and shall trust in him; who is known by his judgments he executes on the wicked; and the more he is known, be it in what way it will, the more is he trusted in, Psalm 9:10. The Targum paraphrases it,
"and shall trust in his Word;''
either in his word of promise, or rather in his essential Word, Christ;
and all the upright in heart shall glory; not in men, nor in themselves, nor in any creature, or creature enjoyments; nor in their wisdom, strength, riches, nor righteousness; but in Christ, in his wisdom, righteousness, and strength; in whom all the seed of Israel are justified and glory; and in what he is to them, and has done for them; of the upright in heart; see Gill on Psalm 32:11.
INTRODUCTION TO Psalm 65
To the chief Musician, A Psalm and Song of David. Some copies of the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions read
"a song of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, "sung" by the people of the captivity, when they were about to come out;''
and some copies have "Haggai": but though it is possible it might be sung upon that occasion, it is certain it was not then composed, but was written by David, as the genuine title shows: as for Jeremiah; he was not carried captive to Babylon, and Ezekiel died before the return of the people from it; nor is there anything in the psalm relating to that captivity. The title of it, indeed, in the Arabic version, is concerning the captivity of the people; which it seems to have taken from some Greek copy; and Kimchi and Arama interpret it of the captivity of the people of the Jews; but then they mean their present captivity, and their deliverance from it. According to the title of it in the Syriac version, the occasion of it was the bringing up of the ark of God to Sion; and Aben Ezra is of opinion that David composed the psalm at that time; or that one of the singers composed it at the building of the temple, and which he thinks is right, and perhaps is concluded from Psalm 65:1; and who also says it was composed in a year of drought; but it rather seems to have been written in a year of great plenty, as the latter part of it shows; and the whole seems to respect the fruitful, flourishing, and happy state of the church in Gospel times, for which it is a song of praise.
"before thee praise is reputed as silence.''
In the king of Spain's Bible it is,
"the praise of angels is reputed before thee as silence;''
perhaps it may be best rendered, "to thee belong", or "are due, silence and praise" (f): there ought to be first a silent and quiet waiting upon God for mercies wanted, and which he has promised to give; and, when they are bestowed, praise should be rendered unto him. Gussetius (g) gives the sense of the words, and renders them,
"praise, which is thine image, which bears a likeness to thee shall be paid in Sion;''
and unto thee shall the vow be performed: that is, of praise and thankfulness for deliverance and salvation, made in a time of trouble and distress; see Psalm 66:13.
(e) "tibi silet laus", Pagninus, Vatablus. (f) "Tibi silentium est et laus", Piscator, Gejerus. (g) Ebr. Comment. p. 193.
unto thee shall all flesh come; being encouraged by the above character of him. All sorts of persons may come to him; men of all nations, of every rank and degree, condition and circumstance; there is no bar unto nor bounds about the throne of grace; the way to it lies open through the Mediator; and all sensible sinners shall and do come thither, though they are but "flesh", frail and mortal, corrupt and sinful creatures, and know themselves to be so; and they that come aright come through Christ, the new and living way, in his name, and in the faith of him, and of being heard for his sake, and under the gracious influences of the spirit of grace and supplication: it may be considered as a prophecy of the calling of the Gentiles, and of their calling upon God through Christ, and of their coming to God in his house, which was to be, and is, an house of prayer to all people, Isaiah 56:7.
as for our transgressions, thou shall purge them away; not only his own, but others, which Christ has done by the sacrifice of himself; and when his blood is applied to the conscience of a sensible sinner, it purges it from all his sins, Hebrews 1:3; it may be rendered, "thou shall expiate them", or "make atonement for them" (k); which Christ, our propitiation, has done: this was the work appointed him, which he undertook, came into the world to do, and has performed, Daniel 9:24, Hebrews 2:17; or "thou shalt cover them"; with the blood and righteousness of Christ; or forgive them for the sake of them, Psalm 32:1.
(h) "prae me", Muis, Michaelis. (i) "verba iniquitatum", Montanus, Vatablus, Gejerus, Michaelis; so Ainsworth. (k) "propitiaberis", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus; "expiabis", Vatablus, Gejerus, Michaelis.
"blessed is the man in whom thou art well pleased;''
and causest to approach unto thee; the same Targum supplies,
"unto the fear of thee;''
or unto thy fear and worship. The persons whom God has chosen for himself are, in their state of nature, at a distance from him by reason of sin; and through the blood and sacrifice of Christ, by which atonement is made, they are brought nigh to him; and in the faith of Christ the Mediator, their hearts are engaged to approach unto God, and come with boldness to his throne, and ask grace and mercy of him; and through the grace of Christ they have nearness to him, and communion with him, Ephesians 2:18;
that he may dwell in thy courts; or "he shall dwell" (l); the man that is chosen of God, and brought nigh by Christ; he shall not only come into the house of God, and tread in his courts, but he shall dwell there, ever abide, and never go out;
we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house; even all that are like this man, chosen by the grace of God, redeemed by the blood of Christ, brought into the house of God, and have a place and a name there, better than that of sons and daughters of men: by "the house" of God we are to understand the church of God; and by "the goodness" of it the provisions of grace in it, the word and ordinances, and the blessings of grace held forth in them, and especially Christ the bread of life, whose flesh is meat indeed, and whose blood is drink indeed; of which true believers may eat, and do to full satisfaction; and blessed are they that have such food, and appetites for it, and are filled with it. The Targum paraphrases it,
"the righteous shall say, we shall be satisfied with the goodness of shy house.''
even of thy holy temple: which means the same as the house of God; namely, the church; see Ephesians 2:21. Some, as Aben Ezra observes, interpret it, "thou Holy One in thy temple"; as if it was an address to God, and a description of him as in his temple.
(l) "habitabit", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Musculus.
O God of our salvation: not only temporal, but spiritual and eternal; which he has resolved upon, and chose his people to, and has settled the way and manner of, in which it should be brought about; has secured it in covenant for them, promised it in his word, sent his Son to obtain it, and his Spirit to give knowledge and make application of it; and from this character of his, and the concern he has in salvation, it may be concluded he will answer the prayers of his people for their good;
who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth; of all that dwell upon the continent, to the uttermost parts of the habitable world;
and of them that are afar off upon the sea: not only in ships upon the sea, but upon islands in the sea; and so the Targum,
"and of the islands of the sea, which are afar off from the dry land;''
and Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret it in the same manner; such snare the isles in which we live: this seems to refer to Gospel times, in which the Lord is not only the "confidence" or "hope of Israel", but of the Gentiles also; who are encouraged to hope in the Lord, and put their confidence in him, seeing with him there is forgiving mercy, and plenteous redemption; hath appointed Christ to be his salvation to the ends of the earth; has sent his Gospel into all the world declaring this; and Christ in it encourages all the ends of the earth to look unto him for salvation; and multitudes upon the continent, and in different isles, have been enabled to hope in him.
"who preparest food for the wild goats of the mountains;''
others interpret them of kingdoms and communities, comparable to mountains, Jeremiah 51:25; but these are not set fast, they are not firm and stable, but in a course of time are removed, and give way to others; rather the church of God is meant; see Isaiah 2:2; where the same phrase is used as here; and "mountains" may signify particular churches, or indeed particular believers; for all that trust in the Lord are like to mountains, Psalm 125:1; and these are set fast in the everlasting love of God, by which their mountain is made to stand strong; in eternal election, which is the foundation of God that stands sure; in the covenant of grace, which is more immovable than hills and mountains; and on Christ the Rock, against whom the gates of hell can never prevail; and who are so established, settled, and kept by the power of God, that they cannot be removed by the most boisterous storms and winds of the world's persecutions, Satan's temptations, or their own sins and corruptions;
being girded with power: not the mountains, but God himself; whose power, like himself, is infinite, and appears in the works of his hands, of nature, providence, and grace: the allusion is to a mighty man girded for battle; or for the performance of great undertakings.
and the tumult of the people: of wicked men, who foam and rage against the people of God, and are like a troubled sea that cannot rest; but God can say to these proud waters, which threaten to go over their souls, Peace, be still; he can stop their opposition, quell their insurrections, restrain their wrath, and make them peaceable and quiet; wherefore the saints have no reason to be afraid of them, Psalm 46:2.
thou makest the outgoings of the morning and of the evening to rejoice; some interpret this of the morning and evening sacrifices; others of the sun that goes forth in the morning, and rejoices as a strong man to run his race, and of the moon and stars that appear in the evening, and both give pleasure and delight to the inhabitants of the earth; others of men who go forth in the morning cheerfully to their labour, and of the beasts that go out in the evening to seek their prey, Psalm 19:5; but it seems better to understand it of the rising of the stars before the sun in the morning, and the appearance of them after the moon is up in the evening; or of the rising and setting sun; of the east and west, which include the whole world, and the inhabitants of it; who are made to rejoice at the coming of the Gospel among them, which rings the good news and glad tidings of peace, pardon, righteousness, and salvation, by Christ, whereby his name becomes great, and is praised among the Gentiles; see Malachi 1:11.
(m) "a signis tuis", Pagninus, Montanus, &c. (n) "A signis et prodigiis tuis", Michaelis.
thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water; not Shiloah nor Jordan; but the clouds which are full of rain, which falling upon the earth, impregnate it with rich particles, which make it very fertile and fruitful; so the Targum,
"with a multitude of fruits thou enrichest it out of the river of God, which is in heaven, which is full of rain:''
this may mystically denote the river of God's everlasting love, which is full of the blessings of grace, and which flowing upon his people, makes them fruitful, and enriches them with the riches of grace and glory; see Psalm 46:4;
thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it; or because thou hast so prepared it (o); that is, the earth being disposed and prepared by the Lord, watered and enriched with the rain of heaven, produces corn in great plenty for the inhabitants of the earth; which may spiritually design either the fruitfulness of the saints, whose hearts are disposed and prepared by the grace of God to receive the seed of the word, which brings forth fruit in them; or the bread corn, that wheat of the Gospel, and Christ the sum and substance of it, which is of God's preparing for his people, and by which they are nourished and made comfortable; see Zechariah 9:17.
(o) "quia sic parasti eam", Pagninus; so Cocceius.
thou settlest the furrows thereof; or "thou causest the rain to descend into the furrows thereof" (p); which fills them, and makes them fruitful; and may design humble souls, whom the Lord fills with his good things, and makes them fruitful in every good work;
thou makest it soft with showers; which through drought is become like iron and brass, and, without large and heavy showers, as the word (q) used signifies, and these repeated, it is so hard, that no impressions can be made upon it, nor anything spring out of it; and such is the hard heart of man, which God only can make soft by the means of his word, through the energy of his Spirit, and the efficacy of his grace; which coming in great abundance, like large showers of rain, removes the hardness of the heart, makes it susceptible of divine impressions, and of receiving the seed of the word, whereby it becomes fruitful;
thou blessest the springing thereof; the tender blade, when it first peeps out of the earth; this the Lord nourishes and cherishes; he preserves it from the nipping frosts, by covering it with snow; he waters it with the dews of heaven, and warms it with the beams of the sun; he causes it to grow, and brings it to perfection: so the Lord takes great notice of the springing and buddings forth of grace, of the first acts and exercises of it in young converts, and takes care of them; and as he will not hurt them himself, nor break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax; so he takes care that others should not; see Sol 6:11; he gives them more grace, and strengthens what they have; causes it to grow, and brings it on to perfection. The word here used is the same by which Christ, the branch, is expressed, Zechariah 3:8; and as the Lord has blessed him with the blessings of goodness, so he blesses all the branches which are in him, John 15:4, Ephesians 1:3.
(p) "descendere facis pluviam in sulcos ejus", Vatablus. (q) "guttis grandioribus", Piscator.
and thy paths drop fatness; the heavens, as Jarchi interprets it; or the clouds, as Kimchi; which are the chariots and horses of God, in which he rides, and are the dust of his feet, Psalm 104:3, Nahum 1:3; and these drop down rain upon the earth, and make it fat and flourishing; and may mystically design the administration of the Gospel, and the administration of ordinances; which are the paths in which the Lord goes forth to his people, and directs them to walk in, and in which he meets them with a fulness of blessings, and satisfies them as with marrow and fatness.
and the little hills rejoice on every side; or "joy girds the hills"; or "they are girded with joy" (r); or "gird themselves with joy", as the Targum; being covered on all sides with grass, herbs, and trees: these may denote the churches of Christ, and little hills of Sion, who rejoice when the interest of Christ flourishes, Psalm 68:14.
(r) "collesque exultatione accinguntur", Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; so Ainsworth; "accinxerunt se", Pagninus; "accingent se", Montanus.