Psalm cxi. (Beatus vir.)
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Of the returning, &c. This is in the Greek and Latin, but not in the Hebrew. It signifies, that this psalm was proper to be sung at the time of the return of the people from their captivity: to inculcate to them, how happy they might be, if they would be constant in the service of God. (Challoner) — Yet all Greek copies have not this title, (Haydock) but only Alleluia, with the Hebrew, Syriac, &c. — It might be composed by Aggæus, &c., as it relates to the captivity, (ver. 4.) and to the overthrow of Babylon, (ver. 10.; Calmet) or David might thus describe the happiness of the virtuous, (Berthier) and give the captives to understand, that sin was the source of all temporal as well as spiritual miseries. (Worthington) — Delight. We must love God for his own sake. (St. Chrysostom) — Those who sincerely fear God, will take great delight in keeping his commandments. (Worthington)
Ver. 2. Earth. Temporal rewards were proposed to the carnal Jews; but the more enlightened knew what was to be most desired. They sought after the riches, mentioned by the apostle, 1 Corinthians i. 5., and 1 Timothy vi. 18. (Calmet) — The just and their seed shall prosper, (Worthington) at least in the next world. (Haydock)
Ver. 3. Justice. Or mercy shall be for ever remembered by men, and rewarded by God. (Calmet)
Ver. 4. Darkness. Christ appeared when the world was most corrupt. (St. Augustine) — God rescued his people from captivity. — He is. St. Augustine and St. Chrysostom add, “The Lord God is,” &c., in which sense this is commonly explained, (Calmet) though it may also refer to the just man. (Haydock)
Ver. 5. Acceptable. Literally, “joyful.” Chrestos, “beneficent.” (Haydock) — Give, and it shall be given to you. [Luke vi. 38.] (Menochius) — Judgment. And by liberal alms, prepared for the great accounting day. (St. Chrysostom) — He will say nothing indiscreetly, nor throw pearls before swine; (Matthew vii. 6.; St. Jerome) neither will he condemn others rashly, (Calmet) but give prudent advice to the afflicted. (Worthington)
Ver. 7. Hearing. Though detraction may assail him, he shall not fear, (Calmet) since God is the judge. (Haydock) — He shall have no cause to apprehend being condemned, (St. Jerome) nor be disturbed about “news,” because his goods are in a place of safety, (St. Chrysostom, &c.) where thieves cannot steal. (Haydock)
Ver. 8. Until. Not that he will be disturbed afterwards, (Psalm cix. 1.; Calmet) when his enemies shall be punished. (Haydock) — The captives saw the fall of Babylon. (Calmet)
Ver. 9. Poor. We must know whom we ought to relieve. Though we may be allowed to retain what is necessary, (2 Corinthians viii. 13., and ix. 11.) yet the saints have often very laudably stripped themselves, to clothe others, abandoning perishable goods, that they might obtain heaven. (Calmet) — Justice. Works of mercy are so called, because they concur to man’s justification. (Worthington) — Horn. Power, &c. Cyrus, and the best of his successors, honoured the Jews. (Calmet) — The liberality of the just towards the indigent, is far more glorious than that which prompts the vain to give shews, &c. (St. Chrysostom) — The praise of the latter is presently at an end. (Berthier)
Ver. 10. The wicked. The devil, enraged to see the converts to Christianity, (St. Athanasius) or the Jews, (St. Chrysostom) instigated by him. (Haydock) — All the damned shall repine at the happiness of the elect, (St. Augustine) as the Babylonians did, when they beheld the prosperity of those who had been captives. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The good man is happy.
1 Alleluia, of the returning of Aggæus and Zacharias.
Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord: he shall delight exceedingly in his commandments.
2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the righteous shall be blessed.
3 Glory and wealth shall be in his house: and his justice remaineth for ever and ever.
4 To the righteous a light is risen up in darkness: he is merciful, and compassionate and just.
5 Acceptable is the man that sheweth mercy and lendeth: he shall order his words with judgment: 6 because he shall not be moved for ever.
7 The just shall be in everlasting remembrance: he shall not hear the evil hearing.
His heart is ready to hope in the Lord: 8 his heart is strengthened, he shall not be moved until he look over his enemies.
9 He hath distributed, he hath given to the poor: his justice remaineth for ever and ever: his horn shall be exalted in glory.
10 The wicked shall see, and shall be angry, he shall gnash with his teeth, and pine away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.