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PSALM CVIII. .
This psalm is a repetition of part of the fifty seventh and sixtieth
my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, 2 even with my glory. Awake, psaltery and harp: I [my3 self) will awake early. I will praise thee, O Lord, among the
people : and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. 4 For thy mercy (is) great above the heavens : and thy truth 5 (reacheth) unto the clouds. Be thou exalted, O God, above 6 the heavens : and thy glory above all the earth : That thy beloved may be delivered : save [with] thy right hand and answer
God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will 8 divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. Gilead
(is) mine ; Manasseh [is] mine ; Ephraim also (is) the strength 9 of mine head ; Judah (is) my lawgiver ; Moab [is] my wash
pot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe ; over Philistia will I 10 triumph. Who will bring me into the strong city? who will 11 lead me into Edom? (Wilt] not (thou,) O God, (who] hast cast 12 us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts? Give 13 us help from trouble : for vain [is] the help of man. Through
God we shall do valiantly : for he [it is that) shall tread down our enemies.
To the chief musician, A Psalm of David.
The eighth verse of this psalm is by the apostle Peter, Acts i. 20.
anplied to Judas, and he says, ' the Holy Ghost spoke it of him by the mouth of David. He is here foretelling the destruction of his
Inemies, and having it revealed to him that the Messiah should be injuriously and cruelly treated, he had his eye to the enemies of the Messiah, who should fall under those calamities which he here predicts. That the psalm is to be considered, not as containing curses, but predictions, is plain from the manner in which St. Peter quotes the eighth verse, 1 OLD not thy peace, O God of my praise ; For the mouth 2 of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened
against me : they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. 3 They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought 4 against me without a cause. For my love they are my adver5 saries : but I (give myself unto) prayer. And they have re6 warded me evil for good, and hatred for my love. Set thou a
wicked man over him, some cruel, oppressing tyrant ; and let VOL. IV.
Satan, or, an adversary, stand at his right hand, 10 accuse him 7 and plead against him. When he shall be judged, let him be
condemned, that is, lose his cause ; and let his prayer become 8 sin ; if he petition for pardon, let it be counted a crime. Let his
days be few ; [and] let another fake his office, in which he be. 9 haved himself with such insufferable insolence. Let his children
be fatherless, and his wife a widow, a desolate widow, without 10 any thing to maintain her. Let his children be continually vaga
bonds, and beg: let them seek (their bread] also out of their
desolate places ; seek where to lodge, because their own houses and 1 land are desolate. Let the extortioner, or creditor, catch all that
he hath ; and let the stranger spoil all that he hath gotten by his 12 labour. Let there be none to extend mercy unto him : neither 13 let there be any to favour his fatherless children. Let his pos
terity be cut off ; (and) in the generation following let their 14 name be blotted out. Let the iniquity of his fathers be remem
bered with the LORD ; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out; let his punishment be so great and dreadful, that it may
appear as if the sins of all former generations were punished in and 15 upon him. Let them be before the LORD continually, that he
may cut off the memory of them from the earth ; that the last 16ʻ remains of so wicked a family may perish. Because that he re
membered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart, that is,
myself, who am extremely dejected and afflicted in spirit, by reason 17 of my great pressures. As he loved cursing, so let it come unto
him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him. 18 As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, số
let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones, 19 that no fart may escape free. Let it be unto him as the garment
(which] covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded 20 continually. [Let] this [be] the reward of mine adversaries
from the LORD, and of them that speak evil against my soul. 21 But do thou for me, () God the Lord, for thy name's sake : 22 because thy mercy [is] good, deliver thou me. For I (am)
poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me; I am 23 ready to faint away with sorrow. I am gone like the shadow of
the evening, when it declineth : I am tossed up and down as the 24 locust. My knees are weak through fasting, for want of food in
the desert places where I am forced to fly; and my flesh faileth 25 of fatness. I became also a reproach unto them : (when) they 26 looked upon me they shaked their heads. Help me, O LORD 27 my God : O save me according to thy mercy : That they may
know that this [is] thy hand ; [that] thou, Lord, hast done it. 28 Let them curse, but bless thou : when they arise to put their
malicious designs into execution, let them be ashamed ; but let 29 thy servant rejoice. Let mine adversaries be clothed with
shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, 30 as with a mantle, entirely, on all sides. And in confidence of this,
I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; yea, I will 31 praise him among the multitude. For he shall stand at the
right hand of the poor, as an advocate or patron ; in opposition to verse the sixth, where Satan, or an adversary, is represented as standing at the right hand of a wicked man ; to save (him) from those that condemn his soul; that would pass an unjust sentence upon him, and would take away his life.
1. E are taught hence, that how unkind and severe soever
may be the treatment we meet with, we should make prayer our refuge. I give myself unto prayer, v. 4. in the original it is only, I prayer; an elliptical but very emphatical form of speaking. Prayer is my business, my refuge, my hope, and joy. I love it, and practise it, and make a serious business of it. When men surround us with falsehoods and violence, we should continue in prayer ; when they laugh at us for our devotion and religion, as v. 25. we should not be discouraged, but go on in prayer; waiting God's time to interpose for us ; and he will save us according to his mercy.
2. Let us be taught from hence, to dread the terrible curses which will sooner or later fall upon all the enemies of Christ. Even the enemies of David were brought to shame and destruction ; much more will those who slight and despise Christ. The dreadful end to which Judas' guilty conscience hurried him, is an awful lesson to us not to betray the Son of God. The destruction of the Jews warris us not to crucify him afresh, and put him to open shame ; and as for all his enemies, who will not that he should reign over them, he shall command them to be brought forth and slain at his feet. Kiss the son, therefore, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way when his wrath is kindled but a little.
3. It may not be unnecessary here to add a caution, that we gove ern our passions so as not even to wish ill to our enemies. Some persons, finding these prophetic denunciations in the bible, and not understanding the genius of the Hebrew language, have considered them as curses ; and from thence have concluded, that it was lawful thus to imprecate vengeance on their enemies. Calvin, in his commentaries on this psalm, says that it was common in his day for persons to hire the monks to curse their enemies in these words ; and he particularly mentions a lady of quality, who had hired them thus to curse her only son who had wronged her. But our duty is very plain ; not to indulge bitterness and wrath, not to render railing for railing, or secretly to wish our enemies ill; but to love them, and bless them, and pray for them, after the example of our benev, olent Master. If they will curse, let us pray and hope that God will bless them, then their curses will do us no harm. Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing as unto a faithful Creator.
A Psalm of David.
The general drift of this psalm, and the many quotations out of it in
the New Testament, plainly prove that the whole of it refers to Christ ; and he himself tells us that David in spirit spoke of him in it.
1 HE LORD said unto my Lord, God said to his son Jesus,
who, though my descendant according to the flesh, is my Lord, having existed before me, being the object of my trust, and having an eternal kingdom, Sit thou at my right hand, the post of dignity and authority, until I make thine enemies thy footstool ; an allusion to the custom of setting their feet on the necks
of the princes or generals conquered in war, as Joshua commanded 2 the Israelites to treat the vanquished kings of Canaan. The LORD
shall send the rod of thy strength, thy strong rod, or sceptre, out of Zion : rule thou in the midst of thine enemies ; referring 10 the gospel, which began to be preached at Jerusalem, and fiom thence went forth through all the earth. It is a promise that God would support and assist his heralds in preaching the gospel ; so that Christ should rule in the midst of his enemies, that is, overcome
Jews and heathens, the enemies of his church ; il may likewise 3 refer to victory over spiritual enemies. Thy people [shall be)
willing in the day of thy power ; Christ shall rule over a willing people, in the day when all power in heaven and earth shall be given to him ; in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the more ing :* thou hast the dew of thy youth ; there shall be a large accession of young converts, as numerous as the drops of dew, who
shall present themselves to Christ, and list under his banner. The 4 firiestly office of Christ is then celebrated. The Lord hath sworn,
and will not repent, Thou (art] a priest for ever after the order 5 of Melchizedek.t The LORD standing at thy right hand 10
strengthen thee, shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath,
and bear down all thy enemies, even kings and princes that rise up 6 against thee. He shall judge among the heathen ; execute ven, over many countries ; the great rulers and emperors, or Satan, 7 who is the god of this world.* He shall drink of the brookt in
geance on all opposers of his gospel : he shall fill (the places) with the dead bodies ; so many shall be slain, that the vallies shall be filled with their dead bodies ; he shall wound the heads
* The beauties of holiness, signifies the temple, and may refer to the armies of Israel going up to present themselves there early in the morning before they went forth to action.
† This passage the apostle Paul largely explains and illustrates in his epistle to the He. brews, chap. v. Christ was made a priest to offer up a sacrifice for sin, to intercede for and bless his people. He was after the order of Melchizedek, with some respect to his name, as it signifies a king of righteousness, and the place over which he reigned, which was Salem, that 3, peace, he was king of peace. Like him he had no priestly ancestors, nor any successor in his office ; which is the meaning of Melchizedek's having neither father ror mother, lior descent, that is, they are not recorded in the history of him. Thus Christ is a royal priest, a priest on a throne ; he has neither predecessor nor successor in his office, but it is an una changeable priesthood ; and this is confirmed by an oath, which proves his preeminence, his superiority to Aaron, and that his appointment to the priesthood shall never be revoked.
1 Accordingly, many kings and eniperors who set thepiselves to oppose christianitya have been destioyed in a dreadful manner.
the way : therefore shall he lift up the head ; he shall not afiprear in pomp and state, as a king upon earth, but shall take the same course with his soldiers, go before them, meet with the same difficulties, and be glad, like them, to find a little brook in the way, where he may refresh himself ; then he shall lift up his head, pursue and conquer his enemies, and be advanced to the highesi dignity.
ET us adore that spirit of prophecy which appears in this
in spirit, or under the influences of the spirit, spoke these things of Christ. Some of the ancients properly enough called this David's creed ; as there is scarce any doctrine of the gospel but what is hinted at in it. He describes Christ's several offices, of prophet, priest, and king ; and his state of humiliation and exaltation. The ancient Jews could not but refer it to the Messiah, though the modern Jews strangely torture it, to make it speak another language. Let us bless God for this prophecy, as a confirmation of our faith in the gospel.
2. Let us reverence the Lord Jesus Christ, as the son and the Lord of David ; who was before David, and with the father before the world was. He received of the father honour and glory ; is seated at his right hand ; and his almighty power is engaged to make his cause prosperous. May our souls bow in humble reverence before this glorious Being, and rejoice that he is constituted both Lord and Christ.
3. We ought to be thankful for the triumph of Christ, and pray and hope for his further triumph. He has overcome the impenitent Jews ; and the opposing heathens ; been terrible to the kings of the earth, though their policy and power have been very great. Ile has conquered ihe spiritual enemies of his people; and death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed by him. We do not as yet see all things put under him ; but they shall be so. Let us pray that his mighty power may be shown in making multitudes his willing and obedient subjects ; especially that there may be a numerous accession of young converts to his church, who shall be the seed and support of religion in the world ; and that all our children and young friends may be of this happy number.
4. Let us be desirous to behave with all duty and affection to this glorious prince ; be his willing people, voluntarily and cheerfully enter ourselves among his soldiers and subjects, and under his ban
This was fulflled in the destruction of the unbelieving Jews; and shall be more so in the latter day, when all the enemies of the christian cause shall be destroyed ; as we learn from many passages in the Prophets and Revelations.
† Many understand this as spoken of Christ's death, and his drinking of the brook Kidron in his way to crucifixion. Others understand it of his being largely supplied with the holy Spirit, whose influences are often compared to watci, Trainer think the meaning is as ia thc paraphrase.