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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



PSALM 56

 

PSALM LVI.  (MISERERE MEI DEUS.)

The prophet prays in his affliction, and praises God for his delivery.

 

Ver. 1.  Destroy not.  Suffer me not to be destroyed, (Ch.  M.) or I will not allow my men to destroy an implacable foe, (H.) as they entreat me to do.  This conduct is worthy of eternal memory.  W. --- The words may also be an admonition to the reader, not to alter this piece.  Apoc. xxii. 18.  C. --- Al tashcheth, (or thosseth.  H.) is supposed to be an instrument, or a favourite song, such as that of Moses, (Deut. ix. 26.) which begins thus.  But the point is uncertain.  The same words occur, Psalm lviii. lix. (Bert.) and lxxiv.  They are put in the mouth of Christ suffering, by S. Hilary, &c. --- Cave of Odollam, or rather of Engaddi.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  In thee.  This obliges God to take pity.  Ps. xlvi. 11. --- Wings, as a chicken retires to the hen.  Ruth ii. 12.  Matt. xxiii. 37.

 

Ver. 4.  Sent his mercy, &c. (C.) above the power of man.  W. --- Reproach.  Saul was forced to entreat David to preserve his family, as he had just spared his own life; which would, no doubt, mortify his pride, (1 K. xxiv. 18. 22.  C.) and seem a reproach to him.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Lions.  Poetry gives life to all things.  It represents mercy and truth as God's messengers; and Saul as a young lion.  He might have entered the cave with his men, and destroyed David: but Providence caused him to enter alone, so that David had an opportunity to cut off the hem of his garment, and to shew his clemency. --- Sword.  Thus were the Jews armed, to demand Christ's death.  Euseb.  C. --- The persecutors use artificial weapons, and excite one another to fury.  1 K. xxii. 16.  W.

 

Ver. 7.  Down.  Heb. "my soul was bowed down," (Bert.) or "to bow down my soul."  S. Jer.  H. --- Saul strove many ways to destroy  his rival, sending him to fight the Philistines, who, nevertheless, proved the ruin of Saul.  1 K. xviii. 17. and xxxi. 1.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  My.  This and the following verses, from the 107th psalm.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Glory.  Soul, tongue, or rather instruments of music, (C.) and spirit of prophecy.  S. Athan.

 

Ver. 10.  Nations.  the psalms are now recited, (W.) in every language, and the wonders wrought by Christ are proclaimed.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Clouds.  They are exceedingly great.  H. --- Christ has mounted to the highest heavens, and his apostles have preached (C.) his saving truths, which, like clouds, render the earth fruitful in good works.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Earth.  It is just thy mercy should be extolled.  M.  v. 6.

 

 








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