Psalm xix. (Exaudiat te Dominus.)
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. David. This psalm was to be sung when he or his successors went to battle. In a higher sense, it may allude to the victories of Christ, and of his Church. (Berthier) — Christian must offer up this prayer for their governors. (Worthington) — It was probably composed when the Ammonites and Syrians made such great preparations for war, ver. 8., and 2 Kings x. 6, 18. (Calmet)
Ver. 2. Hear thee, the Ruler; or Jesus Christ praying for his people. (Worthington) — Tribulation. War is always such. The victors themselves suffer, and many souls perish. (Calmet) — Name. The Messias, as the Jews often explain the expression, (Hooke, Prin.) or God himself, as others have it. Nomen ejus ipse. (Calmet) — The blessed Trinity is all one God. The name of the Lord is a strong tower, &c., Proverbs xviii. 10. It was made known to Moses, to give him confidence, Exodus iii. 13. (Haydock) — Great was the honour conferred on the patriarchs, that God should be styled the God of Abraham, &c.! But ours is not less, since we are authorized to call Him Our Father. [Matthew vi. 9.] (Berthier)
Ver. 3. Sion, where God was supposed to reside, in the tabernacle; though he was also in heaven, ver. 7. (Calmet)
Ver. 4. Sacrifices. Hebrew mincha, a sacrifice of flour, or unbloody; a figure of the Mass. (Worthington) — Minchothec, “thy presents” (Mont.; Haydock) of fruits, &c. — Fat. Hebrew also, “ashes,” by miraculous fire, (Berthier) to testify God’s acceptance; as at the sacrifices of Abel, (Haydock) Elias, &c., Leviticus ix. 24., and 3 Kings xviii. 31., and 1 Paralipomenon xxi. 26. God forbade lean victims to be offered, as they might shew a want of respect; (Malachias i. 8.) though he always regarded the heart (Calmet) and faith of the offerer more than the victim, Hebrews xi. 4. (Haydock) — Sacrifices were offered before every important enterprize, 1 Kings xiii. 12. (Calmet) — Fat here intimates what would be acceptable. (Worthington) (Daniel iii. 40.) (Menochius)
Ver. 5. Counsels. We must suppose that those of a pious prince are right. (Calmet) — This condition is always understood. (Haydock)
Ver. 6. Salvation. Jesus Christ, who gives us the victory over all our spiritual enemies, (Calmet) or in thy prosperity; (Worthington) which we shall attribute to God. The first words may also be addressed to Him. We shall rejoice if thou grant us the victory, and we will return thanks. Hebrew, “we shall praise, or be praised, for thy salvation; and in thy name we shall lift up the standard.” (Calmet) — But there is no proof that nodgol, (Haydock) which occurs no where else, has this signification. It is probable that the Septuagint read nogdol; and Houbigant adopts their version. St. Jerome has, “we shall dance.” All the versions denote joy. (Berthier)
Ver. 7. Hath saved. The prophets speak of future events as past. (Berthier) — The people were convinced of God’s protection, (Calmet) and anticipated what they would say at their triumphant return. — Anointed (Christus) the king, (Calmet) priest, (Worthington) or our Saviour, at his resurrection, (St. Athanasius) after he had subdued his enemies. (Worthington) — Powers. That is, in strength. His right hand is strong and mighty to save them that trust in him. (Challoner) — The plural is often used to denote something most excellent, (Haydock) great strength, or heavenly forces. (Worthington)
Ver. 8. Call upon. Septuagint Roman, Syriac, &c., read, “we shall be exalted,” megalunthesometha, (Calmet) as [in] ver. 6. Some call upon or trust in chariots, &c. (Haydock) — Hebrew, “remember,” which often implies to confide, (Calmet) and such we call upon as we hope will be able and willing (Haydock) to protect us. (Berthier) — Let our enemies assemble all their forces and auxiliaries, we shall not fear as long as God is for us. (Calmet) — The Jewish kings were forbidden to multiply horses, that they might not be tempted to confide in them. (Haydock)
Ver. 9. Bound. Their chariot wheels are entangled, Exodus xiv. 25. (Calmet) — Those who trust in the power of man, fall into captivity. (Worthington) — Their feet are ensnared. (Berthier) — The king. Hebrew, “Let the king hear us when we call.” Protestants, (Haydock) “our king shall hear,” &c. Syriac, “Word of the Lord, redeem us; Potent king, hear,” &c. But the Septuagint is preferable, and the best critics often deviate from the Jews; (Muis; Calmet) though here the sense is very good, and adopted by St. Jerome. God is styled king in Hebrew. (Haydock) — This title is commonly given to the Messias. (Berthier) — The Chaldean seems to have had the second person of the blessed Trinity in view, as many of the Jews were acquainted with this mystery, particularly after the propagation of the gospel, when the paraphrase on the psalms was probably composed. (Haydock) — When the head is safe, the body is also preserved. (Worthington) — We must pray for our superiors, that we also may lead a quiet life, 1 Timothy ii. 2. Their welfare is for the public good. (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
A prayer for the king.
1 Unto the end. A psalm for David.
2 May the Lord hear thee in the day of tribulation: may the name of the God of Jacob protect thee.
3 May he send thee help from the sanctuary: and defend thee out of Sion.
4 May he be mindful of all thy sacrifices: and may thy whole burnt-offering be made fat.
5 May he give thee according to thy own heart; and confirm all thy counsels.
6 We will rejoice in thy salvation; and in the name of our God we shall be exalted.
7 The Lord fulfil all thy petitions: now have I known that the Lord hath saved his anointed.
He will hear him from his holy heaven: the salvation of his right hand is in powers.
8 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will call upon the name of the Lord, our God.
9 They are bound, and have fallen; but we are risen, and are set upright.
O Lord, save the king: and hear us in the day that we shall call upon thee.