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Print Version Main Index : Commentaries : Wesley's Notes : Psalms Index : Chapter 19

Psalms, Chapter 19
Chapter 18 | Chapter 20
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Cross Reference
Matthew Henry
JFB Commentary
Wesley's Notes
Geneva Study Bible
View Psalms 19 in the note window.

The book of the creatures shews us the power and Godhead of the Creator, ver. 1 - 6. The book of the scriptures shews us his will; the excellency thereof, ver. 7 - 11. A prayer against sin, ver. 12, 14. To the chief musician, A psalm of David.

1: The heavens - They are as a legible book, wherein he that runs may read it. The glory - His eternal power and Godhead, his infinite wisdom and goodness. Firmament - Or, the expansion, all the vast space extended from the earth to the highest heavens, with all its goodly furniture.

2: Day - Every day and night repeats these demonstrations of God's glory. Uttereth - Or, poureth forth, constantly and abundantly, as a fountain doth water; So this Hebrew word signifies. Knowledge - Gives us a clear knowledge or discovery of God their author.

3: Heard - Or, understood; there are divers nations in the world, which have several languages, so that one cannot discourse with, or be understood by another, but the heavens are such an universal teacher, that they can speak to all people, and be clearly understood by all.

4: Line - Their lines, the singular number being put for the plural. And this expression is very proper, because the heavens do not teach men audibly, or by speaking to their ears, but visibly by propounding things to their eyes, which is done in lines or writings. Gone - Is spread abroad. Earth - So as to be seen and read, by all the inhabitants of the earth. Words - Their magnificent structure, their exquisite order, and most regular course, by which they declare their author, no less than men discover their minds by their words. Sun - Which being the most illustrious and useful of all the heavenly bodies, is here particularly mentioned.

5: Bridegroom - Gloriously adorned with light as with a beautiful garment, and smiling upon the world with a pleasant countenance. Chamber - In which he is poetically supposed to have rested all night, and thence to break forth as it were on a sudden. Strong man - Conscious and confident of his own strength.

6: The ends - His course is constant from east to west, and thence to the east again. So that there is no part of the earth which doth not one time or other feel the benefit of his light and heat.

7: The law - The doctrine delivered to his church, whether by Moses, or by other prophets. Having discoursed hitherto of the glory of God shining forth in, the visible heavens, he now proceeds to another demonstration of God's glory, which he compares with and prefers before the former. Perfect - Completely discovering both the nature and will of God, and the whole duty of man, what he is to believe and practice, and whatsoever is necessary to his present and eternal happiness. Whereas the creation, although it did declare so much of God, as left all men without excuse, yet did not fully manifest the will of God, nor bring men to eternal salvation. Converting - From sin to God, from whom all men are naturally revolted. Testimony - His law, so called because it is a witness between God and man, what God requires of man, and what upon the performance of that condition, he will do for man. Sure - Heb. faithful or true, which is most necessary in a witness: it will not mislead any man, but will infallibly bring him to happiness. Simple - Even persons of the lowest capacities.

8: Right - Both in themselves, and in their effect, as guiding men in the ready way to eternal happiness. Rejoicing - By the discoveries of God's love to sinful men, in offers and promises of mercy. Commandment - All his commands. Pure - Without the least mixture of error. The eyes - Of the mind, with a compleat manifestation of God's will and man's duty: both which, the works of nature, and all the writings of men discover but darkly and imperfectly.

9: The fear - The law and word of God, because it is both the object and the rule, and the cause of holy fear. Clean - Sincere, not adulterated with any mixture. Constant and unchangeable, the same for substance in all ages. Judgments - God's laws are frequently called his judgments, because they are the declarations of his righteous will, and as it were his judicial sentence by which he expects that men should govern themselves, and by which he will judge them at the last day.

12: Who - Thy law, O Lord, is holy and just and good. But I fall infinitely short of it. Cleanse - Both by justification, through the blood of thy son; and by sanctification thro' thy holy spirit. Though the first may seem to be principally intended, because he speaks of his past sins. Secret - From the guilt of such sins as were secret either, from others; such as none knows but God and my own conscience: or, from myself; such as I never observed, or did not discern the evil of. Pardon my unknown sins, of which I never repented particularly, as I should have done.

13: Presumptuous - From known and evident sins, such as are committed against knowledge, against the checks of conscience, and the motions of God's spirit. Dominion - If I be at any time tempted to such sins, Lord let them not prevail over me, and if I do fall into them, let me speedily rise again.

14: Let - Having prayed that God would keep him from sinful actions, he now prays that God would govern, and sanctify his words and thoughts: and this was necessary to preserve him from presumptuous sins, which have their first rise in the thoughts. Redeemer - This expression seems to be added emphatically, and with special respect to Christ, to whom alone this word Goel can properly belong.

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