View Psalms 89 in the note window.
This psalm manifestly treats of the declining state of the house and
kingdom of David, in or about the Babylonish captivity.
The psalmist praises and rejoices in God, ver. 1 - 18.
He builds all his hopes on God's covenant with David, ver. 19 - 37.
He laments the present calamities of the king and royal family,
ver. 38 - 45.
Expostulates with, prays to God, and praises him, ver. 46 - 52.
Maschil of Ethan the Ezrahite.
Title of the psalm. Ezrahite - Not him who is mentioned, (1Ki 4:31),
but some person of the same name, and inspired by the same spirit, who
lived long after.
1: Sing - He prefaces this, lest the following complainers of
present miseries should argue ingratitude for former mercies.
Faithfulness - Whatsoever hath befallen us, it proceeded not from thy
2: Establish - As firmly and durably as the heavens themselves.
3: Chosen - With David; whom I have chosen to the kingdom.
4: Build up - I will perpetuate the kingdom to thy posterity; which
was promised upon condition, and was literally accomplished in Christ.
5: Heavens - The inhabitants of heaven. Faithfulness - Understand,
shall be praised; which supplements are usual in scripture.
6: Among - The highest angels.
7: Feared - With a fear of reverence. Saints - The whole society
of angels. All that - That encompass his throne.
8: Round thee - Like a girdle encompassing thee. It appears in all
thy words and works.
10: Rhahab - Egypt.
12: Tabor - The several parts of the land of Canaan, both within
Jordan, where mount Tabor is; and without it, where Hermon lies.
Rejoice - Shall be fruitful and prosperous, and so give their inhabitants
cause to rejoice. In - By thy favour.
14: Justice and judgment - Justice in judging.
15: Know - Who enjoy the presence of God and his ordinances, to which
they are called by the sound of trumpets. Walk - Under the comfortable
influences of thy favour.
16: Name - In the knowledge and remembrance of thy name, of thy
infinite power and goodness.
17: The glory - To thee alone belongs the glory of all their valiant
19: Vision - Which then was the usual way by which God spake to the
prophets. Holy one - To thy holy prophets; the singular number being put
for the plural; especially to Samuel and Nathan.
Laid help - I have provided help for my people. Upon - Upon a person of
singular courage and wisdom.
22: Exact - Not conquer him or make him tributary.
25: Set - Establish his power and dominion. The sea - The mid - land
sea. The rivers - Euphrates, called rivers, in regard of divers
branches of it, and rivers which flow into it. So here is a description
of the uttermost bounds of the promised land.
27: My first - born - As he calls me father, ver.(26), so I will
make him my son, yea my first - born; who had divers privileges above
other sons. This and the following passage in some sort agree to
David, but are properly accomplished in Christ. Higher - This also
was in some sort accomplished in David, but more fully in the Messiah.
29: For ever - To sit upon the throne for ever, as the next words
explain it. This was accomplished only in Christ.
37: A witness - The rainbow, which is God's faithful witness,
a token of God's everlasting covenant between God and every living
creature for perpetual generations, (Ge 9:12,16).
38: But - Having hitherto declared the certainty of God's promises,
he now humbly expostulates with God about it.
45: Youth - The youthful and flourishing estate of David's
kingdom was very short, and reached not beyond his next successor.
47: Short - Our time, the time of our king and kingdom, in whose name
the psalmist puts up this petition. Wherefore - Wherefore hast thou made
us and our king (and consequently all other men, whose condition is nothing
better than ours) in vain, or to so little purpose? Didst thou raise us
and him, settle the crown upon David's head by a solemn covenant, and
vouchsafe so many and great promises and privileges, and all this but for
a few years, that our crown and glory should be taken from us, within a
little time after it was put upon our heads?
48: What man - All men at their best estate are mortal and miserable;
kings and people must unavoidably die by the conditions of their natures;
and therefore, Lord, do not increase our affliction.
50: How I - We thy servants; our king and his people; of whom he
speaks as of one person.
51: Anointed - By whom he seems to understand either first the kings
of Judah, the singular number being put for the plural; and by their
footsteps may be meant either their ways or actions, or the memorials
of their ancient splendor; or secondly the Messiah, whom the Jews
continually expected for a long time, which being well known to many of
the Heathens, they reproached the Jews, with the vanity of this
expectation. And by the footsteps of the Messiah, he may understand
52: Blessed - Let thine enemies reproach thee and thy promises
concerning the sending of the Messiah, I will heartily bless and praise
thee for them, and encourage myself with them.