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19 But be not thou far from of the seed of Jacob, and fear me, O Lord : thou art my suc- him, all ye seed of Israel; cour; haste thee to help me.
24 For he hath not despised 20 Deliver my soul from the nor abhorred the low estate of sword : my darling (y) from the the poor : he hath not hid his power of the dog.
face from him ; but when he 21 Save me from the lion's called unto him, he heard him. mouth : thou hast heard me also 25 My praise is of thee in from among the horns (2) of the the great congregation (b) : my unicorns.
vows (c) will I perform in the 22 (a) I will declare thy Name sight of them that fear him. unto my brethren : in the midst 26 The poor shall eat (d), and of the congregation will I praise be satisfied : they that seek after thee.
the Lord, shall praise him; your 23 O praise the Lord, ye that heart shall live for ever. fear him : magnify him, all ye 27 All the ends (e) of the
“ for it, whose it shall be : these things
Cy) “My darling," i.e. my life, my
(2) “From the horns of the unicorn,” a figurative expression, to express a situation of the greatest dangers : thou hast heard and delivered me when I was upon the point of being gored by the horns of the unicorns.
(a) Here the character of the Psalm changes : the deliverance prayed for is foreseen, the success of Christ's kingdom .contemplated, and praise and glory to God required on those accounts. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews considers this verse as spoken in the person of the Messiah, Heb. ii. 11, 12. “ Both he that sanctifieth, and they “ who are sanctified are all of one : for “ which cause he" (that is, Jesus) “ is “ not ashamed to call them” (that is, those who are sanctified) “ Brethren, “ saying, “ I will declare thy name unto
my brethren, in the midst of the church “ will I sing praise unto thee."
(6) “ The great congregation." This phrase is generally used for the great religious assembly of the Jews, Ps. xxxv. 18. " I will give thee thanks in the great “ congregation, I will praise thee among “ much people.” So Ps. xl. 11. 13.
(c) “ My vows,” &c. So Ps. cxvi. 16. c.ij. “ I will pay my vows unto the Lord, in “ the sight of all his people, in the courts “ of the Lord's house, even in the midst “ of thee, O Jerusalem."
(d) “ The poor shall eat,” &c. It is an ab. a mark of great temporal prosperity, where there is such abundance, that the very poorest have enough, and the meaning here probably is, that in the times referred to, that is, the times of the Messiah, there shall be a proportionate abundance of spiritual blessings.
See Pt. lxxii, 16.
(c) “ All the ends," &c. This is $. 27. one, among many, of the predi&tions as to the extent to which the true worship of God should in time prevail. Isaiah, in his figurative language, says, “ It shall
come to pass in the last days, that the “ mountain of the Lord's house" (that is, the worship of the true God) “shall “ be established in the top of the moun“ tains, and shall be exalted above the “ hills, and all nations shall flow uuto it." Is. ii. 2. So Hos. ï. 23. God is repre. sented as saying, “I will say to them “ which were not my people, thou art
my people ; and they shall say, Thou “ art my God.” And again, Mal. i. 11. “ From the rising of the sun even unto “ the going down of the same" (that is, from the extremities of east and west) “ my name shall be great among the “ Gentiles, and in every place incense “ shall be offered unto my name, and a “ pure offering; for my name shall be
world shall remember themselves, heavens shall declare his righte. and be turned unto the Lord :
ousness : unto a people that shall and all the kindreds of the na- be born, whom the Lord hath ions shall worship before him. made.
28 For the kingdom is the ord's (s) : and he is the Go
Psalm xxiii. (k) ernor among the people. The Lord is my shepherd :
29 (8) All such as be fat upon therefore can I lack nothing. arth : have eaten and worship
2 He shall feed me in a green ed (b).
pasture(1) : and lead me forth 30 All they that go down into beside the waters of comfort. - he dust shall kneel before him : 3 He shall convert (m) my nd no man (i) hath quickened soul : and bring me forth (n) in is own soul.
the paths of righteousness for his 31 My seed shall serve him : Name's sake. hey shall be counted unto the 4 Yea, though I walk through ord for a generation.
the valley of the shadow of death, 32 They shall come, and the I will fear no evil : for thou art
great among the heathen, saith the
rich, and “they that go down into the Lord of Hosts." See Ps. ii. 8. “ dust," the poor and abje&.
(i) “No man,” &c. This may mean, “ The kingdom is the Lord's.” that no man can of himself give life to This may mean, that from the coming his own soul; that must depend on of the Messiah shall be peculiarly the God. time of “ God's kingdom," that which (k) A hymn of great simplicity, writis called continually in the New Testa- ten by David, on God's protection and ment " the kingdom of heaven.”
kindness to him. Mr. Addison, in the (3) The last four verses have perhaps 441st Number of the Spectator, says of suffered from transcribers or transla- it, “ David has very beautifully repretors.
“ sented his steady reliance on God in (6) For “ have eaten and worship- " the 23d Psalm, which is a kind of ped,” read “ shall eat and worship “ pastoral hymn, and filled with those
him.” Query, whether the right read- “ allusions which are usual in that ing be not, wall such as be fat and have “ species of writing : as the poetry is eaten upon earth, shall worship him." very exquisite, I shall give the folSuch as be fat," probably meant the “ lowing translation of it:
“ The Lord my pasture shall prepare, and feed me with a shepherd's care;
my weary, wandering steps he leads,
Thy friendly crook shall give me aid, and guide me thro' the dreadful shade.
thro' devious lonely wilds I stray,
" With sudden greens and herbage crown'd, and streams shall murmur all around.” 22. , () “ In a green pasture," i. e. provide (m) “ Convert,” i.e. direct, turn it v. 3.
for me as abundantly as a shepherd does into the right way, if it is going wrong. for his sheep, when he puts them into a (n) “ Bring me forth," i.e. conduct v. 3. green pasture.
with me; thy rod and thy staff
Psalm xxiv. (r) before me against (6) them that trouble me : thou hast anointed The earth is the Lord's, and all my head with oil, and my cup
that therein is : the compass of shall be full (o).
the world, and they that dwell 6 But thy loving-kindness and therein. mercy shall follow me all the 2 For he hath founded it upon days of my life : and I will the seas : and prepared it upon dwell (9) in the house of the the floods. Lord for ever.
3 Who shall ascend (s) into
o the way
(0) “ Against,” i. e. notwithstanding the opposition of, in defiance of.
6) “ Full," i. e. of prosperity, of thy blessings.
(9) “ Dwell,” &c. David often mentions his opportunities of visiting the house of God as a source to him of great delight, and when he was driven from Je: rusalem by Absalom's rebellion, laments the loss of those opportunities with great feeling. See Ps. xxvi. 8.-xxvii. 4. xlii. and lxxxiv.
(r) A spirited hymn, upon some solemn procession with the ark of God to
of Mount Sion, either upon its removal from the house of Obededom the Gittite, about 1042 years before the birth of Christ, (See 2 Sam. vi. 12.) or upon some victory. It notices the universal dominion of God, and the qualities he requires in the persons he suffers to approach him, and concludes with a command for opening the gates for the admission of the ark. The ark's going up to Mount Sion, (which was looked upon as a type or representation of heaven,) was considered a type of the Messiah's ascension into heaven, and it is probably on that account that this Psalm is selected for Ascension day. It appears to be responsive, performed by several sets of singers, and the first six verses were probably sung as the procession advanced towards the tabernacle, and the other four just as they were reaching the gates. Dr. Blair has pointed out the manner in which it was sung, to give an idea, from this instance, of the grand effect their sacred performances were calculated to produce: “ The a whole people are supposed to be at“ tending the procession. The Levites
" and singers, at least 4000 in number
, “ divided into 24 sets, and accompanied o with their musical instruments, lead
After the introduction in “ the first two verses, when the procese “sion is beginning to ascend the Mount, " the question is put, as by a semichorus
, “ “Who shall ascend," &c. and the re
sponse is made by the full chorus," be " that hath clean 'hands," &c. As the “ procession approaches the doors of the “ tabernacle, the chorus, with all their “ instruments, join in this exclamation, ““ Lift up your heads,” &c. The “ semichorus then put the question
, “ “ Who is the King of Glory," and “ the response is made by the burst of “ the whole chorus, “ The Lord strong “ and mighty," &c. The effect result ing from the grandeur of the procession and the number of the performers
, must have been surprising. No wonder that among the things which astonished the Queen of Sheba, when she went to set Solomon, was his “ ascent by which he “ went up to the house of the Lord." 1 Kings X. 5.
Even in the times of Moses their hymns were responsive, and accompanied with music. În the first piece of poetry extant, the Song of the Children of Israel on the destruction of Pharoah, Moses and the Children of Israel sang the song, and Miriam went out, and all the women after her, with timbrels and dances; and Miriam (either alone or with the women) answered them, “ Sing ye to the Lord, for he “ hath triumphed gloriously; the horse “ and his rider hath he thrown into the « sea." Exod. xv.
(s) " Who shall ascend," &c. Nearly •. ji the same question as that in Ps. IV. T.
the hill of the Lord : or who shall rise up in his holy place?
Psalm xxv. (d) 4. Even he that hath clean UNTO thee, O Lord, will I lift hands, and a pure heart (t): and up my soul; my God, I have put that hath not lift up his mind un- my trust in thee : 0 let me not to vanity, nor sworn to deceive(u) be confounded, neither let mine his neighbour.
enemies triumph over me. 5. He shall receive the blessing 2 For all they that hope in thee from the Lord : and righteous- shall not be ashamed : but such ness (x) from the God of his sal- as transgress without a cause, shall vation.
be put to confusion. 6 This is the generation (y) of
Shew me thy ways, O Lord : them that seek him : even of them and teach me thy paths. that seek thy face(2), O Jacob(a). 4 Lead me forth in thy truth, 7 Lift up(6) your heads, O ye
and learn me : for thou art the gates, and be ye lift up, ye ever- God of my salvation; in thee lasting doors : and the King of hath been my hope all the day glory () shall come in.
long. 8 Who is the King of glory? 5 Call to remembrance, o it is the Lord, strong and mighty, Lord, thy tender mercies : and even the Lord mighty in battle. thy loving-kindnesses, which have 9 Lift up your heads, O ye
been ever of old. gates, and be ye lift up, ye ever- 6 O remember not the sins lasting doors : and the King of and offences of my youth : but glory shall come in.
according to thy mercy think thou 10 Who is the king of glory? upon me, O Lord, for thy goodeven the Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.
7 Gracious and righteous is
(6) “ A
heart.” The external ceremony of going up with the ark was not sufficient; but inward purity was requisite to enable a man to approach
God. 9.4. (u) “ Nor sworn to deceive," i. c. nor
deceived after having sworn. The same as in Ps. xv. 5. “He that sweareth unto “ his neighbour, and disappointeth him
" not, though it were to his own hind. 0.5. (*) “ Righteousness," i.e. favour,
(y) “ The generation,” &c.i.e. the character or disposition : this is the race of
people that seek him. 0.6.
(z) « Seek thy face," i. e. approach thee, or seek for thy countenance or favour. In Ps. xxvii. 9. the Psalmist speaks of God's exhorting him to “ seek
his face." 0.6.
(a) “ O Jacob," i. e. O God of Jacob.
(6) “ Lift up,” i.e. to open,
The 0.7 manner of opening them was by lifting up the gates, as the gates of a portcullis.
(c) “ The king of glory,"i.e. the ark, v.7. the symbol of God's presence.
(d) A warm appeal to God for pardon, protection, and guidance, and a spirited eulogium on the advantages of God's assistance. In the Hebrew it is an alphabeti. cal Psalm ; the first word of the first verse beginning with the first letter of the He. brew alphabet, the first word of the second
rse with the next letter, and so on. There are in the Old Testament twelve of these compositions, seven of which are in the Psalms. When perfect, they consist of twenty-two verses or parts, that being the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet. One of the obje&s in this practice probably was, to assist the me. mory in repeating the composition.
learn his way.
the Lord : therefore will he 18 Consider mine enemies, , teach sinners (e) in the way. how many they are : and they
8 Them that are meek (f) shall bear a tyrannous hate against me. he guide in judgement : and such 19 O keep my soul, and deliver as are gentle (f), them shall he me : let me not be confounded,
for I have put my trust in thee. 9 All the paths of the Lord 20 Let perfectness and righteare mercy and truth : unto such ous dealing wait upon me : for as keep his covenant and his tes- my hope hath been in thee. timonies.
21 (i) Deliver Israel, O God : 10 For thy Name's sake (8), out of all his troubles. O Lord : be merciful unto my sin, for it is great.
Psalm xxvi. (k) II What man is he that fear- Be thou my Judge, O Lord, for eth(b) the Lord: him shall he teach I have walked innocently : my in the way that he shall choose; trust hath been also in the Lord,
12 His soul shall dwell at ease : therefore shall I not fall. and his seed shall inherit the land. 2 Examine me, O Lord, and 13 The secret of the Lord is
prove me : try out my reins (1) among them that fear him : and and my heart. he will shew them his covenant. 3 For thy loving-kindness is
14 Mine eyes are ever looking ever before mine eyes : and I will unto the Lord : for he shall walk (m) in thy truth. pluck my feet out of the net.
I have not dwelt with vain 15 Turn thee unto me, and persons : neither will I have fel. have mercy upon me : for I am lowship with the deceitful. desolate and in misery.
I have hated the congrega16 The sorrows of my
heart tion of the wicked : and will not are enlarged : O bring thou me sit among the ungodly. out of my troubles.
6 I will wash my hands in in17 Look upon my adversity and
nocency, O Lord : and so will I misery: and forgive me all my sin. go to thine altar
(e) “ Sinners." Even them.
“Meek," and “gentle.” These are the dispositions God will teach.
(8) “ Thy name's sake.” When dis. tress or calamity fell upon any of God's followers, the heathen, &c. thought disrespectfully of God, as if he was unable to relieve them. This consideration is frequently pressed as an argument against punishing them as their sins deserved. See Numb. xiv. 15,16.-Deut. ix. 28.Isaiah xlviii. 9. 11.–Jer. xiv. 7.—Ezek. XX.9.14.22.-Ps.xxxi.4.-Ps.lxxiv. 23. –Ps lxxix. 9. II.JPs. coi. 8.
(b) “ Feareth,” &c. " The fear of “ the Lord therefore is" (as is observed Ps. cxi. 10. and Prov. ix, 10.) “the be. “ ginning of wisdom.”
(i) This is supposed to be an additions to the Psalm. The alphabet ends with the preceding verse.
(k) A protestation of innocence, of care in the choice of associates, and of attachment to God's service; and a prayer for protection. David is supposed to have been the author.
(1) “ My reins,” &c. Referring, not o to the outward appearance, but to the inward motives of his conduct : knowing that God seeth not as man seeth, but that he looketh on the heart. See note on Ps. vii. 10.
(m) “ Will walk in thy truth," i.e. 5 perhaps, my reliance in thy promises gives me confidence in all my steps and proceedings.