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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



PSALM 67

 

PSALM LXVII.  (EXURGAT DEUS.)

The glorious establishment of the Church of the New Testament, prefigured by the benefits bestowed on the people of Israel.

 

Ver. 1.  Himself.  This is the most difficult of all the psalms, (C.) crux ingeniorum.  Muis. --- The prodigies wrought by God in favour of his people, when they came out of Egypt, and conquered the land of Chanaan, are described by David in this triumphal canticle, which was sung when the ark was removed.  Houbig. --- He had also in view the greater prodigies, which should attend Jesus Christ, and the propagation of the gospel.  The latter explanation is also literal, (Bert.) and is given by the Fathers, (C.) on the authority of S. Paul, v. 19.  Ephes. iv. 8.  H.

 

Ver. 2.  Arise.  These words were used when the Israelites decamped, (Num. x. 35.  C.) and in the exorcisms to expel devils, who are here styled enemies.  S. Athan. --- The Jews were confounded when Christ arose again.  S. Aug. --- The psalmist foretells the ruin of God's enemies, in the form of a prayer.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Feast.  This was done when the ark was removed.  1 Par. xv. and xvi. 3.  C. --- But believers may now receive God himself.  S. Amb.  Ps. xxxix.  Bert.

 

Ver. 5.  Who ascendeth upon the west.  Super occasum.  S. Gregory understands it of Christ, who after his going down, like the sun, in the west, by the passion and death, ascended more glorious, and carried all before him.  S. Jerom renders it, who ascendeth, or cometh up, through the deserts; (Ch.) which some explain of the coming out of Egypt, others of the progress of the gospel, in a western direction.  M. --- Baharaboth, means also, "in the remotest heavens," (Mont.  H.) or, "in delights," or "darkness," and all these senses may have been in the prophet's mind, as they are all beautiful.  Bert. --- Resist not God's inspirations.  He triumphs over death, and is Lord of all.  W. --- Lord.  Heb. "in Yah is his name."  H. --- The Word was with God.  Jo. i. --- But...presence.  These words seem to have been in the copy of the Sept. and shew the contrast between the just and their oppressors, at the presence of the ark, and of the Messias, (Bert.) before whom the latter must tremble.

 

Ver. 6.  The Father, (patris.)  Heb. pater, "the Father...God."  He delights in these titles, (H.) and though he dwelleth on high, he looketh on the  low.  Ps. cxii. 5.  M.

 

Ver. 7.  Of one manner.  That is, agreeing in faith, unanimous in love, and following the same manner of discipline.  It is verified in the servants of God living together in his house, which is the Church.  1 Tim. iii. 15.  Ch. --- Heb. may signify, "He maketh those who were alone (steriles) to dwell in a house."  Ps. cxii. 9.  He builds up their house, and grants them children.  Flamin.  Exod. i. 21. --- The Israelites under Pharao, (C.) saw their male issue destroyed, (H.) but God enabled them to multiply exceedingly.  Exod. i. 12.  C. --- Yechidim means "the solitary," (S. Jer.) and "the united," as the first Christians were.  Bert.  Acts ii. 44.  H. --- The Church preserves unity in faith, &c.  S. Cyp. ep. 76.  W. --- Bound.  The power and mercy of God appears, in his bringing out of their captivity, those who were strongly bound in their sins; and in restoring to his grace those whose behaviour had been most provoking; and who by their evil habits were not only dead, but buried in their sepulchres.  Ch. --- God's grace moves even the rebellious and negligent will of man, so that it willingly embraces the right path.  W. --- In strength.  Houbig. "to walk freely."  The Gentiles were, as it were, buried, before Christ delivered them, (Bert.) as he did those who were once incredulous in the days of Noe, (1 Pet. iii. 20. and iv. 6.  S. Athan.) and God rescued the Israelites from servitude, notwithstanding their repeated provocations, both before and after this mercy.  Some translate, (H.) Heb. "He delivers those who were bound in chains; but the rebels (Egyptians, or faithless Hebrews) have remained in the desert."  C. --- Their bodies have there become a prey to beasts, and to corruption.  H. --- God permitted the rebellious Egyptians to pursue his people.  M.

 

Ver. 9.  Dropped.  The earthquake and rain are not mentioned by Moses.  But the prophets often supply omissions.  Debora and Habacuc speak in the same lofty strains.  Ex. xix. 16.  Judg. v. 4.  Hab. iii. 6.  C. --- Debora specifies some words, (H.) which seem to be here wanting, "the clouds also dropped water, the mountains melted" at, &c. --- Of Sinai, or, "Sinai at," &c.  M. --- Heb. "this Sinai before God, (Judg. v. 5. Jehovah) the God of Israel."  The old MS. 3. retains the word Jehovah at least six times, where it is not once printed, as that of Lambeth, 434, does here, &c.  Kennicott. --- S. Aug. and the ancient psalters read, A facie Domini; Mons Sinai, &c.  C. --- The mount itself seemed to melt amid thunder and rain.  H.

 

Ver. 10.  A free rain.  The manna, which rained plentifully from heaven, in favour of God's inheritance, that is, of his people Israel: which was weakened indeed under a variety of afflictions, but was made perfect by God; that is, was still supported by divine Providence, and brought on to the promised land.  It agrees particularly to the Church of Christ, his true inheritance, which is plentifully watered with the free rain of heavenly grace; and through many infirmities, that is, crosses and tribulations, is made perfect, and fitted for eternal glory.  Ch. --- God came to redeem us, without any merit on our side.  He chose the weak, but made them strong.  W. --- The cattle stood in great need of water, as the Hebrews did of manna.  C. --- He will render the promised land most fertile.  Houbig.)

 

Ver. 11.  In it, &c.  That is, in this Church, which is thy fold, and thy inheritance, shall thy animals, thy sheep, dwell: where thou hast plentifully provided for them.  Ch. --- Those whom thou hast chosen shall enjoy this manna, or the blessed Sacrament.  W.

 

Ver. 12.  To them that preach good tidings.  Evangelizantibus.  That is, to the preachers of the gospel; who, receiving the word from the Lord, shall with great power and efficacy, preach thoughout the world the glad tidings of a Saviour, and of eternal salvation through him; (Ch.) with miracles following.  Mark xvi.  W.  Luke xxi. 15.  C. --- Heb. seems to speak of females, who used to sing canticles of victory, like Mary and Deborah, &c.  But the feminine is used at the beginning of Ecclesiastes, though Solomon be meant, and here the Chaldee paraphrases, "God gave the words of the law to his people, by the mediation of Moses and Aaron, who published the word of God."  This passage has a striking analogy with Ephes. iv. 11. &c.  He gave some apostles...for the perfecting of the saints, &c. which S. Paul observes, just after quoting this psalm.  Bert.

 

Ver. 13.  The king of powers.  That is, the mighty King, the Lord of Hosts, is of the beloved, of the beloved; that is, is on the side of Christ, his most beloved Son; and his beautiful house, viz. the Church, in which God dwells for ever, shall by her spiritual conquests, divide the spoils of many nations.  The Hebrew (as it now stands pointed) is thus rendered: The kings of armies have fled, they had fled, and she that dwells at home (or, the beauty of the house) shall divide the spoils.  Ch. --- Yet Sym. comes nearer the Sept. and S. Jer. has in the same sense, (Bert.) "the kings of armies shall form leagues," &c.  The great King, is the Lord (v. 12.) of hosts, who shall enable many to publish his wonders.  They are represented as women, to denote the particular Churches of Christ, which have risen on the ruins of idolatry, though they may also refer to the victories of the Israelites, under Debora, when mighty kings came to invade the country.  Judg. iv. and v. 19. 24.  H. --- The glory of that victory was given to her, and to Jahel, who slew Sisara.  C. --- Soon after the preaching of the gospel, the most potent monarchs (C.) submitted to its authority, and thus a glorious prey was rescued from the power of the devil.  W. --- Women sometimes promoted this great work.  M.

 

Ver. 14.  If you sleep among the midst of lots, (inter medios cleros, &c.) viz. in such dangers and persecutions, as if your enemies were casting lots for your goods and persons: or in the midst of the lots (inter medios terminos, as S. Jerom renders it) that is, upon the very bounds or borders of the dominions of your enemies: you shall be secure, nevertheless, under the divine protection; and shall be enabled to fly away, like a dove, with glittering wings, and feathers shining like the palest and most precious gold; that is, with great increase of virtue, and glowing with the fervour of charity; (Ch.) or, "if...in the borders of the dove," &c. the ensign of Babylon.  Jer. xxv. 38. --- When, &c.  T. --- The tribe of Juda may be denoted by the dove, as it seems to be in the canticles, because it continued faithful longer than the ten tribes; (Bert.) or these words may be addressed to the tribes of Ruben and Gad, which neglected to come to the aid of Debora, and thus melted away like snow, as Jacob had threatened the former; (Gen. xlix.) or rather, that we may not interrupt the harmony of this solemnity by reproaches, we may (C.) adhere to the Vulg. which renders, they shall be, &c. v. 15.  H. --- The former stain has bee effaced by their subsequent good conduct.  C. --- While the pastors of the Church diligently propose the doctrines revealed in the two lots, of Testaments, to the prophets and apostles, the faith of the Church shines most conspicuously.  The other explanations maybe seen in Lorin. &c.  M.

 

Ver. 15.  Kings over her.  That is, pastors and rulers over his Church, viz. the apostles, and their successors.  Then by their ministry shall men be made whiter than the snow, which lies on the top of the high mountain Selmon, (Ch.) which is in the tribe of Ephraim, shaded with trees.  Judg. ix. 48.  W. --- Discern it, may also mean, "judgeth," (H.) or "divideth," as S. Jerom translates; and may intimate, that when God shall have exterminated the kings, who attacked his chosen race, it should appear more glorious.  H. --- In the first year of Cyrus, who had been commissioned by God, with Darius the Mede, to punish Babylon, (Dan. v.) the Jews were liberated.  T.

 

Ver. 16.  The mountain of God.  The Church, which (Is. ii. 2.) is called, The mountain of the house of the Lord upon the top of the mountains.  It is here called a fat and a curdled mountain; that is to say, most fruitful, and enriched by the spiritual gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost.  Ch. --- Fat.  Heb. "as the hill of Basha," (Prot.) which was very fertile: the very name signifying "fat."  S. Jer.  H. --- The psalmist apostrophizes the mountains of Chanaan, which were very high, and those of Basan, where Og ruled; (C.) or he insinuates, that the latter could not vie with Sion, where the ark was now to be placed.  Bert.

 

Ver. 17.  Why suspect ye curdled mountains?  Why do you suppose or imagine there may be any other such curdled mountains?  You are mistaken: the mountain thus favoured by God is but one; and this same he has chosen for his dwelling for ever.  Ch. --- They who are not of the Church, vainly imagine, that any other mountains are united, (W.) rich in grace, or beautiful.  H. --- Sects do not agree among themselves, but only in opposing the Catholic Church.  They have not the marks of truth, which are here given.  The Church of God is compared to a mountain, visible to all; fat, with the graces of the Holy Ghost; united and firm, like cheese; the perpetual residence of God, who will never suffer her to fall into error.  W. --- Why then do you deign to look at such conventicles of pride and perdition, as if they could be the one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church?  Heb. "why do ye contend, ye high mountains, against the mountain?" &c.  S. Jer.  H. --- There are several other interpretations.  But that of the Vulg. suspicamini, is the most followed, even by the Jews.  Bert.

 

Ver. 18.  The chariot of God, descending to give his law on Mount Sinai; as also of Jesus Christ, his Son, ascending into heaven, to send from thence the Holy Ghost, to publish his new law, is attended with ten thousands, that is with an innumerable multitude of joyful angels.  Ch. --- Lit. "with forty thousand."  Bert. --- Innumerable hosts of Cherubim, (H.) seem to be the chariot of the most high.  Dan. vii.  W. --- But here the Israelites, who came to conquer Chanaan, are meant.  Deut. xxxiii. 2.  Zac. xiv. 5.  Hab. iii. 6.  C. --- The promulgation of the old and new law is contrasted.  God is the author of the beauty of his Church.  M.

 

Ver. 19.  Led captivity captive.  Carrying away with thee to heaven those who before had been the captives of Satan; and receiving from God the Father gifts to be distributed to men; even to those who were before unbelievers.  Ch. --- Yea, even these were the spoils which Christ presented to his Father.  H. --- S. Paul quotes this text rather in a different manner, ascending on high, he led captivity captive; he gave gifts to men; as the Heb. lakach means, "to give and to receive."  Abenezra, Chal. Syr. &c. give it the former sense, with the apostle; S. Justin, (dial.) S. Hilary, and the ancient psalters of Rome and Chartres.  S. Aug. approves both readings.  C. --- So Samson said, "take this woman for a wife for me."  Judg. xiv. 3.  The true God is here undoubtedly meant, and as S. Paul explains it of Christ, the Socinians, who admit the authority of the epistle to the Ephesians, ought to confess his divinity.  Bert. --- Those.  Prot. "gifts for men, (Marg. "in the man,") yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them."  Yet the construction of the Heb. and Vulg. would insinuate as well, that these faithless people were now become true subjects, and were the gifts here presented to the Almighty.  Christ came to save sinners.  He gratuitously sought after them, and filled them with graces, that they might become a suitable present for God.  H. --- He received gifts to be distributed among his servants, and merited grace for the conversion of innumerable souls.  At his ascension, he was accompanied by angels, and by the patriarchs, who had been retained in captivity.  W. --- The rebellious nations were forced to pay tribute, (Judg. iii. 15.  C.) or to submit to Josue, David, &c.  H. --- God in the flesh, or in his holy mountain, the Christian Church.  M.

 

Ver. 20.  To us.  so the Israelites might be filled with confidence in the desert, (H.) or the people pray that God would favour the pious design of their king.  C. --- Heb. "God will carry us, (S. Jer.) or loadeth us with benefits."  Prot.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  The issues from death.  The Lord alone is master of the issues, by which we may escape from death.  Ch. --- He killeth and giveth life.  1 K. ii. 6.

 

Ver. 22.  Sins.  He will humble them, or will slay the proud.  Ps. lxxii. 18.  C. --- Though Christ died to save men, He will condemn the obstinate.  W. --- Sinners take pride in what ought to fill them with confusion.  S. Aug.  D.

 

Ver. 23.  I will turn them from Basan, &c.  I will cast out  my enemies from their rich possessions, signified by Basan, a fruitful country; and I will drive them into the depth of the sea: and make such a slaughter of them, that the feet of my servants may be dyed in their blood, &c.  Ch. --- Into.  Most translate from, and explain this of God's people.  But it seems more naturally to refer to their enemies, and the preposition m, signifies in.  Ps. xxxvi. 15.  Bert. --- I will treat them like Pharao.  M.

 

Ver. 24.  Same.  Streams of blood shall flow, as was the case when Moses overcame Og, &c.  Num. xxi. 23.  C. --- The gospel was propagated without bloodshed, but no less effectually.  At the last day, the just shall triumph over the reprobate.  Bert.

 

Ver. 25.  Thy goings.  Thy ways, thy proceedings, by which thou didst formerly take possession of the promised land in favour of thy people; and shalt afterwards of the whole world, which thou shalt subdue to thy Son.  Ch. --- Many have now become acquainted with what Christ has done for the salvation of mankind; but the faithful consider this with most attention, and view him seated on his throne above, as our Mediator, through whom alone others can have access.  W. --- Eusebius and S. Hilary suppose, that Christ appeared and spoke to the patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament.  C.

 

Ver. 26.  Princes.  The apostles, the first converters of nations: attended by numbers of perfect souls, singing the divine praises, and virgins consecrated to God.  Ch. --- S. Paul exhorts the faithful to sing hymns.  Ephes. v. 19.  Bert. --- Moses and Mary had sung a canticle, after the passage of the Red Sea.  Ex. xv.  M.

 

Ver. 27.  From the fountains of Israel.  From whom both Christ and his apostles sprung.  By Benjamin, the holy Fathers on this place understand S. Paul, who was of that tribe, name here a youth, because he was the last called to the apostleship.  By the princes of Juda, Zabulon, and Nephthali, we may understand the other apostles, who were of the tribe of Juda; or of the tribes of Zabulon and Nephthali, where our Lord began to preach.  Matt. iv. 13. &c.  Ch. --- The Jews were first invited.  Acts i.  W. --- All the tribes were present at the translation of the ark.  It is not known why these four alone are mentioned.  Bert.

 

Ver. 28. Mind.  Through excessive joy.  Heb. also, "containing (or ruling) them."  S. Jer.  H. --- But this seems improper.  Hence Prot. have, "with their ruler," though with is not in the original.  Bert. --- Rodem (Keri rode) "presided."  Saul, indeed, had been the first king of Israel; but he throne afterwards continued in the tribe of Juda: an dat the time of the conquest of Chanaan, as well as at the translation of the ark, Benjamin could not be considered as the chief.  H. --- We may therefore better follow the Sept. and Deschamps, who has sopore corripitur.  Bert. --- S. Paul was in an ecstacy, rapt to the third heaven.  2 Cor. xii.  M.

 

Ver. 29.  Command thy strength.  Give orders that thy strength may be always with us.  Ch. --- Display thy power from thy holy temple.  H. --- Send the Messias, grant perseverance to the just, and defend thy Church against all attacks.  C. --- As she commenced by God's power, so by the same she is continually preserved.  W. --- Heb. "Thy God hath commanded thy strength."  (Prot.) or, "command thy God."  Bert.

 

Ver. 30.  From.  Sym. For.  Kings shall reverence the temple, which David foresaw would be shortly erected; or, "with greater magnificence, than in the temple of Jerusalem, kings shall offer gifts to thee," (Deschamps) which clearly refers to the Messias. Bert. --- "As soon as thy temples shall be," &c.  Under Solomon, many kings became tributary, and at the preaching of the gospel, emperors submitted to Christ.  C. --- They have contributed to adorn the Church, (Is. lx. and lxvi.) where God is praised with the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and the virtues of penance and prayer.  M.

 

Ver. 31.  Rebuke the wild beasts of the reeds: or the wild beasts which lie hid in the reeds.  That is, the devils, who hide themselves in order to surprise their prey.  Or by wild beasts, are here understood persecutors, who, for all their attempts against the Church, are but as weak reeds, which cannot prevail against them, who are supported by the strength of the Almighty.  The same are also called the congregation of bulls, (from their rage against the Church) who assembled together all their kine, that is, the people, their subjects, to exclude, if they can, from Christ and his inheritance, his constant confessors, who are like silver tried by fire.  Ch. --- Symmachus nearly agrees with this version: "Rebuke the wild beasts."  Yet most render the Heb. in the singular, to denote the chief of the enemies, (H.) particularly the devil, who dwells with the vain and luxurious, (Bellar.) being Behemoth, in Job xl. 16. (M.) and the old serpent, (H.) as he probably lay concealed, among the shrubs of Paradise, when he tempted our first parents.  Bert. --- It refers literally to the kings of Egypt, and of Ethiopia, who might be solicited to make war on David, by the Philistines.  Pharao is often called a dragon, (Ezec. xxix. 3.) as his officers, or the princes "of Chus," may be styled bulls.  They shall be forced to submit, v. 32.  C. --- To exclude.  Heb. "trampling upon," (Bert.) or "boasting of their pieces of silver," (Mont.) which is so common among them.  3 K. x. 27.  H. --- The Egyptians even adorned their sandals with it.  Clem. Ped. ii. 11. --- The soldiers of Antiochus had mostly gold nails in their shoes.  Val. Max. ix. 2.  C. --- Houbigant proposes some alterations, and translates, "Keep down the beast of the reed, the collection of the strong, as also the chariots of the people, which run quickly on silver wheels."  All the versions tend to shew the fury and insolence of the enemy against God's people.  Bert. --- Tried.  Prot. "till every one submit himself with pieces of silver."  H.

 

Ver. 32.  Ambassadors shall come, &c.  It is a prophecy of the conversion of the Gentiles, and by name of the Egyptians and Ethiopians, (Ch.) who were among the first converts.  Is. xix 9.  Soph. iii. 10.  Acts viii. 27. --- Ambassadors.  Heb. chashmannim occurs no where else.  But it denotes some people in authority, and seems to have the same import as "the Asmonean." --- Ethiopia, comprises the country on both sides of the Red Sea, as well as that below Egypt, and on the Araxes.  This prediction was accomplished, when Solomon married the daughter of Pharao, and was visited by the queen of Saba.  But is was more fully verified by the propagation of the gospel, (C.) when many in Egypt became monks and nuns.  W.

 

Ver. 33-34.  Sing ye to God, is rejected by S. Jerom; but defended by S. Hil. &c.  It seems proper to connect the former sentence after Selah, (Bert.) or may be added instead, to express applause.  H. --- East.  From Mount Olivet, which is on the east side of Jerusalem.  Ch. --- God fills all places, v. 5.  Deut. xxxiii. 26.  C. --- Religion has gone westward, but will return to the east.  Apoc. xvi.  T. --- Power.  That is, he will make his voice to be a powerful voice; by calling from death to life, such as were dead in mortal sin: as at the last day he will, by the power of his voice, call all the dead from their graves.  Ch. --- He will come to judge with great majesty, (W.) and his thunder shall resound, as well as the last trumpet.  1 Cor. xv. 52.

 

Ver. 35.  For Israel.  Altering the stops, we might translate, "over Israel appears his magnificence;" (Bert.) agreeably to Heb. S. Aug. &c.  C.

 

Ver. 36.  Saints, or sanctuary.  Heb. lit. "thou art terrible, O God, from thy holy places."  Mont. --- Yet Pagnin retains, "in his holy," &c.  The tabernacle, or temple, (v. 30.) and the ark, were esteemed the bulwarks of Israel.  There God was pleased to grant his people's requests more easily, to encourage public worship.  H. --- The sanctification of the faithful is a miracle of God.  C. --- They may justly be styled his sanctuaries. --- People.  Adorning his elect with immortality.  M.

 

 








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