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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



PSALM 43

 

PSALM XLIII.  (DEUS AURIBUS NOTRIS.)

The Church commemorates former favours, and present afflictions; under which she prays for succour.

 

Ver. 1.  Understanding.  See Ps. xli.  M. --- David or the Corites composed this piece, to comfort the just under persecution.  Bert. --- It may allude to the situation of the Jews at Babylon, (C.) or under Antiochus Epiphanes, (Ven. Bede) though S. Paul, (Rom. viii. 36.) applies v. 22. to the persecutions of the primitive Christians, which seems to shew, that the whole psalm refers to them, (Bert.) as the Fathers have explained it.  Yet it may literally be understood of the Israelites (C.) also, (H.) as well as the Christian martyrs, since all things happened to the Israelites in figure.  W.

 

Ver. 2.  Old, in calling Abraham, and rescuing the Hebrews for the Egyptian bondage, &c.  W. --- God formerly protected our Fathers; but how are things changed?  C. --- Gideon uses nearly the same words.  Judg. vi.  M.

 

Ver. 3.  Plantedst them, thy people.  See Jer. ii. 21. and xii. 10.  Ezec. xvii. 6. --- Out, by means of insects, &c.  Wisd. xii. 8.  Jos. xxiv. 12.  C. --- The Hebrews were miraculously assisted, (W.) without any merit of their own, (C.) as all were wicked at first.  Yet Abraham was freely chosen, that the visible Church might be preserved.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Saving (salutes) the manifold instances of protection.  H.

 

Ver. 6.  Horn, like bulls.  W. --- This we have done in former times.  C. --- Not man's strength, but God's favour, granteth the victory.  W.

 

Ver. 9.  We glory.  Lit. "be praised."  H. --- We have always attributed our success to thee.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Now.  He foretelleth divers states of the Jews, and of the Church.  W.

 

Ver. 11.  To.  Lit. "after," post.  They were formerly defeated; now it is our turn.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Nations.  Many never returned from captivity.  C.  See Deut. xxviii. 43.

 

Ver. 13.  Reckoning.  Prot. "thou dost not increase thy wealth by their price."  H. --- Thou art eager to get quit of them, as of the vilest slaves.  Theod.  Grot.  Isai. l. 2. and lii. 3.  Exchange.  Some copies of the Sept. read allalagmasi, "jubilations," with the Ethiopic.  S. Aug. &c. --- While others have more correctly allagmasi, like the Vulg.  There were none to purchase, so that thou hast given the people for nothing.  C. --- At the last siege of Jerusalem, the Jews, who had sold (W.) or bought Christ for thirty pieces of money, (H.) were themselves sold for the smallest price; thirty being given for one penny.  See Joseph. de B. Jud.  W.

 

Ver. 15.  Head, out of contempt.  M. --- The Gentiles propose us as an example of a people fallen a prey to the divine indignation.  4 K. xix. 21.  Lam. ii. 15.

 

Ver. 17.  Detracteth me.  S. Jer. "blasphemeth" God, while they upbraid us, as a faithless people.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Covenant.  Till the passion of Christ, the Jews did not wholly fall from God, and then many were chosen from among them, to found the Christian religion.  W. --- The Corites speak in the name of their faithful brethren, whom no provocation had induced to follow the superstitious practices of Babylon.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  Neither.  Lit. "and or yet."  H. --- But the negative particle is taken (W.) from the first part of the verse.  C. --- S. Jer. "Neither hast thou," &c.  M. --- Yet many adhere to the Heb. &c. "And thou hast turned," &c.  Though it may be taken in a dangerous sense, (C.) yet it may only signify, (H.) that God had removed his people from the country where his worship was observed, and had refused them his protection; hence their paths have been unfortunate.  Theodoret. --- This agrees better with the sequel.  Bert. --- It is no proof that God is the author of sin, in either sense.  T.

 

Ver. 20.  Affliction.  Heb. or "dragons," (S. Jer.  M.) alluding to the deserts, to which the Jews retired, when the Assyrians invaded them.  The text may be more applicable to the first Christians, who might truly say, that they had not transgressed.  Houbig. -- To the martyrs, death was but like a shadow.  S. Greg.  Mar. iv. 17. --- Here it denotes great darkness and misery.  M.

 

Ver. 21.  If we.  This is a Heb. idiom, to express, we have not.  W.

 

Ver. 22.  Slaughter.  They will not suffer us to be quiet respecting our religion, striving to delude us: or, if we prove resolute, like Daniel, they expose us to torments.  C. --- This was more fully verified at the first propagation of the gospel, (Rom. viii. 36.) as it still continues to be among those, who cease not to persecute Catholics by artifice, as well as by open violence.  Christians in every age (H.) are persecuted, more than the prophets (W.) generally were.  H.

 

Ver. 23.  Sleepest thou, seeming not to attend to our sufferings.  M. --- End, shall  we never be restored to favour?  C.

 

Ver. 25.  Dust.  We are at death's door, being oppressed with grief, as long as thou dost not assist us.  W. --- We petition in the most fervent (H.) and  humble posture.  Isai. xlix. 23.  Mic. vii. 17.  C.

 

 








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