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Psalm 44:4-8

4. Thou, even thou, art my King, 134134     Geddes reads, “Our King” “The Hebrew,” says he, “has my King; but as the Psalmist speaks in the name of his nation, the plural number is preferable in English, as in numerous other instances.” “The speaker throughout the psalm,” says Walford, “is the Church, which accounts for the use of both the singular and plural numbers in different parts.” O God! command [or ordain] deliverances for Jacob. 5. Through thee we have pushed [or smitten] with the horn our adversaries: in thy name we have trampled under foot those that rose u, against us. 6. For I will not trust in my bow, and my sword will not save me. 7. Surely thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put to shame those that hated us. 8. In God we will boast all the day, and confess thy name for ever. Selah.

 

4. Thou, even thou, art my King, O God! In this verse the faithful express still more plainly what I have already alluded to a little before, namely, that the goodness of God was not only apparent in the deliverance of his people, but also flowed upon them in continued succession from age to age; and therefore it is said, Thou, even thou, art my King In my judgment, the demonstrative pronoun הוא, hu, imports as much as if the prophet had put together a long series of the benefits of God after the first deliverance; so that it might appear, that God, who had once been the deliverer of his people, did not show himself otherwise towards their posterity: unless, perhaps, it might be considered as emphatic, and employed for the purpose of asserting the thing stated the more strongly, namely, that the faithful praise God alone as the guardian of their welfare to the exclusion of all others, and the renunciation of aid from any other quarter. Hence they also present the prayer, that God would ordain and send forth new deliverances to his people; for, as he has in his power innumerable means of preservation and deliverance, he is said to appoint and send forth deliverances as his messengers wherever it seems good to him.

5. Through thee we have pushed, or smitten, with the horn our adversaries. 135135     The allusion is to the pushing, striking, or butting of oxen and other animals with their horns, and means to vanquish or subdue, (Deuteronomy 33:17; 1 Kings 22:11; Daniel 8:4.) “Literally,” says Dr Adam Clarke, “We will toss them in the air with our horn; a metaphor taken from an ox or bull tossing the dogs into the air which attack him.” The prophet here declares in what respect God had manifested himself to be the King of this people. He did so by investing them with such strength and power, that all their enemies stood in fear of them. The similitude, taken from bulls, which he here uses, tends to show, that they had been endued with more than human strength, by which they were enabled to assail, overturn, and trample under foot, every thing which opposed them. In God, and in the name of God, are of the same import, only the latter expression denotes, that the people had been victorious, because they fought under the authority and direction of God. It ought to be observed, that what they had spoken before concerning their fathers, they now apply to themselves, because they still formed a part of the same body of the Church.

And they do this expressly to inspire themselves with confidence and courage, for had they separated themselves from their fathers, this distinction would, in a certain sense, have interrupted the course of God’s grace, so that it would have ceased to flow down upon them. But now, since they confess that whatever God had conferred upon their fathers he had bestowed upon them, they may boldly desire him to continue his work. At the same time, it ought to be observed again in this place, that, as I have stated a little before, the reason why they ascribe their victories wholly to God is, that they were unable to arrive at such a consummation by their own sword or their own bow. When we are led to consider how great is our own weakness, and how worthless we are without God, this contrast much more clearly illustrates the grace of God. They again declare, (verse 7,) that they were saved by the power of God, and that he also had chased away and put to shame their enemies.

8. In God we will boast 136136     Hammond reads, “We have praised God.” He considers the preposition ב, beth, prefixed to the name of God, as a pleonasm. all the day This is the conclusion of the first part of the psalm. To express the meaning in a few words, they acknowledge, that in all ages the goodness of God had been so great towards the children of Abraham, that it furnished them with continual matter of thanksgiving. As if the thing were still present to their view, they acknowledge that, without ceasing, they ought to give praise to God, because they had flourished and triumphed, not merely for one age, or a short period of time, but because they had continued to do so successively from age to age, 137137     “Mais que la chose a continue, d’aage en aage.” — Fr. for whatever prosperity had befallen them, they ascribe it to the grace of God. And, certainly, it is then that men experience from the prosperity which befalls them, a holy and a well-regulated joy, when it bursts forth in the praises of God. 138138     “Quand d’icelle ils entrent a rendre louanges a Dieu.” — Fr. “When from it they are led to give praise to God.” Let us then, in the first place, bear in mind that this verse relates to the time of joy and prosperity in which God manifested his favor towards his people; secondly, that the faithful here manifest that they are not ungrateful, inasmuch as, having laid aside all vain boasting, they confess that all the victories by which they had become great and renowned proceeded from God, and that it was by his power alone that they had hitherto continued to exist, and had been preserved in safety; and, thirdly, that it was not only once or twice that matter of joy had been afforded them, but that this existed for a long time, inasmuch as God had manifested towards them, during a long and uninterrupted period, divers proofs and tokens of his paternal favor, so that the continuance, and, so to speak, the long experience they had had of it, ought to have been the means of confirming their hope.


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