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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



PSALM 102

 

PSALM CII.  (BENEDIC ANIMA.)

Thanksgiving to God for his mercies.

 

Ver. 1.  Himself.  All agree that David wrote this psalm as a model of resignation.  The occasion is not known.  Bert. --- It may express the sentiments of the captives, (C.) or of converts to Christianity, (Euseb.) and is written with inimitable sweetness.

 

Ver. 3.  Diseases.  He had described captivity as an illness.  Ps. ci.  C. --- God graciously forgives sin, and removes bad habits.  He preserves us from falling, and grants us the victory, with all our reasonable requests.  W.

 

Ver. 5.  Eagle's.  Which get fresh feathers every year, like other birds.  Is. xl. 31.  C. --- The eagle retains its vigour for a long time, (H.) though  many fabulous accounts have been given of its renovation.  Bert. --- The new birth in baptism, (Theod.) or by faith, (Euseb.) or the resurrection of Christ are thus insinuated, (S. Leo, ser. i.) as well as (H.) our resurrection and state of grace.  The one is necessarily connected with the other, and both senses are good.  W.

 

Ver. 6.  Mercies.  Heb. "Justice" in protecting the innocent.

 

Ver. 9.  Ever.  He executes his threats, but soon pardons us.  C. --- Heb. "he will not plead always, nor watch to surprise us for ever;" (C.) or "retain" his anger.  Bert. --- He is inclined to pity us, and only inflicts a temporal punishment on the penitent, as Christ has paid their ransom.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Iniquities.  Which deserved eternal reprobation.

 

Ver. 11.  Earth.  There is no proportion between God's mercy and our crimes.  C. --- Sins are perfectly washed away, (W.) and not barely covered, as the east cannot be the west.  Bert. --- Sin remitted "sets for ever."  S. Aug.

 

Ver. 14.  He remembereth.  Rom. Sept. and psalter, &c. "Remember."  Other copies agree with us.  C. --- God compassionates the frailty of those who fear him.  Origen falsely inferred from v. 9. that the devils and the damned would one day be saved.  But this is contrary to Scripture.  v. 17.  Matt. xxv.  Apoc. xx. &c.  W.

 

Ver. 16.  In him.  Or "over it;" the flower.  Or the spirit of God's indignation will overwhelm him.  The soul of man departs, and cannot naturally be reunited with the body, though it greatly desire that union.  C. --- The longest life is but like the duration of a flower, (Is. xl. 6.  H.) and the splendour of the noblest families is not better in the sight of God.  S. Aug.

 

Ver. 17.  Justice.  In protecting the oppressed, (C.) and rendering to every one according to his deserts abundantly.  H. --- God never punishes more than a person's crimes have merited.  Ex. xx. 5. and xxxiv. 6.  C.

 

Ver. 19.  All.  When Christ shall sit in judgment, (Bert.) and the wicked be suffered no longer to disturb the order of things, and the joy of the elect.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  His angels.  You who have executed the orders of God for our delivery, help us to return him thanks.  C. --- Hearkening.  Lit. "to hear," (H.) or that all may learn to obey God's mandates when they perceive how carefully the angels put them in execution.  Bert.

 

Ver. 21.  Hosts.  Sun, &c. which never deviate from their regular course.

 

Ver. 22.  Soul.  In vain should we behold all nature praising God, if we neglected that duty.  Bert. --- All the works of the Most High praise him, being under his dominion.  W.

 

 








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