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PSALM 72

David in this psalm prays to God, in the name of the whole Church, for the continual prosperity of the kingdom which was promised him, and teaches us at the same time, that the true happiness of the godly consists in their being placed under the government of a king who was raised to the throne by the appointment of heaven.

¶ Of Solomon. 119119     “Ou, pour Solomon.” — Fr marg “Or, for Solomon.” The prefix ל, lamed, may be rendered either of or for

From the inscription of this psalm we cannot determine who was its author. As it is expressly said at the close to be the last of David’s prayers, it is more probable that it was composed by him than by Solomon, his successor. 120120     To this it may be added, as Dathe observes, that “Solomon could not, without the imputation of vanity, have predicted in such strains the glory of his reign, the admiration with which he would be regarded by other nations, and the happiness of his subjects, arising from his prudence and virtue.” The same writer adds, “But while David, or the inspired author, whoever he was, predicted the prosperity of Solomon’s reign, the promise given (2 Samuel 7) of that greatest and best of kings, who was afterwards to arise in the family of David, seems to have been brought before his mind. This is the reason that the description given is, in various respects, more suited to the reign of the Messiah than to the reign of Solomon.” It may, however, be conjectured that Solomon reduced the prayer of his father into poetical measure, to make it more generally known, and to bring it more extensively into use among the people, — a conjecture which is not improbable. But as the letter ל, lamed, has many significations in Hebrew, it may be explained as denoting that this psalm was composed for or in behalf of Solomon. If this is admitted, it is to be observed, that under the person of one man there is comprehended the state of the kingdom through successive ages. After having carefully weighed the whole matter, I am disposed to acquiesce in the conjecture, that the prayers to which David gave utterance on his death-bed were reduced by his son into the form of a psalm, with the view of their being kept in everlasting remembrance. To indicate the great importance of this prayer, and to induce the faithful with the greater earnestness to unite their prayers with the memorable prayer of this holy king, it is expressly added, that this is the last which he poured forth. As Solomon did nothing more than throw into the style of poetry the matter to which his father gave expression, David is to be considered as the principal author of this inspired composition. Those who would interpret it simply as a prophecy of the kingdom of Christ, seem to put a construction upon the words which does violence to them; and then we must always beware of giving the Jews occasion of making an outcry, as if it were our purpose, sophistically, to apply to Christ those things which do not directly refer to him. But as David, who was anointed king by the commandment of God, knew that the terms upon which he and his posterity possessed the kingdom were, that the power and dominion should at length come to Christ; and as he farther knew that the temporal well-being of the people was, for the time, comprehended in this kingdom, as held by him and his posterity, and that from it, which was only a type or shadow, there should at length proceed something far superior — that is, spiritual and everlasting felicity; knowing, as he did, all this, he justly made the perpetual duration of this kingdom the object of his most intense solicitude, and prayed with the deepest earnestness in its behalf, — reiterating his prayer in his last moments, with the view of distinctly testifying, that of all his cares this was the greatest. What is here spoken of everlasting dominion cannot be limited to one man, or to a few, nor even to twenty ages; but there is pointed out the succession which had its end and its complete accomplishment in Christ.


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