Psalm lxx. (In te Domine.)
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Of the sons of Jonadab. The Rechabites, of whom see Jeremias xxxv. By this addition of the seventy-two interpreters [Septuagint], we gather that this psalm was usually sung in the synagogue, in the person of the Rechabites, and of those who were first carried away into captivity. (Challoner) — This first captivity happened under Joakim, in the year of the world 3398, the second, under Jechonias, 3405, and the last, when the city was destroyed and Sedecias was taken, 3416. (Usher) — The Rechabites entered Jerusalem a little before the first of these events, and set the people an example of obedience by submitting to Nabuchodonosor, as Jeremias directed. (Bellarmine) (Menochius) — St. Jerome considers their being confined within the walls, as their first captivity. (E. ad Paul. and ad Rust.) — But there is nothing in this title in Hebrew, Eusebius, &c., and several copies of the Septuagint acknowledge the same; (Calmet) so that it is of no great authority. (Berthier) — The psalm contains the sentiments of the captives, (Theodoret) or of David, persecuted by his son: and in a more sublime sense, of Jesus Christ, complaining of treason and cruelty. (Calmet) — All the saints, under persecution, may adopt the same language. (Berthier) — Hoped. These three verses are almost exactly the same, Psalm xxx. Bias “being asked what was sweet to men, answered, hope.” (Laertius 1.) — Vain is the salvation of man. But hope confoundeth not, Psalm lix. 13., and Romans v. 5. (Calmet)
Ver. 2. Justice. Or mercy, Psalm xxx. 1. I have not injured Absalom, &c. (Calmet) — God avengeth the injuries done to his servants. (Worthington)
Ver. 3. Refuge. The parallel passage seems more complete (Calmet) in Hebrew, some letters of which may have been altered, since the time of the Septuagint. Yet the sense is nearly the same. (Berthier) — “Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort. Thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.” (Protestants) (Haydock)
Ver. 4. Unjust. Achitophel and Absalom. (Calmet)
Ver. 5. Patience. Confiding on thee, I lost not patience; (St. Augustine; Worthington) or rather, (Amama) all my expectations are from thee, Psalm lxi. 6. (Calmet)
Ver. 6. Art my. Hebrew, “hast taken me,” (Haydock) or “cut the navel string,” Ezechiel xv. 4. Thou hast acknowledged me for thy son, by taking me upon thy knee, as soon as I was born, Genesis l. 22., and Psalm xxi. 11.
Ver. 7. Wonder. My exaltation, (Calmet) and present misery, (Worthington; Menochius) fill all with astonishment. (Haydock) (Isaias viii. 18., and xi. 10.) — God often made his prophets bear about the signs of his vengeance on others, Isaias xix. 20. (Calmet) — Christ was a sign, which shall be contradicted, Luke ii. 34. (Haydock) — He was looked upon as a prodigy. (Eusebius; St. Augustine) — Helper. He gives all the glory to God. (Calmet) — None can persevere without his grace. (Worthington)
Ver. 9. Old age. Absalom rebelled when his father was grown old. (Calmet) — Against the dangers of our last conflict, (Haydock) Christ has instituted Extreme Unction. (Worthington)
Ver. 10. Watched. My guards, (Ferrand) or rather my enemies. (Calmet)
Ver. 11. Him. Thus the world commonly judges of those in distress. It was known that David had sinned; but none could tell that God was now punishing him rather than putting his virtue to the trial. “Upbraid not the miserable,” said Thales.
Ver. 13. Detract. Hebrew, “are satans,” or “adversaries,” during my trial. The Fathers say these are predictions, Psalm xxxiv. 4. (Calmet) — David certainly wished to spare the chief of the rebels, and he most probably speaks of his spiritual enemies. (Berthier)
Ver. 14. Praise. To perform good works, and to praise God, is the best way to advance in virtue. (Worthington)
Ver. 15. Learning. As much as to say, I build not upon human learning, but only upon the power and justice of God. (Challoner) (Worthington) — I have not leisure to write a canticle at present, as the word known intimates, Psalm xiii. 3., and lxxiii. 9. But I will do it hereafter, and record the praises which I now proclaim. Some would translate, “I know not the number” of thy mercies. (Berthier) — This sense is adopted by the Chaldean, Theod., &c. See Psalm xxxix. 6. Yet it seems more probable, that David acknowledges his inability to speak of God as he deserves, though he promises to do his best to shew the utmost respect. So Solomon confessed his ignorance, (Proverbs xxx. 2.) and Socrates asserted, that all his knowledge consisted in the conviction of his complete ignorance. If this be true with respect to human science, how much more so is it, when we speak of God, (Haydock) and attempt to dive into the holy Scriptures? (Genebrard) — David meditated on the law continually, Psalm i. 2. (Calmet) — Yet he admits, that he stands in need of a guide (Haydock) and must enter into the sanctuary, to penetrate such high mysteries, Psalm lxxii. 17. St. Augustine and Eusebius understand, that the letter of the Mosaic law is incapable of insuring salvation. (Calmet) — This text has been abused, to encourage ignorance, as Amama (p. 502.) complains with respect to the Protestant pulpits and colleges abroad. Knox gives a dreadful picture, of their universities in England. (Haydock) — “With the unlearned Anabaptists and fanatics, such may perhaps conclude, that they will thus more easily approach to God,” (Tarnov.) and “may boast, that they have been instructed in the school of the holy Spirit,” theodikatoi, “when they boldly ascend the pulpit, and adduce texts from Scripture, it matters not whether right or wrong.” (Amama) — Is not this generally the case among those who broach new religions? (Haydock) — Vatican Septuagint reads, pragmateias, “mercantile affairs.” But the Vulgate follows the edition of Aldus, &c., grammateias. (Berthier) — A similar variation occurs, 1 Esdras viii. The former reading is adduced by the Fathers, and by Gelasius, (dist. 88.) who hence condemns clergymen engaging in merchandise, (Amama) as it was contrary to their calling: and formerly at least, very dangerous for any honest man. (Haydock) — David had not received a polite education, and he disapproved of Achitophel’s worldly prudence. (Menochius)
Ver. 17. Till now. Here the stop should be placed. (Berthier) (Calmet) — The verb may also be explained in the past time, “till now I have declared.” (Berthier)
Ver. 19. The great things. Thou hast even punished the rebel angels. (Menochius)
Ver. 20. Me. Hebrew, “us.” Yet Protestants, &c., retain the singular, as the context requires. (Berthier) — Earth. To which I seem to be consigned, (Haydock) being in the greatest distress. It may be understood of Christ’s return from hell, and from the grave, Psalm lxviii. 17. (Calmet)
Ver. 21. Thy. Hebrew and Syriac, “my.” Thou hast raised me to the highest honours. St. Augustine, &c., read “thy justice.” (Calmet) — Houbigant prefers the Vulgate. (Berthier)
Ver. 24. Meditate. Or, utter my most serious reflections. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
A prayer for perseverance.
1 A psalm for David. Of the sons of Jonadab, and the former captives.
In thee, O Lord, I have hoped, let me never be put to confusion: 2 deliver me in thy justice, and rescue me.
Incline thy ear unto me, and save me.
3 Be thou unto me a God, a protector, and a place of strength: that thou mayst make me safe.
For thou art my firmament and my refuge.
4 Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the sinner, and out of the hand of the transgressor of the law, and of the unjust.
5 For thou art my patience, O Lord: my hope, O Lord, from my youth.
6 By thee have I been confirmed from the womb: from my mother’s womb thou art my protector.
Of thee shall I continually sing: 7 I am become unto many as a wonder, but thou art a strong helper.
8 Let my mouth be filled with praise, that I may sing thy glory; thy greatness all the day long.
9 Cast me not off in the time of old age: when my strength shall fail, do not thou forsake me.
10 For my enemies have spoken against me; and they that watched my soul have consulted together,
11 Saying: God hath forsaken him: pursue and take him, for there is none to deliver him.
12 O God, be not thou far from me: O my God, make haste to help me.
13 Let them be confounded, and come to nothing, that detract my soul; let them be covered with confusion and shame that seek my hurt.
14 But I will always hope; and will add to all thy praise.
15 My mouth shall shew forth thy justice; thy salvation all the day long.
Because I have not known learning, 16 I will enter into the powers of the Lord: O Lord, I will be mindful of thy justice alone.
17 Thou hast taught me, O God, from my youth: and till now I will declare thy wonderful works.
18 And unto old age and grey hairs: O God, forsake me not,
Until I shew forth thy arm to all the generation that is to come:
Thy power, 19 and thy justice, O God, even to the highest great things thou hast done: O God, who is like to thee?
20 How great troubles hast thou shewn me, many and grievous: and turning, thou hast brought me to life, and hast brought me back again from the depths of the earth:
21 Thou hast multiplied thy magnificence; and, turning to me, thou hast comforted me.
22 For I will also confess to thee thy truth with the instruments of psaltery: O God, I will sing to thee with the harp, thou holy one of Israel.
23 My lips shall greatly rejoice, when I shall sing to thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.
24 Yea, and my tongue shall meditate on thy justice all the day; when they shall be confounded, and put to shame, that seek evils to me.