Verse 7. "As well the singers, &c. " - Perhaps, this may mean no more than, The burden of the songs of all the singers and choristers shall be, "All my fountains (ancestors and posterity) are in thee;" and consequently, entitled to all thy privileges and immunities. Instead of µyr sharing "singers," many MSS. and early printed editions have, sarim, "princes." Some for yny[m mayenai, "my fountains," would read with several of the Versions, ynw[m meoney, "habitations;" but no MS. yet discovered supports this reading.
It would be a very natural cause of exultation, when considering the great privileges of this royal city, to know that all his friends, family, and children, were citizens of this city, were entered in God's register, and were entitled to his protection and favour. Applied to the Christian Church, the privileges are still higher: born of God, enrolled among the living in Jerusalem, having their hearts purified by faith, and being washed and made clean through the blood of the covenant, and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, such have a right to the inheritance among the saints in light. I need not add that springs, wells, fountains, and cisterns, and waters are used metaphorically in the sacred writings for children, posterity, fruitful women, people, &c.; see among others Prov. v. 15, 16; Psa. lxxxviii. 26; Isa. xlviii. 1; and Revelation xvii. 15. The old Psalter understands the whole as relating to Gospel times; and interprets it accordingly. Bishop Horne takes it in the same sense. The whole Psalms is obscure and difficult.
I will venture a literal version of the whole, with a few explanatory interpolations, instead of notes, in order to cast a little more light upon it.
1. A Psalm to be sung by the posterity of Korah. A prophetic song.
2. "Jehovah loves his foundation, the city built by him on holy mountains. He loves the gates of Zion more than all the habitations of Jacob." 3. "honourable things are declared of thee, O city of God. Selah." 4. "I will number Egypt and Babylon among my worshippers; behold Philistia and Tyre! They shall be born in the same place." They shall be considered as born in the city of God.
5. "But of Zion it shall be said, This one, and that one," persons of different nations, "was born in it, and the Most High shall establish it." 6. "Jehovah shall reckon in the registers of the people, This one was born there." 7. "The people shall sing, as in leading up a choir, All my fountains," the springs of my happiness, "are in thee." I have nearly followed here the version of Mr. N. M. Berlin, who wonders that there should be any doubt concerning this translation of the last verse, when Symmachus and Aguila, who must have well known the sense of the Masoretic text, have translated: kai adonthv wv coroi pasai phgai en soi "And they shall sing, as in leading up a dance, All my fountains are in thee." The translation cannot be far from the meaning.
ANALYSIS OF THE EIGHTY-SEVENTH PSALM
This Psalm contains marks of the beauty and perfection of the Church.
1. Its foundation. The author is GOD, it is his foundation; not laid in the sand, but upon the mountains, not common, but holy mountains, ver. 1.
2. The Lord loveth his Church-this assembly, beyond all others: "The Lord loveth," &c., ver. 2.
3. All the prophets have spoken glorious things concerning it, and have considered it as the "city of God," ver. 3.
4. One of the glorious things spoken of it was the conversion of the Gentiles to it. So here Egyptians, Babylonians, Tyrians, Ethiopians, &c., are to be gathered into it by regeneration. They shall all be brought to know the true God; and shall be classed in the multitude of those who know him, i.e., who offer him a pure and holy worship, ver. 4.
5. By having the word of God in this true Church, they shall be converted to God; so that it may be said, "This and that man were born to God in it," ver. 5.
6. All other cities shall decay and perish; but the Church of God, the city of the Great King, shall be established for ever, the gates of hell shall never prevail against it, ver. 5.
7. The converted Gentiles shall have equal privileges with the converted Jews; and in the Christian Church they shall all be enrolled without difference or precedence, ver. 6.
8. They shall enjoy a perpetual solemnity. They shall ever have cause to sing and rejoice, ver. 7.
9. The highest privilege is that in God's Church he opens the fountains of living water; in his ordinances God dispenses every blessing; every sincere and upright soul rejoices in opportunities to wait on God in his ordinances, Such a one can sing, "All my springs are in thee." All other fountains are muddy; this alone is as clear as crystal.
Worldly springs yield no pure delight; all there are mixed and turbulent: all here are refreshing, satisfying, delightful.