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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



PSALM 24

 

PSALM XXIV.  (AT TE DOMINE LEVAVI.)

A prayer for grace, mercy, and protection against our enemies.

 

Ver. 1.  David.  This word alone occurs in Heb.  Sept. and S. Jerom add also Psalm.  H. --- S. Aug. and Theod. agree with the Vulg.  C. --- These variations prove that we cannot depend much on the titles; and the learned do not look upon them as the word of God.  The psalm may have been composed, when David was persecuted by his son, (Bert.) or by Saul.  It  may also allude to the captives.  This is the first of the seven alphabetical psalms.  The 33d, 35th, 110th, 111th, 118th, and 144th, are of the same description, being written in this manner (C.) on account of their importance, (Kimchi) or to help the memory, (Bert.) or for copies, to teach young people to write.  Grot. --- Each verse forms a distinct sentence, not much connected with the rest.  We perceive some derangement in the present Heb. copies of this psalm, as the letters are not in proper order, though it might easily be restored by altering the divisions (C.) than their Thalmudical songs.  Pellican in Ps. lxxxv. 9. --- The Sept. and S. Jerom seem to have had better copies.  Christ, the Church, (C.) or any pious soul, may address this fervent prayer to God under affliction. --- Lifted up in a true spirit of prayer, (Bert.) with fervour and confidence.  Deut. xxiv. 15.  Lam. iii. 41.  C. --- Attention is requisite to obtain a petition, (W.) as well as fervour, &c.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  In thee.  Heb. bec.  Thus the second verse will properly begin with b, (Capel. Houbig.) though the Jews place my God first, as it is in the Vulg. Deus meus, in te, &c.  H. --- Ashamed.  Sept. Compl. adds, "for ever."

 

Ver. 3.  Laugh.  Saying scornfully where is their God?  C. --- Wait.  This is often urged (Is. xlii. 23.) as comprising all the science of a spiritual life.  We must neither despair nor omit the means of salvation.  Bert. --- Those who hope for the accomplishment of God's promises, will not be disappointed.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  All, is not expressed in Heb. or some copies of the Sept.  Bert. --- Cause.  No one can have reason to do so.  But those who injure their harmless brethren, are more reprehensible, (H.) and the psalmist foretells that they will be put to shame.  S. Jer. --- This manner of praying frequently occurs in the psalms, to signify the event, and the approbation of the just.  W. --- Shew.  The forth verse ought to begin here with d, as in Heb.  H. --- Paths.  The mysterious ways of Providence, (Euseb.) or the law which is unknown to many, (S. Athan.) and practised by still fewer.  C.

 

Ver. 5.  And teach.  If the verse were to commence thus, (C.) v would not be out of its place.  H. --- Without God's direction, we cannot walk in the narrow path.  Bert. --- Long.  We must never cease to desire the knowledge of true doctrine.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  World.  God's truth or fidelity in performing his promises, and his tender mercies towards his people, are the motives most frequently urged.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Ignorances.  Heb. "defects," as youth is more apt to omit duties than to act very wickedly.  Yet it is difficult to decide how grievous such sins may be.  Bert. --- Passion and ignorance then concur to lead the inexperienced astray.  H. --- From the first use of reason, many are careless, and neglect to learn their duty.  W. --- Ignorance is sometimes a sin, though it may be more pardonable.  1 Tim. i.  M.

 

Ver. 8.  Righteous.  Though he is always ready to receive the penitent, he will punish the obstinate with severity.  C.  W. --- Yet he points out the means of obtaining his favour.  S. Aug. --- A law.  Heb. "will instruct."  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Mild.  Only rebels are made the victims of justice.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  Seek.  Heb. "keeps."  But no one seeks after the law, who does not strive to keep it.  Bert. --- Jesus Christ shewed mercy at his first coming, and he will display truth at his second, judging all with equity.  S. Aug. --- Testimonies.  When God gave the law to manifest his will, he attested heaven and earth, that all might observe it carefully.  C. --- The law is God's covenant, and the testimony of his will.  He mercifully preventeth us with his grace, and will reward with truth and justice.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  Great.  "Original sin is common to all, and will not be washed away, except God be pleased to destroy it in baptism."  S. Jer. --- David had committed adultery; and all must acknowledge their manifold guilt.  C. --- Though the guilt had been remitted, the punishment due to David's crime was to be endured in this life, and he ought daily to pray for pardon.  Bert. --- The aversion from God in sin is great, and standeth in need of his gracious remission.  W.

 

Ver. 12.  He hath.  This may be understood either of God, or of man, who has chosen a state of life.  Bert. --- Provided he be guided by the fear of the Lord, (C.) all thing will turn to his advantage.  H.

 

Ver. 13.  Dwell.  Heb. intimates, "all night" at rest; yet so that he must only enjoy temporal goods like a traveller.  Bert. --- We ought to look up to heaven as to our true country, (C.) or which Palestine was only a figure.  Ps. lxviii.  M. --- The land, is not expressed in Heb. "his seed shall receive (good) for an inheritance."  H. --- Five blessings are here promised to those who fear the God: instruction, a supply of necessities, a progeny to imitate his virtues, protection, and heaven.  W.

 

Ver. 14.  Firmament, or strong support.  H. --- Heb. "the secret of the Lord is for them," &c.  He conceals nothing from his friends.  C. --- Both these sense are good, (Bert.) and the Hebrew words are nearly allied.  Robertson. --- All who fear God, ought to interest themselves, and pray that he would enlighten the ignorant, and convert sinners.  Bert. --- The uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.  Ps. l. 8.  M.

 

Ver. 15.  Lord.  Our prayers are not heard, because they are not like this: fervant, incessant, and humble.  We have all to fear from our passions, which are the most dangerous snares.  Bert.

 

Ver. 16.  Alone.  Desolate, (Ps. xxi. 21.) without any assistant.  H. --- Such is man destitute of God's grace.  W.

 

Ver. 17.  Multiplied.  Heb. "enlarged."  So in the gradual for the second Sunday of Lent, we read dilatat√¶.  Bert. --- Afflictions must be endured.  W.  Sen. ep. 12.

 

Ver. 18.  See.  The word kum, "arise," may be wanting, as the verse should begin with k, (C.) unless it be lost.  MS. 2, repeats the former verse, perhaps to fill up the space.  Kennicott. --- Forgive.  Heb. or "bear."  Bert.  S. Jer.  M. --- If the cause be removed, the affliction will have an end.  W.

 

Ver. 19.  Unjust.  Heb. also, "cruel," (H.) or "violent."   But S. Jerom agrees with the Sept.  Our spiritual enemies are the most dangerous and unrelenting, and we are too often off our guard.  Bert. --- The wicked, through hatred of God, (H.) seek to draw others into sin.  W.

 

Ver. 20.  Soul.  David was most concerned for it; (Bert.) and those who sincerely place their confidence in God, will never be confounded.  W.

 

Ver. 21.  Adhered.  Heb. "innocence, &c. have kept me."  C. --- Those faithful subjects, who have accompanied me in my flight, stand guard to protect me.  Requite them, O Lord, and grant peace to all my people.  H. --- My example encourages them to follow thy law, and they will be staggered, if thou grant not my request.  M.

 

Ver. 22.  Deliver.  Heb. pede, "redeem."  All the 22 (H.) letters of the alphabet are complete without this supplication for all Israel, or for the Church.  W. --- It might form a part of the last verse, or belong to the next psalm; unless it be a conclusion like that of Ps. xxxiii. (C.) out of the alphabetical order.  Houbigant. --- Israel.  S. Aug. and some ancient psalters read, "Me, O God of Israel, from all my tribulations."  C.

 

 








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