Psalm v. (Verba mea auribus.)
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. For her that obtaineth the inheritance. That is, for the Church of Christ, (Challoner) and every faithful soul, which gains the victory and heaven. (Worthington) — Nechiloth, may also, (Haydock) signify musical instruments with holes, or “women dancing,” on religious and joyful occasions, as they did when the ark was removed, &c., 2 Kings vi. 12., (Calmet) and Psalm lxvii. 26. — We may (Haydock) as well follow the Vulgate and St. Jerome. Some have supposed that David alludes to Saul, Absalom, &c. But in most of the psalms, the wicked in general are reprobated, and the sentiments of the faithful expressed. This psalm contains an excellent form of morning prayer, as an armour against all our spiritual enemies. (Berthier)
Ver. 2. Cry. Hebrew, “meditation.” (Menochius) — The cry of the heart, (St. Chrysostom) and “the groans,” which the spirit forms within us, Romans viii. 26. God cannot reject such prayers. If he seems inattentive, it is because we ask amiss, James iv. 3. (Calmet) — He attends to the prayers of the Church, and of every faithful soul, (Worthington) and even exhorts sinners to come to him, that they may emerge from the abyss. (Haydock)
Ver. 4. Morning. This hour of prayer is also specified, (Psalms lxii. 1., and cxviii. 147.) as that of the evening is, Psalms iv. 9., and liv. 19. We read also of noon being a time for prayer among the Jews, Acts x. 9. Daniel (vi. 10.) diligently observed these holy customs. (Calmet)
Ver. 5. Stand. Hebrew implies “in order,” as those who neglect prayer must be all in confusion. God enables those who are diligent, to see wonderful things. (Berthier) — Iniquity. No: he has it in abhorrence; (Calmet) consequently he cannot be the author of it, but hates those who commit evil, though he loves them as his creatures, and wishes their conversion. (Worthington) — On this subject I will meditate. (Menochius)
Ver. 6. Eyes. God suffers them to remain for a time. (St. Jerome)
Ver. 7. Workers, (operantur) “who work,” (Haydock) and die impenitent. — Lie. All heretics, who kill their own and neighbours’ souls, (St. Jerome) and in general all seducers, (Calmet) who will be treated like those who have committed murder. (Eusebius) (Cæsar.)
Ver. 8. Mercy, not trusting in my own merit, (Haydock) but with the greatest awe. (Calmet) — The just must trust in mercy, not in man’s power. — Temple, the Church, and in God’s presence. (Worthington) — Some would infer hence that David was not the author of this psalm. But the tabernacle is called by the same names; (1 Kings i. 7, 24, and iii. 3.) so that this reason is not sufficient. (Calmet)
Ver. 9. Enemies. Hebrew, “observers.” They are always on the watch to discover any fault. Grant me thy preventing grace. (Berthier) — Let me not stumble, (Haydock) but cause me to walk cheerfully in thy paths. (Calmet) — If thou approve, it matters not how much worldlings blame me. (St. Augustine)
Ver. 10. Their. Hebrew, “his.” But it is incorrect. (Houbigant) — St. Jerome has “their.” (Berthier) — Vain. Hebrew, “wicked or deceitful.”
Ver. 11. Sepulchre, which never says there is enough, Proverbs xxx. 15. (Calmet) — Dealt, &c. St. Paul authorizes this version, (Romans iii. 13.) though the Hebrew be rendered, “they flatter cunningly;” (Berthier) or “they sharpen their tongue,” and polish it like a sword, that it may cut more easily. This may be applied to heretics. (Sts. Athanasius, Chrysostom, and Jerome) (Calmet) — Judge, or “condemn them.” Hebrew may be explained as a prediction. (Berthier) — The Holy Ghost could not dictate an imprecation or desire of revenge. But David might beg that God would frustrate the designs of his enemies; and, by treating them with some severity, hinder the execution of their wicked schemes, which would bring on their own ruin. (St. Chrysostom; St. Augustine) (Calmet) — Though the just desire the conversion of all, yet if any die impenitent, they approve of God’s judgment, manifested at the end of the world. (Worthington) — Provoked. Hebrew, “rebelled against.” I forgive them for what they have done to me. But I grieve at thy offence; make them return to a sense of their duty. (Calmet) — He might abhor the enemies of salvation, the world, &c., whom Christ has condemned. (Berthier)
Ver. 12. Dwell. Hebrew, “protect,” (St. Jerome) “or shade them.” (Calmet) — The just will rejoice under thy protection, (Haydock) and at the conversion of the sinner. (St. Chrysostom)
Ver. 13. Us. Hebrew, “him.” (St. Jerome; Aquila) (Calmet) — But neglecting the points, the Septuagint is as accurate, and more beautiful. (Berthier) — Shield. Hebrew tsinna, (Haydock) which was probably large enough to cover the body. (Calmet) — If God be with us, who is against us? (Haydock) — The just shall receive the sentence of eternal glory. (Worthington)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
A prayer to God against the iniquities of men.
1 Unto the end, for her that obtaineth the inheritance. A psalm for David.
2 Give ear, O Lord, to my words, understand my cry.
3 Hearken to the voice of my prayer, O my King and my God.
4 For to thee will I pray: O Lord, in the morning thou shalt hear my voice.
5 In the morning I will stand before thee, and I will see: because thou art not a God that willest iniquity.
6 Neither shall the wicked dwell near thee: nor shall the unjust abide before thy eyes.
7 Thou hatest all the workers of iniquity: thou wilt destroy all that speak a lie.
The bloody and the deceitful man the Lord will abhor.
8 But as for me in the multitude of thy mercy,
I will come into thy house; I will worship towards thy holy temple, in thy fear.
9 Conduct me, O Lord, in thy justice: because of my enemies, direct my way in thy sight.
10 For there is no truth in their mouth; their heart is vain.
11 *Their throat is an open sepulchre: they dealt deceitfully with their tongues: judge them, O God.
Let them fall from their devices: according to the multitude of their wickedness cast them out: for they have provoked thee, O Lord.
12 But let all them be glad that hope in thee: they shall rejoice for ever, and thou shalt dwell in them.
And all they that love thy name shall glory in thee.
13 For thou wilt bless the just.
O Lord, thou hast crowned us, as with a shield of thy good will.
11: Psalm xiii. 3. and cxxxix. 4.; Romans iii. 13.