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15

My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,

of your deeds of salvation all day long,

though their number is past my knowledge.


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15. My mouth shall recount thy righteousness Here he expresses more clearly what sacrifice of praise he resolved to present to God, promising to proclaim continually his righteousness and salvation. I have often before had occasion to observe, that the righteousness of God does not mean that property of his nature by which he renders to every man his own, but the faithfulness which he observes towards his own people, when he cherishes, defends, and delivers them. Hence the inestimable consolation which arises from learning that our salvation is so inseparably linked with the righteousness of God, as to have the same stability with this Divine attribute. The salvation of God, it is very evident, is taken in this place actively. The Psalmist connects this salvation with righteousness, as the effect with the cause; for his confident persuasion of obtaining salvation proceeded solely from reflecting that God is righteous, and that he cannot deny himself. As he had been saved so often, and in so many different ways, and so wonderfully, he engages to apply himself continually to the celebration of the grace of God. The particle כי, ki, which we have translated for, is by some rendered adversatively although, and explained in this way: Although the salvation of God is to me incomprehensible, and transcends my capacity, yet I will recount it. But the proper signification of the word is more suitable in this place, there being nothing which ought to be more effectual in kindling and exciting our hearts to sing the praises of God, than the innumerable benefits which he has bestowed upon us. Although our hearts may not be affected from having experienced only one or two of the Divine benefits; although they may remain cold and unmoved by a small number of them, yet our ingratitude is inexcusable, if we are not awakened from our torpor and indifference when an innumerable multitude of them are lavished upon us. Let us learn then not to taste of the goodness of God slightly, and, as it were, with loathing, but to apply all our faculties to it in all its amplitude, that it may ravish us with admiration. It is surprising that the authors of the Greek version ever thought of translating this clause, I have not known learning, 112112     The present reading of the Septuagint is, Οὐκ ἔγνων πραγματείας, “I know not the affairs of men;” but Nobilius, in his Notes on the Septuagint, observes, that in some Greek copies it is, γραμματείας, “learning,” of which reading Augustine makes mention; and as the Vulgate reads, “literaturam,” “learning,” this makes it more probable that the ancient reading of the LXX. was not πραγματείας, but γραμματειάς. Horsley has followed the LXX. He considers this clause as the commencement of a new sentence, and connects it with the 16th verse thus: —
   “Although I am no proficient in learning;
I will enter upon [the subject of] the Lord Jehovah’s great might;
I will commemorate thy righteousness.”

   In a foot-note he refers to John 7:15, “How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” and to Matthew 13:54, 56; and in an additional note he says, “It is strange that Houbigant should treat an interpretation with contempt, which is supported by the versions of the LXX., Jerome, and the Vulgate; which the Hebrew words will naturally bear, and which gives great spirit to the sentiment.” Street reads: —

   “Though I am ignorant of books,
I will proceed with strength,” etc.;

   and observes, that “The word מספר signifies number, but ספר, signifies an epistle, a book.”
an error unworthy of being noticed, were it not that some fanatics in former times, to flatter themselves in their ignorance, boasted that, after the example of David, all learning and liberal sciences should be despised; even as, in the present day, the Anabaptists have no other pretext for boasting of being spiritual persons, but that they are grossly ignorant 113113     “Expertes.” — Lat. “Gros asniers. — Fr. of all science.




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