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A Practical Commentary On Holy Scripture by Frederick Justus Knecht D.D.

[2 Kings 7. Ps. 2; 21; 109]

DAVID, as he had done when only a simple shepherd-boy, composed Psalms and Canticles in honour of the Most High, and conducted himself in all things according to the holy will of God. Wherefore the Lord blessed him and not only favoured all his undertakings, but promised him that one of his descendants should rule the whole world and sit upon a throne more lasting than the heavens.

He furthermore endowed him with the gift of prophecy. David expresses in lofty and sublime language the eternal relationship existing between the Father and the Son: “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee.” He foreshadows the boundless dominion which was to be the inheritance of the Redeemer, and the peaceful character of his reign. “I will give Thee the Gentiles for Thy inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for Thy possession. In His days shall justice spring up, and the abundance of peace.”

He sees in his prophetic visions the Ethiopians falling down before the great Ruler, the Prince of Peace, and beholds His enemies prostrate at His feet. He sees the kings of Tharsis and of the Islands offering Him presents; the kings of the Arabians and of Saba bringing Him gifts. (Ps. 71.)

He foretells the future crucifixion with all its sorrowful scenes and circumstances. “They have pierced my hands and my feet, they have numbered all my bones.” The gall and vinegar that were presented to the Divine Victim suffering and dying on the Cross; the lance that pierced His most Sacred Heart; the nails that held Him fast to the Cross; all these are mentioned by David in his Psalms. (Ps. 21:6–8.)

Death overcome, the grave robbed of its prey, the earthquake that rent the rocks of Calvary, and the glory of the Resurrection were all and each familiar to the mind of the royal prophet. (Ps. 15.)

He sees in the distant future the brightness of the Ascension. He calls upon the eternal gates to be lifted up, that the triumphant Conqueror of sin and death may take possession of His everlasting throne in heaven. David, the progenitor or forefather of Jesus Christ, who is Himself called the Son of David, was a figure of the Redeemer by the place of his birth, Bethlehem, by the obscurity and lowliness of his early years, by the victories he obtained over the enemies of the people of God, and also by his twofold character of king and prophet.

The eighth promise of the Messias. David lived more than a thousand years before our Lord’s birth. (He reigned from 1055 to 1015 B. C.) But the Spirit of God, to whom a thousand years are but as one day, inspired his spirit and enabled him to look forward over centuries, and contemplate the sufferings and glory of the Redeemer.

The prophecies about our Lord’s Sufferings have been very literally fulfilled (New Test. LXXV and LXXVI). It amazes us that the prophet, writing 1000 years before our Lord suffered, should have described such details as the piercing of His Hands and Feet, the division of His garments, the casting lots for the seamless robe, the scoffing and wagging of the head on the part of the bystanders! This foretelling of future events was only possible by means of divine revelation.

About the Resurrection David prophesied that our Lord’s soul would descend to Limbo, but would not stay there; and that His body would rest in the grave, but would not know corruption (“He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead”).

Alluding to our Lord’s glory in heaven and His kingdom the Psalmist says that He will sit at the right hand of God (“He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty”).

His enemies will be overcome: the doctrines of Christianity have overcome paganism.

He will remain for ever a King and Priest: Jesus Christ is King of that kingdom which He founded, and He offers Himself in an unbloody manner in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

He will rule over the whole earth: Jesus Christ’s kingdom, i. e. His Church, is spread over the whole world, and is ever being spread further and further.

His reign will bring justice and peace: Jesus Christ has justified us and reconciled us to God by the grace which He has won for us; at His birth the angels proclaimed peace to men.

Finally the Psalmist says that the Redeemer will be of the seed of David, and that He will be likewise the Son of God and will rule for ever: therefore David calls Him his Lord. Jesus Christ is the Son of God from all eternity, and in time He took our human nature on Him. According to His human nature He was descended from David, for His holy Mother was of the race and house of David. (Compare what the Angel Gabriel said at the Annunciation. New Test. II.)

APPLICATION. David’s example teaches us to worship God from our hearts; to assist at the services of God with holy joy, and, according to our capabilities, to work for their adornment by singing &c.








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