« AnteriorContinuar »
who is pure in heart and life, and that such, and such only, will receive the blessing of God.
I. A choir of priests approaching the gates claim admission for the Ark.
be ye lift up, ye doors of old,
Warders reply from within. Who then is the King of Glory?
Choir of priests. It is Jehovah, strong and mighty, Jehovah, the mighty in battle.
11. Choir of Priests repeat their summons. Lift up your heads, O ye gates,
be ye lift up, ye doors of old, that the King of Glory may come in !
Warders reply from within. Who is He, the King of Glory?
Choir of Priests. It is JEHOVAH, LORD OF Hosts,
He is the King of Glory.
Ver. 1. The old doors are to become young, and to rise to a greater height in honour of the new King. Cp. Prov. xvii. 19. The height of the gates expressed the dignity of the King for whom they were prepared. Hence the Eastern custom of building gates of extraordinary height.
§ 4. Ps. xxiv. 146.
[N Psalm xxiv. 1–9 the Psalmist strives to set before the people
the high ideal of the true Israeli.
'Cp. introduction to $ 5. xv.
I. God is Creator of the world: who may come into His presence! The earth is Jehovah's and all that therein is,
the compass of the world and they that dwell therein, for He hath founded it upon the seas,
and holdeth it fast upon the floods.Who shall ascend into the hill of Jehovah ? .
who shall stand in His Holy Place ?
II. Answer. Even he that hath clean hands and a pure heart, · and that hath not lift up his mind unto vanity,
nor sworn so as to deceive his neighbour : he shall receive blessing from Jehovah,
and righteousness from the God of his health ; these are they that seek Him,
that seek Thy face, O God of Jacob!
Ver. 1. compass. The Hebrews regarded the earth as a plane surrounded by the ocean stream. Prov. viii. 27, 29.
Ver. 2. founded-holdeth. Water was everywhere beneath the earth, as rivers and springs shewed. The mountains were the pillars that held it in its place. Job xxvi, 11 ; $ 146. cxxxvi. 6; Gen. i. 2, 9, 1o.
Ver. 5. righteousness, i.e. the fruits of righteousness.
health [i.e. prosperity], and blessing are often coupled with right and righteousness, as the reward bestowed upon the righteous by God.
Absolute right or righteousness exists eternally in God. In the man who approaches Him and apprehends His righteousness in the grasp of a living faith, it becomes an active principle, rich in fruit, and so is often used in the Psalms as identical with health or blessing. Cp. $ 25. xxiii. 3; § 69. xxii. 32, and especially $ 123. cxxxii. 9 and 17: also $ 115. lxvii. 2; Ps. xlii. II (Bible Version); Isaiah lviii. 8; Jer. xxx. 17.
The sentiment, if not the actual language of the whole Psalm, is repeated in Isaiah xxxiii. 15—16: at a time when the Holy City was in peril from Sennacherib.
He that walketh righteously and speaketh uprightly;
that shaketh his hands from the holding of bribes,
and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high,
his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks; bread shall be given him,
his waters shall be sure. Ver. 6. Jacob, ic. the poetical name of the people of Israel. Cp. $119. xliv. s, and note.
§ 5. PSALM Xv. THE establishment of the Ark at Jerusalem threw a sanctity over
1 the entire city. The devout began to flock to it as to the centre of the national worship: the worldly and superstitious, from a growing belief in its inviolability. This belief was in David's time doubtless mingled with much lawful reverence, inseparable from the associations of the spot: nor was it till the darker times following the retreat of the Assyrians, who seemed to the Israelites to have shrunk away awestruck at the majesty of the Holy City', that the belief in the inviolability of Sion began to degenerate into the fanaticism which drew down the 'severe denunciations of the prophet Jeremiah? Still David at the very first saw in the belief something far different from the religious conceptions which he wished to see growing up in the city of God, and here by this second description of the true worshipper3 he impressively rebukes this and all other superstitious feelings to which the new worship may have given rise. As it is not only in David's time that the symbol has been placed above the thing signified and a superstitious efficacy attached to the externals of worship, this Psalm has an equal value for every age, in keeping before the mind the great lesson that sanctity of life and truth of heart are the absolute essentials of a spiritual religion.
The true worshipper.
who shall rest upon Thy holy hill ? Even he that walketh uprightly and doeth the thing which is right, 2
and speaketh the truth from his heart : he that keepeth not slander upon his tongue,
nor doeth evil to his friend,
nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour ; he that scorneth every vile thing,
but honoureth them that fear Jehovah;
i See $ 36. xlviii. 4, and introduction to Assyrian Psalms $8 35–38.
vii. 3-8; cp. Amos iii. 9-12; Jer. vi. 8.
o Assyrian Psalms $$ 35D$ 4. xxiv. 1-6.
he that hath not given his money upon usury,
nor taken reward against the innocent: whoso doeth these things shall never fall.
Ver. 5. sworn-and changeth not; i. e. who abides by his oath, even when he perceives that he has sworn to his own hurt.
$ 6. PSALM CI. THE inauguration of Sion as the seat of David and the dwelling of
1 Jehovah is commemorated in this Psalm, the true type of all inaugural Odes. Much had been done, much remained to do. The immediate task was to order the king's household?, including in an Eastern monarchy the government of the army and the administration of justices. At such a moment a prince of less noble ambition would have been dazzled with the splendour of victory or have sunk into the pride and sensuality of Eastern royalty- a weaker one would have recoiled from the difficulties before him. David, on the contrary, longs at such a crisis for the strength and enlightenment which come from communion with God. He is the vicegerent of the King of kings. From the study of God's ways he learns the secret of His government; he feels that the true governor must be like God; and so he sets an example for all reformers to follow, by aiming first at the reformation of his own heart. No base or ignoble thought must lurk in the soul of the anointed of God. Every base and vile thing, be it slanderer, flatterer, or ungodly man, must be banished from the Holy Place where God's honour dwelleth.
I. The king, as God's vicegerent, must be pure and true; My song shall be of mercy and judgement;
to thee, Jehovah, will I sing, Let me give heed to the way of godliness,–0 when wilt 2
Thou come unto me?—
• Uz. 8, II.
2 v. 10.
• Uz, 6–9.
I will set no unholy thing before mine eyes;
I hate the sin of unfaithfulness, it shall not cleave unto me! a heart of guile shall depart from me, I will not know a wicked thing!
11. so also the king's house and the king's court. Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour-him will I destroy; 6 whoso hath a high look and a proud heart,-I will not 7
suffer him; mine eyes look unto such as are faithful in the land, that 8
they may dwell with me; whoso leadeth a godly life, he shall be my servant : 9 there shall no deceitful person dwell in my house,
10 he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight : every morning I will pluck up all the ungodly from the in
Ver. 1. mercy; i. e. Thy mercy. He selects the two attributes of God as King which His vicegerent is most bound to imitate.
Ver. 2. The cry, When wilt Thou come unto me? is at the same time a prayer and, though parenthetical, expresses the main thought of the psalm. The coming of God here prayed for is not outward or visible by an outward sign, as in 2 Sam. vi. 7, but rather God's spiritual presence, as in Gen. xx. 3 and Exodus xx. 18—24. David's continual hope and prayer is, that Jehovah may come and abide with him always: and this abiding presence he can only win by striving to be like Him.
Ver. 6. slandereth—proud. Compare Prov. vi. 17, 18; xxi. 4; xxviii. 25. Pride is coupled with slander, because both have their root in self-seeking.
Ver. 11. every morning. The morning was the time for administering justice. Cp. Jer. xxi. 12, 'execute judgement in the morning;' and 2 Sam. xv. 2.
$$ 7–9. PSALMS XXIX. XIX. VIII.
PSALMS OF NATURE. THE Hebrews were distinguished from all other nations of antiquity
by one great characteristic, their belief in the unseen. This is especially marked in their lyric poetry, which, while it yield to no