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Maschil, a psalm of David; it ought to be To the Conqueror respecting the profane, an instruction concerning the Beloved.
The fifty-fourth psalm now bears the title, To the chief Musician on Neginoth * Maschil, a psalm of David, when the Ziphimst came and said to Saul, doth not David hide himself with us? The original is, To the Conqueror over Stripes, an instruction concerning the Beloved, when the spiers came and said to the infernal powers, doth not the Beloved seek protection from us? This psalm, as to its title, seems to exactly verify the taunt of the Jews, that Christ cast out devils, and did his wonderful works by Beelzebub, prince of the devils; and when he was said to be a Samaritan, and have a devil.
The fifty-sixth psalm now stands, To the chief
• The word mild, NEGINOTH, so often used in the titles of the psalms, comes from the root 122, to strike, or give persecution; it often denotes to play on a stringed instrument, which is struck as the harp or dulcimer.
+ The word Ziphim has no traceable root under the letter ZAYEEN. This is especially mentioned, that the reader may use his own discretion in receiving our interpretation. It is well known that, in Hebrew, letters of the same organ are constantly exchanged for each other. The dentals 7 and y, are often so, as
Musician upon Jonath,* elemrechokim Michtam of David, when the Philistines took him to Gath. This really is, To the Conqueror, concerning the oppression of the little handful removed afar off, (and they all forsook him and fled) an engraved (memorial) concerning the Beloved, when those who fell and rolled in the dust, took him in Gethsemane.
The title of the fifty-seventh psalm is, To the chief Musician, Altaschith Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the Cave. It should bet To the Conqueror, thou shalt not destroy, to be engraven concerning the Beloved, when he escaped from the state of departed spirits in the sepulchre.
The fifty-ninth psalm, now entitled, To the chief Musician Altashcith | Michtam of David,
• The Hebrew untranslated words in this title are, Jonath, or 5772", from 73", to oppress or afflict. Elemrechokim : this in the Hebrew title is two distinct words, the first 5x, AILEM, signify. ing a small band of men; the latter, rechokem, 'from pon, to remove to a distance. See Parkhurst on tbis title, under the article ex. The word Philistine comes from wys, PHALASH he wallowed, or rolled, or fell, and rolled in dust, or mud, or ashes. What a striking derivation for the name of that nation wlio especially typified sordid worldly cares.
+ Sacy has translated the word ALTASCHITH, Ne m'exterminez pas. The accurate version, however, seems to be, Thou shalt not destroy.
Al taschith, or nown-bx, is derived from 58, AL, which
when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him, should be, To the Conqueror, thou shalt not destroy, a memorial to be engraven for the Be. loved, when the powers of hell and the grave observed his tabernacle to destroy him.
We will not pursue this inquiry further in this place; it being not our intention here, to give a translation of the titles of the psalms, but to prove our point, viz. that our English translation is calculated to obscure entirely their spiritual sense.
We will then content ourselves here with repeating, that above fifty of the psalms are, in the New Testament, applied to Christ; and that no instance occurs of their application to the literal David.
The word David, * which occurs in the titles of the majority of the psalms, especially as the translators have most unwarrantably changed the to David, into or David, has led persons to consider them as relative to that king. In support of this idea, they bring forward this name, as being actually that of a king of Israel; but
before verbs is a particle of prevention equivalent to no, not, &c. and now SHAACHATH, to corrupt or destroy.
• 717, DAAVID, means a person loving, or a person beloved. Hence is that name most applicable to Christ, as beloved of the Father, and as loving his church.
it is likewise equally true, that the term David, or beloved, is applied in the prophetic writings uniformly to Christ.
This is proved, by its being continually used in cases where it cannot possibly apply to the literal David, as in the fifty-fifth of Isaiah, thirtyfourth of Ezekiel, and third of Hosea; who promise David as a leader and a shepherd to the people, though they themselves wrote many centuries after David's death.
It appears, then, that the name of David is, historically and literally, the name of the Jewish king; and spiritually and prophetically, an appellation of Christ, the root and offspring of David.
The question then is, which of the two senses does it bear in the Psalms? In support of the literal sense, we find David, in the second book of Samuel, speaking of himself as the sweet psalmist of Israel; and the apostle, in the Acts, ascribing several of the psalms to David. This must then be true; since it is so declared by inspiration.
But if this be true, the other sentiment is no less well founded, and is declared under no less strong a sanction. David, in the passage in which he styles himself the sweet psalmist of Israel, declares that the Spirit of the Lord spake
by him: and the evangelists term him, not the historian of things past, but the prophet of things to come. When we look at the psalms ascribed to Christ, in the New Testament, we shall find numbers amongst them, which, in the Old, bear the inscription for David or the beloved ; and hence it appears that psalms so entitled are as certainly referred, in the spiritual sense, by the apostles to Christ, as they are, in the literal sense, to David. Hence both these senses must be considered as established by inspiration. The number of times the psalms are referred to the spiritual David, far indeed exceed the number of times they are referred to the literal David ; but yet the sanction is the same, since both declarations are given by inspiration.
Again; in many psalms, the word Asaph* is left as a proper name. It is true that the same name occurs amongst the band of David. But we apprehend that the important sense of these psalms is, the title of Asaph, or gatherer, here given to Christ; to that Shiloh, to whom the gathering of his people should be; to him who should gather his elect from the four winds of heaven, and who should call many from the
* JVR, AASAPH; the gathered, collected, or assembled.