Psalm xxvii. (Ad te Domine clamabo.)
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Himself. The Hebrew and Septuagint (Roman and Alexandrian) have simply “of David.” — Ledavid. (Haydock) — The psalm appears to be a sequel of the preceding, and we may adopt the rule of the Jews, who refer the psalms which have no title, to the same author and events as those which go before. It may relate to the captives, (Calmet) or to David under persecution, though the Fathers explain it of Christ suffering, &c., and rising again. — My God. Hebrew, “rock.” This term is so often applied to God, that it might be added to his other ten titles. (Berthier) — Lest….to me, is not in the Roman psalter. (Euthymius, &c.) — Pit, grave; though it also denote “a prison.” (Calmet) — St. Jerome has “be not deaf to me,” &c. (Menochius)
Ver. 2. Pray. Hebrew, “cry….to the recess of thy sanctuary, (Haydock) or to thy oracle.” Septuagint place the whole for a part. The tabernacle was often styled temple, 1 Kings i. 9. To lift up the hands was customary in prayer, (1 Timothy ii. 8., and Lamentations iii. 41.; Berthier) to testify whence our aid must come. (Haydock) — The Jews turned towards the holy place in prayer, (3 Kings viii. 48., and Ezechiel viii. 16.) even after the temple was destroyed. (Calmet)
Ver. 3. Draw. Sextus V reads tradas, “deliver,” &c. But the present trahas, is more conformable to the original. (Calmet) — Septuagint add, destroy me not, as the Hebrew might also signify. Suffer me not to follow bad example. They often paraphrase, to render the text clearer. A similar petition occurs, Psalm xxv. 9. — Hearts. Such double dealers are abominable, and quite opposite to the candour of a Christian, John i. 47., and 1 Peter ii. 22. (Berthier) — The psalmist prays that God would comfort and support him, as he knew that God tempteth no man, James i. (Worthington)
Ver. 4. Reward. He speaks prophetically, (ver. 5.) or of spiritual enemies. (Berthier) — “If they do not understand by kindness, make them understand by torments.” (St. Jerome) — He alludes to the calamities of the Babylonians, who had made such havoc, (Calmet) as well as to that of all who persecuted or rebelled against David. (Haydock) — His zeal prompts him to approve of their chastisement. (Worthington)
Ver. 5. The works, (in opera.) The preposition seems redundant, though (Haydock) it was probably in both places, to insinuate that attention is requisite. The Jews perished, because they would not know the things that were for their peace, Luke xix. 42. Their city in ruins, is an emblem of the sinner’s utter destruction. — Thou shalt. Hebrew, “he will.” (Berthier) — The Chaldeans gave supreme honour to idols, neglecting the true God. Their punishment was at hand. (Kimchi) (Calmet) —Ignorance will prove no excuse, when people might be informed. God will save none, without their co-operation. (Worthington)
Ver. 6. Blessed. This energetic epithet is generally applied to the Lord, and as it is also given to Christ, he must be true God, Romans ix. 5., &c.
Ver. 7. Protector. Hebrew, “buckler,” to defend me from external enemies, as his grace enables me to do good. — Flesh. Hebrew, “heart.” But joy would manifest itself over the whole body: (Proverbs xvii. 22.; Berthier) and the Syriac agrees with the Septuagint, “My flesh shall bud forth, and I shall sing his praises in glory.” (Calmet) — Will. Hebrew, “canticle,” which was dictated by the will. It is suspected that the Septuagint read differently. Only the saints taste true joys, so that they alone might be styled sensual. But this worldlings cannot understand, 1 Corinthians ii. 14. (Berthier) — The Fathers explain this text of Christ’s, or of our resurrection, (St. Jerome, &c.) which was prefigured by the return from captivity. (Calmet) — Interior comfort causes the body to be refreshed; and the psalmist gladly (Worthington) expresses his gratitude. (Haydock)
Ver. 8. People; (hoz lamu) instead of which the Hebrew has lamo, “their strength;” though the people of God had not been mentioned. St. Jerome translates, “the Lord is my strength.” Houbigant shews that the Vulgate is most accurate. (Berthier) — Protestants’ marginal note, “his strength.” — Salvation. Literally, “salvations,” as he had many times protected David, as well as (Haydock) the priests and prophets, and all the chosen people, 1 Peter ii. 9. (Calmet) — God causeth the good endeavours of the king for his subjects to prosper. (Worthington)
Ver. 9. Exalt, or carry on thy shoulders, like the good shepherd, Luke xv. 5. Restore thy people to prosperity. This was the wish of the carnal Jews. The Christian must raise his thoughts higher. (Calmet) — St. Jerome and Protestants, “feed….and lift them up for ever.” Here the progress of justification appears. (Haydock) — God redeems and conducts us to eternal bliss. (Berthier) — As in Psalm xix., &c., the subjects pray for their superiors, so here the ruler offers up his petitions for those committed to his charge. (Worthington)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
David’s prayer that his enemies may not prevail over him.
1 A psalm for David himself.
Unto thee will I cry, O Lord: O my God, be not thou silent to me; lest if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.
2 Hear, O Lord, the voice of my supplication, when I pray to thee; when I lift up my hands to thy holy temple.
3 Draw me not away together with the wicked; and with the workers of iniquity destroy me not:
Who speak peace with their neighbour, but evils are in their hearts.
4 Give them according to their works, and according to the wickedness of their inventions.
According to the works of their hands give thou to them: render to them their reward.
5 Because they have not understood the works of the Lord, and the operations of his hands; thou shalt destroy them, and shalt not build them up.
6 Blessed be the Lord, for he hath heard the voice of my supplication.
7 The Lord is my helper and my protector: in him hath my heart confided, and I have been helped.
And my flesh hath flourished again, and with my will I will give praise to him.
8 The Lord is the strength of his people, and the protector of the salvation of his anointed.
9 Save, O Lord, thy people, and bless thy inheritance: and rule them and exalt them for ever.