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turned the


1. Or, seed basket.

subdue, as Ps. 18. 47.

+ Heb. that
are builders

The church's return from captivity.


Good children are God's gift. + Heb. re

HE Nthe LORD +turned again | build it: except the Lord keep the
returning of the captivity of Zion, we were city, the watchman waketh but in
like them that dream.

2 Then was our mouth filled with 2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
laughter, and our tongue with sing- to sit up late, to eat the bread of sor-

ing: then said they among the hea- rows: for so he giveth his beloved
+ Heb. hath then, The LORD † hath done great sleep.
do with them. things for them.

3 Lo, children are an heritage of 3 The Lord hath done great the Lord: and the fruit of the wombo things for us; whereof we are glad. is his reward.

4 Turn again our captivity, O 4 As arrows are in the hand of a Lord, as the streams in the south. mighty man; so are children of the

5 They that sow in tears shall reap youth. | Or, singing. in || joy.

5 Happy is the man that + hath Heb. hath 6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, his quiver full of them : they shall quiver with bearing || precious seed, shall doubt- not be ashamed, but they || shall speak ther, shall less come again with rejoicing, bring- with the enemies in the gate. ing his sheaves with him.

or, destroy.


The sundry blessings which follow them that
1 The virtue of God's blessing. 3 Good

fear God. children are his gift.

1 A Song of degrees. Il Or, of TA Song of degrees || for Solomon.


LESSED XCEPT the Lord build the feareth the LORD of it in it. house, they labour in vain † that in his

Ver. 1. - we were like them that dream.) We could for you to rise up early to labour, to go late to rest, scarcely believe it, but thought ourselves only in a dream and to eat the bread of carefulness, unless the Lord of so great an happiness. Dr. Wells.

bless your endeavours : whereas He giveth to His be4. Turn again our captivity, &c.] The joy occasioned loved éven while they sleep. Green. by Cyrus's proclamation having been described in the 4.- children of the youth.] Rather, as in the old former part of the Psalm, we may now suppose some translation, the young children.” Rosenmüller, Street. of the Jews ready to set out on their return home; at 5. but they shall speak &c.] The "gate” was the which time, and during their journey, they prefer this place of resort for publick business and justice under petition to God, that He would be pleased to bring the perch that belonged to it. Children would support back the rest of their countrymen, who, like floods roll- a man there in his contest and pretensions. Mudge. ing down upon the thirsty regions of the “south," See the notes on Gen. xxiii. 10, and on Deut. xvi. 18. might people the land, and by their labours put an end There is said to be a Chinese proverb to this effect, to the desolations of Judah. Bp. Horne.

“When a son is born into a family, a bow and arrow - the streams in the south.] This image seems to are hung up before the gate :” this should seem to be be taken from the torrents in the deserts to the south a figurative expression, signifying that a new protector of Judea; which were constantly dried up in summer, is added to the family. Merrick. (see Job vi. 17, 18,) and as constantly returned after The Psalmist does not certainly intend to say at ver. the rainy season, and filled again their deserted chan-2, that labour and diligence are vain, but that they are nels. Bp. Lowth.

so, except the Lord be with the labourer: the business 5, 6. They that sow in tears &c.]. These verses pray is not to be done by all the industry and pains in the in general, that God from a melancholy beginning (for world without Him: whereas, if His aid be called in, such was the restoration at first, rather the seed of one, if part of our time be spent in prayer, not the whole of than one maturely grown) would grant a happy issue. it in toiling without prayer, our work will become easier, Mudge, Green.

and go on better; a solicitude and anxiety for its sucThis Psalm engages us to reflect on the wonderful cess and completion will no longer prey upon our minds things which God has done at all times for His people, by day, and break our rest at night; we shall cheerby delivering them, contrary to all appearance, from the fully fulfil our daily tasks, and then with confidence power of their enemies. It assures us moreover, that and resignation lay our heads upon our pillows, and if the Church, or the righteous, are in affliction and God will “give to His beloved” a sweet and undistears, God gives them at last occasion to rejoice; and, turbed “sleep,” which shall fit them to return every in general, when men have been tried and humbled by morning, with renewed vigour and alacrity, to their affliction, He makes gladness succeed to sorrow; caus- stated employments. Bp. Horne. ing those who sow in tears to reap in joy. Ostervald.

Psalm CXXVIII. This is generally considered as a Psalm CXXVII. This is a Psalm which can never marriage-song, sung at the marriages of the Israelites ; be out of season, the design of its author being to teach strongly pointing out the happiness of such as are truly us the necessity of a dependance upon God and His religious, and the claim they thereby obtain to be blessed blessing, in every work to which we set our hands. Bp. in their person, in their family, and in the prosperity of Horne. It is used in our service for the thanksgiving their country. Travell. It is introduced into our marof Women after Child-birth.

riage service. Ver. 2. It is vain for you &c.] That is, it is in vain Marriage was ordained by God to complete the felicity

God's goodness in Israel's deliverance. PSALMS.

The psalmist's hope in prayer.
2 For thou shalt eat the labour of 5 Let them all be confounded and
thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and turned back that hate Zion.
it shall be well with thee.

6 Let them be as the grass upon
3 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful the housetops, which withereth afore
vine by the sides of thine house: thy it groweth up:
children like olive plants round about 7 Wherewith the mower filleth not
thy table.

his hand; nor he that bindeth sheaves
4 Behold, that thus shall the man his bosom.
be blessed that feareth the LORD. 8 Neither do they which go by say,

5 The LORD shall bless thee out of The blessing of the LORD be upon
Zion: and thou shalt see the good of you: we bless you in the name of the
Jerusalem all the days of thy life. LORD.
6 Yea, thou shalt see thy children's

children, and peace upon Ísrael.

1 The psalmist professeth his hope in prayer, PSALM CXXIX.

5 and his patience in hope. 7 He exhort

eth Israel to hope in God.
1 An exhortation to praise God for saving
Israel in their great afflictions.

1 A Song of degrees.

5 The haters of the church are cursed.


UT of the depths have I cried

unto thee, O Lord. (A Song of degrees.

2 LORD, hear my voice: let thine
107, Vack,

me youthIsrael
now say:

3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark
2 Many a time have they afflicted iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand ?
me from my youth : yet they have 4 But there is forgiveness with thee,
not prevailed against me.

that thou mayest be feared.
3 The plowers plowed upon my 5 I wait for the Lord, my soul
back: they made long their furrows. doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

4 The Lord is righteous: he hath 6 My soul waiteth for the LORD
cut asunder the cords of the wicked. more than they that watch for the

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of man in a state of innocence; and the benediction of always preserved it, and its enemies have not been able
Heaven will ever descend upon it, when undertaken in to destroy it. Hence we may rest in sure belief, that
" the fear of the Lord.” The vine, a lowly plant, raised | His Church will ever stand secure, and that those who
with tender care, becoming, by its luxuriance, its beauty, "hate Zion” will be “confounded and turned back.”
and its clusters, the ornament and glory of the house Ostervald.
to which it is joined, and by which it is supported,
forms the finest imaginable emblem of a fair, virtuous, Psalm CXXX. In the first part of this Psalm, the
and fruitful wife. The olive trees planted by the inha- author prays God earnestly to forgive him his sins, and
bitants of the Eastern countries around their tables, or to remit the consequences of them, in strong expecta-
banqueting places in their gardens, to cheer the eye by tion that, pursuant to His word, He would grant his
their verdure, and to refresh the body by their cooling prayer: in the second, he has obtained his request, and
shade, do no less aptly and significantly set forth the encourages therefore áll his brethren to put their trust
pleasure which parents feel at the sight of a numerous in God, for redeeming them from their sins and the
and flourishing offspring. Bp. Horne.

punishment of them. Mudge. It seems to have been

composed, or at least used, upon occasion of the publick Psalm CXXIX. This Psalm was perhaps composed penitence, of which mention is made in the ninth and by Ezra or Nehemiah, for the consolation of the Jews tenth chapters of Ezra. Rosenmüller. This Psalm is at the time that their enemies obstructed the rebuilding appointed to be used on Ash-Wednesday, and is one of of the city and temple. Dimock. It is one of the proper those which are styled penitential Psalms. Psalms of the thanksgiving day on the twenty-ninth of Ver. 1. Out of the depths] Or deep waters. Trou

bles and calamities are figuratively represented by deep Ver. 3. The plowers plowed &c.] A figurative mode waters. Green. of expressing severe oppression.

3. shouldest mark iniquities,] Shouldest charge us 4. The Lord is righteous : &c.) But God, who is ever with all our sins. Bp. Wilson. Wilt be extreme to faithful to His promises, has destroyed the power of mark what is done amiss. Old Translation. these wicked oppressors. Travell.

6. My soul &c.] The meaning is, The guards every 7.- his bosom.] See the note on Psalm lxxix. 12. morning that hasten to their watches, are not earlier 8. The blessing of the Lord &c.] This is a poetical than I am in my daily addresses to God. By these form of saying, Let them be destroyed, as that which is guards seem to be meant the priests, or some officers useless ; which affords neither the plenty nor the joy of of theirs, which were peculiarly appointed, from a tower, harvest.

to expect the first appearance of break of day, for the Both under the Old Testament and under the New, purpose of offering the morning oblation. Dr. Hamthe church of God has often been assaulted, but He has 1 mond. See the note on Exod. xiv. 24.



+ Heb.

+ Heb. my soul.

Numb. 10.35.

David professeth his humility.


He prayeth unto God. ou encore which morning : || I say, more than they that the religious care he had for the ark. 8 the morning. watch for the morning:

His prayer at the removing of the ark, 11 7 Let Israel hope in the LORD:

with a repetition of God's promises. for with the LORD there is mercy, and

A Song of degrees. with him is plenteous redemption. LORD, remember David, and all about 1004.

8 And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

2 How he sware unto the LORD,

and vowed unto the mighty God of PSALM CXXXI.

Jacob; 1 David, professing his humility, 3 exhorteth

3 Surely I will not come into the Israel to hope in God.

tabernacle of my house, nor go up

into my bed;
9 A Song of degrees of David. 4 I'will not give sleep to mine
LORD, my heart is not haughty; eyes, or slumber to mine



5 Until I find out a place for the + Heb. walk. I t exercise myself in great matters, Lord, tan habitation for the mighty 1.Hieb

or in things too + high for me. God of Jacob. wonderful.

2 Surely I have behaved and quiet- 6 Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah : ed † myself, as a child that is weaned we found it in the fields of the wood. of his mother: my soul is even as a 7 We will go into his tabernacles : weaned child.

we will worship at his footstool. 3 Let Israel hope in the LORD 8 a Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; 2 Chron. 6. 4. Heb. from † from henceforth and for ever. thou, and the ark of thy strength.

9 Let thy priests be clothed with PSALM CXXXII.

righteousness; and let thy saints shout 1 David in his prayer commendeth unto God for joy. 8. And he shall redeem &c.] He will assuredly rescue little children in innocence and simplicity. What David them from those distresses and sufferings, which He teaches us on this head, is the same with what our Lord hath inflicted on them, as a punishment for their iniqui- more fully recommends in the Gospel, when He tells ties. Travell.

us, that if we become not as little children, He will not The fourth verse of this Psalm should teach us, upon acknowledge us for His disciples, nor shall we enter what ground every man is to build the persuasion of into the kingdom of heaven. Ostervald, the pardon of his sins. It is the temper of most persons, to be more busy about their assurance, than their Psalm CXXXII. Some are of opinion that this obedience; and to be confident of their reward, while Psalm was composed by Solomon at the dedication of they should be solicitous about their duty. But to dis- the temple, since he concludes his prayer upon that cover whether such men's confidence be sound and occasion with three verses of it. See 2 Chron. vi. 41, rational, or vain and fallacious, I should recommend 42. Many parts of it refer so plainly to the Messiah, them to this one criterion and mark of trial, namely, to that it is well adapted to the service of Christmas-day. reflect upon and consider what effects this persuasion Travell. of God's mercy works upon their spirits. If men, Ver. 3. I will not come into &c.] This is not to be from the persuasions of inercy, grow impudent and understood literally, but as a figurative expression of bold in sin, presume upon God's patience, and venture his passionate desire to do this work, which was so far upon the stock of a supposed forgiveness, they must earnest that neither his house, nor bed, nor sleep, could know that they are under the power of a destructive in- give him any content till it was completed, or in some fatuation. Mercy was never intended to serve any man forwardness. Poole. in his vice, to smooth him in his sin, and by abused 5.- a place for the Lord,] A convenient place for hopes of pardon to strengthen the hands of his corrup- the ark of the Lord, i Chron. xv. 1, and xvi. 1–43. tion. And therefore he that from God's mercy gathers Bp. Patrick. no argument for His fear, may conclude thus much, 6. Lo, we heard of it &c.] In other words, as Bp. that there is indeed forgiveness with God, but no for- Patrick hath paraphrased this verse, “And now, behold, giveness for him. Dr. South.

the Lord Himself, to our great joy, hath told us the

very place where He will fix His habitation, (1 Chron. Psalm CXXXI. This Psalm was probably intended xxi. 18, 26,) in the territory of Beth-lehem Ephrata, as a form of humble devotion, to be used at seasons of (Gen. xxxv. 13, 19,) in the fields of that forest, where religious humiliation.

the angel stood, and directed David to build an altar to Ver. 2. Surely I have behaved &c.] The meaning the Lord, 1 Chron. xxi. 18, and xxii. 1. Bp. Horne. Je seems to be, I depend wholly upon God's providence rusalem being situated not far from Beth-lehem, might for the way and time of bringing me to the kingdom, be comprehended in the region of Ephrata. Merrick. as the poor helpless infant, when it is deprived of its 7. - we will worship at his footstool.] The Lord's natural and accustomed food, the mother's milk, takes footstool here mentioned, was either the ark of the tesno care to provide for itself, but wholly relies upon timony itself, or the place at least where it stood, called its mother's care for its support. Poole.

the Holy of Holies, towards which the Jews in their This Psalın expresses the sentiments which all the temple used to worship. Jos. Mede. children of God ought to entertain: they are to be 8. Arise, O Lord, into thy rest ;] Arise, O Lord, to humble, not aiming at high things, but resembling take possession of Thy resting-place. Green.

12. 1 Kings 8. 25. 2 Chron. 6. 16. Luke 1. 69. Acts. 2. 30. + Heb. lky

His prayer at the removing of the ark. PSALMS. The blessedness of unity among brethren.

10 For thy servant David's sake 17 . There will I make the horn of c Luke 1.69. turn not away the face of thine David to bud: I have ordained a anointed. || lamp for mine anointed.

Or, candle. 11 The Lord hath sworn in truth 18 His enemies will I clothe with

unto David; he will not turn from it; shame: but upon himself shall his b? Sam. 7. Of the fruit of † thy body will I set crown flourish.

upon thy throne.
12 If thy children will keep my

covenant and my testimony that I

The benefit of the communion of saints.
shall teach them, their children shall

also sit upon thy throne for ever- A Song of degrees of David.

pleasant it is for brethren to
Zion; he hath desired it for his habi- dwell + together in unity!

+ Heb. even tation.

2 It is like the precious ointment 14 This is my rest_forever : upon the head, that ran down upon here will I dwell; for I have de- the beard, even Aaron's beard : that sired it.

went down to the skirts of his gar1 Or, surely. 15 I will || abundantly bless her ments;

provision: I will satisfy her poor with 3 As the dew of Hermon, and as

the dew that descended upon the
16 I will also clothe her priests mountains of Zion : for there the
with salvation : and her saints shall LORD commanded the blessing, even
shout aloud for joy.

life for evermore.

13 For the Lord hath chosen BEHOLD, how good and how


10.-turn not away &c.] Do not reject the prayer place. It was fitly used by the first Christians to exof him, whom Thou hast consecrated to be king of Thy press their joy for the blessed union of Jews and Genpeople. Travell.

tiles; and may now serve the uses of all Christian so11. The Lord hath sworn &c.] That this is a pro- cieties, whose happiness lies in holy peace and concord. phecy of the Messiah, we have the authority of St. Peter Bps. Horne and Patrick. to say, Acts ii. 30. This promise to David occurs, 2 Ver. 2. It is like the precious ointment &c.] The Sam. vii. 12, and hath a twofold sense, relating to So. happiness derived to all classes of the community from lomon in type and shadow, to Christ in truth and sub- the establishment of unity, is here aptly compared to stance. Bp. Horne.

the holy oil, which diffuses sanctity and fragrance over 12.- for evermore.] The temporal kingdom of Da- the person and garments of the high priest. vid continued in the line of David till the birth of Christ, skirts). The original word does not signify when the spiritual kingdom commenced in the person “skirts,” but the upper part of the garment about the of this Son of David, of which there shall be no end. neck, near the beard. This garment was put over the Dimock.

head; and the neck part or collar, where the head came 16. I will also clothe her priests with salvation :) I through it, is the part meant. Reedes. will spread My protection and defence over her priests, 3. the dew of Hermon,] Maundrell says, “We which are consecrated to Me. Bp. Hall.

were sufficiently instructed by experience what the holy 17. - the horn of David &c.] The “horn” and Psalmist means by “the dew of Hermon," our tents " lamp” signify the regal dignity of David. No sooner being

as wet with it as if it had rained all night.' shall one of his successors fail, but another shall be the mountains of Zion ;] These seem to be raised up to succeed him. Green. The Jews confess those mountains which stood round about Jerusalem. that this verse mystically refers to Christ. Bp. Horne. Rosenmüller,

The vow which David had made to establish a fixed for there &c.] That is, God hath promised all place of Divine service, was a striking mark of his piety. kind of prosperity upon the dwelling of those who live From hence great men, magistrates,

and all men in together

in unity. Green, Rosenmüller. general, ought to learn, that they should desire, with The colouring of the picture presented to us in this the greatest fervency, the glory of God, and His true Psalm is much heightened by its being viewed in another worship

, and promote them to the utmost of their light, as a representation of spiritual unity in the Church. power. The choice which God had made of Zion for The spirit of heavenly love was that oil of gladness which the place of His worship, and the promises with which Jehovah poured without measure on Him who is the He had engaged to dwell there for ever, to bless and High Priest and Head of His Church. Insinuating and prosper it, are to be applied to the Christian Church, healing, comforting and exhilarating, it is diffused from in which He dwells in a more particular manner, and Him over His body mystical, even down to the least and wherein He is to be worshipped and adored unto the lowest members; “ of His fulness have we all received.” end of the world. We ought all of us continually to Nor did the dew of heaven, in time of drought, ever pray for the preservation of the Church, for a blessing prove more refreshing and beneficial to the mountains on its ministers, and on all its members. Ostervald. of Judah, than are the influences of Grace, when des

cending in soft silence from above upon the Church ; Psalm CXXXIII. This short but pleasing Psalm in the union and communion of which, God hath was composed either to recommend unity among the commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.Bp. tribes of Israel, or to celebrate it when it had taken Horne.

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An exhortation to praise God

An exhortation to bless God.
T A Song of degrees.


for his mercy, power, gc. 8 b Who smote the firstborn of b Exod. 12. Egypt, + both of man and beast. + Heb. from

9 Who sent tokens and wonders


man tento beast.

BEH xe , ,

24, 25, 26, 34, 35.

1. Or, in holiness.

+ Heb.
to generation


all ye servants of the LORD, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his ser-
which by night stand in the house of vants.
the LORD.

10 · Who smote great nations, and Numb. 21.
2 Lift up your hands || in the sanc- slew mighty kings;
and bless the LORD.

11 Sihon king of the Amorites, 3 The Lord that made heaven and and Og king of Bashan, and all the earth bless thee out of Zion.

kingdoms of Canaan : PSALM CXXXV.

12 d And gave their land for an d Josh. 12. 7. 1 An exhortation to praise God for his mercy, heritage, an heritage unto

Israel his
5 for his power, 8 for his judgments. 15 people.
The vanity of idols. 19 An exhortation to 13 Thy name, O LORD, endureth
bless God.

for ever; and thy memorial, O LORD,
PR RAIS E ye the Lord. Praise + throughout all generations.

ye the name of the Lond; praise ' 14 for the Lord will judge his moment him, O ye servants of the Lord. people, and he will repent himself

2 Ye that stand in the house of concerning his servants.
the LORD, in the courts of the house 15 The idols of the heathen are e Ps. 115. 4,
of our God,

silver and gold, the work of men's io.
3 Praise the Lord; for the Lord hands.
is good : sing praises unto his name; 16 They have mouths, but they
for it is pleasant.

speak not; eyes have they, but they
4 For the Lord hath chosen Ja- see not;
cob unto himself, and Israel for his 17 They have ears, but they hear
peculiar treasure.

not; neither is there any breath in
5 For I know that the LorDisgreat, their mouths.
and that our LORD is above all gods. 18 They that make them are like

6 Whatsoever the Lord pleased, unto them: so is every one that trust-
that did he in heaven, and in earth, eth in them.
in the seas, and all deep places. 19 Bless the LORD, O house of

7 a He causeth the vapours to as- Israel: bless the LORD, O house of
cend from the ends of the earth; he Aaron :
maketh lightnings for the rain ; he 20 Bless the LORD, O house of
bringeth the wind out of his trea- Levi: ye that fear the Lord, bless

the LORD.

5, 6, 7, 8, 9,

a Jer. 10. 13.

Psalm CXXXIV. This Psalm seems to be nothing attended with thunder; and that when this lightning more than the alternate cry of the two different divisions appears in the west or southwest points, it is a sure sign of the temple watch. The first watch addresses the of the approaching rain, which is often followed with second, reminding them of their duty: the second an- thunder. Harmer. swers by a solemn blessing : the address and the answer 14. — will judge his people,] Will plead for, or avenge seem both to be a set form, which each division pro- His people. Dr. Hammond. claimed, or sung aloud at stated intervals, to notify the will repent himself concerning his servants.] Will time of night. Bp. Lowth.

be gracious unto His servants. Old translation. The ministers of God should learn from this Psalm, 18. They that make them &c.] They, who form them that as the priests and Levites were by their office called for objects of worship, or who blindly depend upon to praise God day and night in His temple, and to pray them for favour and support, are as stupid and sensefor the people of Israel; so are the ministers of the less, as the very idols themselves. Travell. Christian church, by their office, in a particular manner, All the servants of God, they more especially who called to bless and praise continually God's holy name, minister in the temple, are repeatedly in this, as in the and to pray without ceasing for the prosperity of the foregoing Psalm, excited to praise their blessed Master. Church. Ostervald.

Two of the reasons assigned, why they should do this,

are; first, the goodness of that Master, and secondly, Psalm CXXXV. This Psalm is thought to have been the pleasantness of the employment. The latter of these sung by the Levites at the opening of the gates of the reasons hath a natural and necessary dependance on the temple. Dr. Wells.

former. A sense of the Divine mercy will tune our Ver. 7.— he maketh lightnings for the rain :] He hearts and voices to praise. We, who are upon earth, maketh the lightnings to attend the rain. Green. Dr. often find ourselves indisposed for the duty of thanksRussell, in his description of the weather at Aleppo, giving, because the concerns of the body, the cares and September, tells us, that seldom a night passes with pleasures of life, extinguish, for a time, this sense in us, out much lightning in the northwest quarter, but not until grace, prayer, and meditation, render it again lively

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