Verse 13. "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel " - By all these circumstances and events glory shall redound to the name of God for ever; for the record of these things shall never perish, but be published from one generation to another; and it has been so.
"From everlasting, and to everlasting. " - µlw[h d[w µlw[hm mehaolam vead haolam; From the hidden time to the hidden time; from that which had no beginning to that which has no end.
"To which he subscribes, Amen and Amen. Fiat, fiat. " - Vulgate. genoito, genoito. - Septuagint. The Chaldee says, "And let the righteous say, Amen, and Amen." "Be blessed, Lord God of Israel, from world, and in world. Be it! So be it!" - Anglo- Saxon. To which the Old Psalter approaches very nearly: "Blyssed Lord God of Isrel, fra werld, and in werld: Be it done! be it done." Thus illustrated by the same, "Fra werld in werld"; that es, fra the bygynnyng of this wereld, in til wereld that lastes ay. "Be it done, be it done." This dubblying schews that it es at do of al men. In Latyn, it es, fiat, fiat! in Ebru, Amen Amen es writyn: tharfore that Aquila translated vere, vel fideliter, that es, sothfastly or trew.
Thus ends what the Hebrews call the first book of Psalms; for the reader will recollect that this book is divided by the Jews into five books, the first of which ends with this Psalm.
This doxology, Dr. Kennicott supposes, may have been added by the collector of this book; and he thinks that the division into books is not arbitrary, and that the Psalms were collected at different times by different persons. See the Introduction. There is certainly a considerable variety in the style of the several books; in the examination of which the Hebrew critic will not lose his labour.
ANALYSIS OF THE FORTY-FIRST PSALM
In this Psalm David shows how men should, and how commonly they do, carry themselves towards men in affliction and trouble.
I. They should behave compassionately and kindly, which would tend to their own happiness, and cause them to find mercy from God, ver. 1-4.
II. But they commonly behave unkindly, and afflict the afflicted, ver. 4-10.
III. On which unkindness he flies to God, and prays for mercy, ver. 11; shows his hope and confidence in God, ver. 11, 12.
I. He begins with an excellent grave sentence: "Blessed is he who considereth the poor;" that is, any man in trouble and want, &c. This is a happy man. His particular comforts and privileges are six: - 1. "The Lord will deliver him in the time of trouble." 2. The Lord will preserve him, "that he faint not in his troubles." 3. The Lord will keep him alive. Prolong his life and days.
4. "He shall be blessed upon earth: "God shall enrich him, and bless his substance.
5. He shall not be delivered unto the will of his enemies, - never to their full desires, though often into their hands.
6. "The Lord will strengthen him upon a bed of languishing," and make all his bed in his sickness: he shall have comfort and assurance of God's favour.
II. He begins the second part with an ejaculation: - 1. "I said, The Lord be merciful unto me!" pardon my sin.
2. "Heal my soul:" extract the sting of sin, and all inward corruption.
3. He prays thus, because he is sensible that he "has sinned against the Lord." The complaint against himself being ended, he begins to complain of others.
1. Of their hatred and malice: "Mine enemies speak evil of me." 2. Of their cruelty; they longed for his death: "When shall he die, and his name perish?" they would have even his memorial cut off.
3. Their perfidious dealing and dissimulation. They came to visit him: but it was fraudulently to search out his counsels, and to entrap him in his words; and then to detail them abroad: "If he come to see me," &c.
4. Of their plots and conspiracies: "All they that hate me whisper," &c.
5. Their exultation at his misery: "An evil disease, say they, cleaveth unto him," &c.
6. Of the perfidiousness of some particular friend, perhaps Ahithophel: "Yea, mine own familiar friend hath lifted up his heel against me." III. And then, against all these evils, and in his own defense, he prays: "But thou, O Lord, be merciful unto me, and raise me up." For which he gives these reasons: - 1. That thereby, as a king, he should have power to do justice on traitors: "That I may requite them." 2. By this he should have experience of God's favour: "By this I know thou favourest me," &c.
3. It will be a testimony unto me that thou favourest not only my person, but my cause: "As for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever." The Psalm, and with it the first book of the Psalms, according to the Jewish division, is closed with a doxology to God: "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen."