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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



PSALM 59

 

PSALM LIX.  (DEUS REPULISTI NOS.)

After many afflictions, the Church of Christ shall prevail.

 

Ver. 1.  Changed.  Ps. xliv.  Title, Ps. xv. doctrine explaining what will be the progress of the Church.  M. --- It seems to have the same import as understanding, in other titles, but here is of little authority.  Bert. --- It has no connexion with the psalm, which seems to have been written before David had obtained the sovereignty over Israel, (Houbig.  v. 8) or it expresses the sentiments of the captives, (C.) and of Jesus Christ, and his Church.  S. Aug.

 

Ver. 2.  Set fire.  Heb. "fought against Syria of Mesopotamia, and Syria of Seba."  S. Jer.  2 K. viii. 10.  H. --- Twelve.  Abisai slew 18,000, perhaps on another occasion; (1 Par. xviii. 12.) so that this title does not contradict history.  M.

 

Ver. 3.  Off.  Chastising thy people frequently under Moses, &c.  Bert. --- On us.  Redeeming mankind, which thou hadst condemned, for the fault of Adam, and giving us a more abundant grace.  Rom. v. 9.  S. Hil. --- Thou hast treated us like a good physician, (Deut. xxxii. 39.  C.) chastising us for our sins, that we might improve in virtue.  W.

 

Ver. 4.  Moved.  He personifies the earth, which had fallen into the hands of the Chaldees, (C.) or had experienced various commotions under Saul, &c. (H.) which he denotes by the mention of an earthquake.  M.

 

Ver. 5.  Sorrow.  Heb. "muddy," such as is given to slaves or malefactors, (S. Matt. xxvii. 34.) mixed with myrrh, or venom.  Lit. "wine of trembling," (C.) or soporiferous.  S. Jer.  H. --- All these expressions give the idea of something disagreeable.  Bert. --- The people became penitent, or were astonished.  M.

 

Ver. 6.  Warning, to amend, (W.) the sign of the cross (C.) in baptism, (S. Jer.) or confirmation.  Euseb. --- It was customary to erect a pole, on which some signal was placed, in case of invasion.  Is. v. 26. and xi. 12. &c.  C. --- Bow.  Heb. kossoth, (H.) as S. Jer. &c. have read, though the present Heb. end with t, less correctly, and is explained, "because of the truth."  C.  Bert.

 

Ver. 7.  Save me.  The king praying for all.  M. --- S. Aug. reads, me, (C.) though the Vulg. does not here express it.  H. --- Heb. "save thy right hand," the people, or man of thy, &c.  Ps. lxxix. 18.  C. --- Hear me.  Heb. "him."  But the margin has, me.  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Holy one, Jesus Christ, (Euseb.) the prophet, (M.) the sanctuary, (C.) or oracle.  W. --- He had promised that the captives should return in seventy years time.  Jer. xxv. 11. and xxix. 10.  C. --- Sichem. (partibor Sichimam...metibor.)  These two verbs are sometimes used for partiar and metiar, in ancient authors. --- Tabernacles.  Heb. "succoth."  Bert.  Gen. xxxiii. 17. --- It may also signify the Arabs, who lived in tents.  M. --- David's dominion extended over these nations, (H.) and the captives at Babylon hoped to recover them, as the Machabees did.  The kingdoms of Juda and Israel were no more divided, (Is. xi. 13.  Jer. xxxi. 8.) to shew the unity of the Church.

 

Ver. 9.  Head.  This tribe was at the head of the kingdom of Israel, but submitted to David, (H.) and afforded excellent soldiers and captains.  C. --- His temporal kingdom was extended by God, who will crown his elect.  W. --- King.  Heb. "law-giver," alluding to Gen. xlix. 10.  Sym. "my general."  C. --- The word king implies all this.  H. --- Juda always swayed the sceptre.  Bert. --- After the captivity, Zorobabel was at the head of the people.  Jesus Christ sprung from this tribe, and is the true king of the people, whom he has redeemed, and put in possession of the land of promise.  C.

 

Ver. 10.  The pot of my hope; or my watering pot.  That is, a vessel for meaner uses, by being reduced to serve me, even i nthe meanest employments.  Ch.  W. --- Plautus (Mort. ii. scen. 1. 40) says, Ego vos pro matula habeo, &c.  Symmachus adopts the sense of the Sept. amerimniaV, as réts, in Syr. means "to trust," (Dan. iii. 28.) and "to wash" in Heb.  It was customary to throw lots into a pot full of water, and that which came out last was most esteemed.  To this custom the psalmist may allude, (C.) or he hoped that the fruitful region of Moab would supply him with food.  It was subject to David, (2 K. viii. 2.  H.) and to the Machabees, 1 Mac. v. 6. --- Shoe, to be untied, or carried, as by the meanest slaves, (Matt. iii. 11.) or to take possession.  Deut. xi. 24.  Thus "Alexander threw a javelin, and danced on the shore of Asia, begging that those lands would not receive him unwillingly for king."  Diod. Arrian. Justin. --- David conquered Idumea, (2 K. viii. 14.  H.) as Hyrcanus did afterwards.  Joseph. xiii. 17.  C. --- Foreigners, alienigenæ, or, "Allophyli."  S. Aug. --- "Of another tribe."  H. --- So the Philistines were called, who had no kindred with the Israelites; whereas the Edomites, Moabites, &c. were originally of the same family.  Ch. --- Subject, or "friends."  Ps. cvii. 10.  C. --- Prot. "Philistia, triumph thou, because of me."  Marg. insinuates this is spoken "by irony;" but (H.) Heb. properly means, "make an alliance with me;" or, Syr. "I will shout for joy over Palestine."  This country was subdued by the Machabees, (1 Mac. iv. 15.  C.) as it had been tributary to David.  2 K. viii. 2.  Bert. --- "I will make a league against the Philistines."  Houbig.

 

Ver. 11.  city.  The capital of the aforesaid counties, or Jerusalem; (C.) but more particularly Petra, (H.) the strongest place in Idumea.  M.  Abdias, 3.  Bert. --- The Fathers understand the Church.  Euseb.

 

Ver. 12.  Off?  God punishes and rewards.  W. --- And wilt; or, "yet thou wilt not," &c.  H. --- Thou wilt not depend on our efforts for victory.  Bellar.  M. --- How can we expect to make such conquests, being in so forlorn a condition, when thou dost not lead forth our armies, as formerly?  All that man can do is vain, but thou wilt look down upon us, and through God we shall do mightily, v. 14.  C.

 

 








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