G. V. Wigram.
Present Testimony. VOL. II. — New Series. Commenced — Aug. 24, 1869. No. 1.
It has pleased the Most High to reveal Himself to us (in that which men call the New Testament), under the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Matt. 28:19). In this we learn redemption eternal and for Heaven.
Of old, in the Creation of the world, He had revealed His eternal power and Godhead (Rom. 1:20). After the deluge, He made a fresh revelation of Himself in another glory, viz., as in the patience of long-suffering goodness in Providence (Gen. 8:21-22, and Gen. 9:8-17); the rainbow the memorial of it. Then, again, He displayed Himself and new glories in Government upon the Earth, as the alone One to be worshipped, and as the King to be obeyed, of Israel — His own peculiar nation, which He redeemed for Himself out of Egypt. As the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, was not made known in those times, neither was heaven His dwelling-place thrown open to faith; nor was this done until the Holy Ghost came down on the day of Pentecost, a witness of Jesus, the earth-rejected, - that He was Lord and Christ, and upon the throne on high. The peculiarity of the light vouchsafed to us must not be forgotten, nor the power which has been given to us. The church was not revealed in Old Testament times, nor referred to, nor had the Holy Ghost come down to dwell in it.
Creation, providence and government upon earth were three spheres, each giving its own distinctive testimony; but the testimony of none of them was that which the Son brought forth: He was the truth. Life and immortality were brought to light through the gospel. All the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in Him bodily; and His alone it was to say, "he that has seen me has seen the Father also." Man now, and from that time to this, stands under the light of eternity and of heaven opened. The revelation now is of the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Eternal redemption, as taught us in the epistle to the Hebrews, had been foreshadowed by a temporal redemption of Israel out of Egypt: but the types and emblems of Old Testament times pointed on to that to which they would have to give place when it came, whether, first, as applied to the church now, or as, secondly, to be applied hereafter, in its second covenant to Israel. In both applications the leading Personage is one and the same, the Lord Jesus Christ: yet, as presented to us now, while in His present position in heaven, it brings out to light the value and import of His higher divine and heavenly associations in a way that it will not, when it is applied to the House of Israel in the land.
The Psalms contain the proof of this when the subjects of any of them are carefully set in the light of the epistles. Compare the subject opened up in any Psalm with the counterpart of it now, and with the counterpart of it when Israel is restored to the land, and what I have said is clear enough. The principles connected with forgiveness of sins, as laid down in Psalm 32, for instance, are the same as those laid down in Romans 4, and in the Scriptures which tell of Israel's forgiveness; but the light of Hebrews 10 — Christ upon the throne of the Majesty in the Highest (and the throne of God thus made the mercy-seat) — and my conscience brought there through faith and by the Spirit — transcends infinitely the light found for Israel in the last eight chapters of Ezekiel — when Jehovah and His restored temple will be known to Israel dwelling in the city Jehovah-Shammah. So again, compare Ps. 103: and Eph. 1:15, to 2:10, and who will not see that our light about mercy and grace altogether surpasses both David's, and that of the nation Israel in the day of its glory.
Let me now ask my reader, whether he ever noticed the order in which the Psalms stand? It is, so far as I know, the same in all Hebrew bibles. If you examine it, you will find that the Psalms are not placed in the order of the events which they describe, or to which they refer. In the order in which the events occurred, the cross took place before the resurrection, and before the ascension of the Lord to heaven. But Psalm 2, which describes that which was after (compare Acts 4:25-26) the cross, is placed before Psalm 22, which gives the crucifixion. The crucifixion, I say, occurred before the Holy Ghost charged man with the sin of rebellion against the Lord and His anointed, heaven-honoured though earth-rejected: yet in the order of the Psalm 22 is after Psalm 2. And if this is true, when things are looked at in principle, it is only still more obviously so when results in detail are considered; compare Psalm 11. 9, in principle true in Acts 4:25-26, but in full result exhibited in Rev. 2:27. Again, Psalm 22 and Psalm 40 are atonement Psalms. The latter is largely quoted in Heb. 10: and the former is a divine description of the sufferings endured by Messiah when on the cross; at least from ver. 1 to 21. Yet these Psalms are placed, among the Psalms, after Psalm 2 and Psalm 8, the one of which gives us the recognition in heaven of Messiah when Israel on earth had rejected Him, and the other presents His title of glory as Son of man. Peter, and James and John show us the import of Psalm 2, in a result of the cross; Paul, in the Hebrews 2, uses the 8th Psalm as describing what has resulted from the cross. Take again, Psalm 16 and Psalm 17, and compare them with those which precede and which follow them, and then examine the New Testament for the historical order of events; and the same result appears. I need not trace out here this, which I have in study done, as to each of the Psalms.*
*In the above I bring forward only that which seems to me unanswerable: a Psalm is commented on in the New Testament and so far explained; it has a place assigned to it by the inspired writer, so has another and another Psalm; and the location of the Psalms in the Psalter are thus shown to be other than that of the order of events to which these Psalms refer. I do not now refer to the titles at the head of the Psalms. Yet I know of no question raised as to their being integrally part of the inspired text: the Hebrew Bible, — not the Septuagint, nor the Syriac, nor the Arabic, nor the Vulgate — being considered as the Volume of Inspiration. Rationalistic objectors I need not answer.
"Lord, why is this?" — is more according to faith than are the efforts to re-arrange the collection, made by some according to the order of the things predicted, and by others according to the times of writing. Faith would take the book as God gave it, though humbly owning man's wretched unfaithfulness as the keeper of it. Faith knows right well that God's order and man's are not the same. In God, counsel and plan went before work and before revelation too. With man in his fallen state God deals according to the moral condition in presenting truth; and the order in which He dealt with the Apostle of the circumcision was different from that in which He dealt to the Apostle of the uncircumcision.
Thankful as we ought to be for the Authorised Version of the Bible, it is not part of its excellency that the very names used and the various characters under which Divine glory is presented in Scripture — those of Elohim, El, Jehovah, Jah, Shaddai, Adonai, etc. — at times each found alone, and at times in combinations together — have not been marked: and, perhaps as a natural result of this, headings have been put to chapters which lead to confusion between the Church and Israel, and between the Gospel to us and Mercy to Israel hereafter. See the headings in Isaiah to chapters 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45; and, in the Psalms the word Church forced into the headings in Ps. 20, 44, 45, 46, 48, 50, 51, 68, 76, 80, 83, 87, 89, 97, 114, 122, 124, 126, 129, 147, 149.
It is the persuasion that if any one searched out the force of these names and read the book of Psalms in the light which these names cast upon it, light would arise to them such as they have not now, which has led to the present paper. And let me say that to read Scripture in the presence of the Divine glory is a very different thing from reading it in the light of our own private feelings and experiences. All Scripture is about the Lord Jesus, in one or other display of His glory. We cannot degrade ourselves in holy things more than by putting ourselves as the centre or end of the testimony of the word. Lower the Lord in reality we cannot; but lower ourselves by false views of Him and of His Father and ours, and of His God and our God we can; and how many do so through a want of intelligence in the Psalms.
None but He Himself had the right to say, " Go, tell my brethren, behold I ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and to your God." None but He could give power to any to enter, through Him, into these two relationships: Himself the revealer of' the Father, and Himself God manifest in flesh. These things He did according to His own personal glory and work after His resurrection. Jehovah alone can have the right and the power to renew Jehovah covenant with Israel upon earth; He alone can have the power to do so. The same may be said as to the Elohistic position and blessings for a people or peoples upon earth. The same may be said as to the titles Adonai, Shaddai, etc., even as to all the titles and characteristics found in the Roll of the glories of the Messiah. Is the Anointed dear to me? Do I need to know more about Him? I must take Scripture then as I find it, and if I cannot give up out of the New Testament (John 21:17) "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and to your God " — as the essential and distinctive portion of the believer now — yet must I let Scripture stand in the Old Testament as it was written, and I shall then find through it further testimony to His glories and to His grace.
"The Hebrews divide the Psalms into five Books: of which the first three end in "Amen and Amen," namely, Psalm 41 last verse; Psalm 72 last verse but one; Psalm 89 last verse. The fourth book ends with Hallelujah, Psalm 106 last verse. The fifth in Hallelujah, Psalm 150 last verse." — Bythner's "Lyre."
I have tried to give, markedly, this subdivision, because when each Psalm is studied under the light of Scripture in general and of the New Testament in particular, it seems to me that internal evidence assigns it in its grand fulfilment to one of five positions in which the blessed Saviour, who is the great subject of all testimony, will be known to stand as to Israel.
These five positions are: —
1stly. Messiah earth-rejected but heaven-honoured yet the object of faith to some Israelites in the land and in Jerusalem.
2ndly. As occupied with some who in the land have. been rejected for His (Messiah's) sake.
3rdly. As occupied with the ten tribes, who never actually dipped their hands in His blood like the two tribes.
4thly. As coming into the world to take the kingdom and bring Israel into blessing in the land and the Gentiles into blessing under them.
5thly. As acting and regulating everything so as to, get His own earthly people, in heart and in mind, into readiness for, and fellowship with Himself of, the blessing in the land on the millennial earth.
The translation is strictly that of the Authorised Version; only the original names of Elohim, El, Jehovah, Jah, Adonai, etc., as found in the Hebrew text, are retained. Also occasional explanatory matter (sometimes taken from the original edition of the Authorised Version, namely. King James's Bible, (1611) is inserted in [ ] brackets. Again, I have added at the foot of each Psalm a running analysis* of the contents of it.
*In these "contents" of a Psalm, I may oft use "the faithful" where others have used "the remnant." I do so intentionally, as the former expression includes all that are such, and leaves the question open as to how many remnants there may be.
As to the respective meanings of these different titles and names of the Most High, and of the glories which attach to them, I would now say a few words. I shall endeavour to find light about them in the Scripture use of them.
1. Elohim is the name used by the Spirit in giving to us His description of the creation, from "In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heaven and the earth" (Gen. 1:1 - 2:3) to "And God [Elohim] blessed the seventh day," etc. Paul also helps us in Rom. 1:19-20 — "that which may be known of God is manifest in them [men]; for God has showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead."* Here the origination of the world, attributed to Elohim, is declared to be a manifestation and proof of His eternal power and Godhead.
*The word rendered Godhead here is theiotees: there is another word theotees in Col. 2:9, where in writing about the Lord it is said: "in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Here the question is about the person "Christ," ver. 8. Each of the words occurs but once in the New Testament, They are not to be confounded as though they were one word and not two.
The word Elohim may be derived from El, power: probably enough: but the important thing is that He, Elohim, displayed, in a given scene, creation, the eternal power and Godhead which is the revelation of His title of Elohim. Supreme power, as its meaning, would suit the use of it in Scripture as applied to the Most High Himself. It suits, too, its application in a secondary sense, either to angels of heaven as being powers that excel in strength to do His commandments; Ps. 8:5 and compare Ps. 97:7 and Heb. 1:6; or to judges in government down here, as in Ex. 21:6, and Ex. 22:8-9, 28 marg., and 1 Sam. 2:25; or to those to whom the word of Elohim comes, compare John 10:34-36 and Ps. 82:6. Our translators retain the same idea, when it occurs, as they judged, adjectively, as in Gen. 23:6, which they render not "a prince of God," but "a mighty prince;" and see also Ex. 9:28 and 1 Sam. 14:15.
2. The word Jehovah is first found in Gen. 2:4-15, but not alone; it stands here in combination with the title Elohim, which we have been considering. Man's distinctive position as the head and centre of a system in the presence of, and in relationship with, Elohim is what introduces Jehovah-Elohim; term by which He is called on to the end of Gen. 3:24.
Ex. 6:3 helps us, however, here, "but by my name of Jehovah was I not known to them" (the Patriarchs). To them He appeared as God Almighty (El-Shaddai). I cannot doubt that the display which reveals the glory of the compound name of Jehovah-Elohim differs from that which reveals the glory of the single title Elohim, and from that which reveals Jehovah glory. Let any one examine the three scenes — the character of man's relationship with the Most High and blessing under Him in Eden (Gen. 2:4-15), in the land as redeemed out of Egypt (Exodus), and, as hereafter, when in the land under the second covenant — and he will see how well Jehovah-Elohim, Jehovah, and Jehovah-Elohim-Shaddai respectively suit the three displays.
The term Jehovah is never applied to any other than the Most High; it may be derived so as to imply essential existence — the existing one.
3. El. — Its first occurrence is in Gen. 14:18-20: "Melchizedek … priest of El-Gnelion" [or of the Most High* God].
*The word rendered here, "Most High," is translated, Isaiah 7:3, "the conduit of the upper (or high) pool" (see also Isa. 36:2, and Jer. 36:10), "the higher (or high) court," etc.: some would render it, in Dan. 7:18-27, saints "of the high" places; and some would prefer in this passage, God "of most high" places.
Might or power is the meaning of it when used as a common noun; mighty when the adjectival use of it occurs. The spring of the Patriarch's strength was not in himself but in another; his ability to use that strength was in his own separation to that other individually and in every way. The name is one (how well known to us all) in that cry, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani." He was the power and the wisdom of God, yet was crucified through weakness. His title, too, was Immanu-el (the mighty one with us, Isra-el). And how could He be that and hide His face from human woe, or from that which lay at the root of all man's woe — sin and guilt before God.
4. Eloah. This is the singular number of the plural form Elohim. He it is who in Genesis 1, is revealed as the creator of heaven and of earth, the arranger and disposer of that which He creates.
The singular form occurs but fifty-seven times, the plural 2,700. In many of the occurrences of the singular form, the context presents more a contrast between the thought of one God and many gods, than between the who the one only true God is, and the what the so-called many are. And thus the abstract notion of Deity, which necessarily excludes plurality, is set in sharp contrast with the absurdity of having many "one firsts" and "one lasts"; and the eternal power and Godhead, traces of whose power and beneficence are still seen in the wreck of creation and in providence, are set in contrast with demons and demoniacal characteristics.
The first occurrence of the word will show this. Deut. 32:15-17: "Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook Eloah [God] which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. They provoked him to jealousy with strange (gods), with abominations provoked they him to anger. They sacrificed unto Devils, and not to Eloah; to gods [elohim] whom they knew not, to new (gods) that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not."
Again Neh. 9:16-19, "Our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks …… but thou art a God [Eloah] ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not. Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God [elohim] that brought thee out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations; yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness."
The three words Elohim, Eloah and El are from one root, and seem, each of them, to convey the idea of power in their meaning. Judging from their use, however, I think three shades of meaning can be traced: that He whom alone we adore has (1) creatorial power, (2) victorious power, and (3) thus, in His very being, stands in contrast with all that are called gods.
5. Adon, Adonim, Adonai.
I give these three words together, — though in use they are very distinct, as we shall see.
A. Adon (lord) first occurs in Gen. 18:12, where Sarah speaks of Abram as "her lord"; and 1 Peter 3:6, says "Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him 'lord.'" This sense — viz., that of acknowledged deference to a party addressed — whether the superiority be in position under a relationship, as of a husband addressed by a wife, or of a landholder to a foreign prince, of a servant to a master, a subject to a king, etc., etc., is the common use.
But it is used with Elohim — as in Ex. 23:17, thy males shall appear before the Lord [the Adon] Jehovah (read by the Jews here as Lord God): just so, likewise, in Ex. 34:23. In Joshua 3:11, 13, we have the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth. Ps. 97:5, at the presence of Jehovah, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. See also Ps. 110:1 and Ps. 114:7. In Isaiah 1:24, thus saith the Lord, Jehovah of hosts; so in Isa. 3:1; so in Isa. 10:33, and Isa. 10:4; but in Isaiah 3:16 the Lord, Adonai of hosts. In Micah 4:13, their gain to Jehovah and their substance to the Lord of the whole earth; so Zech. 4:14; 6:5 and Mal. 3:1 the Lord … even Jehovah of hosts.
I have given what occurrences I have found of its use in the singular in connection with divine titles. From Acts 2:26, "made lord," and Phil. 2:10-11, etc. every tongue shall confess to him that he is Lord," and Heb. 1:2 "appointed heir of all things," we know how the man, God manifest in flesh, Christ Jesus, has been owned on high as owner and Lord of all. Made Lord of all He has been as a man. Jehovah, no one could be made; — that He ever was and is and will be according to His essential divine being.
B. Adonim (Lords) is the plural of Adon (lord).
In Gen. 19:2, Lot addresses two angels as "my lords," so also perhaps in ver. 18; but, here, our translators have not attended to the points, for they give "my lord": now it must, according to the points, be either "my Lords" or "Adonai." It is, however, habitually used in the plural for an individual. In the following places it is used in the plural of the Most High: —
Deut. 10:17. For Jehovah, your Elohim, is Elohim of Elohim and Lord (Adonim) of Lords (Adonim), the great El,
Neh. 3:5. the work of their Lord (Adonim).
Neh. 8:10. holy unto our Lord (Adonim):
Neh. 10:29. Jehovah, our Lord (Adonim),
Ps. 8 1, 9. O Jehovah, our Lord (Adonim).
Ps. 45:11. He is thy Lord (Adonim);
Ps. 135:5. Jehovah is great … our Lord (Adonim) is, etc.
Ps. 136:3. Give thanks to the Lord (Adonim) of Lords (Adonim):
Ps. 147:5. Great is our Lord (Adonim),
Isaiah 51:22. Thus saith thy Lord (Adonim) Jehovah, and thy Elohim,
Hosea 12:14. his Adonim (Lord) shall return unto him.
C. Adonai, with a long a in the last syllable, is what is called a plural of excellence. The Hebrews would consider it as a sacred name — to be used only of the Most High. The translators of the Authorised Version, in about 430 times that it occurs, render it as if it were not always a plural of excellence but sometimes as a noun and a pronoun. In twelve places they give it as a noun and a pronoun, namely:
Gen. 18:3. My Lord, if now I have found
Ex. 4:10. said to Jehovah, O my Lord,
Ex. 4:13. and he said, O my Lord,
Ex. 34:9. O Lord, let my Lord
Num. 14:17. let my Lord be great,
Judges 6:15. Oh my Lord,
13:8. O my Lord,
Ezra 10: 3. according to the counsel of my Lord,
Ps. 16:2. Thou (art) my Lord:
Ps. 35:23. my God and my Lord.
Isaiah 21:8. My Lord, I stand continually
Isaiah 49:14. and my Lord hath forgotten me.
But, noun with a pronominal affix — this, according to the form of the word (the place in which it occurs in the sentences cited not being at the close, so as to put it in pause). it cannot be. Adonai [or Lord] it had better always be rendered; and I doubt not but that careful students of Scripture will trace a fulness and a weight in the word as used by the Spirit in Scripture which will separate it, in their minds, from Adon the lord, master, proprietor, etc., and perhaps from Adonim the possessor.
It never has a pronoun, nor the article — but is, in this respect, just as the word Jehovah — and I believe is only use of the Most High.
If the translators of the Authorised Version had not appropriated "lord, Lord, LORD" to other uses, I should have been satisfied, to have used lord for Adon, in the singular; Lord for Adonim, in the plural; and LORD for Adonai. But as they have bespoken these terms, it may be better to mark the three words in question in some other ways.
6. Jah. — This word occurs forty-three times in the Psalms, and only six times besides, viz., Ex. 15:2, and Ex. 17:16; and Isa. 12:2, and Isa. 26:4, and Isa. 38:11, 11; in all of which it is printed LORD, just as the word Jehovah ordinarily is, though not so in Isa. 12:2, and Isa. 26:4, where it stands as Jehovah.
Ex. 15:2. Jah is my strength and song,
Ex. 17:16. Jah hath sworn that Jehovah will have war [Note this expression.]
Isa. 12:2. For Jah Jehovah is my strength and song;
Isa. 26:4. Trust ye in Jehovah for ever: for in Jah Jehovah is the rock of ages:
Isa. 38:11. I said, I shall not see Jah, Jah, in the land of the living:
7. Shaddai. - It is always rendered in the Authorised Version by the term, "the Almighty;" and I note also that the Hebrew word, Shaddai, has no synonym; so that Shaddai " is not only always the Almighty, but also "the Almighty" never represents any Hebrew word but "Shaddai." In the Psalms it occurs but twice, viz., Ps. 68:14, and Ps. 91:1. Of the forty-eight times it occurs, thirty-one are in the Book of Job" It is only used of the Most High, and the Almighty is a sufficient rendering; or, as some derive it, "Almighty in sustaining resources" (as the mother's breast for a babe); this I prefer.
8. Gnelion occurs fifty-three times, of which twenty-two are in the Psalms. As an appellative it means high - "the high gate" (2 Chr. 23:20, 2 Chr. 27:3), "the high pool," "the house that is high" (1 Kings 9:8). Though I have referred (see above) to the desire of some to change its application in Daniel (in a note under El), myself I see no reason for not being satisfied with the good old English, "the Most High," as its rendering for Him who is The High One. It may be well for me to mark those places in the Psalms in which the Hebrew word maroom (exalted) is also Anglicised "Most High," as in Ps. 56:2, and Ps. 92:8.
The order in which I have examined these names and titles is Elohim, Jehovah, El, Eloah, Adon, Adonim, Adonai, Jah, Shaddai, Gnelion. I shall now, for facility of reference, rearrange them alphabetically according to the English, putting after the word its number, as in my examination above, and its meaning.
Adon (5/1), lord in power.
Adonim (5/2), Lord as owner.
Adonai (5/3), LORD as in blessing.
Elohim (1), creatorial power.
El (3), victorious power.
Eloah (4), used to mark off the individual who is the true One from all pretenders.
Gnelion (8), the High One.
Jehovah (2), a name for relationship in blessing between the self-existent I AM and Israel.
Shaddai (7), Almighty in sustaining-resources.
As a rule I do not insert the before Elohim, yet I have left it in the English, in such cases as "the Elohim — of his salvation" (Ps. 24:5) — "of my salvation" (Ps. 25:5).
"O" before Jehovah and Elohim, etc., I leave just as it stands in the version I have adopted.
The following verses present the word written in Hebrew (as to the letters of it) as Jehovah, but with the vowel points of Elohim: — Ps. 68:21, and Ps. 69:7, and Ps. 71:5, 16, and Ps. 73:28, and Ps. 109:21, and Ps. 140:8, and Ps. 141:8.
In our Authorised Version we find the "Anointed" in the following places in the Ps. 2:2, and Ps. 18:50, and Ps. 20:6, and Ps. 28:8, and Ps. 84:9, and Ps. 89:38, 51, and Ps. 105:15, and Ps. 132:10, 17.
I change the word Anointed to "Messiah," as being more conventionally correct for the Psalms. Messiah and Christ both mean " the Anointed." The former is Hebrew; the latter Greek. The anointing is consecration: in His case, 1st, as Prophet, for He is the bearer of the word of the Most High; 2ndly, as Priest, the conductor of divine worship; and 3rdly, as King, the conductor of government. "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power" (Acts 10:38).
The following remarks on the meanings of the Hebrew words in the book of Psalms, which have not, in the Authorised Version, been translated, is taken from a paper in "The Present Testimony," vol. i. No. III. page 46: -
(Ps. 22: title.)
Aijeleth occurs only here and in Prov. 5:19, 'the loving hind'; and Jer. 14:5, 'the hind.' But there are many kindred words which confirm this meaning.
Shahar occurs about twenty-three times; it means morning, e.g. Gen. 19:15, 'when the morning arose;' and 32:24 (25), 'the breaking of the day;' and 26 (27), 'the day breaketh,' etc.
The marginal reading for Aijeleth-Shahar, given by the translators, is, 'hind of the morning.'
Query? Was this the name of an instrument; or of a tune to which the Psalm was to be sung; or was it rather a name given to the Psalm on account of its subject?
2. ALAMOTH occurs in 1 Chr. 15:20, 'with psalteries on Alamoth'; Ps.46 title, 'A song upon Alamoth.'
The same word Alamoth (which is only the plural of the word commonly used for Virgin, as Isa. 7:14, 'a virgin shall conceive,' etc.), is, however, found, Ps. 68:25, 'the damsels playing,' etc. Cant. 1:3, 'The virgins love thee;' Cant. 6:8, 'Virgins without number.'
'For the Virgins' (i.e. virgin voices) makes good sense, and accords with modern singing: as we say, 'for boys' voices.'
It may, however, be the name of an instrument, or of a tune.
3. AL-TASCHITH occurs in the titles of Ps. 57, Ps. 58, Ps. 69, and Ps. 75.
AL means not, and TASCHITH, destroy, as the translator's margin reads 'Destroy not.'
Observation must decide whether this was connected with the subject of the Psalms, or whether it was the name of a tune.
4. DEGREES. Though anglicised songs of Degrees in Ps. 120 - 134, a few words may not be amiss inasmuch as 'Degrees' is nearly as unintelligible to some, as would Mangaloth be.
The same word is used in Ex. 20:26, for the steps of an altar, as in 1 Kings 10:19, of a throne; 2 Kings 9:13, the stairs, and 2 Kings 20:9, the degrees of a sundial; 1 Chr. 17:17, a man of high degree; Ezra 7:9, or a journey, 'began to go up;' Ezek. 11:5, the things which come into your mind;' Amos 9:6, 'he that buildeth his stories in the heaven' (marg. ascensions or spheres). The word from which it is derived means simply, to go up — ascend.
Luther renders it, 'in the higher choir' (im hohren Chor), higher, either as to position in which placed, or, perhaps, tone of voice.
Some have supposed these songs were sung on the steps of the temple; so the LXX., and Vulgate.
To my own mind, there is an internal evidence in them, of their being written in grace, for some such times of exercise as when, thrice in the year, the males were to go up from their homes and appear before the Lord. A few of them may also have reference to such goings up as Ezra's from captivity.
5. GITTITH. Ps. 8, Ps. 81, and Ps. 84.
"The word Gath, winepress, is by most connected with this word, as the inhabitants of Gath were called Gittites.
Whether the vat; or Gath, the town; or an instrument of the name; or a tune is referred to; Query?
Some one suggests that they are all joyous songs, suited to be sung on such an occasion as a harvest-home, or a vintage.
6. HIGGAION. Thus once rendered in Ps. 9:16 It occurs in three other places: — 'and the meditation of my heart,' Ps. 19:14; 'harp with a solemn sound,' Ps. 92:3; 'and their device against me,' Lam. 3:62.
The humming sound of a harp struck, is supposed to correspond to the indistinct thoughts of musing; or the device against one who is hated; for the device, in this case, tells, but indistinctly, the hatred within.
I do not see why meditation, or solemn sound, or device might not have been put for Higgaion, and the verse anglicised with the addition of some words in italics, as (this was their) meditation, or device: or a solemn sound, (this).
7. JONATH-ELEM-RECHOKIM is only found Ps. 56 title.
Jonah means dove, as in Gen. 8:8-9, 10, 11, 12; or pigeon, as in Lev. 1:14, etc.
Elem means bound; the verb is frequently used to mark silence; as, I was dumb, Ps. 39:3, 10; but it is applicable to any binding: as, Gen. 37:7, binding sheaves.
The word Elem only occurs here, where it is commonly said to mean silence, and in Ps. 58:1, where it is rendered 'Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation?' (i.e. mass of persons bound together).
Rechokim, in Hebrew, is a distinct word from Elem; though, in English, sometimes printed as one with it; it is a participle of the verb translated (Ps. 22:11), 'Be not far from me;' see also Ps. 5:19, and Ps. 35:22, and Ps. 38:21, and Ps. 71:12, and Ps. 109:17, etc.
'The dove of silence (among) strangers' is a common literal.
The dove of — that which is bound — persons afar off — are its three representative terms in English. — Compare the Psalm itself.
8. LEANNOTH, See under 9.
9. MAHALATH occurs alone Ps. 53.
The dictionary says, 'meaning uncertain.' Why not, as others, sickness, or disease, taking it as the common noun of the verb (Gen. 48:1) 'thy father is sick;' Ps. 35:13, 'when they were sick; etc.
The 53rd Psalm is striking, concerning the diseased state of the nation, and its importance as a Psalm is seen in its being given a second time in the book, but slightly altered (see No. 14).
The word Mahalath also occurs with LEANNOTH, after it, Ps. 88, which may be the plural of the word rendered Wormwood, Deut. 29:18; Prov. 5:4; Jer. 9:15, 23:15, etc.; and Hemlock, Amos 6:12 — unless Leannoth be a proper name, concerning the sickness of Leannoth; concerning the disease of wormwood (i.e. the deadly, bitter disease), which would suit the Psalm.
The LXX divided Leannoth into le, the preposition to, and sing, respond to; and consider Mahalath either a proper name, or the name of a tune, or instrument, huper maeleth tou apokrithenai to sing on, or to Mahalath. I prefer the other.
10. MASCHIL. Translated in margin, 'or giving instruction.'
There are thirteen of these Psalms. viz.: — Ps. 32, Ps. 42, Ps. 44, Ps. 45, Ps. 52, Ps. 53, Ps. 54, Ps. 55, Ps. 74, Ps. 78, Ps. 88, Ps. 89, Ps. 142.
As the translators have given a rendering here, I say no more than that their ride readings (as found in King James' bible) are as authoritative as their text, and of far more value than modern 'lit.' which are often worse than nonsense. As a whole. their translation is as wonderful as is the mercy which God has shown to this land, in connection with it, as above that of other lands.
11. The MICHTAM Psalms are Ps. 16, Ps. 56, Ps. 57, Ps. 58, Ps. 59, and Ps. 60.
I know no better rendering than the common one, a golden psalm. The word Michtam occurs nowhere else; but the word rendered, in gold of Ophir, Ps. 45:9; and golden wedge (Isa. 13:12) is a kindred word, and occurs nine times, as gold, and in no other sense.
12. MUTH-LABBEN. Ps. 9 title.
Muth (Ps. 48:14), our guide unto death.
La, for the; ben, son. ' Concerning death for the Son.'
The LXX. huper ton kruphion tou huiu concerning the secret things of the Son.
13. NEGINAH, of which Neginoth is the plural.
Job 30:9, 'I am their song;' Ps. 69:12, 77:6, song; so Isa. 38:20; and Lam. 3:14; Lam. 5:14, musick; Heb. 3:19, 'on my stringed instruments' (margin, neginoth ) shows the meaning plainly enough. The verb is to strike the strings. Neginah occurs on Ps. 61 title: Neginoth, Ps. 4, Ps. 6, Ps. 54, Ps. 55, Ps. 67, Ps. 76. Upon the stringed instrument, or upon the stringed instruments.
14. NEHILOTH. Ps. 5.
The pipes, or flutes, as commonly derived from the verb, to pierce.
15. SELAH occurs seventy times in the Psalms, and three times in Habakkuk.
All sorts of tortures have been inflicted on this word, to make it speak. Some take its three consonants as the first letters of three words, and render it as equivalent to our da capo. in music: let the musician return. But this is very unlike old Hebrew.
Gesenius says, it is Silence, supposing it equivalent to the words, at rest. Dan. 4:4; as if Shelah and Selah were the same. Though I desire to read with shoes off my feet (for the place is holy, and I dread conjectures), it might, according to kindred words, mean raising. And so silence, as the result of one's rising from singing; for the idea of weighing is found in Lam. 4:2, in a good sense, comparable to gold; and also, in a bad sense Ps. 119:118, trodden down.
I observe that Selah is put often where a pause is natural, as after some peculiar statement; and thus, practically, I feel that it is pause, or silence, with Gesenius. More I cannot say.
16. SHEMINITH occurs 1 Chr. 15:21; Ps. 6 title, 12 title.
The translator's margin gives, on the eighth. It is the common ordinal adjective for eight, and refers to strings of instruments.
Some render it Octave, as denoting that it is to be played an octave lower than it is written: so, I think, Gesenius. I prefer the margin.
Observe that in 1 Chr. 20:21, Alamoth and Sheminith are in contra-position.
17. SHIGGAION. Ps. 7, and Hab. 3:1, upon Shigionoth in the plural.
The verb is, to err, as in Ps 119:10, 21, 118; Lev. 4:13, sin through ignorance. A wandering ode — an ode of wandering.
Variable songs - songs with variations. But I prefer either of the former.
18. SHOSHANNIM. The lilies, as in Cant. 2:16, Cant. 4:5, etc., occurs Ps. 45, Ps. 69, and in connection with Eduth, Ps. 80.
Shushan-EDUTH (Ps. 40) is the same word nearly, it occurs only 1 Kings 7:19, lily. Eduth is the common word for the testimony, in Exodus, etc. The lily is supposed to refer to an instrument, from its shape: so, I think, Calmet. Others connect it with the name of a song.
The word for upon, may just as well be rendered concerning, to, etc.
AIJELETH-SHAHAR … The hind of the morning.
ALAMOTH … Virginals.
AL-TASCHITH … … Destroy not.
DEGREE … To go up — ascend.
GITTITH … The wine-vat.
HIGGAION … Meditation.
JONAH-ELEM-RECHOKIM … The dove dumb (among) strangers.
MAHALATH … Disease.
— LEAANOTH … Bitter disease.
MASCHIL … To instruct.
MICHTAM … Golden (psalm).
GNAL MUTH-LABBEN … .
NEGINAH … A stringed instrument.
NEGINOTH … The stringed instruments.
NEHILOTH … The pipes.
SELAH … Pause.
SHEMINITH … Eight Stringed instrument.
SHIGGAION … Wandering ode.
SHOSHANNIM … The lilies.
SHUSHAN … The lily.
— EDUTH … — of the testimony.
Psalms 1, 2, 6, 11, 7, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28, 29, 32, 34, 39, 93, 101, 102 103, 107 110, 111, 112, 114, 117, 120, 121, 124 - 134, 137, 139, 140 - 142, 148, 149, 150. (forty-eight) have not GOD.
In Psalms 43, 44, 45, 49, 51, 52, 53, 57, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 66, 67, 73, 77, 82, 114, 150., (i.e. twenty) does not occur LORD.
Much of the force and beauty of the Psalms hangs upon the Divine names, titles, and glories used in them."
The titles. Each Psalm, as the general rule, has a title. Those which have none, have been called 'orphans,' in number twenty-three, viz.: 1, 2, 10, 33, 43, 71, 91, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 99, 104, 105, 107, 114, 115, 116, 118, 119, 136, 137, and eleven more, making the number of orphans in all thirty-four, if the word 'Hallelujah' is not looked at as a title; viz.: 106, 111, 112, 113, 117, 135, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150.
Acrostics are of interest in Scripture, as showing the condescension of God to man's ways. even in the style of composition. I know of none in the New Testament. In the Lamentations, each verse of the 1st, 2nd, and 4th chapters begins with the letters of the alphabet in their successional order. Chap 3 is in triplets; the first three verses have Aleph; the next three have Beth, and so on.
In the Psalms, the 119th is in octaves; the first eight verses begin with Aleph; the eight next with Beth; and so on.
Psalms 25, 34, 37, 145 also are in measure acrostic, though not perfectly so.
I may add that the same word which is rendered "hosts," e.g., Jehovah Tzebaoth [the Lord of hosts], Ps. 24:10, and Ps. 46:7, 11, and Ps. 48:8, is so rendered also of the hosts of the heavens in Ps. 33:6, and Ps. 44:9, our armies; and Ps. 68:11, "the company of those that published it." It is used of armies, angels, and created things as sun, moon, stars, etc.
In Num. 16:30, 32, 33, we read of the judgment which fell upon Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, when "the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up" (ver. 33). In Num. 26:11 we meet with this exception, which sovereign mercy made, "Notwithstanding the children of Korah died not." This is to be noticed in connection with the Psalms. I notice this in connection with the eleven Psalms "for the sons of Korah" — the 42, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 84, 85, 87, and 88.
A few general remarks, and I have done.
1. It is not a bad general notion of the Book of Psalms, which I have met with somewhere (though it be but a human notion, couched, too, in profane and not scriptural language), that the book is made up of "Fragments from the Drama of Redemption." Only, then, as redemption has its heavenly sphere and people, as well as its earthly sphere and people, I should have to add to "Fragments from the Drama of Redemption" the words, "so far as man under government upon earth is concerned."
2. Observe, the enigma is sometimes introduced; as in Ps. 49:4, "my dark saying," and in Ps. 78:2, "dark sayings of old." The Hebrew word is rendered dark speeches, in Num. 12:8; riddle, in Judges 14:12-19; hard questions, 1 Kings 10:1; dark sentences, Dan. 8:23, etc.
3. Again, it may help some just to refer to the principles of the dialogue, or of parts for different speakers, which at times is found in the Psalms. In Ps. 16:1, one prays; ver. 2, he speaks to himself; so in Ps. 32:8 and 9 are from another speaker than ver. 1-7, etc. Such parts run through the Song of Songs: a male and a female converse together, besides addressing other parties; and neither male can be confounded with female, nor can "my sister" be exchanged with "my brother."
4. Again, there is at times an oracular voice, or an oracle that, speaks, as in Ps. 91:1. To which a distinct person replies in ver. 2, while ver. 3-13 are written of him who spoke in ver. 2, as indeed are 14 and 15; but here it is evidently the same person who speaks in ver. 1.
Thus it will be seen I do not accept it that a verse or portion of a Psalm quoted in the New Testament, as about the Lord Jesus, would appropriate all the rest of the Psalm to Him. Such is a very mischievous notion. The Spirit of God and of Christ is one; and it is the same Spirit as was upon Him when down here which is in His people now. Yet speech that became the Master did not become the disciple, and speech that becomes the Head of the body does not become the member; so speech that will become Messiah Himself, will not become, could not be put by His Spirit into, the mouth of the remnant; much less could language prepared beforehand by the Spirit for the Jewish remnant in the latter day be put into the mouth of Messiah. He holding one part in a Psalm may speak; His Spirit may in a remnant take up another part. The speeches cannot be interchanged and sense (not to say sound doctrine) be maintained.
The connection, too, that runs on from one Psalm to another — see, for instance, the 48, 49, 50, and 51, etc., etc. — cannot be hid from any humble student of the book; but while I just advert to these points, if haply they may meet any beginner's eye, I may not follow them out, as being outside of the proposed scope and aim of this paper.
I print the Psalms as poetry; they are so in Hebrew. G.V.W.
[Publisher's note: In Present Testimony the Psalms are rendered in full as the Authorised Version, here only the notes are reproduced.]
First Book (Pss. 1 - 51) "The faithful are looked at as not yet driven out from Jerusalem; hence covenant mercies and the name of Jehovah are referred to."
Observe: The first seven chapters in Acts — as containing the Spirit's view, given in Jerusalem by such as Peter, James, and John, of Messiah's having been on earth and now on high — cast much light on this book as historic and also as to its prophetic bearing on the Jews hereafter.
Ps. 1:1-3 The perfect man; 4, 5 the ungodly ones; 6 Jehovah's judgment of both.
v. 1 Ungodly or, Wicked.
Ps. 2: 1-3 Challenge to the earth in rebellion against Jehovah and his Messiah; 4, 5 he that dwells in heaven laughs, Adonai derides, etc.; 6 he dwelling in heaven announces: I have set my king on Zion; 7-9 one replies in subjection, as to himself; Jehovah has said to me, Thou art my Son, etc.; and 10-12 sets himself as a fear and a shelter for man.
NOTE. "The Son" (bar), ver. 12, is the same person as is called "Son" (ben), ver. 7.
Ps. 3: — A morning anticipation; 1, 2 many troubles, but 3 Jehovah is
for me, 4, 5 he was, so, 6, 7 he will be; 8 deliverance is of him.
Ps. 3 - 8. Faith in individuals (or in a company of such) here below — a standard of walk having been raised before them (Ps. 1), and (Ps. 2) Messiah known as exalted, though earth-rejected — is learning what its own place is amid failure and trials down here but in dependence upon Jehovah.
Ps. 4: 1 Evening cry to Elohim, hope sustained by past favour; 2-5 warning; 6, 7 hope and joy in Jehovah; 8 repose for night.
Ps. 5: 1-3 Cry to Jehovah, my King and my Elohim; 4-6 El, in way and character, against the evil-doer; 7-9 for me a shelter in mercy; 10 imprecation against the wicked; 11 for the faithful; 12 confidence in Jehovah,
Ps. 6: 1-7 Cry for pity to Jehovah; 8 away you wicked! 9 Jehovah has heard me; 10 let my enemies pass.
Ps. 7: — Jehovah my Elohim, in thee do I trust; save me and him that is righteous from the enemy and the wicked.
In an extreme of sorrow and evil around, conscious integrity looks up for the judgment appointed, and for Jehovah to vindicate himself before men against the wicked.
Ps. 8: 1 Jehovah our Lord [Adonim], thy name in the earth, thy glory above the heavens thou hast set; 2 thy ways; 3-9 among thy works what is man [Enosh, man in weakness; not Adam nor Ish], or the son of Adam [man].
NOTE. Ver. 9 gives but half of ver. 1.
Ps. 9: 1, 2 I will praise Jehovah and sing the name of Gnelion; 3-20 my enemies fall before him maintaining my right: he is on the throne of judgment, all evil shall perish, O thou enemy; and, the poor and needy shall be delivered.
Higgaion = Meditation.
Ps. 9 and Ps. 10 give a view of the last days and of the faithful then, and show how judgments will become the deliverance of those that believe.
Ps. 10: 1 Cry to Jehovah, 2 against the man of the earth; 3-11 his character, ways, doings; 12-18 appeal to Jehovah El Elohim, King, against the wicked man and the heathen, and for the poor.
Ps. 11: 1-3 Trust in spite of the wicked in Jehovah, 4-7 who in heaven, on his throne, deals with man down here.
Ps. 11 - 15. Words of faith, suited to those that believe in those days.
Ps. 12: 1 Cry to Jehovah for the pious, 2 as before the double-hearted; 35 faith in him against the boaster; He will undertake; 6 His words are pure, and kept from that race and the wicked around.
Ps. 13: 1, 2 Exercise in faith; 3-5 cry to Jehovah my Elohim as of one trusting to mercy; 6 hope.
Ps. 14: 1 The fool, and the apostate people; 2-4 Jehovah looked down from heaven — his estimate of them, and, 5, 6 faith's; 7 hope.
Ps. 15: 1. Jehovah, who shall dwell with thee? 2-5 eleven excellencies, such as do these, shall never be moved.
Ps. 16: 1 Preserve me, El, for I trust in thee. 2, 3 Thou hast said to Jehovah, "Thou art Adonai: my goodness extends not to thee;" [Thou hast said] to saints on earth and to the excellent, "In them, is all my delight;" 4, woe to those who seek after another; 5-11 what Jehovah is to me [the speaker].
Ps. 16 — Messiah first brought in as a man down here, - pleads his trust, ver. 1; the end of it fulness of joy in heaven, ver. 11; and,
Ps. 17 He pleads his righteousness, ver. 1; the end, ver. 15, satisfied when I awake with thy likeness.
Ps. 17: 1, 2 Cry on the ground of "the right;" 3 his integrity was proven; 4 his use of the word; 5-7 dependence; 8-12 El his refuge from the wicked, etc,.; 13 faith in Jehovah; 14 estimate of man; 15 I Shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness.
FROM Egypt till the display of the Royalty of Messiah — the suffering Messiah alone the counsel and way of God. Compare Gen. 3:15.
Ps. 18: 1-3 Praise and trust; 4-35 depths of suffering; 36-48 his taking the kingdom; 49, 50 praise.
The king: his retrospect of triumph over every difficulty of circumstance; whether as to the kingdom itself in principle and formation, or as to his getting up to the throne. 2 Sam. 22, but before he got to 2 Sam. 23, note how faith can use Elohim for victory over circumstances; but we have to learn that He is above us and uses circumstances for us, that he may use us for Himself.
Ps. 19: — Creation law;1-6 El's works in creation his witness; 7-14 Jehovah's law [query "doctrine," in the larger sense, for the word means that too] his, in saving.
Ps. 19 - 21 — Testimonies
MESSIAH seen in His trouble.
Ps. 20: 1-4 Faith's appeal to Jehovah Elohim of Jacob for One, in whom (v. 5) is salvation and headship, and 6-8 power, from Jehovah, over all — the Messiah; 9 Save, Jehovah; let the king hear us.
Ps. 21 — The heavenly side, as Ps. 45 the side for earth: both about the king.
Ps. 21: — Answer to 20. (Part 1 addressed to Jehovah.) 1 - 7 joy of the faithful in what the king is, and (Part 2) 8-12 in what thou, the king, wilt do in judgment on men thy enemies; 13 our joy.
Ps. 22: 1-21 humiliation; 22-31 the fruit of it in resurrection going on into the Millennial Kingdom.
Note. — On his lip, El, El, ver. 1 and 10; on the adversaries', Jehovah, ver. 8 and once on his (ver. 19): that in suffering; in glory Jehovah ver. 23 and 26 and 27 and 28, Adonai, ver. 30.
Some would divide this Psalm in the middle of ver. 21, as though the stress was laid upon "thou hast heard me"; and not rather, upon "from the horns of the unicorns."
Ps. 23: — Messiah's Path as a man on earth; but also faith's in the last day, after atonement is known.
("Restore," ver. 3, means refresh, revive in spirit.)
Ps. 24: — Messiah (he is Jehovah) and a remnant entering glory hereafter.
Ps. 25: 4-10 Full confession of sin by the faithful; faith's cry to Jehovah in thought of him and his ways and covenant; 1 conscious of integrity and trust in him, it acts in spite of, 2 enemies, 3 of transgressors; 7, 8, 11, 18, etc., transgression confessed; 22 Elohim to redeem Israel out of all his troubles.
Ps. 25 - 39 thoughts and feelings of the faithful, relationship known.
Ps. 26: 1 All is open to Jehovah, 6 righteous integrity is the pathway to the altar, 7, 8 to praise, and 9-12 to strength in hope.
Ps. 27: 1 Fear excluded from the soul by joy in Jehovah as light, salvation, and strength; 2, 3 a past deliverance the basis of hope. He was desired and sought, and 4 his house as beautiful, 5 himself a refuge and 6 an exalter and joy; 7-9 appeal of faith in communion; 10, 11, in hope; 12 before enemies near 3 What if I had not had him! 14 Girding up.
Ps. 28: 1, 2 Cry — for manifest recognition, and 3-5 for exemption from the judgment on the wicked; 6-9 joy in Jehovah as hearing and saving his people.
Ps. 29: 1, 2 Call to praise Jehovah; 3-9 his voice working in providence, and 9 in his people in his temple, 10 on the flood King; 11 He is theirs.
v. 1 'Ye mighty' Or, ye sons of Elim.
Ps. 30: 1-3 I praise Jehovah for deliverance; 4, 5 saints to praise; 6-11 a deliverance, to the end that 12 I might praise him.
Ps. 31: 1 - 3 Cry to Jehovah for help; 4 from the net; 5 into thine hand I commit my spirit, etc.; 6-13 conflict; 14-16 trust; 17-22 Jehovah for me and the faithful, against the wicked; 23, 24 comfort for his people.
Ps. 32: — (Part 1) 1, 2 forgiveness; (Part 2) 3,4 conflict till self is given up; 5 confession, 6 to Jehovah's praise. 7 Thou my joy and blesser. (Part 3) 8, 9 He teaches; 10, 11 faith's words.
Ps. 33: 1 - 3 Be glad in Jehovah, ye upright and righteous; 4-7 his word, works, acts; 8, 9 earth and inhabitants to join;10 goim (peoples) and ammim (nations) fall before him; 11 his counsels stand; 12 blessed that (goi) people and that (amm) nation which he has chosen for himself; 13-15 from heaven he sees all men, etc.; 16-19 no deliverer but he; 20-22 on him we wait.
Ps. 34: 1, 2 I joy in Jehovah to the joy of the humble; 3, call to join; (v. 4) I, (v. 5) they, (v. 6) this one, they called and (v. 7) were helped; 8, calls saints (v. 9) to fear and learn about him, 10-22, as being for the believer and against the wicked.
Ps. 35: 1-3 Cry for help against adversaries; 3.1/2-8 for a word of comfort and for confusion on those causelessly against me; 9, 10 so shall I be glad; 11-16 false witnesses and requiting evil for good with hypocritical workers. 17, 18 Cry for help, and 19-26 righteous judgment, 27 and 28 let friends rejoice with me and praise.
Ps. 36: 1-4 Faith's estimate of the transgression of the wicked, 5-9 of that which is in Jehovah; 10 prayer.
v. 6 'Great mountains' or, the mountains of El.
Ps. 37, Ps. 38, Ps. 39, Sore chastening under the dealings of Jehovah has to be passed through.
Ps. 37: 1, 2 Heading. Faith knows the way of peace in an evil day, 3-40 Jehovah's knowing his own and his hatred of evil are rest and blessing to those that walk near him. Them will he uphold.
Ps. 38:1-8 Groans under the flood of judgment from Jehovah; 9, 10 his inward parts open to Adonai; 11-22 hear and help or I am lost.
Ps. 39: 1-6 Writhes but seeks instruction from Jehovah; 7-13 seeks aid from Adonai and Jehovah.
Ps. 40: 1 I waited on Jehovah. He gave me to praise, to (v. 3) his honour among men; 4 blessed he that trusts and keeps himself from evil, 5 wonderful the works and thoughts of Jehovah toward us; 6-10 Messiah's work and mark, 11-13 prayers, 14, 15 imprecation on enemies; 16 Jehovah's people prayed for, 17 poor, yet he is my stay.
The foundation: Messiah has undertaken to do the will of God; He goes patiently through it.
Ps. 41 — The poor man's place; 1-3 He that acts according to the mind and way Jehovah to the weak, Jehovah will do likewise to him; 4 Cry for mercy for sin; 5-9 the adversary's taunts, etc. 10 Mercy! that I may requite; 11, 12 joy for help from Jehovah. 13 Praise.
The blessedness of him who understands the poor and needy (sheep).
Second Book (Ps. 42 - 72.) The faithful are seen as driven out; and, unless viewed as in their future, God, not Jehovah (his covenant name) is referred to. (Comp. Ps. 53 and Ps. 14).
Peter's position with a remnant, both outcast for the Lord's sake and having to solace themselves with the future, may help us here. 2 Peter.
Ps. 42: 1, Yearns for Elohim amid 3 taunters, 4 anguish, 5-7, 8, 11 hope in him; 6 in the land of Jordan and the Hermonites, and amid depths of judgment and taunts 9, 10.
Ps. 43: 1 Cry to Elohim for judgment against a nation not in grace (the Jews), and the wicked man; 2-4 Thou and thy places are my all, 5 I hope in thee.
Ps. 44:1-3 All our blessing was from thee, 4-8 my King, Elohim, I take thee so to be to me; 9-16 but thou hast cast us off and givest us up; 17-22 yet are we faithful; 23-26 appeal for help.
Ps. 44 - 48. Extend from their first appeal to Elohim, to their being again in Zion, and Ps. 49 is a meditation thereon.
Ps. 45: 1 Faith tastes, through the Spirit, and 2-9 estimates the King now present; 10-16 address to the queen; 17 Who is it speaks here?
Messiah is in the scene as king for the earth.
Ps. 46: 1-3 Elohim our present help; 4, 5 a river gladdens the city of Elohim, the holy place, etc.; 6, 7 enemies destroyed; 8, 9 what Jehovah has done. 10, 11 Be still! he is for us.
Ps. 47: 1-4 The land (or earth) called to own (truth of Psalms 45, 46); 5-9 Elohim come in, the shields of the earth are his [the governmental power on earth has been transferred from the Gentiles, with a beast's heart, to Israel].
Ps. 48: 1-3 The faithful are in Zion (through), 4-8 a deliverance just seen; 9-14 joyous exhortation to consistency therewith.
Ps. 49: 1-4 A musing thereupon; 5-14 the folly of the men of this world; 15 but Elohim redeems from the grave; 16-20 exhortations based thereon.
NOTE. Ver. 4 "a parable" — "a dark saying."
Ps. 50: - A judgment as to the living, in the land; 1-4 apprehended by faith; 5, 6 announced by the Judge; 7-15 Elohim's address in court; 16-21 to the wicked; 22 exhortation to such; 23 to his own.
This arraignment of Israel contains the grand principles of Elohim's judgments towards them.
Ps. 51: 1-4 The arraigned one's confession when broken down; 5-17 pleading for a cure in his desperate case; 18, 19 Elohim working in Zion will be pleased with his people and their ways.
"Israel's confession of sin, looking for mercy and cleansing, and owning it in its root in nature and its results in the rejection of Messiah."
Ps. 52: 1-5 Faith's judgment of him who counts his lips his own, while El's goodness continues; 6, 7 the righteous shall judge him; 8 faith trusts in mercy and has 9 joy and patience in Elohim.
Faith's challenge 1st of the tyrant.
Ps. 52 - 67 — The faithfuls' exercises of soul, in which Israel becomes the blessing of the nations.
Ps. 53:1 The fool's desire and doings; 2 Elohim seeks seekers; 3, 4 his thoughts of that generation; 5 faith sees Elohim for thee and against all such; 6 its hope.
And 2ndly of his faction.
Ps. 54:1, 2 Cry to Elohim, 3 against oppressors who know him not; 47 trust in and devotedness to him who has saved.
A believer then and there.
Ps. 55: 1, 2 Cry to Elohim, against 3 the enemy; 4-8 anguish, 9-11 the enemy's voice and goings on in the city, 12-14 treachery of the traitor; 15 imprecation. 16-18 My resource, and 19-21 their judge; 22 cast all on him; 23 he will destroy them. I trust.
By one strong in faith, in that day.
Ps. 56: 1-3 Against the all-destroying enemy — man, faith trusts Elohim, 4 and his word; 5-7 the doings of man; 8-11 grieved I trust Elohim and his word. 12, 13 I will praise; delivered.
v. 2 'Most High' Or, Thou maroom "exalted one"; not Gnelion.
Ps. 57:1, 2 Cry to and trust and hope in Elohim, 3-6 for deliverance from man and his doings. 7-11 praise.
Ps. 58: 1 Faith's challenge to a congregated mass. 2-5 its wickedness; 6-9 judgment invoked; 10, 11 the righteous shall rejoice.
Ps. 59: 1-4; Deliver me from my enemies; 5 wake against the heathen and the wicked; 6, 7 their ways; 8-10 my trust Jehovah, Elohim. 11-15 regulated judgment invoked on them; 16, 17 Praise — Elohim is for me.
Ps. 60: 1 - 3 Bowing under Elohim; 4 he has given them a token; 5 Cry for deliverance; 6-8 joyful anticipation of faith; 9-12 he will help.
Ps. 61: 1-5 Cry to and faith in Elohim; 6, 7 Thou wilt bless the king, 8 so shall I praise for ever.
Ps. 62: 1, 2 Faith and hope in Elohim; 3, 4 warns the wicked; 5-7 as 1, 2; 8-10 exhorts, 11 power belongs to Elohim, 12 also mercy is of Adonai. He will render to every man according to his work.
Ps. 63: 1-8 Yearns after Elohim El, in a dry and thirsty land, for the sake of what he is; 9, 10 my enemies shall fall; 11 the king shall rejoice, the liar be silenced.
Ps. 64: 1-6 Appeals to Elohim and counts on him, amid the very wicked; 7, 8 he shall judge them, 9 his judgment be owned; 10 the righteous shall be glad in Jehovah.
Ps. 65: 1 Praise to thee Elohim is silent in Zion; 2 all flesh shall come to thee; sins prevail against me; 4 blessed whom thou choosest; 5 judgment at the door; 6-13 thy power in creation and providence.
v. 1 'waiteth' Heb. "is silent."
Ps. 66: 1-4 All lands to praise Elohim, and own his power to bow down his enemies; 5-7 his power works; 8-12 his dealings with us; 13-15 I will pay my vows in his house; 16-20 my experience, for the fearer of Elohim.
Ps. 67: 1 May Elohim shine out on us that, 2 in the land and among the Gentiles his way may be known; 3-5 praise from all invoked; 6,7 that earth may yield her increase, and all the earth fear him.
Ps. 68: 1, 2 Elohim invoked to stay the wicked; 3-6 the righteous to praise him, and his ways; 7-10, 11 and 12 his doings; 13 hope, affliction will turn to glory; 14-16 his hill among the hills; 17 his chariots; 18 salvation's basis; 19-23 the issue salvation and judgment; 24-27 the goings of my king in the sanctuary, 28-30, 31, 32-34 results in blessing; 35 worship.
Messiah ascended and exalted, is known to faith as the security of blessing.
Ps. 69: 1-5 Appeal to Elohim in sorrows described here (compare ver. 3 with Ps. 22:1; 4 is from the wicked outside, and 5 sorrow's cause within the range of my responsibility, comp. Psalm 40); 6-12 sorrows from man; 13-18 appeal to Jehovah Elohim, 18.1/2-21 under sorrow from enemies; 22-28 retributive justice invoked; 29-31 poor, I count on Elohim; 32, 33 the humble shall be glad 5 34-36 all Joy! he will save Zion and those that love him shall dwell there.
v. 6 In Hebrew written Jehovah but read Elohim, see also Ps. 71:5.
"The full depth of Messiah's sufferings in connection with the Remnant." "The cross and judgment; as Psalm 22 the cross and mercy."
Ps. 70: 1 Cry for help; 2, 3 for retributive vengeance on enemies 4 for favour to those that seek thee; 5 I am poor! help!
From amid deep sufferings
Ps. 71: 1 - 5 Faith in Jehovah and hope, amid the wicked; 6 from infancy, through youth (17), in the infirmity of old age (9, 18), be with me, before (10, 11) enemies; 12 appeal; 13 retributive imprecation; 14-24 hope — motive thereunto, that the ways of Jehovah intertwine the lives of his people here below.
Ver. 5 and ver. 16. In Hebrew written Jehovah, but read Elohim; see also Ps. 73:28.
Onward until their strength is all but gone.
Ps. 72: 1-17 Faith's prayer for the king, and expectations as to the king's son; 18, 19 Praise.
Messiah recognised as Son of David.
NOTE — Vers. 6-8 "sea to sea" is of wider scope than 1-5 "thy people"; 9-11 again, gives the tribute paid by all kings; 12-14 his doings characteristic of his ways; 15-17 what he is made from on high.
1 Third Book (Ps. 73 - 89) Messiah as occupied with the faithful in Israel, as lying beyond Judah; and not only, as heretofore, with the 2.1/2 tribes.
The general expectation of Israel referred to by James "To the twelve tribes scattered abroad, greeting" (James 1:1); and by Paul "Now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers; unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving [God] day and night, hope to come," (Acts 26:6-7), — is not without interest, here, as to the position of those who are looked at in this book.
Ps. 73: 1 Elohim good to Israel, to those of a clean heart; 2-12 effects of my envy at the foolish and their prosperity; 13-15 discouragement therefrom and evil; till 16-20 I went into the sanctuary of El and saw their end; 21-26 then I judged self and trusted; 27, 28, resumé.
v. 28 In Hebrew written Jehovah but read Elohim, see also Ps. 109:21.
Ps. 74: 1-3 Appeal to Elohim for his own redeemed ones and sanctuary; for 4-8 an infidel faction is in power, 9-23 to the deep trial of our faith.
Faith in presence of the triumph of the wicked.
NOTE. Vers. 12, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, my king of old, creation, blasphemy, thy poor, covenant, thy cause.
Ps. 75: 1 Our thanks to Elohim for his proved nearness; 2 when I (Messiah) take the congregation I will judge rightly; 3 my power; 4-8 warning to the wicked. 9, 10 Resumé of what I will do.
Ps. 76: 1-3 Judah and Israel; Salem and Zion now seen to be under Elohim. 4 He the trust and hope, through 5-10 all opposition below; 11 worship the Judge from heaven (8, 9), 12 cutter off of princes and kings.
Ps. 77: 1-10 My exercise in retrospect of past appeal to Elohim; weakness, but I cling to 10.1/2-20 the duration of thy power, works, wonders of old, doings, in the sanctuary, in the redemption of thy people, Jacob and Joseph, by Moses and Aaron.
Ps. 78: 1, 2 Appeal to my people in a similitude in dark sayings of old; 3 we heard it, our fathers told us, 4 we will tell their children of Jehovah, and 5-8 his doings for Israel that they might live to El. Yet they failed him (9) in battle, 12 in Egypt, 13 in the Exodus, 15-30 in the wilderness as to water, manna, flesh; 31 judgment upon them for unbelief; 36, 37 their hypocrisy, 40 they provoked, 42 they forgat Egypt smitten and 52 themselves brought forth; 54 in the land, 55 heathen cast out and they planted, etc. all failed in them and he judged them. But if, 67-73 Joseph and Ephraim were refused — Judah, Zion and David were chosen.
An historic enigma. He that can blend 2 Sam. 22 and 23, an absolute promise and covenant secured to man in the Messiah — alone can read it. Israel blessed under the law fails; — its blessing secured by electing love under Messiah.
Ps. 79: 1-4 Thy inheritance occupied by the goim (heathen), temple defiled, city in heaps, thy servants slain, a scorn to all around. 5-13 How long! judgment invoked on the goim; favour, for thy name's sake on thy people, and so, Praise.
Ps. 80 — The vine, historically, desolate. 1 Titles, 2, 3 Save! 4-7 Nothing but discipline! 8-16 its history; 17-19 the man of thy right hand is alone root of blessing for us.
Does piety seek here to replace historic Israel in its former blessing (ver. 1 and 2 compared with Ps. 78:67) and faith then comes in in ver. 17?
v. 10 Cedars of El.
Ps. 81: 1-5 We invoke to praise Elohim upon the former basis of blessing; 6-10 Jehovah recites his dealings with them; 11-16 they would not hear, and were judged.
Ps. 82: 1 Elohim judges in the assembly of El and among the elohim (comp. ver. 6 and John 10:34-35, and supra); 2 his judgment of them; and 3, 4 of their duty; 5-7 their state and that of the earth (qy., land); 8 he must judge to possess it and the goim.
Ps. 83: - Faith and the Spirit, amid a general confederacy (ver. 5-8) against Israel (4) and the houses* of Elohim (12), counts (9-17) on Elohim, El (1) against his enemies (2), the wicked (3), that (18) Jehovah may be known as alone Gnelion on the earth.
*Rather read "pleasant-places" than "houses."
Ps. 84: 1-3 Faith and the Spirit long after the dwelling-places, etc., of Jehovah of hosts, my King and my Elohim [Qy. — Should it not be v. 2 "El, (yea the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,") even, thine altars, etc.; 4-7 the blessings en route to Zion. 8-9 Elohim of Jacob, look on the face of thy Messiah;10-12 I long after him who is the blessing of those that trust in him.
Ps. 85: 1-3 Brought to the land and pardoned, 4-7 me want our souls restored; 8-13 according to the fulness of blessing of his salvation.
Ps. 86: 1-7 Weak, and amid trouble, I call on thee; 8-10 all nations must come and worship; 11-13 teach thou me, my deliverer; 14 the proud are against me, 15-17 yet I hope in thyself.
Ps. 87: 1-3 Jehovah loves Zion, which he has founded; 4-6 Faith reckons its citizenship an honour, so does Jehovah 7 praise around, and my heart within concurs.
None like Zion.
Ps. 88: 1 Cry to Jehovah Elohim of my salvation; 2 sense of exclusion; 3 of inward trouble; 4 and of outward; 5-7 thou against me; 8 thy hand against me, and so 9-18 faintness and affliction and desolateness.
Ps. 89: 1, Joy in mercies of Jehovah and 2 in mercy; 3 and 4 (Jehovah speaks) "I have made a covenant with mine elect one; my oath is to my servant David: thy seed will I establish," etc.; 5-14 (faith in the remnant replies) joy in him and his works; 15-18 thine a blessed people; 19-37 the covenant, its unalterableness and certainty in thee; 38-45 but experience and fact seem to say thou hast abhorred Messiah and made void the covenant and all seems lost. 46 How long Jehovah, have thine enemies reproached the footsteps of thy Messiah. 52 Praise.
*Fourth Book (Ps. 90 - 106). In connection with the bringing of the Only-begotten into the world.
Ps. 90: 1, 2 A meditation on Adonai always our dwelling place; from before all worlds, from everlasting to everlasting, El; 3-6 turning off and turning back man, 7-9 thy wrath for our sins, 10 the nothingness of our days! 12-17 Prayer.
For any among the twelve tribes, near before Psalm 91.
Does 'them' (ver. 5) refer to "children of men" (ver. 3), or to "years" (ver. 4). Ver. 11, "even according to thy fear, thy wrath" qy., "the fear we have of thee, so thy wrath appears," or, "as terror now so wrath to come."
Ps. 91: 1 Oracular enigma, "The dweller, in the secret of Gnelion, shall abide under the shadow of Shaddai." 2 Messiah replies, "I will say to Jehovah, My refuge, and my rock; my Elohim, in him will I trust 3-13 The Spirit through a seer, or a remnant. 14-16 Shaddai speaks.
Ver. 9 (compare with ver. 2) said to Messiah "for that thou [sayest] to Jehovah, 'My refuge,' thou hast set Gnelion [as] thy defence."
Ps. 101 and 102 and 103 are in continuation of this Psalm.
Ps. 92: 1-3 Praise to Jehovah Gnelion, 4, 5 through grace and Jehovah's working; 6-15 unknown to the fool, who grows up for destruction, while the righteous grows up for Jehovah.
Ver. 8 'most high' maroom, 'exalted,' not Gnelion.
Ps. 93: 1 Jehovah reigns in glory: the world is established, 2 thy throne established of old — thou from everlasting, 3 the floods have risen and been heard, 4 Jehovah is mightier than they, 5 his testimonies are sure: holiness becomes his house.
Ps. 94: 1 El of revenge [?requitals], Jehovah El of requitals, show thyself, 2 judge of the land, rewarder of the proud; 3-7 how long endure the wicked against thee and thine; 8-11 appeal to the wicked, 12-15 comfort for the upright, 16-23 Jehovah our Elohim is the deliverer and the judge.
Ps. 95: 1-3 Praise and worship invoked to Jehovah El, great as a king above all elohim, 4-7 possessor and creator of heaven and earth our Elohim and we the sheep of his hand. 7-11 Appeal to those still not practically thus, to remember those who provoked him in the wilderness.
Ps. 96: 1, 2 All called to rejoice and worship Jehovah; 3 and 10, tell his glory among the heathen, 13 he comes to judge the earth.
Ps. 97: 1-6 Jehovah comes in all the glory of the Adon of the whole earth; 7 idolatry judged, 8 Zion and Judah rejoice; 9 his glory; 10-12 exhortation to Nazariteship.
Ps. 98: 1-3 Jehovah's victory and salvation before the heathen and world, for Israel, 4-9 to be owned before all as Jehovah the king and joyed in; he comes as Judge.
Ps. 99: 1-4 Jehovah reigns, sitting between the cherubim, in Zion; the king; 5-9 call to exalt him, historic tokens.
Ps. 100: 1 Shout to Jehovah, all the land! 2 Serve with joy; 3 relationship to him, 4 duties, 5 his character.
Ver. 1, for "all ye lands" Hebrew has "all the land."
Ps. 101: 1 Mercy and judgment shall be my song; 2 Jehovah, come to me, in my house; I will walk with a perfect heart, 3-8 evil banished, the faithful upheld in the land and city.
The principles of rule.
[Read this also, after Ps. 91 and then Ps. 102 and Ps. 103.]
Ps. 102: 1-8 Cry to Jehovah in trouble, weakness, among enemies; 9,10 under wrath; 11 I pass, but 12 thou, Jehovah, endurest. l3-16 Zion's mercies and hope are in thee, 17-22 this is known to faith on the earth; 23, 24 the weakened one's speech; 25-28 oracular reply thereto.
If Zion's mercies are in Jehovah and known to faith on earth to be there — "what of Him whose strength was weakened and days shortened, and he taken away in the midst thereof — though Jehovah endures for ever?" The answer is "He is of old, the Creator, the unchanging one, etc., and the children of His servants shall continue, and their seed be established for ever."
Ps. 103: 1-5 My soul, bless Jehovah — forget not his benefits; 6, 7 his ways, 8-10 character, 11-13 mercy measured to us, 14-22 presence of him (17) and his glory.
Grace, forgiveness and healing reaches the faithful.
Ps. 103. Compare this as uttered by David, under law, and as the song for the Millennial saints on earth; and notice the contrast as to magnitude between Ps. 103:11 and Heb. 10 and Rev. 4, 5 to us now, and between Ps. 103:13 and our sonship Eph. 1 and 2.
Ps. 103: Redemption, Ps. 104: Creation, Ps. 105: Patriarchs, Ps. 106: The Nation.
Ps. 104: 1 The glory of Jehovah my Elohim, 2-4 in creating and using the heavens, 5-24 the earth, 25-30 the sea etc.; all things made, upheld, sustained, nurtured by him and used; 31, 32 his glorious majesty endures and his pleasure in his works; 33, 34 I will praise him, 35 let sinners be consumed out of the earth and the wicked be no more.
Ps. 105: 1-4 Call to thank Jehovah and extol him before the peoples, 5-15 remember his works, ye seed of Abraham, to whom unconditional promise and covenant, everlasting for Israel, and oath to Isaac individually, etc. were given; 17 Joseph, 26 Moses and Aaron, 27 and all that he did in E gypt, 37 in the Exodus, 40 in the wilderness, 44 in the land.
Acts 7 throws light on Psalm 105 and Psalm106. Psalm 105 gives the line of covenant (ver. 8) and promise (ver. 42) to Abraham running through the individuals chosen of Him as heads — mercy and grace distinguishing; judgment going before and on and with them. 106 gives the works of the mass — judged (in contrast with Acts 7) to get them into blessing.
The good side. He using individuals.
Ps. 106: 1, 2 Praise and thank Jehovah, for he is good and his mercy for ever; his praises unutterable; 3 blessed are the obedient; 4 individual appeal for favour and salvation, and 5 privilege; 6 we have sinned with our fathers, 7-43 historic confession as to the Exodus, the wilderness and in the land, 44-46 his yearning mercy; 47 save us from among the goim, that we may thank and triumph in thee. 48 Praise.
The bad side. The mass rebelling against Him.
Fifth Book (Ps. 107 - 150) Working up to the full blessing, but not in it.
Ps. 107: 1-3 Thank Jehovah, for he is good and his mercy for ever, ye redeemed of him from all lands, from the east, west, north, and south. 4-9a and 10-16b and 17-22c and 23-32d four different classes. His acting upon lands, for sin 33, 34 for mercy 35-38; 39-41 his after dealings; 42, 43 the moral of it all — the loving-kindness of Jehovah known to the righteous and the wise in the end (to the silence of iniquity), in changes upon the twelve tribes and their places of abode.
a Wandering, need, simple fallen humanity; b prisoners, pressure, daring wilfulness; c fools (in plenty), death, folly; d seafarers, at wits' end, human wisdom and energy, seem to be the four characteristic marks.
Ps. 108: 1 Purpose to praise, 2, 3 attendant circumstances; 4 why? Mercy; 5,6 may he exalt himself that his beloved may be delivered; 79 answer and triumph; 10, 11 new needs how met;12, 13 faith in him.
Faith seeks to triumph in Jehovah among the peoples and the nations. 7-9 the answer.
Ps. 109: 1 Cry to Elohim of my praise; 2-5 and 16 from the slandering hater; 6-15 and 17-19 and 28, 29 imprecation on him, and 20 on all my enemies. 21-27 Hear me in my weakness and reproach; 30 and 31 I will praise, the poor is cared for.
Ver. 21. In Hebrew written Jehovah, but read Elohim; see also 140:8.
The wicked one — Judas — apostate Israel — Antichrist.
Ps. 110: 1-4 Faith's report of Jehovah's thoughts and intentions about my Adon; seated at the right hand on high, he will send him out of Zion over all enemies; his people made willing — himself a priest after the order of Melchizedek; 5-7 what he Adonai at thy right hand, will do.
Ps. 111: 1 Hallelu-Jah. I will praise Jehovah, wholly, in the assembly of the upright and congregation, 2 his works, and 3 work, his righteousness, 4-9 gifts, covenant, power over the heathen, also redemption; 10 his fear is the beginning of wisdom, etc.
Ps. 112: 1-9 Hallelu-Jah. Blessednesses of him that fears Jehovah; 10 grief and melting away of the wicked.
Ps. 113:1-3 5 Hallelu-Jah, servants of Jehovah praise his name, from now onward for ever: over the whole earth; 4 his glory above all the goim and the heavens; 5-9 who is like him; high, he stoops down and cares for the poor and needy and the barren.
Ps. 114: 7, 8 Earth called to tremble before Adon, the Eloah of Jacob, who turned rock into pool of water and flint to fountain; 1, 2 whose displays when Israel came out of Egypt, as owned by him, is given 3-6.
Ps. 115: 1 Not to us, O Jehovah, but to thee glory, — mercy and truth are thine; 2 why should the heathen say, Where now their Elohim? 3 He is in heaven and has done his pleasure; 4-7 the idols! 8 and their makers! 9-11 Israel, house of Aaron, fearers of Jehovah, trust in him, 12, 13 he thinks of us and will bless you, 14, 15 you are the blessed of him the Creator; 16, 17 larger still; 18 we will ever bless Jah.
Ps. 116: 1-5 I love Jehovah, he has heard me 6-11 he delivered my soul from death; 12-17 I own the debt, 18, 19 before his people and in the midst of the courts of his house in Jerusalem.
Ps. 117: 1 All the goim and all nations praise Jehovah. 2 His mercy is great to us and his truth for ever.
Ps. 118: 1 - 4 Let Israel, the house of Aaron, all that fear Jehovah say now, his mercy is for ever. 5 I called in distress; Jah answered me, and 6-9 Jehovah will care for me; 10-12 all the goim were against me, in his name will I destroy them: 13 Thou hast thrust sore at me, but he helped: 14 Jah is my strength and joy and song, and 15, 16 of the righteous too. 17 Not death but to declare his works is mine; 18 chastened but not given over to death: 19 open to me the gates of righteousness — I will praise Jah. Answer, 20, 22, 24 this is the gate of Jehovah, — the stone; 23 wonderful! 24 it is the day; 25 save and prosper! 26 Messiah owned; the blessing from the house of Jehovah; 27 he owned as the giver of light and self sacrifice; 28 I own him. 29 (as 1) Give thanks to Jehovah for he is good: for his mercy for ever.
Ps. 119: The written Word the only recognised index to divine thoughts — but subjection to Jehovah must be acted upon in order to use it aright.
Their hearts tasting and feeling after Him.
I give what may seem the distinctive thought dominant in each eight verses. But I fear, though it is not a first, or a second, attempt on my part, that it is not a success.
Each line, in each of the eight verses, begins with a letter of the Alphabet — the letters taken in succession as A, B, C.
1-8 Integrity and self-surrender to Jehovah's word the pathway into the obedience of faith.
9-16 Cleansing power of the word for a young man's ways.
17-24 Thou wilt surely stand by thy word;
25-32 for the soul needs quickening and enlargement,
33-40 and teaching and inclining and quickening, in order for the word to be established in it;
41-48 and then mercies-so as to be strong from it.
49-56 The truster in the word has comfort.
57-64 As being such, Jehovah is my portion.
65-72 Retrospect. Dealt with of Jehovah, according to the word in affliction, I am profited.
73-80 My Maker! thy word guides me to understand thee.
81-88 Thy word fails not, though I may; I wait for it, amid depths and trial.
89-96 For ever, Jehovah, thy word is settled in heaven, — thy law keeps the soul down here;
97-104 how blessedly, here, does it humble and exalt me
105-112 it is light to the energetic life it has given;
113-120 and forms the soul in awe of thee, amid the wicked around.
121-128 It teaches to lean on thee, in the sense of this Nazariteship and of thy thoughts.
129-136 Admiration of the word, in result leading still to dependence.
137-144 The righteous character of Jehovah and his word.
145-152. In the depths, confidence of faith is in the word known of old to be for ever.
153-160 In affliction and persecution, it stays me, that thy word is from the beginning and for ever.
161-168 (2, 3, 1, 2 ) increasing preciousness of the word from its suitableness to circumstances.
169-176 It suffices as a stay even in the discovery of inward depravity. It is my all.
The above Psalm seems to be a sort of song illustrative of the properties of the word — in grace — in an evil world — to those that have wandered but are returning to Jehovah.
Ps. 120: 1, 2 In distress I cried to Jehovah, Save me from lying lips and a deceitful tongue; 3,4 its judgment; 5-7 lament.
Ps. 120 - 134, — Fifteen songs of degrees, giving the process and way of their being brought back in peace into the presence of Jehovah.
Ps. 121: 1, 2 I look up; my help is from Jehovah, maker of heaven and earth. 3,-8 (oracular voice) Jehovah is thy keeper — keeper of Israel, etc.
Ps. 122: 1, 2 Heart in Jerusalem; 3-5 its praises; 6 pray for its peace and prosper; 7, 8 I pray for and bless it! 9 for the sake of the house of Jehovah our Elohim.
Ps. 123: 1 I look up, 2 as a servant — for mercy; 3, 4 still among the wicked.
Ps. 124: 1-5 Jehovah has been Israel's saviour from man, or all had been lost. 6-8 Blessed be he, maker of heaven and of earth.
Ps. 125: 1 They that trust in Jehovah are as mount Zion. 2 He is around his people (amm, Israel) for ever, 3 to save them from wickedness; 4, 6 to reward man according to his doings. Peace on Israel.
Ps. 126: 1, 2 Zion's captivity turned — we joyed, the goim owned it; 3 our owning of it 4 prayer; 5, 6 sorrow owned as his way to bless.
Ps. 127: 1 House built and city kept in vain without Jehovah; so 2 as to food, 3-5 so as to children, — their praise is from Jehovah.
Ps. 128: 1. Blessed is he that f ears Jehovah and walks in his ways; 2-6 blessed in time and on earth — as to Zion, Jerusalem and Israel.
Ps. 129: 1-3 Depths of sorrows from man have been mine; 4 Jehovah is righteous, he has cut asunder the cords of the wicked; 5-8 imprecation on all haters of Zion.
Ps. 130: 1 Out of the depths I cried to Jehovah, 2 hear; 3, 4 sin! but there is forgiveness with thee that thou mayest be feared; 5 I wait and hope, 6 intensely; 7 let Israel hope in him and his redemption; 8 he will redeem.
Ps. 131: 1, 2 I am lowly; 3 let Israel hope in Jehovah henceforth and for ever.
Ps. 132: 1 Jehovah, remember David and his afflictions, 2-5 his purpose to find a place for Jehovah, 6 we heard of it in Ephratah and found it; 7-9 we will go into his tabernacles; worship at his footstool. Rise Jehovah to thy rest and the ark of thy strength, — thy priests, thy saints; 10 David and the Messiah; 11-18 Jehovah's oath to David — and rich promises.
Ps. 133: 1 Brotherly unity, 2 its beauty, 3 its blessedness.
Ps. 134: 1, 2 Bless Jehovah ye who stand by night in his house; 3 be thou blessed out of Zion by him, Maker of heaven and earth.
Ps. 135: 1 Hallelu-Jah. Praise Jehovah's name, ye his servants, 2 in the house, in the courts of the house — 3 as good 4 chooser for himself of Jacob and Israel; as 5 great, 6 doer everywhere of his will, 7 in the air, 8, 9 in judging Egypt, 10-12 and great nations (goim); 13 enduring in name and memorial, 14 his own people; 15-18 the vanity of idols and their 19, 20 house of Israel, of Aaron, of Levi, ye fearers of Jehovah bless him, 21 out of Zion, dweller in Jerusalem, may he be praised.
Jehovah in contrast with idols.
Ps. 136: 1 Thanks to Jehovah, 2 and to Elohim, for his mercy for ever, 3 to the Lord of lords, 4 doer of wonders, 5-9 wise and powerful in creation, 10-15 and in redemption out of Egypt, 16 through the wilderness; 17-22 into the land; 23, 24 raiser up of the weak, 25 sustainer, 26 the El of heaven for his mercy for ever.
Ps. 137: 1-4 By the rivers of Babylon we wept for Zion, 5, 6 Jerusalem our chief joy; 7 Jehovah, remember Edom's desire to rase it; 8, 9 happy the instrument of Jehovah's judgment on Babylon.
Ps. 138: 1, 2 I will praise thee, before the gods, toward thy temple for kindness and truth and thy word, magnified above all thy name; 3 I was heard; 4, 5 all kings shall praise thee, 6 Jehovah is high, yet he respects the lowly and looks at the proud afar of; 7 he delivers me and will perfect all for me.
Ps. 139: 1 Thou hast searched and known me, 2-12 the process in detail, 13-16 how wondrous my frame! 17, 18 precious thy thoughts! 19, 20 thou wilt slay the wicked, 21, 22 I hate them; 23, 24 search me, try me, lead me.
Man put into God's presence, unable to stand before or to avoid him — good and evil known — the soul cast on him.
Ps. 140: 1 Save me, from the evil man, etc., 2-5 described; 6, 7 thou art my hearer and shelter; 8-11 imprecation; 12, 13 Jehovah is for the poor and the upright.
*In Hebrew written Jehovah, but read Elohim; see also Ps. 141:8.
Ps. 141:1, 2 Hear, Jehovah, my cry, 3 keep my lips, 4 my heart from the wicked; 5, 6 let the righteous smite me, I pray for them in their trouble; 7 we are broken to pieces, 8 I trust in thee, 9 keep me from the wicked, 10 judge them whilst I escape.
Ver. 8. In Hebrew written Jehovah, but read Elohim.
Ps. 142:1-5 Retrospect; when all failed me I looked to Jehovah,6, 7 and I count upon him.
Ps. 143: 1 Hear and answer me, 2 bring me not into judgment, 3-11 amid sorrows, needs, fears, my heart is on thee, who art about my path; 12 imprecation.
Ps. 144: 1, 2 Blessed be Jehovah my strength and refuge; 3, 4 the littleness of man! 5-8 Come down and save me from the stranger and the wicked. 9,10 I will sing a new song, he is the deliverer of David from the sword; 11 rid me, etc., that, 12-14 we may have earthly blessings, 15 and blessedness.
Ps. 145: 1, 2 I will extol thee, O Elohim, King; I will bless thee for ever; 3 the excellency of Jehovah; 4 thy works and acts, one generation to another shall set forth, 5 thy majesty and wonders I, 6, 7, they, etc.; 8, 9, Jehovah's character, 10 his works and saints, 11-13 his kingdom. 14 He is the upholder of the weak, the restorer, 15, 16 provider for all; 17-20 righteous in all his ways, he hears and answers prayer; preserves those that love him, but destroys the wicked. 21 My mouth and all flesh to praise him.
"A dialogue between Messiah and those blessed for the Millennial earth." (If so, vers. 3, 8 and 9, 14, 17-20, may be announcements through Messiah, and the responses from the mouths of his people in that day).
Ps. 146 1 Praise ye Jah. My soul praise Jehovah; 2 Yea, while I have being; 3, 4 caution against trust in man; 5-10 happy he whose help and hope is in the Elohim of Jacob. His excellencies. He will reign for ever.
Description of the character in which he will deal with Israel.
Ps. 147: 1 Praise ye Jah our Elohim; it is pleasant; 2 Jehovah builds Jerusalem, gathers the outcasts of Israel, 3 heals the broken hearted and their wounds, 1 counts the stars; 5 great is our Adonim; 6 Jehovah lifts up the meek, casts down the wicked, 7 praise him; 8, 9 his work in providence, 10, 11 taking pleasure (not in brute force but) in those that fear him; 12-14 Jerusalem and Zion, praise him for what he hath done for thee; 15-18 his acts abroad, 19, 20 those distinctive to Jacob and Israel, — to whom alone he has shown his word, statutes and judgments.
Praise for blessings distinctive of Israel.
Ps. 148: 1, 2 Praise ye Jah. Praise Jehovah from and in the heavens, all ye various companies of his; 3-6 Praise him, ye sun, etc., 7-10 all things from the earth, 11 powers on earth, 12 all men; 13 the alone excellent, also 14 the exalter of Israel.
Ps. 149: 1 Praise ye Jah. Praise Jehovah in the congregation of Israel; 2 let Israel rejoice, in his maker, Zion in their king, 3 with dance and music, 4 for Jehovah takes pleasure in them; 5, 6 let them joy; 6.1/2-9 invested with retributive power against the heathen. Praise ye Jah.
Ps. 150: 1, Praise ye Jah and El in his sanctuary; 2 what for, 3-5 how, 6 who to praise Jehovah. Hallelu-Jah.
Everything that has breath to praise.
End of the Book of psalms.
JUST as the printing was commenced, I was asked by a friend to review a book "On the use of Jehovah and Elohim in the Pentateuch," etc. It is one of the many pitiful expressions of the ignorant stupidity of German neology, now so plentiful. My present article is the best answer I could have given, containing, as it does, the explanation of the real meaning of the two names, Elohim and Jehovah, and their connections with different displays of divine glory; and, at the same time, putting into the hands of those that fear God the means of examining for themselves the use of these two terms in the Book of the Psalms, and so of judging of the folly which hides itself under the display of knowledge about ELOHISTIC and JEHOVISTIC Scriptures.
The effect of restoring the original names and titles sometimes is to make a failure in the translation apparent; e.g., Book 3, No. 17, (Ps. 89:8), "O Jehovah Elohim of hosts, who is a strong Jah like unto thee?" "A strong Jah," I trow, would never have dropped from a Hebrew's pen.
In conclusion, until the difference of the titles — "Son of God" and "Son of Man" — is learnt, and that too of the heavenly glory from the earthly glory of the Lord is seen, the Psalms never will be understood.
The Incarnation, Life, Service, rejection by man, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of the blessed Jesus, all took place in time and on earth. But they were the, expressions of counsels long before the earth existed, and not for earth only and a people on it, but for heaven also, and God who is there. And if the land is to be married to Jehovah, so likewise is the Church to be the Bride, the Lamb's wife. Israel and the earthly saints will be subjects to the King in righteousness upon the earth; the Church and the heavenly saints are members of that body of which He is the glorified head; they to have all blessings in time on the earth, under Him, we to have all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Him.