J. N. Darby.
(Notes and Comments Vol. 3.)
In considering Books 1 and 2 of the Psalms, it is well to take in John 11:53-54. In the first Book, after the laying down the ground in Psalms 1 to 8, and the general state of feeling in the residue founded on Psalms 9 and 10, on to Psalm 17, after the testimonies and death of the Lord, there is infinitely more development of exercise of soul, beginning with the first confession of sin in Psalm 25.
44 The two first Psalms are, as it were, introductory - Psalm 1 of the great general truths, Psalm 2 of the circumstances in which, according to the ordained glory of Christ, they are brought out to light. Yet Christ in the midst of the Jews is, in the first, the matter of it. The first is His characteristics, the second is His power as set by the Father, King; and so the circumstances of the Psalms suitably.
The two first Psalms give thus very distinctly the great points of the whole Book. The godly man, and the title of Christ, but the former along with ungodliness, and the latter resisted, and then, in the rest, the consequences of power not being put forth to secure their position. Hence the sorrows and heart exercise of the godly meek in the midst of the evil, looking to the Lord and the ruin of the throne, though less frequent, and from time to time the position of Christ Himself, who must have entered into the sorrow and made atonement too, in order that there might be either hope or deliverance, but not the knowledge of it before deliverance. The Spirit of Christ enters into it all though, as leading the exercises of the godly - the Spring of them; but then in a Jewish way, looking for the destruction of enemies for deliverance, and the hope founded on the Spirit's work, leading to promises and assured blessings to Israel, for which Jehovah was trusted, though all seemed against - not a known atonement giving peace with God in heaven, as risen, in the sanctuary. Atonement must be the basis of blessing, but besides that, there is position, ours is in Christ in heavenly places; Christ's on earth was the perfect pattern of theirs. Only this involved material differences, as known union by the Holy Ghost.
To the end of Psalm 8 it gives an idea of this; the five following (i.e., Psalms 3 to 7) giving the moral condition of the Remnant, power not having yet come in; and Psalm 8 giving the larger extent of Son of Man glory, consequent on Messiah's rejection - these, and also the election of Zion, which is material in the historical course of dealings, for Zion is the holy hill. Hence David so importantly brings out all the course of them; he was the godly man and rejected king, though anointed in the midst of the ungodly, and in a certain sense, subdued the heathen, when delivered from the strivings of the people. (Compare Isaiah 50, noting the end, and then Psalms 51 and 52.)
45 It is clear that the first Psalm brings in an entirely new element into the Jewish question, namely the distinction of the godly man within the people, and that distinction made good in the judgment, in contrast with the national government as a whole. Note also the beginning of Isaiah 49, and the already noted use of "servant" there.
In the first and second Psalms we have nothing of the Son of David. No doubt David was anointed and Solomon his son, but Christ is not prophetically presented, in this leading introductory part, as the Son of God, and this, in a measure Nathanael's, and fully Peter's confession.
This throws great light on what passed in the Gospels. The Son of Man of Psalm 8 is added there, but, though He were Son of David, that is not the subject brought forward in the Gospel, at any rate till the blind man of Jericho. You have in Luke, where He is specially Son of Man in grace, the Jewish character in full, and exclusively for them, as they thus were in the two first chapters - as the song of the Angels, Son of David according to the flesh, and according to promise. But the general history of all the Gospels is what He personally was - the Son of God according to the Spirit of holiness, to be discerned by faith. And personally coming according to the Word, and fulfilling these Psalms, Christ was necessarily this - the expression of it even when it did not, as in John, go farther.
Note, the first two Psalms are God's mind and consequently the result "the end of the Lord"; Psalm 3, etc., is the experience of the godly man. These two introductory Psalms are of the greatest importance in this respect. And note, in these Psalms there is no experience nor sentiment of any kind; they hold a distinct place of revelation and exhortation - an introduction quite distinct from what follows. The Holy Ghost Himself tells us what the mind of the Lord is. Nor, in any case, is there a Psalm of the Son of David, not even Psalm 72, that is prophetic of his time; we find the same elsewhere as in Psalm 145, but not the experience of the time expressed by one in it.
We first get the great general effect of God's government when the two, godly and ungodly, are in the earth, and that of course among Jews - His delight is in the law of Jehovah. The ungodly are not so, but when looked at (as applied in fact) it contemplates the judgment, i.e., the close there is a judgment on the earth - they cannot stand in it; there will be, in result, a congregation of the righteous - they are not found there. In a word, in application it is the closing history of God's dealings with the Jews.
46 The principles of God's government are first stated, but they are never made good as against the wicked till judgment be executed; hence the application to the latter days. The second Psalm brings this out more fully, because the Christ, the Anointed is brought in. Here all is definitely at the close and the kings of the earth and the rulers rise up against Jehovah, and against His Anointed, to hinder His exercising His authority on the earth; but, as in heaven, He mocks their efforts, and He will speak to them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure. In spite of this raging He sets His King in Zion. It is not merely a judgment of right and wrong, godly and ungodly, but the establishing the authority of a Person in Zion. But the Psalm then goes back to Christ's birth upon the earth - He is the begotten Son there of Jehovah, who makes the decree - not only will He sit in Zion King, but the heathen are called upon to submit, for He is about, as placed there, to smite the kings of the earth, and take in possession its uttermost parts.
Thus in fact these two Psalms place us, at the close, in presence of the judgment. This is of all importance in understanding the Psalms; we are with the godly Remnant in the latter day, owning the law first of all - then in presence of the purpose of God to put Him, who has been born His Son on the earth, in possession of Messiah's place and Messiah's power and rights. It explains, too, much in the Gospels, and especially in Matthew, "Till the Son of Man come," says the Lord, yet He was there - "Elias cometh," but in spirit he had been there. Christ had entered into the position and sorrow of the godly Remnant, and made that atonement too which enables the Remnant to go through the sorrow and be accepted, though it is only at the close of it they learn its value.
There are only two subjects objectively put before us - the godly man under the government of God, the ungodly being rejected - and the establishment of the Anointed in power in Zion in spite of and over all. If Messiah takes a part in grace with the godly, and that de facto they go through the trial, that is a matter of experience - the revealed place is favour to godliness, and final full victory. Christ is in the world - the begotten Son of God.
47 The heavenly position of Christ is not the subject here, but Jehovah and the Anointed, and His being set King in Zion. But I cannot doubt that verses 4 and 5 present us Christ Himself in heaven; verses 6 and 7 declare, as a new matter, Jehovah's purpose, and the human birth of Christ upon earth, but as characterising the Anointed set as King in Zion. But this Son is Jehovah in whom men have to trust - and there is a curse on those who trust in mere man; the Son will be angry, and execute the wrath of verse 5.
Hence the subject of the Psalms is the latter days, but, in as much as "in all their afflictions he was afflicted," and in the latter days He is coming from heaven in wrath, He has come and entered into all their sorrows as born of God in the earth, as "this day begotten" - as Son, but learning obedience by the things which He suffered; but this from man, compare Isaiah 50.
Although directly applicable doubtless to David, Psalms 3 and 4 seem to me to be more directly applicable to Christ. Psalms 5 and 6 more directly to the Remnant, even as to these they are deprecatory, chastening in displeasure. It is only in Psalm 25 that sins are acknowledged. In Psalm 16 Christ formally takes His place with the godly Remnant. In Psalms 3 and 4, viewed as applicable to Messiah, they are in the full consciousness of His glory and title. The godly man is set apart for Jehovah. These two Psalms are surely the state of the people in the latter day, but Messiah enters into it in Spirit so as to associate His title and confidence with them, just as David might for Israel, compare Psalm 3:8. They cannot be separated from Him, nor will He from them. The body of the people are against the godly man - but he is set apart for God.
In Psalm 3, verse 7, Messiah and the godly are all looked at as having a common interest, the ungodly being busy and in power - Messiah in title of power, but the ungodly as yet rejecting His title, and the Remnant oppressed and suffering. In Psalm 8 He is recognised as Son of Man, and gone up on high and set over all things. This is quite a new place and character of Christ, not in Psalms 1 and 2, nor in any previous Psalms. So we find it brought out in the Gospels.
Thus in Psalms 3 to 7 we have the general principles in which Messiah necessarily is as taking part with the people - the rejected King's position, and the Remnant's too. After the circumstances are stated in Psalms 9 and 10, we have the proper condition of the Remnant in their feelings, Psalms 11-15. In Psalm 16, as we have said, Christ takes formally His place - there He alone takes His place; in Psalm 17 He associates the Remnant with Himself in what He expresses. In Psalm 18, His suffering is made the centre of Israel's history, from Egypt to His own glorious dominion.
The following Psalms are spoken of elsewhere, in their places.
48 Psalms 1 to 8 offer a partial whole, of exceeding interest to the soul, as regards the Lord Jesus.
The first presents the righteous Man, and the natural result of His righteousness, under the government of God. Christ alone was that righteous Man.
The second gives the title of Christ in the counsels of God, in spite of the raging of kings and rulers, as King in God's hill of Zion, according to the decree which owned Him Son, i.e., as born in the earth (or risen), but down here in time. But then we find, instead of that, those increased that trouble Him; and these features of sorrow being gone through, through His identification with the godly Remnant, for they were their sorrows, it follows in these sorrows that, in the exaltation of Jehovah, His place becomes a far larger one - that of the Son of man, Heir of all things put under man by God's counsels, i.e., of all things, as shown in Hebrews 2; compare Ephesians 1, and 1 Corinthians 15. The Remnant speak, "O Jehovah, our Adon, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!" But then meanwhile He had set His glory above the heavens - taken babes and sucklings to praise Him to still the enemy, and then comes the exaltation of the Son of man, and His dominion over all, as explained in Hebrews 2 (Ephesians 1 adds the Church and other points afterwards) and Jehovah great in all the earth. We see this transition, from "Christ" to the "Son of man," throughout Matthew - though also the title "Son of the living God," for the building of the Church; and in Luke 9, He straitly charges them not to say He was the Christ, and turns to His position of Son of man in suffering and glory, insisting on the suffering, as such, from Jews and Gentiles down here - first Jews, as not taking Messiah's place, and then Man - as taking a new place by Himself.
49 It is interesting also to compare Psalm 1, the righteous Man - Psalm 2, consecrated King in Zion, Son of God as on earth, "This day have I begotten thee" - Psalm 8, Son of man, a far larger place and scene of glory than Messiah who was rejected - Psalm 110, Adon, sitting on the right hand of Jehovah, then Melchizedek in Zion - and Psalm 102, the Lord, the Creator, always the same though cut off in the midst of His days. Psalms 20 to 24 are more the circumstances in which He was placed, from distress and trials, up to that glory in which He is recognised as Lord of Hosts, the King of glory.
This Psalm is Christ's separation from the ungodly among the Jews, so the Gentiles are not the prominent objects; in Psalm 2 they are joined. This Psalm therefore is first Christ among the Jews, and secondly Christianity in the world.
The godly Man is isolated, or individualised here; the ungodly looked at in the mass, yet we see it is all of them characteristically, verses 5 and 6.
The Psalm is Jewish blessing in God's righteousness. It also supposes the general influence of the ungodly, and One who has kept aloof from it in the midst of Israel, though there be a general principle. The state of Israel claimed the distinction.
Besides the general truth of the government of God, always essentially the same, we have Jesus, the godly Man, in this Psalm, and His character, viewed of God, being such; for He is seen as responsible Man, who therefore takes the law of Jehovah as His guide; that established - though circumstances may be incomprehensible, the Lord knows and owns His way.
This Psalm is the controversy in divine power; verse 12 is blessing in dependence, to wit, in the Son.
Note that Psalm 2 does not take up the sufferings of Christ in themselves, though we know He suffered - it is the counsel of God in presence of the thoughts of the people and kings to cast His cords away, and Jehovah's counsel stands in power.
- 2. The heathen rage, and the kings of the earth.
- 4. Yo-shev bash-sha-ma-yim (He that dwelleth in the heavens) Adonai.
50 Dark as the way of the righteous may seem, i.e., unowned by the world, the Lord owns it; the wicked have a way of their own - the Lord destroys this. This is all Jewish, with hope however before it. Standing up to judgment when God shall arise to judgment, they will stand up with Him - "Blessed be he." There then comes another question - the heathen, and the anointing, not merely the righteous, for now He is planted in the glory - then the righteous Man, here sitting in heaven.
The Psalmist has the glory of the Lord, His Christ, in His mind, and therefore asks, as from the perception of this, "Why do the heathen rage, and the peoples imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against his anointed." Note also the wickedness of their will is previously exhibited; compare Psalm 149:7-9. They propose the utter rejection of their authority. Then comes the great truth of the identity of Jesus' and Jehovah's power - "He that sitteth in the heavens … Adonai shall have them in derision." This last is, I doubt not, Christ in governing power - the revelation of Jehovah in power; compare Psalm 110: 5 - the great truth, revealed in the New Testament, of Him, even Jesus, at the right hand of the Majesty on high, the right hand of power. But the time is distinctly descriptive; we have bash-sha-mayim (in the heavens), and compare this in Revelation. Now although "In the heavens" is a point of faith, in a Jew, specially after the ceasing of manifest presence on the earth, this is brought out here in a special manner; nor am I aware of the expression yo-shev bash-sha-ma-yim (He that sitteth in the heavens) elsewhere, save in Psalm 123 the cry of the Remnant for help at this very time when God does this. Verses 4 and are the thoughts and acts of Adonai, of God from the heavens. Then compare again, Hebrews 8:1, and Psalm 110: 5, for yo-shev bash-sha-ma-yim (He that sitteth in the heavens) and Adonai (the Lord) is the great point here; Christianity has revealed it, i.e., how and who.
Then comes the other part of Messiah's exaltation. The former was moral - this, constituted or rightful glory; He is set King in Zion, the holy mountain. This, I think, is Jehovah's word concerning Messiah - it is the mountain of God's holiness, and He is God's King. He has already spoken of His heavenly glory as Adonai. But "I have anointed my King in Zion, my holy mountain" here is the royalty on earth of Messiah in Zion. But the resurrection must come in, and it must not be supposed that it was without special glory of Person, this royalty in Zion could be, and the decree therefore is declared - Jehovah saith to Jesus "Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." The Sonship of Jesus, with the Father, is therefore declared and revealed. This is declared in the resurrection, with power, in holiness. So we know now, here is the decree; it is spoken of the Lord, being a Jew, as of Jehovah, but, being to the Son, the Father is revealed. But then follows the inheritance of the heathen, given to Messiah - His request is the plea at once. Blessed is He that asks everything for us! All things are ours, and we Christ's.
51 Note, Psalms 1 and 2 are the thesis about Messiah, and Psalm 3 etc. give the condition of Messiah as bringing out the character of God.
In this Psalm we have then, Jehovah and His Christ - the counsels of Jehovah as to Him. The kings of the earth, and peoples would cast off their bands, yet Adonai speaks in wrath to them. The decree then is declared - Jehovah says to Christ: "Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee." He is set up in this position - the King set up in Zion is first set up as Son. So Acts 13; in general it is true, but He is actually set in His place on resurrection, but according to the Spirit of holiness - He was Son, Luke 1:35, Romans 1, here below, Acts 13. It seems to me, in the general sense, Acts 3:26 and chap. 13:33 (take away "again"), though, as to the moment of application, He was risen now, the Psalms in general present either rejection when manifested according to the Spirit of holiness, or the subsequent presentation of, and insistence upon this claim before the execution of judgment.
The Lord was set up "Son," according to decree - not yet in manifest power - but really such, when born here below; declared such in power, to faith, by resurrection - rejected, but will, in due time, demand the inheritance. The kings of the earth are counselled to submit, and serve the Lord, and to own the Son thus set up by decree. That a certain general blessing would attend this, although I doubt not, yet it is not the subject of the present position, and demand of Jesus to the Father. The Son in this Psalm is manifested, or testified to, as having been raised up by God.
52 In John 17 He asks about those who are the Father's, because He is going to the glory which He had with the Father, with whom (chap. 10) He is one before the world was; and all that is the Father's is His, and His the Father's. He has quite done with the world - leaves it as it is, and His disciples in it only that, through grace, it may believe this. But the disciples, and those who believe through their word, are identified with His position in it and the Father, to have His joy perfected in them. He is before the Father, and not set up by the decree - a higher and more glorious place, for it flowed from what He was. And this is what He is always throughout John, and man being a sinner, this is what men reject - Him as entitled by the decree, because He could not but be what He was as manifesting the Father - light and life - and the Son one with Him. This ought to have attracted them, but they saw and hated both Him and His Father. Further, it is evident that, even in the general sense of owning the Son risen and glorified, Jerusalem, or Zion, should have been the centre. There God will set Him King, though in view of that He may call for the submission of the nations to the Son set up by decree, Jerusalem having rejected the testimony of the risen and exalted Son.
The testimony to the Gentiles took quite a new form in the ministry of Paul, which, not as to salvation but ministry, may almost be called a dispensation apart (Eph. 3:2; Col. 1:25); the unity of the Body of Christ being the grand basis of the calling which was of heaven, above the Jews, and levelling all, because not Adonai claiming the earth and Zion, but uniting with Himself as speaking from heaven, the saints receiving this testimony. Hence the suspension as to the letter (not as to the Spirit in blessing) of the commission; Matthew 28. And this is why the testimony could be, in general, all mingled together, i.e., of the Apostles at Jerusalem in the latter day, because, while salvation was in the Son at all times, the summons to submit to the Son could be identified with the proofs of His resurrection, or rather afforded by it, distinct from the union with Him which placed the Church in the Son, who was in the Father, and the kingdom altogether in mystery. All this will be never seen clear till the administration of the kingdom be seen clear - the keys of this were given to Peter; Paul had another service.
53 I have the general fact of trust in Jehovah when enemies and trouble have multiplied; next, the enmity of the wicked against the Spirit of Christ. But Jehovah has set apart the godly man for Himself. Psalm 5 rests on the sense, in him that is righteous, of the character of God, which must be opposed to the wicked and own him who in righteousness cries to Him. Psalm 6, on the other hand, gives the sense, when Jehovah is looked at for oneself, of having merited rebuke and blame. It looks to being saved from what weighs on it. Psalm 7 looks to being saved from the outward persecutor, on whom judgment will come. But note that Psalm 5 shows how the Spirit of Christ looks, beyond present circumstances, on prophetically; for in David's time there was no house nor temple. Circumstances may have given occasion to the expressions in the Psalms, etc., but they go far beyond them.
In these Psalms then, we get the Spirit in which the state of things is met. In Psalm 9, after the exaltation of Christ, we get the historical results as to all Israel, or at any rate Judah. But then this is Jehovah's intervention, and the judgment of the world. Moreover all the above Psalms are taken up save Psalm 6 which, on the favourable intervention of God, could hot be referred to, for the question raised in it was then necessarily over. It was the inward exercise of soul connected with the outward pressure. The contrast is seen in Psalm 9:13, and Psalm 6:5.
Now Psalms 15-17 answer to Psalms 1 and 2 in this respect, that one gives the character of the Remnant, the two others the purpose and power of God. In Psalm 15 we have clearly the character of those who will be kept for God's dwelling, and holy hill. Psalms 16 and 17 give the portion of the slain "in the Lord" and "in his likeness," and Psalm 16, as we know, is directly applicable to Christ. But it is beyond all question that these Psalms apply to the Remnant in trial in the last days; Psalms 9 and 10, indeed all of these Psalms, show it as clearly as possible. But then the use of Psalm 16 by Peter, shows how Christ entered into and took part in these sorrows, and, as looking to Jehovah as in that position indeed, verse 3 shows His gracious association with them. And note as in verse 11, the Remnant are noticed, and though the Speaker in the Psalm is satisfied, as awaking with God's likeness, yet salvation from death is supposed and looked for. Psalm 16 takes up clearly His own reference in faith to Jehovah, in view of death, as a faithful One, but as a Man, "My goodness extendeth not to thee," and says to the saints "In them is my delight." But it is confidence not sorrow and distress here - John, not Matthew. In Psalm 17 we have the pressure of men; in Psalm 18 the distress of soul from death, though leading to triumph and glory, and that in Israel closes that part
54 Psalm 19 begins another teaching, and goes wider - testimony into all the world with that of the law, as heretofore noted, and then Messiah in trouble and exalted of God, beyond death, in life and glory for ever. Then are testimonies - what is before the hearts and eyes of men, each in his own character - Messiah only before those who had eyes to see. Psalm 20, I think, supposes temporal deliverance for the Remnant though Psalm 21 supposes heavenly glory for the Messiah bringing judgment hereafter on His rejectors; Psalm 22 is then, and it stands thus alone, the foundation of universal blessing, in the proper expiatory sufferings of Christ, in His own abandonment by God, yet heard (once He had wrought expiation) from the horns of the unicorns, when He had finished the work. And here is what is essential to its character - He is quite alone. It is evidently totally different. Even in Psalms 20 and 21, though alone, yet He is seen and contemplated by others. It was a sorrow and a hope into which they could more or less enter. It was for their thoughts and feelings; but here He is alone with God, and the expression His own.
This Psalm is faith in Jehovah. It and the following Psalm are much more Christ, and up to Psalm 7, open out before us The principle seems to me, more than ever, the full entering of Christ into the condition of the Remnant of Israel, as displaying the great principles and facts of God's government.
It is much more introductory, and general certain principles It is Messiah who first speaks, because He has first fully taken - nay, in Him has first fully brought out, He alone could rightly take apart, the place of the Remnant as apart from, and in contrast with the people. Others had felt it, as having His Spirit, and, as prophets, had portrayed it in Him, but He alone could take it in intrinsic righteousness, yet in Him it was as forced to it, i.e., this righteousness forced out the wickedness in the others, and He wept over Jerusalem when it was done; but then He entered into all that concerned Israel to the purpose, love, and revelation of God. The Psalms are the perfect display of all that a divinely perfect heart, in the circumstances, could feel of and as to the relationship of God with Israel, only Israel with God.
55 Thus in this Psalm we have, in the discovery of its state, the confidence of faith. Another great principle in the midst of no hope, if the state of the people be looked at - "Salvation belongeth unto the Lord," and His blessing is upon His people; compare Dan in Jacob's blessing.
- 4. "Out of his holy hill."
- 5. "People" (am) in the singular.
- 7. "Enemies" (o-y'vai). "Save me" - "Thou hast" - so verse 8, and then "blessing is upon thy people."
We have here the voice of Christ in the Jewish Remnant in its last distress; but the same is true of God's people everywhere since. Also note the testimony concerning the last trouble of the Jews; and the Remnant finds its reception or treatment, and own Him Lord on His appearance amongst them for it, and accordingly the Jews, as such, become identified, through the Remnant, with the ungodly enemy in the last days. This is an interesting and important point - Absalom is typical.
I have no doubt we have Christ in both this Psalm, and the following one, but only as identifying Himself with the Remnant of the Jews, and so in Spirit. We have in them the confidence His Spirit inspires - in Psalms 6 and 7 the feelings circumstances inspire, but aided by His Spirit. Compare, for us, Romans 8:15-17, 18-27. Psalm 5 is the moral reasoning of faith, compare 2 Thessalonians 1. Hence Psalms 3 and 4 are more directly the expression of the Spirit of Christ but all these Psalms are abstract position before, and looking to, judgment. In Psalm 8 the glory is accomplished; Psalm 16, bringing in Christ at His first coming, shows how He took a place with the Remnant, the excellent of the earth.
56 This Psalm gives us dependence on Jehovah, shown in calling upon Him, and thus the spirit in which the godly Jew is to walk, in the midst of Israel, when Messiah's glory is still despised. God has set apart the godly one for Himself - the gracious Lord first of all - the spiritual sense of the renewed sees it.
- 1. "O God of my righteousness!"
- 2. B'ney Ish (sons of men) - great and haughty ones of the earth.
- 3. Kha-sid (godly).
- 4-5. Are His directions as to the Spirit in which they are to walk.
- 5. "Sacrifices of righteousness"; compare Psalm 51:17.
- 6. He mingles Himself with them. Compare Psalm 3:2.
- 7. He rejoices more in this position of faith, than when all outward blessings were showered on Israel.
This Psalm then is the supplicatory confidence of the beloved, i.e., of the Remnant in the face of the enemies, and in the midst of them, in God - thus principles of righteousness, even His righteousness; this point is material.
In this Psalm He directs His voice to God in the midst of this state of things, conscious of the spirit and ways of the wicked, and looking for judgment, for, if the godly love godliness, surely God does, and they know this character of God, i.e., of Jehovah - the Lord will abhor them - the Lord will bless the righteous. This Psalm and the following give us the Remnant. It is the anxious enquiry of the beloved under the circumstances of trial; but Psalm 4 includes, and addresses itself indeed, to the Gentiles, who have no portion in His covenant with the nation, the Jews rather.
- 6. The Antichrist.
- 7. Khas 'd 'ka - "Thy mercy."
- 8. "Thy righteousness."
- 9-11. The contrast of the Jews, joined to Antichrist, and the just.
- 10. "Rebelled."
- 11. "Trust." The faith of the Spirit of Christ pierces through the circumstances.
57 Psalm 6
This Psalm, in this view, needs no comment, save that it speaks of the faith of the Spirit in the Remnant, humbling itself under the sense of what is generally due.
But then the Remnant had share (not in will now, or they would not be the Remnant) in this evil, and above all with Israel. Hence they have to say to God as to it, not merely the sense of the love of righteousness against the wicked, but of their own position before God in the sense of His chastenings on His people. Still this makes them increasedly separate from the wicked, while mercy is looked for for deliverance. Into this position Christ fully entered in grace. Thus, while John Baptist declared it was he had need to be baptised of Christ, not Christ of Him, still, as fulfilling righteousness, Christ goes to the baptism of repentance, i.e., the Spirit, and the spirit of grace brought Christ in the way of righteousness where it brought others in the sense of sin. The place then is the place of the Remnant in the sense of their condition before God, but Christ enters perfectly into it, and by His Spirit here sets it out. Taking the true place before God - is always, and especially as God's people, what we have to do. He soon makes their enemies ashamed, and He hears their cry.
The Psalm is clearly Jewish, and intercession according to the mind of the Spirit kata theon as in their condition, and the deliverance Jewish as from death and the grave, not in resurrection, as said in Matthew 24.
It is not a declaration that such is the suffering, but a deprecation of it, that what is suffered from verse 7, may not have this character to his soul. It is the godly man in distress; see it explained in Psalm 94:12-13; compare also Psalm 38.
- 5. When the Old Testament Scriptures speak of "no remembrance," etc. "in the grave" - this itself recognises the existence of what does not remember. But it is no revelation by God, but the expression of ignorance in man, or knowledge that present ways of relationship and activity are over, for that was all they knew of.
This Psalm, of which the title shows the occasion, exhibits the confidence of the beloved in His righteousness, as in the presence of the enemy and the blasphemer, though in anxiety to deliver the congregation, compare John 17, last part especially In the circumstances of the history, this Psalm is the latter end of 1 Peter 4.
58 If Psalm 6 was the humiliation of the soul in the sin of the people, and thus moral separation from it - just the place Christ had to take - this Psalm looks at them in conscious integrity, for that was Christ's actual place, and the Remnant's as renewed through grace. Hence, not deliverance, nor mercy saving, and putting the enemies to shame in goodness, but righteousness is looked for, "The Lord shall judge the peoples" - He will arise in His anger - He judges the righteous establishes the just, whets His sword against the wicked if he do not turn. In a word, the Lord is praised according to His righteousness, and as taking the name of "Most High." The Remnant can take this ground, as founded on the character of God, only through the consciousness of personal integrity, but based on the absolute integrity of Christ Himself. If Christ did not speak this for them, their utmost point would be Psalm 6, even as renewed, but Christ, having in grace entered into that for them, brings in the intrinsic righteousness with Him; compare, though it may go farther, the owning of Christ after John's baptism. After the rest of the humiliation and confession of Psalm 6, the soul, through grace and Christ can take the place of this Psalm, but here, as among the Jews, because it looks for judgment on the wicked, still it is ever true as to the government of God.
The latter days come clearly out in this Psalm, closed by the glory of the Son of man in the following Psalm.
The Psalm seems a special plea against Antichrist. If the godly were like him (Absalom and Saul are here united, which Shimei's words did), let the enemies externally prevail. But he calls on Jehovah to arise; verses 6, 7 and 8, show the result.
- 7. Of the peoples l'um-mim (nations).
- 8. People, Am-mim (peoples).
This Psalm is the celebration, by the Jews, of the glory of their Lord Jehovah - His name excellent in all the earth, and His glory now set above the heavens. Of the application of this, there can be no question.
59 - 3. I do not think the omission of the sun immaterial; it is man in his humiliation and as the son of Adam that is considered.
- 5. I am at present disposed to think this verse right.
- 9. Observe, this verse expresses the sense of the Jews as to their own portion of the glory - His name, etc. - not the Church's. His glory set above the heavens. Also observe thus is the dominion of men, properly the Jewish portion, not the fulness which is the Church's. He, this Man, is "Head over all things to the Church." Observe also, as Christ is identified with the Remnant of believing Jews in the latter day trial, when this Psalm has its fulfilment, so Christ was the only faithful Jew in the days of His humiliation in the flesh, and held that character as a Remnant, ever alone in the midst of the opposition and hatred of unbelieving Jews, and the kings of the earth rising up against the Lord and against His anointed. This mystery opens out much in the giving and sacrifice of Christ for the people, and, by the power of the resurrection, it also let in the Gentiles to the blessing of the same testimony. Hence see the application of verse 2.
We have here the full exaltation of Christ on the destruction of Antichrist, Jehovah being here addressed as One who has set His glory above the heavens. Enemies, persecutors within - Israel's character as redeemed by God's grace among the babes, so that He, Jehovah, can righteously put down the external enemy, and avenger of their general fault. When Jehovah sets His glory above the heavens - the heavens being considered; "What is man?" Yet herein set above all the works, the highest - God's heavens, and all they contain (to wit, in Christ), yet owned here by Jewish faith, and therefore while previously stated now dropped, and Jehovah as their Adon (Lord) owned, as making His name excellent in all the earth. It is a most beautiful expression of the economy of glory; the whole economy, now that we know Christ, the very Person being revealed, who is both Jehovah and Man - Enosh ben-Adam (Man, the Son of Man). Nothing, moreover, however low, is out of the reach of His dominion.
It is the full result in Christ displayed as Son of Man, but to the glory of Jehovah, as the Adon, or Lord of Israel. Yet I doubt not, Christ is owned as such here.
Thus the universal Adamic, and the Jehovah government in Israel are united, while it reaches far wider still, because they are established in the Person of the Lord, the Son of God.
60 This Psalm has rather a mysterious position. Its general purport is evident; but Psalms 9 and 10 introduce the earthly part of all that follows, and this sets up Messiah on a higher ground. It is spoken from Israel's point of view, "O Jehovah our Adon," but recognising the exaltation of Christ as Son of Man, and consequent on His rejection. But it stands, I think, by itself - the thoughts of God, like the two first Psalms; it stands between the seventh and ninth, i.e., the sense etc. supposes rejection on the footing of the other two. It is counsels outside all that; while Psalm 9 descends to earth and takes up, historically in Israel, what follows really on Psalm 7. Psalm 9 follows on Psalm 8, in that Christ had to take the place of Psalm 8 for the accomplishment of Psalm 9, but then Psalm 8 is far away beyond the scope of Psalm 9, and in itself only looks at the general exaltation of Christ consequent on His humiliation; the result of Psalm 8 is, we know, not accomplished, nor does Psalm 9 reach out to it at all. It returns to the previous Psalms, but Christ's title in Psalm 2 is maintained in Psalm 9, and the humble ones of Psalms 3 and 7 not forgotten. It is the Remnant, Zion, and the world. Psalm 8 is everything except God Himself - the Father. In Psalm 10 we have the parties on earth; but Psalm 9 etc. could not be without Psalm 8. The other remarks in previous statements remain. All this gives an immense importance to this Psalm.
It seems to me that this Psalm finishes, in a certain sense, the subject, after the two first introductory Psalms. The complaint of the Messiah - His confidence in apparent abandonment (Psalm 4), the certainty that the Almighty had chosen a Well-beloved, and that the light of His countenance was all that He desired. In both Psalms Messiah takes the place of crying to the Lord, especially in Psalm 4, and then He takes the ground, not of the number of His enemies, but of His righteousness and glory. In Psalm 5 He puts Himself in contrast with the wicked - appealing to the character of God; in Psalm 6 He takes His sorrow up as between Him and God, as chastening coming from Him; Psalm 7 is an open appeal to judgment - the rage of His enemies rising up against Him, He demands the Lord to awake to the judgment that He has commanded; then in Psalm 8 the humiliation and glory is explained in connection with the Jews.
In Psalms 9 and 10, He places Himself specially in presence of the difficulties and oppressions of Antichrist and the nations. In Psalm 9 He celebrates deliverance as the ground of confidence in the distress occasioned by the wicked one. The Lord judges all - that some have been put to death, but deliverance is sought as placing them with songs in Zion. The nations are judged also; in Psalm 10 it is rather the other side of the picture - what the wicked one is, and his character and doings, but closes with the royalty of Jehovah who has cleared His land from the nations, and comforts the meek. It is evident that, while the previous Psalms gave the rights (Psalms 1 and 2) and then the sorrow of Messiah, closing in the now extended position of second Adam, which indeed serves for introduction to the following, these Psalms give much more historically the source of affliction of the latter day in the nations, and specially the wicked one - objects of the just judgment of God, who delivers the meek, though He has had patience while some have been put to death even; and this, specially in Psalm 10, in reference to the land.
61 These Psalms make it evident that, whatever the progress or the knowledge of those who suffer, or the consequence in glory if they are put to death, the Remnant are considered, and dealt with here in their Jewish associations with Christ, and with Jehovah.
Psalms 8 and 9 add the name of "Most High"; but Psalm 8 gives His supremacy over all things; Psalms 9 and 10, special relationship with the Jews. This throws a good deal of light over this part of the Psalms. Thus Psalm 9 celebrates what will introduce the millennium, but prophetically, not historically; verses 17, 18 take it up in the way of calm commentary, while verses 19, 20, look for its execution; verse 18 is the needy poor.
Thus the "Son of Man" and "Most High" are both introduced in contrast with the Jewish "Son of God" and "King of Israel," though the same Person, and the Remnant in trouble meanwhile. I say "in contrast," but though Psalms 1 and 2 are the general thesis, and Psalm 1 gives the Remnant simply in character, and owned of God in the judgment, yet in the characters of Psalm 2 Christ would be rejected as implied, as in Psalm 8 He could not be. It was purpose, only He must die (John 12), consequent on His rejection, to take it up. In Psalm 9 it is Jehovah's power and judgment, actually, which of course cannot be resisted, "He is known by the judgment which he executeth." Psalm 10 begins historically with the tribulation of the Remnant, the lawless (anomos) one is spoken of; verses 16-18 prophetically declare the result, and then come, as heretofore seen, the feelings of the Remnant.
62 Psalms 11-14 contemplate the wicked one. In Psalms 15-17 we have the character of the Remnant, and Christ, more in view, though in Psalm 17 in contrast with the wicked. Hence death comes in; but in the position of Christ with the Remnant trusting Jehovah.
Psalm 18 begins afresh, and connects Christ's distress with the history of God's people - Christ connecting Himself with them, and standing for them to the end. Psalm 22 does not speak directly of atonement, but of the sufferings of Christ when He was making it. Psalm 18 stands by itself. Then comes Jehovah's dealing with Messiah (and the people's) only first the testimony of Creation and the law; and of Messiah first with men - His enemies, and then, when in the work of atonement, forsaken of God in His soul.
Psalm 23 is the care of the sheep during the time of trial; Psalm 24 is Jehovah taking His place in the temple as Lord of the earth - both really fulfilled in Christ, though of course He was not really a sheep, but He went before them in the path in which they had to walk. Psalm 25 starts afresh, introducing an entirely new element - the confession of sins, looking for forgiveness and mercy (while persecuting enemies, and troubles are there) to Jehovah. Thus the actual state of the Remnant comes in. Psalm 26 gives the sense of integrity, and separates the heart of the Remnant from the wicked, while Jehovah's house is loved.
Psalm 27 looks to Jehovah according to promise, the desire of the godly one being to Him; Psalm 28 looks for judgment on the wicked and not to be counted with them, but that, as Jehovah's people, they should be saved. The Anointed is also brought in. This Psalm goes further than the previous ones, and looks more definitely to the effects of Jehovah's intervention.
Psalm 29 celebrates Jehovah's might as above all the swellings of evil, so as to give strength to His people and bless them with peace. So we have confession of sins with troubles and enemies - integrity - trust in Jehovah - separation from evil-doers, and judgment on them - the Anointed brought in - Jehovah's might in favour of His people; Psalm 30 is deliverance celebrated, out of the trouble; Psalm 31, the Lord's dealings with the soul, and Himself a resource in the midst of it all; then Psalm 32, forgiveness on confession, preservation and guidance.
63 Psalms 33 to 39 are a kind of reflective commentary on all this; Psalm 33 is what Jehovah is - Psalm 34, what His chastening is, what the wicked are, His ways, and man's ways, true hearted or the opposite in all these circumstances, and the suggested working of the heart under them - Psalm 37 is the trust of the righteous in the Lord, as in presence of the wicked - Psalms 38 and 39 are Jehovah's discipline in the circumstances for transgression.
Psalm 40 evidently brings Christ, the faithful One, into the midst of the sorrows of the Remnant, and also bearing their sins, and glorifying God in obedience there; in Psalm 41 the Remnant are viewed as owning Him in His humiliation - though true of those owning the position, it is really "Blessed are the poor in spirit," "Ye poor."
I note in the second Book, Psalms 42-44, that there is not the mixing up, or the deprecating it, which there was when nominally connected with Jehovah in Jerusalem. It is only open enemies, and, though cast out, joy in God. Also there is a great deal more praise in this Book; but this is after Psalm 45 has brought in Messiah, at least God's thoughts about Him. Psalm 40 is Christ, perfect but in humiliation - Psalm 45, in triumph; Psalm 44 begins a new subject.
In a certain sense Psalms 42-53 go together, but there is a distinct break at the end of Psalm 48; Psalm 45 (Messiah) brings in praise to Jehovah up to the end of Psalm 48. In Psalms 42 and 43 the power of the enemy is in and around the city, and the godly are separated and cast out; Psalm 44, they declare their integrity, though their soul is bowed down in the dust - it was even for God's sake they were suffering; Psalm 45, Messiah is brought in; then Psalm 46, the Lord of Hosts is with them; Psalm 47, He is King over all the earth; Psalm 48, He is great in Zion, and the kings are seized there with fear; Psalm 49 comments on it, and there it is essentially God not Jehovah, for every soul, save that, in Psalm 50, God judges from Zion as Jehovah, but even there it is essentially God, also Most High; the saints are gathered - the true character of the wicked shown.
In Psalm 51 the Remnant confess their sin against God in the rejection of Christ; Psalm 52, the wicked man is portrayed in contrast with the delivered just who trusted in God; Psalm 53 the fool, who went on as if there were no God - but the salvation of Israel is looked for. Psalm 51 indeed closes the direct appeal to God. To the end of Psalm 59 the enemies are specially in view as noted, then God is more looked to in the same circumstances, and the King is brought in from Psalms 55 to 68; deliverance is now immediately anticipated and celebrated. Psalms 69-72, Christ is specially brought in, and as entering into these sorrows, and then as Solomon.
64 Psalm 73 begins God's connection with Israel as such, the general troubles and sorrows of the last day, and the Remnant and wicked separated.
But note, to the end of Psalm 58 from 52, though Jehovah be looked to in hope, it is again essentially God; in Psalm 59 Jehovah comes in again. Then God comes in - they are still outside, only praise is ready; Psalms 64, 65. In Psalm 68 God is summoned, as it were, as when the ark started - "Jah" is introduced; Christ's ascension, and then, in verse 18, is "Jah" again. Psalm 63, though outside, the soul is fully brought into its right state; Psalm 64 the righteous and wicked are clearly distinguished - Jehovah will be the joy of the upright. Then Psalm 65 etc. as below, only He must first be despised and rejected but heard (Psalm 69). Psalms 70 and 71 are the closing cry when all is finally closing in. Jehovah is looked to with faith, but this Book is the time of casting out. In Psalm 10, Christ is looked to in Jewish triumph - David in humiliation, and reigning in millennial peace. It is more wholly Jewish than Book 1, though it thence reaches out farther; the ascension of Christ being sung and so triumph.
I return again to notice in some detail the Psalms.
The force and application of this beautiful Psalm are too obvious to need much explanation. It is a learning, from the dealings of the Lord on behalf of the confiding Remnant of the Jews, the faithfulness, and goodness, and full name of the Lord. He has in these actings manifested all the principles of His throne, so as to give the place and ground of confidence for all that "know thy name" (seek the right); see also Jeremiah 33:9.
65 We have here the victory of a risen Saviour, amongst the Jews in Zion, over the heathen - note ra-sha (the wicked one). It is consequent upon "above the heavens," and the destruction of Antichrist in verses 7, 8.
- 2. "Most High" is introduced here as characterising Jehovah. See Genesis 14, and Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel.
- 5. Ra-sha (wicked), the wicked one, the Antichrist, is in the singular; so in verse 16 - in verse 17, it is plural.
- 6. Observe, "the heathen rebuked," "the wicked destroyed."
- 8. "He shall judge the world in righteousness" - Acts 17:31 is a quotation from this - it is verbal in the Septuagint. This Psalm, and Psalm 10 are supplementary Psalms on the closing with the universal exaltation of the Son of man - as to the judgment (Psalm 9) of both heathen and wicked, and (Psalm 10) the ways of the wicked.
- 9. The oppressed.
- 12. The humble.
- 18. Needy - poor.
From this Psalm onward we have the development of faith in Christ, and the Remnant as associated during the time of trial - but before the last half-week, therefore Psalms 3-10 go on through to the end, as to general preface.
This Psalm seems more general; more generally characteristic. The trouble includes all. They are e-nosh min ha-aretz (the man of the earth) and so on to verse 15 inclusive, Jew, heathen, Antichristian, of those not humble and godly - verses 12 and 14 and its use by the Apostle, plainly show this. It is evidently Antichrist, compare Titus 1:16.
- 2. Ra-sha (wicked one) in the singular; so in verses 3,4, 13.
This Psalm shows that the extremity and helplessness of the or Remnant, that put their trust in God, is the occasion of God's arising, so as to put out this wickedness for ever. It expresses their cry, which is one of fear but of dependence, at the manifestation of the enemy, and his grievousness; but this confidence and wrongness of object which make him forget God (v. 4) draws out there the cry of the Remnant - out to God to aim against, and put his name out of remembrance, so that destructions come to a perpetual end. Verses 16, 17, 18, give the full development of the result, and the manner of them.
66 - 18. Notice the expression "The man of the earth" - "The God of the earth," and "of the whole earth," is a name we are familiar with; compare the history of Nebuchadnezzar, and indeed the account of Babel, for the first development of this principle of iniquity on earth. But read the Psalm with attention, for its consummation of wickedness of heart - the infidel heart - the lawlessness of the lawless - as the verses give us the acts by which it is brought into exhibition.
The character of the wicked one is especially brought out, and the way he acts in the land. But God will not forget the humble; He sees the wicked's doings. He has prepared the heart of the humble in order to bless them. But God, having broken the arm of the wicked, the heathen also have perished out of His land by His judgment; He is King for ever and ever, "The man of the earth" will no more oppress.
There is a point in Psalms 9 and 10 which I think I have not noticed. Psalm 9 is the aspect or relationship of Jehovah towards the humble, Psalm 10 that towards the wicked. Hence, though the general subject be the same, the joy is much greater in Psalm 9. It is constantly repeated, and this characterises it morally and blessedly; He does not turn away from the poor, does not forget the humble that seek Him. Every reading of the Psalm brings out the import and value of this term and gives its force to Matthew 5, and Luke, and Psalm 41, "Understandeth the poor." "Then this poor man cried." It is full of instruction to us. Oh! may we know the poor and lowly place in every way - Christ's place!
From Psalms 9 and 10 onwards, we enter much more into the actual historical circumstances of the latter days, and the condition of the Remnant or of the poor (the godly who trust in the Lord) in them. It is not simply the condition in principle, and relationship with God, abstractedly, so as to guide them, and set out their state under a rejected Christ, and thus apply immediately to the condition in which they were when Christ was upon earth (though it often may, because in principle it is the same), but the positive historical elements of the latter day, and the actual judgment of the Lord which closes them. He maintains the right, and the cause of Christ, and so of the Remnant because of Him - the heathen are rebuked, and the wicked is destroyed, Jehovah judges the world, and He who is the refuge of the oppressed endures for ever. Praises are sung to Him who dwelleth in Zion, who has remembered His poor ones - He has lifted them up from the gates of death - they that know His name will put their trust in Him.
67 I have already remarked that in Psalm 9 the heathen and the wicked, the two characters of the oppressors, and evil as against Israel in the latter day, are judged.
The following Psalms discuss the state, feelings, and position of the poor in spirit in the midst of this - the character of the wicked being fully brought out.
Note, we have not the driving out until Psalm 42 - then the historical condition of the people, and Sion, and the Lord's throne there are brought out in detail. Hence, having had the final judgment of the wicked in Palestine, and of the world in Psalms 9 and 10, the general condition is looked at, not the historical driving out. It was needful for the encouragement of the upright to give Psalms 9 and 10, but by this prefatial book, before the Antichristian driving out, we can have the connection of the Lord Himself with the people, as He was in this world - the godly One in the midst of evil - and that while they remain in this and have to possess their souls in patience. Some of them may reach on in their application to the end, but the condition of the godly is piety in the midst of evil.
In Psalm 45, the triumph of Christ is the answer to the driving out - not His sympathies with them in the sorrow. But then in order to this coming in in power, His exaltation (Psalm 68), and sorrowful humiliation in His faithfulness in Israel (Psalm 69) are brought out. He takes part there also, For indeed it goes on to the Cross, in the sins of Israel, being identified with them, and bringing out their case in Psalms 70 and 71, until He is established as Solomon (Psalm 72).
The historical part of the second Book is Psalms 42-48. Psalm 49 is exhortation; Psalms 50-67 give the moral exercises up to deliverance, and as in Psalms 16-18, Messiah's part (Psalms 68-72).
68 Psalm 11
We have here the general principles on which the godly stand.
It gives the believer's trust in God - the principles of His dealings - with the result as in man, all "the foundations are destroyed," and the righteous, though righteous, have in themselves no defence. But there is a God that sitteth above, where the workings of the ungodly do not touch the foundations of His throne, and that trieth thence the children of men - therefore trieth indeed the righteous. But it is judgment, and the destruction on the ungodly; it flows from His very character, in which the righteous trust.
This Psalm shows the confidence of the truth of Christ's Spirit (wheresoever) in Jehovah, contrasting itself with the unrighteousness of that around Him, which apparently (and actually as to the nation so) prevented the interference of Jehovah, and which, therefore, called for Jehovah's help in righteousness - and against, as itself in this place of righteousness and therefore pleading with His, the external enemies who took advantage of, and were the rod of, the nation's unrighteousness. Come what would, the point of known faith (known to faith) was that Jehovah was "in his holy temple: … his eyes behold," etc.
NOTE. - Would it not seem from this Psalm and Psalm 34, that those who seek security and blessing on the earth, draw their confidence from the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, as a Man delivered? Compare also Acts 13:33-34, and Isaiah 50, already cited, and also 55.
We have here the discovery of the wickedness of man among the Jews, when righteousness was looked for - see Ecclesiastes 3:16; Romans, and Isaiah 5. It seems here to have risen to pride and oppression, and left poverty of spirit even there; therefore "Blessed are the poor in spirit"; there was a tribe for this, in Jesus - Matthew 5, the beatitudes are Himself, and thus open these Psalms.
- 6. The word of God is presented as a resting-place.
This Psalm, I think, applies to, or specially includes the professors within - the nominal associates in the same hope, but who were really not of God's children. It is the complaint of the godly man as to the state of things around him in Zion itself; he would not have wondered at there being no godly ones amongst those who were without.
69 Psalm 13
This Psalm is with the outward enemies; it is the expression of Isaiah 8:17, i.e., of Christ's Spirit in the temporary rejection of the Jewish people, but it is the supplication when there seems, ultimately perhaps, a bringing in the deliverance. "How long" is the prayer of faith - "for ever"? For now it appears, as though there were no deliverance and thus victory of men, as the heathen, and the ungodly.
- 5. Khas'd'ka (thy mercy). His trust was in His knowledge of this, for He was it - hence derivatively our assimilation to the character of God, only first towards us; still "he that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love."
He is seemingly forgotten of God.
This gives the character of the wicked. It is the full contrast of the children of men and Jehovah. So the Apostle uses it. How according to its full meaning (as necessarily) is the Holy Ghost's use of this, its testimony - the testimony of the Spirit of Christ as knowing it! Israel was the scene of its most painful and nearest; not its least proof "If I had not," etc., John 15. Therefore "what the law saith, it saith to them under the law; that every mouth" etc., and then it was too "of many sins" (pollon hamartematon).
The Psalm states the implication of the Jews, as a body, in the common principles of the ungodly. The fears of the godly drive them to God - of the hypocrite, to alliance with evil. We are warranted, by the Apostle, in applying this Psalm to the Jews, and indeed it flows from the discovery that so had they corrupted their way, that there were none that understood; compare Isaiah 33:14-15. The captivity is not reckoned to be brought back by the Lord, till the full blessing apparently. Note also, the children of Lo-ruhamah, i.e., of Israel, ought not, it would seem, to have part in the special trials of Jerusalem and Judah in the last day; nor is "the day of Jezreel" to be till after that, when both should be brought together.
70 This Psalm seems the character of those who remain really in Zion, in the communion and union with those then on the holy hill of righteousness, when righteousness had been manifested, and what the characteristics are of relative righteousness from a pure heart. The righteousness is in relation to another, flowing from personal faithfulness to it, and integrity - moral uprightness.
- 3. "Taketh up," is well, it means "adopts" it to propagate it.
The Psalm gives the character of the preserved Remnant, and this closes this part. The three which follow are most beautiful expressions of Christ's place.
Christ comes in to give its full character and hope to faith. In this He trusts in Jehovah, and identifies Himself with the excellent of the earth, sets Jehovah before His face.
Here first Christ formally takes His place in the midst of Israel, and then, note, it is distinctly and definitely with the godly Remnant. Thus He enters into every sorrow they can go through, even to death. He enters into them, but it is to their state in general that the Psalms refer, though many things have had a literal fulfilment in Him as so entering into their sorrows. There was integrity in them, and this was put there by His Spirit (and so all feeling according to it) provided by His Spirit here, but they were guilty, and that there might be peace through deliverance, He charges Himself with it - but this in death. Compare Isaiah 49 and John 15, and see the connection with Israel in Psalm 22:4. Here we have the path of life. Psalm 32 the forgiven one; Psalm 22 the forsaken One.
This Psalm (16) places Christ fully (though perfect) amongst men - His walk of righteousness in owning Jehovah. The living God takes up His cause, so that death is not to have dominion over Him.
The Lord assumes fellowship with the saints, a most blessed truth; i.e., with the Jewish Remnant (we know it on higher ground, see John 17). Though commencing here in exhibition, stated for us in John 17, because to us consequent de facto on resurrection, and by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, and on the ground "I am no more in the world" - here, though the principle of fellowship be the same, He is in the world; yet He comes in this marvellous self-abasing, yet exalted purpose. In Psalm 17 it is in contrast with the world, but illustrated in resurrection, and in consequence, in Psalm 18, the resurrection is applied to all the history of the Jews from beginning to end.
71 The expression of His place conjointly with the Jews (where we see its carrying on into the Church) as reasoned on in Hebrews 2 is seen in verse 1 of this Psalm. The prominence of "Jehovah" is not sufficiently noticed here - Jehovah, God over all, was the personal God of the Jews, in covenant trust as of a known character, and relationship name, as Father to us more fully.
- 2. I should, from the Hebrew, translate this: "Thou hast said unto the Lord" (Jehovah) "Thou art my Lord; my goodness reacheth not up to thee; to the saints that are in the earth, and the excellent, in them is all my delight"; compare Matthew 19:17, and Luke 18:19, given in both as identified with Jew and Gentile, with the suitable differences, and the first associate promises in direct connection with the matter of this Psalm. We may also compare John 17. I do not think it means morally excellent; compare the Septuagint.
"Thou hast said unto Jehovah" compare Psalm 91, where the recognition of this by Messiah, i.e., His identification with Jewish sorrows and interests, as the secret place of the Most High, puts Him under the shadow of the Almighty - the two Abrahamic names of God. So here "Preserve me, O God." "Thou hast said unto Jehovah," the Jewish Lord, "Thou art, my Lord."
Compare verses 1 and 3, indeed verses 1, 2 and 3, with John 17:11, and also verses 1 and 5 with verse 21.
- 3. The translation is quite wrong; it should be as above. "[Thou hast said] unto the saints that are in the earth."
- 4. "The sorrows of those that hasten after another" not Jehovah; "Jehovah is the portion of mine inheritance."
He has a heritage, receives counsel of the Lord, and is instructed in the secret watches of the night, by thoughts as a man learning obedience, so He sets Jehovah before Him as a righteous Jew, and He will not be moved, being perfect in all this. Resurrection is His hope, and His right hand where are pleasures for evermore.
72 The close of the Psalm shows that having taken the portion of the afflicted, nothing was His hope here but God, but this portion goes on here to death - presence with Him in resurrection is His joy and crown. So ours with Him!
John 17 compared with this Psalm and Zechariah 6:12-13, show the difference of the Church's and Jewish communion. Compare Hebrews 2.
- 10. Is it quite certain that "Thou wilt not leave my soul in Sheol," refers to the resurrection? It is not quoted in Acts 13. In this case, Paradise would not be Sheol at all. Christ went where we go on dying, like the thief. The word is Lo-taazov (Thou will not forsake); this may surely mean, He went there, and left it directly, but it might mean He would not, if others had, have His place there. The resurrection is quite sufficient to meet the expression; the only question is if it be the true explanation. I do not know that Acts 2:27 affects the question, unless verse 31, that seems to decide; but I am not quite certain.
That Christ went down fully into the place of death is quite certain, only did His soul go up thereon immediately to Paradise? - Paradise not being Hades.
As far as I see, always in the New Testament, and generally, it may be always in the Old, it is the expression of the power of death, the place of the departed where death still reigns over them. Capernaum goes down "to Hades." The rich man in torment is in Hades. Hades delivered up its dead in the second resurrection; Revelation 1:18 and 6:8 would not alter this idea.
In Job 14, he clearly does not go beyond this present world of sight, and in the bitterness of his spirit has no sense of resurrection. The tree sprouts now and visibly in this present world - man does not, and in fact never will, unless miraculously as Lazarus; death has wholly passed upon him as an inhabitant of this world - a child of Adam. Such life he never recovers. Job was right, only he did not see beyond, nor here know Him who is the resurrection and the life. But Christ never rose according to His previous life in this world, though according to the divine power of it. Psalm 19 may go farther, and I think there is, by the Spirit, a mysterious looking out to Christ's resurrection as victory over dust, but not without hope of present deliverance, in Job. Proverbs 14:32 is very remarkable as to their state in those days - vague but showing the effect of grace, when life and incorruptibility were not brought to light.
73 It is to be remarked that in the judgment on Adam, only his present temporal condition is formally announced; "He drove the man," etc., may give far more to a spiritual mind, but the judgment on all three even is limited to this earth. Sheol itself was a proof that something more was seen, though all was dark there, for it supposed living souls after death. Kore and his company go to Sheol.
There is a note in Delitsch, p. 412, which treats this point all falsely, as is the text he quotes, but he seems to say that Bengel and two moderns take it as I have said above, but all is discussed here on the ground of 1 Peter 3:18, not on Acts 2:27. Of 1 Peter 3:18, I reject the whole interpretation, save that I am satisfied zoopoietheis (made alive, quickened) is resurrection.
Ephesians 4 contrasts His being in the lower parts of the earth (compare Matthew 12:40) with ascension, compare also Romans 10:7. But these, I apprehend, contemplate Christ as whole Person - the last only as a supposition of ignorance. There was no witness of overcoming, nor recognition on God's part till resurrection. But the images of the Old Testament bore witness to the looming of resurrection on their vision, as Isaiah 26:19, Daniel 12:2, and the last verse which is direct; Hosea 6:2.
Thus the condition of Messiah in the midst of the Jews is entered into, as we have seen, but the great secret of resurrection, which is the centre of all economy, is not brought out till this Psalm. Psalm 8, to us, supposes it, but it is facts as regards inheritance, not the passage as regards means and principles. Here, i.e., in Psalm 16 the resurrection is introduced, but this and the two following Psalms contain the general history of what conducted to, and the history and effects of resurrection. One with the godly Jews (Psalm 16), He is brought there, then (Psalm 17) what is the world; Psalm 18 what the history of the Jews founded on this, from the beginning and at the end. Psalm 19 gives the two great general principles of judgment, because of testimony - Creation and the Law. Psalm 20 gives the speciality of Christ's position viewed by the Spirit in the Remnant's piety. It embraces, with Psalm 21, all the relation produced between Jehovah and the people by Christ in what He did or is. Psalm 22 gives the details of suffering necessary to this end. Blessed be He!
74 This Psalm then is the Beloved's placing Himself in association with His people, and His hope as connected with them. It is His word in His human nature as Christ, and then the Spirit's address as in Him - the divine Spirit - the word of the Son, as a divine Person, by the Spirit to Christ, i.e., the communication to His human nature, giving it the ground of its assurance when taking all the circumstances of the Beloved; and hence Peter says "Because it was not possible that he should be holden of it." We shall see the developments of it in the following Psalm, and His supplication, on this ground, is fully exhibited in Psalm 22, as see verse 20.
This is the answer of the human nature, under the trial of His soul that is, to the very truth contained in this; the results are then fully stated.
Consequently here He can take up the interest, in His own Person, of the Remnant, the righteous Remnant, yet in this holy dependence on, and reference to Jehovah. "Hear the right" - attend to My cry - My sentence - His heart proved. As to the works of men, kept by the Word, His goings in dependence.
- 9. He called against his enemies.
- 11. The rest of the Remnant are introduced.
- 14. As giving up this present world.
- 15. His portion in resurrection, and beholding His - Jehovah's - presence. In its full display then, the Image of the Invisible God. This is our portion (1 John 3) in Him.
B'ha-kits t'm'u-na-theka (in the wakening up of Thy likeness). Does not sa-ba (to be satisfied) govern the b' (in)? "I shall be satisfied in the awakening up of thy, etc."
He is here in presence of the wicked - He has no portion in this world, and is satisfied with that which He has in resurrection. He appeals to God's righteousness to judge and hear the right, and hence presents the wickedness of the wicked. This gives a most interesting character to these two Psalms (16 and 17), because in Psalm 16 we have His own joy in God. Jehovah shows Him the path of life, and at His right hand are pleasures for evermore. In presence of the wicked and the prosperity of the men of this world, He beholds God's presence in righteousness, and is satisfied in waking up after His image, i.e., He looks to the partaking of manifested glory; so that we have just as analogously in the Church the taking-up for its own joy, and the display in glory as the reward of righteousness.
75 Note, Psalms 16 and 17 both speak of Jesus taking the place of humble, dependent obedience in this world, and waiting upon God, but the first is between Him and God - He takes His place with the excellent of the earth, and His joy too is what is found at God's right hand and in His presence. In Psalm 17 He is with the wicked who oppress; hence His comfort, though in God's presence, is in His own glory, but still as with God and bearing His image. The examination of this, in the spirit and detail of it, is full of interest. It applies to the Remnant in the spirit of it, and to us in many things.
Psalm 16 is much more inwardly with God; Psalm 17 is much more outwardly with men, and the hope is suited to this.
This Psalm is the supplication of the Enos as having kept, i.e., Christ as Enos, the way of God, by the words of His lips, as concerned in the works of men and therein kept Himself from the paths of the destroyer - having leaned upon God so as to be kept in His paths. His full sense of the power of the enemy, the wicked compassing Him about, then the perfect identification with the portion of the Jews in the latter day, in view of the apparent success and temporary prosperity of the wicked (as in the hand of God), and, at the same time, His satisfaction at the resurrection portion, "Who for the joy that was set before him," etc. This Psalm is a very remarkable association of the personal state and hope of Christ, as such, and the circumstances of His people, and also His identity with the resurrection hope of the rest of His people, the Remnant.
NOTE. - It is interesting to remark that the hope for the saints in the Epistle of John is conformed to this Psalm, 1 John 3:2; and that in the Gospel, John 14:2-3, to Psalm 16.
This Psalm is founded on resurrection. He takes up the whole case of Israel.
- 16. He took me, he drew me out of many waters." Compare Moses (Exodus 2:10).
- 23. I judge that the true sense of these words is "the iniquity which lay before me in this path in which I had to walk." Meavone (from my iniquity) is never, I think, what we call "indwelling sin," but sin before God, iniquity, a relative state to Him, guilt. "I kept myself from what would have put me in this relation." So Rosenmuller takes it, after Vogel. Hence its application directly to Christ Himself even is very simple, as "By the words of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer."
76 - 20-27. Show the Jewish character of the Psalm in grace. It is as the sermon on the mount in principle. This could only be said by Christ as a Jew, save that the character of God at the close of them, would have been destruction to all else.
43. The people Am, not Am'ka (thy people) though, then go-im (the heathen) and then Am a people again, showing the plural force of this word Am (people), the heathen brought into recognition and relationship under Messiah with the Jews in the earth and not till then - now it is only said, and therefore individual sons of the living God.
We have in this Psalm the historical glory in which death and resurrection, and the power of it in Christ, is associated with the Egyptian deliverance in the beginning, and the latter-day deliverance in the end - associated with them though Jehovah, but showing that the principle of interest in which He as a man, a Jew, was associated with them, was true in sympathy then - "in all their affliction he was afflicted, etc," verse 16. "He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters" (compare Moses, Exodus 2:10); and afterwards in strength verses 38-42 - as David, God girding him with strength. Nothing can be more beautiful, more perfect or complete than these three Psalms.
- 45. I should translate "shall waste away." See Psalm 68:2.
We have, at the close, His royal power and victories upon earth, so that Psalms 16, 17 and 18 give us the joy of Christ in going to His Father (compare John 14). His joy in His manifestation in glory in resurrection as the display of the image of God, and His expectation of royal earthly glory in which He shall be manifested. The reference to His death, and His association with Israel from the beginning remains untouched.
This Psalm, the occasion of which is marked by its being presented in 2 Samuel 20, is one of deep interest and large extent. It plainly reaches to Him who was greater than David, and is the prophetic glance at all that He has been interested in from the Jewish covenant; interest as their God ("In all their afflictions he was afflicted, and the Angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them: and he bore them, and carried them all the days of old," see the end of the chapter) to the end of His and their deliverance. It was the application of His righteousness to them, for He bare them, to verse 23; and therefore it declares the Lord's deliverances all through, that the enemy was against Him, i.e., God's deliverance and presentation of Him from that to the end, His final triumph, and therefore the deliverance of His people - His own sitting therefore on high, and becoming Head over all. It is the David, however, all through; in the last word, sitting in the anointed way through Him. But it is, withal, the place of the Beloved before God, Jehovah, even after all His deliverances, and therefore celebrates all His deliverances of Him.
77 The comparison of this Psalm with Matthew 25 raises the question as to the destruction of all the wicked when Christ comes. I think we must distinguish between the outward submission in the conquests of Messiah, as in Psalm 45, and divine sessional judgment. It is certain what is left of Israel will be all righteous - it is said so, and many passages show it; this is just judicial and not warlike triumph. As to the Gentiles, there are both, because He takes up Judah and makes him His goodly horse in the day of battle. Thus in the war there will be submission which may be feigned through fear. The judicial process when individuals are judged is another thing; then they are finally separated when brought under it. This last is clearly the character of Matthew 25.
This Psalm seems to me to show the Lord in the two great parts of His glory in the heavens, far above all principality, while the present estate shows indeed the glory of the Son, though not the sun, and withal the wisdom of God the Ordainer, and His actual righteousness (as under the law) or Judaical righteousness and glory. All the world were guilty of the great offence - Christ, in the same act, was not; He was born under the law, and fulfilled, and did not come short of the glory of God in it. But He speaks of them in His state of liability - excellent in themselves - His delight is in them. But also, as in the world, Thy Servant is warned (v. 11), see also Psalm 17:4. Observe further, for there is much depth in this Psalm, the heavens do not declare the glory of Jehovah - that is His covenant name - but of God. The law of Jehovah converteth the soul - it is perfect; compare Psalms 1 and 40, so also John 8:29. The Gentiles are His natural glory, for it is as risen to be the "Sun of righteousness," He is Head of them, they being let in, receiving life, through His rising - the Jews, His legal glory, for it is only as fulfilling that He came the Head of the Jews, having the promises as the Seed, and as in and by them He reigns in the world, where righteousness has its sphere of fulfilment. But this is too large a subject to do more than notice in this heading of this bright and shining Psalm.
78 But I note a word in passing on Psalms 19-21. In the first we have the Creation for Gentiles, leaving them without excuse - the perfection of the law for the Jew. In Psalm 20 the godly Jew - the Spirit of Christ views Christ on earth - desires deliverance in and of Zion; in verse 6 the deliverance comes not thence, but from the heavens - His resurrection. Then these godly Jews see Him already glorified (where we are one with Him), persecuted before He returns to take the glory and fulfil then His good designs for Israel. But He is now, to Israel, King - they see thus the witness and consequence of resurrection. In the end He is King against His enemies. Thus all His history is brought out with a Jewish eye, i.e., the Spirit of Christ in the Jews.
We have then the testimony of Creation and the Law.
The workmanship of God and the law of Jehovah are very manifestly, I will not say contrasted but distinguished - a tacit testimony by which we may say "Have they not heard?" The declaration of God's glory, not the law, declaring His righteousness. The Spirit only may recognise, but they declare the glory without any reference to the character and condition of those to whom they are displayed. Thus they are referred to in Romans 10. They become emblems of grace in Matthew 5:45 to the end, and Christ as the Sun of it as set in the heavens, for grace is from the heavens. The law looks for righteousness from the earth, therefore even in reference to "He maketh his sun to rise upon the evil and upon the good, and sendeth rain upon the just and unjust" when grace is the subject, loving those who do not love us, loving our enemies, the very character of grace. This, i.e., the natural testimony of benevolent goodness to sinners was among the Gentiles (He left not Himself without witness) as the law was amongst the Jews, and so pleaded in Romans, that every mouth might be stopped, and so grace from heaven from the Sun of righteousness, and the rain of His Spirit was on Gentile as well as Jew - here however it is only the sun, not the rain, because of universality. The heavens spread over all, and the sun going about from one end to the other. Now this symbolically shows the character of grace, its scope and working in light, and fulfilledly when the Sun of righteousness arises indeed in Person. The spiritual estimate of the law in godly acknowledgment is then beautifully stated, but not, it appears to me, in connection with heavenly hopes or heavenly righteousness - grace has established that in the heavens. It is rather a godly Jew on the coming in of the millennium, the other symbolically stating what was (to him) "in the heavens," Jehovah being owned as the Rock and God of the Spirit-taught Remnant.
79 It seems to me that there is a certain connection between this Psalm and those following, up to Psalm 24 inclusive. Having Creation and the Law, we have then Israel considering the suffering Messiah - an enigma, no doubt, but here explained, Psalms 20 and 21. In Psalm 22, we have His own blessed expression of this suffering, as abandoned of God in it, which He alone could feel and express; and in this He identifies Himself with Israel, and therein with the Remnant, for it is remarkable, while the basis of all its hopes, how the Church is excluded from all these Psalms. In Psalms 23 and 24 we have the dealings and leadings of the Lord on the earth, as an Object of care, until He be fully recognised as the Lord Himself "mighty in battle," in the great scene (in Israel) which is in view in all these Psalms, and must be, in speaking of earthly judgments. It is not His moral trial, as put to the test, as identified with others - with Israel - but how actually He was led, as faith recognised it, till He took His place in His due glory. Psalms 11 and 18 also have their connection, though Psalms 18 and 19 have a substantial, special place, each of its own. To the end of Psalm 17, the resurrection is the answer to the difficulties in which the righteous man finds himself, and the folly of iniquity; Psalm 18 is the intervention in judgment and against.
80 We clearly get, in Psalm 19, Creation a testimony, and the Law a testimony - just an epitome of this ground of the Romans; only there it is in conviction of sin. But Psalm 20 brings in the godly Jew understanding another point - Messiah in the day of trouble - Jehovah's help looked for for Him. To see Messiah in trouble, crying, was exceeding much, and to see it, as such, in faith. He had said "Strengthen thee out of Zion," but He hears Him from His holy heaven. But this is thoroughly Jewish. "Now" (v. 6) seems faith, but founded on some deliverance (v. 8), deliverance to themselves. Psalm 21 goes farther, entering into the answer, or rather the counsels of God concerning Him, before He gets the Jewish blessings; it rather exercises judgment on His enemies then. He is prevented with the blessings of goodness, crowned, and length of days for ever, glory, honour, majesty, blessing for ever, Jehovah's countenance. Then He finds His enemies, who had imagined mischief against Him. In a word, Psalm 20 sees Him in, or rather out of, Jewish sorrows, still knows He deliverance and faith; Psalm 21 sees Him the other side of resurrection, and in glory, explaining the conduct and result of unbelief. Then He finds His enemies who had imagined mischief against Him.
Hence in Psalm 22 we find Him in the trouble which takes Him out of the regular answer to Jewish faith - God does not hear, whereas it had been said "The Lord hear thee"; but in verse 21 we have the hearing of Psalm 21, only He does not rise up here, at all, to the heavenly glory. But we have an elect Remnant gathered, so that it is distinguished from Judaism and becomes the Church, i.e., an assembly owned apart; then all Israel as the great congregation, and the blessing of the meek, and the Lord's dominion. Before Psalm 19 they were the general dealings with Messiah, or the Remnant in the midst of Israel, wickedness prevailing; Psalm 18 taking the whole account from Moses. But in Psalm 20 they look on at Him in suffering as before Jehovah. The matter between Him and Jehovah, in the day of His distress, begins another subject, Psalm 22.
This series of Psalms is exceedingly remarkable, as referred to here. It is evident that in Psalms 19, 20 and 21 we may see the Spirit as working in a godly Jew - Creation a testimony - the Law, or testimony of God, delighted in. Psalm 20 sees Messiah entering into their trouble, when the name of the God of Jacob was to avail Him. So Simeon owns Him as the salvation, but sees Him too, a sign to be spoken against, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed, but His heart is looked at as the full vessel of divine desires - the Object which creates the affections of the godly Jew. The Anointed is saved - a wonderful thing to say!
81 Psalm 21 goes further, and sees that His heart's desire has been met, but views Him as the heavenly Man, I take it - still as the answer, but more than expected answer to Psalm 20. He is "made most blessed for ever," and "glad with Jehovah's countenance," honour and great majesty being set before Him, the crown of pure gold being put upon His head. Afterwards, those enemies, who would not that He should reign over them, who imagined a device they were not able to perform, to cast Him down whom God would exalt, who would not say "Let the king hear when we call," "Jehovah fulfil all thy petitions," are brought before Him. Here then we have the heavenly associations of the Jewish people, godly ones - the Church position not being entered into. Messiah, who entered into Jacob's trouble, is known as the heavenly Man whom God has exalted - the King. This we get, I take it, in Daniel 7 - the saints of the heavenlies, not yet the Church, though the Church were that. And, note, this is the first Book, where we have seen resurrection-hope much more full. Perhaps those who do not die, nor are cut off, are therefore able to learn the song sung in heaven, and go with the Lamb "whithersoever he goeth," being redeemed from the earth.
Then in Psalm 22 we have not the looking on of the godly man, but what Christ alone can express - His not being heard of God Himself, and what He suffered in that time itself; the forsaking of God not being in Israel's, His sheep's, trouble, and they identifying themselves with Him, and waiting His deliverance - but what He felt while He was not heard, as between Him and God only, the vessel now of wrath, and who, when men closed Him in, looked to God and found Him not. Then the answer of God is into that depth - He was on the horns of the unicorns to be heard, and this name which met Him there, that love of God which, satisfied and glorified in Jesus, the Lord being brought ("Thou hast brought me"), and brought by His righteous judgment into "the dust of death" - awful word! - reaches down there into that place, and takes up the vicarious, yet personal, sufferer out of it, and becomes redemption - God's love going down there, He raised by the glory of the Father! This name of God His Father, so known there, He makes known to His brethren, and so forms, of the Remnant of Israel, the Church; though the ingrafting of the Gentiles, so as to be one Body, is not of course touched on here. Here however the Gentiles can come in, the middle wall is down, as the Apostle argues at large, into which we need not enter. He has destroyed, in His flesh, the enmity. Here however it is pursued on from the Remnant congregation, as in Romans 11 (which introduces, besides, the provoking to jealousy of the Gentiles), to the great congregation of Israel. The whole nation in that day, and all the ends of the earth remember themselves, and turn to the Lord.
82 A few more words on Psalms 19-24. In general the order is given rightly previously, i.e., Psalms 3-6, great general principles connected with the rejection of Messiah in Psalm 2, as regards the state of the Remnant - Psalm 8 being the result as to Christ. Then, founded on Psalms 9 and 10, the actual latter day history in the land - the experience of the Remnant, looking to Jehovah in that state when all is evil, ripening to judgment - this goes on to Psalm 15. Psalms 16 and 17 are trust and integrity in its effect in the slain One, Psalm 18, Messiah suffering the pains of death - the Centre of the whole history from Egypt to the Millennium. Psalm 19 then takes up the testimonies of God - Creation - the Law - Christ or His Spirit were the glories of the heavens (for the earth is corrupt) and is subject to the law and discerns its perfectness. Then He is a suffering Messiah (the Faithful Witness) where the faithful see Him in the spirit of prophecy; the result being His endless life and glory from Jehovah as Man, and the judgment of His enemies - His hand shall find them all out. But then as Centre, and necessary Centre of all, and alone, embraced in all the rest and so itself bringing it forward, stands by itself in His own lips the prophecy of atonement and the Cross - the forsaking of His God - with its effect in gathering the Remnant, and in the world, both the great congregation (of Israel) and to the ends of the earth, and the seed that is to follow. Then comes the sure confidence and future result of this in Israel, and for the present faith and confidence of the individual, Jehovah is the trusted Shepherd, and all passed through in security, and so security, as to all before one, reckoned on. Jehovah takes care of the saint - that for the time of weakness, death, and enemies. Then finally the earth is the Lord's and its fulness, the godly Remnant will abide in His holy hill, and the glory - the glory of Jehovah - takes its abode in the house - Jehovah of hosts is there. Then follows the various experiences of the trusting and exercised soul, as usual, to the end of Psalm 39.