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The first Book.
1. THE First Book of the Psalms ends with Psalm xli (see the note on xli. 13); but there is no title prefixed to it (as there is to the other four) in the Hebrew. This may have arisen from the fact that the first Psalm belongs not so much to the First Book itself, as to the whole Psalter. Yet it could not stand apart, as a mere introduction ; for it is closely connected with the second Psalm, as the second is with those that follow.
2. Only four of the forty-one psalms in Book I are without the title “le-David,” viz., i, ii, x, and xxxiii. Of these, x clearly forms a pair with ix, and xxxiii is intimately related to xxxii; so that the Davidic authorship may be easily inferred. The absence of titles from the two first Psalms serves to mark more emphatically their objective character. In the one the Law, in the other God's decree concerning CHRIST, is set forth for our acceptance. Into these David's personality does not enter. It was not to him that the words were said, “ Thou art my Son." Yet that David wrote the Psalm, might be safely concluded from the references made to it in iii and iv; and in Acts iv. 25 it is expressly asserted :-“ Who by the mouth of Thy
servant David didst say, Why did the heathen rage ?"
3. The body of the Psalms in Book I (iii-xli), are full of expressions which require us to bear perpetually in mind how complicated a position David's was in the later part
of his reign. hl
INTRODUCTION TO BOOK 1.
The following elements must enter into our view of it:
(a) Up to about the fiftieth year of his life, David had lived in all good conscience toward God, and for many long years had exercised very wonderful patience and selfrestraint towards one who persecuted him with deadly hatred. He could therefore plead the “cleanness of his hands in God's sight," and could call on the righteous Judge to defend his cause against all who like Shimei, 2 Sam. xvi. 7, 8) challenged his integrity.
(6) Then came that strange fall in the hour of his prosperity (Ps. xxx. 6, 7), which changed the colour of his remaining years. From the time of Nathan's denunciation of his guilt and declaration of forgiveness, David's spiritual life combined the lowliest contrition of heart with the tenderest gratitude to his gracious Benefactor.
(c) But he has still to bear heart-rending sorrows; not the least of which was, that ungodly men looked on his calamities as proofs of his being a cast-away, "a marred vessel" (xxxi. 12), when in truth he was living in the exercise of heart-purifying faith, nearer to God now in his penitence than in his previous state of unbroken integrity.
(d) In this picture of David, -absolved and at peace with God, nay, rejoicing in Him as an accepted“ righteous" man (xxxii. 1, 2, 7, 11), yet sentenced to bear about with him heavy chastisements of his sin-men might see verified in outward fact that great name of the Lord, “a merciful and gracious God, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin, and that will by no means clear (the guilty)” (Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7).
(e) But more :-David, meekly abasing himself before God, and patiently submitting to cruel injustice from man, “ because it was God's doing" (xxxix. 9), supplied a typical basis for the portrait of the Holy Sufferer, who came to