Verse 13. "The pastures are clothed with flocks " - Cattle are seen in every plain, avenue, and vista, feeding abundantly; and the valleys are clothed, and wave with the richest harvests; and transports of joy are heard every where in the cheerful songs of the peasantry, the singing of the birds, the neighing of the horse, the lowing of the ox, and the bleating of the sheep.
"Claudian uses the same image: " - Viridis amictus montium.
"The green vesture of the mountains." Shout for joy, they also sing. - They are not loud and unmeaning sounds, they are both music and harmony in their different notes; all together form one great concert, and the bounty of God is the subject which they all celebrate. What an inimitable description! And yet the nervous Hebrew is not half expressed, even by the amended translation and paraphrase above.
ANALYSIS OF THE SIXTY-FIFTH PSALM
This is wholly a poem of thanksgiving; and teaches us how, and for what, we are to praise God. 1. For spiritual; 2. For temporal blessings; and, 3.
This publicly; in Zion-in his Church.
It has two general parts: - I. Praise to God for his blessings to his followers, ver. 1-5.
II. His common benefits to all mankind, ver. 6-13.
I. He sets forth God's grace to his followers of which he reckons several particulars: - 1. He has established a public ministry among them, and an atoning sacrifice.
2. He directs and hears their prayers; and to him by sacrifice, prayer, and praise, may all human beings come.
3. Though evil tongues may prevail against them for a time, yet he will deliver them.
4. The transgressions committed against him he will accept an atonement for, and pardon, ver. 1-4. See the notes.
5. All that truly worship him in his ordinances shall be made partakers of spiritual blessedness: "We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house," ver. 4.
6. He works powerfully and terribly, but righteously, in behalf of his followers, against their enemies: "By terrible things in righteousness," ver. 5. 1. He answers them when they call. 2. By terrible things, - as in Egypt, the wilderness, &c. 3. And the motive to it is, his justice or righteousness, by which he punishes his enemies, and gives retribution to his people.
All this he concludes with a double eulogy of God:
1. Showing what he is peculiarly to his people: "O God of our salvation." 2. What he is to ALL; "the confidence of all the ends of the earth," for he sustains all, be they where they may.
II. He descends from his peculiar providence, - the care he takes of, and the benefits he bestows on, his Church, - to his general providence, his ordering and sustaining the whole world; which he amplifies: - 1. "By his strength he setteth fast the mountains," &c., which is true literally: but, tropolopically, it may mean kingdoms and states.
2. He stilleth the noise of the sea, - and of the waves, - for to them he sets bounds: "And the tumult of the people." He stills devils, tyrants, armies, seditions, &c.
3. He does this so, that even those who are in the uttermost parts of the sea are afraid at his tokens. They see from the phenomena of nature how powerful and fearful God is.
4. The sun, moon, planets, and stars are under his guidance. Day and night are ordered by him: "Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice." 5. The earth and its inhabitants are his peculiar care: "Thou visitest the earth," &c., ver. 9-11.
In all which the prophet shoves God's mercy, 1. In the rain. 2. In the rivers. 3. In the growing of the corn. 4. In providing grass for cattle. 5. In providing store in the summer and autumn. 6. His clouds drop fatness upon the earth, and all nature rejoices. The meaning of all is, Man may plough, sow, dig, manure, prune, watch, fence, &c.; but it is God that gives the increase.
For an account of the imagery here employed, see the notes. The Psalms is grand beyond description, and can never be sufficiently admired.