 

Probably the close of the Psalm, expressing the writer's faith in 
God and the future, has fallen out 

III. Authorship and DaU, It is impossible to decide with cer- 
tainty when or under what circumstances the composition of this 
P^m took place, though that it implies a time of great distress is 
beyond question : but times of that kind occurred often in the 
nation's history. 

' See I Chron. xv. 17. 

6o THE PSALM& 77. 2^4 = 

Even unto God with' my voice, and he will give eir 
unto me. ' 

a In the (}?iy of my trouble I sought the Lord ; 

My hand was stretched out in the night, and slacked not ; 

My soul refused to be comforted. ; 
5 I remember God, and am disquieted : 

I complain, and my spirit is overwhelmed. [Selah 

4 Thou boldest mine eyes watching : 

I am sp troubled that I cannot speak. 

I- 10. The Psaimisfs intense anguish, 
1. Render: — 

* My voice is towards God : 
And I will cry loudly unto God, 
So that He may give ear unto me.* 
wifb my Toiee : i. e. < loudly/ according to Hebrew idiom. 

5. My liaad was strotcl&ed out : i. e. in iM*ayer. The Hebrew 
verb, however, means *to pour forth': passive, *to be poured 

For * My hand,' read withTarg., < My eye,* and render : *My 
eye yras poured out' (in tears), &c. : agreeing. closely with Ltm. 
iii. 49. 

3. Render : * When I would remember God, I was disquieted : 
When I would muse in prayer, my spirit fainted.* 

my spirit: i.e. *I myself,* as ^my soul' in the foregoing 

Is orerwhtlmsd : lit * is covered over,' as if crushed by a 
superincumbent load ; see cvii. 5, cxlii. 4, cxliii. 4 : cf. Ixi. 3. 

4. Render: *When thou layest hold of my eyelids 

I become restless, not being able to speak.' 
holAMit : i. e. to hold (open) the eyelids is to prevent them 

from closing in sleep. 

mint syss watohlnff : Heb. < the guards of my eyes,' i. e. *my 


troubled: the verb occurs also in Gen. xli. 8 ; Dan. ii. 3, and 

means < to be struck,' < tossed,' or * beaten about.* 

6. Render: *I meditated much (or, I pictured) the days of old,' 
the years of long ago.' 

His eyes were kept open : no sleep came to them : thought was 
stirred up and he recalled times when things went better with 
him. The same feeling has been often expressed. Cf. : — 
* No greater grief than to remember days 
Of joy, when misery is at hand.' 

Dante, Inferno^ v. i. i8f. 

THE PSAJ.MS-77,^ 6i 

I have considered the days of ojd, . . . g 

The years Q{:««i<5ient time& . . \ 

I call to remembrance my sqng in the night : : i ^ 6 

I Qommune with ininp own heart; 

And my spirit made diligent search. 

Will the Lord cast off for ever? : :y 

And will he be f^iyourable no more ? 

Is his mercy clean gon^ for.ever? i 8. 

Doth his promise fail for evermore ? - > 

*For of Fortune's sharp. adversite i 

The worst kind of infortune is this, 
A man to have been in prosperite, 
And it remember when it passid is.' 

. Chaucer, Troilus and Cressidaf Book III. 
'A sorrow's crown of sorrow is remembering happier things*' 

Tennyson, Lccksley Hall, 
th« days of old and the years of aadent tsimes in the 
parallel clauses stand for the same thing. 

The word translated Z bnve oonsideired may mean * I picturedi' 
* made an image of before my mind.' 

6. xny uong In the nlglit : now in my sorrow i call to mind 
the song of praise I used to sing for the joy experienced in the day. 
Siee Job xxxv. lo. . 

' song ' : Ift. ^ a song sung to the accompaniment of a stringed in- 
strument/ then a song of any kind : cf. the generali2ed meaning of 
lyric, and of the Heb. word {mismor) for < Psalm \* 

1 oonunime, &c. This verb has the same strongly subjective 
form as the preceding one. * I cannot restrain myself from murmur- 
ing' to myself the night songs of better times.' The verb means 
not merely to. think or meditate about, but also *to utter in a low 
tone.' Nothing makes past pleasure more real in thought than 
the experience of sorrow. 

my spirit {^*l myself) made diligent search: i.e. my 
thoughts wander in all directions. Better, however, with Well- 
hausen, make a slight change, and read *my spirit' (=1 myself) 
*.5uflFered anguish.' 

7-9. H^ill God never more be zvell-disposed, kind and gracious) as Iff 
used to be? . . ^ 1/. 

' ' 7. cast off: the word in xliv.' loj Ixxiv. 1. 

8. promise : read * faithfulness* witl^^Ne^tle. The Hebrew Wiifd 
used herQ never me^ns * promise.' . ', ' r 

* But see p.f4* r.; 

62 THE PSALMS 77. 9-15 

9 Hath God forgotten to be gracious ? 

Hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies ? [Selah 
10 And I said. This is my infirmity ; 

jBu^ I will remember the years of the right hand of the 
Most High. 
II I will make mention of the deeds of the Lord ; 

For I will remember thy wonders of old 
13 I will meditate also upon aU thy work, 

And muse on thy doings. 

13 Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary : 
Who is a great god like unto God ? 

14 Thou art the God that doest wonders ; 

Thou hast made known thy strength among the peoples. 

15 Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, 

The sons of Jacob and Joseph. [Selah 

10. Render : ' Then I said : this is my wound ' (or ' sickness ' or 
'trouble ') — < that the right hand of the Most High has changed.' 

What causes the Psalmist to feel wounded at heart, sorrow- 
smitten, is the thought that the ancient power of Jehovah has Idft 
him. The following verses referring to God's gracious doings in 
the past support this interpretation. So the Targ. and the Greek 
and Latin versions, 

tlM jMur* of tlM rlcht luuiA : the Hebrew can yield this 
meaning or that given above, which is far preferable. 

1 1 -15 and flo contain a survey of God's gracious dealings witb 
Israel in the past. There is no need to regard this section as a 
fragment of another poem, though 16- 19 is clearly that 

13. Render : < Thy way, O God, is holy (i« e. faithful) : Who is 
a God great like our God ? ' 

Tbj WBjri i. e. thy mode of acting towards Iby people. 

Is ia tlM Mactiuurjs better, ' is holy ' ; so Targ., Pesh. : the 
^in ' (' heth esaefiiiae ') is not to be translated,, and the noun is to be 
construed as an adjective — both according to Hebrew idiom. 

Uko vato OoA: for <God' read 'our God' witb the LXX, 

14. tlM OoAs read 'a God' : the definite article is due to 

15. r«4o«iiMds on the Hebrew veri> (.ga'at) see on Ixxiv. a. 
Thm woum of J«eo1» aad JoMph t i. e. the sons of Jacob, not 

omittiDg those of Epbraim and Manasseb the sons of Joseph. 

THE PSALMS 77. 16-19 ^3 

The waters saw thee, O God ; 16 

The waters saw thee, they were afraid : 

The depths also trembled. 

The clouds poured out water ; .1/ 

The skies sent out a sound : 

Thine arrows also went abroad. 

The voice of thy thunder was in the whirlwind ; 18 

The lightnings lightened the world : 

The earth trembled and shook. 

Thy way was In the sea, 19 

The additiQn is intended to make it clear that the Northern King* 
dom is embraced as well as the Southern— the whole nation. 

X6-19. God^s sov€rtigniy displayed in iht storm. In this 
section we are suddenly transported from the realm of history to 
that of nature, verse ao continuing the historical survey dropped at 
verse 15. It is quite evident that verses x6'i9 are an interpolation. 
Their metrical structure is also different from that of the rest of 
the Psalm. The language is borrowed from the creation-mvth : 
see on Ixxiv. 13 ff. There is no reference to the passage of the 
Ked Sea. 

16. they weve afiralAi Heb. 4hey were in pangs,' 'writhing 
in pain,* as a mother in childbirth. 

Thm depths I a reference to the primaeval abyss of Babylonian 
mythology. When the hostile Tiamat beheld God it fell into con- 
vulsions of pain, for it knew itself in the presence of one who had 
supreme power. 

17-flo. Cf. Hab. iii. 

17. Besides the tempestuous waters below, the waters above 
were also in commotion, and poured forth showers of rain accom- 
panied by thunder and lightning. See cxiv. 3 ; Exod. xv. 5, 8 \ 
and especially Hab. iii. 10. 

Thine Mnrowsi i.e. flashes of lightning: see verse z8; cf. 
Hab. iii. 11. 
IS. Me voloe, &c. : better, < Hark \ thy thunder,' &c. 

whlrlwlaAi lit 'what goes round.' See on Ixxxiii. 14. Many 
other renderings have been proposed. 

19. Render : * Thy way was upon the sea, And thy paths were 
upon great waters, And thy footprints could not be traced.' 

tlie ••»! i.e. the sea-monster, the Tiamat. See on Ixxiv. 
13 ff. ! < Thou didst tread on the abysmal waters in token of Thy 

04 THE PSALMS 77. 3o-r-78. i 

. And thy paths in the great -waters, 
And thy footsteps were oot known; 
30 Thou leddest thy people like a flock. 
By the hand of Moses and Aaron. 

78 Maschtlof Asupb* 

,t Give ear, ,0 tfvy people, to my law : 

tby patlM I the Jewish editors (Massorites) follow the Targ. 
and correct the text, reading the singular ' path ' : so ^ero« The 
plural is better and is better attested. 

were not known: rather, 'were unknowable/ though the 
Hebrew admits of both renderings. In His triumphant march God 
moves so quickly that the way He goes cannot be tmced. 

20. This verse continues the historical retrospect, interrupted 
by verses i6>i9. 

Tlion loddoflt, &c. : cf. Exod. xv. 13. 

Sbr tlio hftttd of VosMi and Amfob i taken apparently from 
Num. xxxiii. i ; cf. Mic. vi, 4. God acted as guide, but the guid- 
ance was through Moses and Aaron. 

With the exception of this passage, neither Moses nor Aaron is 
mentioned in the Psalter outside Books IV and V. 


Thewe : Lessons of warning drawn from God's traatment of 
the nation in the past. 

L Contents, This is the longest and one of the finest of the 
historical Psalms. The arrangement is according to Chronology, so 
that a logical analysis is almost impossible. 

The general course of thought may be thus set out : — 

(x) Exhortation to give heed to what the lathers have taught 
about God's doings to His people (verses i>8). 

(a) The marvels wrought by God at the Exodus from Egypt 
and during the journeying in the wilderness. . The i»abelief •f the 
people (verses 9-31). 

(3) God's punishment of the people for their sin* His yity. 
Their repeated unbelief and apostasy (verses 39-5$)* • 

(4) Israel's idolatry in Canaan, and its penajty (verses 59-^)* 

(5) God'ji choice of Judah instead of Ephraim (verses 67-7fl)» 
The purpose of the writer seems to be to warn the nation ^igiwal 


• The reference to the Northern Kjngdom adds emphasis to the 
warning. God had cast off Ephraim on account of their disloyalty 

THE PSALMS 78. a. 65 

Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. 

I will open my mouth in a parable ; i 

I will utter dark sayings of old : 

.1 - ■ ■11. I . I » n 

to the Divine King, Judfth must expect the same punishment if 
the same sin is persisted in. 

II. Authorship and Dati» There is no decisive evidence for 
forming a judgement as to the time when the PSalm was written. 
The following are the principal considerations bearing on the 
question : — 

(i) The revolt of the ten tribes had taken place $ it belonged 
to the fAr-ofT events of the national history, and could be referred 
to for didactic purposes, verses 67 if. 

(a) The didactic treatment of history, though traceable in the 
older prophets (Amos, &c.), was not developed to the extent seen 
in this Psalm until the promulgation of the Deuteronomic code 
(about B.C. 6ao). This Psalm links itself on to the historical 
Psalms cv-cvii, and perhaps they are all products of the same time 
and circumstances. 

(3) The Divine name, 'The Holy One of Israel,' is derived from 
the Trisagion (Isa. vi. 3), and in both parts of Isaiah it occurs 
frequently. This would seem to show that the Psalm is not older 
than Isaiah's age : see on verse 4. 

(4) In his account of the plagues in Egypt the writer shows no 
acquaintance with any Pentateuchal source except J (the Jahwist) 
or perhaps JE (the Jehovist). Of the Priestly code he seems to 
know nothing. The Psalm was therefore written either before 
the Exile or soon after the Exile began. More than this cannot 
be said, but with this all the other considerations agree. 

z>8. IntroducHoH to the Psalm, 

z-4. The Psalpmst imokes the attention of his readers to what he 
is about to say. 

1. See xlix. a ; Deut. xxxii. i ; Isa. i. a. 
my law I rather, 'my teaching' ; parallel to 'the words of 
my mouth.' The Hebrew word (Jorah) means 'teaching,' and it 
stands in the O. T. for God's will as revealed through His servants, 
prophets, priests, &c. In Rabbinical Hebrew it is the technical 
term for the Pentateuch. Our rendering ' law ' is due to the word 
nomos in the LXX, the Greek word being suggested probably by 
Rabbinical usage. See Introduction to Ps. cxix. 

&. I wlU open I the Hebrew expresses a strong wish or re- 
solve t so also does the next verb. 

la % passibiei read with the versions, 'in parables' ; i.e. 'short 
instructive sayings ' : cf. the parallel, ' dark sayings.' 
X wlU utter I lit, ' I will pour forth.' 


66 THE PSALMS 78. 3-5 

3 Which we have heard and known. 
And our fathers have told us. 

4 We will not hide them from their children^ 

Telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, 
And his strength, and his wondrous works that he hath 

5 For he established a testimony in Jacobs 
And appointed a law in Israel, 

Which he commanded our fathers, 

That they should make them known to their children : 

Oaark Mufingut the word means strictly *an enigma/ <a riddle' ; 
see Judges xiv. lat; i Kings x. i. 

In xlix. 4 the same two nouns— ^ parable,' * dark sayings' — are 
brought together, both of them in diis instance in the singular. 

3. Verse a should have only a comma and not a colon at the 
end of it, since verse 3 contains relative clauses describing the 
'parables' and 'dark sayings/ 

Render verse 3 : * which (i. e. the * parables ' and * dark say- 
ings^) we have heard and known* (i. e. understood, though 
obscure), &c. 

4. Render : < They were not hidden from their children who, to 
another generation, recounted the praiseworthy acts of Jehovah 
and His might and His wonderful deeds which He performed.' 

We will not lilda t read with LXX, Jero. : ' They were 
not hidden ' ; no change in the Hebrew consonants is required. 
Otherwise we must read *our children* for * their children/ 
and supply the object of the verb from verse 3, ' which we have 
heard,' Sec. 

to tiM geuntitUm to oome : each generation recounting to 
the succeeding one. 

tiM pralsM: I e. the praiseworthy acts : cf. xxii. 3, 30 f. 

wondroiu wozks : the Hebrew term (one word) is used for 
outstanding acts of God whether in nature or in the delivering of 
His people. 
5-8 giz^ the ground of the exhortation in 1-4. 

5. tMttnioiij : what God testified ; what He solemnly declared 
as His desire. 

law s see on- verse i. 
< Testimony * and ' law ' stand for one thing, L e. the command 
in Deut. iv. 9, the substance of which is given in the remainder of 
the verse. See Introduction to Ps^ cxix. 

Wliioli J render * Whereby.' 

THE PSALMS 78. 6-10 67 

That the generation to come might know theniy even the 6 

children which, sl^ould be born ; 
Who should arise and tell them to their children : 
That they might set their hope in God, 7 

And not forget the works of God^ 
But keep his commandments : 

And might not be as their fathers, 8 

A stubborn and rebellious generation ; 
A generation that set not their heart aright, 
And whose spirit was not stedfast with God. 
The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows, 9. 
Turned back in the day of battle. 

They kept not the covenant of God, 10 

And refused to walk in his law ; 

6. Render : ' In order that another generation might get to know, 
And that they [children yet to be born] might arise and recount 
them to their children.* The words in brackets are probably a 
margin gloss on < another generation/ which, in the original, they 
immediately follow. 

7. thtlr hop*: rather, * their trust' <or confidence,' as in 
Prov. iii. 16, 

8. stubborn aaA MbtUlous : the same combination of adjectives 
in Deut. xxi. 18 : cf. Deut xxxii. 5. 

■t^dfkvti Heb. < faithful.* 

bMurt and vplrlt are simply strong forms of the personal 

9-16. Th« marutls wrought by God ai the Exodus and in the 

9. This verse is rejected by most recent commentators. Its 
Hebrew is bad, its sense unsuitable, and it interrupts the connexion 
of verses 8 and 10. 

If the verse be retained one Hebrew word ( > oarryiaff) must 
be omitted as merely a gloss on the other (canned); render 
then: 'The Ephraimites, armed with the bow, turned about 
(and fled) in the day of battle.' The Hebrew words for * armed 
with the bow * occur in i Chron. xii. a ; a Chron. xvii, 17, and, 
except also in this verse, nowhere else. 

children of Bphraim t i. e. Ephraimites. 

10. What is said here and in the following verses is as tnie of 

F 2 

68 THE PSALMS 78. 11-16 

II And they forgat his doings, 

And his wondrous works that he had shewed them. 

13 Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, 
In the land of Egypt, in the field of iZoan. 

15 He clave the sea, and caused them to pass through ; 
And he made the waters to stand as an heap. 

14 In the day-time also he led them with a cloud, 
And all the night with a light of fire. 

15 He clave rocks in the wilderness, 

And gave them drink abundantly as out of the depths. 

16 He brought streams also out of the rock. 
And caused waters to run down like rivers. 

the Judahites as of the Epbraimites— strong ground surely for 
uniting the verse immediately with verse 8. 

IS* Here there is a brief reference to the plagues, but the poet 
speaks of them with greater fullness in verses 43 ff. In the next 
verse he passes on to the Exodus. 

ILtHA (of Zoan) : translate ' district' : the word rendered fltfld 
means also * territory,' * district' 

'Zoan' is the Greek Tanis on the east bank of the Tanaitic 
branch of the Nile. It is regarded as the capital of Egypt at the 
time of the Exodus. 

18. Xs tilftv* tlis M»t see Exod. xiv. 16; Isa. Ixiii. id, v/hcn 
the same word occurs. 

Ml Ml lisap I see xxxiii. 7 and Exod. xv. 8. 

14. See Exod. xiii. ai. 

16. Xs olavs : Probably we are to carry forward the force of 
the conjunction ^and' (umw constc,) from verse 14, translating 
simply *And He clave.' Otherwise the sense of the Hebrew 
verb (imperf.) implies a repetition of the occurrence : ' He 
used to cleave,' &c. There are two recorded instances of the 
people murmuring and of water being given them — in the one case 
from a rock (Exod. xvii. 1-7, JE or J), in the other from a 
< Crag* (Num. xx. 3-13 : P [partly JE]). 

Both events occurred at the same place, for Rephidim and 
Kadesh are not locally different : see Num. xx. i, 15. Have we 
two traditions of the same event? 

almndajitly I read for the peculiar Hebrew word here 'desert,' 
prefixing one letter : translate then : < And gave them drink out 
of the depths of the desert' So Graetz. 

16. rooks rather, 'crag.' 

THE PSALMS 78. ly^ao 69 

Yet went they on still to sin against him, 17 

To rebel against the Most High in the desert. 

And they tempted God in their heart 18 

By asking meat for their lust 

Yea, they spake against God ; 19 

They said. Can God prepare a table in the wilderness ? 

Behold, he smote the rock, that waters gushed out, ao 

And streams overflowed ; 

Can he give bread also ? 

Will he provide flesh for his people ? 

17-31. IsroiPa unbeltrf in thi wUdermaa and its puniskmsnt. 
The account is given in a rhetorical form, and doea not accord 
exactly with any one O. T. narrative. It is based for the most 
part on Num. xi, but Exod. xvi seems largely drawn upon, and 
m the close of verse a6 (^ guided on ' &c.) there appears to be 
dependence on Exod. x. 13 (J£). For details see the Exegesis. 
It 18 an interesting and significant fact that though Exod. xvi be- 
longs almost entirely to P, the parts made use of in this Ptalm 
are such as do not belong to P. 

17. Tet wtat tbMj oa, &c. A common formuhi in Judges. 
Hupfeld calls attention to tht recurrence of ^ rebeP and * tempt' at 
the beginning of new sections of the Psalm (verses 17 f., 40 f., 56). 

18. mtatt rather, 'food.* In Old English 'meat' included all 
kinds of food except bread and drink. 

for tliAlr luit t rather, * for themselves.' The same Hebrew 
word«(x) desire, (a) soul, (3) self as an emphatic pronoun. In 
Ixxxviii. 14 ' my soul * and ^ me ' are in parallelism. 

19. Oui Oodr &c. Though this question is not recorded else- 
where it embodies an attitude of mind which was amply displayed. 

prepavt a table s cf. xxiii. 5. 
SO. rockt the word used in Exod. xvii. 6, but no doubt the parallel 
incident recorded in Num. xx. 8 ff. is also in the writer's mind. 

bread I the word occurs in Exod. xvi. 8 for the food eaten 
in Egypt, and in Exod. xvi. la for the manna of the wilderness. 
The latter, however, belongs to the P document : perhaps here 
P is dependent on an older source. If not, this verse at least is 
post-exilic, or at earliest exilic. 

flesh t quails are so described in Exod. xvi. za and in Num. xi. 
5» IS- 

This verse seems to take for granted that the water out of the 
rock was given before the manna and the quails : but in both 
Exod. and Num. the contrary is the order follpwcd. Thus manna 

70 THE PSALMS 78. 31-25 

ai Therefore the Lord heard, and was wroth : 

And a fire was kindled against Jacob, 

And anger also went up against Israel ; 
32 Because they believed not in God, 

And trusted not in his salvation. 
2$ Yet he commanded the skies above, 

And opened the doors of heaven ; 

34 And he rained down manna upon them to eat, 
And gave them of the com of heaven. 

35 Man did eat the bread of the mighty : 

and quails Exod. xvi and Num. xi, water Exod. xvii. 1-6 and 
Num. XX. 8 ff. 

SI. T]i«r«fovt thm ]«OB9 liMurd, &c. : render: 'Thereibre 
when Jehovah heard he was enraged.' 
ft fl>«, &c., referring to Nunu xi. i ff. 

WMit up ! here of anger, as also in xviiL 8, where anger is 
spoken of under the figure of smoke. Cf. Ixxiv. z. 

SS. la him MlTfttioii i in His power and willingness to deliver 
them from thirst and hunger. 

93-25. Notufiihstanding their unbdUf God gave tkem fnanna. 
23. opened the doom, &c. See Introduction to civ, ' Cosmo- 
logy,' &c. 

54. Cf. Exod. xvi. 4 : ^ Behold, I will rain bread from heaven 
for you/ 

mannft ; the etymology of the word given in Exod. xvi. 15 
(' what is it ') is a popular one, but it is not correct, as a knowledge 
of Hebrew shows. ^ Manna' among the Beduin Arabs of the 
Sinaitic Peninsula denotes those thick drops of sweet substance 
which for six weeks in May and June exudes from the branches 
of trees of the Tarfu or Tamarisk kind. These drops fall thickly 
on the ground on warm evenings and become hard in the coolness 
of the night, melting under the influence of the morning sun. 
When gathered they resemble small white marbles, and they are 
considered a great luxury, though they are not eaten as food. 
Here, as in Exod. xvi and John vi. 31, the manna is regarded as 
a special gift from God ; and something in the circumstances may 
have made the supply miraculous. 

00m of iMfttrtmt according to several ancient and modem 
commentators the manna is so called on account of its granular 
shape : see Exod. xvi 31. 

55. Kfta : rather, ' every one.' The Hebrew word here (isA) 
has often this sense : cf. Exod. xvi. 18, oi. 

THE PSALMS 78. a6-3i 71 

He sent them meat to the full. 

He caused the east wind to blow in the heaven : 26 

And by his power he guided the south wind. 

He rained flesh also upon them as the dust, a; 

And winged fowl as the sand of the seas : 

And he let it fall in the midst of their camp, a8 

Round about then: habitations. 

So they did eat, and were well filled ; 29 

And he gave them that they lusted after. 

They were not estranged from their lust, 30 

Their meat was yet in their mouths, 

When the anger of God went up against them, 31 

bMftd of th« miffHty 8 render with LXX and Posh. : < bread of 
angels'; cf. Targ., < bread from the dwelling of angels.' For 
mightj as an epithetic of angels see ciii. 3 and Wisdom xvi. ao. 
According to Jewish mythology angels feed on manna. 

iHMtt I rather, < provision ' : food consisting of either cooked 
fiah or cooked flesh : h't, ' what has been caught by hunting or 
fishing.' Here probably we are to understand the quails in con- 
trast with the bread ( « ^ manna *) of the previous clause. 

a6-a8 dfambt iht coming of thi quails. In this account the 
quails are sent immediately after the manna, as in Exod. xvi. 
In Numbers quails are given because the people are tired of the 
manna. In the former the manna is most important, in the latter 
it is of less importance than the quails. It is the language of 
Num. xi that is most drawn upon here. 

•6. The verbs in verse 96 are identical with those found in 
verse 5a : MMt wind and aouth wind really mean the south-east 
wind, that which blows from Arabia. The terms 'east* and 
* soudi ' are named separately owing to the exigency of the poetry. 
It is the Sirocco that is meant. 

87. flwh and wingtd fiml t i. e. quails : see Exod. xvi. 13 and 
Num. xi. 31. 

88. hftMtftttoiui t the noun here found is that used for the 
(P) Tabernacle of the wilderness. 

80. •vteaagadi cf. Num. xi. aO) where the cognate noun 
(Moathaome thing') occurs. 

thaix lust 1 i. e. what they lusted after, 
meflit I see on verse 18. 

81. See Num. xi. 33. 

72 THE PSALMS 78. 33-37 

And slew of the fattest of them, 
And smote down the young men of IsraeL 
3a For all this they sinned still, 

And believed not in his wondrous works. 

33 Therefore their days did he consume in vanity. 
And their years in terror. 

34 When he slew them, then they inquired after him : 
And they returned and sought God early. 

35 And they remembered that God was their rock, 
And the Most High God their redeemer. 

36 But they flattered him with their mouth. 
And lied unto him with their tongue. 

37 For their heart was not right with him, 
Neither were they lalthful in his covenant 

tkkm &ttMt: i. e. the strongest 

■mat* Aown: rather, 'bowed down': 'laid low.' Even 
young men were bowed down as though with the weight of years. 

3d->58. ThepeopU amUntte in their unb^Uef, Godpunahes them^ 
yet reUnt8, and petforms gffat marvelSf though tiuy are stiU un-^ 

39^7. Notwithstanding what God had done for them, the people 
sinned more and more, 

85. Vov aU tlii« lie.' Notwithstanding all thisu' 

88. In vaaitj \ lit, * in a breath.' He made their life end in 

34. r«tum«d and wmfflit CH>d aaxlj: render : 'They sou|^ 
God «nce more.* The first verb qualifies the second adverbtidQy, 
and the second verb means simp^ 'to seek,' and not to 'seek 
early,* nor to 'seek diligently.' It is this verb that occurs in 
Prov. viiL 17. 

36. tlialr rook : LXX ' their Helper * : see on bucv. 5. 
' Helper* is substituted in the LXX for ' God,' because the latter 
word occurs already in the verse : see on Ixxv, 5. 

rsds w n w ri for the sense of the Hebrew word (go*el) see on 
Ixxiv. a. 

86. flaifetaMdi Heb. 'deceived,' 'beguiled.' Th^ acted as if 
they could deceive Him : so ' they lied,* Sec Cf. Isa. acxix. Z3. 

87. zlglit : the Hebrew word is cognate with the verb, rendered 
< set . . . aright,* in verse 8, and must be explained in a similar 
way : it denotes the contrary of twing unfaithful. 

THE PSALMS 78. 38-43 73 

But he, being full of compassion, foigave their iniquity, 3^ 

and destroyed them not : 
Yea, many a time turned he his anger away. 
And did not stir up all his wrath. 

And he remembered that they were but flesh ; 39 

A wind that passeth away, and cometh not again. 
How oft did they rebel against him in the wilderness^ 40 
And grieve him in the desert ! 

And they turned again and tempted God, 41 

And provoked the Holy One of Israel. 
They remembered not his hand, 4> 

Nor the day when he redeemed them from the adversary. 
How he set his signs in Egypt, 43 

38 f. The Divine compassion. 

38. forffavt theit Inlqnlty: Heb. < repeatedly forgave their 
iniquity ' ; the other verbs in this verse have also the frequentative 
sense. The Hebrew can be translated by the present tense, and 
many modems so render, but that Is to cut off the verse from its 

mMi7 a tlm« turned ht liis Mitfer away t the Hebrew is 
still stronger, ' He was wont to turn away His anger abundantly ' : 
Hi, *' He was wont to abound in turning away His anger.' 

S9. God pitied man because his life is a short one. 

40-43. Thepiofi^3 tebiUioH in thi wildtrmss: ytxwtn 40 II differ 
from verses 17 f. in language only. 

40. rebrt agmiuit (or * defy ') and < grieve ' are found together 
in laa. UiiL 10, 

41, thajtnr&aAafaiiit rather/ they tempted God once more.' 
j^OTOkedi better, 'pained.' 

the Xoly One of Zsrael 1 i. e. the Holy One who is the God 
of Israel. The adjective ' Holy * (One) came to be a name of God, 
so that Holy One pf Israel-^ God of Israel. The expression 
originated wi|h Isaiah (see Isa. vi. 3), and it occurs in no writings 
earlier than his. Perhaps, as Marti, A. B. Davidson, and others 
suggest, it is equivalent to ^transcendent'; 'the Transcendent 
One of Israel ' : only it must be borne in mind that the trans- 
cendence implied is moral. 

48. Us hanA 1 i. e. His powerful acts on their behalf : cf. 
< powerful hand,* Exod. iii. 19, vi. i. 

43 begins a long relative sentence which seems to extend 

74 THE PSALMS 7S. 44-46 

And. his wonders in the field of Zoan ; 

44 And turned their rivers into blood, 

And their streams, that they could not dritik. 

45 He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them ; 
And frogs, which destroyed them. 

46 He gave also their increase unto the caterpiller, 
And their labour Unto the locust 

to the end of verae sSf' Perhaps the <two* (or 'who') belongs 
to verses 43 £ only, so the E.VV. 

43. See Exod. x. i £ : cf. Ps. ev. 27. 

In verses 44-51 we have an enumeration of the plagues, but 
only such as are recorded in the Peptateuchal source called the 
* Jahwist ' (Yahwist, J) (or the Jehovist, JE : see Introduction to 
this Psalm). Of the ten plagues seven ^ are here referred to, the 
plagues of lice, boils (P), and darkness (£) not being named at 
all. It looks therefore much as if the Jahwist document was 
alone known to the writer : our Pentateuch could not then have 
existed, an important fact in deciding the date of the Psalm, and 
in its bearing on the date and authorship of the Pentateuch itself. 
The order in which they are referred to agrees with that of 
Exodus in the case of the first and last only. Perhaps the Psalmist 
does no more than draw upon his memory without aiming at 
literal accuracy, or he may follow some principle of arrangement 
that is not obvious to us. 

44. The first plague : see Exod. vii. 17-25, and cf. Ps. cv. 29. 
rivers: the Hebrew word in the singular means the Nile, 

and in the plural the Nile and its canals. 
46. Fourth and second plagues. 

swamui of fli«l : render, < dogflies ' : so LXX, and most 
modems. The Hebrew has but one word, and it occurs only here, 
in Exod. viii. 20-32, and in cv. 31, in each case in reference to 
this fourth plague. Its etymology is uncertain, but Jewish ex- 
positors say the word « < a mixture ' (of vermin). 

trogu i see Exod. viil 1-15 : cf. cv. 30. 
46. "nie eighth plague : Exod. x. 1-20 : cf. Ps. cv. 34. 

tlialr incrtajM : what the land yielded : the harvest of the 
land (IxviL 6). 

oat«rplller 1 the word so rendered is not in Exodus : it is 
but another name for locust, brought in for the parallelism. Cf. 
Joel i. 4, ii. 25, where other names occur. 

^ Obtained by altering the text of verse 48 : otherwise six and not 
seven plagues are referred to ; see on that verse. 

THE PSALMS 78. 47.49 75 

He destroyed their vines with hail, 47 

And their sycomore trees with frost. 

He gave over their cattle also to the hail, 48 

And their flocks to hot thunderbolts. 

He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger^ 49 

Wrath, and indignation, and trouble, 

47. The seventh plague. Exod. ix. 13-34 : cf. Ps. cv. 33. 
▼!&•■.] asrooiAOSMi oa the Egyptian paintings grapes and 

figs are often found. Sycomore wood was largely used in the 
making of mummy cases. 

firost I the Hebrew word occurs here only, and it cannot be 
explained from the cognates. Something which, like hail, could 
destroy the trees is meant. Though most of the versions take 
'frost' to be the meaning, the parallelism and sense favour the 
rendering of the R.V. marg., ' great haiUstones.' 

48. Fifth plague : that of murrain of beasts, Exod. ix. 17. 
Render : * And He gave over their beasts to the murrain, And 
their cattle to burning fevers.* 

cattle : domestic animals in general are meant^ as in Exod. 
xxti. 4 ; Num. xx. 4, 8, 11 ; lit < beasts of burden,* as in Gen. xlv. 
17 : cf. xliv. 3, 13. 

hall : read as in Exod. ix. 3, < murrain ' : so Sym., two Hebrew 
MSS., and many moderns : * hail * is mentioned in verse 47. 
The Hebrew consonants are the same in both words, only they 
are differently arranged. We thus get a reference to a fifth 

floekai ///. 'possessions* : then domestic animals in general^ 
horses, * asses, ox^n, &c. : the word has here the same isense 
exactly as 'cattle,' parallelism requiring another word, otherwise 
the same word would have been repeated. 

thTinderbolta : render, * pestilences ' : it is simply another 
word for * murrain.' 

Duhm thinks verses 49 f. an interpolation, having no reference 
originally to the Egyptian plagues. But external evidence is 
wholly against him, and as regards internal evidence, that is often 
a matter of feeling and even of temperament. 

49. The tenth plague, verses 49-51. 

It is probable that verses 49 f. are intended to lead up to verse 51. 
The * letting loose of His anger ' and the ' making of a level road 
for His anger ' were all in order that He mig^t inflict upon the 
Egyptians the severest of all the plagues. 

Render : ' He let loose against them the heat of His anger, 
Wrath, fury, and distress, Letting loose (these) evil mossengerB.' 

76 THE PSALMS 79. fio-54 

A band of angels of evil. 

50 He made a path for his anger ; 

He spared not their soul from deaths 
But gave their life over to the pestilence; 

51 And smote all the firstborn in Egypt, 

The chief of their strength in the tents of Ham : 
53 But he led forth his own people like sheep, 
And guided them in the wilderness like a flock. 

53 And he led them safely, so that they feared not : 
But the sea overwhelmed their enemies. 

54 And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, 

AlMUidt read the participle 'sending,' changing the vowels 
and omitting the last consonant, which d^ely resembles the pre- 
ceding one and was added in error. The word in the M.T. is 
generally translated * a sending,* or * a mission * : it occurs besides 
in Eccles. viii. 8 only. 

angels of «vU : better, < evU messengers/ i. e. His anger, 
wrath, &c. They are, however, called evil because they bring evil. 
BO. suUleft path : lit ' levelled a path ' : made a level road : i.e. 
He removed restraints to His anger, giving it full play. 

pestUence : the word used in Exod. ix. 7 of the murrain of 
beasts : see on verse 48. 

91. Tbe tfhief of tlieir wtx^ngtht lit 'the firstling of manly 
strengths ' : i. e. according to a common Hebrew idiom * the 
firstlings of manly strength.' 

Vmh is not here a personal name. See Gen. x. 6. It is 
simply a parallel name for Egypt : see on cv. 33. 

In verses 53-55 we have a summary account of God's guidance 
of Israel in the wilderness until they reached the promised land. 

52. led forth : the Hebrew verb is often used of the journeys 
of the Israelites in the wilderness : cf. Exod. xv. 13-17. 

like slieep : rather, ' like a flock ' (of small cattle, sheep, 
goats, &c.). 

wUdemeMi used here in its original sense, a tract of 
pasture land : so in Ixv. 13 and Joshua ii. 2a. 

like ft flooks rather, Mike a herd' (of large cattle, oxen, 
cowf , &c«). 

53* so tliftt th^y ftaved b^i though their enemies feared 
greatly, Exod. xiv. 25. 

p^trwl^elmed : see Exod, xv. 5, so : cf. xiv. 28. 
54. tQ 9l9 Imrdtr of Wji puMigftwuTs render, <to His boly 

THE PSALMS 78. 66-58 77 

To this mountain, which his right hand had purchased. 

He drove out the nations also before thetn, 65 

And allotted them for an inheritance by line, 

And made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents. 

Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God, 6^ 

And kept not his testimonies ; 

But turned back, and dealt treacherously like their fathers : 67 

They were turned aside like a deceitful bow. 

For they provoked him to anger with their high places, 68 

And moved him to jealousy with their graven images. 

territory ' : L e. the Holy Land. The word rendered * border * in 
the O.T. often -'bordered territory.* 

this monatala 1 rather, ' to the mountain land which/ i. e. 
Canaan. The same word means * mountain ' and ' mountain land,' 
and the pronoun which usually means 'this' has sometimes, 
especially in poetry, the force of a relative : so in Ixxiv. a. 

55, Render : ' And he drove out from before them (the Israelites) 
the (heathen) nations, And made their land {lit. ' them *) become 
by lot the land of the inheritance,* &c. 

Allotted I the Hebrew word means commonly, as here, 
simply 'to grant,' with no reference to lot : cf. the English verb 

tliemi Le. their territory; see below. 

«a iaheritaiicelij line t render, ' the land of the inheritance,* 
i. e. the land which they were to inherit The word translated 
Mine' means also territory or land measured by line. See on 
verse 54 (' border *). In this verse, as in Joshua xxiii. 4 and often, 
nations are said to be allotted, though it is their territory that is 

56-58. IngraHhuU and r^Uum of ihiUopU 9flir tki sittU- 
mmt in Canaan, i. e. in tks Hnu of ihi fudgn (see verse 60). 
In these veraes there is a return to the thought pervading verses 
9-49, the Cuthlessness of the people. 

66. teetimonits t rather, 'Admonitions' : 'solemn charges.' 

67. aeoettfta iMnr t the same figure in Hos. vii. 16 t a bow 
that disappoints its owner by not hitting the point aimed at : or 
that is so loosely spanned that it will not throw the arrow far 
enough if at all. 

68. high ]>lltoes I the author of this Psalm antedates centraliza- 
tion of worship in Israel by many centuries. Worship at the 
high places was allowed until the reign of Josiah (d. n. c. 609). 

78 THE PSALMS 78. 59.64 

59 When God heard this^ he was wroth, 
And greatly abhorred Israel : 

60 So that he forsook the tabernacle of 3hiloh, 
The tent whidi he placed among men ; 

61 And delivered his strength into captivity, 
And his glory into the adversary's hand. 

6a He gave his people over also unto the sword ; 
« And was wroth with his inheritance. 

63 Fire devoured their young men ; 

And their maidens had no marriage-song. 

64 Their priests fell by the sword ; 

And their widows made no lamentation. 

59-64. Once more God punishes them, giving them over now to 
ffteir enemies, 

59. W]i«n Ood heard : omit * When ' : it is not in the Hebrew, 
greatly abhorred : better, ' utterly rejected.' 

60. tabemaole: the Hebrew word (wisAifeaw^* dwelling-place') 
is the technical term for the elaborate structure which, according 
to the priestly writer (P) and Chronicles, formed the sanctuary in 
the wilderness. The Shiloh sanctuary is called also a temple 
(i Sam. i. 9) : it never took the place of the smaller sanctuaries, 
nor was it ever an exclusively Northern sanctuary, so that it is 
not the Northern Kingdom that is alluded to in this verse. 

wliioli lie placed : read, ' in which he dwelt,* changing the 
vowels only. So the versions. 

61. See I Sam. iv. 11, ai. 

his strenirtli ; i. e. the ark ; so called on account of its 
disastrous effect on Israel's foes : see i Sam. v. 7, vi. igff., and see 
on cxxxii. 8. 

his glory : see i Sam. iv. ai f. 

62. See t Sam. iv. a, 10, 17. 

lii» Inlieritaiioe 1 the people whom He bad chosen to be His 
in a special way : even with them was He enraged. 

63. had no marriage-song' : lit. ' were not praised ' (in song> 
because the young men who would have sung their praise had 
been consumed in the fire of war (Num. xxi. a8). Better read 
* mourned not * (cf. verse 64**) ; only the vowels need be changed. 
The unmarried men were unmoumed by their lovers, and priests 
were unwept by their widows. Besides dying in war prematurely, 
they were unlaraented by those nearest to them. 

64. made no lamentation. In the versions the passive is used 

THE PSALMS 78. 65-70 79 

Then the Lord awaked- oa one out of Bleep, 65 

Like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine. 

And he smote his adversaries backward : 66 

He put them to a perpetual reproach. 

Moreover he refused the tent of Joseph, 67 

And chose not the tribe of Ephraim ; 

But chose the tribe of Judah, 68 

The mount Zion which he loved. 

And he built his sanctuary like the heights, 69 

Like the earth which he hath established for ever. 

He chose David also his servant, 70 

as In the M. T. of verse 63^ Virgins were not praised, nor widows 
lamented. But the active must be read in both cases, see on 
verse 63. 
65 f. Yakweh ona tnort piiiid and dtlwend His piopU, 

66. Render : ^ Then the Lord awaked as one asleep* (awakes) » 
< As a giant overcome with wine ' (awakes). The Hebrew verb 
rendered incorrectly that shouteth is common in Arabic, but 
occurs nowhere else in the O. T. It is supported by the versions 
and by parallelism. 

66. AaA h« snots, &c. : the victories gained under Samuel, 
Saul, and David are referred to. 

67-69. Zion cho3in insftad of Shiloh, 

67. hs rsltuwd I better, * he rejected.' 

ths teat (of Joseph) means here * tribe/ as the parallelism 
shows (trihs of Bphraiin\ so in Ixxxiii. 6. The same word in 
Arabic means people : cf. the use of 'house' in many languages for 
the people in it. 

66* nount Bioa 1 the royal mountain often stands for the royal 
city Jerusalem, see Additional Note, p. 368. 
which he loved: see xlvii. 4, Ixxxvii. g. 

66. The temple at Jerusalem is as unchangeably fixed as the 
mountains and as the earth, 
helirlits ( i. e. mountains. 

70-72. The choice 0/ David m King^ following i Sam. xvi. 11, 
xvii. 34 ; 9 Sam. vii. 6. 

7O4 David . . • his seryuit. The term * servant of Jehovah ' or 
its equivalent is used in a select sense. It is applied to the prophets 
(9 Kings ix. % xvii. 13 ; Jer. vii. 95 and often), to the Levitlcal 
singers in the temple (cxiii. i, cxxxiv. i, cxxxv. i)^ and to such 
eminent men as Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, and.Job. 

8o THE PSALMS 78. 71—79. i 

And took him from the sheepfolds : 
71 From following the ewes that give sudc he brought him, 

To feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. 
73 So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart ; 

And guided them by the skilfiilness of his hands. 
79 A Pftalm of Asaph. 

X O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; 
Thy holy temple have they defiled ; 

71. •WMi, &c. : lit 'those that give suck' : the same word 
occurs in Isa. xl. 11. 

To UmAs lit. * to shepherd ' ; the ruler is often viewed as 
a shepherd in the O. T. There may be an implied reference to 
David's having been a shepherd-boy. The survey ends with 
David: Why? 

Psalm LXXIX. 

Th€tm. God's aid invoked in a time of great national distress. 

I. OmUntg. (i) The complaint. The land is invaded, the 
temple defiled, Jerusalem lies in ruin, God's people either slaugh- 
tered or dishonoured (verses 1-4). 

(s) The prayer, uod is entreat^ to pardon His people and 
to intervene on their behalf (verses 5-13). 

Most Psalms of this kind, threnodes, have two principal ports, 
complaint and prayer : see Ps. cii. Pte. Ixziv, Ixzix have many 
words and expressions in common. 

IL Authorship and Dati. This Psalm goes widi Pk. Uziv, 
though some say Izxiv implies the destruction of the temple (as 
in B. c. 586) and the present Psalm its defilement. But the 
distinction cannot be sustained : see a Mace. viii. 3-4. A Macca- 
bean date would suit both Psalms, but no more than this can be 
said. The particularism of both Psalms accords well with the 
revival of nationalism during the Syrian persecntfon : see on Ixxiv 

z-4. Tht complaint. 

1. tlis heatlMas lit, 'nations' : but in the plural the Hebrew 
means < heathen nation,' 'Gentiles.' The same Hebrew word is 
translated * Gentiles * in Judges iv. 9, 13, x6 and in Mai i. it, the 
word which in the N.T. translates the Greek ethne. 

ialieritaiioe i the word denotes generally God's people, the 
Israelites (Ixxiv. a, Ixxviii. 6a, 71) : here, however, it^^'the land 
in which they dwell' Perhaps Jerusalem is meant : see Exod. 
XV. 17. 

d«flUA s no proof that it was not destroyed, see Ezek. xxv. 3. 

THE PSALMS 79. a-5 81 

They have laid Jerusalem on heaps. 

The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be a 

meat unto the fowls of the heaven. 
The flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth. 
Their blood have they shed like water round about 3 

Jerusalem ; 
And there was none to bury them. 
We are become a reproach to our neighbours, 4 

A scorn and derision to them that are round about us. 
How long, O Lord, wilt thou be angry for ever? 5 

Shall thy jealousy burn like fire ? 

S. saints : better, < favoured ones,* i. e. those who are objects 
of the Divine favour, see vol. i. p. 360 f. 

3. This verse is quoted in z Mace. vii. 16 with the ordinary 
formula of quotation from scripture. The Psalmist laments loudly 
not only the relentless butchery of the enemy, but also, and 
especially, the fact that the bodies could not be buried. It was 
regarded among many ancient nations (see Homer), and especially 
among the Hebrews, as a dreadful calamity to be deprived of 
burial after death^ see Ixxiv. 14, Ixxviii. 64 ; Jen vii. 3a f., viii. s, 
ix. ai, XV. 3, XVI. 4, xix. 7; and cf. Deut xxviii. a6y and also 
I Mace. i. 37. 

4. This verse almost vetbaiitn as xliv, 14 ; Dubm thinks it 
inserted here from that Psalm, 

5-13. Th* prayer, 

5. This verse almost verhatim as Ixxxix. 47, render : *• How 
long, O Jehovah, wilt thou be angry ? will thy jealousy bum like 
fire for ever f ' 

Sow lonff and for •▼•» are characteristic expressions in Pss. 
Ixxiv and Ixxix : see Ixxiv. 10, Ixxix. 5: cf. xiii. a, Ixxx. 4, Ixxxix. 46. 
The very question * how long * involves the belief in God's moral 
government of the world. 

Verses 6 f. are found almost verbaiint in Jer. x. 25. They are 
original in Jeremiah, since it is only in the prophetic context that 
the words are fully intelligible. Duhm holds that these verses 
were not in the Psalm originally, since the thought of verse 6 is 
first exoressed and that of verse 7 has been already uttered. But 
such subjective criticism has very little value. 

The thought implied in verses 6 f. is : * Manifest thy indignation 
towards thy foes, not towards us thy flock who uphold thy religion : 
let them suffer, not we : they deserve it, we do not.* 


82 THE PSALMS 79. 4-9 

6 Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that know thee not, 
And upon the kingdoms that call not upon thy name. 

7 For they have devoured Jacob, 
And laid waste his habitation. 

8 Remember not against us the iniquities of our forefathers : 
Let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us : 

For we are brought very low. 

9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name : 
And deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's 


6. kiagdoBui : in Jer. x. 35 families (subdivisions of tribes). 
The Psalmist has the better word, an argument favouring the 
view that he had the older text before him. 

7. Cf. xiv. 4. 

8. tlM ialqnltlefi of onr fortiaA'h&m 3 render, ' our former 
iniquities * : so the ancient versions, Duhm, and Gunkel. 

vrevemt luii i. e. ' come to meet us ' : in Old English 'prevent* 
meant * to go before,' to anticipate, < Let thy compassions be in 
front of us, so that we may meet them.' The same word in 
xxi. 4, lix. II. 

vexjr low 1 the Hebrew verb means literally ' to be reduced 
in circumstances ' : and so ' to be impoverished.' But it means to 
be reduced in strength in cxvi. 6 and cxlii. 7, and that is probably 
its meaning hefe. 

9f. If thou, O Jehovah, wilt not come to our help for our own 
sake, Yet deliver us for the sake of thy own good name. Why 
should the heathen have occasion to say we have no God to help us ? 
•. CK>d pf onr Mavstion : Hebrew makes a hirge use of the 
annexed noun instead of the adjective. The above expression » 
' the God who delivers us ' : « * the delivering God.' The Psalmist 
entreats God to be true to Himself, i, e. to deliver, seeing He is 
the Deliverer. 

and Tpugrn uwmy onr sins : the word rendered Spurge away' 
means primarily * to cover * : then as to cover a crime is to forgive 
and forget, the word naturally came to mean * to pardon/ The 
verb is used of appeasing an angry person, as in Gen. xxxii. ax, 
and in late parts of the O. T. (P, £zek., Sec.) of atoning for sin 
by sacrifice. 

thy luuiM : i.e. < thine own self.* God's name stands for 
God as known. With pronominal suffix it has often the force 
of an emphatic pronoun. In Iv. 6 * unto thee ' is parallel to ' unto 
thy name ' C O Jehovah *). 

THE PSALMS 79. ia-80. i 83 

Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God ? 10 
Let the revenging of the blood of thy servants which 

is shed 
Be known among the heathen in our sight. 
Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee ; n 

According to the greatness of thy power preserve thou 

those that are appointed to death ; 
And render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their la 

Their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, 

O Lord. 

So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture X3 

Will give thee thanks for ever : 

We will shew forth thy praise to all generations. 

For the Chief Musician ; set to Shoshannim Eduth. 80 

A Psalm of Asaph. 

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, i 

10. Wli«r«for«, &c. : the same question in cxv. a and Joel ii. 
17 : cf. Ezod. zxxii. la ; Ps. xlii. 3 ; Mic. vii. 10. 

mmomg tlia haatbani rather, (be made known) <to the 
heathen * : cf. ' in our sight' {lit» < before our eyes '). 

11. pvaMTvai read, 'release' or 'set free/ changing vowels 
only : so Pesh., Targ. The verb thus assumed occurs in cv. ao, 
cxlvi. 7. 

thoM that mf appol&tad to daatli 1 /iV. < sons of death,' but 
in Semitic the word 'son' denotes one having the property of: 
e. g. ' a son of wisdom * •» ' a wise son/ 8lq» So * sons of death ' 
are men living a death-like (i. e. miserable) life. The expression 
is, however, generally interpreted as meaning * men condemned to 
death,* see z Sam. xx. 31, xxvi. 16. 

19. into thalr bosom 1 the folds of the garment above the 
girdle are used in the East as pockets for holding articles of various 

IS. flhMpoftliy pantiurai rather, < the flock of Thy shepherd- 
ing ^ : 'the flock which thou dost shepherd * : see Ixxiv, z and 

Psalm LXXX. 
Thtmt, Prayer for the return of the good estate of the 
Northern Kingdom. 

G 2 

84 THE PSALMS 80. i 

Thou that leadest Joseph like a flock ; 

I. Title, Shoshannim Eduth ( = ' Lilies, a testimony ') is no doubt 
the name of a song to the melody of which this Psalm was to be 
sung. The same melody is probably prescribed for Pss. xlv and 
Ixx, though the title varies slightly. In the LXX and Vulg. 
very awkward attempts are made to translate the Hebrew name 
of this song (* For them who shall be changed '). 

II. Contents, The Psalm has the outward appearance of having 
three strophes or stanzas, each ending with the same refrain 
(verses 3, 7, and 19). But according to subject-matter it falls 
naturally into these six sectipns : 

(i) God is entreated to come and restore the fortunes of the 
Nordiern Kingdom (verses 1-3). 

(3) Surprise is expressed at God?s continued anger and the con- 
sequent suffering of the people (verses 4-7). 

(3) Israel is compared to a vine-tree carefully planted and for 
a while watched, and then given over to the slender mercies of 
ferocious beasts (verses 8-13). 

(4) Prayer for the restoration of the Divine favour (verses 14-17). 

(5) IsraePs vow (verse 18). 

(6) Closing refrain (verse 19). 

III. Authorship akd Date, Many and divergent have been the 
opinions put forth and defended as to the aim and age of this 
Psalm, and the fact that each opinion has been strenuously main- 
tained shows how uncertain the evidence is. 

It is implied in the Psalm that the Northern Kingdom is in 
great distress. The writer prays that the prosperity of former 
days may be restored. This is the only Psalm in which Benjamin 
is reckoned along with Ephraim and Manasseh as belonging to 
the Northern Kingdom. Joseph (;= Ephraim and Manasseh) 
stands for the Northern Kingdom as being its most important 
constituent. This Psalmist was probiably a member of the 
Northern Kingdom, living in the later years of that kingdom, 
say in the reign of Menahem, when the hand of Assyria was very 
heavy upon the Israelitish people. See a Kings xv. 17-32. 

Pss. Ixxxf. seem both to have sprung out of the Northern 
Kingdom, and the same was probably true of Pss. hcxvii f. (both 
* Joseph ^ Psalms) in their original form. We have two prophets 
of the Northern Kingdom — Amos and Hosea, though the former 
was a native of Judah. Why should not the Northern Kingdom 
have its singers and its songs t 

The date just proposed for this Psalm, a short time before 
B.C. 733 when Assyria conquered Israel, seems implied in the 
title of the LXX, which has : < A Psalm concerning the Assyrians.* 

THE PSALMS 80. 3-4 85 

Thou that sittest upon the cherubim, shine forth. 

Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up 9 

thy might, 
And come to save us. 

Turn us again, O God ; 3 

And cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved. 

O Lord God of hosts, 4 

There is no allusion in the Psalm to the reunion of the two kingdoms, 
though the Targ. assumes the contrary^ see on verse 3. Versus 
la f. show that the evils lamented in the Psalm are experienced 
in Palestine and not in any foreign land. 

1-3. Prayer for a rrturn of past prosperity, 
1. fllli«p]i«rd of XinMl: see on Ixxiv. i. 

ohtruMms The ark taken to battle as a sign of the Divine 
presence had figures of cherubims on it (so P^ &c.) : perhaps, how- 
ever, the clouds are meant : see on xviii. lo. 

■hin« forth : i. e. make manifest thy power by delivering us : 
see 1. 9, xciv. i ; Deut. xxxiii. a. 

a. B«njamlB : Joseph and Benjamin were by the same mother, 
and are for that reason here associated. In Num. ii. 17 ft. Benjamin 
and Ephraim are associated. Some omit Benjamin here : rhythm 
would gain by this. 

migrht : the Hebrew word is a common one for the valour of 
the soldier : see Judges viii. ai ; Prov. viii. 14 ; Isa. iii. 95. 
God*8 valour is inactive«.-that is implied in the verb stir up. 
Another form of the same verb (Hiph.) would mean that His valour 
is asleep. 

oomt ] Heb. ' go,' * depart^ ' i. e. for battle. 

3. The words in this verse are a refrain which occurs also in 
verses 7 and 19. 

Tnm TLM aff»in: i.e. restore our fortunes: bring back the 
prosperity we once had. Verses 5-8 prove that this is the sense 
intended, and not ^ bring us back from exile,' stt on Ixxxv. i. 

And oaiiM tliy fiM« to flliin* : i. e. look bright, pleasant, the 
reverse of angry : see Num. vi. 35, and cf. Pa. iv. 6. 

ftnd w fliall !)• UKVAi rather, 'so that we may obtain 

4-7. Surprise and impaiience at God's delay, 

4. Render : * O Jehovah of Hosts. How long (will it be the 
case that) thou fumest with anger, notwithstanding the prayer of 
thy people?' 

86 THE PSALMS 80. 5-10 

How long wilt thdu be angry against the prayar of thy peot)le? 

5 Thou hast fed them with the bread of tears, 
And given them tears to drink in large measure. 

6 Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours : 
And our enemies laugh among themselves. 

7 Turn us agaih, O God of hosts ; 

And cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved. 

8 Thou broughtest a vine out of Egypt : 

Thou didst drive put the nations, and plantedst it. 
g Thou preparedst room before it, 

And it took deep root, and filled the land. 
JO The mountains were covered with the shadow of it, 

ASTAl&at the prayer : i. e. with thy people when they pray. 
The .Hebrew can me^i : ' notwithstanding the prayer,' &c. 

5. Thou hast given them tears for their daily food : instead of 
eating and drinking as in better days they were wont to do, they 
spend their time in weeping : see on cii. 9. 

larg« in«asitre ; the ^ebrew means a ' tierce ' or < third ' of 
something, though of what is unknown; hi, 'Thou makest them 
drink a tierce of tears.' Instead of thmm, the LXX, Jero. have 
* us * in both clauses of this verse : cf. verse 6. 

6. strift : i. e. an object of strife. By transposing the second 
and third letters of the Hebrew word we obtain the word used in 
xliv. 14^ for the derisive shaking or wagging of the head, and this 
goes well with the parallel clause (laoffli, &c.); so <an object of 
head shaking unto,' &c. 

our ncisrhboiirs «= onr •nemies (words varied for parallelism) : 
the smaller nations or tribes in the immediate vicinity of Samaria 
(Philistines, Ammonites, Moabites, &c.). 

7. See on verse 3. For * God of hosts ' read * Jehovah of hosts,* 
though the latter phrase makes bad Hebrew, and is probably 
shortened from 'Jehovah, God of hosts,', which is good Hebrew. 

. 8-13. Israel, once cared for by God, is now abandoned, 

8. a vine : for the figure see Gen. xlix. 32 ; Hoa. i. 7 ; and 
especially Isa. v. 1-7. 

TbOTi didst drive out . . . and plantedst : the same antithesis 
in xliv. 3. 

9. Tbon preparedst room before it: render: 'Thou didst 
make a clear place before it * : i. e. remove whatever stood in the 
way of its free growth, e. g. Stones, thorns, &c. : see Isa. v. 2. 

zo f. The growth of the nation is compared to that of a vine- 

THE PSALMS 80. it.13 '87 

And the boughs thereof were Hke cedars of God. 

She sent out her branches unto the sea, 11 

And her shoots unto the River. 

Why hast thou broken down her fences^ ' ' la 

So that all they whrch pass by the way do pluck her^ 

The boar out of the wood doth ravage it, 13 

tree which spread southwards and northwards (verse 10), 
eastward and westward (verse 11) : i. e. tl^e nation brou|;ht from 
Egypt as a very little thing was so carefully watched and pro- 
tected that it soon took possession of the whole land of Canaan : 
' yet now thou leavest it to languish and die ! * 

10. Vila monntalAa 1 the mountainous land in the south is 
meant : the four quarters are thus mentioned : see Deut. xi. 94. 

▲nd tha boTiffhs tharaof, &c. : translate : < And the majestic 
cedars with its boughs.' The mountains of the south and the 
cedars of Lebanon in the north were alike covered : the mountains 
with the shadow^ and the cedar-trees with the branches of this 
all-spreading vine. 

oaAara of God ; in Hebrew, as also occasionally in Arabic, the 
added epithetic < of God * (« Godlike) implies greatness, mojesty : 
see xxxvi. 6 ; Job i. 16, and the rendering above. The phrase 
can hardly mean ^ciedars planted by God,' i.e. those which m«n 
have not planted, for such cedars are less, not greater, than others. 

11. flilia aant otiti Heb. Mt' (the vine, fem. in Heb.) < con- 
tinually sent out,' &:c. 

Iftnuohes s the Hebk*ew word denotes what grows out of the 

main hulk of the tree. The word rendered < boughs ' in verse 10 

refers particularly to what grows out of the branches or higher part. 

a«a ; i. e. Mediterranean, the only sea known to the ancient 

Israelites. Here it stands for the west. 

the BlTtr s i. e. the Euphrates, the only considerabla river 
about which the ancient Israelites thought much — the Nile was 
too far away. 

laf. The poet asks in blank amazement why He who had 
so long and so lovingly cared for His chosen people should now 
abandon them to cruel and destructive foes. 

18. fenoass that vineyards were fenced round is shown by 
Num. xxii. 24 ; Isa. v. 6. It is the boundary fortifications of land 
and cities that are meant. 

13. Vhe boar stands to the Israelite for the worst of beasts — 
unclean, savage, &c. boar and wild baaata do not represeint any 
particular nation or nations. 

doth ravage It i better, < gnaws it.' 

88 THE PSALMS 80. 14-17 

And the wild beasts of the field feed on it 

14 Turn again, we beseech thee, O God of hosts : 

Look down from heaven, and beholds and visit this vine, 

15 And the stock which thy right hand hath planted. 
And the branch that thou made$t strong for thyself. 

x6 It is burned with fire, it is cut down : 

They perish at the rebuke of thy countenance. 

17 Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, 

Upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyselt 

14-17. Prayer thai GodPs favour may he restored, 
14. Render: 'O Jehovah of Hoyts, look once more,, we 
beseech thee, from heaven, and see and visit this vine.' 

Clod I xeaj\ ^Jehovah' as in verse 7. The Hebrew is un- 
graromatical in both places. 

10, Render: ^And protect that which thy right hand has 

tlM stoek : for the Hebrew word, which occurs nowhere else, 
and yields no possible sense, read, ' cover,' ' protect,' making a 
slight change in the text. Or, perhaps, the word is to be omitted 
and the verse to be joined immediately with the preceding one : 
< and visit this vine (verse 16), which thy right hand has planted.' 

A31A th« te»Bcli, &c. : the following is a literal translation 
of the Hebrew : ' and over (the) son whom thon strengtbenedst 
for thyself* : but the preposition ^ upon ' suggests that the words 
are out of connexion, and the sense of the clause proves this. 
The words are taken, by a copyist's error, with very little change 
from i8*>, where they are wanted. 

10. Zt t i. e. the vine ; in verses 1 1 f. we have ' she ' representing 
the same word, because in Hebrew the word for vine (gephm) is 
of feminine gender. 

iM Inunud : as fuel, 

out down I as useless : see Isa. xxxii. 12. 

Thmf psriflh : i. e. the Israelites who are symbolized by the 
vine. The metaphor is now given up. ^ The vine is burnt,' &c., 
* the people whom the vine stands for perish.' 
17. ZiOt tliy hand be ni^on: to protect. 

th« nail of tliy right hand t i. e. the man whom thy right 
hand plantedst : the parallelism with the next clause shows this 
is the sense. Of course Israel is meant. 

non of maa is simply Hebrew idiom for ' human being.* 
See on Ixxix. 1 1, and on Ixxiii. 5. 

Wliom tbon madMit strong 1 the Hebrew verb means here, 

THE PSALMS 80. i8— 81. i 89 

So shall we not go back from thee : - 18 

Quicken thou us, and we will call upon thy name. 
Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts ; 19 

Cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved. 

For the Chief Musidian ; let to the Gittith. 81 

A Psalm of Asaph. 
Sing aloud unto God our strength : i 

as in Isa. xliv. 14, < to rear ' : the poet still harks back to the 
figure of the vine which God < planted/ and * reared.' 

18. A vow to worship God if He hears the prayer now offered. 
Qviokea i an old English word meaning * to bring to life ' : 

then ^ to revive one who is depressed atid desponding ' ; tibis 
latter is the sense here and in Ps. cxix. verses 95^ 37, 40, ^c. 
See also Ixxxv. 6. 

19. See verses 3 and 7. Omit Ood and see on verse 7. 

Psalm LXXXI. 

Theme. Summons to keep some festival. Disobedience of 
Israel and its punishment. 

I. Tiifs, 8et to tlM Oittlth : i. e. to be sung to the tune called 
after Gath : cf. the tunes * Haverfordwest,' ' Nottingham,' * Ban- 
gor,' &c. 

n. CofiiiHts, (x) Summons to keep festival (verses 1-5*). 

(a) Jehovah's claims upon Israel on account of His gracious 
doings for them in Egypt and in the wilderness (verses s^-io). . 

Cs) Israel's ingratitude and disobedience (verses zi f.). 

(4) Blessings promised to obedience (verses 13-16). 

In verses 1-5^ and verses 5*-i6 we have two originally quite in- 
dependent Psalms. In the first there is a summons to keep some 
festival, and the spirit pervading this section is one of superabundant 
joyousness. In verse 5* we are abruptly transferred into the heart 
of a loud lament over the unbelief of Israel notwithstanding the 
wonders of love wrought on their behalf in Egypt and in the 
wilderness. In' this second section the nation is in no festive 
mood ; it had sinned and was now sufiering for that sin in some 
terrible way. Verses 5"- 16 resemble Ps. Ixxviii and other 
didactic Psalms. 

In verses 1-5** we have probably a hymn chanted regularly at 
the beginning of the Feasts of Passover and Tabernacles, both of 
which were inaugurated at full moon by the blowing of trumpets. 
Though we have no definite evidence that trumpets were blown 
at either Passover or Tabernacles, there is evidence for believing 
that this took place at all the festivals. 

90 THE PSALMS 81. 3-4 

Make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob, 
a Take up the psalm, and bring hither the ttmbrsl, 
The pleasant harp with the psaltery. 

3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, 
At the full moon, on our solemn feast day. 

4 For it is a statute for Israel, 

An ordinance of the God of Jacob. 

III. Authonkip mnd DaU, Verses i-^ is a companion Psalm to 
Ps. Ixxx, and, it is likely, also to Ps. Ixzviii in its origiiMil form. 
This would makethis small Psalmolder than b. c 700, whcii Samaria 
fen into Assjrrian hands. 

Verses 5^-16 seem to presuppose Dent zxxii (see Terses 9^ 16) 
and Jer. vii. 34 (see verses 13 f.). We may then aasitaie that this 
Psalm (5<'-x6) belongs to the reign of Josiah (d. B.C. 609) or to a 
later period. 

1-5^. Summons to eeUbrate the festival, 

1. Wing aloud z Heb. 'sing with a lood piercing sound.* 
OoA onr wltssmg^ 1 read, ' the God of our refuge/ L e. ' the 
God who is our refiige.' No change in the consonants is re- 

8. The verbs for take up and telnff hitlMr mean respectively 
' to raise ' and ' to give/ and both are used with the word < voice * 
in the sense of putting forth* giving out : it is only by analogy that 
they are here applied to * Psalm ' and ' timbrel ' : render, ' Sing a 
Psalm and strike the timbrel.' 

timbrel I the hand-drum of the Easterns; it resembled the 
small drum of negroes and of Christy minstrels. It was made of 
a stretched skin with a margin of wood around it. 

For taBTp and psaltery substitnte Myre* and 'harp': see 
Introd., ch. iv. 

3. trumpet: Heb. shofar, i.e. the nun's horn tmmpet. In 
the Pentateuch the blowing of the shqfar is expressly prescribed 
in connexion with the year of Jubilee only : see Lev. xicv. 9. On 
this trumpet, and the metallic trumpet engraved on the areb of Titus, 
see Introd., p. apf. 

OB onr solemn ftast dayi rather, 'for the day of our 
pilgrimage festival.' 

4~S^. Reason for keeping the feast. It was for that purpose 
appointed by Jehovah. 

4. 7or it I i.e. the feast of verse 3. 

ordinaace 1 the Hebrew word means primarily what God as 
Ruler and Judge has enacted. 

THE PSALMS 81. 5-7 91 

He appointed it in Joseph for a testimony, ' i 

When he went out over the land of Egypt : 

IVAere I heard a language that I knew not. 

I removed his shoulder from the burden : i 

His hands were freed from the basket. 

Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee *, • 

I answered thee in the secret place of thunder ; 

a. According to Duhm this verse ought to be reckoned with the 
following verses. 
5*^. (He appointed) iti i.e. the festival ; tee verse 3. 

in JoMphs in Ixxx. i as well as here * Joseph * and < Israel * 
are used interchangeably. 

ttiitlinoasr : < solemn admonition* : see Introd. to Ps. cxix, 
p. 954. 

ov« (the land of Egypt) : rather, * against.* The reference 
is to \^hat God did by way of punishing the Egyptians for their 
obduracy. It was then that God entered into those covenant 
relations with Israel out of which sprang the commemorative 

5«-i6. Tht second Psalm, 

5". Render : < [In Egypt] he [Israel] heard the language of one 
whom he knew not.* The words in brackets are probably to be 
supplied, having dropped out in the process of uniting: the two 
Psalms into one. The verbs should be read in the third person 
with LXX, Pesh. When God revealed Himself to His chosen 
people in Egypt He was largely unknown to them. For other in- 
terpretations of these difficult words, see the larger commentaries. 

6-10 contain, in summary, an account of what God did for the 
nation in Egypt and in the wilderness, and of what He commanded 
them in the covenant made with them on Sinai. It is God, who 
called them when as yet they knew not His voice, that speaks all 
through this section. 

6. Read and render : * I removed the burden from thy shoulder, 
Thy hands,' &c. In verses 6-10 Jehovah addresses Israel directly 
in the second person. In Egypt some Israelites had to carry 
heavy burdens on their shoulders ; others had to carry with their 
hands baskets containing bricks, one being suspended from each 
end of a yoke which was laid across the shoulders. 

7. ia th« Mov«t place of thunder : better, < at Suther Ra'am.' 
We have here a proper name parallel to 'the waters of Meribah' ; 
though we do not elsewhere in the O.T. meet with this place 
name. If the words do not form a proper name (so A. R. V.) the 

92 THE PSALMSt81.8-fi 

I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. [Selah 

8 Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee : 
O Israel, if thou woulde^t hearken unto me I 

9 There shall no strange god be in thee ; . 
Neither shalt thou worship any strange, god. 

10 I am the Lord thy God, 

Which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt : 
Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it 

11 But my people hearkened not to my voice; 
And Israel would none of me. 

reference must be to the thunder cloud in which God dwells : see 
xyiii. II, 13, Ixxvii. 17 ff. 

waters of IKeribali. For the two testings at Meribah see on 
Ixxviii. 1,5. The proving or testing is mentioned as a proof of the 
Divine favour. 

8. K«ar, &c. : cf. with this Deut. vi. 4-9, the Shewui (« * Hear ^) 
as the Jews call it. 

testify: the verb in Hebrew means to solemnly exhort or 
charge : see I 7, Ixxxi. 9, and cf. the cognate noun * testimony * in 
verse 5 (see on). 
9f. An epitome of Exod. xx. 2-6. 

9. strange god : another than Israelis own God, Jehovah : see 
xliv. 20 ; Isa. xliii. 12 ; Prbv. ii. 16, v. 3, 20. A * strange woman ' is 
one who is not the man's wife « a harlot. Jehovah is married to 
Israel, and the latter is not to play the harlot by going after other 
gods : see Exod. xxxiv. 39 ; Deut. xxxi. 16. The word trans- 
lated * strange * in 9'* = * foreign * : so here * a foreign god * is meant, 
i. e. a god worshipped by foreigners : see Deut. xxxii. 12. But 
the same thing is intended, the variety of expression in Hebrew 
being due to the needs of parallelism. 

10. Render : * I, Jehovah, am thy God Who,' &c. 

Open tliy moutli wide : i. e. be ready to take in my com- 
mandments as you do your food, then I will teach you : virtually 
the words mean, *be teachable and I will teach.* So the Targ. 

II f. Israel ungrateful and rebellious. The words in verses 
6-10 are in the main supposed to be spoken on Sinai, with slight 
changes to suit the occasion of the Psalm. But here God speaks 
about what followed. Notwithstanding the solemn charges and 
the gracious promises Israel was disobedient. These verses are 
taken, with but slight variation, from Jer. vii. 24 : cf. Isa. xlviii. 

THE PSALMS 81. ia-.82. i 93 

So I let them go after the stubbornness of their heart, la 

That they might walk in their own counsels. 

Oh that my people wotild hearken unto me, 13 

That Israel would walk in my ways 1 

I should soon subdue their enemies, 14 

And turn my hand against their adversaries. 

The haters of the Lord should submit themselves unto 15 

But their time should endure for ever. 
He should feed them also with the finest of the wheat : 16 
And with honey out of the rock should I satisfy thee. 

A Psalm of Asaph. 82 

God standeth in the congregation of God ; i 

19. stii%bonin«ff 1 render, with the versions, Must ' or ' sensual 

13-16. Jehovah^s promise of deliverance to the reneration then 
living (not to the Israelites in the wilderness as LaX) on condition 
of obedience. 

15. Render : * Those who hkte Jehovah would come cringing to 
them (my people), But their time (of anguish) would continue 
for ever.' 

In verses isf. for ■honld read 'would.' These verses described 
what would come about if only the Israelites were obedient. 

■nbmit ih«mBrtv«B 1 the Hebrew means : ' come cringing, 
making a show of obedience, though inwardly rebellious.' 

unto iLlm j render : < to them,' referring to * my people ' in 
verse 13. In Heb. * people ' is a singular noun, and it often takes 
pronouns and verbs in the singular, even when in the immediate 
context (see verse 14) the plural pronoun or verb is employed. 
Perhaps, however, Jehovah is meant. 

th«lr tlm«: i. e. 'their time of distress.' Similarly in Heb. 
' day ' means often ' day of trouble ' : see xxxvii. 13. 

16. For He slionld read ' I vtrould.' Jehovah is still speaking. 
lLn«it of th« wheat : ///. ' the fat,' i. e. the best. The expres- 
sion is taken from Deut. xxxii. 14. 

And with hon«3r, &c. : tAken from Deut. xxxii. 13. 
thMt read 'them ' (i. e. Israel) with LXX, Pesh., Jero. 

Psalm LXXXII. 
TheHte. Jehovah, the Judge of the gods of the heathen, is 
entreated to put an end to their evil rule. 

94 THE PSALMS 82. a 

He judgeth among the gods, 
2 How long will ye judge unjustly, 
And respect the persons of the wicked? [Selah 

I. Contmta, (i) The tutelary gods of the heathen nations 
arraigned before Jehovah (vene x). 

(s) The evils on earth due to the misrule of these gods (verves 

(3) The folly and ultimate downfall of these gods (verses 5-7). 

(4) Prayer that Jehovah may take the whole earth under His 
control and establish justice among men (verse 8). 

The above analysis assumes that by < gods' in verse i we are to 
understand the national gods of the heathen, who are supposed to 
live in heaven, controlling the affairs of the peoples they presided 
over, just as Jehovah, originally the natioiuil God of Israel, was 
supposed to rule over His own people. See Dent. tv« 2% xxix. 35, 
xxxii. 8 ; Isa. xxiv. ai : cf. Sir. xvii. 17. 

The Hebrew word Ehhim, meaning ' God* or 'gdds' (of the 
heathen), is not once used in the O.T. for men in big^ positioii, 
judges, 5cc., nor for angels : the passages adduced to prove the 
contrary do nothing of the kind. 

This Psalm resembles closely Ps. Iviii, as commentators have 
generally pointed out : but the resemblance is closer than the bulk 
of these commentators have perceived, for the word rendered 'in 
silence* in Iviii. z should be read ' O ye Gods* (so R.V. marg.), 
and these gods are no other than those of Ps. Ixxxii. 

The Israelites allowed the existence, though they disallowed the 
claims, of heathen deities. For a discussion of the development 
of thought about God see the works on O.T. theology. 

There is very little in the Psalm to help in fixing 

II. Its Authorship and Date. It was written at a time when 
things went badly with Israel, which is about all that can be said. 

Tne injustice and cruelty complained of might have been due to 
the Babylonians, Persians, Samaritans, or Syrians. 

I. Jehovah judging ths gods, 

X. staadstlii as judge : see Isa. tii. 13. 

%kkm ooBgvafffttioB of Oodi the assembly of gods sum* 
moned by Jehov^ in heaven. The national assembly of Israel 
is also called ' the congregation of Jehovah * (Num. xxvii. 27 : cf. 
Ps. Ixxiv. 9). 

a-4* The injustice and partiality shown on the enrth. Though 
it is jp^ who actually act in the way described^ th^ gods are 

THE PSALMS 82. 5-lr 95 

Judge the poor and fatherless : 

Do justice to the afflicted and destitute* 

Rescue the poor and needy : 

Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked. 

They know not, neither do they understand ; 1 

They walk to and fro in darkness : 

All the foundations of the earth are moved. 

I said, Ye are gods, ( 

And all of you sons of the Most High. 

Nevertheless ye shall die like men, I 

— -- ■ '■ — - ■ I - ■ 1. 1- 1,1 

8. JtUlgt I i. e. protect, defend. The verb rendered judge means 
to rule, deliver, defend, dec. 

poor I the Hebrew word means especially one reduced in 
position — one who has seen better days* The verb of the same 
root is found in Ixxiv. 8, * we are brought (very) iaw,^ 

flttherleif r the Hebrew, like the cognate Arabic word, means 
orphan in the strict sense, i. e. one deprived of either parent or of 
both parents. But in the O.T. the term means in most if not all 
cases * fatherless ' ; and it is so translated in every instance except 
in Lam. v. a. The word has nearly always the idea of being 
destitute and helpless; and in the east much more than in the 
west, it is the father that is the bread-winner. 

Bo justice to t Heb. * vindicate ' ; ' clear of charges (wrongly) 
brought against them / 

aAloteA : i. e. here wronged by slanderers. 

deititutei belonging to the poorer class, poor and poorly 

4. lUtfone I therefore they are in the bands of their oppressors, 
and cannot of themselves escape. 

noov AaA aet^jri the first word is identical in Hebrew with 
that so rendered in verse 3, but it is often Joined to the word 
rendered * needy ' to denote one that has lost place and caste and 
is withal very poor. 

5-7. These gods are in the dark, and will come to nought. God 
speaks now not to the heathen deities, but Q^them. 

4. the fbn&Aations of tlie earth are noTed: the basi^ of 
moral order is upturned. The same figure in xi. 3 and Ixxv. 3 : cf. 
Prov. ii. J0-15. 
In 6f. God addresses the heathen directly once more. 

6. X ■aidi i.e. I said truly : see John xviii. 37. 

7. |l«T«vtlMl«Mi though I described yoU truly a^ gods, ye shall 
die, &c. 

96 THE PSALMS 82. 8— 8S. 2 

And fall like one of the princes. 
8 Arise, O God, judge the earth : 

For thou shalt inherit all the nations. 
83 A Song, a Psalm of Asaph. 

I O God, keep not thou silence : 

Hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. 
a For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult : 

And they that hate thee have lifted up the head. 

like one of tlie prisoes : read, * like a perishable human 
being ' : this gives good parallelism, and the Hebrew requires the 
insertion of but one consonant (6) in the word for * princes.' 
Duhm reads * like one of the demons* (see (Jen. vi. 1-4), which 
involves less change in the text, but gives a less suitable sense. 

8. Prayer that God may rule the earth. 

Render : * Do thou arise, O God, and judge * ( = * rule,* see on 
verse 3) * the earth : For all nations are thy possession.' 

Theme. Prayer for a judgement on the nations which have 
combiiied against Israel. 

I. 'TitU. This is the last of the twelve Asaph Psalms. 

II. Contents. The Pdalm has two natural divisions separated by 

(i) Complaint followed by a description of the combined attack 
against Judah (verses 1-8). 

(a) Prayer for the dispersion and downfall of the foe (verses 

III. Authorship and Date, We have in this Psalm a poetical 
description of the opposition to Israel in the poet's day, the 
national names being given as types. We know of no one period 
at which the peoples named were combined against Israel. The 
state of things described in i Mace, v might well have drawn from 
the poet the bitter wail, the pathetic prayer of this Psalm. 

1-9. The Complaint, 

1, Aciy of distress. The language of this verse seems based 
on Isa. Ixii.* i, 6 f. It fe implied in the Hebrew of this verse that 
God (i) cannot speak — He is dUtab. (2) He will not speak — He is 
silent (3) He Is indifferent — He is inactive. These distinctions 
may, however, be due to the parallehsm. 

a-5» The conduct of the enemies described, 

a. liave lifted up the bead: an attitude of pride and deBadce : 
see iii. 4, xxvii. 6. 

THE PSALMS 88. 3-8 97 

They take crafty counsel against thy people, 3 

And consult together against thy hidden ones. 

They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from 4 

being a nation ; 
That the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. 
For they have consulted together with one consent ; 5 
Against thee do they make a covenant : 
The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites ; 6 

Moab, and the Hagarenes ; 

Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek ; 7 

Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre : 
Assyria also is joined with them ; 8 

3. tliy hldA«a om« i lee xxvii. 5, xxxi. aa LXX and Pesh. 
read *thy favoured ones,' Aq., Sym., Jero. the singular— < thy 
hidden thing/ i. e. the temple : cf. £zek. vii. aa. 

4. Crom iMiaff a natloa t that they may be no longer a nation. 
The same phrase in Jer. xlviii. a : cf. Isa. vii. 8, xvii. i. 

B. Read : ^ For they plot together with one heart, And against 
Thee they make a league. » The change required in the Hebrew 
for this rendering is very small. 

with on« oottMnt i i. e. < with one heart ' : see Jer. xxxn. 39 : 

cf. Josh. ix. a. , . ,^ , ., , 

6-8. The confederate nations are enumerated m the following 
order. Ci) Those dwelling south and south-east (verses 6, ;•). 
(a) Those living near the Mediterranean coast (verse 7^). 
(3) Assyria (north-cast) and Edom (in the extreme south) 

(verse 8). . «. , . , , . 

6. Uatui i.e. « tent-dwellers.' The word belongs also to 
Ishmaelites, Hhe tent-folk' (or Bcduins) *of Edom and of the 
Ishmaelites ' : so Pesh. ,, , . ^., ^ . ^ 

Xagftrtnei or Hagrites : a people living in Gilead east of 
Jordan ; see i Chron. v. 10, 19- . i. .^ r.j ** 

7. Oebal I a tribe living in the northern part of the Edomite 
mountain-land. « ..1. . u 

▲mmon : for long the unrelenting foes of Israel : their home 
was east of Jordan. .^ . ^, 

Amalek 1 also bitter foes of Israel from olden times. They 
dwelt east of the Arabah and also in the desert of the Sinaitic 
peninsula. Philistia in the south and Tyre in the north would take 
in the whole of the country lying towards the Mediterranean coast. 

8. Atijriat the ancient kingdom of Assyria is meant: an 


98 THE PSALMS 83. 9, to 

They have holpen the children of Lot. [Selah 

9 Do thou unto them as unto Midian ; 

As to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the river Kishon : 
10 Which perished at En-dor; 

They became as dung for the earth. 

excellent example of the powerful and relentless foes with whic;h 
Israel had to deal This great power— the * Rome of the East ' — 
conquered the Northern Kingdom in b. c 729, bat was itself 
conquered by Babylon in b. c. 606. 

TlMj Jukv holpen: Heb. as R. V. marg., 'They have 
been an arm ' : cf. Isa. xxxiii, 2 : < holpen ' is Old English for 

cUldTMi of iMt : » ' the descendants of Lot/ I e, the 
Moabites and Ammonites who have been already mentioned 
separately, but are here named afresh in order to say that 
Assyria helped them in their hostility. No particular historical 
incident is referred to, but a general attitude. 

9-18. Prayer that the enemy may he destroyed and eonfmmU, 
and so brought to acknowledge the sovereignty ofJehoveth» 

g-i2. The destruction desired for the enemy ittustrated from 
past history. 

9. mdlan : the reference is to the confederacy against Israel 
described in Judges 7 f. 

Slserft, Jabin : the incident referred to is that in which 
Jabin, a Canaanitish king (see Joshua xi. i ff.), and Sisera his 
general were defeated by Barak and Deborah : see Judges iv 1 
Though, however, Sisera appears in Judges iv as Jabin^s general, in 
Judges V (Deborah's Song) he comes before us as himself a Canaan- 
itish King. We have probably in these chapters two different 

zlT«r (Kishon): rather, *wady' or 'winter torrent.' The 
victory was in no small measure due to the swelling of the Kishon : 
many oC the enemy were carried away by its force (Judges v. 91). 

10. Bn-dor: this village lay to the south of Mount Tabor, 
quite close to Nain, and is still known by its Biblical name. 
It is not mentioned in Judges as the scene of the defeat of Sisera. 
Taanach and Megiddo are, however, named in connexion with 
that defeat, and in the M. T, of Joshua xvii. 11, En-dor, Taanach, 
and Megiddo appear together, though in a critical text 'En-dor' 
nust be omitted. 

9M dnnir: omit 'as' (it is not in the Hebrew) and render: 
' they became dung for the ground.' They lay unburied — a great 
dishonour and calamity : see on Ixxix. 3, and cf. i Mace. vii. 16 : 
see also a Kings ix. 37 ; Jer. viii. 3. 

THE PSALMS 83. 11-15 99 

Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb; " 

Yea, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna : 

Who said, Let us take to ourselves in possession 12 

The habitations of God. 

O my God, make them like the whirling dust ; '3 

As stubble before the wind. 

As the fire that burneth the forest, 14 

And as the fiame that setteth the mountains on fire ; 

So pursue them with thy tempest, 15 

And terrify them with thy storm. 

11. This verse harks back to Gidcon^s victory over the 
Midianites (verse 8) : Or«b ( <:^ raven) and Z««b ( » wolf) were the 
generals (Judges vii. 35 ; Isa. x. fl6), and Bcbah and Salmunna 
the kings (Judges viii. 5 ff., 19, 18 ff.) of Midian. 

18. Who 0idd: rather, ^Who have said': the ^Who* stands 
for Judah's present foes. 

Th« habltatioxui of Ood : the land given by God to Israel, 
and peculiarly His as the people are His : see xxiii. 9, Ixxiv. ao. 
The LXX has 'the altar of God' : or, according to some MSS., 
'the sanctuary of God.' In Targ., Jero. * beauty of God' is the 
rendering, the reference being to the temple : see on verse 3. 

13-15* The distrucHon tUsind /or the enemy illustrated from 

19. wftivUttff Anvti like the wheel-shaped figures made by 
the wind out of fading leaves, &c. The same expression occurs 
in Isa. xvii. 13. Thomson is inclined to think that the 
reference is to the globular heads of the wild artichoke. See 
Land and Book (1881), vol. i. p. 913. 

■tubbUi < chaff* conveys the sense better: i.e. the empty 
husks of corn and grain. Threshing-floors were and are still on 
high levels, so that the wind may drive the chaff away, 

14. flye . . . foMsts a burning forest is one of the wildest scenes 
in nature. 

mountains: thorns and briars grow luxuriantly on the 
mountains, and in the hot season they may often be seen all 
ablaze. See Thomson, Land and Book (1881 >, vol. ii. p. 999. 

15. 80 pursue them 1 there is no need with Kirkputrick to 
render — * So shalt thou pursue them.' The Hebrew tense 
(impf.) used here often expresses a wish, like the optative in 
Greek : * So mayest thou pursue them,' &c. 

H a 

loo THE PSALMS 83. i6— 84. r. 

1 6 Fill their faces with confusion ; 

That they may seek thy name, O Lord. 

17 Let them be ashamed and dismayed for ever; 
Yea, let them be confounded and perish : 

18 That they may know that thou alone, whose name is 


Art the Most High over all the earth* 

84 For the Chief Musician ; set to the Gittsth. 

A Psalm of the sons of Korah. 

I How amiable are thy tabernacles, 

16-18. Prayer that the enemy may through their calamities be 
brought to acknowledge Jehovah, 

16. oonftudon : rather, ' disgrace/ ' ignominy/ or * dishonour,' 
thj ]uuiM«=:thee. God's name is God Himself as revealed. 

But the phrase God's name is often simply another way of sajnng 
God Himself. 

17. Render : * Let them be foiled and dismayed for ever : Let 
them become pale with shame and perish.' 

18. That tiMj aaj know : better, ^ That they may get to know/ 
so the Hebrew. 

tbttt thou aloiM, &c. The rendering in R. V. marg. (< that 
thou, whose name al^e is Jehovah, art/ &c.) is favoured by the 
Hebrew punctuation (accents), but the R. V. gives the sense 

Psalms Ixxxiv-lxxxix constitute a Yahwistic appendix to the 
Asaph Psalms Ixxiii-lxxxiii, though the rest of Books II and III 
(Pss. xlii-lxxxiii) are Elohistic: see Introd. to Book III, p. 37. 
The Divine name Elohim does, however, occur in this small group 
more than one-third as many times as Yahwdi. 

Psalm LXXXIV. 

Theme. Longing for communion with God in the temple. 
A pilgrim song, 

I. Title. Mt to tlM Oittlth t see on Ps. Ixxxi, Title. 

•OBS of Komi. Concerning the man Korah and the guild 
of Korahites see p. 37 i. and vol. i. p. 220. There was a Korahite 
hymn-book, one that arose in the guild of that name, and those 
Psalms which have 'Korahites' (* Sons of Korah') in the title 
formed part of that hjrmn-book. 

II. Contents. It is a pilgrim song. 

(i) Just entering Jerusalem, with the temple in sight, the 

THE PSALMS 84. a, 3 loi 

O Lord of hosts ! 

My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the a 

My heart and my flesh cry out unto the living God. 
Yea, the sparrow hath found her an house, 3 

pilgrim expresses his longing for the temple, God's house, where 
rest is to be found (verses 1-4). 

(3) Within Jerusalem, perhaps within the temple courts, 
he tells of the happiness of those who seek unto God (verses 5-8). 

(3) The joy obtained in the worship of Jehovah (verses 9-19). 

The language and thought of Pss. 4a f. (one Psalm originally) 
and of the present Psalm are much alike, and they have, many 
think, one author and one date. 

III. Autkorahip and Doit, The Psalm has been traced to 
many periods from David's day (Hengstenberg, Delitzsch) to the 
Maccabean age (Hitzig, Duhm). The temple was standing, and 
it had two altars (verse 3), which prove that the Psalm is post- 
exilic (see on verse 3) : but nothing more definite than that can 
be said with any certainty. Whenever composed, this Psalm is 
one of the sweetest and most artistic in the Psalter. 

Like Pss. xlii f. the present Psalm makes personal communion 
with God consist too exclusively of external worship at the 
temple, but the former is by no means lost in the latter, and 
througnout this triad of Psalms there breathes a blessed intimacy 
with God not unworthy of the greatest mystics. 

I f. The Pilgrim^ s longing for thi tnnpU. 
1. unlable : rather, Movely ' or ^ dear/ ^ Amiable * is now used 
of persons, never of things. 

tabernaolM s render, ' dwelling ' : the plural is used because 
the temple building (the house) and its courts are embraced. 
The Hebrew word is not that used for the booths dwelt in during 
the feast of Tabernacles : see on Ixxviii. 60. 

a. longetli : the LXX uses the same word here that Paul em- 
ploys for the spirit*s longing after ' the habitation which is from 
heaven,* 2 Cor. v. 9. 

ftklnt«th I languishes, pines away : see on cxix. 81. 

Xj heart and my flesh -my whole being: the heart and 
flesh are mentioned together in xvi. 9, xxxi. 10, Ixiii. 3, Ixxiii. 96. 

orj out : see on Ixxxi. i ('sing aloud '). 

llviaf Ood t besides here only in xlii. 9. 

3 f. Those who dwell in God*s house art happy, 
3. The sense of the verse is :— ' As the sparrow and the swallow 
have nests in which they rest and find comfort, so have I in the 

I02 THE PSALMS 84. 4, 5 

And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay 

her young, 
Even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, 
My King, and my God 

4 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house : 

They will be still praising thee. [Selah 

5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee ; 

temple, my resting-place, my joy/ The end of the verse seems 
to have dropped out : or perhaps the poet leaves it to be supplied by 
the reader. On account of the omission of such words as ' (Thine 
altars, &c.) are my joyous abode,' it used to be thought that the 
birds are pictured as making their nests on the roofs, &c, of the 
temple. The force of the words was then taken to be — ' The 
birds even share my longing to be associated with Thy house/ 
But the care with which the temple buildings were cleansed 
makes it impossible to think of birds building nests in any part of 
the sacred structure. 

sp»rvow I The Hebrew word stands for any small bird. 

■wallows read 'dwelling' {dor for t^ror): <Yea the little 
bird has found its home and dwelling — a nest for herself,' Stc, So 

Alton : there was but one altar in the temple of Solomon and 
in that sketched by Ezekiel (the table of Shewbread can be hardly 
reckoned as an altar). But in the later literature mention is made 
of two altors, the alter of burnt offering and the alter of incense 
(Golden alter): see Num. iii. 31 (P), and i Mace. i. m. The 
occurrence of the plural here proves that the Psalm is post-exilic. 
Perhaps there is on this verse an implied allusion to the alter as 
an asylum, a place of safety : see Exod. xxi. 13 f, 

O XvOBO of h/Mttm, &c. : note the heaping up of names for 
God, and cf. 1. i. 

4. SlMSod t le,* happy' in the external sense^' well situated/ 
'prosperous': so the Greek word makarioB ^Matt v. 3-xz) 
and the Latin beatua. Another Hebrew word (iaruk) rendered 
* blessed ' has the same literal sense as the English word and as 
the Latin betudictua. 

Thin will bo still pnOsiac thoo t better, * They will con- 
tinue to praise thee.' 

5-8. Having reached JeruaaUm^ the pUgrim ainga of tha 
happimaa of thou who appear before God to worahip Him. 

0. BiMSOds see on verse 4; ' happy ' (without the bap) would 
be nearer the originaL 

THE PSALMS 84. 6-8 103 

In whose heart are the high ways to Zion. 

Passing through the valley of Weeping they make it a 6 

place of springs ; 
Yea, the early rain covereth it with blessings. 
They go from strength to strfsngth, 7 

Every one of them appeareth before God in Zion. 
O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer : 8 

Give ear, O God of Jacob. [Selah 

whoa« strcnyth 1 read, ^ whose refuge ' : a letter {m\ has 
fallen out of the Hebrew through the coming together of twq 
identical letters. So apparently the LXX and Pesh. 

Zn whoM h«Mrt 9x% the hlffh ways to Zion i Heb. ^ in whose 
heart (are) highways,' out of which no ingenuity can make sense. 
The Usual interpretation is : * who have set their minds on the 
(three) annual pilgrimages/ but the Hebrew word so translated 
never means pilgrimages. Read for this word ^confidence* (found 
in Job iv. 6) and render : ^ in whose heart there is confidence ' 
(plural of intensity) : this suits the parallelism well. 

6. Render : ' Who passing through (or crossing) the valley of 
Baka (^balsam) He makes it a place of springs : yea, the early 
rain covers it with pools.' 

The Hebrew word baka does not mean Weeping 1 it is the 
name of a balsam-tree which grows in very dry places only. 
God makes for His people waterless valle3rs to abound with 

tlMj mftke it I better change one vowel and read with LXX 
* He makes it.' 

MTlT xaini that which follows the seed sowing and begins 
about November. See Joel ii. 93. The LXX, Pesh. render 
' lawgiver,' an impossible sense here, though, perhaps, allowed by 
the Hebrew. Targ., Jero. have * teacher,' a very common meaning 
of the Heb. word. 

blMiingsi read 'pools,' changing one vowel only. In the 
waterless balsam valley those who look to Jehovah find fresh 
fountains and refreshing pools. 

7. from ■tsenffth to strtnfth 1 instead of losing strength on 
the Journey, as might have been expected, they become ever 
stronger : see Isa. xl. 13. 

MwTj one of them 9,}nf9x%tli before Ood in Slon 1 read 
with some vowel change and one consonant change, 'They see 
God (even) God in Zion.' The LXX and Pesh. support this 
change indirectly. The Maasorites here and elsewhere tried to 
avoid the expression < seeing God.' 

I04 THE PSALMS 84. 9—86. i 

9 Behold, O God our shield, 
And look upon the face of thine anointed. 

10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand 

I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, 
Than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. 

11 For the Lord God is a sun and a shield : 
The Lord will give grace and glory : 

No good thing will he withhold from them that walk 
1^0 Lord of hosts, 

Blessed is the man that trusteth in thee. 

86 For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. 

I Lord, thou hast been favourable unto thy land : 

9-13. Thejoyfdt in the worship of Jehovah, 

9. Render, as in the R. V. marg., * Behold our shield, O God.' 
< Our shield ' and ' thine anointed ' are parallel words. The King 
is called a shield in lxxxix« 19, where ' our shield ^ and ' our king ' 
stand in parallelism to each other. 

10. Probably this verse is a liturgical addition. 
Fors render, * surely.' 

a dftj : a feast day seems meant. The LXX, Pesh., P. B. V. 
have < one day.' 

a thoiuuuid I i. e. a thousand days elsewhere. 

Z iMd ratlimr be a doorka^yMr : better, ' I had rather be on 
the threshold in God's house than to dwell in ( = inside) the tents 
of wickedness.' 

11. snai only here in the O. T. is God compared to the sun, 
probably on account of the prevalence of sun worship. Perhaps 
we should read ' battlement/ the word for ' sun ' with a feminine 
ending, found in Isa. liv. 13 (R. V. ' pinnacle *), so called because it 
reflected the sun's rays : < battlement ' and ' shield ' would go well 

Psalm LXXXV. 

Theme. Prayer for a restoration of favour. 

I. Contents, (i) Prayer for a return of prosperity (verses 1-7). 

In i~3 Jehovah's mercies in the past are recalled. 

In 4-7 Prayer is offered that the former prosperity may return. 

(2) Strong confidence in tJie issue of the prayer (verses S-i3> 

THE PSALMS 86. 3-5 105 

Thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. 

Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, a 

Thou hast covered all their sin. [Selah 

Thou hast taken away all thy wrath : 3 

Thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger. 

Turn us, O God of our salvation, 4 

And cause thine indignation toward us to cease. 

Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? 5 

According to Jewish tradition 1-7 was said or sung by the 
people, &-13 by the priests. 

It is best to translate the verba in verses 1-3 as pluperfects 
(Ewald) and not as English perfects (E. W.), and still less as 
precatives (Smend, Cheyne O &c.) expressing a wish : it is doubtful 
whether the ' precative perf.' exists in Hebrew. 

II. Authorshtd and DaU, Some period of national suffering is 
implied in the Fsalm, but whether that was due to the Samaritan 
or Syrian persecution or to some other cause we have no means 
of determining. 

1-3. Jehovah* s former mercies recalled^ 

1. tlum hMit been 1 render, * hadst been* : so render all the 
verbs in verses 1-3 ; see under Contents, 

teonflit iMok the oaptivity t render : ' Thou hast restored 
the fortunes.' So the expression has been explained since 
Ewald's time. In Job xlii. 10 it can mean nothing else. There 
is no necessary reference in the words, properly interpreted, to 
the Exile. 

8. fbrfflTen : lit. Mifted up,' as if a burden j so Ps. xxii. 5. 
ini^Blty I sin regarded as a perversion of what is right. 
oovereA 1 so that it cannot be seen ; see Neh. iii. 37. 

■la I the Hebrew and the corresponding Greek words denote 
a missing of the mark. Both these words for sin meet in xxii. 5. 

9. teken AW«gr (all thy wrath): Heb. 'gathered in,' 'drawn 
back ' (after it had gone forth) ,* cf. civ. 29 ; i Sam. xiv. 19 ; Joel 
iv. 15. 

Thou hast tnr&ed . . . abit*' > render : ' Thou hast turned 
away from the heat of thy anger.' So LXX, Jero. The Hebrew 
verb is often intransitive as in Ezek. xiv. 6, xviii. 30, 3a. The 
Pesh. drops the ' from,' and is followed by Schrader and Duhm, 
'Thou hadst turned away the heat of thy anger.' 

4-7. Prayer fi»r the return of former fanour, 
Twnft «• I render, ' return we entreat thee ' (changing the 
last syllable— MM to hh). 

io6 THE PSALMS 85. 6^u 

Wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations ? 

6 Wilt thou not quicken us again : 
That thy people may rejoice in thee ? 

7 Shew us thy mercy, O Lord, 
And grant: us thy salvation. 

8 I will hear what God the Lord will speak : 

For he will sipeak peace unto his people, and. to his, saints: 
But let them not turn again to folly. 

9 Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him ; 
That glory may dwell in our land. 

10 Mercy and truth are met together ; 
Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. 

11 Truth springeth out of the earth ; 

6. Render : * Mayest thou, O God, once more revive us,' &c. 
Only one word in Hebrew (the first) needs changing, and in that 
only the order of the letters. 
qnloken : see on Ixxx. i8. 

8-13. Confidence in the issue of the prayer, 

8. Render : * Let me hear (listen to) what Jehovah Saj^ : is 
it not that He speaks peace towards His people and towards His 
favoured ones, and hope for them that turn ' (to Him) t Numerous 
changes in the text are required to justify this translation, but 
with very few exceptions the consonants are the same. 
iMdnta ; better, * favoured ones ' : see on Ixxix. a. 
But let them not tnrn again to folly : a singular break in 
the run of the clauses, more manifest in the Hebrew than in the 
English. Read : * and to those who turn their heart to Him ' : so 
the LXX, Baethgen. The requisite changes in the Hebrew 
consonants are unimportant. 

a. glory : i. e. the glory of God. 

10. IKeroy and truth : rather, * loving kindness ' (on God's 
part) ' and faithfulness ' (on man's). God's loving delivering hand 
never fails when man is true to Him, turning aside from idols. 

Blghteonsnesfl : in the sense of Isa. xl-lxvi. His faithfulness 
to deliver. 

peaoe ; ' man's well-being ; cf. the greeting rendered in 
Hellenistic Greek as in English too narrowly by 'Peace to you.' 

11. Tmth : i. e. (man's) faithfulness towards God : this is 
human, grows out of the earth, i. e. in men's hearts. 

xighteonsnMW : rather, (God's) faithfulness to give as in 
verse 10 ; this looks down from heaven. 

THE PSALMS 86. la— 86. i 107 

And righteousness hath looked down from heaven. 1 
Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good ; 12 

And our land shall yield her increase. 
Righteousness shall go before him ; 13 

And shall make his footsteps a way to walk in. 

A Prayer of David. 86 

Bow down thine ear, O Lord, and answer me ; i 

— ■■ . ■■ , , t 

18. Note the connexion between moral conduct and external 
prosperity. If the people are faithful to Jehovah, He will make 
their land productive. See laa. iv. a ; Zech. iii. 8 : cf. Hag. i. 10 fi 

19. This verse is of uncertain interpretation ; see the larger 
commentaries. The likeliest sense is conveyed in the following 
free rendering : < His faithfulness to deliver goes before Him !: 
and it makes a path for Him to walk in ' : i.e. this faithfulness ip 
present wherever Jehovah is, and it is the norm according to which 
He acts. 

Psalm LXXXVI. 

Themt, Petitions for pity, help, guidance, and protection. 

I. Title. This is the only < David ' Psalm in Book HI. 
Vr»7er « the Hebrew word (found at the close of Ps. Ixxti) 
means primarily an appeal to God to protect the wronged against 
wrongdoers. The Psalms having this word in the title (xvii, 
Ixxxvi, cii, cxlii) formed originally a group. 

n. Cofttettts, (1) Prayer for pity and help (verses 1-7). 

(9) Acknowledgement of Jehovah's incomparableness (verses 

(3J Prayer for guidance (verses 11-13). 

(4) Prayer for protection (verses 14-17). 

This Psalm is a mosaic made up of citations from different 
parts of the O. T., and it had no doubt a liturgical origin. 

III. Authorship and Date, The dependence of the Psalm on 
other scriptures proves that it is of late date, certainly post-exilic, 
but beyond that the Psalm does not justify us in going. 

1-7. Prayer /or pity and help: each petition is supported by a 

1 f. Render : * Incline thine ear, O Jehovah, and answer me, 
O thou my God (from verse o). For I am afflicted and poor : 

9. O keep my soul (^me), for I am the object of thy loving* 
kindness : save thy servant who ' (<■ because he) 'trusts in thee.' 
Bow down thia« mw i a common formula in primer : see 
xvii* 6, xxxii sa; Prov. xxil 17,; Isa. xxxvii. 17. 

io8 THE PSALMS 86. 3-8 

For I am poor and needy. 
3 Preserve my soul ; for I am godly : 
O thou my God, save thy servant that tnisteth in thee. 

3 Be merciful unto me, O Lord ; 

For unto thee do I cry all the day long. 

4 Rejoice the soul of thy servant ; 

For unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. 

5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, 

And plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. 

6 Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer ; 

And hearken unto the voice of my supplications. 

7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee ; 
For thou wilt answer me. 

8 There is none like unto thee among the gods, O Lord ; 

poor and aoedy : from xL 17 (Ixx. 5), see bcxxii. 4, cix. 2a, 
and cf. XXV. 16, Ixxxii. 4 ; translate, * afflicted and needy ' : see 
on bcxxii. 3 f. Literal poverty is hardly meant 

a. thy iMrvant : the word ' servant ' is often used in Hebrew 
in polite speech for the personal pronoun : thus < thy servant,' ist 
pers. sing. = I or me, Gen. xviii. 3 ; i Sam. xx .7 f. ; thy * servants ' =» 
we, Gen. xlii. 11 ; Isa. xxxvi. 11. It is specially used in ad- 
dressing a superior, as in prayer to God, so here and often : see 
verses 4, 16, Ixxxix. 50, xc. 13, cii. 14, a8. See also on Ixxviii. 
70 : cf. the English * your obedient, humble, &c. servant.' 

3. See Ivii. i f. : cf. xxx. 8, 10. 

Bo mwoifkil : rather, ^ Be gracious,' ' show favour.' 

4. See xc. 15, * gladden us ' (same Hebrew word as here) : 
cf. IL 8 (* satisfy us' — ^based on corrected text — *with joy and 
gladness '). 

4^ is based on xxv. i. 

thj ■•rvaat : see on verse a. 
6. See cxxx. 4, and £xod. xxxiv. 6 f. The latter seems to be the 
source used, though the words are changed. 

6. See V. a, Iv. i f., xxviii. a : cf. cxxx. a. 
■nppltoattom : lit, prayers for favour : a noun formed from 

the vei^ in verse 3. 

7. See xvii. 6, Ixxvii. a, cxx. i f. 

8-10. IncomparabUntss of Jehovah, 

8. See Exod. xv. 11. The existence of heathen gods is 

THE PSALMS 86. 9-13 109 

Neither are there any works like unto thy works. 

All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship 9 

before thee, O Lord ; 
And they shall glorify thy name. 

For thou art great, and doest wondrous things : 10 

Thou art God alone. 

Teach me thy way, O Lord ; I will walk in thy truth : u 
Unite my heart to fear thy name. 

I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with my whole heart ; la 
And I will glorify thy name for evermore. 
For great is thy mercy toward me ; 13 

And thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest pit. 

assumed, thoqgh Jehovah is above them all, and in the end will 
alone be worshipped (verse 9). 

9. See xxii. 27 ; and cf. Isa. xxiv. 15. Note the Messianic 
ring of the verse. In the good time of Jehovah He alone will be 
worshipped from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of 
the earth. 

10. See Ixxii. 18, Ixxvii. 13 f, Ixxxiii. 18 ; Exod. xv. 11. 

11-13. Prayer for guidance. 

11. Unite my hMurt: i.e. make it one and undivided: see 
Jer. xxxii. 39. But we must read (changing but one consonant), 
* Let my heart ( = me) be joined to those who fear Thy name.' 
The LXX, Pesh., followed by many modems, read ' Let my heart 
rejoice,' &c., a trivial change in the vowels of the verb: cf. Job iii. 6. 

IS. See ix. i. 

13. See Ivii. 16, Ivi. 13 («cxvi. 8); Deut. xxxii. 22: cf. 
Sir. IL 6. 

th« low«st pit : see Deut. xxxii. 22 : Heb. < Sheol (which is) 
under' or * below.' Even if the adjective has the force of the 
superlative ( - ' lowest '), as Klostermann and most modems hold, 
the description applies to Sheol as a whole and not to a part of 
it, that part where the wicked are punished. Sheol is thought of as 
the opposite of the upper regions of light and life : see Job xi. 8 ; 
Amos ix. 2. It is the place to which all departed spirits or 
personalities go, good and bad : it does not correspond to out- 
hell, purgatory, or heaven. *To deliver from Sheol '= to save 
from death. Tlie word and the ideas conveyed by it are taken 
over from Semitic heathenism, though later Jewish eschatology 
read other ideas into the word. See Introduction, p. 15 ff. 

112 THE PSALMS S7. 3-6 

3 Glorious things are spoken of thee, 

O city of God. [Selah 

4 I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon as among 

them that know me : 
Behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia ; 
This one was bom there. 

5 Yea, of Zion it shall be said, Thb one and that one was 

bom in her ; 
And the Most High himself shall establish her. 

6 The Lord shall count, when he writeth up the peoples, 
This one was born there. [Selah 

8. Changing the vowels of one word (' •peaks ' for 'are spoken') 
render : ' Glorious things does He spoik concerning thee, O city 
of God.' 

This rendering better introduces the oracle contained in verses 

4-6. Thi orade of Jehovah, 

The Jews of the IKaspora will be received and recognized as 
constituents of the kingdom whose centre is Zion. 

4. The proper names in this verse represent the scattered Jews 
settled in the localities named. These are now recognized by 
Jehovah Himself as members of the theocracy. 

Hahib 1 ///. 'haughtiness/ a name for Egypt here and in 
Isa. XXX. % A genuine Isaianic passage. Originally it was one of 
the names of the primaeval monster Tiamat whom Marduk con- 
quered, changing Chaos to Kosmos, see on Ixxiv. 13! and Ixxxix. 
10. The name has this last sense in Isa. li. 9 and Job ix. 13, 
xxvi. la, see Gunkel, Chaos, &c. p. 38. 

6. The present Hebrew text yields no suitable meaning. If 
with the LXX we insert the word ' mother,' and if^ besides, we 
omit the initial letter of the first verb, whidi letter is very small 
and might well have been written in error for a copjrist's blot, we 
obtain the following excellent sense : ' But each one calls Zion 
mother, and in it (Zion) was each one bom.* So Wellhausen and 
Duhm. The accidental falling out of the word*' mother' would 
be helped by the fact that the same (two) letters occur in the verb 
next to it. 

Tlila one and tbat oaa i Heb. ' each one ' or ' eveiy one.' 

6. When Jdiovah ivill make a register of His people He will 
say of each foreign-bom faithful Jew— This one, tboui^ physically 
bom in some fsr-off land, shall be reckoned as a Zion-bom man, 
a heir of Jehovah's covenant blessing. 

THE PSALMS 87. 7—88. i 1x3 

They that sing as well as they that dance shall say^ • 7 
All my fountains are in thee. 

A Song) a Psalm of the sons of Korah ; for the Chief Musician ; 88 
set to Mahalath Leannoth. Mascbil of H^|i?An the Ezrahite. 

O Lord, the God of my salvation, i 

7. The rejoicing of those who love Zion. 

Render : < But they sing as they dance : 
All my springs are ih thee.' 

The text is, however, very uncertain. 

The subject (t^ey) of the verbs alnf and danoe is indefinite ; 
there is singing in Jerusalem accompanied by dancing, and the 
theme of the singing is * The sources of our joy are m the^ I— 
(Zign)^ see Isa. xii. 3: cf. xxxvi. 9t, Ix^cxiv. 6, Dancing was 
a part of worship, see xxvi. 6 and 9 Sam. vi. 16. 

Thtmi, The prayer of one in deep distress. 
* The gloomiest of all the plaintive Psalms ' (Delitzsch). 

I. Title, In every other case the words * For the chief musician * 
(see vol. i. p. 14) occupy the first place in the title. For this and 
other reasons the words that go before are to be rejected as mere 
repetition of the title to Ps. Ixxxvii. Tbirtle gdts over the 
difficulty by attaching the rest of the title to the preceding Psalm. 
Pt. Ixxxvii is then twice (beginning and end) described as 
^ a Psalm of the Korahites.' 

KaJuOath ^aimoth 1 the name of tbe melody to which the 
Psalm was to be sung : cf. title of Ps. Hii. 

Keman the Biyahlte 1 see Introduction to Ps. Ixxiii. Asaph 
Psalms» The term Ezrahite is, however, wrongly applied to 
Heman and also to Ethan (Ps. Ixxxix). 

II. Contents, (i) The Psalmist describes his miserable con* 
dition ! near to death : forsaken of friends (verses 1-9). > 

{^) He prays to be saved from death on the ground that the 
dead cannot praise Jehovah (verses 10-13). 

(3) He makes a pathetic appeal to Jehovah. Why hi^s He 
withdrawn His countenance, and thus allowed him to be over- 
whelmed with terrors? (verses 14-ip). 

This Psalm has many noteworthy features. It is the saddest 
iji;i the Psalter, sadder even than Pss. vii, xxil, and xxxi, for in 
thpsc tjbrec light docs break in at the last. 

It is an individual that suffers and speaks : make U a.»ong of 
I^rapl in Babylon^ and the tills song ^s gpnc, jhc long 

114 THE PSALMS 88. j.5 

I have cried day and night before thee : 

2 Let my prayer enter into thy presence ; 
Incline thine ear unto my cry : 

3 For my soul is full of troubles, 

And my life draweth nigh unto Sheol. 

4 I am counted with them that go down into the pit ; 
I am as a man that hath no help : 

5 Cast off among the dead, 

drawn wail of this Psalm vividly recalls Job*s most touching com- 

Olshausen, Cheyne O, &c. hold that the dose of the Psalm has 
been lost : it is this lost part which, say they, contained the hope 
and faith with which such Psalms close. 

Hengstenberg and Kay would join this Psalm to the next, 
making one long Psalm of the two. 

The suffering of the Pftalmist was in the first instance physical, 
though that brought on feelings of despair, harder to bear than 
the phjTsical pain. 

III. AuihorsMp and Date, The author lived at a time when God 
was thought to have forsaken the nation, for it is to this forsaking 
that he a^ribes his own sickness. There were many periods in 
the nation*s history in which this thought was uppermost, and it 
is impossible to point to any one and to say with any confidence, 
that IS the period in which this Psalm was written. 

1 f. Praytr to be heard and helped. 

1. Render : 'Jehovah my God I cry (to thee) for help by day, 
(and) I cry by night before thee.* 

The M. T. gives no admissible sense, but by making a very few 
trivial changes in the Hebrew we get good grammar and sense ; 
see above translation. 

tlM Ood of my Ma-vation t no change in the Hebrew con- 
sonants is required to jrield the meaning : ' (Jehovah) my God 
I cry for help/ 

3-9. The Psatntist describes his distress. 

3. Slieol ; see on Ixxxvi. 13. It is not the grave that is meant, 
but the home of departed spirits. 

4. help: better, < strength.' 

5. Render : ' My soul ( = I myself) is among the dead, Like the 
slain in the grave Whom thou rememberest no more, Seeing they 
are cut off by thy hand.* 

CMit off t Hebrew and versions have * free ' (as a slave who is 

THE PSALMS 88. 6-10 115 

Like the slain that lie in the grave, 

Whom thou rememberest no more ; 

And they are cut off from thy hand. 

Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, 6 

In dark places, in the deeps. 

Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, 7 

And thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. [Selah 

Thou hast put mine acquaintance far from me ; 8 

Thou hast made me an abomination unto them : 

I am shut up, and I cannot come forth. 

Mine eye wasteth away by reason of affliction : 9 

I have called daily upon thee, O Lord, 

I have spread forth my hands unto thee. 

Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead ? 10 

set At liberty) : the same Hebrew word has this sense in Job iii. 19 : 
but in the latter it is a boon rejoiced in— in Sheol the slave is no 
longer tyrannized over. Here the condition described is one 
deplored. It is best to change one letter, and to render * my soul ' : 
see above. Duhm reads * Thou shuttest me up among the dead * — 
excellent in sense, but involving a greater change of text. 

6. low«st pit I dark plM«s : dMps : the Targ. takes these to be 
graphic pictures of the Exile in Babylon ; see on Ixxxvi. 13. For 
* deeps ' LXX, Pesh. have * shadow of death ' ( « * blackest gloom ') ; 
see xxiii. 4. The Hebrew word is once more, through Noldeke^s 
influence, regarded as a compound -> * the shadow ' or ' gloom of 

^. Render : * Thou hast laid thy fury upon me, And thou hast 
caused thy waves to come to meet me.* 

li«th : the Hebrew verb is always elsewhere transitive. It 
is better to make a slight change and to render as above. 

aflllot«dt read as in the above rendering, changing similar 
letters in the Hebrew. 

8. He is abandoned by his friends : of. Job xix. 13 f. 
ftl>oitilnAtion : in Hebrew ' abominations * : probably the 
plural of intensity : * a great abomination/ 

e. Kin* •3r«, &c. : the eye soonest of any member tells the tale 
of sorrow ; see vi. 7, xxxi. 9 ; Job xvii. 7. 

10-13. Praytr to U savtdfrom death. 

That the shadowy denizens of Sheol can do nothing is the view 

I 2 

ii6 THE PSALMS 88. 11-16 

Shall they that are deceased arise and praise thee ? [Selah 

11 Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave ? 
Or thy faithfulness in Destruction ? 

1 2 Shall thy wonders be known in the dark ? 

And thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness ? 

13 But unto thee, O Lord, have I cried, 

And in the morning shall my prayer come before thee. 

14 Lord, why castest thou off my soul ? 
Why hidest thou thy face from me ? 

15 I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up : 
While I suffer thy terrors I am distracted. 

16 Thy fierce wrath is gone over me.; 

which meets us in later parts of the O. T. : see xciv. 17, cxv. 17 ; 
Job vii. 9, &c. : and also Charles, A Critical History of the Doctrine 
of a Future Life, pp. 41 ff. and 47 f. 

The questions in verses 10-13 anticipate a negative answer. 

10. Render : ' Canst thou perform wonders on behalf of the 
dead f Or can shades rise to praise thee ? * 

wonders : see on Ixxviii. 4, where a cognate word occurs in 
the plural. 

t]i«7 tbat ar« d«o«a«6d : better, ' shades ' : the word occurs 
in late Hebrew for the dead in Sheol : see Prov. ii. 18, &c. 

»ris«: i. e. to praise, not return to life. ' Can these shades, as 
such, praise thee ? * 

11. P»»lrm)tApii ; better retain the Hebrew word Abaddon, 
which is a synonym of Sheol; see Rev. ix. 11. 

13. land of fbrgctfkiliMM ; the land where one forgets and is 
forgotten. The expression occurs only here ; see Job xiv. ai. 

18. Render : ' But as for me, unto thee, O Jehovah, cry I for 
help : Even in the morning does my prayer come to meet thee.* 

In tlie morning : his first thoughts will be of thanks to God 
if only he is spared. 

14- 18. Pathetic appeal to Jehovah . Why has He hidden His face ? 

14. mj soul: i. e. me (emphatic), see on Ixxviii. iS* 

16. Render : < Afflicted am I and at the point of death ' {lit. 
'expiring*; * through pressure : I have borne tby terrDrs so that 
I am distracted.* 

. from my yMitk np : read, ^ through pressure ' (due to pain) : 
the Hebrew words are easily confounded. 

16. Tlqr fl«ro« wraili : render : ■'■ thy streams of wrath ' : the 
Hebrew word is plural ; see xlii. 7. 

THE PSALMS 88. 17—89. i 117 

Thy terrors have cut nie off. 

They came round about me like water all the day long ; '7 

They compassed me about together. 

Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, ^8 

And mine acquaintance into darkness. 

Maschil of Ethan the Ezrahite, 89 

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever r i 

18. And. mine M4ualiit»noe Into darkaess 1 render : ' my 
acquaintances are darkness/ i. e. darkness takes the place of my 
friends. I lose the former and instead get the latter^a sorry 
exchange ! see Job xvii. 14. 

Psalm LXXXIX. 
Thimi* Prayer for a renewal of Jehovah's mercies. 

I. Tiili, atliaa the Itrahlte. See on ^isaph Psalms^ pp. 37 f.. 
and see also Introduction to Ps. Ixxvii. 

II. Contints, (x) Theme of the Psalm. The covenant made 
with David (a Sam. vii) (verses 1-4). 

(a) A song of praise to Jehovah the Creator and Governor of the 
world, the righteous and gracious God (verses 5-14). 

(3) The privileges of Jehovah's people, happy and helped (verses 

(4) Fuller statement of the covenant made with David (see 
verses 1-4) (verses 19-37). 

(5) Contrast between the ideal, as set forth in the covenant, 
and the actual state of the people (verses 38-45). 

(6) Prayer that Jehovah may have regard to them, and that He 
may manifest to them the lovingkindness of past days (verses 


("7) Liturgical addition, closing Book III. 

This Psalm stands in close connexion v^ith Ps. cxxxii— see on 
that Psalm {Contents). In both Jehovah is entreated on the ground 
of the covenant made with David to be gracious to His people : 
but in the present Psalm there is unrelieved gloom : hope has 
gone except the glimmering rays which come from the covenant. 
In Ps. cxxxii there is hope and even confidence^ for God has 
begun to be gracious. 

III. Authorship and Date. This Psalm must be post-exilic, as it 
is based on the post-exilic piece a Sam. vii. i-og. The expectation 
of the perpetual rule of the house of David did not arise in Israel 
until after the Exile^ or at least until some time during the Exile. 

ii8 THE PSALMS 89. 2,3 

With my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to 
all generations. 
I For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever ; 

Thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. 

\ I have made a covenant with my chosen, 

When the Southern kingdom had come to an end pious Israelites 
began to cast about as to the future of God's elect people, a Sam. 
vii. 1-29 formulates the hope by which the Jews sustained their 
faith in God and in their future. Literary and other considerations 
place it beyond doubt that a Sam. vii. i-ap originated in post- 
exilic times (so the latest commentators), and this conclusion 
carries with it a post-exilic date for the present Psalm. 

There were many periods of national distress after the return 
from Babylon which could serve as a background for this Psalm ; 
note especiaUy the Samaritan and the Syrian persecutions : but 
it is impossible to fix upon any one to the exclusion of the rest, 
though that has been largely done. 

Many recent commentators (Olshausen, Bickell, &c.) hold that 
verses i-iS (except perhaps 4 f.) is an independent poem, implying 
that the people are happy and prosperous, written perhaps by the 
same author (Bickell and Duhm) but at a different time. The 
reasons for this conclusion are purely subjective, and they are more 
than balanced by reasons in favour of the unity of the Psalm. 
There is in the whole a development and connectedness of thought 
which argue that it is one whole poem that we have here. 

1-4. The Covenant with David (see 2 Sam. vii. 1-29). 
1. merelMi : kindnesses or kind acts. There is no implication 
of guilt in the word. 

S. Render : ' For thou saidst, For ever shall kindness be built 
up : In the heavens shall my faithfulness be established.' 
Z liave said : read with LXX, Pesh. ' Thou saidst' 
Shall b« hnllt up : the verbs ^ build * and ' establish * in this 
verse are suggested by their proper use in verse 4. God's loving- 
kindness is pictured as a building which becomes more and more 
manifest as stone is laid on stone. 

Shalt thou sstahUsh : rather with LXX, Sym., < shall be 
established * : no change of consonants is needed. 

in ths yt9erj hssvsns : ///. * in the heavens — my faithfulness 
shall be established in them.' The thought is — in heaven far 
removed from the changes of the earth : cf. the * hope . . . within 
the veil/ Heb. vL 19 : see cxix. 89. Or perhaps the meaning is 
^ with the stability and immutability of the heavens ' : see Ixxil 5, 
cxix. 90. 

3f. contain in brief the substance of the covenant made by 

THE PSALMS 89.4-8 119 

I have sworn unto David my servant ; 
Thy seed will I establish for ever, 4 

And build up thy throne to all generations. [Sels^ 

And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord ; , 5 
Thy faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones. . 
For who in the skies can be compared unto the Lord ? 6 
Who among the sons of the mighty is like unto the Lord, 
A God very terrible in the council of the holy ones, 7 

And to be feared above all them that are round about him? 
O Lord God of hosts, 8 

Who is a mighty one, like unto thee, O jah ? 

Jehovah with David (a Sam. vii. 1-29). These veraes depend on 
the * thou saidst ' of verse 3, for they give Jehovah^s words. The 
language of a Sam. vii is closely followed. 

3. sworn 1 in a Sam. vii nothing is said of an oath made by 
God, see cxxxii. 11. 

my MTVMit! see on Ixxviii. 50 and Ixxxvi. 2. 

5-18. A beautt/ul hymn of praise in which thi aitrilmtiS of 
Jihovah^s character are celebrated, 

6. Render : ' So let the heavens ' (i. e. heavenly beings) ^ praise 
thy wonderful acts, O Jehovah ; Yea, (let) the assembly of the holy 
ones (praise thy wonderful acts)/ 

6. who In th« skies, &c. : which of the gods represented by 
the heavenly bodies, sun, moon, &c., is comparable to Jehovah ? 

■onfl of th« mighty : i. e. false gods. The word rendered 
< mighty ' means in the plural invariably the gods of the heathen, 
see Exod. xv. 11, &c. Cf. xxix. i, Ixxxii. i (see on). For the 
force of 'sons of see on Ixxix. 11. 

7. Render : ' A God to be dreaded in the council of the holy 
ones, Great and terrible above all those round about Him.* 

very terrible 1 omit < very ' : it is the adjective -> * great ' 
written in error with the fern, ending. The LXX connects with 
the following, translating as above. 

holy ones : as in verse 5 ' angels,' so also them that are 
round about him. It is possible that the council of gods in which 
Jehovah was supposed to preside is meant here and in verse 5 : 
the epithetic ' holy * (ones) would be then applied ironically : see 
Introduction to Ps. Ixxxii. 

8. JAK: in Hebrew 'Yah,' an abbreviated form of Yahweh 
(Jehovah), due perhaps in the first instance to the shortened 
writing of the scribes. Though appearing in early Hebrew poetry 
(Ezod. XV. a) it is a later form than Yahweh, and this fact, together 

120 THE PSALMS 89. 9-14 

And thy faithfulness is round about thee. 
9 Thou rulest the pride of the sea : ' 

VlThen the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them. 

10 Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain ; 
Thou hast scattered thine enemies with the arm of thy 


11 The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine : 

The world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them. 

12 The north and the south, thou hast created them : 
Tabor and Hermon rejoice in thy name. 

13 Thou hast a mighty arm : 

Strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand. 

14 Righteousness and judgement are the foundation of thy 

throne : 
Mercy and truth go before thy face. 

with the occurrence of the fuller form in the Moabite stone, is 
against the supposition of Fried. Delitzsch and Hommel that the 
shorter name is the original one^ the longer name being due, they 
say, to a desire to connect this Divine name with the Hebrew 
verb * to be * {hawah = hayah) ; see on civ. 35. 

9. VlMm : in Hebrew emphatic » ^ As for thee, thou/ Sec. 
••»: a reference- to the sea monster slain by the supreme 

God. See on Baliab in the next verse. 

10. Baliftb : i. e. the monster of the ancient Semitic creation- 
myth, not Egypt ; see on Ixxiv. 13 f. and on Ixxxvii. 4. 

II £ describe how Jehovah, having overcome the great foe of 
light and order, called into being a kosntos or well-arranged 

11. Tlw woxld : ///. * the productive earth,* not, as used to be 
thought (cf. LXX), < the inhabited world.' The Hebrew word is 
always anarthrous, as though it were a proper noun. 

12. Tabor aaid Kermon : standing for east and west, from the 
point of view of one writing in South Palestine. 

13. arm : band : rigbt band : all terms expressive of God's 
power in action. The terms are often used in the account of the 
Exodus to indicate what God did (Exod. xv. 6, 9, 12, 16). 

14. Jehovah's rule is not only powerful (verse 13), it is also just. 
Judgenteat » righteousness in action. God's throne fs based 

on the quality and practice of righteousness. 

|I*r07 and tmtb, &c. : render : ' lovingkindness and faith- 

THE PSALMS 89. 15-19 121 

Blessed is ' the pebple that know the joyful ' sbund : 15 

They walk, O Lord, ih the light of thy cbuntenance: ' 

In thy name do they rejoice all the day : ' ' '16 

And in thy righteousness are they fe^ftilted: 

For thou art the glory of their strength :' ' 17 

And in thy favour our horn shall'be exalted. 

For our shield belongeth unto the Lord*'; = " '18 

And our king to the Holy One of Israel: 

■ , .• ' i / 
Then thou spakest in vision to thy saints^ ; . . , . ^9 

~ : -~, : : — : ^ 

fulness go before thee/ Wherever He is these qualities are: 
they are God's forerunners, His servants. His vassals ; see 
xliii. 3, &c. 

15-18. Tht privileges 0/ JehovaWs people. 
16. 81eii«d : i. e. ' happy ' : see on Ixxxiv. 4. 
iojfal sound : the trumpet sound heard when th^ festivals 
were being celebrated ; see Ixxxi. i. 

in th% ll|rbt of thy oonntanaAoe : i. e. in the enjoyment of 
thy favour ; see iv. 6, and Num. vi. 35 f. 

16. thy name -thy revealed character: so pc^ra^lel to thy 

theyri(|oio«i Heb, * they exult' 

are they exalted: the Hebrevir can, hardly yield this trans- 
lation. Better read, making unimportant, changes in the Hebrew, 
'they put forth ringing shouts of joy.* This is supported by 

17. the glory of their etzenffth-the power in which they 
glory J see xliv. 6 ff. 

And in thy fitvonr, &c. : render : < And through thy favour 
thou wilt exalt our horn.' This is the rendering backed by the 
uncorrected Hebrew text, the Targ., and Jero.» and it falls in 
better with the context, where the second person is used concern- 
ing the exalting of the horn ; see on Ixxv. 4, and cf. verse 24. 

18. shield : explained in the next clause to mean ' King ' ; see 
Ixxxiv. 10. * Our King, who is our defender, is one appointed 
by Jehovah.* The Psalm comes back now to the covenant with 

19-37. Expansion of what is said in verses 1-4 concerning the 
covenant with David, We have in these verses <a poetical ampli- 
fication of the prophecy uttered by Nathan (see 9 Sam. vii. 5-17). 

19. Vhen, at the time spoken of in a Sam. vli. 1-^69 referred to 

122 THE PSALMS 89. ao-25 

And saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty ; 

I have exalted one chosen out of the people, 
ao I have found David my servant ; 

With my holy oil have I anointed him : 
a I With whom my hand shall be established ; 

Mine arm also shall strengthen him. 
32 The enemy shall not exact upon him ; 

Nor the son of wickedness afflict him. 
2$ And I will beat down his adversaries before him, 

And smite them that hate him. 

24 But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him ; 
And in my name shall his horn be exalted. 

25 I will set his hand also on the sea, 

in verses 1-4. See especially 2 Sam. vii. 8-16. This word at 
least seems to imply the intervention of verses 5-18. 
tliy saints : * thy favoured ones,* see on Ixxix. 2. 
lielp ; read * crown ' (rteser for 'iser) ; the M. T. makes no 

one chosen : better, ' a young warrior ' — no change in the 
Hebrew ; see Amos iv. 10, &c. 

20. X hAv fonnd: read, ^ I have consecrated/ and see i Kings 
xiii. 13 for the phrase thus obtained. 

(David) toy sexyftnt: a title of respect : see on Ixxviii. 70. 
anointed : see i Sam. ix. 16, &c. Kings and priests were 
anointed for their office : see pp. 7 f. 

81. my hand : Xlne arm = * my power * ; see on verse 13. 
shall be established : shall be firmly fixed ; shall not depart 
from him, i. e. my power will not fail him. 

22. shall not exact upon him : i. e. shall not oppress him with 
the ruthless cruelty of a heartless creditor : so the LXX, the 
Rabbis, Calvin, Hupfeld, &c. Most modems, however, derive from 
a verb with the same letters (one may be different), meaning * to 
deceive ' : then * to overtake unawares * (see Iv. 16). 

The second part of the verse is taken almost verbatim from 
2 Sam. vii. 10 ; cf. 2 Sam. iii. 24. 

the son of wickedness : better, * the wicked man ' ; see on 
Ixxix. II. 

28. beat down : Heb. ' cut in pieces.' 
24. mexoy s better, ' lovingkindness.' 
26. sea « the Mediterranean, i. e. the west. , ^ 

THE PSALMS 89. 26-30 123 

And his right hand on the rivers. 

He shall cry unto me^ Thou art my father, a6 

My God, and the rock of my salvation. 

I also will make him my firstborn, a; 

The highest of the kings of the earth. 

My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, a8 

And my covenant shall stand fast with him. 

His seed also will I make to endure for ever, . 39 

And his throne as the days of heaven. 

If his children forsake my law, 30 

And walk not in my judgements ; 

riv«rs»the Euphrates and its canals, i.e. the east. These 
were the recognized boundaries of the Holy Land : see Ixxii. 8, &c. 
36. In a Sam. vii. 14 Jehovah promises David to be a Father 
to his son Solomon. Here He promises to be a Father to David 
himself. In Ps. ii the promise is apph'ed to the relationship 
between Jehovah and the Messiah. 

SCy Ood, and th« roek of my navatton t see xviii. a ; 
Deut. xxxii. 15. 

87. Ilratbom : i. e. chief among kings. Israel is also spoken of 
as God's firstboni : see Exod. iv. aa, &c. Hitzig holds that * David ' 
in this Psalm denotes the anointed nation. 

Vli« hiffliaat t of kings. The word is often applied to God : 
see Ixxiii. 11, &c. 

a8-37. Permamnct of thi coveftant, a Sam. vii. 13-16. 

88. m«royi Movingkindncss.* 

89. SMd-B descendants who shall succeed him on the throne. 
M tli« d«ja of ]i«av«]i : ^ as long as the heaven endures/ 

i. e. for ever. In its original place— Deut. xi. ai — the phrase is 
used of Israel : another application to David of what was first 
said of the nation. For the phrase see Ixxii. 5, 7, 17 ; Jobxiv. la. 

30-34. An amplification of a Sam. vii. 14 f. When David's 
descendants on the throne prove unfaithful to God^ even then will 
God be faithful to the covenant. 

Verses 30 f. constitute the protasis and 3a f. the apodosis of 
a long sentence. 

80. his ohildTMii Heb. 'sons/ i.e. those of his descendants 
who shall succeed him as king. 

Jndir«itt«at« : rather, ' ordinances ' : see Introduction to Ps. 
cxix, p. a54. 

124 THE PSALMS g9. 31-38 

31 If they break my statutes, 

And keep not my commahdments ; 
3a Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, 

And their iniquity with stripes.' 

33 But my mercy will I not utterly take from him, 
Nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. 

34 My covenant will I not break, 

Nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. 

35 Once have I sworn by my holiness ; 
' I will not He unto David ; 

36 His seed shall endure for ever. 

And his throne as the sun before me. 

37 It shall be established for ever as the moon, 

And as the faithful witaess in the sky. [Selah 

38 But thou hast cast off and rejected, 

8S. In 2 Sam. vli, 14 for rod and stripes we have ^ the rod of 
men/ *the stripes of men,' i.e. Jehovah will inflict such chastise- 
ment as earthly fathers do when their children, go wrong. See 
Hos. vi. 7 ; Job xxxi. 33, &c. 

33. mercy »Uovingkindness.' 
ITor suffer my fMthfmness to &U : Heb. < Nor will I be 
false in my faithfulness.* 

85. sworn : see on verse 3. 
Iiy joy holiness : see Ix. 6, Amos iv. 26 ; when God promises 
or makes an oath by His holiness it is implied that the certainty 
of execution' is vouched for by His character. 

36. Ills throne : the royal office, not the material object. 
as the snn : in duration ; see on verse 29. 

37. Render: *It* ( — his throne, see 2 Sam. vii. 16) 'shall be 
made firm ' ( =« * lasting ') ' as the moon for ever : and for ever as 
the sky shall it be sure.' 

witness : read, * for ever,' altering one vowel. 
In the sky : better, ^ as the sky ' : the particles for ' in * and 
' as' are written almost exactly alike^ and are constantly confounded 
as here. 

38-45. Contrast between the ideal held out in the covenant with 
David and the actual state of the people. 

il8. Bat thon : read ^ now ' changing the first consonant into 
one closely resembling it. 

THE PSALMS 89. 39^45 125 

Thou hast been wroth with thine ^inointed. 

Thou hast abhorred the covenant of thy servant ; . 39 

Thou hast profaned his crown even to the ground. 

Thou hast broken down all his hedges ; 4^ 

Thou hast brought his strong holds to ruin. 

All that pass by the way spoil him : 41 

He is become a reproach to his neighbours. 

Thou hast exalted the right hand of his adversaries ; 4 a 

Thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice. 

Yea, thou turnest back the edge of his sword, : 43 

And hast not made him to stand in the battle. 

Thou hast made his brightness to cease^ 44 

And cast his throne down to the ground. 

The days of his youth hast thou shortened : 45 

Thou hast covered him witl;i shame. [Selah 

89. AlihorMdi read, < shaken off,' changing the middle con- 

even to tb« ^onnd t i. e. by casting it (the crown) to the 
ground. See on Ixxiv. 7. ' 

40. What is said in 40* of the king is in Ixxx. la said of the 
nation. But in this Psalm the distinction between the king and 
people seems oflen a vanishing one. 

41^ is from Ixxix. 4 : cf. xliv. 13. 

41. All tliat pMM lij tlie waj: the hordes that invade the 
country or pass through it towards some other countty-**Syria or 
Egypt, &c. 

43. thou turnest Iwok, &c. The sense is: 'Thou. dost not 
allow his sword to slay one foe. When its edge is directed towards 
the enemy thou makest ft return without having wrought any 
execution.' The idea of blunting the edge is not in the Hebrew. 

Perhaps with Targ., Graetz, &c. we should read, * Thou turnest 
back his sword,* which yields the same sense and is simpler. 

44. Render : * Thou hast taken away the sceptre from his hand,' 
dcct The changes in the Hebrew necessary for this are few and 

40. The dayi of his youth hast thou shortened 1 it is 
difficult to make these words apply to David, for he died in a 
good old age. 

126 THE PSALMS 89. 46-50 

46 How long, O Lord, wilt thou hide thyself for ever ? 
Haw long shall thy wrath bum like fire ? 

47 O remember how short my time is : 

For what vanity hast thou created all the children of men ! 

48 What man is he that shall live and not see death. 

That shall deliver his soul from the power of Sheol ? [Selah 

49 Lord, where are thy former mercies. 

Which thou swarest unto David in thy faithfulness ? 

50 Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants ; 

How I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the 
mighty peoples ; 

46-51. The Psalmist pleads with Jehovah to ptU away His anKer, 

46. This verse is almost verbatim as in Ixxix. 5 : render : 

* How long, O Jehovah, wilt thou hide thyself t Will thy hot 
anger bum like fire for ever? ' 

47. Render : ' Remember, O Lord, what kind of thing (this) 
passing life is I For what vain purpose hast thou created human 
beings ? ' 

The word < Lord ' has, by a copyist's negligence, been corrupted 
to the first personal pronoun 'I,' which here is untranslatable. 
The mistake is due to the dropping of one letter {d). 

children of mon: Heb. 'sons of men/ ue. men, humaa 
beings ; see on Ixxix. 11. 

48. Render: ' Who is the man that will live (on) without seeing: 
(experiencing) death, That shall deliver himself from the power 
of Sheol? ' 

Whffk I ace on Ixxxvi. 13. 
40. f6ntt«r movelM: rather, < former lovingkindnesses ' (as in 
A. v.). 

Whioli ttum B W M r — t s see on verse 3. 

50 f. Jehovah is Himself dishonoured by the continuance of 
Israel's disasters. 

50. Render : ^ Remember, O Lord, the reproach of ' ( - ' huiled 
against ') ' thy servant : How I bear * (lit ' my bearing ') « in my 
bosom the contumely of the peoples.' 
unvMAtut read 'servant' (sing.)* 

the reproach of all tlie mlgbty poopUs: the italicized 
words are not in the Hebrew. The remaining Hebrew words have 
consonants greatly resembling those of the Hebrew word for 

* contumely ' {Kelimma), and we must no doubt restore this word 
as original. 

THE PSALMS 89. 51— 90. i 127 

Wherewith thine enemies have reproached, O Lord, 51 
Wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of thine 

Blessed be the Lord for evermore. 5« 

Amen, and Amen. 

A Prayer of Moses the man of God. 9Q 

Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place i 

61. footsteps: they follow him, are at his heels with taunts and 
gibes as to his God and his religion. Cf. xvii. iz ; Jer. xii. 6 
(R. v.). 

62. This verse is not a part of the Psalm, but a closing doxology 
to Book III (73>89) added by one of the editors of the present 

Books IV and V. 

The Psalms in these two books (xc-cvi and cvii-cl) formed 
originally one collection, as is true of those in Books II and III, 
though the evidence in the latter case is more abundant and con- 
vincing. The doxology at the end of Ps. cvi was added from 
I Chron. xvi. 36 after the division into five books had taken 
place. Pss. cv-vii are so allied in form and thought that they must 
from the first have stood together. It was no doubt the arrange- 
ment of the national Uw book into 'five-fifths' that led to a 
corresponding division of the national hymn-book. Moreover, 
there are Elohistic and Yahwistic Psalms as there are Elohistic 
and Yahwistic parts of the Pentateuch. 

In the sixty-one Psalms of these books * Yahweh ' occurs thirty- 
three times, * Elohim ' seven times. Of the latter, six are in Ps. 
cviii (see on), which is made up of extracts from two Elohistic 
Psalms and an editorinl introduction. The other Psalm in these 
books in which * Elohim ' is found (cxliv^ is also composite. 

There are some common features in Pss. xc-cl which suggest 
that they formed at one time a single collection, such as the 
large number of 'orphan ' (1. e. titleless) and liturgical Psalms, the 
miscellaneous character of the Psalms, &c. : see the larger com- 

The following are the principal groups in Books IV and V. 

(i) The David Psalms—flfteen In number (all in Book V). 

128 ..THE PSALMS 90. a 

. In all generations. 

2 Before the moiuntainsf were brought forth, 

(a) The < Songs of the Going up' ('Song of degrees'). Fto. 
' cxx-cxxxiv. 

(3^ The Theocratic Psalms xciii-c (except xciv). 

(4) The ' Hodu ' ( « * O give thanks ') Psialms, cv-vii and cxxxvL 

(5) The Hallelujah Psalms. See Hallelujah Psalms, p. 296 f. 

Psalm XC. 

Theme. Jehovah the unchanging, the refuge of changing and 
erring man. 

I . Title. The name Xoff«s appears in the title probably on account 
of the similarity between the teaching of the Psalm and that of 
portions of the Pentateuch, the latter being the work of Moses 
according to Jewish tradition. 

II. Contents, (i) The eternity of God contrasted with the 
frailty and brevity bf human life (verses 1-6). 

(2) The sorrow of man*s short life due to God's anger, which 
is itself due to man's sin (verses 7-10). 

(3) Prayer for wisdoih to realize the brevity of life, and for 
Divine satisfiaction. (verses 1 1 -Jt 7). 

III. Authorship and Date. The resemblances between this 
Psalm and Deut. xxxii make it likely that they are contemporary 
or nearly so. Perhaps the dashing to the ground of the hopes of 
the nation in b. c. 609 by the death of good king Josiah was the 
immediate occasion that called forth the Psalm. Dillmann (in 
class) held that the Psalm arose in the Northern kingdom in the 
reign of Ahab, when Ben-hadad invested Samaria (about b.c. 857), 
see I Kings xx ; but the Deuteronomic teaching of the Psalm 
excludes this hypothesis, as also Ewald's similar view. Later 
dates (Maccabean, &c.) have been defended by Hitzig and others. 

Notwithstanding the attacks upon the unity of the Psaltn made 
by many recent critics the Psalm itself stands well together, and 
has no clear traces of being composite. Of course the connected- 
ness of the thought may be due to good editing : Gunke! and 
others deny this connectedhess. 

1-6. God's eternity and man's evanescence contrasted. 

Verses x-xa constitute »n independent poem according to Puhm. 

1. ]aor4 : the Hebrew word used here (adonai) is that which 
the Jews read instead of Jehovah {Yahweh) : the voweb of this 
word have b^n inserted in the form represented by * Jehovah.^ 
dwisUlBK pUce : so Pesh«^ Jero. The same Hebrew word 

THE PSALMS 90. 3-6 129 

Or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, 
Even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. 
Thou turnest man to destruction ; 3 

And sayest, Return, ye children of men. 
For a thousand years in thy sight 4 

Are but as yesterday when it is past. 
And as a watch in the night. 

Thou carriest them away as with a flood ; they are as 5 
a sleep : 

occurs in Ixxi. 3, xci. 9. The LXX, altering the last letter to one 
much like it, reads ^ refuge * : so Wellhausen, &c. 

S. Render : * Before Uie mountains were begotten (born), or 
earth and fruit-bearing world were brought forth' (with birth 
pains) ; * Yea from eternity ' (in the past) * to eternity * (in the 
future) < thou art God.' 

thou hadat formed 1 render : * were brought forth/ see above: 
only one vowel in the Hebrew need be changed : so the Greek 
versions and Targ. On the other hand, Pesh., Jero. have the active, 

a. Render : * Thou roakest man return to dust-particles : Then 
thou sayest come back, O ye men (human beings).' 

naA I the Hebrew word ( « Latin vir) is that used in vfii. 4% 
and commonly explained, even now, as * man in his weakness,' see 
on cxiii. 15. But it cannot be too much insisted upon that in the 
parallelism of Hebrew poetry pairs of words like the two Hebrew 
words for ^ man ' are treated as synonyms, though in other con- 
nexions they have significant differences of sense. 

4. wh^nitia past : so translate, not as R. Vm. *when it passeth.* 
A small letter {yoeh has been, by error, written twice, and so the 
verb has assumed the verb of an imperf. or present. 

The It refers to the (term of) 1,000 years. * Yesterday' is 
always past. 

a w»toh: at this time there were three watches in the night: 
in our Lord's day and for some time before there were four. See 
on cxix. 148. What passes more quickly or more imperceptibly 
than a night watch, when people are wrapt in sleep ! 

When a thousand years have glided by, to God it seems no longer 
than one day. Man's days, though few, are so full of trouble that 
they seem very long. With God time does not count. 

6. Render : * Thou sowest them year by year : they are like 
sprouting grass.* We must, no doubt, read ^ thou sowest ' for thov 
pwriMt : the Hebrew for the former could easily be mistaken 


I30 THE PSALMS 90, 6-.10 

In the morning they are like grass which giowedi up. 

6 In the morning it fiourisheth, and groweth up ; 
In the evening it is cut down, and withereth. 

7 For we are consumed in thine anger, 
And in thy wrath are we troubled. 

8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, 

Our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. 

9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath : 
We bring our years to an end as a tale that is /old, 

10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten, 

for that in the M. T., as a glance at the original wiU show : see 
Ixxvii. 18. 

Xa tlie momiag : these words were dittographed by mistake 
from the next verse and must be omitted here. 

6. Render : ' In the morning it (the grass) blossoms and sprouts : 
in the evening it is mown down and withers.' 

growetli np: the Hebrew means ^to glide by/ 'to pass 
away.' Ewald maintains that it is the change of decay that is 
here meant ; but that sense does not suit the verb in verse 5 : in 
both verses it is best to explain the verb as meaning * to move 
upward ' ; then ' to grow.' 

7-10. Man's sorrow due to God's anger, the cause of Goets anger 
being wan*s sin, 

7. we are oonsnmed: Heb. ' come to an end.' 

tronbled : the element of fear lies in the word : ' we are 
dismayed ' preserves that element. 

The ' we ' and the * our ' of this Psalm refer to the nation. This 
Psalm had apparently a liturgical origin. 

8. sins : read ^ sin ' with most authorities. 

in tbe Uirlit, &c. : in iv. 6, Ixxxix. 15 (see on) the light of 
God's face is His bright smile and His favour : in this verse it is the 
light (lit, here 'luminary ') which reveals sins otherwise unknown. 

9. Render : * For all our days decline ' (towards evening) : * In 
consequence of thy wrath we come to an end : Our years are as 
a sigh ' (so quick in passing). 

We lirinff imr years, 8cc, : read (with LXX, &c.) as above, 
altering the Hebrew vowels. 

as a tale that is tM : Heb. < as a sigh.' 
The LXX renders : * Our years have gone on performing their 
tasks like a spider.' 

10» Render : ' The day of our years, their high point is seventy 
years, And if we have much strength eighty years ; Yet their 

THE PSALMS 90. 11-14 131 

Or ieven by reason of strength fowtoore years ; 

Yet is their pride but labour and sorrow ; 

For it is soon gone^ and we fly away. 

Who knoweth the. power of thine anger, 11 

And thy wrath according to thie feaf that ia due unto thee ? 

So teach ua to number our dalys, it 

That we may get us. an heart of wisdom. 

Return, O Lord ; how long? X3 

And let it repent thee concerning thy servants. 

O satisfy us in the morning with thy mercy ; i'^ 

That we may rejoice and be glad all our days. 

(whole) extent is weariness and troublb : Surely it passes qnkkly 
away and we take our flight ' (hence). 

The average age of men is by no means seventy years. Besides, 
the Hebrew construction in zo^ is peculiar, and suggests corruption. 
We should, with Duhm, make a small change in the Hebrew and 
render as above. 

their pride I read, < their extent/ altering one letter for 
another much like it : see on cxxxvtii. 3. 

IZ-17. Sundty pHiHom, 

XX f. Prayer for wisdom to see and recognise Jehovah's anger 
and the consequent brevity of life. 

11. power (of thine anger) : i. e. 'extent/ as Latin w, and Welsh 
^WTw So in provincial Welsh-IInglish one hears of a. ' power of 
good,' *a power of men.' 

the fear that la ana unto thee 1 rather, < thy power to 
awaken fear.* 

18. 80 ! i. e. as thy wrath demands. 
Vhat m may get ns : that we may bring (to the consideration 
of things) a wise intellect. 

13-17. Pmytr for a rtstoration of the Divim fkvour «o thai thi 
p*opie nufy U^tMentd^ 

18. aetnrn 1 better, < make a turn,* ' a change * ; see vi. 4. The 
brief and elUptioal how lo&g is very expressive. 

tot it r*pe»t thee, &c. : rather, 'be compassionate towards^' 
Ace. The Hebrew construction for ' to repent ' is different. With 
i^ of. Deut xxxii. 36. 
14. la tlM monUag 1 i« e. < quickly,* * soon.' 
rajoioei Heb. < give forth ringing shouts of >oy/ 

K 2 

132 THE PSALMS 90. 15— 91. i 

15 Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast 

afflicted us, 
And the years wherein we have seen evil. 

16 Let thy work appear unto thy servants, 
And thy ^ory upon their children. 

17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us : 
And establish thou the work of our hands upon us ; 
Yea, the work of our hands establish thou it. 

91 He that dwdleth in the secret {^ce of the Most High 

15. Let us have as much gladness in the future as we have had 
sadness in the past. 

16. tlij work I rather here, * thy working ' or < doing.* 

17. Render : * May the favour of the Lord be upon us : Establish 
thou the work of our hands : Yea the work of our hands establish 
thou it' 

hmiatji better, 'iavour,' 'goodwill.' 

the &OBD should be printed * Lord.' Yahwth (Jehovah) 
is not in the original. 

The second upon ns is a dittograph, and must go out Its absence 
is required by rhythm and sense. 

If nothing special is referred to in this verse the meaning is : 
< Let our daily tasks prosper.' 

Psalm XCL 

Themi. Jehovah the Protector of all them that put thdr trust 
in Him. 

L Contents, (z) The happiness of those who make Jehovah 
their refuge (verses if.). 

(a) Reasons for this happiness: Jehovah will protect them 
against evUs of every kind (verses 3-13). 

(3) Jehovah's promise to defend and deliver those who trust in 
Him ^verses 14-16). 

Psalms 90 f. are closely allied in language and thought, both 
of them having many affinities with Deut. xxxii. Perhaps the 
two Psalms are by the same author, and were intended to supple- 
ment each other, Ps. xci expressing the realization of the prayer 
with which Ps. xc closes. 

The apparent change of person in verses s and 9 has led many 
to regard the Psalm as antiphonal. But the alleged chan^ of 
person is due to textual corruption : see on verses a, 9. 

THE PSALMS 91. 3.4 133 

Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress ; a 

My God, in whom I trust. 

For he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, 3 

And from the noisome pestilence. 

He shall cover thee with his pinions, 4 

III. Authorship and Date, The dependence of the Psalm on 
Deut. xxxii shows that it was not composed beforei b. c. 6di. 
The doctrine of angels put forth in verses 11 f. makes a post-exilic 
date likely. 

Verses i f. The happiness of those who make Jehovah their 

1. Render : * Happy is the man who dwells in the hiding place 
of the Most High, Who abides in the shadow of the Almighty.' 

The word < happy * has almost certaUily dropped out from the 
beginning of the verse, its resemblance to the next word (in 
Hebrew) leading to this. Without it the Hebrew is peculiar. 

▲Imlirlity : Heb. Shaddai^ a word of uncertain meaning : see 
voL i. p. 359. 

8. Render : < Say concerning Jehovah : (He is) my refuge and 
my fastness, My God in whom I trust.' 

I will Mj I read < say/ changing the vowels. 

3-X3. Reasons /or the happiness 0/ those who trust Jehovah, 

In 3-6 there ia an enumeration of the evils to which the godly 
man is exposed. 

a. sliaU dftUvev 1 render, * delivers.' In verses 3 f. the verbs 
should probably be construed as presents. The Hebrew impf. 
used here is the tense (so called) of unfinished action. 

■Bare of tJie Ibwlev 1 the same figure is found in cxxiv. 7 ; 
cxli. 9 ; Hos. ix. 8. When the righteous man has fallen into the 
hands of insidious foes Jehovah rescues him. 

aolsoxnt i^tlleiioei < noisome' in Old English (from Lat. 
ftoOre) means * noxious.' But it is better to read * ruinous word,' 
i.e. calumny, slander. So LXX, Sym. and (essentially) Pesh. : it is 
ozily a difference of Hebrew vowels. The uamxm of the fowtov 
will then refer to plots to entrap him into compromising speech. 

4. Translate the verbs as presents : see on verse 3. 
ytaioiui (parts of wings): wlafss note that God is here 
pictured as having wings, with which He protects His people, as 
the bird its young. In Solomon's temple two winged cherubs 
overshadowed the ark. Cherubs and winged bulls play a 
prominent part in Semitic mythology. The well-known winged 

134 THE PSALMS 91. 5-7 

And under his wings shalt tfaou take refuge ; > 
His ttVLth is a shield and a buckler. 

5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night. 
Nor for the arrow that flicth by day ; 

6 For the pestilence that walketh in darkness, 
Nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday* 

7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, 
And ten thousand at thy right hand ; 
But it shall not come nigh thee. 

tniU with a human head is called in Assyrian Kiribn, in Heb. 
Kerubf the s&me word in both cases ; see on Ixxx. z, and on 
xctx. I. 

The last part of verse 4 is placed by Duhm at the dose of verse 
7, where it is much more suitable. 

Sis trntlL : rather, < His faithfulness.' 

5. Render : ' Thou needest not be afraid of any terrible thing 
at night, Nor of any arrow that may happen to fly in the day * 

tenrov t Heb. ' an object of fear ' : ' something that awakens 

6. Render : (' Thou needest not be afraid ') ' of any pestilence 
that may stalk (walk) about in darkness : (nor) of destruction, 
nor of the demon of noonday.* 

9««lll«no«< disease is represented a» a livhig being hover- 
ing about and attacking human beings. There is an imtlied refer- 
ence to the belief of the Semites that every disease was due to the 
action of some evil spirit-~a demon ; and that the way to care 
the malady was to expel the demon. See Magic, Diinnatum, 
and Dtpnottology among tht HebnwB, &c., by the present 
writer, p. zoaf. 

in davkness : it was at night that evil spirits were supposed 
to do their work: see Exod. xi. 45 * Isa. xxxvll 36. 

that WMTtem, &c. : read, <nor of the demon of noonday/ 
making very slight changes. The M. T. is neither grammatical 
tnt sensible. Late Jewish writhigs recognized the existence of 
moAiing, noonday, and night demons. 

7. Render : * Though a thousand (men) should fall at thy side. 
And ten thousand at thy rieht hand, It shall not come near to thee.' 
(< His faithfulness is thy shield iand wall of defence.') 

The last clause of verse 4 belongs here probably. The verse 
supposes a case, but in Hebrew a conditional clause has often no 
particle accompanying it, so that our translators frequently, as here, 

THE PSALMS 91. 8-13 135 

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold, 8 

And see the reward of the wicked. 

For thoUf O Lord, art my rd'uge ! 9 

Thou hast made the Most High thy habitation ; 

There shall no evil befall thee, 10 

Neither shall any plague come nigh thy tent. 

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, 11 

To keep thee in all thy ways. 

They shall bear thee up in their hands, la 

Lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. 

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder : 13 

miss the sense of the O. T. author. ^ Thou art as safe as Israel 
was when the destroying angel wrought such havoc among the 
Egyptians* (Exod. xii. 93). 

8. Only I the word belongs to the whole sentence, not merely 
to ' eyes * : cf. with this verse Deut xxxii. 35. 41. 

8. Render : ^ For Jehovah is thine own feruge, The Lofty One 
thy place of safety.^ 

Tor thom in Hebrew idiom the personal pronoun has 
frequently no other effect than to lay stress on an oblique form 
of the pronoun. Here it emphasizes *thy* in *thy refuge,' 
which must be read (with Wellnausen, &c.) for * tny refuge * ; cf. 
' thy habitation ' in 9^. 

habitation t read ' refuge ' as in xc. i ; so LXX. 

10. plairue : the Hebrew word is specially used of a Divine 
infliction for sin, leprosy, &c. 

II f. The reference to angels in these verses shows the Psalm 
is of late date. 

11. The Rabbis saw in this verse an allusion to the two 
ministering angels which every man was supposed to have. But 
in the O. T. such angels belong to nations, not individuals. For 
illustration of this verse see Tobit, Dan. iii, and cf. Ps. xxxiv. 
7 ; Gen. xxiv. 7, 40 ; Exod. xxiii. so. 

in all thy ways s in all the ways ordered for thee, not in 
ways of thy own choosing : see Matt. iv. 6 ; Luke iv. 10. 
18. hands : cf. Exod. xix. 4 : Heb. < palms of thy hands.' 
13. lion I read, < asp ' : so LXX, Pesh. The Hebrew differs in 
one only of three consonants. Cf. adder ; one would hardly speak 
of treading on a * lion.' 

adder 1 same word in Iviii. 4. It is the Egyptian cobra that 
is meant, the reptile by which Cleopatra took her own life. The 
word is found also in Deut. xxxii. 33 ; Job xx. 14 ; Isa. xi. 8. 

136 THE PSALMS 91. i4~92. i 

The young lion and the serpent shalt thou trample under 

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will 

I deliver him : 
I will set him on high, because he hath known my namie. 

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him ; 
I will be with him in trouble : 

I will deliver him, and honour him. 

16 With long life will I satisfy him. 
And shew him my salvation. 

92 A Psalm, a Song for the sabbath day. 

I It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, 

14-16. JehovaKs promise to His people. The speaker is no 
longer the Psalmist, but Jehovah, 

14. set Ms love upon me : Itt, < clung affectionately to me ' : 
see Deut. ix. 7, x. 15. 

(set Um) on hiirb : i.e. beyond the reach of bis foes; 

Cf. XX. I. 

known my name : i. e. known the name by which God was to 
be called upon in prayer : so = ' known how to seek me in prayer.' 
In later times the name Yahweh (Jehovah) acquired a mystical 
signification, a supposed source of magic power to those who 
knew it : but that time was not yet. 

15 f. Cf. 1. 15, 23 ; verse 15 resembles 1. 15 closely, 

16. Render : * When he calls upon me I will answer him. 
I will be with him in distress : I will deliver him and honour him.' 

The first clause is conditional, though lacking the conditional 
particle ; see on verse 7. 

16. With long life : Heb. < with length of life ' : Deut. xxx. 20 ; 
Prov. iii. 2, 16. This is the reward promised, not a future haven 
and heaven of joy : see Exod. xx. 12, xxiii. 26. The wicked, on 
the other hand, will be cut off: see verses 7 f. 

will X satisQr Um : cf. xc. 14 : i. e. ' let him live as long as 
he finds life worth living.' In Gen. xxxv. 29, &c. it is said of those 
who had lived to a good old age that they died ' satisfied ' in days. 

Psalm XCII. 

Psalms xcii-c are liturgical, and were probably composed for 
temple purposes. According to the Targum and Talmud Psalm 


THE PSALMS 92. a, 3 137 

And to sing praises unto thy name^ O Most High : 

To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, a 

And thy faithfulness every night, 

With an instrument of ten strings, and with the psaltery ; 3 

xcii was composed for use on the sabbath, the Psalms for the 
other days being, according to the Talmud, as follows (beginning 
with Monday) : xxiv, xlviii, Ixxii, xciv, Ixxxi, xciii. In style and 
matter Psalms xciii and xcv are closely allied, and, except for 
liturgical considerations, would not have been separated by rsalm 
xciv which is later in date and different in character. 

Theme, A h3rmn of praise to Jehovah on account of what 
He has done. 

I. Title, This Psalm was prescribed to be sung on the sabbath 
because the works of God in creation are supposed to be celebrated 
on that day : see verses 4 f. 

II. Contents, (i) The duty of praising Jehovah on account pf 
what He has done (verses 1-6), 

^2^ The ultimate ruin of the wicked (verses 7-1 1). 
(3) The final triumph of the righteous (verses la-iS). 

III. Authorship and Date, This Psalm, as also the so-called 
* Royal Psalms ' xciii-c (except xciv), was elicited by some great 
deliverance, either that from Babylon, or one of the deliverances 
accorded the Jews during their struggle with Syria. 

It is better, on the whole, to connect this series of Psftlms, as 
the Cheyne of the Bampton Lectures does, with the period 
immediately following the return from Babylon. Jehovah had 
given proof of His sovereign power and of His love to His 
people oy restoring them to their own land, and enabling them in 
part to rebuild both sanctuary and city. 

1-6. Jehovah should be praised Jbr what He has 'done, 

1. irood: < proper,' 'right,' in the ethical sense: or it has the 
same meaning as ' comely ' in xxxiii« i, i.e. ' becoming.' The word 
may mean ' well-pleasing to God ' : cf. Gen. xxix. x8. 

sing pvalMs i lit, * sing psalms,' the original noun for Psalm 
being cognate with the verb here. * 

a. The morniaiT and night embrace here the whole day of 
twenty-four hours : see Iv. 17, cxxvii. a ; Isa. v. 11 ; though in 
that case the words are hyperbolical. The distribution of the 
theme of the praise (lovingUnAnets and fklthftOntM) is 
poetical, not logical— -due to the parallelism. 

a. With »n Instriunent of t«n strings, »nd with ths 
pssltsrji render, ^with a ten-stringed instrument, even with 
a harp ' : one instrument only is intended. 

ij8 THE PSALMS 92. 4*9 

With a flolettiD sound upon the harp* 

4 For thout LoRi>» hast made me glad through thy work : 
I will triumph in the works of thy hands. 

5 How great are thy works, O Lord ! 
Thy thoughts are very deep. 

6 A brutish man knoweth not ; 
Neither doth a fool understand this : 

7 When the wicked spring as the grass^ 

And when all the workers of iniquity do flourish ; 
It is that they shall be destroyed for ever : 

8 But thou, O Lord, art on high for evermore. 

9 For, lo, thine enemies, O Lord, 
For, lo, thine enemies shall perish ; 

All the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. 

liaxp : render, < lyre ' ; and on the two instruments here named 
see Introduction. 

4. tbj woirk I < thy working ' is what is meant by this word, the 
main emphasis being on the act. 

Z will triumph : Heb. < I will put forth ringing shouts 
of joy.' 

work* s the Hebrew word here has a different root from that 
rendered works here the stress is on the resuU, not on the 
process. The reference seems to be to some recent act of Judge- 
ment and deliverance, and not to God's creating and governing 
the world. 

5. works t as in verse 4. 

thonghitm t God*s ulterior purpose in pemntting the wicketf 
to have, temporarily, the better lot 

6. A bratlsk maa s see Izziii. as. 

Idol: the Hebrew word means 'silly,' 'childish.' The 
word rendered * fool ' in liii i has usually an ethical oolouring 

Ubim t i. e. what is said in the next verse. 
7-11. Thi ehumfattofihewideed. 

7. It is that ther Shall bs dsstrojsd: better, 'that tbey^ 
may be destroyed/ 

8. This one-lined verse is probably an interpolation : it 
interrupts the connexion of verses 7 and 9. 

9. Vor, lo— Vor, lo : the repetition is for emphasis (see xcfii. 3% 
but it helps the rhythm also. 

THE PSALMS 92. icti 139 

But my horn hast thou exalted like the horn of the wild- 10 

ox : 
I am anointed with fresh oil. 

Mine eye also hath seen my desire oti mine enemies, 11 
Mine ears have heard my desire of thef evil-doers that rise 

t^ against me^ • •. m .: 

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree : la 

He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 

10. Render: I But thou hast exalted my horn as (that of) 
a wild ox : Thou hast anointed me with fresh oil.' 

mj horn. luMit tikou tx»lt«d : see (for this symbolical ex- 
pression) on Ixxv. 4. 

wllA-ox I according: to LXX, Jero., P.B. V., A, V., Wortabet 
(Z>J3. ii. pp. 4i5f.)> And others, it is the unicorn that is meant. 
Though, however, one horn is here spoken o(^ the animal has 
two horns according to Deut. xxxiii. 17 : cf. Ps. xxii. i. The 
description given in the O. T. makes it highly probable that the 
Hebrew word has the same meaning as the cognate As8}rrian 
{rimu\ iviz. the wild ox, which is depicted on Assyrian monu^ 
mentSi and relics of which have been discovered in the booie> 
caves of Mount Lebanon. 

Z am MioUit«d, &c. : read, ' thou bast anointed ne,' &c. 
The verb is not that usually employed of anointing to office (the 
root in < Messiah 0> ^nd it means elsewhere ^ to mix.' 

froslL ollf oil was used on festive And other occaMons, as 
B means of restoring the spirits, and the fresher the oil the more 
effective. See xxiii. 5, xlv. 7 ; Isa. Ixi. 3* 

11. Render : ' My eye has gazed with glee upon my watchful 
foes : My ears have listened with joy to (the wails of) [those ^ho 
have risen against me] evil-doers.' 

The words in square brackets are a gloss on the word ' evil- 
doers,' and do not belong to the original text as the rhythm and 
awkwardness of construction suggest. 

ia-15. Thi prosptrity of the righteous : cf. lii. 8 f. Righteous- 
ness pays even here and now: "niis is also tht thought of Psalm 
i, and of the O. T, generally. Of any reward hereafter not a 
syllable is uttered here or in Ps. i. 

ItL lifes tbe p41m tt— I no tree fai the East gtovp^ more 
plentifully or more beautifully than the palm-tree. Here and it\ 
Cant. vii. 7 it is used Bs a symbol of beauty. 

Uke a o«dav : a symbol of strength : see a Kings xiv. 9, 
xix. 03. 

I40 THE PSALMS 92. 13-^3. i 

13 They that are planted in the house of the Lord 
Shall flourish in the courts of our God. 

14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age ; 
They shall be full of sap and green : 

15 To shew that the Lord is upright ; 

He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. 

93 The Lord reigneth ; he is apparelled with majesty ; 

14. fmlt in old aire: the palm-tree has been known to 
reach a height of ninety feet, and an age of aoo yean (Doughty, 
Arabia Deaerta^ I 386). 

14 * refers to the palm-tree, and 14 ^ (ftill of Mhp» &c) to the 
olive-tree : cC Judges ix. 9. 

15. See Deut. xxxii. 4. 

wj zook: LXX 'my God/ see on Ixxv. 5, and on Ixxviii. 
35 ; Pesh. * strong' : Targ., Jero. * my strength.' 

Royal Psalms. 
Psalms xciii to c (except xciv> have been called ' Royal/ 
* Theocratic/ and ^ Eschatological-Jehovistic Ptalms.' The pre* 
vailing note that sounds through all of them is that Jehovah 
reigns, or has begun to assert His rule. This series of I^udms is 
not to be confounded with Psalms also called ' Royal/ in which 
the praises of an earthly king are celebrated, as in Pnlms xx f.. 
xlv, Ixi, Ixiii, Ixxii, &c. Ptolms xciii to c (except xciv), together 
with Psalms xlvii and Ixxxvii, which belong to the same class, 
are Messianic in the confidence with regard to the future which 
they express : see Introduction, pp. 9 ff. 

Psalm XCIII. 
Thitne. Jehovah has become king. 

I. ConUnts, (i) Jehovah has asserted His eternal kingfehip 
(verses z f.). 

(a) His victory over all foes (verses 3 f.). 
(3) The inviolability of His laws (verses 5 f.), 

II. Authorship and DaU, See on Authorship and Date of 
Psalm xcii. 

I f. Jehovah is King. 

1. ni# ZiOXD r«i0n«flhx render, < Jehovah is become Khig' 
or ' has begun His reign.' We have here an example of what is 
called in Hebrew Grammar the * Inceptive Perf.,' corresponding to 
the ' Inceptive Aorist ' in Greek : see a Sam. xv. 10 ; i Kmgs i. 
II, &c. 

THE PSALMS 98. a— 94. i 141 

The Lord is apparelled, he hath girded himself with 

strength : 
The world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. 
Thy throne is established of old : ? 

Thou art from everlasting. 

The floods have lifted up, O Lord, 8 

The floods have lifted up their voice ; 
The floods lift up their waves. 

Above the voices of many waters, 4 

The mighty breakers of the sea, 
The Lord on high is mighty. 

Thy testimonies are very sure : 5 

Holiness becometh thine house, 
O Lord, for evermore. 

O Lord, thou God to whom vengeance belongeth^ 94 

Tht worlA ftlflo ifl staDUihtdi better render with LXX, 
Pesh: <Yea, He has esUblished the world.' Jehovah is the 
subject throughout the verse. 

8. Of right Jehovah has always been King, 
af. JihovaKs victory over His fits. 

The language of these verses seems suggested bv the Baby- 
lonian Tiamat-myth : see on Ixxiv. 13 f., and on IxxxU. 10 f. But 
the immediate reference is to Egypt and Assyria, who had lifted 
themselves up against Jehovah, as did the primaeval waters when 
He would create a Kosmos out of Chaos. 

3. The floedsi the Hebrew word is that common! v used for rivers. 

4. Render : * More glorious than the voices of many waters ; 
More glorious than the waves (breakers) of the sea, Is Jehovah 
on high.' The above rendering assumes some slight changes in 
the M. T., but none in the consonants. The double occurrence of 
'glorious' is quite in the manner of the Royal Psalms ('anadiplosis*). 
See on cxxx. la. 

9. The inviolability of Jehovah^s laws. 

ttttimoniMii Heb. Admonitions,' Commands,' as in Ps. 1x9. 
■urtt Arm, unalterable as God Himself (Jas. l 17), 
XoUmeMi here* 'inviolability,* * unchangeableness.' 
Psalm XCIV. 
TMime, Prayer for vengeance upon wrongdoers. The happi- 
ness of God's people. 

142 THE PSALMS 94. j-4 

Thou God to whom vengeance belongieth^ shine forth. 
a Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth : 
Render to tfaeproad thnr desert 

3 Lord, how long shall the mcked. 
How long shall the wicked triumph? 

4 They prate, they speak arrogantly : 

All the workers of iniquity boast themsehes* 

■ ■ M ■■■■ > ■»!> 

L ConUniB, (z) Prayer to Jehovah that He may take vengeance 
upon unjust rulera (verses 1-7). 

(a) These rulers are rebuked for tlieir fotly in denying dut 
Jehovah takes cognizance of their conduct (verses ^m\> 

(3) The happiness of those who await patiently the final issue 
of things (verses 12-15). 

(4) The Psalmist's realization of fafety in Jehovalvv^U aii|taio 
him and confound his foes (verses 16-33). 

II. Authorship and Date. Psalms xciv and cxxxix seem to 
show dependence on Job, and the former on Psa^n Ixxiii (cC 
verses 3-4, 16) as well. It is the problem of suffering that is 
dealt wkh in the three Psalms named and also in Job, as well as 
in Pss. xxxvii and xlix« In Psalm Ixxiii the (soluticm of the 
problem lies in the more than overbalancing joy of fellowship 
with God : in the present Psalm it comes m>m the conviction 
that God rules and overrules. The latter solution is more objective 
and more characteristic of a later time. That the Psalm is late 
may be also Inferred from its almost certain dependence on Job 
and on Psalm Ixxiii : but what definite period fn the nation's 
history gave rise to the Psabn cannot be ascertained. 

1-7. Appeal to Jehovah to punish thi unjust rulers, 

1. Render : < O God of great vengeance I O Jehovah 1 ' 
< O God of great vengeance 1 ' 
«WMaM s Heb. pi. of intensity ^ ' great or mnch vengeance.* 
*God of great vengeance' « 'God wlu> avenges much*: see on dz. 4. 
itlatamfmBBLi in L s and bczx. x as here of a theophany. 

9-4 seem dependent on Ixxiii. 6-9. The wicked are described 
in both places m a very similar way. 

a. Xdfi lip tliTMlf s in judicial majesty : see vii. 6. Get thy- 
self up^-^opon thy throne. 

8. teinapht Hd>. ' exult ' : < dance with joy.' 

In verses 4'->7 -those people are described on whom vengeance 
is called. 

«. Render : * They belch ont^ they qieak arrogatt (words) : 
they play at loud talk.' 

THE PSALMS 94. 5*» i43 

They break in pieces thy people, O Lord, 5 

And afflict thine heritage. 

They slay the widow and the stranger, 6 

And murder the fiitherless. 

And they say, The Lord shall not s«e, 7 

Neither shall the God of Jacob consider. 

Consider, ye brutith among the people : 8 

And ye fools, when will ye be wise ? 

He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? 9 

He that formed the eye, shall he not see ? 

He that chasti^th the nadons, shall not he correct, lo 

In 5f. the Psalmist brings against the ruling class the same 
charges that the prophets often made. ^^ 

8. break in ^leoes : < crush,' as in Isa. ni. 15 ; Prov. xxii, 22 : 
i. e. by extortionate and violent dealings. 

kerttair<» : see zxviii. 9 ; Deut. iv. ao. 

6. They exercise their cruelty upon those who cannot defend 
themselves — ^widows, sojourners and orphans. 

strangers see on cicix. 19. 

7. The laOMD : Heb. Jah : see on Ixxxviii. 8. 
8-1 1. The Jolly of the ruling doss rebuked. 

S. Render : < Consider ye, that act as brutes among^ithe people, 
And ye dullards, when will ye get to understand 1 ' 

bmtisli : the Hebrew word is a participle, the verb being 
a denominative from the noun for brute, beast of the field pr forest. 
Translate as above. » -n * '■ 

among the people : the word for * people ' {*ant) is the one 
used generally for < Israel.* To act brutishly among them was an 
aggravation of their guilt. 

9. The argument is— He who gave others the power to hear 
and see can surely Himself hear and see. J. Stuart MOl^aid that 
this verse contains the strongest argument for the existence of God. 

10. Just as verse 9 contains an illustration from men's physical 
organism, so in the present verse we have one supplied by God's 
moral government of the world. 

ohastiseth : better as R. V. marg., * instructeth.' 
nations': the regular word for heathen peoples. The argu- 
ment is : * He who instructs the heathen (by chastening themj, 
sh^l he not correct (by chastisement) wrongdoers amonjg His 
own people 1 * Jehovah instructs even the heathen, and according 
to the measure of that instruction will they be judged. See Rom. 
i. so, ii. 14 f. 

144 THE PSALMS 94. u-is 

Even he that teacheth man knowle^e? 
II The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man. 

That they are vanity, 
la Blessed is the man whom thou chastenesti.O Lord, 

And teachest out of thy law ; 
15 That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, 

Until the pit be digged for the wicked, 

14 For the Lord will not cast off his people^ 
Neither will he forsake his inheritance, 

15 For judgement shall return unto righteousness : 
And all the upright in heart shall follow it 

Even he that teaolieth nuui knowtoagws read, <He that 
teaches man, has He not knowledge (or knows He not)?' This 
is supported by rhythm and sense. 

11, This verse answers the question restored at the end of the 
foregoing verse, ' Does not God know! ' verse ir, * Yea, Jehovah 
knows,' &c. 

iStuofVLgkLtm : that they can sin on with impunity. 
That th#j : i. e. the thoughts. 
▼anity: Heb. <a breath.' 
Duhm omits verse 11 as a gloss on verses 9 f.^ as it has neither 
poetical form nor suitable connexion. As to the latter see above. 
12-15. The good fortune of those who wait. 
IS. mMMd» happy : see on Ixxxiv. 4. 
O IMKD : Heb. < Yah ' (Jah) : see on Ixxxviii. 8. 
law: see on Ixxviii. i. 

13. rest : objective rest, =: * security,' is meant, for it invokes 
protection against the unjust rulers until their power is gone. 

from tb« days of adTtrsity ; rather, < in the days,' 8cc. 
VntH th« pit be dlirff^d t 'pit' is used figuratively for destruc- 
tion : 'until the means for their destruction are prepared.' 

14 f Gives reasons for what has been said about r«at in 
verse 13. 

14. his paovto— hla Imherltano^— how could Jehovah leave 

15. jndffMiiMit in this verse means, as in some other passagres, 
the justice of the law courts : customary justice. In the good 
time foreshadowed the actual justice of the gates will turn (the lit 
sense of the verb) towards absolute equity or righteousness : "will 
be in accord with this Ust. 

THE PSALMS 94. 16-33 145 

Who will rise up for me against the e?il-doers ? 16 

Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity ? 

Unless the Lord had been my help^ 17 

My soul had soon dwelt in silence. 

When I said, My foot slippeth ; x8 

Thy mercy, O Lord, held me up. 

In the multitude of my thoughts within me 19 

Thy comforts delight my soul. 

Shall the throne 01 wickedness have fellowship with thee, ao 

Which frameth mischief by statute ? 

They gather themselves together against the soul of the ai 

And condemn the innocent blood. 
But the Lord hath been my high tower ; a a 

And my God the rock of my refuge. 
And he hath brought upon them their own iniquity, 33 

16-93, Senst of security in Jthovah. 

17. sUeno*, i. e. Sheol, the tand of silence. This is the later 
conception of Sheol. See on Ixxxviii. 10-13. 

18. Render : < When I think » ( = * say inwardly') * my foot has 
slipt » ( = ' tottered 0, * Thy lovingkindness sustains me.* 

18. mj thonffhtss the Hebrew word means * distracting 
thoughts ' : thoughts which divide, distract the mind, cf . Keats^s 
* branched thoughts * {Ode to Psyche), and see Matt. vi. 25, where 
the Greek of <be not anxioua' means literally, ^be not divided 
up ' (< in mind ^): *he not distracted/ 

80. tuauitb. I the same word in the same sense in Isanxjjvi. 11. 
by itetat*! these wicked judges are wise as well as 

wicked, for l^ey save themselves by keeping within the rigid 
requirements of the law. 

81. Thmr fftther tfa«msftlTM t08«t3i«r t read (making a small 
change in the text\ ^They stir up strife': so Olshausen, &c. 
The M. T. means, 'They gather themselves together in troopa.* 

88. Biittlk«XiOaD]M.tblMWL,&c.: translate, < But Jehovah Will 
be,^ &c. la this verb and the first verb of the next verse we have 
examples of the * perfect of certainty.' 

th* rook of my reAkge 1 render, * my rock of refuge.' As 
to the name * Rock ' for God soe on Ixxv. 5. 

88. IM hftth brongM bfMMkMr, < J»e will bring.* 

n L 

146 THE PSALMS 95. i, 2 

And shall cut them off in their own evil ; 
TKe Lord our God shall cut them off. 

95 O come, let us sing unto the Lord : 

Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 
2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, 

iniquity: the Hebrew word means * trouble,*' ^sorrbw^': 
then sin, as causing that. 

In tlieir own Bxril : i. e. < by means of,' &c., not as Hitzig, 
&c., * in proportion to/ 

Psalm XCV. 

Theme. Summons to worship Jehovah, coupled with k warning 
against unbelief. ' 

I. Contents, There are two distinct parts o£ th& Psalm^ and 
perhaps two independent Psalms. 

(i) A summons to worship God, with reasons (verses 1-7*). 
(a) A warning against fadling into the unbelief of the fathers 
(verses 7''-ii). 

II. Authorship and Date, See remarks on Authorship and Date 
of Psalm xciii. 

Duhm and Cheyne C^) hold tha^ the two parts of the Psalm are 
two originally independent Psalms composed by two different 
writers at two different times, just as in our Psalm Ixxxi two 
separate Psalms are brought together. It must be admitted that 
in this group of Royal Psalms the solemn didactic section (verses 
7*^-11) comes in strangely, and appears out of place. 

I f. Summons to tuorship God. 

1. sinff t rather, ^ring out our joy,^ < express our joy in loud, 
shnll cries.' 

make a Joyftal noise : the Hebrew verb means < to shout for 
joy in honour of someone ' : so xlvii. 9, Ixxxi. 2, xcviii. 6. . It has 
very often the meaning of making a noise with trumpets, as was 
done on festive occasions : see Num. xvi. 9 ;' Joshua ii. i, vi. i€>, 
16. This Psalm is, like Psalm Ixxxi. 5^-16, probably a festival 
song, and we should therefore translate here : *■ Let us sound our 
trumpets aloud to the rock,' &c. This is supported by the addition 
made to the same verb in the second part of .the next verse. 
' Let us sound our trumpets aloud with (accompanying) psalms.' 
See on Ixxxix. 15. 

the xook of our salvation : rather, < our rock of salvation ' : 
see on xciv. 22 and (for * rock *) on Ixxv. 5. 

8. Let tis oome befeve His pvMsnoet lit*^ * let tts go before 

THE PSALMS 9& ^J^ X47 

Let us make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. 

For the Lord is a great God, 

And a great King above all gods. 

In his hand are the deep places of the earth ; 

The heights of the mountains are his also. 

The sea is his, and he made it ; 

And his hands formed the dry land. 

O come, let us worship and bow down ; 

Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker : 

His face,' i. e. as servants going to meet their master : the words 
express an attitude of inferiority. See on Ixxxilc. 14. 

taumka^Tliigr : the Hebrew word {lodah) means * confession/ 
'acknowledgement/ either that of obligation, so- thanksgiving/ or 
of God*s attributes which « * praise ' ; both ideas go much together. 
It is used in general for the hymns sung in the temple. 

jojftal nois« : irather, * let us sound our trumpets aloud ' s 
see on verse i. 

3-5. Reastms/br the exhortations in verses 1 f. 

8. And a great Xktg mlwT^ all ffoda: render: 'and a king 
greater than all gods.' 

The existence of the gods with whom Jehovah is compared is 
apparently implied. 

4. de«p plaoM ; Heb. iit. * explored places ' : then, as hen, 
<* places reached by digging': so as R. V. 'deep places.' The 
antithesis with <the heights of the mountains' negatives the 
rendering of LXX, BaeChgen, See, 'the disUnt parts (of the 

Th9 IktiighU of tko tnonutaius : according to Hebrew ety* 
mology the word rendered ' heights' means 'toilsome heights' : 
but a root found in Arabic gives this noun the sense 'highest 
point/ ' summit/ ' peak/ which suits admirably. 

6. Render : ' To whom belongs the sea, for He made it^ And 
the dry land, (for) His hand formed (it).' 

and lie made it: a ' circumstantial clause/ to be rendered as 

And his iMiiids .formed the (bey land : render as above. 
A conjunction has probably dropped out 6f the Hebrew {wuw=^ 
' and/ * for »>, which is restored above (' for '). 

6. onr Maker: i. e. the 'one who has made us to be His own 
people • : not * our Creator.^ 

L 2 

148 THE PSALMS 95. j-do 

7 For he isK>ur God, . 

And we are the people of his p^Uire^ and tiat^f sheep of 

his hand. 
To-day, Oh that ye would bear bis voice \ 

8 Harden not your hearty as at Herihab, 

As in the day of Massah in the wilderness : . 

9 When your fathers tempted roe, 
Proved me, and saw lAy work. 

lo Forty years long was I grieved with /^/t generation, 

?•**. Render (freely) : ' For He is our God, Since we are the 
people whom He has shepber4ed, and the (erring) sheep whom 
He has guided by His hand.* 

' The last clause of verse 7 (< To-day,*. &c) beloqgs to the next 
part of the Psalm, and shouU be att««hed to verse 8. This is one 
of the instances in which an altogether ntv^ section dealing with 
a different theme begins within the. verse. 

For people of me peetuire (sheptierding) ^ee Iqucvii. i, 
Ixxix. 13, &c. 

Vo-day, &c. : it is better to regard 7** as a protasis, the 
apodosis of which follows in verse 8 ; render : ' To-day if ye will 
(but) listen to His veice^ (verse 8) Harden apt, &c»' Sinoe Jehovah 
begins to speak in 7*' nty voloe would have suited best. : but in 
Hebrew poetry the persons are often greatly varied. 

8. The reference is to the incident recorded in Exod. xvii. x-7, 
wfueh occurred in the second year after the Exodus y of. the 
similar incident of Nnm« xx. 3-13, and see on Ixxviii, 25. 
Meribah ('place of striving') and Massah C P^^c* of tempting') 
stand for ene place according to Exodr xvii 7, though Num. xx. 
a-13 seems to make them two places. In the LXX, Vulg., Jero., 
ee in Heb. iii. 8, the names are traauiUitedy though not conectly. 

0. ts mpi e d me I tried me, as if they wanted to see whet 
I woidd do. 

Proved me s tested me 3- see Heb. iii. 9^ 

end flttw mj work: the Hebrew can mean, and probably 
does mean, ' though they saw my work ? ; ape Neh. vi. i ; Ise« 
xlix* 15^ 

10. Vortj yearn s from the crossing of the Red Sea to entering 
Canaan ; Nwb. xiv. 39, xxxii. 13, 

wee Z tfvleveds Heb. Moathed I,' <was I disgusted with.' 
In the LXX, as in Heb. iii. 10, ^ I wss indignant with/ '4ispleaeed 
with ' ) isee on cxix, X58. 

Vud tfeaeretion t the pronoun ' that,' though lacking in the 

THE PSALMS 96. ii-h96. i 149 

And said, It is a people that do err in their hea^t^ 

And they have not known nf ways :. / . . .m 

Wherefore I sware in my wraths < 1 ir 

That they should not en tier into my rest . ; 

■ ■• I ■• . ■ ' I 

O sing unto the Lord a new $ong : , • 96 

Sing unto the Loi^q^ all the .earth. , ., 

: r- ^ ^— r1 1 .. ' ;. 

M. T., is found in the UQ?(p. Probably it W49 accict^tfdly Qmitted 
from the Hebrew. 

» p6opl«i theLXX (S6 Heb: iii. 10) intj^Ues a Ibfiger Hdbrtw 
word {'olam Iqr. 'mfft) meaning * Hlways ' or 'ipr ever ' ; * (hey.fio 
always err,' &c. 

that do err in their heatti /iV. 'wanderers of h6krt' ; ef.' 
Isa. xxix. fl4, * wanderers in spirit* 1 

II. Wherefore I rather, 'So that'; cf. Gen. xi|i. x6; DeuL 
xxviii. 97, 51, where the same particle has the same meaning. 

Psalm XCVI. 

Thtmi, AH nations and all nature are to praise Jehovah b^caiise 
He is universal King. . . c , . . 

I. TiiU. In th6 LXXPisalms xcvi-jccix are <'t)a^d^ Psalms, 
n. CoHttnts, (i) Jehovah to be praised in ail the earth (verses 

1-3). > ' ' 

SHe alon^ of the gods deservfs to be praised (verse^ 4-^). 
The heathen summoned to worship E[im (vprses 7'-9)» 

(4) All nature summoned to rejoice \n the sovereignty of 
Jehovah (verses 10-13). 

It is Jehovah's reign over Israel that is mainly telebrat^d in the 
foregoing Royal Psalms : in the present Psalm (^ee verse's 'f-g) 
the heathen are also invoked to bring to Jehovah the tribute of 

This Psalm, which is dosely allied to Ps. xxix in both spirit and 
language, is cited, with minor deviations, in i Chron. xvi. fi9<-33 as 
part of the Psalm which David handed to Asaph and his brethi^en 
to be sung when the ark was brought to Zion : the version in 
Chronicles can be proved to be dependent on the p^esetit P^hti. 

III. Auihdrah^ and Datfk See on Ps. xciii. ' . 
1-3. All ih€ world inookid to praiit Jthovnh, ...\ 

i. new iMttff I from Isa. xUl. xo. A fresh ddiveimQ^ff. qalls^or 
a new song. See xxxiii. 3. &c. : ti. Rev. v. 9^ 

Ul the Mtth I i. e. all the inhabitants of the eaiAyAh/e verb 


2 Sing unto the Lord, bless his name ; 

Shew forth his salvation from day to day. 
a Declare his glory among the nations, 

His marvellous works among all the peoples. 

4 For great is the Lord, and highly to be praised : 
He is to be feared above all gods. 

5 For all the gods of the peoples are idob : 
But the Lord made the heavens. 

6 Honour and majesty are before him : 
Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. 

7 Give unto the Lord, ye kindreds of the peoples, 
Give unto the Lord glory and strength. 

8 Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name : 
Bring an offering, and come into his courts. 

being accordingly pluraL But verses 3 and 10 make it likely that 
the scattered Israelites— those of the IMaspora— are meant 
8. With r^ and 9^ cf. i Chron. xvi. 93. 
M#m: lit 'adore on bended knees.' 
hlfl numm 1 Him as manifested in His word and works. 
Whmw forth, &c. : Heb. ' announce as good tidings His 
8. Cf. Isa. Ixvi 18. 
na.tlons and p«oplM stand for the heathen. Israelites are to 
proclaim the glory of Jehovah among the Gentiles. 
BUunraUoiui woftkM : see on Ixxviii. 4. 
4-6. Jehovah to be praised above all gods. 

4. liighly to h« praised : or ' very praiseworthy.' 

»bov« aJl god« t render, ' more than all gods.* See on xcv. 3. 

5. idols s the radical sense of the Hebrew word is probably 
' a feeble being * (cf. Aramaic). The Assyrian suggests a meaning 
'nothingness* (cf. Heb. *at). The LXX translates the word here 
and elsewhere by ' demons * : see Magic^ Sec, by the present writer, 
p. 38. 

e. h9tn9 him I as vassals, see on Ixxxix. 14 and on xcv. a, 

hifl wuictiutxj I in i Chron. xvi. a^ * in His place.* 
The recently erected temple is meant, or perhaps heaven. 
7-9. The heathen summoned to worship God. 
t. kindred I the Hebrew word denotes a part of a tribe. Xian* 
seems the best English equivalent. 
0. conns t in the temple of Zenibbabel there were two ^urts, 

THE PSALMS 96.9-13 151 

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness : 9 

Tremble before him, all the earth. 

Say among the nations, The Lord reigneth : 10 

The world also' ii stablished that it cannot be moved : 

He shall judge the peoples with equity. 

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice ; 1 1 

Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; 

Let the field exult, and all that is therein ; 12 

Then shall all the trees of the wood sing for joy ; 

Before the Lord, for he cometh ; 13 

For he cometh to judge the earth : 

that of the priests and that of the Israelites : see Hastings' DB., 
iv. p. 713 (article * Temple,' by the present writer). Neither of 
these could of right be entered by Gentiles : but here the Gentiles 
are invited to take their place alongside the Israelites in the 
temple courts, that all may unite in one song of praise to the 
universal King. 

8. in t]i« iMftntsr of boll&f s« : the Hebrew means ' with holy 

X0-Z3. All nature invokid to acclaim the kingship o/Jihovah, 

10. TlL6 &OBD rtignath: has become, once more, King : see 
on xciii. z. 

U st»bliili«d: read, ^He has adjusted' or 'set in order the 
world': the same Hebrew consonants can have this meaning. 
So LXX, Sym., Posh., Jero. 

Vha world : lit, ^ (the) productive world.' See on Ixxxix. 12. 

11. ritjoioai Heb. ' exult '- leap for joy. 

th* Itilness thereof: <that which fills it,' the fishes, ficc. 
See Isa. xlii. 10, and note the phrase * earth and its fulness,' xxiv. i, 
1. 19, Ixxxix. 12. 

See Ixix. 34, xcviii. 4, 5tc. : cf. Joel i f. ; Isa. xxiv, &c., where 
similar sympathy between man and nature is expressed. 

18. field : not field in our sense, but the free open land in con- 
trast with the land on which cities are built : so Mic. iv. 10 ; Jer. 
xl. 7. 

Vlien ! render, ' yea,' changing one letter (p for *), both much 
alike in Hebrew. 

13. Tor he ooxneth: occurs twice, another instance of 'anadi- 
plosis.* See on xciii. 4, and on cxxxv. 12. 
to Jndffe I ' to rule.' Sec on Ixxxi. 4. 

152 THE PSALMS 97- i, % 

He shall judge the world with righteousness^ 
And the peoples with his trutlL 

97 The Lord reigneth ; let the earth rejoice; 
Let the multitude of isles be glad. 
2 Clouds and darkness are round about him : 
Righteousness and judgement are the foundation of his 

p«oplM: plural of the word usually applied to Israel, bat 
meaning here probably faithful ones among all nations. 

troth : ' faithfulness ' f Jehovah's adttiJnistr&tion is churacter- 
ized by justice (cfl with xlglitaoiumMis) towards all, and by 
faithfulness towards those who keep His covenant. 


Theme, Jehovah's appearance in majesty and ju4gement ; a terror 
to the wicked, a solace to the righteous. 

I. Contents, (i) Jehovah's manifestation as King« Onctf more 
He has come forth amid many signs to assert Hb royal pre- 
rogatives (verses i-6). 

(a) The effect of His coming, upon the wicked— <xmftision : 
upon the righteous — ^gladness (verses 7-9). 

(3) Lessons suggested by this Theophany (verses 10-19). 

This Psalm, compiled for litui^cal purposesy is made up of 
extracts from earlier Scriptures very deftly woven together. 

II. Authorship and Date. See remarks on Ps. xdli. ' 

1-6. Jehovah's accession to the throne, with the accompanying si^fns, 
1. See Isa. xlii. 10, 19, IL 5. 
Ylie &0BD reii^MtlL : L e. has become King. See on zciii. i. 
rfljoloe: Heb. * exult,* * leap for joy.* 

itfles: a word taken from Deutero-Isaiah, where it is very 
common. It has there, and therefore here, the meaning * coast- 
lands,* ' lands bordering on the sea/ especially the Mediterranean. 
The 1 word means also ' island,' as in Jer. xlvii. 4. 

Verses 9, 3 and 6 depend on 1. 3-6. Perhaps the account of 
the Theophany on Sinai has suggested the imagery in both 
Psalms : see Exod. xix 16, xx. 9i ; Oeut. v. 99. 
3* With 9* cf. xviii. 8>i9. 
9^ is extracted from Ixxxix. 14*. 
Two complementary truths are uttered concerning Jehovah in 

THE PSALMS 97. 3-7 iS3 

A fire goeth before him, 

And bumeth up his adversaries found about 

His lightnings lightened the world : . = . 

The earth saw, and trembled. 

The hills melted like wax at the preseijiceof theiLoRDv 

At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. 

The heavens declare hi; righteousness, • ( 

And all the peoples have seen bis glory. 

Ashamed be all they that serve graven imagesy . . < 

That boast themselves of idols t 

this verse: He is ensbrouded in mystery: y«t His ruld is 
righteous. / 

For the distinction between «lirlit«a«nt«H and Jn^Urswent 
see on xciv. 14* 

3. Cf. 1. 3 ; Deut. iv. 24 ; Isa. xlil 05. 
Render : ^ Fire goes before Him, 

And it blazes i^bout His footsteps.' 
fiM adTf supuif « 1 read^ < His footsteps/ inserting a letter into 
the Hebrew word. So Wellhausen, $ic raraUeUsm favours this, 

The narrative tenses in 4-*6, if written for this Psalm, would 
seem to point to specific events, such aa the destruction of the 
Babylonians and the restoration to Palestine. , But the tenses are 
due to the source^ though the fact of their being here at all is in 
favour of their suitability. 

4. 4* from Ixxvii. 18, 4^ from Ixxvii. 16. 

6. Cf. 5* after Mic. i. 4, 5*> after Mic. iv* 13 ; Zech, iv« 14, &c. 
»t thf pvf senoe . of tbt LOBD (first pccurrence) should be 

omitted as the rhythm suggests ; it is a dittogrvph. 
e. Cf. 1. 6 ; Isa. xxxv. a, xl, 5, Ui. 10, Ixvi. %9. 
The lL6BY6ns are witnesses of the Divine rIgliteoMtttsM 
( i- faithfulness) ; see 1. 4. 

7-9. Risults of the Th^opho^iy upon th^ h^aihtn and upoH hrmL 
There is no need with Hupfeld, &c. to transpose verses ^f. be- 
cause the verbs in verse 8 have their object in verse 4 What ZSon 
heard and rejoiced over was the judgement on iddatere imfiHed 
in verse 7. , 

7. See Isa. xUL 17, xliv. 11, and especially zlv. 16. 

Render : < All image-worshippers are foiled (confounded)) vtx. 
those who boasted in their helpless (gods) : all godsbpwQd down 
before Him.' 

IS4 THE PSALMS 97. 8-u 

Worship him, all ye gods. 

8 Zion heard and ivas glad, 

And the daughters of Judah rejoiced ; 
Because of thy judgements, O Lord. 

9 For thou, Lord, art most high above all the earth : 
Thou art exalted far above all gods. 

10 O ye that love the Lord, hate evil : 
He preserveth the Aovis of his saintu ; 

He delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. 

11 Light is sown for the righteous. 

The verbs are wrongly translated as imperatives in the E. W. 
(so LXX, &c.). 

gwtof in LXX < angels,' from a reluctance to acknowledge 
the real existence of heatlien deities. Heb. i. 6 follows the LXX 
here as this epistle does always. 

8. From xlviii. it, but in the original passage Zion mineases the 
deliverance : in the present verse Zion hears of it. In Hi. 7 the 
messengers are bidden to go and tell Zion, ^ Thy God has become 
King.* Here Zion has heard. 

Bion : i. e. the people of Jerusalem. See Additional Note, 
p. 3^. 

haavds what? of the fall of Babylon and of the certain 
prospect of restoration. 

4«iiglit«rs of Jndali: i. e. the dependent cities of Judah. 

Judgsments x here Jehovah's judicial sentences as indicated 
by recent events. 

9. From xlvii. a, 9, Ixxxiii. 18 : cf. xcv. 3. 

mofft high : the Heb. word {ElyGn) is often used of God as 
a title of dignity. Melchizedek was a priest of God {elyon^ * high,' 
or * very high '). One of the Phoenician gods was called * £/w«,' 
the same word. 

TO-T9. Some lessons of the Theophany, 

10. Cf. xxxiv. 90, xxxvii. 28 ; Amos v. 15. 
Read and render : 

• Jehovah loves those who hate evil : 
He guards the life of His favoured ones : 
From the power* (Jit, 'hand ') * of the wicked He rescues them/ 
The changes in the Hebrew necessary to yield the above are 
few and unimportant. 

11. to sownt read, ' has risen,' zarakh and zaru* (changing one 
consonant) ; so nearly all ancient versions. See cxii. 4, 

THE PSALMS 97. ij-.98. a 153 

And gladness for the upright in heart. 

Be glad in the Lord, ye righteous ; za 

And give thanks to his holy name. 

A PMlm. 98 

O sing unto the Lord a new song ; i 

For he hath done marvellous things : 

His right hand, and his holy arm, hath wrought salvation 

for him. 
The Lord hath made known his salvation : ' a 

His righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of 

the nations. 

18. I a* is from xxxii. 11% la^ from xxx. 4^ 
nunt I Heb. ' memoriaV i> e.. what one is remembered by : 
see cxxxv. 13 ; Exod. iii. 15; 

Psalm XCVIII. 

Thifht. Man and nature uryed to praise Jehovah for His 

I. Conttnia, (z) Men are urged to praise Jehovah for what 
He has done. But the largest place is given to a deKription 
of the grounds of the exhortation : of. Ps. xcvi, where the appeal 
to men to praise Jehovah is repeated thrice before anything is said 
of the reason ([verses 1-6). 

(oi) Nature is invoked to join in the anthem of praise (verses 7^9), 
Like Ps. xcvii this one borrows largely, and it was also no 
\!oubt compiled to be used in the worship of the temple. 

II, Authorship and DaU, See remarks on Ps. xciii. 

t-6. Mm urgtd to praist Jthovah, 
X. See Ps. xcvi. i*, 3^ 
% new ■oBffi see on xcvi. i. 

ai« rigrlit Haad, &c. : render : * Hii right hand has wrought 
deliverance for him, His holy arm has (aided himV* The balance 
of the sentences would be much helped by supplying, as Baethgen 
recommends, some such verb as * aid * after ^ His holy arm/ 
8. See Isa. Iii. ro, Ixiii. 5. 
rigliteo«aii«M is parallel to Mavfttlpn, and means the same 
(so in Isa. xl (f,), 

i5l6 THE PSALMS ^8. 3-8 

3 He hath remembered \m mefrcy and his iaithfulrre^s 
toward the house of.Is^^ael: ^ 

All the ends of the earth hay& seen the sialvation of otir 
- .4 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth : 
Break forth and sing for joy,, yea,, sing, praises. , 

5 Sing praises unto the LpRP with the,barp ; . 
With jlihe harp and the voice of melo(^. 

6 With trumpets and sound of cornet 

Make a joyful noise before \\i^ King, theXoRD. 

7 Let the sea roar^ and the fuji^s^ thereof,; 
The world, and they that dwell therein ; . . 

8 Let the floods clap their hands ; 

8. For 3*» see Isa. lii. 10. 
Render 3* : * He has remembered- His favour unto Jfttob, and 
His faithfulness unto the house of Israel/ We must, with the 
LXX, supply < unto Jacob ' at 'the end pf the first clause. This 
greatly helps the rhythm. 

4-6. Ail men an to salute their King with voice and tuiih musical 
instruments. , 

4. With 4* cf. xivii. a, 6, Ixvi. ir, 4, c. l, &c. j with 4* cf. Isa. lii. o, 
Hia9c# a Jos^fOl nolie: render: ^Blowaldud ydur trumpets 

unto Jehovah,* &c. The Hebrew taay be translated either way : 
see on xcv. 1. 

Break forth and sinff for Joy : render : < Break forth into 
ringing shouts of joy.' 

triiiff pralies: the Hebrew can also mean 'play on stringed 
instruments*'! pi^obably that is its meaning here. 

5. Cf. Isa. li. 3. 

Slnsr praises : here as in verse 4 we should, probably r^(^r 
* play * : this is supported by the noun following. 

with the harp : better, * with, the lyre ' : see p. '97 C 
8. For the (metallic) tn&mpetfi and tl^e (ram's bom) ooOMt, 
see p. 29 f. 

Makf a' Jo^rftil nolM : L e. sound the trumpeits aloud. , 

7-9. Nature invoked to jbin in the loud acelamaiion ofjehovah^s 
,f , . 7 » from xcvi. ii*> ;. 'j^itcm xxiV. i. 
8. iMt the floods clap, &c. See Isa. Iv. la. 

TH£ PSALMS 98. 9-h99. 3 157 

Let the hills sing for joy together ; 

Before the Lord, for he cometh to judge the earth : 9 

He shall jucige the world with righteousness, 

And the peoples with equity. 

The Lord reigneth ; let the peoples tremble : M 

He sitteth upon the cherubim ; let the earth b6' moved. 
The Lord is great in Zion ; , 2 

And he is high above all the peoples. 
Let them praise thy great and terrible name : 3 

Holy is he. 

■ ii»i ' ».-- t III.. !■ <■* ^.. 

•. This v/^rse is a mere repetition of xcvi. 13, omitting ^tfe 
occurrence of ' He is come.' 

Psalm XCIX. 
Theme. A call to prafse Jehovah's holiness. 

I. Contents* (i) Jehovah's holiness to be praised, because it is 
a pledge of His righteous rule (verses x^sV 

(a) Jehovah's holiness illustrated (verses ^), 

II. Authorship etnd Deite, See on Ps. xcii!. 
1-3. Exhortation to recotgnise Jehovah's holiness, 
1. Tlia JmOMD velffnatlk 1 as in xciii. i. 

let the peoples ... let the eavtli, &:c. It is better to make 
the verbs imperatives as the versions do. 

Se alttetliy Sec, t rather, according to He1>., <(efV«n)'He who 
sits,* &c, : the words constitute an epithet applied to Jehovah. 
< Jehovah has become King . . . (even) He who sits enthroned on 
Cherubs.' God is similarly described in Ixxx; i ; z Sam. iv. 4 ; 
a Sam. vi. a ; a Kings xix. 15, ftc. 

Concerning the meaning of the phrase see dn Ixxx. t 'and on 
xci. 4 (wiaga). 

in lion I where the temple was and where Jehovah dwelt 

fire-eminently among men ; see note, pp. 368 ff. This God of 
srael, whose earthly abode is the temple mount, is great. 
Idgb alcove 1 probably we should render, * higher than.' 
the peoples I here the heathen nations arte meant: they 
have dared to deny JebovA^*s /mthoriXyy buJt He is Oir beyond 
them in power. 

3 f. Render ; * Let them praise thy great and terrible name 

(Holy is He), 4. And (let them praise) the might of the King who 

loves righteousness* («^iaithfiHnesa*) : ^Thou bast eatablished 

equity : Thou hast executed righteous judgem^A^JSL Jmcol^f* 

In verse 3 Molj is Se is « liturgical additiop, wjbfch IM» little 

iS8 THE PSALMS 99. 4-8 

4 The king's strength also loveth judgement ; 
Thou dost establish equity, 

Thou executest judgement and righteousness in Jacob. 

5 Exalt ye the Lord our God, 
And worship at his footstool : 
Holy is he. 

^ Moses and Aaron among his priests, 
And Samuel among them that call upon his name ; 
They called upon the Lord, and he answered thenL 

7 He spake unto them in the pillar of cloud : 

They kept his testimonies, and the statute that he ga\e 

8 Thou answeredst them, O Lord our God : 

breaks the connexion between verses 3 f. as the refrain at the end 
of each verse in Ps. cxxxvi does that for the verses of that Psalm. 
The verb in verse 3 must be understood also with the noun which 
in Hebrew opens verse 4 (^ might *)« 

Various other interpretations of these verses have been offered 
and defended, but Uck of space docs not permit their beim^ dis- 
cussed here. 

jvAgMnent aa4 sSgliteoMnMiat another instance of hendiadys 
-^one compound idea expressed by two nouns : judgement refers 
to administration, righteousness to the principle governing the 
administration : so the two nouns « righteous judging or ruling. 

5. fdotstool: the Hebrew expression is used only figuratively 
in the O. T. : it means here the temple, as in cxxxii. 7, See, 

6-9. fVhat is said respecting Jehovah in verses 1-5 iUustraied and 
enforced by His treatment cf Moses, Aaron, and Samuel 

These three men called upon Jehovah, worshipping Him and 
seeking forgiveness. This involves an acknowledgement on then- 
part of His sovereignty, and His hearing and answering them 
shows Him to be a gracious King as well as a great one. 

6. MosM and Aaafon auoiiff his vxlMts t when the Psalm was 
written the priestly office was thought much of, and all Israelitisfa 
leaders of the past were apt to be regarded as belonging to this 
honoured class : cf. the conception in the Priestly Code (P) and in 
Chronicles of the religious life of Israel in the wilderness. 

7. ylllAir of oloBd i see Exod. xxxiii. 7 f. : cf. Num. xii. 5. 
^ "^ ^, 'solemn injunctions.' 

THE PSALMS 99.9— 100. i, j6i 

Thou wast a God that forgavest them, > 

Though thou tookest vengeance of their doingfe** 
Exalt ye the Lord our God, 
And worship at his holy hill ; 
For the Lord our God is holy. 

A Psalm of thankBgiviny. 
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye. lands. 

ThifHi, A summons to praise J^ovah. 

I. Title, Render: ^ A Psalm for the thankoffering ' ; this Psalm 
being sung, there is reason for believing, when the thankoffering 
was presented at the temple, a usage suggested perhaps by the 
word * thanksgiving ' in verse 4. The thankoffering was made 
when there was something outstanding for which to give God 
thanks. See Lev. vii. 11 ff. 

II. Contents. There is in the Psalm, a commingling of exhor- 
tations to thank and serve Jehovah, together with reasons for the 

The Psalm was evidently composed for public worship, and it 
ha^ been used as such probably more than any other Psalm. 
It |is sung in the modern Synagogue daily, except on Sabbath 
anid feast days; and in the Christian Church few hymns are 
sulhg more frequently or more lustily than this one in the metrical 
vc rsion of William Kethe, ^ All nations that on earth do dwell,' &c. 
We owe the name 'Old Hundredth' to this Scottish version, the 
h} 'mn being taken from the old version of the Psalms by Sternhold 
aiid Hopkins. 

IThe exhortations of the Psalm are directed, specially, if not 
exclusively, to Israelites, for. the persons addressed are ^ His 
piople * : they were made His people (see on verse 3) '• they are 
urged to unite in the ritual of the temple. 

I III. Authorship and Date, This Psalm appears to be con- 
^fcmporary with the other Royal Psalm^—this being the last of the 

1. Make ajoyftel noise 1 see on xcv. a^ xcviii. 4, 'shout aloud' 
(in pratse) is the Ukelte? meaning here. 

aU ye lands 1 Heb. 'all the land' (-Palestine) or <all the 
earth.' The rest of the Psalm shows that Israel is addressed, so 
that we must understand the Israelites all over the earth, or the 
inhabitants of Palestine. 

158 THE PSALMS 100. 3— 101. 1 

4 The kiiwLORD with gladness : 
Thou'^ore his presence with singing. 
Thoc .ye that the Lord he is God : 

5 Eyhe that hath made us, and we are his ; 

it are his people, and the sheep of his pasture, 
i^nter into his gates with thanksgiving. 
And into his courts with praise : 
Give thanks unto hin^ and bless his name. 
' 5 For the Lord is good ; his mercy endureth for ever ; 
And his foithfulness unto all generations. 

101 A Psalm of Oavid. 

I I will sing of mercy and judgement : 

%. ••w«i in the late s^nse of < worship/ as in xxiL 31, Bc/c 
With singliig I ' with ringing ahouts of joy.' 
, . Zn Xnqw 7* > either ^ get to know/ ^ learn from His doings,* so 
Arfi^^; rSkm. xXiii 23, ficc, or ' ackriowltfjge,* 'confess* (in 
wBwfj see li; ^ ; Tsa. lix. id ; Jer. iti, 13, xlv. so. The verb 
means also ^ consider/ ' ponder over/ as in Judges xviii. 14, ^Icc., 
and it may well have that sense here. 

tie . . . Iwth made ns : what we are, an elect nation \ so 
Deut. xxxii. 6, 15 ; Isa. Ixvi 3. 

4. gateg : those leading from the outside into the temple gratis, 
there were three such, viz., on the north, east and south. 

thanlrfiylagi U thankofleriog/ see xcvi. 8. Parallelisfl« 
however, favouiv here the ^nse 'thanksgiving.' But when tie 
title was prefixed the word was interpreted as^'thankofierin^*; 
see Lev. vlt 11 ff. 

6. goods i. e. kind, as in xxv. 8, xxxiv. 9, &c. 

"'^' Psalm CI. 

Thitpti, A king's vow to conduct himself and bis kingdo^ 

I. Conignts, (t) The king's vow regarding himself (verses ^-^\ 
(2) The king's vow as to his treatment of others, especially the 

wicked (verses 5-8). 

The Psalm has been called a 'mirror for magistrates^^ 'a mirror 
for a king,' Sec, 

II. Authonhip and Qai0^ The dependence of this Psalm on 
Proverbs (see on versca s, 5% the dirge {qmah)^ a^tre, &e. point 
to a Ute date. Though it is generally regarded as containtnsr a 

THE PSALMS 101. a, 5 i6i 

Unto thee, O Lord, will I sing praises. 

I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way : 

Oh when wilt thou come unto me ? 

I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. 

I will set no base thing before mine eyes : 

I hate the work of them that turn aside ; 

king's confession of f&ith, nothing in the Psalm itself proves that 
a king wrote it or that a king's sentiments are uttered in it Any 
high official ia the state would meet the requirements of the case, 
though the old view is not excluded by anything in the Psalm. 

1-4. Thi kin^s vow as to his own h/i, 

1. mwoF aad Judftmrat 1 render, * lovingkindness and justice; 
the virtues which he sings of are not Divine attributes but qualities 
of human action. It is of the latter alone that the Psalm speaks. 
See Hos. xfi. 6 ; Isa. xvi. 5. 

8. wifltlj I in the ethical sense— < rightly.' 
wagr ■ conduct, cf. xxxix. i, cxix. 5, a6. 
wlitn wilt thon oom« unto nut i. e. to favour and bless 
me. See Gen. xviii. zo ; Exod. xx. 04 ; Deut. xxxlii. a. Those 
who think David the speaker in this Psalm refer to a Sam. vi. 9. 

wmila mj iMWMi in the East the personal character of the 
king, his conduct at home, has eveiything to do with his conduct 
as ruler. 

3. INUM thing I Heb. < a thing of belial ' : according to the usual 
etymology * belial ' is a compound word « * worthlessness ' ; then 
^wickedness' (cf. 'naughtiness'). Hence 'a man of belial' 
(i Sam. xxv. 95, &c.) is <a wicked man'; cf. Deut. xiii. 14, 
where the plural occurs. It is wrong to accept this etymology 
and at the same time to treat the word as a proper name (Belial) : 
this mistake is made in the R. V., e. g. * men of Belial,' * sons of 
Belfal,' ftc, though the etymology Just notked seems accepted. 
Another etymology, one which also assumes the word to be 
compound, makes it - * one who will never rise' : * a ne'er-do-weel.' 
Homme 1 and Cheyne are probably right in identifying Belial with 
the Babylonian Bilili, the god of the underworld, a view confirmed 
by the fact that in later times Belial came to have the same meaning 
as Satan ; see a Cor. v. 15. Compound words are rare in Hebrew^ 
which is an argument against the other two explanations given. 
Whatever may be the origin of the word, it has in the O. T. the 
general sense of < wickedness,' and when joined to ' man,' ^ atin* 
&c., see on Ixxix. 11, it means one who is wicked : hence * sons of 
belial ' <-> ' wicked men,' < a thing of belial ' « ' a base or sinful thing.' 
the work, Sec. : better, * the practice of obliquities ' ^ * the doing 
of what deviates from the right' 


i6^ THE JPSALMS 101, 4— 102. i 

It shall not cleave unto me. 

4 A froward h^rt shall depart from me : 
I will know no evil thing. 

5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I destroy; 
Him that hath an high look and a proud heart will I not 


6 Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that 

they may dwell with me : 
He that walketh in a perfect way, he shall minister unto me. 

7 He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: 
He that speaketh £ilsehood shall not be established 

before mine eyes. 

8 Morning by morning will I destroy all the wicked of the 

To cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the 

102 A Prayer of the afflicted^ when he is ovem^elmed, and 

pouretb out his complaint before the LoRO* 

I Hear my prayer, O Lord, 

4. froward s Heb. * perverted,' * twisted ' (from the right). 
Z will know: i. e. be intimate with, show sympathy with, as 
the verb is used in i. 6. 
5-^. Th€ kttig's vow (13 to hU ireatnufU of his suh/gcU. 
6. Mkm that liatli a hitth look : lit, * who is loilLy-eyed.' 
pvonA haavts lU. (who is) < broad of heart,' i.e. whose 
thoughts are large, blatant. See Prov. xxi. i. 

will Z ttot raffor s better, ^ I cannot endure,' ^ put up with ' : 
see Isa. i. 13. 

6. mialatar: the Hebrew verb is the technical one for taking 
part in religious worship. See ciii. ai, civ. 4 ; cC xxxii. a, lit 4, 
Ixxviii. 57 ; Hos. vii. la 

7. work«lli : we should say ' practises' 

slMdl not ba aatoblialiad^ shall have no permanent place. 

8. d^ of tlM XOBD f u e. Jerusalem ; see Isa, i. 96, &c. 

Psalm CII. 

Th^fne, Prayer of one in deep distress that Jehovah nay pity 

THE PSALMS 102. a, 3 163 

And let my cry come unto thee. 

Hide not thy face from me in the day of my distress : 

Incline thine ear unto me ; 

In the day when I call answer me speedily. 

For my days consume away like smoke, 

I. THk, The title to this Pialm is noteworthy in that it prescribes 
the occasion on which an individual is to use the Psalm, not surely 
in song, but by way of personal meditation. See tne titles to 
Psalms xcii and c. 

II. CoHtints. The writer describes his distress, and prays to 
Jehovah for help (verses i->xi). 

ig) His hope and confidence in Jehovah (verses la-aS). 

This Psalm owes much to other parts of the O. T., Job, Isaiah, 
Jeremiah, &c. 

This is one of the: so-called Penitential Psalms of the Church, the 
others being vi, xxxii, xxxviii, li, cii, cxxx, and cxliii. 

III. Authorship and Datt, The dependence of this Psalm on 
Deut., Job, Isa. xlfF., Lam. and on other Psalms shows that it is 
a late one. The citations from Psalms Ixix and Ixxix favour a date 
during the Maccabean age, A period of great national sorrow is 
implied. Perhaps, as Duhm points out, we have two Psalms here 
and not one, for the sections verses iii and verses ia-28 differ 
much from each other. There is nothing said or suggested in 
verses x>zi about the sad state of Jerusalem, though the desponding 
spirit pervading these verses may be due to that condition. If 
we accept the unity of the Psalm we have here another example of 
the twofold division of threnode Psalms : see introduction to Ps. 
Ixxix (Contints), 

X - 1 z . Tht Paalmiat dtscribta his sad condiHon^ and aits to Jthovah 

X f. The opening prayers of these verses are uttered in languajg^e 
borrowed from other Psalms : see xviii. 6, xxvii. 9, xxxt. a, xxxix. 
xa, Ivi. 9, lix. x6 f. 

1. mj ory : Heb. ' my cry for help,* 
oome onto thM 1 in none of the Psalms is the late Jewish 
belief implied that prayer was conveyed into God's throne*room 
by the four * angels of the presence.' 

8. See Ixviii. 1 7. LXX, Pesh., ^ Turn not away,* reading tasft for 
taster. This makes excellent sense. 

MUto not, &c. : God's anger is the cause of the writer's 

M a 

i64 THE PSALMS 102. 4-7 

And my bones are burned as a firebrand. 

4 My- heart is smitten like grass, and withered ; 
For I forget to eat my bread. 

5 By reason of the voice of my groaning 
My bones cleave to my flesh. 

6 I am like a pelican of the wilderness ; 

I am become as an owl of the waste places. 

7 I watchj and am become 

3. my toones ar« 1)iini«d : in Job xxx. 30 of a sick aian in fever : 
cf. xxxi. tOf xxxii. 3, Ixix. 4. On the contrary, ia a state of health 
and happineaa the bones are said to spring up-- to flourish, like 
young grass : see Isa. Ixvi. 14. 

trelnraaidi Heb. <that which is burning/ and so 'what is 
rapidly coming to an end.' For dajs we should probably read 
< bowels,* which makes a good parallel with bonaa : the difference 
in the Hebrew is slight. The word dajs came by mistake into 
this verse from verse i i. The verb rendered ara Inmad denotes 
here a state of pain such as fire causes. 

4. Xy haart : regarded as the centre and spring of life and as 
the reservoirs of the humours of the body. 

smitten : as by sunstroke : see cxxi. 6 ; Isa. xHx. to, and 
especially Hos. ix. 16 and Jonah iv. i. 

grass: Heb. < herbage.* 

and withered : * and dried up ' : where there should be sap 
(blood, Sec), there is dryness. 

For Z forget : translate, < surely I forget ' : the Hebrew can 
mean either. 

6. The violent and prolonged straining of the voice causes the 
l)ody to waste away : see xxxi. ro ; Job iii. 34. 

my flesh : render, < my skin,' the sense of the Arabic cognate. 
The tnnieB attach themselves to the skin, there is no flesh between, 
so emaciated is he : see Job xix. do. 

6. pelioan : an unclean bird (Lev. xi. 18, &c.), not now met with 
in Palestine except in the neighbourhood of Lake Hnleh. It is, 
according to Thompson, the most sombre and austere of biids. 

owl: the snisdl owl called Aihim mmeHonmKs is here meant 
according to Tristram. It is unclean (Lev. xi. 17, ftc) and deligfats 
to make its home in ruined deserted buildings, the meaning of 
waste plaoes. 
y. Z wwlel&i better, I am sleeplem, I keep awake ; see cxxvii. i. 
I : read, * and moan.* 

THE PSALMS 102. 8-ia 165 

Like a sparrow that is alone upon the housetop. 

Mine enemies reproach me all the day ; 8 

They that are mad against me do curse by me. 

For I have eaten ashes like bread, 9 

And mingled my drink with weeping. 

Because of thine indignation ahd thy wrath : 10 

For thou hast taken me up, and cast me away. 

My days are like a shadow that declineth ; n 

And I am withered like grass. 

But thou, Lord, shalt abide for ever ; la 

«9ftrvow I Heb. ^ a small bird.' 

Alonti Thompson says that when one of these small birds 
has lost his mate * he will sit on the housetop alone and lament by 
the hour.' 

8. Tliej that am maA mg^Aautt mm i read (changing one vowel), 
* They that make a fool of me,' ' that mock me ' (Duhm). 

do o«rM 1>7 »• I as if they said, ^ may your plight be as 
miserable as that of' (the speaker in this Psalm). See Isa. Ixv. 
15, 8cc. Contrast with this Gen. xxii. 18 (' shall bless themselves 
by thy seed '), 
e. See on Ixxx. 5. 

««h«s I a symbol of mourning when thrown on the head : 
see Joshua vii. 6, &c. Cf. Job ii. 8 ; mourning took the place of 

And mingled mj drlak wltb weeping : i. e. with tears, and 
not, as formerly, with sweet and refreshing spices : see xlii. 3 
and Ixxx. 5. 

10. Jehovah had in His sin-caused anger liAed them up to 
a high level of prosperity, only to hurl them down to their present 
degraded condition. The figure is that of a hurricane which first 
raises a nMin off his feet, and then throws him violently to the 
ground : see Job xxvii. 31. 

•Mt me «wftj : the Hebrew verb means primarily * to throw 
down * (Qen. Ivii. aa, &c.)« 

11. a shadow that deoliiietlii rather, Mike a lengthening 
shadow * ; shadows are shortest at noonday, becoming longer as 
the day wears on. 

gram 1 Heb. * herbage,* as in verse 4. 

za-flS. Tht PsalmUf's hop$ and eonfidtnct m God, These verses 
constitute, perhaps, an independent Psalm. According to Duhm 
they differ much from the foregoing verses, but this may be 

J.66 THE PSALMS 102. 13-15 

And thy memorial unto all generations. 

13 Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion : 

For it is time to have pity upon her, yea, the set time is 

14 For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, 
And have pity upon her dust. 

15 So the nations shall fear the name of the Lord, 

accounted for by the turning away of the writer from his own 
misery to the pity and faithfulness of Jehovah. 

In verses 12-22 the Psalmist rejoices in the near prospect of 
a restored Zion, whose very stones and dust are dear to the Jew. 
Heathen nations and their kings, and also unborn Israelites, would 
acknowledge Jehovah on seeing what He will have done for the 

12. This verse is from Lam. v. 19, * throne ' being changed to 

* memorial.* 

But thou : in Heb. < Thou ' is emphatic j render, ' But Thou — 
Thou O Jehovah/ &c. A strong contrast with the preceding is 
implied: 'My life is fast ebbing away' (verse ii), * but Thou 
abidest,' &c. ; see, however, next note. 

Shalt abide : better, < sittest as king,^ * sittest enthroned.' The 
eternal kingship of Jehovah comes once more before us. 

memorial : i. e. that by which one is remembered ; so here 
God's revealed character. It has virtually the same sense as 

* name,' with which it is parallel in cxxxv. 13, &c. 

Thou abidest for ever as our King and as our God ; cf. Browning^s 
' God *s in His heaven — All 's right with the world,' 
Id. havemeroy: rather, *pity,' 'compassionate.' 
Zion = Jerusalem : see note p. 368. 
to liave pity upon : rather, * to be gracious to.* 
time; the word used in Eccles. iii. i ff. 
set time ; a time definitely set apart for some special pur- 
pose : especially of an annually recurring period, as of the feast 
days, £xod. xiii. 10, &c. 

14. The fact that Jehovah's servants feel an stffectionate interest 
in the very stones and dust of Jerusalem is a sign that God's 
appointed time of deliverance has arrived. " 
tliy sdrvants : see on Ixxxvi. a. 

15-18. When Jehovah has deliveredHts people, and restored Jem- 
salem and the tentpUy the heathen and their kings will acknowledge 
Him as the one true God, Much in these verses reminds one of 
Isa. xl. ff. 

IB. See Isa. lix. ig, Ix. af. 

THE PSALMS 102. id-aa 167 

And all the kings of the earth thy glory : 

For the Lord hath built up Zion, i^ 

He hath appeared in his glory ; 

He hath regarded the prayer of the destitute, 17 

And hath not despised their prayer. 

This shall be written for the generation to come : 18 

And a people which shall be created shall praise the Lord. 

For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; 19 

From heaven did the Lord behold the earth ; 

To hear the sighing of the prisoner ; 20 

To loose those that are appointed to death ; 

That men may declare the name of the Lord in Zion, 21 

And his praise in Jerusalem ; 

When the peoples are gathered together, 22 

16 For ; render, * When,* and continue the force of the word to 
the end of verse 17, translating verse 16 f. thus: 16. *Whcn 
Jehovah has built up Zion, (when) He has manifested Himself in 
His glory, 17. (when) He has turned to the prayer of the destitute, 
And not despised their prayer.* 

18. Vhis ; i. e. what God is about to do : see verses 16 f. 
written t we should now say ' printed.' Writing is referred 
to in Exod. xvii. 14, xxxiv. 27 ; Deut. xxxi. 19 ; Jer. xxx. a. 
the &OSD : Heb. Jah {Yah) : see on Ixxxix. 8. 

Verses 19-22 are parallel to verses 16 f , and in each case * When ' 
must take the place of For. These verses do not contain a state- 
ment of fact as to what Jehovah has done, but continue the 
supposition of verse 16, which verse 18 interrupts : * When 
Jehovah has looked,' &c. 

10. For: render, *When.' 
tlM heiirlit of his wmnetVMry : render, * His holy height ' : 
^ heaven ' is meant, as the parallelism shows. 

80. those that are appointed to death : rather, * those living 
a death -like life.' See on Ixxix. 11, h'f, *sons of death.* The 
phrase is borrowed here from Ixxix. 1 1. 

81. That men : ' men ' is not in the Hebrew, though the sense 
may be. As far as the original is concerned the prisoners and 
the < sons of death ' may be the subject of the verb : but we are 
probably to understand the peoples (kingdoms) in verse 22 as 
the subject : see verse 15. 

88. Non-Jewish peoples and kingdoms will gather to Jerusalem 
to worship Jehovah. 

^68 THE PSALMS 102. 33*16 

And the kingdoms, to serve the Lord. 

23 He weakened my strength in the way ; 
He shortened my days. 

24 I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my 

Thy years are throughout all generations. 

25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth ; 
And the heavens are the work of thy hands. 

26 They shall perish, but thou shalt endure : 

83. In this verse the Psalmist returns to the complaining of 
verse 11. 

H« WMdcMMd: render, < He brought down,' < reduced.' 

mj strmtfthi the written text {keihJ) and the LXX have 

* His strength.' If this is followed, we must render ' His strength 
laid me low,' i. e. God used His strength to afflict him. But the 
other authorities have * my strength.' 

la tbm waji i. e. in the journey of life (Hupfeld, &c.% not 
in the journey trough the wilderness or through the desert 

84. teke me not awaj : Heb. ' take me not up,' assumed by 
practically all commentators (from Rashi downwards) to mean 

* take me not away * (by death) : yet the Hebrew verb ( b < to 
take up *) never has that sense an3rwhere else. It is used, how- 
ever, for < to offer up as a sacrifice/ and that usage gives the best 
clue to the meaning here : < Do not let me be put to death as 
animals are for sacrifice.' 

Tbj jmxn, &C. : the eternal existence of God is used as a 
plea that God may not further shorten man's short life : Cheyne <*> 
thinks verses 25-27 a late insertion from a poem, the rest of which 
is lost. But God*s eternal unchangeahleness is quite naturally 
suggested by verse 94 ; cf. verses 11 f. 

25-27 are applied to Christ in Heb. i. 10-12, the words 
being taken from the LXX. As originally written they refer to 
Jehovah as such : but those for whom the epistle was primarfly 
written, being Jews, believed that this Psalm refers to the 
Messiah. The author argues with them on their own ground. 

86. As compared with man the heavens and the hills are 
spoken of as everlasting ; but in comparison with Jehovah they 
are but evanescent, 

pevish I not cease to exist, but cease to be what they are ; 
perish as earth and heavens. 

THE PSALMS 102. a7--103. i 269 

Yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment ; 

As a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be 

changed : 
But thou art the same, *7 

And thy years shall have no end 

The children of thy servants shall continuei a8 

And their seed shall be established before thee. 

A Psalm of DAvid. 108 

Bless the Lord, O my soul ; i 

wax old I the Hebrew word (bahk) is used of garments 
^Deut viii. 4, xxix. 4), of bones (Pis. xxxii. 3), of a sick man 
(Job xiii. 98), of an aged and frail woman (Gen. xviii. za). 

flhalt thou oluuigo thoai, and thoj aliaU bo ohaafod 1 the 
same verb is twice used in Hebrew as in English, only in the 
original there is a word-play which English fails to reproduce. 
The Hebrew rendered ^ shall be changed'** shall pass away*; 
the figure of the garment is now dropped. 

83. Since God endures unchangeable » the permanent woU-being 
of His servant is secured ; see Isa. Ixv. 9^ Ixvi la. 

tlij Mrvnata 1 see on Ixxxvi. a. 

Shall ooAtlnuot Heb. < shall dwell/ i.e. in the land; see 
Ixix. 36. 

htfoM tlMSi see Ps. xvi. xi. 

Psalm GUI. 

TTumi, The duty of praising Jehovah on aeconnt of His 
compassion and lovingkindness. 

I. Contents, (i) The Psalmist summons himself to praise Jehovah 
for His mercies (verses 1-5"). 

(2^ Jehovah has revealecl His pity and love (verses 6-19). 

(3) Though man is weak and soon passes away, Jehovah is 
eternal (verses 13-18), 

(4) Seeing God is universal King, the whole universe is 
summoned to praise Him (verses 19-93). 

The thoughts of the Psalm are by no means sharply separated : 
the writer is carried along by the dominating thought— the infinite 
goodness of Jehovah— and he is not careful to observe logical 
sequence. It is one of the most beautiful of the Psalms, alike 
in its thought and in its pathos, though less profound than some. 
The writer is too comfortably situated to think or feel deeply. 

170 THE PSALMS 103. a-4 

And all that is within me, bless his holy name, 
a Bless the Lord, O my soul, 
And forget not all his benefits ; 

3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities ; 
Who healeth all thy diseases ; 

4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction ; 

IL Authorship and Date, The Psalm seems to voice the 
gratitude of the writer and of his fellow countrymen, in view 
of some recent national deliverance, but whether that u the 
deliverance from Babylon or from the Syrian army, or whether 
some other national blessing is meant, must, with our present 
knowledge, remain uncertain. 

In verses 1-5 the writer speaks in the singular, as he is uttering 
his own thoughts. In verses 6 f. he falls into the plural under the 
influence of the feeling that his sentiments are shared by others. 

Psalms 103 f. seem to go together, and had perhaps one author. 
The self-urging to praise occurs only in these two Psalms (sec 
verses 1-5 and as, and Ps. civ. i, 35). 

1-5. Jehovah to he praised for His tnercies, 
1. mj sonli i.e. < myself : see on Ixxviii. 18, evil 18. 
all tliftt in wlthia in* « ' my whole self,* < my entire 

11« liolj namm ^ Him as being holy. < Name ' here is almost 
equal to the pronoun : see on Ixxix. 9. 

8. And fitnrget not all: for <air substitute 'any' ; or, render, 
^ And forget none of His benefits ' ; this is what the Hebrew means. 

3. iAiqnltlMii Heb. Mniquity' in the singular. The idea in 
the word is 'perversity,' 'crookedness' ; 'that which is twisted 
from the right,' 

diBtag— : or ' sicknesses * : the Hebrew word occurs in the 
plural only ; it is found also in Deut. xxix. ai, &c. 

The Psalmist had received both moral and physical blessings : 
pardon and bodily healing. 

4. thj lilif « thy own self : see on verse i. The word ' life ' has 
often the sense 'self or *soul,' 'heart,* &c. 

dettmotion s Heb. * the pit ' : it stands for Sheol, which is 
here pictured as claiming the Psalmist when he was on the point 
of dying : but Jehovah quashed the claim ; paid, as it were, the 
ransom, and so brought him back to life and health ; ' redeem * or 
'ransom* is here used figuratively. See Hos. xiii. 14, and cf. 
Gen. xlviii. 16 ; Lam. iii. 58. On the verb ' redeem ' iga*ai) used 
here see on Ixxiv. 2. 

crowa«l3i tbiM 1 the same figure in Prov. iii. 3 ; d viiL 5. 

THE PSALMS 103. 5-9 171 

Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender 

mercies : 
Who satisfleth thy mouth with good things ; 
So t?iat thy youth is renewed like the eagle. 
The Lord executeth righteous acts, < 

And judgements for all that are oppressed. 
He made known his ways unto Moses, 
His doings unto the children of Israel. 
The Lord is full of compassion and gracious, ^ 

Slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. 
He will not always chide ; 1 

t«iid«r iiMroUs I better, ^compassions.' 

6. thj mouth I read, 'thy desire/ making a slight change in 
the Hebrew. The word in the M. T. means *thy ornament,' by 
which * thy soul ' may be meant, Just as ' glory ' stands for soul : 
see on cviii. z. 

Is vt&«w«d I rather, < renews itself.' 

llk« th« tAgl* : as the eagle renews its feathers : see 
Isa. xl. 31. 

6-Xfl. Jihovah's gracious dtalifiga, 

e. rightMns Mta t acts which display the Divine righteousness 
in keeping the terms of His covenant: so »' saving acts.' In 
Isa. xlif. < righteousness ' means virtually 'deliverance,' for it 
involves it. 

Jud^tt«Bt«i here exacts of deliverance* involving His 
judgement on the heathen. 

7. B« m»d« known I Heb. 'He continually made known' 
(impf. tense). 

Ms wajH I not those in which God commands men to walk, 
but His modes of action : the parallel expression bis aoiufs has 
the same meaning. 

children of ZsrMl 1 we should say Israelites in English : 
see on Ixxxix. 6. 

8. full of oompassion and irnMloiuii Heb. 'very compas* 
stonate and very gracious.' The adjectives are intensive in form. 

This verse is taken with unimportant alterations from Exod. 
xxxiv. 6« 

Mow to aBir•l^"Mongsuirering/ 
e. See Isa. Ivii. 16 ; Jer. iii. za. This verse is an echo of the 

•hide I i. c. 'contend.' There are timet when the long- 

172 THE PSALMS 103. 10-15 

Neither will he kee|> his anger i<x ever. 

10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins, 
Nor rewarded us after our iniqiuties. 

11 For as the heaven is high above the earth. 

So great is his merqr toward them that fear him. 

1 3 As far as the east is from the west, 

So far hath he removed our transgressions from us. 
15 Like as a father pitieth his children, 
So the Lord pitieth them that fear him. 

14 For he knoweth our frame ; 

He remembereth that we are dust. 

15 As for man, his days are as grass ; 

suffering God has to seem to be in conflict with His people : but 
that time comes to an end. 

V«it]ier wUl ke kMp hU anger, Sec, : 'his anger* is not in the 
Hebrew, and we should probably render, * Nor for ever will He 
keep strict watch * ; so Kay. See Jer. iii. 5, raf ; Neh. i. a ; 
Job xiii. 2^, 

10. See Ezra ix. 13. 

•imi: though according to etymology the Hebrew word 

means ' a missing the mark ' as the Greek word hamaiiidf yet in 

usage it is specially used for sin as guilt, as deserving and 

involving punishment : see li. 7 ; Deut xv.9, zxi. sa, xxiv. 16, &c« 

For lalqiiltiM see on verse 3. 

11. For toward read 'above,' changing one letter for another 
like it. Render 11^ : 'So high is His lovingkindnes» above (the 
merits of; those who fear Him.* So Hupfeld, &c. 

18. See Isa. xxxviii. 17 ; Mic. vii. 19. 
east I lit, sunrise : west : lit. sunset. 

tsuuffreeeioaji s or, according to the root idea, ' rebellions ' : 
but it is the guilt or penalty that the word here imports, as in 
V. II, xix. 14, lix. 4. 

13-18. Man /mil and transitory, but Jihovah*s Imdagkittdnssa 

14. evr fraans : the noun is that derived fron the verb used in 
Gen. ii. 7, ' And Jehovah God formed nan of the dust of the 
ground,* and there is a reference here to that passage. He knows 
that we are made out of dust, and that we have the marks of our 
low origin-—' of the earth earthy.' 

16. See xc. 5 if. ; Isa. xl. 6 ff. ; Job xiv. 2. 
Buut; not man In his frailty: 'man at his best* would be 

THE PSALMS 103. i6-ao 173 

As a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. 

For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone ; i^ 

And the place thereof shall know it no more. 

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to ever- 17 

lasting upon them that fear him^ 
And his righteousness unto children's children ; 
To such as keep his covenant, 18 

And to those that remember his precepts to do them. 
The Lord hath established his throne in the heavens ; 19 
And his kingdom ruleth over all. 

Bless the Lord, ye ai^gels of his : ao 

Ye mighty in strength, that fulfil his word, 
Hearkening unto the voice of his word. 

nearer the original : the Hebrew word is the poetical equivalent 
of man » Latin vtr : see on xc 3. The word means perhaps * man 
as a sociable being/ from a root in Arabic » Uo be sociable.' 
Ml gxMis I so few. 

h« flourislistli : better, keeping the noun form, *so he 
flowers.' Man * flowers like a flower/ i.e. soon to fade away. 
His time of full maturity is but short at best. 

16. Render : ^ For the wind passes through it (the flower), and 
it is gone ; so his (man's) place knows him no more.' 

The east wind is very dry and blighting in Palestine. 

16 is taken from Job vii. 10. 

The place where man lives is personified : it has no further 
acquaintance with him. The place and the man are utterly and 
for ever strangers. In Arabic poems, as in Wordsworth*s Ex- 
cursion, sad thoughts are awakened by the remembrance of former 
occupants of deserted abodes. 

18. See Exod. xx. 3. 

I9>fl9. Sinofjikovah is umvirsal King (i9)f H0 should rsemi 
umv^aal praist (ao ff.). 

19. Jehovah has made firm His throne in heaven, where are 
none of those commotions which overturn kings and kingdoms. 
This verse contains the reason for the exhortations in the folk)w^ 
ing verses. 

80-88. The celestial beings of varying grades and functions are 
called upon to praise God. First, the angds are named as being 
highest ; they are represented as mighty heroes, and as executing 
His commands. Then follow Hia hosts, the aubordinate members 

174 THE PSALMS 103. 21— 104. i 

31 Bless the Lord, all ye his hosts ; 

Ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. 
3 2 Bless the Lord, all ye his works, 

In all places of his dominion : 

Bless the Lord, O my soul. 

104 Bless the Lord, O my soul. 

of the company that wait upon God. Then in verse 23 the works 

of nature are commanded to join in the chorus. 
Translate verses ao f. as follovirs : 
* Bless Jehovah ye His angels, 
Mighty heroes, who execute His command (word), 
Listening to the voice of His command (word), 
Bless Jehovah all ye His hosts, ministrants of His, who do 
His wiU.* 

Psalm CIV. 

Them4. Jehovah's goodness as revealed in the creation of the 
world calls for praise. 

1. Contmis. (i) Jehovah^s majesty as displayed in nature 
(verses 1-4). 

(a) The creation of the earth. The separation of land and 
water (verses 5-9). 

(3) Springs and brooks created : the earth then yields food for 
man and beast (verses io>i8). 

(4) Creation of sun, moon and stars (verses 19-93). 

(5) Expression of wonder at the variety of God*s works, and 
the wisdom they show (verse 94). 

(6) Description of the sea and its occupants (verses 95-30). 

(7) Conclusion : praises and vows (verses 31-35). 

llie author in this Psalm gives a charming and highly poetical 
version of the creation-story as told in Gen. i, ii. 3, drawing also 
upon Deuteronomy, Isa. xl ff., Job, and other Psalms. In Ps. dii 
Jehovah is praised for the love He has revealed in the facts of 
history : in this Psalm for what He has revealed of His character 
in the creation and sustenance of the universe. 

Though this Psalm has much in it that recalls the cosmogonies 
of other ancient nations, notably the Babylonian creation-myth, 
it stands apart from other nature poems of non-biblical religioos 
by the ruling pUce which it gives to the one only God, and the 
halted view which it contains of His character. 

Htbnw Cosmology (see Gentsis, Century Bible [Bennett], 
p. 68). According to Hebrew conceptions the universe is a large 

THE PSALMS 104. a 175 

O Lord my God, thou art very great ; 

Thou art clothed with honour and majesty. 

Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment ; 

house made by, and primarily for, Jehovah, having three stories ; 
heaven (the upper), earth (the middle) and Sheol (the lowest^. 
The firmament is a solid vault (in Homer of bronze and of iron), 
serving for earth's covering and heaven^s basement (Exod. xxiv. 
10) ; it rests on pillars which are fixed on the earth (Job xxW. 
11). Above this firmament are the waters corresponding to the 
subterranean watery abyss (Gen. i. 7) ; on these upper waters 
dwell Jehovah and superhuman beings of varying grades (ciii. 
19 ff.). Within the earth, but lower down than man^s abode, is 
Sheol Underneath the earth is the abyss of waters on which the 
«arth was supposed to rest ; see xxiv, a, cxxxv. 6» cxxxvi. 6 ; 
Gen. i. 6f., vii. 11 ; Exod. xx. 4. 

It is a strong and striking testimony to the divinity of Israel's 
religion, that though the nation's conception of the universe was 
so naTve and childish, its thoughts of God were on the highest 
plane.' The religious elevation of the present Psalm is quite 
inexplicable, unless we allow this simple folk to have been 
specially guided from above. . 

II. Authorship and Datt, The resemblances between Pss. ciii 
and civ have led most authors to trace both to a common author. 
The present Psalm has manifest marks of late date in the use made 
of other Scripture, and in particular of the Priestly Document of 
the Pentateuch (P). 

The variety of verbal forms (p«rf., partic.) and of persons are 
due to a lively and rich imagination, such as shows itself in 
a simitar way in Arabic poetry. 

1-4. Jthovah's majesty in creation. 

1. thou lurt Ttrj ^fvmt : render : * Thou didst show thyself very 

' axt eOotlisd t render : ' didst clothe thyself.' 

9-4. Creation of tight (Gen. i. 3-5), and of the heavens (Gen. i. 

ft. Who oov«rs«t tliyMtf with Uffht: better, <Who didst 
cover,* or' < Who coveredst*; and so with the other verbs in 
verses 1-4. In Hebrew they are participles, and take on the 
tense of the verbs in verse x. lAghX was created on the first day, 
but it was the light that is not seen on sea or land, the light in 
whkh God dwells (Gen. i. 3) : the sun, &c. were created to supply 
the other light. 

Note the different treatment of the facts of creation here and in 
Genesis. In the history God made light ; in the poem He puts 
it on Him as a royal garment. 

176 THE PSALMS 104. 3-6 

Who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain : 

3 Who layeth the beams of his chambets in the waters ; 
Who maketh the clouds his chariot ; 

Who walketh upon the wings of the wind : 

4 Who maketh winds his messengers ; 
His ministers a flaming fire : 

5 Who laid the foundations of the earth. 

See how sharply Jehovah is dntingttiahed from the fisility 
perhaps as a polemic against Zoroastrianism, which says 'God 
is light ' or < fire ' ; see z Tim. vi. 16 ; i John i. 5. 

Who stratolMStc better, 'who didst stretch,' or 'who 
stretchedst ' The earth is compared with a tent, its covering being: 
the firmament ; see Isa. xl. 99. 

8. Render: 'who lays the beams (« framework) of His chambers 
(s dwelling) on the wafers/ Sec, 

oluuubMrs: lit. 'upper (rooms)/ The word is used for the 
room built on the flat roofs of oriental houses, sometimes dept in 
(1 Kings xvii. 19-^3; 9 Kings iv. 10), but generally used for 
social purposes in the cool of the evening. Jehovah's abode is 
a kind of upper room to the earth. The ^und tfluynlMni is 
parallel to ' house ' in Jer. xxiL 13 1, and in the Utter and present 
passages has that sense : i. e. the house made up of rooms. 

Jehovah's many (upper) -roomed house is based on the waters 
above the firmament^ as the earth rests on the waters below. 
Another conception seems to have floated before the minds of 
Bible writers, according to which God*s throne and dwelling are 
immediately on the solid firmament: see Exod. xxiv. jo; Ezek. 
i. a6 ; cf. Amos ix. 9. 

Who makatli tha clouds Ida ohaviot : see Isa. xix. i. 
Who walkath npon tha wlnga of tha wladi ate zviiL ii. 

Probably some mythological allusions lie in these words ; but 
the general meaning is clear : the forces of nature are subject to 
His will ; see next verse. Superhuman beings are often thoqght 
of in ancient mythology as havug wings ; see on xd. 4. 

4. Render : 

' Who makes winds His messengers. 
And flaming (or blazing) fire Wm ministers.' 
flra : the lightnmg is meant ; the Hebrew word has no plwal 
or it would probably have been used : winds and lightning are 

5. The earth firmly established; see Job xxzvill 6; Prov. 
viii. 99. 

THE PSALMS 104. 6-9 177 

That it should not be moved for ever. 

Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a vesture ; 6 

The waters stood above the mountains. 

At thy rebuke they fled ; 7 

At the voice of thy thimder they hasted away ; 

They went up by the mountains^ they went down by the g. 

Unto the place which thou hadst founded for them. 
Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over ; 9 

By the pillars nothing in particular is indicated : they stand 
in a general way for God's means of supporting the world. 

In the controversy with Galileo this verse was much quoted. 

d-9. Tht earth separaUd from the ocean which covered it. The 
language of this section is suggested by the apcient Babylonian 
creation-myth, not by the account of the Deluge in Genesis. 

The Hebrew word for deep, Tehom, is the same word as that 
used in Babylonian (Tiamat) for the sea monster, the Rahab, the 
Leviathan as it is variously called. See on Ixxiv. 13 f., and on 
Ixxxvil. 3. 

In verses 6-^ the tenses of the verbs are carefully chosen and 
are strikingly suggestive. The two verbs describing God^s acts 
are perfect, with an historical (aorist) meaning : * Thou coveredst 
it' (the earth) (verse 6), ^(the place which) thou foundedst^ 
(verse 8), < Thou didst set a bound ' (verse 9). AH the other 
verbs are imperfects, expressing the continued operation of natural 
agents ; * the waters were standing ' (verse 6), * fleeing/ * hurrying 
away in alarm' (verse 7), <the mountains were rising' (verse 
8), &c. 

Verses 8 and 9 seem to have changed places ; verse 9 refers to 
the waters of verse 7 and not to the mountains of verse 8» A 
copyist is probably responsible for the error. 

6. The all- pervading ocean is here conceived of as due to God, 
and not, as in the Babylonian m3rth, as defying God ; but see 
verse 7. 

7. At tbj rtt1rak« : this word suggests that the waters were 
once disobedient* 

IShm vblo* of thy thwider: rather, ^ Thy thunder-like voice.' 
•. Tlus verse says what took place after God had set for the 
water the bounds beyond which they should not pass (verse 9). 
It seems evident that this verse should follow verse 9, 

Thmf w«it up, &c. : render : * The mountains rose, the 
vaUeys sank to the place ' 6cc. 


i7?i THE. PSALMS 104. 19^13 

That they turn not again to cover the earth* 

10 He setideth forth springs into the valieys ; 
They run among the mountains : 

11 They give drink to every beast of the field ; 
The wild asses quench their thirst 

I a By. them the fowl of the heaven have their habitation. 

They sing among the branches. 
13 He watereth the mountains from his chambers : 

The earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. 

10-18. Springs and brooks created, 

10. K« Mndcitlif &c. : better, ' who sends.' 

The Genesis account of Creation is silent as to the making of 
•prlnmi* After the dry land (earth) was separated from the 
< waters under the heaven,' God commanded the earth to put 
forth grass (third day) : see Gen. i. 9-13. The Psakntat thinks of 
the springs as made before the rain (verse 13) and as having an 
existence independent of the rain. It is poetry, not science, that 
we have here. 

vaUejsi rather, 'wadies': valleys like Kedron into which 
torrents flow in the winter, but which are quite diy in the 
summer. The same Hebrew word is used for the torrent as well 
as for its channel. 

Ewald and others render : * Who sends forth springs into torrents 
(or brooks).' But < torrent beds' are probably meant here. 

Nothing is said in the Psalm about rivers, because Palestine 
has but one river — ^the Jordan, and that is too rapid and deep to 
be of much immediate service to man or beast 

11. No mention is made of man's quenching his thirst at these 
torrents, because this is a poem and not a scientific treatise. 
Perhaps the omission is due to the iact that man quenches his 
thirst otherwise, as from springs direct, by means of wine, &c« 

1ft. Birds make their home and sing their songs in the branches 
of trees that grow beside the wadies. 

aj tlism: i.e. the torrents, not, as Baethgen thinks, 'by' or 
* besides the wild asses,' though LXX, Jero. support this last 

stuffs Heb. 'give forth (their) voices* 

liraiioliss : better, ' foliage ' ; LXX has ' rocks.* 
18. Jdiovah in his abode (see on verse 3) casses the rain to 
descend from the waters above the firmament Ths AMatlMni 
are God's dwelling, not rain reservoirs. 

is satisflsd wltki or 'has its fill from.' 

tlis firwH of tOqr wosks 1 i. e. rain tboughfc of as the iswe or 
product of God's work (sing, not pi. ' works,' though Uebr«w cso 

THE PSALMS 104. 14-16 i?9 

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, H 

And herb for the service of man ; 

That he may bring forth food out of the earth : 

And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, >5 

And oil to make his face to shine. 

And bread that strengtbeneth man's heart. 

The trees of the Lord are satisfied ; 16 

mean either). Delitzsch and Kirkpatrick think that vegetation is • 
meant, but this is mentioned in the next verse, and parallelism 
shows that rain is here intended. 

The text of verses 14 f. has become somewhat confused. I 
suggest such changes as will justify the following rendering — 
they have to do mainly with the rearrangement of words : * Who 
causes grass to grow for cattle, and herbage for man's use : so as 
to bring forth out of the earth bread that supports man^s heart, 
and wine that gladdens man's heart, and oil that makes (the) face 
shine.* Nothing is said about God's providing flesh-food for man : 
in the East it is still seldom eaten. 
14. See Gen. i. 11. 

htrl) s die Hebrew word embraces all products of the earth 
except large trees (verse 16) : here it includes wheat ^bread), the 
vine (wine), and the olive-tree (oil) which, as a small tree, is sub- 
sumed under ' herbs.* 

fbr tli« 8«xvlo« (suse) of man: the Hebrew can mean ^as 
a reward for man's labour.' Some take the words to mean (herbs) 
* that nan may labour for ' (« to produce) ^ them.* 

food I Heb. * bread.' The three main products of Palestine 
are named : (i) wheat for bread ; (a) the vine, yielding wise ; 
and (3) the olive-tree, which supplies valuable food (olive berries 
and oil) and a moot refreshing cosmetic (oil). 

IB. wiB«i seldom used now in Palestine, as the Quran condemns 
its use. Coffee is the commonest beverage, moca coffee, sugar- 
less and milklcss. 

oil I olive oil is meant^^the head was cooled and the body 
refreshed by having this oil appHed. 

to make his flto* to shine 1 read, *• which * (the oil) ' makes/ 
&IC. Oil poured on the head runs down the cheeks and thus makes 
the face shine. 

MaoA hr»d, &c. : this clause has its right place at the close 
of verse 14 : see my translation above. PMny says that two liquids 
are most gratifying to men's bodies : oil— without, and wiiie*^ 

16. Tho tvoofli of tho bOBDi render^ Marge trees' : see on 
Ixxx. XX. 

N 2 

i8o THE PSALMS 104. 17-21 

The cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted ; 

1 7 Where the birds make their nests : 

As for the stork, the fir trees are her house. 

18 The high mountains are for the wild goats ; 
The rocks are a refuge for the conies. 

19 He appointed the moon for seasons : 
The sun knoweth his going down. 

30 Thou makest darkness, and it is night ; 

Wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth. 
21 The young lions roar after their prey, 

ar« satiflfled: or ^ have their fill,' have what they need, here 
rain (see on verse 13). 

17. tolxds: the Hebrew word = 'small birds/such as the sparrow, 
stork : the Hebrew word » ^ loving/ < kind ' ; it is thought to 

be so called on account of its affection for its young. Classical 
writers have often pointed out this characteristic. 

18. After noticing the tall trees in which birds dwell (16 f.), the 
Psalmist passes naturally to the high mountains on which animals 
make their home. 

wild ffoats : ///. ^ climbers ' : render^ ^ mountain goats.* 

TlL« rooks : Heb. * crags.* 

oonlM : neither rabbits nor conies are meant, for the animals 
here spojken of dwell among rocks (see also Prov. xxx. a6). 

19-23. Creation of the heauetdy bodies. The work of the fourth day 
(Gen. i. 14). 

19. The ancients measured time by the phases of the moon 
much more than we do, as clocks and watches werei unknown to 
them. The moon is named before the sun because the Hebrews 
began the day with the evening. 

Tli« ran knoweth ; we must alter the Hebrew word slightly, 
and render, ' He makes the sun know.* 

golair downs lit, Agoing in.' We speak of 'sunrise' and 
* sunset ' : the Hebrews spoke of * going out ' and * entering in ' — 
the latter pair having a mythological origin. 

SO. Render : ' When darkness comes on, it is night. In which 
every beast of the forest creeps (forth).* 

The second person, ' thou makest/ &c. is quite unsuitable here : 
the very same form of the verb is used as a feminine to express 
the occurrence -of natural phenomena ('it rains,' 'snows,' ftc). 
The feminine expresses the neuter in Semitic because, as in KeltiC) 
no distinct neuter exists. 

81. The roar of the lion is, to God, a prayer. 

THE PSALMS 104. 32-25 i«i 

And seek their meat from God. 

The sun arisieth^ they get them away^ ^^ 

And lay them down in their dens. 

Man goeth forth unto his work ^3 

And to his labour until the evening. 

O Lord, how manifold ^re thy works I 34 

In wisdom hast thou made them all : 

The earth is full of thy riches. 

Yonder is the sea, great and wide, 25 

Wherein are things creeping innumerable, 

Both small and great beasts. 

Sa. Render : * When the sun arises, they retreat, Go to their 
lairs and stretch themselves in them.' 

And lay, &c. : the Hebrew expression is pregnant, its force 
being brought out in the above translation. In Durham and other 
English counties one often hears * He is into the house ' (* into 
S3, work : skilled labour is probably meant. 
labour : tilling the land is what seems intended. . 

84. llie variety of Jehovah^s works and the wisdom they 

rlolLM: the Hebrew word means here, ^what God has 
created * : so« • creatures * (as R.Vm.). 

25- 30. Tht sia and Us occupants, 

85. Render : ^ Yonder is the sea, great and wide on both sides, 
Wherein are moving ' (Jit, * creeping ') * things innumerable : Living 
creatures, alike small and great.' 

Toiid«r I the rendering < this . . . sea,* favoured by LXX, Jero. 
and defended by DelHzsch and Cheyne(*>, is excluded by the 

wide s Heb. < wide on both hands/ i. e. extending far to the 
right and to the left. See Gen. xxxiv. 21, &c. 

If with Dean Stanley we think of the author as writing the 
present Psalm on Mount Lebanon, these words and other allusions 
would be very suitable : * Yonder — before me — is the Mediterranean 
Sea" (the only sea known to most Israelites) ^great and stretching 
out far to the right (north) and to the left (south).* 

■mall and gxaat beaata : translate : * great and small living 
creatures. The Hebrew word rendered * beasts ' means first of all 
* a living thing/ then ^a wild beast,* in contrast with domesticated 
animals or cattle (bektmah). 

i82 THE PSALMS 104. a6-ii 

26 There go the ships ; 

There is leviathan, whom thou hast formed to take his 
pastime therein. 

27 These wait all upon thee, 

That thou mayest give them their tneat in due season. 

28 That thou givest unto theih th^ gather ; 

Thou openest thine hand, they are satisfied with good. 

29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled ; 
Thou takest away their breath, they die. 
And return to their dust 

30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created ; 
And thou renewest the face of the ground. 

3T Let the glory of the Lord endure for ever ; 

S6. In verse 35 we are told what was in the sea — ' innumerable 
moving creatures.' In this verse the poet tells us what could be 
seen above the sea, viz. ships and whales : the whale is un- 
doubtedly meant by levlatliaii. He is often as conspicuous on the 
face of the Mediterranean as the craft. 

to tak« Ills pastlmo therein : this rendering is grammatically 
possible, and is supported by Job xl. 90. But Job xli. 5 (in the 
Heb. xl. 29) and the connexion favour R.Vm. ^ (which thou 
hast formed) to play with him.' It is God*s power that is magni- 
fied. He is so wonderful in might that He plays with the sea 
monster as men do with animal pets. 

S7 f. is based on Gen. L 29 f. (sixth day). 

In verses 28-30 the sentences are all conditional, though, as 
often in Hebrew, the conditional particles are lacking. 

S8. Render: '(What) Thou givest to them, they gather: When 
Thou openest Thy hand, they get their fill of good (things).' 

89. The hiding of God's face means the withdrawal of His care ; 
see Job xxxiv. 15, &c. 

SO. The bodily part of man is ignored as comparatively unim- 
portant ; His life is a result of the Divine breathing forth. The 
conception is of course theocentric and poetical. 

tlum CMMwest : after the death of winter thou makest the 
land to swarm with new life. 

31-35. Prayers f praises and vows, put tegeHter frofn various 
sources, and standing in loose connexion. The author In these 
verses returns to the thoughts with which he set out, a procedure 
followed in other Psalms of the kind : see xlv. 17, Ixxii. 17, &e. 

THE PSALMS 104. ^i— 106. i 183 

Let the Lord rejoice in his wcfrks t 

Who looketh on the earth, and it trembleth ; 3a 

He toucheth the mountains, and they. smoker 

I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live : 33 

I will sing praise to my God while I have any being. 

Let my meditation be sweet unto him : 34 

I will rejoice in the Lord. 

Let sinners be consumed out of the earth, 35 

And let the wicked be no more. 

Bless the Lord, O my soul. 

Praise ye the Lord. , 

O give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name 106 

81. 3b«t th« &OIIB TtjoiM in htti wovM 1 an iillasion to Hen. 
i. 3 ; cf. Prov. viii. 31. 

39. A mere glance from God causes earthquake : see Exod. 5(ix. 
x8 ; Amot be. 5. His touch turns the mountain into a volcano* 

Perhaps some recent earthquake gave ibrce and vividness to the 
words in 3a* when written. 

33*cxlvi. 9 (with hardly any difference). Note the under- 
lying thought : once men are dead there is an end of all praising. 
This Psalmist knows nothing of the heaven of the Apocalypse 
with its harps and hallelujahs. 

84. sweet i ' acceptable/ * pleasing/ see xix. 15. The word 
rendered ' sweet ' is used of an acceptable sacrifice : see Jer. vi. 
flo ; Hos. ix. 4. 

85. Render : < So tliat all men may unite in one song of praise 
to Jehovah, let sinners ( = the wicked) be entirely removed out of 
the earth.* That would have been a great removing which issued 
in leaving on the earth those only who, at that time, bowed the 
knee to Jehovah alone. 

At the close of Ps. cxxxix (which resembles the present Psalm 
in many features) there is also a prayer that Jehovah may execute 
vengeance on the wicked : see on cxxxix. 19 if. 

Pniw 7% tHe tiO&B : Heb. < Hallelujah/ i. e. < Praise 
ye Jah' (Yah\ See for <Jah* on Ixxxix. 8 and for * Halle, 
lujah ' on * Hallelujah Psalms/ p. 926. 

Psalm CV. 

Thifhi, Jehovah to be praised for his faithfulness to Israel in 
the past. 

184 THE PSALMS 105. r 

Make known his doings among the peoples. 

I. Title, The Hebrew has none. In the LXX 'Hallelujah' 
acts as title to this Fsalm, instead of being attached to Ps. cit. 
Hiis is no doubt its proper place, the ' Hallelujah * with which the 
present Psalm closes being that with which Ps. cvi begins, repeated 
by mistake. Probably < Hallelujah ^ was the rallying word uttered 
by. the precentor or by some one specially appointed when a Psalm 
was about to be sung. A modem choir-leader would strike his 
baton for the same purpose. 

II. Contents, (i) The summoning of the people to praise Jehovah 
(verses i-6) for His fidelity to the covenant made by Him with 
the fathers (verses 7-M). 

(3) Jehovah's care over the patriarchs during their migrations 
in Canaan and in Egypt (verses la-aa), 

(3) His protection of His people when the Egyptians oppressed 
them (verses 33-36). 

(4) His goodness in delivering Israel in Egypt, in providing for 
them in the wilderness, and in bringing them aeSely to the 
promised land (verses 37-45). 

Noteworthy in this Psalm is the prominence given to the 
residence in Egypt and to the Joseph tribe. This last at least 
suggests north Israel influence. 

This is the first of the group of ^ Hodu Psalms ' (Pss. cv-cvii), 
so called because they open with hodu » * O give thanks.' 

III. Authorship and Date. Pss. cv and cvi are older than 
Chronicles (i. e. than b. c. 250), since parts of both Psalms are 
appropriated as part of a Psalm ascribed to David in i Chron. xvi. 
It is only the desire to make the Psalm Maccabean that led Hitzig 
to regard verses 1-15 of the present Psalm as an extract from 
I Chron. xvi, and Duhm to deny the genuineness of i Chron. xvi. 
8-36. On the other hand, the universalism of the Psalm, its 
looking back to the past for encouragement, the use made of other 
Scriptures, especially of the Priestly Code (say b. c. 450), and some 
Aramaisms (see verse 18) show that the Psalm is late. 

The prosperous days of Nehemiah's time would suit the Psalm, 
but so would many other periods. 

Pss. Ixxviii and cvi are also retrospective, but the burden of 
these songs is the unfaithfulness of Israel in the past. In the 
present Psalm it is the Divine goodness which is alone recalled. 

The Pentateuch, or rather Hexateuch, sources, J (or JE) and P, 
are both used by our Psalmist. 

Verses 1-15 occur in i Chron. xvi. 8-33. 

1-6. Praise to he given to Jehovah, 

1. This verse is loaned from Isa. xii. 4. 

THE PSALMS 106. a-6 185 

Sing unto him, sing praises unto him ; 

Talk ye of all his marvellous works. 

Glory ye in his holy name : 

Let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. 

Seek ye the Lord and his strength ; 

Seek his face evermore. 

Remember his marvellous works that he hath done ; 

His wonders, and the judgements of his mouth ; 

O ye seed of Abraham his servant, i 

Ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones. 

glT« thaftlmi the Hebrew word (lit. ^to hurV ^ throw') 
means both 4o give thanks to ' and ^ to praise* : see on xcv. a. 

mU upon his iikbi« i this does not mean ^to pray,^ but ' to 
celebrate the attributes of God ' : ^ to bear witness to God's revealed 
character ' : see Exod. xxxiii. 19, xxxiv, 5^ ; cf. Deut. xxxii. 3. 

5. wing yralMSi the Hebrew can mean^ and probably does 
here mean, *play * (on the harp or lyre) ; * make melody ' would 
preserve the ambiguity of the Hebrew. But probably two different 
things are meant by the two verbs in a*. 

hi* vimrfUxmrn works : see on xcvi. 3. 

3. See Isa. xlt. 16. 

his holy nMii«B ^ His holy character.' 

4. SMk : the first Hebrew verb is the one used for seeking 
knowledge : it is cognate with ^ midrash ' ; the second is used of 
seeking for something that is lost. Perhaps the parallelism is 
alone responsible for the employment of two verbs here, the same 
idea being intended by both. 

6. B«»i«mlMr t a command occurring fifteen times in Deutero- 

marvsUoufl works : see on xcvi. 3. 

Kls wondsrs 3 the same Hebrew word is used of the plagues 
in Egypt : Exod. vii. 3, xi. 9 ; Joshua iii. 3. 

ths Judir^ments of his mouth : i. e. the judicial verdicts 
pronounced by Him regarding the Egyptians : Exod. vi. 6, vii. 4, 
xii. 19. 
6. AhraJuuii 1 in i Chron. xvi. 13 < Israel.' 

his ssrvMLt : referring to Abraham : see on Ixxviii. 7a But 
we should probably read < servants ' (plural) as in the LXX and 
Targ. (not the Pesh. as Baethgen mistakenly says), and as in the 
LXX of I Chron. xvi. 13. ^ His servants ' would then be parallel 
to his ohossn ones. 

i86 THE PSALMS 105. 7-11 

7 He is the Lord out Cod : 

His judgements are in all the earth. 

8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, 

The word whith he commanded to a thousand generations ; 

9 The covenant which he made with Abraham, 
And his oath unto Isaac ; 

10 And confintied the same unto Jacob for a statute, 

To Israel for an everlasting covenant t 
IX Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, 

7-1 1. Jehovah' s faithfulness to His covenant, 

7. K« is tli« AOBO <mr «k>d : render : ^ He, Jehovfth, is our 

His judg'eiiieitts : same meaning as in verse 5 : but here their 
sphere is enlarged, for all the world is now included. • 

8. bath Mmeubexvd : better, < remembers.* In Hebrew 
mental operations are conceived as states which contintie. 

Ills covenant : referring to Gen. xv. 18, xvii. 04 ; Exod. xxiv. 
Here it is the Divine side of the transaction that is thought of: 
the promises made conditionally by God. The conception of 
a covenant relation between Jehovah and Israel is not older than 
the Deuteronomic legislation, say b. c. 620. 

commanded : rather, * confirmed/ the original jense of the 
Hebrew word. So in Exod. xviii. 23. 

to a tbtmsand g>enerati<yns : belongs to * He remembers,* 
and is parallel to for cfver. ' Thousand * means here a large mmtber. 

9. (which he) made: Heb. <cut.* In Hebrew as in Latin 
(ferirey icere), and partly in Greek (temno horkia), to ' cut a covenant * 
is the idiom, because a covenant was ratified by a sacrifice : tee 
Gen. XV 

his oath unto Isaac : Gen. xxvi. 3 : the phimse depends on 
* He remembers.* 

10. And conilxmed the same t render : * and whick (covenant) 
He appointed.* 

unto Jacob; see Gen.'xxviii. 13, xxxv. 9* 
a statute : a fixed, unchangeable decree. 
^^^-.Jacob : Israel : though these two names are idefttical in the 
nSter history they were originally distinct, each with a cluster of 
separate traditions, all which are united in the Jacob or Israel of 
the later literature. The traditional (J) explanation of the double 
name is given in Gen. xxxii. S6-28. 

11. Tlie words of the promise are quoted* 

THE PSALMS 165. 12-15 tBj 

Thi lot of your inheritance : 

When they were but a few tnen in number ; la 

YeaJ very few, and sojourners In it } 

Andl^they went about from liation to rt&tion, 13 

From one kingdom to another peot)le. 

He siuffered no man to do them wrong; 14 

Yea, he reproved kiftgs for their sakes ; 

Saying, Touch not mine anointed ones, 15 

And do my prophets no harm. 

^ Tli« lot of your inlioritanoe : render : < the land of your in- 
heritance,* and see on lixxviii. 55. 

The covenant made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ei^braced 
In its reach their descendants. 

ia>aa. How God guided the patriarchs in their wanderings, 
1ft. When tli»y w^re: the 'they* refers to Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob ; hardly, however, as individuals, but 4LS ve]3Teftentiiig: 
peoples. Amos used the words Isaac, Jacob, and feniel ini^riably 
as names of tribes br peoples. 

Imt a few men in nmuber : //'/. 'men of number,' i. e. men that 
could be numbered =* few.* Cf. Horace, 'Nos numerus sumus.' 
See Gen. xxxiv. Deut. xxvi. 5. For the antithetic phrase innomer- 
able (Heb. * without number') see Ps. xl. id, &c. These words 
show that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob cannot here denote the 
individuals so called, for it wouM not be said of them that they 
were Um men In niiniiliez 1 they were btit three, and these three 
were not alive at the same time. 

•ojonmers s Heb. ger : see on cxix. r9. 

13. Render: 'And when they were g^oing about,* &c. ; a 
continuation of the conditional sentence in verse 12 : the apodosis 
is in verses 14 f. 

14. he reproved Idngv : referring to Sarah and Rebecca and 
the way they were rescued from Pharaoh and Abimelech ; see 
Gen. xii. 7, xx. 3, 7, 18, xxvi. 11. 

15. Tonoh not, &c. ; an allusion to Gen. xxvi. rt. 

mine anointed ones: the Hebrew is the wdrd rendered 
^ Messiah * ; *■ my messiahs.' Kings and priests were set apart for 
their office by the anointing of oil. The fathers of the tiation 
were called apart to be themselves consecrated and the founders 
of a consecrated people : see on Ixxxix. 20, and see also pp. 7 f. 

prophets : Abraham is called a prophet in Gen. xx. 7 (E) ; 
but, as applied to Amos, Isaiah, &:c., the word has a different 

i88 THE PSALMS 105. 16-19 


16 And he called for a famine upon the land } | 
He brake the whole staff of bread. j 

17 He sent a man before them ; I 
Joseph was sold for a servant : j 

t8 His feet they hurt with fetters ; 1 

. He was laid in cAatns qfkon : 
19 Until the time that his word came to pass; 

meaning. Here the sense is simply that God revealed Himself 
through Abraham. 

i6-aa. IVhat led Jacob into Egypt {the famine). Joseph? a history 
briefly and poetically treated. 

16. In Hebrew co-ordination of sentences is used where sub- 
ordination of ideas is meant, and where in other languages 
subordination would be expressed. This is evident to the reader of 
the English Bible. We might translate verse 16 : ^ So when He 
called/ ^c. 

iM o»Uadi a common expression in the 0,T. ; sees Kings 
viii. I ; Amos v. 8, vii. 4, ix. 6 ; Hag. i. 11. 

witMcfbtmAi a case of what is called ^Genitive of apposition'; 
the bread is the staff: that which men lean on ; see Lev. zxvi. ^ ; 
Isa. iii. I ; Ps. civ; 15. 

17. Sfie Gen. xlv. 5, 7. 
ft auui I i. e. Joseph. 

fli«rTHit s better, ' a bondservant' or * slave/ though the latter 
includes too much. 

18. All we are told in Gen. xL 3 with reference to Joseph's in- 
carceration is that he was * bound ' in the prison. The details given 
in this verse are probably due to the poet's transference of prison 
conditions, as he knew them, to the imprisonment of Joseph. 

Mm wm laid in ehaln» 4 iront lit * His soul ' ( = He him- 
self) ^entered the iron' (« irons), ^ron/ though singular, has 
a plural meaning, in harmony with Hebrew usage. It is in 
parallelism with the Hebrew word for fotttrs, which is also 
singular in the original. Hence it»Mron fetters,' ^chains,' or 
the like. * He entered the iron chains or fetters ' <^ * he was 
bound by them,* or * in them.' 

The rendering 'the iron entered his soul* (so LXX, Targ., 
most Jewish and many Christian exegetes) is excluded by 
grammar and sense. 

19. wocd: the second of the two Hebrew nouns so translated 
in this verse denotes especially a Divine utterance, command, 
or promise. Wim word means Joseph's interpretation of his own 

THE PSALMS 105. ao-as 189 

The word of the Lord tried him. 

The king sent and loosed him ; io 

Even the ruler of peoples, and let him go free. 

He made him lord of his house, ai 

And ruler of all his substance : 

To bind his princes at his pleasure, a a 

And teach his senators wisdom. 

Israel also came into Egypt ; 23 

And Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham. 

And he increased his people greatly, 24 

And made them stronger than their adversaries. 

He turned their heart to hate his people, 35 

Tli% word of tho LOBD means the same thing, for it was 
Jehovah who gave Joseph the interpretation. 

tried Uin: Jehovah's word to Joseph called for faith, and so 
tested him. 
SO. Vli« Usiir Mnt, &c. : see Gen. xli. 14. 

loosed: Heb. < set free.' 
81, See xli. 40, xlv. 8. 

ftS. Render : * That he mi^^ht instruct princes according to his 
good pleasure, And impart wisdom to his elders.* 

bind: read, instruct/ changing one Hebrew consonant. 
This is supported by parallelism, LX^, Jero., and Duhm. 

at his pleajmrei read, with LXX, Jero., * according to his 
pleasure ' : two very similar letters {b and k) are confounded here 
as elsewhere. 

wisdom: see Gen. xli. 39. 

23-25. How Godprotecied the Israelitts in Egypt. 

53. Mizraim (-Egypt) and Ham stand in parallelism here as 
in Ixxviii. 51. In verse 27 Egypt is called the land of Ham* 
According to Gen. x. 6 Mizraim is son of Ham ; another son is 
Cush (Ethiopia} : proof surely that the names in Gen* x are 
tribal, not individual ; see on verse la. 

Israel = Jacob ; see on vei*se 10. 

54. And he : i. e. Jehovah. 

than their adversaries : read, < stronger than the Egyptians.* 

95-39 is based on Exod. i-xiv. 

S6. Ke turned their heart 1 render : ' their heart turned.' The 
Hebrew verb has often, as in lauviii. 9 and here, an intransitive 
meaning. For the sentiment see Exod. i« 8. 

XQo THE PSALMS 105. a6-ao 

To deal subtilly with his servants. 
a6 He sent Moses his servant, 

And Aaron whom he had chosen. 
37 They set among them his signs, 

And wonders in the land c^ Ham* 
a8 He sent darkness, and made it dark ; 

And they rebelled not against bis words. 
29 He turned their waters into blood, 

And slew their fish. 
50 Their land swarmed with frogs, 

In the chambers of their king& 

27. TlMj Mt X read with the ancient versions (except Targ.) 
and with most modems ^ He set* : see Ixxviii. 43 ; Exod. x. a. 

From verse 34 to verse 37 Jehovah ki the subject. 
amoBff XlM(UL : as in Exod. x. 3 : but in IxxviiL 43 * ia Egypt.' 
his sAgBAi Heb. 'words or things of His signs,' i.e. 
'instances of His signs'; then virtually 'some of His s^ns.' 
This noun has the same idiomatic sense in Ixv. 4, cxxxviK 2, 
cxlv. 5, and Jer. v. oB (< deeds of wickedness'). 
wo]id«M : see on verse 5. 

38-36 gfvea an account o/the plagues^ bui mUy eight art metOiomd, 
and these not in dtronolopcal order* 

The fifth plague (pestilence) and the sixth (boiJs) are omitted ; 
the remaining eight are alluded to in the following order :.— - 

(z) The ninth (darkness), (s) The first (Nile water dianged 
into blood). (3) The second (frogs). (4) The Ibitrth (fiies). (5) The 
third (lice). (6) The seventh (hail). (7) The eighth (loeusU). 
(8) The tenth (death of firstborn). 

28. dazkneM : the ninth plague (Exod. x. 31 ff.). Here it is 
named first 

And thejr rebelled not : render, ' Yet they rebelled,* omitting 
the negative as LXX, Pesh. Or read with Hitzig, 8cq., < And they 
kept not His words.' 

29. We have in this verse an account of the first plague, the 
turning of the Nile water into blood: see Exod. vii. i4ff., ai 


Me tuzaed : the verb used in verse 35 (see) ; here used 

30. The second pUgue (frogs), EskmI. viti 1 0. (J). 

Render 30** : < (Th^ went op into) the chan^MfB*' ft& The 
words in bmckets have probably fallen out, and are seeded kr the 
rhythm and the sense. See Exod. viiL 3. 

THE PSALMS 106. 3i-3<i 191 

He spake, and there came &warms of flies, Si 

And lice in all their borders. 

He gave them hail for rain» $a 

And flaming Are in their land. 

He smote their vines also and their fig trees ; 33 

And brake the trees of their borders. 

He spake, and the locust came, 34 

And the cankerworm, qiMl that without number, 

And did eat up every herb in their land, 35 

And did eat up the fruit of their ground. 

He smote also all the firstborn in their land, 36 

The chief of all their strength. 

31. Two plagues are referred to in this verse, viz. the fourth 
plague (gadflies : see Ixxviii. 45, and Exod. vili. floff. (J)) and the 
third (lice : see Exod. viii. i6fr. (P)). 

swarms of fllMi : render : *the dog fly * : see on txxvlU. 45. 

llo«: render, < gnats,' or < stinging flies.* This plague is un- 
mentioned ifi bcxviii. 

3a f. The seventh plague (hail) : see Ixxviii. 47 f., and Exod. ix. 
I3ff., asf. (J). 

38. rain : Egypt had no rain : it has a little now. 
flaminir llrsi the lightning accompanying the hail storm : see 
Exod. ix. 34. 

34 f. The eighth plague (locusts) : see Ixxviii. 46 ; Exod. x. 
I ff. (J). 

84. looust: the Hebrew word is that used in Ixxviii. 46 and 
Exod. X. 4, and so translated. 

oaalnrworin : nothing other than the locust is meant Two 
words are used here for locust as in Ixxviii. 51 ; in both cases 
for the sake of the parallelism. 

35. Aid sat up: the same verb occurs twice in Hebrew by 
mistake. Omitting one consonant (Aleph) we have a word v^hich 
makes an excellent parallel, ' and did destroy ' : this verb occurs 
in lix. 13, cxix. 87, &c. 

86. The tenth plague (death of the firstborn) : see Exod. 
Ixxviii. 51 ; Ex. xi. i ff. 

ths ohisT of aU tlislr strmffth 1 lit * the beginning * or < first- 
fruit of all their strength ' : tbe same Hebrew words are found in 
Gen. iv. 9 ; Deut. xxi. 17 : see on Ixxviii. 51. 

192 THE PSALMS 105. 37-42 

37 And he brought them forth with silver and gold : 

And there was not one feeble person among his tribes. 
3$. Egypt was glad when they departed ; 

For the fear of them had fallen upon them. 
39^ He spread a cloud for a covering ; 

And fire to give light in the night. 
^ They asked, and he brought quails, 

And satisfied them with the bread of heaven. 
41. He opened the rock, and waters gushed out ; 

They ran in the dry places /ike sl river. 
4j For he remembered his holy word, 

37-45. Jehovah'' s goodness at the Exodusj and on the jounuy to 
37. with sUymt and gold : see £xod, xii. 35. 
not OSLO fboliUi porson 1 better, * not one that stumbled ' : 
based on Isa. v. 27. 

■moBff U« (Jehovah's) tribos s see cxxii. 4. 
384 Sec Exod.. xii. 31*33. 
tho fiiav of them (the Israelites) had fiOlaa npon HMm (the 
Egyptians) : see Exod. xv. 16 ; Deut. xi. 25. 

39-41. Miracles of the wilderness journey. 

39. See Exod. xiii. aif., xiv. 19 f. In Exodus, however, the 
cloud is a defence between the Israelites and the Egyptians (see 
especially Exod. xiv. 19) : here it shelters them against the scorch- 
ing rays of the sun : see Isa. iv. 56. 

a oorerlng ; the Hebrew word may denote something* that 
is vertical (see Exod. xxviL 16, xxxv. la), as well as what occupies 
a horizontal position (a Sam xvii. 19). If we can think of a doud 
standing upright between the Israelites and the Egyptians the 
apparent contradiction with Exodus disappears. 

40. quail* : elsewhere mentioned in Exod. xvi. 13 (P) and 
Num. xi. 31 (J, E). 

broad of heayon : i. e. the manna : so Ixxvili. 34 f. ; Neh. ix. 
15 ; cf. John v. 31 ; i Cor. x. 3. 

41. See Ixxviii. 90 (note on); Exod. xvii. 6; Num. xx. xz : 
cf. Isa. xii, 18, xlviit ai. There is a Jewish tradition that a rock 
full of fissures, whence issued fresh water, followed the Israelites 
through the wilderness. 

43-45. The summing tep of the whole meUtert verse 43 refers 
back to verse 8. 

THE PSALMS 105. 43—106. i 193 

And Abraham his servant. 

And he brought forth his people with joy, 43 

And his chosen with singing. 

And he gave them the lands of the nations ; 44 

And they took the labour of the peoples in possession : 

That they might keep his statutes, 45 

And observe his laws. 

Praise ye the Lord. 

Praise ye the Lord. 106 

4a. And Ateftluutt 1 render : (< His holy word ' - < covenant *) 
* With Abraham ' ; so LXX, Jero., Pesh., Targ. The Hebrew can 
denote either. 

48. with Joj (gladness) : with wAnging (rather, ringing shouts of 
joy) : reminiscent of Exod. xv, but especially of Isa. xxxv. 10^ 
li. IX, Iv. 19, which utter the joy felt at the prospect of deliver- 
ance from Babylon. 

44. See Deut. vi. 10 f. 
labour 1 the Hebrew word means ' labour itself as such/ and 
also * what is gained by labour ' : here it is the latter that is in- 

48. VridM r^ th* AOBD (Heb. Hallelujah) : omitted in LXX 
and Pesh., and rightly : it is inserted from the beginning of the 
next Psalm by a copyist's error. 

Psalm CVI. 

Thime, Israel's ingratitude and unfaithfulness notwithstanding 
Jehovah's lovingkindness. 

L Tttli. See on verse i. 

n. Conitnia. This Psalm is a retrospect of the nation*s past 
with a view to pointing out the sins of the fathers. Ps. cv re- 
called the past in order to make mention of the lovingkindness 
of God. The present Psalm agrees with Ps. Ixxviii in that both 
have as their dominant note the sins of Israel in times past Re- 
membering the idea of national and even of human solidarity 
which had vogue in the ancient world (see on verse 6) it will be 
seen that this confession of the sins of their ancestors involved a 
confession of their own guilt The arrangement of the Psalm is 
on the whole according to chronology (but see on 39 f.), and it is 
difficult to made a logical analysis of the contents. The following 
sets forth the general course of thought : 


iqS the psalms 106. io^as 

And worshipped a molten image. . 
20 Thus they changed their glory 

For the likeness of an ox that eatetfa grass. 
91 They forgat God their saviour, 

Which had done great thiogS in* iBgypt ; 
u Wondrous works id the land of Haxn» 

And terrible things by the Red Sea» 
as Therefore he said that he would destroy them, 

Had not Moses his chosen stood before him in tbe breach, 
. To turn away his wrath, lest be should destroy: ^pi, 

24 Yea, thev despised the pleasant land, 
Th^y believed not his word ; 

25 But murmured in their tents. 

And heatkened not unto the voice of the Lord. 

80. oliaiiged : Heb. can mean ' exchanged.* 
th«ir .glorys if this tex^ i$ kept, it>» ^ what they gloried in,' 
i. e. ^ their God ' : see Deutf iv. 6^, x, qi. The oi^iginal reading 
was ^Hjs (God's) glory' ; see Rom. i. 23. So Theod. and some 
MSS. of the LXX. Rabbinical authority regards this as one of the 
^cigbVf on corrections of the scribf^/ holding that 'my ^lory' 
stood in the original text. %^ Ginsburg^ /nUod. to the HArwt 
Biblef p. 360. 
gl ^ They forgot their bene/SsMctor. 
, 29- UauBL ot Bam: in connexion with Egypt; see on cv. a^y 
cf. Ixxviii. 57. 
23. See £xod. xxxiL 10 if. ; Num. xiv. 11 tL 
that he w<mld dmtroj them : from Dei,it. ix. 25. 
stood ... in the breach : the figure is that of a breach made 
in a city wall by a^ invader : to prevent the ea^my from entering, 
a hero steps into the breach. Moses s^ood betw^^n %ael and 
Jehovah, averting the ang^r of the l^ttiH" jfrom the former 1 Si^e 
Jer. xviii. ao ; Ezek. xxii. 30. 

24-97. The fifth txatftpk of sin. In consequence of the mi- 
fovourable report "of the spies they despised the land promised 
them. See Num. xiiif. 

84. the plMunAt land : the same expression Is found in Jer. 
iii. 19; Zech. vii. 14. 

85. mnrmturad, &c. from Deut. I 97. 

THE PSALMS 106. J6.30 299 

Therefore he lifted up his hand unto them, 26 

That he would overthrow them in the wilderness : v 

And that he would overthrow their seed among the nations, 2 7 

And scatter them in the lands. 

They joined themselves also unto Baal-peor, 28 

And ate the sacrifices of the dead. 

Thus they provoked him to anger with thtir. doings ; ap 

And the plague brake in upon them. 

Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgement : 30 

And so the plague was stayed. 

■ ■■! ' ■ ■ ' ' ■ 

26. lifted TV him liaiid s * He swore.' The same idiom exists 
in other Setnitie languages (Arabic, &c.). When an oath was 
made the right hand was raised towards (yod as if calling Him to 
witness : see Num. xiv. 98 f., 39. Here and in Exod. vi. 8, 5cc. 
the same expression is used anthropomorphically of God Himself. 

ft7. Render : * And that He would scatter their seed * (de- 
scendants) 'among the nations' (heathen), <And disperse them in 
the land.* 

ovivtlivowi read (with LXX), < disperse/ changing the final 
consonant of the Hebrew. 

98-31. A stxik sin mtHHtmtd: ufiiUng in ihi worship of the 
Moabitts (see Num. xxv). 

88. They Joined t]MmMl¥«si LXX *They were initiated/ 
Jero. ^ConstcraHsuni* ; both referring perhaps to certain mysteries 
or orgies connected with such worship as is implied. 

BMil-psori rather, <Baal of Peor'»the Baal worshipped 
at Peor (Num. xxiii. 98), i. e. probably on mount Pisgah. This 
deity has by some been identified with the Moabite tutelar deity 
Chemosh ; by others it has been supposed to have been a Moabite 
Priapus, having a worship with grossly immoral rites ; see Driver 
on Deut. iv. 3. 

deftd I i. e. heathen gods, in contrast with the living God of 
Israel : see cxv. 5 S., &&, and cf. xlii. 9. 

By taking part in the sacrificial meals of the Moabites they 
were eating with their gods. 

M* pvoToked iLiin to «ag«r 1 see Deut. iv. 95, &c. 
p]»gii0 1 the Hebrew word generally means ^ a pestilence * or 
'disease inflicted by God«* The same word pccurs in Num. 
xxv. 9. 

30. See Num. xxv. 7 f. 
FTiineTifti : son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron. 
•aBMUt«d judgemmit 1 better, 'mediated' (Jero*)* 

200 THE PSALMS 106. 31-36 

31 And that was counted unto him for righteousness, 

Unto all generations for evermore. 
3s They angered him also at the waters c^ Meribah, 

So that it went ill with Moses for their sakes : 

33 Because they were rebellious against his spirit, 
And he spake unadvisedly with his lips. 

34 They did not destroy the peoples, 
As the Lord commanded them ; 

35 But mingled themselves with the nations, 
And learned their works : 

36 And they served their idols ; 

31. oonnted unto liim for zIflrhteoiuinMis : the phrase occurs 
in the Pentateuch of Abraham only : see Gen. xv. 6 (J). 

As a reward for this act of faith Pbinehas received for himself 
and his family the priestly office : see Num. xxv. la f. 

3a f. The seventh example of sin committed in the wildemess : 
the murmuring against Moses and Aaron at Meribah (see Num. 
XX. 1-13). This incident occurred before that of verses 38-31, 
but it is placed last as involving the most serious of all the sins 
enumerated, Moses himself being concerned in it 

32. Tliey anff«red Um : a common expression in Deuteronomy. 
See Deut. viii. aa, ix. 7, &c. 

Xeribali : see on Ixxviii. 15, Ixzxi. 7, and xcv. 8. 

It went ill with Xosm, &c : i. e. Moses was excluded from 
Canaan on account of this unbelief of the people. Two other 
reasons are given in the O. T. for the exclusion of Moses and 
Aaron from the promised land. See Num. xx. 1-13 (J, £) and 
Deut. i. 3) ii. 36, iv. ai. 

33. they were rebellioiui: i.e. the Israelites: see 3a* and 
Ixxviii. 40. 

against his spirit: i. e. God^s spirit, not Moses' : see Ixxviii. 40; 
Isa. Ixiii. ro. The verb used ( = defied) has God for object always. 
spake unadvisedly: the same Hebrew verb in Lev. v. 4 

34-39. Sins committed by Israel after reaching the Promised 
Land, Two are spoken of: (i) they refused to exterminate 
the natives, though commanded to do so : 34 f. (see Exod. xxiii. 
3a f., &c.) ; (a) they adopted some of the abominable rites of the 
Canaanites : 36-39. 

Bickell and Duhm reject verse 34 as an interpolation. 

36. See Exod. xxiii. 33; Judges ii. 3. 11-15; cf. Exod. xxxiv. 
12 ; Deut. vii. 15. 

THE PSALMS 106. 37-39 201 

Which became a snare unto them : 

Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto 37 

And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons 38 

and of their daughters, 
Whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan ; 
And the land was polluted with blood. 
Thus were they defiled with their works, 39 

And went a whoring in their doings. 

37. demons: Heb. Shtdim^ a word which in the M. T. 
occurs only here and in Deut. xxxii. 17. It is probably derived 
from the Assyrian shiduy the name of a storm-god represented by 
the bull Collossi often found in front of Assyrian temples. The 
Divine name Shaddai goes back apparently to the same Assyrian 
word. On these sheditn see Driver on Deut. xxxii. 17, and cf. the 
new (third) edition (untranslated) of Schrader's CMM^r/brm In- 
scriptions and Ihe Old Testament^ pp. 360 f. These Israelites sacri- 
ficed their children to Babylonian deities. Neither deq^ons (LXX, 
Vulg., Jero.) nor * evil spirits ' (Targ.) correctly represents the 
Hebrew. As to the practice of human sacrifice among the 
Assyrians see Sayce, Hibbert Lectures^ p. 78. 

38. The Israelites learned from the Canaanites to offer human 
sacrifices ; see Gen. xxii ; £xod. xxii. 28, &c. Such sacrifices 
prevailed among the Moabites ; 2 Kings iii. 27. 

In some passages we have the phrase : *They caused their sons to 
pass through the fire ' ; see Deut. xviii. 10, &c. In others the 
language is : * They burned their sons in the fire ' ; see Jer. vii. 
31, &c. But the former phrase (found in about seven places) 
should be altered : by transposing two of the letters of the word 
{b and *ain) we get * They burnt ' instead of * They caused to pass.' 
This suits all the examples well. The old rendering gave rise to 
the notion, once generally held, that children were sacrificed to 
Moloch, the god of the Amorites, by being made to pass through 
a burning furnace. 

tlM land mui polluted 3 by the sins of the people : according 
to the ancient opinion as to the connexion between' inhabitants 
and land, see Lev. xviii. 24 ff., &c. 

39. (Thus) WMre Vhmj defiled s LXX <was it (the land) 

went » whoring t Jehovah is Israel's husband (see Hos. ii. 
s f.)) so that infidelity to Him is compared to a wife*s infidelity to 
her husband. See Exod. xxxiv. 15 f. &c. 

t09 THE P3ALM8 106. 40-46 

40 Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his 

And he abhorred his inheritance. 

41 Aad he gave tbmx into the hand of the nations ; 
And they that hated them ruled over them. 

43 Their enemies also ^pressed tbem^ 

And they were brou^t into subjection under their hand 

43 Many times did he deliver them ; 

But they were rebellious in their counsel, 
And were brought low in their iniquity. 

44 Nevertheless he regarded their distress, 
When he heard their cry ; 

45 And he remembered for them his covenant, 

And repented according to the multitude of his mercies. 

46 Ha made them also to be pitied 

40-43. Israelis sin punished. 

40. Tli«ref6r« wm the wn^ ot th% l^MD kiiUUed agaAiist 
his peopU: these words recur iu Judges frequently and in a 
similar connexion : see Judges iL 14, ao. Sec, 

41. siatloiui: i. e. * the heathen.' 

42. oppressed: see Judges iv. 3, x. 8 ; i Sam. ix. 16. 

thtij were brought into suldeotion: ibr what this meant 
see Judges iv» 6-1 1 ; i Sam. xiii. 19 C 

43. Ma4>7 times did he deliyei: themi iQrOthniel (Judges iii. 
9), by Ehud (Judges iii. 15-39), bv Shamgar (Judges ^ii. 31), by 
Deborah and Barak (Judges iv. 4-«4), by Gideon (Judgcsvii. 19-35), 
by Jephthah (Judges xi. 12-33), hy Samson (Judges xviii 8wao), 
by David (2 Sam. v. 22-25), and by others. 

were brought low : read (with a slight change), ' pined,' as 
in Lev. xxvi. 39, &c 
44-46. Jehovah's remembrance of His covenant, 

44. their orj 1 ' their loud ringing cry ' : generally a cry of 
gr^atjpy; here «f anguish. 

46. he remembered . . . his eoireiuuit : see Ley. xxvi. 41 f. 
;rep#ated : rather, ' and had compaasion ' : see on xc. 13. 
mercies : better, *• lovingkindnesses * : better still the sing. 
with A4^A., LXX, Jera The Masaorites (^.) prefer the plnraL 

46. Render : < He made them to be objects of pity,' &c s see 
z Kings viii. 50. 

THE PSAIMS 10«. 4^^107 i 303 

Of all those that carried them captives. 

Say^ us, O Lord our God, 47 

And gather us from among the nations, 
To give thinks unto thy holy name, 
And to triumph in thy praise. 

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, 48 

From everlasting even to everlasting. 
And let all the people say, Amen. 
Praise ye the Lord. 


O jgive thanks unto the Loi^d ; for he is gopd ; 107 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 

47-1 Chron, xvi. 35. 

gather us: not from Babylon ; cf. < nations' (» Hbe heathen'). 
It }» the Diaspora of a later time that seems implied. 

to triumpli: rather s^ to make our boast.' The ver^ 49 
Aramaic, and aii^ues a late date. 

48. An editorial appendix to close Book IV. Cf. the closipg 
doxologies of Books I, II, and III. 

Praise 7* the IbOBB : i. e. Hallelujah : belongs to the next 
P^ajm {iiUe) ; so LXX. The word Ameii, fpUowing a doxology, 
closes Books J, 11, and III, and the same is doubtlessly true im the 
present case. 

Book V. , , 

This Boodc embraces Pss. cvii-cl. For introductory remarks 
see Introduction to Books IV and V, pp. 197 f. 

Psalm CVII. 
Them$, A call to praise Jehovah for His gracious acts. 

I. Titl4, Hallelujah : see on cvi. 48. 

II. Contents, Though Pss. cvf. belong to a different bo6k 
they stand in close conne^on with this Psalm, forming with it 
a series having a similar date and perhaps the same author : isiee 
Introd. to Pa. cv. These Psahns, though pn>mp|^^ it may be, by 
some great act of deliveraojo^i ceMntf Qq4'8 gr^Mini ^K^odness 

204 THE PSALMS 107. a 

2 Let the redeemed of the Lord gay so^ 

to His people. Verses 33-33 show that the return from Exfle is 
not the only blessing which this Psalm recalls. 

The refrain, ^ Let them give thanks to Jehovah/ &c., occurs in 
verses 8, 15, ai, 31, but it does not mark the logical divisions of 
the first part of the Psalm. Yet after it in each case one more 
verse completes the strophe, which seems to show that its present 
position was intended. This arrangement was probably due to 
liturgical requirements. There is no Psalm nor any portion of 
a Psalm more symmetrically arranged than verses 1-33, 

(i) Introduction. General summons to praise Jehovah for His 
many deliverances (verses 1-3). 

(3) Detailed enumeration of Jehovah's acts of deliverance 
(verses 4-33). 

This enumeration is set forth in four strophes, each dealing 
with a different class of people helped in time of need, (i) The 
condition of those requiring aid is described ; (3) these are repre- 
sented as crying to God for help, and as receiving favourable 
answers ; ^3) they are then summoned to give thanks to their 
Divine Dehverer. 

The four classes enumerated are as follows : 

(i) Travellera who have lost their way in wilderness and desert 
(verses 4-9% 

(3) Men imprisoned in dark dungeons because they defied 
Jehovah (verses 10-16). 

(3) Men sorely afflicted by God on account of their sins (verses 

(4) Travellera on the sea in a furious and perilous storm (verses 

Verses 33-43 is an anthology made up of extracts taken from 
Job, Isa. xl ff., &c. Its rhythm or metre differa much from that of 
verees 1-33 as well as its subject-matter, though 36^ may have 
some affin ity with the first part of the Psalm. Duhm and CheyneO 
are probably right in seeing in these verses a late addition. 

This part may be thus analysed : 

(i) Jehovah punishes the wicked by making their land barren 
(veraes 33 f.). 

(3) Jehovah rewards the righteous by making their land fruitful 
and themselves more numerous (verees 35-38). 

(3) He defends His people, but confounds His foes (verges 


(4) An exhortation to ponder upon these things (verse 43). 

III. AuthorgJttp and Dati. Most recent writere agree that the 
Psalm is post-exilic. Verses 1-3 speak of redeemed ones gathered 
from every quarter of the globe, showing that the writer has in 

THE PSALMS 107. 3-6 205 

Whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the adversary ; 
And gathered them out of the lands, 3 

From the east and from the west, 
From the north and from the south. 

They wandered in the wilderness in a desert way ; 4 

They found no city of habitation. 

Hungry and thirsty, 5 

Their 80ul fainted in them. 

Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, ' 6 

mind many manifestations of the Divine power and love, thoiigli 
that from Babylon may have been the deliverance which p^^ompted 
the Psalm, or at least verses 1-39 ; verses 33-43 seem to belong 
to a later date. 

1-3. Sufumons to give thanks to Jehovah, 

1. With this verse cf. cvi. i, cxviii. i, cxxxvi. i. 

8. redeemed: from the verb^a'a/: see on Uxiv. 9« 

redeemed of the XiOXD 1 from Isa. Ixii. 12. 

advierMufsri the Hebrew word can, and here does, meftn 

< distress ' : luuid denotes here < power.' 

3. And gathered them 1 see cvi. 47 ; Jer. zxxii. 37, &c. 
■onfeh s here again the £. W. correct the M.T., reading>wiffifH 

(south, lit, * right hand ') far yam (^ west,' lit, sea, i. e. (usually) the 
Mediterranean). If, following the ancient versions, we retain yam 
C Pisea), the reference must be to the Red Sea or the Indian Ocean, 
for it is the southern quarter that is meant ; see ii. 8, Ixxii. 8. 

4-39. Instances of Jehovah's acts 0/ deliverance, 

4-9. Traifltllers who have missed their way, 

4. wandered: Heb. Most their way. The subject, not exr 
pressed, must be understood in an indefinite way according to 
a common Hebrew usage. They wandered « ' There were some 
who wandered.' 

wildemetia : the Hebrew word '^ < wild pasture land on which 
cattle, &c. graze.' 

desert way : render, * in a desert of a way,' cf. Prov. xv. 19, 

< fool of a man.' For the word deaert see on cvi. 14. 'A desert 
of a way ' «= ' a way that is desert like,' i. e. rough, pathless, See. 
LXX ' in a waterless desert.' For other interpretations see the 
Versions and the larger Commentaries. 

0. Their soul* ' they themselves ' according to Hebrew idiom. 

fidnted : Heb. ' continued in a faint condition. '- 
6. tronhle 1 the radical idea in this word, and in IRt^t bf vetae q 

2o6 THE PSALMS 107. 7-14 

And he deUrered them out of their distresses. 

7 He led them also by a straight way, 
That they might go to a city of habitation* 

8 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, 
And for his wonderful works to the children ol ro^ 1 

9 For he satisfieth the longing soul, 

And the hungry soul he filleth with good. 

10 Such as sat in darkness and in the shadow of dittth, 
Being bound in affliction and iron ; 

1 1 Because they rebelled against the words of God^ 
And contemned the counsel of the Most High : 

12 Thetefdre he brought down their heart with labour ; 
They fell down, and there was none to help. 

13 Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, 
And he saved them out of their distresses. 

14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of deaths 

properly rendered abovb 'distress/ is * tfraftness ' : ' oofififiement 
in ft aarrow place. ' The common greeting in Palestine is Miarhabaf 
L «. mky you have enlargement The principal Hebrew word for 
<nlvation' means < enlargement,' and the name < Jesus' means 
strictly * the Enlarger/ or ' He who sets at large.* The same 
figures for distress and its opposite occur in most languages, in- 
cluding Arabic, Persian, and Sanskrit. 

he daliyersd : the same continuous or frequentative tense, 
8. Render ; < Let them * (those guided, &c.) ' praise,' &c. The 
R. V. gives the word too general an application. 

dUlftxwi of man : Semitic idiom for < men ' : see on Ixxix. zi. 

ZO-16. Prisoners in dark regions, 

10. Snoh a« sftt ia dArkneMi so in Isa. xlii. 7 of the exiles : 
cf. Isa. ix. a ; Mic vii. 8 ; Jer. xvi. 16, xxxvi. 8. 

flluUtowf of defttli. : see xxiii. 4 and on IxxxviiL 6. 
BctagboiuUli&attlettomaadiami: render, * being pHs^Mhl 
afflicted and in fetters' : see Job xxxvi. 8. 

XI. relMlU4 ftffalast x < de6ed.* The Hebrew woi4 is a gvMt 
one in Deuteronomy : see Dent. i. 96, 43, ix. ag, ftc. 

IS. he InnnghX downi read, with LXX and Dnkn, <tfeeir 
heart was bowed down.' No change in the codsdAante Is seeded. 

14. «lift4aw«f 4ffttlix see on lxx;b^iii. €1. 

THE PSALMS 107. 15-at ^07 

And brake their bands in sunder. 

Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, 15 

And for his wonderful woHcs to the children of met) I 

For he hath broken the gates of brass, 16 

And cut the bars of iron in sunder. > 

Fools because of their transgression, 17 

And because of their iniquities, are afflicted. 

Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat ; ^ ,18 

And they draw near unto the gates of death. 

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, . 19 

And he saveth them out of their distresses. 

He sendeth his word, and healeth them, 90 

And delivereth them from their destructions. 

Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, ai 

explains * iron ' in verse 10. The same noun and also 
the verb connected with it here occur in ii. 3. The verb is used 
in Judges xvi. 19 of Samson*s snapping the cords. 
16. See on verse 8. 

16. The words are from Isa. xlv. a, and must therefore be of 
later date. 

17-aa. Men sorely afflicted on account of their sins, 

17. Vooli t i. e. wicked men. 

thtlr transffMsiloa t Heb. < their rebellious conduct^ (not 
as R.Vm.) ; see verse 11. 

AM «flUot«di the Hebrew »' afflict themselves' : they bring 
suffering upon themselves by their disobedience. The tense 
denotes what is continuous. 

10. ffhelr sonlt by a Hebrew idiom »< they themselves' ; s«e 
on Ixxviii. 18 ; but ' soul ' denotes also the organ of deslr^^ appetite ; 
so verse 9, xlii. 3, &c. 

This verse rests on Job xxxiii. ao. What it says is that their 
sufferings take away their appetite and, at length, bring them to 
the verge of death. 

60. word I i.e. command. 
AnA d^Tsreth . . . devtruotionv 1 read, with Kahan, « And 
delivers them' {lit, < their life') *from the pit' ("-the grave). 
The change is obtained almost wholly by a rstrra«fgemen« ef the 
same Hebrew letters. ' 

21. See on verse 8. 

2o8 THE PSALMS 107. aa-a; 

And for his wonderful works to the children of men ! 
32 And let them offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving, 
And declare his works with singing. 

23 They that go down to the sea in ships, 
That do business in great waters ; 

24 These see the works of the Lord, 
And his wonders in the deep. 

25 For he commandeth^ and raiseth the stormy wind, 
Which lifteth up the waves thereof. 

26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the 

depths : 
Their soul melteth away because of trouble. 

27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, 

22. saorlfloas of thanlwgivlng as in cxvi. 17 ; see Hos. xiv. 2 
(* calves of our lips ') and Heb. xiii. 15. 

23-32. Sea fnerchants — the fourth and last class » 

28. Render : * They that descend into the sea in ships, That 
traffic over great waters ' ; Hebrews spoke of going down, Greeks 
of going up into a ship. 

do InudnoM: i.e. as merchants, not as fishermen. 
grmX wators ; see Isa. xxiii. 3 ; Ezek. xxvii. 25. 

24. works . . . wondom : not the doings and outstanding acts 
of God in nature, storms and the like, but His deliverances during 

26. and valfloth : better construe the verb as intrans. (^Qal) and 
not trans. {Hiph), though the Hebrew consonantal text can be 
either : render, ^ And a stormy wind arose, which,' &c. 

26 f. contain a description of sea sickness. 

26. Thmj X i. e. the sea merchants, not the waves. 

Tlioir aonl 1 i. e. they themselves ; see on verse 18. Kirk- 
Patrick quotes a similar ]>assage from Vergil, Aetrnd, iii. 564 : 
< We are lifted heavenwards on the circling whirlpool, and so, 
When the wave is withdrawn we descend to the lowest 

t]i«lr aonl moltetli: i.e. they lose heart, courage. 

27. Most commentators from Rosenmaller to Kirkpatrick quote 
a parallel description from Ovid, Tristitia, i. 2. 12 ff. 

THE PSALMS 107. aS-ja 299 

And are at their wits' end. 

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, a8 

And he bringeth them out of their distresses. 

He maketh the storm a calm, 39 

So that the waves thereof are still 

Then are they glad because they be quiet j 30 

So he bringeth them unto the haven where they would be. 

Oh that men would piaise the Lord for his goodness, 31 

And for his wonderful works to the children of men ! 

Let them exalt him also in the assembly of the people, 33 

And pmise him in the seat of the elders. 

▲ad »r« ftt their wits' end: a charming setting of the 
Hebrew, 'and their skill is baffled' {lit swallowed up). 

88^6, 13, 19. The distress, the prayer, the deliverance follow 
just in that order in all the four pictures : cf. the Basque proverb 
quoted by Kay : * Let him who knows not how to pray go 
to sea.' 

88. Ke maketh, &c. : lit, * He causes a storm to rise into 
silence/ a pregnant construction meaning, ' When He has raised 
a storm He causes it to die in silence/ 

80. IMMIUM thegr hm qnlati i. e. the waves ; see Jonah i. 11. 
h*Teai render, < city ' : the Hebrew word occurs only here : 
in Assyrian it means city. 

33-43. This section of the Psalm differs from the rest in subject- 
matter, rhythm or metre, and in the fact that the refrain of verses 
8, 15, 31 is lacking. Much of this part is borrowed, especially 
from Isa. xlff. and Job. Probably it is an addition made for 
liturgical purposes. The situation reflected in verses 1-39 is not 
suggested by verses 33 f. 

33 f. Jehovah dries up streams and springs, and makes fruitful 
land barren on account of the people's sin. 

Sudden changes of the kind described in these verses arc 
common enough in the East. In verses 35 f. changes of a 
contrary nature are pictured : promises involving these last are 
given in Isa. xl if. to the Babylonian exiles in order to encourage 
them to return. Note how, as so often in Oriental literature, 
the movements of nature are referred directly to spiritual agency, 
here to Jehovah. Note also how sin is made the cause of 
disasters of a material sort 


2IO THE PSALMS 107. 33-38 

33 He tumeth rivers into a wilderness, 
And watersprings into a thirsty ground ; 

34 A fruitful land into a salt desert, 

For the wickedness of them that dwell therein. 

35 He turneth a wilderness into a pool of water, 
And a dry land into watersprings. 

36 And there he maketh the hungry to dwell. 
That they may prepare a city of habitation ; 

37 And sow fields, and plant vineyards. 
And get them fruits of increase. 

38 He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied 

And he sufTereth not their cattle to decrease. 

d3. viT«xs and wti^rm^ringu stand for the land watered by 

wildMn^Mi : untitled and untillable pasture land ; lit * a place 
where animals feed.' 

33* was suggested by Isa. 1. a^, and 33*' by Isa. xxxvii. 7*. 

34. salt dMMrt : Heb. a ' place that is salty ' : such a place is 
of necessity the opposite of a fmitftil land. The same word 
occurs in Job xxxix. 6 (of the home of the wild ass), and in 
Jer. xvii. 6. Perhaps the writer has in mind the punishment of 
Sodom and Gomorrha ; see Deut. xxix. 23. 

35 f. The reverse picture to that of verses 33 f. 

36 based on Isa. xli. 18 : cf. Isa. xxxv. 7^ xliii. ao. When the 
Algerian Arabs have sunk an artesian well they shout out ' Allah ' 
(sGod) Ms great, and He gives everything that is good.' So 
here the lake and the running streams are traced immediately to 
Divine agency. 

37 f. continue the thought of 35 f., Jehovah rewards the 

37. With 37* cf. Jer. xxix. 5. 

AiUl ff«t tbem fruite of increase : Heb. idiom compels us 
to translate thus : ^ which (the fields and vinejarda) yield fruit ' 
(of increase). The Hebrew (or of increase is simply a marginal 
gloss explaining fruit : fimit of increase is an unknown phrase. 
The Hebrew for * to yield fruit ' is used invariably of fields, trees, 
and the like, but never of human agency. 

38. Be lilessetli tliem i i. e. the fields and vineyards* 

THE PSALMS 107. 39— 108. i an 

Again, they axe minished and bowed down 39 

Through oppression, trouble, and sorrow. 
He poureth contempt upon princes, 40 

And cau$eth them to wander in the waste, where there is 

no way. 
Yet setteth he the needy on high from affliction, 41 

And maketh him families like a flock. 
The upright shall see it, and be glad ; ,42 

And all iniquity shall stop her mouth. 
Whoso is wise shall give heed to these things, 43 

And they shall consider the mercies of the Lord. 

A Song, a Psalm of David. 108 

My heart is fixed, O God ; i 

39-49. Jehovah protects His people^ but cof\founds their Joes. 
M. This verse forms the protasis to verse 41 ; verse 40 having 
been inserted from the margin^ where a transcriber put it to show 
how Jehovah treats men of power who use their power to oppress 
His people. Translate verses 39 and 41 thus 

(39} < And when they are made few and brought low, 

Through oppression, adversity, and sorrow, 
(41) He puts the needy on a height <safe> from affliction. 
And makes (for him) families like a flock/ 

39. JLiTAin I not in the Hebrew, nor required by the sense. 
niaislMdi an old English word now superseded by the 

compound ' diminish.' 

40. An interpolation taken verbatim from Job xii. 91* and xxiv. 
6 where the words are suitable, as they are not here. 

41. lilM ft flooki 80 numerous ; see Job xxi. 11 ; Ezek. xxxvi. 
37 f. ; Zech. ix. 16. 

49i 49* from Job xxii. 19 ; 49** from Job v. 16. 

The verbs should be translated as presents, not futures. 

43. Render: 

' Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things, 
And let him (M. T. ^ them ') consider the lovingkindnesses of 
Cf. the end of Hos. xiv. zo, which is similar, and which closes 
the book as the words here close the Psalm ; see Jer. ix. 11. 

Psalm CVIII. 
This Psalm is made up of two parts, each borrowed from older 
Psalms; verses i^5»lvii. 7-11 ; verses 6-13 «lx. 5^19. 

P 2 

ai2 THE PSALMS 108* 2,^ ' 

I will sing, yea, I will sing praises, even with my • glory, 
a Awake, psaltery .and harp : 

I myself will awake right early. 
3 I wili give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the peoples : 

It is quite evident that the two parts are original in' Pss. Ivii 
and Ix; as is shown- by Many considerations, siieh as- that this 
Psalm is Elohistic, though the collectioti is Yahwislic,^ that the 
order of thought in this Psalm (thanksgiving, prayer) is th/^ 
reverse of the usual one; and moreover this sttpposmbn best 
explains the deviations in the text. 

Theme, Praise and thanksgiving foUpwed by a pnyer for helpt 
' against enemies. 

I. Contents, (i) Phiise and thanksgiving (verses i-*5; taken 
from IviL 7-1 1). 

(a) Prayer for help against Israel's foes, based on God's 
promise to give the land of Canaan to His people^ and to defend 
them from their enemies (verses 6-13, taken from Ix. 5ri2). 

II. Authorship and Date. See voL i, introductions to Pss. Ivii 
and Ix. The present composite Psalm is of course of latex date 
than its component Psalms. All three Psalms are post-exilic. 

1-5. Praise and thanksgiving »Vn\. 7-n (see notes o(i), 

1. flz«A: rather, ' prepared,' Different forms of tbe cognate 
verb occur in Gen. xliii. 16, 05 ; &Kod« xxxiv. 2 ; % CbTDn. xxviii. 
a, &c. < My heart is in a prepared state : so I will sing;' 

•▼•B with mar gloxy: render, 'even I myseir: a second 
subject to < I will sing.' * Glory ' ->< soul * as in vii. 5, xv>» 9, ;aix. 
13, because the soul is the glory of the man : c^ vol id, Ivii. 8, 
and Gen. xlix. 6. 

8. Z nyMlf wiU »w»k« xl^lit eMljr : render : * I wUl awake 
at the dawn.' Delitzscb and others translate as in R. Vai. < I tvtll 
awake the dawn,* which the Hebrew equally allows; ^I will 
anticipate the dawn, rise before it to give thanks to Jehnvah.' 

For I will ftwak* one is tempted to read ' I wilt sing/ f^nfiiig 
one letter only for another resembling it closely ; ' I wiU sing in 
the early morning.* 

3. ImOMDi i.e. Jehovah: in the corresponding verse Wit 9 
Adonai ( * Lord) is found, the word which the Jews read centuries 
before Christ and read still for Yahweh, and the vowels of which 
are attached to the consonants of Yahmeh to make 'Jehovah' 
(Yehovah). This last is really no name at all, any more than ' Jahes' 
(consonants of ' John ' and vowels of ' James*). The versions, 
ancient and modem, translate Adonai the substitute of Yahweh 
in4t««d of transLiiorating the latter. When, however, ' Lord ' 
represents Yahweh it has in the £. W. large capitals^ LQRD4 lo 

THE PSALMS 108. 4-7 213 

And I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. 

For thy mercy is great above the heavens, ' . 

And thy truth reathetk unto the skies. 

Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens : 

And thy glory above all the earth. 

That thy beloved may be delivered, i 

Save with thy right hand, and answer us. 

God hath spoken in his holiness ; I Will exult : 

some French versions * L'feternel * is used, so that the distinction 
is kept up. If in Hebrew * Yahweh Lord ' come together * God ' 
takes the place of Lord as a substitute for Yc^wth^ to preVent the 
repetition of the same word (Lord Lord) : the Hebrew c^tronants 
of Yahwth are then supplied with the vowels of Ehhtm (God) : 
see cix. ax and on cxl. 7, and cf. vol. i. 358 f. 

«monff tlie luiitlons 1 therefore the writer is amon^ fbreigners 
in a foreign country. It is not, however, the Hebrew word, * the 
heathen ' {gotm), that occurs here, though the two words used do 
naturklly denote foreign nations. 

4. mtroy: rather, Movingkindness.* 

gTMbt ftbove I we must change the prepo^tion, makitig it » 
(teaching) ' unto ' as in the next clause, and as in the panllel 

&art of Ivii. 10. Oreat ftbove followed by tmto (*up to ^) would 
e an antidimas^. 

liMiiVtiuiB 'great unto the heavens ' « great as can be conceived. 
tmth I better, ' faithfulness.* 

5. thsr itlory>«Mhou thyself*: see on verse i. An interesting 
example of anthroDomorphism. God's gloiy» God's so\}l (as if Hie 
had one) > God Himself. Here < thy glory * is parallel to thoti. 

ftbeve all the eartli t this introduces an anticlimax into the 
verse, and a very awkward one. We ai-e evidently to translate 
$^ thus : * Let thy glory ' (athou thyself) 'be (more extended) 
than the earth. ' The words in brackets are implied in the Hebrew : 
the verb < to be * has often to be supplied. We thus ttvoid the 
anticlimax of the R.V. 

6-13 = Ix. 5- 1 a (see notes on). 

Prayer for help against Israel's foes. The language of these 
verses suggests a situation of national danger, though no speciBc 
period can be inferred. The prayer is based on some promise or 
oracle given by Jehovah : see verses 6 f. 

6. beloveds used like * favoured ones' fbr the falthftil in Iibrael. 
(ftnawer) u« 1 read * me * with the versions. 

In veneb 7-9 we have the contents of the oracle bri which the 
prayer is baaed. We do not know when of under what drtum- 

214 THE PSALMS 108. 8, 9 

I will divide Shecheixi, and mete out the valley of Succoth. 

8 Gilead is mine ; Manasseh is mine ; 
Ephraim also is the defence of mine head ; 
Judah is my sceptre. 

9 Moab is my washpot ; 

stances this oracle was uttered. We seem to have here only a 
poetical rendering of a Sam. vii. 8 1 with an adaptation to suit the 
time. 2 Sam. vii is post-exilic (see Introd. to Ps. Ixxxix), and so 
for certain is the oracle in verses 7-9 of the present Psalm, though 
it is doubtful whether John Hyrcanus (d. b. c. 105) is the only 
Jewish ruler to whose reign the words can apply (Duhm). 

7. spokan:«* sworn' as in Ixxxix. 35. 

In Ills bolliMM : better, ^ by His holiness.' Jehovah's holi- 
ness is the pledge of His faithfulness. 

Z will •znlt : read, ^ I will be strong,* L e. victorious. 

Alvid« : i. e. portion out. 
• 8]&«cli«m : west of the Jordan, representing the west Jordan 

Suoootli: the valley of Succoth lay at the mouth of the 
Jabboq, where the latter enters the Jordan. ' Succoth ' stands here 
therefore for the territoty east of the Jordan : see Gen. xxxiii. 17. 

8. These words were written at a time when the districts 
named were in the hands of foes : this, however, would suit 
almost any period after the fall of the northern kingdom in 
B. c. 7ax 

OUaad and (north) Man>B— h are intended to include the 
nortl^-east Jordan country, as Bphrain and Judab stand for the 
country west of Jordan. But Shechem has been already 
mentioned : perhaps Ephraim occurs here for the sake of the 
parallelism. SheoliMii appears in verse 7 as « the west Jordanic 
territory, i. e. Ephrxum and Judah. 

tilt d«f«noe of miiM lieftd : i. e. my helmet : as Judah is to 
be the sceptre, Ephraim, as the most powerful tribe, will be the 
principal defence: this tribe would and did give the principal 
military leaders. 

my Bocptr* : i. e. the royal power is to be exercised by the 
tribe of Judah. Gen. xlix. 10 (note the parallelism) shows that 
'sceptre^ or ruler's staff is what the word means, though the 
Hebrew word - * a lawgiver,' * one that enacts laws.' See Driver 
on Gen. xlix. 10. 

9 f. Moab, Edom and Philistia, the long-time foes of Israel, will 
receive the punishment they deserve. 

8. IEo»l» will be used as a wash basin, in which the Jewish hero 
will wash away the dust of his feet. 

THE PSALMS 108. 10-13 215 

Upon Edom will I cast my shoe : 

Over Philistia will I shout. 

Who will bring me into the fenced city ? 10 

Who hath led me unto Edom ? 

Hast not thou cast us off, O God ? 11 

And thou goest not forth, O God, with our hosts. 

Give us help against the adversary : 12 

For vain is the help of man. 

Through God we shall do valiantly : 13 

For he it is that shall tread down our adversaries. 

Bdou will be used as ft rubbish heap, the ash-heap in front of 
the Oriental house. The Jewish hero will treat Moab as a wash 
basin, Edom as a heap of refuse. Driver thinks there is a refer- 
ence to the not clearly established custom of throwing a shoe upon 
a piece of land in order to claim possession of it. Parallelism 
favours the interpretation given above. 

■hont: better, ^ shout in triumph'; see xli. 10. The text 
here is correct : that in Ix. 8 has been corrupted into 'shout thou.' 

10 f. Prayer that God may give the promised victory. 

10. The question implies a wish, in accordance with Hebrew 
idiom ; though Heb. ' who will give ' is most common in this 

* Would that some one would bring me,' &c. The indefinite 
form of the wish arises from the fact that the writer is full of the 
thing wished for : the goal — not the means. But the context 
shows that God was regarded as the only one who could grant the 
realization of the wish. 

fenced citgr : some definite city seems intended^ though it remains 
unnamed. It is better to restore ' city ' before Edom ; its omission 
beine due to the double occurrence in the same verse of the same 
word. Then * the defenced city ' would be parallel to the * city of 
Edom,' though we have no means of ascertaining what city the 
latter was. There could be no wish to be guided to Edom, for 
Judah joined on to Edom. 

The Psalmist in this verse expresses the wish to be able to enter 
the Edomite city which the Jewish army was storming. 

11. Render : * Hast thou not, O God, cast us off, So that thou 
goest not forth with our hosts ? ' 

IS. afalnst the adTeriaxy: better, 'in {nttftf see on cxviii. 5) 
18. Throngb Clod ^ with His help ; see Ivi. 4. 
do TftUftatly : see cxviii. 15 f. ; Num. xxiv. 18. 

2i6 THE PSALMS 109. i, a 

109 For the Chief Muskian. A Psalm of David. 

1 Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise ; 

2 For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of deceit 

have they opened against me : 

Imprecatory or VmdktivA Psalms^ 
Ps. cix is one of the fiercest of the above Psalms : others are 
Iviii f., Ixix, Ixxxiii, and cxxxvii. 

The maledictions in these Psalms represent the spirit of the age, 
and are very different from Christ's teaching in the ^ Sermon on 
the Mount' It should be borne in mind that they refer to this 
life only, and that the evil they pray for is never moral (Izix. 37 
properly interpreted is no exception). 

The virord of blessing or curse was supposed by its being 
uttered to bring about its realization. See Enc, Bibl. art. ' Magic ' 
(by the present writer), col. 2896; also art. < Blessings and 
Cursings/ cols. 59X f. and on cxxxii. 15. 

Psalm CIX. 

Theme, Prayer for vengeance upon foes (or a foe). 

I. Contents, (i) Prayer for protection against foes (or a foe) 
(verses 1-5). 

(a) Prayer for vengeance upon one principal foe (verses 6~ao). 
(3) The author prays that Jehovah may pity and deliver him 
(verses ai-31). 

II. Authorship and Date. There are in the Hebrew linguistic 
features which show that the Psalm is decidedly post-exilic. 
Moreover, the present Psalm is dependent on Pss. xxii, xxxv, 
xxxviii, Iv, and Ixixf., which confirm the evidence of late date 
supplied by the style. The extravagant character of the impreca- 
tions points to the same conclusion : see Psalms of Solomon Iv 
(date about b. c. 180). 

1-5. In these verses the Psalmist preys for help against deceitful 
and malicious foes. It is implied in verses 6-ao, and perhaps in 
the M.T. of verse a (tbe month of tlM wlokad [man]), that the 
Psalmist is thinking of but one foe. Duhm, therefore alters the 
text in verses 1-5 wherever a plurality of enemies is involved, 
thus making the whole Psalm refer to one particular foe. The 
Psalm is then much more simple and consistent. The contrary 
view, that taken for granted in the English versions, requires 
a change in the text of verse a, . though that change should 
probably be made in any case. 

1. Ood of my pndM : i. e. God who is th^ obiect of my pi^use. 

8. montli of th« wicked 1 Heb. ' the mouth of a wicked man ' : 

THE PSALMS 109; 3-6 217 

They have spoken unto «ne with a lying tongue* 

They compassed me abowt also with words of hatred^ « 

And fought against me without a cajuse* . 

For my love they are my advensatiBS : . . 

But I give myself unto prayier. 

And they have rewarded me evil for good^ 1 

And hatred for my loVe, 

Set thou a wicked man over him : ( 

And let an adversary stand at his right hand. 

so the versions. But parallelism favours ' the mouth of wicked- 
ness,' L e. the wicked mouth, 

haye tb«7 op«n«<l : read with LXXf Pesh., Jero. < is opened.' 
Perhaps the M.T, is due to the idea that foes are referred to, and 
not one foe. 

3-5. In these verses the M.T. and the versions assume a 
plurality of foes. 

3. Cf. Jer. xviii. x8. 

4. Render : < In return for my love (to them) they slander me : 
But I (take refuge) in prayer.' 

lure my aAvenMrMs : Heb. < they slander me/ the verb being 
cognate to ' Satan.' The same verb occurs in verses ao, 99, and 
the noun in verse 6. 

Z iiv$ myBeff nvi» yrayvvi Heb. *I (am) pi|ay«r.' By a 
common Hebrew idipm words in the predicative relatipn stand in 
the loose connexion called apposition : so ex. 3, cxx. 7. See on 
cxix. 75 for the employment of nouns as adjectives. 

6*-ao. Sundry eurses uttered against sotne well- known enemy. 
Who is the enemy that is meant ? There caa be no certainty on 
the matter: the answers have included Saul, Doeg, Ahithophel, 
Shimei) Antiochus Epiphanes, and Alqlmus : they are dictated by 
the view taken of the date and occasion of the Psalm. 

6. Render : < Set thou over him as superior officer ' (here < judge,' 
see verse 7) 'a wicked man: And let a lying accuser stand at 
his right hand.' 

Set . . . over : the Hebrew verb is that translate in the 
LXX by the verb which means ^make an overseer, malc&a bishop 
oiver,' in the strict sense of bishop-^an overlooker (not one that 
overlooks !). So in verse 8 ^ his office ' is literally < his overseer- 
ship,' his * bisfaopric.' 

adTeraacj : Heb. ^ Satan ' : i. e. one that Mngs false fiharges 
against any person with malicious intent j UCX dmbolosx lihe 
Greek cognate verb ( mHeb. Satan) ocouts in Lidte kvL i. 

2i8 THE PSALMS 109. 7-10 

7 When he is judged^ let him come forth guilty ; 
And let his prayer be turned into sin. 

8 Let his days be few ; 

And let another take his office. 

9 Let his children be fatherless, 
And his wife a widow. 

10 Let his children be vagabonds, and beg; 

And let them seek their bread oMi of their desolate places. 

7. When he is Jndir^d : Heb. < When he goes to law ' : ' When 
he has a lawsuit on hand.^ 

guiltj : the strict sense of the Hebrew word generally trans- 
lated ' wicked/ though the usual sense is derived and secondary. 
The verb in the causative form (JHiphit) ^io pronounce guilty. 

l«t his prayer be turned Into sin : let the prayer intended 
to obtain pardon be followed by greater guilt. The prayer of 
a wicked unrepenting man increases his wickedness. 

8. This verse means : ' Let him die young : Yet even before his 
short life is closed let him lose the position of trust which he now 

8*» is quoted verbatim from the LXX in Peter's speech to the 
assembly of 120 brethren (Acts i. ao). In the same part of the 
speech Ixix. 25 is also quoted (Acts i. ao), but the latter is 
altered so as to make the words refer to one enemy — ^Judas. 

To make Ptolms Ixix, cix wholly Messianic, the utterance of 
Christ concerning His enemies is so unreasonable and so blas> 
phemous that one wonders that this has t>een done. See Intro- 
duction, ' The Messianic idea in the Psalms/ pp. la f . 

In verses 9-15 the curse is made to embrace the man's relatives, 
wife, children, and even children's children (see Exod. xx. 5). 
This is in accordance with the provision of the ancient law con- 
tained in the Book of the Covenant : see Exod. xx. 5. It must be 
remembered that the feeling of solidarity (as before stated) was 
much stronger in the ancient than in the modem worid : see on 
cvi. 6. 

8. Some have inferred from this verse that Judas bad a wife 
and children t 

10. Render : ' Let them (children and wife : see verse 9) 
homelessly wander about, and beg hard (for bread) : And let them 
be driven from their ruined houses.' 

Ills children : omit on metrical and other grounds, 
let them seeks better read, Met them be driven,' so LXX, 
and most modems. The Hebrew in both cases is much alike. 
desolate plso^s 1 Heb. ' ruins ' : i. e. their ruined homesteads. 

THE PSALMS 109. n-15 219 

Let the extortioner catch all that he hath ; . n 

And let strangers make spoil of his labour. 
Let there be none to extend mercy unto him ; la 

Neither let there be any to have pity on his fatherless 

Let his posterity be cut off ; 1 13 

In the generation following let their name be blotted out. 
Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the 14 

And let not the sin of his mbther be blotted out. 
Let them be before the Lord continually, 15 

That he may cut off the memory of them from the earth. 

11. Render : * Let the creditor seek whatever belongs to him : 
And let strangers take as booty what he has laboured for.' 

ofttoh : read (with LXX, Jero.), 'seek/ changing one letter, 
his IftlNmr t here the produce of labour is meant. 

12. This verse refers back to the situation implied in verse 11. 
* When oppressed by creditors and robbed by strangers, let him, 
and after his death his fatherless children, lack kind and gracious 

•zt^nd BMvej" ' continue to be kind.* 
have pity on : Heb. ' be gracious to.' 

13. poBtezlty ! this meaning of the Hebrew word is supported 
by parallelism. Duhm thinks the word stands here, as in xxxvii. 
38, for the life beyond death, * Let his future life be taken from 
him. See Introd. pp. 14 ff. 

their name : read^ ^Ms namey' with LXX, Jero., Duhm. 

14. his fibthen : ' his /itther* is what we should have expected, 
corresponding to his mother : but the versions have all of them 
the plural. 

The curse in this verse is to be understood in the light of Exod. 
XX. 5, and means, * Let the iniquity of the parents be visited upon 
their children.' Note once more the solidarity of kith and kin : 
see on verses 9-15. 

he hlotted ont t from God's book of remembrance : see li. x. 

15. lM9t them: i. e. the iniquity of the fathers and the sin of 
the mother (verse 14). 

the memory of them : read, his memory, with LXX, Duhm : 
this is supported by the sense and by the use of the verb tememher 
in the singular in the next verse. . . 

230 THE PSALMS 109. 16-21 

16 Because that he tetnembered not to shew mercy. 
But persecuted the poor and needy man, 

And the broken in heart, to slay them. 

17 Yea, he loved cursing, and it came unto him ; 

And he delighted not in blessing, and it was f^x from him. 
t8 He clothed himself also with cursing as with his garment. 

And it came into his inward parts like water, 

And like oil into his bones. 
19 Let it be unto him as the raiment wherewith he covereth 

And for the girdle wherewith he is girded continually. 
ao This is the reward of mine adversaries from the Lord, 

And of them that speak evil against my soul. 
21 But deal thou with me, O God the Lotd, for thy name's sake: 

10. This verse cotiUins the apodosis to verse 15, giving the 
reason why the sins of the parents should be perpetiially before 
Jehovah : so most exegetes. 

vemMalMv^d not 1 * took no thought of,' the strict sense of the 

mtrojr: Heb. Movingkindness.' 

to iOay than : read, * even to death.' So Pesh., Dahm. The 
M.T. is harsh if not incorrect. 

17 f. describe the conduct of the enemy. It is better to con- 
strue the second clause in each line of these two verees as pro- 
phetic perfects or perfects of certainty. It will not then be 
necessary to alter the Hebrew verbs, making them imperfects as 
Duhm does. Translate these verses then as follows : 17. < (And) 
he loved cursing, and it will be sure to come to him : (And) he 
took no pleasure in blessing, and it will be sure to be for from 
him.' 18. < (And) he put on cursing as his garment, And it will 
be sure to come into his inward parts like water/ And like oil in 
his bones ' : so the LXX, Jero., Arabic. 

18. oil among bones \& very hard to be got rid of. 

18. A wish— that the curser may be overwhelmed with curses, 
as with a garment : that curses may cling to him as close^ as the 
girdle fastened round his waist 

mine adversaries: Heb. ^ my Satans' » my &be and malidoas 

fli*3E« Prayer for fity €Md delivercmee, 

81. deal . . . wltb : the word ^ kindness' is either to be under- 



THE PSALMS 109. la-a* aai 

Because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me, 

For I am poor and needy, » a a 

And my heart is wounded within me. 

I am gone like the shadow when it declineth : 33 

I am tossed up and down as the locust. 
jj. My knees are weak through fasting; 04 

And my flesh faileth of fatness. 

I am become also a reproach unto them : 25 

^, When t^iey se^ me, they shake their head, 

Help me, O Lokd my God ; ,26 

^ O save me according to thy mercy ; 

»Lc ^ ' "^ — "^ .^-w-,,-.^ 

stood or it must be supplied. We have in the latter case the 
regular formula for < showing kindness.' 

mei OOD : i. e. Jehovah : see on cviii. 3. 

-^ lUtmt'B Mtk« ! for the sake of thy character ; the prosperity 

px of the Israelite carries with it the honour of the God he serves. 

ailt: Beoftiuie tby meroy, &c. : render, * according to the good- 

ness of thy lovingkindness, deliver thou me * : so LXX, Jero.,Targ. ; 

;]]5! Cf. XXV. 7, XXXi. I9, CXlX. I94. 

SS. poor i i. e. afflicted, unhappy (subjective). 
needy : i. e. poor, destitute (objective). 
j,^ 23. deoUneth: render, Mengthens,' and see on cii. ii. The 
Psalmist compares himself to the lengthening shado^^s of evening : 
^'^ his day is nearing its close. 

toeeed up and down, &c. : i. e. I am shaken off froip the 
land of the living as the locust is tossed off from the garment to 
which it clings. 

24. areweaJc: Heb. ^totter,' 'give way.' 
ftbiletli ; ' becomes lean.* 

of fibtnera: <for lack of oil' (cf» tbronffh fMtinff) : olive 
oil still forms a ver^ important element in Palestine food. 

as. Besides his pining away in suffering and poverty his enemies 
mock him to scorn. 

they shake their head : in contempt ; see xxii. 7, &c. 

96-31. There is no need with Delitzsch, &e., to separate these 
verses from verses 91-25. '^he same thought is preserved, and 
there is nothing in the form of the poetry to suggest a separate 
strophe. Hebrew poets did not bind themselves to write in 

26. See xxxi. 16. 

222 THE PSALMS 109. 37— 110. i 

37 That they may know that this is thy hand ; 

That thou, Lord, hast done it. 
a8 Let them curse, but bless thou : 

When they arise, they shall be ashamed, but thy servant 
shall rejoice. 
39 Let mine adversaries be clothed with dishonour, 

And let them cover themselves with their own shame as 
with a mantle. 

30 I will give great thanks unto the Lord with my mouth ; 
Yea, I will praise him among the multitude. 

31 For he shall stand at the right hand of the needy, 
To save him from them that judge his soul. 

110 A Psalm of David. 

I The Lord saith unto my lord. Sit thou at my right hand, 

S7« this : i. e. the deliverance prayed for in verse 26. 
thjr h*nd » Uhe work of thy hand,' as in Ixxviii. 14 : cf. 
^ the finger of God ' in Exod. viii. 19, an expression still used in 

28. When they arise, &c. : read (with LXX, &c.) : < Those 
who rise against me shall be put to shame '( « ^ be foiled '). 

thy servamt : see on Ixxxvi. a. 

29. Let them not only feel ashamed (foiled), but let their shame 
be manifest to others, as an outside garment. 

uine adTersarles : Heb. ' those who Satan me * --- ' who 
falsely accuse me.' 

maatle : the outer garment, the overall : so that which every 
one could see. 

31. he ahaU stand at the -AfpaX hand, &c. : the false ac- 
cusers — the Satans — will be at the right hand to accuse (see on 
verse 6) : but Jehovah to bless. 

Psalm CX. 
Theme, Invitation to the priest-king to shara Jehovah's throne. 

1. Contents, (i) Promise to the king of universal dominion 
(verses 1-3). 

(a) The king is to be likewise priest (verse 4). 

(3) Promise to this priest-king of vktoiy over all his enemies 
(verses 5-7). 

THE PSALMS 110. i 223 

Until I make thine enemies thy footstool. 

II. Authorship and Date, Pss. ii, xxi, xlv, and ex all refer to 
some reigning king, but there is no conclusive evidence for decid- 
ing which. David cannot be meant in the present Pftalm, notwith- 
standing the title, for he is never called a priest, and the style 
and thought of the Psalm belong to a much later time than his. 
Most modern scholars agree that one of the Maccabean princes 
is intended. During the Persian and the Syrian suzerainty of 
Palestine the high priest was also the Governor. Perhaps one of 
these priest-rulers is the subject of the present Psalm. After the 
victory of the Maccabees over Syria, Judas and his successors 
became virtually civil rulers, kings. The first of these, however, 
to exercise royal and priestly functions was Jonathan (d. B.C. 143). 
Simon, his successor, was the first to l>e recognized by the Jews 
themselves as both civil and religious head, and most modems see 
in him the person addressed in this Psalm. He alone received the 
high priesthood from the people, and the present Psalm is believed 
to have been put forth as the Divine sanction of the appointment. 

Is the Psalm Messianic ? Looking at it by itself, and without 
prepossession, one would not say that it is, for the writer has in 
mind some actual ruler of his own day, and his references are to 
events of his own time. But in the N. T. this Psalm is more 
than once quoted in reference to Christ, as by the Master Him- 
self^, by Peter*, by Paul^ and by the author of Hebrews*. 

An examination of the several O.T. passages quoted Messi- 
anically in the N. T. makes it clear that they are adduced, not 
because they had originally that application, but because they 
embody principles realized in the life and death of Jesus. Some 
texts from the O. T. are given a meaning in the N. T. which no 
modern exegete claims to be the sense of the original words. 
Many take refuge in the doctrine of the * Kenosis/ that Christ in 
His humiliation subjected Himself to human limitations of know- 
ledge, &c. ' Others see in the use made of the O. T. by Christj 
Peter, &c. examples of ad hominem arguments : the Jews arc 
met on their own ground, their own Messianic interpretation of 
the O. T. being made the basis for argument But he that has the 
Son has life, and this to its possessor is unanswerable proof of 
the Messiahship and Saviourhood of Him who was sent to seek 
and to save the lost. 

1. Jehovah''s oracle : the king is to share Jehovah's throne, and 
to have his dominion extended. 

* Matt. xxii. 44 ; Mark xii. 36 \ Luke xx. 42 f. 

* Acts ii. 34 f. ' I Cor. xv. 25. * Heb. i. 13. 
^ See Phil, ii, 7 : cf. Mark xiii. 32. 

324 THE PSALMS 110. a, 3 

a The Lord shall send forth the rod of thy strength out of 
Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. 
5 Thy people offer themselves willingly in the day of thy 
power : 
In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, 

Sit thou, &c« B < Share thou my royal prerogative ' : the idea 
being that God is the true king of His people, earthly kings 
receiving their power from Him. 

at war riffht haad : the place of highest honour ; see i Kings 
ii. 19. Among the ancient Arabs the king's co-rider (his ridf) 
acted for him in his absence and, when necessary, otherwise. 

Until Z make, &c. : this rendering, supported by the ancient 
versions, and implied in i Cor. xv. 24 f., means that the priest-king 
will cease to share Jehoyah's throne when his foes have been 
subdued. But the sense of the Hebrew is, ^So that I may 
make,' &c. : so Baethgen, Wellhausen, &c. 

footatotil: it was a custom in ancient times for conquerors 
to plac^ their feet on the necks or prostrate bodies of the 
conquered ; 9ee Joshua x. 24 : the language here is derived from 
that practice, tboug^ the thing itself is hardly meant 

2. Verse i contains the oracle proper : in the following verses 
its content is developed. 

«eiiA iwtXlBLi i. e. extend. 

the rod of ttgr vtventfth : Heb. < thy rod of strength,' i. e. 
thy powerful sceptre ; see Jer. xlviii. 17 ; Ezek. xix. 11-14. The 
ro4 or sceptre here is the sign of authority, and has nothing to do 
with punishing as such ; cf. < rule thou ' in the next clause. 

Before nOe Hum 'saying' is understood: the words are 

3. offer t hemg tf v ea willingly: Heb. 'are willingnesses,* a 
Hebrew wajr of spying ' they are very willing ' (plural of intensity) ; 
cf. the English ' He is all generosity,' and see on cix. 4. 

in tlie 4ay of thy power : render : ' in the day of thy host ' or 
* army ' : i, e. in the day when thy ^rmy marches forth against the 
foe. So Targ. and most moderns. 

The people ought to be ready to fight, not when the king has 
reached power, but before that, so that he may attain to power. 

In the beauties of hollnees : read, 'on the holy mountains': 
i. e. the mountains round about Jerusalem ; see Ixxxvii. i. So 
Sym., Jero., and several MSS. and editions. Two very similar 
Hebrew letters {d and r) have been here, as often, confounded. 

from the womh of the momliitf 1 these words are closely 

THE PSALMS 110.4,5 225 

Thou hast the dew of thy youth. 

The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, 

Thou art a priest for ever 

After the order of Melchizedek. 

The Lord at thy right hand 

connected with the following as well as with the words immediately 
preceding, which have just been noticed. The dew with which 
the young men are compared is morning dew, such as issued 
from the womb of the morning, i.e. it is fresh, pure. Tenth 
means here as elsewhere * young men ' (see Eccles. xi. 9 f.). We 
must understand the ' dew of l£y young men ' as meaning (the 
fresh mornine) dew which is (symbolizes) thy young men : cf. 
* Garden of Eden ' « 'the Garden which is Eden.* The young heroes 
who will so readily take up arms on behalf of the new ruler are 
described as hiarching on the holy mountains around Jerusalem, 
with energy as fresh and pure as the morning dew. 

The LXX renders *From the womb, before the day star I 
begat thee.' Many of the early fathers quoted this rendering in 
proof of the eternal generation of the Son. Their knowledge of 
the O. T. was obtained from the Greek versions only — with few 

4. The king is to be also priest : render : *Thou art a priest for 
ever because of Jehovah, O righteous king.' 

(a priest) for ever s to be taken in the sense required by the 
context, here for the whole extent of the king's life. In i Mace. xiv. 
61 the corresponding Greek expression is used of Simon's reign. 

After the order of: this is a translation of the LXX and Jero. ; 
similarly the Pesh. (Mike Melchizedek'). The Hebrew can only 
mean 'on account of,' 'because of,' i.e. because appointed by. 
The expression is late Hebrew, and occurs in Eccles. iii. 18, vii. 14, 
viii. a, and with a trivial change in Pss. xlv. 5, Ixxix. 9, Sec, 
But a 'priest . . . because of Melchizedek' has no meaning. The 
noun in this phrase has an appended letter (yod), which in late 
Hebrew is a common abbreviation of Yahweh (Jehovah). Or we 
may render, * Thou art a priest through me,' i. e. because I have 
appointed thee. The LXX version is followed in Heb. vii. 11, 
cf. verse 13. The proper name Melchizedek, notwithstanding its 
associations, has to be surrendered. The king addressed was, 
perhaps, Simon Maccabee. 

5-7. Promise to (he priesUking pfificiory over Mis enetmes. 
S. at thy right haadi see on verse i. Here^ however, the 
scene is trsBirflerred to the battlefield : see xvi. 8, cix. 31, cxxi. 5. 


226 THE PSALMS .110. 6—111. i 

Shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. 

6 He shall judge among the nations, 

He shall fill the places with dead bodies ; 

He shall strike through the head in many countries. 

7 He shall drink of the brook in the way : 
Therefore shall he lift up the head 

111 Praise y^ the Lord. 

81iall stadk^ tbrougJi: better, < shall shatter.' The future 
is certainly right: cf. He shall Judge, in verse 6. The Hebrew 
tense is a case of the ' perfect of certainty ' ; see below. 

la tbe Aay of ]ii» wxatlx : the day on which He will vent His 
wrath by punishing the rebellious nations. 

6. Render : ' He shall exercise rule over the • heathen nations : 
He will fill with corpses (the countries where He will wage 
battle) : He will smite rulers (collective) over much land.* 

The two latter verbs are examples of the * perfect of certainty ' : 
' He will certainly fill' ... * smite.' 

7. The subject of this verse is suddenly changed. In verse 6 
Jehovah is almost certainly the subject : here it is the king, 
though we can gather that from the sense only. 

The king in his career of conquest will stop and refresh him- 
self by the brook's edge : then he will on with uplifted head — 
confident and joyous. 

Psalms CXIff. 
Hallelujah Psalms. 

The following are strictly * Hallelujah Psalms,' i. e. they have 
Hallelujah at the beginning (where alone it or^inally stood : see 
Introduction to Ps. cv), or at the end, or both : civ-cvi, cxi-cxiii, 
cxv-cxvii, cxxxv, cxlvi-cL In Ps. cxxxv we have the word in the 
body of the same (verse 3) as well as in the beginning of it— there 
is no other example of this. We never meet with the formula in 
the O. T. outside the above Psalms, nor is it a part of the original 
Psalm except in Ps. cxxxv. 3 : the Alphabetic Psalms (cxif.) put 
this beyond question : see on cxi. i. 

In the Hebrew this formula is made up of two words meaning///. 
* Praise ye Yah ' : in the E.W. it occurs as * Praise ye the Lord.' 
The ancient scribes disputed much and warmly as to whether 
the formula should be written as two words or as a compound. In 
the Greek and Latin versions, and in the texts of Baer and Delitzsch 
and Ginsburg, it is treated as one word. 

TheHallei, Thatsome collection of PsaUnscaUedthe^GreatHallel 
or the * Egyptian HalleP was sung during the celebration of the 

THE PSA^M§ 111.^ .227 

I will give thanks unto the J^piRpwith my whol^ hearti 
In the council of the upright, ^nd in t;be, qopgregation. 
The works of the Lord are gi^eat, ,.2 

Sought out of all them that have pleasure thei;qp. . . 

Passover is supported 'by all Jewish authorities, but opiniohs differ 
much as to what Psalms the collection embraced. Thismubh, 
however, 9«ems cert«ujv.that in qui:, Lord's day no si)c]|i 'HalleP 
collection of Psalms had been made, so that it is an evident mis- 
take to say, as is constahtly done, thilt the Master and His disbipUs 
sang the Hallel on the evening of l^ first Lord's Su^kmt. It mf y 
be added that 'Hallel' is simply a contraction of < Hallelumh.' 
Ps. cxiv has, probably, no right to be considered one of flue * Hall^l ' 
or * Hallelujah' Psalms, for the word < Hallelujah' is not found in 
it, nor is the note of praise so manifest as in the rest of the grofip — 
Pss. cxi-cxviii. ' \ ' W 


Thente, The praiscwortbinesa of Jehovah. 

I. Coniints, Alike in form and in substance Ps. cxt f» are n^rly 
allied, and there is good rea^orifor stt^iposing that they sprang out 
of the same circumstances and' had the same author. In Ps. ck! 
the praises of Jehovah are sung, in Ps. cxii the prosperity and 
virtues 6f His people. Both are alphabetic acrostics, and in both 
it is the acrostic arrangement ^that dominates the order of thought, 
and not the thought itself, so that an analysis of either Psalm can- 
not be attempted. Both Psalms depend much on earli^onet and 
also on Proverbs, as to matter and language. 

II. Aiitkorship and Date. The dependence of Ps. exit, on other 
Psalms and on other parts of the O.T., the language of the Psalm, 
and their acrostic form— these, show that the two Psalms are very 
late productions ; but nothing more definite can be safely said. 

1. aleph, bUh. 

PraiM y the X^BO : (Hallelujflk) this belongs to the title 
and not to the Psalm itself; otherwise the Psalm does not be|^|n 
with dleph, 

ocnMioU ; a company of meo bound together by common ^hd 
peculiar interests : almost like our * club.' . . , ^ 

oon^egmtiOB : the festive gatherings seem intended. It is 
not likely that the synagqgue is meant, as it is fairly certain that 
worship formed no part of the proceedings in that institution until 
after the final destruction of the Jerusalem temple in aJ D, 7: ; see 
on IxaEAT. 8. 
% gfmel, daleth. . ^ / *. . • 

Sonffht out: rather (as Jero.), * to be sought out' : sie oh xcyi.f . 

Q 2 

228 THE PSALMS 111. 3-7 

3 His work is honour and majesty : 

And his righteousness endureth for ever. 

4 He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered : 
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion. 

5 He hath given meat unto them that fear him : 
He will ever be mindful of his covenant. 

6 He hath shewed his people the power of his works, 
In giving them the heritage of the nations. 

7 The works of his hands are truth and judgement; 
All his precepts are sure. 

3. hf, waw, 

Kis work ! rather, ' His doing.' 

hoBonr and madeirtjrs we should say 'honourable' (or 
rather 'glorious') *and majestic' In Hebrew nouns are used 
very commonly for adjectives : see on cix. 4. 

4. Moiftf kh&h. 

Mm iMth auUto ... t^ 1m vfmomboreds Heb. ' He has made 
ft memorial for His marvellous deeds.' The Hebrew word for 
< memorial ' may be used of a commemorative deed or of a festival, 
see XXX. 4. A variant of the same word occurs in Exod. xii. 14 
for Passover, and Luther, Hupfeld, &&, think that the Passover 
is here referred to. It is probably in reference to this word that 
Lttther calls the present Psalm a Paschal or Easter Psalm. 

5. t«h,yodh. 

meat: better, 'nourishment,' as in Prov. xxxi. 5. The Hebrew 
word is rare, and is selected because it begins with tith, the 
appropriate letter in the acrostic. 

oovenaat : to be understood in the general sense which the 
word bears in Deuteronomy, Jeremiah, &c. 
0. kaph, lamedh, 

t)ie power, &c. : i. c. the power displayed in what He did for 
His people : this power appeared on a large scale when He 
enabled them to possess the lands of the heathen. 

natloiis: the Hebrew word means in the plural almost in- 
variably < the heathen.' 
?. mfm, nun, 
God's acts display both faithfulness and righteousness. 

tmth I better, * faithfulness.' 

judf omoBt : justice. 

preooptft t what He has enjoined : see xix. 8. Here, however, 
His principles of world-government are meant : these will never 

THE PSALMS 111. 8—112. i 229 

They are established for ever and ever, , 8 

They are done in truth and uprightness. 

He hath sent redemption unto his people ; 9 

He hath commanded his covenant for ever : 

Holy and reverend is his name* 

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom ; 10 

A good understanding have all they that do thereafter : 

His praise endureth for ever* 

Praise ye the Lord. 112 

Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, 

9. pff tsOdhe, 

r«d«xiiptloii (Heb. peduthj see on Ixxiv. a) : the primary 
reference is to the deliverance from Egypt (Deut. vii. 8 and often) ; 
but some recent act of deliverance is in the writer's mind» 

coinnumdadi i.e. ordained, as such.. ^ To command a covenants 
i- to set up, make a covenant, as in cv. 8. 

raverend : to be feared. 

Us nam«a»* Jehovah Himself as revealed.' 
9^ refers to the legislation on Sinai as 9F does to the preceding 
deliverance from Egypt. 

10. r&hf siaHf taw* 

The fear of the LOBD, &c.: taJk/en from Prov. i. 7, ix. 10 ; cf. 
Job xxviii. 28 ; Eccles. i. ao. This is the fundamental principle of 
the Wisdom School of Philosophy. Wisdom consists in the fear 
of God : in proper reverence for Him. *The fear of Jehovah ' is 
suggested 1^ the last part of verse 9, * to be feared is His name.' 

that do thesMftevi Heb. * that do them/ i. e. the precepts: 
but this word is too fkc back : read (with LXX, Pesh., Jero.), * that 
do (or practise) it' (i. e. the fear of Jehovah) ; see Prov. i. 7. „ 

His praissi His praiseworthiness : what in Him is praise- 

Psalm CXH. 

ThtfM* The good fortune of those who fear Jehovah. 
For introductory remarks see Introduction to Ps. cxi. 
1. dl^h, hith, 
Pralsf ys ths AOBD 1 see on exit i. 
Blssssd s see on Ixxxiv. 4. 

that Oiavsth ths &OBD s taking up ' the fear of the Lord ' in 
cxi. zo, and pointing to the intimate relation between the two 

330 THE PSALMS 112.2^6 

That delighteth grsatljr ih his comnMandtkients. 
3 His seed shall be mighty upon earth c 
The generation of the upright shall be blessed. 

3 Wealth and riches are in his house: 
And his righteousness endureth for ever. 

4 Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness :• 
Ife is gmcious, and full <tf compassion^ and righteous. 

5 Well is it with the man that dealetb graciously and 4endeth ; 
, He shall maintain his cause in judgement. 

B For he shall never be moved; 

That delightotb greatly : see cxi. s ; cf. xl. 8, cjcix. 35, 97. 
a. gimilf ddliih, 
taiiplifx here the word has the g;eiieral meanilig of powerful, 
and not the sense 'mighty in war' which it generally hns. This 
H^rew word is selected because it beginswith the nropte acix>stic 
letter {g). 
3. hi, tvdw. 

Wealth : in the Old English sense of well-belng;^ - 
' vightiotuiiMtofl I in cxi. 3 the word stands for God's righteous- 
ness as a moral quality : here it denotes man% but iH the sense 
common in Isa. xl if. ; cf. Ps. xxiv. 5, i. e. man's happiness and 
safety es secured by the Diviit^ righteousnins. 
'4. Mm, khith, ' 

Rendk- 1 ' Light arises in^ the darkness to the aprigbt-^Tbe 
gracioMS, thd compassionate, and %e rif^iteous;* 

Throughout this Psalm the foithful nunnis 'described in> teens 
applied' in Ps. cxi to God ; hence' Mengstcnbin^ ctflls Ps. czii a 
* holy parody ' of Ps. cxi. The three adjeotiivi^s in 4'' refor to the 
upriiTht man and not to God. 

liifht and daarkaeM stand here for joy and sorrow, as in Isa. 
IviiL 10. 

6. teth,y5dh. 
Ke ghftll maintain, &c. : render, < who supports his cause 
justly ' : when he makes a loan he tkkes no undue advantage of 
the borrower, as was then and is now often done. 

in judgement does not mean here * when he goes to law/ but 
' with justice,' i. e. justly. The Hebrew fcan mean either. 
0. kaph, Idmidh. 
iPoif: better, * surely,' though the Hebrew word (translated 
in Exod: iii. lis 'certiufily') means either. TMs verse contains 
two independent statements concerning the good man. 

THE PSALMS 112. 7-10 231 

The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance. 

He shall not be afraid of evil tidings : . . 7 

His heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. 

His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, 8 

Until he see his desire upon his adversaries. 

He hath dispersed, he hath given to the needy ; 9 

His righteousness endureth for ever : 

His horn shall be exalted with honour. 

The wicked shall see it, and be grieved ; 10 

iRi* xlffbtfeiw I the rhythm of the verae gains by omitting 
these words as Baethgen does. The subject of 6* is also that of 6**, 
* he,' &c. (sec verse 5). 

The TUfixWnm . . . seBaeMbxaoM 1 see xxxvii. 36 U ; Prov. 
X. 7 ; Sir. xliv. 1-15. This is the immortality hoped for by the 
Psalmists— to be remembered for what they shall have done ; they 
show no inkling of any other: see Introdnctibn, pp. i4ff. 

7. mim, nikn. 

tmstinff I the word upeets the rhythm of the Hebrew, and is 
no doubt a glbss originally inserted in the margin to explain flmed 
(:» steadfast). 

8. samikkt 'at'H* 

evtebllBhedi the word is used in Ps. cxi. 8.of Gpd's injunctions, 
(precepts) : it means literally ' supported,' ^held up,' and has here 
the same sense as the word rendered * fixed ' in verse 7. The 
present word 'is selected in both Psalms owing to the exigency of 
the acrostic form of the two Psalms. 

•— Mb dMitr$ upoai the Hebrew expression,./!/, 'to look 
upon ' - * to gaze on with glee/ * to feast one's eyes on ' : see note 
on xcii. II and cf. cxviii. 7. It is not the highest point in ethics 
or religion to rejoice in the downfaU of* one's enemies 1; but God 
trained His people gradually ; the highest lessons were not taught 
until the lower ones had been mastered — the method adoj^ted by 
wise teachers now. 
8. pij tsSdhf, qdph. 

His rlffhteoumeM, &c. : same sense as in verse 3 i this is 
supported by the next clause. 

Kis bom, &c.: in Ixxv. 4f. the arrogant are pktaHed . as 
tossing up their horn. Hfcre the horn of the righteous (-pros- 
perous) ones goes up of Its own accord. Tbo0e who abase them- 
selves shall be exalted : see Ixxxix. 04. For the expression 
^ exalting the horn ^ see on Ixxv. 4. 
10. fishf sJtMf tdw, 

■ball Me it, and be grieved : contrast with this what is said 

232 THE PSALMS 113. i, a 

He shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away : 
The desire of the wicked shall perish. 

113 Praise ye the Lord. 

Praise, O ye servants of the Lord, 
Praise the name of the Lord. 
2 Blessed be the name of the Lord 
From this time forth and for evermore. 

of the righteous one in verse 8^, he shall feast his eyes on the ruin 
of the wicked ; here too the wicked open their eyes, but only to 
see what grieves them. 

Tlie desire, &c. : i. e. the thing desired, as in Ixxviii. 29, &c. 
We must, however, read < hope ' here as most modems do. The 
Hrf>rew words are much alike. 


The name the * Egyptian Hallel ' has been given to PSs. cxiii- 
cxviii : see Halltiujak P^almSf pp. aa6 f. 

Ps. cxiv lacks the title ^Hallelujah/ though it has it in the 
LXX, and it is probably to be restored to the Hebrew ; yet this 
Psalm is not so manifestly a ^ hallel ' or * praise ' P&alm as the 
other < Hallelujah * Psalms. 

Psalm CXIII. 

Theme. A summons to praise Jehovah because of His greatness 
and goodness. 

I. Contents, (i) The summons to praise Jehovah (verses 1-3). 
(2) The grounds on which the summons rests. 

(a) Jehovah is lofty and glorious (verses 4f.). 

(b) He has condescended to help His creatures (verses 6-9). 

II. Authorship and Date. Pss. cxiii and cxiv have much in 
common ; both are generally traced to the feeling of joy and 
gratitude which prevailed among the Jews soon after the return 
from Babylon, and may be the work of the same author. 

1-3. A summons to praise Jehovah. 

1. Fzaiae ye the IiOBB: see on cxi. i. By making this a 
part of the Psalm we destroy the symmetry of the Psalm, which 
without it is made up of a number of distichs. 

servants of the IiOBI> : verse 3 shows that Delitzsch, &c., 
are wrong in restricting the words to the true Israel. 

name : ' to praise Jehovah's name ^ =* < to praise Him as He is 

THE PSALMS 118. 3-7 ^33 

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same 3 

The Lord's name is to be praised. 

The Lord is high above all nations, 4 

And his glory above the heavens. 

Who is like unto the Lord our God, 5 

That hath his seat on high, 

That humbleth himself to behold 6 

The things that are in heaven and in the earth ? 

He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, 7 

And lifteth up the needy from the dunghill ; 

3. See t. t : qf. Isa. lix. 19 ; Zeph. iii. 9 ; Ma!, i, 11. 
4-9. Why Jihovah should be praisid, 

4 f. Jehovah is great. 

4. All natlonii here the word which in the .,p}ural means 
nearly alwa3rs <the heathen' means ^all nationa-* including Israel' ; 
so xcix. a. 

Ydgh above— 'higher than ' : a rare form of the comparative : 
found also in Hellenistic Greek {hypir), 

his glory (is) above tlio heftvfnaa- ^ (is) more glorious than 
the heavens.' See xix. i : the heavens, being His handiwork, 
declare His glory ; but His personal glory far transcends that of 
sun^ moon, and stars. 

6-9. Jehovah^ 8 cornkscmshn io h$lp Hispiopk, 

6. Render: 'who stoops to look from the heaven upon the 
earth r 

Thi thinis that are : not in the Hebrew, and not required 
for the sense. 

in litAven s we must certainly read ' from the heavens.' All 
the following clauses refer to God's doings on the earth. 

and in the earth s render, * upon the earth.' The * and ' was 
inserted to make sense after a copyist had accidentally written 
* in ' instead of */rom the heavens.' 

7. poor I the Hebrew word means primarily those reduced in 
position : the idea of poverty is a derived one. Jehovah lifts up 
men who have sunk as low down in the social scale as possible 
(cf. the dust). 

dnnghllli the Heb.»'dung itself : then it came to stand 
for those heaps of dung and other d^bri^ which used to be in front 
of Oriental houses. Beggars and lepers were wont to sit on these 
artificial hills, soliciting by looks and geaturesi if not by words, the 

234 THE PSALMS. Ua.8.-114. i 

8 That be may ixt him with princes, 
Even with the princes of his people; 

9 He maketh the barren woman to keep bouse, 
And to be a joyful mother of childr6nrf 
Praise ye the Lord. 

114 When Israel went forth out of Egypt, 

gifts of the inmate^ 6t the houses. Jehovah causes the unfortunate 
denizens of these dunghills to risetoJiigh st^tioiU.-. 

8. See Job xxxyi» 7, and cf. a Sani. ix. 7. 

9. The language of this verse was suggested to a large extent 
by that of i Sam. ii. 5 ; see Isa. liv. i, Ixvi. 8. 

9. PraiM ye «b^ MSI> ( = Hallelujah). In the LXX this 
formula is rightly transferred to the beginning of Ps. cxiv. 

Psalm CXIV. 

Thifnei The consternation of nature at Jehbvah'a tnarvelloiis de- 
liverance of Israel from Egypt 

This is one of the most charming lyrics in the Psalter, alik^ in 
strudurte, languag:e, and thought. Its parallelism is as near per- 
fection as that of any part of tlie O. T. 

Dante makes spirits redeemed fronp tlie bondage of the flesh 
sing this Psalm as they are abouit entering Pur^tory : 
'/#f exitu Israel de Egypto, 
Sang all together in one voice, 
With what of tha^ PSalm is thereafter written^.' 

I. TiUe: PxaiM ye the ]LO&I> (» Hallelujah), wrongly 
put ^t.the end ;Q,if.Ps. cxiii in the M.T. , 

II. Contents, (i) The consternation of nature at the marvel of 
the Exodus (verses z«-4). 

(2) That Exodus was a sign of the Divine presence: well 
might therefore nature be affrighted (verses 5*,6). 

This Psalm is combined with the following Psalm in the LXX, 
Theod., Pesh., Arab., Eth., and in many liSS. of the Hebrew : 
but these make two psalms out of Pselm cixwi, thus leaving the 
number! of psalms in the group cxiii- cxviii the same, viz. six. 

in. Authorship and Date, See on Ps. cxiii. 
1-4. NcUun ameu^etL The deliverance frofQ £^;ypt ^s naturally 
recalled by other deliyerances (Babylon, &c.). 

•Purgatory t ii. 46 ff. 

THE PSALMS 114. 2^i 235 

The house of Jacob from a people of stiange language ; 

Judah became his sanctuary, 

Israel his dominion. 

The sea saw it, and fled ; 

Jordan was driven back. 

The mountains skipped like ramS) 

The little hills like young sheep. 

What aileth thee, O thou sea, that thou fleest? 

Thou Jordan, that thou tumest back ? 

Ye mountain^. that ye skip like rams; . . < 

Ye little hills, like young sheep ? • 

Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, 

1. a people of strange XaairnMres in postr Biblical Hebrew 
a substantive connate to the word translated * strange language ' *-■ 
* a foreign tongiie.' No form of the root occurs in the O.T» except 
here (where it is a participle). The Egyptian language was 
strange to the Israelites when they entered the land of the 
Pharaphs : see Gen. xlii. 93. 

2. Judah and Israel are only poetically distinct : there was 
now no Israel except Judah, and there is an implication that the 
northern kingdom never had the Divine sanction, since the only 
recognized sanctuary is in Judah. 

3. See £xod. xiv. 19-24. 

The Red Sea and the Jordan are personified. As soon as they 
saw their Maker drawing near at the head of His people they 
retired, leaving an open way for the people to cross. 'Awe- 
struck nature recognized , and obeyed its Master's wiU\(Kirk. 

saw — what? Jehovah leading His people ; this is shown by 
verse 7 and by the similar passages Ixxvii. 16; Ha)>. iii. io; cf.xcvii.4. 

was driven iNtok 3 Heb. * turned back.' 

4. mountains and hills (not little hills) skipped (-danced) 
for fear : the figure is borrowed from xxix. 6, the imagery here 
referring to the trembling of Mount Sinai when J.ehovah mani- 
fested Himself, Exod. xix. 18 ; see Ixviii. 9 ; Judge? v, 5, 

5-8. ExplanaiioH of the consUmation offWiuin\, ■ 

5 f. Note the striking apostrophe to the sea, the Jbrdan, and 

the mountains, for the sake of explaining more graphically the 

extraordinary effect of the Divine appearance. 
7 f. Instead of giving a direct answer to the question, the poet 

236 THE PSALMS 114. 8—116 i 

At the presence of the God of Jacob ; 
8 Which turned the rock into a pool of water, 
The flint into a fountain of waters. 

116 Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, 

says that all the earth (mountains, &c.) might well writhe in 
agony at the approach of its Maker. 

7. Tr«xnble : render, ^ Be in pangs ' : the verb is used of the 
pains of childbirth. 

8. For the two wilderness incidents here spoken of see on 
Ixxviii. 15. 

pool of water, fimntals of waters : both from Isa. xli. 18. 
flint : see Deut. viii. 15, ' rock of flint.' 


Tlume. Jehovah's help is sought in some unknown emei^gency. 
He alone is the true God, and He is alone therefore to be trusted 
in and worshipped. 

I. Contents, (i) Prayer to Jehovah for help since the humili- 
ation of His people is His own humiliation (verses 1-3). 

(2) The gods of the heathen are helpless, and therefore cannot 
help (veriies 4-8). 

(3) Israel is urged to seek refuge in Jehovah who can and does 
help (verses 9-1 1). 

(4) Jehovah has blessed and will continue to bless Israel 
(verses 12-18). 

Thb Psalm was composed for temple use, and was probably 
intended, as Ps. cxxxvi, &c., to be sung antiphonally, though the 
rapid changes of person," tense, and number are no proof of this 
last, since in Arabic, Persian, and Hebrew poetry such sudden 
transitions are frequent. 

Assuming that the Psalm is antiphonal (so Ewald, KOster, &c.) 
the following arrangement of parts is suggested : 

t-8 the whole temple choir. 

9* first batch of singers. 

9** second batch of singers. 

10* first batch of singers. 

ID*' second batch of singers. 

II* first batch of singers. 

1 1^* second batch of singers. 

12 the whole temple choir. 

13 first batch of singers. 

14 C second batch of singers. 
16-18 the whole temple choir. 

Tbougli LXX, Theod., Pesh., Jero., and many MSS. join this 

THE PSALMS 116. a-4 237 

But unto thy name give glory, 

For thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake; 

Wherefore should the nations say, ' 2 

Where is now their God ? 

But our God is in the heavens : 3 

He hath done whatsoever he pleased. 

Their idols are silver and gold, 4 

Psalm to that which precedes, the style and contents differ so 
much that these Psalms must originally have been quite distinct. 

III. Authorship and Date, The appeal in verses 1-3 seems to 
imply that the nation is passing through a period of sufTering, 
though whether that suffering is due to the persecution of the 
Samaritan party in the fifth century b. c, or to the action of the 
Syrians and the Syrian party over two centuries later, or to some 
other cause, there is no data for determining. The prominence given 
in the Psalm to priests, and its silence regarding king and prophets, 
prove that the Psalm is, at leasts post^exilic. 

Hitifig sees in Pss. cxv-cxviii a kind of poetical drama in which 
the incidents of Jonathan's life are portrayed, from his military 
expedition into Galilee (cxv) to his triumphant return to the Jeru- 
salem temple (cxviii) : see i Mace. xi. 

1-3. Jthovah is entreated to help for His own honouf^s sake (cf. 
Ezek. xxxvi. 33**). 

1. We seek thy aid not that glory may come to us by the 
resulting victory, but that thy lovingkindness (not maroy) and 
faithfulness (not truth) to thy own may be displayed. See a 
similar prayer in Dan. ix. 18 f. Thus will God's name, i. e. His 
character, be revealed. 

a -Ixxix. 10, cf. xlii. 3, 10 ; Exod. xxxii. la ; Num. xiv. 13 ff. ; 
Joel ii. 17 ; Mic. vii. 10. 

nations: better, 'heathen.' 

now: a different Hebrew word from the adverb of time» 
'now.' It is the rhetorical < now' : * Where, prithee, is that God 
of theirs ? ' This particle is absent from Ixxix. 10, which otherwise 
agrees exactly with the present verse. 

a. in tko heavens I i. e. He is not material, visible, tangible. 
The words assert the spirituality of Jehovah. If they meant only 
^ He lives in heaven,' < is confined to heaven,' that would have been 
also a low view of deity. 

4-8. Helplessness' of the gods of the heathen. In this section it 
seems taken for granted that the god of the heathen is the material 
object, that alone : no note at all is taken of ViXkynumen or spiritual 

238 THE PSALMS 115.5-7 

The work of men's hands. . . 

5 They have mouths, tut they speak not ; i 
Eyes have they, but they see not,; 

6 They have ears, but they hear not ; . 

Noses have they, but thoy isnnell not ,• . . r 

7 They have hands, but they handle not j . . 
Feet have they, but they walk not ; 

Neither speak they through their throat. 

being residing: withifi the object. There is the same underlying 
assumption in oxxxv. 6, 15-21 (practically^our* veraes 4-10), in 
D«ut. iivt saS, dnd in the brilliant irony of Isa. xliv. 9-20. Is tiiis a fair 
view to take of heathenism 1 In itself no. It ia impossible io think 
of any rational being sinking so low. as this. Carlyle writes: 
Mdol,* . is not God,. but a symbol of G^d : and perhaps coie may 
question w!hether any, the most benighted, mortal ever took it for 
more than a symbol ^.' One may surelymore than question any- 
thing so unlikely. But the heathen claimed fori his ]ro%ion the 
supposed advantage that his god had an outward embodinsent : 
something to see, as in the case of man. It was a proper retort 
to itiaketbat the heathen god judged by his external foim could 
do nothing. 

4. Their Ido^s : i. e. the idols of the heathen (verse 4). The 
LXX, Jero., Pesh. read *the idols of the heathen' ; so cxxxv. 15. 
The Hebrew word rendered idpl means. * something formed,' 
' fashioned.* Idol is the English forn) of the Greek word used in the 
LXX which =.' something seen.' 

silver and g'old 1 i. e. the idols were . covered with those 
metals : not made of solid silver and gold. 

5-*7. Though these idols have apparently every bodily organ, 
they cannot perform any of the corresponding functions. In 
these verses we must render the imperfect tenses by * cannot ' : 
^they cannot speak, see, hear, smell,^:&c. — a sense often con- 
veyed by the Hebrew imperfect (not properly a tense). 

7. Render: * As regards their hands, they ' (the idols) * cannot 
handle' ( = touch). *As regards their feet, they' (the idols) 
'cannot walk : Nor can they give: forth any (inaiticiilate) sound 
with their throat' 

liaiudto: the Belxrew means 'to touch,' < to fe^l one's way' 
(in the dark). 

Veitlier speak they : speaking is, however, referfed to in 

. I ^ Hepoes und^Uerg Worship, Leoture iv. 


THE PSALMS 115. 8r.i4 239 

They that make them shall be like unto them ; 8 

Yea, every one that trusteth in them. 

O Israel, trust thou in the Lord: . .9 

He is their help and their shield. 

O house of Aaron, trust ye in the Lord ; . • i© 

He is their help and. their shield. 

Ye that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord ;, n 

He is their help and their shield. 

The Lord hath been mindful of us ; he will bless usi, 12 

He will bless the house of Israel ; 

He will bless the house of Aaron. 

He will bless them that fear the Lord, ,3 

Both small and great. 

The Lord increase you more and more. 

You and your children. 

verse 5 in connexion with the mouth. Here we must unilentand 
inarticulate sounds in the throat, which have not reached the 
stage of speech : even this much these idols are incapable of. 
The noun in xc. 9 is cognate with the verb here : see on this 

8. «]iall be 1 better, ' shall become.' Those who worship such 
helpless idols shall become themselves helpless: see a Kings 
xvii. 15 ; Isa. xliv. 9 f. ; Jer. ii. 5 ; Rom. i. 21-33. 

9-1 1. I^ratl ufgtd to sak rt/Uge in tht ail-kilfnttg Jehovah, 

In these verses three classes are addressed : ZmmI (verse^9), 
houM of Amoo, and ye that fmx tlM XiOBB ; we have the same 
threefold division in cxviii. 3-4 and in cxxxv. 19 f., only that in 
the latter case the * house of Levi ' is added. By the first we are 
to understand Israel as a whole, by the second the priests, and 
by the third proselytes— those who, though not of Abraham's 
seed, had his faith and inherited the promises made to him : see 
T Kings viii. 41 ; Isa. Ivi. 6 ; Acts x. 3, 33, &c. 

it'i8. Jthovah has lUesudj mil blfss, Israel. 

la. hath h—n mlndlta of ns: LXX, Jero. render as a parti- 
ciple : * Jehovah having remembered us will bless us.' . , ^ 

Note the three classes : see on verses 9-1 1. 

13. Both small and . fraat : proselytes of every rank and 
position. For this way of expressing totality pee a Kings xviii. 

14. This wish refers to the whole nation, and was very appro- 

240 THE PSALMS 115. 15-18 

15 Blessed are ye of the Lord, 
Which made heaven and earth. 

16 The heavens are the heavens of the Lord ; 

But the earth hath he given to the children of men^ 

17 The dead praise not the Lord, 
Neither any that go down into silence ; 

iS But we will bless the Lord 

From this time forth and for evermore. 
Praise ye the Lord. 

priate after the return from Babylon or after the decimation due 
to the Maccabean wars : cC cxix. 87. 

15. This verse expresses a wish as verse 14 ; render, * May ye 
' be blessed,* &c 

Which made lumv&n, and •arth : in contrast to idols, them- 
selves the work of men's bands. Heaven and earth are thus 
separated as the abode respectively of God and man (but see on 
verse 3). 

16. Heaven is Jehovah*s, He dwells in it : but He has given 
to man the earth as a dwelling place. The rendering, * the heaven 
of heaven belongs to Jehovah,' cannot be got out of the Hebrew, 
though it is that of the ancient versions. 

17 f. A reason for praising Jehovah now. Soon we shall be in 
the silent land, still for ever. So let us praise Him no'w while 
we have life. 

17. Note what is said of the dead, and see on Ixxxvi. 13, 
IxxxvilL 10-13. 

sUanoa: a synonym for SheoL Here and in xciv. 17 the 
LXX translates the word by * Hades,' the Greek word for 

* S^eol.' Cheyne W in both places substitutes the word rendered 
^ snado w of death ' in cvii. 10, but on insufficient grounds. 

The O. T. recognizes three places of abode : 

(i) Heaven, where God and angels are. 

(aS The earth, where man and animals live. 

(3) Sheol (LXX Hades), whither men go after death. 

Of a heavenly world in which redeemed man will dwell in the 
company of God and angeb, or of a hell for the wicked, the O.T. 
says nothing; see Introd. pp. 14 ff. 

18. From this time forth and fiw arMfmova » from the present 
moment until we die : the argument requires that * for evermore ' = 

* until we enter the silent land, where all praise shall cease.' 

Fralaa ja tha &OXB. This belongs to the beginning of 
Ps. cxvi, as in the LXX (not in Jero. also as Baethgen inaccnrately 

THE PSALMS 116. i, a 241 

I love the Lord, because he hath heard 118 

My voice and my supplications. 

Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, 3 

Therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. 

Psalm CXVI. 

Theme, The thanksgiving and vows of one who has been 
delivered out of great distress. 

I. Title. Praise-ye-Yah- Hallelujah. 

II. Contents, (i) Acknowledgement of Jehovah's goodness in 
delivering the singer out of some severe sickness, or from some 
other situation of danger (verses i-^). 

(9) Vows and promises of thanl»giving for what Jehovah has 
done (verses 7-19). 

Observe the individualbtic note that sounds throughout the Psalm. 
Whatever may be said in regard to the congregational character 
of other Psalms (see Introd. p. zgff.); at least in this one the poet 
tells out his own personal experiences and feelings^ 

The division of this Psalm in the LXX into two (verses 1-9 ; 
verses 10-19), each beginning with * Hallelujah' (*Alleluiah'), 
and the uniting in the LXX of Pss. cxivf. into a single Psalm, 
are both wrong as the contents of the Psalms prove, and both are 
probably due to liturgical considerations. 

III. Authorship and Date, See on Ps. cxv. 

Two features of the PSaim argue its late date : (i) its depend- 
ence on other Psalms, (a) The large number of Aramaisms 
which it contains. No more definite statement can be hazarded. 

1-6. Jehovah^s deliverance acknowledged, 

1. X lore, &c. : The E.W. give the sense and perhaps the 
original Hebrew text : but the present Hebrew text (M. T.) has 
* I love, because Jehovah has heard,* &c. After * I love ' the object 
must in that case be understood from the next clause. In verse 
9 the object (upon hint) after call has to be supplied froiti the 

htttli haaifd 3 a small letter written twice by mistake must be 
omitted. The versions, however, retain it and render, ^will 
hear ' : but the Psalmist is singing of the past. 

Htf Toioa md my ■upplloatioxi* : render, < the voice of my 
supplication ' with LXX, Jero., Pesh., and according to usage ; see 
xxviii. 9, 6, xxxi. 99, cxxx. 9, cxl. 6. 

a. oalli an echo of xviii. 3. <To call upon God'aito worship 

The object—' upon Him '—must be supplied from the context 


242 THE PSALMS 116. 3-S 

5 The cords of death compassed me» 
And the pains of Sheol gat hold upon me : 
I found trouble and sorrow. 

4 Then called I upon the name of the Lord ; 

Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my souL 

5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous ; 
Yea, our God is merciful. 

6 The Lord preserveth the simple : 

1 was brought low, and he saved me. 

7 Return unto thy rest, O my soul ; 

For the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. 

8 For thou hast delivered my soul from death, 

3. TlM cords of doath oompanod ma : see on xviti. 4. 
pftlas; Ut, ^straitnesses*: perhaps the plural is merely 

intensive, 'great distress/ A word corresponding to oords 
seems required here and in xviii. 4, bat no successful attempt 
(Hupfeld, &c.) has so far been made to get such a word out of the 
M.T. As the verse stands death ( » Sheol) is viewed under two 
distinct figures. 

81i«ol : see on Ixxxvi. 13. 

4. oiOled X : Heb. ' I continued to call* 

tlM muiM of the IbOXD c ' Jehovah as known.' 
my wavl : probably here » < me ' with emphasis on the pronoun ; 
see on cvii 18, 96. 
5 1 What the Psalmist found Jehovah to be. 

5. See cxL 4 and Exod. xxxiv. 6. 
m«Mlfiil: better, ^compassionate.' 

6. lixiiple : a great word in Proverbs : it denotes those who 
have a character opposed to craftiness, underhandedness, schem- 
ing ; see Prov. xiv. 15, 18, xxii. 3, xxvii. la. 

7-^19, Vows and promises, 

h. Xttum : better, * Turn,' which the verb primarily means : 
^ Turn away, O my soul, from the things which disturb and distract, 
to Him who is thy rest' We have similar soliloquies in Pas. zUi, 
xliii, ciii. 

rest: in Hebrew plural, denoting perfect rest ; the ^phtral of 
intensity.' The Hebrew word has reference, mainly, to those 
outward conditions in a man's lot which make for restfulness: 
such as prosperity, safety, &c. : see on Ixxxiv. 4 (BlMMd). 

dealt bonntifiilly I so xiii. 6, cxix. 17. The meaning of the 
phrase is ^ to show kindness to.' 

THE PSALMS 116. 9-14 243 

Mine eyes from tears, 

And my feet from falling* 

I will walk before the Lord . ^ f . > 9 

In the land of the living. .; i . 

I believe, for I will speak: « , 10 

I was greatly afflicted : 

I said in my haste, 11 

All men are a lie. i; .. 

What shall I render unto the Lord • " 

For all his benefits toward me? 

I will take the cup of salvation, 13 

And call upon the name of the Lord. 

I will pay my vows unto the Lord, 14 

In 8f. the thought is that of Ivi. 13, the words being largely 
borrowed ; cf. xxvii. 13. The use of the words of Ivi. 13 accounts 
for the otherwise unaccountable change of persons here; Jehovah 
being addressed now in the second person. 

8. tlLou SuMt d^Utwred my «aiil . . . liiiia eyv* • . . my f<»#t : 
the verb suits strictly the first object only : such ' anakoloutha * 
abound in Greek, Hebrew, and most languages. 

0. In tlie land of tlw living : the sense is, ' in thfe land wh^re 
living people are/ as opposed to Sheol, * the land of shades* ' : now 
that Jehovah has kept me in this world alive, I will walk bo as to 
please Him.* 

10. The only translation which the M«T. can yield is this i ^ I 
believed (in Jehdvah) (even) when I had to say, I am much 
afflicted.' For the rendering 'of the LXX, Jero. see a Cor. iv« 13^ 

11. II*' is from xxxi. 30. 

X (said) : in Hebrew the pronoun is emphatic « * as for me I,' 

Mid 3 i. e. said inwardly, thought : so often in Hebrew* In 
Hebrew ^I say' has frequently the sense ^I have it in mind,' 
*I purpose.' 

in my luurte: better, Mn my alarm,' as R.Vm. 

▲11 UL611 are alto: Heb. ^All men are lying/ ^ break their 
word,' * are treacheroua.*^ 

12. Render : ' How can I requite Jehovah, For all his kind.acts 
towards me } ' 

18. c«pofMilvatiois: the figure is obtained from the pouring out 
of libations as a sacrifice to deity* The Psalmist will make an offer- 
ing in acknowledgement of the deliverance accorded by God. 

14. This verse occurs also as verse 18. Here it is omitted ir 

R 2 

^44" THE PSALMS lU. xs-t^ 

Yea, in the presence of all his people. 

15 Precious in the sight of the Lori> 
Is the death of his saints. 

16 O Lord, truly I am thy servant : 

I am thy servant, the son of thine handmaid ; 

Thou hast loosed my bonds. 
I? I will ofifer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving 

And will call upon the name of the Lord. 
x9 I will pay my vows unto the Lord^ 

Yea, 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. 

^ ^_-. 

Hit LXX, thotigk the other ancient versions have it The same 
words ate nahtrally suggested by what precedes in both caKs, and 
we are probably to keep the two identical verses where they are. 

The sense of the verse is, ' What I have vowed to. Jehovah in 
the event of mj being rescued from so great danger I will now 

Probably the vows embraced sacrifices and gifts of money for 
the temple. Vows of this kind are still often made, especially by 
Roman Catholics. 

In the preaenoe of all hia people : publicly, not ia private. 

15. Pz«oloiui, &C. : what is precious is rare, and therefiire 
much thought of. Jehovah does not regard the death of His 
favoured ones as a thing of no importance, as trivial, as cheap : 
it is much thought of, and will not be allowed unless strong reasons 
call for it. 

aaiata ! Heb. ' favoured ones,' objects of the Divine Klused 
or lovmgkindness : see voL i. pp. 360 C» note B. 

16. X am thj aervant : repeated by a copyist's mistake. For 
thj servant see ou Ixxxvi. a. 

tba son of tldae handmaM : see on Ixzxvi. 16 ; it is simply 
a variation (for the sake of the poetry) of aervant. 
IS x(l4. 

10. This verse requires for its full sense the preceding verse, 
so that verse 28 cannot be dispensed with even if verse 14 can. 
oomrtat the house itself oould be entered by priests only. 
Pradaa ja tiM &OXD 1 must be transferred to the commence* 
ment of Ps. cxvii (with the LXX). 

THE PSALMS 11 r. i-Uilg. i 245 

O praise the Lord, all ye nations ; 117 

Laud him, all ye peoples. 

For his mercy is great toward tis ; 1 , 

And the truth of the Lord endureih for evei 

Praise ye the Lord. 

, . ' r \ "^ ■ 

O give thanks unto the Lord ; for he is good : . 118 

Theme, Universal summons to praise Jehovah. 

I. Title, Praise-ye-Yah (Hallelujah) : see on cxyl. ig,' 

II. Contents. Verse z summonses aU nations to praise Jehovah ; 
verse a gives the reason for this. 

III. Authorship and Date, This Ps4lm belongs to the group 
Pas. cxiii*cxviii, Which nearly all moderns rightly date in the late 
po8t-«xilic period. Ewald, however, makes the present Psalm 
later than the rest. 

1. laMid : the word in the M.T. occurs in the Araraak Und in 
late Hebrew? in the sense 'to praise.' 

8. iiMroys Heb. 'lovingkindness.' 
great toward us: read, * higher than we* (deserve), 
changing the final consonant : the expression thus obtained otcurs 
in ciii. 4, on which the present passage is based. 

Vrais* ya tlia laOBB : should be transferred to the beginning 
of Ps. cxviii as in the LXX. 

Psalm CXVIII. 
Theme, Song of thanksgiving for some decent national favour . 

I. Titie, PralM jm tlie IbOXB 1 Hallelujah : ^ee on cxvji. 0. 

II. Contents. This Psalm seems to hav« been composed to be 
sung antiphonally (see Pss. cxv, cxxxvi) during a procession 
made to the temple in celebration of some recent blessing received 
from Jehovah. The parts of the Psalm hang loosely together, as 
is commonly true of lituiigical Psalms, but they may have been 
divided as follows : — 

1-18. Sung during the procession : in verses c*^ the odd and 
even lines by different sections of the choir : verse 19 sung outside 
the principal gate of the temple, and verse no b^ a party of 
Levites within : verses 21-95 ^^^Z as the procession passes 
through the gate, verse s6 being sung by the Levites Who seemed 
at first (verse 90) to challenge the admission of the procession : 

246 THE PSALMS 118. a 

. For his mercy endureth for ever. 
2 Let Israel now say, 

That his mercy endureth for ever. 

■ I .^ .1 I , 1 1 1 1 , ^, , 

verses 07-39 sung as the procession moved about in the temple 

III. Authorship and Date, Though all commentators Agree 
that the Psalm was called forth by some outstanding event there 
is great divergence of opinion as to what that event was, some 
holding that it was the reopening of the temple after the return 
from Babylon ; others that it was its re-dedication after its desecra- 
tion by the Syrians ; while a large number from Hitzig to Duhm 
argue that it was some signal victory over the Syrian army. In 
the last case the procession would be a military and not a religious 
one. The dependence of this Psalm on other Psalms, its amnity 
with Ps. cxv and some late linguistic characteristics, prove the 
present Psalm to be late post-exilic. 

Manankiiy of the Psalm, A lai^ge number of Rabbinical authors 
and of tiie early Christian Fathers thought this Paafan primarily 
Messianic, and it has been so treated in modem times by Stier 
and others. Looidng at the Psalm qnlte by itself one would have 
regarded it as called forth by the circumstances of the time, and 
as expressing the gratitude, jc^, and ikith of the writer and other 
pious Israelites. Bat it is dted in the N. T. in reference to our 
Lord e rerse as is applied by the Master Himself to Himself \ and 
the Apostle Peter applies the same words to Christ ^. It is, how- 
ever, a moot question whether, when O. T. passages are quoted 
with reference to N. T. persons or incident^ it is because the 
O. T. passages are supposed primarily to involve such reference. 
In many examples, at any rate, it is simply a case of analogy, the 
same principles being at work in the things compared ; and it 
may, with the utmost accuracy, be said Ihat what was taught in 
O.T. tunes is fulfilled and realized in N.T. history, even if the 
O. T. passages had originally no special reference to that with 
which, in the N. T*, they are connected. See pp. 7 ff. 

1-4. General invitation to give thanks unto Jehovah. A simihir 
call to worship opens Psalms cvi f. and cxxxvi. 

First all are summoned to give thanks : then the three classes ' 
named in cxv. 9-11 (see on). I 

1. Iter hmim ffosAr Sic. : a common liturgical formula: see 1 
Jer. xxxiii. iz, and its beginning in Ps. lii. 9 (iz). 

9« XSTMl t LXX, * house of Israel ' as in cxv. 9. After aagr in a*, I 

^ Matt. xxi. 42 H Mark xii. 10 f. H Luke xx. 17. 
' Acts iv. It I I Pet. ti. ti. 

THE PSALMS 118. 3-9 247 

Let the house of Aaron now say, 

That his meircy enduretk for ever. 

Let them now that fear the Lord say, 

That his mercy enduretk for ever. 

Out of my distress I called upon the Lord : i 

The Lord answered me and set me in a large place. 

The Lord is on my side ; I will not fear : ( 

What can man do unto me ? 

The Lord is on my side among them that help me : \ 

Therefore shall I see my desire upon them that 

hate me. 
It is better to trust in the Lord i 

Than to put confidence in man. 

It is better to trust in the Lord \ 

Than to put confidence in princes. 

3% 4^ the LXX. adds * that He is good/ the same words which in 
verse i are correctly translated there * for He is good.* W. F. 
Cobb {Book of Psalms, 1905) states the contrary of the fact here. 

5-9. Jthovah's htlp in the past an tncouragtnteni to faith, 

5. Ont of ittj distTM* I better, Mn my straitness/ i.e. when 
I was hemmed in, perplexed, the preposition which usually 
means ' from ' has in Hebrew and in Greek often the meaning 
Mn ' : see on cviii. 19. 

th« ]«OBDs Heb. <Jah' (<YahO in both cases: for this 
word see on Ixxxix. 8. Some Jewish authorities including the 
Massorah, and, among modems, Jastrow, think the letters forming 
Jah {Yah) at the end of verse 5 belong really to the noun rendered 
large plAO« : but such a noun is never met with. 

In a iMXff place i figure for being in a state of ease and 
comfort : the opposite idea is conveyed by the phrase ' in a strait, 
narrow place ' : see on cvii. 6. 

e. See Ivi. 9^ iz. This verse is cited in Heb. xiii. 6, from the 
LXX, which diiters slightly from the M. T. 

7. AM my dmir^ npoiiB(I shall) look with glee upon : see on 
cxii. 8. 

8f. For the thought see Ixii, and cf. xxxiii. 16 IT. cxvi. 11, cxlvi. 
3. Perhaps the civil authorities— Persians or Syrians — had in 
some way betrayed the trust of the Jews. 

S. tnwti Heb. <take refuge.' 

248 THE PSALMS 118. 10-14 

10 All nations compassed me about : 

In the name of the Lord I will cut them off. 

11 They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me 

about : 
In the name of the Lorp I will cut them. off 
la They compassed me about like bees ; they are quemched 

as the fire of thorns : 
In the name of the Lord I will cut them otL 

13 Thou didst thrust sore at me that I might fall : 
But the lyQRD helped me. 

14 The Lord is my strength and song ; 

10-14. Jehovah? 8 help against hosHle heathen peopies. 

10. AU natloiui t better, * All the heMhen.' 

In the name of tlM &OXD : i. e. by the help of Jehovah. 
For name see on Ixxix. 9. The Hebrew preposition rendered * in ' 
often means ' through/ < by the hdp oV : see IvL 4, Ix. 19, and 
cviii. 13. 

X wlU out them off: Heb. < Certainly I will/ &c. The verb 
is the usual one employed for ' to circumcise/ but it has in this 
verse a slightly different form {Hiph.\ There is here probably a 
word-play similar to that in Phil. iii. a {hatatome and peritomi) : 
< These our foes taunt us with being circumcised : I will concise 
them.' Hengstenberg renders, * I will circumcise them/ i. e. 
I will compel them to become Jews : but most of the sur- 
rounding nations practised circumcision. Dubm reads^ ' I will 
bring them down.' 

11. they oompMiMd ma about; repeated for the metre. 

13. like bees: foes are compared to bees in Deut. i. 44 ; of. 
Vci%,, Georg, iv. 83, 235 ff., Homer, //. xvi. 259 f. 

Mi the Are of thorns : a thorn fire flares up suddenly, and it 
as suddenly bums itself out Yet the following words show that 
utter extinction is not meant. The LXX reads, 'They surrounded me 
as bees do a honeycomb, and they burst into flame as fire among 
thorns.' The Hebrew consonants implied in the LXX do not 
differ greatly from those in the M. T., and this reading is probably 
nearer what was first written than the M . T. 

18. Thou didst thrust sore at me: we must read with LXX, 
Jero., Pesh., * 'twas thrust,' &c. The second person must refer to 
the enemy, and is quite out of place here. 

14. the ZiOBD 1 Heb. Jah (Yah) : see on Ixxxiz. 8. 

soBiT s we must read < my song,' with the ancient versions. 
The change involves the addition of one veiy small letter {yodh). 

THE PSALMS 118. 15-19 249 

And he is become my salvation. ' 

The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents of th^ 15 

The right hand of the Lord doetb valiantly. 
The right hand of the Lord is exalted : '16 

The right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly. • : t 

I shall not die, but live, 17 

And declare the works of the Lord. 
The Lord hath chastened me sore : 18 

But he hath not given me over unto death. 
Open to me the gates of righteousness : 19 

I will enter into them, I will give thank's unto the Lord. 

15-18. Jikovah to be loudly praised for His goodness to the nation, 

15. r«iJoioi&fft Heb. ^xv^i^i^f; shouts of joy,^ ftuch as celebrate 
a victory, and tlie Uke« 

tents ! renider, ^ dwellings ' : this word Jbiias been, ad^ced to 
show that the Psalm was made for the Feast of Tabernacles. But 
it is a different Hebrew word {sttkkoth) that is i^ped foe the booth 
dwelt in during that festival. The Hebrew word in the-preSeiKb 
verse (*Ohel) means primarily a tent such as jBeduins have fpr 
their movable home. Then it came to mean any dwelling, eMen 
a house, after the canvas tent had yielded to a more solid an^; per- 
manent structure. So in cxipcli. 3 (see on) ; cf. Devi* xi* 45^ * David's 
tentf^ i. e. his palace : see xv. i (of God's dwelling), aux. 5, 8sc : 

doetb vaUantly : better, ^ accomplishes valiant tbisga.' 

16. iM azaltsd: render, with LXX, Pesh.,* exalts me*' The 
' me,' though not in the Hebrew, would be understood. 

17. The danger of dying is now past. 

18. pbastened: * Jehovah has instructed me through suffering.* 
The verb « * to teach,* * to discipline.* 

10. The processional throng has now reached the temple 
area gate. 

Open to ma : the singular applies to each pne in th^ procession . 

irates of xiff]iteou«ness : the gates through wjliioh, as from 
Jehovah's home, victory comes : for this sense of ' righteousness ' 
see on cxli. 3. Other explanations are (i) gates . through which 
the righteous alone should go ; cf. Ps. xxiv (Kautsch) ; (a) gates 
leading to the abode of the God of righteousness ; .cf. ^xx, d ; 
Jer, xxi. 23, 

the XjOXD ! Heb. Jah (Yah) : see on Ixxxix. 8. . 

2SO THE PSALMS 118. ao-a4 

30 This IS the gate of the Lord ; 

The righteous shall enter into it. 
21 I will give thanks unto thee, for thou hast answered me, 

And art become my salvation. 
29 The stone which the builders rejected 

Is become the head of the comer. 
^3 This is the Lord's doing ; 

It is marvellous in our eyes. 
34 This is the day which the Lord hadi made ; 

We will rejoice and be glad in it 

20. The reply of the Levites within the gate, 
ffate : the main entrance : in verse 19 the plural gates refers 
to the three main gates. This gate is the one before which the 
procession stood. 

01*95. The procession enters singing words 6/ praise and thanks- 
giving to Jehovah who has signally blessed the nation* 

81. MTt 1>«oom« Vkj MlvatioB*sha9t delivered me ; see Exod. 

XV. 3. 

8ft« iMaA of IflM oomer : the expression occurs nowhere else 
in the O.T., but wherever elsewhere the word * comer' is used of 
a part of the building it refers to the foundation, the comer stone 
at the basis of the building and not one at the top : so Isa. xxviii. 
16 ; Jer. li. 96. What is here meant is that large stone in the 
lowest layer of stones which binds two rows at right angles. 

We have perhaps in this verse a proverbial saying, but in any 
case the general sense is clear enough. The nation (or the 
individual !) once despised has come to great honour and glory. 
It was natural to apply the words to Jesus Christ (see before), 
for though He came to His own. His own received Him not. Yet 
He has become to myriads the ' chiefest among ten thousand ' 
and the 'altogether lovely.' 

98. TliU is the XiOBD'S doing: Heb. <From' (-through) 
'Jehovah has this come about.' We are indebted for it all to 
Him, not to our courage or skill : see Neh. vi. 16. 

84. Jehovah has granted us the deliverance or the victory 
which we this day celebrate. 

la it I i. e. on the day : not in Him (Jehovah), cf xxxii. it ; 
nor is Mn it' the object of the rejoicing as Hitzig and Duhm 
hold. It was not the day they rejoiced in, but the event com- 
memorated on the day. The Hebrew can, however, yield any one 
of the three meanings. 

THE PSALMS 118. 25-27 251 

Save now, we beseech thee, O Lord : 25 

O Lord, we beseech thee, send now prosperity. 
Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord : 26 
We have blessed you out of the house of the Lord. 
The Lord is God, and he hath ^iven us light : g*. 

Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the 

95. Save now I the Hebrew is the original of the word 
* hosanna,^ which occurs in the N.T. (Matt. xxi. 9; Mark xi. 9f., 
&€.), though in N. T. Greek it had some such sense as * Glory be 
to' : see Dalman {fVords 0/ the Lord JesuSy pp. 920 if.). 3ince 
Christ cited parts of verses 25 f. when He made His triumphant entry 
into Jerusalem, and since in the Hebrew liturgy the seventh day 
of Tabernacles is called * Hosanna Rabba' (< the great Hosanna '), 
it has been concluded that this Psalm was composed for Taber- 
nacles. But we are not told that Christ made that entry into 
Jerusalem during Tabernacles : and the above name for the feast 
does not meet us until long ai^er Bible times. 

■end now, &c. : the same words in Neh. i. 11. 
86. Sung by the Levites, who at first (verse 20) seem to refuse 
admission to those forming the procession. 

Bl«sv«d : an object of the Divine blessing : the Hebrew word 
rendered ^ blessed ' (i. e. ^ happy ') in Izxxiv. 4 (see on) is not the 
one used here. 

in tho name of tho ZiOBO 1 these words go with bteMoA : 
every one that enters the temple courts Is blessed through Jehovah's 
name, i. e. through Jehovah Himself; see Num. vi. 27 ; Sam. 
vi. 18. 
27-99. Sung by the choir at the head of the procession, 
37. given n« Uglit i in the metaphorical sense. The reference 
seems to be to £xod. xiii. 21 : but cf. the priestly blessing, Num. 
vi. 25. 

Bind tba «Aorllloo : render, < Begin the (festive) dance.' The 
Hebrew word rendered Baovifioo has here its primaiy sense 
' dance ' : ^ bind ' has its idiomatic sense in the phrase ' bind war ^ ' 
(b* begin war,' i.e. gather together the soldiers for fighting). 
Hence ' to bind a dance ' is Hebrew idiom for * to begin a dance.' 
Qords I lit. ^ what is twisted ' : used of interwoven foliage in 
Ezek. xix. zi, &c. Ancient and modern authorities are fairly 
agreed that the word here denotes those bundles of twigs from palm, 
willow, and myrtle trees which the Jews, from time immemorial, 

^ See I Kings xx. 14, &c, 

252 THE PSALMS 118. 28-*119. i 

38 Thou art my God, and I will give thanks unto tliee : 

Thou art my God, I will exalt thee. 
29 O give thanks unto the Lord ; for he is good : 

For hi3 mercy endureth for ever. 

119 M ALEPH. 

I Blessed are they that are perfect in the way. 

call ' Inlabs*/ These were brandished about the altar as they are 
in riiodern times about the bema during the festivab Tabernacles 
and Khanukafa. 

the honuK of the altar ; the narrow ledge surrounding the 
altar. H, R. S. Kennedy (DJ?. i. p. 76) says, * The view that these 
"horns" were originally projections towhichthe victims were bound 
has no better support than the corrupt passage Psalm cxviii. 37/ 

Tl|is part of the verse may be thus rendered : ' Set a-going^ the 
(sacred) dance with your lulabs (in your hand), (even) up to the 
altar edge.' 

88. See Exod. xv. 2. At the end of this verse the LXX repeats 
verse ai. 

Psalm CXIX. 

Theme, The preciousness of Jehovah's revelation. 

I. TiiU. The M.T. has none, but in the LXX vn, find 
' Hallelujah ' or ' Praise-ye-Jah ' (Yah). 

II. Contents, This Psalm of 176 verses consists of a string 
of' short sayings resembling^ proverbs, dealing wkh the value 
of God's word and the happiness which comes from its study 
and observance. According to the Massorah the law or the 
revealed will of Jehovah is referred to under some name or other 
in every verse except the 122nd. The Psalm is to a large 
extent an anthology of sayings current at the time, though the 
individual note has been introduced throughout, and many of the 
proverbs incorporated have no doubt been edited so as to make 
them reflect their age. There is but little logical connexion. 
That which holds the verses together is the external bond of the 
letters of the alphabet, each letter having eight verses given it, 
the k^-letter beginning: each of the eight verses. There is a 
good deal of repetition, and many of the sentences are jejune 
and commonpkiee — all which is what migftt be expected in a 
scheme which requires eight different statements about the same 
theme all commencing with the same letter. 

* Dalman (Aramaic, tfc. Lexicon) and some others point it 'lolabs *; 
see 2 Mace. x. 7. 

THE PSALMS 119. i 95^ 

1 1 1 . ^ uihorship and Datt, The following considerationa argue 
for the Psalm in its present form a late date. 
(i) The alphabetic arrangement. 

(a) The tone of externalism which characterizes the piety en- 
forced. The Exile in Babylon was traced by the nation in general 
to the neglect of religious duties : hence in post-exilic Biblical 
literature these duties are emphasized very much. 

(3) The prominence given to the DivUie word accords well 
with the period characterized by Scribism, a system in which 
more attention was given to the presermtion, interpretation, and 
studying of the law than to its Qbservanoe.. The zeal for the 
law of God which characterized the Maccabean revolt might, well 
have inspired the compilation and, in pait, the compoaition of the 
present Psalm. There are many peculiarities of style (see Hitcig) 
which require a late <;^ate. Earlier dates have been defended by 
Hengstenberg (about b. c. 560), Kirkpatrick (time of Nehemiah), 
Baethgen, and Cheyne, both the latter deciding for the early 
Greek period' (iay b. c. 250). 

IV. Structure and txttmal form. This Psalm is niade up 
of twenty-two strophes or stanaas, corresponding to the number 
of letters (i.e. consonants') in the Hebrew alphabet. Each 
strophe has eight lines, each of these beginning with that 
Hebrew consonant after which (in English, &c.) the strophe 
is named. No attempt to reproduce this acrostic arrangement 
in other languages (e. g. Ewald, &c. in German) has approached 

Duhro, Baetfagen <^) and Cheyne <"> have adopted the follbwing 
explanation of the structure of the Psalm, put forth by Dr. D. H. 
MoUer of Vienna in his recent wotic on the Strophe-system of 
the Psalms— it is the explanation assumed by the present writer 
in his notes c Ps. cxix is but an expansion of Ps. xix. 8-1 1 (origin- 
ally an independent Psalm). In the latter, eight separate wofds 
are employed for God V word, His revealed thought. The com- 
piler and in part author of Pb. cxi^e, wishing to give great promi- 
nence to the Divine word, put together twenty-two stanzas, in 
each one of which every one of the terms designating that word 
in Ps. xix. 8-1 1 is used. Unimportant changes in the text have 
to be made in order to apply the principle rigidly, but vnth SO 
■ ' ' I ■ ■ ■■ ■ I.I i ■■ . I , 

^ Vowel signs proper were not introducedi into Hebrew^ Svriacf or 
Atabic for some centuries after the Christian era set in. Yet good 
old Doctor Gill, even in the eighteenth century, held it to have been 
a heresy very dangerous to faith to say that vowel letters are of later 
origin than the consonants. See A Dissertation concerning the An- 
tiquity of the Hebrew Language, Letters, Vowel points andAccentst 
8vo, i-xliii, 1-282, 1767. 

as4 THE PSALMS 119. r 

much repetition of similar words some confusion was almost in- 
evitable. See the notes. 

The following is a list of the eight terms referred to, followed 
immediately by the English word used for it in these notes. In 
each case it is the Divine word, the utterance of the Divine 
thought, that is meant, and the ordinary difierences of meaning 
must not be unduly pressed : they express the same thing under 
various aspects. 

I. Torah (Jit * instruction ') J ' Jaw * ; see on Ixxviii. i. 

d. Eduth {only plural in this Psalm) : 'admonitions.' The 
word means literally a command given in the presence of witnesses^ 
The Massorites, by the difference of one vowel, erroneousJy make 
two words of this one. 

3. Ddbar: *word': what is spoken as such » Greek epos 
though the LXX has sometimes logos for it. 

4. Piqqud: * precept ' : a synonym for command, found no- 
where outside the Psalter. 

5. Kkdq : ' statute ' : iii, * what is engraved ' : so < a la^r carved 
in stone or on metal ' : then simply * statute.' 

6. Mifzwdh: 'command,' see on Ixxxi. 4. 

7. Mishpdt: * ordinance ' (i. e. injunction) has the primary sense 
of a judicial decision in a particular case. Then since precedent 
becomes ^customary) law, the word came to have the meaning it 
bears in this Psalm — * ordinance,' * injunction.' 

8. Imrak : ' saying ' : denotes strictly ' word ' with r^ard to its 
meaning; so » Greek logoB, The LXX has for it the diminutire 
logiofu It has often the sense ' promise.' But it is probably in 
this Psalm a mere variant of dabar. 

It is not so much the written as the orally handed down word 
of God which forms the theme of this Um^ Psalm. Reading and 
writing have never played a large part in the East, memory and 
tradition taking their place. There are unwritten Bibles in Indu, 
Africa, Arabia, &c. 

The Tenses in this Psalm. The two forms of the Hebrew verb 
usually but inaccurately called Tenses denote strictly action 
completed (perf.) and not completed (impf.)\ The former is used 
throughout this Psalm in the sense of what in Hebrew Grammar 
is called the ' perfect of experience,' embracing what has been and 
tf. The present tense in English best expresses this, and is adopted 
in these notes. 

^ It was Ewald who first pointed out cleaHy the force of the two 
principal forms of the Semitic verb, wrongly called tenses : sec ffeinrieh 
Ewald f a Centenary Appreciation (^by the present writer)^ pp< 8f ff. 

THE PSALMS 119. 1-6 255 

Who walk in the law of the Lord. 
Blessed are they that keep his testimonies. 
That seek him with the whole heart. 
Yea, they do no unrighteousness; 
They walk in his ways. 
Thou hast commanded tis thy precepts, 
That we should observe them diligently. 
Oh that my ways were established 
To observe thy statutes 1 
Then shall I not b& ashamed. 

1-8. Dtsinfor uprtghiness ihrough obidienct* 
1. Bl«M«ds i. e. happy. See on Ixxxiv. 4, and cf« note on 
cxviii. a6. > . 

perfect in the way : i. e. whose conduct is perfect ; as close 
to the law as a sincere earnest man qslxi make it. 

Who walk, &c. : who keep within the limits of the la^ ; to 
transgress is to go outside, beyond (trans) it, 
9. Ble«Md: * happy.' 
testlmonlea : render, 'admonitions.' 

That seek him : see verse 10, and Dent iv. 99* In the latter 
passage seeking Jehovah is the opposite of worshipping iddls ; 
that is the sense of the expression here and in verse la 

heart in the psychology of the Hebrews includes what in 
Kantian phraseology is called mind,, i. e. feeling, intellect, and 
will. In Ixxiii. a6 heart and flesh embrace the whole man. 
Dillmann and Driver say that in the O. T. the heart is the organ 
of the intellect alone ; see Jer. v. 21 ; Hos. vii. 11. But in the 
present verse and in verse 10 the wider sense is clearly in- 

3. his waya 1 read, ' His words ' : cf. verse z. To walk in 
Jehovah's word «» to walk in His law. ' Waye ' occurs in vcne 5 ; 
' words * occurs in no other part of the strophe. The Hebrew is 
much the same for * ways ' and * words.' 

4. haat oommaaAed: better, ^^commandest' ; see note on 
TMi Ttttses in this Paalm, p^ 954. 

0. ways « conduct. 

6t Then 1 referring back to verse 5. 
aahameA: the verb has often the sense of < to be foiled,' * to 
have one's efforts frustrated ' : ' I shall not fail in my efforts to 
obey if thoU establish,' &c. 

256 THE PSALMS 119.7-" 

When I have respect unto all thy commandments. 
7 I will give thanks unto thee with uprightness of heart. 

When I learn thy righteous judgements, 
g I will observe thy statutes : 

O forsake me not utterly. 

2 BETH. 

9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? 
By taking heed thereto according to thy word. 

10 With my whole heart have I sought tj^ee : 

O let me not wander from thy commandments. 

11 Thy word have I laid up in mine heart, 
That I might not sin against thee. 

Whmi Z have rem^Mt to -b< when I look upon, with a view 
to keeping.' 

7. jndtfomonta: better, 'ordinances.' 

8. tlqr statutMi : read, ' saying ' {intrah), 'Statutes' has already 
occurred (see verse 5). 


9<-i6. Longing to kftow OMd keep the law. 

e. Render : ' Whereby can a young man keep his course of life 
pure, So that he may guard it' (or 'himself') < according to thy 

The second portion of the verse goes with the first as part of 
the question ; see 4% 5*. 

The answer is obvious firom the context ; see especially verses 
5, lo. 

The obgect after ' guard ' is ' his course of life ' in 9^, not himself 
(as Delitzsch, &c.). See Joshua vL 18 for a similar use of the same 

word I read 'words' with the ancient versions and many 
Hebrew MSS. 

10. liMurt : see on verse 9. 

luiTe X sougltt s vender, * do I seek ' ; see on verse 4. 

let me not wander, &c. : some, foUowiag Aquila's rendering, 
think that sins of ignorance are meant : but the Hebrews* 'let me 
not go wrong,' ' go astray,' whether or not the cause be ignorance. 
Sins of ignorance are referred to in Lev. iv. a, 13 ; Num.' xv. 22. 

11. have Z laid I better, 'do I hide': see on verse 4. Theverb 
is used of hiding away precious things, gold and the like* 

THE PSALMS 119. ia-i8 257 

Blessed art thou, O Lord : la 

Teach me thy statutes. 

With my lips have I declared 13 

All the judgements of thy mouth. 

I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, 14 

As much as in all riches. 

I will meditate in thy precepts, 15 

And have respect unto thy ways. 

I will delight myself in thy statutes : 16 

I will not forget thy word. 


Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live ; 17 

So will I observe thy word. 

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold 1 8 

la. BlMMd«' Praised be/ &c. The Hebrew word {baruch) 
is not that in verses i f. ; see on Ixxxiv. 4. It is nearly always 
optative in the form found here (t>ass. part.). 

18. ]!»▼• Z d«olfldr«di ' do I recount * ; see on verse 4. 

j«dgam«iit« t 'ordinances.' 
14. Z have rijoio«d t ' I rejoice ' : see on verse 4. 

way I the course of life enforced in 

t«0tliliO]ilM s 'admonitions.' 

A« mi&oh Mi, &c. : changing one letter we get the far likelier 
rendering : ' More than In ' (all xioheii), so Pesh. It was a small 
thing to say that he had as much joy in God's word as in riches. 

in 931 xiohe«: render, '(More than) under conditions of 
wealth of every kind.* So essentially LXX, Jero. The Hebrew 
preposition here translated ' in ' is different from that in 14% and 
can hardly, in good Hebrew, be dependent on the verb * rejoice.' 

16. thy itatntas 1 read, ' thy law ' : ' statutes ' is found in verse 
la: ' law' is not found elsewhere in this strophe. 

01 MEL. 

1 7^-94. Comfort in diairtsafrom God*attford, 

17. Render : ' Grant to thy servant thAt I may live, So that I 
may keep thy words.' 

Deal bonntlftiUari see on cxvl. 7, where the same verb 
occurs. The above is the proper translation, ' grant, *^c. 
thy Mrvant t see on Ixxxvi. a. 

18. Open s Heb. and LXX * uncover,' ' unveil.' Take from my 


258 THE PSALMS 119. 19.3a 

Wondrous things out of thy law. 
19 I am a sojourner in the earth : 

Hide not thy commandments from me. 
ao My soul breaketh for the longing 

That it hath unto thy judgements at all times, 
a I Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, 

Which do wander from thy commandments* 
a a Take away from me reproach and contempt ; 

eyes what prevents them from seeing the extraordinary things 
which thy law contains. 

Wondroiui things i see on IxxviiL 4. 
19. 19* is from xxxix. 12 (see on). The thought in the 
original passage is» ' Since I am but a stranger, a passing guest, let 
me have some joy before I go hence.' 

s<4oiim«r : see on xciv. 6 ; the Hebrew word {ga^ denotes a 
foreigner who has become a permanent resident in Palestine and 
has acquired substantial citizen rights. Toshab means a temporary 
resident only. The latter word is translated in the R.V. ' so- 
journer ' in xxxix. za, 'stranger' being the English word for^gr, 
'Naturalized citizens' might be used ior ger, and 'sojourner' for 
toshabf though not with strict accuracy. In the present verse the 
ger (sojourner) is assumed to be under an obligation to keep the 
laws of His adopted country ; hence the Psalmist, a gtr in the 
earth, prays that he may have revealed to him the law of that God 
in whose land he dwells, so that he may keep it. In xxxix. la the 
reasoning is different : ' Spare me, for though a ger I have, as 
such, some claims upon thy consideration ' (ct Lev. xxv. 93) : see 
Bertholet, Die Stellung^ &c. 156 ff. , and Driver on Deut. pp. 165 C 
90 gives the ground for the prayer in verse 19 ; render, 'My 
soul (»I myself) meditates longingly concerning thy ordinances 
all the time.' 

tesaksth: render, with Targ., ' meditates/ though the sense of 
the verb is variously given by the other versions and it is very 
uncertain. The same word in a different form {hiph) occurs in 
Lam, iii. 16. 

81. Render : ' I have rebuked the arrogant ; Cursed are they 
that wander from thy commandments.' 

Thou hast rehnked s so the ancient versions, but the sense 
and the connexion (cf. verse 20 'my soura>'I myself') require 
the reading ' I have rebuked.' 

onrseAs wrongly joined by the Maasorites, the Targ., and 
the E.VV. with the preceding. 

as. If the rendering thou hast rehnlced be retained in 

THE PSALMS 119. 23-27 259 

For I have; kept thy testimonies. • 

Princes alsio sat and talked against me : 23 

But thy servant did meditate in thy statutes. 

Thy testimonies also are my delight .34 

And my counsellors. 


My soul cleaveth unto the dust : as 

Quicken thou me according to thy word. 

I declared my ways, and thou answeredst me : . 26, 

Teach me thy statutes. 

Make me to understand the way of thy precepts : 27 

verse ai, then verse aa means ; 'Let me aqt be under the r^roach 
involved in thy rebuke.^ 

TalM »wi^ ; the same verb as in verse z8^ ^ unoQver.* But 
by changing one vowel {gdl for gat) we get *roll away' (so 
xxxvii. 5, &c.). Reproach is conceived as a burden which 
Jehovah is entreated to roll away. 

83. Render: * Though (heathen) princes sat and talked \Q-, 
gether ' (a < schemed ') ' against me, Thy servant \i. e, ' I ') < medi- 
tated in thy statutes.* 

84. Thjr testimonlAM : Uhy admonitions.' 


85-32. Prayer to bi tanght the Divine law, for it sustarks and 
86. lUr floia-*! myself. 
olM.T«tli unto tlio dust: a figure denoting intense grief; 
so xliv» 25. He has not the strength or heart to stand upright 
Qnioken : see on Ixxx. 18. 

ftoooxdiatf to tliar word: read, 'by means of thy word' ; 
two very similar Hebrew letters (6 and U) are confounded here, 
as frequently ; God's word revives : see verses 50, 93. 

86. Z dMllwod t beUer, < I recounted.' 

my ways: <my life experiences;* 'Thou answeredst my 
prayers in regard to these ; So answer me now when I pray to be 
taught thy statutes.' Answered prayer is with God a reaaoa why 
other prayers should be answered. 

87. The petition of 96^ is repeated in different words with 
perhaps a word-play on way: < I have recounted my ways ; tcU 
me now thine— the way of thy precepts.' 

S a 

26o THE PSALMS 119. ^8-32 ^ 

So shall I meditate of thy wondrous works. 
a8 My soul melteth for heaviness : 

Strengthen thou me according unto thy word. 
a9 Remove from me the way of fisdsehood : 

And grant me thy law graciously. 

30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness : 
Thy judgements have I se^ before me. 

31 I cleave unto thy testimonies : 
O Lord, put me not to shame. 

3a I will run the way of thy commandments. 
When thou shalt enlarge my heart 

tlisr 'wondroiui worln : the same noun in Hebrew that is 
rendered in verae 18 wondrona tlilBit* (see on). 

88. maltaflh s < I (my soitl) am dissolving in tears.' See Job 
xvi. 30. 

iMftvinaMi Heb. 'grief,' 'sorrow.' 

aooordinff unto thy wordi read here as in verse 95, 'by 
means of thy word ' : so LXX here. See on verse 95. 

tliSrworA: read, <i>recepts,' and so avoid the repetition of 
'word' and secure one occurrence of 'precepts' {piqqudim) in 
this strophe. 

29. waj of flUaehood i ' idolatry conceived as harlotry ' is what 
is meant : a false way-^ 'religious practices involving unfaithfuhiess 
to Jehovah ' ; so verses 104, lad. Perhaps there is a reference to 
Jewish ai>ostates of the writer's day. 

30. way <^ fJaithfUneas : the opposite of the way of falsehood 
(verse 29) : < I have chosen to be faithful to thee.' 

have Z aats read, with the change of one consonant, ' I have 
desired ' : cf. the parallel words ' I have chosen.' 

before met not in the Hebrew, and a mere addition to make 
s^Bse of the M. T. hatve Z Mt. 

31. t— Wiaoni— I better, 'admonitions.' 

put ma not to ahame : by letting me act inconsistently with 
thy law which I profess to follow. 

8a. Render:- 'I run in the way of (« enjoined by) 'thy com- 
mandmenta, Because thou dost give my heart free scope.' 

•nlarga: see on cvii. 6, and the rendering above. But 
I Kings V. 9 and the context make it Hkely that the verb here 
means ' to make wise/ here in God's law. 

heart : see on verse a. 

THE PSALMS 119. 33-38 261 


Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes ; 33 

And I shall keep it unto the end. 

Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; . 34 

Yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. 

Make me to go in the path of thy commandments ; 35 

For therein do I delight. 

Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, 36 

And not to covetousness. 

Turn away mine eyes from, beholding vanity, , ^7 

And quicken me in thy ways. 

Confirm thy word unto thy servant, . 38 

Which Ifelongeth unto the fear of thee. 

33-40. GotTs wordpromoits unselfishness and Godly fear, 
88. And Z Mliaai ke«p, &c. : render, ' So that I may attehd to 
it as a reward.^ The result of Jehovah's teaching is obedience, 
and this obedience is a reward from God. 

unto tlie end \ the one word in Hebrew so rendered is in 
xix. zz rightly translated 'reward.^ By itself it never means 
'unto the end,' unless that is the' case here and in verse iia 
(see on). The keeping of the law is a reward in itself. In xix. ix 
the reward is something which follows obedience : here it is 
obedience itself. 

84. and Z sliAll kstp, &c. : better, <so that I may keep thy 
law and observe it/ &c. 
lisart I see on verse a. 

86. tsstimoiiiss t < admonitions.' 

oovstonsnsss 1 lit, * gain * : then * love of gain/ as here. 

87. Iishdldlngi the Hebrew means probably Mooking com- 
placenUy (or 'with pleasure') upon,' though the HebrelV for 
this has usually a preposition , (fi) which is here lacking ; see 
on cxii. 8. 

▼ABltyi ///. ' nothingness' : here idols are meant. So xx!v. 
4 ; Jer. xviii. 15, &c. ' Prevent me from gazing approvingly upon 
th^ idols around.'' 

88. words better, 'saying': the Hebrew wofd often-- 
' promise.' So here : see below. 

■•rwiti see on Ixxxvi. v. 

WMoh UiongiiH, 8cc, : render^ ^ Which belongs to those who 

262 THE PSALMS 119. 39-44 

39 Turn away my reproach whereof I am afraid ; 
For thy judgements are good. 

40 Behold, I have longed after thy precepts : 
Quicken me in thy righteousness. 

1 VAU. 

4« Let thy mercies also come unto me, O Lord, 

Even thy salvation, according to thy word. 
43 So shall I have an answer for him that reproacheth tne ; 

For I trust in thy word. 

43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth ; 
For I have hoped in thy judgements. 

44 So shall I observe thy law continually 

fear thee.' The abstract noun flMur has often the concrete sense 
as here. The word ' belongeth ' is implied in the Hebrew, and 
should not therefore be italicized. 

39. mj rsprosOh : the obloquy and scorn heaped upon Him 
for adhering to the true religion ; see verses 03 f., 4a. 

jXLAgnxLmLtmi better, 'ordinances/ not as some explain here, 
'judicial sentences.' The Hebrew word is throughout this Psalm 
one of the eight synonyms for Jehovah's revealed will. 

40. Qnioksn ms s see on Ixxx. 18. 

In tliy rlghtsoiuni s ss ; render, 'by thy righteousness,' 
L e. by imparting to me the rightness of life which thy law makes 
obligatory. The whole drift of the Psalm shows that this must 
be the sense here. Revival comes through , the word, through 
conformity to the Divine law : see verses 35, 50, 93. 

WAW (R. V. VAU). 

41-48. Prayer far strtnaihgning of faith, 

41. word I Heb. imrt^ : 'saying.' 

48. Mm tlist rspxMMhsth mss i. e. with believing in a False 
God. Jehovah's deliverance would be the Psalmist's vindication. 
If the reproachers are faithless Israelites, that deliverance would 
be a vindication of the claims of the orthodox Jewish party. 

43. The negative side of what is said in verses 41 f. If Jehovah 
does not endorse the Psalmist's doctrine by some manifestations of 
power and favour, the word of truth is virtually snatched out of his 

Verses 44-46 are made up of sentences which express either 
purpose (* telic ') or result (* ecbattc '), probably the i«tter» 

THE PSALMS 119.45-49 263 

For ever and ever. 

And I will walk at liberty ; 45 

For I have sought thy precepts. 

I will also speak of thy testimonies before kings, 46 

And will not be ashamed 

And I will delight myself in thy commandments^ 47 

Which I have loved. 

I will lift up my hands also unto thy commandments, 48 

which I have loved ; 
And I will meditate in thy statutes. 


Remember the word unto thy servant, ^9 

Because thou hast made me to hope. 

44. Vor «▼•> and •▼•r s I. e. for the rest of his life : nothing 
beyond death is contemplated. 

46. At liberty I Heb. ' in a broad place/ free from all restraint ; 
see on evil. 6. 

ZlMT* flonghts better, *l seek*: see on verse 4. 'Thou 
art the only God whose commands I attend to.^ 

46. klntf« I kings in general are probably meant, and not the 
Persian or Syrian kings. We have notable examples of this fear- 
less attitude in Daniel, in the Maccabean heroes, in Luther, and in 
John Knox : see Matt. x. 18 ; Acts xxvi. i f., and see on cxxxviii. i. 

47. Z ]!»▼• lored s better, * I love ' : see on verse 4. The JLXX 
add to the verb the adverb * much.' 

48. 1 will lift up mj IiaAd« : this is an attitude of prayer : see 
xxviii. 9, Ixiii. 5. cxxxiv. a, cxli. a. We have here, according to 
Duhm, the first nint at that worship of the written word, the law, 
which in later Judaism became common. Probably, however, 
nothing more is meant than the lifting up of the heart ; see Lam, 
iii. 41. Perhaps for IiaAd« we should read 'heart' : the two 
Hebrew words are easily confounded. 

oottm>iidTn»nt» t this word occurs in verse 47: read, 'statutes.* 


49-56. Tht comfort and joy of God*s tvottl* 

49. HhM wovdi read (with the versions), <thy word^* i.e. <thy 

thj UKEVKOtt see on Ixxxvi. 9. 

1 1 the A. V. and R. Vm. * Upon which ' hat the support 

264 THE PSALMS 119. 50-55 

50 This is my comfort in my affliction : 
For thy word hath quickened me. 

51 The proud have had me greatly in derision : 
Yet have I not swerved from thy law. 

5a I have remembered thy judgements of old, O Lord, 
And have comforted myself. 

53 Hot indignation hath taken hold upon me, 

. Because of the wicked that forsake thy law. 

54 Thy statutes have been my songs 
In the house of my pilgrimage. 

55 I have remembered thy name, O Lord, in the night. 
And have observed thy law. 

of the LXX, Pesh., Jero. : but the R. V. correctly renders the 
Hebrew, as do Aq,, Sym., &c. The Hebrew word, has the same 
sense in Deut. xxix. 24, &c. 

hast msd9 : better, < makest ' : see on verse 4. The thought 
is, * Thou causest us by thy promise to have hope in thee ; forget 
not that promise lest we be disappointed.' 

60. Render : * This is my consolation in my a|!1iction — That thy 
word revives me.' 

61. tbjlaw: read, * thy commandments.' * Law*, occurs thrice 
in this strophe in the M. T. : * commandments' and 'adn^onitions ' 
not at all : they must be restored. 

684 Z ]!»▼• r«mMiib«red : better, 'I remember.' 
yauBLgmmmaim i better, < ordinances.' 

of old: referring to the ordinances: they belong to the long ago. 
]!»▼• oomforted : better, ' comfort.' 

63. tho wioked tbat fdrsako, &c. : the Jews who have turned 
their backs upon the faith of their fathers in order to win the 
smiles and escape the smitings of our Syrian (or Persian, or 
Greek X) oppressors. 

64. my songs i the theme of my songs. 

lumss of my pilgrimaffo : the place where I am a^r ; see on 
verse 19. In the latter verse he wishes to know Go<rs law, be- 
cause he is a citizen— a ^^ — in God's land. Now he says he sings 
about that law, so great is his joy in it. 

66. roiiMmlMMd : better, < I think about,' the primaiy sense of 
the verb. 

Bstne-"' revealed character.' 

tligr lawt read, < thy admonitions ' : see on verse 51. 

THE PSALMS 119. 56-61 265 

This I have had, 56 

Because I kept thy precepts. 


The Lord is my portion : • 67 

I have said that I would observe thy words. 

I intreated thy favour with my whole heart : 58 

Be merciful unto me according to thy word. 

I thought on my ways, 59 

And turned my feet unto thy testimonies. 

I made haste, and delayed not^ ^ 

To observe thy commandments. 

The cords of the wicked have wrapped me round ; ^i 

Bui I have not forgotten thy law. 

66. This, &c. : read (with LXX, Pesh., &c.), < This has been 
my consok^tion ' — restoring a word which has apparently dropped 

\ : render, * That,' &c., as in verse 50. 


57-64. The PsalmisVa fidiUty to Jehovah's law even when he is 

d7. Render: *My portion, O Jehovah, I have (inwardly) said, 
is, to keep thy words. 1 

The R.V., though supported by the Hebrew accents, makes 
a wrong division of the words in the verse. I'he attachment 
professed throughout this Psalm is to Jehovah's Uw* and not 
to Jehovah Himself. It should be remembered that the so-called 
Hebrew accents (not older than about a. d. 700), besides usually 
indicating the place of the tone, are also punctuation marks. 
Z have mOA i i. e. inwardly, ' I say to n^aelf.' 

58. B«mevolfUi better, 'Be gracious to' : so M.T., LXX, 
Jero., Taiig. We should, however, probably read with Pesh. 
* revive me.' 

59-61. The past tenses of the R. V. should be all changed to 
the present : * I think ' . . . ' turn ' . . . * make haste,' Sec, i see 
p. 954 ( The Tenses f &cO • 

09 f. When he gave heed to his manner of life he saw its defects, 
and took pleasure in subjecting it to the norm of the Divine law. 

61. Even when entrapped by the wicked, i. e. when treacher- 
ously betrayed to the Syrian (or Persian, or Greek ?) rulers, he 
held fait to his religion. 

266 THE PSALMS 119.63^67 

6s At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee 
Because of thy righteous judgements. 

63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, 
And of them that observe thy precepts. 

64 The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy : 
Teach me thy statutes. 


^5 Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, 

O Lord, according unto thy word. 
66 Teach me good judgement and knowledge ; 

For I have believed in thy commandments. 
6^ Before I was afflicted I went astray ; 

But now I observe thy word. 

62. jiid|tM&*Bt« : better, 'ordinances.' 

63. ooupaalon t Heb. < a member of the same party,' ' clab^' 
&c. In post-Biblical Hebrew the word came to mean ' a member 
of the same society, club, &c., whether literary, philanthropic, or 
religious.' It was also in the Jewish schools a title of distinction 
for a student : cC the use of ' fellow ' in the Welsh and other 


65 -7a. JihovaJCa dealings are all full of lew, 

65. liMit dealt will witht better, 'showest kindness to,' see 
on cxvi. 7. 

tliy aarraats see on Ixxxvt. 9. 
tliy word : i. e. * thy promise,' as in verse 49. 
66^ means 'Teach me to have a keen sense of the require- 
ments of thy law, and to be able to realize them in my conduct.' 

66. g^ood Jnd^amant : lit 'goodness of discernment,* i. e. 
power of accurately discerning: (what thy law involves). 

k&owledgs : the cognate Hebrew verb (* to know ') has often 
befor other verbs the force of the French savoir, i. e. ' to be able* 
(to speak, practise, &c.). Here the noun denotes skill in applying 
the Divine law to the life of every day. 

67. The idea in 67 * is, * My sin brought on my suflering.' 
The belief in the close connexion between sin and suffering was 
very prevalent among the Jews ; cf. the teaching of Job's three 
friends, and see John ix. i ff. There is, of course, a very real 
sense in which suffering: leads to amendment of life, but that it 
not the thought here. 

THE PSALMS 119. 68.73 267 

Thou art good, and doest good ; 68 

Teach me thy statutes. 

The proud have forged a h'e against me : 69 

With my whole heart will I keep thy precepts. 

Their heart is as fat as grease ; 70 

But I delight in thy law. 

It is good for me that I have been afflicted ; 71 

That I might learn thy statutes. 

The law of thy mouth is better unto me 7 a 

Than thousands of gold and silver. 

^ JOD. 

Thy hands have made me and fashioned me : 73 

68. ffood» ' kiird ' : so often in the O. T. 
AoMit ffood»i < actest in a kind way/ 

•tatitt««i read, 'ordinances,' which otherwise would not 
occur in this strophe. 

69. lukv toTg9A, &c. : render : 'cover me over with falsehoods,' 
i. e. ' they (the proud) give me a character that is not my own/ The 
Hebrew verb used here means *lo besmear,* *to cover over*— so 
the Aramaic and Assyrian cognates : but it never has the sense 
* to forge' : see Peake on Job xiii. 4, in this series of Commentaries. 

70. Render: 'Their heart is gross, as with fat/ &c. : see on 
Ixxiii. 7. The stunting of the moral sense is often connected 
with physical depletion : see xvii. to, &c. Cf. the principle in- 
volved in asceticism. 

law: read, * admonitions.' 

71. The sense is ; 'The affliction brought on by my sin turned 
out for my good, for thereby learned I thy law.' ttfany hiterpret 
verse 67 in a similar way (see note on). 

Z ]!»▼• bMn ftfllotod t better perhaps^ ' I am afflicted ' : see 
on verse 76. 

7a. tlumMuidi of fold and ■ilv^vi i.e. 'thousands of gold 
and silver pieces,' or ' coins.' The Hebrew words for gold and 
silver are constantly used by themselves, for the gold and silver 
shekel (value about £a is, and 2s, gd, respectively). Perhaps 
here we are to understand gold and silver pieces in general. 


73-80. Pmyir/or instruction and dtUtftrance, 

78. )!»▼• maA%f &c. : the verbs here seem to be past in sense. 

73* is from Job x. 8, cf. also Deut. xxxii 8 ; Job xxxt. 15. 

268 THE PSALMS 119. 74^78 

Give me understanding, that I may learn thy command- 

74 They that fear thee shall see me and be glad; 
Because I have hoped in thy word. 

75 I know, O Lord, that thy judgements are righteous. 
And that in faithfulness thou hast afflicted me. 

76 Let, I pray thee, thy loviogkindness be ibr my comfort. 
According to thy word unto thy servant, 

77 Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live : 
For thy law is my delight. 

78 Let the proud be ashamed; for they have overthrown me 

wrongfully : 

'Since thou hast made and constituted me as J am, complete thy 
work by giving me understanding of thy law.' , 

74. Render : 'M^y those who fear thee, see me ^nd be glad,' 
&c., i. e. * When they see me may they have cause for joy in the 
faith which I have in thy law.* . The verse stands in close con- 
nexion with the preceding 'give me understanding,' &c. 

75. pBuH^eimmiim : better, ' ordinances.' 

ri^rlitttonM s i. e. ' faithful,' as in Isa. xlff. The Hebrew 
word is a noun. In Semitic, nouns ^re constantly employed in- 
stead of adjectives. 

]iastjaflUot«A : better perhaps, 'afflictest,' see on verses 59-61, 
and on verses 67 and 71. 

76. The sense is: 'Show me thy lovingkindaess so that I 
may (thereby) be comforted J This verse suggests present affliction : 
perhaps therefore in verses 71 and 75 we should translate Z 
]!»▼• bMn ailliot«d, &c. by the present tense : see on .these 

77. The ground of the prayer in 77 * is the writer's delight in 
God*s law. The claim to personal integrity pervades this Fsalm, 
as also the speeches of Job : but see on verse 67. 

tendf r maroles : better, ' compassions ' : the sam^ word 
occurs in verse 1561 

78. !>• Mhamed: 'be foiled,' 'frustrated,' a common. meaning 
of the verb. 

tbey htkv ov«xt]Lrown m« wronfffnlljr ■> ' they have wronged 
me (at law) by making false accusations against me.' The verb 
rendered 'overthrow' is used in Job viti. 5 and xxxiv. la of 
* penrerting ' (lit. ' twisting ') justice. 

wvongftillyi Heb. 'with falsehood' (adverbial accusative), 

THE PSALMS 119. 79-84 269 

But I will meditate in thy precepts. 

Let those that fear thee turn unto me, 79 

And they shall know thy testimonies. 

Let my heart be perfect in thy statutes ; ^ 80 

That I be not ashamed. 

3 CAPH. 

My soul fainteth for thy salvation : 81 

But I hope in thy word. 

Mine eyes fail for thy word, 8a 

While I say, When wilt thou comfort me? 

For I am become like a bottle in the smoke ', 8$ 

Yet do I not forget thy statutes. 

How many are the days of thy servant ? 84 

' with false accusations.' Hupfeld and Wellhausen explain ' with- 
out cause,' making it equivalent to the word Khinam : see on 
verses 86, ir8. 

78. And they shidl kaow 1 better, < And those who know,' &c. 
So M. T. (^r.) and the ancient versions, including the Targ. The 
ktih, may mean * That they may know,' but Kirkpatrick errs in, 
adducing the Targ. for this rendering; ; see above. 


81-89. Thk Psaitmsi is in grtai distress^ btti h9 holds fast to 
Jthouah^s comtnandtntnta and setks protidion, 

81. fUnttth t lit, ' comes to an end ' : cf. the English < I am 
dying for.' 

88. fidl: the same verb is translated fUatttli in verse 8f 
(see on). The words flonl (81) and •yei have here the force 
of strong personal pronouns, as often in Semitic : '/ faint for thy 
salvation ' (81), < thy word * (8a). In both verses the thought is 
pf the exhaustion due to ' hope deferred.' 

88. % botlto la the nnolMt the Psalmist complains that he 
is shrivelled up by suffering as a skin bottle is in an Eastern 
house under the action of smoke. Eastern houses rarely have 
chimneys, so that the smoke of the charcoal and fire affects the 
articles in the house very much. Most of the ancient versions 
have * like a wineskin in hoar-frost.' 

84. Sow ma&y t here, as often, the expression means * Hdw 
few,' ' few at the most ' : < Seeing that my life is at best but short, 
let justice be done me soon, or it may be too late.* 

For the days of tbj iMrvftat Baethgen reads <my days' 

2 7© THE PSALMS 119. 85-87 

When wilt thou execute judgement on them that persecute 

85 The proud have digged pits for me, 
Who are not after thy law. 

86 All thy commandments are faithful : 

They persecute me wrongfully ; help thou me. 

87 They had almost consumed me upon earth ; 
But I forsook not thy precepts. 

to suit Uie metre : but this does not help or even suit the metre, 
and no change is necessary. 

thj ■•rvaat i see on Ixxxvi. a. 

•zeonte j«dc«ai«nt: we must understand ^judgement ' in the 
sense which the word has in this Psalm, viz. 'ordinance,' 
'injunction.* So 'to execute judgement ' = ' to carry out the 
principles of justice ordained by Jehovah, and forming an integral 
part of the law.' 

85. Render: 'The arrogant dig pits for me (viz. those). Who 
do not conform to thy law.' The LXX for pita has ' frivolous 
tales,' reading sikhoi for shikhot (5 for sh) ; in unpointed Hebrew 
the words would be written the same. For dlirff^d the LXX has 
'related.' This version renders the verse, 'Transgressors have 
told me frivolous tales, but not as thy law, O Lord.' 

Wlio ar« not, &c. : the relative can refer to the proud 
(haughty) only, and not, as in Sym., Jero., Targ., to the pita 
('which are,' ^c). Nor does the relative (the Hebrew «' who' 
or 'which') stand for the whole statement in 85* as in LXX^ 
Pesh. Baethgen misrepresents the evidence of the versions here, 
as Kirkpatrick does on verse 79. It would be a paltry truism and 
off the Une of thought to say that digging pits for good people is 
against the Divine law. 

86. foitlLfnl : Heb. ' faithfulness ' (a noun) ; see on verse 75 

wronfffolly : same sense as in verse 78 (see on) : they utter 
falsehoods in order to incriminate me — their only way of attaining 
that end. 

87. oonsnmedi better, 'made an end of.* 'They had come 
near to killing me.' It is the transitive {Pi) form of the verb 
found in verses 81 (fhintatb) and 8a (fail). 

upon eartli : where he lives, in contrast with Sheol whither 
the shades of the departed go. For other explanations see the 
larger commentaries. Duhm, &c. reject the clause. 

Note in 87^ the Psalmist's consciousness of integrity ; see on 
verse 77. 

THE PSALMS 119. 88-93 271 

Quicken me after thy lovingkindness ; 88 

So shall I observe the testimony of thy mouth. 


For ever, O Lord, 89 

Thy word is settled in heaven. 

Thy faithfulness is unto all generations : 90 

Thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. 

They abide this day according to thine ordinances ; 91 

For all things are thy servants. 

Unless thy law had been my delight, 9a 

I should then have perished in mine affliction. 

I will never forget thy precepts ; 93 

For with them thou hast quickened me. 

89-96^ Jehovah* 3 word abides : He Himsei/is/aiihfid. 

89. Render : < For ever, O Jehovah, is Uiy word : It is firmly 
fixed in the heavens.* The Hebrew accents require the following 
rendering : ' Forever is Jehovah : thy word is,* &c., but the sudden 
transition from the third person (< Jehovah') to the second (tby 
word) is strange and improbable. The translation proposed above 
has the support of Pesh. and of most modems. 

in iMKvwii beyond the reach of earthly changes; see on 
Ixxxix. 9 ; cf. Ixxii. 5. 

90 f. The constancy of God's work in nature, a pledge of His 
unchanging faithfulness. 

90. Thy fftUliftilii— ! read, ' thy saying ' (imrah), 

91. Render: 'The day and the night abide according to thy 
ordinances; For all things (in the material universe) are thy 
servants.' The (tliis) day occurring in the M. T. by itself is 
suspicious : on the basis of Ixxiv. 16 Ewald suggested that ' and 
the night ' has fallen out. His rendering is, ' The day and the night 
wait on thy judgements ' ; but the verb abide must have here the 
same sense as in verse 90 : it means literally * to stand.' 

ftU thiiiira: Heb. 'the whole,' < the totality of things.' If 
the M. T. is kept, render ' With reference to thy ordinances they 
abide this day,' &c. ^o R.Vm. 
99 f. He is indebted to the law for victory and revival 

272 THE PSALMS 11 ». 94-99 

{^ I am thine, save me ; 

For I have sought thy precepts. 

95 The wicked have waited for me to destroy me ; 
But I will consider thy testimonies. 

96 I have seen an end of all perfection ; 

But thy commandment is exceeding broad. 

2D MEM. 

97 Oh how love I thy law ! 

It is my meditation all the day. 

98 Thy commandments make me wiser than mine enemies; 
For they are ever with me. 

99 I have more understanding than all my teachers ; 

84. m>v«: lit, ' put me in a wide place ' —set me at larg^e, give 
me a wide berth ; see on cvii. 6. The root of the verb here used 
is that in < Jesus* and * Joshua' (»/iV. 'one that sets at larg:e'}. 

Kmglit: Heb. inquired into/ < studied * ; see on cv. 4. 
pr0O«i^ : ready < statutes/ 

85. liav« waited: in a hostile sense (so Ivi. 7). 

96. ptriiBotion : read (with trivial changes in the Hebre^ the 
word found in Job xi. 7 and xxvi. 11, meaning < the farthest 
limit/ 'the remotest point in space.' See Budde and Marshall on 
these Job passages. The sense of this verse seems to be : The 
horizon bounds my vision of space : my farthest visible poiiit is 
bounded : but God's commandment is •xoeedinff broad, l e. 
without end. In Job xi. 9 the same adjective is applied to the 


97-104. Gotffsword the source of the highest wisdom, 
•8. Render: 'Thy commandment makes me wiser than my 
enemies, For it is my possession for ever.' The singular ' com- 
mandment ' seems required by the grammar, though not necessarily. 
The A. V. and R.Vm. 'thou through,' &c. follow the LXX, Jero. 
88. Duhm laughs at the thought that such a fool as the writer 
should have more discernment than his teachers. Alas for the 
teachers ! But he might have saved his laugh, for the superior 
Wisdom claimed has to do exclusively with the Divine law as a 
guide for life : and of this the pupil might well have known more than 
his teachers, who were probably Greeks appointed by the Syrian 
government to instruct the Jews in the religion and philosophy 

THE PSALMS 119. 98-104 273 

For thy testimonies are my meditation. 

I understand more than the aged, 100 

Because I have kept thy precepts. 

I have refrained my feet from every evil way, loi 

That I might observe thy word. 

I have not turned aside from thy judgements; .103 

For thou hast taught me. 

How sweet are thy words unto my taste ! 103 

Yeoy sweeter than honey to my motith ! 

Through thy precepts I get understanding : 104 

Therefore I hate every false way. 

of the dominant power. The teaching of the law, and even of 
Hehrew, was 8uppres9ed by the Syrians. 

In Pirqe Aboth (a Mishna tract) verse 99* is quoted and 
explained as meaning, 'From aU my teachers I have gotten 
understanding' (see iv. i). But in the present verse the com- 
parative is required by the sense, though the Hebrew <>*!^ws the 
other translation. 

tMttmoniei t better, < admonitions.' 
llk>. Knowledge of the law comes by obeying it : tV soMktr 

X 1iAV« k«]^ ( better, ' I keep.' 
py«6«Vto I read, 'statutes.' 
101. X liav* r«firaiBed 1 better, < I refrain ' ( - bold bAck). 

•▼•XX efvll waiy 1 i. e. * evil conduct of every kind.' • 
Baethgen unneceiBsarilv excludes the verb in loi ^^ rendering 
'on account of thy word' : but metre requires not the exclusion, 
as he assumes, but the retention of the verb, if we make the verse' 
a distich as we should. 

lOtt. Jehovah has been his real teacher in the kw. Howf 
Through His law. So we have the apparent paradox : Through 
His law Jehovah teaches the Ftalmist to keep the law. No inner 
teacher is in question here. The Divine word is its 'own 

108. ■w»et( Heb. 'smooth,' then 'agreeable.' In xix. 10 we 
have the same thought, but the adfeetive rendered ' sweef^ is from 
a wholly different root. 

tli7wo«dsi better, ' thy sayings.' 
104. fklie w«j I perhaps ' false religion * is meant : see Acts 
ix. 9 for this sense of * way.* The word ' way ' may have *hls sense 
also in verse zoz. 

274 THE PSALMS 119. 105-110 

3 NUN. 

105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, . 
And light unto my path. 

106 I have sworn, and have confirmed it, 

That I will observe thy righteous, judgements. 

107 I am afflicted very much : 

Quicken me, O Lord, according unto thy word. 

108 Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, 

O Lord, 
And teach me thy judgements. 

109 My soul is continually in my hand ; 
Yet do I not forget thy law. 

xio The wicked have laid a snare for me ; 
Yet went I not astray from thy precepts. 

Z05-112. God's word givf^UgfU and j(ty»' ■ 
100, ft«t : 60 LXX, P^slu : but the M.T., Targ., Jero. hsfv^ 

pfttb: so M.T., Targ.y Jera., but in LXX, Peeh. * paths. ^ 
God*8 word gives guidance at all time : in tbe night it is as a 
lamp ; in the 4ay as the light of the sun. - ... ' 

106. and ]!»▼• e<mftrm«d it : read (with J^j-o., Calvin, 
Baethgen, ^c), ' and will confirm it' But LXX, Pesh., Taig., 
and M.T., and most moderns, support the R*V» Iq the Hebrew 
the difference is in -one vowel only. < Confirm/ i. e. ratify. 
yaJSi^vmrnaXm : better, ' ordinances.* 
108. Aoofptt liU 'be pleased with,' 'accept as satisfactorsF ' : 
80 I. 18. 

frMWill offarinf a 1 sacrifices spontaneously presented. . 
ft««will oArittgs Of mjr momth: i. e. my prayers and 
praises : see 1. 14, li. 19 ; Heb. xiii. 15. 

judiTMnMita : read ' commandments * : see verse 106. 
X09. Igy sonl . • , la my liaad ; i. e. ' I am in danger of losing 
my life ' : the same idiom in Judges xii. 3 ; i Sam. xix. 5, xxviii. 
31 ; Job xiii. 4. The LXX renders * My life is continually in 
thy hands/ missing the sense of the Hebrew. 

Tat Ao Z aoii &c. : the usual profession of integrity. 
XIO. Tot want Z not astray: see verse 176. 

THE PSALMS U9. in-n6 275 

Thy testimonies have I taken as^an heritage for eyer ; iii 
For they are the rejoicing Of my heart. 
I have inclined mine heart to perform tby statutes^ . u^ 

For ever, even unto the end. ^ . 


I hate them that are of a double mind ; ' 114 

But thy law do I love. 

Thou art my hiding place and my shield : 114 

I hope in thy word. 

Depart from me, ye evil-doers ; n^ 

That I may keep the commandments of my God. 

Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live ; 116 

And let me not be ashamed of my hope. 

'■'■■■''■ • ■ ■ — ■ ■ ■ ■ ^, ^ » ... ■■ ■ ■ 

111. testimonlM: better, 'admonitions/ 

. ]|»v« Z t«kML« &c. : for the verb we shpuld probably sub- 
stitute a noun with the same consonants : render then '.Tby 
admonitions are my inheritance for ever,' Instead of C^aan,. an 
inheri^nce jnow under fqreign domination, -tKe pious Israelite 
boasted of an eternal, inalienable inheritance — the law of. God. In 
xvi. 5f. Jehovah is Himself the inheritance of Israel. ^ 

lia. 7or mv9r . * . «iid« render, 'as an eternal reward' ; see 
on verse 33. The mention in verse jii of an inheritance in the 
law naturally suggests the thought of an eternal reward, the 
reward consisting of obedience to the l^w. 


ti3-iao. Security in Jekovak^s iawfivm unbelief and rm'm 
' lis. th«]iL tliat are t>f » double nlndi read' (changing the 
vowels only), ' schismatics/ ' apostates.' The reference is t^ 
those who bad joined the Greek (or Saraarittkfi f>' pafty. '^ 7he 
ancient versions miss the sense of the Hebrew. - 

114. my hiding place: where I ani safe becistrsft tmse^n : see 
xxvii. 5) xxxii. 7, Ixi. 3, xci. i : the thought is safety. 

agr shield 1 to protect me ; n^ defence : see iii. 3, vii. 10, 
xviii. a, 30. • 

11,S. Tbft first part of the verse follows vi. B\ 

116. acoordinir unto: read (with Aq., Pesh., Targ.), <'by 
means of* (tliy word), changing Hebrew k to ^ which are much 

1M artiameds i, e. be disappointed in what I hoped for ; 
see Isa. i. 09, xx. 5, &c. 

1 2 

276 THE PSALMS 119. 117-12^ 

117 Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe, 

And shall have respect unto thy statutes continually. 

118 Thou hast set at nought all them that err from thy statutes; 
For their deceit is falsehood. 

119 Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross : 
Therefore I love thy testimonies. 

1 30 My flesh trembleth for fear of thee ; 
And I am afraid of thy judgementi. 


tax I have done judgement and justice : 

Leave me not to mine oppressors. 
laa Be surety for thy servant for good : 

X17. sad Z tfiaU }f wmU i better, ' so that 1 may be set in a 
free (unrestrained) place* : see on verse 94 and on cvfi. 6. 

And iludl hav* VMipMtv &c. : read (with the andent verribns), 
'Then shall I delig:ht myself in thy statutes continually.' 

118. Mt at nooirlitt better, 'rejected,' ^cast away': so 
Jero.| Pesh. and the cognate verb in Assyrian. The Hebrew 
word occurs here only. 

stSrtiitMi read, 'precepts.' 

Shaijr asoalti read (with LXX. Jero., Pesh'., Bee,, chmg;ing 
6ne consonant), 'their conversation.' 

lUMhoodt i.e. ' false,' noun for adjective as often in Hebrew : 
see on verse 75 (stghtoons). 

118. Tho« pntftMit tanj, &c. : read (making slight changes), 
* I have counted all the wicked of the earth as dross.' So the 
LXX: but the other Greek versions .Aq. and SyoL and aJso 
Jero, read, ' Thou hast counted,* tec 

180. tP9Mht«t% t Heb. ' stands up as hair when one shudders ' : 
see Job iv. 15, 'my flesh creeps.' 

II better, 'ordinances.' 


I2X-I98. Confident exprtsaed thai Jehevah will stand by His 

181. Render : ' I have performed what was ordained (by thee) 
and what is just,* 8cc 

188. Render : * Give thy word as surety ' ( - pledge thy word) 
' for my well-being,' &c. 

thy Mrraat : read, < thy word.' If the M .T. is followed, one 
of the eight synonyms for God*s law is lacking in this strophe. 

THE PSALMS 119. ia3-"9 277 

Let not the proud oppress me. 

Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, r 13 

And for thy righteous word 

Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy» 114 

And teach me thy statutes. 

I am thy servant, give me understanding ; . u$ 

That I may know thy testimonies. 

It is time for the Lord to work ; it6 

For they have made void thy law. 

Therefore I love thy commandments is7 

Above gold, yea, above fine gold. 

Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things laS 

to be right ; 
And I hate every false way. 


Thy testimonies are wonderful s 139 

IS8. fMXi see on verse 83 : M am dying for thy deliverance/ 
' thy enlargement * ; see on verse 94 and on cvii. 6. 

IttS. tMtlmonlMi better, 'admonitions.' 

xae. to work I the Hebrew verb is used absolutely for ' to 
executejudgementy'^toadminister justice by punishing the wicked'; 
so in Jer. xxviil 93 and in Ezek. xxxi. it. The second part of 
the verse shows that this is the sense to be understood here. 

IttT. Render \ < Above everything I love thy commandments ; 
Above gold and fine gold.' 

TlMVofbro t read (changing the last consonant), < Above every- 

golAt render, < fine gold ' ; see xlx. zx. 

las. Render (making slight textual changes) : ' Therefore I 
have walked in a straight way, according to thy precepts : Every 
lalse way ' (-faith) < I hate.' 

#8te«m : the Hebrew verb can only mean ' to walk in a 
straight way,' supplying the object, as must often be done in 
Hebrew : see t Sam. vi. la, 5cc. 


109- Z36. GmdaMCi through iht word. 
IttS. t— tllnatw I better, < admonitions.' 
mnAmtiBCLt the word (a noun) used in bail za, IxxzvUi. to 

27$ THE PSALMS 119. 130-134 

Therefore doth my soul keep them. 
»lo The opening of thy words giveth light ; 

It giveth understanding unto the simple. 
iji I opened wide my mouth, and panted ; 

For I longed for thy commandmentB* 
ija Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upoki me, 

As thou usest to do unto those that love thy name. 
»33 Order my footsteps in thy word ; 

And let not any iniquity have dominion over me. 
134 Redeem me from the oppression of man : 

So will I observe thy precepts. 

(see on), Ixxxix. 5. The Hebrew word rendered 'wonderful 
things ' in verse 18 has the same root. 

130. opmiistf: Heb. 'door/ 'doorway.' Here the latter is 
meant. In Palestine houses are mostly windowless, the light 
entering through the doorway. Light comes through God's Mrord 
as the sun*s light through an eastern door. 

slmpU a in Heb. ' doorway ' and ' simple ' are much alike, and 
a word play Is intended : cf. English, ' The door gives light to the 
dull,' On the meaning of ' simple ' see on cxyi. 6. 

131. Z op«iiad wid« my moutb i an attitude of expectancy ; 
see Job xxix. 23 ; cf. Ixxxi. la 

jftaX^a : fig. for ' eagerly desired.' 

Z loniT^A: an Aramaic word found nowhere else in the O. T. 
138. Trunif &c. : God conceived of as turned away in ang^r. 

Am tlum nsMt to Ao : Heb. ' According to (thy) ordinance ' ; 
the noun used . in Ixxxi. 4 and there so translated (see on). He 
pleads not custom, but God's own ordained principles. 

thy nama : ' Thee, as thou art revealed.' 

133. OrOax : better, ' direct ' or * guide.' 

footatapa : the Hebrew word m^ans also ' feet,' and it is so 
rendered in Ixxiv. 3 : it occurs also in cxl. 5, &c. 

iniquity: the Hebrew word means strictly 'naughtiness' : then 
* Wickedness ' in general. In' Hos. xii. a ; Isa^ xli. og^ &c.f the 
word denotes idolatry, and it may have that meaning here. *'t>D 
not let me come under the sway of any one of these Syrian 

134. Badaam : see on Ixxiv. a. 

So win Z, Sec. batter, ' So that I may keep thy precepts.' 
The oppression was a hindrance to his obedience. . . . 

THE PSALMS 119. 135-142 279 

Make thy face to shine upon thy servant ; 135 

And teach me thy statutes. 

Mine eyes run down with riverfr of water^ 136 

Because they observe not thy law. 


Righteous art thou, O Lord, 137 

And upright are thy judgements. 

Thou hast commanded thy testimonies in righteousness 138 

And very faithfulness. 

My zeal hath consumed me, 139 

Because mine adversaries have forgotten thy words. 

Thy word is very pure ; 140 

Therefore thy servant loveth it. 

I am small and despised : 141 

Yet do not I forget thy precepts. 

Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, 14a 

13^. 135* is the same in substance as the prayer in Ixxx. 3, 7, 
19 ; see on Ixxx. 3. 

130. 136^ from Lam. iii. 48. Note the concern of the poet that 
80 many should be disobedient to Jehovah ! 


X37-144. Go^s ordtfmncisjMSt, pttrtf andfitU ofsnpp<irf, 

187. ar« thy taAgMii«ntst better, Mn thy ordinances.' 
Wellhausen joins this word with the next verse. 

ISB. Render : ' The statutes (which) thou hast commanded are 
(full of) righteousness And much faithfulness.' ^Righteousness' 
has the same meaning as < faithfulness ' in this verse : see on 
verse 75. 

1S8 is based on Ixix. 9. 
My SMli so Heb. and Sym. : but LXX and Aq. \kvft-^ihy 
zeal' (->zeal for thee), under the influence of Ixix. 9. 
oo]Mnm«dt Heb. < undone/ ' destroyed.' 

140. purs a tried, tested; having stood the test. Cf. Greek 
dokitrtos : see xii. 6, xviil 30. 

141. mnaUt not < young' as LXX, though the Hebrew can 
mean that: but«Mnsignificant' as the word Atflpigsd shows; 
90 Sym., Jero. ; cf. Judges vl. 15 (* the least,' same adjective). 

Devotion to the law more than counterbalances the drawback 
of belonging to a now unimportant and despised nation. 

a8o THE PSALMS 119. ms-mS 

And thy law is truth. 

143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me : 
Yet thy commandments are my delight 

144 Thy testimonies are righteous for ever : 
Give me understanding, and I shall live. 


145 I have called with my whole heart ; answer me, O Lord \ 
I will keep thy statutes. 

146 I have called unto thee ; save me, 
And I shall observe thy testimonies. 

147 I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried : 
I hoped in thy words. 

148 Mine eyes prevented the night watches, 

X43. Tronbte: wa^poAtSkn both the words have in them the 
radical idea of atraitneas : but the former is usually contrasted with 
enlargement as a figure for unrestrained joy : see on cvii. 6. 

144. testtaumlss : better, 'admonitions.' 


145-159. Th$ Psalmist prays earnestly for faithfi^mss emtid 

X40. Zli»¥« eaUsat better, <I caU' : inverse X46<ttnto thM* 
(in Hebrew a mere suffix) is added ; rhythm requires its omisBion 
in verse 145. 

140. And Z «lwU obMTve 1 better, < So that 1 may,' ftc. 
t—ttmonl— I read, < precepts ' : see verM 150. 

147. Render: < I forestall the dawn ' (-' I rise before dawn ') 
'so that I may cry for help, (while) I wait hopefully for (the fiil- 
filment of) thy word * ( ^ promise). 

X48. Render : }Ay, eyes forestall the night watches,' &Cy L e. I 
am awake, meditating on thy word before the watchman an- 
nounces, by trumpet, a new watch ; so much is my miad set 00 
thy law. 

Before the Exile, and for a considerable time afterwards, the 
Hebrews had three night watches, as the Greeks. Among the 
latter, as in Jerusalem (see cxxvii. z), with the announcement of 
a new watch a fresh batch of soldiers guarded the city. But the 
Jerusalem temple was also guarded by successive relays of 
Levites, and since the Psalmist was probably a Levite, the refer- 

THE PSALMS 119. 149-153 281 

That I might meditate in thy word. 

Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness : 149 

Quicken me, O Lord, according to thy judgements. 

They draw nigh that follow after wickedness ; 150 

They are far from thy liw. 

Thou art nigh, O Lord ; i5« 

And all thy commandments are truth. 

Of old have I known from thy testimonies, 15a 

That thou hast founded them for ever. 

ence here seema to be to the temple ViratcbeSi Wbeti tbe Jews 
came under Roman influence they adopted four watches instead 
of the Greek three, and it is this Roman custom which prevailed 
in our Lord's time : see Mark xiii. 35, where all the four watches 
are named, and Matt ziv. 95, Mark vi. 48. where the fourth is 
mentioned. It was the triple watch which obtained when the 
present Psalm was written, unless we are to give the Psalm a 
very late date. The first watch cannot be meant in this verse, as 
that was too early for sleep. 

prevented 1 Old English for ' anticipate.' Perhaps we are to 
construe this verb here adverbially with the following verb, accord- 
ing to a common Hebrew idiom. The translation would then be, 
' I cry for help before the dawn.' 

wesAt read (with Jero., Pesh., Targ.) * words,' though LXX, 
Sym., and keth, have the plural. 

148. Sear I the Hebrew is a strong form of the imperative « 
<0 do hear.' 

Qniokeni i.e. 'revive.' 

jndiTMae&tfli better, 'ordinances.' 
160. Render : < They draw near that pursue me with malicious 
cunning,' Ac. 

Shnt IMlow alter I read (changing the final vowel), 'that 
follow ' (or * pursue ') * me.' 

wlokedneMi Heb. 'with malicious scheming,' adv. ace. 
Perhaps we should (with Diihm) alter one vowel in the verb and 
render 'My persecutors employ' (/i/. 'bring near') 'wicked 

ISl. Then art niglii if my persecutors are near (or bring 
their wicked plots near), thou art also near. 

tmthi better, 'full of faithfulness ' : noun for adjective; see 
on verse 75. 
IStt. tsatimoBieai better, ' admonitions.' 

282 THE PSALMS 119. 153-158 

1 RESH. 

153 Consider mine affliction, and deliver me ; 
For I do not forget thy law. 

154 Plead thou my cause, and redeem me : 
Quicken me according to thy word. 

155 Salvation is far from the wicked; 
For they seek not thy statutes. 

156 Great are thy tender mercies, O Lord : 
Quicken me according to thy judgements. 

157 Many are my persecutors and mine adversaries ; 
Yet have I not swerved from thy testimonies. 

158 I beheld the treacherous dealers, and was grieved ; 
Because they observe not thy word. 

i53-i6a In gnat distress the Psatmist is faithful, and entremis 
Jehovah's help. 

IBS. 153* 18 based on ix. 13. 
' 1B4. Jehovah was conceived among the Israelites as a jaclge 
taking the part of the wronged against the wrongdoer. The 
ordinary Hebrew word for < prayer ' means, perhaps^ strictly an 
entreaty to God to intervene on behalf of the oppressed ; see 
Introd. to Ps. Ixxxvi {Title), 

rsds«m: see on Ixxiv. a {gcCal), 

word I better, ' saying,' though here in the sense of promise. 
Pesh., Jero. read, * by thy word ' : see verses 35, d8, 40, 50,. 93. 

1B6. Note the connexion assumed between right eondact and 
well-being, and the converse. 

Salvmtioa: not of course in the evangelical sense. The 
Hebrew word means strictly the state of being at large ; see on 
cvii. 6. 

■••k : see on verse s. 
IBS. jiidg«mMitfl t better, 'ordinances.' 
187. adTsrMKlMi Ut. < those that hem me in.' The Hebrew 
noun is etymologically the antithesis of that usually rendered 
'deliverer,' ///. *enlarger': see on cvii. 6. 

1B8. Render : ' When I beheld those who act treacherously 
I loathe (them).* 

grieved : see on xcv. 10. 

word (ifftrah: see verse 154) : read, 'commandmenta,* 

THE PSALMS 119. 159-164 283 

Consider how I love thy precepts: ' 159 

Quicken me, O Lord, according to thy lovingkindness. 
The sum of thy word is truth ; 160 

And every one of thy righteous judgements endureth for 

r SHIN. 

Princes have persecuted me without a cause ; x6i 

But my heart standeth in awe of thy words. 

I rejoice at thy word, i6a 

As one that findeth great spoil. 

I hate and abhor falsehood ; 163 

But thy law do I love. 

Sev«n times a day do I praise thee, 164 

1B8. fymmiAmti Heb. < See,* i. e. reflect : so in verse 153*. 

leo. siutt t i. e. sum and substance. The rendering * begin- 

; nfng' (so the ancient versions and the older commentators) is 

inadmissible here and in cxxxix. 17, where the same Hebrew word 

occurs. It is not merely the * beginning ' of God's revelation that 

is faithful : it is all faithful. 

And •▼•xx on«p &c. : render (slightly changing one Hebrew 
word): <And all thy righteous ordinances' (plural for singular, 
sec verse 164) * are ev«r-enduring.* 

SHIN {or sin). 

One letter represents Sin and Shin, The latter is perhaps in- 
cluded in Santikh^ with which it is more closely allied. In un- 
pointed Hebrew Sin and Shin are written alike. 

161-168. Those who keep th$ law have inner peace and comfort' 
even when persecuted, 

161. Yxlnoesi probably the King and Court of Syria are. 
meant ; or perhajM Israelitish nobles who had adopted the religion 
of the conqueror and had been appointed judges. 

without % oauMi without having any good reason' for it. 
The word can mean, and elsewhere often does mean, *to ho 
purpose * : < they gain nothing by it, for I stand firm in my respect 
for the law.' 

168. WM44 read (with A#M., LXX, Jero,, &c«), 'wor<is.' 

163* fiaUalui^ I i. e. false religion, idolatry, 
law I read, ' statutes.* 

164. ••▼•&: a round number as in Lev. xxvi. 18, &c. 

284 THE PSALMS 119. 165-169 

Because of thy righteous judgements. 

165 Great peace have they which love thy law ; 
And they have none occasion of stumbling. 

166 I have hoped for thy salvation, O Lord^ 
And have done thy commandments. 

167 My soul hath observed thy testimonies; 
And I love them exceedingly. 

168 I have observed thy precepts and thy testimonies ; 
For all my ways are before thee. 

n TAU. 

169 Let my cry come near before thee, O Lord : 

166. Render (freely) : ' Those who love Thy Iftw have abao- 
dant happineat, And no one can cause any interruption in their 

peaces the Hebrew and the cognate Arabic, Syriac, &c., 
words include all the essential elements of well-being, health, con- 
tentment, outward felicity, 8tc When the Semite greets you, 
using this noun, he means much more than p€(Ui to you, though 
no English word corresponds to the Semitic, N. T. Greek also 
renders the Hebrew greeting, * peace to ^ou K* Of course, under 
some conditions peace may be the one thmg necessaiy (or comfort 
and well-being. 

oooaaion of stombllnir < the Hebrew and Creek worda mean 
that which causes one to stumble, and so stops one's progress. The 
enemy (Syria) may endeavour to trip up the pious Israelite in his 
course of happy trust, but Jehovah will frustrate this hostile 
intent. The stumblingblock may— as in z John ii. 10— have here 
a subjective meaning. The sense would then be : 'Those who 
love thy law have much happiness, and no fears (or distracting 
thoughts) can disturb their inner joy.' But the Hebrew and 
Greek words denote usually something which causes oi/i^rs to 

166. 166^ is a reminiscence of Gen. xlix. 18. 
done : LXX ^ loved,' as in verse 163. 

167. 167% see lap^ 

And i lore 1 LXX, Jero. * I loved.'^ 


169-176. Sundfy piHHtms ; aa for fwival^ fav&Hr^ gMmta, &c. 
166. Render : < My ringing cry (of anguish) comes near before 

' See Luke zxiv. 36. 

THE PSALMS 119. 170— 120. i 2S5 

Give me understanding according to thy word. 

Let my supplication come before thee : 170 

Deliver me according to thy word. 

Let my h'ps utter praise ; 171 

For thou teachest me thy statutes. 

Let my tongue sing of thy word j 172 

For all thy commandments are righteousness. 

Let thine hand be ready to help me ; ,73 

For I have chosen thy precepts. 

I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; 174 

And thy law is my delight. 

Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee ; 175 

And let thy judgements help me. 

I have gone astray like a lost sheep ; seek thy servant ; 176 

For I do not forget thy commandments. 

A Song of Ascents. 120 

In my distress I cried unto the Lord, i 

thee, O Jehovah : Revive ' (so Pesh., Baetbgen, Cheyne (^) < me 
according to thy word.' 

ITO. ■oyy liotit i 1 Heb. 'prayer for favour.* 

ITi. nttert Heb. ' pour' or < belch forth' (as a fountain); so 
xdv. X. The verb is stronger than ' utter.' 

ITS. word (t'mmk) : read * iaithfuhiess' ; < word' occurs in verses 

eommaBdmexita I read, < admonitions.' 

ITS. ttdfto Iwna-'thy power.' 

It4. Ths same thought in verse 90. 

Z lukve longeA t better, * I long ' ; same verb in verse 4. 

Its. aaA It idMOX yMiae. &c : better (as the Heb,), 'so that 
it may praise/ ftc 

JuAgementa I better^ 'ordinances.' 

X76. Render : ' 1 am going astray as a lost sheep,' &c. Accord- 
ing to the Hebrew accents we must translate : 'I am going astray: 
as a lost sheep, O seek thy servant ' : so J. H. Michaelis, Hupfdd, 
Delitzsch ; but the rhythm opposes this. 

Thi ^ Ptigrim Psalms.^ (cxx-cxxKiv.) 

Pta. exx to cxxxiv stand by themselves as a group apart . They 
have all of them common metrical, or at least poetical, features, and 
they are all brief, bright, and beaytiful. Each of them has for 

286 THE PSALMS 120.3 

And he answered me. 
a Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, 

title * A Song of the goings up/ or rather * Songs of the going 
up/ the plural of the second word referring to the whole expression 
according to a common Hebrew idiom : cC the F.iigiitth * Scng-iA- 
the-going-ups.' The slight variation in the title of Ps. cxxi is 
probably due to a copyist's error. It is now generally held that 
these fifteen Psalms were sung by the pilgrim bands who came op 
to Jerusalem in order to attend the three amiaal feasts. - The 
title makes it likely that a special h3rmn-book existed containing 
' Pilgrim Psalms.' The Psalms in the group had in taitiy if not 
all cases an origin quite distinct from the use to which they irere 
thus put For other opinions see the larger commentaries. 

Psalm CXX. 
Theme. Prayer to be delivered from the tongue of slapder. 

I. Contents, (i) Prayer for deliverance (verses i f.). 
(d> Pnnishmeht of the slanderer (verses 3 f.). 

(3) The sorrows of exile (verses 5-7), 

Psalms of the ' goings up ' ^e appropriately prefaced by one 

'. which depicts the hard lot of the scattered Jews (see verses 5-7). 

. The sadness of this Psalm soon gives way to the gladness of the 

Psalms which follow, a gladness stirred up by the thoughts which 

the festivals recalled. Jehovah had been good to the nation in the 

long ago : he would not now forget to be gracious* * 

But though it is likely that tiiis conception of the Psafan caused 
it to be placed at the head of the < Pilgrim Psalms^* it docs not 
represent the purpose of- the writer, which was, apparently, to 
pniy for protection against those of his own fellow-countrymen 
who had made common cause with the Samaritan party, or, it 
may be, with the Syrians. 

The Psalm has much in common with mnnber is of ^The Psalms 
of Solomon/ the latter being probably a zsalsus 
Pharisee against an unbelieving Saddncee. 

II. Authorkkip and Date. Nothing detnite-cwi be said citt this 
point : but the Psalm might well have sprung out of the Samaritas 
persecutions of Nehemiah^s day. 

I f. Prayer td be delivered from Ireadierous foes. 

1. Aistress: ///. 'straitness' : see on cvii. 6. 
cried: better, < called.' 

2. See Hi. 1-4. 

'Men say, <<I have given so often that I can give no more.*^ 
God says, *<I have given^ therefore I will give"' (McLaren). 
God's having answered (verse i) gives the ground for the prayer 
of this versci 

THE PSALMS 120. 3-6 287 

And from a deceitful tongue. . 

What shall be given unto thee, and what shall be dond j 

more unto thee, 
Thou deceitful tongue ? 

Sharp arrows of the mighty, . 4 

With coals of juniper. 

Woe is me, that I sojourn. in Meshech, . . 5 

That I dwell among the tents of Kedar ! 
My soul hath long had her dwelling 6 

Up« s so the L:3(X, Peab., Targ. : but the M. T. and Jero. hftv<^ 
the singular Mip.' 

4«o«ltfta toagii«i Heb., < tongue (which is) .deceit,^- i.e. 
which is full of deceit : see on cix. 4 and on cxix. 75. 

Sf. Tkt punishntiHi of siandtrtTB, 

8. Render: 'What shaU He (Jehovah) give thee, and what 
more shall He (give) thee, O thou deceitful tongue t * The verb 
has no expressed subject, though * Jehovah ' occurs in the previous 
verse and is probably understood. If the subject is < undefined ' 
the passive will correctly express it (* What shall one give \ m * What 
shall be given *). Even then Jehovah will be the implied subjects 

4. The punishment is expressed in terms describing his owft 
crime. This verse supplies the answer to the question in verse 3. 
The sharpened . arrows of a warrior will pierce that tongue 
which shot forth the arrows of slander. Moreover, those people 
who destroyed, as if by. fire, many an innocent life will be them- 
selves burnt up in the fiercest fire. 

Juniper : better, ' broom,' the root of which is still used in 
Palestine for the manufacture of charcoal ; the latter makes the 
hottest and the longest enduring fire, and is the ordinary fuel among 

5-7. Tht ivritit^i sad lot in having to dwell among a cruel and 
barbarous people. Originally the proper names were used typically 
to denote the character of the writer's treacherous fellow country- 
men. But to the Jews of the Diaspora they stood for the rough 
and ruthless people whose lands they inhabited. The word t«Bti 
does not of necessity imply Beduin life : see on cxviii. 15 and 
cxxxii. 3. 

6. Xealieoli (extension) : the name of a people living between 
the Black and Caspian Seas (Gen. x. 2). 

Xedav {black) : one of the sons of Ishmael (Gcn.xxv. 13) : 
then an Arabian tribe. In later Hebrew it denotes, as here, 
Beduin Arabs generally. ' 

288 THE PSALMS 120. 7.— 121. 2 

With him that hateth peace. 
7 I wsifer peace : 
But when I speak, they are for war. 

121 A Song of Ascents. 

1 1 will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains : 

From whence shall my help come? 
a My help cameih from the Lord, 

•• pMMO I see on cxi x. 165. 

T. X MB Jbr pMMi lit, < I am peace,' i. e. I seek to proinoCe 
peace : see on cix. 4 and on cxix, 75 ; and for the word 'peaee' see 
on cxix. 165. 

a«l wlMB Z upsaki the word rendered >— oo tmiat be 
supplied: see xzviii. 3. 'To speak Shalom* (P^<«) nMans to 
utter the usual friendly greeting. They return war for his grood 

Psalm CXXI. 

Thinu. Jehovah, Jsmers guardian. 

I. TiHt. * A song belonging to the goings up ' ( » < the asecnts *) : 
probably an editorial Tariation due to a desire to make the osoal 
title of these Pilgrim Psalms more suitable. We must read 
* Songs of the ascents.' 

II. ContiHts, (i) The Psalmist's confidence in Jehovah who 
helps him (verses if.). 

!s) Jehovah is the keeper of Israel (verses 3-5). 
3) He preserves under all circumstances (verses 6-6% 
Verses x f. are uttered in the first person : the rest of the Fsalm 
in the second. Perhaps the Psalm was sung antiphonally. 

III. Authorship and Date, There is nothing in the Psalm 
enabling us to decide when and why it was originally composecL 

z f. Jehovah the Helper, 

1. nato Um monnlsims I i. e, towards Jerusalem, which stands 
on mountains, and is (almost wholly) surrounded by them. The 
temple mountain is paiticuUrly in the writer's thoughts. Daniel 
prayed towards Jerusalem (Dan. vi. ri) as the Jews still 4I0, and 
as the Moslem does towards Mekka, and the Zoroastrian (Psrsee) 
towards the rising sun (the East). The priests of Mithns alwajrs 
prayed with their faces to the sun. The Orientetion of Chiistian 
churches is connected with the last two, and has no Jewish, 
Christian, or Mahommedan origin ; see on cxxiii. u 

S. firom tiM XiOXD 1 not from the moniiUlas. 

THE PSALMS 121.3-8 ^89 

Which made hearen and earth. 

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved : 

He that keepeth thee will not slumber. 

Behold, he that keepeth Israel 

Shall neither slumber nor sleep. 

The Lord is thy keeper : 

The Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand 

The sun shall not smite thee by day, ( 

Nor the moon by night. 

The Lord shall keep thee from all evil ; 

He shall keep thy soul. 

The Lord shall keep thy going out and thy coming in, i 

From this time forth and for evermore. 

Whioli BMUto, &c. : and so unlike heathen deities. 
3-5. Jthovah tht kttper eflaraei, 

5. X« will not Miffor, &c. : it is the subjective neg;ative ('«/, ef. 
Greek mf) that is used here : when, as here, it goes with the 
indicative it brings with it an emotional element : ' He will not, 
nay, in harmony with His nature cannot, suffer,' &c. The sense 
shows it is not to be construed as imperative or optative, though 
the Hebrew permits this. 

4. Behold I hardly to be translated; like inna in Arabic it 
serves to introduce a statement. 

6. tlqr abade upaa VKf ti^lit liaad t in Hebrew ' r|ght haad ' 
i«i south, as the left band* north, the direction of these quarters 
looking eastward. (Is this a survival of 8un>worsbip }) The 
sense is, < Jehovah is thy shade on that side of thee which is 
exposed to the sun when he is at his zenith, when his heat is 
fiercest ^ cf. * by day ' in verse 6. But see on cxlii. 4. 

6-8. Jehovah preserves Israel always, 

Bi He will protect against both sunstroke and moonstroke. The 
former is referred to in a Kings iv. 19 and Isa. xlix. 10, and is 
common in the East. In folklore moonstroke plays a large part, 
cf. Munacy,' Munatic* In Welsh llo€r(g corresponds exactly to 
* lunatic' 

9. ffolw o^t] i. e. for the purpose of labour, business, &c. 
oaniiBff la I referring to the life in the home; see a Sam. 
iil 95t &c. 

0alsi# atU and oomiair ia embrace the whole of « man^s life 
(see Deut xxviii. 6, xxxi. a, &c.), and that whole is guarded by 


290 THE PSALMS 122. 1.3 

122 A Song of Ascents ; of David. 

X I was glad when they said unto me, 

Let us go unto the house of the Lord. 
3 Our feet are standing 

Within thy gates, O Jerusalem ; 
3 Jerusalem, that art builded 

As a city that is compact together : 

our loving Father in heaven from this moment until death — the 
Psalmist has no life beyond death in mind ; see on cxix. 44. 

Psalm CXXIL 
Thentt, A pilgrim's meditations during the festtvaL 

I. ComUhU, (i) The Psalmist's joy when invited to go np to 
the feast (verse i). 

(9) The joy felt In being at Jerusalem, and some reflections 
awakened (verses 9-5). 

(3) Prayer and request for prayer on behalf of Jerusalem 
(verses 6-^). 

The language of the Psalm is so fresh and vivid that it can best 
be explained if the writer Ib supposed to be in Jerusalen^ attending 
the feast. 

II. Authorship and DaU, A date much later than the Exile is 
suggested by the numerous Aramaisms, and by the writer's 
attitude towards centralization of worship at Jerusalem (that of 
the Priestly Code). It is the scattered Jews alone who make 
the pilgrimage : there is no reference to the northern kingdom. 

I* Joy at being invited to go up, 

1. wlMB they Mldf Heb. and LXX, ^at those who said' -- 

but the omission of a small letter {yod) and a change of voweb 
yield the rendering of the E.W. \ 

Xiet vm go, ice. : Heb., LXX, Jero. 'We wiU g&,' 
9-5. At Jerusalem : Joy/ul thoughts. I 

S. are ataaiding : the ' perf. of experience/ ' have B^n and are 
still standing' : a common Hebrew usage. I 

Within thy gatea, O Jenunlem : so Heb. , Pesh., 'nrg., Jero. 
But LXX reads 'within the gates of Jerusalem/ and for metrical 
reasons Bickell, Baethgen, Duhm, and Cheyne <>> adopt vib : but 
the next verse seems to require the vocative, and It ia dc^tful if 
the metre would be helped by the proposed change. 

3. As a elty that ia oompaot togetheri better, <To 1 
united closely together' : the preposition translated ^sm^ 
is what is called the kaph veritatis, and it denotes what a \ 
not what it is like. Jerusalem within the walls has narrow 1 
joined closely together. 

THE PSALMS 122. 4-8 391 

Whither the tribes go up, even the tribes of the Lord, 

For a testimony unto Israel, 

To give thanks unto the name of the Lord. 

For there are set thrones for judgement, 

The thrones of the house of David. 

Fray for the peace of Jerusalem : 1 

They shall prosper that love thee. 

Peace be within thy walls, 

And prosperity within thy palaces. 

For my brethren and companions' sakcs, 

I will now say. Peace be within thee. 

4 f. Note the rhetorical repetition of words (< anadiplosis ') in 
these verses, a common feature in the 'Pilgrim' and < Royal 
Psalms.* So in cxxxv. 19. 

4. fo up I better, ' went up ' : referring to the olden time. 
teibMt at no time did the twelve (or tenf^ tribes as s«ch 

make pilgrimages to Jerusalem. But the poet glances backward 
to the time bng past when his forefathers, spoken of as tribes, 
visited Jenisalera just as he does, and for the same purpose. 

the &OSB I Heb. < Jah ' (Yah) ; see on Ixxxix. 8 and civ. 35, 

Fmr % teellBso&jr, &c. : render, ' It is a law for Israel jthere 

( « at Jerusalem) to praise Jehovah ' : the word 'testimonv' « 'law,' 

as in xix. 7. For aene (5/r^) read thtrt (Sham), and place the 

' unto * before * Jehovah ' : then render as above, 

5. there t i. e. at Jerusalem. 

ere eet throaee t better, ' were placed thrones ' : in the far 
back times kings ruled on their thrones : these thrones were sat 
on by kings belonging to the Davidic dynasty. 

fbr JnAfemeat 1 i. e. for all the ilinctions of royalty. Cf. the 
judges who preceded the kings. The poet is recalling the past, 
and not, as Wellhauaen and others hold, depicting the present. 

6-9. PrayiT and nqutat for prayir on bthalf €f Jtrusahm, In 
these verses there are word-plays which no translation can 
reproduce : the first four words in verse 6 are these : ShdAlu 
ShUdm YMUhmm yishtayQ, 

6. Vhejr ehaU proiper, &c. : render, 'May thy tents' (-I'thy 
dwellings ') ' be secure.' 

For Vhejr . . • that love thee read, with Ewald, Duhm, 'Thy 
tents,' after Job xii. 6. 

S. Z will aew say, &c. : render, 'Let me now' (m'I pray 
thee') 'say, Peace be to thee.' 

U 2 

292 THE PSALMS 122. 9-^123. $ 

9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God 
I will seek thy good. 

128 A Song of Ascents. 

1 Unto thee do I lift up mine eyes^^ 
O thou that sittest in the heavens. 

2 Behold, as the eyes of servants hoi unto the hand of 

their master, 
As the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress ; 
So our eyes look unto the Lord our God, 
Until he have mercy upon us. 

3 Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us : 


Thetne, The soul looking away from its distress to its Master 
and God. 

I. Omtmta, (i) The eyes turned in £uth to Jehovah (venes z f.). 
(») Prayer for help in distress (verses 3 f*). 

There is more rhyme in this Psalm than in any other conunen.' 
surate part of the O. T., though in a translation this fiBStare is neees- 
sarily lost. Rhyme is exeeedingly rare in Biblical IMctry^ Init it 
abounds in the poetxy &t the Arabs, none of tiie latter oidltt than 
say A. D. 500. 

II. Authorship and Date, It is impossible to say what is the 
specific distress which constitutes the background of this Psalm ; 
see verses 3 f. It might have been that experienced in BabyUin, 
or it might have been that due to the Samaritan, or even the Syrian 

z C The upturned eyes : why do Jews, Moslems, and Christians 
look up when they pray, as if God were in that direction more 
than in any other f To the Australian, our up is his daunt. It 
may be, as Gunkel suggests, a survival of astral religion. 

S. Bshold: see on cxxi. 4. 
aanraata t Heb. * men servants ' : of these there seem to have 
been several in a Jewish house of the ordinary kind. 

These servants depend on what the master hands them : so they 
look to his hand, just as a domestic animal will follow the hand of 
jone who feeds it. The connexion shows that it is the band as 
giving and not as eontmanding which is here meant 

3f. Prayer in trouble* 

3. JUIW9 mncj, &c : Heb. ' be gradous to us.' 

THE PSALMS 123. 4—124. 4 293 

For we are exceedingly filled with contempt 

Our soul is exceedingly filled 4 

With the scorning of those that are at ease, 

And with the contempt of the proud. 

A Song of Ascents ; of David. 124 

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, i 

Let Israel now say ; 

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, a 

When men rose up against us : 

Then they had swallowed us up alive, 3 

When their wrath was kindled against us : 
Then the waters had overwhelmed us, 4 

-T ' : 

4. pvoudi so the ktth, and the ancient versions. But the 
Massoritcs {qr,) make two words, the English of which is ' proud 
oppressors' : hardly (as Kirkpatrick) 'proudest oppressors,' though 
the Hebrew (^r.) allows both renderings. 

Psalm CXXIV. 
Thtffu, Praise for a recent deliverance. 

I. CoHtiHts, (i) We should have been undone bad not Jehovah 
helped us (verses 1-5). 

(a) Praise to Jehovah for His goodness in delivering His people 
(verses 6-8\ 
Cf. with tnis Psalm Jonah's song of thanksgiving (Jonah ii. 3-10). 

II. Authorship and Datt, The Psalm celebrates the escape of 
the nation from some plot laid for them, but it is impossible to 
decide what that was, or to what period it belongs. Ine deliver- 
ance from Babylon does not suit the Psalm, as it is some sudden 
turn of events that is clearly implied. 

Note, the repetition of certain catch phrases in succeeding lines 
of this Psalm ('anadiplosis'), and see on xciii. 4, x^vl. 13, 
cxzii. 4 f.) and cxxxv. ia. 

1-5. Jthovah^s dtUvtranct, 

In verses i f. we have a double protasiS| one in each, verse. 
Compare with these two verses the structure of cxxix. i f. In 
verses 3-5 we have a triple apodosis — a threefold statement of 
what would have happened without Jehovah's help. 

3. swallowed, &c. : as wild beasts devour their prey; see Jer. 
11. 34. The enemy is described under the same figure in verse 6* 

4. The devastating effects of the wild mountain torrents of 
Palestine, and especially the loss of life and property caused by 

294 THE PSALMS 124. 5—125. i 

The stream had gone over our soul ; 

5 Then the proud waters had gone over our souL 

6 Blessed be the Lord, 

Who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. 

7 Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers : 
The snare is broken, and we are escaped. 

8 Our help is in the name of the Lord, 
Who made heaven and earth. 

126 A Song of Ascents. 

I They that trust in the Lord 

the rushing overflowing Jordan, have often supplied Psalmists 
with a figure of ruin due to foreign and native oppressors. See 
for the same metaphor xviii. i6, Ixtx. i, a, 15 ; Isa. viii 7 f. ; Lam. 
ill. 54. Probably in all such passages there is an implied reference 
to the primaeval ocean of the creation-myth : see on Ixxiv. 11. 

■trsun ! a mountain torrent : these are in Palestine suddenljr 
swollen after a storm. 

onr wml » us ; see on cviL x8, 
6. prond t better, * surging,' or * swelling.' 

onv *oiU»us ; see on cvii. 18. 
6-8. Praiu for deliverana, 

6. See on verse 3. 

Blessed : i. e. ' praised ' : see on Ixxxiv. 5. 

7. The thought in this verse is : * We were ensnared as a bird : 
but we escaped as an ensnared bird sometimes does.' See Lam. 
iiL 5fl. 

tnuurot a kind of trap-net used for catching birds. 
and we s the pronoun is emphatic in Hebrew : 'and we — we 
are escaped.' 

8. Both parts of the verse occur frequently in the Psalter: see 
also for 8**, Jonah ii. 9. Vlie name of ills IMKO » Jehovah 
Himself : see on Ixxix. 9 and on Ixxxiii. 16. 

Psalm CXXV. 
Theme. The security of God's people. 

I. Contents, (i) Safety of all who trust in Jehovah (verses 1-3). 
(a) Prayer on behalf of the righteous (verses 4 f.). 

II. Authorship and Date, The Psalm does not date itself, and 
it is useless speculating as to when it was written. This Psalm^ 
and others like it (Pss. cxxiii {^ &c.), might have been composed for 
use in worship, with no reference to any historical situation. 

THE PSALMS 126. a-4 a9S 

Are as mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abideth 

for ever. 
As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, 2 

So the Lord is round about his people, 
From this time forth and for evermore. 
For the sceptre of wickedness shall not rest upon the lot 3 

of the righteous ; 
That the righteous put not forth their hands unto iniquity. 
Do good, O Lord, unto those that be good, 4 

The experience they imply was, and is still, to a large extent 

1-3. Thi stcurity ofthost who put ihiir trust in God, 

1. Believers are compared to mou&t IIoHi which has its roots 
deep down in the earth, and cannot be moved. A visitor to his 
mountain home, after decades of absence, will, amid countless 
changes in other things, And the lie of the land, its mountains, 
valleys, and rivers, unchanged* 

S. As the believer is compared to Mount Zion, so Jehovah is 
likened to those mountains which encompass Jerusalem, and 
which, in times of war, proved its best defence. On every side, 
except on the north-west (Jaffa Gate), the sacred city is mountain- 
bound ; so he that trusts in Jehovah is encompassed on all sides ; 
see Zech. ii. 5. 

S. Render : < Surely He will not let the sceptre of the wicked 
man rest upon the land allotted to the righteous,' &c. 

Vor I the word means also ' Surelv,' a sense far more suitable 
here. This verse applies the principle of security expressed in 
z f. to the actual state of the nation. 

so^ytvo of wlokednMsi better (with LXX, Pesh., A.V.), 'the 
sceptre of the wicked,' changing the Hebrew vowels only. But 
the Hebrew gives good sense, and is supported by Targ., Jero. 
The allusion is evidently to foreign dominion, either Persian or 
Syrian. Jehovah wiU be sure to set free His people, if they look 
to Him. 

aHall ttol MSt I read as above, ' will not let . . . rest ' : so 
LXX, £th. ; see Isa. xxx. 3a. 

Vhat the rlffhteotts, &c. : continued oppression might lead 
even the righteous to give way to sin, to doubt, or to disbelieve in 
the reign of righteousness* Duhm joins this clause with the 
following verse : Ttot tlie vlgliteoiui . . ., (4) Do food, &c. 

4 f. Praytrfor tht tighteous, 

4. Bo food I in Hebrew one word meaning 'show kindness, 

2g6 THE PSALMS 125. 5—126. i 

And to them that are upright in their hearts. 
5 But as for such as turn aside unto their crooked "ways. 
The Lord shall lead them forthwith the workers of iniquity. 
Peace be upon Israel. 

126 A Song of Ascents. 

X When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, 

favour to.' The verb has no ethical meaning, though, as in English, 
the adjective (' good ') oonunonly has. 

6. aueli as tun asida nato thair orookad wajrsi Heb. ^ Who 
turn (bend) aside their crooked (ways)/ >• 0- who turn their 
ways of life aside from what is right, making them crooked. The 
Hebrew word {yashar) generally translated 'upright* means 
strictly 'straight.' 

Xhm &OBB slttU laadt better, 'Hay Jehovah lead,' &c ; 
cf. Matt XXV. 41. 

Psalm CXXVI. 

Thetni, Past joy and present sorrow. 

I. Contents, (i) The joy felt when, at a former time, prosperity 
returned (verses 1-3). 

(a) Prayer and hope for a renewal of that prosperity ^verses 4-6). 

The Psalm assumes that at some not distant period in the past 
Jehovah turned the tide of the nation's affairs, making the people 
once more happy and prosperous. But there is another chaqge, 
this time for the worse, and in the present Psalm we seem to have 
petition and hope that Jehovah may again bless and prosper the 
nation. Smend, Duhm, and Gunkel (following the Pesh., Targ., 
Ar.) regard the tenses of the verbs in verses 1-3 as all referring 
to the future, the perfects being ' perfects of certainty.' But this 
Is a very unnatural way of treating the Psalm. The LXX, Eth., 
Calvin, and most moderns construe as preterites. 

II. Authorship and Date, Many have supposed that verses ji-3 
refer to the gladness which accompanied the return from Babylon, 
and that the distress spoken of in verses 4-6 is that endured during 
the Samaritan persecutions. But there is liltla tvidesce from 
which we can ai^e with confidence. 

1. Render : ' When Jeboivah restored the fortunes of Zion,' &c. 
tszaad sffsia Um caytiyitjt the word 'captivity' can 
denote ' captives/ abstract for concrete. But since Ewald's d^ 
most scholars consider the Hebrew word rendered ^ captivity ' t^ 
be an abstract noun from the verb ' to turn,' the phrase meaning 
lit, ^io turn the turning,' i. e. make a change in things, then 

THE PSALMS 126. 2-5 297 

We were like unto thecn that dream. 
Then was our mouth filled with laughter, 
And our tongue with singing : 
Then said they among the nations, 
The Lord hath done great things for them. 
The Lord hath done great things for us ; , 
Whereof yrQ are glad. 

Turn again our captivity, O I.ORD, . . * , 

As the streams in the South. 
Ttey that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 1 

* to t-estorb the fortunes.' In Job xlii. 10 the phrase can hove no 
other meaning, and it was that passage which first set Ewald a- 
thinking on the matter. 

OrMun, &c. : * we could hardly think the fact of our de- 
Ifvenmce real, so delighted were we : we thought we must be 
dreaming ' ; see Isa. xxix. 7^-; Luke xxiv, 41 ; Acts xii. 9^ Sadden 
joy and sudden sorrow have often this stupefying effect. 

2. When the consciousness of reality .downed, they laughed 
and sangy &c. 

Vli«n was our month liU«a with lauftliter 1 see Job vili. 21. 

¥h«2i laid, &c. : better, * Then was it said among the heathtn.* 
The verb ha$ no definite Subject. 

t1i6 Lt>B]> liAth done, &c. : see Joel ii. ao f. 
d. TiM AOBB luith done, &c. : the community takes up the 
words of the heathen. 

4-6. Prayer and hope for a return of joy, 

4. Render : ' Turn, thou, O Jehovah, our fortunes, As brooks in 
the sbuth land ' (the Negeb) are turned. 

■tVMUiui in tiM Sooth : the Hebrew word Neggb translated 
'south' is a technical name for the arid region in the south of 
Judah (Judges i. 15, &c.). In the winter these parts were, in a 
measure, irrigated by streams which dried up whei^ the summer 
came. Then after months and months of drought again came the 
life-giving streams, making the people laugh and sing. So, says 
the Psalmist, ^ Let our winter streams come to us : it is our summer 
now, and a long and dry one too : bring us back the joy, that has 
fled, as thou restorest to the south land its winter brooks.' 
. A« Those who sow in tears begotten of labour bhA anyk^i have 
joy when the ireaping comes. Israel has toiled and wept enoi^h : 
surely the time of joyous reaping has arrived^ 

} s better, < reap ' : a general, principle is stated. 

298 THE PSALMS 126. d— 127. i 

6 Though he goeth on his way weepings bearing forth the seed ; 
He shall comeagain with joy, bringing his sheaves withhim. 

127 A Song of Ascents ; of Solomon. 

1 Except the Lord build the house, 
They labour in vain that build it : 
Except the Lord keep the city, 

•• Render: 'He that bears (» brings) the trail of seed will 
go on his way weeping : (but) He shall assuredly come home with 
ringing shouts of joy, bearing his sheaves.' 

b— liag Cnrth Um ••ads Heb. ' bearing the trail or dnuig;iit 
of seed/ The Hebrew word rendered above ' trail ' means * what 
is hauled or drawn out of the sea,' as 'a haul of fish,' or, as in 
Job zxviiL i8, a ' haul of pearl oysters.' Here it stands for as 
much seed 9A one brings to sow. 

This Psalm, small as it is, is made up of two smaller ones, having 
so special connexion with each other. This is conceded by nearly 
all modem scholars. 

Psalm cxxvii <*> (verses i f ). 
Thttm. Success impossible without Jehovah's protection. 
I. TUle. This Psalm and Pa. Ixxii are the only ones connected 
in the title with the name Solomon. Perhaps there was a 
Solomon hymn-book, though in that case the hymns have been all 
lost, except the two named : cf., however, the nineteen < Psalms 
of Solomon.' In the LXX of the present Psalm Solomon's name 
does not appear. 
IL Ctmtmts: see Theme, 

III. Authorship and Date, There is nothing in the Psalm oa 
which to base an opinion regarding these pointf . 
X C Human effort vain without Divine hdp. 
1. Render: 

< Unless Jehovah build a house, 
(The) builders labour upon it to no purpose : 
Unless Jehovah keep (the) city, 

(The) keeper (of it) is awake (in the nig^t) to no purpose.* 
Vhey . . . tlwt Imlldi better, * (the) buildeis' : so LXX, 
Wellhausen, Baethgen, &c. 

Ubeiur I read, * labour upon it * : so the authorities just nasud 
and the usage of the language ; see Jonah iv. lo ; Eccles. ii. ai. 

The verb for < labour' means ' to work oneseK weary ' : even that 
avails not if God does not build with us, i. e. bless na. 

THE PSALMS 127.2,3 299 

The watchman waketh but in vain. 

It is vain for you that ye rise up early, and so late take rest, a 

And eat the bread of toil : 

JFbr so he giveth unto his beloved sleep. 

Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord : 3 

T]i« watohBMUi I Kt, * the keeper * ; so cxxi. 4 : the ketper can- 
not kitp unless Jehovah kitps also. 

waketh I i. e. < wakes to watch ' : < to act the part of keeper.' 
On the * night watches ' see on cxix. 148. 
Verse z is inscribed on the front of the to^^m hall at Ripon. 
a. Render : Mt is vain for you that ye rise up early and that 
ye sit down late (at night) To eat the food earned by painful toil : 
He gives His beloved what is necessary (even) in (their) sleep.' 

■o lftt« take rtst 1 the principal verb here never means ' to 
take rest/ ' to lie down to rest/ though Hupfeld held that it does : 
Shakab is the Hebrew word ibr that. Nor does the compound 
expression «< to sit up late/ but ' to sit late at table for the purpose 
of eating': they take their evening meal late because they kept 
on toiling so long. The expression ' sitting to eat/ &c. occurs 
in I Sam. xxvi. 94, and it belongs to the time when the Jews sat 
at meals ; the Greek custom of reclining at meals was adopted 
by the Jews at a later time. 

■o lit glwtliv &;c. : the word translated < so ' is here a noun 
'm* what is jttsty' ' proper/ * sufficient ' i ^ He gives what is suitable^ 

sleep I accusative of time: though Hebrew has virtually lost 
case endings it retains the functions of case, ' in sleep ' ^ * during 
sleep.' The idea is : Jehovah gives the needful to those whom 
He loves even if they cannot move a hand to toil— as it were when 
they are asleep. The lesson is simply, ^ Be not anxious ; He pro- 
vides': there is no encouragement here for idleness or carelessness ; 
we are to labour, but to trust as if all depended on God : se6 
Matt. vi. 95-34 ; Pn>v. x. as, Sec, 

Mrs. Browning's well-known poem is based on a wrong 
translation of the Psalm, but what that poem says is as true as 

Perhaps the Hebrew for sleep (Sktfta) is the corrupted form of 
Selahi its presence adds a strange thought, its form is irregular 
(Aramaic for Hebrew), and its omission (making the verse end 
with 'necessary' in the above proposed rendering) simplifies th^ 

Psalm cxxviiW (verses 3-5). 
TTtmi. Children the Joy and defence of their father. 

300 THE PSALMS 127; 4—128. i 

And the fruit of the womb is Jus reward. 

4 As arrows in the hand of a mighty man. 
So are the children of youth* 

5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver fuU of then i 
They shall not be ashamed, 

When they speak with their enemies in the gate 

128 A Song of Ascents. 

I Blessed is every one that feareth the LoitD, 

I. OmUnts: ase Tlunu» 

II. Authorship and Date. The Psalm » of so sioieral a cfaamcter 
that hardly anything can be inferred from it fl» ta when mod imder 
ivhat circumstances it was composed. 

3. OhUOrMii the same Hebrew woni is used for ^ sons' ood 
for < children.' Parallelism (ftnlt of tho woai») and the diift of 
the Psalm show that < children ' is what is here intended. 

iMXltago { men receive children from Jehovah as thcj inherit 
property from their earthly fathers. 

rowardt the figure changes: children are also a reward; 
payment for uprightness of life. 

4. OhildTMi of jonth i i. e. children bom wbwi the fatlier is 
young : see Gen. xxxvii. 3, xlix. 3. Such children (sons especiaHy) 
are able to protect their father when he is old (see verse 5). 

B. tliat hath Ilia 4,iiiv«rftall of tlMBi«' that has many children.' 
The figure 'arrows' of verse 4 is continued. 

ThMf tfima not. ftc. : Whan fbar* 6uc. : read, 'he' for 'they' 
in both cases, as LXX, Duhm ; it is the 'father' who is spoken 
of, not the ' sons ' : he shall not be ashamed, L e. he foiled in his 
purpose, when he speaks with his opponents at hiw. 

la the gatot fn the space before the gate of Eastern cities 
Justice was dispensed and civic business tmnaacted : see Iztx. id ; 
Deut. xxi. 19. 

To speak with enemies » to have a lawsuit : see Joshua zz. ^ 


Themis The god-fearing: man is blessed In his work and In his 

I. Contents, (i) The prosperity of him who fears Jehovah 
(verses 1-3). 

(3) He will have Jehovah's benediction and see the prosperity 
of Jerusalem and of his own family (verses 4-6). 

THE PSALMS 128, 2-4 301 

That walketh in his ways. 

For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands : a 

Happy shalt thou be^ and it shall be well with thee. 

Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine, in the innermost parts 5 

of thine house : 
Thy children like olive plants, round about thy table. 
Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed 4 

U. Authorship and JPaU. The remarks made on Ps. cxxvii i^ 
this connexion apply here. 

T<*3. Hi who fian Jihwah ha$ proapirity in his daUy oecttpation 
ami in Ma kotm. 

1. Blemed 1 i. e. happy, fortunate, referring not to the character 
nor even to the feelings, but to the outward life ; his lot is a 
privileged one, having wealth and children ; see Ixxxiv. 4. 

tt Here the second person is introduced, hut in a kind of im- 
personal way. 

This verse is quoted in Pit^s Abotk, iv. 3 (Taylor). 
lAbow I the fruit of the labour. To eat means * to enjoy/ 
have the benefit of. 

8. findtfttl viae 1 the ttrtinm quid is fruitfuluess, not graceful- 
ness or dependence. 

ia the ianeviiiovt pavts of tMne liowei the woman's 
appartment in the tent or the house was farthest away from the 
main entrance. When the family was poor and could afford but 
a one-roomed house a portion was separated by a curtain for the 
wife's use. The harem and the compulsory veil are institutions 
of Islam'. 

olive plMits I emblems of freshness and vigour : see Hi. 8 ; 
Jer. xl* z6, &c. 

taMei the tables used at present in Palestine in both tents 
and houses are small round ones standing about a foot high above 
the ground. During a meal the participants sit on the ground 
around the table, leaning on one side. Ih Bible times the table 
was probably of the same character : see Gen. xviii. z f. ; Judges 
vi. 19. 

In the picture of the home the mother does not seem to have 
her place with the children at the table : nor indeed the father. 
But it is not denied in the Psalm that both the parents sat with 
the children^ In this ideal home monogamy is the practice 

4-6. This god'f taring man will havi Jthovah's bimdiction, 

4« Uesaed 1 a different word from that so translated in verse x ; 

^ See Hastings' D. ^., ' Veil ' (by the present writer). 

302 THE PSALMS 128* 5—129. 

That feareth the Lord, 

5 The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion : 

And thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of 
thy life. 

6 Yea, thou shalt see thy chfldren's diildren. 
Peace be upon Israel 

129 A Song of Ascents. 

I Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth up, 

there it i- 'happy' : here the English word has its ISterml sease 

< bless-ed ' of Jehovah. But those whom Jehovah HU — ■■ mn 

< happy ' : see on cxviii. a6. 

5 f. Render : ' May Jehovah bless thee from Zion (where He 
dwells) So that thou mayest enjoy gazing upon the pix>speri^ of 
Jerusalem all the days of thy life, And so that thou mayest see Ifay 
children's children,' &c. 

B. AnA than alwlt 9—t in Hebrew the Imperative is used, but 
tn accordance with Hebrew usage after another imperative it 
expresses purpose : c£ ' Do this and live ' i- ' Do this that tluNi 
mayest live.' 'See' is followed by the preposition 6«'on' or 
'.upon ' : in Hebrew ' to see ' or ' look on ' *i ' to feast one's ^es 
on,' ' to gB2e on with delight ' : see on cxii. St In verse 5 the verb 
' see ' takes the accusative direct, and therefore retains it» strict 

Psalm CXXIX. 

Thtmi. Israel, protected by Jehovah In the past, imprecates 
vengeance upon her oppressors. 

I. Contents, (i) Israel oppressed and tortured in the past, bat 
delivered by God (verses 1-4). 

(d) Imprecations on the nation's foes (verses 5-8). 

This Psalm and Ps. czxiv have much in common, alike in form 
and in matter. In both there are two strophes, the first celebrate 
ing God's protection of Israel in the past The second line in 
both is identical, ' Let Israel now say ' : and in both the first line 
Is repeated. 

II. Authorship and Date, See what is said of Ps. cxxiv in 
this connexion. 

The deliverance from Babylon is usually thought to have given 
rise to both Psalms. 

z-4. Israel oppressed^ but delivered, 

!• Maaj e thae i one word in Hebrew, meaning here probably 
'much' or 'greatly.' In cxxiii. 4 it is translated 'exceedingly* 

THE PSALMS 129. 2-4 303 

Let Israel now say ; 

Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth up : a 

Yet they have not prevailed against me. 

The plowers plowed upon my back; 3 

They made long their furrows. 

The Lord is righteous : 4 

He hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked. 

(filled), in Ixv. 10 'abundantly,^ but in cxx. 6 Mong' (wfor a long 
time). * Much have they afflicted me,* &c. 

WKf youth up I Israel's bondage period in Egypt is often 
spoken of as ' her youth ' ; see Hos. xi. i ; Jer. ii. a, &c. 

let ZBsa«l» dec i see cxxiv. i. 
a. Render :• < They have afflicted me much from my youth up : 
Yea, they have prevailed against me.' 

Kftaj » time, &c. : repeated from verse z : cf. cxxiv. z f. 

'Tet tlugr lunv, &c. : the Hebrew word rendered Yet 
never has that meaning : it is often climactic in sense, meaning 
*yea/ 'moreover/ The negative (/o) in this verse is simply 
a dittograph of /f"( >■ against me) at the end of the verse : it was 
first reduplicated by mistake, and then spelt differently to give it 
sense. With the change thus introduced the first part of the Psalm 
is consistent. 

8. Our oppressors have so lashed us with their whips that our 
backs are marked like ploughed fields. The courbache, or whip, 
is in constant use in Egypt and Palestine at the present time. 
The nation speaks here, as often, in the first person : see p. ao ff. 
For the same metaphor see Isa. li. as and cf. Mic. iii. za ; Isa. li. 6. 

Vliey made lonir their ftivrewa 1 in Arabic the word cognate 
to the Hebrew for * furroW ' means * a strip of land ploughed in 
one journey/ then 'a single furrow the length of the ploughed 
field.' So at least says Delitzsch, depending on Wetstein : but 
the Arabic Lexicons of Freytag, Lane, Dozy, and (Arabic only) 
Khowri do not give that meaning. The general sense is, however, 
clear : * They make long furrows.' 

4. The figure is changed. In verse 3 Israel is a ploughed field. 
Here the nation is compared to an ox controlled by its master's 
yoke. The reference seems to be to the bondage of Egypt, in 
which the Israelites were like yoked oxen. 

oorda of the wloked 1 the word translated < cords * occurs in 
ii. 3 for the ^ bands of captivity,' but in Job xxxix. jo for the rope 
or yoke which binds the ox to the plough. Jehovah snapped 
these cords, and the nation became a nation of freedmen. 

304 THE PSALMS 129. 5^8 

5 Let them be ashamed and turned backward. 
All they that hate Zion. 

6 Let them be as the grass upon the housetops. 
Which withereth afore it groweth up : 

7 Wherewith the reaper filleth not his hand, 
> Nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom* 

8 Neither do they which go by say, 

The blessing of the Lord be upon you ; 
We bless you in the name of the Lord. 

5*8. Impncat'ions on thtfots of ItrmeU On such prajrars jfar evi] 
see Introd. to Ps. dx. 

B. &«t th«m b«, &c. : that we have in this and the foIU»win^ 
verses real p ta ye rs for the nndoing of IsraeFs foes, and not menely 
expressions of faith in the future, would hardly have been doubted 
by any except for apologetic reasons. 

MduuBoAi i.e. disappointed, foiled in thdr ends; see the 
next word, tnsaed iMokmurd. 

aioB s here the nation ; see Additional Note, p. 368. 

6. Mi tlM gM««r ftc. : the reference is to the seed blown by 
the spring winds on to the flat parapeted roofs of Eastern houses. 
Such grass seed finds refuge, especiidly in comers and crevices, 
and begins to grow ; but it is burnt by the scorching sun befof« 
H flowers, so that no reaper is needed to cut it down and gatlier 
it in ; see the next verse. The same figure cocurs in Isa. 
xxxviL 97. 

a4>M it g»ow » tli «pf lit. ^before it unshectths itself,* then 
^before it puts forth its flower.' Another rendering is allowed by 
the Hebrew ; < before one plucks it up ' « ' before it ia plucked up/ 
So LXX, and therefore, of course, the Vnlg. (which in the Psalms 
fblk>ws it). 

^. The representations on the Egyptian monuments show that 
the reaper used to hold his scythe with the right hand, laying bold 
with htm left hand of what was cut, removing it out of the way. 
Behind him followed a man with a large girdled garment, which, 
above the girdle, had open folds, into which the grain or 00m 
was phKcd : at intervals the latter was taken to be tied up into 

8. When any one passed reapers it seems to have been the 
eustom to wish them God^s blessing ; see Ruth ii« 4. 
We lOSMS &C. : the response of the reapers. 

In the case of the field on the roof there would be no reapers 
to greet or to be greeted. 

THE PSALMS 180. 1-4 305 

A Song of AscenU. 130 

Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. 1 

Lord, hear my voice : a 

Let thine ears be attentive 

To the voice of my supplications. 

If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, 3 

O Lord, who shall stand ? 

But there is forgiveness with thee, 4 

That thou mayest be feared. 

Psalm CXXX. 

ThifHi, Out of the depths the Psalmist prays for pardon and 

I. CtmtiHta, (x) The cry of distress (verses z-4). 

(a) The expectation of forgiveness and deliverance (verses 5-8). 
This is one of the so-called ^ Penitential Psalms.' See on Ps. 
cii (CoHtiMh). 

II. Authorship and Dat$, This Psalm might well be a reflex of 
the distress felt during the opposition of the Samaritan party in 
the days of Nehemiah, but that is all that can be said as to the 
date of its composition. 

1-4. Th$ cry qfdistnss, 

1. Ont of tlie depths I i. e. depths of water ; see Ixix. af,, 14 ; 
Isa. li. ID. Hebrew poets often compared a condition of distress 
to being overwhelmed with boisterous waves ; see on cxxiv. 3. 

luiva Z oxiad 1 better, ' do I call ' : ' perfect of experience.' 
t. Attentive I the Hebrew word is found only here and in 
a Chron. vi. 40, vii. 15 : cf. Neh. i. 6, 11. 

the volee of, &c, : see xxviii. a; <my supplicating cries' 
gives the sense of the Hebrew. 
8. &OBD1 Heb. Jah (Yah) : see on Ixxxix. S. 

mark (lBi«idtiea) : lit, ^ Iceep ' or < watch * as in verse 6 
(< watchers,^ ^Iceepers'); here 'take account of, in order to 
punish.' *lf thou shouldest act as nvatchman in reference to 
men's sins,' 3ec« 

atMUli i.e. stand the test of being judged ; see i. 5 (same 

4. But I render, < Surely/ 

TlUKtf &c, I Jehovah forgives that qien may be led to ftar Him. 
The forgiveness here meant is deliverance from trouble which is 
its outward sign, and with which this Psalmist is chiefly concerned. 


3o6 THE PSALMS 130. 5~1«1. i 

i I wait for the Lord^ mj soul doth wait, 
And in his word do I hope. 

6 My soul looketh for the Lord, 

More than watchmen look for the morning ; 
Yea^ more than watchmen for the morning. 

7 O Israel, hope in the Lord \ 

For with the Lord there is mercy, 
And with him is plenteous redemption. 

8 And he shall redeem Israel 
From all his iniquities. 

181 . A Song of Ascents ; of David. 

I Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty ; 

5*8. Strong hop4 ofpardtm and tvstoruHoH. 
. 5 f. Render : < I wftit for Jehovah, my floul ' ( -> I myself) ' watts 
for His word ' ( - * promise '). * With my (whole) soul wait I on 
Jehovah : more than,^ &c. 

And (in hia word) : omit with LXX, Pesh., Targ., and connect 
is. Ills word with the preceding verse (see translation). 

do Z hopo > connect with next verse as in translation above ; 
so LXX, Pesh., Targ.. and most modems. 

6. watoluaens probably the ci^ and not the temple watchmen 
are meant : see on cxix. 48. 

7. O Imt—l, Sec. : though the Psalmist is the mouthpiece of the 
nation throughout this Psalm and the preceding, he occasionally, 
as here, speaks as an individual, and, as such) addresses the nation. 

iradamptioxit Htb.ptduth ; see on Ixxiv. d. 

8. And ha I in Hebrew the prononn is emphatic: 'And He — 
He,' &c. 

Psalm CXXXI. 
. TfufHi, Profession of childlike humility. 

I. Qmknts: see Thems. The Psalm is, as Baethgen says, 
a humble answer to the demand in Prov. xxiil 26, 

The speaker is an indtvidaal, and not the nation ; otherwise the 
Psalm loses its charm, and the summons in verse 3 is senseless ; 
but see on this verse. 

The Ptalm Ik a beanttfiil expression of trust and contentment : 
but, though a prayer seems implied, there is none expressed. 
Perhaps some of the verses have dropped out 

THE PSALMS 131. a— 132. i 307 

Neither do I exercise myself in great matters, 

Or in things too wonderful for me. 

Surely I have stilled and quieted my soul ; a 

Like a weaned child with his mother, 

My soul is wJth me like a weaned child. 

O Israel, hope in the X^rd 3 

From this time forth and for evermore. 

A Song of Ascents. 182 

Ldrd^ remember for David i 

n. Authorship and Date, There is no evidence as to the date 
of the Psalm. 

1. The author does not explain what he means by the great 
matters which he once busied himself about : perhaps wealth, or 
high office in tlie state, or both. Suffering has subdued his lofty 
aspirations : he is now content with what Jehovah allots him. Sir. 
iii. x8f. expands the thought of this verse. 

•xttr«is« ttyself iai Heb. 'walk with,' 'to have to do 
with,' as with people we walk or live with ; then, ' to busy oneself 

tldag* too wonAorfta ftv mo 1 * things beyond my powef 
to accomplish' t see Deut. xvii. 8, xxx. 11. 

a. my «o«li this is preferable to the A. V. in this plaee. The 
soul is often spoken of as the organ of appetite, of desire. The 
Psalmist has stilled (AV. MeveDed,' see Isa. xxviii. 35) and quieted 
(Ir'A 'silenced') the soul, which aforetime soared and clamoured 
after high things. Now the soul has lost this longing, just as 
a weiaed child its desire for its mother^s milk. 

3* A liturgical addition such as we have in iii. 9, &c. 


Tkmtt. Jehovah promises to hear the people's prayer and, for 
David's sake, to restore their fortunes. 

I. CoHttHts. (i) Israel pleads with Jehovah that He may be 
faithful to the covenant made with David (verses i-zo). 

(a) Jehovah answers the prayer by renewing the promises made 
to David and through him to the nation (verses zz*i8). 

There is a g^od deal of the dramatic element in the Psalm, and 
it is probable that its parts were sung by at least three different 
pmties : veives 1-5 by a small section of the choir; verses 6^10 
by a larger section ; verses 1 1-18 being allotted to one individual, 
these verses containing the answer of Jehovah. 

Ps. cxxxii. differs from the other Pilgrim Psalms in its metre and 

X 2 

3o8 THE PSALMS 132. i, a 

All bis affliction ; 
2 How he sware unto the Lord, 

matter, and also in its greater length. It is commonly thoug^ht, for 
these reasons, to stand outside the group. 

This Psalm contains much that is reminiscent of Ps.lzxxix : see 
on that Psalm (Contents), In both ^ere is the same intense long- 
ing for the fulfilment of the promise involved in the covenant made 
with David and his seed (a Sam. vii). But in Ps. Ixxxix there 
seems no sign of the early fulfilment of the promise. Here the 
words assigned to Jehovah (verses ix-i6) seem to indicate that 
the promise has begun to be realized, though the early part of the 
Psalm shows that much of that promise remains unfulfilled* The 
nation is still dissatisfied, longing for what it has not. Perhaps 
some recent act of oppression on the part of the Persian or Syrian 
government prompted the Psalm. 

II. Authorship and Date. Verses 8*zo are almost identical with 
the closing words of Solomon's dedicatory prayer recorded in 
a Cbron. v. 41 f. : it has been therefore argued that Solomon com- 
posed the present Psalm to be sung at the dedication of the temple 
which he built, when the ark was taken into the dsbir or most 
holy place. But modem scholars agree that the Chronicler has 
borrowed from this Psalm. In the older and more purely historical 
books of Kings the words are not found. Moreover, the national 
distress and subjection implied in the Psalm do not suit the age 
of Solomon. The dependence of the Psalm on the post-exilic 
account of Jehovah's covenant with David (a Sam. vii) ^ proves 
that the Psalm was written after the Exile, though whether in the 
time of Nehemiah or in the Maccabean age cannot be decided : 
see on verses 4 f. , la 

i-zo. The peopW sprayer grounded on the covenant with David. 

1. The prayer. Jehovah is entreated for the sake of David's 
merits to help the nation at this crisis. The doctrine that God 
will show favour to people on account of the merits of their 
ancestors was elaborated to a high degree in later Judaism '• It 
passed from Judaism into Roman Catholicism. 

The form of expressk>n in the present verse seems based on 
Neh. v. 19 ; xiii. 14, aa, 31, an argument for a late date. 

This verse should be translated : 'O Jehovah, remember with 
regard to David all his wearisome toiling' (in connexion with Thy 

All his aOietiont the Hebrew means here 'his being hard 
worked.' The reference is to what David did in connexion with 

^ See on Psalm Ixxxix, Introd. 

^ Weher, yOdische Theologie, pp. 393 ff. 

THE PSALMS 132. s-s 3^9 

And vowed unto the Mighty One of Jacob : 

Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, 3 

Nor go up into my bed ; 

I will not give sleep to mine eyes, 4 

Or slumber to mine eyelids ; 

Until I find out a place for the Lord, 5 

A tabernacle for the Mighty One of Jacob. 

the temple, and not to what he sufftnd^ LXX haa ' meekness,* 
Pesh. * humility ' for aflUotioii here : but it is David's zeal for 
the building of the temple that is spoken of. 

fl-5. Davitts vow to build kousg/orjthovah, 
a. he vwure I there is no record in the historical books of the 
O. T. of such a vow. We have here probably a later tradition. 
Kiglitj Omm of Jmo^h 1 the phrase is found elsewhere only 

Barth, Stade, Cheyne, &c.) vocalize differently in all the passages^ 
and render ^ the Steer of Jacob ' (or * Israel *), i. e. the God whom 
Israelites worship as others do the steer. The Massorites seem 
to have varied the spelUng (jabir for ^dbbif) to avoid any reference 
to steer-worship : cf. the M.T. vocalization of ' Molek ' (the vowels 
of bosM) for <Melek ' (in the LXX and Pesh. Moloch). 

3-5. The conttnis oftht oath or vow, 

8. tobenuMle of my houMi better, *tent of my house,* i.e. 
the tent which is my house, * genitive of apposition ' : see on 
cxviii. 15. 

my bed 1 Heb. < the couch of my bed,' or, < the bed of my 
bed,' for both the Hebrew words denote * bed.' Probably the first 
word is a marginal gloss which has crept into the text. 

4. Virbatim from Prov. vi. 4 ; whence it has been seriously 
argued that Solomon, having written the one (?), must have written 
the other also 1 It is impossible to say which of the occurrences 
is the older, though Baethgen decides for Prov. vi. 4. 

0. vlAoe I see i Chron. xv. i. The ark was a S3rmbol of the 
Divine presence : see on verse 8. 

A tobenia.61e : lit < dwellings/ pi. <of fullness,' i.e. the 
sanctuary with its enclosures and appendages. The Hebrew word 
in the singular (Mishkan) is the technical term in the Priestly 
Code for that elaborate tabernacle ornamented with tons of silver 
and gold which later Judaism regarded as the central sanctuary 

3IO THE PSALMS 132. 6-8 

6 Lo, we heard of it in Ephrathah : 
We found it in the field of the wood. 

7 We will go into his tabernacles ; 
We will worship at his footstool. 

8 Arise, O Lord, into thy resting place ; 

during the wilderness life, its place being taken in J, E by oM, 
a tent. The use of the word here favours a late date for the 

Miglrtr Obo of ^Mobi render, 'Steer of Jacob' : see on 
verse a. 

6f. Here the people are dramatically represented as uttering 
the sentiments of David's contemporaries. They express their 
joy at what has taken place. 

e. we iMurd of it: We fbamd lit the pronoun Mt' can stand 
for nothing other than the ark, thouch the latter ia not nanted 
before verse 8. The poet is so full of what he has his mind on 
that he forgets to name it, regardless of Ae need* of readers. 

Bpluratliali t a name given elsewhere to the district in wfaidi 
Beth-lehem lay : see Gen. xxxv. x6, 19, xlviii. 7 ; Ruth Iv. xz ; cC 
X Sam. xvit. id ; Mic. v. 9. But the same name seems also to be 
used for the district in which KirJAth-jearim was situated. Tlie 
word means 'fruitful' (region), and it might well be applied to 
more places than one. Delitzsch, Baethgen, and Duhm think that 
in Gen. xxxv. 16, 19, xlviii. 7 a third c&trict more to the ncntb 
must be intended. 

field of the wooA} better, <the district of Jaar,' i.e. the 
neighbourhood of Kirjath-jearim («* ^city of the woods'); the 
word rendered ' fields ' often « ' district' It was at Kitjath-jearim 
that, in the house of Abtnadab, the ark rested for many years 
(i Sam. vii. zf.), until David removed it to Zion (i Chron. xiii.sf.). 
It may be gathered from i Sam. vii. z f. that the ark was in the 
tmghbimrhccd of Kiijath-jearim, and not in the city itselC This 
would well suit the theory that Ephrathah was the district em- 
bracing this city. 

9. Render; 'Let us go into His dwelling place, 

Let us worship at the footstool of His feet.' 

yos Duhm reads 'bring (it).' 

tobonuMlM s see on verse 5. 

fbotstooli parallelism shows that it is the sanctuary that is 
meant by the word here as in xcix. 5 (see on), and npt the ark. 

8 f. The nation is made to speak as if it were present at the 
dedication of the temple by Solomon : see i Kings viii. In a Chron. 
vi. 41 C verses 8-10 are introduced into Solomon's dedicatory 

THE PSALMS 132. 9-" 311 

Thou, and the ark of thy strength. 

Let thy priests be clothed With righteousness ; 9 

And let thy saints shout for joy. 

For thy servant David's sake la 

Turn not away the face of thine anointed 

The Lord hath sworn unto David in truth; : H 

He will not turn from it : 

Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. 

8. ArlMi an allusion to the watchword u^ed when the ark in 
the wilderness was set forward : see Num. x. 33^ 35. 

rtstiair plAoet the ark owed its origin to the belief that 
Jehovah was present in it in k very special sense. It was a later 
conception which made the ark the receptacle of the tables of th^ 
law. After the Exile the ark is never more referred to in the 
historical books. 

tlM ark •£ tliy streagtli 1 better (according to Hebrew idiom)» 
' Thy strong ark ' ; * strong * because by its presence the Israelites 
were enabled to conquer their foes: see x Sam. v^ 7^ vi, 19 ff.; 
and on Ixxviii. 61. 

gt Duhm holds that the Psalmist borrows from the Chronicler: 
but that is because the contrary view, which even Cheyne <*> 
adopts, would destroy his theory of the very late date of the 

9. pslABts I neither David nor Solomon could have recognized 
a special order of priests, 

* To put on righteousness ' « < to be righteous ' : see verse 
16 and Job xxix. 4. 

saints t better, * favoured ones ' ; see vol. i. p. 360 f. 
In verse 10 the people seem to utter their own prayer in their 
own language. 

10. T«xn aot> Sec : to turn away the face from any one who 
ipakes a request is to send him away disappointed. 

thins anointed £ perhaps Zerubbabel is meant^ or, likelier, 
one of the priest-kings of a later time. 

IZ-18. Jthovah'sanswirioihipraytrcfiluptcpU; mn adaptation 
of ih« promise to David, 

11. VlM &OBD hath swoni 1 nothing is said in a Sam. vii about 
God^s making an oath to confirm this promise : see Ixxxix. 3 and 
on verse a (ha awava). 

. in tvnthi Mn faithfulness' (adv. ace). He has made an oath 
intending to keep it faithfully. Or the Hebrew noun translated 
* truth ' may be the object after the verb : ' Jehovah has sworn . . « 

312 THE PSALMS 132. 12-17 

13 If thy children will keep my covenant 
And my testimony that I shall teach them, 

Their children also shall sit upon thy throne for evermore. 
23 For the Lord hath chosen Zion ; 
He hath desired it for his habitation. 

14 This is my resting place for ever : 
Here will I dwell ; for I have desired it 

15 I will abmidantly bless her provision : 
I will satisfy her poor with bread. 

16 Her priests also will I clothe with salvation : 
And her saints shall shout aloud for joy. 

17 There will I make the horn of David to bud 
I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed. 

what is true/ ' what is certain of execution ' ; so LXX, Baethg^en, 
&c. This makes it easier to explain the pronoun in tront it. 

18. It is a condition of the fulfilment of the vow that David's 
descendants shall obey the Divine law : see a Sam. vii. 14 ; x KingB 
viii. 95. In Ixxzix. 30 IT. man's faithlessness is not flJlowed to 
interfere with Jehovah's faithfulness to His promise. 

e]dldv«ii! read, ^sons.' 

m^tmMmmaji render (with LXX, Targ.), <my ordinances'; 
plural for singular, though the Hebrew is somewhat irregular. 

13. Jehovah chose Zion before He chose David. He wiH^ 
therefore, not forsake Zion and His chosen people, nor permit the 
succession of kings to fail : see Ixxxix. 67 C 

14. See verse 8 with which it corresponds as fulfilment to 

IB. The material needs of the people will be seen to. 
\Amm t the word of blessing was believed to be effective in 
producing, obtaining : see on Imprteatory Psalms fp, ai6, and also 
Magic, Divmaiion, and Demondogy among the nebrtws by the 
present writer (pp. 33 ff.). 

iMT vxovisloa I ^her' refers to Zion. 
16 corresponds to verse 9 : but deliverance takes the place of 
righteousness, a very common meaning of the latter word in 

17. to Imd I to spring forth : David will have horns grow, i. e. 

his horn will be exalted : he will prosper and be full of vigour. 

Concerning the exalting of the horn see on Ixxv. 4, and cf. cxii. 9. 

2«ttpi the burning of a lamp in the house i^ a sign of the 

THE PSALMS 132. i8— 133. i 313 

His enemies will I clothe with shame : 18 

But upon himself shall his crown flourish. 

A Song of Ascents ; of David. 188 

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is i 

For brethren to dwell together in unity ! 

continuance and prosperity of the home (xviii. 99) ; see on cxix. 
105, and cf. z Kings xi. 36, xv. 4 ; a King« viil. 19. 

18. olotlM wltb Blum* I not with xlg]it«oiuni«M (verse 9), 
nor with salTatioii (verse 16). 

liiUMlf I i. e. David. He is named here as representing his 
successors. They were in him, and promises made to him were 
made to them. The feeling of solidarity prevailed in the ancient 
world to a much greater extent than in our days ; see on cix. 9-X5. 

hiM orowBi the royal crown as representing the kingly office 
is obviously meant. LXX, Jero. read <my crown,* i.e. the 
crown which, I Jehovah, have for David and his sons. 

flMuiSh t better, ' shall glitter.' Contrast what is said of the 
crown in Ixxxix. 39. 


TMimi. The loveliness of brotherly fellowship. 

I. Contents : see Thnnt, This Psalm stands in close connexion 
with Pss. cxxvii (*) and cxxviii : these last were written to celebrate 
the blessings of large families. This one sings the praise of good 
fellowship between the brothers of the same family. 

During the three great festivals brothers of the same family 
came together from widely separated parts of the world. The 
intercourse at such reunions must have been unspeakably sweet. 

Authorship and Datt, One or two characteristics of kte 
Hebrew suggest that the Psalm is a good deal kiter than the 
Exile, but nothing more can be said on this head. 

1. Render: <How fine and pleasant it is for brothers to sit 

iroodi the Hebrew word has much the same meaning as the 
Greek word kalos^ which combines within it the ethical and 
aestkctical. * Fine' seems the best English equivalent. 

teethreai better, * brothers.' 

to dwtfli the Hebrew means both < to sit* and Uo dwell ' : 
the former suits best here. 

tof«lli«r la vaitji this is an attempt at rendering two 
Hebrew words which Driver translates 'also together.' The 
first of them (^hm^UIso*) is absent from the ancieiit versions, 

314 THE PSALMS 133. a, 3 

i It is like the precious oil upon the head, 

That ran down upon the beard, 

Even Aaron's beard; 

That came down upon the skirt of his garments ; 
3 Like the dew of Hermon, 

That cometh down upon the mountains of Zion : 

For there the Lord commanded the blessing, 

Even life for evermore. 

and in Hebrew it Is almost impossible to translate it Oautting 
this word we have remaining < together,' the rest (<ia unky') 
filling out. So Duhm. 

a. The pleasant influence of this brotherly fellowship is likened 
to the fragrance of the oil which was poured on Aaron mt his 
appointment to office : this oil would overflow on his beard and 
on tiie collar of his official robe i see £xod. xxix. 7 ; Lev. viii, ia, 
X3U. xo. The oil was sprinkled, not poured, in the. caae of other 
priests ; see Exod. xxix. ai. 

tlM VMClaQM oils /iV. <the good oil/ i.e. according to 
Hebrew idiom, 'the best oil.* It is, of course, the perfmned 
anointing oil that is meant. D. H. Mailer and Baetbgen. transiate 
'aromatic oil,' connecting the Hebrew word rendered 'precious' 
with an Arabic word denoting 'an aromatic root' 

Tliat oaane downs it is the beaarA and not the oil that ' came 
down/ Sec.: so the Hebrew accents. There should, therefore, 
be a mere comma after Aaron's beard. 

aUrts Heb. 'mouth,' i. e. the opening in the high-priest's 
garment through which the head was pushed ; see Exod. xxviii 
33, xxxix. 33 ; Job xxx. 18. 

8. the dew of Bemett : for about half the year Palestine 
depends fbr Its irrigation upon the dew, which descends so 
plentifully in the night (hat in the morning the land looks often 
as though a heavy shower had fiallen. Hermon is noted fbr the 
abundance of the dew that falls on its slopes. 

iKpen tiM monntaln* of Sien : a physical connexion between 
the dew of Hermon and that of Zion, alleged by many, does not 
exist in fact, and is not hnplied here. The dewy mist 0i Hermon 
has never been known to be carried to mount Zion, whidi ia%>ine 
soo miles to the south. It is ' Hermon^Uke dew * that Is sseant, 
' dew as of Hermon * : copious, refreshing, fertilizing, as is the 
dew that falls on Hermon. There is nothing hi. the Hebrew to 
exclude this, and the sense requires it. 

Tor tftere, &c : the mention of Zion reonads the Psalmist 

THE PSALMS 134. i, 2 315 

A Song of Ascents. ' 194 

Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the i 

Which by night stand in the house of the Lord. 
Lift up your hands to the sanctuary, 2 

And bless ye the Lord. 

of the fact that the temple was on Zion (see Additional Note, 
p. 368), and God was thought in a special way to dwell and 
dispense blesshigs in that temple. 

UDl Apr •v«9aor» : does this mean for thaJndfvldiifti a life 
that is to be endless? In the light of the whole Psaheroneniay 
answer * uq.' In tht temple Jehovah dispenses life foif wett it is 
His dispensing that is for evermore, and that too must be taken 
with the limitations imposed by the thing itself. * For ever * in 
the Q. T. h^s a relative sense, which has in each particular ease to 
be separately investigated. 


Theme, A holy greeting and its answer. 

I. Contents, {%) A greeting addressed by the congregation to 
those who. were conducting the nightly service of the temple 
(verses i f.% 

(a) Reply of the leiider of the temple ministranta (verse 3). 

The Psalm seems to have been sung antiphonally, being dividied 
as above. 

IL Anthorship tmd Date, The Psakn suppliits no special 
criteria for an opinion as to its age and origin. 

I f. Greeting of the congregation, 

X. MTTUits of tlM IMKD : the next clause shows that temple 
ministi^nts are meant, i. e. priests and Levites. 

bj nifflit 1 therefore there were services in the temple at night 3 
see z Chron. is;. 33. 

■taaA in tlis hoiiM of tli* ]«OBl>t <To stand beibre 

Jehovah' is a technical e:i:pre8Sion for the dischargiofir of their 

official duties by the priests and Levites : Deut x. 8 ; Heb. x. kz. 

8. Ult up yonz hMids t i. e. in prayer ; see xxviii. 9^ cxli. a^ &c. 

to tlM sanotantjFa the temple building, or house: here 

regarded as the qiNah^ or the place towards which prayer should 

be directed ; see on cxxi. i (vato tlis movatsini). 

•• Th« reply of the leader of th« temple miniatnuits. 

3i6 THE PSALMS 134. 3—135. 3 

.3 The Lord bless thee out of Zion ; 
Even he that made heaven and earth. 

185 Praise ye the Lord. 

Praise ye the name of the Lord ; 

Praise him, O ye servants of the Lord : 
3 Ye that stand in the house of the Lord, 

In the courts of the house of our God. 
3 Praise ye the Lord ; for the Lord is good : 

(«M&OBD1il«M)tliM: read <y<m*: or onderatAtid 'thee' 

~ i IM fhftt BuUUf &C. ! as in cxxL a^ and cxxiv^ 8^. 


Thimt, A munmotis to praise Jehovah on account of "what He 
has in nature and in history revealed Himself to be. 

I. Contents, The present Psalm is, like Pss. xcvii f, and evil, 
a mosaic composed of extracts from other parts of the O. T. strtuf: 
together for liturgical purposes. The following is the g^enenl 
0f3er of thought : 

(t) A summons to praise Jehovah (verses 1-4). 

(a) Jehovah's power and sovereignty as made known in nature 
(5-7), and in the history of the nation (8-ia) (verses 5-ia). 

(3) Jehovah's transcendence : the helplessness of heathen deities 
(verses 13-18). 

(4) Summons to praise Jehovah (verses 19-ai). 

n. Authorship and Date, The Psalm is certainly a very late 
one, as is proved by its dependence on other Scriptures, and by 
several characteristics of late Hebrew. 

1-4. Sumnums to pmise Jehovah, 

Bickell, Duhm, and Cbeyne<'> separate verses i f. from the rest 
of the Psalm, making of these two verses a companion temple 
Psalm to Ps. cxxxiv : surely, however, for no good reason. 

l->cxiiL I with transposition of clauses. 
Vralaa y, 8cc, : belongs to the title and not to the Psalm : see 
f Hallelujah Psalms,' pp. 9a6f. 

8. 9* K cxxxiv. i^ 

a^ added by mistake to exxxiv. x^ in the LXX. 

Those addressed include the lower officials of the temple, the 
Levites as well as the priests. 

3. Pralaa jra thm &OSD 1 Heb. < Hallelujah ' : ciaewhere this 

'— i 

THE PSALMS 136.4-7 3i7 

Sing praises unto his name ; for it is pleasant. 

For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, 4 

And Israel for his peculiar treasure. 

For I know that the Lord is great, 5 

And that our Lord is above all gods. 

Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that hath he done, 6 

In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps. 

He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the 7 

He maketh lightnings for the rain ; 
He bringeth forth the wind out of his treasuries. 

expression occurs only in the Psalm title, Ihough it occurs by 
mistake at the end of some Psalms. 

for it is plMMMiti better, ' for it (the name) is lovely,* i. e. 
God Himself as known is desirable ; see liv. 6w Many explain 
' it is pleasant to sing praises ' ; see cxivii. i. 

4. Based on Beut. vii. 6, with a possible reference to Exod. 
xix. 5. 

5-7. Jehovah as setn m naturt, 

5f. llieBe two verses are probably the utterances of two 
different scribes.- 

5. ror Z, &c. : better, 'For I — I know*: the pronoun is 
emphatic in Hebrew. . . 

on* bord is above all ffods 1 it Is ouite certain that, at all 
events in the religion of Israel before the Exile, the real existence 
of heathen gods was taken for granted : it was their power and 
wisdom in comparison with Jehovah, and their right to be 
recognized as gods, that was so stoutly denied : see Exod. xv. 11; 
Deut. iii. 94, x. 17 ; i Kings viii. 33 ; Isa. xix. i} &c. 

6. 6*-cxv. 3**. 

6^ based on Exod. xx, 4. 
Aaepa 1 the subterranean abysmal waters ; see Introd. to Ps. 
civ: Htbrtw Cosmology ^ pp. 174 f. 

7. From Jen x. 13 (-li. 16V 

the ends of tlie eartli 1 from the sea which was thought to 
bound the earth ; cf. i Kings xviii. 44. 

Ughtniags fbr the rain 1 i. e. lightnings accompanying the 
run. The preposition rendered 'for' (/) has the same force in 
Eccles. vii. 97. It was always a mystery to the ancients that fire 
and water seemed to come from the sky together, though the rain 
was not heated nor the fire extinguished. 

3i8 THE PSALMS 135. 8-15 

8 Who smote the firstborn of Egypt^ 
Both of man and beast. 

9 He sent signs and wonders into the midst of thee, O Kgyptr 
Upon Pharaoh, and upon all his setvaats. 

10 Who smote many nations. 
And slew mighty kings ; 

1 1 Sihon king of the Amorites, 
And Og king of Bosban, 

And all the kingdoms of Canaan : 
13 And gave their land for an heritage, 
An heritage unto Israel his people. 

13 Thy name, O Lord, endureih for ever; 

Thy memorial, O Lord, throughout aU generations. 

14 For the Lord shall judge his people, 

And repent himself concerning his servants. 

15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold, 

^la, Jihovah^ 8 powerrtveaiedin history, 
0. lata tlM aildst of tlM«, O Svyytt an explanatory gloss: 
its omission is required by the rhythm : cf. cxvi. 19. 
IO-X9. Cf. exxxvi z7->fla. 

10. many: this sense is supported by Deut. v& x. Hitzig and 
Delitzsch translate ' great* 

11. AnuMTttMis file name stands here In its narrow sense for 
peoples living east of the Jordan. 

It. aA liaritafo t the repetition of this word is after the manner 
of the * Royal* and 'Pilgrim Psalms' ('anadiplosis') : see on 
xciii.' 4, and cf. xcvl 13, xcviii. 13, cxxii. 9-4. 

13-18. Jehovah contrasted with idols. 

X8. Based on Exod. iii. 15 ; see xxx. 4, cii. la. 
iii«inarlaa: a synonym of aamo as in Hos. il. 6. 'Jehovah 
as He is thought of,* i. e. as He is revealed (name). The Hebrew 
verb which usually means ' to remember * means primarily ' to 
think about* 

X4. Cited word for word from Deut xxxii. 56: c£ xc. 13. 
The Vor is suitable in the original connexion, but hardly so here : 
it is brought in with the quotation. We might render it here 

15-18. Taken from cxv. 4-8 with vety few chaBfas(see notes on). 

THE PSALMS 136. i6**136. i 319 

The work of men's hands. 

They have mouths, but they speak not; 16 

Eyes have they, but they see not ; 

They have ears, but they hear not ; a; 

Neither is there any breath in their mouths. 

They that make. them shall be like unto them ; 18 

Yea, every one that trusteth in them. 

O house of Israel, bless ye the Lord : ijj 

O house of Aaron, bless ye the Lord : 

O house of Levi^ bl^ss ye the Lord : ao 

Ye that fear the Lord, bless ye the Lord. < 

Blessed be the Lord out of Zion, ' 91 

Who dwelleth at Jerusalem. 

Praise ye the Lord. 

O give thanks unto the Lord ; for he is good : 186 

19-ai. AU Israel summofted to praist Jehovah, For the fourfold 
call here see on cxv. 9-1 1. Jn the latter the ' House of Levi' is 

81. BleiMdi i. e. virtually 'praised^ : see on Ixxxiv. 5. 

Thtnu: same as Ps. cxxxv. 

I. TitU. The LXX has < Hallelujah 'in the title. 

II. Contents, (i) Summons to give thanks (verses 1-3). 
(a) Jehovah's love and power in creation (verses 4-9). 

(3) Jehovah's love and power in the history of Israel (verses 

The present Psalm is less original than even the preceding one, 
which it resembles. The refrain at the end of each verse confinns 
the impression that the Plalm was put together for liturgical 

Verses 19-aa are an interpolation from Ps. cxxxv, and must be 
omitted. Without them we have as many verses as there are 
letters (consonants) in the Hebrew alphabet (see Introd. to Ps. 
cxxxixV and in verses xo-i8 we have three triplets* dealing in 
chronological order with as many episodes of Israel's life fmm 
Egypt to Canaan : (x) the departure from £g3rpt (verses xo-xa) ; 

320 THE PSALMS 136. 3.9 | 

For his mercy endureth for ever. | 

s O give thanks unto the God of gods : 

For his mercy endureth for ever. I 

I O give thanks unto the Lord of lords : I 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 
4 To him who alone doeth great wonders : I 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 
I To him that by understanding made the heavens r 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 

6 To him that spread forth the earth above the waters : 
For his mercy endureth for ever. 

7 To him that made great lights : 
For his mercy endureth for ever : 

8 The sun to rule by day : 

For his mercy endureth for ever : 

9 The moon and stars to rule by night 
For his mercy endureth for ever. 

(a) the passage of the Red Sea (verses I3'Z5) ; (3) guidance 
and protection on the journey to Ouiaan (verses 16-18). 

Milton*8 rendering of this Psalm (' Let us with a gladsome mind *) 
was composed when the author was but fifteen years of age. 

III. Authorship and Daii, See on Ps. cxxxv {Authorship and 
Date), In Jewish liturgies this Psalm has been called ' The Great 
Hallel ' : but this term has been variously understood ; see pp. 
936, 932. 

z-3. A call io^e thanks, 

l^cvi. I -evil. i->cviii. i. 

9 f. from Deut. x. 17. 

4-*9. Jehovah as creator, 

4« See Ixxii. z8, Ixxxvi zo. 
gvMtwoadMnii better, 'great things'; the adjective (neat, 
pi.) means by itself < great things' : the other word is a marginal 
glosSy and rhythm requires its omission. 

6. From Prov. iii. Z9 ; Jer. x. za. 

6. Based on Isa. xlii. 5, xliv. 94. 
tiM maeVb. abov« %hm waitarsi see on cxxxv. 6. 

7-9 follow Gen. i. Z4>z6. 

•• mUI rtans omitted for metrical reasons by Bickelli &c* 

THE PSALMS 156. lo-kp 321 

To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn ; 10 

For his mercy endurtth for ever : 

And brought out Israel from among them ; 11 

For his mercy endurtth for ever : 

With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm : ' w 

For his mercy endurtth f(wr ever. 

To him which divided the Red Sea in sunder : 13 

For his mercy endurtth for ever> 

And made Israel to pass through the midst of it : 14 

For his mercy ^;i^i^r(f/>i for ever: 

But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea : 15 

For his mercy endurtth for ever. 

To him which led his people thit)ugh the wilderness : 16 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 

To him which smote great kings : v^ 

For his mercy endurtth for ever : 

And slew iamous kings : .18 

For his mercy endurtth for ever : 

Sihon king of the Amorites : 19 

For his mercy endurtth for ever : 

10-99. Almost word for word from cxxxv. 8-i9| on whiqh see notes. 

19. diviAtdi Heb. < cut in two ' : the same verb is used df cutting in 
two halves the child brought to Solomon for judgement, j Kings 
iii. 95. 

Ui iwidMr I Heb. ' into segments ' : the noun is cognate with 
the verb rendered ' divide/ and occurs in Gen. xv. 17. 

IB. The only verse in the O. T. which seems to give any 
countenance to the common belief that the Pharaoh of the Exodus 
was drowned in the Red Sea : but even this verse does not justify 
that belief. 

overthrew I Heb. 'shook off' : the word is taken from Exod. 
xiv. 97, but in that, the original passage, Ph^ftioh is not mentioned. 
Baethgen omits in the present verse his host. In that case 
aPhftTftoh would mean ' the Egyptians ' (the word in Exodus}. 

16. See Deut. viii. 15. 

18. flunonsi read, < mighty' as in cxxxv. 10. 

19-99. Probably an addition from Ps. cxxxv ; see under Con" 
tentSt p. 319. 


324 THE PSALMS 136. ao--I87. i 

JO And Og king of Bu ban : 

For his mercy endureih for ever : * 
ti And gave their land for an heritage : 

For his mercy endureth for ever ; 
49 Even an.- heritage unto Israel his servant : 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 
H Who remembered us In our low estale : 

For his mercy endureth for ever : 
04 And hath delivered us from our adveisaries : 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 
95 He giveth fflod V> all flesh I . „ 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 
%^ O give thanks unto the God of heaven : 

For his mercy endureth for ever. 

187 By the rivers of Babylon, 

81. tlMls lAiiA \ whose ? A verse has clearly drepp^ out, viz, 
that corresponding to the third line {jsti^s^ in cxxxv. zx, *■ Ani 
all the kingdoms of Canaan.' It is the lapd belonging to these 
kingdoms that is meant here as in cxxxv. id. 

aa. ZssMl hlM MTTUits In cxjLur. la 'Israel bis people' : see 
Isa. xli. 8, &c. 

23-26. Jehovah as dilivenr and as universal provider^ 

83, in onr low •stat«i 'whenever our fortunes were low.' 
There iB no specific reference to the bondage in Egypt, or to the 
captivity in Babylon. 

84. A«llr«red us: the third verb we have met in the Pisalter 
having the sense ' deliver * : see on Ixxiv. a, where the three words 
are diflerentiated. The root meaning of the present Hebrew verb, 
as of its Arabic cognate {Jaraqa\ is *to cut away/ then *to 
separate/ and at length < to set free from bondage/ and the like. 

85* ftll flssb t i. e. all Jews s the Psalm never steps outside the 
national bounds. 

ths Ood of lisavsns so Ezra i. a^ Keh. i. 4, ii. 4; see od 
cxxfii. I and Introd. to Ps, civ, * Hebrew Cosmology.^ 

Verse a6 rounds off the Psalm by repeating the words wfth 
which it opens. 

Psalm CXX3CVII. 
Theme, Love of Zion and hatred of her foes. 

THE PSALMS 137. 2,3. 3«3 

There ve sat down, y^ we wept, 

When we remembered ZioiL 

Upon the willows in the midst- thereof i 

We hanged up our harps. 

For there they that led us captive nequif ed of us songb, I 

I. Contents, (i) The exiled Jewis requeued by the Babylonian^ 
to sing and play (wrji^ jt-r3). 

(a) The Jews' refusal and its reasop (verses 4-6). , 

(3) Vengeance invoked on Babylon and Edotii, the foes of Zidn 
(verses 7-9), : « 

II. Authorship and Date, This Psalm written Ipng epoi^ 
after the Bal^lonian Exile to permit the suffering of that Exile to 
become the subject of meditation and song^' The writer was prob- 
ably led to sing this song because he and his comiiatriotS' wene 
passing through an experience comparable with that of their 
ancestors in Babylon, . Whether (t is the ill-treatmei)t of thP 
Samaritan partjr or of the Syrian party of a lat^r time the Psa^ 
itself does not enable us to detenpme. Pijbnan« (in olafa) piain- 
tained that Isa. IxvC and the present Psalm are products of tbe 
Exile itself and of t)ie same ^et of Qrcumstances. 

z-3. The Jews in Babyhft ashed to sing. The perfect tttftte of the 
verb sbO¥rs that the scene described belongs to past days. 

1. xkwm ef BaAcrlon >'••«« canals such as 'coiteMd. Babylon: 
perhaps the tributaries of the Euphrates are also included . Along- 
side one of the^e coolness and solitude were likely to be jtoundj^ 

■at down i sitting on the ground was a common posture for 
mourners ; see Job ii, 8 ; Isa. in. a6, ^Ivii. i, 5. , 
Perhaps the reference is to synagogues built along river banksj 
i where water for purification would be within reach ; see Act* 
I xvl 13, and Joseph, jintiq, xiv. 10. 23 ; see on Ixxiv. 8. 

a. willowti render, 'poplars*; these last abound in Babylon. 

I (la the mlOst) thereof: i. e. of Babylon. 

I We haairsa np, &c. : Wellhaus^n asks, Why then did tlvey not 

I leave their harps at home t The answer is that they needed them 

to accompany their Psalm -sinnng with. They refused to sing, 

1 and hung up their harps simply because they were unwilling ,|o 

sing their songs of prayer and praise for the mere amusement of 

their heathen captors, who' had unexpectedly come upon tiiem: 

see verse 3. 

httpai reader, 'iynes' ; see Introd. p. aS. 
3. ror I introducing the reason why they hanged up their harps 
and refused to sing. 

sonffii /tV. < words or things' (i.e. instances) 'of songs'; 
so«'K>iQe songs' ; see on cv. 27, where ttaeaame idiom occurs. 

Y 2 

324 THE PSALMS 137.4-? 

And they that wasted us required of us mirth, scgwtg^ 

Sing us one of the songs of Zion. 
4 How shall we sing the Lord's song 

In a strange land? 
a If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, 

Let my right hand forget her cunning. 

6 Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, 
If I remember thee not ; 

If I prefer not Jerusalem 
AboYe my chief joy. 

7 Remember, O Lord, against the children of Edom 
The day of Jerusalem ; 

The Babykmians asked the exiles to give fhem 'some sands'; 
they would hardly ask for the words witfioiit the music. 

tkki&r thttt wMted rmt read (changing one consonant) 'they 
that plundered us,' i. e. robbed us of our country : so fesh., Targ^ 
the LXX, and most modems. Other readings have been fMioposed 

mixMki LXX <a hymn ' : some such word b required by the 
parallelism. Probably we should read miamor C a Ptabn '). 

WMkgn of Hon t temple songs, such as the Psaker ocmtaiiis. 

4-6. Thtjiwa refuse to sing, 

4. the XiOXD'S wonmgi i. e. one made for the temple and Ux 
the feasts and fasts connected with it, and not intended to be sun; 
in any foreign hind. But the answer proves inconsistency, for 
these Jews had brought their harps with them because they in- 
tended to sing some of Jehovah's songs, and the request itsdf 
was made because they had been heard singing such songs. The 
answer may mean : ' How can we, driven from our own nome^ be 
expected to sing songs of gladness in a foreign lano ? ' 

B« formats read, 'wither/ transposing the Hebrew consonanti; 
so Graetz, && 

6. Xf X vrH&t not, &c. : render : ' If I put not Jerusalem 
above the principal things I rejoice In.' 

7-9. Vengianee imaked an Edom and BabyUm. ' The ccials of 
fire which this Psalmist scatters among Israel's foes are not those 
which Christ's servants are bidden to heap on their enemies' heads ' 
(Alex. M«Uren). 

7. Bemember • . . afaiast i i. e. remember with a view to 
punishing ; see Neh. \i, 14, xiii. 39. 

Tlie dfty of JevnaaaMtts i* e. the day when Jerusalem was 

THE PSALMS J37. 8*^138. z 325 

Who saidy Rase it, la^ it, 
Even to the foundation thereof. 

daughter of Babylon, that art to be destroyed ; 8 
Happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee 

As thou hast serred us. • 

Happy shall he be, that taketb and dasbeth thy little ones 9 

Against the rode. 

A Psalm of David. 198 

1 will give thee thanks with my whole heart : i 
Before the gods will I sing praises unto thee. 

destroyed ; see xxxvii. 13 ; Obad. xo. Cf.< the day of Jehovah ' in 
Amos. Among the Arabs < day 'stands for * batUe,' ficc. 

Bmm it I /fV. ' Lay it bare,' I. e. of tts houses and inhabiUnts ; 
see Hab. iii. 13. 

8. tliftt aH to IM dMitfOjedi the Hebrew participle can be 
so read t but it is better to change one vowel and to read, < thou 
devastator' : so Sym., Pesh., Targ., Baethgen, &c. 


TkffM* Thanks for Jehovah's loyingkindness and faithfulness. 

I. TiiU, Pss. cxatxvtii^cxlv are all, in the title, connected with 
the name 'David.' Probably these Davidio Psalms were once 
united with those in the earlier books to form a David hymn-book. 

II. Coniinh. (i) Thanksgiving to Jehovah for His love and 
constancy (verses x-3). 

(a) Prediction that all earth's kings will worship Him (vcnies4-6). 

(3) Confident hope for the Aiture'(verses 7 f.). 

in. Authorship and Date, The expectation that all kings 
will acknowledge Jehovah is one of which no pre-exilic portion 
of the 0. T, shows any trace. The present I^almist seems to 
betray acquaintance with Pss. xxii. aS, di. 15 f. ; Isa. x1 IT. and 
Zecli. vili. 23 : this fact and some peculiarities of style stamp the 
Psalm as a late one : U may well be Maccabean. 

i-^ Thanksgiving to Jfhov^. 

1. X* is virtually the same as ix. x. 
Z wUl five tlMo I add, * O Jehovah,' with the ancient versions. 
After x^ the LXX adda, < For thou hast heard the worda of my 
mouth/ no doubt a dittograph (adapted) from verse 4. 

gods I LXX ' angels,' suggesting a reading ^ kings,' wliich in 

^26 THE PSALMS 138. 2-4 

2 I will worship toward thy holy temple. 

And give thanks unto th^ name for thy lovingkiiidiies^ 

and for thy truth { 
For thou hast magnified thy urord abote all thy name. 

3 In the day that I called thou answeredst me, 
Thou didst encdiiragb me ^ih strength in myi souk 

4 All the kings of the earth shall give thee thaaks, O Lori>, 
, For they have heard the words of thy mouth. 

the Hebrew is written almost exaptly; like * angels.' ' Before 
kings * suits the context admirably (see verse 4% and is probably 
to be read : see on cxix. 46. ^ gods,' if retained, would mean the 
idols introduced int<». Jerusalem by^ t^ Syrians* Even before 
them would the Paalmiat praiae Jehovah*! . 
S. totnurd tlijr iMly teiaiil« a $e^ on cxxi. t. .«r 

trutli : better, * faithfulness.* 

thou liMit magttUUia, &Ci>;>tbe Hebrew- 'nieanii.4. ^T^ou 
hast fulfilled thy promise in a way exceeding what^our knowledge 
of thee led us to expect.' 

word ; the Hebrew term often means < promise.* 

name i revealed, and thfn'efort known character. 
It is better, however, to read for thy word *thy faithfulness ' (so 
Gradtz), and for thy lubtae 'thy lieavbns' (Hupfbid), rendering: 

* Thoil hast magnified thy faithfulness above aU thy h^aveiUk* The 
dian^eii needed in Hebrew for this are not great, but the improv«> 
nyent'in the setfse is considerable* For ^e phrase^ above the 
heavens' see lvii« 5, iz, cviii^ 5 1 cf. cviiL 4^ cziii. 4 ; and for the 
meaning of the phrase see on cviii. 5. < To magni^ faithfi^ess * 
i$ito .show it on n large 9caie« 

3. ThoudidJiteaeour«ge me, &c. : read with Jero., 'Thou hast 
enlai^ged me in my soul with strengths' The change in. Hebrew 
involves the altering of one letter for aAother exceedingly Ifke it. 
The verb .obtained occurs in xviii. 36. In xc. 10 . there is a 
similar change in a noun (* extent ' for * pride '). 1[*be' vei'b in the 
M.T, ia the present clause can mean only. * to in^ke arrogant ' or 

* proud,' or something akin to this. The LXX, Pesh., and Targ. 
read, 'Thou madest me great/ as in the M.T. of xviii. 35. *To 
enlarge with strength ' e^ * to give one the feeling of iVvedoA and 
strength.' (. j 

4-^. Prediction that Allearth^s kings wiUw&rskip IkrmiFs God. 

4. 7or they hare heard: render: *When they have beard/ 
&c. * 

THE PSALMS 138. 5— 130. i 327 

Yea, they shall sing of the ways of th^ Lord ; ' & 

For great is the glory of the Lord. . 

For though the Lord be high, yet bath he ittspect unitQ S, 

the lowly : 
But the haughty he knoweth from afar. 
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revivp me; 7 
Thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of 

mine enemies, > 

And, thy right hand shall save me. 
The Lord iviU perfect that whiohconcemetb me: 8 

Thy ttiercy, O Lord, endufrth for ever; 
Forsake not the works of thine own hands. 

For the C!hief Musician. A Psatm olT David. , ' ' 180 
O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. . > 

B. ways I His methods of dealing with men, as in ciii. 7. 
•• yvt luith IM rMp«Mt «a«o 1 Heb. < yet sees He/ The R.V.. 
translates from the LXX. 

Jehovah is not too high to be concerned about the lowly t note 
the wordoplay. . 

IM kaowvtbi read (with Duhm), 'He cuts down,* i, e» I{e 
destroys : the change in the Hebrew text is but slight. 
7 f. His confidence for the future. 
7k t»oa1blti /iV* 'steaitness,' then ' distress' ; see on ovii. #. 
tftwii WUt tw9t9% met better x^hou wilt keep me. alive.' 
This ii the setise here, thoogli the Hebrew yields eiUier : see on 
cxix. 25. Jehovah will not allow the Psahnist^s foes to comp&sa 
his death ; see next clause. . a • . 

8. The IMKD wUl perflMt, &c. : i.e. He will carry out His 
purpose for me completely* tt is better^ bowerver, to read (with 
LXX, Targ.y &c.) * recompenses me,* changing the final letter 
of theverb for another resembting it, as most moderDS4lo in Ivii. a. 
See on cxvi 7, where the verb thus obtained- occurs. 

woittik render, <work/ though the Hebrew can mean 
either. Israel is what is intended. 5 

Psalm CXXXtX. ^ 

Themi4 Jehovah's omniscience and omnipresence. 
I. Contentu. (z) Jehovah's omniscience shown by the know- 
ledge He has of man's outward and inward life (verses K-^)* 
(9) Jehovah's omnipresence illustrated (verses 7-i«). 1 

Sa THE PSALMS 139. 3-4 

».Thou knowest my downsitttng and mine uprising. 
Thou understandest my thought a£ar off. 

3 Thou searchest out my path and my lying down. 
And art acquainted with all my ways. 

4 For there is not a word in my tongue, 

(3) Explanation of Jehovah's concern for man — He created 
him {vents ira-iS). 

(4) The writer's hatred of the wicked, and his prayer that 
Jehovah may slay them (verses 19-34), 

n. Authorship and DaU. The Aramaisms with which ' the 
Psalm abounds, and the speeuUtive spirit pervading h, anggteiag 
Greek influence, unite in showing; that the Psalm is ft hde onr, not 
improbably a product of the Maccabean age, during which Greek 
culture had much vogue in Palestine. 

/ Ibn Ezra 4escribed this Psalm as the ' Crown of the Psalter,' 
' and Reuss would have thought as highly of it were it not for the 
' 'damning' section, verses 19--34. If this section is* however, a 
genuine part of the Psalm, it is probably an addition suggested by 
Uie contrast between the beauty of God's natural world aad the 
moral deformity due to sin. WiCfaoat tt we hove twenty-two 
verses left (so Ps. cxxxvi, omitting verses ipHu), as many as 
there are letters (consonants) in the Hd>rew alphabet : it beoomes 
thus, in a secondaiy way, an alphabetic acrostic Psalm as Lam* v 
(ef.* Pb. cxxxvi)— an argument for treating tbcie verses as an 

1-6. Go<Fs omniscienci, 

X. MaMhsAi see verse 23 ; Jer. xvii. xo: and cL Pa. zrii« 3« 
(known) me: the pronoun 'me' is fetoml in iJie aadent 
versions, and must be restored in the M. T,, since the rhythm as 
well as the sense requires it. 

8. Thou knowest : ' thou ' in the Helirettp is empliatic s ' thou 
^thott knowest' 

' njr downaittlaff ant' ittlna ii9rlsteir> ie. < my entire life'; 
see cxxvii. 2\ Deut. vi. 6. 

my thenglits the original word here is Aramaic ; it oocurs 
nowhere else in the O, T. except in verse 17, where the plural is 
used i its strict meaning is ' inclination,' < disposition,' ' wish.' 
aliur off: see cxxxviii. 6. 

8. Thou Marohast onti Heb. 'winnowest,' 'siflest' The 
Jewish exegetes connect' with a noun - * circlet,' * border,' and 
render as A. V., ' Thou compassest' Duhm connects with a aoun 
w^span,' and translates, 'Then hast measured (in ^Mns)' or 
< measured out*' 

my patk 1 Hebb ^ my going,' which suits my lylsr 4own. 

THE PSALMS 139. 5*11 329 

But, lo, Lord, thou knowest it altogether. 

Thou hast beset me behind and before, H 

And laid thine hand upon me^ 

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me ; 6 

It is high, I cannot attaint unto it. 

Whither shall I go from thy H^piiit? 7 

Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? . 

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there ; 8 

If I make my bed in Sheol, behold^ thou art there. 

If I take the wings of the morning, 9 

And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea ; 

Even there shall thy hand lead me, xo 

And thy right hand shall hold me. ^ 

If I say. Surely the darkness shall overwhelm me» 11 

L# t * hemmed me in ' : the verb is used to describe 
the action of an army besieging a town, 'Thou hast besieged nie— > 
there is no escaping from thee.' 

6. Such knowleAgi, &c. : i. e. the knowing on my part of what 
thonu knowest ; not the knowledge which is in thee. 
. 71- za. Jfkwmh^s ommprgMmt. 

V. God's sivMit and His pmmbm (/i'A ' face ') mean * God 
Himself.' in post^Biblical Hebrew 'face' {PoHtnt) became one 
of the many names for God. 

8. See. Job xvU. \is\ xxvi. sf. ; Isfc Ivlii. 5; Jer. a^xiii, 94 ; 
Amoaix a. 

xrz MOMiA» &0. s as Enoch or Elijah. 
Zf Z Biftke mj bed 1b Sheol 1 SMtol > Hades, regarded as 
Ifae land of rest s see on Ixxxvi, 13, and see pp. 15 ff. 

•. Wiar* ^ the asprBiafi to the ancients (Semites, Greeks, 
Romans, &c.) thd goddess of the dawn had wings with which she 
arose out of the Eastern ocean, and, in the course of the day, 
covered the whole sky. The Psalmist makes a happy use of this 
imagery, without in the least compromising his monotheism.. 

seal the one sea known to the Hebrews was the Mediter* 
ranean. Hence the word came to mean, as here, the west ; *, though 
like the dawn he should trsvelirom^asi^jko west/ ^c, 

iz f. Render } 'And if I should say only let darkness cover me 
And the light about me be night, (za) Even the darkness darkens 
not from thee, But the night gives forth light as (does) the di^.' . 

11. orenrlisim 1 the Hebrew word (so LXX) occurs in Gen. 

S30 THE PSALMS 139. iJ-14 

And the light about me shall be night; 
It Even the darkness hideth not from thee, 
But the night shineth as the day : 
^ The darkness and the light are both alike to thee* 

13 For thou hast possessed raj reitts: ' 
• Thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. 

14 I will give thanks imto thee \ for I <am fearfolly and 

wonderfully made: 
Wonderfid are thy works ; 
And that my soul knoweth right well 

iii. 15, and meAns ' to bruise/ Making a slight change we obtain 
the suitable sense ' cover/ ' overwhelm ' (with Its 4>ld mcailins). 

IS. Verse 11 gives the pro^is or supposition, the. present 
verse the apodosis or resiilc. Terse ii** has be^n wrongly ex- 
plained aS cotitaihing the apodosis to verse lx\ verse i^ siokplj 
continuing it. 

rihiiMtli : better, < puts forth light ' ; though the Hebrew, can 
mean either. 

Z3-18. Jehovah's power and wisdom mamfeHed fH mdnCs creiUkm. 

Verses 13 f. should (With Hitlig, &c.) be transposed. 

13. 7ov s if this verse is kept in (ts present position Hre For 
implies that God knows all about nan because He created fahn. 
6at cr^atorship could not, 4B*%aeh; accbunt 'ft>r<«mnipre6eiice. 
Better render < Surely ' : but/ best of all, change the order of 
verses 13 f. 

pe ee s e ged : better, ' fenned/ thto is the piinwry sense of 4he 
verb. See on Ixxiv. a, where the same verb is properly rendered 
'purchased.' Dillmann's word in class (sS^a) /fwU'^AeMAr/' » 
'prepared.' f ^ 

seiBS I ' klddeyft,* the supposed seat of the emotions : see on 
buiHi. fl. Here, however, the intemsl ei^ss in geacnift seem 
to be embraced. The creatioti of man was to the ancients, as it 
well might be to their children, u profound mystery s see Job z 

eeversAi rather as R.Vm., 'knit me together.' The thought 
is of the interlacing of bones, sineWs, and muscles: see Job x. 11. 

14. Z will give tluwlts, &c. : better, < I give thanks.'i 
fovZaaiftajffUly'iiAd wsttAerftOlariiisds: SDtheM.T.aBd 

Dlllmattn (in cUum). But it is better (with most ancient atoth«>rities 
and also most moderns) to read and render : * for thou art lieurfidly 

wjr 0M1 m * myself : see 06 IxxviiL^ 18. 

THE PSALMS 139. 15,16 331 

My frame was not hidden from thee, 15 

When I was made in secret, ' . • 

And curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the^rth* 
Thine eyes did see mine unperfect substance, 16 

And in tihy book were all tr^ mentberi written, 

15. ftmmm 1 read (cha^gii^g one vowel), f my bone/ in tho 
sense of 'I myself.' The word *bone' stands for the entire 
personality in vi. 3 and kxtv. xo, in both whtdh passages as wet! 
as in the present verse ' bone ' and < soul ' are in parallelism and 
denote the person. See also Prov. iii. 8, xiv, 30, &c., and on 
Ixxviii. i$b 

mads im jMersti see Job i. az ; Sir. xl. i. 

oiurlonsl^ wrought 1 the Hebrew word ipeans ' embroidered 
with threads of diiferent colours/ The reference seenis t6 be to 
the red vein m^rl^s on the body. The idea of weaving as well as 
that of variegated colours lies in the root 

in tka Xowsst parts of the earth 1 1. e. the womb. Cunkel 
s^ys Sheol is meant, holding that here and in Job i, ai the doctrine 
of the pre-existence of souls is taught. But in the present verse 
it is the body that is specially spoken of, and this is formed 11) thtf 
womb. The poet compares the womb to She6l, describing it in 
similar terms (see Ixiii. 9 ; Tsa. xliv. 23)) because it is so remote 
from light and general knowledge. Xhe doctrine in question is, 
however, taught in Wisdom viii. ao : cf, Verg. Atn, vi. 713 ff., 884. 

16. Render : ' Thy eyes saw my imperfect substance, And in 
thy book were all of them written (viz.) Days which were sketched 
out, Though (as yet) there was not one of them for me.* 

wiparftet anhata&oa: the one Hebrew word thi^ft transtated 
(golem) denotes Un undeveloped embryo,* and in post-EUblical 
Hebrew, which has it often, its meaning is ' an unshaped mass/ 
* an unfinished vessel » (of metal, &c,), . It is a quite different word 
that is rendered 'substance* in verse 15, thpugh, in the A.V., 
< substance * is the rendering of both words. 

book t God has a book in which He records the tears of His 
buffering people (Ivi. 8), and wherein are written the names of 
those who are to be kept alive (Ixix. 08). ' Here the days marked 
ottt for the life of thtf undeveloped substance are written. Before 
a man I* bom God has written down the exact number of days 
he has to live. Of eourse the language is poetical. No one would 
Ihfer from Psi IVii • that the Psalmist wished Qod to examine one 
of those Roman tear-bottles, so common throughout the Roman 
world, which he— the Psalmist— had filled with his own tears 1 

Among the Babykmians also the doctrine of predestinstion was 
^nveyed through the imagery of a god (Nabu«Nebo) writing 

33* THE PSALMS 139. 17.19 

Which day by day were fashioned. 

When as yet there was none of them. 
17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God ! 

How great is the sum of them 1 
iS If I should count them, they are more in tfumber than 
the sand : 

When I awake, I am still with thee. 
19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God : 

on books or tablets the lives which men are to live. Bat in 
Babylonian mythology it is connected with magic*. . The same 
conception played a large part in later Judaism ; see 4 fkra (Apoc) 
xiv. 50; Enoch (Ethiopian version) xil Qt, xv, z, xc. x ; Luke 
z. 90 ; Phil. iv. 3 ; Rev. iii. 5, xiil. 8, xvii. 8, xx. la, 15, xxi. 37. 

were all my nwnber» written t the word * members ' in the 
£.W. refers to the members which were to arise oat of the eni« 
biyo : but the word is not in the Hebrew, and we must Aramaic- 
wise seek the subject of the verb in the next clause. There is no 
need to change the text as Ouhm does. 

Wlien Ml 7«t, &c. : so the keth, : the unnecessary correction 
of the Massorites (qr,) would read ' and for it ' (i. e. the iuperfSMt 
tnibstanoe) 'there was one' ('day to be born/ see Job iii. i) 
' among them.* I find that in at least three cases out of four the 
^etk. is preferable to the ^n or correction of the Massorites. 

The words 'for me' (unto me), which in the Heb. begin 

verse 17, must be attached to verse 16, omitting the ' and ' (also^. 

X7- How p^jreoions: better, 'How weighty* (so the Aramaic 

cognate). God*s thoughts can neither be weighed nor numbered. 

tlionglits : see on verse a. 

sum I Heb. ' sums,' pL of fullness : ' the large sum of them.' 
In the LXX the ve;^ is thus rendered : ' These fKends ' (same 
bonsonahts as tlioughts), 'O God, were greatly honoured by me: 
Thfcir principalities were made very strong.' 

19-94. Ths Psalmisfs abhorrwe§ of wicked fH0H, atidhdaprt^^ thai 
Jehovah may iMterminate them. The creation-song in Ps. civ has 
a similar ending (see dv. 35). If we remove the sc^ction altogether 
the rest of the Psalm makes a complete and charming poem. 
Verses 19-34 may hseve been tacked on for litup^cal purposes in 
a time of bitter (Syrian 1) persecution ; see on Ps. dx (Introd.) 
concerning ' Vindictive Psafans.' 

^ See Die Keilinschtifien und das Alte Ttttament*, pp. 405 f. 

THE PSALMS 1S9. ao-as 333 

Depart from me therefore, ye bloodthirsty men. 

For they speak against thee wickedly^ ao 

And thine enemies take thy name in vain. 

Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? ai 

And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee ? 

1 hate them with perfect hatred : a a 

I count them mine enemies. 

Seatch me, O God, and know my heart : 33 

Try me, and know my thoughts ; 

* ^ " . T ■ ■ ■ ■! ■■ I 

19. Render : < Oh that thou wouldest simy the wicked, O God, 
Aad that murderers ' (/iV. ' men of blood ') ' would depart from me/ 

Peywti the smallest of the Hebrew consonants (yoi/A) has 
fallen out from the beginning of the verb. We must restore and 
connect the imperfect thus obtained with 19^ as a continuation of 
Ihe wish : so. most moderns. > 

SO. Render: <For they rebel against thee (though) in a 
scheming way : Thy eitemies hate (thee, though) to no purpose.' 

tlMy spsak : read, < they rebel, ' changing one vowel. Hebrew 
grammar as well as sense requires this. 

wlok^dljr I Heb. < according to plan» or purpose.' They rebels 
but they do it wisely ; i. e. they hide firom public view their true 

thiiia iiiwl— t the word in the M.T. means in Hebrew 
< thy cities ' : in Aramaic (see Dan. iv. 16) ' thy enemies.' The 
first word in the verSe ( -• ' For ') has an Aramaic meaning. 

tnka fk$ nam$ in vain 1 the Hebrew is simply * take to no 
purpose/ which is senseless, though some read ^dhy name'fof 
tUae ewamifa I propose 'hate (thee),' rearranging the con- 
sonants and adding a vowel. A Hebrew schoUr will see how the 
following Hebrew word would cause the disorder of the M.T. in 
the present word. 

ia vain I their scheming ends in no advantage to themselves : 
the net reault is-*' nothing ' (so the Hebrew^ 

tX. am not I gximynA t R. Vm. is nearer tne Hebrew and other** 
wise preferable : ' do I not loathe.* 

asf. The Psalmist s^^ems afraid that his maledictions are not 
quite in accord with the eternal way into which he prays to be 
led. But his prayer reveals a sincere desire to think and feel and 
say the thing that is right. 

US. thoughts 1 not the Hebrew word so translated in verses 
a, 17 : the word used here means ' thoughts that go in difTerent 
directions,' 'meditations,* 'deliberations, 'plannings.' It is the 

334 THE PSALMS 139. 24— 140. i 

34 And see if there be my way of wickedness in me^ 
And lead me in the way everlasting. 

140 For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. , 

I Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man ; 

I I ■ - I - I I ■ - I - - - 

same word that occurs in Job iv. 13, xx. ax, only here the wor^ 
has a letter inserted (r) which is inserted also in other Semitic 
words. The root idea is * to divide.' In £z«k. xxxl. 5 the noun » 
* branches * : here it ■* < brfmched thoughts.* See Matt vi, 05, where 
' be not anxious ' » {lit) * be not distracted.' 

94. We have here the conception of the two ways which meets 
us in many literatures. The soul at death has often been described 
as coming to a place whence two ways diverge, the one leading 
to bliss, the other te woe. The < Choice of Herettles* recsfls 
a legend in which two ways were placed befSwe that Oraek hero 
for his choice, the way of pleasure, and thiat of virtue. Christ 
apeakfl of the < broad' and Ube narrow way/ and religion has 
been spoken of as ' a way' : see Jer. xxi. 8. Cf. the twin paths 
of the Didacke, 

wagr of wto fca d n — i lU, 'way of pain/ i. e. the way ttrhldi 
leads to pain: see Jer, xxi. 8; so most modems, tMluding 
Dillmann (in class). The same Hebrew letters denote both « IdoP 
and < pain/ The Targ. therefore renders < the way of idolatry,* 
and the Pesh. ^ the false way.' 

ilia way avarlaatiiiff s i. e. the way which leads to proloi^ 
ation of life ia the present world : et the contfMst in L 6. 

According to the Targ. (so Olshausen, Arc.) the sense is the 'way 
of old,' i.e. the good old way trodden by pious patriarchs, 
prophets, and saints of past dasrs: see Jen vt. 16^ xviil. 15. 
Parallelism supports the former interprebUioa 

There is no reference here to the life beyond daatb ; the werd 
rendered < everlasting' having always a relative meaning to be 
determined from the context: see on cxix 44, cxxi. 8: see 
Introd., pp. 14 ff. 

There ia in this verse a mixture of figures. The 'painfiil way ' 
is something in a man which leads him to choose that wliidi 
issues in pain : the < everlasting way' is one in which a man has 
to walk if he will have length of life. 

Most moderns, since £wald*s time, group these Psalms, referring 
them to the same period and making them voice the sufieringa of 
faithful Jews due to the bitter and treacherous persecutions of the 
Syrian party, i. e. to the party that was made up of Syrian rulers 
in Palestine, and renegade Jews in league with them. Iliese 

TJHE PSALMS 140. a, 3 335 

Preserve me from the violent man : 
Which imagine mischiefs in their heart.; a 

Continually do they gather themselves together for war; 
They have sharpened their tongue like a serpent ; i 3 

Adders' poison is under their lips. [Selah 

four Psalms lean much on other parts of the O.T., though there 
is also much in them that is originftl. Th^ey have many r^ 
semblances of vocabulary and style. It is an Individual that 
speaks w tbtra fdl, though the feelings he uttcss were shared hf 
his fellows. 

Pbami CXL. 

Thime, Prayer for protection against malignf nt and treiiehert 
Qus foes. 

I. ConteHis, (i) Prayer to be defended against violent and 
deceitful foes (verses j-5). 

(a) Prayer that the enemies* plans may come to nouffht 
(verses 6-9*). 

(3) Prayer for vengeance upon thesfr fctremies (vfcrses 0*-ii). 

(4) Confidence that Jehovah will stand by the righteous (verges 

n. Anikorship and Date. See general remarks on Pss. cxl-i 

cxliii. . . « 

See also Introd. to Ps. xciv {Authorship and Date), . . 

1-5. Prayer for protection, 

1. Tiolant BUAi rather, < violent men': Heb. ^men of 
violences' : see on ixxviii. 51. 
a. WlUoh imagina 1 better, ' who devise.' 
OontfanaUyi Heb. 'everyday.* 

do tliay gatbar thanaalvas 1 we must (with Pesb.f Taiig«| 
and mo^ modems) slightly change the Hebrew and read, ' they 
stir up much war.' 

wavi pi. of intensity, so »' much war,' or 'bitter war.' 
3. Tjhay liava aliaxpfnad thair tongna lika a sarpanti the 
figure IS that of a sharpened sword or arrow (see Hi. a, Iv. ai, 
Ivii; 4, lix. 7, Ixiv. 3). The serpent*s tongue is naturally looked 
upon as inflicting the fatal bite : but see below. ^ ; 

▲ddara' poison, &c. : the poison of the serpent is not In the 

tongue, but in a bag below the tongue. These foes^ t^ their 

slander, inflict the deadliest injury, but do it insidiously : see x. 7 

(cC Job XX. za), Iviii. 4 : they arc more treacherous than violent. 

3^ is quoted from the LXX in Rom. iii. 13, 

Addari the Hebrew word occurs nowhere else In the O.T., 

33$ THE PSALMS 140. 4-8 

4 Keep me, O Lord, from ttie hands of the wkked ; 
Preserve me from the violent man : 

Who have purposed to thrust aside my steps. 

5 The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords ; 
They have spread a net by the way side ; 

They have set gins for me. [Selah 

6 I said unto the Lord, Thou art my God : 

Give ear unto the voice of my supplications, O Lord. 

7 O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, 
Thou hast covered my head in the day of battle. 

8 Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked; 
Furthernot hisevildevice; iSfj/they exalt themselves. [Selah 

and is of uncertain meanins:* The LXX explain as * asp/ A word 
with the same consonants (the last two transposed) means 'spider/ 
Its pamllelism with flwpcat makes the sieneral sense clear 

5. Note the treachery so graphically depicted by the snares, 
cords, nets, and gins, and see ix. 16, xxxi. 4, xxxv. 7, cxix. no, 
cxlL 9, exiifi. 3. In Matt. xxii. 25 ('how they might ensnare') 
the verb is cognate with the noun in the LXX represented by 
ffuure (pagis : Heb. pakk). 

gins I traps for catching birds. 

6-8. Prayer/or the defeat of the enemietP plans. 

6. Z Midi better, M say^: see xvi. i, xxxi. 14. 

7. OOD \ Goo and Lord in our A.R.V. represents an origlna] 
Yahweh Qehovah). For some centuries B. c. the last wordwas 
avoided by Jews as being too sacred to be used, and for it the 
Hebrew word for 'Lord' {adonai) was substituted. It Is the 
vowels of this Hebrew word that we have in 'Jehovah/ which 
is, strictly speaking, no word at all. When, however, Yahweh and 
Adonai come together the former fs represented by Goo in 
English and in the Hebrew vowels. ' God Lord ' stands then ibr 
' Lord Lord ' : see on cviii. 3 and cix. 31. 

Thott luMt oov«redi better, 'Thou coverest' (perf. of ex- 

my iMftds as a helmet which protects the warrior: see 
Ix. 7 ; Isa. lix. 17 ; Eph. vi. 17 ; i Thess. v. 8. 

day of battle: Heb. 'day of armour,' i.e. the day when 
armour has to be used, 

8. M tlMjr exalt, Arc. r the versions continue the force of the 

THE PSALMS 140. 9-11. 337 

As for the head of those that compass me abouti 9 

Let the mischief of their own lips cover them. 

Let burning coals fall upon them : 10 

Let Uiem be oast into the fire ; 

Into deep pits, that they rise not up again. 

An evil speaker shall not be established in the earth : u 

negative : ' let them not be exalted.' But for this the' negative 
would have to be written a third time (it occurs twice). It it 
better, with most moderns, to attach the clause to the next verse^ 
making the verb transitive by changing one vowel. 

•• Render : (8) Let them not lift up their (9) head on every 
side of me ; Let the mbchief,' &c. Selah at the end of verse 8 
may be Ignored, since it is no part of the Psalm any more than 
the title. 

hmAt Sym., Jero., Baethgen, 8cc. translate 'polseit.' The 
Hebrew word for *head' is spelt similarly, and not seldom identic- 

tlMM tlunfe «OMpMs m% »1to«tt the Hebrew (one word) Is 
probably an adverbial preposition, not a participle. It is im- 
possible to be satisfied with any translation based upon the M. T. 
of verses 8 f. , 

ID. Render t * May He (Jehovah) rain burning coals on them : 
May He hurl them into miry pits (whence) they cannot arise.' 

!■•% • • . ftUi read, ' May He rain,' adding one consonant to 
the Hebrew verb. The subject is no doubt Jehovah : but it may 
be indefinite : ' May one rain,' There is probably a reference to 
the fate of Sodom and Gomorrha : see Gen. xix. 

deep plt«i read 'pits of clay,* or *of slime,' altering one 
consonant for another closely resembling U (A into kk)^ and thus 
connecting the Hebrew word etymologically with that rendered 
<mire* itt Job xxx* 19, and that translated < slime' in Gtfn. x. 3. 
Perhaps the figure is suggested by the * slime pits * mentioned i« 
Gen. xiv. 10. < Slime pits,' i.e. wells of bitumen f^r asphalt, 
abounded in Bible times in the neighbourhood of the Dead Sea. 
There seems in this word another reminiscence of the catastrophe 
described, in Gen. xix* Some render < deep waters ' (suggested 
by Arabic etymology) : many read 'nets,^ but 'rising in' or 'o«t 
of nets * makes a poor figure. 

IX. An avil ipMkev 1 M, * a man of tongue,' i. e. 'a slanderer,' 
as verse 4 shows. A Hebrew verb in what Ewald called ' the 
conjugation of attack' {Angriffa^stamm) is derived from the noun 
for < tongue,' and means *to attack with the tongua,^ i.e. 'to 

338 THE PSALMS 140. «— 141. 2 

Evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him. 
13 1 knowthat the Lord will maintain thecauseoftheafflicted. 

And the right of the needy. 
13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name : 

The upright shall dwell in thy presence. 

141 A Psalm of David 

I Lord, I have called upon thee ; make haste unto me : 

Give ear unto my voice, when I call unto thee. 
3 Let my prayer be set forth as incense before thee; 

hunt : the violent man who has hunted will be himself hunted 
by the evil he has done. He will be ' hoist with his own petard.* 

la f. Confidenct thai Jehovah wiU support ihefaithfid. 

18. SmMij \ the Hebrew word is used idso in a . restrictive 
sens* as the Arabic md^ and it has that force here («only) : *• The 
righteous will give thanks/ &Cy that is the only attitude they 
will take up : gratitude will be their one allppervading emoticm. 


Theme. Prayer to be preserved from sin and from sinners. 

L ContentM, (i) Prayer for Jehovah's help (verae» xf.% 
(9) Prayer to be kept from participating in the sin prevailing 
around (verses 3 L). 

(3) The reproof of a good man welcome (verse 5). 

(4) The wickedness and destiny of the foe (verses 6 C). 

(5) Confident prayer to Jehovah for preservation (verses 7-zo). 
The text of parts of this Psalm is exceedingly corrupt, and the 

meaning consequently uncertain. 

II. Auihorsh^ and Date, See general remarks on Piss. cxU 

1. Z hftTs MUedi better, ' I call.* 
msate luurte : L e. *to help' : see xxii. oo, &c. 
my TOiee : LXX * the voice of my supplication/ as in od. 6. 
8. Render : ' My prayer is set in right order as incense before 
thee : The lifting up of my hands (in prayer) as the evening 
sacrifice.* The optative of the £.W. is wholly unsuitable, thoogh 
permitted by the Hebrew. The Psalmist protests that his prayer 
is as much in order, offered up with as much sincerity and pro- 
priety, as the evening oblation in the temple. 

I ns e a — I here, as in Ixv. 15, the reference Is to the sweet- 
smelling savour which arose ts God from sacrifices in geoeraL 

THE PSALMS 141. 3-5 339 

The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. 

Set a watch, Lord, before my mouth ; $ 

Keep the door of my lips. 

Incline not my heart to any evil thing, 4 

To be occupied in deeds of wickedness 

With men that work iniquity : 

And let me not eat of their dainties. 

Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness ; 5 

And let him reprove me, it shall be as oil upon the head ; 

Let not my head refuse it : 

For even in their wickedness shall my prayer continue. 

There U no allusion to the daily ofTering of incenae on the table 
of incensiB (Exod. xxx. 7 f4). 

Vhe UfUnff vp, &c. ; i. e, in prayer : see Isa. i. 15, where 
the 'spreading forth of the hands* is parallel to < making many 

•vealar M«vifloei D. Qimkhi inferred from these words 
that the present Psalm was made at the very outset to be sung as 
an evening hymn. 

4. ZnoUaei the Hebrew verb* 'to bend-— this way or that.' 
The Psalmist wants to go straight on in the right way. With this 
prayer cf. 'lead us not into temptation,* i. e. 'leave me not lest 
my heart leans towards evil.' 

tot me act eaitf &c« : he will neither share their luxuries nor 
unite with them in their corrupt deeds. 

e»ti see Prov. iv. 17, xxiv. i6. There may be an allusion 
to the Jewish laws of diet. A modem Jew, if strict » will eat only 
food that is kaahtr (i. e, pure according to Jewish law). 

5. This verse is corrupt to a degree that makes emendation 
almost beyond hope : the following translation appears to the 
present writer to convey the intended sense better than any other 
with which he is acquainted : ' Let the righteous smite me with 
lovingkindnesS) and correct me ; Oil (so choice) let not my head 
refuse : But my prayer is continually against their great wicked- 

xiffhteona 1 the word is employed sarcastically of the perse- 
cuting party : they claimed to have right on their side. The 
Psalmist will accept the rebuke and chastisement of these men : 
'A jewel is a jewel in a swine's snout.' But what he prays 
against is the great wickedness {lit, 'wickednesses*) of these men. 

0$ Oil upon the liead 1 see cxxxiii, a and Matt, vi. 17. 

Z 2 

340 THE PSALMS 14L6-8 

6 Their judges are thrown down by the sides of the rock ; 
And they shall hear my words ; for they are sweet. 

7 As when one ploweth and cleaveth the earth, 
Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth. 

8 For mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord : 

In thee do I put my trust ; leave not my soul de&titnte. 

6. Render: ^When their judges (or rolers) have been buried 
by (or from) the sides of the rock, They will bear my words, tkat 
they are gracious.' 

We appear to have in this verse a condiiional sentence : the 
conditional particles are often omitted in Hebrew, thcntg^li the 
second part of the sentence is properly introduced by the * ^vaw 

tlic#wa dowA • . . roeki a common form of ponisfament in 
ancient times : see a Chron. xxv. la ; Luke iv. og. When these 
jadges have been themselves judged and punished they wiH 
acknowledge how true and whot^me the Psalmist's ^^ords 

7. Render : * As when one cleaves and splits a rock ' (this ^vord 
has dropped out through its occurrence in verse 6) * on the earth. 
Their bones shall be scattered at the entrance * (/rV. 'mouth *) 'of 
Sheol ' (i. e. they shall be put to death). This verse eontinaes 
die description of the &te of the godless oppressors. For gxmm 
the Hebrew has * Sheol * : see on Ixxxvi. 13. 

plowoth I the Hebrew verb (same root as ArMc/elhh) means 
^ to cleave/ but never < to plough/ though in Aramaic the word has 
the latter sense. We must Insert after the verbs the word * rock/ 
which has fallen out on account of its occurrence in verBe-6, The 
splitting of rocks was known in the times of the aneient Greeks. 
Perhaps (so Kirkpatrick) we should understand ' wood.* The first 
verb is used hi a Kings iv, 99 of slicing gourds, and the second in 
Eccles. X. 7 of cleaving wood. 

our bOBMs read Hheir bones* : so Pesh. and (according to 
Baethgen) Lucian. 

8-10. ConfiiiUnt pmy0r for preatrvation, 

8. 7ovi render, ' Surely.' The Hebrew ki has both senses. 
aOao cjMi, &c. : see xxv. f 5. 

do Z p«t my tnurti Heb. 'do I take refuge': see ii. 13^ 
vii. I, IviL I, 8cc, 

leave not, &c.: Heb. 'pour thou not out my life' {lit 'my 
soul '); which is the proper rendering : see Gen. xxiv. aa LXX 
' take not away my soul/ 

THE PSALMS 141. 9—142. i 341 

Keep me from the snare which they have laid for me» 9 
And from the gins of the workers of iniquity. 
Let the wicked fall into their bwn nets, > ip 

Whilst that I withal escE^e. 

Maschil of David , when he was in the cave ; a Prayer. 142 

I cry with my voice unto the Lord ; x 

9. See on cxl. 4 f. 

10. tlMtrowttt Heb. « his own/ ' each into his owa net.* 

Psalm CXLII. 
Thimi, Cry for help against persecutors. 

I. Tf'//* What is the cave referred to in the title, and also, in 
the very similar historical notice in the title of Ps. ivii 7 In our 
Hebrew and English Bibles two cave incidents in David*s life are 
recorded, vis. that connected with the cave of Adutlam (t Sam. 
xxii. 1-5) when David fled frosi Saul, and that connected with 
the cave at £n-gedi (i Sam. auiiv) when David spared Saul^s 
life. Modern scholarship has made it practically certain that the 
original Hebrew text had the * fortress * (not cave) ' of Adullam ' 
(see z Sam. xxii. 4 and a Sam. xxiil. 74) : so Wellhausen, Budde^ 
Nowack, H. P. Smith, &c. Unless the corruption of the text is 
older than the titles of this Psalm and of Ps. Ivti the cave referred 
to can be that of £n-gedi only. It is an interesting confirmation 
of the correctness of t)iis tesitual emendation that most commen- 
tators, on quite other grounds^ have decided that the cave of En* 
gedi is the one meant (see verse 8 and In trod, to Ps. Ivii). Most 
readers will be a little shocked to be told that instead of the 
< cave * one must in the future speak of the * fortress of Adullam/ 
but accuracy seems to demand it. 

XL CohUnis, (i) The complaint (verses z-4). 

fa) The prayer (verses 5-7). 

The condition of the Psalmist is extreme. He is now appar- 
ently in prison or in prison-like misery (verse 8), and brought 
very low. But man's extremity is God's opportunity, as the iluthor 
knew right well 

III. Authorship and Daii. See general remarks to Pss. cxl- 

The dependence of the Psalm on Ps. Ixxvil and on Job xl. ao, 
and much in its style and contents, show that it is post-exiiic. No 
scholar now defends its Davidlc authorship. 

342 THE PSALMS 142. 2-5 

With my voice unto the Lord do I make supplication. 

2 I pour out my complaint before him ; 
I shew before him my trouble. 

3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, thou Imewest 

my path. 
In the way wherein I walk have they hidden a snare for me. 

4 Look on my right hand, and see ; for there is no man that 

knoweth me : 
Refuge hath failed me ; no man careth for my souL 

5 I cried unto thee, O Lord; 

Z'4. The complaint, 

1. Render: *I cry alond unto Jehovfth; Loudly do I prayibr 

With Biy TOloo » * aloud ' : see iii. 4. 

The Psalmist calls attention not to the loudness of the prayer n 
such, but to the earnestness which the loudness implies. 

a f« Render these verses as follows : a. ' I pour out my complaint 
before Him ; I show before Him my distress * (///. 'straitness/ see 
on cvii. 6)f 3. ' When my spirit within me is exhausted. In the 
way in which I walk they hide for me a snare ; but thou — tfaoo 
knowest my path.' 

3. OTsrwIisliiMdi //'/. ^covered/ so that breathing: is difBcut: 
then 'faint/ 'languishing.* 

thou kaswMt: to be removed (with WeHhausen) to the end 
of the verse : see translation above. 

4. Z^ok, Sec. : instead of the imperative we must with LXX 
Pesh., Targ. read ' I k>ok (looked) ... see ' fsaw). No change is 
the consonants is necessary, since the Infinitive Absolute has 
often the meaning of the finite verb. The Psalmist looked rigfae 
and left of him, but found no one to acknowledge him as his 
prot^g^ ^Ruth X. 10, 19^ The imperative * look ' addressed tc 
Jehovah is more strange than striking. 

OS my vlght hand s i. e. where the helper stood ; see xvL 8, 
cix, 6, 31, ex. 5, cxxi. 5 (but see on) : but it is better (witb 
Duhm, Sec) to restore * and on my left hand/ an addition required 
by the sense. It had fallen out before the versions were made. 

tori better, 'but.' 

BsfuirVf Sec, : based on Job xl so. 

no aaa oaar^th* &c. : see Jer. xxx» 17. 
5-8. The prayer. 

5. X evisdx better, <I cry/ 

THE PSALMS 142. 6—143. x 343 

I said, Thou art my refuge, 

My portion in the land of the living. 

Attend unto my cry ; for I am brought very low : 6 

Deliver me from my persecutors ; for they are stronger 

than I. 
Bring my soul out of prison, that I may give thanks unto 7 

thy name : 
The righteous shall compass me about; 
For thou Shalt deal bountifully with me. 

APftalmofDavid. 148 

Hear my prayer, O Lord j give ear to my supplications : i 

I Mddi better, < I say ' : see cxl. 6. 

mjr tfdngm 1 a different word from that lo translated in verse 4, 
In the latter the prominent idea is that of iswpe^ as such. The 
word in this verse means specially a place of security as such. 

6. This verse is built up of borrowed words and phrases : See 
vii. X, xvii. Z) xviii. 17, xxxi. 15, Ixxix. 8, 

7. pvlsoai it is a condition of misery that is meant, and not 
a literal /»/(aey of confinement : see cvii. 10 and Isa. xlii. 7, and see 
on cvii. 6 : see, however, also cxiiii. 3. It was the presence of 
this word in the Psalm that prompted the tradition preserved in 
the title. 

Vhe rigbtfoui sIiaU oompMa, Sec, ; render : ' For the right- 
eous will glorify (thee) when thou showest kindness to me.* The 
proper Hebrew for this is such as could be easily corrupted to the 
received text. No other emendation or rendering seems to the 
present writer equal to that proposed by himself above. 

deal iMvnttAOlj, &c. : see on cxvi. 7. 

Psalm CXLIII. 

ThifHi, IPnyer for pardon, guidance and deliverance. This 
is the last of the * penitential Psalms ' : see on Ps. cii {Contents), 

I. Title, A David Psalm. The LXX adds to this : < When hU 
son persecuted him.* Of course Absalom is meant: but the 
accuracy of this account of the Psalm, though defended by 
Delitzsch, is too improbable to need reftitation. 

II, Contents, (i) Complaint. The Psalmist is in great distress : 
aU the more because his trouble is due, in a measure, to his own 
sin (verses 1-6). 

344 THE PSALMS 143. 2-4 

In thy &ithfulne88 answer me, and m thy righteousness. 

2 And enter not into judgement with thy servant ; 
For in thy sight shall no man iving be justified 

3 For the enemy hath persecuted mj soul ; 

He hath smitten my life down to the ground : 
He hath made me to dwell in darit places^ as those that 
have been long dead. 

4 Therefore is my qitrit overwhelmed within me ; 
My heart within me is desolate. 

■ '■ " '' " ■' " " ^ ■■ 

(a) Prayer ior guidance s«d ddivenmM, and dso for tbe 

destruction of his foes (verses 7'X3). 

III. Authorship and Date, See general remarks to Pss. 
cxl-cxliii. In his last edition Ewald excluded the pretenC Psalm 
fl-om thtf group Pss. cxl-cxUii, though according if a similar date. 

i-^ The complaint, 

1. In this verse rlglitaoiuniMHi has obviously the sense of 
Ikithfain— which the word has in Isa. xl ff« Yet in the next 
verse the cognate verb keeps its original sense of beings or of 
being considered, just. 

8. •nt«r a4»t, &c. : ' Do not let me be brought before thy 
court : I am sinful as all are, and I cannot stand the test of being 
Judged by Thee.' God alone is just ; see Ixxi. 16. 

thj unwwaXi see on lxxxvi« a. 

be jvOitifledi the Hebrew verb i% active: !t»<to stand 
acquitted.' The LXX, Jero. render by the passive as the E. W. 

3. Port introducing the ground of the earnest petition Just 
presented : see verses 3 f. 

dark plaoM t reference is perhaps made here to prisons or 
dungeons : see on cxliL 7. Probably, however, the word is to be 
understood metaphorically for a condition of great distress. 

as those . . . long dead t i. e. like those long ago dead and 
now forgotten ; see Ixxxviii. 5. This Is certainly the meaning, 
and not ' like people dead for ever, with no hope of resurrection,^ 
though Delitzscb defends this latter view : see Jer. U. 99 ; 
Ecclea. xii. 5. 
. 4. OTsrwlwlaMdf &c. i see on cxlii. 3. 

Mjr lisart wltmm as is simply a poet's way of saying 
U myself : see on cxix. 9. nj spirit . . . witliia mm has the 
same sense : < I am faint,' languishing.' 

dssols;ls f the verb has here the sense which It has In Eccles. 
vil 16, i.e. ' destro^'ed,' 'undone.' 

• THE PSALMS 143.6-9 345 

I remember the days of old ; 6 

I meditate on all thy doings : 

I muse on the work of thy hands. 

I spread forth my hands unto thee : 6 

My soul thirsMh after thee, as a weary land. [Selah 

Make haste to answer me» O Lord ; my spirit faileth : . 7 

Hide not thy face from me ; 

Lest I become like them that go down into the pit. 

Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning ; 8 

For in thee do I trust : 

Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk ;. 

For I lift up my soul unto thee. 

Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies : 9 

I flee unto thee to hide me. 

5 f. The rflmembranoe of what God hat done for him en* 
courages him to pray for deliverance. 
6. th« dajs of oldi see Ixxvii. 5, zi. 

doinrs I work 1 see Ixxvli. la. 
•• Z tpread fertli t see xiiv. ao, Ixxxviii. 9, exii. a \ Isa. L 15 ; 
Lam. i. 17 ; and see on cxli. a. 

fhiriMhx the verb has dropped out of the Hebrew, but 
Ixiii. z, whence the present clause is taken, shows that we must 
restore < thirsteth.' 

WM a wiMy lind (tongs for water). For woaxy read ^ dry ' : 
the former word is a gloss in Ixiii. z, and must be omitted : so 
Baethgen and Duhm. 

7-za. Praytr for fuidana^ diUvtmnety and for v*ngtanc$ upon hi$ 
tnnniis. This half of the Psalm is made up almost wholly of 
extracts from earlier Psalms, an important fact in determining the 
date of the Psalm. 
7i See xxvii. 9^ xxviii. z, Ixix. 17, Ixxxiv. a, cil. a. 

the piti i.e. Sheol, * To go down into the pit ' means here * to die.* 
8. Oauso sm to hear 1 change one letter and read, ' satisfy me 
with/ as in xc. Z4 : so Kirkpatrick, Duhm. 
in the Momlttff I see xc. 14. 
•• l>iXiT«r . . . eaemles 1 as lix. z ; cf. xxxi. Z5, cxlit. 6. 
Z fl#o» &c. : read, 'I take refuge in thee* or *I flee to thee' 
(for safety) r so the LXX and most moderns. Baethgen reads 
U wait on thee.* The M. T. means <To thee I hide/ which is 
senseless, for the verb has no object after it. 

346 THE PSALMS 143. lo— 144. i 

10 Teach me to do thy will ; for thou art my God : 

Thy spirit is good ; lead me in the land of uprightness. 

11 Quicken me, O Lord, for thy name's sake : 

In thy righteousness bring my soul out of trouble. 
13 And in thy lovingkindness cut off mine enemies, 
And destroy all them that afflict my soul ; 
For I am thy servant 
144 APsaimotDtLyid. 

I Blessed be the Lord my rock, 

10. TmmIl mm, &c. : see xxv. 4 f., xl. 8. 
fSov thou, 8cc, : see xxxi 14, xl 6. 

Thj •plrit . . . VBirUflktnmm 1 render : 'Maj tlgr good spirit 
lead me in a level ' (or * even '} ' path/ L e. in a path free from 
pitfalls into which one may fall, and from rough stones over tvhich 
one may stumble. 

laad of nyvightMM s for < Und * read (with Hupfeld) « path ' 
(cbaogiiig: one consonant) : the Hebrew for ' uprightness ' means 
' what is level,' • even.' 

11. ^niokoB HI* 1 see on czix. 25. 
Cmt thy luuiui's Saks s see xxv. zz. 
ilgbteoiumMHi-*' faithfulness,* as in verse i. 

18. As regards such maledictbns, see Introduction to cix, p. azd 

Psalm CXLIV. 
Theme, See Contents. 

I. Contents, This Psalm seems to be made up of three distinct 
parts which had originally no connexion with one another : but 
see on verses 9-zz. 

(z) A compilation of passages, mainly from Ps. xviii, in which 
Jehovah is praised for help in war (verses z-4), and prayer is 
offered for further deliverance (verses 5-8). 

(a) Prayer of the king to be protected from treacherous bar- 
barians (verses 9-Z1). 

(3) A fragment of some lost Psalm describing the happiness of 
the people who worship Jehovah (verses za-15). 

II. Authorship and Date. See under Contents. The use made 
of other Psalms, the strong Aramaic colouring, and other things, 
point to a date considerably later than the Exile for each of 2ie 
three sections of the Psalm. 

When citations are made in this Psalm from other Psalms, the 
notes on the passages cited should be consulted. 
1-4. Praise to Jehovah for help in war. 

THE PSALMS 144. a.6 347 

Which teacheth my hands to war, 

And lay fingers to fight : 

My lovingkindness, and my fortress, a 

My high tower, and my deliverer \ 

My shield, and he in whom I trust ; 

Who subdueth my people under me« 

Lord, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him ? s 

Or the son of man, that thou makest account of him ? 

Man is like to vanity : 4 

His days are as a shadow that passeth away. 

Bow thy heavens^ O Lord, and come down : 5 

Touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. 

Cast forth lightning, and scatter them ; 6 

!• From xviii. 46, 34* 
BlMMd I same meaning virtually as ' praised * : see on cxviil. 
fl6. In verse 15 the other Hebrew word generally translated 
< blessed ' is rightly rendered < happy * ; see on Ixxxiv. 4. 
my rook t see on Ixxv. 5 and xcv. i. 

flnrns I referring perhaps to the use of the bow. It is often, 
however, as here in parallelism with hMids, and then with no 
diflference of meaning. 
8. From xviii. d, 47. 

For the various figures used to set forth Jehovah*a manifold 
helpfulness see on xviii. a (vol i). God is not here described as 
a Rock as in xviii. a : perhaps for the same reason which led the 
LXX translators to render the word by God, i. e, to avoid any 
apparent encouragement of idol worship ; see on Ixxv. 5, xcv. i. 
3f. MavC^ inBtgmficantt* He is wholly undeserving of the 
favour shown him by Jehovah. 

3. From viii. 4 ; see a Sam. vii. z8. 
man 1 see on xc. 3 and ciii. 15. 

aon of man 1 i. e. ' human being ' ( •■ Latin homo and Greek 
anthr6poa). See for 'son ' on Ixxix. zi. 

4. 4* is a variation of xxxix. 5, xz, or of Ixii. 9 ; 4^ is a variation 
of Job xiv. a ; see cii. zx, cix. a3 ; Job viii. 9. 

5-8. A prayer for furthtr dtHvtranc$ by the mamfo$Mhn of 
JthovaHs majisty. 

5. 5* from xviii. 9*, 5^ from civ. 33^, but description is changed 
into entreaty. 

•. From xviii. X4 : cf. a Sam. xxii. 15. 
tham t i. e. the enemies, though they are not named. 

348 THE PSALMS 144. f^u 

Send out thine arrows, and discomfit thenv 

7 Stretch forth thine hand from above; 
Rescue me, and deliver me out of great waters^ 
Out of the hand of strangers ; 

8 Whose mouth speaketh vanity. 

And their right hand is a right hand of falsehood. 

9 I will sing a new song unfx> thee, O God : 

Upon a psaltery of ten strings will I sing prases unto thee. 

10 It is he that giveth salvation unto kii^ : 

Who rescueth David his servant fnom the hurtful sword. 

11 Rescue me, and deliver me out of the hand of strangers, 

7. From xviii. i6, description bettig again changed into entreaty. 
Smioim: another verb vsrith this general sense; see on Ixxiv. a. 

The Hebrew word here occurs in this Psalm only, viz. verses 7, 
%Of and II, but it is common in Aramaic. Its etymological sense is 
* to cut off,' then * to loosen,' 'set free.' 

8. rigl&t lumd lie.' oath ' : among the Semites foi oath was 
made by elevating the right hand (pointing to deity). Thmli 
right luukA, See, means * their oath is a false oath.^ 

9- 1 1. A kin^ 8 prayer for deliverance from iTBotktfwnfoe*. The 
connexion with the foregoing is loose, though the aUnskm to false 
oaths in both parts (see verses 8 and 11) forms a link between 
ttaem, and suggests common authorship^ 

%M From xxxiii. at 
(K>di the only other examples of Elohim (God) occtirring 
alone as a Divine name in Books IV and V (Pss. xc-cl) are in 
Ps. cviii (see on), which is compiled out of two Elohistic Psalms, 
and in cxlv. i. Perhaps in the latter and in the present verse 
we should read ' Jehovah ' ( Yahvoeh\ 

% psalttvy of ton strings t render : <a ten-stringed harp/ 
see Introduction^ pp. ^7 f. 

10. 10* from xviii. 50^. 

Who rMomstk : see on verse 7. 

David: an instance of the use of David in the general sense 
<king,' Cf. < Kaiser ' (German), < Czar ' (Russian) from ' Caesar.' 
According to Stade the Messiah is meant : see Eiek. xxxiv. 33 C ; 
Hos. iii. 5. 

Ills servant 1 not in the original passage : rhythm requires 
its omission here. 

11. Bsseas: see on verse 7. 

THE PSALMS 144. 12, 13 349 

Whose mouth spcaketh .vanity, 

And their right hand is a right hand of falsehood. 

When our sons shall be as plants grown up in their youth ; la 
And our daughters as corner stones hewn after the fashion 

of a palace ; 
When our garners are full, affording all manner of store ; 13 

1 1 Duhm thinks the reference is to the right hand by 
which oaths are made ; see on verse fi. So he would paraphrase x 
* Rescue me from the false oath,^ i. e. the treachery of (these) 
foreigners. See the closing line of the verse. 

witnngnxmt -Heb. < foreigners,' 

tlMlr right hand, &c. : see on 8^. 

12-15. Thi haj^py tot of JtkcvaKs people. This is a mere fragment 
from a poem Which is otherwise lost. This specimen is so charm- 
ing that one cannot but regret the loss of the rest of the song. 
Verse la bepfins with a relative pronoun which is quite unin* 
telligiblei as the n6un to which It refers was in the part which is 
missing, tt seems a waste of time and a misuse of ingenuity to 
try and explain this relative as If it referred to something in thq 
earlier verses of the existing Psalm. 

18. plftatS! better, * saplings' : what has been newly planted, 
and sends forth shoots. The same thought is intended as , in 
cxxviii. 3, * young olive trees.' Baethgen refers to Verg. Aen. 
ix. 674. 

ffrown npt referring to the plants fully grown, though 

in th«ir yonth 1 referring to the sons. 

oomcr «toaMi 1 Duhm says that we must here understand 
those pillars which, in Greek architecture, were carved as female 
figures— the * Caryatides.' It is, perhaps, a proper objection 
that Greek art would be scarcely used to embellish Hebrew poetry, 
but at a late time Hebrew writers were considerably influenced 
by Greek thought (cf. the *• Wisdom .liten^ture '). Delitzsch, 
Kay, &c. think that we are to understand here the cornices 
which were found, and are still to be seen, in the angles of 
Eastern rooms, elaborately carved and gorgeously coloured. 

18, The home is not only to be full of flourishing children, 
but there is to be an abundance of food for all. 

all manner of store i lit 'from kind to kind,' i.e. 'every 
kind ' (of provision). The word here rendered * kind ' is of Persian 
origin (so Ndldeke), and occurs in a Chron. xvi, 14, and in Sir. 
(Heh.) xxxviii. s8. It answers to the Heb. mli». 

350 THE PSALMS 144. 14— 145. i 

And our sheep bring forth thousands and ten thousands 
in our fields ; 

14 When our oxen are well laden; 

When there is no breaking in, and no going forth, 
And no outcry in our streets ; 

15 Happy is the people, that is in such a case : 

Yea^ happy is the people, whose God b the Lord. 

145 A Psalm of praise ; of David. 

I I will extol thee, my God, O King ; 

in our fMAu 1 the Hebrew word means what is outside 
(the house), and is used of streets (as distinct from open spaces, 
see verse 14) and also as here of fields. 

14. Render : ' (When there is) no breach (in the walls) and 
no one going forth (as a prisoner), And there is no cty (of distress) 
in our open spaces.' 

When our oz«a «?• wsU lad«n s the Hebrew so rendered is 
incapable of rational translation, and it must be regarded a« a mere 
dittograph, through a copyist's mistake, of the Hebrew words in 
verse 13 translated (our sheep) Inrlnff toxVi thons>n4s and Xma. 
thousands s the resemblance in the Hebrew is close. 

The Hebrew word rendered oxen means 'chieftains,' though 
a mere change of vowels is needed to obtain the word for * oxen.* 
But the abundance of provisions implied in well-laden oxen has 
been already mentioned (verse 13). Some, however, understand 
'oxen capable of carrying burden,' a sense permitted by the passive 
participle found here : seeon xcvi.4 and cxi.a. SoTarg.,Qimkhi,&c. 

no InrssUnff in s no invading foe will make a breach in the 
wan (Neh. vi. 7), 

no ffolnir <brth i as a prisoner taken by a foreign foe : see 
9 Kings xxiv. la; Amos iv. 3, The Hebrew has afem. participle 
used as neuter impersonally, ///. ' nothine going out/ 

no ontorj : i. e. no cry of distress by the defeated citizens : 
see Jer. xiv. 2. 

strssts: the Hebrew word means broad^ open spaces like 
our squares : this is where the people would gather, and a panic 
might drive them to yell and howl in their distress. See on verse 
13 (flslAs). 

IB. In this verse the blessings enumerated in verses ia-14 are 
summed up : 15^ is from xxxiii. la. 

Baypy s see on Ixxxiv. 4. 

Psalms CXLV-CL. 
These ^HalleP or <Prmse Psalms' owe their origin probably 

THE PSALMS 146. 2,3 351 

And I will bless thy name for ever and ever. 
Every day will I bless thee ; 
And I will praise thy name for ever and ever. 
Great is the LorD| and highly to be praised i 
And his greatness is unsearchable. 

to liturgical needs, i. e. they were made to be sung in the temple. 
Pss. cxlvi-cl all begin and end with the formula * Praise ye 
Yah/ i.e. < Hallelujah.' Ps. cxlv has in its title the word 
///i(7/aA «' praise.' These six Psalms cxiv-cl are closely united 
in subject-matter, language, and in poetical form, and they are 
probably products of the same age, perhaps of the revived interest 
in worship which followed the dedication of the temple after its 
desecration by the Syrian army. An older date has been argued 
from the fact that the recently discovered Hebrew fragment of Sir. 
seems to imply the prior existence of Ps. cxlvii f. : this would give 
a date at least twenty years before the time of the Maccabees. 
But in the common phrases and even paragraphs found in different 
writings it is always difficult to decide which is original. Ps. 
cxlix is almost certainly Maccabean, and this carries with it a 
Maccabean date for the remaining five Psalms of the group. 

Psalm CXLV. 
Thimi. A hymn in praise of Jehovah's bountifulness and 

I. Coniints, It is an alphabetical Psalm, the last of them, and 
■a in the case of such Psalms generally, the connexion of thought 
is loose, and does not lend itself readily to logical analysis : the 
parts are bound by that which is external— the letters of the 
alphabet— and not much bv the thought. 

We have here a beautiful song of praise : a bracelet in which 
one beautiful bead is strung on after another, making a yet more 
beautiful whole. It is an alphabetic Psalm, but the nun strophe 
has been lost (so Grotius, Ewald, &c.). The LXX (so Vulg.) 
supplies such a strophe (see under verse 13), but its genuineness 
is denied by nearly all modem scholars. 

II. Authorship and Datt. See General Introduction to Pss. 

Baethgen thinks verse 13 excludes a Maccabean date. 

1. {dllph), mjCtod, O King \ observe the note of universalism : * 
not Jehovah, nor King of Israel ; cf. verse 9 (all) : but see on 
cxliv. 9. 

fbr ever and erer: see on cxix. 44. 

8. {pith). 

3. {gTmil), 3* from xlviii. a. 

SSZ THE PSALMS 146. 4-9 

4 One generation shall bud thy works to another. 
And shall declare thy mighty acts* 

5 Of the glorious majesty of thine honour, 
And of thy wondrous works, will I meditate. 

6 And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts ; 
And I will declare thy greatness. 

7 They shall utter the memory of thy great goodness. 
And shall sing of thy righteousness. 

8 The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion ; 
Slow to anger, and of great mercy. 

9 The Lord is good to all ; 

4. (ddU^h). Seexix.3. 

ft. {hi). Of tlM gloslotui auijmrtj of this* honoiuri Heb. 
'Of the majesty of the gkny of thy honour* t in Pesh. and one 
other ancient authority the word * glory ' is omitted. Thb ivouM 
relieve the sentence and help the rhythm : render, 'Of the majesty 
of thy honour,' so Baedigen. 

of thy woBdxoiM works: lit, 'words' or 'things of,' &c. 
]. e. ' instances of thy wondrous works/ see on cv. a8. The 
LXX and Pesb. make a verb of the Hebrew word denoting 
' words/ ' things/ rendering the verse thus : * They will apeak 
of the glorious majesty of thy holiness, and tell of thy wonders.' 

6. (wdw), tlM might of tflqr tendbla aetaf reierring to 
Jehovah's judgements upon the heathen. 

X will doolase s we must certainly read ' they shall declare/ 
as the context shows. So the Targ. and some MSS. of the LXX. 

thy gVMbtiiMNii render (with keih,, Aq^, Jero.), 'tby great 
deeds ' : cf. (the parallel) tby tonlblo acts. 

7. (jsain), mtfeeori lit 'make to bubble' (like a spring): the 
same Hebrew word in xix. a and cxix. 171. 

of tby grmkt iroodiiMMi t read (changing one vowel), ' of the 
greatness of thy goodness.' 

■img t Heb. ' sing with a loud, piercing voice.' The verb is 
used especially of the ringing shouts of victorious armies. 

rlghfowwoss I i. e. faithfulness, as in Isa. xl ff. 
■ 8. (Jkhilh). Taken from Exod. xxxiv. 6 with trivial change. See 
Ixxxvu 13, ciii. 8. 

of groat moroy : Heb. ' great in lovingkindness.' 
9. itiih'), good to all : read, ' good to all those who wait (upon 
Him).' The LXX has the additional words, but not the word for 

THE PSALMS 145. 10-14 353 

And his tender mercies are over all his works. 

All thy works shall give thanks unto thee, O Lord *, 10 

And thy saints shall bless thee. 

They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdonii 11 

And talk of thy power ; 

To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, la 

And the glory of the majesty of his kingdom. 

Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, 13 

And thy dominion endureth throughout all generations. 

The Lord upholdeth all that fall, 14 

And raiseth up all those that be bowed down. 

tead«r m«roi«s I Heb. 'compassions.' ' 

10. (yddh), thy saints 1 better, ' thy favoured ones * : see vol. 
iy Note By pp. 360 f. 

IX ff. repeat the thoughts of verses 4-6. 

11. {kaph)» thy powari in Hebrew the sing, of the word 
rendered thy nighty aots in verse 4 : in verse 1 1 the sing, occurs 
as here. 

la. {Idmfdh). his itilffhty aots • . . his kingdom 1 the sudden 
transition from the second person to the third is strange, though 
in poetry far from unexampled : see pp. 175, 336. Perliaps it is due 
to the carelessness of the compiler. The LXX keeps up the con- 
tinuity of the second person, reading * thy * for * his.' The Hebrew 
has the second person from verse 13 to the end of verse 16 : then 
the third person is used to the end of the Psalm as it is in verse 3. 

13. {mim). This verse occurs also in Dan. iii. 33 and iv. 31. 
The present is the original passage, though Hitzig maintains the 

The nUn strophe ought to come in here, and it is highly prob- 
able that it did exist in the original form of the Psalm. 

In the LXX and in the Vulg., which in the JPsalms always 
follows it, a nAn strophe is supplied as follows : ^Faithful (,Heb. 
nt^ntdn) is Jehovah in all his words, and holy in all his works.' 
This strophe is not found in the other versions and it is generally 
regarded as an attempt at supplying the place of a lost verse. 
Duhm, however, accepts it as genuine. The subject cannot be 
discussed here. 

14. {sdmek). raisath npi the Hebrew word occurs nowhere 
in the O. T. except here and in cxlvi. 8. It is common in 

" A a 

354 THE PSALMS 145. 15—146. i 

15 The eyes of all wait upon thee ; 

And thou givest them their meat in due season. 

16 Thou openest thine hand, 

And satisfiest the desire of every living thing. 

17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways, 
And gracious in all his works. 

18 The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him. 
To all that call upon him in truth. 

19 He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him; 
He also will hear their cry, and will save them. 

20 The Lord preserveth all them that love him ; 
But all the wicked will he destroy. 

31 My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord; 

And let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever. 

146 Praise ye the Lord. 

15. ('am). God is pictured as a householder supplyinf^ the 
needs of all. So civ. a^ on which the verse is based. 

16. (fi). MtlslUsttlie desire, &c. : render: < (Thou) satisfiest 
every living thing with (what thy) good will (supplies).' The 
word rendered ' desire ' corresponds with good (i. e. good things, 
in dv. 28 : it means the feeling in God of being well pleased : His 
favour : then by metonymy of effect for cause what His favour 
supplies. The word has often this objective sense in Proverbs. 

17. (Jsddht), rlirbtsons: i. e. 'faithful,' as the parallelism proves, 
wajs : see on ciii. 7. 

18. {q5ph), nigh I i. e. to help : see xxxiv. 18, cxix. 151 ; Deut 
iv. 7. 

la trnth s see Isa. x. 20 ; John xiv. 83 f. 

19. (risk), dssirs : here the word has its subjective meaning : 
the feeling of desire as such. 

thslr cry J Heb. < their ciy for help.' 

80. {shtn). See on cxix. 161-168 (sliia). 

81. (taw), tot vrmt aad ever: an interpolation from verse a. 
The measure of the verse requires its omission. 

Psalms CXLVI— CL. 

For general remarks regarding these Hallelujah Psalms see oo 
Pss. cxlv-cl. They begin and end with < Hallelujah/ though the 

THE PSALMS 146. 2-5 355 

Praise the Lord, O my soul. 

While I live will I praise the Lord : s 

I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. 

Put not your trust in princes, i 

Nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. 

His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth ; ^ 

In that very day his thoughts perish. 

Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for hid help, i 

■ ' ■ ■ ' ' ' t I I I ■ 

< Hallelujah' which closes these Psalms is almost certain^ 
a copyist*s addition due to dittography. 

Psalm CXLVI. 
Thimi, Jehovah alone the unfailing Deliverer. 

I. Conttnts* (z) Jehovah alone to be trusted : men may fail 
(verses 1-4). 

(a) Jehovah Creator, Judge, Deliverer and King (versus 5-10). 

II. Authorship and Date, See general remarks on cxl^^«^cI. 
x-4. Jthovah alom to bi trusted, 

I f. Compare with the Psalmist^s summons to himself to worship 
Jehovah in ciii. i, civ. x, on which these two verses are based. 

Though these Psalms are primarily congregational the individual 
note breaks out often as here. 

8. Like civ. 33 with slight changes. 

3 f. IVaming against trusting in men. In verse 5 f. the positive 
side of the truth ii stated and enforced. 

a. Based on cxviii. 8f. Faithless heathen rulers are meant, 
Syrian, or perhaps Persian. 

■OB of miui I i. e. man : see on Ixxxix. 35. 
haip I the Hebrew word is usually rfindered ^ laWation ' : it 
means 'a state of being set at large,' and is cognate with the 
proper names 'Joshua,' 'Jesus' : see on Ixxiv. a, and on cvii. 6. 

•Ii. See civ. a^; Isa. ii. aa. The verse occurs in i Mace. ti. 63^ 
only that in the latter Sis liseath ffoath forfh and Zn Uiat vary 
dA7 are absent* Bickell and Duhm omit them here on metrical 
grounds, finding, support in the Apocrypha passage. 

thoughts: an Aramaic word meaning also 'purposes.- It 
occurs nowhere else in the O. T., though it is found in the Hebrew 
text of Sir. iii. 34. The verb occurs in Dan. vi. 4 ('to think'), 
and a cognate noun in Job xii. 5 (' thought'). 

5-10. Jehovah^ s favour displayed in mam/M ways, 

6. See XX. r, xxxiii. 13, cxliv. 15. 
Happy I translated 'Blessed' in i. x, &c. : see on Ixxxiv. 4. 

A a 3 

3S6 THE PSALMS 146; 6^9 

Whose hope is in the Lord his God : 

6 Which made heaven and earth, 
The sea, and all that in them is ; 
Which keepeth truth for ever : 

7 Which executeth judgement for the oppressed ; 
Which giveth food to the hungry : 

The Lord looseth the prisoners ; 

8 The Lord openeth the eyes ^the blind ; 

The Lord raiseth up them that are bowed down ; 
The Lord loveth the righteous ; 

9 The Lord preserveth the strangers ; 
He upholdeth the fatherless and widow ; 

But the way of the wicked he turneth upside down. 

The Hebrew word occurs twenty^five times in the Psalter, but 
this is ks last occurrence. 

]u>pes an Aramaic word found besides only in czix. 11& 

6. Jthovaf^s power in com frost with mans weakness (see verse 4). 

in tiMm : i. e. in heaven, earth, and sea. 
T. 7* is from ciii. 6. With 7* cf. cvii. 9. 

8. 8* is identical with cxlv. 14^ 

Til* IMMiD (i. e. Jehovah) stands at the head of five successive 
lines in Hebrew as in English ; probably to make it very dear 
that He and no other does the things ascribed to Him. 

apMMtta. • • . Xbm Idisd s the word 9fm has evidently slipped 
out of the Hebrew, and must be restored. ' To open the blind ' 
is no more Hebrew idiom than English. Blindness -is used to 
convey the notion of general helplessness : see Deut xxviiL 39 ; 
Job xii. 35, xzix. z8, xxxv, 5, Sec 

9. stxangwwi Heb. (sing.) ^^r, translated 'sojourner' in czix. 
29 (see on). The Hebrew word never means in the O. T. 
'proseljrte,' by which the LXX here and usually renders it, 
though in later parts of the O. T. the term has, in addition to its 
civil, a religious signification : but the ger still needs protection 
(cf. IMbMlMNi flaUl widow). 

ftittmrtsMi strictly < orphans' : see on Ixxxti. 3. 

tho wHj • . • lis tnmstai vpflUto downs the verb means ' to 
make crooked': the sense is 'God causes the wicked to reach 
a goal which they have not in view: they seek happiness, but 
the way they walk in i» made, by Divine overruling, to issue in 

THE PSALMS 146. lo— 147. a 357 

The Lord shall reign for ever, 10 

Thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. 
Praise ye the Lord. 

Praise ye the Lord ; 147 

For it is good to sing praises unto our God ; 

For it is pleasant, and praise is comely. 

The Lord doth build up Jerusalem ; a 

10. io*-:£xod. XV. j8\ 

Vr»lM y« tlM ZiOBD (Yah) : omitted in LXX, Pesh. 

Psalm CXLVII. 
ThtPM, Jehovah's love and power displayed in nature. 

I. Cimienia, (i) Jehovah's love to Israel shown in the re- 
building of Jerusalem, and in the restoration of her exiled 
inhabitants (verses 1-3). 

(a) Jehovah's power displayed in nature and in His treatment 
of men according to their deserts (verses 4-T1). 

(3) The people of Jerusalem urged to praise Jehovah for what 
He has done on their behalf (verses xa-14). 

(4) Jehovah's gracious doings in nature a pledge of His faithful- 
ness to Israel (verses 15-ao). 

A rigid analysis of the Psalm is rendered impossible by its 
liturgical origin and character. 

11. Authorship and Date, See general remarks on Pss. czlv- 
cl at p. 350. 

The LXX and dependent versions divide this Psalm into tw0| 
redconing verses i-ii as Ps. cxlvi : see Introd. p. 6. 

1-3 Jehovah'*s goodmsa to Jiruaalem, 

1. WrtAwm y%f &c. t inserted, by mistake, in verse z instead of 
in the title ; see ' Hallelujah Psakna/ p. aa6f. The misplacement 
of this liturgical formula arose through the mistaken insertion of 
the Hebrew particle {kt) rendered Twb, which has come into the 
first line from the second by dittography^ and which is not 
represented in the Pesh. The verse itself should then be 
translated ; ' It is good to sing praises to our God ; For it is 
pleasant, (and) praise is comely.' We then reduce the three lines 
of verse i to two (disticli>, corresponding to every verse in the 
Psalm except verse 8 ; the liturgical summons taking its proper 
place in the title and not in the Psahn itself. If the Hebrew word 
ki is retained it must be rendered ' Surely/ not Vw. 

3S8 THE PSALMS 147. 3.7 

He gathereth together the outcasts of Israel 

3 He healeth the broken in heart, 
And bindeth up their wounds. 

4 He telleth the number of the stars ; 
He giveth them all their names. 

5 Great is our Lord, and mighty in power ; 
His understanding is infinite. 

'6 The Lord upholdeth the meek : 

He bringeth the wicked down to the ground. 
7 Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving ; 

Sing praises upon the harp unto our God : 

5. 3^ is from Isa. 1^. 8 with one trivial change. 

3. Based on Isa. Izi. t : cf. Ho& vi. z and Ps. cxzxvii. 

4-1 1. Jehovah's power manifesUd m nature and among nun, 
4f. Based on Isa. xl. q6, a8. 

4. Mm UXka/VtL tlM anmliMr, &c. : i.e. He reckons up the 
number of the stars, a task beyond man's power (Gen. xv. 15) : 
He knows how many there are : or. He assigns a number to tJie 
stars ; determines how many of them are to be : so Hengatenbei]^, 
Ewald, Hitzig, Hupfeld. Tlie Hebrew and the parallelism support 
this last interpretation. 

X« glvvtli than all tlMis nasmmm i better, ' He calls all of 
them by (their) names/ L e. He calls them up to appear before 
Him to report themselves, just as soldiers have to answer when 
the muster roll is called : see Isa. xl. 96. 

ft. migbtj in powvr 1 Heb. ' abundant in power ' : see Isa. 
xl. a6. 

laflnltoi Heb. ' imnimerable.' But this cannot be aaid of 
Jehovah's understanding, as our English translators saw. We 
must read * unsearchable,' from the puallel passage in Isa. xl. a8. 
The word ' number ' got into verse 5 from verse 4 by dittograpby : i 
' there is no searching ' ( «■ unsearchable), becoming ' there is no 
number's* without number' (Mnnumerable '). . , 

6. God's love and power are manifested not only in inanimate | 
nature, but in His treatment of men. 

nplioldefli s the same word in cxlvi. 9. I 

?< Duhm thinks that with the new summons to praise God ia | 

this verse we have the opening of a new Psahn. 

liarp I better, <ljre' : see Introd. p. A 

THE PSALMS 147. 8^ia 359 

Who covereth the heaven with clouds,. .8 

Who prepareth rain for the earth, 

Who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. 

He giveth to the beast his food, 9 

And to the young ravens which cry. 

He delighteth not in the strength of the horse : 10 

He taketh no pleasure in the legs of a man. 

The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, 1 1 

In those that hope in his mercy. 

Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem ; la 

Praise thy God, O Zion. 

8. See civ. 13 f.; This verae \% the only tristich in the Psalm 
when we have removed * Praiae-ye-Yah ' outaide from verse i to 
the title. The UCX add to verse 8 from civ. .14 ^ and grass for the 
service of men.' 

Who maketh ffrijii to ffrow upon tho moimtaliii 1 Kay 
renders^- ' Who makes the mountains to shoot forth grass,' which 
the Hebrew allows but does not necessitate. 

upon th« wvanntalug 1 i, e« beyond the reach of roan's care 
and cultivation. Kay gives illustrations of this thought from 
several writers. 

0. See cxlv. 15 ; Job xxxviii. 41 ; Luke xii. 34. 

jonaiT ravenii the Hebrew means simply ^ravens' : lit 'sons 
of the raven.* But * sons ' (usually rendered * children ') 'of Israel' 
do not mean the youthful portion of the nation : see on cvii. 8. 

oryi according to the LXX 'who call upon God.' Their cry 
is a prayer. It is probablyi however, only the cry as such. of the 
raven that is meant. According to Kay the thought is—* though 
the raven sends up such a harsh scream God does not disregard 
it' ; a very fanciful conjecture. 

lof. follow xxxiii. 16-18 (see on). Jehovah takes pleasure in 
what is morally excellent, not in physical strength or agility. 
10. hone 1 the war-horse is meant : see Job xxxix. 19^25. 

l«g« of a man : cf. Homer's epithet for Achilles, * swif^.* In 
ancient warfare, much more than now, swift-footedness was 
extremely necessary in a warrior, as well as strength. 
XX. meroy: better, Movingkindness.' 

12-14. Jth&vuk^s goodntaa to /trusalem. 

X8. With verse xa the LXX, Jero., Pesh., and probably Aq,, 
Theod.^ Sym., began a new Psalm : so also Duhm Jind Cheyne<'^>, 
though the latter does not, like the former, make two independent 

36o THE PSALMS 147. 13-17 

13 For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates ; 
He hath blessed thy children within thee. 

14 He maketh peace in thy borders ; 

He filleth thee with the finest of the wheat 

15 He sendeth out his commandment upon earth ; 
His word runneth very swiftly. 

16 He giveth snow like wool ; 

He scattereth the hoar frost like ashes. 

17 He casteth forth his ice like morsels : 
Who can stand before his cold? 

Psalms of verses x-ii. For the Psatm which opens with this 
verse the LXX has the title : < Hallelujah * (a Psalm of) Huggad 
and Zechariah.' 

Praise t1i« ZOBO s the Hebrew verb here is not that fonad 
in * Hallelujah/ but a verb of the same sense commonly uaed in 

13. tlM hmtm. Sec : Delitzsch, Kay, and others refer to Neh. 

iii. 3»6» 13 f» 15- 

14. 14* is an imitation of Isa. Ix. 17 : see Ixxxf. 16 ; Dent. 
xxxii. 14. 

Ke maketh peftoe, 8cc. : Heb. < Who makes thy boundary (to 
be) in a state of peace ' : the construction is the same as that in 
cxx. 6 (see on). 

thy borders: the Hebrew noun is sing., and means first 
what bounds, then, by metonymy, of contained for containing, it 
came to mean ' bounded land,' * territory.' 

flMSt of ths whMtt Heb. (as RVm.) <fiit of the wheat.' 

15-90. Natures confirmation of Jehovah^ a faiihftdn$s9. 

15 f are influenced by Isa. Iv. 10 f. 

10. God's word is personified as in cvii. 90. In later Judaism 
(Targums, &c.) * Word of God ' came to be a name of God ; 
primarily a substilute for the Divine name to avoid anthropo- 

16. snow. During the author's tour in Palestine (Dec. z888) 
he was detained in Jerusalem three days beyond the contemplated 
time, because the snow storms were so vehement, and the roads 
to Jaffa quite blocked by snowdrifts. 

17< (ice) like morsels : or < like crumbs.' The hail, which is 
meant, was like crumbs of bread. 

Who eaa stand, &c. The question seems to Derenbouf^ and 
Duhm absurd, but many even in Palestine have been known to 

THE PSALKK 147. 18— 148. a j6x 

He sendeth out his word, and melteth them : 18 

He causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow. 

He sheweth his word unto Jacob, 19 

His statutes and his judgements unto Israel. 

He hath not dealt so with any nation : ao 

And as for his judgements, they have not known them. 

Praise ye the Lord. 

Praise ye the Lord. 148 

Praise ye the Lord from the heavens ; 

Praise him in the heights. 

Praise ye him, all his angels : a 

Praise ye him, all his host. 

die of cold : see on verie 16. Derenbourg reads, * Before his cold 
the water stands frozen,* and Duhm prefers this to the M. T. 

18. See Deut. iv. 7 f. 
his word I the word which causes snow, ice, and hail makes 
these melt in due season. 

19 f, The word of Jehovah, operative on nature, provides also 
a revelation for the chosen people. 


Thime. Let heaven and earth praise Jehovah. 

I. Contents. {i\ Let all in heaven praise Jehovah Oi^erses z-6). 
Ta) Let all that is on earth praise Him (verses 7-*i4)« 
A beautiful and bold Psalm, full of striking personifications and 

n. Authorship and Date. See general remarks on Pss. cxlv-cl. 
This Psalm is the most general In' the group. There is nothing 
national in it except in the last verse. It is a universal song of 

z-6. Let all that is in heaven praise Jehovah, 

1. PMiati the verb in * Hallelujah.* 
ftrom tilt !!•»▼•&■ I cf. verse 7, < from the earth.* Heaven and 
earth are the two centres of the universe, and the praises of 
Jehovah are to ring out from both. 

in tha haiirhts 1 i. e. of heaven (Job xvi. 19, xxv. a). 

a. hoMti read 'hosts' (pi.) with the ancient versions and the 
Massoritca {qr,\ and as required by the parallelism (Miffals) : see 
ciii. ai, on which the present passage is modelled. The sense of 

362 THE PSALMS 148. 3-7 

5 Praise ye him, sun and moon : 
Praise him, all ye stars of light 

4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, 

And ye waters that be above the heavens. 

5 Let them praise the name of the Lord : 
For he commanded, and they were created. 

6 He hath also stablished them for ever and ever : 
He hath made a decree which shall not pass away. 

7 Praise the Lord from the earth, 
^ Ye dragons, and all deeps : 

< hosts' is explained by unfUn heavenly bodies are referred to 
in verse 3 : see i Kings xxil 19 ; Neh. ix. 4. Olsh., 6cc, (so Jbeth,) 
prefer the sing, liofft. 

3. staM of li^t : i. e, ' stars that carry the light,' ' luminaries ' 
(Gen. i. 14). The LXX, Pesh., Targ. read < stars and light' 

4. beftvoiui of ]i6»T0iui : i. e. ' the loftiest heaven,' the Hebrew 
superlative : cC ' King of Kings/ Sec, The idea of a plurality of 
heavens seems implied, either three (see s Chron. xii. is) or seven 
(so the Talmud). 

wmUiru that bs sImts ths haaTeiis t see Hebrew Cosmology^ 
p. 174 f. 

0. Between the two lines of this verse the LXX, Pesh., Targ. 
insert the words ' For He spake and they were made ' : so PBV. 
The addition b taken from xxxiiL 9, and is not genuine. 

6. stsMlslMd: He supports as well as creates the unsvetBe: 
see Sir. xliii. 16; CoL i, 17. 

Xs haXh. auUU % Ameas—, &c. : this rendering follows the LXX 
and Jero. The following more correctly reproduces the Hebrew, 
Pesh., and Targ. : * He has given them a statute and ' ( -* ' which *) 
Hhey cannot transgress/ i.e. the heavens, See. can do no other 
than obey the Divine behest. The subject of the latter verb 
(' transgress ') is in Hebrew indefinite. For dscres see Introd. to 
Ps. cxix, p. 354. 

7-13. Let all that is in earth praiu Jehovah, 

?. dfsgOBSs ///. 'extended creatures.' The monsters of the 
deep are obviously meant, but the word in the singular is employed 
for the primaeval monster of ancient Semitic mythology : see on 
Ixxiv. 13C 

Baethgen adopts the very improbable h3rpothesis thst water 
spirits are meant : see W. Robertson Smith, Rdiffon o/the SemUeSt 
p. i6f . 

THE PSALMS 148. 8-14 363 

Fire and hail, snow and vapour ; 8 

Stormy wind, fulfilling his word : 

Mountains and all hills ; 9 

Fruitful trees and all cedars : 

Beasts and all cattle ; 10 

Creeping things and flying fowl : 

Kings of the earth and all peoples ; n 

Princes and all judges of the earth : 

Both young men and maidens ; la 

Old men and children : 

Let them praise the name of the Lord ; 13 

For his name alone is exalted : 

His glory is above the earth and heaven. 

And he hath lifted up the horn of his people, 14 

The praise of all his saints ; 

8. nr«i i.e. lightning. 

vapour: i. e. mists. LXX, Pesh., Jero. read < ice.' 

9. See civ. z6. 

10. Various kinds of animals: based on Gen. i. 94 f. 
8«Mrt«i < Wild animals.' 

oattlo I * tame animals.' 

izf. Classes of men enumerated. Man is named last because 
he is the crown of creation : see Gen. i. a6. 

The Psalmist arranges human beings according to station (verse 
xi), sex and age (verse la). 

13 f. According to Duhm these verses were originally a marginal 
glossy as they appear to disturb the symmetry of the Psalm. 

13. is ezaltodi see Isa. xii. 4. 

SUi glory I better, < His migesty ' : see viii. 1, civ. i, cxiv. 

abore tlM earth and heaven 1 referring to the two parts of 
the Psalm. . 

14. This verse is cited in Sir. fi. la : but one cannot be certain 
that the Paalm ia older than that book (say B. c. 180), as there may 
be an older writer from whom both quoted. 

And he hath lifted up, &c. : LXX (not Jero. as Baethgen 
wrongly says) read the fut., ^ And he will lift up/ &c All the 
other ancient versions agree with the M. T. and the R. V. Con- 
cerning' the lifting up of the horn see note on Ixxv. 4. 

psaiM I i. e. the object of praise. 

364 THE PSALMS 149. i, a 

Even of the children of Israel, a people near unto bim. 
Praise ye the Lord. 

149 Praise ye the Lord. 

Sing unto the Lord a new song, 
And his praise in the assembly of the saints. 
a Let Israel rejoice in him that made him : 

» peoi4« BMur unto hlms far better read with Riehm. 
(Hupfeld) and Duhm, <a people acceptable to Him.' The M. T., 
though followed by the ancient versions, makes very poor 1 

Psalm CXLIX. 
Theme, Israel's song of triumph. 

I. Contents, (z) Israel summoned to praise God for His de- 
liverance (verses 1-5). 

(a) Joy of the righteous in their victory, and a resolve to destroy 
the foe (verses 6-9). 

The spirit of the Psalm is vindictive in a high degree, reminding 
one more of the Book of Esther than of the sermon on the mount. 

II. Authorship and Date, See remarks on Pss. cxlv-^cL The 
Psalm has been largely accepted sa Maccabean. The ardour, 
courage and consciousness of strength which it breathes are 
eminently suitable to that age. 

x-5. Israel summoned to praise Jehovah for the deUveranee He 
has granted. The Psalm seems to have been inspired by some 
great event which brought the nation very much gladness: 
whether or not that was the deliverance from Babylon, the 
completion of the rebuilding of Jerusalem, or some victory over 
the Syrians we can never finally decide unless some fresh decisive 
facts are brought to light. 

1. FnSse ye, &c. belongs to the title. 

Bsw soBf s a new blessing calls forth a new song : see xxziiL 
3, xcvi. I. 

2. ssssmbljr of ths sslatsi render, 'the assembly' or 'con« 
gregation of the favoured ones ' : the same expression occurs in 
X Mace. ii. 49 : in the LXX, for the Hebrew woni rendered salsts 
we have Asidaioi, a name given in the Maccabean and later days 
to the Jews that were loyal to the law and zealous fi>r its 

him (that auUU hlm)t in Hebrew may be phml, and is 
generally so construed : ' them (that made bim) ' must be then 
expUined as plural of majes^, as EhMm : see on Ixxvi. 4« But 

THE PSALMS 149. 3-7 3^5 

Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. 

Let them praise his name in the dance : ^ 

Let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. 

For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people : h 

He will beautify the meek with salvation. 

Let the saints exult in glory : I 

Let them sing for joy upon their beds. 

Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, ( 

And a two-edged sword in their hand ; 

To execute vengeance upon the nations, I 

And punishments upon the peoples ; 

the Hebrew may also be, and here almost certainly 19, singular. 
That which makes the form seem plural is the survival of a fluai 
y6d^ which really belongftto the root and not to the plural ending. 

3. la tlie dABoei LXX Mn choirs.* In primitive religions 
dancing played a very important part, though it is now, owing to 
its associations, often regarded as anti-religious : see Exod. xvk 
so; Judges xi. 34: cf. Ps. cxviii. 07, and Delitssch, Exfositor^ 
1886 (a), p. 8z f. Religious dances are. at the present time, to 
be seen in Spain (Seville) and in other Christian countries. 

tlm1>reli 'hand drum.' It is mentioned in connexion with 
dancing in Ixv. 5 and Exod. xv. ao. 

4. maaki so LXX, Jero., Duhm. Baethgen renders ' sorrowing 

0. Mdntvi better, ' favoured ones.' 
upon thtir beda 1 resting, free from tears and sorrow at night 
time (iv. 4» vi. 6), but they ainir in their beds, not fearing the 
treachery of false friends, or the open hostility of avowed foes. 

^~9* /^ 9f f^e righteous in their victory : ruohte to etvehge their 

6. Whilst they praise Jehovah with their mouths they are to 
wield the sword with their bands : see Neh. iv. zo ; a Mace. xv. 
fl6f. The Maccabees thought they were fighting the Lord's 
battles. Just as Mohammed (at first) and Cromwell did. 

mMittii /iV. < throat' 

two»tdrad iwovdi so LXX, Jero., Peth. : see Judges iii. 
x6. The Hebrew is 'a sword of mouths,' i.e. an all-devouring 

7. See Isa. Ixi. a, Ixiii. 4. 
II Heb. * chastisements.' 

366 THE PSALMS 149. 8--150. 3 

8 To bind their kings with chains, 
And their nobles with fetters of iron ; 

9 To execute upon them the judgement written : 
This honour hare all his saints. 

Praise ye the Lord. 

150 Praise ye the Lord. 

Praise God in his sanctuary : 

Praise him in the firmament of his power. 

2 Praise him for his mighty acts : 

Praise him according to his excellent greatness. 

3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet : 

8. What is here forecasted belongs to the prophetic picture of 
the Messianic time : see Isa. xlv. 14, xlix. 7, 23, Ix. 3 f. 

mfVkmt lit, 'honoared men/ then ' honourable men' : so Isa« 
xxiiL 8 f. ; Nah. iiL 10. 

0. jnAf MBMit writtMi 1 see on cxxxix. 16. The reference is 
to the judgement preordained for men by God : see Isa. Ixv. 6, 
X. I ; Job xlii. 36. 

Psalm CL. 
Thsnu. A burst of jubiUnt joy. 

1. ConUnta : see Theme. 

IL Authorship and Date. See general remarks on Pss. csdv-d. 

1. Muiotiuurji the place where Jehovah dwells, Le. heaven 
(see next clause) : so Delitzschi Baethgen, &c. : see xxix. a and 
cf. parallelism. Hupfeld thinks it is the earthly temple that is 
meant : see xx. s, Ixiii. 3, Ixxiv. s, xcix. 1 1, 9. When Jerusalem 
and its temple had been destroyed God's dwelling was thought to 
be in heaven on the ' firm immovable firmament,' and no longer in 
the house, once made by human hands. Note that heaven is above 
the firmament : see Hebrew Cosmology, pp. 174 f. In both clauses 
of the verse it is the inhabitants of the upper heaven who are 

flsBuunmt of his power: better (according to Hebrew idiom), 
' His strong firmament ' : see on civ. 3. 

S. Ilia ittlglilgr »ots I see cvi. a, cxKr. 4, ix, 19, 
bis «ZMll«Bt irvstttaMw: Heb. 'the abundance of His 

8. trnmpeti Heb. <the ram*s horn' : see Introd.y.p. dSff. 

THE PSALMS 160. 4-6 367 

Praise him with the psaltery and harp. 

Praise him with the timbrel and dance : 

Praise him with stringed instruments and the pipe. 

Praise him upon the loud cymbals : 1 

Praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. 

Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. ( 

Praise ye the Lord. 

PMlt«7 and li»rp s better, * harp and lyre ' : see Introd. 
p. a8. 
4. timto«l I see on cxiix. 3. 

dMio« X see on cxlix. 3. 

■triagod Initnuneati : Heb. 'strings' : so in xlv. 8. 

th« plp.« t A. V. ' organs ^ * : see Introd. p. 27. Benzinger 
and Nowack hold that the ^bagpipe' is meant. The LXX, 
Sym. assume it to be a stringed instrument, which is certainly 
wrong. All that we can be sure of is that the Hebrew word 
stands for some kind of wind instrument. The modern organ 
with its key-board, &c. was entirely unknown for some centuries 
after Old Testament times. 

0. load oymbalsi./iV. 'cymbals that can be (well) heard.' The 
Hebrew word occurs only here and in a Sam. vi. 5, and denotes 
metallic clappers similar to those used at the present time in 
Turkish military bands. Clericus, Pfeiffer, 8cc, think that castanets 
are meant ; but it is more than doubtful whether castanets were 
known among the ancient Hebrews, though modern Arabs use 
them much. 

hlgli ■onndiair oynlMtls 1 //V. ' cymbals having a loud, shrill 
sound.' Probably the same instrument is meant in both parts of 
the verse : both the descriptions apply to the clappers spoken of 
above. If we are to make a difference, it would be safest to 
regard the last-named instrument as smaller and sharper-toned 
than the other» and not (as Hupfeld, Ewald, &c. hold) the 

^ In Tudor English the. term 'organ' was applied to several 
musical (especially wind) instruments. 



From the time of the Emperor Constantine I (d. a. i>. 337 
it has been the custom to speak of two separate hills or mountains 
in the south of Jerusalem, separated by the Tyropoean or Cheese- 
mongers' valley; that to the west, called Zion, is supposed by 
tradition to have been the site of j^e royal buildings erected by 
David S that to the east being Mount Monah on which the temple 
was built Modern travellers will be familiar withthis nomenclature, 
as it is perpetuated in the guide-books and by the civic authorities 
at Jerusalem. Yet it is certainly wrong, and most misleading: to 
Bible readers. We know from Bible accounts that the stretch of 
ground on which the royal palace and the adjoining structures stood 
was in immediate Juxtaposition to the temple area : see article 
' Temple * in Hastings^ Dictionary of the Bible, by the present writer. 
The following diagram, reproduced from the above article by 
permission of Messrs. T. & T. Clark, represents graphically the 
relative positions of the buildings erected by Solomon in the south 
of Jerusalem. 

There could not have been a valley spanned by a bridge betiveen 
the two sets of buildings, the secular and the sacred, as the old 
tradition implies. The modern mount Zion is much higher tiian 
the modem mount Moriah, but, according to O. T. accounts *, the 
palace occupied lower ground than the temple ; the old city, the 
city of David with its fortress, standmg on ground still lower'. 

There are two different levels on the modern Haram-esh-Sherif 
and its southern prolongation : (i) that on which the temple was 
built, slightly to the west of the so-called Mosque of Omar; 
(a) south-east of the level just named there is another somewhat 
lower, and it is on this last that Solomon's palace and connected 
buildings were almost certainly erected. The city of David, or the 
fortress of Zion, stood on the western extremity of this ridge, some 
z,doo feet to the south of the present wall, but on lower ground 
than that which held the palace. The Biblical name Zion 
embraced the whole area west of the Tyropoean valley on whidi 
stood the whole complex of Solomonic buildings pictured in the 

* I Kings vii. * 2 Kings xi, 19 ; Jer, xxii. i, xxvi. 10, 

xxxvi. 12. • I Kin^ ix. 24. f 



diagram below. Many pataages in the O. T. are senaoless if Zion 
and the temple hill were separated by such a valley as divides the 
modern Zfon and Moriah. Zion is the 'holy mountain^,' and the 
chosen habitation of Jehovah ' t it is in Zion that Jehovah makes 
Himaelf known', and it is on that mountain that He is to be 

Plan or Royal Buildings. 

{efy permission of Messrs. T. & T. Clark, from the article 
* Temple ' in Hastings' Dittionavy of the BibU,) 

1. The Great Court 

2. The ' other * or Middle Court. 

3. The Inner (or Temple) Court. 

4. Hottie of Lebanon. 

5. Porch of Pillart. 

6. Throne Porch. 

7. Royal Palace. 

8. Harem. 

9. Temple. 
10. Altar. 

worshipped*. Since the temple was the principal feature of 
Jerusalem, Zion, the mountain on which it was built, came to stand 

' Pa. ii. 6 ; Isa. ii. 2, &c. 
' Pss. xiv. 7, XX. 3, liii. 6, &c. 


• Pss. ix. u, Ixxiv. 3, Ixxvi. 2. 

* Ps. Ixv. if. i Jcr. xxxi. 6, &c. 


for the whole city*. Hence the 'Daughters of Zion'* are the 
' Inhabitants of Jerusalem.' 

The identity of Zion and the temple hill is assumed in the 
Apocrypha* and also in early Rabbinical writings. 

The traditional conceptionof the separstenessof the twomoantains 
Zion and Moriah is supported in the writings of Reland, Robinson, 
Ritter, de Vogue, Stanley, Conder, and others : but the view pat 
forth in this note is the one defended by nearly all recent scholars, 
and it is so manifestly the right one that it seems now wonderfol 
that any other could have been held ^ 

^ Pss. cxxvi. t, cxliv. lo; Isa. i. 27, x. 24. 
' Cant iii. 11; Isa. iii* 16 f. 

• I Mace iv. 37 f., V. 34, vii. 33, &c. 

* See the admirable article on Sion, by George Adam Smith, in 
the Expositor, Jan., 1905. The abore note had been written before 
thb article appeared. 


Aaron, 64, 158, 1971 aoo, 939. 

Abaddon, zi6. 

Abimelech, z86. 

Abiram, 197. 

Abraham, 85, 187, 193, 197, aoo. 

Abyss, 63, 175, 317. 

Accents, Hebrew, 071, 985. 

Achilles, 359. 

Adder, 335. 

Adjective, Noun as, 6a, 017, 

968, a8z, 986, 987. 
Admonitions, 954. 
jidonaif 9i9, 336. 
Adullam, Cave (?) of, 341. 
Ahab, 198. 

Alexander the Great, zii. 
Algerian Arabs, 9zo. 
Almighty (Shaddai), Z33. 
Alphabet, Hebrew, 926, 953. 
Alphabetic Psalms, 997, 999, 

a?a, 3191 3a8. 35^. 
Alqimus, 9Z7. 
Altar, Z09. 
— Horns of, 959. 
AUtashhetk^ 53. 
*Am^ 149. 
'Amalf 49. 
Amalek, 97. 
Amen, 903. 
Aminadab, 3Z0. 
Ammonites, 97. 
Amorites, aoz, 3Z8. 
Anadiplosis, Z4Z, Z5Z; 99Z, 993, 

Anakolouthon, 57. 
Angels, ministers, Z35. 
Angriffs-stamm^ 337. 
Annexed noun, 8a. 
Anoint, 7, Z9Z. 
Antiochus Epiphanes, 917. 
Antiphonal singing, 96, 936, 

945, 988. 


Apis, Z97. 

Apposition, nominal, 9Z7, 996. 

Arabah, 97. 

Arabic, 39. 8a» I47> i73, 19^ 

Z99, 906, 953, 984, 989, 303, 

3M» 3^9, 337, 340. 
7- Poetry, Z73, Z75, 936, 999. 
Arabs, 9zo, 994, 395, 340. 
Aramaic, 4Z, 50, Z50, Z84, Z94, 

941, 328, 33^1 353, 355, 35^, 

Arch of Titus, 30, 90, 
Ark, 78, 3ZZ, 3Z4. 
Arrogant, 39, 54. 
Artichoke, 99. 
Asaph, 38. 

— Psalms, 37. 

Ashamed (confounded), 59,955, 

Ashshimon, Z97. 
Asidaioiy 364. 
Asp, 336. 

Assyria, 84, 97, 98. 
Assyrian, 909, 967, 976. 
Asylum, altar as, zo9. 

— sanctuary as, 56. 

Baal Peor, Z99. 

Babylon and Babylonians, 94, 

zzz, 905, 953,3fl3* 

Babylonian culture, 50, Z74. 

Bacthgen, Z9, Z85, 994, 953, 
970, 973, 974, 306, 3Z0, 3X9, 
314, 3fl5, 337, 340, 349, S^a, 

^ 363, 365, 3^. 

Bagpipes, 367. 

BakKf Z96. 

Baka^ Z03. 

Balsam tree, 103. 

Bampton Lectures, 137. 

Barth, 309. 

Baruky Z09. 

Basque proverb, 909. 


THE PSALMS (73-150) 

Battlement, 105. 

Beast, 181, 363. 

B€att4s, 102, 

Bihemcihf i8i. 

Behold, 389. 

Belial, 161. 

Ben$didus, 102. 

Ben-hadad, 128. 

Benjamin, 84. 

Benzinger, 367. 

Bertbolet, 9^, 

Bttk auHtiae^ 62. 

Beth Midrash, '49. 

Bickell, 118, 900, 990, 316, 355. 

Bi/f/i, i6x. 

Biahopric, 917. 

Black Sea, 987. 

Blessed, 951. 

— (h»ppy)» «»• 

Blessing and cursing, 216, 313. 

Boar, 87. 

Book of the Psalter, 4, 37, 127. 

Booth, 949. 

Border* District, 77, 360. 

Bosket J 309. 

Bottle (skin), 969. 

— (tear), 331. 
Broom, 987. 
Budde, 979, 34 T. 
Bull worship, 309. 
Bread, 179. 

— of heaven (manna), 192. 
Broad place, To set in a, 905, 

974, 989. 
Brotherly fellowship, 315. 
Browning, E. B., 999. 

— R,, 166. 
Brutish, 143. 
Burial of dead, 8r. 
Burnt offering, 59. 

Calf worship, 197. 
Calvin, 19 x, 974. 
Canaan, 87, 193, 275* 
Canaanites, 200, 201. 
Cankerworm, 191. 
Captivity, to restore the, 105. 

Carlyle, 937. 

Caryatides, 349. 

Caspian Sea, 987. 

Caterpillar, 47. 

Catholicism, Roman, 308. 

Cattle, 75» 3^- 

Cedar, 139. 

Cedars of Lebanon, 87. 

Chambers, 176. 

Changes in tenses, persons, 236. 

Chaos, ZZ9, T41, 

Charles, R. H., 15, x6, 116. 

Chaucer, 6r, 

Chemosh, 199. 

Chemb, 133. 

Chcyne, 15, 22, 105, 114* i37» 

146,940, 953, 3", 316. 
Circumcision, 948. 
Cleopatra, 135. 
Clericus, 367. 
Cobb, W. F., 947. 
Cobra, 135. 

Coffee, a beverage, 179. 
Comparative, rare form of, 233. 
Conditional sentence, 340. 
Congregation, 47, 997, 
Congregational Psalms; 19, 353. 
Conies, 180. 

Conjugation of attack, 337. 
Constantine I, 368. 
Co-ordination of sentences, x88. 
Cords, 951. 
Com of heaven, 70. 
Comer atone, 950, 349. 
Corrections of the scribes, 798. 
Cosmology, Hebrew, 174. 
Counterpoint, 96. 
Courts, temple, 150. 
Covenant, 1x7, 186, 307, 
Covering, 199. 
Cowpcr, 91. 
Creation, see Cosmology, He* 

— Babylonian myth of, 50, 112, 

I90, 141, 174, 177, 994. 
Croall Lectures, 90. 
Cromwell, 365. 



Cushy 189. 
CymbaU, 367. 
Czar, 348. 

Dal man y 051, 950. 
Dancing, 113, 365. 
Dante, 60. 
Dathan, 197. 

David, 79, 117,118,202,307,308, 

— Psalms, 3, 37, 127. 
Davidson, 16, 73: 
Dawn, goddess of, 329. 
Day (of Jehovah, &c.)9 3^5. 
Days of week, psalms for, 136. 
Deal bountifully with, 242, 257. 
Deborah, 200. 

— Song of, 98. 
Deep, 1x5, 305.317. 
Delit28ch, Franz, 113,179,212, 

221, 285, 303, 310, 344, 349, 

360, 365, 3^. 
Delitzsch, Friedrich, 120. 
Demon, 134, 150, 201. 
Derenbourg, 360, 361. 
Derotf 102. 
Desert, 197, 205. 
Deiire, to see the desire on, 

231, Sec. 
Deutero- Isaiah, 209. 
Deuteronomic teaching, 128. 
Diabohsy 2x7. 
Diaspora, z 1 1, 1 12, 150, 156, 203, 

Dillmann, 15, 16, 128, 255, 323, 

Distress, 205. 
Dog-flies, 74. 
Door, doorway, 278. 
Dory 102. 
Doughty, X40. 
Doxologies, 127, 203, 366. 
Dozy, 303. 
Dragon, 362. 

Driver, 201, 2x4, 2x5, 255, 313. 
Dulim, 20, 3f , 43, 49, 5^, 75» 81, 

91,96, xoi, 102, 1x4, 118,146, 

165, 195, 200, 2x6, 279, 220, 
248, 263, 272, 281, 300, 311, 
316, 333) 345, 349i 355,358, 
359, 360, 361, 364. 

Dung, 98. 

Dunghill, 233. 

Durham, DiiUect of, 181. 

Early rain, 103. 

Easter PMlm, 228. 

Egypt, 91, «»a, "o, "5, «85, 

229, 320. 
Egyptian language, 235. 
— monuments, 304. 
Ehud, 202. 
EliuH, 154. 

EhMttHy 37, 94, X27, 213. 
Elohist, 37, 197, 
Elohistic Psalms, 37, zoo, 213, 

Eiyotty Z54. 
En-dor, 98. 
En-gedi, 34Z. 
Enlarge. 206. 
Enoch, Book of, 332. 
Ensign, 48. 
Ephraimitesi 62, 67. 
Ephrathah, 310. 
Eschatological Psalms, 140. 
Esther, Book of, 364. 
VAterneif 213. 

Ethan, 37, "3, u?- 

Ethne, 80. 

Euphrates, 87, 323. 

Ever and ever, For, 263, 315, 

^ 334, 357- 

Ewald, Z9,53, zo5,X2d, 179,194, 

fl53, 396, 297, 35Z, 857, 358. 
Exile, 65, X05, 137, I93, 209, 

asa, 853, 09S, 

Expository 365, 370. 

Ezra, Ibn, 328. 

Ezraite, ZX3, 1x7. 

Fail, 269. 

Faint, 269. 

Family, Solidarity of, 218. 


THE PSALMS (73-160) 

Family, Happiaeas of a numer- 
ous, 999, 3«>, 30I- 
Fatherless, 95. 
Fathers, 346. 

Fatness -moral obtuseness, 48. 
Favoured ones Tsaints), 81, 044. 
Fear of Jehovah, 999. 
Fela^, 340. 
Fellow, 066. 

Feminine as Neuter, x8o, 350. 
Ferirtf 186. 
Fetters, 188. 
Fire, Passing children through, 


Firstlings, 76. 

Fixed, aia. 

Flesh, 45. 

Flies, swarm of, 74. 

Flocks, 75. 

Food, 179. 

Foolish, in ethical sense, 39, 51, 

54. 138, 307. 
Footstool, 158, 334. 
Freytag. G. W., 303* 
Frost (?), 75. 
Full moon, 89. 
Future life, 14, atg. 

Galilee, 177. 

Gam^ 313. 

Gate, III, 349, 300. 

Gaze upon with delight, 931. 

Gebel, 97. 

Genitive of apposition, x88, 309. 

— as adjective, 63, 317, 968, 381, 

386, 387. 
Gentile, 80. 

G0r, 187. 358, 364, 356. 
Gideon, 903. 
Gilead, 3i4« 
Giil, J., 353. 
Ginsburg, 198, 996. 
Gittite, 100. 
Glory B soul, 9i9. 
GoD-YaAfv^A, 313, 331, 336. 
Gods of the heathen, 94, 337. 
Goim^ 313. 

Goiem, 33Z. 

Gomorrha, 310. 

Good, 3x3. 

Graetz, 68, 135, 394, 336. 

Gray, G. B., 197. 

Greece, zix. 

Greek culture, 328. 

Grotius, 351. 

Group, 4« 

Gunkel, X9, 119, 198, 331. 

Hades, 15,940, 
Hagarenes, 97. 

Hallel, 996, 939, 390. 
Hallelujah, 184, 996, 3x6^ 351, 

354* 355f 3S7- 

— Ptelms, X83, 996, 350, 354, 

Ham, 76, X89. 
Handmaid, izo, 944. 
Harmony, 96. 
Harp, 97, 90. 
Head, Shaking of, 86. 
Heart, 45, 164, 955. 
Heathen, 80, 143, 996. 
Heaven » God, 40. 

— of bliss, not mantioned in the 
Old Testament, 94a. 

— as God's residence, 175, 240. 
Hebrew, accents, 97X, a8s» 

— consonants, 66, 948, 353. 

— vowels, 953. 

— tenses, ue Tenses. 

— Rabbinical, 54, 65, aio, 

Hell, 940. 

Hellenistic Greek, xo6, 933. 
Heman, 37,38, 1x3. 
Hgftdiadys, 158. 
Hengstenberg, X14, 930, 948^ 

953, 358. 
Hercules, Choice of, 334. 
Hermon, x9o, 314. 
Hexateuch, 184. 



Hibbert Lectures^ aor. 

High places, 77. 

Hitzig, 57, 101, ifl3, 108, 184, 

337, a53» a87, 35^* 
Hodu Psalms, laS. 
Holy One of Israel, 73. 
Home, Jewish, described, 301. 
Homer, 81, 359. 
Hommel, xao, i6r. 
Horace, 187. 
Horeb, Z97. 
Horns (of altar), 050. 

— tossing, 54. 
Hosannah, 051. 

Hupfeld, 90, 69, 1^3, 168, afl8, 
949, 951, 969, 985, 358, 366, 

Hyrcanus, John, 914. 

< I ' Psalms, 19. 

Ibn Ezra, 398. 

Jdn^ x86. 

Idolatry, 937. 

Idols, 150, 938. 

Imprecatory Psalms, 916, 304, 

Imrah, Saying, 954. 
Incense, 338. 
Inceptive Aorist, 14a 

— Perfect, 140. 

Indefinite Subject, 1 13^337, 369. 

Indian Ocean, 905. 

Infinite, 358. 

Infinitive Absolute, 349. 

Iniquity, 170, 978. 

Inna, 989. 

Isaac, 186. 

Ishmaelites, 97. 

Isles, 159. 

Israeli Jacob, 186. 

— -Judah,76,935. 

Jabin, 98. 

Jacob -Israel,! 86. 

ya/i, see Yah, 

Jastrow, 59. 

Jeduthun* Ethan, 37, 38, 59. 

Jehovah, see Yakwth. 
Jehovist, 65, 68, 74, 190, 900. 
Jehovistic Psalms, sa Yah- 

wistic Psalms. 
Jerusalem, 80, xoo, 994, 995, 

980, 988, 394. 
Jeshimon, 197. 
Jesus -Enlarger, 906. 

— Book of, 909. 
Jordan, 178, 935. 

Joseph, 69,84, 9«« 

— Psalms, 84. 
Josephus, 393. 
Joshua, 79. 
Jubilee, year of,$o. 
Judaism, 308. 

Judas Maccabaeus, 993. 

Judge, 54, 95. 

Judgement, Z90y 144, 185, 954, 

970, 991. 
Juniper, 987. 


Kahan, 907, 359. 

Kaiser, 348. 

Kaph vtriiaiia, 990. 

KashiTf 339. 

Kataiomif 948. 

Kautsch, 949* 

Kay, X14, X7fl| ao9» 349; 359» 

Kedar, 959, 987. 
Kennedy, A. R. S., 959. 
KmottSj 993. 
Kirtibf 133. 
Khanukahy 959. 
KhtUoisirahy 99. 
Khowri, 303. 

KifibUf 134. 
Kirjath-jearim, 3x0. 
Kirkpatrick, 57, 99, 179, aoS, 

a35» "53, 069, 970, 993, 340, 

Know, 169, 966. 


THE PSALMS (73-160) 

Knox, John, 963. 
Korah.aS, 100, 197. 
Korabites, 38, 100, z 13. 
KosntoSf 113,141. 

* Labour ' - reward of, 919, 301. 

Lamp, 31a. 

Lane,E. W.,303. 

Large place, ao6, 247. 

Law (Jorah), 50, 65, 182, 954. 

Lebanon, Mount, 139. 

Levi, 19s, 939, 319. 

Leviathan, 50, 57, 189. 


Lice, 191. 

Lightning, 317. 

Lherig, 989* 

Locust, 74. 

Logion, 954« 

Logos, 954. 

Lord*- yaAttrfA,9i9,336. 

Lord {Adonai), 919, 330. 

Lot, children of, 98. 

Lulab (Lolab)f 959, 

Lunatic, 989. 

Luther, 998, 963. 

Maccabean Psalmiy 39,46,8o,&c. 
Maccabees, 3B1 49^033,953, 963, 

357, 364, 365. 
Maclaren, A., 986, 394. 
Magic, 199, 150, 9i6, 319, 347. 
Mahalath Leannoth, 113. 
Makarias, 102. 
Man, Words for, 199, 179, 

Manna, 70. 
Mannasseh, 62, 214. 
Marduk, 119. 
Markaba, 906. 
Marriage song, 78. 
Marshall, J. T., 979. 
Marti, 73. 

Maskil,46,64, 113, 117. 
Massah, 148. 
Massorah, 252. 

Massorites, 103^ 909, 958, 993, 

Meals, Sitting at, 999, 301. 
Meat, 69. 
Bleditemoean Sea, 199, 189, 


Mekhizedek, 54, 195, 995. 
Melecb, 309. 
Merciful, xo8, 965. 
Mercy, 118,359. 
Meshech, 987. 
Messiah, 7, 187. . 
Messianic Psalms, 7, 168, 993, 

Michaelis, J. H., 985. 


Midianites, 99. 

Might, 85. 

Mighty, 71,119. 

Mighty One of Jacob, 309. 


Milton, 390. 

Mh$, 349. 

MtH - * from ' and * in,' 947. 


Minister, 169. 

Miihkaftf 78, 309. 

Mishna, 973, 301. 

MishjHUf 954. 

Mithras, 988. 

MizmOr, 3. 

MiMraifHy 189. 


Moabite stone, 190. 

Moabites, aoi. 

Mohammed, 365. 

Mohammedan, Qiblah, 988. 

Moloch, 901,309. 

Monogamy, 301. 

Monotheism, 147 ,317; 329. 

Moon, New, 9a 

— full, 89. • 

Moonstroke (cf« Lunatic), 989. 



Moniah, Mounts 368. 1 

Moses, 64, 79, ia8, 137, 158, 

197, aoo. 
Moslem, a88. 
MQller^D.H., 053,3x4. 
Name, to call upon the name 

oft Z36. 
— . » self, 8fl, 100. 
— - of God - His revealed 

nature, 80, 094. 
Narrow place « distress, 006. 
Nations, 80, 143* 
Ntgtb, 097. 
Nehemiah, 38, &c. 
Ntphtih^ 59. 
Neuter gender absent in 

Semitic, 180, 350. 
Nile, 74. 
Noisome, 133. 
Noldeke, 19, 115,349. 
Nomas, 65. 
Noun wiih adjectival force, 60, 

Northern kingdom, 108. 
Now, 037. 
No wack, 341,367. 

Occasion of stumbling, 084. 

*OMj 049. 

Oil, 139,179,314. 

'OlatMy 149, 

Olshausen (Julius), X14, xz8, 

334» 36a. 
Oreus, 15. 
Ordinance, 90, 054. 
Oreb, 99. 

Organ, 07,367. 

rfentation in worship, 0G8. 
Orphan, 95. 
Othniel, 000. 
Overwhelm, 60, 336. 
Ovid, 008. 
O^, Z64. 
Ox, wild, 139. 

^V'*' 336. 

Pains, 040. 

Pakh, 336. 

Palm-tree, 139, 140. 

Panim, 309. 

Parable, 65. 

Participle, Passive, 150, 007, 350. 

Particularism, 46. 

Paschal, 008. 

Passing children through fire 

to Moloch, 0OZ. 
Passover, 89. 
Peace, xo6, 084. 
Peake, 067. 
Pelican, 164. 
Penitential Psalms, 163. 
Pentateuch, 74,184. 
Peer, Z99. 

* Perfect of certainty,* 145, 000, 

006, 096. 

* — — experience/ 054, 890, 

Peritowti 048. 

Persia, Persian, 94, zzz, ao6, 

Pestilence, 134. 
Pfeiffer. 367. 
Pharaon, 187,301. 
Pharisee, 086. 
Phinehas, 199. 
Phylacteries, 48. 
Pilgrim Psalms, 085. 
Pilgrimage, annual, X03, 
Pillars, 177. 
Pinnacle, Z04. 
Piqqud, 054. 
Pirqe A both, 073, 30Z. 
Pit (Sheol), Z09. 

— (of slime), 337. 
Plague, 39, 199. 
Pliny, 179. 

Plural of fullness, 330. 

intensity, 004, 040. 

majesty, 57, 364. 

Polytheism in Israel, I47,8i7> 
Poor ( - afflicted), zo8. 

— (-> destitute), 108. 

— (-reduced),95,033. 


THE PSALMS (73-150) 

Power ( «niuch, many), 131. 

Praise, Give thanks, 147,184. 

Prayer, 107. 

— Attitude in, 363, 993, 315. 

Precative perfect, 105. 

Precepts, ai8, aaS, 354. 

Prevent, Sa. 

Priestly Writer (P), 47, 65, 69, 

74,i58,i7S>«84, i9i,i9a»a9o. 
Prison, 343. 
Prophecy, Messianic, 7, 17, 

Prophet, 49, 187, 188. 
Proselyte, 358, 356. 
Psahn, Meaning of, 3, 53. 
Psalms of Solomon, 316, 386. 
Psaltery, 37, 90, 348. 
Psychology of the Hebrews, 41. 
Purge, 83. 
PufTf 131. 

Qiblah « Direction of prayer, 

388, 315. 
Qimkhi, a, 339, 350. 
Qorah, see Korah. 
Qorahites, see Korabites. 
Quails, Z93. 
Quicken, 89. 
Quotations from the Psalter in 

the N.T., 13. 
Quran, 179. 

Rabbinical Hebrew, 54, 65, 

3IO, 366. 
Rahab, zi3, 130. 
Rain, early, 103. 
Ram's horn, 39, 90* 
Rasbi, z68. 
Ravens, 359. 
Rebecca, 187. 
Red Sea, 196, 305, 335. 
Redeem, 47, 333. 
Refuge, 343. 
Rems, 44, 330. 
Reland, 370. 
Rest, 343. 
Restore the fortunes, 95^ 105^ 


Return from Babylon, 4M Exile. 

Reuss, 19. 

Revive, ue Quicken. 

Riches, i8i. 

Ridff 334. 

Riehm, 364* 

Righteousness » Deliverance, 

330, 349. 
Rittcr, 370/ 

River, The »The Euphrate8,87. 
Robertson, James, 3ou 
Robinson, £., 7a 
Rock, 54, 7a, I40» I9»> 347- 
Roman Catholicism, 344, 309. 
Roofs, Oriental, 176, 304. 
Rosenmoller, 308. 

Sabbath, 48. 

— Psalm for the, 136. 
Sadducee, 386. 

Saints » Favoured ones, 8z, 244. 

Salem, 56. 

Salmond, S. D. F., 16. 

Salvation, 383. 

Samaritan party, 38, 94, 975, 

386, 333. 
Samson, 303. 

Sanctuary, 43, 56, 315, 366. 
Sanskrit, 306. 
Sarah, 187. 
Satan, 161, 317, 33o. 
Saul, 317. 
Savoitj 366. 
Say » Think, 43, 343. 
Sayce, 301. 
Saying, 354. 
Schleiermacher, 13. 
Schrader, £., 3oz. 
Scribism, 358. 
Sea, Hebrew,Greek,&c., words, 


— ML sea monster, 63* 
Seeone*s desire on, 331, 357, 

361, 303. 
Seek, Two Hebrew words, 185. 

— (early?), 73. 
Servant, 391. 



Servant, in a select lenae, 78. 

— used in polite address, zod. 
Set aright (of the heart), 67, 79. 
Shaddai, Z331 aoz. 

Shadow of death, 1x5, 006, 040. 
Shamgar, aoa. 
Shechem, 0x4. 
Shtdim^ aox. 
Shekel, 067. 
SMima, 99. 

Sheol, 7, 15, Z09, XX5, 116, 
X70, 040, 04a, 043, 340, 345, 

Shield, 01. 
Shiloh. 78, 79. 
Shimei, 017* 
Shophar, ap, 90. 
Shoshannim, 84. 
Sicn, 48, no. 
Silence (Sheol), X4S, a40. 
Simon Maccabaeus, aas* 
Simple, a4a, 978* 
Sin, 17a. 
Sirocco, 90. 
Sisera, 98. 
Slime pita, 337. 
Smend, R., 15, 105. 
Smith, G. A., 370. 
Smith, H. P.,3, 34X. 
Smith, W. R., 50, 36a. 
Snow in Palestine, 360. 
Sojourner, 187, a58, a64, 350* 
Solidarity of family, ax 8. 

— — nation, ax. X95. 
Solomon, A Psalm of, a98. 
^ Psalms of, a 16, a86, a98. 

* Son* usage in Semitic, 83, ao6, 

Son of thine handmaid, a44« 
Song, 53. 
Songs of Degrees(Ascent8) , a85. 

— in the Night, 6x. 
Soul, 59. 

— m Self, aos, ao^ , 049. 

— B Organ of desire, 307. 
Sparrow, xoa. 

Spirit, 59, 6x. 

Stade, 309. 

Stanley, Dean, 37a 

Statute, a54. 

Steer of Jacob, 309. 

Stiff neck, 54. 

Stork, z8a 

Straits, ao5. 

Strange God, 90. 

Stranger, 187, 058, 356. 

Streets, 350. 

Stubble, 99. 

Stumbling, Occasion of, a84. 

Subject,Indefinite, x 13, S37f 360. 

Succoth, 0x4. 

Sunrise, Sunset, z8o. 

Sun-worship, 089. 

Supererogatoiy service, 308. 

Superlative, Hebrew, 893. 

Suther Ra*am, 9X. 

Swallow, xoa. 

Swarm of flies, 74, 084. 

Synagogue, 47, 49, 383. 

Syria, Syrian persecutions, 46, 
47, 94, "I, "8, xa5, 846, 
a?3» fl^7, a94i 383, 33«» 334- 

Syriac, 353. 

Tabernacle, 7X, 78, xox, 309. 
Tabernacles, Feast of, 89, xox, 

Table, for meals, 30X. 
Tabor, Mount, xaa 
Talmud, X36, 36a. 
Tear bottle, 33 X. 
Tthdm^ X77. 
Ttmno Morh'a^ x86. 
Temple, 3x, 46, xox, 100, X50. 

— of Shiloh, 78. 

— oracles in, 40. 
Tennyson, 00, 6x. 

Tenses, Hebrew, 65, X05, 177, 

Tent, 79, 049, 087, 309. 

Thaiassaj 196. 

Tlianksgiving {Hodu) Psalms, 


THE PSALMS (73-150) 

Thanks, To give, same verbs 

To praise, 147, 185. 
Theocratic Psalms, 138, 140. 
Thirtle,J. W^ 113. 
Thomson, W. M., gq, x64« 
Thought, 338, 333, 355. 
Thunderbolt, 75. 
Tiamat, 63, iia, 141, 177. 
Tierce, 86. 
Timbrel, 90, 365. 
Titus, Arch of, 30, 90. 
Todnhf 147. 
Token, x 10. 
Torah (« instruction), 50, 65, 

183, 254. 
Transitions in person and tense 

of verbs, 175, 336, 353. 
Trees of Jehovah, 179. 
Trisagion, 65. 
Tristram, 164. 
Trumpet, 39, 89, 90. 
Turn, to, 85. 
Turtle dove, 53. 

Vanity, a6i. 
Verb as adverb, 280. 
— sudden changes in person 
and tense, 175. 

Vergil, 348, 331, 349- 
Vindictive Psalms, aee Impre- 
catory Psalms. 
Vir, lag. 
Vogue, de, 370. 

Warburton, 14. 

Watches, Night, 139, 380. 

Watchmen, ^k>, 306. 

Waterspout, 50. 

Waw consecutive, 68. 

Ways, the two«334. 

Wealth, 330. 

Wellhauseti^ 18,39,61,113,139, 

135, 153. aa4, 369,333,341. 
Welsh, 131, 266faBg. 

Wesley, Charles, si. 
WetsteiB, 303. 
Whirling dust, 99. 
Whirlwind, 63. 
Wide, 181. 
Wild goat, 180. 

— ox, 139. 
Wilderness, 53, 55. 

Wine, Forbidden in the Quran, 

Winged bulls, cherubs, 133. 
Wisdom literature, 339 349. 
Witness, 134. 
Wonders, 1 15, 1 19, 185. 
Wondrous things, 358. 

— works, 66, 
Word, 188, 254. 

— of God, S07, 360. 

Words, things « Instances, 190, 

Wortabet, 139. 

Yagah, 49. 

yfl/r, 119,245. 

Yahwehf 37, 38, 100, 127, 213, 

Yahwist, 65, 74, 186, 190, 191. 
Yahwistic Psalms, 37, 100, 127, 

Yam (sea), 176. 
Yam Suph (Red Sea), 195. 
Yamin (South), 205. 
Yanah, 49^ 
Yashar, 296. 

Zechariah, 360. 


Zerubbabel, 150,3x1. 

Zimmern, 333. 

Zion, 47, 57, 103, III, 113, 

157, 335, 395, 310, 3"» 314, 

Zoan, 68. 
Zoroastrianism, 176. 



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