The Psalms, part 1.

J. N. Darby.

(Notes and Comments Vol. 3.)

Part 2.
Part 3.
Part 4.
Part 5.
Part 6.
Part 7.

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{It may perhaps be noticed that some of these notes on the Psalms are very similar to those given in a paper entitled "Heads of Psalms." The footnote to that paper sufficiently explains the reason for passing it over as not really representing the author's thoughts. The present notes are taken chiefly from his Hebrew Bible, and are consecutive, and evidently in one special line of thought. To these have been added some notes found in his English Bible, and in one or two notebooks only. There is nothing that is not manifestly in Mr. Darby's own handwriting, and the MS. bears no trace whatever of additions by another hand. In the present "Notes" therefore nothing has been omitted, and nothing interpolated.}

It is a very important point indeed as to the understanding the application of the Psalms, that, in the Psalms, as remarked elsewhere, when sufferings from men are spoken of vengeance is always called for by the speaker. In Christ's life historically there never was a trace of this but the contrary - on the Cross He prays they may be forgiven - in His lifetime rebukes the disciples for thinking of it, as not knowing what spirit they were of. It is evident that this is of the greatest weight in our judgment of the manner of application to Christ.

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There is another very important point I notice. In every way the first Book is characterised by Christ's position when on earth. The first two Psalms no doubt take up the Remnant, and the purpose of God as to Christ, Son of God and King in Zion, but He is seen as rejected in fact, and all the Psalms go on from this point - in that part closing with His place as Son of Man, Jehovah having set His glory above the heavens. But, all through, Jehovah is looked to in the celebration of what takes place, not King Messiah on earth. The only allusion to it is in Psalm 18, where all the history is gone through, but the subject is His humiliation, and the latter part is prophetic of His David victorious character. But Christ's glory is heavenly (as Psalm 21) as a thing celebrated, and Jehovah the Deliverer.

In the second Book we have Him as the King, forming the centre of the first part of it in Psalm 45, and then Jerusalem is delivered. Psalm 51 starts afresh, not with confession of sins against Jehovah, but with blood-guiltiness, i.e., Christ's being put to death, and thence all is "God" not "Jehovah." Psalm 68, Christ has been exalted, and the Lord God is to dwell among them, and the summons of Numbers is used for the dispersion of all enemies. In Psalm 69 we have Christ's sorrows down here in connection with Israel - Israel grown old (David) is not to be forgotten, and the King's son, Solomon, is set up in the millennium. It is Messiah, Son of David, and Jewish deliverance, not Christ's heavenly exaltation on His rejection - that had taken place, and was, for Jah, Elohim dwelling among the rebellious.

4 The first Book is the gospel view of Christ's position on earth and on high - such as Peter might preach.

The second Book is prophetic, and the cast out Jews, with whom He has had sympathy, looking for restoration.

The third Book, as often noticed, is the general expectation of Israel (as well as Judah) where blood-guiltiness indeed was not. They are in the land, as in Isaiah 18, but suffering under the Gentiles and the judgment of God, but conscious that God has interfered in their favour, judging "among the gods," the lofty ones "set in slippery places," and they going up to the tabernacle of God, or at least looking to it with desire - Zion, the centre of all their hopes, His foundation. In the last two Psalms of the Book we have the distress of the soul, though looking to Jehovah for salvation, under the terrors of the Law, and the sure promises of David in grace, and faithfulness in Christ as remarked. "Holy One" (verse 19, Psalm 89) is the singular of the word translated "mercies" in verse 1.

In the fourth Book we have Jehovah, Israel's dwelling place always. But now they have been long afflicted, and they look for present mercy in a short life from Him with whom time is nothing. In Psalm 91, "Most High" being the supreme and millennial name of God, the question is "Which is the Most High?" He who can tell will have the blessing of Abraham's God. The godly man, Messiah especially, takes Jehovah; and Israel, and Jehovah Himself own the secret of faith, and blessing is found. This introduces, in the well-known secret which follows, millennial blessing and glory. But it is "Jehovah" who comes, "Jehovah" all through; Psalms 101 and 102 bring in Messiah as Man, but owned at the end of Psalm 102 as Jehovah Himself. All this is remarkable. As in Daniel 7, so everywhere, this wonderful truth of Christ being Jehovah shines out more and more in Old and New Testaments. In 1 John, for example, there as God; Psalms 103, 104, 105, 106, the ways of Jehovah - first grace and mercy with Israel, then Creation glory, and judgment to deliver them - His faithful mercy from Abraham - His mercy to them after failure, and looking to Him for restoration - Psalm 101, and partly 102; it is Jehovah, not His anointed.

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5 I think we shall find, all through the Psalms, two classes - one, the faith which looks to God, and trusts Him, and pleads for an answer in righteousness - and the second, the cry out of distress, and in distress of heart under it, though the principle of faith be in the cry. I remember attributing the former more to Christ, the latter to the Remnant. Now in the spirit and character of these this is true, but the exclusive distinction of them to one or the other is wrong. They are all the Remnant, only in two different aspects - only one more fully and directly the Spirit of Christ; though in Gethsemane He did cry in distress to God.

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The connection with the Jewish Remnant is ever more clear, and more important to me in the Psalms - Christ identifying Himself with that Remnant, important because it is His character as Christ with Jehovah, which is necessarily modified in the Gospels, never indeed directly presented, because He is Son of Man and Son of God there, and Emmanuel if He is in the midst of the Jews, and Jesus. (The only place He directly declares Himself "the Christ," is in John 4, to the woman of Samaria.) Hence the difference, as often remarked, of the desire of judgment, and the grace which is in the Gospel.

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The clue indeed to the Psalms is to see the Remnant in the presence of the day of the Lord. God will then execute His judgment in order to set His Son King in Zion. Thus also we learn how far Christ has taken a place amongst them, or at least has one.

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It is clear that the Psalms address themselves naturally to a people in relationship with God, to a people under the law, though they may be driven out; only keepers of it are distinguished. They present the godly Remnant, and the heathen raging against Jehovah and His anointed. But there is no morning Star in Psalm 2, naturally. Note how very clear the character and resulting position of the Remnant, and Jesus rejected, exalted as Adonai (Lord) and finally reigning, is in Psalms 1 and 2. The Christian place left out, but what a place it does give us! Compare Psalm 110 as to Adonai's place, and then Isaiah 6.

6 Thus the Psalms not only suppose a godly Remnant, distinct from the mass of the nation, but suppose the deliberate hostility of the ungodly, Satan-led party against Messiah, and the godly who follow Him, so as not only to give the latter-day state, but also that of the time of Christ, and hence so much, besides direct prophecy, applies to Him as to the moral state - not as to Him personally perhaps, but as to that in which He was, and the Spirit which animated Him in it, for indeed His Spirit had provided for them, and He came and put Himself in their place. This arranged opposition is important to remark in the Psalms.

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The Psalms - so Hannah's song, etc., are the first introduction of the Remnant, on the failure of judicial and priestly economy, under Jehovah as their King - the only right thing short of Christ, and therefore introducing, in the hope and joy of the Remnant, at once the King, the Anointed (for prophecy was but a ministration of testimony) - Samuel when weaned from his mother, to be "before the Lord for ever."

So all the Psalms are testimonies not of the Spirit from Jehovah to the people, but the Spirit of Christ in the Remnant towards Jehovah. You may sometimes see it speaking in the prophets as in Christ and them, but it is always prophetically - "I fed the poor of the flock," "I and the children which God hath given me are for signs and wonders, etc." - so that it is still the same prophetic testimony; they knew that it was the Word of the Lord, but here it is the effect in the believing Remnant, and therefore in its highest character in Christ, which place, that He might be in them by His Spirit - take His place among them and lead them in Spirit, He expressly takes in Psalm 16, which is just its force.

This gives a special and interesting character to these Psalms; it amounts to prophecy when it is the actual expression of Christ's Spirit in the circumstances in which He was to be placed; still it was what He felt, and not what was declared about Him. "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption" - we are not aware how. It is taking Jehovah as God that is so marked in the Psalms; i.e., the God of the Jews as the true God, "Who is God save Jehovah?" The Lord quite merges this. There are also often, I should add, answers by the Spirit to Messiah, so placed as in the Psalms, and expressing His mind holily therein; and also identification of Him with Jehovah, as in the New Testament with the Father.

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7 The more we seize the idea that it is the Jewish Remnant with which Christ, entirely Man yet shown to be Jehovah, identifies Himself, the more we shall seize the meaning of the Psalms, and understand the path of Christ Himself. Thus even in Psalm 16, where we have the life of Christ in its divine principles so distinctly and blessedly brought forth, still He is among Jews and fidelity to Jehovah characterises Him, see verse 4. Note the characteristics of this life. First He takes His place as Man, properly Man, and trusts in God, counting Jehovah as His Lord, and taking His place among the saints. Jehovah is the portion of His inheritance and His cup - Jehovah counsels Him, He blesses Him for it - He sets Jehovah before His face, and trusts His help, whatever come, even through death which did not affect this life nor Jehovah's power - He looks up the path of life to Jehovah's presence.

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In the first Book Christ is presented in His title of righteousness, and, according to the counsels of God, association with the Remnant pointed out, and its state, and then the full result in the counsels of God, Psalm 8 - then Christ in the place He took, Psalms 16, 17 and 18 - the thoughts, feelings, judgment of the saint, and, at the end, how Christ came down into the place He did, setting aside the Jewish figures, and laying the ground of righteousness Himself. The result and holy wisdom of owning Him is in Psalm 12.

8 The second Book is somewhat different, though there is an analogy. It begins not with Christ but with the condition of the Remnant, and hence has more for its subject the facts of the latter day, Israel being driven out. The change takes place by the introduction of a triumphant Messiah, and the Remnant thereupon in renewed relationship with the God of Jacob. Psalm 49 is a commentary or improvement founded on it. But then the great public meaning of all the great scene of God's dealings is brought in - God judges His people and the world - He gathers those who come to His covenant by sacrifice, the Jewish ones being set aside as of any avail - the Remnant come in on the confession of their guilt in the death of Christ, and then sacrifices of righteousness are offered. The internal state is thus gone into - the outward oppression and inward state of the Jews, as judged by Christ and displayed in Judas and Antichrist, see Psalms 55, 56, 57 and 58; but God comes in in answer to all this, and the state of things is judged, and blessing comes from Him who is power.

But then another truth is brought out - the exaltation of Christ, His ascension, and thus the full blessing and triumph of Israel is brought in; but for this (Psalm 69) the humiliation of Christ, and the conduct of the Jews is brought out. The appeal of Christ, and His connection with Israel, deprived of strength, is presented to us in Psalms 70 and 71, and His Solomon reign in Psalm 72. The details will come hereafter. In Psalms 62 and 63 Christ is against introduced - He waits on God, and desires God when there is nought else, and no access to the Sanctuary.

In the third Book, God, good to Israel, to such as are of a clean heart, is the theme. The public attacks of the outward enemies in the latter day, the judgment of God, and Christ's taking part in the sorrow and in the burden and curse, are brought out in order to complete deliverance in Psalm 89. He (Psalm 87) being reckoned to Sion as her Son, who then does not shrink from comparison with all the world's glory.

But the third Book requires some further remarks. There can be nothing without Christ. But Christ is not the subject of this as in the two first, neither as the direct object as in Book 1, nor as the answer to need, as in Book 2. Christ was among the Jews, and here we get back to Israel, who can have nothing without Him, and all whose hope is founded on Him. But Christ was among the Jews, not in Israel, properly speaking. Here then we have not David, save in Psalm 86 and perhaps two others. But Asaph, and the spirit, and subjects of the psalms are different - not the sorrows and sufferings of a sympathising Messiah, and a Remnant associated with Him, but grace giving to Israel what they had forfeited, and hence the former deliverances of God referred to - the account of the loss of all by their conduct - the calling of David - still His throne cast down too. Hence the inroad of outward enemies, against even restored Israel, is narrated. But great principles of God's dealings and government are brought out, "Truly God is good to Israel" - there is favour and grace. But the distinction of those clean in heart is made. Faith is tried by the prosperity of the wicked, which the sanctuary alone explains. God's judgment explains all, Psalms 75 and 76; in the latter, Christ also will take the seat of judgment.

9 Meanwhile ancient deliverances are referred to, which were of grace, and of all Israel, as Psalm 77 and the whole of Psalm 80. Psalm 78 explains how and why they had been judged, and the rejection of the natural Heir, and God's electing grace the means of bringing in blessing. In Psalm 81, the new moon of Israel's restoration appears - it recalls again deliverance from Egypt, and again we have judgment of the judges, and the last inroads. In Psalm 86, where we find David, and Christ identifying Himself with Israel and its sorrows, it is as God's witness against false gods, "All nations . . . shall come and worship." In Psalm 87, He is reckoned to Zion; in Psalm 88, He bears the whole wrath against the people; and in Psalm 89, He centres all Jehovah's mercies for them in Himself, on which the appeal for the intervention of Jehovah, according to His promise to David's seed, is founded.

The fourth Book rests, for the full blessing of Israel, on the unchangeable and eternal character of Jehovah their God. In eternity God, He had been in all generations their dwelling place. Upon man's changingness, and vanity of life, and the stability of the being of Him, with whom a thousand years is but as yesterday when it is passed, the Spirit of Christ in the believing Remnant turns to look for His redemption who had always been their dwelling place. He had set their secret sins in the light of His countenance - His anger consumed them - they look for mercy. It is the introductory cry founded on the faith which looked quite back, and to Jehovah as always their dwelling place.

10 Then comes the return to the names in which God revealed Himself to Abraham, and the enquiry where the secret place of Abraham's God was - where faith found Him. Messiah declares He takes Jehovah, i.e., God's relationship to Israel, as that place. From these two Psalms the Book closes - only (Psalm 102) the rejected Messiah is found to be this very same enduring Jehovah, the same Eternal God in whom was Israel's trust.

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I have no doubt that in the Psalms we find a full setting forth of the condition of the Remnant in the last day, and so in principle in all times, and then Christ taking part in this position (for in all their affliction He was afflicted) but without therefore excluding them or their part in it. It is His entering into theirs, sometimes rising up to historical facts, sometimes entering merely in Spirit into their sorrows, but when even it rises up into historical facts, not therefore proving that all the Psalm is historically or personally referable to Him. It still is His place with the Remnant of Israel who are the direct proper object, though He may enter into their circumstances, and even the details, in which He did that, be brought out. It is always directly, and per se the Remnant. The Remnant had to come and be baptised by John the Baptist - Christ came too where they had all thus come, takes His part and place with them, but it was with them, not His place. Then we have the fact as to Himself, and many important historical circumstances - the heavens opened - the descent of the Holy Ghost etc. - but we have the divine comment, in this case, that it was in no way His place, but He fully entered into it with them in grace. It was, in Him, fulfilling all righteousness, perfect obedience and perfect grace. Of course He took on His heart and spirit all that they were under, feeling it as He alone could - but He took it. Now, as regards the Psalms, this comes out with clearer light, and interesting details thus.

The two first Psalms we have long seen to be a kind of preface, but this bearing, I think, is yet to be more clearly brought out. We have, I think, the two parts of the subject of the whole Book of Psalms - a righteous Remnant in the midst of sinners, and the counsels of Jehovah as regards His King in Zion, the Son, on the earth. In general this I have noticed, but I mark here that they are given as two distinct subjects; "the righteous" (Psa. 1:6) is plural - there is a way that belongs to them in contrast with "the ungodly." Psalm 2 brings out Messiah in the proper dignity of His earthly Person without any other connection with men, only that He is born of Jehovah on the earth - He is Adonai - the Son - the Anointed of Jehovah - King in Zion (the heathen, His inheritance, to be broken in pieces as a potter's vessel) - to be trusted in (which is due only to Jehovah) - associated with Jehovah when He is raged against. No doubt men will rage against Him, but so they will against Jehovah, and that in the same time and spirit, and He as sitting in heaven laughs at them.

11 Then we have the righteous in the midst of sinners in Israel, but these last will not stand in the judgment, nor in the congregation of the righteous when gathered, i.e., the character and position of the righteous, and, in Psalm 2, Adonai Messiah.

But in fact He, who should be King in Zion, was to suffer, because the righteous were suffering, and He entered into their sorrows, but as the righteous One, for it is into the sorrows of the righteous He entered. The baptism of John is important as characterising this as His position at Psalm 10. Psalm 11 shows His own proper position from the beginning. What we have to seek in the Psalms, and find is the position of the righteous, because it is into that Christ entered. This is the whole that is presented at the beginning, but another question does arise when the Remnant comes before God - the sins of the people were there, not sin in purpose, or will, but in guilt, and that arising from an evil nature. This sorrow and guilt Christ had to take - but to take. This is not brought out in the commencement, we will notice it in its place.

The great basis is laid in the outset - the righteous in heart and Messiah - and then Messiah's entrance in fact into the sorrows of the righteous, and righteous sorrow. David naturally furnished the evident occasion for this in his history, though not alone. Psalms 3-7 present this position of the righteous man into which Christ is entered, i.e., its trials. In Psalm 3, He looks to God in Zion, the hill of His holiness - to Jehovah in the midst of the many that rise up against Him; Jehovah is His help, and He will bless His people. In Psalm 4 the God of His righteousness, Jehovah, has chosen the godly man - the light of His countenance suffices; Psalm 3 is trust, Psalm 4 is righteousness. In Psalm 5 in this spirit He views His enemies, but God, such as He is, will bless the righteous, and faith looks that those that trust in Him shall rejoice God's character is distinctively applied to the ungodly on the ground of the two last.

12 In Psalm 6, the Remnant, the godly man, pressed by the wicked, pleads with God that His anger, due to the people, should not rest on him; in the midst of enemies he has the consciousness of what is due to the people, and looks at God's anger as bringing down to death - then the wicked would triumph, but the Lord hears him and he is delivered from his enemies. Into this sorrow too of the righteous man in Israel, pressed by the power of enemies, Christ fully entered. He was minded and obedient to be born into the midst of it, but not in the midst of it. This Psalm is still the condition of the godly man - the Remnant - into which Christ enters with perfect sympathy. He who sympathises with sorrow has not the sorrow, but has a nature and a place in which He is capable of entering into it.

In Psalm 7 the righteous man on the ground of his righteousness, i.e., as integrity and grace, not self-righteousness, but in respect of God's government, and such there is, calls for judgment. Psalm 6 was the governmental judgment of Jehovah, thus bringing death - Psalm 7 is its application, after chastening, to the setting aside the wicked. Thus the assembly of peoples would surround Him. He calls on God therefore to take His just exaltation to Himself. It is here Christ is properly seen, i.e., as Jehovah. In Psalm 6, the people put themselves, intercessionally, under the judgment of Jehovah in presence of enemies - in Psalm 7, they claim it against their enemies, see verses 8, 9. The last days are in view here, but it is rather the great principle than the circumstances. The righteous, in general, will be delivered from death in that day. Death has no way the character of atonement here, but the result of divine government, as to which God's intervention, in favour of the righteous, but on the ground of mercy (chesed) is claimed. Further on we shall see that Christ had to go through death as the real Sinbearer. But here death is pleaded against in connection with the government of God.

It may be remarked that it is not a personal confession of sin here, but the soul, oppressed by enemies, and looking at Jehovah's anger and displeasure, cries to Him for deliverance, that the oppression of the wicked may not take this character. The righteous man is suffering from man, and he pleads against death from the hand of Jehovah. He looks to God to be for him, and not against him in his trouble. It is the cry of distress, not of confession, though where one was liable to meet with anger and displeasure. In result Psalm 6 is the righteous man, or one of the Remnant in the height of his distress before God.

13 Psalm 8 closes this series, as the two first had laid the foundation of it in principle - closes it by the result in divine counsel; but here also it is the godly Remnant who celebrate deliverance on the earth, in which the name of Jehovah is displayed. He is their Lord, His name excellent in all the earth, and He has set His glory above the heavens. This is surely Christ; compare 1 Timothy 3:16. He had shown His divine, though hidden, power in using the mouth of babes to proclaim it in presence of all the power of the enemy. This, as He was Man, brings on the question, What is this provocation? - that you pay attention to Him; hence we have the way of the exaltation of Christ, as Son of Man, answering to Psalms 7:7, and 8:1. The Creation is subject to Him - all things. The blessed Remnant who have trusted Him, see Psalm 2:12, which none should do in any but Jehovah.

Now turn to His actual present earthly glory, fruit of but bearing out the heavenly, which had been already unfolded just before. It is remarkably full, as regards the Person of Christ, in Jewish connection. Thus the whole scene of the groundwork of relationships, as to the government of God, is brought out in these Psalms. The need, and the redemption that met it, is not touched on. It is, so to speak, the historical and personal condition in its great elements. Mercy is looked for in God - righteousness is laid, as ground in man, as against enemies - the righteousness of God is looked to - the upright in heart He saves - He judges the righteous. The wicked are objects simply of judgment, to faith - they are workers of iniquity. In the close, the Jehovah - Christ, Son of Man, is the sole object of thought.

In Psalms 9 and 10, the details of the latter day are entered into, and the judgment of the wicked, and the heathen who perish out of Jehovah's land. It is the positive, historical bringing out of detail. These form, like Psalms 1 and 2, an anticipative preface for the Psalms on to the end of Psalm 18. In Psalms 11, 12 and 13, we have the expressions of the faith, and feelings of the godly in these circumstances. Psalms 14 and 15 are rather the expression of a spiritual judgment on the wicked, and the character suited to those who, in the end, will abide in God's tabernacle.

14 Note here in passing, that Elihu does not speak of Satan, nor of anything he has to say, to Job, but of God's ways in the suffering of His saints. So it is indeed God who begins the matter as to Job. So Christ goes through the whole power of Satan, of which He had to be sensible, for our sakes, right up to God, instead of complaining and speaking against God, like Job, and takes the cup only at God's hand; but thus it became properly judgment from Him. Job goes through the process as it meets him, i.e., as he is when he meets it; and this is always our case, therefore indeed it is God sends it. So indeed did Christ, but then He was perfect.

Psalm 16 is the first in which Christ takes directly and personally a place amongst men - I need not say Psalms 2 and 8 both refer to Him, but here He takes the place. Psalms 2 and 8 have presented Christ - the others the circumstances and sorrows of the Remnant, entered into by the Spirit of Christ, and the general principles on which their relationship with God is founded, and the feelings connected with it in those wrought in by the Spirit of God - the position as such, and the feelings connected with it. But in Psalm 16 the Lord personally puts Himself in this place; so the Apostle indeed quotes it in Hebrews 2:14. The children partook of flesh and blood, so likewise He.

Hence the Psalm gives formally, and definitely, the true character of the Lord's association with men in the flesh. He takes the place of, and expresses human dependence - He is a man trusting in God. In this position what place does He take? He looks to the God of Jacob, to Jehovah, and owns Him as His Adon or Lord. His goodness does not reach up to Jehovah, as He said to the young man, "Why callest thou me good? None is good but One, that is God." He takes this place - He has, "being in the form of God, emptied himself" - who could indeed have reason to say it, but one who might have claimed it in Himself, for it is goodness? He says to the saints on the earth, "the excellent, in them is all my delight." This place He takes too - He takes one, that is, with the saints on the earth, the godly in Israel. This, as we have seen, was publicly shown in His baptism by John. The poor of the flock going there, was the first movement of so acting on God's appeal, and then He associates Himself with them, but then He shows Himself wholly dependent on Jehovah. He will not hear of any other than Jehovah, nor name their names. He is a Man dependent on God - a godly, faithful Jew, associated with the godly - the lines are fallen unto Him in pleasant places, He has a goodly heritage. He has set Jehovah always before Him - He is at His right hand, He will not be moved - even His flesh would rest in hope, for He trusted to Jehovah for His resurrection - He is His chesed, His pious, godly One, and as Man He could go up to His presence where is fulness of joy.

15 I have entered on this Psalm because it is that in which Christ takes, and unfolds His place amongst the Jews.

In Psalm 17, I have no doubt we find the Lord again, but here He is in presence of enemies, and we find (v. 2, "us") that it is more His position in connection with the saints, and as it will be in the last day. He pleads for a sentence from God's presence, as hearing righteousness. There is dependence - God's word also is His guide - but it is more one who finds Himself in the midst of circumstances by reason of what He is, than one taking a definite place. The enemies are fully in view, and He pleads His practical righteousness. Hence the result is seeing God's face in righteousness. Christ is surely found here, but it is not so much Christ taking His place definitely in the midst of the people.

Psalms 9 and 10 having given us the latter day state of things, and Psalms 11-15, the thoughts and feelings of the godly Remnant in respect of that state of things; the fact that Christ had taken this place among the godly, and thus identified Himself, the perfect One, with their interests in the difficulties and trials they had to go through with their enemies, is evidently of the last importance. This introduces Psalm 18 - a most remarkable Psalm, in which the subjection of Christ to the full sorrow of death, while trusting in Jehovah the God of Israel, is the ground of the deliverance of the people from Egypt, till Messiah's final victories and dominion over the heathen. The Psalm is directly David's, and professedly so, but takes in the history of the people, and with, and as centre of it, a Messiah suffering to death, and finally triumphant over all.

This closes this second division, commencing with Psalm 9. In what follows, we have an enlarged view of God's ways and testimonies - Christ's sufferings - His condition of dependence and glory, in which He is owned as Jehovah of hosts. After the complete series of testimonies, and their effects and results, in Psalms 19-22, we have the full character of dependence in going through all on earth, when the earth, as to present power, is not the Lord's; and, when the earth is the Lord's, what the glory is of Him who was thus dependent. Then again come the various sentiments, founded on these two great principles, as to Christ, Psalms 22, 23.

16 Psalm 16 is then Christ personally, perhaps beyond all others unless Psalm 2, and alone so, as regards His taking His own place among the Remnant on the earth. Psalm 22 gives us Christ I need not say, but here His place is already taken, and He is bearing the consequences of it for others. But in Psalm 16 He has His own place with God, not that of others in grace. In Psalm 17 we have the consequent association with others in the path of righteousness, in which He has entered, in the midst of the power of evil. Psalm 16 is what He is with God - Psalm 17 is His place consequent on His taking that amongst men. He would not have the world, but would be satisfied with God's likeness - but this is equally true of us as awaking in His. Psalm 16 can apply to none else but Himself - it is, as I said, His own place; being in that, He can enter into every sorrow.

The order I apprehend of these Psalms is thus: the two first form an introductory theme. Then to the end of Psalm 7, the thoughts and feelings of one of the righteous Remnant the effect of the position into which Christ entered - the result is Psalm 8, where He shines as the heavenly Centre. Then the details of the latter-day circumstances are given as a preface; Psalms 9, 10. Then we have the expression of the faithful Remnant's thoughts, and this closes with the distinct revelation of the way in which Christ took His place amongst them - His own personal place.

In Psalm 17 it is His pleading, in righteousness, as connected with them in His life. It is Israel - the Remnant in sorrow - but Christ having taken His place with them. This is sympathy. But in Psalm 18 the Lord takes the place of the Remnant, upright as an Israelite, and goes down into the sorrows of death, not as expressing the expiatory pain, i.e., as under divine wrath, but as crying to Jehovah under its power on His soul - "the sorrows of death," "the sorrows of hell." His place is amongst the Jews. He is heard out of the temple. In truth, actual death is not spoken of, but its sorrows - Christ having come in when all the power of evil unto death could wage its war against Him, as the Remnant will be in the last day. Gethsemane represents it in time, more than the Cross. It is consequently applicable in its effect to the deliverance of the Remnant from going down to the grave. Indeed this deliverance by Jehovah is looked at all through - He walks in integrity - wrath for forgiveness we shall find further on.

17 Faith and uprightness for deliverance in the full power of evil in man, and from Satan who has the power of death, we find here. Christ is recompensed according to His righteousness, not according to His death here - He is not heard from the horns of the unicorns here, but He enters into the full power of death - not wrath for the deliverance of others from that which He went through - the power of Satan, and man under his power.

The only expression difficult in the Psalm is "mine iniquity," v. 23. Clearly Christ had none, so that the force of it is what we have to seek. His position still applies here - all that others had failed in, He keeps Himself from, calling it His as that about which He was come, by which He was tried, thoroughly tried - the iniquity of the nature and position, i.e., of man and Jew, but without having the least taint of it in Him, but tempted in all points He never let in, He was pure where all else failed. His calling it His is not, I think, vicariously here, as it most certainly is not personally, but His keeping from, as not letting in, anything through which He passed, and which belonged to the position He had taken. Hence, when He took it, the sorrows of death compassed Him. The prince of this world, having nothing in Him, only showed, as an instrument, His love to His Father and His obedience, and was the unwitting instrument of Christ's passing through what, by its excellency, and His own spotless title to liberty from it, made available to others; and this was in the purpose of God. And the whole of the blessings in the history of Israel, from the deliverance out of Egypt to the final victories of Messiah, rest on this as its tide, and this is what this Psalm shows. It is just what Psalms 9 and 10 made necessary.

Note, this connects itself with the government of God, in and through Israel, not on redemption, properly so called, which goes much deeper, though this comes in many principles to the border of it. It will be found consequently that judgments and power are the consequence of this, not blessings and fruits of grace - in Psalm 22 there is, on the other hand, nothing else than these last. David's history, and deep sorrows, and triumph gave the admirably adapted occasion to the prophetic entering into this, not only as history, but as in spirit entering into it Himself, and in sympathy with the people. The connection of this with the government of God, and the power of the prince of this world is of the last importance in itself, and to understand the Psalm. This completes, I apprehend, this chapter, so to speak, of the Psalms.

18 There are many expressions in the Psalms which are true of the writer, or of anyone in like sorrow, but which yet have their accomplishment in the highest degree in the case of Christ - these Christ has applied without making the Psalm a prophecy of Himself.

Psalms 19, 20, 21 and 22, as we have often remarked, is a complete subject in itself - the testimonies of God; the first - Creation and the Law; the two next - Messiah seen by the Remnant in His human sufferings, and then, seen glorified, He is great in the deliverance of Jacob's God, Jehovah. He has "length of days for ever and ever," in reply to the life He asked, and He is made most blessed for ever, exceeding glad with Jehovah's countenance.

This is very much Peter's preaching. Note, not only in Peter's preaching does he not preach Christ as the Son of God, but the exalted, rejected One, but in the first Epistle he never calls Him Son of God, indeed in the second only in recalling the transfiguration, and hence Christ viewed as on earth, as James also does not, nor the Sacrifice either. The suffering Messiah as Man could be, and, in the suffering, is exalted. Now Psalm 22 gives not Christ suffering from man, though that is there in full, but from God - forsaken when in His sufferings, and His heart melted like wax in the midst of His bowels - forsaken of God. Hence, as Psalm 21 was judgment on His enemies, this is grace for all - it speaks of the Remnant, all Israel, the ends of the earth. Here we get the immense and infinite moral truth of suffering from God. He, who knew no sin, is made sin, and drinks the cup of God's wrath - makes His soul an offering for sin. There is a complete glorifying of God in respect of the question of good and evil, in the whole universe, in respect of the nature of God Himself. The enemy does his worst, and man (in Christ) suffers his worst - in grace - and God's wrath against sin is poured out. Hence love unhindered can flow out - God's being what He is, have its full sway and blessing.

19 It is not righteous judgment, against unrighteous man, executed against human despisers in governmental power. It is the question of good and evil settled in man, and God glorified. But it is not here bearing iniquities, nor substitution in the sense of its application to individuals - that also was accomplished here - but it is another aspect of this one great act, on which all hangs and in which God is glorified. It is Christ solving the whole question of sin between Himself and God. It is not the mere sorrows of death, as in Gethsemane, but the wrath of God. But it was Christ Himself dealt with as to sin, or the question of sin dealt with in Him - I mean as contrasted with bearing individual's sins.

Before the consequences, in the experience of the Remnant, and their relationship to God are entered on, another doubly-connected character of Christ is brought out. But this such that the spared Remnant are concerned in it. Still it is Christ, and has its accomplishment only fully in Him, and it is a passage which shows that though earthly glory and blessing are looked to, still resurrection must come in, so that to the dying believer it has a higher signification, but it takes the great principle viz: neither death nor sparing, but the security of faith through all. Jehovah is the Shepherd of faith. Hence, come what will, there is confidence. The only effect of passing through everything is to know it better. It is not what the sorrows are, but what God is for faith in them, which is presented; restoring the soul does not hinder its application to Christ, because it was from sorrow and trouble not necessarily from sin, as John 12.

Dwelling "in the house of the Lord for ever" is, though true for us in heaven, His title on earth in Psalm 23 - Jehovah is Shepherd when evil is there. In Psalm 24 the earth itself is His, and then He, who was in faithful dependence and obedience, enters into the house of the Lord as King of glory, Jehovah of hosts, i.e., that the lowly, dependent, obedient but perfect Christ of Psalm 23 is the Jehovah of glory entering into the house in Psalm 24.

Then the Remnant is brought in in this double character - integrity in the midst of evil, and guilt before God. Here we find what a ground the offering of Christ lays for their return to God. Here first, remark, the important fact after Psalm 22, we get the confession of sins, and that in the first Psalm of those which again enter on experience; Psalm 25. A soul waiting on God in the presence of His enemies who have a right, so to speak, to bring shame on him because of his sins, but would do it in malice oppressing God's people, but a soul trusting in what the Lord is as good, ready to teach sinners in the way, and a Friend to the meek, helping them into His way - these paths which are mercy and truth to them that keep His covenants and testimonies. A soul who as to its present purpose, could plead its integrity - a soul who was bound up with Israel's blessing, and looked for Jehovah's redemption of them from all his troubles. I do not think mercy and truth are thus brought together previously either - we have mercy in Psalm 6, otherwise it is pleas of righteousness. This Psalm states the whole ground, experimental ground, on which the faithful Israelite is in the latter day. It is, in this respect, a very important Psalm.

20 As Psalm 25 acknowledges the sin, so Psalm 26 pleads the unfeigned integrity, and seeks not to be shut up with the ungodly of that day. This Psalm is important as forming the other part of the ground on which the residue rest, alluded to, in the preceding, to complete the picture of the sentiment there developed, but not its subject. Here thorough integrity, appealing to Him who searches the reins, is the subject of the Psalm. Hence counting, according to Psalm 1, to stand in the congregation - "I will walk in mine integrity," he says, but it is in the time of trial and trouble, for he adds, "redeem me and be merciful unto me." These two Psalms form a preface as to the state of the residue - confession of sins, and the plea of integrity - in the presence of enemies. We have got now, historically, into the condition of the Remnant - their position we had already - the principles and groundwork of their experience are here laid.

Now, having confessed his sin, and placed himself on the ground of integrity before the Lord (and the confession of his sin comes first) he can look the enemies in the face. Jehovah is his light and salvation. A camp of enemies would not make his heart afraid - it will just be the means of lifting up his head above them - in the hour of trouble, Jehovah would hide him in His pavilion. The secret of this was, looking to Jehovah, and the earnest desire to dwell in His house - see His beauty, and enquire there. This he could do - it was founded on the invitation from the Lord to seek His face - surely then that face would not be turned away - on Him he waited. This is a supplementary, introductory Psalm to the other two.

21 In Psalm 28 he cries in distress - if Jehovah does not interfere he will be like one going down to the pit. He prays not to be drawn away with the wicked - his heart rejoices in the Lord's hearing. Here we find the Spirit of Christ entirely, leading the cry of the Remnant. "The Lord is my strength," "The Lord is their strength" - "The saving strength of his Christ" - "Save thy people," it closes. It is not that Christ is personally with them, but He was, and has fully, identified Himself with the sorrow and position of the Remnant, and they are to count for deliverance on Jehovah's interest in Him, just as Martha did at the tomb of Lazarus. Then He showed a further present thing, but in a way that went on to the time we are here speaking of. I apprehend that this connection is taught in Psalm 27:8, "My heart" (Jehovah's) "said unto thee: Seek ye my face - thy face, Jehovah, will I seek."

Psalm 29 summons the mighty, in the confidence of faith, to acknowledge Jehovah, and to own Him in His temple - Him who, supreme over all, gives strength to His people.

Psalm 30 celebrates the deliverance, and entire dependence on Jehovah; life here is preserved to the Remnant.

Psalm 31 turns back into the depths of trouble, when, but for Jehovah, life is despaired of (v. 22) but Jehovah is trusted in. Integrity is pleaded, but the depth of sorrow is entered into, so that in articulo mortis Christ could use the words of faith of this Psalm, only saying "Father." The Spirit of God gives the experience of the faithful as the ground of encouragement. Yet compare here the difference of Paul in 2 Corinthians 1 - he, coming after Christ's death, and knowing the power of resurrection, says, "I had the sentence of death in myself, that I should not trust in myself but in God who raises the dead: who delivered us," etc. Thus, when despairing of life, it was not counting on Jehovah to spare it in crying to Him, but counting himself already dead, and reckoning on resurrection. We see the difference of the Christian place, but Christ had to go through this first, and hence He could enter into the position itself, and did, which was yet on the other side of the Cross, i.e., before passing through it, when man looked at it as coming up to it. Alas! how many souls rest there! Indeed He alone, of course, fully went through it, though others may pass through the shadow of it.

22 We now come to another, and all important, turning point of the condition of the living man looking for deliverance - Psalm 32 - the blessing of the forgiven man, of the one who has opened his heart fully before Jehovah - made his full confession - no self-justifying - no silence which made his bones wax old. All was brought out - Jehovah's only object was to bring to integrity of heart, and truth; when this is wrought in confession, all is forgiven. The ground has been fully laid in Christ; Ps. 22. Then God guides in the way. Hence, because of this mercy and forgiveness, the godly come in an acceptable time - they are preserved in the great waterfloods - only they should not be like horse and mule, to be forced and held from falling. In fine, mercy shall compass the righteous. This Psalm is a turning point of the state of the Remnant. It is furnished here to them, not that they may have all reached it, but to show them the path, and produce the confession. It forms the very ground on which they can go on in integrity - where sin is, confession must be, to have integrity; but where no forgiveness is, confession cannot be but for judgment. Hence all hangs here on this, as to the state of the soul.

Psalm 33 takes it up in joy, and celebrates Jehovah, and unfolds His character in favour of the righteous Remnant.

Psalm 34 in a softened and more confiding spirit, seeing that Christ had been heard, will bless at all times, even though in sorrow; verse 20 has had a literal fulfilment in Christ. It must be remembered that all these sentiments are divinely furnished here to the Remnant - the sense in which individuals may use them is another question.

Psalm 35. Here we have full and true sense of the power, and wickedness of evil, and he looks for judgment against the oppressive wicked. Here Christ enters into all, with sympathy with the Remnant - these are looked at, and even tested by their sympathy with Him. Christ pleads in Spirit for judgment, which will be the deliverance of the Remnant; one of these would easily see that Another than himself pleaded, but that it was his own deliverance that was the result of its being heard. This Psalm takes up the ways of the wicked.

Psalm 36. Here we have the extent and character of it, in contrast with the righteous. "No fear of God" was the secret of the wicked's ways - nothing could be hoped for. But this cast on Jehovah Himself - there, there was no end to mercy, no limit to power. Sweet surely it is, to trust in Him!

23 Psalm 37 takes the character of an exhortation for these times, as indeed for all. It shows the just path of the righteous in the day of trial. What is to stay his heart in passing through it? Nothing can be more distinct than the promises of the land to the faithful Remnant, on the cutting off of the wicked, in this Psalm; it shows, most distinctly, what the proper application of these Psalms is to the Remnant in the latter day.

In Psalm 38, the question of God's anger coming on the Remnant for the sins of the people is brought in, when they are in the depth of their distress. Still the hope of faith is in God - confessing the sin and bowed down with it, but therefore appealing to God as the only resource; on Christ this burden did come for the nation's sins.

In Psalm 39, he is nearer God - quieter - and sees the sorrow, and consuming that is upon him, as God's hand, but in chastening. All man, and the world, is vanity.

Psalm 40. Christ here celebrates His own deliverance - but in connection with Israel and the earth - "Praise be to our God." He had been faithful in testifying what God was in the midst of Israel - He desires their blessing, Himself poor and needy - He has indeed taken the iniquities of all the Remnant on Himself, and calls them His, and appeals, in the trial that then comes on Him, against His bitter enemies. The application of this Psalm to the incarnation is known, but it is in connection with Israel, and He appeals to God's righteousness to show mercy, and deliver on the ground of His faithfulness. It is after this faithfulness that He speaks of the iniquities taking hold on Him. He looks, through it all, to the driving back of the wicked, and blessing of the just Remnant who look to Jehovah.

Psalm 41. I have no doubt that in this Psalm also Christ speaks. He is above all the poor whom one is blessed in considering. He applies it in the Gospels, we know, to the poor of the flock also. Of course He considered them, but He was the poor One above all - the heartlessness of all against Him, even His familiar friend, is brought out. In both He waits for the Lord. These two Psalms, closing the Book, show Christ entering into the Remnant's sorrow, perfect in His ways, and then coming under iniquity, though it is for the people and their blessing on earth here, but He had a body prepared to come and take their sorrows, and in fine their sins. He is in the midst of the wicked in Israel, but righteous there, and the desire of the Remnant is, not to be drawn away with them. This is His whole connection with the people, and in Jerusalem.

24 The second Book has a different character - Christ is seen outside the nation, and the Gentiles are there, in evil power, mocking at Jehovah's relationship with the Jews, and their hoped-for protection. I suspect that the occasion was much as Absalom and Adonijah. But then necessarily Christ, risen and ascended, because the deliverance by judgment in power, makes part of the whole scene, not merely an appeal to come in as the only hope. It begins with the outcast Remnant, the evil being in power, but the throne is to be set up by judgment.

The fact of the ungodly Gentile power having cast Him out is brought distinctly out as a basis in Psalm 42.

In Psalm 43 the state of the Jews themselves is declared. This lays the ground of the whole. Remark that there is more confidence, more simple, holy desires here than before. The extreme of evil, in separating the Remnant from itself, has freed it from the distressing effect of the presence of evil, and they can look straight to God in desire, without the intervening cloud of what man is, around. In Christ this evil only proved the more His patience, but the difference of position remains true, and how true it is even for us, though the process may be painful. The sorrow connected with it is expressed by the Remnant in Psalm 44, such was their condition, cast out - as regards this world, it is ours, with Christ as a starting point, see verse 22, and Paul's application of it. Then the result of the intervention of Messiah in judgment is stated in Psalm 45.

In Psalm 46, God is then found to be with them - the Remnant are the people.

In Psalm 47, Jehovah takes His place in and over the earth.

In Psalm 48, Glory is established in Zion - what they had heard (Psa. 44), they have now seen. This closes the historical presentation of this period. Psalm 49 is the moral commentary on it all.

In Psalm 50 we have the judgment on Israel for their moral condition.

Psalm 51 is their confession of Christ's death - for return to God, the old sacrifices are useless.

25 Psalms 52-54 are the spiritual judgment of the situation, when evil is there. In Psalm 52, the strength of man is judged; in Psalm 53, the state of Israel as apostate from God; Psalm 54, the source of the believer's hope.

Having the whole scene before us, in the Psalms which follow, the feelings of the Remnant, and how Christ takes His place in the midst of this scene, are unfolded, resulting, when the old age of Israel (David) seemed to make hope pass away through the last evils, in the setting up the throne of Solomon - of the son of David in peace and in glory.

Remark how, in Psalm 63, God Himself becomes the object of the soul by its being thus cast out.

Psalms 65-67 give the feelings, not as under the evil, as the previous ones, but the hope, anticipation, and celebration of the deliverance. The former will be the comfort - these the encouragement of the Remnant in the latter day.

Psalms 68 and 69 evidently bring out the great foundation, both of the glorious deliverance, and cruel sorrows of Israel, leading, on God's part, to the former in the exaltation and sufferings of Christ.

Psalms 66 and 67, having spoken of the restoration of Israel by judgment, and then the outgoing of the blessing to the nations, on the establishment of it in Zion, Psalm 68, in a very remarkable manner, shows how the heavenly exaltation of Christ is the cause and way of it; but it is the blessing, at the same time, of Israel's God of old. The Psalm begins with the words with which the camp of Israel anciently set forward, God going at the head of His people. It was His journey, as with Amalek His war - hence the wicked perish before Him, and the captives are delivered, and the righteous rejoice - He blesses the solitary and multiplies them. This is then directly referred to what God was in the desert. The pride of the Gentiles, "ye high hills," is apostrophised, the angelic glory displayed - Jehovah among them - but, how this? He has gone up on high! Here we find at once Christ exalted as Man, though He be the same Jehovah. But this is not all - He has led captive the power of the enemy who ruined all - conferred blessing, and as Man, and in His human nature, He has received gifts - even for rebellious Israel, that Jehovah Elohim might dwell among them. This restores Jehovah to Israel, i.e., He can bless, and dwell among them, or indeed Israel to Jehovah. This is the result then celebrated, and which the earth is called to own. The Strength of Israel is in the clouds, but it is the Jehovah who rode in the heavens of old.

26 The whole of Psalm 69 shows the righteous One in presence of human evil and wrong. The position contemplated is, Israel under the rebuke of God. They are driven out, and the enemy triumphs at Jerusalem, yet the righteous had their sorrows, as being Israel at heart. The moral position is the one we have always seen of the Remnant - confession of sin, and assertion of integrity at the same time; into this Christ surely entered as bearing their sorrows, and so far can speak of their sins, but the position is that of the Remnant. On the other hand, the expressions of integrity and sorrow, though general, have found their fullest, and in some parts literal, accomplishment in Christ, for He entered, in the most perfect way, into the sorrows of the Remnant, whether as walking amongst the people as He long did, or cast out as He was at the close; and hence, from His last journey, when He walked no more openly among them, takes up the sorrows of the cast out state. This went on to the close of all, but is not Atonement nor divine wrath, but sorrow in which He takes part - verse 26 is not, I am well assured, atonement but chastisement on Israel, governmental punishment in which Israel will be in the latter day, as we have seen in Psalms 20 and 21 (compared with Psalm 22). It is not grace, but judgment demanded. God had smitten Israel - the wicked triumph over him; Christ in grace enters into this place, and they triumph over him. But it is the people's wrong which is the great subject here, leading to the exaltation of Psalm 68.

The atonement on the Cross brings grace - the blood speaks better things than that of Abel, while, in government, it is on the Jews and on their children; we must always make this distinction. Yet Christ's entering into their sorrows (expiation being made) is the cause and way of their deliverance, through His exaltation as the Poor among the people, see here verse 32; so also Psalm 34:6; compare Peter's preaching to Israel, Acts 3 - with Christ's intercession, "they know not what they do."

It would be impossible to maintain confidence with the consciousness of sin, if the Lord had not afforded these Psalms. The Remnant, by the same action of the Spirit, enter into the sorrow come on Israel for their sins, and own their desert of God's chastisement - and there is so far the eulabeia (fearing, godly fear), Hebrews 5:7 and 12:28, and which Christ was heard in - and have the consciousness of their integrity, and the earnest desire to keep God's law, and to glorify Him. The more faithful they are, the more opposition they find from men, the more consequently they feel the awful state of the people, and feel it as theirs for they are of the people. So Christ, perfect in His integrity, takes in grace this place of distress for the people's sin. This Psalm is a striking example. It is the voice of Israel - Christ entering into it - David no doubt as instrument, but attuning the melody for the Remnant, which Christ alone could sing in its perfectness, and which He could, because He atoned for the wickedness for them, and between them and God, and had no association with it in His own Person or individual place. The following Psalms bring out Israel in this condition of sorrow at the close of their history. The glory of Messiah's reign in Psalm 72 is evident.

27 Psalm 69 however brings out another element - that though there is perfect sympathy and entering into the condition, yet He takes it on His heart alone. He takes the sorrow on Himself - no one enters into His feelings about it, though He for all. This is the true spirit of grace - to bear alone for others what others do not even know we are bearing, for their good - the credit of it all with God alone; see verses 4 and 5.

I think we may easily see when the Lord entered into the present realisation of His position as rejected - no doubt He really always was. This, as a great truth morally, John begins with, but we read, "From that time Jesus began to teach his disciples, the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation," etc. He then began to tell them what He surely knew, but He lived, so to speak, at first, in the presentation of Himself to Israel, saying "Blessed are the eyes," etc. (Luke 10:23, 24), at the close in His rejection by Israel He was forced to say "Woe, woe." The transfiguration was a turning point - it was the new glory in answer to the sufferings. And so the return of the twelve from their mission - He then desired the twelve to say no more that He was the Christ.

However note in all this, though no doubt it included all, yet the suffering is looked at as from "this generation." The atonement part, therein accomplished, was between Him and God. It required the Holy Ghost to make that clear to the disciples, though indeed He told them it was so. It is well to note this - that the great mass of Christ's sufferings were human sufferings - the perfection of them, but human which try, form, or prove perfectness, but are not in themselves atonement. This, as we have seen in Psalms 20-22, the Remnant, as such, did not enter into, yet Christ suffered the governmental consequences of sin, and in heart, taking them on His heart for Israel; but here it is suffering with them, i.e., as they will suffer - leading their thoughts in this for them. It is only after, when they see Jesus, that they see the real atoning power of His work. "They look on him whom they pierced" - till then they cried to Jehovah under the pressure of governmental discipline of sin, suffering at the same time because of their integrity. It is this place that the Lord constantly takes in the Psalms - identifying Himself perfectly with Israel, i.e., the godly Remnant. His atonement, as we have said, must be between Him and God alone - hence we have so seen it in Psalm 22, where He speaks Himself, and the result is all grace, not merely governmental. Here the indignation and wrath comes in without an atoning character - "In all their affliction he was afflicted, the Angel of his presence succoured them." Atonement comes by substitution, a different thing from being afflicted in their affliction, and succouring them. So when we read of "rebuking in wrath," "chastening in sore displeasure" we have governmental. The very sense which Christ had of the favour of God, even in connection with His people, made this terrible to Him; hence it runs on even into His death, and the ungodly nation are the instruments of it as well as the heathen - it is in every way His "own familiar friend."

28 Now the circumstances of Christ's life were so ordered, that they were a personal realisation of all this, and here the Psalms become, when the Spirit reaches this point, personally prophetic, but do not leave therefore the position of Israel, because it is "in their affliction" He is afflicted. Atonement is quite another work. Wicked men are the instruments of the former sufferings, yet, in the way of government, they are wrath and indignation from God, or may be for me - I may suffer for righteousness. This we find at the beginning of Christ's life, independent of chastening on Israel, but into this Christ entered in Spirit, because He identified Himself with Israel. He came, apart from the sin, as a "Holy thing" born, and as holy was capable, in love and grace, to enter into it in the power of that love and grace, but then He came as a Man so as to feel it Himself, but with the Remnant who felt the sorrow of it, and owned the cause - the sins of Israel; for the confession of sin is the spirit of righteousness. We have already seen this displayed in John's baptism, to which Christ thus came as a witness that it did not concern him, but that He fulfilled righteousness in coming to it. This gives its full character to this position.

29 Hence there are three characters of suffering - for righteousness, from man - chastening where every human sorrow can find its place as an instrument, and when faithful zeal for God therefore brings the Remnant into the sense of the condition of Israel, makes the sin and sorrow sensible - and thirdly, suffering for sin - atonement - in which the human malice had so far a place that it was complete - having no resource but in God, which brought up the soul to the consciousness that it was forsaken, then the just wrath of God against sin as such having to be borne; but here Christ was alone, and got outwardly into this loneliness, because none could pursue the path of faithfulness, in sorrow, up to the point where this was met. "They all forsook him and fled" - He "looked for some to take pity, but there were none"; it was denial, or betrayal if it went further. Thus these two characters of suffering run into one another, as wrath against sin - governmental, or other, is always against sin - but they are essentially, and completely, and most importantly distinct. Substitution comes in here, not sympathy, and suffering with, in grace, but suffering for. The latter is solely divine work. In the former we can have part, and, on the other hand, suffering under it for our good. This Psalm does not rise up into atonement, but into the circumstances of it.

Indeed this is one of those Psalms which show how impossible it is to separate the Jewish Remnant of the latter day and Christ Himself, and how, besides atonement, He has given a ground for hope to them in their sorrows, by passing through and out of them (though for us, this is more by death in His case) yet out of them, being "heard in that he feared."

First in verse 26 we read, "They persecute him whom thou hast smitten, and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded." Next, "God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah," so that it looks directly to the deliverance of the latter days. Yet it speaks of the death of Christ, as is clear - yet it speaks not of God's judgment against sin, as divine wrath. It looks for deliverance from death as the Remnant will do, see verse 31, verse 32 also. He is coming to the verge of, and into that which was bringing death upon Him - on man's part, the human circumstances of it. When He refers to life, it was zeal for God (v. 9) and suffering the reproaches which fell on God, and sorrow for man's state, which brought mockery. Christ enters into all the governmental chastisement of man for sin, and in which Israel will be, i.e., the Remnant, and while, looking at it as coming from God's hand, He had got into this, His life was suffering for God's name's sake; and He is coming into this dark place as Israel will in the last day; but this is still from man's hand, and God is appealed to to save Him from death. It was not at all His forsaking - He looks to be delivered, and so will praise. His having separated from the wickedness of Israel has brought Him into deep waters, and He does so because He feels that wickedness, and owns it in view of God's government, verse 5.

30 But His cry was in the "acceptable time" - His adversaries are all before God - He looks to Him not to hide His face. The adding of "Those whom thou hast wounded," makes it evident that it is not divine wrath, as borne vicariously, but the sorrows which Israel will bear, viewed as faithful and yet under the rod. It is chapter 50, not 53, of Isaiah. He interprets what He suffers from man as the rod of God, and so as to Israel it was. So, according to Psalm 94:12, 13, when the hour of Satan's power came, the Lord entered into this. He must take His place here. It was the cup His Father was giving Him to drink - He takes it from none - He takes all this smiting of people, and enemies, as Jehovah's. He was taking this place for the sins of Israel, and they exult over Him. It is not the cup, but He has taken the place of drinking it, and they rejoice to profit by His bowing His head to it (they seeing but the outside - that He was no longer preserved) to heap every injury upon Him. This is what the Lord feels in this Psalm. But this is entirely a different thing from divine wrath against sin - Psalm 94 could not apply to that, and say "Blessed." Hence, as we have seen elsewhere, He looks for judgment as the consequence of it.

It has been remarked to me, and I believe it is true, that there is never in the Psalms any sentiment such as is expressed in the Lord's words, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." The first word of the sentence would perhaps explain it. It is not a title of the Psalms, and Christ was there consequently in His own relation of grace. This opens a wide field of instruction.

31 Note also Psalm 94:12, where we have the view which faith takes of the class of trials through which the residue pass at the close, as suffering from the wicked, yet because of their own wickedness, yet at the same time upright in heart. They are chastened, and instructed out of the law. He is suffering under the triumph of the wicked, but looks through this as God's hand and chastening. Into this Christ fully entered in Gethsemane, and all His last sorrows, though there was much more there. And we learn there what His entering in was. The wicked did outwardly triumph over Him - they said "Aha! Aha! So would we have it." He trusted in God - perfect in integrity to God meanwhile - so that the reproaches of them that reproached Elohim fell upon Him. Yet for that reason, suffering in the midst of the wicked, yet entering into the sorrow of the place in which Israel was, because of their sins. Only Christ entered voluntarily, in love, into this place; and all that the sorrow effected, while yet "He learned obedience by the things which he suffered," was to bring out His perfectness. Yet He did get there "the tongue of the learned," having His "ear wakened morning by morning." Israel must go through this to be purified and taught - Christ glorified God in it. Still He went through the sorrow - His voluntariness, and obedience in it, set Him at the head of the people. Psalm 94 is faith's view of the position, not sorrow, and distress's cry under it.

But I return. The Third Book of the Psalms is the unfolding, for faith, of the whole state of Israel in the latter day. I say "Israel," because here the people, as a whole, are looked at as historically viewed before God, the result in deliverance being brought out. Psalm 73 states, as it were, the whole case - the condition for faith of the people in the latter day. "The sanctuary of God" explains the whole case to the heart. The enemy enters destroyingly into the very sanctuary - terrible thought for those that loved Israel, and trusted Jehovah, disowned; Psalm 74. But then, Psalm 75, God is the Judge, and the horns of the wicked will be cut off. And this will take place (Psalm 76) in Judah - Israel - Salem - Zion; there God will make Himself known.

32 Psalm 77, if the heart of the poor believer thought they were forgotten for ever, this was his own infirmity - he should turn to the past days of the Lord. But, Psalm 78, there had indeed been ways, in judgment, to maintain His truth and righteousness amongst the people; they had wholly failed in this, and God had raised up David in sovereign grace. The series of Psalms then returns to the sorrows of the time. Psalm 74 seems more the enemies in the land - Psalm 79 is now the outward open attack of the heathen who have taken Jerusalem, but the deliverance of God would bring praise forth in the people.

Psalm 80, God, as known in His throne on the ark of the Covenant, behind the cherubim, is entreated to visit the vine He had planted, but which is now torn down, rooted up. In this, the "Son of Man," "the Man of God's right hand" is looked for. This is a very remarkable passage. Thus they look to be turned again, and God's face to shine upon them.

In Psalm 81, the new moon of Israel has appeared, but then God shows He has dealt with them according to His own character. They had only to open their mouth wide and He would have filled it. Had they hearkened, they would have been always blest, but that they had not done. God only mourned over the sorrow they had brought upon themselves.

Now He stands, Psalm 82, among the mighty, and judges among the judges, and faith can say, "Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations."

Next, in Psalm 83, the final confederacy of external enemies of the neighbourhood of the latter day - by their destruction Jehovah is known as "Most High over all the earth"; Asshur is there.

In Psalm 84, they can go up to Jerusalem, and find their joy in the temple of the Lord, as a sparrow to the nest.

In Psalm 85, Israel is brought back, but they have much yet to seek from the Lord. But at least the perfect ground of reconciliation and blessing is laid - "Mercy and truth are met together" - God's grace can fulfil the promises - truth springs out of the earth, for there they are filled, but not in connection with the law or human righteousness. This looks down from heaven - blessing is in Israel, guided in their steps by the Lord.

In Psalm 86 we have the poor in spirit looking to the Lord.

In Psalm 87 Zion, fully owned by the Lord, is distinguished, in presence of the cities of all worldly greatness, by the registry as her born-citizen of the righteous Man there. It is the place of glory and blessing.

33 In Psalms 88 and 89 we have Israel's governmental state under law, and, as to the promise, in David. Wrath is felt (Psalm 88) according to the position of Israel (God full of mercy, and yet not holding the guilty for innocent) as placed under the mediation of Moses, after the golden calf but under law. In the end mercy and truth will meet, we have seen, and righteousness look down from heaven. Under the effect of wrath, as under God's government (for it is not a question of personal salvation) Israel finds itself, and justly, at the close. This the Remnant feel, and this Christ entered into fully in Spirit. The sentiment of this, His Spirit here expresses for Israel. It is, I repeat, the governmental condition of Israel under the law.

Then Psalm 89 gives us the mercies and faithfulness of Jehovah in connection with the promise made to David, and David's Son, to David's throne, to be chastened if needed and not forsaken. But now it was overthrown and laid waste. Verse 19 points out, in perspective, Christ - read "Of thy Holy One" (chesed) He who resumes in His own Person the mercies (chasdim) of verse 1. Under law there was no hope, but here there was an assured promise, though all was, at the time, laid low, but it was just this, through grace, which drew out the appeal to promise, see verses 49, 50. Hence mercy and faithfulness are sung of. I apprehend verses 50, 51 are just the voice of the Remnant who cling to the hope of the promise to the throne and Son of David, and bore the reproach which was heaped upon it by all the mighty of the earth. It is needless to say that Christ entered into this, for it was because He went so low, that this reproach came upon those who identified themselves with the hope of the house of David.

We see too, in this Psalm, how He entered into the sorrow of the Remnant, and how they have to feel the sorrow He passed through, only that it rises up sometimes to literal accomplishment in Him. I suppose verses 3 and 4 present that to which the Lord was to be faithful; verse 5 brings in the heavens as interested in, and praising Jehovah for His works for Israel down here, and so it will be.

The fourth Book of Psalms, 90-106, does not call for very much remark, because the contents have been noticed elsewhere already, and the unity and order result so evidently from the contents, that a more particular examination of them is hardly necessary. I only notice, generally, the order, to complete the survey of the whole.

34 In Psalm 90, Jehovah has been the refuge of Israel at all times, and Israel now looks, at the close, for His work to appear, and His beauty to be upon them, and the works of their hands to be established. Man's days pass away - they look then for the speedy intervention of the Lord. Such is the preface. The whole Book, as heretofore noticed, is the bringing in the First-begotten into the world.

In Psalm 91 Christ takes His place in Israel in this way. The "Most High" and "Almighty" are the two names of God; the first, millennial glory in connection with Melchisedek - the second, of connection with Abraham, and Almighty power to protect, and fulfil, and secure. He who had the secret of the former would enjoy the benefit of the latter, whose was the secret place of that Most High before His manifestation as such, so that all that God was for Abraham should be accomplished. Messiah says: "I will take Jehovah," i.e., Israel's God, "for my refuge and my fortress: my God." This was the secret. In verse 9 the Remnant celebrate this. In verse 14, Jehovah puts His seal to it.

In Psalm 92 the contrast of the apparently triumphant wicked and the righteous, when Jehovah comes in, is declared.

Psalm 93 celebrates the Lord's reign after the raging of the floods, and then, as we have seen, the progress of the First-begotten, who is Jehovah, upon the cry of the people to Him to whom "vengeance belongeth" till, judgment accomplished, He sits between the cherubim, and the nations are summoned to come up and adore; Psalms 94-101.

In Psalms 101 and 102 we have Christ's place in connection with Israel - Psalm 101 taking the government, and Psalm 102 how it was possible; though once cut off in the midst of His days, He could - He was the Eternal Jehovah. In all this Book this point is signally brought out - the Son of man, but the Ancient of days, comes.

Psalm 103 is the application of divine mercy in Christ to Israel. In Psalm 101, remark, He celebrates not simply needed grace and mercy as in Psalm 89, but mercy and judgment, which are just that on which Israel's blessing is built, though mercy be the source of all.

35 Psalms 104 and 105 give the blessing of Creation and Israel, through God's ways as good.

Psalm 106 brings out the waywardness of Israel, and the repeated, and even aggravated forgetfulness, and rebellion which had brought all their misery upon them. Yet He remembered them when He heard their cry, remembered His covenant, and repented according to the multitude of His mercies, and gave them favour in the sight of those who carried them captive. To this mercy Israel now looks, and blesses Jehovah's name. Thus the whole course of God's ways in connection with Israel, and the bringing in of the Jehovah Messiah into the earth, is remarkably brought out here.

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I know not whether I have clearly brought out the early Psalms, in what I have said above. Psalms 1-8. The godly Remnant among the wicked - the purpose of God as to Messiah resisted in Israel, and by the world - the condition of the Remnant consequent on this, into which Christ enters in Spirit - His glory as Son of Man.

Psalms 9-15. Of these, Psalms 9 and 10 give the details in Canaan, Jehovah's land, in the latter day. The feelings of the Remnant, and who shall enter into God's holy hill, when all is not right. Psalm 16, Christ personally now enters into His own place among the excellent of the earth, and, trusting in Jehovah, treads the path of life, across death, into the fulness of joy in Jehovah's presence.

Psalm 17. He, and the Remnant with Him in principle, receives the reward of righteousness. Psalm 19 has "God" for Creation, and "Jehovah" for law.

Psalm 16 evidently begins quite afresh, associating Christ with the Remnant as walking down here; Psalm 18 gives a larger association with His death, reaching from Egypt to Christ's millennial glory as Son of David.

Psalm 23 I do not judge is Christ; only when He put forth His own sheep, He must go before them. It is the effect of Psalm 22, for the Remnant in faith.

Psalm 24 the smitten One of Psalm 22 comes into Israel (the temple) in glory.

It cannot be too distinctly noted that Psalms 1 and 2 are in immediate presence of the day of the Lord, because then righteousness, and the claims of Christ will be made good by governmental judgment. It is a great key to the Psalms. The first coming of Christ was, as regards Israel, a government merely provisional. As the Lord speaks of John the Baptist, so in Matthew 10 - the whole present time is unknown to this view - a Christ no longer presented to be King, and a Son of Man suffering (as that provisional Elias) and not set over all things. Hence it is said in Matthew 26:64, "Henceforth" (ap' arti) "you shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." In Luke, who always looks to present, general, result, it is merely "sitting at the right hand of power," chap. 23:69. It was in either case immediate (apo tou nun). But, for the Psalms, "the day of the Lord," as a thing in present prospect, is the great point. Christ's entering into the sorrows, while most gracious, and sweet, and necessary, is a thing by the bye, and done apart, because they would have to go through sorrow. He died also for the nation (the gathering together of the children of God was intermediate) but for that the whole present time has to be passed over. It shall be made available when all Israel shall be saved.

36 It seems to me with increased evidence that the character of the two first Psalms shows the tone and subject of the whole Book - the government of Jehovah, first morally in respect of the law, and righteousness as contrasted with the ungodly. They that fear Jehovah, and delight in His law are known of God. Judgment is looked for - there the ungodly cannot stand. Here are no excuses of soul as to intermediate trial, but God's government in righteousness, which judgment will show.

The second point, and Psalm, is the Anointed and the decree - authoritative purpose of Jehovah; and here the kings rise up as well as Jewish rulers - take counsel against Jehovah and His Anointed. The pride of pretension in power, and the plotting of their rulers to cast off their restraint - but this is not simply moral government, but the decree of God setting up His King in Zion - His Son, owned as begotten in time, and this is made good by His executing judgment. They are called to serve Jehovah, and kiss, or do homage to the Son. Both suppose the sure result of divine judgment, but both suppose the prevalence of evil, and (the latter) opposition to Christ's authority when revealed.

Note that in these two Psalms there is, as yet, no connection between the godly Remnant and the Messiah - no Messiah in Psalm 1, no Remnant in Psalm 2 - each subject is distinctly treated of in the respective Psalms. Only the rulers are identified with the goyim and the Leummim, or rather with the Malkey-erets (kings of the earth).

37 Psalm 1 is the judgment of Jehovah in respect of His law - Psalm 2 His decree in respect of His Anointed and its effects; Psalm 1 is only Israel - Psalm 2 refers to Gentiles, only identifying Jewish rulers with them.

After these two, in the first instance, we have the godly man pressed by the multitude of enemies, but, in the first instance, of the people. He is identified with the cause of his God - the ten thousands are of the people. They are adversaries; oyvim (enemies) tsor (adversary) is used, "oppressors" or "troublers," first as to the speaker in Psalm 3, and then singularly as to Jehovah, Psalm 8:3 (2). But these seem in the people, the enemy (o-yev) would be Satan. I do not see Gentiles, save that we have seen the Jews connected with them, as in Isaiah 66. But "enemy" (o-yev) is any hostile person.

It seems, I think, plain that Psalms 3 to 8 take up the Jewish part of the question, following Psalm 1, but showing, though without any revelation of divine intervention, the time when divine government has not returned to deliver the Remnant in judgment, and passes, as often noticed, to the wider sphere of the Son of Man's glory and title, but expressed by the Remnant's recognition of the exalting Jehovah's name on the earth. Psalm 2 made it impossible for the first to be fulfilled till judgment - a rejected Christ being brought in - rebellion by a confederation of Jews and Gentiles, against Jehovah and His Christ. But then this leaves the Remnant in distress, and these Psalms apply to the godly Jews.

When the ungodly have the upper hand - the godly man, though chosen, has enemies (oyvim) and adversaries (tsor-rim) but looks for the judgment of Psalm 50. But this within; He says in Psalm 8, "thine adversaries" (tsor-reyka) to Jehovah - a remarkable expression. Christ, as Christ in Israel, being rejected, is not directly mentioned in them. It is the godly man. But they confirm in the deepest way, in reading them, to my mind, the way in which Christ entered into the godly's sorrows - in which personally, for faith, in the most blessed way He took His place with them, as the Gospels show Him beginning with the baptism of John. Psalm 8 distinctly brings Him in, but as exalted Son of Man, and, as a result, Jehovah's name having become excellent in all the earth. Psalm 2 is purpose when men are rebelling against it - declares His exaltation over all the earth. In what follows we have victory over the heathen in connection with the land - Psalm 8, though that be accomplished, is above all that. But Psalms 9 and 10 take up Psalm 2, and the heathen are dealt with in the land, have perished out of it - and Jehovah takes the name of Most High (Elion) - but the wicked also, for wicked Jews and heathen are associated. Psalm 9 is more the heathen, Psalm 10 the evil Jews, but, in both, both are judged and the expectation of the poor is not forgotten. In Psalm 10 it is specially the wicked (ra-sha).

38 The spirit of the godly Remnant (Christ being rejected) is evident - confidence in Jehovah - godly fear - evil having the upper hand, looking for judgment - sense of being exposed to divine displeasure. In Psalm 3:7 (6) it is "multitude of the people" (am), in Psalm 7:8 (7) it is "families of nations" (l'ummim) tribes, in verse 9 (8) it is am-mim (peoples) as under God's government in the millennium. Remark also that in Psalm 7:18 (17) we have Jehovah Elion as consequent on judgment, and so in Psalm 9:3, Jehovah addressed as Elion. The main point in Psalms 9 and 10 is the judgment of the nations in the land, its clearance from them; but we know, from elsewhere, this is where they are to be judged and subjugated, and they are seen here as associated with the wicked, as we have seen everywhere. It is not directly their subjugation to Messiah according to the demand of Psalm 2, that is more Psalm 18. It is here Israel's deliverance from the heathen, and the wicked, not their submission to Messiah. Jehovah has rebuked them - Jehovah is King - the heathen are perished out of His land. We may know that it is Christ who comes, but it is from other passages.

In the first eight Psalms we have the inner circle - the divine elements of the whole case - a divine view of the government of this world, and men in it. A godly Remnant first, with a judgment to come; then Messiah in God's counsels, but rejected of men, but Adonai (Lord) at God's right hand, Son of God, Jehovah's King in Zion; let the Kings of the earth be wise, the nations will be given Him for His inheritance, the earth for His possession. Then the sorrows of the godly, in which, as the rejected One, He takes part, then His place of Son of Man; when Jehovah, as Lord of the Jews, has His name excellent in all the earth, the rejected One takes His place of headship over everything created of Jehovah, in fact by Him as such. Then in Psalm 9 we come to the direct historical dealings down here, in connection with the establishment of this power on earth, "Jehovah is known by the judgment which he executeth" - Psalm 10 being the state and cry of the Remnant which brings God's judgment down, God avenges "His own elect which cry day and night unto him."

39 Psalms 9 and 10, having given deliverance and the state of things in the land in the latter day, Psalms 11-15 give the various feelings of the Remnant as formed by the Spirit, as elsewhere noticed. Psalms 16 and 17 give the way Christ enters into it in Spirit, and even literally in part. Psalm 18 is Israel's deliverance by Jehovah, first in Egypt, and then by Messiah at the end, and that in virtue of Christ's entering into their sorrows, and that even unto death.

There is a difference between the Psalms from 11 to 18, and 25 to 39. The former are more the great principles of the Remnant in the condition of Psalm 10 though expressed in the experiences of the Remnant, "In the Lord put I my trust" - "The wicked bend their bow" - "Jehovah tries the righteous" - "The godly man ceaseth" - "How long wilt thou forget me?" - "The fool hath said in his heart" - "Who shall abide in thy tabernacle?" - and then Psalms 16 and 17, the perfection of the Spirit of Christ, and its result in resurrection and a higher glory. From Psalms 25 to 39 it is more the various exercises of soul connected with their circumstances - what are called "experiences."

I see this difference in the Psalms after 10 - before it, Psalms 3-7, the godly man is in the midst of evil, but passing through it in life. There is a moral judgment, and an actual judgment looked for, and there is still exhortation though evil is apparent, and opposition to godliness still holds its way. From Psalm 11 there is, so to speak, only Jehovah - the godly man looked up there, and if Jehovah looked down and found all gone out of the way, the desire is deliverance; Psa. 14:7. Still in result two things are brought out - Who shall have a place with God on the earth? (Psalm 15) - And the resurrection of Him who should be cut off. One who takes His place of delight with the saints, whose goodness does not rise up to Jehovah (a thing, note, monstrous to say, in its full sense, for one to whom it was not natural, though we have to learn it relatively) but who, trusting to Jehovah, finds the path of life into His presence through death and resurrection, which is fulness of joy - literally, as we know, fulfilled in Christ; and secondly, hearing the right, which in the rejected One is deliverance from the man of the world (which is a condemned one here), and awakening up after Jehovah's likeness. This is most clear and blessed too, and the placing of it too in the ways of God. We get it in and through Christ, as far as His own can - "at thy right hand" for instance, is only fully, literally true of Him, though He sits there now for us, and in virtue of what He has done for us (but of His own Person too), and we are in Him; but in general it is ours through Him, but it is the highest place of joy for man - a wondrous place, yet there Christ is, as Man, as having finished the work.

40 Psalm 15, only "abides in the tabernacle, and in the holy hill." "Trust in Jehovah" and His being the godly one's portion (Psalm 16) characterises all, and righteousness, "loving righteousness and hating iniquity," for that is God's character as knowing good and evil, and Christ's as Man.

Psalms 3 to 7 are more circumstances and purpose, Christ taking the character of Son of man, and moral judgment, looking forward, as I said, to Jehovah's judgment; Psalms 11-17 results, evil and good, being brought out in final definite contrast. In Psalm 16 His mind rests on Jehovah, and the saints, taking a place as to goodness below, and looking up to One (though Himself such), and with the other in delight - the place of a Man with Jehovah objectively, perfectly His trust (whatever came) and His delight. Psalm 17 is relationship with the world and Satan, i.e., perfect righteousness where the power of evil was. But both, as in Christ, are the Christian's part; for the second, see 1 John 4:19.

How completely Psalm 18 is David and the seed of David "for evermore," is evident - sufferings and royal triumph. Its general sense I have noted heretofore. I add here, it completes this early part of the Psalms. It is in Israel, but adds dominion over the heathen, carrying out Psalm 2, and showing the sorrows of Christ. Verse 44 is the contentions of Israel (am, people). So that Psalms 16 and 17 give us Christ personally, Psalm 18 Christ Messianically. Note the "us" in Psalm 17:11 is only kri.* All the rest of the Psalm is "me." I know not why the Magna reads "us" here, and I have not here with me the means of ascertaining.

{*It is "me" in the text, and "us" in the Rabbinical reading (kri).}

41 So that passing backward, we have Psalms 11-15, the state of parties, at the end, in the land, Psalms 9, 10, what passes judicially in the land, Psalms 3-8, the Remnant as true but living in the midst of the evil, Messiah not being received, and the glory of the Son of Man, and in Psalms 1 and 2 the Remnant, and Jehovah's purposes about Christ in spite of rebellion of people and Gentiles.

The Psalms after 24 to 39 are the exercises and experience of the godly, in every respect, of which the general principles are stated in Psalms 31.

In Psalm 24 we have had the result of all, including the position, contrast of godly and wicked, and Christ's own death, besides the testimony of creation, law, and a suffering Messiah, as in Psalms 11-15 - the contrasted godly and evil man, Psalms 16, 17, 18, Christ, as we have seen. Then in Psalms 40, 41, the real mystery of Christ's part in it in the counsels of God, and the blessing of Him who understood, as down here, the place of the poor and needy one; that, as we know, closes the Book. After Psalm 32, the full, characteristic results are more brought out. In Psalms 42 and 43 we find the godly cast out - the latter one specially referring to ungodly Israel - for the former, compare Joel 2; then Psalm 44, the appeal to God on the ground of their integrity - "Jehovah" coming in at the end, i.e., being called upon, as such, to arise; then, Psalm 45, Messiah is revealed, and judgment goes on to the end of Psalm 49. Psalm 50 begins another subject - the confession of sins and of the death of Christ, and their various exercises, of which more hereafter.

On the coming in of Messiah and judgment of Jehovah, El Elohim summons all the heavens and the earth to judge His people, and then pleads with them on the ground of right and wrong - not looking for sacrifices, but righteousness.

In Psalm 51, the godly Remnant speak - own their sinful nature - do not look to sacrifices to remedy their case, but own their blood-guiltiness, their sin as to Christ - acknowledge ill their past transgressions, but own their sinful nature and go on to their sin against Christ. They look for cleansing from God in mercy. One thing is clear, though transgressions are owned - inward sin presses on the spirit of the penitent, sin in his own heart as against God; mere Jewish sacrifices could not meet it - it goes far deeper (compare 1 Sam. 2:25). I doubt ha-ra (the evil) is "this evil" - done evil. Hence he is cast on grace. The godly are cast outside, and we have all their thoughts and exercises - their thirsting after God and withal Christ, as ascended on high, to be a blessing to Israel, and His sorrows too. It closes with the Solomon reign.

42 From Psalm 73 to 89 we have the general condition; and relationship of Israel with God; Jehovah is not addressed as the object of the Psalm until Psalm 84, and Christ is not directly brought in. We are in Israel; only in the last we have the promise to the family of David, whose throne is now cast down.

But then from Psalm go, we have Jehovah's interference prophetically brought in, and in this way - in Psalm go faith recognises Jehovah as the refuge and dwelling place of Israel in all generations - in Psalm 91, Messiah, or the man of faith recognises Israel's God, Jehovah, as the Most High, God over all - and is owned; Psalm 92, Jehovah's, the Most High's work is owned as delivering and making glad the righteous, and though by the man of faith, by Messiah as such. Then Psalms 93-100, the "Jehovah" comes and takes His place in power, i.e., Christ, and reigns, as we have often seen. In Psalms 101, 102, we return personally to Messiah, prophetically again, as come in the flesh - Psalm 101, how He will rule His house and kingdom - a kind of sermon on the Mount. Psalm 102, His utter rejection as alone in Israel when faithful. How then, in the latter days when Jehovah restored Zion, could He have a part, having been cut off? He was the Jehovah, and the same yesterday, to-day and for ever! Psalm 103 is consequent blessing upon forgiven Israel (see the paralytic in the Gospel). Psalms 104, 105, the blessing of Creation and of His people - Psalm 106 pleads mercy, and walking in uprightness, confesses sin, judgment but mercy in it, and looks for full deliverance.

This gives, I think, a distinct character to the two first Books, which are more Christ personally amongst the Jews, and all the three last more national and historical, and so Psalm 72 closes with the Solomon reign. Hence, up to that, it is more personal to Christ, only He is recognised as the same in Psalm 102. From Psalm 107 onwards, it is the bringing back of Israel with all the various exercises connected with it, and so returns back to their history with God, their unfaithfulness - God's taking up the land - the apostate rejection of Christ (Judas) - His session at God's right hand till He had His people of free-will in the day of His power. From this, onwards, we get "Jehovah," His ways, character, trustworthiness, dealings. But the Book begins with this, Jehovah whose mercy endures for ever, having brought back His people, though to various exercises of heart before final Hallelujahs could be sung - and then, while faith declares what He is, and what they are and have been, these are what are recounted here.

43 In Psalm 119 we have the law written in the heart of the once straying sheep. Full integrity in that, yet impossibility to stand in God's presence or escape Him is owned, but, as created by Him, the soul looks to be searched out; Psalm 139.

In Psalm 118, the principle of God's dealings is fully stated, leading to Hosanna "Save I pray thee," and the answer to it quoted, as that which referred to the last days, by the Lord (Matt. 21) as is the rejected stone (v. 22) in His discussion with the Scribes at the same time. Both external, historical dealings, and internal state are found here, and not confounded. The Psalms 135-138 are ways and dealings - Psalm 139, responsibility and God's work are contrasted - Psalms 140-144 are an appeal. Then laudatory celebration of God's character, and anticipation of millennial blessings - but, unless in Psalm 72, closing the first two Books, no description of it.

From Psalm 111 to 118 is anticipative confidence in Jehovah - what He is for Israel - referring in Psalm 114, beautifully, back to Israel's going out of Egypt. In all, Israel and the heathen are here, though in the faithful Remnant, not the Jews and Christ, save as necessarily coming as Jehovah to deliver.

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