The Psalms

being a concise survey, and remarks thereon; with especial reference to the Divine Names employed.
by W. T. Whybrow.
London: James Carter, Aldine Chambers, 13, Paternoster Row, E.C.
[Walter Thomas Whybrow: Born: 14th October 1842. Died: 8th July 1918. Edited, "Words of Grace for the Household of Faith".]

Plan of the Work.
The different Subjects are indicated at the head of each group of psalms or section.
A general Outline or short Summary of each psalm is then given.
Following this the divine Names employed in the psalm are specified.
Finally, some Details and Principles are noted.
Version used, J. N. D.'s New Translation.

Book 1

Psalm  1
Psalm  2
Psalm  3
Psalm  4
Psalm  5
Psalm  6
Psalm  7
Psalm  8
Psalm  9
Psalm 10
Psalm 11
Psalm 12
Psalm 13
Psalm 14
Psalm 15
Psalm 16
Psalm 17
Psalm 18
Psalm 19
Psalm 20
Psalm 21
Psalm 22
Psalm 23
Psalm 24
Psalm 25
Psalm 26
Psalm 27
Psalm 28
Psalm 29
Psalm 30
Psalm 31
Psalm 32
Psalm 33
Psalm 34
Psalm 35
Psalm 36
Psalm 37
Psalm 38
Psalm 39
Psalm 40
Psalm 41
Book 2

Psalm 42
Psalm 43
Psalm 44
Psalm 45
Psalm 46
Psalm 47
Psalm 48
Psalm 49
Psalm 50
Psalm 51
Psalm 52
Psalm 53
Psalm 54
Psalm 55
Psalm 56
Psalm 57
Psalm 58
Psalm 59
Psalm 60
Psalm 61
Psalm 62
Psalm 63
Psalm 64
Psalm 65
Psalm 66
Psalm 67
Psalm 68
Psalm 69
Psalm 70
Psalm 71
Psalm 72
Book 3

Psalm 73
Psalm 74
Psalm 75
Psalm 76
Psalm 77
Psalm 78
Psalm 79
Psalm 80
Psalm 81
Psalm 82
Psalm 83
Psalm 84
Psalm 85
Psalm 86
Psalm 87
Psalm 88
Psalm 89

Book 4

Psalm 90
Psalm 91
Psalm 92
Psalm 93
Psalm 94
Psalm 95
Psalm 96
Psalm 97
Psalm 98
Psalm 99
Psalm 100
Psalm 101
Psalm 102
Psalm 103
Psalm 104
Psalm 105
Psalm 106
Book 5

Psalm 107
Psalm 108
Psalm 109
Psalm 110
Psalm 111
Psalm 112
Psalm 113
Psalm 114
Psalm 115
Psalm 116
Psalm 117
Psalm 118
Psalm 119
Psalm 120
Psalm 121
Psalm 122
Psalm 123
Psalm 124
Psalm 125
Psalm 126
Psalm 127
Psalm 128
Psalm 129
Psalm 130
Psalm 131
Psalm 132
Psalm 133
Psalm 134
Psalm 135
Psalm 136
Psalm 137
Psalm 138
Psalm 139
Psalm 140
Psalm 141
Psalm 142
Psalm 143
Psalm 144
Psalm 145
Psalm 146
Psalm 147
Psalm 148
Psalm 149
Psalm 150

  The reader of the following pages will readily perceive that their chief aim is to trace the varied ways in which the Spirit of God has presented the adorable Person of the Saviour, under the different divine names employed by the pen of inspiration in the Psalms.
  This theme, so fruitful of blessing, has been, however, little more than indicated; but in doing so it has become necessary to touch upon the prophetic place which the Psalms have, and their special application to the Jews and Israel, as the owned and responsible people of God on earth in the coming day.
  Though this divine thought of restoring the so-loved, but now rejected, nation is familiar to many Christians, yet it will amply repay deep and prayerful study. Israel is the scene in which what God is, in the government of the world, is displayed; and the Psalms set forth the exercises wrought by His Spirit in the hearts of His saints as under that government, and as finally the glorious manifestation of it.
  The forms which, according to the wisdom of God, His glory takes in connection with Israel and the government of the world, are thus brought before the soul of the believing Remnant, as subjects of faith and hope, and consequently of communion with God.
  These revelations of the Divine Mind the writer has desired grace to note, together with the glimpses of heavenly and eternal hopes which faith enjoyed, as taught by the Spirit, beyond and above the privileges which formed Israel's revealed and proper portion.
  May the Lord use what is of Himself for the help and blessing of the assembly which is His Body, and may praise return to Him from hearts filled to overflowing with the joy of an ever deepening and fuller communion with Himself.

Book 1.
Psalms 1 - 41.

Heading — Psalms 1, 2 propose the principal theme of the first book, indeed of the whole collection, though there are other, and, it may be, a wider range of subjects. But the principles and circumstances in view are thus plainly set forth at the outset. As regards the divine Names employed, it is noticeable that 'Jah' does not appear in this book, though it is found in all the other four, and Jehovah is mentioned considerably more than three times as often as the other Names. This is a far larger proportion than in the other books. Indeed, in Books 2, 'Elohim' largely predominates. In Book 1, Psalm 8 is the only one in which 'Adonim' is invoked, and 'Elion' does not appear after Psalm 21. 'Shadday' is not found — but twice indeed throughout the whole hundred and fifty psalms. From this it would seem evident that the first book is concerned with those who are in a place of known and recognised relationship, but in the midst of difficulties, and before power has intervened to establish blessing by destroying the enemy and the adversary. The first part of the book, say to Psalm 21, deals principally with conflict with the wicked, Psalms 9, 10, detailing the actual history of the last days. The latter half, from Psalm 23, presents more moral questions and exercises. The doxology is the same as at the end of the fourth book, except that there all the people are called to say, 'Amen.' The first book has more to do with Christ personally on earth, and the Remnant of that time, and also has distinctly in view the Remnant of the latter day who are found in Jerusalem in the first half of Daniel's seventieth week.

Psalm 1 — The blessed, because righteous, man is seen among the ungodly. His character, that of the godly Remnant, is distinguished, in separatedness of heart and way, and of deliberate profession. As to positive good, his predilection is in Jehovah's law, on which he feeds. Growth, fruit, and stability is the result. The wicked are not so, and shall not stand in the judgment.
  Jehovah, 2.

Note — The theme is the way of the righteous and the way of the wicked.

Psalm 2 — Then the scene is revealed: — the nations tumultuous, the peoples meditating vanity; the kings of the earth standing up, and the princes taking counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed. Adonay, upon Jehovah's throne, derides and will confound them. Prophetically, Jehovah sets Messiah upon His hill of Zion, who there declares the decree made in the day of humiliation. In the day of exaltation kings and judges are warned to submit. The blessed are, here, they that trust Him.
  Jehovah, 3; Adonay, 1.

Note — The circumstances are humiliation, glory, exaltation. The Son of God born in humiliation, the rejected Christ, is Adonay in the heavens; the Son to whom all homage is due, and who is to he served with fear, thus being identified with Jehovah. He is, moreover, Jehovah's King set upon Zion.

Heading — Psalms 3 — 7 set forth the principles actuating the righteous of Psalm 1 amid the circumstances of Psalm 2.

Psalm 3 — Surrounded by troublers, faith trusts Jehovah according to His sovereignty in grace, even though the mass of the people are rebellious. Salvation is of Him, and His blessing is on His people.
  Jehovah, 6; Elohim, 2.

Note — Faith identifies itself with Jehovah's people and their blessing, and counts upon His answer in grace for the earth. By His Spirit in the Remnant in the coming day Christ does this.

Psalm 4 — The Spirit of Christ in the Remnant prays, as one set apart for Jehovah, and, in conscious rectitude, testifying to the apostate people of piety and faith. The day of testimony ended, he rests in peace under Jehovah's care, calmed in heart in spite of righteous indignation (v. 4).
  Jehovah, 5; Elohim, 1.

Note — The previous psalm distinguishes faith. This one, righteousness and testimony.

Psalm 5 — In the morning he prepares for the service of God, as one morally separated from evil, and enters the Temple. There he recognises the wickedness of the people as such (compare Romans 3:9-19), and imprecates judgment on them, but declares blessing on the righteous in God's righteousness.
  Jehovah, 5; Elohim, 2; El, 1.

Note — It is testimony in the first half-week, and formal worship carried on amid an apostate mass. (See Mark 11:12-17.) Holiness in supremacy over evil distinguishes 'El.' (v. 4).
  'El' itself means The Mighty. The use of it in the Psalms is most marked and of the highest importance. This will be noted as we proceed. It is sufficient here to say that the Spirit of prophecy puts it largely into the lips of the blessed Saviour, indicating thus that it is a term expressive of personal intercourse. (See Psalms 16:1, 18:30, 47, 22:1, 10, 102:24.) It is the name used, contrasted with man, for a God personally owned, whether true or false. (Isaiah 43, 44; Lam. 3:41; Ez. 28; Dan. 11:36; Hosea 11:9.) He is therefore the 'El' who reveals Himself (Gen. 16:13, 35:1, 46:3; Job 33:14-18, 29.), Immanuel, 'El' with us (Isa. 8:11), known in certain moral characters. He is jealous (Ex. 34:14; Deut. 4:24, 5:9, 6:15; Joshua 24:19; Nahum 1:2), merciful (Ex. 34:6; Deut. 4:31; Neh. 9:31; Jonah 4:2), gracious (Jonah 4:2), forgiving (Psalm 99:8; Micah 7:18), faithful (Deut. 7:9, 32:4), just (Job 34:10, 12, 17-28, 36:3-7; Isa. 45:21), holy (Isa. 5:16), mighty (Isa. 10:21; Jer. 32:18), great and terrible (Deut. 7:21, 10:17; Dan. 9:4; Neh. 9:32); the 'El' of knowledge (1 Sam. 2:3), of recompenses (Jer. 56), the living (Joshua 3:10; Hosea 1:10), the eternal 'El' (Gen. 21:33) — El Shadday, El Elion (Gen. 14, 17 etc.). In fine, He it is who governs men in the strength of holiness (Jer. 32:18, 51:56), for He is supreme over evil in holiness and grace. This is fully set forth in the Book of Job, where this Name is employed characteristically, and also by Balaam as the mouthpiece of this (Num. 23, 24.).

Psalm 6 — Night closes in with a sense of Jehovah's anger. Death he fears and deprecates. Yet he counts on mercy and Jehovah's intervention, and refuses the company of the ungodly.
  Jehovah, 8.

Note — This is godly infirmity in man, and mercy on Jehovah's part. The enemies are his own here: in Psalm 5, they were Jehovah's — Antichrist and his company. Separation is the chief thought.

Psalm 7 — This introduces persecution, and at once, in a special way, the Spirit of Christ identifies Him with the people, pleading personal grace on His part as a ground for judgment against His enemies. The judgment looked for is the future one of the crisis. Meanwhile, Elohim protects the upright and prepares punishment for the wicked, whose character, as well as the manner of his destruction, is set forth.
  Jehovah, 7; Elohim, 5; El, 1; Elion, 1.

Note — The 'Most High' is here for the first time introduced into the Psalms. It is God's millennial Name, as supreme in government and blessing. Jehovah is in the assembly of the peoples, and ministers judgment. He is thus the Anointed of Psalm 2. Moreover, it is in Him that the righteous man, as in Psalm 1, is established (vv. 6-9). Thus, in Scripture, Christ as Man is never viewed apart from what He is as divine. Indignation as regards the wicked is ascribed to 'El.'

Psalm 8 — In the day of the adversaries' success Jehovah's glory is above the heavens, and His power in testimony is in the mouth of babes and sucklings on earth. Compared with the mighty workmanship of the heavens and its luminaries, what is man that he should be so thought of? Made a little lower than the angels, the glory is verified and displayed in Him (as yet only to faith, for the day of glory has not yet dawned), and He is to exercise universal supremacy.
  Jehovah, 2; Adonim, 2.

Note — This One, who is presented as Enosh and Ben Adam, is the subject of God's testimony on earth, though in the mouth of babes (v. 2), and is the One glorified above the heavens. (Acts 7:54-59.) This psalm closes the series, and introduces that which follows, setting forth the circumstances of the last days. The opposers within and without are noticed in verse 2. (Cf. 1 Cor. 15:24-26; Heb. 2:8; Eph. 1:21-22.)

Heading — Psalms 9, 10 present the scene in the land in the last days — what God sees, and what the wicked man does. The four following furnish the corresponding exercises.

Psalm 9 — The Most High — Jehovah in millennial power — is celebrated. He sits upon His earthly throne. The nations are rebuked, the wicked are destroyed, but Jehovah is enthroned for ever. But this is Christ, for it is He that will judge the world in righteousness. (vv. 7, 8; Acts 17:31.) He is Jehovah, and the Man by whom Jehovah judges righteously; yet it is His right and cause (v. 4) that is maintained, the Remnant being identified with Him. He is a refuge for the oppressed, and forsakes not them that seek Him. He sits in Zion, and the testimony is to go out to the peoples, for in judgment He has remembered mercy. Judgment then falls upon the nations and the wicked, who are caught in their own snare according to the ways of God in government. Jehovah, not man, must have the upper-hand, and the nations be brought under His fear.
  Jehovah, 9; Elion, 1; Elohim, 1.

Note — Christ, truly Man, is Jehovah in the mind of the Spirit. The nations are rebuked, the wicked destroyed, the peoples are evangelised (v. 11), justice is done for them, and the poor are delivered.

Psalm 10 — A judicial inquisition was declared in the previous psalm, but this is an appeal to Jehovah, who is King, on behalf of His land, and the afflicted in it, against the wicked. He persecutes the poor, he glories in his own thoughts, he encourages the covetous, and despises God and His government. He scorns his enemies, he murders the innocent and helpless, and hardens his conscience against God. The Spirit of Christ in intercession enquires, Why? for he has said in his heart, 'Thou wilt not require it.' Jehovah sees, hears, and undertakes for the afflicted, the wretched, and the fatherless. He breaks the arm of the wicked. He is King, the nations perish out of His land. The man of the earth terrifies no more.
  Jehovah, 5; Elohim, 2; El, 2.

Note — El's character in respect of evil is ignored by the wicked and appealed to by the righteous. Elohim and El are prominent in this psalm on account of the wicked man who contemns Jehovah or any God. (See 2 Thess. 2:4.)

Heading — The corresponding exercises follow in the next five psalms.

Psalm 11 — Faith's answer to the doubts inspired by the deceivers is here given us — doubts respecting the maintenance of God's testimony. It is a temptation found specially in the first half-week, viz., to surrender the religious privileges established by Jehovah. The faith that foils it is the faith of Hezekiah (Isa. 36:16-17), as contrasted with that of Jeremiah. (See Jer. 21:9, 24). He casts himself upon Jehovah's righteousness (cf. 2 Thess. 1:5-6), and takes refuge in Him in spite of the power of the wicked and perversion of all good, owning His place of holiness and His seat of power in heaven. From thence Jehovah considers and discriminates, hating and judging the violent, but showing favour to the upright.
  Jehovah, 5.

Note — This psalm is all 'Jehovah,' since it is faith recognising an established relationship, though on the verge of ruin, and the judgment of the wicked.

Psalm 12 — The state of things among the professed people of Jehovah becomes continually worse. Falsehood and pride, self-assertion and self-exaltation, distinguish it. But Jehovah pledges His word on behalf of the afflicted and the poor — that precious and trustworthy word of Jehovah which is their security in spite of the prevalence of the wicked.
  Jehovah, 5.

Note — It is the testimony of Jesus, the Spirit of prophecy, judging by the Word the character of the wicked (vv. 2-4), testifying of Jehovah and His words (vv. 5, 6), and giving the godly the confidence of His intervention. Faith was the key-note of the previous psalm; of this, the Word.

Psalm 13 — Evil reaches its height, and what remains for the saint? Faith can only cry to Jehovah as an outcast. His word, and title to count upon it, would seem to have failed. To take counsel in his own soul with sorrow of heart, while the enemy gets the upper hand, is his sad lot. One thing is left, the loving-kindness of Jehovah. This is effectual for deliverance.
  Jehovah, 3; Elohim, 1.

Note — Deliverance is for the soul that takes the ground of needing mercy. Here the special point is prayer.

Psalm 14 — In the previous psalm we have seen the power of evil inside the place of testimony. Here it is gross impiety saying, 'No God,' confessing not Jehovah's name, and oppressing His people. The Spirit of Christ notes their character, and intercedes for His people against them, while He longs for the salvation of Israel out of Zion.
  Jehovah, 4; Elohim, 3.

Note — The external enemy seems in view here. Elohim, not a name of special relationship, is therefore introduced, yet a Remnant is publicly owned of Him (see vv. 5, 6, which are not in Ps. 53), and the mass rejected.

Psalm 15 — While appropriately closing the series, this psalm opens out an entirely fresh question in advance of Psalm 1. It is not merely the blessedness of the righteous man, but the place in which he shall dwell. This point is a chief element in the next series. (15 – 24) The Spirit of Christ addresses the question to Jehovah and receives the oracular response, which He communicates, with the assurance that such a man shall never be moved.
  Jehovah, 2.

Note — The tabernacle was the place of the priest and of public worship (at Gibeon, in David's day). Zion was the place of the ark when set there by David — the place of grace and communion. The public reception of the righteous on the ground of grace, in a recognised and established relationship, is here contemplated. Jehovah only is, therefore, addressed.

Heading — We may observe that the circle of subjects proper to the first book of Psalms is complete at Psalm 18. From thence to Psalm 24 there are connected therewith great divine testimonies and facts. And it is interesting to notice that Psalm 15 agrees in character with Psalm 24, and Psalm 16 with Psalm 23. The order of these psalms is thus respectively reversed, because what is first as a subject comes last as a fact; and the wilderness walk, which was really first in time, takes a second place when proposed as a subject of Jewish faith. Compare Psalm 15 with Psalm 65:4, for the portion of the Jewish saint; and Psalm 24 with Psalm 118:19-20, for what is special to Christ.

Psalm 16 — This wonderful psalm presents to us the perfect Man, who is a divine Person, taking His place as Man fully and truly in humiliation. So completely does He identify Himself, in grace, with the saints; that the caviller may take advantage of it to say, Where is there anything special to a divine Person here? But such forget that only One, who is God, could be competent to assume in holiness a place of humiliation, and testify to His having done so. For here, in His own competency, He forms the place He takes. He disclaims a goodness proper to 'El,' supreme in holiness, though assuredly this was ever His; just as, in Phil. 2, He counts it not robbery to be equal with God. Being God, He needed not to aspire to equality with Him. So here He claims not a goodness that reaches to Him, for it was His without claiming it. On the contrary, He has His delights with the saints on the earths the excellent. With them He claims association of heart, having emptied Himself, and taken a bondman's form. It was grace and lowliness in Christ. God had come forth — become Man in grace among men, and therefore divinely perfect in manhood before God. He seeks not, as Adam, the knowledge of good and evil; He has it in the absolute and divine love of good. Yet this, in manhood, He disclaims, in order to depend on God and His word for choosing the good and refusing the evil. Christ's perfectness in taking manhood displays the deity that does it. He bears testimony to Jehovah that He is Adonay; as regards the saints, that His delight is in them; of idolaters, that He utterly rejects them. This is His position on earth — the Perfect Witness. Christ entered actually these circumstances, and far more, so as to have the experiences of divine life in a sinful world, and so form a godly pathway for the saints passing through it, giving them a perfect example in His Person, and sympathizing with them in it. But let it not be said that He took part in the life of the first Adam. He took part in flesh and blood because the children of God were partakers of flesh and blood. His life was not connected with sin, except as He was made it upon the cross. Actually and morally, sin was ever external to Himself — opposed and antagonistic to Him. It was that which He came to put away by the sacrifice of Himself. He was the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world; and, having done the work, He died to the whole question, except to judge, and now lives unto God. He came in grace into the sinless consequences of sin, in order to manifest therein the more perfectly the Father's love. He was weary, and sat by the well; but the 'needs be' was to meet the woman there, and, seeking a drink of water at her hand, to finish His Father's work. Obedience and dependence were the occasion of the display of the Father's heart in the Son in manhood — a display that took the character of sorrow, grief, weariness, affliction, and suffering, because of the scene in which the display took place — never of sin; the thought were blasphemy. He had to do with sin in us, as that which was wholly apart from Himself, until the cross, and there He was made it for us. He did not take part in the life of the first man, for Christ was holy, and the first man, if not innocent, was fallen.
  This psalm presents the path of grace and faith in Israel, and especially has in view the last days when idolatry is prevalent in the land (v. 4); yet, Jehovah being looked to as the source of blessing, there is no repining, but perfect satisfaction whatever the circumstances. (vv. 5, 6.) In His inward motives Jehovah rules. He lives on account of Him who is the source of all His power. His confidence therefore would never be disappointed, even if He came to the grave itself. From thence Jehovah will show Him the path of life. For however blessed it is to have Him at 'my right hand,' fulness of joy is at His right hand. What deep instruction for us at all times! but especially for any who in that day have to meet death, and thus lose that earthly lot amid which their hopes and faith were formed. He has already faced it and been superior to it. Without despising His earthly portion, He has been into death, and risen up out of it into higher and heavenly blessing.
  Jehovah, 4; El, 1; Adonay, 1.

Note — 'El,' expressive of God's character of holiness in supremacy over evil, is used by the Lord in declaring His personal confidence and trust. (See also Psalm 22:1-10.) Here also He addresses Him as Adonay, the Deliverer of His people, executing judgment on the wicked. (See also Psalm 22:30.) This is remarkable when Psalm 2:4, is compared with Psalm 110:1-5, where Jesus Himself is Adonay.

Psalm 17 — In this psalm we have the path of rectitude and suffering ending in glory manifested; just as, in the one previous, it was the path of grace and faith, ending in joy with God. The Spirit of Christ in intercession for, and in sympathy identifying Himself with, the Remnant pleads His righteous cause (vv. 1, 2), and His personal righteousness in walk, as here for God, depending upon His Word. (vv. 3-5.) Then more immediately He associates others with Himself pleading mercy — that, for those who trust Him, God is a Saviour from the pride and violence of the wicked. (vv. 6-12.) What grace for the poor tried Remnant of that day to find that One, divinely perfect, has been in the very path in which they are, and, on the ground of His own perfectness, has identified them with Himself in prevailing intercession with Jehovah! This was possible to a divine Person only.
  He has His own portion in righteousness and glorious display, as contrasted with that of the wicked here.
  Jehovah, 3; El, 1.

Note — Obedience and dependence markedly characterize these two psalms; but the former is more the grace that, in obedience and faith, goes down even to death, though looking to God beyond it, while the latter presents that energy that presses on to the displayed glory in the power of which it judges the world and its votaries. Christ personally is not so immediately in view as in Psalm 16, but it is rather His association with the godly Remnant. 'El' is the One supreme over evil. (vv. 6-9.)

Psalm 18 — An important principle, necessary to the proper understanding of many psalms, is now clearly presented to us. The Spirit of Christ identifies Him with His people all through their history until the possession of the kingdom and the earthly inheritance. The key-note is, 'I will love thee, O Jehovah my strength' (v. 1), an expression not found in 2 Sam. 22. He praises for the saints, as identified and in sympathy with them, as a people, in all their afflictions. (vv. 1-3.) He recounts to them His history — their own history — but as His heart entered into their circumstances, feeling them in a measure infinitely great, and giving expression to them as divinely as they were felt. It is not the accomplishment of promise to the pilgrim of faith; nor even power intervening for the deliverance of the people specially. (Of the divine titles, neither Shadday nor Adonay are found in this psalm). It is government established in blessing in and for the King, so that His love to Jehovah may find its echo in the hearts of His people. The history is not one of narration, but is characteristic. It first describes the incoming of Jehovah, in consequence of His cry, to destroy the power of evil. (vv. 4-19.) This was verified at the Red Sea, to which the psalm clearly alludes, as well as in the deliverance of David from his enemies, which furnished the occasion for it, and above all in the resurrection of Christ, the basis and perfect example of all deliverance. It will, however, be fulfilled circumstantially in the establishment of His kingdom in the latter day. Moreover, as prophetical of that time, this psalm has the earth especially in view. The 'mountains' are therefore substituted, in verse 7, for 'heaven' in 2 Sam. 22. It is Jehovah's intervention in heavenly power to vindicate His King on earth. The Cherubim are not seen stationary and at rest, as in the Temple, but are His chariot of war. The 'beds of the waters' and 'the foundations of the world' are exposed. It is divine intervention against the floods of heathen and the powers of the world, anticipated at the Red Sea, and in the raising up of Christ from the dead. (Cf. vv. 4, 5.) For the voice is the voice of Elion. (v. 13.) Up to verse 15, where the direct address to Jehovah marks the change of scene, the principle of intervention is, as in Egypt, upon the cry of the servant. (Comp. v. 6 with Ex. 2:23-25, 3:7, and for the future day, Joel 2:30-32.) Then commences deliverance, for this is a step beyond the destruction of the evil. The Red Sea is a type and picture of this. (vv. 16-18.) In addition, the moral character of the enemies is seen in David's day. (v. 17.) The principle of deliverance is clearly brought out in this portion. (vv. 16-18.) It is the day of calamity, and powerful enemies are there; the moment of peril, and there is no escape. (See Ex. 14:9-18.) Then, in man's extremity, God's deliverance comes. (Cf. Rom. 7:7-25.) In verse 19, we see blessing upon deliverance. In verses 20-24, deliverance is based on righteousness in man. Hence it is governmental. Only Christ could take this ground fully but through atonement it is in the order of God's ways with us in blessing. Then follow the principles of His government (vv. 25-29), the expression of His own personal character, which are applied thus to man, the question of atonement not being raised. It was expressed in measure in David's history, perfectly in Christ's exaltation, and finally will be fulfilled in His people as associated with Him. The Spirit of Christ in the Remnant recognises the principles of God's government on earth as between the humble and the haughty; but through Him alone can it be verified to them. The psalmist will now instruct the Remnant prophetically as to the principles of the path to possession and the power for it (vv. 30-34), viz., first, the perfection of El's way in grace; second, the reliability of Jehovah's Word; third, faith in Him who is Eloah, alone supreme, Elohim the Creator; fourth, dependence on the power of El. Then, speaking as the Head of Royalty, the Spirit of Christ in David declares what God is for His King against His enemies, His haters, the people and the nations. (vv. 35-45.) A general summary is found in verses 46-49. He is avenged, the peoples subjected, and He is delivered from His enemies and the man of violence. The celebration of Jehovah's name among the nations is the final result. The whole subject is salvation in loving-kindness on behalf of Jehovah's King, His Anointed, and that in connection with the earth, whatever the circumstances.
  Jehovah, 16; Elohim, 6; Eloah, 1; El, 4; Elion, 1.

Note — Both forms of the name 'Elohim' appear in this psalm. Fully does the Spirit of Christ identify Him with His people (see vv. 27, 30, 31), but in no sense is He personally viewed apart from what He is as divine. Were it otherwise, how could He appropriate to Himself the description given in verses 4-19, which applies to the Red Sea deliverance, and, prophetically, to the time of Jacob's trouble? It is only because He is divine, and recognised by the Spirit as such, that He could enter into these circumstances of His people — yea, be afflicted in all their afflictions, and save them by the angel of His presence. Perfect in holy supremacy over evil is the way of El, and the way of His King He makes similarly perfect, avenging Him, subjecting to Him the peoples, and delivering Him from the man of violence. This is the way of government.

Heading — The subjects and connected principles of the first book come to their appropriate conclusion with this psalm. The following (19 - 24) give us those great facts and testimonies which form the basis of all.

Psalm 19 — The glory of El — Strength of holiness in supremacy over evil here in grace towards all is, in the first six verses, presented by the testimony of Creation. Of this the Sun, expressive, in figure, of sovereign grace, is the chief example. The moral perfections of Jehovah in His formal communications to man are set forth in the next five verses. Blessed it is for man to be thus enlightened, but this does not touch the question of human frailty. The psalmist desires to be preserved from sin, and to be acceptable to God. Is not this the desire of every saint?
  Jehovah, 7; El, 1.

Heading — The next two psalms place on record the great facts of the day of trouble and the day of joy, the King being seen therein successively, as introductory of atonement in Psalm 22, affording, as it does, the key to the one, and the basis of the other. Observe that the order of testimony is the same as in Rom. 1:18 - 3, viz., Creation, Law, Grace in atonement.

Psalm 20 — Identifying the faithful in Israel with the King in the day of trouble, the Spirit of Christ pleads in them for help, strength, and acceptance. Here the Sanctuary and Zion are associated — a more intimate, but, it would appear, not so established a condition of things as the 'Tent' and 'Hill' of Psalm 15. In verse 5 faith rejoices in anticipation. Christ personally passed through that day of trouble, and also made atonement, that He might be in saving power with His people when their time came. The petitions in verses 1-4 are such as the Spirit would give the disciples in Luke 19:37-40, which were answered, however, according to the perfection of those desires in the heart of Christ Himself. The Remnant will themselves pass through this trouble in the coming day, and the Spirit has furnished them with these verses to express the prayer produced in them by the Spirit of Christ for the King now about to come. Then will verse 6 be verified. He will come with clouds, they shall see the pierced One, and each one for himself shall know that Jehovah saves His Anointed. Thus the nothingness of human power, but the sufficiency of Jehovah's name, is proved (vv. 7, 8), and the King is invoked as the source of divine aid. (v. 9.)
  Jehovah, 5; Elohim, 3.

Note — The King is presented as in trouble and needing help, yet is He invoked as a divine Person, and the source of salvation for others.

Psalm 21 — The first seven verses are a direct address to Jehovah in celebration of the King. The verses following, to the end, present the King as an object of adoration, and, as identified with Jehovah, His triumph is announced. It is the full answer to Psalm 20. The Spirit of Christ in the Remnant recognises the heavenly answer to their prayer in the glory of the person of the King. (vv. 1–7.) The desire of His heart (Ps. 20:4) is granted (v. 2), even the blessings of goodness and a crown of gold — the last to be taken figuratively, doubtless, the glorious display of divine righteousness. He receives also His petition, the request of His lips (vv. 2-4), even length of days for ever and ever. Moreover, through Jehovah's salvation, majesty and splendour are laid upon Him; He is made blessings for ever, and filled with joy by His countenance — established according to Elion, supreme in government and blessing. Thus we see that the glory and blessing given to the King return in praise to Jehovah from the hearts of those who surround Him, the Spirit of Christ speaking in them, and for them, before the day of displayed power. But more, the knowledge of His exaltation gives the assurance, by the Spirit, in the righteous that the King, who is Jehovah, shall destroy His enemies. They celebrate it in anticipation.
  Jehovah, 4; Elion, 1.

Note — In Psalm 20 we find the King an invoked person, therefore divine, though in a day of trouble. This would include all His humiliation. In Psalm 21 we see Him still divine, but now heard, answered, rejoicing, and identified as Jehovah in the destruction of His enemies. Thus in these three psalms we have the testimonies of Creation, Law, and the Spirit of Prophecy.

Heading — Psalm 22 stands quite alone; yet it is the key to what precedes, showing that in the day of the adversary's power, the Beloved was forsaken of God; and what that was to His heart. It is also specially the basis of what follows in Psalms 23, 24, viz., wilderness care and blessing in glory.

Psalm 22 — The solemn fact of abandonment is stated in the first two verses, and the question raised, Why? He alone in righteousness could challenge the inquiry, as, in reply, He alone could vindicate God who had forsaken Him. This proceeds to the end of v. 11, ending with an appeal to El, with which also the psalm begins. Such is peculiarly the spiritual trial and sorrow, and is in a special way God-ward. From v. 12 to v. 21, the pressure of circumstances is more in view — a portion which also concludes with appeal, but now to Jehovah. (v. 19.) Bulls surrounding Him as a lion; death, in its deepest character, known in His soul as the hand of God; dogs cruel, shameless, and greedy; the sword, their power in governmental authority; the mouth of the lion — these give character to the scene man-ward. The response in deliverance appears to commence from the middle of v. 21; and it is noticeable that this part is wholly occupied with the blessing of others, forming a perfect contrast to the first portion of the psalm, wherein He speaks of His own sorrows. Each new sphere in the ever-widening circle of blessing begins with an address to Him who is the deliverer. The brethren (v. 22), the congregation of those that fear Jehovah, the seed of Jacob and Israel (v. 23); then the great congregation, the meek, they that seek Him (vv. 25, 26); finally, all the ends of the earth are embraced in the blessing of Jehovah's Kingdom (vv. 27, 28). Moreover, a special seed shall serve Adonay as witnesses. Observe the order: — the Name declared; satisfaction and life enjoyed for ever; then worship, and, finally, testimony.
  Jehovah, 6; Elohim, 1; El, 3; Adonay, 1.

Note — Here is a Man lower than any other ever was or could be — forsaken of 'El,' and drinking death from 'El,' in His spirit. There, where none but a divine Person could exist in goodness, He maintains the holiness of God, vindicates and fully trusts in Him; and when delivered, because of His piety, He communicates to all around, for Jehovah's praise, the blessing into which He is brought, and of which he is the divine Dispenser. Forsaken of 'El' in holiness, He yet appeals to 'El' for deliverance as supreme over evil. (vv. 1-10.)

Psalm 23 — Then comes the wilderness-path — for us based upon atonement. In the first three verses, the psalmist speaks of journeying mercies, rest, refreshment, and guidance by the way. In the two following, he is occupied with Jehovah Himself, who welcomes, provides for and honours him. As to the latter compare, by way of contrast, Luke 15:20-23, with 7:37-50. Verse 6 is a summary of the whole.
  Jehovah, 2.

Note — Here the Spirit of Christ furnishes the expression of a perfect heart, and therefore, so far, of Christ's; but it is not directly applicable to Him like Psalm 16. There He bears witness to the place He takes in reference to Jehovah, to the saints and to the wicked. Here the enemies are introduced, merely as witnesses of the saints' blessing.

Psalm 24 — This psalm specially distinguishes Christ, for the question of personal righteousness is raised. (Cf. Psalm 15.) Previous to introducing the psalm of atonement, we have in Psalm 15 the question proposed of dwelling with Jehovah, but no one is seen answering to the requirements. (Cf. Psalm 1.) Then, immediately, the next psalm (16) presents Christ on His way to eternal joy, in Jehovah's presence. Here, in Psalm 23 on the contrary, atonement being accomplished (Psalm 22), the saint is found on the road to the house of Jehovah on earth "for the length of the days." Then, the earth being established for blessing (Psalm 24), the gates and everlasting doors of Jehovah's holy place open in response to the excellencies of a Man whose presence honours the place. But who is He? It is Jehovah Himself, the Mighty Victor, the King of glory.
  Jehovah, 6; Elohim, 1.

Note — The subjects here are the earth, the holy place, and the Man who shall stand there in blessing and righteousness. The answer is found in Jehovah the King, who enters, not merely as fulfilling the conditions proposed, as if He were Man only, but, as One whose reception honours the place He enters. How beautifully is the inquiry raised of wonder and admiration, "Who is this?" (Comp. in contrast Rev. 13:3-7, also cf. Prov. 30:4, Acts 9:5.)

Heading — With this end the grand foundational testimonies and facts embodied in this important central group of psalms. Those which follow and conclude the first book (25 – 41) may be said to form a whole, and, speaking generally, present not the circumstances of Christ personally in which His people might or might not be associated with Him, so much as the people's exercises in their circumstances, though He entered into them in grace and sympathy. But this, of course, involved atonement and was based upon it. Psalm 40 has a special place as personal to Christ. A salient point in the next five psalms (25 - 29) is His identification with His people in the sorrows of their path.

Psalm 25 — The acrostic psalms, of which this is one, seem to relate specially to the possession of the land and instruction of those who shall inherit it. Here the Spirit of Christ in the saints pleads faith and dependence, as against cruel enemies, on behalf of all who wait on Him; and seeks instruction for them in Jehovah's paths. As taking up Israel's case, He appeals to Jehovah's tender mercies and confesses their sins. The appeal is based upon mercy: it is answered according to Jehovah's uprightness in favour of sinners. Yet it is the meek, and those who fear Him, whom He instructs, and who shall inherit the earth. (vv. 8-15.) Then, in uprightness of heart, the saint can present his whole case before Jehovah — his affliction and travail, his sins, his enemies; so that in waiting on God he looks to be preserved in uprightness. The last verse proves that Israel is in view and the earthly inheritance; though, surely, the Lord intercedes in and for them.
  Jehovah, 10; Elohim, 3.

Note — Confession of sin in its fulness is here found for the first time, and the ground laid, in Jehovah's mercy, for inheriting the land.

Psalm 26 — These two psalms recur somewhat to the subject of Psalm 1, viz., the way of the righteous, in view of prosperity in the land (Ps. 25:13), and his conduct in the midst of the wicked. (Ps. 26:4-5.) But, in addition, the former gives us confession of sin, and cry for deliverance; the latter, the desire to be judged in his cause and proved, and thus to enter into Jehovah's dwelling-place. A fully established state of things is here in view — the altar, the habitation of Jehovah's house, the place where His glory dwells. Integrity, trust in Jehovah, and truth, characterise the walk of the saint. He owns no association with vain persons, dissemblers, evil-doers, or the wicked, His association is with Jehovah's altar in practical purity, delighting in His house, the abode of His glory. To be preserved in integrity, and redeemed, is still his prayer, and he confidently anticipates the worship of Jehovah. Separation from evil is prominent.
  Jehovah, 6.

Note — From Psalm 15, as before remarked, Jehovah's dwelling-place on earth is much before the mind of the Spirit. Reins, heart, eyes, walk, company, hands, voice, are all engaged in holiness for Jehovah. All is 'Jehovah' here. Both these psalms give the intercession of the Spirit of Christ in His people, according to the perfection found in Christ Himself.

Psalm 27 — In some points this psalm rises up to what was personal of Christ, especially verses 7, 8, and is more simply the expression of the divine nature in the saint. Jehovah is his light, the salvation and strength of his life; his one desire is to behold the beauty of Jehovah in His Temple, and to praise Him with shouts of joy. The enemies are only seen as the dark background which serves to set forth his enjoyment of Jehovah. Faith (vv. 1-3), hope (vv. 4-6), and love (vv. 7-13) are prominent, the latter finding expression in directly addressing Jehovah Himself. The last verse shows that patience and dependence is the moral lesson enforced.
  Jehovah, 13; Elohim, 1.

Note — Faith reposes upon what Jehovah is, and His deliverances in the past. (vv. 1, 2.) Hope is connected with the house of Jehovah, His Temple, His pavilion, His tent, His tabernacle. Love is enjoyed in the blessed spontaneity of communion (v. 8), even though the day of trial and the enemies are there. In Christ, this communion was quite of a special character, as divinely one with the Father (see John 11:41-42; 12:28); so as that, as become Man, He is never seen apart from what He is as divine.

Psalm 28 — Here we find Jehovah's Anointed One associated with His people (vv. 8, 9); and thus the exercises of this psalm lead up in result to that with which Psalm 27 begins, viz., the confidence and victory of faith. The first part (vv. 1-5) expresses the intercession of the Spirit of Christ in His people, according to their desire not to be identified with the wicked and their sense of the evil which He will judge. The concluding portion (vv. 6-9), especially the last verse, is more direct supplication on their behalf. Verse 9 identifies Jesus with Jehovah. (See Psalm 21, Matt. 1:21.)
  Jehovah, 5.

Note — The Name of Jehovah is alone invoked, His relations with His people being according to His salvation of His Anointed, who is moreover appealed to as the Saviour and Pastor of His people, and Blesser of His inheritance.

Psalm 29 — The glorious association between Jehovah and His people, in and by the King, is now seen in its powerful accomplishment. It is worship and glory based upon power in exercise, with which His people are associated in blessing.
  Jehovah, 18; El, 1.

Note — Jehovah's Name is fully celebrated in the power of His voice (vv. 3-9), as 'El' supreme, in the strength of holiness, over every opposing power. Glory is, therefore, the one universal key-note of praise in His Temple.

Heading — The two following psalms (30, 31) are important as opening out a fresh subject, viz., the history of the forgiven man, besides giving the moral key to all the exercises and circumstances amid which the saint was found in the preceding part of the book. Psalm 30 exhibits the principle of establishment, even joy after sorrow — the deliverance of Jehovah after the failure of prosperity in human power. Psalm 31 gives the circumstances leading up to that deliverance — that suffering precedes glory, faith and dependence being in exercise. (Cf. v. 5, and Luke 23:46.) This is Jeremiah's faith. (Cf. vv. 10, 11, and Jer. 20:7-9; vv. 13-21, and Jer. 20:3, 10-13.) Psalm 30 is characterized by the faith of Hezekiah. (Cf. v. 3, and Isa. 38:17; vv. 4, 5, and Isa. 38:14-16; vv. 8, 9, and Isa. 38:18-19; vv. 10-12, and Isa. 38:10-15, 20.)

Psalm 30 — This is a psalm of deliverance from death, not out of it; though we see here the governmental anger of God which annuls all importance in the first man, even though God's favour had established him. But set up on the ground of sovereign grace, it is not human prosperity, but Jehovah Himself who becomes an unceasing, unfailing source of joy. Like Hezekiah's miraculous recovery and song of praise (2 Kings 19:30-31), itself a figure and illustration of the deliverance of the Jewish Remnant, this psalm prophetically refers to the last days — deliverance out of the great tribulation and from the external enemy.
  Jehovah, 9; Elohim, 2; Adonay, 1.

Note — The night of weeping precedes the morn of joy. (Cf. John 16:20-22.)

Psalm 31 — In the previous psalm we see faith for deliverance from the power of death in the hand of the enemy as the rod of God's anger — really the Assyrian, for Israel, the external enemy. Psalm 31 presents, on the other hand, that faith which could go through everything, even death itself, for the testimony and glory of Jehovah, and could express confidence therein in Him. Thus the blessed Saviour could say on the cross, 'Into Thy hand I commit My spirit.' (v. 5.) It is the faith for death exemplified in Jeremiah, who went through all the horrors of the Babylonish siege of Jerusalem, testifying, meanwhile, amidst an apostate and evil people, and even in dispersion and exile. Psalm 30 is more the faith of resurrection, of which Isaiah is rather the exponent (cf. Isa. 25:8; 1 Cor. 15:54; Isa. 26:19; 22:13; 1 Cor. 15:32, etc.), and the suffering from the Assyrian is principally in question. In Psalm 31 the suffering under Antichrist and the apostate Jews is prominent. Psalm 30 seems to take more the character of Gethsemane in the life of the blessed Lord (see vv. 8, 9; Heb. 5:7), and Psalm 31, the cross. (v. 5.) It is remarkable that David should have been used to express both, seeing that Isaiah (Hezekiah) and Jeremiah give utterance to similar exercises and language. In Psalm 31 the 'El' of truth is addressed — He who is the strength of holiness in supremacy over evil — for the psalmist is in the midst of an idolatrous people. (v. 6.) Because of his testimony he is slandered, hated, and persecuted, but he appeals to Jehovah, and praises on behalf of those who trust Him. In his haste he had said, 'I am cut off from before Thine eyes,' but was nevertheless heard. Christ having been really cut off is able, in sympathy, to furnish the saints with right and godly thoughts and expressions when they thought they were cut off. This psalm gives us, therefore, the ministry and intercession of the Spirit of Christ in and for the saints in their extremity of suffering for Jehovah's sake.
  Jehovah, 10; El, 1; Elohim, 1.

Note — Hezekiah's faith clung to Jehovah's city and place of testimony, for He had not yet given it up. Jeremiah, in obedience, would have relinquished it all and gone out to the Chaldeans, when God had rejected it. Verse 8 speaks of the external enemy, and verse 11 of the oppressors within.

Heading — Psalms 32 - 37 give us the history of the forgiven and justified man, and fully develop the subjects proposed in Psalm 25:11-13, namely, pardon, instruction in the way, soul-prosperity, and inheriting the earth. It is to be noted that Psalms 25, 34, 37, as also 111, 112, 119, 145, are all acrostic in arrangement, and treat especially of prosperity in and possession of the earth, Psalm 119 giving the path of the perfect on the way thereto.

Psalm 32 — This psalm affords instruction as to the way and blessedness of forgiveness, having in view the exercises of a pious soul. (See v. 6.) It is not, as in Psalm 51, the confession of blood-guiltiness, but it is forgiveness sought by the godly. There it is a question of sinners and transgressors, of being born in sin, and of the need of cleansing from sin and sins. The difference is marked by the fact that, in Psalm 32, Jehovah is exclusively addressed — the soul rests in a known relationship. In Psalm 51, it is invariably 'Elohim' — 'Adonay' once. The blessedness of forgiveness, and its results as enjoyed by the soul, is here described. Silence produced misery: to confess was to be forgiven. The confidence in God, consequent thereupon, gives the consciousness of perfect security with Him, whatever the trouble, however deep and wide. Then, Jehovah speaks to give instruction, but it is to the intelligent and obedient soul. Abounding joy is the full result.
  Jehovah, 4.

Psalm 33 — This psalm seems based upon the preceding, and carries on the blessing to the whole nation, on the ground of the counsel and election in grace of Jehovah. Psalm 32 clears the ground for the 'New Song' (v. 3), by the knowledge of forgiveness. Psalm 33 starts the song and gives the theme of it. The first three verses connect with the last verse of Psalm 32, and set forth that which inspires the song, even the fulfilment of Jehovah's word in righteousness and judgment, so that the earth is full of His loving-kindness. The song itself celebrates Creation (vv. 6-9); then the counsel of Jehovah is declared (vv. 10, 11), in contrast with the futility of that of the nations and peoples. The full burst of song follows; 'Blessed is the nation whose God is Jehovah.' (v. 12.) This introduces a meditation upon the state of the sons of men as viewed by Jehovah (vv. 13-15), not as in Psalms 14, 53, in respect of their corruptions, but according to His own loving-kindness. (vv. 18, 19.) This is based upon His forgiving grace. (See Psalm 32:10.) Creature-power is proved to be utterly vain; but the chorus of all those who wait upon Jehovah responds exultingly to the call with which the psalm begins. (vv. 20-22.)
  Jehovah, 13; Elohim, 1.

Note — For the first time in the Psalms we have here the 'New Song.' The 'word' of Jehovah in verse 6 is 'logos' (as in 2 Peter 3:5), but in Hebrews 11:3 it is, 'rema,' the one being the expressed will, and the other the utterance that expressed it. (Compare 1 Peter 1:23, 25, with the Hebrew of Isaiah 40:8, where 'logos' is used; also Note on the same on Psalm 119 in J. N. D.'s N.T.) Observe the contrast between 'nations' and 'peoples' in verse 10, with 'nation' and 'people' in verse 12.

Psalm 34 — Again, in this acrostic psalm, we have, by the Spirit of Christ, instruction on the part of one delivered; first to the meek, that they might rejoice with him at all times (vv. 2, 3); then to the saints of Jehovah, in order for them to make proof of His sufficiency. (vv. 9, 10.) After this, the sons are instructed in the fear of Jehovah (vv. 11-14); the righteous are encouraged, and redemption is guaranteed to His servants. (vv. 15-22.)
  Jehovah, 16.

Note — Though one is the spokesman, his experience is not limited to himself, for he is associated with a delivered company. This explains the 'I' and 'they' of verses 2-10. It elucidates the experience of the Jewish Remnant gathered into the Church, and Peter's case affords a capital expression of it. (Comp. vv. 4-7 with Acts 12:1-19.) Peter also largely quotes this psalm in his first epistle. (v. 8, 1 Peter 2:3; vv. 11-16, and 1 Peter 3:10-12.) The subject of the psalm, as of the epistle, is the government of God on behalf of His afflicted saints, which the psalm carries on to cutting the evil-doers off from the earth.

Psalm 35 — That Christ is personally seen in these two psalms is doubtful; yet He has passed through these circumstances, and, in certain points, there has been in Him a literal fulfilment. (See Psalm 34:20, 35:10-14, 19.) As in Peter's second epistle, the psalm before us speaks of the government of God against the wicked. The Spirit of Christ, in the persecuted Remnant of the latter day, pleads for judgment on the wicked. This is, however, the opposite of its expression in Himself, personally on earth, and of Christianity. Observe, Peter does not quote the latter part of Psalm 34: 16. Nevertheless, having been in these circumstances, Christ is able to give expression to the cry suitable for the glory of the Lord and the deliverance of His people in that day, that He may be praised in the great congregation.
  Jehovah, 8; Adonay, 3; Elohim, 2.

Note — From this psalm to the end of the first book, 'Adonay' is largely invoked — previously only in such psalms as are personal to Christ, namely, Psalms 2, 16, 22 'Adonay' is the divine Deliverer of His people, executing judgment on the wicked. This name is, therefore, appropriately used here.

Psalm 36 — The blessing of the saint in its vital principle — his soul-prosperity, established as it is in the loving-kindness of Jehovah, is now set forth in contrast with the self-exaltation and deliberate perversity of the wicked. It is a remarkable psalm, connecting the earthly with spiritual blessings (see vv. 6, 7, 8, 9), in view of the final judgment and removal of the wicked. (v. 12.) 'The shadow of Thy wings,' 'the fatness of Thy house,' 'the river of Thy pleasures,' 'the fountain of life,' 'Thy light,' are descriptive of peculiarly divine joys, and indicate faith's blessing in principle eternally. Doubtless, 'the river of Thy pleasures' is precisely applicable to the river of blessing, in contrast with the river that flowed out of Eden (comp. v. 8, and Gen. 2:8), which in the coming day will proceed from the Sanctuary and fertilize the earth.
  Jehovah, 2; Elohim, 2.

Psalm 37 — Similarly with Psalm 25, also acrostic, the question is here raised of the possession of the land. But forgiveness of sins is not the point as in Psalm 25, it is rather the contrast between the righteous, who confide in Jehovah, and the wicked, who, in spite of a transient success, shall perish in their treachery and violence. It inculcates repose of heart in Jehovah, and an unvexed spirit as regards man's evil, while waiting Jehovah's time for giving the inheritance, of which the title-deeds are here. (See vv. 9, 11, 18, 22, 29, 34.) Compare vv. 22, 26, and Genesis 12:1-7. All rests on Jehovah's faithfulness.
  Jehovah, 15; Adonay, 1; Elohim, 1.

Note — 'Adonay' laughs. Compare Psalm 2:4.

Heading — The three psalms that follow are evidently connected, though each is of a special and distinct character; the fourth, which concludes the book, is a sort of summary of their teaching, or a moral application of the whole. Psalms 38 - 40 might be termed psalms of affliction, being respectively suffering under sin, under discipline, and in doing God's will.

Psalm 38 — In the first eight verses, his afflictions are viewed solely as the result of Jehovah's dealing with him on account of sin — dealings which he deprecates. Then, turning his eyes man-ward, he finds himself bereft of strength, of light, of all who should have been a help to him, and pursued by persecutors. But his conduct is governed by confidence in Jehovah, to whom he has prayed. (vv. 13-16.) His weakness, his full confession of sin, the fierce and unrelenting hatred of his enemies, inexcusable as it is, form the basis of his appeal to Adonay (vv. 9, 15, 21) — to Him who delivers His people while executing judgment on the wicked.
  Jehovah, 3; Adonay, 3; Elohim, 2.

Note — This is the cry of the Spirit of Christ in the Jewish saints of the crisis when brought to a sense of their national guilt, and the fear of Jehovah's indignation. They are here found in circumstances somewhat analogous to those of Christ Himself from Gethsemane to the cross (see vv. 9-15), when about to drink the cup which He had taken at His Father's hand. (Comp. vv. 21, 22, and Psalm 22:11, 19.) He never was the guilty one — they were; but He can and will sympathize with them not with their sins, but with their fear of God's judgment about them, for He bore it and feared it. Son of God, and Son of man, it became Him, divinely perfect as He was, to do so. He was forsaken that they might never be.

Psalm 39 — Here there is a man learning as the servant of Jehovah, under His discipline, the character of testimony he has to render to the frailty and vanity of man. Separation from evil silences his outward testimony (vv. 1, 2), but he thereby deeply learns his own nothingness. (vv. 4, 5.) Taught thus that man's highest honours and richest stores are but a breath, his silence proceeds from another cause (v. 9), namely, submission to the will of God and confidence in Him. How blessedly has the Saviour passed through this submission to God's will!
  Jehovah, 2; Adonay, 1.

Note — He calls upon Adonay for deliverance. The experiences of these two psalms are illustrated in Jer. 14 – 20, where several expressions are quoted, or at least alluded to. (See Psalm 38:20, and Jer. 18:20; Psalm 38:7, and Jer. 15:18; Psalm 38:12, and Jer. 18:18; Psalm 39:2-3, and Jer. 20:9; Psalm 39:9, and Jer. 15:17.) In Psalm 38 we see suffering such as Jeremiah's, involved as he was in all the consequences of the sin of the people, yet morally and in heart separate from the wicked, and therefore looking for deliverance. Psalm 39 is more the servant of Jehovah learning His mind, and the needed lesson of the vanity of human things (vv. 4-6), which the suffering was designed to teach. It was this that Jeremiah had to learn in such depth and bitter detail, seeing and passing through the utter ruin of every hope that Israel in the flesh might have cherished as the people of Jehovah. Thus, of all the prophets, lie approaches nearest to the grace of Jesus, who wept over the apostate city, while declaring its judgment; for if not a pattern of the slaughtered Remnant, he is yet one who learnt practically the ruin and death of all established in the first man.

Psalm 40 — The previous psalm closes the moral history of the Remnant with Jehovah. Here, therefore, we have not their exercises as under law, but the expression of what is personal to Christ. Yet He identifies Israel with Himself, in His New Song.' (vv. 3-5.) In Psalm 33 the New Song' celebrates the blessedness of the nation whose God is Jehovah, in connection with the blessedness of the forgiven man. Now, the blessedness rests upon Christ Himself — 'the man that has made Jehovah his confidence' (v. 4), and the Song invites to a like confidence those who see His deliverance. (vv. 1-3.) He was the needy One whom Adonay delivered; and the final psalm (41) pronounces the blessing upon him that understands Him. Psalm 39 exhibits one in the place of testimony before the wicked, though dumb because of frailty, nothingness and vanity. This was not Christ. Psalm 40 presents the perfect Servant. He does not hold His peace from good, but, in identification with His people, offers up acceptable praise in recognition of Jehovah's works and thoughts towards them. (v. 5.) Fully entering into the deep necessities of the divine glory, He comes to be a servant according to the competency which was proper to Himself, a divine and eternal Person. (vv. 6-8.) He did not withhold His lips or hide Jehovah's righteousness, but in the fullest and most public way declared His faithfulness and His salvation, His loving-kindness and His truth. Faithful in His service, even to charging Himself with iniquities for Jehovah's glory, He cast Himself for preservation and deliverance upon the mercies of Him of whom He testified. It is Jehovah's perfect Servant substituting Himself divinely for the Law, which was ineffectual for blessing; therefore the denunciatory clauses of Psalm 69 are not found here. From verse 13 to the end, we have instead Psalm 70 with characteristic variations, namely, Christ in humiliation, the object of 'Adonay's regard, and the condition of all settled, according to their relations to Him.
  Jehovah, 9; Elohim, 4; Adonay, 1.

Note — The true humanity of Christ is here distinctly marked, and, immediately therewith, His divine competency as an eternal Person. (vv. 6, 7.) Yet He says 'My God.' (v. 8.) Scripture never views Him apart from what He is as divine, even though in association with others.

Psalm 41 — But if Christ has, with divine perfection, formed the path of the afflicted and needy, blessed is he that understands the poor that walk in it. He shall be preserved from the enemy without, and be made happy in the land. External foes are there (vv. 2, 5, 11), but the deepest trial is from the familiar friend within. How true was this in the Saviour's experience! This psalm, as well as most of the psalms, refers to the latter-day Remnant, especially those in Jerusalem and the land, and enters largely into the personal experience of any saint, resting chiefly on two points; namely, the confession of sin (v. 4), and the power of Jehovah to uphold in integrity. (v. 12.)
  Jehovah, 6; Elohim, 1.

Book 2.
Psalms 42 - 72.

Heading — In this second book appeal to Jehovah is, comparatively speaking, rarely found, but 'Elohim' more largely predominates than in any of the other books of psalms; and there is very frequent cry to Adonay, the Deliverer of His people, executing judgment on the wicked. 'Shadday,' Accomplisher of promise in absolute power, is also invoked in Psalm 68, the only other occasion being Psalm 91. From these facts the inference may be drawn that the people of God are here seen suffering under a sense of rejection, but with the hope of Jehovah's favour and restoring grace casting its beams from time to time across their souls. They await the day of power. The detail of the various psalms will show this to be their purport. The book may be said to apply especially to the last half of the Seventieth Week of Daniel's prophecy, and to the godly Remnant driven out of Jerusalem. It divides into three general portions.
Psalms 42 — 49 are historical,
Psalms 50 — 68 moral exercises,
Psalms 69 — 72 Messiah is brought in.
Psalm 69 is, however, a meditation on man's history; Psalms 50, 51 stand alone as introductory, and Psalm 68 is the psalm of ascension as the ground of deliverance for Israel. Psalms 42 — 49 are psalms 'of the sons of Korah.'

Psalm 42 — Circumstances of the severest affliction are here combined with the tenderest piety and trust in God. We see a soul aroused to the deepest sense of what it is to be shut out from communion with God in His House. As in all the psalms, the scene is in connection with the earth; and Jehovah and Jewish blessing are remembered. But the memory of the past is a ground for challenging the soul and rallying it from its despondency. These are the first symptoms of a sound recovery after failure, accompanied, as indeed it must be, by a true recognition of one's own state and place. (vv. 6, 7.) It is really the Remnant driven out from God's house and the proper limits of the land. There they are exposed to the taunts of the ungodly (v. 3), the deep questionings of their own heart (vv. 2, 5, 9, 11), the governmental displeasure of God (v. 7), the oppression of the external enemy (v. 9), and the adversaries' reproaches. (v. 10.) Well could the Spirit of Christ dictate the sentiments expressed, while arousing renewed confidence in God.
  Elohim, 10; El, 3; Jehovah, 1.

Note — 'El,' the Strength of holiness in supremacy over evil, is more often appealed to in this psalm than in any other of the second book. Next to it in this respect is Psalm 52, a psalm which strongly confirms the special force of the Name. The point here is faith, aroused by the memory of the past, in the 'living El' as the 'El of my life.'

Psalm 43 — He gets increased light in regard to his actual position with God and with man, his faith too increases and brightens; but as yet there is no deliverance. This is God's way in restoration; there must be definiteness, and true discernment of state. Here the nation is ungodly; man deceitful and unrighteous; God has cast him off, and the outside enemy still oppresses him. But hope is bright as to the future, and the way of blessing is understood. God's light and truth shall lead him.
  Elohim, 7; El, 1.

Note — Faith for the future is prominent, and he counts on righteousness. The source of his joy amid the prevalence of evil is 'El,' supreme over it in holiness. (v. 4.)

Psalm 44 — Faith in the individual here recognises and identifies itself with the whole nation as the people elect of God, to whom He had given the land in grace. (vv. 1-3.) Yet the faith is individual. (vv. 4-6.) Their present state is one of utmost misery — spoiled in the land, and scattered out of it. Faith alone recognises it — faith of the babe and suckling; for confession must come before praise. (Cf. v. 16; Psalm 8:4.) He pleads integrity and faithfulness as true of the whole Remnant (cf. v. 22 and Rom. 8:36); and bases his appeal to Adonay for help and redemption upon His loving-kindness. His plea is effectual for deliverance.
  Elohim, 5; Adonay, 1.

Note — It is faith taking the ground of the Nation, and counting on mercy, though rejected and sold. God is owned to be King, and is addressed by the same divine title (v. 4), as is applied to the Lord Jesus in the depth of humiliation. (Psalm 102:27.) It is the same Person. The cry for help to 'Adonay' is very beautiful, and distinctly marks the force of this divine Name, the Deliverer of His people by the judgment of the wicked.

Psalm 45 — 'A song of the Beloved' well describes this psalm. It is 'touching the King,' seen previously to be God (44:4); here a Man (vv. 2, 7), yet God (v. 6), and 'Adonim' (v. 11), the Supreme Object of adoration. (Cf. Psalms 8:1, 9; 135:5.) We see prophetically the renewed espousals of the Jewish Bride, and her attendant towns as publicly received by their divine Messiah, who is Jehovah. Instead of going back to Abraham or Sinai, all henceforth shall date from this. (vv. 16, 17.)
  Elohim, 4; Adonim, 1.

Note — Messiah in manhood is especially presented here in connection with His earthly throne, and the companions of His reign. Yet, in no part of Scripture is His absolute deity and eternal throne more immediately recognised, as well as that He is the Supreme to whom all homage is rendered.

Psalm 46 — The nuptials celebrated, and their divine King in their midst at Jerusalem, they can boldly declare their confidence in Him, and call upon His Name, Jehovah of Hosts, in fully recognised relationship with them. (vv. 1-7.) He has intervened for them, and they appeal to the manifest proofs of it. (v. 8.) The personal declaration of Jehovah abruptly introduced, stilling every other voice, is exceedingly grand. (v. 10.) It seems clear that something yet remains to be done, in order that His glory may be established in the earth. (Cf. v. 2 with Zech. 14:4-5; v. 4 with Zech. 14:8.)
  Elohim, 7; Jehovah, 3; Elion, 1.

Note — Jehovah is now invoked, and the Millennial Name, 'Elion,' the Most High, is introduced in this and the following psalm. The day of glory is prophetically in view. The city and sanctuary of God are established; God is there, and the river of blessing.
  To understand the prophetical place occupied by this and the two following psalms, it is of great importance to compare them with Zech. 14:1-11. In fact, all these psalms of Korah (Psalms 42 - 49) take up, in a large measure, the position and principles of Zechariah's prophecy. Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem, as in his day, are scattered by the 'horns of the Gentiles' (Zech. 1:18-21), but the time has come 'to fray them,' and to comfort Zion, and choose Jerusalem. Moreover, the bringing back of Zion's captivity (Zech. 2:9), the joining of many nations with them to the Lord (v. 11), and the founding and finishing of the house of Jehovah, in which many that are afar off shall build (Zech. 4:9; Zech. 6:15), are public proofs of the mission of the divine prophet, Messiah. He it is who shall build the temple of the Lord (Zech. 6:12), for He is the Branch, and acts in the title of 'Adon of all the earth.' (Zech. 4:14, Zech. 6:5.) But He comes to His people first in grace, and is rejected (Zech. 9:9); then in power (v. 10), involving, and indeed necessitating, if His people are to be delivered, heart-felt repentance for their depreciation and contempt of Jehovah. (Zech. 11:12, Zech. 12:11-14.) Then, to save His scattered ones, the little ones of the flock, He appears, and 'His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof.' (Zech. 14:1-5.) It is to this event that Psalm 46 directly refers, providing comfort and consolation for His people at a moment of unparalleled terror, when the earth is removed, and the mountains carried into the heart of the seas (Ps. 46:2), and all the land 'turned as a plain from Geba [on the north] to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem.'
  Nor is this all; desolation is displaced by fruitfulness and blessing, and with joy the psalmist views 'a river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God, the sanctuary of the habitations of the Most High.' (Ps. 46: 4.) It is the living waters of which the prophet had spoken, which, in summer and winter, go out from Jerusalem — half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea. (Zech. 14:8.) The verse that follows (v. 9) shows us that not only earthly blessing, but Jehovah's glory, characterizes that scene — 'The Lord shall be King over all the earth.' Glorious is the result of this divine intervention on Israel's behalf. Psalm 48 fully sets this forth. Zion is beautiful in elevation, 'the joy of the whole earth,' 'on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.' Thus is viewed the actual accomplishment of the prophecy of Zech. 14:10, which states that 'all the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate,' etc. Finally, Psalm 49 is a consequent meditation upon the futility of human joy without God.

Psalm 47 — Power, ever increasing, still more widely and firmly establishes blessing, with Israel as its centre. Addressed as God of Jacob, in Psalm 46, His intervention has Jerusalem especially in view. Now, He is declared to be the God of Abraham, and the willing-hearted of the peoples participate in the blessing. For He is a great King over all the earth, and the peoples and the nations are subdued under the feet of Israel. (Cf. Gen. 12:3, 22:18.)
  Elohim, 8; Jehovah, 2; Elion, 1.

Note — This psalm summons the peoples to praise God, and presents the fulfilment (see vv. 2, 7) of Zech. 14:9. The previous psalm agrees with Zech. 14:4-8.

Psalm 48 — Prophetically, Zion is freed from every foe — the kings, their armies, and fleets are scattered by the manifestation of God's presence in the midst of her. Her memories of the past (Psalm 44:1) are realised now, in a still more excellent way. She is the city of Jehovah of hosts. In His Temple, His loving-kindness is the theme of their meditation; without, He is the bulwarks of the city. They attribute their blessing to His grace and power. Divine power has elevated Zion in the earth, in fact, as well as figuratively. (See v. 2.) It is the accomplishment of Zech. 14:10.
  Elohim, 8; Jehovah, 2.

Note — Probably, the last assault of Jerusalem is contemplated here; not the armies of Gog, i.e. Russia. (See Zech. 14:2-5; Dan. 11:40, 45.) Comp. verse 6; 1 Thess. 5:3.

Heading — A meditation follows upon man's history, as prophetically set forth in the eight previous psalms.

Psalm 49 — The lesson of comfort for the heart of the saint at all times, suggested by the last verse of Psalm 48, is now developed and extended. There are two great riddles proposed in the Psalms, mysteries which faith alone could enable the saint of that day to unravel, namely, the prosperity of the wicked and the failure of the saint. (See Psalm 78) The former is dealt with here. It is solved by death and that which follows it. Observe the difference of the companies addressed. In Psalm 49 'all the inhabitants of the world' are addressed: in Psalm 78 it is, 'O my people.' There the history of Israel is cited. Here are enunciated general principles, true in the nature of man, not peculiar to any special people, but true of all sons of Adam, sons of Ish. The psalmist contrasts the state of the upright with that of the man who supplants him and lives in honour in this world. Like Lazarus, the former has his day of adversity now; the others, like the rich man, boast themselves in the abundance of their riches, but they can neither redeem their brother, retain their wealth, nor abide in life. Yet they ignore these truths, and their sayings only serve to deceive those who come after. Death preys upon all they have and are. Sheol consumes their comeliness, and their dwelling-place is gone forever. The upright shall have dominion over them, for God will redeem him from the power of Sheol, and receive him. Whereas they shall never see light. The great and needed lesson is this, that man, who is in honour and understands not, is like the beasts that perish: morally lacking intelligent relationship with God, and all their pride and possessions coming to an end in death.
  Elohim, 2.

Note — The tried Remnant need to understand this mystery in order to pass with God through the sorrows of the great tribulation, thus testing all the glory of man and of the world by what it is before Him. The Christian knows it by the Cross.

Heading — We now enter upon the next great division of the second book. (Psalms 50 - 68.) The two prefatory psalms give the thesis; namely, God's great sessional act of judgment in power; and, secondly, in anticipation of this, moral judgment and cleansing in grace by the Spirit through the Word. Historically, the appearing and call to judgment precede confession, but the latter subject seems to be before the mind of the Spirit to review first. (Psalms 52 — 60.) Then the King is introduced (Psalm 61), and faith is enabled to repose calmly in God (Psalm 62), and to count upon His power. This produces the confidence that 'the King shall rejoice in God' (Psalm 63), and that 'the righteous shall rejoice in Jehovah.' (Psalm 64.) The remainder of the series (Psalms 65 -68) presents the actual exercise of divine power that brings in, and establishes the blessing on the judgment of the wicked, based necessarily upon Psalm 1.

Psalm 50 — This solemn and important psalm is, in a sense, the entire contrast of the previous one. There the prosperity of the wicked was an enigma, and the lesson to be learnt was that 'man that is in honour and understands not is like the beasts that perish.' Here the public judgment sets everything in its true light, and according to its real character, the godly and the wicked being distinguished and dealt with according to righteousness. The earth is immediately in question, though the heavens also are summoned in testimony to Jehovah's righteousness. Zion is the seat of His manifestation in judgment. And what is most remarkable, occurring as it does in the midst of a legal and ceremonial system, the typical sacrifices are wholly nullified, even in the case of the righteous. (See vv. 7-16.) Thanksgiving, uprightness, and calling upon God, are alone recognised. As regards the wicked, God refuses entirely to deal with them on the ground of covenant, since they are characterized by the rejection of His words, by lust, lying, and slander. (Cf. vv. 19, 20; Zech. 7:10; 8:16-17.) Still the judgment is as yet only prophetically declared, and the last two verses apply, by way of warning and encouragement respectively, to the two classes of persons addressed.
  Elohim, 9; El, 1; Eloah, 1; Jehovah, 1; Elion, 1.

Note — In the second book the divine Name, 'Eloah,' appears alone here. The first book has it only in Psalm 18, where the divine Names are the same precisely as in this psalm, though Jehovah is used far more largely. Here 'Elohim' predominates, and is found in both its forms. Supremacy and power in judgment strongly mark both psalms, the one governmental judgment, and the other sessional. The use of 'Eloah' seems to convey this. (Cf. Psalms 114:7; 139:19.) 'Elion,' the millennial title, is employed, but neither 'Shadday' nor 'Adonay'; for judgment, not the deliverance of His people, is in question. In Psalm 68, where the latter is the point, both 'Shadday' and 'Adonay' are invoked. (See vv. 14, 20, 22, 32.) Psalm 78 has both 'Adonay' and 'Elion.' (See v. 65.) We know from Acts 17:31, that 'El, Elohim-Jehovah,' who judges, is the Lord Jesus. This explains the two closing verses, for the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy. The psalm is 'of Asaph,' the only one in this book that is such.

Psalm 51 — The moral process by which the godly ones, the Remnant so-called, are separated from their own sins and evil associations (Psalms 51 - 60) is then taken up. Here it is moral judgment of self before God, and cleansing in grace. Precious instruction! There appear to be two principal thoughts in the mind of the Spirit — the blotting out of transgression, and the cleansing from sin; that is, from its moral power in the soul. First there is full confession of sin in all its heinousness as directed against God (v. 4), and also of natural depravity. The very springs of man's moral existence are polluted. But God must have truth and wisdom there. (vv. 5, 6.) This, therefore, is the first object of the psalmist's desire; for God alone can produce it. Then in conscious nearness to God, and delight in holiness, sustained by a joyful and willing spirit, he would become a teacher of others who had wandered like himself. (vv. 7-13.) The question of blood-guiltiness next arises. From this God alone can deliver — sacrifices are of no avail. Indeed, the sacrifices suitable to the divine nature are a truly repentant spirit. (Cf. Psalm 50:14, 23.) His heart being now fully out with God, he can seek the manifested expression of God's good pleasure in the establishment of Zion and Jerusalem. Then shall sacrifices of righteousness and whole burnt-offerings be offered acceptably. The psalm applies to David originally, and to any contrite soul distressed on account of sin, but evidently has precisely in view the Remnant of the latter day, owning their guilt in having slain Messiah, and looking, through faith and in the confidence of God's loving-kindness, to the re-establishment, for His own glory, of their political and religious state.
  Elohim, 6; Adonay, 1.

Note — All is 'Elohim' here, for sin is the question. When thinking of praise and deliverance, he invokes 'Adonay.' (v 15.) Again we observe the positive rejection of the legal sacrifices (v. 16), as in Psalm 50:8-13, 40:6.

Psalm 52 — A clue to the understanding of this psalm is afforded by the title. It is the jealous pride and enmity of the flesh, allying itself with the boasted place of divinely delegated authority, in order to destroy God's anointed. Antichrist really fills this place.* His evil is expressed more in deceitful words than by open violence. But God's loving-kindness is perpetual, and the man who trusted in his own resources shall be extirpated for ever. He is thus a perpetual instruction to the righteous, while Christ identifying Himself in sympathy with His saints, expresses their confidence in God's loving-kindness for ever and ever. (vv. 8, 9.)
{* Or is it the king of Dan. 8:23-26?}
  Elohim, 3; El, 2.

Note — Flesh established and planted in the land is before us (v. 5), and become wealthy in wickedness (v. 7), but to be destroyed at last, while faith flourishes in the house of God. As yet, however, it is still the moral judgment of faith in regard to the wicked prosperous. 'El' is supreme in holiness over the mighty but evil man.

Psalm 53 — As the crisis approaches, the evil state of things becomes ever more accentuated, and permeates the mass. They are not only corrupt, but do not seek God; they are indeed apostate, and no longer call upon God. Yet He had already intervened on behalf of His own. It is a solemn and remarkable condition, and shows that intervention by power is distinct from establishment in grace. Faith longs for the latter, that God's people may rejoice.
  Elohim, 7.

Note — The principal point in this psalm is faith's judgment, morally of the state of the people — a state which is not in itself corrected by destroying the external enemy. (Cf. Psalm 14.)

Psalm 54 — Wickedness now reaches its climax, and justice exercised in power is called for. To the enemies God will requite evil. The character that leaves no other resource is plainly indicated. They are not only strangers and violent, but they ignore God. (v. 3.) Therefore they are reckoned wholly enemies.
  Elohim, 4; Adonay, 1; Jehovah, 1.

Note — 'Adonay' is now appealed to. He executes judgment on the wicked. The Ziphites were of David's own tribe, but because of their ungodly treachery they are counted strangers. Evil in its final phase takes this character. (See 1 Sam. 23:14.) When deliverance comes, Jehovah is praised.

Heading — A fresh departure of thought now appears. It is not merely the moral judgment of individuals, but the process by which the national, yet apostate, system and government are judged, and refused, and separated from, by the godly Remnant. (Psalms 55 - 60.)

Psalm 55 — As identified with the Nation, the psalmist, in his supplication, first thinks, even though driven out, of the external enemy, and the oppression of the wicked. (vv. 1-3.) But the consciousness of impending trouble, of a more terrible character, weighs heavily upon his heart (vv. 4-8), for, within the city, violence and corruptions of every kind, as it were, throng the streets. (vv. 9-11.) The righteous are the butt of all this wickedness. From the foe without, such bitterness might have been expected; a known adversary could have been avoided, but to be dealt with thus by one whom the heart had fully trusted in the most precious things — even the sacred service of God — betrayed a perfidy which called for utter judgment. (vv. 12-15.) Meanwhile, faith is cast upon God, and looks to Jehovah saving. Finally, the violent and deceitful character of the ungodly multitude within the city is fully exposed and judged, but the righteous commits himself to Jehovah. (vv. 20-23.)
  El, 1; Elohim, 5; Adonay, 1; Jehovah, 2.

Note — Jer. 9:1-11 accords exactly with the scene and circumstances of which this psalm speaks (cf. vv. 6-8 with Jer. 9:2), though Jeremiah was not actually driven forth. The point given us in the psalm seems to be that of positive separation between the righteous and the wicked, who, until now, had been nationally identified. Jehovah is therefore more definitely appealed to. 'El,' eternal in His holy supremacy, will afflict the wicked. (v. 19.)

Psalm 56 — The saint is now distinctly separated and outside — man is his enemy and persecutor. His destruction is sought on every hand by secret treachery, as well as by open violence; but God is his confidence. Strong in faith, it is a confidence that rises up into praise and thanksgiving in a known relationship. (See vv. 4, 10, 11; cf. Heb. 13:5-6.) The position of the early Christians from among the Jews explains this psalm, but deliverance from death, not out of it, is the blessing looked for. (vv. 12, 13.)
  Elohim, 9; Jehovah, 1.

Note — This and the four following are 'Michtam' psalms, and, with the exception of Psalm 16, no others appear to bear this title. Their character seems to be exultant faith in God, and reprobation of evil amid the fiercest trial and persecution from within and without. They are all 'of David.' The special occasion here is evidently the same as that of Psalm 34, which it much resembles. There, however, it is all 'Jehovah,' and the recognition of His principles of government by a delivered person. Here it is 'Elohim,' and a poor wanderer trusting Him for deliverance from the men of the world.

Psalm 57 — We are still with David in his wanderings as regards the occasion of this psalm. It is an advance upon the previous one, just as 1 Sam. 22:1-2 is morally, and, in fact, a step beyond 1 Sam. 21:10-15. He is no longer occupied with the doings of the Philistines — men of the world, who assert their own title in the flesh to God's land — but, whatever the calamities, he is, in spirit, alone with God. He does not now say, 'Be gracious unto me, for man would swallow me up' (Psalm 56:1), but, 'Be gracious unto me, O God, be gracious unto me; for my soul takes refuge in Thee.' (v. 1.) He appeals to Elohim, 'Elion' (the millennial name of Him who is supreme in government and blessing), even unto 'El' — the Strength of holiness in supremacy over evil. (Cf. Gen. 14:22. 'Jehovah' also is there introduced.) He looks for no earthly intervention (v. 3), though his soul 'is in the midst of lions.' (v. 4.) But his one and repeated desire (vv. 5, 11) is, 'Be exalted above the heavens, O God; let Thy glory be above all the earth.' The grace that gave David a safe retreat in the cave of Adullam from the malice of Saul, and from the pride and cruelty of Achish, produced in his heart, by the Spirit of Christ, this outburst of faith and exultation. The same blessed Spirit of Christ will put this faith and these words into the hearts and lips of the escaped Remnant in the coming day. The dawn of the day of glory is casting its first beams across the dark scene of this poor world.
  Elohim, 6; El, 1; Elion, 1; Adonay, 1.

Note — 'El' undertakes supremely in grace for His servant. (v. 2.) 'Elohim' sends forth His loving-kindness and His truth; but it is 'Adonay' who delivers him, for His loving-kindness is unto the heavens, and His truth unto the clouds — the glorious results of deliverance.
  Power, through the Most High, to overcome every difficulty, and then praise, characterise this psalm. Amid the power and presence of evil, praise takes the place of the complaints and call for judgment of Psalm 56. The 'shadow of Thy wings' is the source of power here. (vv. 1-3.) In Psalm 17 it is the place of escape and protection (vv. 7-9); in Psalm 36:7-9, of approach and satisfaction; in Psalm 63:3-7, of worship, praise, and joy.

Psalm 58 — Faith's judgment of the wicked in the place of governmental power becomes ever more pronounced (vv. 1, 2), looking for God's exterminating judgment upon them, so that His government may be established; viz., that 'there is fruit for the righteous,' 'there is a God that judges in the earth.' (v. 11.)
  Elohim, 2; Jehovah, 1.

Note — How deep a judgment, morally, of man's practical wickedness is here! Their whole moral state, with its outcome from their very birth, is malignant and insensate. (vv. 2-5.) Transient as fierce, their power shall be utterly broken. The destruction of the wicked is a necessity of earthly blessing in righteousness. Judgment must therefore introduce the Millennium.

Psalm 59 — In the previous psalm the wicked were within, occupying the seat of judgment. Now, the external enemy is in question. They are men of blood — mighty ones, gathered together against the righteous with whom Christ associates Himself in sympathy. They are plotters of iniquity, the mass of the nations (not Christianized Gentiles) ravaging in their impiety. (vv. 6, 7, cf. vv. 5, 8; Ezekiel 39:21.) Jehovah will laugh at them; for He takes up anew the cause of His people, not as 'Adonay' sitting at the right hand. (Cf. Ps. 2, Ps. 110.) But the people are Christ's, for He is Jehovah, they are 'my people' (v. 11); and for their instruction and blessing He asks, not that the heathen may be slain, but, that their power may be brought to an end. Let them grudge and be unsatisfied, but He identifies His people with Himself, and praises, as in their midst, participating in the joy of their deliverance.
  Elohim, 9; Jehovah, 3; Adonay, 1.

Note — Much of this psalm is personal of Christ, especially verse 11. It has distinctly in view the final destruction of Israel's enemies; and Jehovah, as the God of hosts, the God of Israel, is called upon to visit all the nations. The enemies immediately on the scene are distinguished by impiety and falsehood. (Cf. Dan. 8:23-25.) Just as the Spirit of Christ took occasion by Saul's malice to dictate this psalm in the heart of David, that the faithful Remnant might have a divine expression of their faith and sorrows in the future day, so does Christ then make their cause His own, calling them 'my people,' and identifying them with all the grace and power of Jehovah.

Psalm 60 — The first three or four verses show the standpoint of this psalm. As to fact, the righteous Remnant are still suffering under the consequences of divine chastisement. But the power of testimony is with them (vv. 4-5), and the knowledge of God's reclamation of His land. (vv. 6-8.) To effectuate His promise, however, His power alone avails. (vv. 9-12.) The 'me' of vv. 5 and 9 seems Christ's personal intercession on behalf of His people identifying Himself with them.
  Elohim, 5.

Note — This psalm is the same as Psalm 108, except that the first four verses are there substituted by the last five verses of Psalm 57. This distinctly marks their difference of character. That Christ speaks of 'me' (vv. 5, 9) in connection with, and intercession for, His people, is in no wise as viewing Him apart from what He is as divine. On the contrary, it is because He is divine, and recognised to be such, that He can plead His own perfections on their behalf, and call Jehovah's people His. (See Psalm 59:11.)

Heading — In this section of the book, i.e. from Psalm 50, the King, as such, has not been introduced as yet. He is in rejection, but pleading for the people, and owning them as His, because He is Jehovah. The faith that recognises Him as King is yet, however, dormant in the hearts of the poor outcast Remnant. It is now aroused.

Psalm 61 — He cries from the end of the earth, and seeks refuge and a resting-place in the tabernacle of God. It is not yet an ordered and established scene of blessing, though faith speaks with assurance of God's inheritance and of His King.
  Elohim, 3.

Note — The King is here spoken of according to Jewish faith, that of the outcast Remnant; but His immutability and perpetuity, as the stability of all blessing (possible only to a divine Person), is fully insisted upon.

Psalm 62 — In the previous psalm we have seen the simple certainty of faith in God in regard to His inheritance and His King. Now, this faith is tested by the exercises and circumstances through which the saint is passed. He testifies that God alone is his confidence, and this turns to reproof of the violence and deceit of the wicked. (vv. 1-4.) Again he encourages his soul to confide in God alone, and is led to exhort the people to the same confidence, as opposed to their own lawless and unjust practices, or trust in their wealth — for power belongs not to man. The truth all-important for that day, and solemnly confirmed, is that power belongs to God, and loving-kindness to Adonay; for He will render to every one according to his work. (Cf. Matt. 16:27; Rev. 2:23.)
  Elohim, 7; Adonay, 1.

Note — That Adonay is God, and that the Son of man, the Lord Jesus Christ, is He, is most marked from the comparison of verses 11, 12 with the scriptures quoted above. Power is referred to Elohim; and loving-kindness and judgment to Adonay.

Psalm 63 — The point here is neither faith's certainty, nor its exercises, but the joy of communion. The circumstances are unaltered, and faith still calls upon 'El' (cf. v. 1, Psalm 57:2), for it is a dry and weary land, without water; but his soul is nevertheless satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and sings for joy 'in the shadow of Thy wings.' (v. 7.) It is not power to overcome, but praise and blessing, worship and joy, as well as the satisfaction of communion, and appropriation in divinely given strength. (vv. 8, 9.) The King is again introduced (v. 11), in His full human character, but at the same time is to be invoked as One who is divine (v. 11), yet rejected.
  Elohim, 2; El, 1.

Note — Both Psalm 20:8-9, and Psalm 21:1, are embraced in this concluding verse, in which the King's joy in God is first spoken of, and then He is invoked. In the two psalms above quoted, this order is reversed. Compare this psalm with Psalm 57, and again with Psalms 42, 43. There the prayer is, 'Send out Thy light and Thy truth.' (v. 3.) In Psalm 57:3, he says, 'God has sent forth His loving-kindness and His truth.'

Psalm 64 — The faithful Remnant of that future day, committing themselves to God, leave Him to deal with the secret plans as well as with the insensate violence of the evildoers, whose destruction will be sudden and complete, the retributive result of their own wicked schemes, and a monument of the righteous government of God.
  Elohim, 3; Jehovah, 1.

Note — Deliberate corruption is chiefly prominent here, and its judgment is an abiding testimony against it unto all men.

Psalm 65 — The day of millennial blessedness dawns, though praise is yet silent in Zion; for God is there, and all flesh shall come to Him. Once iniquities had prevailed, but now forgiveness; and blessing rests upon the sovereign choice and powerful grace of God (vv. 1-4), enthroned as He is in His holy Temple. Power is thus in exercise to establish His authority in the earth, and to restrain the turbulent will of man, while the uttermost bounds of His dominions are awed by the tokens of it. As morning wakes the joyful note of anticipated blessing, so evening closes with the tale of recounted mercies. The story of the year is that of ceaseless, considerate care. Its springing is blessed, and goodness crowns it. Joy and song tell of peace secured by righteousness, and blessing established in grace.
  Elohim, 3.

Note — Though faith confidently anticipates the blessing it celebrates, yet the full introduction into this has not yet taken place. 'The outgoings of the morning and evening' (v. 8), perhaps, refer to the wide extent of the blessing. In Psalm 15 the inquiry is raised, 'Who shall sojourn in Thy tent? Who shall dwell in the hill of Thy holiness?' but no one is said to answer to the requirements. A similar question is put in Psalm 24, 'Who shall ascend into the mount of Jehovah? and who shall stand in His holy place?' There the King of glory, Jehovah of hosts, it is who enters. Here (Psalm 65) the blessing is pronounced upon the man chosen to approach. It is an orderly state of blessing — 'Thy courts,' 'Thy house,' 'Thy holy temple,' — not merely the tent and the hill. The elect Remnant, 'We,' count upon entering through grace, not for their righteousness' sake.

Psalm 66 — Confident in its own blessing, faith now turns to the spared earth and the peoples, celebrating the praises of God who has delivered them, and inviting their worship. They recognise His hand in all their trials, as well as in their redemption. (Cf. v. 6 and v. 12.)
  The House of God becomes, to these poor, despised, but now happy people, not merely a place where they are blest and satisfied, but where God is blessed, and the vows made in their trouble are performed to Him. It is the place of His sacrifices and His testimony.
  Elohim, 8; Adonay, 1.

Note — The use of the Name 'Adonay' (v. 18) is very beautiful here. He is the Deliverer of His people, but at the same time executing judgment on the wicked. (Cf. Psalm 62.) Had the saint regarded iniquity in his heart, 'Adonay' would not hear. How the great acts of grace and power in the past (Red Sea and Jordan, v. 6) are fresh in their memories, in view of that greater redemption of which these were only types!

Heading — The next two psalms, recalling Aaron's blessing (Num. 6:25) and the invocation of Moses as the ark set forward (Num. 10:35), complete this group of psalms (50 — 68) which set forth the exercises of the Remnant amid their circumstances. From Psalm 61 the King is before their faith.

Psalm 67 — It is not selfishly that they desire the light of Jehovah's countenance, but 'that Thy way may be known upon earth, Thy salvation among all nations.' The peoples are called upon to praise, and the nations to rejoice; for the blessing, though from God, is earthly, and Israel is the centre of it.
  Elohim, 6.

Note — How the shining of the face of God is connected with the salvation of Israel! (Cf. Psalm 80:3, 7, 19; Dan. 9:17; Psalm 81:16.) In principle, this psalm embraces the blessing of the Gentiles even now. (Cf. Rom. 15:10-11.) It is also worthy of note that, in Psalm 80, the first two verses (cf. Num. 10:33-36) correspond with verse 1 of Psalm 68, but verses 3, 7, 19 are similar to verse 1 of Psalm 67 The two last-mentioned psalms are therefore connected in Psalm 80, only the order of thought is reversed. Psalm 67 gives us the blessing first; then Psalm 68 the intervention of power. (vv. 1, 7, 8, 18.) But in Psalm 80 there is power first (vv. 1, 2), in order to blessing (v. 3, vv. 17-19). The same order is maintained, but the thoughts again separated in Psalms 132, 133. The former gives us power, intervening to establish the Ark in rest (v. 8); and the latter speaks of the blessing descending upon Zion, as the oil on Aaron's head ran down to the hem of his garments. Israel's special relationships with Jehovah are more immediately in view in Psalms 132, 133. Also, in Psalm 80, the Shepherd of Israel is directly appealed to. But in Psalms 67, 68 facts and principles of a more general character are presented, which, though precisely applied to Israel, have a universal reference. (See Psalm 68:18.) In the last-quoted verse, though Jah is referred to, the passage is applied in Ephesians 3 to Christian truth, and the gifts are received in Man.

Psalm 68 — We are now rapt by the Spirit into the wide scene of divine glory in connection with the earth, power on God's part being invoked to effectuate it. It is no longer, 'God be gracious unto us, and bless us,' but, 'Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered.' Power intervenes to bring in the blessing, which would not in any other way be possible. The psalm begins, not with the blessing of Aaron (Num. 6:23-27), but with the appeal of Moses (Num. 10:35), when the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord went before His people 'to search out a resting-place for them.' It concludes with the ascription to Him of strength in bringing them in — 'Ascribe the strength unto God: His excellency is over Israel, and His strength is in the clouds.' (vv. 34, 35.) This power of God it is that immediately connects the three days' march from Sinai (vv. 1-8) with the establishment of His people and His temple at Jerusalem. (v. 29.) He that 'rides in the deserts' (v. 4), is the same that 'rides upon the heavens.' (v. 33.) 'Jah' (v. 4) — the existing One objectively, is the 'El of Israel' — the strength of holiness in supremacy over evil. (v. 35.) The person is the same, and the power is the same, but manifested differently according to the circumstances, whether in the deserts or upon the heavens. But this Person is Jehovah, yet Man. (Cf. vv. 16, 18.) It is He that has ascended up on high, and led captivity captive. He is Adonay, moreover, and El, the El of salvation, Jehovah Adonay, not only supreme in holy power over all the evil, but the Deliverer also of His people, and executing judgment on the wicked. (Cf. vv. 19-23.) He is their King in the sanctuary (v. 24), that gives strength and might unto the people. Blessed be God! (v. 35.)
  The first three verses state the subject of the psalm abstractly in its principle — God arises, the wicked perish, the righteous rejoice. These last then celebrate His coming, riding in the deserts, and give utterance to the thoughts of faith, in contrast with those of unbelief, when Israel were about to enter the land at the first. Then they murmured against Moses, and against Aaron, and said, 'Wherefore has the Lord brought us unto this land … that our wives and our children should be a prey.' (Num. 14:3.) But what was the answer of the Lord to them? 'Your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.' (v. 31.) Thus is He presented in this psalm, for in His nature and principles He is the unchangeable One, He is 'a father of the fatherless' (v. 5), and more, 'a judge of the widows,' while 'those that were bound He brings out into prosperity: but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.' (v. 6.) This is the language of faith; therefore, the next paragraph (vv. 7-14) declares His association with His people. It was before His people He went, when He marched through the wilderness, and His presence formed their circumstances. (So, morally, should it be with us.) In the wilderness the earth trembled, the heavens dropped — even Sinai itself. (v. 8) In the land a plentiful rain strengthened His inheritance, and His flock dwelt therein. (vv. 9, 10.) When oppressors invaded them, as in Deborah's day, 'Kings of armies flee; they flee, and she that tarries at home divides the spoil.' It is remarkable how much the song of Deborah is before the mind of the Spirit here. (Cf. vv. 7, 8, 12, 27, with Judges 5:4-5, 12, 18.) From this point (v. 14) the Spirit at once passes over to Zion, as Jehovah's dwelling-place for ever (v. 16, cf. Psalm 132:13), and even to the glory itself. (v. 18.) From thence — the highest possible place where Man could be, for it is the place of God (cf. Psalm 110:1), and no creature could be there — from thence it is that salvation comes to Israel. The Assembly truly is associated with, and indeed united to Him, who is at the right hand, and she will be in the glory, but cannot be set at the right hand itself. This passage is therefore cited, in Eph. 4:8, as prophetic of Christ's gifts to, and care of the Assembly. It strongly speaks of the place in which the Assembly is set that Israel's future, final, and glorious deliverance from every foe is derived from the same Person, place and power which is the source of her (the Assembly's) gifts and ministry today. The triumphal procession in the sanctuary follows. (vv. 24-27.) The goings of Him, who aforetime rode in the deserts, and marched through the wilderness, and will hereafter ride upon the heavens (v. 33), are now seen in the sanctuary (v. 24), as of Israel's 'El' and King. Power has intervened to recover, but entire supremacy is anticipated. With the addition of Judah, in the stead of Ephraim, with whom Benjamin had been before associated, the same tribes are prominent as in Deborah's day. (Judges 5:14, 18; cf. Psalm 80:2.) The Temple is gloriously established at Jerusalem, and homage looked for from the mighty and prosperous nations of the earth. Egypt and Ethiopia are especially singled out; and all the kingdoms of the earth are called to praise the God of Israel.
  Elohim, 26; El, 5; Jehovah, 2; Jah, 2; Adonay, 7; Shadday, 1.

Note — In only one other place in the Book of Psalms (Psalm 91) is the name Shadday employed. Here it is specially in connection with the clearance of the land from the oppressor in the latter day, of which the destruction of Jabin's hosts was an example and type. Jehovah thus fulfils to Israel the promise made to Abraham ('Unto thy seed will I give this land') in spite of their disastrous failure, and the solemn discipline under which He had passed them. In Psalm 91 it is Messiah, and the faith of the Remnant identified with Him, owning Jehovah, Israel's God, as the Almighty who is able to perform the promises, and also as 'Elion,' the Supreme in government and blessing. Of all the names of God 'Elion' alone is omitted in Psalm 68, for here the question is not so much of established supremacy as of the perfect power needed to bring it in. Therefore Shadday is used. Psalm 18 gives 'Elion,' but omits 'Shadday,' because the Person of the King, not Israel's promises, is in view. 'Shadday' is also omitted in Psalm 78, for the subject there is the failure of the people, under law, to enter into and possess the promises, though accomplished finally according to purpose. It is observable that precisely the same divine names are found in Psalm 50 as in Psalm 18, Shadday and Adonay being omitted from both, for in neither is He seen as delivering His people by judgment, or accomplishing promise in power, but as judging His people (Psalm 50) and asserting supremacy in His King. (Psalm 18.) 'Adonay' is largely introduced in the present psalm (Psalm 68), resembling Psalm 86 in this, presenting Himself as the Deliverer of His saints executing judgment as in Israel governmentally. The perfect humanity and the positive deity in one Person, that of the blessed Lord, is strikingly seen by comparing verses 4, 7, 24, 33 with verse 18.

Heading — Messiah is now seen in identification with His people, the Security of their blessing to eternity.

Psalm 69 — Jehovah, ascended for power in Man to deliver Israel and govern the earth, is the subject of the previous psalm. In the present one we see Him still in manhood, but humbled and persecuted, and indeed smitten, but seeking deliverance that Zion may be saved, and the cities of Judah built, so that the heavens and the earth may praise Him. As regards humiliation, it is rather the aspect of Phil. 2 than atonement. Indeed, just as there the saints are exhorted to have the mind of Christ, so here, if He is smitten they are wounded. (v. 26.) If He is heard, and set 'secure on high' (v. 29), the meek see it and are glad, they that seek God live. (v. 32.) Even in His utter humiliation, He desires that it may not stumble those who wait on and seek Jehovah (v. 6), since it was on His account that He had borne reproach and been covered with confusion.
  That this humbled One is prophetically Christ, is evident from verse 4 (cf. John 14:25), and verse 9 (cf. John 2:17, and Rom. 15:3). Consequently deliverance is assured, not only for Himself, but, on account of His personal worthiness, for those associated with Him; and also the blessing of Israel and the earth is secured. Truly Man, having taken part in flesh and blood, He has formed the path for the children of God; and others besides Himself will be in it; but in His Person He is wholly alone. This verse 9 fully establishes, for if in their measure some can say, 'Zeal for Thine house devours me,' Jesus alone could command, 'Take these things hence: make not My Father's house a house of merchandise,' and give, as sign of His authority, that which pertained to Deity alone. Yet He is presented fully and perfectly in manhood here. Messiah being thus brought in, Jehovah is at once appealed to (v. 13), and the circumstances of His servants' shame and sorrow fully laid before Him. This can only result in the judgment of the adversaries (vv. 22-28), when the question in hand is governmental justice. That the sentiments expressed in this portion were not the expression of the heart of Christ personally, is clear from His intercession for His persecutors on the cross, 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.' It is therefore important to distinguish between what is proper to Himself personally, and the expression of what is suitable in any position He may be pleased to assume in regard to the creature. He may drive out the man, or sweep the world away with a flood. This was proper and suitable on account of what the creature had become, but was not the expression of the Being of God in His own abstract perfection. Even the law was not that, nor indeed the first creation, however declarative of His eternal power and divinity. Christ alone is that. This psalm sets forth what was right, if determined by the desert of the adversary. But though recognised by Christ, this was never His habit of thought, for He was God manifested in flesh according to the fulness of His Being and perfection, and He expressed always what He was. With Him this was always the determining point, and necessarily so, whatever the position or character He assumed. He was, and is, and ever will be Himself. In this psalm we see the thoughts of the Spirit of Christ, judging of the adversary, and giving divine expression to the spiritual desires of the Remnant in the latter day, for whom the judgment of the wicked will be necessary in order that Jehovah may be glorified in His government of the earth, and blessing be established therein. Much is personal of Christ (see v. 21, cf. Matt. 27:34, 48); the deprecations are not, for they are the expression of judgment, and He was not that, but the personal and divine expression of grace. Judgment indeed is committed to Him alone; but this is because He is the Son of man, and it is obedience on His part to exercise it. The psalm is largely true of, and is the expression of the state of the godly Remnant among the Jews in the coming day, 'The meek shall see it, they shall be glad … For Jehovah hears the needy, and despises not His prisoners … For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah, and they shall dwell there … and the seed of His servants shall inherit it.' (vv. 32-36.)
  Elohim, 9; Jehovah, 5; Adonay, 1.

Note — The One found zealous for Jehovah, and suffering the depths of humiliation in consequence, can say, 'Make not My Father's house a house of merchandise,' and prove His authority by the attributes of Deity.

Psalm 70 — This and the previous psalm find their counterpart in Psalm 40 (cf. Psalm 40:13-17, and the divine names employed in each), but there it is in the fully expressed sense of relationship. Here, Messiah having been introduced, the name of relationship is again taken up by faith, but the appeal is specially to what God is. In both we see that Christ, in humiliation, is the moral centre and test of man's state. Psalm 40 is, perhaps, more personal of Christ; the words 'unto me' (v. 15), and 'the Lord thinks upon me' (v. 17) are not found in Psalm 70. This latter psalm seems more historical of the Remnant (see v. 3), and is urgent in seeking deliverance. (v. 5.)
  Elohim, 3; Jehovah, 2.

Psalm 71 — The believing Remnant — the Israel of God — are now brought fully into view in the exercise of faith. The psalmist identifies himself with Israel in all their previous history, recognising throughout it all the righteousness of Jehovah, the marvellous works of God. There are two principal divisions in the psalm (vv. 1-16 and 17-24), in both of which faith stays upon what God had been in the past as its confidence for the future. But, in the former portion, it is more the thought of deliverance for himself that is prominent, while the latter has chiefly the glory of God in view. In verse 5 he says, 'Thou art my hope, O Adonay Jehovah, my confidence from my youth'; in verse 17, 'O God, Thou hast taught me from my youth, and hitherto have I proclaimed Thy marvellous works.' Again, in verse 9, he says, 'Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength fails'; but in verse 18 he says, 'When I am old and grey-headed, O God, forsake me not, until I have proclaimed Thine arm unto this generation.' The beautiful way in which faith reviews Israel's troubled history, and uses the deepest trials and chastenings as an assurance of grace and blessing, is very marked in verses 20, 21. It is faith in the God of resurrection, for it is, indeed, distinctly and positively a moral resurrection, which brings Israel, grown old, and on the point of passing away, up again from the depths of the earth, so that he is increased in greatness, and comforted on every side. The points of similarity between this psalm and Psalm 22 are marked by their contrast. Here he says, 'On Thee have I been stayed from the womb: from the bowels of my mother Thou didst draw me forth.' This is the expression of the faith of the godly Remnant. Psalm 22:9-10 gives us what could really be the utterance of the blessed Lord only 'Thou art He that took me out of the womb: Thou didst make me trust upon my mother's breasts. I was cast upon Thee from the womb: Thou art my God from my mother's belly.' This is that divine communion possible only to One who was divine and perfect, though found in manhood. Yet God had forsaken Him; but, in Psalm 71, the plea is that He may not be forsaken (vv. 9, 18), though, so deep was the distress, that His enemies might conclude that God had forsaken Him (v. 11). The deprecations, too, are not found in Psalm 22. Generally speaking, this psalm gives us the faith of the Israel of God, enduring throughout until the new scene.
  Elohim, 9; Jehovah, 3; Adonay, 2.

Psalm 72 — We now find the new blessing introduced and established on earth. The blessing and the inheritance, settled in Abraham and in his Seed, are now verified and fulfilled righteously in the King, the King's Son (v. 17, Gen. 22:18), who is no other than Jehovah Elohim, the Elohim of Israel (v. 18). The peaceful reign of Messiah is described in beautiful and poetic imagery. Peace will be secured on the part of the governmental authorities ('mountains and hills,' v. 3) by the due administration of righteousness. A general diffusion of prosperity ('rain on the mown grass,' v. 6) on earth shall be the effect of His power, which exercises universal sway. The waste and unfrequented places ('the top of the mountains,' v. 16) shall yield a plentiful supply for the food of man, while the populated parts shall bloom with freshness and verdure ('like the herb of the earth,' v. 16), health, beauty, and prosperity. All nations call Him blessed, but in result it is Jehovah Elohim, the God of Israel, who is blessed. It would thus seem that the seed of Abraham (Genesis 22:18), the Son of David, and Jehovah God are identified. David has nothing left to pray for; his largest anticipations are realised, and the blessing of His glorious Name alone remains for ever.
  Elohim, 3; Jehovah, 1.

Note — It is certain that Messiah is spoken of in this psalm, in His Jewish and earthly throne; but verse 5 evidently addresses Him as a then-existing Object of faith and adoration from generation to generation. Though, no doubt, Solomon was literally in view.
  The 'He' of prophecy was the 'Thou,' a known and addressed Object of faith then. This explains the transference from the 'Him' whom all nations should call blessed, whose Name should endure for ever, to blessing Jehovah Elohim and His glorious Name for ever. (vv. 17-19.) Verse 6 may also be emblematic of the revelation of Himself by the Word of doctrine. (See Deut. 32:2.)
  The form of the doxology concluding this book is peculiar. 'Elohim' is added to 'Jehovah' in celebrating the power of the God of Israel; and the prayer is, that the whole earth be filled with His glory. This agrees with the general character of these psalms (42-72), which seem to have a precise reference to the condition of the Remnant during the last half of Daniel's seventieth week, when driven out of Jerusalem (Ps. 42, Ps. 43, Ps. 56:8, Ps. 59, Ps. 61, Ps. 63 etc.), and apparently cast off by God, given up together with the whole ordered system of Jewish public worship, to be trodden under-foot by the Gentiles. (Ps. 44:9-26, Ps. 55, Ps. 66:10-12, Ps. 69, Ps. 71:9-12.) Yet Jehovah is recognised as God — the God of Israel, and faith looks to the whole scene being filled with His glory.

Book 3.
Psalms 73 - 89.

Heading — The third book looks more generally at the state of Israel, and is largely national and historic, especially the first eleven psalms, which are of 'Asaph.' Among these we have, in Psalm 78, the explanation of the otherwise inscrutable mystery: Why the saints of God fail. It is because of distrust of grace.
  Of the divine names Elohim still largely predominates in this book, and especially is the form 'El' observable, being more often employed than in either of the other books. Yet, with the exception of Book 4, where the number is equal, there are twice as many psalms in the other books. 'El' gives the thought of supremacy over evil in holy power. Indeed, supremacy seems very prominent here; for instance, 'Elion,' supreme in government and blessing, is used twice as often as in any of the other books. This is God's millennial name, the Most High, whose irresistible power subdues all things to His authority. Again, 'Adonay,' the Deliverer of His people executing judgment on the wicked, is, in proportion to the number of psalms, much more in view in this book than in the others. A collection of Korahic psalms, at the close (84 — 88, except 86), shows that, if there is deliverance, it is due to mercy alone, and is based upon Messiah's merits. As a general subject, it is Israel's state in the latter day, learned prophetically in the sanctuary, and Christ is viewed as Judge in the earth, Son of man to restore Israel and David the anointed of Jehovah.

Psalm 73 — The external state of things around in the world cannot be judged of by the principles of God's government in Israel. The wicked are prosperous and presumptuous. (vv. 6-9.) Their success attracts the confidence of the unbelieving mass of the people, and, coupled with their wickedness, gives definiteness and expression and energy to their apostasy. (vv. 11, 12.) On the other hand, practical godliness only brings the saint into ever deeper trial and sorrow. But God's ways and the end of the wicked are learnt in the sanctuaries of El. Their exaltation only increases their ruin, which, when it comes, is sudden and complete. This learnt, the saint judges himself as brutish for having entertained the folly of estimating God and His ways by the outward and momentary circumstances of this scene. He anticipates the glory without fear, knowing that, after it, God, who is good to Israel, will receive him. Meanwhile he has guidance by His counsel, and every desire met and satisfied in Him; for God is his present strength and eternal portion. He draws near to God and finds it good — a good that issues in testimony to Adonay Jehovah. To be afar off from Him is to perish.
  Elohim, 3; El, 2; Jehovah, 1: Elion, 1; Adonay, 2.

Note — The end of man, become an enemy, and the grace of God, are learnt in the sanctuary. The absence of 'Shadday,' the Almighty, as in most of the psalms, is marked here because the other Divine names are employed, though not in all their forms. It is not so much the promises of God that are counted upon (as given to Abraham), but His supremacy in superiority over the evil, in His care for, and deliverance of, the godly. Thus 'Elion,' 'Adonay,' and 'El,' are prominent. (Cf. Psalms 77, 78.)

Psalm 74 — The lesson of the preceding psalm must now be learnt amid all the circumstances of the path. Man, whose end was seen in the sanctuary, is found in his day of power destroying the sanctuary. The same order, from a far higher point of view, is presented in Psalms 77 - 79. Indeed, the subjects of Psalms 73 - 76 are repeated and developed, apparently with a special view to the counsels and testimonies of God, in Psalms 77 - 83. Here, in Psalm 74, the psalmist appeals to the fact of redemption and purchase of old in view of the present desolations. The sanctuary set on fire, its decorations destroyed, all God's places of assembly burned up, no signs of divine power, none to communicate the Word — well might they cry, How long? But faith recalls that God was Israel's King of old, accomplishing deliverances in the midst of the earth. (v. 12.) The Red Sea was a proof of it, the annihilation of Egypt's hosts, the smitten rock, the drying up of Jordan's waters, the ordinances of the heavens and the earth — that is to say, creation and redemption were alike witnesses of it. Faith thus rises up to the identifying Jehovah with His people, so that to reproach them was to reproach Him, and to despise His name. The covenant arises once more upon the horizon of faith — a lamp of hope for the dark places of the earth. It is now a covenant of mercy, for it is God's 'own cause,' not right to aught on the nation's part. The adversaries were His, not merely theirs. The tumult arose against Him. This is faith in the truth of its exercise, removing the ground of appeal from its own sorrows to what is due to God.
  Elohim, 4; El, 1; Jehovah, 1.

Note — All the elements of Israel's sorrow are on the scene, except that there is no expression of their sense of sin, or confession of it; though, perhaps, this may be implied in verse 1. The external enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary (v. 3), and despises the name of God for ever (v. 10), and reproaches Jehovah. (v. 18). The adversary within roars in God's place of assembly (v. 4), and sets up therein the ensigns of his power. The people, as a mass, have become foolish and apostate (v. 18), led by 'the foolish man' (v. 22), for folly and impiety are intimately connected. All the external marks of an ordered relationship are gone. Jehovah is therefore merely referred to, but faith calls upon Elohim as bound, for His own sake, to interfere.

Psalm 75 — Elohim, again, is greatly prominent, for the question of judgment is now introduced in answer to the cry of the saints (comp. Rev. 6:9-17, 8:3-13) in Psalm 74, and God is the judge. But the cup, giving the character and elements of the judgment, is in the hand of Jehovah. Yet, if the administration of it is the point, it is Messiah who will judge with equity. (v. 2. Cf. Psalms 72, 50, 9, Acts 17:31.) He is moreover divine, for an Omnipotent Being alone could, amid universal dissolution, restore all things and sustain them on an abiding basis. (v. 3). His warnings to the proud and wicked had been clothed with divine authority (vv. 4, 5) — a word and authority which, in due time, He would put in force. (v. 10. Cf. Rev. 2:12-16, 19:11-16.)
  Elohim, 3; Jehovah, 1.

Note — In any relative position taken by the blessed Lord, He is not viewed apart from what He is as divine; for none but a Divine Person could here fill the place of Messiah.

Psalm 76 — Without avail had the testimony of judgment been rendered, and Judah, even Salem, yea Zion itself, has become the scene of its display. There the Assyrian hosts have met their doom. Judgment was heard from the heavens; earth feared and stood still. God's name is great in Israel, and He saves all the meek of the earth. His people are, thereupon, exhorted to assume formally their place of relationship with Jehovah, and render to Him the worship that is due.
  Elohim, 4; Jehovah, 1.

Note — The Assyrian, the northern enemy, Israel's oppressor in the land, is evidently the special enemy in question here.

Heading — The same subjects are reverted to, in a remarkable way, in the next group of psalms. (77 - 83) Psalm 77 takes up the same ground of the day of trouble, and of trust in God, as Psalm 73, and the latter part of Psalm 74, from verse 12. The earlier portion of Psalm 74 (vv. 1-11) forms the subject of Psalm 79, viz., the triumph of the enemy, and Zion's desolation. The intervening psalm (78) gives the explanation, for faith, of the mystery of the failure and rejection of God's people, viz., on account of their unbelief. (Cf. Heb. 3:7-18, 4:1-11.) In Psalms 80, 81, Messiah is introduced as 'Son of man' and 'Jehovah thy God,' as in Psalm 75 where a man it is, yet God, Who is the judge. Finally, Psalms 82, 83 correspond with Psalm 76, setting forth the judgment of the people and the overthrow of the last great confederacy in the land.

Psalm 77 — It is the day of trouble, but the psalmist's cry is not provoked by envy of the wicked, as in Psalm 73. He is occupied with God — though this even gives poignancy to his sorrow — he remembers God, and considers the days of old. He bears in mind seasons of joy now past, and reviews the present circumstances; but, as yet, all is dark, for his thoughts are limited to his own heart; and he reasons from his own state. But faith revives; and he remembers the years of the right hand of the Most High, the works of Jah, His wonders of old, not merely the days of old with their sorrowful history, or his songs in the night now, changed to complainings and disquiet (cf. vv. 10, 12 and vv. 3-6). God's way is in the sanctuary. There is His greatness seen, there are His wonders and His strength declared. Redemption, in its full glorious extent, is learned there. But not only so; His way is in the sea, the waters have seen Him, and trembled. He led His people through them like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron. The sanctuary and the sea declare the glory and the grace of redemption.
  Elohim, 6; El, 2; Jah, 1; Adonay, 2; Elion, 1.

Note — The use of the divine names is beautiful and definite. In the day of his trouble the psalmist seeks Adonay, the Deliverer of His people (v. 2), and asks, 'Will Adonay cast off for ever?' (v. 7.) He enquires, 'Has "El" [the Supreme over evil in holy power] forgotten to be gracious?' 'the El that does wonders' (vv. 9, 14), the Redeemer of His people. (v. 15.) But it is 'Elion,' the Most High, supreme in government and blessing, for He is Jah who wrought of old (cf. Psalm 91:1-2), upon whose power the stability of blessing depends (vv. 10, 11). It is Elohim whose way is in the sanctuary (v. 13) — Elohim whose way is in the sea (v. 19).

Psalm 78 — As, in the previous psalm, we had God's ways presented in the sanctuary and in the sea, so now we have man's, even the saint's ways set forth. The secret cause of his failure and consequent rejection — the mystery of his ruined state, is here solved. In Psalm 49 the riddle was the success and prosperity of the wicked. Here, it is the failure of the saint. Distrust of the grace of God explains it. It is this that gives such point and divine perfectness to the application of verse 2, by the Spirit, in Matt. 13:34-35. The parables, there spoken by the blessed Lord, are such as set forth responsibility and failure in connection with the kingdom of the heavens. The passage immediately in question (Matt. 13:18-35) includes the explanation of the parable of the tares, showing the effect of the sowing of grace according to the varied states of the hearers; then the parable of the darnel sown among the wheat, result of the unwatchfulness and failure of the servants of the householder. Finally, we have the parables of the kingdom of the heavens, as the mustard-seed of abnormal growth, and the three measures of meal puffed up by leaven, indicating thus, the overweening character of the flesh in connection with the sphere of Christ's interests. Cutting off is the result, because of not standing by faith. In the case of Israel, there is recovery; so that, in a special way, the utterance of this riddle is the showing forth to the generations to come the praises of Jehovah. The secret of the solemn and terrible discipline of their fathers is thus made known to the children, that they also might rise up and tell it to their children. So should they set their hope in God, and not be as their fathers, who prepared not their hearts, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God. (v. 8.) The whole history is that of the first man, put into a place of privilege and responsibility prior to the introduction of the Man after God's own heart and the establishment of His purposes. (See vv. 67-72.) The sons of Ephraim, fully armed for the conflict, turned back in the day of battle; for they forgot the marvellous works of God and His doings. He clave the sea, led them with the cloud and the fire, gave them rivers of waters out of the rock; yet they tempted 'El' in their heart, believed not in Elohim, and confided not in His salvation. (vv. 9-25.) The point of view taken by this psalm is here most marked. The incident referred to is related in Num. 11, not in Ex. 16. It is the asking for bread and flesh, after he smote the rock and the waters gushed out. (v. 20.) That is to say, it is the getting of bread and flesh after the Law was given, not before it; and, therefore, man is looked at as under probation and legal responsibility, which was not the case in Ex. 16. This makes all the difference, and gives its special character to the psalm. In Psalm 105, where grace and election are prominent, flesh and bread are given first, and water afterwards. (Psalm 105:40-41.) That is Ex. 16, and prior to Law. Here, in Psalm 78, it is man under Law, and dealt with in mercy according to the government of God, his failure and rejection being due to unbelief, distrust of the grace of God, and forgetfulness of redemption. The lessons of the wilderness — God's ways with His people there — are first given (vv. 12-39); then the history of redemption, out of Egypt into the land (vv. 40-55), followed by the record of their conduct therein (vv. 56-58), conduct which results in still severer discipline. Under Law naught avails. Power puts them into privilege and blessing, and mercy is exercised to sustain them in it; but all in vain, until established upon pure mercy. Abiding blessing is alone secured in the Man of His choice, and the place of His good pleasure. This psalm is the unfolding to Israel, by means of the great principles of their history, of that enigma which Paul sets forth, according to the full light of Christianity, in Romans 11 — 'O depth of riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable His judgments, and untraceable His ways!' The special lesson is found in vv. 10, 11, 22, 32, 41, 42, 56. The points in the history are grace and power, putting into the wilderness, and then into the land; redemption out of Egypt being the starting-point in each case. The conduct of the people thereupon is then given; and their consequent judgment at Kibroth-hattaavah and at Shiloh, respectively, the tabernacle being forsaken, and the ark given up. Then the ground of sovereign choice in grace is laid, and the Kingdom set up on it in the person of David. This is the principle of Israel's restoration in the latter day, their history under Law being closed in total and final ruin.
  Elohim, 8; El, 7; Jehovah, 2; Elion, 3; Adonay, 1.

Note — The inspired use of the divine names is again to be much noted. The covenant was of 'Elohim,' and it was in 'Elohim' they should set their hope (vv. 7, 10, 22), and when with their idols they provoked 'Elion,' supreme in government and blessing (vv. 17, 56-58), it was 'Elohim' who heard and was wroth. But it was 'El,' supreme in holy power over evil, who had wrought for them and was their Redeemer (vv. 7, 35), whom they tempted, misdoubting His power to supply their table with bread and flesh. (vv. 7, 8, 18, 19, 41.) Their spirit was not steadfast with 'El,' yet they sought early after Him when He slew them. (vv. 8, 34.) But Elohim was their rock, and against Him they spoke. (vv. 19, 35.) Idolatry in the land provoked the wrath of 'Elohim'; but 'Jehovah' was wroth when they questioned His care of His people in the wilderness. (vv. 20, 21 and 58, 59.) 'El' was the Holy One of Israel. (v. 41.) To show forth the praises of 'Jehovah' was the object of the parable. (v. 4.) Finally it was 'Adonay,' the Deliverer of His people, executing judgment on the wicked, who awoke to the establishment of Zion, and of David as the Shepherd of His people, smiting His adversaries with everlasting reproach. (vv. 65-70.) Judah, Mount Zion, His sanctuary on earth, His servant David (Ephraim and Joseph being rejected), form the chosen scene of blessing.

Psalm 79 — We have already noticed (only it is more distinctly the Assyrian, the Northern, power) that this psalm takes up latter-day facts — the subject of Psalm 74:1-11. The following verses — viz., verses 12-23, and Psalm 73 — are the subject of Psalm 77; viz., God's ways, even as Psalm 78 sets forth man's ways. Here are found the actual historical circumstances of the last days — days in which it will be of the last importance to have learned the lessons of Psalms 77, 78. The land is overrun by the nations, the temple is defiled, Jerusalem is laid in heaps. There have the saints been slaughtered, and their bodies left unburied. But this is no mere effect of chance, nor of the superior power of the foe. It is the hand of God in chastening for the iniquities of their forefathers. But if so, their God is Jehovah, and He must needs stand up for His people against those who have devoured Jacob and laid waste his habitation — against the nations that have not known Him, and the kingdoms that call not upon His name. Therefore the cry of faith, 'How long?' is raised. (Cf. Psalm 74:9-10.) Their state reflects upon Him, whose people they are. The nations say, 'Where is their God?' but this is to reproach 'Adonay,' the Deliverer of His people. (vv. 10-12.) Thus faith is emboldened to confess, and practically to take up, their full place of relationship and blessing with Jehovah — His people and the sheep of His pasture.
  Elohim, 3; Jehovah, 1; Adonay, 1.

Note — The cry, 'How long?' is characteristic of Jewish faith. It is the expression of the revival in their souls, by faith, of the sense of their relationship with Jehovah, though still in the midst of trouble. (Cf. Psalms 74, 79, 89, 94.) In Psalm 74 the cry is with respect to the enemy's reviling; in Psalm 79 in deprecation of the anger of Jehovah. In Psalm 89 it is the cry of Messiah, identified with Israel, from whom Jehovah hides Himself; and in Psalm 94 the cry is for judgment on the proud and wicked who oppress His people. The appeal (in v. 12) to Adonay, the Deliverer of His people, executing judgment on the wicked, is very beautiful.

Psalm 80 — As before remarked, this psalm strikingly connects Psalms 67, 68. There is, however, this difference, that, first, we have the appeal to the Shepherd of Israel going forth to lead Joseph like a flock: as erst the ark went three days' march into the wilderness to search out a place for them to pitch their tents in. (Deut. 1:33.) His strength is invoked (vv. 1, 2), as when Moses said, 'Rise up, Lord, and let Thine enemies be scattered.' Then, secondly, there follows that which answers to Aaron's blessing (Num. 6:24-26), only restoration is in question, not their first estate — 'O God, restore us, and cause Thy face to shine, and we shall be saved.' That is, the order here is the reverse of that in Psalms 67, 68, where the blessing is stated first, and power invoked afterwards. Here power is looked for first, and the blessing is a consequence. The same order is maintained in Psalms 132, 133. Israel is fully in view here. Indeed, this is the only principle upon which Israel's blessing is possible. Power must first intervene and destroy the adversaries. Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, were the three tribes that brought up the rear of Israel's host, their place being immediately behind the ark. Judah, as a leader, is out of the account, and it is no longer, as in Psalm 78, the rejection of the tent of Joseph, and of the tribe of Ephraim. God is the Leader, the Shepherd of Israel; Joseph is His flock. He arises on behalf of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh. They recall the past, and the power manifested on their behalf in the wilderness, and cry to Elohim for corresponding blessing now. (vv. 1-3.) Yet, as for the present, they can only cry, 'How long?' — the prayer of His people meets with no other response than the expression of Jehovah's anger: tears have been their bread and drink. As yet unsaved, they are an occasion of strife and mockery to all around. (vv. 4-6.) Again they appeal; this time to the God of hosts (v. 7), 'Restore us, O God of hosts; and cause Thy face to shine, and we shall be saved.' (v. 7.) But their case is now reviewed in a fresh light. Nationally they were brought 'a vine out of Egypt.' No wilderness is here in question. Space was prepared before it, and 'it filled the land'; the sea and the river were its only limits. This was its past; but, now — its fences broken down, its fruit plucked off — 'the boar out of the forest doth waste it, and the beast of the field feeds off it.' Where can they look for help? To One alone. 'Let Thy hand be upon the Man of Thy right hand, upon the Son of man whom Thou hast made strong for Thyself.' Then faith calls, not merely upon 'Elohim' (v. 3), or 'Elohim of hosts' (v. 7), but upon 'Jehovah Elohim of hosts' (v. 19), in the confidence of a relationship which has its assurance and stability in the Son of man.
  Elohim, 5; Jehovah, 2.

Note — The Son of man wields omnipotence — Jehovah's power and authority.

Psalm 81 — We are still on the ground of Psalm 75, only it is more decidedly 'Jehovah, thy God' who undertakes for His people; rather than as Son of man, as in Psalm 80. The first five verses indicate the point of progress: prayer and supplication give place to an outburst of joy and song, for it is the re-awakening of Israel's glory. The thrice-repeated prayer of Psalm 80 is answered, and Israel's moon now shines afresh in the light of Jehovah's face. The God of Jacob ordained it for Israel and in Joseph. It is not merely Judaic glory and the Messiahship of David's seed, but according to the grace of redemption which wrought when all was foreign to Jehovah's mind. To trust this grace was the lesson so needed to be learnt. See Psalm 78, where their history is passed in review. Here the same truth is seen, as in the mind of God expressed by the heart of Christ. It is a wonderful revelation of the tender love of God, in connection with the government and history of His people. He understood not the language of Egypt, and brought them out from their toil. At the sea, He delivered and answered them by power. Grace proved them at the waters of Meribah. In the land, His word was, 'Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.' (v. 10.) All was in vain; yet their disobedience and stubbornness changed not Jehovah's love. His desire still was to feed them with 'the finest of wheat; yea, with honey out of the rock.' (v. 16.) The recognition of this — His changeless love, and power omnipotent that waited on it, brings forth anew the long-silent song of Israel's praise. (vv. 1-5.) The psalm gives the pleading of the Spirit of Christ with His people as Jehovah their God; and they learn the lesson of Psalm 78 at last.
  Elohim, 4; Jehovah, 2.

Note — 'el' is the word used for a strange god. Here we have the God of Jacob (in Psalm 80, the God of hosts). He loves if He chastens, and chastens if He restores.

Psalm 82 — The previous psalm had shown the moral judgment of Jehovah, and His discipline, in regard to the conduct of His people. This now gives place not merely to the testimony of, as in Psalm 75, but to the actual judicial arraignment of the heads of the people: 'Elohim stands in the assembly of El.' (v. 1.) It is in the exercise of holy supremacy over evil. This is the place in which the judges of His people are set on His behalf. 'He judges among the gods.' If apostate, though in that place and recognised as there — 'I have said, Ye are gods' (v. 6), yet shall they die like men. It is in this sense, so expressive of His divine knowledge of the Scriptures, that the blessed Saviour quotes these words in John 10. They were set for 'El,' and as 'El,' in the place of judgment; for to this effect the word of God came to them. Failing therein, Elohim would arise Himself to judge the earth, and would inherit all the nations. (v. 8.)
  Elohim, 2; El, 1; Elion, 1.

Note — As set in the place of judgment, they are called 'children of Elion' (v. 6), i.e., as in relationship, and therefore in responsibility to Him who is supreme in government, with a view to blessing. 'Jehovah' is not introduced here; for it is not national relationship, but His holy nature, that is in question.

Psalm 83 — His people being purged (God being Judge in their midst, as well as rightful possessor of all nations), the final scene is presented. After the return to their land of the Jews and Israel, judicial wrath falls upon their oppressors and confederated enemies. 'El' is again appealed to, for it is in this character that Elohim is invoked (v. 1), and here is the scene in which He is specially thus displayed. He is supreme in holiness, above the evil, but His name is Jehovah, and His power is exercised that His enemies may seek Him thus, and know that He is 'Elion,' the Most High, supreme in government and blessing over all the earth. (v. 18.) The action of the psalm centres wholly around Him, the people being merely the occasion of it. The enemies are His, and He is the Object of their hatred. (vv. 1, 2.) The people are also His — His hidden ones (v. 3), and the confederacy against them is against Him, to take possession of His dwelling-places. Edom and the Ishmaelites on the south appear to be prominent. The alliance spreads in a northerly direction to Moab and the Hagarites on the east, and to Gebal, near Lebanon, on the north. Ammon is then introduced on the east, Amalek joining on the south-west. The whole sea-board follows — Philistia, with the inhabitants of Tyre. These are parallel to the nations first mentioned, and the whole nation of Israel is thus surrounded by enemies that have a footing in the land. Outside of it Asshur adds her help to Moab and Ammon. The situation is similar to that in the days of Deborah and of Gideon. The same lust of possession was the motive of their oppressors. For His own name's sake Jehovah is called upon to put them to shame, that they may be confounded and perish.
  Elohim, 3; El, 1; Jehovah, 2; Elion, 1.

Note — The differences of the use of 'El' in verse 1, and Jehovah and Elion in verses 16-18, are very marked here.

Heading — The psalms that follow (84 — 89) seem to treat separately of distinct, though connected subjects, viz., Psalm 84, the tabernacles of Jehovah; Psalm 85, the land and people of Jehovah; Psalm 86, the servant of Jehovah; Psalm 87, the city of God; Psalm 88, the saint under law, and. Jehovah's wrath; Psalm 89 , the promises established through Jehovah's mercy in His anointed. These psalms are largely characterized by appeal to Jehovah in the sense of relationship, just as the previous (those of Asaph) call upon Elohim, though, of course, Jehovah is recognised.

Psalm 84 — The desires and exercises of heart in connection with the establishment of Jehovah's earthly courts are here expressed. The blessed are not alone those who dwell there, but also those who desire to be there — whose hearts are on the way. (vv. 4, 5.) This is the position of the psalmist; and his strength to arrive there is in his God. He appeals to the God of Jacob — of one who wandered far, but yet was under the protection of his God. But more, the God who is 'our shield,' looks upon 'the face of His Anointed.' (v. 9.) Therefore He is 'a sun' as well as 'a shield.' (v. 11); and blessed is the man that confides in Him. (v. 12.) The valley of weeping is on the way, but when that is past Jehovah will give grace and glory. This psalm reminds much of Psalms 42 and 63. In the former, desires after God are expressed amid the sense of reproach and apparent rejection. The cry of the soul is specially to be delivered. The difference in Psalm 63 is that, though thirsting after God, the remembrance of the past adding poignancy to his sufferings, yet he worships with songs of joy, and his soul is satisfied with marrow and fatness, since the loving-kindness of God, known in the soul as a present thing, is better than life itself. This is quite in the spirit of Christian experience. Psalm 84 looks for earthly glory and rest in the tabernacles, the courts, the house of Jehovah. It is the priestly return to the altars of Jehovah.
  Elohim, 7; El, 1; Jehovah, 7.

Note — The three steps of blessing in moral elevation are very beautiful:
(1) Blessed they that dwell in Thy house;
(2) blessed they whose strength is in Thee on their way there (herein is a greater display of divine energy);
(3) blessed is the man that confides in Thee.
Is this the highest effect of grace in the creature? It may be displayed amid the most untoward circumstances. The courts are Jehovah's, but the tried pilgrim longs for the living 'El.'

Psalm 85 — After the house of God, His land and people are next in order of interest in the mind of the Spirit. (vv. 1, 2.) He has been favourable to them, forgiving the iniquity of His people and covering their sin. Yet is there much to be desired in response to it on their side, in order to their enjoyment of it; that they might be revived and rejoice in Him. (vv. 4-7.) As to this, El Jehovah, grants special instruction: 'He will speak peace unto His people, and to His godly ones: but let them not turn again to folly.' (v. 8.) Thus peace, as their portion, is not unsettled, but obedience is insisted on — salvation is assured, and abiding glory in their land. The divine principles upon which all is established are then stated. The loving-kindness they desired to enjoy (v. 7) is displayed in Jehovah's faithfulness, in accomplishing, on the ground of grace, all His promises. (v. 10.) Righteousness is thus gloriously and blessedly consistent with peace for His people. The full effect of His truth is seen in the fruit of blessing on earth, while the heavens themselves bear testimony that all is in accordance with God's righteousness, not man's. For in the heavens is the glorious witness that that atoning work, by which their sin is covered, is the divinely righteous ground for accomplishing His promises of blessing on earth. Righteousness — His own — has made a divine path for the expression of His grace. (v. 13.)
  Elohim, 1; El, 1; Jehovah, 4.

Note — The introduction of 'El' in verse 8 shows the speciality of its use. He is the Supreme One over evil — even in His saints — but it is in the power of holiness, not in the denial or neglect of it: 'Let them not turn again to folly.'

Psalm 86 — This is a psalm of David, and accordingly the Spirit traces the experience of a godly, trustful, dependent servant. It has its beautiful and inspired place among these psalms of Korah, and leads the heart up to complete rest in the removal of all evil. For Israel, this must needs be in the destruction of the proud and of the assembly of the violent. The Christian enjoys rest already in Christ, entering into that within the veil, whither He has already entered, our Forerunner. The moral steps are, however, identical in principle. There is, first, the sense of his condition — godly, yet afflicted and needy. But he confides in Adonay, the Deliverer of His servant, and in His known character. This only increases the urgency of his cry; for the day of distress is in view. (vv. 6, 7.) Again, what Adonay is — His excellency and power and claim, dissipates his fear, and, in calmness, he can seek the knowledge of Jehovah's way, and a path and state accordant thereto. (vv. 11, 12.) Thus there is praise and worship in the sense of the greatness of the deliverance known to faith. (v. 13.) But now he appeals to 'Elohim' (v. 14), not as before to 'Jehovah'; for, in his actual circumstances, the proud are risen up against him, and the assembly of the wicked seek after his soul. He who has to do with them is God. Undoubtedly, Adonay is El (cf. vv. 10, 15), merciful and gracious to His servants, but executing judgment on the wicked. Here the psalmist (v. 15) reposes his soul upon the revelation Jehovah gave of Himself to Moses in the Mount (Ex. 34:6), omitting the clauses containing the legal element — the claim and penalty of law. It is the glory that shone in Moses' face, without the law between his hands. It is the same, in principle, as the Christian now beholds; only he sees it in a glorified Christ, the veil being rent in the power of an accomplished redemption. Clearly, Adonay is Jehovah, but He is here (v. 15) precisely 'El' — supreme over evil in grace towards His servants. 'El' is, therefore, their Deliverer (v. 16), but in the power of holiness, and therefore He is against the wicked. (v. 17.) The assured sense of what Adonay is, as 'El,' enables the saint to rest in the help and comfort of Jehovah.
  Elohim, 4; El, 1; Jehovah, 4; Adonay, 7.

Note — Compare the use and combination of 'Adonay' and 'El,' in verse 15, with Psalm 68:19. The latter psalm (v. 20) shows that Jehovah is this delivering Adonay; and in this character it is that the nations bow down to Him. (Cf. verse 9 with Psalm 68:32.)

Psalm 87 — Having thus considered, experimentally in the hearts of His saints, the case of the house, the people, and the land, and then of His godly servant, the Spirit of God reverts, with special dilection, to that which exhibits the principle of sovereign grace in Christ. It is Zion, no longer called the city of David, but the city of God, of which glorious things are spoken, and whose gates Jehovah loves. The fame of earth's mightiest empires, of worldly energy and civilisation in its great centres and birthplace, fades before Zion's glory, for 'Elion' Himself, the Most High, shall establish her. But whence has she this glory? It is that Jehovah reckons 'This man was born there.'
  Elohim, 1; Jehovah, 2; Elion, 1.

Note — How characteristic of this short book is the use of 'Elion,' both by sinner (Psalm 73:11) and saint (Psalm 77:10); by the people in their past provocations (Psalm 78:17, 56, 35) as well as in the joy of present deliverance (Psalm 83:18), and finally as the Establisher of Zion in her glory!

Psalm 88 — Subjects relating to an ordered system of things — the scene of Jehovah's glory in connection with the earth — have been before us in the four previous psalms. In this and the following one, it is more the moral effect produced in the soul by the state of Israel, when realised in spiritual power; first, as under law and its curse (Psalm 88), and then, as trusting to mercy for fulfilment of the covenant. (Psalm 89) Messiah is viewed as in suffering in both instances. Not that we have the proper experience of Christ here, except as, in the detail of His path, He confronted the whole ruin of man in the flesh — a ruin for which He was about to suffer in order to redeem us from it, a ruin which weighed heavily upon His heart, though Himself the resurrection and the life. He groaned within Himself, and wept at the grave of Lazarus. Thus, though never really in it till the Cross, in sympathy He entered fully into what it was for man to be under the power of darkness, and exposed to death; or a saint under law, upon whom the fury of Jehovah lay, overwhelmed by His anger, and by His terrors brought to nought. It is of this the blessed Lord could say, 'Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but' … At Gethsemane, the terrors of that dark and awful hour pressed heavily upon His soul — though not then was He drinking the cup. He was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. The unutterable sorrow of the Cross was surely ever present to Him as the work He must needs accomplish. 'Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?' is His earliest recorded utterance. 'I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!' expressed in maturer years, the longing of His heart. It was in the days of His flesh He learned obedience from the things which He suffered, and, having offered up both supplications and entreaties to Him who was able to save Him out of death, with strong crying and tears, was heard because of His piety. He alone fully entered into, and suffered on the Cross, that which the psalmist here fears, and deprecates, and prays to be delivered from. Jesus foresaw it, estimated and passed through it all beforehand in communion with His Father, and then suffered it in the forsaking of God upon the tree, in order that the poor saints, to whose cries He here furnishes a divine and inspired expression, might be delivered. They were indeed under the curse; but He was made it, to redeem them from it.
  However great the darkness and anguish of this psalm, the sense and recognition of relationship is strongly marked. This is remarkable, adding, as it does, unutterable poignancy to the sorrow. The knowledge of what Jehovah's name implies makes the terrors of His wrath infinitely more fearful. How true this was of the blessed Saviour when thinking of the cup which His Father gave Him to drink! The saint can cry, 'Jehovah, God of my salvation' (v. 1), yet it was He who laid him in the lowest pit, whose fury lay hard upon him, and who had afflicted him with all His waves. But grace was working in his heart, whatever the fear, and however terrible the condition. He will plead with Jehovah, and confides in Him, albeit that he has to say, 'Why, O Jehovah, castest Thou off my soul? why hidest Thou Thy face from me?' How divinely perfect was the blessed Saviour in this when really forsaken of God! He had to cry, in all the dread reality of that forsaking, 'My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?' Here, the saint has but the fear of it before the soul, and cries, 'Thy fierce anger has gone over me; Thy terrors have brought me to naught … my familiar friends are darkness.' There the scene closes, yet he stays on Jehovah.
  The full, prophetically historical, description of this state of things is found in Isa. 5:30, 8:22, 50:10-11. (See Appendix.) The first chapter quoted corresponds, in its earlier part (vv. 1-7), with Psalm 80, the last three verses of which psalm (vv. 17-19) cover the ground of Isa. 7. The chapter between (Isa. 6) shows us Adonay judging the state of the people. This is the subject of Psalms 81, 82. The remainder of Isa. 5, from verse 8 to the end, consists of a parenthesis of woes, continued in Isa. 8:21, 9:8 – 10:4. It is this parenthesis of which Psalm 88 furnishes the experiences produced in the soul of the trembling, yet confiding saint. Isa. 5:26-30 describes the inroad of the Assyrian, or the northern enemy, whose devastating course is such, that 'if one look unto the land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof.' Meanwhile, the Lord binds up the testimony, and seals the law among His disciples, and associates them with Himself. (Isa. 8:16-18.) As for the apostate mass, they shall pass through the land, hardly bestead, and without resource. If they look upward, or unto the earth, 'behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.' (vv. 21-22.) These are they who have walked in the light of their fire, and in the sparks they have kindled. But those that fear the Lord, and obey the voice of His servant, and yet walk in darkness, and have no light, as in Psalm 88, the Lord comforts them, saying, 'Let him trust in the name of Jehovah, and stay upon his God.' (Isa. 50:10-11.) This is exactly the condition seen in the psalm, in which there appear to be two deepening gradations of sorrow, viz., isolation and desolation. In the first (vv. 1-9) he draws nigh to Sheol, and his familiar friends are put far from him. He is shut up, and cannot come forth. In that which follows (vv. 10-18) he is cast off by Jehovah, and his familiar friends are darkness. We may say that, in a certain special way, this is found in the humiliation of the blessed Saviour, as presented in Phil. 2.
  1st. He empties Himself of the form of God, and is isolated in manhood amid an ungodly world.
  2nd. He humbles Himself into the desolation of death itself, even that of the cross.
  Elohim, 1; Jehovah, 4.

Psalm 89 — These two psalms sum up the contents of the book; the one giving us the experience of the soul, and the other the expression of faith amid the scene and circumstances of Messiah's sorrows and of the enemy's power. The principles in question are Law, with ruin under it; and Mercy, with restoration consequent thereupon. With the latter it is this psalm commences, 'I will sing of the loving-kindness of Jehovah for ever.' As yet, however, it is but the testimony of faith, for the psalm ends with the desolation of Messiah's kingdom still in view, and Himself reproached. Jehovah's covenant with David, which gives confidence and stability to faith, is first cited. His glory, in making it good in faithfulness, is then celebrated; for He is the Redeemer (vv. 9-10), and the Creator (vv. 11-12), as well as Ruler (vv. 13-14) and Shield of His people, and their King. (vv. 15, 18.) Following this, we have a recital (vv. 19-37), in the full intelligence of the Spirit (according to the intercession of Christ on behalf of the Anointed of Jehovah), of the covenant He had established with David. The terms of it, as here stated, leave no doubt that 2 Sam. 7 is more in view than 1 Chron. 17 (cf. 2 Sam. 7:14 with Psalm 89:32); i.e. it is more the covenant with the historical David and his seed, than the Seed according to purpose. Moreover, what is spoken of the historical seed, as represented in Solomon, in 2 Sam. 7:14, is here applied to David (v. 26): 'He shall call unto Me, Thou art my Father.' Again it is said of David, 'I will make him firstborn, the highest ['Elion'] of the kings of the earth;' and the guarantee of loving-kindness is to him (v. 33), not to his seed, as in 2 Sam. 7 and 1 Chron. 17. All this is remarkable, and coupled with the parallelism of verse 25 and Psalm 72:8 (the latter spoken of Solomon, as type of Messiah), together with the express intimation, in verse 19, that here it is spoken in vision of 'Thy Holy One' — all this shows us that the greater David is before the mind of the Spirit, in the character of which David, not Solomon, is the type. He is, moreover, presented according to His identification with Israel throughout its day of suffering; and the thoughts and hopes of faith, as here expressed, are much limited to this connection. Yet an everlasting Person is certainly in view, whose interests and thoughts abide with Israel throughout all their sad and changeful history. It is He whose covenant is made void, whose crown is profaned. He is the vine whose hedges are broken down, and strongholds ruined. His sword has been turned back, and His throne cast down to the ground. The days of His youth were shortened, and with shame was He covered. (vv. 38-45.) Well might faith cry, 'How long?' Life, in this world, is but vanity, and death, and the power of Sheol, if Adonay's loving-kindnesses to David are not performed. (vv. 46-49.) The last two verses seem to be the personal and direct intercession of Christ in answer to the pleadings of faith. Adonay's servants are reproached, and He bears in His bosom that of all the mighty people, wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of His anointed. The psalm gives us, throughout, the intercession of Christ with regard to the state of His people in the last days — intercession produced in the hearts of His faithful ones, and expressed here divinely by His Spirit.
  Jehovah, 10; Jah, 1; Elohim, 1; El, 2; Adonay, 2.

Note — The frequent use of 'Jehovah' from Psalm 84 and especially here, shows how strong the sense of relationship has now become in the hearts of the faithful Remnant. The appeal (vv. 49, 50) to Adonay — He who delivers His people, and executes judgment on His enemies — is very beautiful. The doxology concluding the book is majestic in its simplicity. No explanation is vouchsafed of who Jehovah is. It is simply, 'Blessed be Jehovah for evermore!' The Builder of the House, and the reign of peace, are not in contemplation, but conflict with the adversaries. Therefore it is that the last-mentioned psalm presents David, whereas the last psalm of the second book speaks of Solomon.

Book 4.
Psalms 90 - 106.

Heading — This book, in its general result, is a progress, historically and morally, upon the previous. As observed by others, it is the bringing of the First-begotten into the world, and it is noticeable for the renewed prominence given to the name 'Jehovah.' The fact, also, that 'Adonay' is but once appealed to, is in marked contrast to the other books, and shows that deliverance is not the point principally in question. The only other occasion in which 'Shadday' is introduced is also in this book. (Psalm 91) It may be called the book of public government, and be divided, perhaps, into three great parts. Psalms 90 - 92 are meditations on this divine government, in respect of man as such in Israel, of Messiah, of the ways and counsels of Jehovah. Then follows Psalm 93, which is a sort of connecting link with the second part. (Psalms 94 - 100) These latter set forth that Jehovah is coming, and come to reign. The next two (Psalms 101, 102) give us Messiah's principles of rule, and the fact of His humiliation, which could alone form a divine basis for it in the glory of His Person. These introduce the four that follow (Psalms 103 - 106), giving His praises in the midst of and in identity with His people — the results in praise and blessing.

Psalm 90 — An appeal to Adonay (the only time in this book — Psalm 97:6 is another form of the word) begins the book, and distinguishes this psalm up to verse 12. He is eternally 'El,' supreme in holiness, and governmentally dealing with them for their sins; so that they are consumed by His anger, cut off and fly away. Yet was He ever their dwelling-place and their resource. (Cf. vv. 1-12.) Then their heart rises up to address Him by His name of predilection, in relationship with His servants. The change of name is especially beautiful here. There is hope in Jehovah's loving-kindness, in spite of their sins;. and that, now that they have turned to Him, their terrible and long-continued affliction may be but the measure of their joy and gladness. If He works and manifests His glory, the work of their hands will be established. No longer will their strength be labour and vanity (v. 10), and their years but a passing thought. (v. 9.)
  Jehovah, 2; Elohim, 1; El, 1; Adonay, 1.

Note — How in this and the following psalm the first man and the second Man are considered, before the songs, which celebrate complete blessing, are introduced.

Psalm 91 — 'Elion,' the Most High, supreme in government and blessing, Shadday, the Almighty, complete in power to accomplish His promises, is about to enter again into public and definite relations with man; but the great question is, With what man? With Him that dwells in the secret place of the Most High — He shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Who can take up such a challenge? Who can respond to such condition? There is but One, and He says of Jehovah, 'My Elohim, I will confide in Him.' (v. 2.) To Him the Spirit testifies of perfect protection and deliverance (vv. 3-8) in the midst of dangers on every hand. Faith, that of the tried and faithful Remnant, adds its testimony likewise. Angels shall keep Him, so that even His foot shall not be bruised: though in His power He shall tread upon the lion and the adder, the young lion and the dragon, i.e. upon the whole strength of the enemy, open and fierce, as well as in its forms of subtilty and venomous deceit. (vv. 9-13.) Then Jehovah speaks, confirming the testimony of the Spirit and of the faith of the Remnant, and declaring, 'Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him.' (vv. 14-16.) Answer to His petitions — deliverance when in trouble, satisfaction with length of days, and honour, shall be granted Him of Jehovah. We have here, surely, the day of Messiah's trouble, not that of His power, though there is testimony to His power. (v. 13.) It was this which gave such point to the tempter's subtle craft in quoting verse 12 to the blessed Lord. It was in a rugged scene, and amid the fiercest beasts, that angelic care was pledged to the beloved Saviour. This was proper to Israel's experience, and, therefore, Israel's faith here witnesses of it. To a godly Israelite, what moment might have seemed more favourable for the fulfilment of this promise? But man, not merely national Israel, was the question in the wilderness of the temptation. Therefore in perfect dependence, but in absolute and divine wisdom, the Lord replies from Deut. 6 and 8. It is noticeable that in the Spirit's direct testimony (vv. 3-8), as well as in Jehovah's declaration (vv. 14-16), nothing is said of the angels' ministry. Jehovah Himself is His immediate Succourer, and responds explicitly, in verse 14, to the cry of the believing people, in Psalm 20:1, 'Jehovah answer thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob protect thee' — 'set thee up on high.' (See note in J. N. D.'s N. T.) The same word is used in both instances, and affords further proof that the day of trouble is specially viewed here. This setting-up on high was surely accorded, then, to the humbled Messiah, but in another scene than earth. The psalm speaks of His exaltation on earth, for which He awaits another day, when He takes it with His people, and as answered from the heavens of His holiness. (Psalm 20:6.)
  Jehovah, 2; Elohim, 1; Elion, 2; Shadday, 1.

Note — The absence of appeal to Adonay is significant. Adonay is the Deliverer of His people, executing judgment on the wicked. It is not in this way the Lord sought deliverance in the days of His flesh; nor is this, indeed, the special point of the psalm. It presents deliverance in divine favour, because of delight in the moral beauties and excellences of the beloved Object. The true manhood of Christ is prominent here; but He it is who takes the initiative in goodness (see vv. 1, 2, 9, 14), a prerogative of Deity alone. Thus the Israel of God, in the latter day, will find that One has preceded them in trusting Jehovah for deliverance out of trouble — even their Messiah, and that the promises of security and exaltation have been secured to Him, and, therefore, to them.

Psalm 92 — Meditations on man's state under government, and on Messiah in the day of trouble, have been before us in the previous psalms. Now the works and counsels of Jehovah are presented, as evidenced by the retribution that falls on the wicked, and the prosperity that attends the righteous. It is a theme for the Sabbath-day, Messiah being specially introduced. (vv. 10, 11.) The psalmist begins the day with the memory of the loving-kindness of Jehovah, whom he celebrates as 'Elion,' and his nights close with the witness of His faithfulness. (vv. 1, 2.) The destruction of the wicked proves the supremacy of Jehovah (v. 8), and the outlasting vigour of the righteous His uprightness. Thus is His government vindicated.
  Jehovah, 7; Elohim, 1; Elion, 1.

Note — This psalm recurs to the theme of Psalm 1, but has specially the house of Jehovah in view. (v. 13.) Messiah, too, is seen fully in identification with the righteous man in Israel, yet is He 'anointed,' or mingled with fresh oil. (See Lev. 2:4.) This could only be said of Him — He, while truly Man, being a divine Person. The recognition of relationship with Jehovah is strongly marked in this and all the following psalms to the end of Book 4.

Heading — Psalms 93 - 100 announce the kingdom and the coming of Jehovah. The testimony thereto proceeds in progressive stages to the calling up of all the earth.

Psalm 93 — This is a psalm introductory to, as well as a sort of summary of, the following seven. It does not appear to be so much historical, as faith's recognition of the stability of Jehovah's throne from everlasting (v. 2), in spite of the power of evil and the shifting circumstances of time. The reliability of His testimonies and the character of His house are also declared.
  Jehovah, 5.

Note — Jehovah is alone addressed here. He who governs the world, and sends His Word to men, is in revealed relations with His people; and holiness becomes His house.

Psalm 94 — This remarkable psalm gives faith's cry for vengeance — its appeal to God, and rebuke of man, in regard to wickedness and injustice in government. Actual historic progress here commences with the cry, 'How long?' The cry is addressed to Jehovah, who is 'El,' the Strength of holiness in supremacy over evil. How appropriate is this use of the divine Names! Before Him, the Elohim of Jacob, is the detail of the state of His people laid. (vv. 5-7.) The ungodly people are then reproved by consideration of Jehovah's omniscience, the thoughts of man being but vanity. (vv. 8-11.) Boast themselves they may, and say, 'Jah will not see'; but, in communion with Him, the blessedness is known of 'the man whom Thou chastenest, O Jah, and whom Thou teachest out of Thy law.' (vv. 12-15.) Observe the important place given in Scripture to this principle, and the immensity of its scope! The result, as here expressed, is 'That thou mayest give him rest from the days of evil, until the pit be digged for the wicked.' (v. 13.) The vanity of human thoughts, and the blessed result of the divine ways and Word, are here immediately contrasted. The speciality of the passage is the teaching out of Jehovah's law. In Job 5:13-17 the same truths are enforced, but Jehovah's law is not in question (a striking evidence of the antiquity of the book), only the blessedness of Eloah's correction is declared. The exhortation in Job is not to despise the chastening of the Almighty. Again the subject is taken up in Prov. 3, but now according to all the fulness and intimacy of a known personal relationship with Jehovah. He says, 'Be not wise in thine own eyes'; not merely is it the vanity of man's thoughts. Then, in verses 11 and 12, the whole divine motive in chastening is revealed, and the blessing in result is in finding wisdom. (v. 13.) How deeply interesting it is to find that in the New Testament, where the wisdom of God in a mystery is spoken of (1 Cor. 2:7), the passages relating to the folly of man are quoted both from Job 5 and Ps. 94! The connected truth of the chastening of the Lord, summing up as it does the teaching on the same subject in Job 5, Ps. 94, and Prov. 3, is fully developed in Heb. 12; and its object, even holiness and righteousness, is there set forth.
  In the psalm before us, though the principle is the same, it is applied to Israel so as to give rest of soul to the godly Remnant until Jehovah intervene on their behalf, 'For judgment shall return unto righteousness, and all the upright in heart shall follow it.' (v. 15.) Thus the soul that has learnt this lesson of distrust of self, and trust in God, can confidently say, 'Shall the throne of wickedness be united to Thee, which frames mischief into a law?' while he waits patiently for Jehovah's deliverance.
  Jehovah, 9; Jah, 2; Elohim, 3; El, 2.

Note — Though the Lord Jesus is not personally seen in this psalm, yet, in its principle, the scene is similar to that through which He passed — judgment divorced from righteousness, the workers of iniquity in power, and banding together against the soul of the righteous, to condemn innocent blood. Such are Antichrist and his followers.

Psalm 95 — We have seen faith amid its foes in the previous psalm, with Jehovah for its helper, sustaining with loving-kindness, and delighting the soul with His comforts. But now the rest is in view, and the people are called to rejoice in Jehovah, and to worship before their Maker. Moreover, the lesson of the wilderness — the fatal sin of not hearkening to the Word — is solemnly enforced, as the call goes forth to come up and worship. The point of historic progress is clearly indicated by the use of this psalm in Heb. 3, 4. The critical moment has come; but the question still is, Who shall enter in? for the glory is not yet manifested. It is still the day of faith, and, where there is unbelief, they cannot enter in.
  Jehovah, 3; Elohim, 1; El, 1.

Note — The great theme, and resting-place of faith, is the creative power of Jehovah with which their worship is connected. Redemption, as out of Egypt, is of course accomplished; but the wilderness only furnishes a warning, and the rest of God is yet to come. The force of 'El' is clearly marked here. He is the Supreme One (v. 3), and that in holiness, over evil. (vv. 8-11; cf. Ps. 106:14, 21.) The oath that they should not enter in, is in force at the close of the forty years' wandering. The Meribah is perhaps that of Num. 21.

Psalm 96 — Here commences 'a New Song' (v. 1), which all the earth is called upon to sing. The glories of Jehovah's sanctuary and of His kingdom are announced — not now of Creation merely, though He made the heavens. (v. 5.) The nations are evangelised in view of His coming to reign. Compared with 1 Chron. 16:23-33, observe the prominence given to His reign here. 'He will execute judgment upon the peoples with equity'; 'He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples in His faithfulness' (vv. 10, 13), are not found in 1 Chron. 16, for this could not have been said as the proper and immediate testimony of David's day.
  Jehovah, 11.

Note — The New Song begins afresh. In Books 2, 3 there is no New Song. We find it twice in Book 1. Its character is clearly that of deliverance for the earth, upon the ground of redemption, according to counsel, and judgment executed upon the evil. In Psalm 33, He is Creator; but it is the counsel of Jehovah that stands for ever, and blessed is the people that He has chosen. The earth is full of the loving-kindness of Jehovah; but this is based upon His love of righteousness and judgment, and with this the 'New Song' is connected. How fully and divinely was this so in the case of the blessed Saviour! (Ps. 40:2-3.) Jehovah's throne and house now set up, are the distinct subject of testimony in Psalm 93:2, 5.

Psalm 97 — Again, for the third time, the cry is raised, 'Jehovah reigns.' (See Psalms 93:1, 96:10.) No longer now as true to faith's apprehension merely, or as testimony among the nations; it is the fact, gladsome and glorious, of His appearing. But it is an advent, the inaugurating act of which is judgment — His adversaries are burned up before Him. The world, the earth, the mountains are sensible of the presence of 'the Adon of the whole earth.' (v. 5.) The connection of this title with government is evident from Zechariah 4:14, as to His people, and Zechariah 6:5-8, in a yet wider sphere. Micah 4:13 shows the daughter of Zion as the threshing-instrument in the Lord's hand. It is in the power of this Name that the waters of Jordan are cut off, typically representing the same deliverance of Israel of which this psalm prophesies, by the judgment of the overwhelming flood of nations. Notice, too, that the great general controversy with man is in respect of idolatry. (Cf. v. 7, 96:5.) The one only true object of worship is Jehovah Elion, the Supreme; and Jesus is He. 'Worship Him, all ye gods!' (v. 7.) Love and light and joy are the practical result of His preserving, delivering grace, and evil judged. (vv. 10-11.)
  Jehovah, 6; Adon, 1; Elion, 1.

Note — From Hebrews 1:6, we learn that Jehovah, Elion, the Adon of the whole earth, is the first-begotten, the Son, the divine Messiah.

Psalm 98 — Again the New Song is heard, but it has this full special character here, that it is 'before the King Jehovah.' (v. 6.) His salvation is made known — His righteousness has He openly showed; He has remembered His loving-kindness and His faithfulness toward the House of Israel. 'All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.' Thus, judgment is at last executed in Zion's favour. The House of Israel is saved. There is a fuller note in the song here than in Psalm 96:12. 'The world,' the whole habitable earth, 'and they that dwell therein,' 'the floods,' 'the mountains,' are all called upon to rejoice exceedingly. The song is connected, as in Psalm 96, with judging the world with righteousness.
  Jehovah, 6; Elohim, 1.

Note — Jehovah, who comes to judge, is the blessed Man who is raised from the dead. (Cf. Psalm 9:8; Acts 17:31.)

Psalm 99 — Jehovah is now enthroned between the cherubim, and is great in Zion. He is the King that loves justice; and the peoples praise His Name. 'It is holy.' But there are those who can say, 'Jehovah our God'; and in a nearer and more intimate way can say, 'He is holy.' (v. 5.) They worship at His footstool — at the hill of His holiness. Is not this Zion? (Cf. v. 2 and v. 9). And, reviewing the grand principles of His ways with their fathers, they exalt Him, and cry, 'Holy is Jehovah our God.'
  Jehovah, 7; Elohim, 4; El 1.

Note — How strikingly is 'El' substituted for 'Elohim' in verse 8, when the supremacy of grace — 'a forgiving El' — is connected with the holiness that took 'vengeance of their doings'! How clearly we see here what this Name indicates — supremacy over evil, but in the power of holiness! Compare, too, this psalm with Psalm 93, and notice how the same subjects — viz. His throne and His house — are developed. Thrice is His holiness celebrated: 1st, in supremacy over the peoples (vv. 2, 3); 2nd, as King in Jacob (vv. 4, 5); 3rd, in His ways with His people in holy discipline.

Psalm 100 — All the earth is now called up to worship in the acknowledgment that Jehovah is God, proved by the blessing of His people, which nothing but Divine power could have brought about. For ever is His loving-kindness; and His faithfulness from generation to generation. The praise of Jehovah is the blessed result of all His ways — what He is, manifested in what He has done. (v. 5.)
  Jehovah, 4; Elohim, 1.

Heading — All being now settled, as regards taking the Kingdom in power, its principles are enunciated, as, for example, in the Sermon on the Mount; the difference being that here the Kingdom is viewed as established, but there in testimony. Then follows the psalm of rejection — 'A prayer of the afflicted.' This completes the story of the Kingdom, and the bringing in of the First-born. The four final psalms, of which blessing and praise is the theme, celebrate the results of this in universal rejoicing.

Psalm 101 — Loving-kindness and judgment is the subject of this psalm, for in loving-kindness only could the Kingdom be established in Israel; and judgment is, of necessity, the principle of its maintenance. But if so, He who rules in it must be the bright and glorious example of it. Wisely, in a perfect way, will He behave, and walk within His house in the integrity of His heart. But there is sovereign and divine power to put in force His decrees, whether within His house, in the land, or in the city of Jehovah. (vv. 7-8.) His eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land.
  Jehovah, 2.

Note — Very definitely we have here the responsibility assumed of governing for God among men; and how deep and searching the rule is! It is not merely a question of personal perfection — of course, there is that — but it involves divine prescience and knowledge of man's heart — a knowledge pertaining to Jehovah alone (see vv. 4, 5), as well as unfailing power. (v. 8.) The king is, clearly, Christ in His earthly and Judaic rule, yet as One with divine attributes. Doubtless, the Prince of the house of David will exercise this rule under Christ, and in His power; but for any one but Christ to take this responsibility upon himself, as set forth in the psalm, would be the highest presumption, and end in utter failure.

Psalm 102 — In this wonderful and solemn psalm we read the earthly history of this divine King in His humbled Manhood. It is the day of His trouble. (v. 2.) Because the blessed Saviour bowed to and submitted Himself to this, therefore was the tempter foiled in his perverted quotation of Psalm 91. He who is brought in as First-born into the world, was first to pass through it in trouble. Not till then could the petitions of Psalm 20:1 be answered, or the promises of Psalm 91 be fulfilled. Here we see Him in the utmost depths of affliction and distress. Indeed, the hand of Jehovah in indignation and wrath is upon Israel, finding its terrible expression in His lifting up and casting down. Fully does He enter into this in sympathy, so as to say, 'I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping.' (v. 9.) His passing state, 'withered like grass,' and 'like a lengthened-out shadow,' is forcibly contrasted with Jehovah's abiding 'for ever.' (vv. 11, 12.) It is in this Name He is in relationship with His people — His memorial from generation to generation. In this, therefore, stands their security, and the certainty of their deliverance. And in the way of His judgments waits this blessed One, furnishing the perfect example for Israel in the coming day. (See Isa. 26:8; cf. Ex. 3:15; Hosea 12:5.) He proposes Himself, as answering to the mind of Jehovah, on behalf of His people in their low estate. (vv. 13-15.) To His appeal and dependent confidence there is at once the oracular response, declaring that Zion shall be built up when Jehovah appears in glory. (v. 16.) Then He, the so-destitute One, and they who are like Him, shall be heard; the Name of Jehovah shall be 'declared in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem.' (vv. 17-22.) But, meanwhile, He who was Jehovah to appear in glory, and bring in and establish all this blessing, was now this destitute One. His strength weakened in the way, His days shortened, how, then, could this blessing be? How should He bring it in, or they be in it? Well might He cry, in the perfection of His lowly dependence (how blessed an example for us!), 'My El, take me not away in the midst of my days.' (v. 24.) What solves so unsearchable a mystery? The divine announcement of His eternal deity, 'Thy years are from generation to generation' — as eternal as Jehovah and His memorial. (v. 12.) Nor only eternal in His being, but Himself the Creator. Created things changeable, but He, the great Unchangeable 'Thou He' (v. 27), whatever His state, present, past, or future. His days might be shortened, but His years are not only from generation to generation, but, in Manhood, shall have no end. (v. 27.)
  Jehovah, 7; Jah, 1; El, 1.

Note — In no psalm is the true humanity of Christ more absolutely developed, and nowhere is His positive deity more fully declared. His personal appeal is to 'El' (v. 24), the One supreme in holiness over evil. This Name is, in the Psalms, characteristic of Christ's personal address to God. (See Psalms 16:1, 18:2, 22:1, 10.) The special import of this Name is solemnly evident in all these instances, as also in the use of it historically, by the blessed Lord Himself. Clearly, it is a cry for deliverance and of trust (cf. Gethsemane and John 12 with the cross itself), but so as, in anywise, that His glorious holiness should be magnified, whatever the cost. So it is here (v. 24). 'El' is supreme in holiness over evil.

Heading — Full blessing and eternal security being thus secured in the essential dignity and glory of His Person, He can raise a testimony of praise to Jehovah in respect of the great acts and principles in which He has manifested Himself.

Psalm 103 — Redemption is the subject here (vv. 3-5), exemplified in Israel delivered, in the midst of whom, and for and with whom, He praises. In their past history the same precious grace was displayed, in His ways made known unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel. Altogether eliminated is that legal element in which Jehovah placed Israel in relationship with Himself. (Ex. 34:6-7.) Nothing but that grace, which then caused Moses' face to shine, is here recounted. (vv. 6-12.) The mercy of Ex. 20:6, and Jehovah's pity, are declared on behalf of those that fear Him, while the penalty of verse 5 is omitted. And, moreover, His righteousness, which the Law never required nor produced, is pronounced upon them unto children's children. (vv. 13-18; cf. v. 6.) But it is blessedly evident that redemption — whether that which was typical at the sea, or eternal, or governmental in Israel at the end — is based upon the establishment of Jehovah's throne. (v. 19.) This was done, in testimony, by the blood and the rod; divinely, and as the basis of all, by the cross, and exaltation of Christ to the right hand; and actually, in display, as here, by the heavens ruling over all. The result, universal and unending, is that Jehovah is blessed. His angels, His hosts, His works everywhere, and the renewed heart, bless Him.
  Jehovah, 11.

Note — All is 'Jehovah' in this psalm. The lesson of Isaiah 40:6-7, is fully learned. (Psalm 103:15-16.) In dying for that people, Jesus had, in heart, entered deeply, and with unutterable sorrow (Psalm 102:4), into the futile and perishing state of man, and even of the people; but now, in place of their legal estate, the people are established, securely and for ever, in the mercy and righteousness of Jehovah, who is no other than Jesus Himself. (Cf. v. 3; Matt. 9:6, 35.)

Psalm 104 — Creation (even the angels are introduced, v. 4) follows, as that on which the blessed and delivered One delights to meditate amid Jehovah's feeble and subject creatures; with testimony, too, to His holy government. The creation-glory of Israel's Jehovah is doubtless celebrated here by Israel, but in the mouth of One who, however identified with them, is omniscient and divine. The order of creation is observed as by One who was by Him, yea, who is the Creator. On the first day there was light (v. 2); then, the second day, the firmament was formed (v. 2); the waters were divided on the third day (v. 3), and the earth laid on its foundations (v. 5), the waters being gathered together, so that the dry land appeared. (vv. 6-9.) Grass also was made to grow for cattle, and herb for the service of man, on the same day, and the trees yielding fruit. (vv. 14-17.) Then the moon for season, and the sun, making darkness and light on the fourth day. (vv. 19-23.) Manifold are Thy works! The sea, too, great and wide, on the fifth day, swarmed with its living creatures, moving things innumerable. (vv. 25, 26.) Man and cattle, and the beasts of the earth and birds, are seen in no special order, but as benefiting generally, by the care of Jehovah, amid the rest of the creatures of His hand. But all is for Jehovah's glory in connection with the earth, for He will rejoice in His works. (v. 31.) For this He governs, and of this Sinai is witness (v. 32); and His kingdom shall establish it, when 'the wicked shall be no more.' (v. 35.)
  Jehovah, 9; Jah, 1; Elohim, 2; El, 1.

Note — It is not simply Jehovah here, for, in testimony and communion, He praises of creation and government. It is worthy of note, that the young lions are said 'to seek their food from "El."' (v. 21.) Is it not to indicate His supremacy over the fierce and unsubject powers of Nature? Yea, in holiness, over such a power wielded of Satan? The use of this name would, then, be of great significance here. This, and the two following psalms concluding the book, close with 'Hallelujah,' which also begins the final psalm.

Psalm 105 — Grace and election, for the accomplishment of promise in giving the inheritance to Israel, are next celebrated. That these are the acts and works by which His name is made known among the peoples, is evident by comparing the first fifteen verses with 1 Chron. 16:8-22. The change is very marked from 'Israel,' the national name of power, to Abraham in the psalm (v. 6), the solitary pilgrim of grace, calling, and election; as also the turn given to the statement in verse 8 of Jehovah's faithfulness to His covenant, instead of merely exhorting His people to be mindful of it. The divine Mind, in the psalm, rests first upon Jehovah's faithful care of the pilgrim of faith (vv. 8-15); then upon the exaltation of the afflicted Man. (vv. 16-22; cf. Acts 7:1-10.) Upon this, Israel came into Egypt, and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham. (Cf. Acts 7:11-16.) There they were oppressed and hated; but He brought them forth with power (vv. 23-38), and Egypt rejoiced at their departure. (Cf, Acts 7:17-36.) But wilderness grace, with gladness and joy, accompanied them to put them in possession of the lands of the nations. (Cf. Acts 7:37-45.) It is remarkable, as a type, that Israel's sojourn in a strange land is embraced between their going out to a living and glorified Man, and their carrying back to their land the memorial of One who had died. This is what Stephen did. (Acts 7:52; cf. v. 45 with his peroration.)
  Jehovah, 5; Jah, 1; Elohim, 1.

Note — It is the joyful recognition that 'Jehovah is our Elohim,' now that 'His judgments are in all the earth.' (v. 7, Isaiah 25:9.) The order in which the plagues are given is interesting. The ninth is mentioned first, distinguished by the fact that there was no previous warning, so that 'they rebelled not against His Word,' as before. (v. 28.) Then the first and second, by Aaron's hand, are recorded. Following these is the fourth, inflicted directly by Jehovah Himself, and characterised by the publicly announced division between His people and the Egyptians. The seventh, by Moses, succeeds, to show, in Pharaoh, Jehovah's power, and that His name should be declared in all the earth. Then the eighth, also by Moses, for testimony to Israel and to their children. Lastly, the tenth, Jehovah's supreme act of judgment against Egypt and its gods. Thus the third, fifth, and sixth are omitted, apparently as not setting forth any other specially applicable principle. The prominence which grace has, throughout the psalm, is beautifully evident from the last seven verses. Only that portion of the wilderness journey is recounted which was previous to the giving of the Law. In this it is the contrast of Psalm 78, as already noted in remarks thereon. Here we have quails first, then bread (v. 40), and afterwards the waters from the rock. (v. 41.) This is the order of Exodus 16; at even, the quails came up (v. 13), and, in the morning, the dew lay round about the host, and the manna, small as the hoar-frost, on the ground. And in Exodus 17, Moses smote the rock, and water came out of it for the people to drink. Not till Exodus 19 is law given; and then all proceeds upon another principle. Of this Psalm 78 speaks. There we find the water first (v. 16), then bread and flesh (v. 20); the feathered fowl were given not in grace, but judgment. (vv. 27-31.) All this refers to Num. 11, and occurred after the giving of the Law.

Psalm 106 — In principle, this psalm presents us with what characterizes the judgment-seat of Christ. It is a survey and résumé of Israel's moral history, in the assurance of Jehovah's favour and salvation. It begins where the previous one ends, viz., 'Praise ye Jah.' Messiah praises in and with Israel, and is, at the same time, Intercessor for them, that prosperity and joy and glory may be their portion. (v. 5.) But specially He leads them, by His Spirit, into fellowship with His divine judgment of their ways, in all the history of their responsibility from Egypt onward. What grace to identify Himself with them that say, 'We have sinned'! (v. 6.) Where sovereign grace was not effectual to produce the contrary, as in verses 12, 30, their course was one of uninterrupted sin. But there are, evidently, two distinct characters of it. (vv. 7-18 and vv. 19-39.) The first is more simply the self-will of man; the latter is positive contempt of God, and, from verse 34, devilish cruelty to their own children in subjection to Satan. Both characters are traced from the start, the one from the Red Sea (v. 7), the other from Horeb (v. 19). Rebellion (v. 7; Exodus 14), lust (v. 14; Numbers 11), and envy (v. 16; Numbers 16) are the works of the flesh, the satanic form of evil is exhibited in idolatry (v. 19; Exodus 32), unbelief of Jehovah's promise (v. 24; Numbers 14), apostasy to Baal-peor (v. 28; Numbers 25), and sacrificing their children to demons (v. 37; 2 Kings 21:6, 24:4; cf. 1 Cor. 10:1-10.) Intermingled with the evil is the ever-flowing stream of Jehovah's grace and loving-kindness (vv. 8-12, 23, 30, 32, 43-46), inspiring the cry at the end, 'Save us, O Jehovah our God, and gather us from among the nations, to give thanks unto Thy holy name, and to triumph in Thy praise.' (v. 47.) This recognition, too, of the grace of God in His ways as regards the heavenly saints, is the grand result of the judgment-seat of Christ. It is here the glad and solemn vindication, in and by the people, of Jehovah's judgment of their ways, and of the revelation of Himself in His. Thus, in addition to the doxology of the first book, we have here, 'And let all the people say, Amen!' (v. 48.) The character of this fourth book is thus beautifully, simply, and concisely summed up in these few words.
  Jehovah, 9; Jah, 2; Elohim, 2; El, 2.

Note — The use of 'El' in verses 14, 21, is distinct. The occasion of the people's exceeding lust, and Moses' culpable weakness, serves indeed to show His supremacy — that Jehovah's hand is not waxed short, and that His word should come to pass. (Num. 11:23.) At the same time, however, His holiness is maintained, for He 'sent leanness into their souls.' Again, in verses 21-23, 'El' was 'their Saviour, who had done great things in Egypt.' Supreme thus in power: but, in His holiness, 'He said He would destroy them' for their idolatry, 'had not Moses, His chosen, stood before Him in the breach.' He is supreme over evil, but it is in holiness He is so. Notice, too, that 'Korah' is omitted in verses 16-18. The religious evil is not so much in view as the 'flesh' simply, in the first part of the psalm. This book concludes with the prayer, that Jehovah's people may be gathered out from among the nations, showing that it is prophetical and testimony, rather than history; or, at least, the salvation of Israel is not viewed as accomplished fully, but it just touches the point where blessing rests securely.

Book 5.
Psalms 107 — 150.

Heading — The Fifth Book of Psalms, which is the last, seems to gather up and bring to a close the general subjects of the previous four. The inheritance, the blessing, the kingdom; Zion and Jerusalem; the house and sanctuary; David, Messiah, His crown, and lamp, and horn; His past humiliation, and present glory at the right hand, and future power; all are developed and declared, together with the judgment of His enemies, and destruction of the wicked. The final result of all is found to be Jehovah's praise. The book is distinguished, therefore, in regard to the divine Names, by repeated Hallelujahs — 'Praise ye Jah.' A full statement of principles, exercising the heart in which the Law is written, is found in Psalm 119; and the spiritual progress of such, on their way up to Jerusalem, is recorded in the 'Songs of Degrees.' The last five psalms form a doxology, the absence of which otherwise marks the book.
  The great theme of all is that the mercy of Jehovah endures for ever. This appears to be developed in the first four psalms (107 - 110), with respect to man's ways; to the giving His beloved ones possession of the land; to Messiah in humiliation, and then in power at the right hand. The next three are 'Hallelujah' psalms — first in regard to His righteousness in giving His people the heritage of the nations, and afterwards as to the blessing of the man who is righteous, to whom He gives the land. But if the man is happy, Jehovah is to be blessed, for it was all of grace to the poor, and the barren woman, Israel. Then five psalms follow (114 - 118), giving the introduction of the kingdom for all Israel, and the house of Aaron specially, because Jehovah's house is in question. Also the nations are called to praise, for Israel's blessing is identified with Jehovah's glory. Finally, Messiah Himself, the Stone which the builders rejected, enters the gate of Jehovah, and is received with acclamations. Then we have Psalm 118, followed by the Songs of Degrees — progress from deliverance to Melchizedek's blessing. The house of Levi is now brought in (Ps. 135), besides Israel and Aaron; so that the order of service in the house is complete, and the great refrain of praise to Jehovah, 'His loving-kindness endures for ever,' is perfect and continuous. (Ps. 136) The giving of the inheritance in grace is the common subject of these two psalms. Psalms 137 - 145 give the history of the day of trouble and captivity from Babylon, to the setting up of Jehovah's kingdom in power upon earth, thus forming the subject, occasion, and basis of universal praise in the five concluding psalms.

Psalm 107 — The first verse strikes the key-note of the whole book, 'Give ye thanks unto Jehovah, for He is good: for His loving-kindness endures for ever,' thus carrying on this grand and fundamental truth from Psalm 106:1 — the ultimate point reached by the previous book. It is the song which ever characterizes redeemed and gathered Israel. (vv. 2, 3.) Whether in respect of His dealings (vv. 4-7, 10-14) or their ways (vv. 17-20, 23-30), they have indeed reason to praise His loving-kindness, for His government in chastening (vv. 33, 34) is the handmaid of His grace. (vv. 35-41.) And how much more the latter over-abounds! Of His chastening hand, the wilderness (v. 4) and Babylon (vv. 10-16) are chief examples. Folly (v. 17), and no strength (v. 27), characterized them. 'Whoso is wise, let him observe these things, and let them understand the loving-kindness of Jehovah.' (v. 43.)
  Jehovah, 12; El, 1; Elion, 1.

Note — All is 'Jehovah,' with the exception of verse 11. There the 'words' are those of 'El,' and the 'counsel' that of 'Elion.' The one more properly refers to authority — this they rebelled against; the other is in relation with absolute supremacy — this they despised.

Psalm 108 — This is not the cry of those cast off and scattered, like Psalm 60, nor of the Beloved whose soul was in the midst of lions. (Psalm 57) But it is the joy of Messiah, as identified with His people in putting them into possession of the land. It is anticipated victory in power, and gives Messiah's praises among the peoples and the nations.
  Jehovah, 1; Elohim, 6.

Note — This is the only psalm, in the fifth book, in which appeal to Elohim is prominent. More than a fifth part of the whole number of times this name is used in this book is found here. 'Jehovah' is only employed once, and then in substitution of 'Adonay,' in Psalm 57:9. In this solitary instance, it is more praise in the sense of relationship than in the joy of deliverance: but the psalm, otherwise, speaks of the power of God in contrast to the vain help of man. Here, also, the witness to His loving-kindness is 'above' the heavens.

Psalm 109 — Messiah's sorrow in His utter humiliation, exposed to the hatred of man, vessel of Satanic power, is now before us — as His joy was in the previous psalm. Though we see Him personally, yet He is still in connection with Israel, and this accounts for the solemn deprecation of His adversaries. Identification with the beloved ones in victory was in Psalm 108; now we see Him in the midst of opposers. These are characterized by lying and hatred (vv. 2, 3), corruption and violence. Causeless on His part was it, and evoking only prayer — for good had ever been His deeds, and love His motive. Whatever the depth and character of His sorrow, He is ever a divine Person, and owned to be such in respect of those very scriptures in which His grace might seem to hide His glory. He here takes the ground of appeal to Jehovah's, 'Adonay's,' loving-kindness, thus teaching Israel to trust that mercy which alone affords a firm basis for their blessing. (vv. 21, 26.) The guilty pattern-man of the apostate mass of the nation has already been fulfilled in Judas (cf. v. 8, Acts 1:20), and will yet again be fulfilled in a more public and national way in Antichrist and his followers, for the mass are distinctly brought in in vv. 28, 29.
  Jehovah, 7; Elohim, 2; Adonay, 1.

Note — The cry for deliverance is specially prominent in this psalm: thus 'Adonay,' as well as 'Jehovah,' is introduced in verse 21.

Psalm 110 — And this needy One, at whose right hand Jehovah stood to save Him, is now seen at Jehovah's right hand. How different the place, yet identical the Person — David's Son, but David's 'Adon'! (v. 1.) This is the same Name used in Psalm 97:5, and is applied to Joseph in Psalm 105:21. These give the force of the word, and, with Psalm 114:7, are the only instances of its employment in the Psalms. It speaks, evidently, of His sovereignty of rule. How vast a contrast to Psalm 109! He is also 'Adonay' (v. 5), the Deliverer of His people, executing judgment on the wicked. How precise and divinely perfect the application of these Names! The earthly seat of His power is Zion — His enemies subject, His people willing then. If, as born into this world, He is declared to be Son of God, now, as ascended up on high, the witness is given of Him, 'Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek.' In the quickly coming day of His anger (cf. Psalm 2:9-12), He will smite through kings, judge among the nations, and bring down the first man's power. It is the humbled One whose refreshment it was to receive the Remnant in rejection. He it is that shall be exalted.
  Jehovah, 3; Adonay, 1; Adon, 1.

Note — The different force of 'Adon' and 'Adonay' is beautifully evident here. Gog appears to be referred to in the latter clause of verse 6.

Heading — Three 'Hallelujah' psalms follow, of which the first two are acrostic, and relate, as noticed before, to the giving of the inheritance, and the character of the man who should possess it. The last one celebrates the grace of Jehovah, for it is all of grace to establish poor and barren Israel in the blessing.

Psalm 111 — This and the following psalm compare and distinguish the righteousness of Jehovah and of the man who fears Him. His work — those great works in which His righteousness is expressed, and the power of which He has shown His people — is the giving to them the heritage of the nations. Holy and terrible is His Name, maintained in judgment and justice by the works of His hands in sending deliverance unto His people, according to His covenant, of which, gracious and merciful as He is, He is ever mindful.
  Jehovah, 4; Jah, 1.

Note — All is Jehovah here, for the assembly of Israel is gathered, and He is praised in it. (v. 1.) Deliverance having come, it is no longer merely loving-kindness that endures for ever, but His righteousness (v. 3) and praise. Compare verse 3 with Psalm 112:3; also verses 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 of each psalm.

Psalm 112 — The blessing is definitely pronounced upon 'the man that fears Jehovah.' (v. 1.) Distinct as are the blessing and the inheritance, they are indissolubly connected, for His saints, in a risen Christ. On the ground of Jehovah's righteousness in Psalm 111, redeeming His people (vv. 3, 9), the blessed man 'shall be mighty in the land' (v. 2), 'wealth and riches shall be in his house.' (v. 3.) In character, he is gracious, merciful, and righteous; and it is well with him. (vv. 4, 5; cf. Ps. 5:12.) In the power of Jehovah he is established, and, confiding in Him, his heart is maintained until his oppressors are destroyed. His grace to the needy, which is after the pattern of God's righteousness, abides for ever. (Cf. 2 Cor. 9:9.) Power, too, shall be his; but the wicked shall melt away, and his desire perish.
  Jehovah, 2; Jah, 1.

Note — The sense of restored and fully recognised relationship with Jehovah is very marked in these psalms — indeed, throughout the whole book; so that, with comparatively few exceptions, Jehovah only is appealed to.
  It is well, moreover, to notice here the important place which the blessing and the inheritance, subjects of so vast a bearing, have in the Psalms. The first book begins with a blessing pronounced upon the righteous man. Psalm 2 gives 'nations for an inheritance' to the Anointed, and adds that 'all who have their trust in Him' are 'blessed.' This is, then, pronounced upon 'the people' (Ps. 3:8), and the righteous man is again assured of it in Psalm 5:12. Psalm 8 declares the scope of the possession of the Son of man, and Psalm 16 the portion of His inheritance in humiliation. Between is the conflict of the righteous with the wicked, who are in possession meanwhile. But in due time, Jehovah's power puts His Anointed into His kingdom over the nations. (Ps. 18.) Then the King is made blessings for ever (Ps. 21); but this is righteousness, because of His personal excellences, for He is the King of glory. (Ps. 24) Upon this the fearer of Jehovah is also assured of the inheritance, in spite of his sins, which, indeed, shall be pardoned. (Ps. 25:11-13.) This brings us to the formal declaration of the blessing of such, in Psalm 32, apart from any question of the inheritance. But, the foundation thus laid, at once the 'New Song' is raised, and both the blessing and the inheritance are declared to be the portion of Jehovah's chosen people. (Ps. 33:12.) And, though now, it may be, amid untoward circumstances, 'blessed is the man that trusts in Him.' (Ps. 34:8.) The full possession of the land, as their inheritance, is then absolutely confirmed, in Psalm 37, to the meek and dependent ones for ever. His seed, moreover, shall be a blessing. (Notice the character of these acrostic Psalms 25, 34, 37, 111, 112.) Psalm 40:4 presents the perfect example of such a One in the depths of sorrow, and Psalm 45:2 in the height of glory. Now, the blessing can rest in peace upon whomsoever He chooses (Ps. 65:4), and God arises in power in man to possess the inheritance (Ps. 68); for, delivered Himself, He gives the meek and the needy to dwell in it. (Ps. 69:35.) The full earthly accomplishment of the Abrahamic blessing is then celebrated in Psalm 72.
  Book 3 largely treats of the inheritance historically. Mount Zion is seen in desolation (Ps. 74:2), His inheritance ruined. Why thus? Because 'they tempted God, the Most High.' (Ps. 78:55-62.) Yet, in His electing love, should Mount Zion be established by His servant David. (v. 71.) Meanwhile the nations are there, and Jerusalem is laid in heaps. (Ps. 79:1.) Help is in God alone — 'Arise, O God, judge the earth, for Thou shalt inherit all the nations.' He is the Most High over all the earth. (Pss. 82, 83.) Then the blessing can be pronounced on them 'that dwell in Thy house, whose strength is in Thee' (Ps. 84), and 'on the people that know the shout of joy.' (Ps. 89) In all these psalms the sanctuary is much connected with Mount Zion and the inheritance. In Book 4 the blessing is upon the man whom Jah chastens, and teaches out of His law (Ps. 94:12); and the inheritance is distinctly defined to be the land of Canaan, the lands of the nations, given in fulfilment of Abrahamic promise. (Ps. 105.) Yet the inheritance can only be entered on and possessed by those of whom it can be said, 'Blessed are they that keep justice, and he that does righteousness at all times.' (Ps. 106:3; see vv. 3, 40, 47.) Those who hearkened not to the word could not enter into the rest. Thus, possession is indissolubly united with righteousness and faith. Book 5 has the blessing more immediately in view; but, as we have seen in Psalm 111, Jehovah works to give His people 'the heritage of the nations.' Who, then, shall be 'mighty in the land'? The man that fears Jehovah: blessed is he! (Ps. 112:1-2.) For Jehovah will bless the house of Israel and the house of Aaron (Ps. 115:12-13) — a blessing that rests securely upon the Stone the builders rejected, and of whom it is said, 'Blessed be He that comes in the Name of Jehovah.' (Ps. 118:22-26.) But Jehovah is vindicated in the character of those blessed ones, for they are 'the perfect in the way,' 'they observe His testimonies' (Ps. 119:1-2), their eternal inheritance are His testimonies. (v. 111.) They are blessed out of Zion, in field and family (Ps. 128), for 'there has Jehovah commanded the blessing, life for evermore.' (Ps. 133) Here we see the full divine character of 'the blessing'; and, as for the inheritance, He gave all the kingdoms of Canaan for 'an inheritance unto Israel.' (Ps. 136:12.) 'Blessed the people whose God is Jehovah.' (Ps. 144:15.) Thus, the promise to Abraham of the inheritance, and his blessing, are fulfilled to Israel in the power of a risen, ascended, and coming Christ. For the Christian's special portion see, as to both, Ephesians 1.

Psalm 113 — When the righteous man is blessed, the wicked must perish; but if Jehovah's name is praised, then what He is is revealed. Grace alone is here in question. His dwelling is on high, yet He 'humbles Himself to look on the heavens and on the earth.' (v. 6.) It is grace, and beyond the natural heart to conceive of; for man would fain say, 'The Deity cannot humble itself.' But further, though not a greater thing, He exercises His grace towards the poor in the dust, and the needy on the dunghill. Israel is the barren woman who keeps house. Clearly, Hannah's song is in the mind of the Spirit, but the silencing of the wicked is wholly omitted; only the grace of the kingdom is referred to.
  Jehovah, 6; Jah, 2; Elohim, 1.

Note — How blessedly interesting is the comparison of verse 6 with Philippians 2; so identical in principle, and said of the same glorious Person, but the depth and mystery of the revelation how different! The Christian revelation so much greater! Here it is Jehovah whose glory is 'above the heavens'; but in Manhood is He there (cf. Ps. 8:1), and comes forth to restore Israel. In Philippians 2 it is the Man who has humbled Himself; but He is God, who of this form had emptied Himself.

Heading — As already remarked, the next five psalms introduce the kingdom.

Psalm 114 — Suddenly, with abrupt and rugged energy, it announces the presence of the Adon, the Eloah of Jacob. In the mighty exercise of His grace, in the past, Judah was His sanctuary, Israel His dominion. (v. 2.) Every barrier to the accomplishment of His purpose — the Red Sea and Jordan — vanished before Him. The wilderness, place of the people's trial, is unmentioned, as a thing of nought. The mountains — doubtless Sinai — were convulsed. 'Tremble, thou earth!' Yet for Jacob it is in grace, for He is the same 'who turned the rock into a pool of water.' (v. 8.) Once in the majesty of Law, now in the supremacy of grace.
  Adon, 1; Eloah, 1.

Note — This striking psalm omits all the Divine names, with the exception of that which marks sovereignty of rule, and that He is alone supreme (Eloah) in contrast with idols and many gods. Of all the Names of God, these are the most infrequently employed in the Psalms, except perhaps 'Shadday.'

Psalm 115 — This is the celebration of their return to confidence in Jehovah, consequent upon His intervention in power, as in Psalm 114. It is evidently the day of Israel's repentance (v. 2; Joel 2:12-17), when they look upon Him whom they have pierced, and weep for Him — their repentance for having rejected Christ. (Cf. Isa. 49 - 58.) Following this is their rejection of the idols they once sought after. (vv. 4-8; cf. Isa. 40 - 48.) Their subjective state has this two-fold character in that day, viz., repentance for rejecting Christ (see Zech. 12:10-14), and the refusal of idolatry (see Zech. 13:2). Israel, Aaron, and they that fear Jehovah are called to this confidence. Their children also are formally brought into the joy of the blessing (v. 14); for Jehovah is the Maker of the heavens and the earth, and the latter He has distributed to the children of men therein to live.
  Jehovah, 10; Jah, 3; Elohim, 2.

Note — The similarity of verse 14 to Peter's declaration on the day of Pentecost, as to the promise being to their children, made good in a risen Christ, is very plain. It is a strong evidence of the mind of God for children. Before law in the Abrahamic family, under law, in the gospel day, or in the millennial scene, His principle, that the children are to share in the privilege, is distinctly enunciated. Peter also quotes from the same chapter in Joel which speaks of the time to which the psalm refers. (Cf. v. 2, and Joel 2:17.) The epoch of the psalm is undoubted. Compare the difference of verse 2 and Psalm 42:3, 10. As it will be in the coming day, the creator-title of Jehovah is much insisted on here. (See v. 15, 16; cf. v. 3, and Ps. 135:6.)

Psalm 116 — Conscience being at rest by the knowledge of Jehovah's loving-kindness and truth, displayed in a manifested Christ, and through uprightness of heart and repentance (Ps. 115), the heart can now express itself in the liberty of deliverance, and that in Jehovah's house, in Jerusalem itself. First, there is the declaration of the manner of deliverance. (Cf. Rom. 7.) It comes solely through the grace and righteousness of Jehovah — the mercy of God, which he celebrates. (vv. 3-6.) Then he spreads before his soul the principles of his present place, viz., resurrection, or rather God's intervention in power when every human thing had come to an end, and then, consequent thereon, praise. With what divine fitness and aptitude the apostle quotes this verse (v. 10) in 2 Cor. 4:13! It was the same spirit of faith. His situation was desperate; but, in anticipation of deliverance, he uttered his testimony. (vv. 7-11.) Then comes worship 'in the courts of Jehovah's house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem.'
  Jehovah, 15; Elohim, 1; Jah, 1.

Note — The delivered ones turn first of all to Jehovah, and recount the history of His grace in Jerusalem. All is 'Jehovah,' except the declaration — how blessedly learnt! — that 'God is merciful.'

Psalm 117 — Now they turn to the nations and peoples, calling them to praise Jehovah for His loving-kindness to Israel.
  Jehovah, 2; Jah, 1.

Note — Not merely mercy, but truth is here celebrated.

Psalm 118 — A song of triumph and praise for victory follows. In peace and joy, the soul delights to recount the circumstances through which it has passed. Israel, Aaron, and they that fear Jehovah, are called upon to join in Messiah's praises. All nations were against them (vv. 10-12), the personal adversary (vv. 13, 14), yea, and Jehovah Himself, in chastisement. (v. 18.) As to the nations, they were destroyed in the name of Jehovah. From the adversary Jehovah saved him by His right hand, and, thirdly, though indeed chastened, Jah did not give him over to death. He enters the gates of righteousness — the gate of Jehovah, by which the righteous enter. How blessed a change from Jeremiah's day, when they obeyed not, but brought in burdens through the gates on the Sabbath-day! (Jer. 17:19-27; 22:1-5). Then the house became a desolation. (Cf. Mark 11:15-16; Matt. 23:38-39.) Now kings enter in by the gates of the city and of the house, as he prophesied; and burnt-offerings, and sacrifices, and meat-offerings, and incense, and sacrifices of praise are there (Jer. 17:26), and the priests, the Levites, to offer them. (Jer. 33:18.) In that time 'the branch of righteousness' grows up unto David, Judah shall be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, 'The Lord our Righteousness.' (vv. 15, 16.) From this we learn the full force of the expression in the psalm, 'The gates of righteousness.' For a transient moment the blessed Saviour sanctified the house, suffering no burden to be carried through, and then it was given up to desolation. Now the time has come to say, 'Blessed be He that comes in the name of Jehovah!' (v. 26.) The rejected Stone has become the Head of the corner (v. 22), and has fallen upon the enemies, crushing them to powder. Jehovah is El, supreme in holiness over evil. They can say, 'My El.' (v. 28.) He has given them light, and the sacrifice is there. Again is heard, as never before, the voice of joy and the voice of gladness; the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride; the voice of them that say, 'Praise the Lord of hosts,' that glorious refrain, 'Give ye thanks unto Jehovah, for He is good, for His loving-kindness endures for ever.' (Cf. v. 29; Jer. 33:11.)
  Jehovah, 22; Jah, 6; El, 2; Elohim, 1.

Note — 'El,' in verses 27, 28, is brought in with precious suitability. The rest of the psalm is 'Jehovah,' for the joy of relationship is established in power. The exalted Christ fully identifies Himself with delivered Israel in their joy; but note (vv. 22-26) the speciality of His glorious Person! Israel has sadly learnt the miserable folly of receiving one who came in his own name; they now gladly welcome Him who comes in Jehovah's name.

Heading — This long psalm (119) seems designed to give a complete expression to all the experiences of the renewed heart, in which the law is written, whatever the circumstances. Full Jewish relationship is recognised. This gives its character, therefore, to the exercises. Jehovah alone is, with one exception, appealed to. The opening verses state the theme, and the first verse of the second portion raises a collateral question. Adverse circumstances are found in the path. Faith is, therefore, put in play.

Psalm 119
(1) Blessed are the perfect in the way. This is the standard set up (vv. 1-3), and the heart responds in holy desires.
(2) But wherewith shall a young man's path be cleansed? for a practical result is looked for. The word of Jehovah, hid in the heart, alone can effect this. But He must be the teacher.
(3) Circumstances may be adverse — a stranger in the land, amid reproach and contempt, to princes an object of suspicion and hatred. This makes Jehovah's testimonies the more precious, and they are 'my delight and my counsellors.' The proud who wander from them are cursed. Is not verse 21, the passage misquoted in John 7:49 by the proud Pharisees and priests, and applied by them to the people, struck by the Saviour's gracious words, really fulfilled in themselves, and to their own condemnation?
(4) But difficulties arise, also, from within. In spreading these heart-sorrows before Jehovah, the heart is enlarged — set free from them; and then, 'I will run the way of Thy commandments.'
(5) Yet are there other dangers — the attractions of the world, vanity and gain; but Jehovah's teaching in an attracted heart will stimulate and encourage it in divine things, the others being refused.
(6) In the assurance of Jehovah's salvation, he becomes now a witness both to him who reproaches, as well as before kings.
(7) This brings derision from the proud, and issues in indignation against the wicked; but Jehovah's statutes become his songs.
(8) The wicked, indeed, conspire against him; but he finds associates in the fear of Jehovah among them that keep His precepts.
(9) His confidence is in Jehovah's loving-kindness, for he had gone astray; yet, if afflicted — for the proud forged a falsehood against him — it was that he might estimate the law of Jehovah's mouth at its true worth.
(10) Moreover, he is Jehovah's handiwork; and, if afflicted, it is in faithfulness to what is of Himself. He desires the gathering together of those that fear Jehovah.
(11) But the rage of his persecutors increases, so as to destroy him, if not preserved by Jehovah's loving-kindness.
(12) 'Thy word,' in its fixity, power, and authority, is sufficient to quicken — all created things are the proof, though not the measure, of it.
(13) It is effectual against the malice of enemies, and superior to the instruction or the experience of man. It preserves from evil, and is sweet to the soul.
(14) In addition, it is light amid darkness and affliction, produces praise, and becomes a heritage for ever.
(15) Especially it judges and rejects the double-minded, the evil-doers, and all the wicked, and puts the flesh in fear of Jehovah.
(16) As a servant, he now claims Jehovah's intervention for good, in loving-kindness and instruction. The preciousness and absolute rectitude of the Word give firmness of moral judgment.
(17) But, as a simple one, he longs for light and appreciation of grace, stability of walk, and freedom from human oppression; and he desires the open expression of divine favour (cf. v. 135; Num. 6:25; Ps. 80:3, 7, 19). This involves communion; therefore, he not only hates every false path (vv. 104, 128), nor is indignant because the wicked 'forsake Thy law' (v. 53), but his eyes 'run down with streams of water.'
(18) Yet he stays himself upon the righteousness of Jehovah, and upon His word; and his zeal is exceedingly aroused.
(19) The crisis now comes quickly on. The wicked are near; but Jehovah is near, too. His word is faithful and firm: the night is a season to meditate therein, and the morn for prayer.
(20) The whole sorrow of the scene is now summed up, and quickening looked for, according to Jehovah's word, His judgments, and His loving-kindness; for His word is truth, and His judgments for ever.
(21) His own ways, also, he sums up. Jehovah's word he fears, rejoices in, and loves. Seven times a day he praises Him; and obedience has characterised all his ways.
(22) Understanding, deliverance, and instruction are necessary to praise. Testimony, help, and salvation flow from the spirit of obedience. Praise, founded on grace to the erring, is the grand result of all.
  Jehovah, 24; Elohim, 1.

Note — All is 'Jehovah' except verse 115, where the psalmist appropriates Him as 'my Elohim' in addressing the evildoers. To the end of No. 9 the man himself is presented, and his path; his condition without and within; his desires and testimony; his enemies, his companions, and his afflictions. Then, in Nos, 10, 11, 12, we have Jehovah's power and loving-kindness, and His word. Thence, down to No. 18, the effectual working of the word is developed. And from No. 19 to No. 22 is the general survey and result.

Heading — Following this are fifteen psalms, called Songs of Degrees. (120 - 134) Israel, Zion, and Messiah are prominent and there is progress from out of the malignant and deceitful Northern power to universal Melchizedek blessing.

Psalm 120 — To compare this psalm with Psalm 52 is very instructive. The moral character of the mischief is precisely similar in both. There, however, it is a mighty man of wealth who claimed to have his tent and title in the land. Here the psalmist sojourns in Meshech (probably the Moschi, in the Caucasus and the northern shores of the Euxine), and the tents are those of Kedar (Ezek. 27:13, 21; Isa. 21:17), that is, of the Arab tribes. Clearly, it is a Northern power in concert with the nomadic and predatory tribes of Syria and Arabia — such, indeed, as we find to-day in Turkey in Asia. And in such company Israel had long dwelt. Moreover, their pretexts were fair enough, but war their settled purpose. The King of the North seems evidently in question in connection with the Russian power and the eastern nomads.
  Jehovah, 2.

Psalm 121 — But Jehovah has now taken Israel definitely and distinctly under His care, to fulfil His promise to David and Solomon. (Cf. v. 3, and 2 Chron. 33:8.) The time of trouble is over: he has cried and is answered, though it is yet in testimony to faith.
  Jehovah, 5.

Note — All Israel is viewed here; just as Messiah, specially, is in Ps. 91:5-6.

Psalm 122 — The invitation to go into the house of Jehovah, within the gates of Jerusalem, is now heard, and answered with joy. Jah's tribes, a testimony to Israel, go up thither. The thrones of the house of David, set for judgment, are already there. Moreover, there is One who, identifying Himself with the restored Remnant as His brethren and companions, can, of His own personal excellency, pronounce 'Peace' upon them.
  Jehovah, 3; Jah, 1; Elohim, 1.

Note — The union of the grace of association with the speciality of personal excellency is very distinct. Here is the declared fulfilment of Jeremiah 17:25, 22:4; for in Jerusalem the thrones of the house of David are set, and all Israel is called up out of the north country. (Jer. 23:8.) Cf. Ps. 120:5.

Psalm 123 — Yet, in going up, they are exposed to the contempt of the proud and of those that are at ease, for the land is not yet cleared of the oppressor.
  Jehovah, 2; Elohim, 1.

Psalm 124 — And had it not been that Jehovah was for them, they would still have been swallowed up alive. But the snare is broken, and they have escaped. The proud waters here are surely the overwhelming hosts of Gog — the Muscovite, accompanied by the Eastern hordes.
  Jehovah, 4.

Note — The creation-title of Jehovah is insisted on (v. 8), as in Psalm 115:15. (Cf. Rev. 4:11, 10:6, 14:7.)

Psalm 125 — But the eternal stability of Jehovah's people is now secured, for He is not only among, but round about them. The terms of His government are announced, and 'Peace' is upon Israel.
  Jehovah, 4.

Note — The last verse must be compared with the last verse of Isaiah. Even in the midst of peace thus established, there is the standing witness and expression of judgment. Peace upon the Israel of God is even now realised according to the rule of new creation. (Gal. 6:16.)

Psalm 126 — Settled in peace in Zion, they relate their rapturous joy in Jehovah's restoring grace, and pray that the whole captivity may be turned. The assured principle of blessing, according to the ways of God in government, is announced.
  Jehovah, 4.

Note — Weeping and reaping, the suffering and the glory, are connected.

Psalm 127 — Solomon's house, and David's city, lacked stability in man's hand, however diligent. But now that Jehovah has undertaken for them, His beloved one may rest. The house, the city, their provision and defence are of Him, and a numerous progeny is a special mark of Jehovah's blessing.
  Jehovah, 3.

Psalm 128 — Moreover, this 'blessed' one is he that fears Jehovah. Every earthly blessing, and not sorrow, shall be his in seeing the good of Jerusalem, and his children's children, and peace upon Israel.
  Jehovah, 3.

Note — Israel is fully brought into her own blessing as to the testimony of it; though there may still be exercises of heart.

Psalm 129 — But their hearts revert to the times of their affliction, and recognise the grace that sustained them, however lengthened out their sorrows. He has delivered them in His righteousness; and shame must needs be the portion of their adversaries.
  Jehovah, 3.

Psalm 130 — Yet a still deeper matter presents itself. Delivered from every external foe, the question arises, How stand they with Adonay, who has delivered them? He executes judgment on the ungodly, and who shall stand if He mark iniquities? The answer comes: 'There is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared.' They can now wait for Adonay, and hope in Jehovah, for 'He will redeem Israel from all his iniquities,' not merely from his foes.
  Jehovah, 4; Jah, 1; Adonay, 3.

Note — This psalm is distinguished by appeal to 'Adonay.' The reason is evident. He is indeed the Deliverer of His people, but is also judge of the wicked on earth. But His people are chargeable with iniquities. How then? There is forgiveness. This is a deeply solemn question for them.

Psalm 131 — The result is a lowly and composed state of soul, as of a weaned child. Hope in Jehovah is now Israel's abiding state. He is the object of their desire — not even their own blessing, but Himself.
  Jehovah, 2.

Psalm 132 — The intervention of power, that, after a period of ruin and alienation, once more installed in its rest the ark of Jehovah's strength, is now exercised on behalf of David and Zion. The blessing, as of Aaron, follows in Psalm 133. (Cf. Ps. 80, Ps. 67 and Ps. 68.) Here it is not the ascension of Christ, nor leading His people in restoring and saving power, but the fulfilment of His promises to David, and the taking His place in Zion — His earthly rest for ever. There shall there be abundant provision; her priests shall be clothed with salvation, not merely righteousness, and her saints shall shout aloud for joy. The prayer was (v. 10) not to turn away 'the face of Thine anointed.' In answer, the horn of David is caused to bud forth; a lamp is ordained for His anointed, and upon Himself shall His crown flourish. A lamp is a figure of that which is a testimony to, and shows the truth and reality of anything. Here it refers, doubtless, to 2 Chronicles 21:7; 1 Kings 11:36, 15:4. The horn is, of course, a symbol of power, and a crown the sign of rule.
  Jehovah, 6; Mighty One of Jacob, 2.

Note — Jacob's relations with Jehovah seem referred to as embracing the whole race in their own earthly position. The answer in each case far exceeds the request (see vv. 8 and 13-15, vv. 9 and 16, vv. 10 and 17-18). The psalm, evidently, has in view the establishment of the reign of peace (Solomon). Compare 2 Chronicles 6:41-42; also 1 Samuel 7:2; 2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 16. Though much of the furniture and ordinance of the Jewish ritual will be restored, the ark itself will never have any place again (see Jer. 3:16-17); for Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord.

Psalm 133 — The unity of brethren, after a priestly type and character, follows; and Zion is the place of the blessing — 'life for evermore.'
  Jehovah, 1.

Psalm 134 — The night is now vocal with Jehovah's praises in the Sanctuary; for no evil is occurrent. Out of Zion, Jehovah's blessing is pronounced on Israel.
  Jehovah, 5.

Note — This is the result in Melchizedek blessing — God blessed, and man blessed.

Heading — The two following psalms seem immediately connected with Psalm 118, the ground of the truth being enlarged by the psalms (Ps. 119 - 134) that succeed. Indeed, Psalms 135, 136 fitly sum up and conclude the subjects of Psalms 114 — 118, taking also into account the exercises of Psalm 119, and the point of progress reached by the Songs of Degrees.

Psalm 135 — Conflict is over; praise can now ascend. The servants of Jehovah stand in His house. Israel, Aaron, and Levi are there, and they that fear Jehovah. Jah has chosen Jacob unto Himself, Israel for His own possession. This, too, after their long, sad trial of discipline and sorrow, after being scattered into corners, and their remembrance made to cease from among men. (See v. 14, and Deut. 32:1-36.) But their real blessing had never rested upon themselves, but upon Jehovah, according to that Name in which He had revealed Himself to Moses, as in relationship with His people. (See v. 13, and Ex. 3:15; Isa. 26:8. The association of vv. 13, 14, is extremely interesting; as also is the use of the latter in Heb. 10:30.) Yet in the way of His judgments, they had waited for Him; and now the song of deliverance is sung in the land of Judah, and the gates are opened that the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in. (Cf. Isa. 26:1-2; Ps. 118:19-20.) Neither was their present joy and blessing through any strength in man, but according to that grace that had established Israel's covenant with wayward Jacob. (Cf. Hosea 12:4-5, and Gen. 35:11-12.) Now they can fully celebrate Jehovah in creation (v. 6) and providence (v. 7), in redemption (vv. 8, 9) and government (vv. 10, 11.) For He acted in order to give an inheritance unto Israel, His people. (v. 12.) Then there is the contrast with idols, and the renewed call to Israel, Aaron, and Levi, and them that fear Jehovah, to bless Him out of Zion, who dwells in Jerusalem.
  Jehovah, 15; Jah, 4; Elohim, 1; Adonim, 1.

Note — This psalm compared with Psalm 115 exhibits much enlargement of heart, and increase of spiritual apprehension. In the latter the power of God and the vanity of idols are simply and immediately contrasted (Ps. 115:3-4); but in Psalm 135, between these two verses (6, 15), is introduced the full recital and recognition of what Jehovah is in creation, in providence, in redemption, and in government. Observe, however, that the counsel and election (vv. 4, 13, 14) of Jehovah are immediately in view, and therefore there is no wilderness here, but Egypt and Canaan. Nor is the Red Sea mentioned except by implication.

Psalm 136 — The universal chorus follows, 'His loving-kindness endures for ever.' This is the burden of the book. The last psalm of the previous book struck the chord. (v. 1.) The first verse of the fifth re-echoed and perpetuated it. At the incoming of power it is laid as the basis of all true praise (Ps. 118); and now, in the establishment of grace and blessing, it is traced throughout all His dealings. The faith of David, in bringing up the ark of God to Zion, first breathed out the blessed principle on which all true blessing rests. The priests and Levites chanted it in praises when the glory of the Lord filled the temple of Solomon; the people universally uttered it when the fire came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifice. Again, amid the ashes of the temple, after the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths, that song was raised once more in faith, though feebleness, by the little remnant returned from Babylon, when they laid afresh the foundation of that temple — the temple of the Lord. And the voice of prophecy repeats the strain, to be heard thenceforth unceasingly when the captivity of the land shall return as at the first. (Jer. 33:11.) Jehovah is praised in His goodness, and in the supremacy of His nature, and of His sway. (vv. 1-3.) The latter — His eternal power and divinity — are first set forth as displayed in creation (vv. 4-9), His power and wisdom being specially noticed, as well as the appointment of rule in the physical world. The work of creation is not traced beyond the fourth day. Then is celebrated redemption, the deliverance of His people in judicial and mighty power (vv. 10-12) — a power, too, that turned an impassable barrier into a path for His people, and a means of judgment upon their enemies. This order, too, is observable in the ten plagues; the first three expressed power in creation, the last seven distinguishing judgment also. Wilderness care follows (v. 16); and the smiting of enemies in order to put His people into their inheritance. (vv. 17-22.) The psalm concludes with His delivering them from their low and oppressed condition, and His universal providence. Jehovah, the sole Deity, and Supreme Object of homage, is finally praised as the El of the heavens.
  Jehovah, 1; Elohim, 1; Adonim, 1; El, 1.

Note — After the survey of all that He is in Creation, Redemption, Government, and Providence, the introduction of 'El,' supreme in holiness over evil, is very beautiful. The psalm is a remarkable one, whether in respect of the divine Names (cf. Deut. 10:17), or of the form in which it is cast. Compared with the previous psalm, we have here fully the Red Sea and the wilderness; but it does not go over Jordan. It sets forth, not so much purpose, but grace.

Heading — The history, morally, of the day of sorrow is now brought before us (137 – 145), up to the establishment of Jehovah's kingdom on the earth. All are psalms of David, except the first, and bear out fully their title in the deep and comprehensive heart-exercises presented, which, moreover, after Psalm 137, are very individual.

Psalm 137 — Babylon, which, within the canon of the Old Testament, is the deepest sorrow the nation had ever known, is first dealt with. Edom also must be remembered in the day of doom. Jerusalem may indeed be laid bare, down to its foundation; but its ruin is the measure of the judgment decreed upon its persecutors. But faith ever enters into the divine thoughts, and measures all things there. Nor will it prostitute Jehovah's joys to amuse His enemies.
  Jehovah, 2.

Note — The position of this psalm is peculiar. The Babylonish captivity is now but a memory, yet Jerusalem is still viewed in its low estate, and the judgment on Babylon and Edom unexecuted.

Psalm 138 — The temple and the kingdom now dimly arise amid the trouble. In David's day the temple was not built, of course, but for faith it was where the ark was, or the altar at the threshing-floor of Araunah. The scene, therefore, suits the restored Remnant, either from Babylon, or in the latter day. Trouble is there, and the anger of enemies; but Jehovah will perfect what concerns him. Jehovah is high; but He looks upon the lowly, and will not forsake the works of His own hands.
  Jehovah, 6.

Note — This is a manifest advance upon the condition expressed in the previous psalm. No judgment is denounced, but faith recognises that all the kings of the earth shall celebrate Jehovah, and sing His enduring loving-kindness.

Psalm 139 — But the exercises deepen, and partake more of the character of individual communion. The knowledge of Jehovah in all its intimate and searching character is what first reaches the soul, causing it to quail before Him. (vv. 1-6.) It is the Light that makes the truth of everything manifest, and, where there is not that which divinely meets it, the effort is to flee from His presence. (vv. 7-12.) But this is impossible! The heavens, Sheol, earth's inaccessible places, or darkness itself, all bear testimony alike to this. How deeply solemn a thought for one who desires to escape that Presence, and to whom darkness would be a resource! But faith has a divine resource where it can rest. The previous psalm had touched the key-note, 'Thy loving-kindness endures for ever: forsake not the works of Thine own hands.' And, in this thought, praise can arise even in the all-searching light of the divine presence. 'I will praise Thee, for I am fearfully, wonderfully made.' The soul surveys itself as of the works of Jehovah; and they are marvellous (v. 14), whether it be in creative power, as here, or in redemption or resurrection (vv. 15-16), for the language is largely figurative, and may be referred even to the assembly. Thus the heart rests in the consciousness that the thoughts of 'El' towards it are precious and infinite in their blessedness — and how uninterrupted! Uncaused by human effort, they need none to sustain them, but sovereignly proceed from the exhaustless love of God. Man may sleep; God's thoughts of love slumber not, for when the saint awakes he can say, 'I am still with Thee' (vv. 14-18.) Are there the wicked and men of blood? Eloah will slay them, for they hate Jehovah. As for himself, he says, 'Search me, O El, and know my heart: prove me, and know my thoughts': for now he has entered into the grace of Jehovah's heart, and the preciousness of His thoughts.
  Jehovah, 3; El, 2; Eloah, 1.

Note — It is 'Eloah,' alone supreme, who slays the wicked, and to 'El,' the holy One in supremacy over evil, he says, 'Search me … and see if there be any grievous [or idolatrous] way in me.'

Psalm 140 — The psalmist can now turn to Jehovah in the confidence of his deliverance from every form of satanic evil which surrounds him. (v. 3.) The evil man, the violent man, the wicked man, the proud, and the man of evil tongue are there. The question is, Shall such be established in the earth? No! Jehovah shall maintain the cause of the afflicted one and the needy; yea, the righteous and the upright shall dwell in His presence.
  Jehovah, 7; El, 1; Adonay, 1.

Note — Against the power of the wicked he appeals to 'El,' supreme in holiness over evil. But it is 'Adonay,' Deliverer of His people, executing judgment on the wicked, who is the strength of his salvation, and who covered his head in the day of battle.

Psalm 141 — The psalmist is now found amid an established order of things, in which Jehovah is acknowledged, but which is going on to judgment, where the soul needs to walk closely with God in lowly grace, so as to be preserved from sin and from the violence of persecutors. It is a system too which, however faith may cleave to it, is already ruined and scattered. (v. 7.)
  Jehovah, 3; Adonay, 1.

Note — When viewing the scattering and ruin, he cries to 'Adonay.'

Psalm 142 — Separation at length takes place; and as David was cast out and hidden in the cave, so the remnant are now found in utter isolation. (v. 4.) But Jehovah is his refuge, and he looks to be brought into liberty and to be surrounded with the righteous.
  Jehovah, 3.

Note — The experience here is very individual. The blessed Lord, indeed, passed through these circumstances, and has here given a voice divinely to the expression of the sorrows of the Remnant, who will alike pass through them. But with Him there was necessarily that which was peculiar to Himself as a divine Person. Verse 7 may include this. Observe (vv. 1, 2) the varied forms of address to Jehovah.

Psalm 143 — Shut up thus to Jehovah, his trouble is only increased — his spirit is overwhelmed, his heart is desolate; for he is cast, necessarily, upon Jehovah's righteousness against his enemies; but, if so, how can he himself be justified? He then pleads Jehovah's loving-kindness for himself (v. 8) and against his foes (v. 12).
  Jehovah, 4; Elohim, 1.

Note — It is as Jehovah's servant (vv. 2, 12) that these exercises of soul become so solemn and afflicting.

Psalm 144 — Having thus been brought to rest in the loving-kindness of Jehovah, he can now bless Him with a full heart; and not only Jehovah (v. 1), but the people too. (v. 15.) But through how varied an experience is one enabled to reach this point! The nothingness of man (Adam), who is as a breath, the son of Enosh — not worthy of a thought; who are aliens, moreover; whose mouth speaks vanity, and their right hand a right hand of falsehood: why should such be allowed to hinder the blessing of Jehovah's people? In faith's anticipation will the psalmist sing the New Song.
  Jehovah, 4; Elohim, 2.

Note — It is Melchizedek blessing, and Messiah taking this place, but in identification with His people in conflict. 'David, Thy servant,' as rescued, sings the New Song, but seeks deliverance for His people, that 'our' blessings may be full. The grace in which He intercedes for His tried people does not obscure the glory of His Person. Compare vv. 5-7 with Psalm 18:16. There Messiah is seen in Israel, afflicted in all their afflictions; here Israel is saved by Messiah, and in His salvation. In Psalm 8:4 we see Man in Christ; here, man in opposition to Christ. (v 3.)

Psalm 145 — Praise follows. Man being estimated in the previous psalm at his native nothingness, Jehovah is alone celebrated in His greatness and majesty and mighty acts. (vv. 3-7.) Then His grace and mercy are declared (vv. 8-12), and finally His kingdom in its universality, enduringness, and kindness. It is yet, however, a government that remains to destroy the wicked.
  Jehovah, 9; Elohim, 1.

Note — This is the proclamation of Jehovah's name as King for millennial blessing. But He is 'Elohim,' and 'my Elohim.'

Heading — The remaining psalms are a call to praise Jah, His reign being thus publicly established and recognised.

Psalm 146 — How deep and real the experience that enables them to say, 'Blessed is he who has the El of Jacob for his help' (v. 5), in contrast with man, however great! Man's purposes last only as long as his breath lasts, but Jehovah is the Creator and Saviour. (vv. 6, 7.) Grace and righteousness distinguish Jehovah's government — the reign of Zion's King (vv. 8-10), for ever.
  Jehovah, 9; Jah, 2; Elohim, 3; El, 1.

Note — How suitably is He called the 'El of Jacob'! The strength of holiness, in supremacy over evil, was indeed manifested in His ways with His poor, erring servant, Jacob. By comparing verse 8 with Isaiah 61:1, and Luke 4:18, we see who Jehovah is. Note, too, that the psalm does not mention the preaching of the acceptable year of the Lord. Perhaps because it is prophetically viewed as come.

Psalm 147 — Jerusalem, Israel, and Creation are the subjects of praise, and of the manifestation of Jehovah's grace. For His character, as described in the previous psalm (vv. 7-9), is here definitely applied and vindicated in respect of the outcasts of Israel. It is, moreover, according to the immensity of His power in creation; for He who bound up their wounds counted the number of the stars. Government is just referred to in verse 6, and the vanity of human strength in verse 10. With these exceptions, the psalm sets forth grace in Israel and power in creation.
  Jehovah, 5; Jah, 2; Elohim, 3; Adonim, 1.

Note — The four great subjects are mercy (vv. 2-6), providence (vv. 8-11), government (vv. 12-18), revelation (vv. 19, 20). 'Adonim' in verse 5, infinite in power and understanding, is the supreme object of adoration.

Psalm 148 — But praise widens out universally, 'from the heavens' (v. 1) and all that are there; and from the earth (v. 7) and all that are there. For Jehovah 'commanded, and they were created'; and 'His majesty is above the earth and the heavens.' Moreover, the special subject and basis of praise is that 'He has lifted up the horn of His people' — 'of the children of Israel, a people near unto Him.'
  Jehovah, 4; Jah, 2.

Note — The whole circle of the Universe, blessed, is here — the heavenlies, the angelic hosts, the material Universe and Israel. Jehovah's title as Creator is, as we have seen in these later psalms, much insisted on in connection with Israel redeemed.

Psalm 149 — Zion, exalted, judges the world; for now 'Jehovah takes pleasure in His people.' How different a case than when He wrote 'Lo-Ammi' upon them! Ever were they beloved for the fathers' sakes; and glory is now the accomplishment, in grace, of counsel. But if the high praises of 'El' are in their mouth, a two-edged sword is in their hand; for the judgment is yet to be executed. Vengeance must be executed against the nations, and punishment among the peoples; kings are to be bound with chains, and nobles with fetters of iron; and Israel must do it. They are Jehovah's saints, and what they failed to do when entering the land the first time, must now be done in divine power. The land is cleared of the ungodly, and the meek beautified with salvation.
  Jehovah, 2; Jah, 2; El, 1.

Note — For the last time we have the 'New Song,' connected, as we have seen, with blessing on the earth according to counsel, through redemption. Here it is sung in gathered Israel — the congregation of the godly, Psalm 1:5 being fulfilled. 'The high praises of El' are connected with the 'two-edged sword,' for He is the Strength of holiness in supremacy over evil. The use of this Name here is very significant.

Psalm 150 — Remarkably, too, this Name (El) alone, except 'Hallelujah,' appears in the final psalm of praise with which the Book concludes. Israel's praise is mainly occupied with His mighty acts and the abundance of His greatness (v. 2), for she is the standing and glorious witness of this, whatever the grace needed and exercised to establish her. The Assembly's place and glory is the magnificent and heavenly expression of grace and righteousness. Her relationship and communion are with the Father and the Son. Israel's relationship is with Jehovah, but her state of earthly glory and establishment is the especial manifestation, publicly and to the universe, of what 'El' is; and that, too, 'in His Sanctuary.' He is the Strength of holiness in supremacy over evil, bringing to pass all His purposes of blessing by His mighty acts and the abundance of His greatness, but in holiness, so as to display what He is in His Sanctuary — in the firmament of His power. His loving-kindness to Israel has not denied this; but His judgments in the earth have proved it.
  El, 1; Jah, 3.

Note — The sum of His ways and government, in respect of the earth and Israel, is to the praise of 'El.' It is the full recognition of this that distinguishes the final psalm from all the rest. We may remember, again, that it is this Name that the Spirit has so often put into the lips of that blessed One. 'El's' way was perfect. It was 'El' that avenged Him. (Ps. 18:30, 47.) Unto 'El' did He cry when forsaken — His 'El' from the womb. (Ps. 22:1, 10.) To 'El' He looked to be preserved. (Ps. 16:1, 102:24.) He is the 'El of glory' (Ps. 29:3), 'the living 'El' (Ps. 42:2, 8, 9), the life and rock of His people, as well as of their gladness (Ps. 43:4). 'El' is Himself Christ, who shall judge His people and the world, for judgment is committed to Him (Ps. 1. 1). He is the 'El of salvation' (Ps. 68:19-20; 106:21), to whom the Sanctuaries' belong (Ps. 73:17, 83:1, 89:7); the Eternal One (Ps. 90:2; cf. Prov. 8:22-31, Heb. 13:8), the 'El of the heavens,' whose loving-kindness endures for ever. (Ps. 136:26).


Note to Psalms 79 — 89 — The comparison of the last eleven psalms of this Book (Psalms 79 — 89 ) with Isaiah 5 — 10 is of the deepest interest. The subjects correspond very closely, though the order in which they are considered is different. This difference accords with the character respectively of the Books. Isaiah speaks as addressing, on God's part, the heart and conscience of the people; and the subjects in question are therefore treated in a way calculated to reach, as testimony, their hearts and consciences. The psalms, on the contrary, present the saints' meditations on them, or their actual experiences in the circumstances under consideration. Here, therefore, the subjects are reviewed in a more orderly and less fragmentary way than in the prophecy, where they are broken into parts and intermingled, with a view to reaching and remedying, were it possible, the state of the people.

The subjects in question are as follows:
(1.) Israel as a vine brought out of Egypt.
(2.) The Assyrian, the rod of Jehovah's anger, by whom Israel is laid waste, but who is met and destroyed by the Man of His right hand, the Son of man made strong for Himself.
(3.) The glory, and Israel judged and delivered by it.
(4.) Chastisement upon Israel for sin.
(5.) Grace and mercy fulfilling the covenant.
The first three are more historical, and the two latter give a resume of divine principles.

In the psalms these things are set forth, each subject by itself as a whole. The attack of the Assyrian, or northern power, comes first upon the scene in Psalm 79, an attack which results in the devastation of Jerusalem and Jacob. Psalm 80 follows, presenting the vine brought out of Egypt, but desolated by the boar out of the forest, as circumstantially related in the previous psalm. The closing verses (17-19) reveal the Son of man made strong to deliver. We have thus the first two subjects complete in these two psalms.

Turning to Isaiah, Israel's place and state as Jehovah's vineyard, but to be laid waste and trodden down, is first in the mind of the Spirit (Isaiah 5:1-7), followed by a long parenthesis of woes to the end of the chapter, continued in chaps. 8:21-22, 9:8 — 10:4. These woes are the warnings of chastisement for sin, applied to conscience in view of Israel's state, and form 'Subject (4),' which will be considered subsequently.

The glory of the Lord is then revealed in Isaiah 6. For Israel's responsibility, indeed that of man necessarily, is formed on the one hand by their original state as set up by God Himself, and on the other hand by the revelation of the glory in which He is to appear. This, which we have called 'Subject (3),' is what the Spirit next presents by the prophet as of prime importance for Israel.

Of this, that is, of the revelation of the glory, Psalms 81 - 83 treat exhaustively as regards its effect of judgment. In Psalm 81 we have the re-awakening of Israel's glory — the trumpet is blown at the new moon; but not without the declaration on Jehovah's part of His judgment of their ways. Then Psalm 82 describes the actual judicial arraignment among the gods, and God arises to judge the earth. This is followed, in Psalm 83, by the execution of judgment, or its declaration, on all the enemies found in the land, including Assyria.

Isaiah next proceeds to take up, in chapter 7, the presentation of Immanuel, the Virgin's Son, pledge and power of Israel's deliverance from the Assyrian oppressor. In the psalm (Psalm 80:17-19) He is seen as the Son of man wielding Jehovah's power and authority, the Deliverer of, and in connection with, Israel as the desolated vine. But Isaiah presents Him as the Security of blessing in view of the Assyrian invasion. In chapter 7 this divine Child was to be born after the desolation, then threatened, had come. (v. 16.) The next chapter (8:1-20) continues the subject, showing, by an emblematic child, that the captivity as regards Samaria, at least, was to take place at once. (v. 4.) Yet, however overwhelming the invasion, the land was Immanuel's (v. 8), and the confederacy of the nations should be broken in pieces. Chapter 10:5-34 shows us that this should be when the Lord had performed His whole work upon Mount Zion and on Jerusalem (v. 12), and on behalf of a remnant that shall return. (vv. 20, 21. Cf. 7:3, 'Shear-jashub'; i.e. 'a remnant shall return.') This connects, moreover, with Jehovah's governmental chastisement of Israel for sin, for the Assyrian is the rod of Jehovah's anger; and in this final infliction in the latter day, after which He intervenes to destroy the oppressor, 'the indignation shall cease, and Mine anger in their destruction.' (v. 25. See vv. 26-34.)

As already noticed, this chastisement is precisely referred to in 5:8-30, and 8:21-22, the latter passage carrying forward the threatening of the Assyrian invasion to the times of the crisis. (Cf. 5:30 and 8:22.) Chapters 9:8 — 10:4 then continue the subject in immediate connection with chapter 5:25. (Cf. 9 vv. 12, 17, 21; 10:4.)

It is the sense in the godly remnant of what it is to be under this chastisement, when the land is darkened through the wrath of the Lord of hosts (Isaiah 9:19), that Psalm 88 sets forth. This is what we have here termed 'Subject (4).'

Between Psalms 83 and 88 there are four psalms which treat of the four special spheres of Jehovah's interests, as reviewed by the Spirit of Christ in the believing Remnant; viz., His tabernacles (Psalm 84), His land (Psalm 85), His godly servants (Psalm 86), His city Zion (Psalm 87). Discipline there may have been, and will be, as in Psalm 88, but in the Psalms the mind of the Spirit rests first upon the Anointed, the Son of man made strong for Jehovah. (Psalm 80 Cf. Psalm 2.) Then follow the three psalms (Psalms 81 — 83) that speak of Israel's renewed glory, and God among them in judgment; the four subsequent ones (Pss. 84 — 87) giving the four circles of Jehovah's interests in connection with Israel, as to which this glory is displayed. Israel's chastisement as under the law, and penalty of sin, is then given, as we have seen, in Psalm 88. Finally, the whole series of subjects is concluded in Psalm 89, which celebrates the loving-kindness of Jehovah, according to which the covenant with David is established (see verses 3, 4, 24, 28, 29, 36) in the Seed of David, the greater David, the Anointed. This is the subject of Isaiah 9:1-7. The grace of His first coming is seen in verses 1, 2; then, in the following five verses, we have the zeal of the Lord of hosts establishing Him in power (a divine Person) upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom. (v. 7,)

A tabulated list of the Subjects is here given.
(1) {Ps. 79. The Assyrian.
      {Ps. 80:8-16. The vine out of Egypt now laid waste.
(2) Ps. 80:17-19. The Son of man against the destroyer.
(3) Pss. 81 — 83. Israel's glory renewed, and God there in judgment.
    (Pss. l84 - 87. The tabernacles, the land, the servants, the city.)
(4) Ps. 88. Chastisement under law.
(5) Ps. 89. Mercy fulfilling covenant with David.

Isaiah 1-10.
(1) 5:1-7. The Vineyard.
(4) 5:8-30, 8:21-22, 9:8 — 10:4. Chastisement for sin.
(3) 6. The glory, and Adonay in seraphic judgment.
(2) 7, 8:1-20, 10:5-34. Immanuel and the Assyrian.
(5) 9:1-7. David's throne and kingdom established in the Son given in grace.

It will be noted that in the psalm the Son of man is connected immediately with the Vine, but, in Isaiah, Immanuel is in opposition to the Assyrian, and the land is His. In the last passage (Isa. 10:5-34) the final inroad of the Assyrian is seen to be the consummation of divine chastisement for Israel's sins, (v. 25. Cf. Joel 2.)