Verse 7. "O that the salvation " - Or, more literally, Who will give from Zion salvation to Israel? From Zion the deliverance must come; for God alone can deliver them; but whom will he make his instruments? When the Lord bringeth back ] For it is Jehovah alone who can do it.
Jacob shall rejoice and Israel shall be glad. That is, according to Calmet, the remains of the kingdom of Israel and those of Judah, shall be rejoined, to their mutual satisfaction, and become one people, worshipping the same God; and he has endeavoured to prove, in a dissertation on the subject, that this actually took place after the return from the Babylonish captivity.
Many of the fathers have understood this verse as referring to the salvation of mankind by Jesus Christ; and so it is understood by my old MS. Psalter, as the following paraphrase will show: "Qwa sal gyf of Syon hele til Israel? qwen Lord has turned a way the captyfte of his folk, glad sal Jacob, and fayne be Israel. Qwa bot Crist that ge despyse, qwen ge wit nout do his counsaile of Syon fra heven, sal gyf hele til Israel? that es, sal saf al trew cristen men, noght als ge er that lufs noght God. And qwen our Lord has turned o way the captyfte of his folk: that es, qwen he has dampned the devel, and al his Servaundes, the qwilk tourmentes gude men, and makes tham captyfs in pyne. Then glade sal Jacob; that es, al that wirstils o gayns vices and actyf: and fayne sal be Israel: that es, al that with the clene egh of thair hert, sees God in contemplatyf lyf. For Jacob es als mikil at say als, Wrestler, or suplanter of Syn. Israel es, man seand God.
Of the two chief opinions relative to the design of this Psalm:
1. That it refers to Absalom's rebellion. 2. That it is a complaint of the captives in Babylon; I incline to the latter, as by far the most probable.
I have referred, in the note on ver. 3, to that remarkable addition of no less than six verses, which is found here in the Vulgate, the Vatican copy of the Septuagint, the AEthiopic, and the Arabic, and also in St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, iii. 13-18, which he is supposed to have quoted from this Psalm as it then stood in the Hebrew text; or in the version of the Seventy, from which it has been generally thought he borrowed them. That they are not interpolations in the New Testament is evident from this, that they are not wanting in any MS. yet discovered; and they exist in all the ancient versions, the Vulgate, Syriac, AEthiopic, and Arabic. Yet it has been contended, particularly by St. Jerome, that St. Paul did not quote them from this Psalm; but, being intent on showing the corruption and misery of man, he collected from different parts several passages that bore upon the subject, and united them here, with his quotation from Psa. xiv. 3, as if they had all belonged to that place: and that succeeding copyists, finding them in Romans, as quoted from that Psalm, inserted them into the Septuagint, from which it was presumed they had been lost. It does not appear that they made a part of this Psalmin Origen's Hexapla. In the portions that still exist of this Psalm there is not a word of these additional verses referred to in that collection, neither here nor in the parallel Psalm 53.
The places from which Jerome and others say St. Paul borrowed them are the following: - Rom. iii. 13: "Their mouth is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit." Borrowed from Psa. v. 10.
"The poison of asps is under their lips." From Psa. cxl. 3.
Rom. iii. 14: "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness." From Psa. x. 7.
Rom. iii. 15: "Their feet are swift to shed blood." From Proverbs i. 16, or Isa. lix. 7.
Romansiii. 16-18: "Destruction and misery are in their ways, the way of peace they have not known, and there is no fear of God before their eyes." From Isa. lix. 7, 8.
When the reader has collated all these passages in the original, he will probably feel little satisfaction relative to the probability of the hypothesis they are summoned to support.
These verses are not found in the best copies of the Vulgate, though it appears they were in the old Itala or Antehieronymain version. They are not in the Codex Alexandrinus of the Septuagint; nor are they in either the Greek or Latin text of the Complutenstan Polyglot. They are wanting also in the Antwerp and Parisian Polyglots. They are neither in the Chaldee nor Syriac versions. They are not acknowledged as a part of this Psalm by Theodouret, Chrysostom, Euthymius, Arnobius, Apollinaris, the Greek Catena, Eusebius, of Caesarea, nor Jerome. The latter, however, acknowledges that they were in his time read in the churches. I have seen no Latin MS. without them; and they are quoted by Justin Martyr and Augustine. They are also in the Editio Princeps of the Vulgate, and in all the ancient Psalters known. They are in that Psalter which I have frequently quoted, both in the Latino-Scotico-English version and paraphrase.
"Of this version the following is a faithful copy, beginning with the third verse of the fourteenth Psalm: " - "Al tha helddid togyher; thai er made unprofytable:"Thar es none that dos gude; thar es none til one."A grave opynnand, es the throte of tham."With thaire tunges trycherusly thai wroght"Venym of snakes undir the lippis of tham."Qwhas mouth es ful of werying and bitternes:"Swyft thaire fete to spil blode."Brekyng and wikednes in thair waies:"And the way of pees thai knew noght:"The drede of God es noght byfore the eghen of thaim." There is a good deal of difference between this, and that version attributed to Wiclif, as it stands in my large MS. Bible, quoted in different parts of the New Testament, particularly in 1 Cor. xiii. 1, &c. I shall give it here line for line with the above.
"Alle boweden aweye to gydre: thei ben maad unprofitable:" "There is not that doith good thing, ther is not to oon."A Sepulcre opnyng is the throote of hem:"With her tungis thei diden gylinly;" or trecherously": "The venym of eddris," that is clepid Aspis, "under her lippis:"The mouth of whom is ful of cursing," or worrying "and bittrenesse:"The feet of hem ben swift to schede out blood:"Contricion or" defouling to God, "and infelicite" or cursidnesse, "the wayes of hem;" "And thei knewen not the weyes of pees;"The dreed of God is not bifore her ygen." The words underlined in the above are added by the translator as explanatory of the preceding terms. It is worthy of remark that Coverdale inserts the whole of the addition in this Psalm, and Cardmarden has inserted it in his Bible, but in a letter different from the text.
It is now time to state what has been deemed of considerable importance to the authenticity of these verses; viz., that they are found in a Hebrew MS., numbered by Kennicott in his catalogue 649. It is in the public library at Leyden; contains the Psalms with a Latin version and Scholia; and appears to have been written about the end of the fourteenth century and probably by some Christian. I shall give the text with a literal translation, as it stands in this MS., line for line with the preceding: - µnwrg jwtp rbq An open sepulcher is their throat; wyqyljy µnwl With their tongues they flatter; µnwl tjt bwk[ tmj The venom of the asp is under their tongue; alm hmrmw hla µhyp ra Whose mouth of cursing and bitterness is full; µd ūwpl µhylgr wlq Swift are their feet to shed blood; µhykrdb [r [gpw [r lzm An evil aspect, and an evil event, in their ways: w[dy al µwl ūrdw And the way of peace they know not.
µhyny[ rgnl µyhla djp ya No fear of God before their eyes.
It would be easy to criticise upon the Hebrew In this long quotation. I shall content myself with what Calmet, who received his information from others that had inspected the Leyden MS., says of this addition: "Les seavans, qui ont examine ce manuscrit, y ont remarque un Hebreu barbare en cet endroit; et des facons de parler, qui ne sentent point les siecles ou la langue Hebraique etoit en usage."Learned men, who have examined this MS., have remarked a barbarous Hebraism in this place, and modes of speech which savour not of those ages in which the Hebrew language was in use." If this be an interpolation in the Psalm, it is very ancient; as we have the testimony of Jerome, who was prejudiced against it, that it was read in all the churches in his time, and how long before we cannot tell. And that these verses are a valuable portion of Divine revelation, as they stand in Rom. iii. 13-18, none can successfully deny. See Rosenmuller, Kennicott, and De Rossi.
ANALYSIS OF THE FOURTEENTH PSALM
This Psalms is the practical atheist's character, and has TWO parts: - I. The description of the practical atheist, ver. 1- 7.
II. A petition for the Church, ver. 7.
I. 1. The atheist is here noted to us by different characters: - 1. From his name, lbn nabal, a fool, or rather a churl; no natural fool, but a sinful: a fool in that in which he should be wise.
2. His hypocrisy or cunning; he saith, but he will not have it known, it is to himself, "He saith in his heart." He is a close, politic fool.
3. His saying, or his chief and prime principle: "There is no God." 4. From his practice; confessing God in his words for some political advantages, yet in his works denying him. For, 1. His heart is wicked and unregenerate: "They are corrupt." 2. He is a sinner in a high practical degree: "They have done abominable works." 3. He performs no duty: "There is none that doeth good." He commits sin; he omits duty.
2. The psalmist demonstrates what he said three ways; and convinces them: - 1. By the testimony of God himself; he is a witness against them. He is, 1. An eyewitness: he looks on. 2. He is in heaven, and they are continually under his notice: "He looked down from heaven." 3. He sees the children of men, their hearts and their works. 4. And the object of his looking is to inquire after their religion: "To see if there were any that did understand and seek God." 2. And then he gives his testimony in these general terms: "They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one." 3. Next he accuses them of two sins of which they were especially guilty. 1. Injustice: "They eat up my people as bread." 2. Impiety: "They call not upon the Lord." 4. And that his testimony is true, he convinces them, 1. By the light of their own conscience: "Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge?" Does not their own conscience tell them that all this is true? Do they not know this? 2. By fear and terror, the effects of an evil conscience: "There were they in great fear." They said, There is no God; but their conscience told them that God was in the congregation of the righteous, and that they should grievously answer for their injustice and impiety. 3. By the hardness of their heart, and contempt of the good counsels of the godly. If he reproved, they mocked. If he said God was his refuge, they laughed him to scorn. "Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his refuge." II. The second part of the Psalmcontains a petition for the Church: - 1. He prays that God would send salvation to his people.
2. That it might be out of Zion; because Christ was anointed and set a King upon the holy hill of Zion: "O that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion!" 3. For then the consequence would be the great joy and happiness of all his people for their deliverance from captivity, spiritual and temporal: "When the Lord bringeth back tne captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad."