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112. Psalm 112

Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.

2His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.

3Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.

4Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

5A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.

6Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.

7He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.

8His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.

9He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.

10The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.

5 A good man This is the commonly received interpretation of the passage. I am disposed, however, to prefer another, That it shall be well with those who are gracious and communicative; because this is more in accordance with the purport of the prophet’s language. It is his intention to show how greatly the ungodly are deceived, when they aspire after happiness by nefarious and unlawful practices; seeing that the favor of God is the source and cause of all good things. Hence it becomes necessary to supply the relative who. He proceeds, therefore, to put us on our guard as to the deception which those practice upon themselves, who hasten to enrich themselves by sordid parsimony and oppressive extortion; inasmuch as the faithful, by their clemency and kindness, open up a channel, through which the favor of God flows to them: for the term טוב, tob, though in the masculine gender, signifying good, is often taken as if it were neuter, to denote that which is good. He puts lending as if it were the fruit of mercy; for the usurer also lends, but it is that, under the false pretense of assisting the distressed, he may plunder them. It is, then, the truly liberal, who, from compassion, and not with the design of ensnaring the poor, grant relief to them, that God makes prosperous. The term דבים, debarim, in the end of the verse, signifies words; but, along with David Kimchi, the most correct expositor among the Rabbins, I take it to mean affairs. Words is a very tame translation, 347347     It is so translated in some of the ancient versions, and by several critics. In the Syriac it is, “will support his words in judgment;” i.e., will never utter any thing but what is strictly true. In like manner, Cocceius. In the Arabic, which is followed by Castalio, it is, “will moderate his words in judgment;” i.e., will speak as favourably of delinquents as he can consistently with truth, contrary to the practice of the wicked. — Psalm 94:21. not to say, that, if this had been the prophet’s intention, he would have expressed himself in more simple terms. The translation which I have given is the proper one, that the righteous will manage their affairs with prudence and discernment; so that, in their domestic affairs, they will neither be too lavish nor sordidly parsimonious; but, in every thing, they will study to combine frugality with economy, without giving way to luxury. And, in all their mercantile transactions; they will always be guided by the principles of equity and morality.


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