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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



PSALM 3

 

PSALM III. (DOMINE QUID MULTIPLICATI.)

The prophet's danger and delivery from his son, Absalom: mystically the passion and resurrection of Christ.

 

Heb. and Sept. have lit. "a psalm of David," (tw Dauid) which may mean that it was addressed to him by God, or that he would set it to music himself, (H.) or that it was composed by him, or on his occasion.  The part. l. has various meanings, and it does not incontestably prove that the person before whose name it is placed, must be regarded as the author.  C. --- Yet there is no reason for doubting that this psalm was composed by David.  H. --- The Jews say he wrote it on the ascent of Mount Olivet.  2 K. xv. 17.  But he rather waited till he had re-entered his capital, and herein expressed his gratitude, specifying at the same time the sentiments with which he had been impressed in the hour of danger.  Ven. Bede explains this and many other psalms of Ezechias, as he perhaps did not read or attend to the title.  C. --- This deserves more attention, as it is the same in all Bibles, though all interpreters do not consider them as canonical, no more than that which is prefixed to the Lamentations.  Berthier. --- They are authentic, being inspired to Esdras or the Sept.  W. --- But this is doubtful.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Why.  Let me know the enormity of my sins.  All Israel follows Absalom.  2 K. xv. 13.  So all rose up against Christ.  W. --- The Church was assailed on all sides, (C.) and every soul must live in expectation of battle from innumerable enemies.  Heb. also, (H.) "How are they multiplied."  Houbig. --- David is surprised at the sudden change, and adores the depth of God's judgments, which had been denounced unto him.  1 K. xii. 10.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  God.  His case is desperate.  W. --- He must therefore be a criminal.  This is the usual judgment of the world, though very false, as we have seen in the person of Job; for temporal punishments are frequently an effect of the divine clemency.  Semei upbraided David on this occasion, as the Jews did Christ.  2 K. xvi. 7.  Mat. xxvii. 42.  At the end of this verse, Heb. adds, Selah, (C.) sle and Sept. diayalma, (H.) a word which is not much better understood.  Houbigant therefore informs us that he has omitted it entirely, as the Vulg. seems to have done, except Ps. lxi. 8. where it is rendered, in æternum, "for ever," (Bert.) as S. Jerom expresses it semper, in his Heb. version.  It would perhaps be as well to leave the original term.  H. --- It occurs seventy-one times in the psalms, and thrice in Habacuc.  Some think it is a sign to raise the voice, or to pause, &c. (Bert.) at the end of the lesson, before the psalter was divided.  None, except Eusebius, asserts that it was  inserted by the original authors, and it seems now to be useless.  C. Dis.

 

Ver. 4.  Protector.  Heb. "shield." --- Glory.  God is the hope of his servants, (1 Cor. xv. 31.) and grants their requests.  C. --- He has not abandoned me, when I had fallen into sin.  H. --- He gives me the victory, and confirms my throne.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Hill.  Sion, where the ark had been placed, (C.) or from heaven.  M. --- Heb. adds, "Selah."  Prot.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Rest, in sin; (S. Athan.) or, I have not lost my confidence in God, though dangers threaten on every side.  C. --- Jesus remained undaunted, when his enemies surrounded him; he continued (Theod. &c.) free among the dead, and rose again by his own power.  H. --- If he prayed that the chalice might be removed, it was to teach us how to behave.  C. --- He was buried, and rose again, and his disciples believed the Scriptures (Jo. ii. 22.) recorded here, and in other places.  W. --- The same word refers to past and future things.  S. Greg. Mor. xx. 1.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Thousands.  Sept. "myriads."  H. --- If my enemies were still more numerous, I should not fear.  C. --- I beseech thee to help me.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  Without cause.  Heb. "on the jaw."  H. --- Without redress.  C. --- Sept. seems to have read léinom, as "some Jews say that the ancient copies were different."  Origen, A.D. 231.  Kennicott. --- Teeth.  Strength and fury.

 

Ver. 9.  Blessing.  Abundance of grace is promised to God's servants, who must look up to him for salvation.  David gives thanks for the victory, though he grieved at his son's death.  W. --- He shewed proofs of the greatest clemency on this occasion.  It is evident, from this psalm being inserted before many which regard Saul, that no chronological order is observed.  C. --- Selah occurs a third time here, as some may have ended the lecture at one, while others ordered it to be continued to another, or even to the 3d and 5th verse of the next psalm, if that be its real  import.  H.

 

 








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