Psalm cxxiv. (Qui confidunt.)
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Canticle of thanksgiving, relating to the times of the Messias, (Abenezra) or to the Jews, who overcame the attempts of the nations at their return, 2 Esdras iv., and vi. (Ven. Bede, &c.) (Calmet) — It exhorts all to confide in God. (Berthier) — Trust. The Jews complied not with this condition, and are become vagabonds; but the faithful inherit this promise, (Hebrews x. 19.; Berthier) which is verified in the Catholic Church. (St. Augustine) — To be secure, like Sion, which is defended by other mountains, we must belong to her society. (Worthington) — The situation of Jerusalem was very advantageous. It was difficult to bring any cavalry against it, except by the way of Idumea. A handful of men might defend the passes leading to the north, as we see in the history of the Machabees.
Ver. 2. About it. Coming from Joppe, travellers cannot see the city till they are very near it, though with respect to Judea, it is very elevated. Hence Josephus styles it “the navel of the land.” (Jewish Wars iii. 2., or 4.) — The construction of the Vulgate is very natural. (Calmet) — For the promise regards the inhabitants, rather than the place, as Hebrew would insinuate. — Lord. Zacharias ii. 5. Heresiarchs have in vain risen up against the Church, though they were able men, like mountains. (St. Augustine)
Ver. 3. Rod. Sceptre, or violent dominion, Isaias x. 5. — That, Or “therefore.” (Interp. in St. Chrysostom) God always concludes his threats with promises of pardon to the penitent, 1 Corinthians x. 13. (Calmet — He tries his servants for their good, and will not abandon them. (Worthington) — The captivity lasted only 70 years: the ten persecutions of the Christian Church were terminated in 300 years; and though the wicked should even put the just to death, then their rod remains no longer upon them. If the virtuous were always suffering, the temptation might be too strong. But those who are sincere, at last emerge from the cloud, and force their enemies to applaud their conduct. (Berthier)
Ver. 4. Heart. This God will certainly perform. (Worthington) — He asks not for himself alone, and leaves all to the divine disposal. (Haydock)
Ver. 5. Bonds, obligationes. “Knots,” as straggalias, also means, (Berthier) rather than duties. (Bellarmine) — Some suspect that obliquationes was put originally, as Hebrew means “crooked ways,” (Calmet) “embarrassments.” (Aquila) — He may allude to the dark machinations of false brethren, who endeavoured to thwart the pious designs of Nehemias, vi. 14. Apostles shall be treated like infidels, (Calmet) or rather worse, as we shall be if we act not up to the lights, (Haydock) and graces which we have received. (Calmet) — Those who enter into any covenant, &c., to uphold a false religion, though they may despise it in their hearts, must expect to be punished, while the Church shall have peace. (Worthington) — Israel. St. Paul adds, of God, to shew who may be entitled to this blessing. (Berthier) — Heretics can neither give nor receive this peace. (St. Augustine)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The just are always under God’s protection.
1 A gradual canticle.
They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Sion: he shall not be moved for ever that dwelleth 2 in Jerusalem.
Mountains are round about it: so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth, now and for ever.
3 For the Lord will not leave the rod of sinners upon the lot of the just: that the just may not stretch forth their hands to iniquity.
4 Do good, O Lord, to those that are good, and to the upright of heart.
5 But such as turn aside into bonds, the Lord shall lead out with the workers of iniquity: peace upon Israel.