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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



PSALM 61

 

PSALM LXI.  (NONNE DEO.)

The prophet encourageth himself and all others to trust in God, and serve him.

 

Ver. 1.  Idithun, to sing.  W. --- He was one of the chief musicians under David.  1 Par. xxv. 3.  The psalm may be explained of David, persecuted by Absalom, (C.) of the Machabees, (Theod.) &c.  or of Christ, and his Church.  C. --- S. Jer. considers it a piece of excellent morality, (C.) and this may suffice, without referring it to any historical fact.  Bert.

 

Ver. 2.  Subject.  The just is resigned, though he feel like other men.  David found a sort of resentment against the rebels, arising in his breast, which he presently repressed, by the thought of God's will.  2 K. xii. 11.  C. --- He fears nothing, because his soul is subject to God.  W. --- Heb. "silent."  H.

 

Ver. 4.  Fence.  This may refer to the persecutors, who resembled a leaning wall.  Bert.  Is. xxx. 13.  C. --- Prot. "ye shall be slain all of you, as a bowing wall shall ye be," &c.  He threatens them with speedy destruction, (H.) or represents to them the baseness of attacking a man ready to fall.  C. --- He informs them, that their attempts will be in vain, though they be very numerous, and he himself apparently so weak.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Price.  Sept. S. Hilary, &c. "my honour."  They wish to dethrone me, and to represent me as unfit to govern. --- I ran.  Sept. edramon, "they ran" likewise, as Heb. implies, and as the Gr. Fathers generally explain it.  David thought proper to flee, that he might be at a distance from traitors, 2 K. xv. 14.  His enemies sought this destruction.  C. --- They wished to deprive him of the reward of his labours; but he ran more earnestly. --- Blessed.  Flattery is very dangerous.  W.

 

Ver. 8.  God.  The multiplicity of titles shews the prophet's love.  See Apoc. v. 12.  S. Aug. Conf. i. 4.  Bert.

 

Ver. 9.  All.  Heb. "always, O people."  Sept. seem to have read, adoth, for heth. --- For ever.  Here Selah is translated, (Bert.) though it is not in Sept. &c.  David exhorts his followers to address themselves to God, with compunction and confidence.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  Liars.  They are so vain and light, that if they are put into the scales, they will be found to be of no weight; and to be mere lies, deceit, and vanity.  Or, they are liars in their balances, by weighing thing by false weights, and preferring the temporal before the eternal.  Ch.  Prov. xi. 1. and xx. 10. --- They give false judgments; be not concerned; God is our protector.  C. --- God's servants strive to draw others to the practice of virtue.  W. --- All sinners (H.) will not outweigh vanity itself.  M.

 

Ver. 11.  Them.  Let the rich assist their needy brethren; and you, my followers, beware of enriching yourselves, by unjust rapine, during this civil war.  C. --- Raise your thoughts to something better.  S. Aug.

 

Ver. 12.  Once, by the generation of  his word, (S. Aug.) or when he promulgated the law.  Ex. xx. 6.  Bert. --- God's word is invariable, (W.  Job xxxiii. 14.  M.) and will be put in execution.  S. Amb.  T. --- This he has often inculcated.  Vatab.  Job xxxix. 35.  Amos (i. 3.) uses three and four, in the same sense.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Works.  We must therefore refrain from every injustice.  H. --- God spoke once by Moses, and again by his own Son.  Both the Testaments confirm the certainty of rewards and punishments, (Bert.) as God is able and willing (W.) to execute his decrees.  Luther, followed by the Dutch, translates, "as he merits;" to which expression, concerning the just, Amama objects.  H.

 

 








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