Psalm lix. (Deus repulisti nos.)
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Changed. Psalm xliv. Title, Psalm xv., doctrine explaining what will be the progress of the Church. (Menochius) — It seems to have the same import as understanding, in other titles, but here is of little authority. (Berthier) — It has no connexion with the psalm, which seems to have been written before David had obtained the sovereignty over Israel, (Houbigant; ver. 8) or it expresses the sentiments of the captives, (Calmet) and of Jesus Christ, and his Church. (St. Augustine)
Ver. 2. Set fire. Hebrew, “fought against Syria of Mesopotamia, and Syria of Soba.” (St. Jerome) (2 Kings viii. 10.) (Haydock) — Twelve. Abisai slew 18,000, perhaps on another occasion; (1 Paralipomenon xviii. 12.) so that this title does not contradict history. (Menochius)
Ver. 3. Off. Chastising thy people frequently under Moses, &c. (Berthier) — On us. Redeeming mankind, which thou hadst condemned, for the fault of Adam, and giving us a more abundant grace, Romans v. 9. (St. Hilary) — Thou hast treated us like a good physician, (Deuteronomy xxxii. 39.; Calmet) chastising us for our sins, that we might improve in virtue. (Worthington)
Ver. 4. Moved. He personifies the earth, which had fallen into the hands of the Chaldeans, (Calmet) or had experienced various commotions under Saul, &c., (Haydock) which he denotes by the mention of an earthquake. (Menochius)
Ver. 5. Sorrow. Hebrew, “muddy,” such as is given to slaves or malefactors, (Matthew xxvii. 34.) mixed with myrrh, or venom. Literally, “wine of trembling,” (Calmet) or soporiferous. (St. Jerome) (Haydock) — All these expressions give the idea of something disagreeable. (Berthier) — The people became penitent, or were astonished. (Menochius)
Ver. 6. Warning, to amend, (Worthington) the sign of the cross (Calmet) in baptism, (St. Jerome) or confirmation. (Eusebius) — It was customary to erect a pole, on which some signal was placed, in case of invasion, Isaias v. 26., and xi. 12., &c. (Calmet) — Bow. Hebrew kossoth, (Haydock) as St. Jerome, &c., have read, though the present Hebrew end with t, less correctly, and is explained, “because of the truth.” (Calmet) (Berthier)
Ver. 7. Save me. The king praying for all. (Menochius) — St. Augustine reads, me, (Calmet) though the Vulgate does not here express it. (Haydock) — Hebrew, “save thy right hand,” the people, or man of thy, &c., Psalm lxxix. 18. (Calmet) — Hear me. Hebrew, “him.” But the margin has, me. (Haydock)
Ver. 8. Holy one, Jesus Christ, (Eusebius) the prophet, (Menochius) the sanctuary, (Calmet) or oracle. (Worthington) — He had promised that the captives should return in seventy years time, Jeremias xxv. 11., and xxix. 10. (Calmet) — Sichem. (partibor Sichimam….metibor.) These two verbs are sometimes used for partiar and metiar, in ancient authors. — Tabernacles. Hebrew, “succoth.” (Berthier) (Genesis xxxiii. 17.) — It may also signify the Arabs, who lived in tents. (Menochius) — David’s dominion extended over these nations, (Haydock) and the captives at Babylon hoped to recover them, as the Machabees did. The kingdoms of Juda and Israel were no more divided, (Isaias xi. 13., and Jeremias xxxi. 8.) to shew the unity of the Church.
Ver. 9. Head. This tribe was at the head of the kingdom of Israel, but submitted to David, (Haydock) and afforded excellent soldiers and captains. (Calmet) — His temporal kingdom was extended by God, who will crown his elect. (Worthington) — King. Hebrew, “law-giver,” alluding to Genesis xlix. 10. Symmachus, “my general.” (Calmet) — The word king implies all this. (Haydock) — Juda always swayed the sceptre. (Berthier) — After the captivity, Zorobabel was at the head of the people. Jesus Christ sprung from this tribe, and is the true king of the people, whom he has redeemed, and put in possession of the land of promise. (Calmet)
Ver. 10. The pot of my hope; or my watering pot. That is, a vessel for meaner uses, by being reduced to serve me, even in the meanest employments. (Challoner) (Worthington) — Plautus (Mort. ii. scen. 1. 40) says, Ego vos pro matulâ habeo, &c. Symmachus adopts the sense of the Septuagint amerimnias, as réts, in Syriac means “to trust,” (Daniel iii. 28.) and “to wash” in Hebrew. It was customary to throw lots into a pot full of water, and that which came out last was most esteemed. To this custom the psalmist may allude, (Calmet) or he hoped that the fruitful region of Moab would supply him with food. It was subject to David, (2 Kings viii. 2.; Haydock) and to the Machabees, 1 Machabees v. 6. — Shoe, to be untied, or carried, as by the meanest slaves, (Matthew iii. 11.) or to take possession, Deuteronomy xi. 24. Thus “Alexander threw a javelin, and danced on the shore of Asia, begging that those lands would not receive him unwillingly for king.” (Diod. Arrian. Justin.) — David conquered Idumea, (2 Kings viii. 14.; Haydock) as Hyrcanus did afterwards. (Josephus, [Antiquities?] xiii. 17.) (Calmet) — Foreigners, alienigenĉ, or, “Allophyli.” (St. Augustine) — “Of another tribe.” (Haydock) — So the Philistines are called, who had no kindred with the Israelites; whereas the Edomites, Moabites, &c., were originally of the same family. (Challoner) — Subject, or “friends,” Psalm cvii. 10. (Calmet) — Protestants, “Philistia, triumph thou, because of me.” Marginal note insinuates this is spoken “by irony;” but (Haydock) Hebrew properly means, “make an alliance with me;” or, Syriac, “I will shout for joy over Palestine.” This country was subdued by the Machabees, (1 Machabees iv. 15.; Calmet) as it had been tributary to David, 2 Kings viii. 2. (Berthier) — “I will make a league against the Philistines.” (Houbigant)
Ver. 11. City. The capital of the aforesaid counties, or Jerusalem; (Calmet) but more particularly Petra, (Haydock) the strongest place in Idumea. (Menochius) (Abdias, 3.) (Berthier) — The Fathers understand the Church. (Eusebius)
Ver. 12. Off? God punishes and rewards. (Worthington) — And wilt; or, “yet thou wilt not,” &c. (Haydock) — Thou wilt not depend on our efforts for victory. (Bellarmine) (Menochius) — How can we expect to make such conquests, being in so forlorn a condition, when thou dost not lead forth our armies, as formerly? All that man can do is vain, but thou wilt look down upon us, and through God we shall do mightily, ver. 14. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
After many afflictions, the Church of Christ shall prevail.
1 Unto the end, for them that shall be changed, for the inscription of a title, to David himself, for Doctrine, 2 when he set fire to Mesopotamia, of Syria and Sobal; and Joab returned, and slew of Edom, in the vale of the salt-pits, twelve thousand men.
3 O God, thou hast cast us off, and hast destroyed us; thou hast been angry, and hast had mercy on us.
4 Thou hast moved the earth, and hast troubled it: heal thou the breaches thereof, for it has been moved.
5 Thou hast shewn thy people hard things; thou hast made us drink wine of sorrow.
6 Thou hast given a warning to them that fear thee: that they may flee from before the bow:
That thy beloved may be delivered. 7 Save me with thy right hand, and hear me.
8 God hath spoken in his holy place: I will rejoice, and I will divide Sichem; and will mete out the vale of tabernacles.
9 Galaad is mine, and Manasses is mine: and Ephraim is the strength of my head.
Juda is my king: 10 Moab is the pot of my hope.
Into Edom will I stretch out my shoe: to me the foreigners are made subject.
11 Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?
12 Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go out with our armies?
13 Give us help from trouble: for vain is the salvation of man.
14 Through God we shall do mightily: and he shall bring to nothing them that afflict us.