Psalm lxi. (Nonne Deo.)
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Idithun, to sing. (Worthington) — He was one of the chief musicians under David, 1 Paralipomenon xxv. 3. The psalm may be explained of David, persecuted by Absalom, (Calmet) of the Machabees, (Theodoret) &c., or of Christ, and his Church. (Calmet) — St. Jerome considers it as a piece of excellent morality, (Calmet) and this may suffice, without referring it to any historical fact. (Berthier)
Ver. 2. Subject. The just is resigned, though he feel like other men. David found a sort of resentment against the rebels, arising in his breast, which he presently repressed, by the thought of God’s will, 2 Kings xii. 11. (Calmet) — He fears nothing, because his soul is subject to God. (Worthington) — Hebrew, “silent.” (Haydock)
Ver. 4. Fence. This may refer to the persecutors, who resembled a leaning wall. (Berthier) (Isaias xxx. 13.) (Calmet) — Protestants, “ye shall be slain all of you, as a bowing wall shall ye be,” &c. He threatens them with speedy destruction, (Haydock) or represents to them the baseness of attacking a man ready to fall. (Calmet) — He informs them, that their attempts will be in vain, though they be very numerous, and he himself apparently so weak. (Worthington)
Ver. 5. Price. Septuagint, St. Hilary, &c., “my honour.” They wish to dethrone me, and to represent me as unfit to govern. — I ran. Septuagint edramon, “they ran” likewise, as Hebrew implies, and as the Greek Fathers generally explain it. David thought proper to flee, that he might be at a distance from traitors, 2 Kings xv. 14. His enemies sought his destruction. (Calmet) — They wished to deprive him of the reward of his labours; but he ran more earnestly. — Blessed. Flattery is very dangerous. (Worthington)
Ver. 8. God. The multiplicity of titles shews the prophet’s love. See Apocalypse v. 12. (St. Augustine, Conf. i. 4.) (Berthier)
Ver. 9. All. Hebrew, “always, O people.” Septuagint seem to have read, adoth, for heth. — For ever. Here Selah is translated, (Berthier) though it be not in Septuagint, &c. David exhorts his followers to address themselves to God, with compunction and confidence. (Calmet)
Ver. 10. Liars. They are so vain and light, that if they are put into the scales, they will be found to be of no weight; and to be mere lies, deceit, and vanity. Or, they are liars in their balances, by weighing thing by false weights, and preferring the temporal before the eternal. (Challoner) (Proverbs xi. 1., and xx. 10.) — They give false judgments; be not concerned; God is our protector. (Calmet) — God’s servants strive to draw others to the practice of virtue. (Worthington) — All sinners (Haydock) will not outweigh vanity itself. (Menochius)
Ver. 11. Them. Let the rich assist their needy brethren; and you, my followers, beware of enriching yourselves, by unjust rapine, during this civil war. (Calmet) — Raise your thoughts to something better. (St. Augustine)
Ver. 12. Once, by the generation of his word, (St. Augustine) or when he promulgated the law, Exodus xx. 6. (Berthier) — God’s word is invariable, (Worthington; Job xxxiii. 14.; Menochius) and will be put in execution. (St. Ambrose) (Tirinus) — This he has often inculcated. (Vatable) (Job xxxix. 35.) Amos (i. 3.) uses three and four, in the same sense. (Calmet)
Ver. 13. Works. We must therefore refrain from every injustice. (Haydock) — God spoke once by Moses, and again by his own Son. Both the Testaments confirm the certainty of rewards and punishments, (Berthier) as God is able and willing (Worthington) to execute his decrees. Luther, followed by the Dutch, translates, “as he merits;” to which expression, concerning the just, Amama objects. (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The prophet encourageth himself and all others to trust in God, and serve him.
1 Unto the end, for Idithun, a psalm of David.
2 Shall not my soul be subject to God? for from him is my salvation.
3 For he is my God and my Saviour: he is my protector, I shall be moved no more.
4 How long do you rush in upon a man? you all kill, as if you were thrusting down a leaning wall, and a tottering fence.
5 But they have thought to cast away my price, I ran in thirst: they blessed with their mouth, but cursed with their heart.
6 But be thou, O my soul, subject to God: for from him is my patience.
7 For he is my God and my Saviour: he is my helper, I shall not be moved.
8 In God is my salvation and my glory: he is the God of my help, and my hope is in God.
9 Trust in him, all ye congregation of people: pour out your hearts before him: God is our helper for ever.
10 But vain are the sons of men, the sons of men are liars in the balances: that by vanity they may together deceive.
11 Trust not in iniquity, and covet not robberies: if riches abound, set not your heart upon them.
12 God hath spoken once, these two things have I heard, that power belongeth to God,
13 and mercy to thee, O Lord; *for thou wilt render to every man according to his works.
13: Matthew xvi. 27.; Romans ii. 6.; 1 Corinthians iii. 8.; Galatians vi. 5.