that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed; of their envy of him, their combinations and conspiracies against him, and of all their efforts to distress him, to hinder him of the kingdom, or deprive him of it, or make him uncomfortable in it:
because thou, Lord, hast holpen me, and comforted me; he comforted him by helping him against his enemies, and out of his troubles; and, by doing both, showed him a token for good, and filled his enemies with shame and confusion.
INTRODUCTION TO Psalm 87
A Psalm or Song for the sons of Korah. Whether this psalm was composed by David, in a view of the temple to be built by his son Solomon; or whether by one that returned from the Babylonish captivity, who wrote it for the comfort of those that wept at the laying of the foundation of the second temple; it seems evident that the subject matter of it is the church of God in Gospel times, and especially in the latter day glory: the title in the Syriac version is,
"concerning the redemption of Jerusalem.''.
"by the hands of the sons of Korah is said a song, which is founded by the mouth of the fathers that were of old:''
but the words are a part of the song or psalm, which begins in an abrupt manner, just as Sol 1:2 and may be rendered either "its foundation", or "his foundation", and refer either to the church, or to the Lord, and the sense is the same either way; for the church's foundation is also the Lord's foundation, a foundation of his laying; see Isaiah 14:32 and is laid "in the holy mountains"; alluding to the mountains of Zion and Moriah, where the temple stood, a type of the church; or to the mountains about Jerusalem, by which also the church is frequently signified; and by those, in a mystical and spiritual sense, may be meant the purposes and decrees of God, which are as mountains of brass, Zechariah 6:1, they are like the ancient mountains for the antiquity of them, and are high, and not to be reached and searched into, and are firm, solid, and immoveable; and are also holy, particularly the decree of election, that source of all true holiness, which has sanctification for its end and means; and is the foundation of the church, which supports and secures it, and stands sure, 2 Timothy 2:19, also the covenant of grace, which is sure and immoveable, and in which are provisions for holiness, internal and external; and is the foundation and security of the church, and all believers; but especially Jesus Christ, the Rock of ages, is meant, the Holy One of Israel, the sure foundation laid in Zion: some interpret these holy mountains of the holy apostles, who were in an high and eminent station in the church, and were doctrinally foundations, as they ministerially laid Christ, as the only foundation; see Ephesians 2:20, it may be rendered, "among the holy mountains" (w); and so may regard, as Cocceius explains it, the several kingdoms and provinces of the world in which the Gospel shall be preached; and the church shall be established and settled in the latter day even upon the tops of mountains, which shall become holy to the Lord, Isaiah 2:2.
(w) "inter montes sanctitatis", Junius & Tremellius; so Ainsworth.
more than all the dwellings of Jacob; the private habitations of his people; yet he has a regard to these, the bounds of which he fixed from eternity, and where he was delighting himself before they were in being; and he loves the persons that dwell in them, and what is done there in a right manner, as closet and family worship; but when these are put in competition with public worship, the latter is preferred unto them, because done by more, and more publicly; Zion and its gates, the church and its ordinances, are preferable to all the dwellings of Jacob put together.
Selah. See Gill on Psalm 3:2.
(x) "in te", Montanus, Tigurine version, Cocceius, Schmidt, Syr. vers.
to them that know me; says he, that so they might expect their conversion, and take notice of them, and receive them, when converted;
or among them that know me (c); that is, I will make mention of them, as such that know me, and belong to that number; even such that love the Lord, believe in him, own and confess him, and yield obedience to him, and whom he takes into communion and fellowship with himself, and makes his friends, familiars, and acquaintance:
behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; where also will be many converts, regenerate persons, and such as know the Lord; of which there has been a partial accomplishment already; of Philistia, see Acts 8:40, for Azotus, or Ashdod, was a city of the Philistines; and of Tyre, see Psalm 45:12 and of Ethiopia, and its conversion, mention is made in Psalm 68:31, and the Ethiopian eunuch is one instance of it, Acts 8:27 of all which there will be abundance of instances in the latter day; and thus, as the church is commended from her foundation, from the superlative love the Lord bears to her, and the glorious things spoken of her; so from the number of her converts in different nations, in which her glory in Gospel times would greatly lie; see Isaiah 49:18,
this man was born there; not any particular man; any single individual, famous for piety, wisdom, wealth, or power; as if it suggested that now and then such a person might be born in the above countries; whereas in Zion there were frequently many such persons born: nor is it to be understood of the Messiah, that should come out of Zion, as if that was the reason why multitudes from the above places should flock thither, because of the birth of this illustrious Person: the Targum understands it of a great personage, a king; and paraphrases it,
"a king is educated there;''
but it designs many persons in each of those countries that should be born again, of water, and of the Spirit, of the incorruptible seed of grace, by the ministry of the word; who, because they should be regenerated by means of the Gospel preached in Zion, therefore are said to be born there; and besides, being born again, they are admitted members of Zion, and to all the privileges of Zion, as true born Israelites; and are brought up there, are nourished with the sincere milk of the word, and nursed with the breasts of Gospel ordinances there administered; and so Zion, or Jerusalem, the Gospel church, is truly the mother of them all, Galatians 4:26.
(y) Aug. Euthymius, Theodoret, & alii, in Amama, Antibarbar. Bibl. I. 3. p. 820. (z) De Agricultura, p. 196. (a) Geograph. l. 4. c. 5. (b) Descriptio Africae, l. 8. c. 2.((c) "inter scientes me", Vatablus, Gejerus, Schmidt; "apud noscentes me", Junius & Tremellius; "apud familiares meos", Piscator; "apud notos meos", Amama.
this and that man was born in her; this and that great man, in opposition to a mean person, in the preceding verse: "or a man and man" (d); men of all sorts, and of different nations, Jews and Gentiles, and great numbers of them:
and the Highest himself shall establish her; the church of God, though founded by him, and laid on a sure foundation, on the Rock of ages, against which the gates of hell cannot prevail, yet is sometimes fluctuating and unsettled;
it is tossed with tempests, the persecutions of men, the errors and heresies of false teachers, and the contentions and divisions of its own members; and is not always in one place, but is removed from one place to another, and is obliged to flee into the wilderness; but in the latter day it will be established and settled; it will be a tabernacle that shall not be taken down nor removed; but shall be established for ever, Psalm 89:37, and this is the work of God, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, whatever instruments he may make use of, as ministers of the word, and kings of the earth; as it is his work, and his only, to establish particular believers, 2 Corinthians 1:21, so it is his to establish the church in general: or it may be rendered, "he shall establish her on high" (e), which will be the case when she is established upon the top of the mountains, and exalted above the hills, Isaiah 2:2.
(d) "vir et vir", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Vatablus, Gejerus, Michaelis. (e) So the Targum, and Ainsworth.
and cause them again to pass under the rod of him that telleth them; and will make up his jewels, complete the number of them in conversion, and collect them all together; and his counting and writing them may denote his exact knowledge of them, and his care that he lose none; but this will only concern regenerate persons; the Lord will not count nor make any account of any others, as follows:
that this man was born there; and the man that is born in Zion, even every regenerate man, will be counted and numbered by him, and declared to be his, when he makes a general survey and muster of his saints another day.