Psalm lxiv. (Te decet.)
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Of the captivity. That is, the people of the captivity of Babylon. This is not in the Hebrew, but is found in the ancient translation of the Septuagint. (Challoner) — From the word canticle. (Haydock) — It is of little authority. Jeremias and Ezechiel were never together. (Calmet) (Berthier) — Perhaps the former might have put this psalm of David into the hands of the people, when they were going to Babylon, and Ezechiel might have exhorted them to recite it at their return. (Haydock) — It seems to have been composed by David, in thanksgiving for rain; (Psalm xxviii.; Muis) or some of the Levites wrote it, after God had removed the scourge of drought, with which he had afflicted the people, in consequence of their neglecting to finish the temple, Aggeus i. 4., and Malachias iii. 9. (Calmet) — David predicts the return from captivity, (Berthier) and the vocation of the Gentiles, (St. Hilary, &c.; Menochius) which the prophets Jeremias, &c., had insinuated, by the coming of the nations from Babylon, so as to forsake idolatry. (St. Augustine, &c.) (Worthington)
Ver. 2. Hymn. Or Hebrew, “Praise is silent,” (Haydock) “waiteth,” (Protestants) or “silence is praise for thee, O God.” (Pagnin) Favete linguis. (Horace) (Grotius) — “We worship Him with pure silence.” (Porphyrius, Abst. iii.) (Zacharias ii. 13.) (Haydock) — In Jerusalem, is not in Hebrew, &c., though Houbigant thinks it was originally. (Berthier) — “Only the vows of ecclesiastical religion are useful.” (St. Hilary) — Praises of those who are out of the Church, are not acceptable to God. (Worthington)
Ver. 3. O. Hebrew, “hearer of prayer,” (Calmet) or “graciously hear my prayer, till all,” &c. (St. Jerome) (Houbigant) — To thee. At the last judgment, or (Calmet) at the vocation of the Gentiles. (Berthier) (Menochius)
Ver. 4. Transgressions. These are the words of the Christian converts, (Eusebius) or of the Jews, who acknowledge that they have been justly punished with drought, for neglecting the temple and first fruits, Aggeus i. 4., and Malachias iii. 9. (Calmet) — Hebrew, “thou wilt expiate our transgressions,” which denotes Christ’s satisfaction. (Berthier) — Though the wicked threaten, we fear nothing, as long as thou wilt pardon our offences. (Worthington) — These have been the occasion of our past sorrows. (Menochius)
Ver. 5. To thee, by predestination. — House, adorned with exterior graces. (St. Hilary) — Happy the man, whom thou hast ordained, by faith and good works, to eternal life! David speaks in the name of the elect. (Menochius)
Ver. 6. Justice. Because there thou wilt fulfil thy promises, and requirest the greatest composure and attention, Ephesians ii. 12, 22. (Berthier) — Nothing defiled can enter into heaven, Apocalypse xxi. (Worthington) — Off. The Jews were dispersed into all countries, (Jeremias xxxi. 8.) and all are called to the true faith. (Calmet)
Ver. 7. Strength, or rain. The power (Calmet) and goodness of God, are described with regard to the captives, and converted nations, (Berthier) and the great works of the creation. (Worthington)
Ver. 8. Troublest. Protestants, “stillest the noise.” (Haydock) — Troubled. The most obdurate are converted from all countries. (Worthington)
Ver. 9. Joyful. People both of the east and west shall learn to fear thee; or thy chosen people shall dwell in peace, and attend the morning and evening service. (Eusebius) (Calmet) — Both morning and evening afford delight, as people may labour, or take some rest, according to their different wants.
Ver. 10. River. Hebrew, “the division,” or all the seas and fountains (Berthier) of consequence, (Menochius) particularly the Jordan, which overflows, like the Euphrates, about Pentecost, Josue iii. 15., and Jeremias xii. 5. (Calmet) — Its, the earth’s, after a plentiful rain. (Haydock) — God has wrought many wonders by water, and hath fed his people, (Exodus vii. 14., and xvi. 3., &c.) to prefigure the graces conferred in baptism, the holy Eucharist, &c. (Worthington)
Ver. 11. Showers. This gives the sense, rather than the words of the Hebrew. (Berthier) — Pastors are still preserved to feed the faithful; and all the just receive the crown of justice, at the end of their life, 2 Timothy iv. (Worthington)
Ver. 12. Crown. The crops shall succeed each other, and be abundant, Leviticus xxvi. 5, 10., and Amos ix. 13. This fertility was foretold, Aggeus ii. 20. (Calmet) — “By thy blessing, the year shall roll along, and thy steps shall distil fatness.” (St. Jerome) (Haydock)
Ver. 13. Wilderness. Or, of such places as were not ploughed. Little hay was collected, as cattle might almost always pasture. — Hills, covered with vine-trees, &c., Joel iii. 18., and Job xx. 17. (Calmet) — The most barren will bring forth fruit, and the perfect shall advance in merit. (Worthington)
Ver. 14. Clothed, with fleeces, (Haydock) or rather, shall be surrounded with sheep. Hebrew also, “the pastures shall be covered with sheep.” Houbigant would read e, for c, and translate, “the mountains shall be clothed with flocks.” But such changes require some proof, and the sense is the same. (Berthier) — All nature (Menochius) praises God in its own manner, when it answers the designs of God. Yet man is chiefly invited to sing. (Haydock) — The pastors, (Worthington) like rams, lead the way; but all the just, without exception, shall be happy in their celestial mansions, and with the utmost content, shall join in the hymns of Sion. (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
God is to be praised in his Church, to which all nations shall be called.
1 To the end, a psalm of David. The canticle of Jeremias and Ezechiel to the people of the captivity, when they began to go out.
2 A hymn, O God, becometh thee in Sion: and a vow shall be paid to thee in Jerusalem.
3 O hear my prayer: all flesh shall come to thee.
4 The words of the wicked have prevailed over us: and thou wilt pardon our transgressions.
5 Blessed is he whom thou hast chosen, and taken to thee: he shall dwell in thy courts.
We shall be filled with the good things of thy house; holy is thy temple, 6 wonderful in justice.
Hear us, O God our Saviour, who art the hope of all the ends of the earth, and in the sea afar off.
7 Thou who preparest the mountains by thy strength, being girded with power: 8 who troublest the depth of the sea, the noise of its waves.
The Gentiles shall be troubled, 9 and they that dwell in the uttermost borders shall be afraid at thy signs: thou shalt make the outgoings of the morning and of the evening to be joyful.
10 Thou hast visited the earth, and hast plentifully watered it; thou hast many ways enriched it.
The river of God is filled with water; thou hast prepared their food: for so is its preparation.
11 Fill up plentifully the streams thereof, multiply its fruits; it shall spring up, and rejoice in its showers.
12 Thou shalt bless the crown of the year of thy goodness: and thy fields shall be filled with plenty.
13 The beautiful places of the wilderness shall grow fat: and the hills shall be girded about with joy.
14 The rams of the flock are clothed, and the vales shall abound with corn: they shall shout; yea, they shall sing a hymn.