Ps 89:1-52. Of Ethan—(See on Ps 88:1, title). This Psalm was composed during some
season of great national distress, perhaps Absalom's rebellion. It
contrasts the promised prosperity and perpetuity of David's throne
(with reference to the great promise of 2Sa 7:12-17), with a time when God appeared to have
forgotten His covenant. The picture thus drawn may typify the promises
and the adversities of Christ's kingdom, and the terms of confiding
appeal to God provided appropriate prayers for the divine aid and
1. mercies—those promised (Isa 55:3; Ac
faithfulness—that is, in fulfilling
2. I have said—expressed, as well as
felt, my convictions (2Co 4:13).
3, 4. The object of this faith expressed in
God's words (2Sa 7:11-16).
with—or literally, "to"
my chosen—as the covenant is in the
form of a promise.
6, 7. This is worthy of our belief, for His
faithfulness (is praised) by the congregation of saints or holy ones;
that is, angels (compare De 33:2; Da 8:13).
sons of the mighty—(compare Ps 29:1). So is He to be admired on
8-14. To illustrate His power and faithfulness
examples are cited from history. His control of the sea (the most
mighty and unstable object in nature), and of Egypt (Ps 87:4), the first great foe of Israel
(subjected to utter helplessness from pride and insolence), are
specimens. At the same time, the whole frame of nature founded and
sustained by Him, Tabor and Hermon for "east and west," and "north and
south," together representing the whole world, declare the same truth
as to His attributes.
12. rejoice in thy name—praise Thy
perfections by their very existence.
15. His government of righteousness is served
by "mercy" and "truth" as ministers (Ps 85:10-13).
know the joyful sound—understand and
appreciate the spiritual blessings symbolized by the feasts to which
the people were called by the trumpet (Le 25:9, &c.).
walk … countenance—live in His
favor (Ps 4:6; 44:3).
16, 17. in—or, "by"
thy righteousness—Thy faithful just
of their strength—They shall be
adorned as well as protected.
our horn—exalt our power (Ps 75:10; Lu
18. (Margin). Thus is introduced the
promise to "our shield," "our king," David.
19-37. Then—when the covenant was
established, of whose execution the exalted views of God now given
thou … to thy holy one—or godly
saint, object of favor (Ps 4:3).
Nathan is meant (2Sa 7:17; 1Ch 17:3-15).
laid help—literally, "given help."
David was chosen and then exalted.
20. I have found—having sought and then
selected him (1Sa 16:1-6).
21. will protect and sustain (Isa 41:10),
22-25. by restraining and conquering his
enemies, and performing My gracious purpose of extending his
25. hand [and] right hand—power
sea, and … rivers—limits of his
26, 27. first-born—one who is chief,
most beloved or distinguished (Ex 4:22; Col 1:15). In God's sight and purposes he was the
first among all monarchs, and specially so in his typical relation to
28-37. This relation is perpetual with David's
descendants, as a whole typical in official position of his last
greatest descendant. Hence though in personal relations any of them
might be faithless and so punished, their typical relation shall
continue. His oath confirms His promise, and the most enduring objects
of earth and heaven illustrate its perpetual force (Ps 72:5, 7, 17).
35. Once—one thing (Ps 27:4).
by my holiness—as a holy God.
that I will not lie—literally, "if I
lie"—part of the form of swearing (1Sa 24:6; 2Sa 3:35).
37. It shall … moon …
heaven—literally, "As the moon, and the witness in the
sky is sure, that is, the moon."
38-52. present a striking contrast to these
glowing promises, in mournful evidences of a loss of God's favor.
cast off—and rejected (compare
15:4; 43:2; 44:9).
39. An insult to the "crown," as of divine
origin, was a profanation.
40-45. The ruin is depicted under several
figures—a vineyard whose broken "hedges," and "strongholds,"
whose ruins invite spoilers and invaders; a warrior, whose enemies are
aided by God, and whose sword's "edge"—literally, "rock" or
"strength" (Jos 5:2) is
useless; and a youth prematurely old.
45. days of his youth—or, "youthful
vigor," that is, of the royal line, or promised perpetual kingdom,
under the figure of a man.
46. How long, &c.—(Compare Ps
13:1; 88:14; Jer 4:4).
47. These expostulations are excited in view
of the identity of the prosperity of this kingdom with the welfare of
all mankind (Ge 22:18; Ps 72:17; Isa 9:7;
11:1-10); for if such is the
fate of this chosen royal line.
48. What man—literally, "strong
man—shall live?" and, indeed, have not all men been made in vain,
as to glorifying God?
49-51. The terms of expostulation are used in
view of the actual appearance that God had forsaken His people and
forgotten His promise, and the plea for aid is urged in view of the
reproaches of His and His people's enemies (compare Isa 37:17-35).
50. bear in my bosom—as feeling the
affliction of the people (Ps 69:9).
footsteps—ways (Ps 56:6).
52. Blessed, &c.—denotes returning
confidence (Ps 34:1-3).
Amen, and Amen—closes the third book