Psalms 72:1 MEANING

Psalm 72:1
(1, 2) The order of the words should be noticed--"judgments," "righteousness," "righteousness," "judgment"--as offering a good instance of introverted parallelism. With regard to the meaning of the words we are placed on practical ground; they refer to the faculty of judging in affairs of government, of coming to a great and fair decision. In fact, whether Solomon be the intended subject of the poem or not, the prayer made in his dream at Gibeon (1 Kings 3:9) is the best comment on these verses. (Comp. Isaiah 11:4; Isaiah 32:1.)

(1) The king . . . the king's son.--The article is wanting in the Hebrew.

Verse 1. - Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son. God had established in Israel, in the person of David, hereditary monarchy (2 Samuel 7:12-16), such as was usual in the East, and suited to Oriental notions. In speaking of himself, not only as "the king," but also as "the king's son," Solomon makes appeal to the sentiment of respect for hereditary royalty. Compare the inscription of Mesha, "My father was king over Moab thirty years, and I became king after my father" (line 1). In praying God to give him "his judgments," he is desiring a "spirit of judgment" which will enable him to deliver decisions as righteous as God's.

72:1 This psalm belongs to Solomon in part, but to Christ more fully and clearly. Solomon was both the king and the king's son, and his pious father desired that the wisdom of God might be in him, that his reign might be a remembrance of the kingdom of the Messiah. It is the prayer of a father for his child; a dying blessing. The best we can ask of God for our children is, that God would give them wisdom and grace to know and to do their duty.Give the King thy judgments, O God,.... A prayer of David, or of the church he represents, to God the Father concerning Christ; for he is "the King" meant; which is the sense of the old Jewish synagogue: the Targum is,

"give the constitutions of thy judgments to the King Messiah;''

and so their Midrash (m) interprets it. He is "the King", by way of eminence, as in Psalm 45:1; not only the King of the world in right of creation and preservation, in conjunction; with his Father, having an equal right with him; but of saints, of the church and people of God, by the designation and constitution of his Father; hence he was promised and prophesied of as a King, Jeremiah 23:5, Zechariah 9:9; and he came into the world as such, though his kingdom did not appear very manifest in his state of humiliation; yet at his ascension it did, when he was made and declared Lord and Christ; and it is for the manifestation of his kingdom, and the glory of it, the psalmist here prays. For by "judgments" are meant not the statutes and laws of God, given him to be shown, explained unto, and enforced on others, which rather belongs to his prophetic office, or as the rule of his government; nor the judgments of God to be inflicted upon wicked men, which is only one part of his kingly office; but of all power in heaven and in earth, which was given him by his Father upon his resurrection, and about the time of his ascension, Matthew 28:18; and is the same with "all judgment" committed by him to his Son, John 5:22; and which explains the clause here, and is the reason why it is expressed in the plural number here; which takes in the whole of the power and authority, the kingdom, and the greatness of the kingdom, delivered to Christ; and which chiefly lies in the government of the church, which is on his shoulders, and is committed into his hand; exercised in enacting laws, and delivering out ordinances, to be observed by the saints, and in the protection and defence of them; and also includes his judgment of the world at the last day, to which he is ordained and appointed by his Father, and will be managed and conducted by him;

and thy righteousness unto the King's Son; who is the same with the King, as Jarchi well observes; for only one single person is afterwards spoken of, and designs the Messiah; who, as a divine Person, is the Son of the King of kings, the only begotten of the Father, the true and proper Son of God; and, as man, the Son of David the king. And so the Targum,

"and thy righteousness to the Son of David the king;''

a known name of the Messiah, Matthew 1:1. And by "righteousness" is meant, not the essential righteousness of God; this Christ has by nature equally with his divine Father, and is not given or communicated to him; but the fulness of the graces of the Spirit, and perfection of virtues, which he received without measure; whereby, as Mediator, he is abundantly qualified to judge with righteousness, and reprove with equity; and not as other judges do, after the sight of the eyes, or hearing of the ears; see Isaiah 11:2. Unless it can be understood of the everlasting righteousness, which Christ has wrought out, called his Father's, because appointed in council and covenant, approved of and accepted by him, and imputed to his people. To work out this righteousness was not only given to Christ in covenant, but he was sent in the fulness of time to do it; and had a power given him, as Mediator, to justify many with it, Isaiah 53:11; and which may be here prayed for. Jerom, by the "King's Son", understands such as are regenerated, and taken into the adoption of children; and to such the righteousness of God is given. This is a truth, but not the sense of the text.

(m) In Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 112. 2.

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