Psalm xxxii. (Exultate justi.)
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. David. There is no title in Hebrew; and the Greek copies vary. This psalm may be considered as a continuation of the former, with the last verse of which it may be well connected. (Calmet) — Some suppose that David composed it after he had been rescued from the giant Jesbibenob, ver. 16., and 1 Paralipomenon xx. 4. (Ferrand.) — It is not certain that he is the author; but as other psalms without a title are ascribed to him, we have no reason to deny that he wrote this. (Berthier) — Many explain it as a thanksgiving of Ezechias. (Theodoret, &c.) — But we need not refer it to any particular event. (Calmet) — Upright. But it is not seemly in the mouth of a sinner, Ecclesiasticus xv. 9., (Worthington) and Psalm lxix. 16. (Calmet)
Ver. 2. Psaltery. Hebrew nebel, (Haydock) which does not resemble the modern psaltery. (Calmet) — We must carefully observe mortification, and the decalogue. (Worthington)
Ver. 3. New. Interesting, like the canticle of the lamb, or of redemption, Apocalypse. [Apocalypse v.?] Public worship and music are very useful, when performed with attention. (Berthier) — The prophet invites all to praise God for the blessings granted by Christ in the new law. (Worthington) — Noise, proceeding from the heart, the cry of which alone penetrates heaven. (Haydock)
Ver. 4. Faithfulness. He always fulfils his promises, and his laws are just; (Worthington) therefore he deserves our praise. (Calmet) (Psalm cxliv. 13.)
Ver. 5. Judgment. God joins these virtues together, (Worthington) as we ought to do. (Haydock) (Luke vi. 36., and Matthew v. 48.) — He punishes the wicked, and rewards the good. But his mercy displays itself on the earth, as there is no misery in heaven. (St. Augustine) — Its effects appear more since the coming of our Saviour. (Calmet)
Ver. 6. Mouth, by his command. (Euthymius) (Genesis i. 6.) — The Fathers here find the blessed Trinity expressed; (Calmet; Menochius) and the Council of Trent admonishes us to follow their unanimous interpretation, which is here adopted by Baumbgarte, a Protestant, 1719. St. John [i. 1.] informs us that all was made by the Word, from whom the Father and the Holy Spirit cannot be separated. (Berthier) — Seneca (consol. 8.) seems to have had some idea of this mystery. Quisquis formator universi fuit, sive ille Deus est potens omnium; sive incorporalis Ratio, ingentium operum artifex; sive divinus Spiritus, per omnia maxima et minima æquali intentione diffusus. The power of them may designate the stars and angels, which the Hebrew styles “the army” of heaven, Isaias xxiv. 21., and Matthew xxvi. 53. (Calmet) — The word of God is omnipotent, (Worthington) “the Creator….both of visible and invisible things.” (Nicene Creed) (Haydock) — Calvin rejects this proof of the Trinity as weak, (Amama) as he did not like the word Trinity, nor perhaps the mystery itself. (Haydock)
Ver. 7. As in. This is agreeable to St. Augustine, and some ancient psalters; though the Septuagint have “like a bottle” made of leather, osei askon. Moderns would translate, “like a heap.” But Symmachus and St. Jerome agree with us, (see Psalm lxxvii. 13.; Calmet) as well as the Chaldean and Houbigant. God has made the bed of the sea capable of containing such quantities of water, some of which evaporate and descend again from the clouds, to make the earth fruitful. Yet many take no notice of this admirable economy. (Berthier) — Theodoret and St. Athanasius understand the clouds to be meant by this vessel; but the former sentiment seems better. These waters, as well as hail, &c., are instruments of God’s vengeance, Deuteronomy xxxii. 34. The depths have the same import. God calls them forth at pleasure, (Amos v. 8., and Genesis vii. 11.) and confines them within bounds, Job xxxviii. 11.
Ver. 9. Created. Hebrew, “on foot,” to express God’s absolute dominion. (Calmet) — This passage shews that bra means properly created out of nothing, Genesis i. Matter did not exist before God spoke. (Berthier)
Ver. 10. And….princes. This seems to be lost in Hebrew, as all the Greeks have recognised it. (Berthier) — God prepares the causes and means when he forms his decrees, which are wholly independent. He is not forced to wait for a favourable opportunity. (Calmet) — He confounded the tongues at Babel, and his absolute decrees are always executed. (Worthington)
Ver. 12. Inheritance, in opposition to the Gentiles, 1 Peter ii. 9. (Berthier) — God made choice particularly of the Jews, as he does now of Christians. (Worthington)
Ver. 14. Prepared. St. Jerome, “from his most established throne;” whence he beholds all the conduct of men, (Calmet) though he fill all places, and work in all. (Berthier) — His power and wisdom (ver. 15.) are infinite. (Worthington)
Ver. 15. Every one, sigillatim. Hebrew yachad, means also “together;” whence the Origenists inferred (Haydock) that all souls were made at first with Adam. (St. Jerome) — Thus they explained how they came to be all infected. (Berthier) — But God rather creates them when he infuses them into the body. (Denis the Carthusian) (Haydock) — St. Augustine could never decide this important question. This text only proves that God is equally Creator of all; (Ecclesiasticus xviii. 1.; Calmet) and He alone made the hearts and souls of all men, as katamonas implies, Psalm iv. 10., and Geneb. (Amama)
Ver. 16. Giant. Or Hebrew, “strong man.” Monarchs and the stoutest men have been overthrown by Providence, like Pharao and Sennacherib, and the giant Og. (Calmet) — History proves that great armies have not always gained the victory, Psalm lxv. 13., and cxlvi. 10. (Berthier)
Ver. 17. Safety. Either of himself or his master. (Worthington) (Proverbs xxi. 31.) — This can only be attributed to God’s protection, ver. 18.
Ver. 20. Waiteth. Hebrew, “longeth.” (Haydock) — Protector. Hebrew, “shield.” Infidels deride the confidence of the just, as an effect of pride, supposing it to be beneath the dignity of God to take notice of so small a creature, while he governs so many worlds. But if there be other worlds besides this, God is sufficient for all; (Berthier) and he will not neglect the work which his hands have deigned to form. (Haydock)
Ver. 22. Thee. All-perfect Being, shew thy protection to all who trust in thee. (Worthington) — He who wishes to receive much, ought to increase his hopes. (Calmet) — “Who is so full of hope as boldly to say, by my hope measure thy mercy?” (Theodoret)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
An exhortation to praise God, and to trust in him.
1 A psalm for David.
Rejoice in the Lord, O ye just: praise becometh the upright.
2 Give praise to the Lord on the harp; sing to him with the psaltery, the instrument of ten strings.
3 Sing to him a new canticle, sing well unto him with a loud noise.
4 For the word of the Lord is right, and all his works are done with faithfulness.
5 He loveth mercy and judgment; the earth is full of the mercy of the Lord.
6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were established; and all the power of them, by the spirit of his mouth:
7 Gathering together the waters of the sea, as in a vessel; laying up the depths in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord, and let all the inhabitants of the world be in awe of him.
9 *For he spoke, and they were made: he commanded, and they were created.
10 The Lord bringeth to naught the counsels of nations; and he rejecteth the devices of people, and casteth away the counsels of princes.
11 But the counsel of the Lord standeth for ever: the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; the people whom he hath chosen for his inheritance.
13 The Lord hath looked from heaven: he hath beheld all the sons of men.
14 From his habitation which he hath prepared, he hath looked upon all that dwell on the earth.
15 He who hath made the hearts of every one of them: who understandeth all their works.
16 The king is not saved by a great army: nor shall the giant be saved by his own great strength.
17 Vain is the horse for safety: neither shall he be saved by the abundance of his strength.
18 Behold the eyes of the Lord are on them that fear him: and on them that hope in his mercy.
19 To deliver their souls from death: and feed them in famine.
20 Our soul waiteth for the Lord: for he is our helper and protector.
21 For in him our heart shall rejoice: and in his holy name we have trusted.
22 Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, as we have hoped in thee.
9: Genesis i. 8.; Judith xvi. 17.