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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



PSALM 147

 

PSALM CXLVII.  (LAUDA JERUSALEM.)

The Church is called upon to praise God for his peculiar graces and favours to his people.  In the Hebrew, this psalm is joined to the foregoing.

 

Ver. 1. or Hebrew Psalm cxlvii. Ver. 12.  Alleluia.  This word is not in Heb.  H. --- Many with the Sept. add, "of Aggæus and Zacharias."  C. --- The psalm has the same object in view as the preceding.  Bert. --- The Fathers explain it of the Church, and of heaven.  C. --- Sion.  This place was highly favoured before the captivity, and rebuilt afterwards so as to enjoy many blessings.  But all this was only a figure of the privileges belong to the Church, and to the heavenly Sion, the true vision of peace.  W. --- The earthly Jerusalem was too often faithless; (Gal. iv. 26.  Heb. xii. 22.) so that the psalmist cannot have it alone in view.  Bert.

 

Ver. 2. or Hebrew Psalm cxlvii. Ver. 13.   Within thee.  Jerusalem was better fortified than (H.) other cities.  But the Church is built upon a rock, and enriched with many graces, while heaven is free from all danger, and its inhabitants secure.  W. --- Nehemias re-peopled the city, which he had surrounded with walls, (C.) despising the sarcasms of his enemies.  2 Esd. vii. 4.

 

Ver. 3. or Hebrew Psalm cxlvii. Ver. 14.   Peace.  To obtain this, the peace of Jesus Christ must triumph in our hearts.  Col. iii. 15.  H. --- Borders.  People perceiving that Assuerus favoured the Jews, durst no longer attack them.  2 Esd. vi. 16.  C. --- They enjoyed peace and plenty.  In the Church we have remission of sin in baptism and penance, and the spiritual food of Christ's body and blood in the blessed Eucharist, with the graces of the other sacraments.  In heaven peace and joy subsist for ever.  W. --- Fat.  The best (H.) of all sorts of fruit.  Theod. --- The Fathers understand the blessed Eucharist, or the holy Scriptures.  S. Aug. &c.  C.

 

Ver. 4. or Hebrew Psalm cxlvii. Ver. 15.   Speech.  Rain, (Kimchi) Jesus Christ, (S. Aug.) or the gospel, (S. Hil.  S. Jer.) which was presently propagated over all the earth.  Rom. x. 18.  W. --- God's commands are instantly obeyed.  H. --- No sooner did he speak to Saul, but he was converted.  Acts ix. 4.  Heb. iv. 12.  Bert.

 

Ver. 5. or Hebrew Psalm cxlvii. Ver. 16.   Like wool.  Because it is white, and light, and covereth the earth as a fleece, which keeps it warm, and makes it fruitful.  On which account also, in the following words, mists (or as it is in the Hebrew, hoar frosts) are compared to ashes, which give a fruitfulness to the ground.  Ch. --- Trees and fruits are preserved by the snow resting upon them.  Vota arborum frugumque...nives...insidere.  Pliny xvii. 2. --- Mists are succeeded by clear weather.  By penance and austerity sins are remitted, and devils expelled.  Is. i. 18.  W.

 

Ver. 6. or Hebrew Psalm cxlvii. Ver. 17.   His chrystal.  Some understand it of hail, which is as it were ice, divided into bits, or morsels.  Ch.  Eccli. xliii. 22.  C. --- In summer and winter God sends proper moisture for the earth.  T. --- The most hardened are sometimes converted: but this must be the effect of grace.  W. --- Cold.  If it were to continue, all would perish.  He therefore sends the warm (C.) "south wind."  Syr.

 

Ver. 7. or Hebrew Psalm cxlvii. Ver. 18.   Wind.  "Spirit."  The blessed Trinity (S. Jer.) grants compunction.  Bert. --- By preaching and grace conversions are wrought.

 

Ver. 8. or Hebrew Psalm cxlvii. Ver. 19.   Jacob.  These spiritual blessings pertain only to the true Church.  W.

 

Ver. 9. or Hebrew Psalm cxlvii. Ver. 20.   Them.  He hath not announced his decrees to them.  This glory was reserved for Israel.  Deut. iv. 7.  C. --- The written law was granted to the latter.  Yet God had sufficiently manifested his will to all mankind, so that they must also appear before his tribunal.  S. Chrys.  Bert. --- Alleluia.  Considering that all were in the mass of sin, and that God justly let many perish; those whom he justifies are more bound to praise him; and therefore the prophet concludes this and the following psalms with Alleluia.  W. --- Christians, and particularly Catholics, are most concerned, since many have rebelled against the light of faith, (Bert.) and abuse the gift of the holy Scriptures.  H.

 

 








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