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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



PSALM 5

 

PSALM V.  (VERBA MEA AURIBUS.)

A prayer to God against the iniquities of men.

 

Ver. 1.  For her that obtaineth the inheritance.  That is, for the Church of Christ, (Ch.) and every faithful soul, which gains the victory and heaven.  W. --- Nechiloth, may also, (H.) signify musical instruments with holes, or "women dancing," on religious and joyful occasions, as they did when the ark was removed, &c.  2 K. vi. 12.  C.  Ps. lxvii. 26. --- We may (H.) as well follow the Vulg. and S. Jerom.  Some have supposed that David alludes to Saul, Absalom, &c.  But in most of the psalms, the wicked in general are reprobated, and the sentiments of the faithful expressed.  This psalm contains an excellent from of morning prayer, as an armour against all our spiritual enemies.  Berthier.

 

Ver. 2.  Cry.  Heb. "meditation."  M. --- The cry of the heart, (S. Chrys.) and "the groans," which the spirit forms within us.  Rom. viii. 26.  God cannot reject such prayers.  If he seems inattentive, it is because we ask amiss.  Jam. iv. 3.  C. --- He attends to the prayers of the Church, and of every faithful soul, (W.) and even exhorts sinners to come to him, that they may emerge from the abyss.  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Morning.  This hour of prayer is also specified, (Ps. lxii. 1. and cxviii. 147.) as that of the evening is.  Ps. iv. 9, and liv. 19.  We read also of noon being a time for prayer among the Jews.  Acts x. 9.  Daniel (vi. 10.) diligently observed these holy customs.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  Stand.  Heb. implies "in order," as those who neglect prayer must be all in confusion.  God enables those who are diligent, to see wonderful things.  Bert. --- Iniquity.  No: he has it in abhorrence; (C.) consequently he cannot be the author of it, but hates those who commit evil, though he loves them as his creatures, and wishes their conversion.  W. --- On this subject I will meditate.  M.

 

Ver. 6.  Eyes.  God suffers them to remain for a time.  S. Jer.

 

Ver. 7.  Workers, (operantur) "who work," (H.) and die impenitent. --- Lie.  All heretics, who kill their own and neighbours' souls, (S. Jer.) and in general all seducers, (C.) who will be treated like those who have committed murder.  Euseb.  C├Žsar.

 

Ver. 8.  Mercy, not trusting in my own merit, (H.) but with the greatest awe.  C. --- The just trust in mercy, not in man's power. --- Temple, the Church, and in God's presence.  W. --- Some would infer hence that David was not the author of this psalm.  But the tabernacle is called  by the same name; (1 K. i. 7, 24, and iii. 3.) so that this reason is not sufficient.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Enemies.  Heb. "observers."  They are always on the watch to discover any fault.  Grant me thy preventing grace.  Bert. --- Let me not stumble, (H.) but cause me to walk cheerfully in thy paths.  C. --- If thou approve, it matters not how much worldlings blame me.  S. Aug.

 

Ver. 10.  Their.  Heb. "his."  But it is incorrect.  Houb. --- S. Jer. has "their."

 

Ver. 11.  Sepulchre, which never says there is enough.  Prov. xxx. 15.  C. --- Dealt, &c.  S. Paul authorizes this version, (Rom. iii. 13.) though the Heb. be rendered, "they flatter cunning;" (Bert.) or "they sharpen their tongue," and polish it like a sword, that it may cut more easily.  This may be applied to heretics.  SS. Athan. Chrys. Jer.  C. --- Judge, or "condemn them."  Heb. may be explained as a prediction.  Bert. --- The Holy Ghost could not dictate an imprecation or desire revenge.  But David might beg that God would frustrate the designs of his enemies; and, by treating them with some severity, hinder the execution of their wicked schemes, which would bring on their own ruin.  S. Chrys.  S. Aug.  C. --- Though the just desire the conversion of all, yet if any die impenitent, they approve of God's judgment, manifested at the end of the world.  W. --- Provoked.  Heb. "rebelled against."  I forgive them for what they have done to me.  But I grieve at thy offence; make them return to a sense of their duty.  C. --- He might abhor the enemies of salvation, the world, &c. whom Christ has condemned.  Bert.

 

Ver. 12.  Dwell.  Heb. "protect," (S. Jer.) "or shade them."  C. --- The just will rejoice under thy protection, (H.) and at the conversion of the sinner.  S. Chrys.

 

Ver. 13.  Us.  Heb. "him."  S. Jer.  Aquila.  C. --- But neglecting the points, the Sept. is as accurate, and more beautiful.  Bert. --- Shield.  Heb. tsinna, (H.) which was probably large enough to cover the body.  C. --- If God be with us, who is against us?  H. --- The just shall receive the sentence of eternal glory.  W.

 

 








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