The Palestinian collectors of the sacred songs of Israel found no traditional inscription to this psalm, and left it without conjecture of its authorship. In Alexandria it appears to have been attributed to David, but with the addition that it had some peculiar connection with the son of Jonadab and the first exiles. This connection, together with the resemblance between this psalm and Jeremiah’s writings, has led many critics to ascribe it to that prophet, a conjecture also borne out by the fact that it is, in great part, an adaptation of other psalms, chiefly 22, 31, 35, and 40, since such dependence on older writings is a prominent feature in Jeremiah. His life of danger and adventure, his early consecration to his office, the high position which he took at one time in the councils of the nation, all agree with what the author of this psalm says of himself. (Comp. Psalm 71:6, with Jeremiah 1:5, and see Note, Psalm 71:21.) Still it is quite as likely that we have here another of those hymns composed, or, more properly speaking, in this case, arranged, to express not individual feeling and experience, but that of suffering Israel. (See Note, Psalm 71:6; Psalm 71:20.) In a cento of passages from older compositions the rhythm is necessarily irregular.
“And God shall be my hope, my stay.”
“God, our hope, shall succour us.”—2 Henry VI.
This allusion to birth and retrospect of life from the earliest infancy, is not unsuitable to Israel personified as an individual, or rather it suits both the individual and the community of which he is the mouthpiece. So it has often been in application treated as an epitome of the history of the Christian Church.
Thy strength.—Literally, thine arm, the symbol of power. (Comp. Isaiah 52:10; Isaiah 53:1, &c)
Unto this generation.—Literally, to a generation, explained by the next clause to mean, to the coming generation.
Depths . . .—Abysses, properly of water. (See Psalm 33:7.) Perhaps here with thought of the waters on which the earth was supposed to rest. If so, the image is the common one of a “sea of trouble.”
“That mind and soul according well,
May make one music as before,