Augustin on Psalms 19
1. It is a well-known title; nor does the Lord Jesus Christ say what follows, but it is said of Him.
2. "The heavens tell out the glory of God" (verse 1). The righteous Evangelists, in whom, as in the heavens, God dwelleth, set forth the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, or the glory wherewith the Son glorified the Father upon earth. "And the firmament showeth forth the works of His hands." And the firmament showeth forth the deeds of the Lord's power, that now made heaven by the assurance of the Holy Ghost, which before was earth by fear.
3. "Day unto day uttereth word" (verse 2). To the spiritual the Spirit giveth out the fulness of the unchangeable Wisdom of God, the Word which in the beginning is God with God.(8) "And night unto night announceth knowledge." And to the fleshly, as to those afar off, the mortality of the flesh, by conveying faith, announceth future knowledge.
4. "There is no speech nor language, in which their voices are not heard" (verse 3). In which the voices of the Evangelists have not been heard, seeing that the Gospel was preached in every tongue.
5. "Their sound is gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world"(9) (verse 4).
6. "In the sun hath He set His tabernacle." Now that He might war against the powers of temporal error, the Lord, being about to send not peace but a sword on earth,(10) in time, or in manifestation, set so to say His military dwelling, that is, the dispensation of His incarnation. "And He as a bridegroom coming forth out of His chamber" (verse 5). And He, coming forth out of the Virgin's womb, where God was united to man's nature as a bridegroom to a bride. "Rejoiced as a giant to run His way." Rejoiced as One exceeding strong, and surpassing all other men in power incomparable, not to inhabit, but to run His way. For, "He stood not in the way of sinners. "(1)
7. "His going forth is from the highest heaven" (verse 6). From the Father is His going forth, not that in time, but from everlasting, whereby He was born of the Father. "And His meeting is even to the height of heaven." And in the fulness of the Godhead He meets even to an equality with the Father.(2) "And there is none that may hide himself from His heat." But whereas, "the Word was even made flesh, and dwelt in us,"(3) assuming our mortality, He permitted no man to excuse himself from the shadow of death; for the heat of the Word penetrated even it.
8. "The law of the Lord is undefiled, converting souls" (verse 7). The law of the Lord, therefore, is Himself who came to fulfil the law, not to destroy it;(4) an undefiled law, "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth,"(5) not oppressing souls with the yoke of bondage, but converting them to imitate Him in liberty. "The testimony of the Lord is sure, giving wisdom to babes." "The testimony of the Lord is sure;" for, "no man knoweth the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him,"(6) which things have been hidden from the wise and revealed to babes;(7) for, "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble." 8)
9. "The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart" (verse 8). All the statutes of the Lord are right in Him who taught not what He did not; that they who should imitate Him might rejoice in heart, in those things which they should do freely with love, not slavishly with fear. "The commandment of the Lord is lucid, enlightening the eyes." "The commandment of the Lord is lucid," with no veil of carnal observances, enlightening the sight of the inner man.
10. "The fear of the Lord is chaste, enduring for ever" (verse 9). "The fear of the Lord;" not that distressing(9) fear under the law, dreading exceedingly the withdrawal of temporal goods, by the love of which the soul commits fornication; but that chaste fear wherewith the Church, the more ardently she loves her Spouse, the more carefully does she take heed of offending Him, and therefore, "perfect love casteth" not "out" this" fear,"(10) but it endureth for everse
11. "The judgments of the Lord are true, justified together." The judgments of Him, who "judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son,"(11) are justified in truth unchangeably. For neither in His threatenings nor His promises doth God deceive any man, nor can any withdraw either from the ungodly His punishment, or from the godly His reward. "To be desired more than gold, and much precious stone" (verse 10). Whether it be "gold and stone itself much," or "much precious," or "much to be desired;" still, the judgments of God are to be desired more than the pomp of this world; by desire of which it is brought to pass that the judgments of God are not desired, but feared, or despised, or not believed. But if any be himself gold and precious stone, that he may not be consumed by fire, but received into the treasury of God, more than himself does he desire the judgments of God, whose will he preferreth to his own. "And sweeter than honey and the honey comb." And whether one be even now honey, who, disenthralled already from the chains of this life, is awaiting the day when he may come up to God's feast; or whether he be yet as the honey comb, wrapped about with this life as it were with wax, not mixed and become one with it, but filling it, needing some pressure of God's hand, not oppressing but expressing it, whereby from life temporal it may be strained out into life eternal: to such an one the judgments of God are sweeter than he himself is to himself, for that they are "sweeter than honey and the honey comb."
12. "For Thy servant keepeth them "(verse 11). For to him who keepeth them not the day of the Lord is bitter. "In keeping them there is great reward." Not in any external benefit, but in the thing itself, that God's judgments are kept, is there great reward; great because one rejoiceth therein.
13. "Who understandeth sins?" (verse But what sort of sweetness can there be in sins, where there is no understanding? For who can understand sins, which close the very eye, to which truth is pleasant, to which the judgments of God are desirable and sweet? yea, as darkness closes the eye, so do sins the mind, and suffer it not to see either the light, or itself.
14. "Cleanse me, O Lord, from my secret faults." From the lusts which lie hid in me, cleanse me, O Lord. "And from the" faults "of others preserve Thy servant" (verse 13). Let me not be led astray by others. For he is not a prey to the faults of others, who is cleansed from his own. Preserve therefore from the lusts of others, not the proud man, and him who would be his own master, but, Thy servant. "If they get not the dominion over me, then shall I be undefiled." If neither my own secret sins, nor those of others, get the dominion over me, then shall I be undefiled. For there is no third source of sin, but one's own secret sin, by which the devil fell, and another's sin, by which man is seduced, so as by consenting to make it his own. "And I shall be cleansed from the great offence." What but pride? for there is none greater than apostasy from God, which is "the beginning of the pride of man."(1) And he shall indeed be undefiled, who is free from this offence also; for tiffs is the last to them who are returning to God, which was the first as they departed from Him.
15. "And the words of my mouth shall be pleasing, and the meditation of my heart is always in Thy sight" (verse 14). The meditation of my heart is not after the vain glory of pleasing men, for now there is pride no more, but in Thy sight alway, who regardest a pure conscience "O Lord, my Helper, and my Redeemer"(2) (verse 15). O Lord, my Helper, in my approach to Thee; for Thou art my Redeemer, that I might set out unto Thee: lest any attributing to his own wisdom his conversion to Thee, or to his own strength his attaining to Thee, should be rather driven back by Thee, who resistest the proud; for he is not cleansed from the great offence, nor pleasing in Thy sight, who redeemest us that we may be converted, and helpest us that we may attain unto Thee.
20 (Ps 20 vulg 19)
1. This is a well-known title; and it is not Christ who speaks; but the prophet speaks to Christ, under the form of wishing, foretelling things to come.(4)
2. "The Lord hear Thee in the day of trouble" (verse 1). The Lord hear Thee in the day in which Thou saidst, "Father glorify Thy Son."(5) "The name of the God of Jacob protect Thee." For to Thee belongeth the younger people. Since "the eider shall serve the younger."(6)
3. "Send Thee help from the Holy, and from Sion defend Thee" (verse 2). Making for Thee a sanctified Body, the Church, from watching(7) safe, which waiteth when Thou shalt come from the wedding.
4. "Be mindful of all Thy sacrifice" (verse 3). Make us mindful of all Thy injuries and despiteful treatment, which Thou hast borne for us. "And be Thy whole burnt offering made fat." And turn the cross, whereon Thou wast wholly offered up to God, into the joy of the resurrection.
5. "Diapsalma. The Lord render to Thee according to Thine Heart" (verse 4). The Lord render to Thee, not according to their heart, who thought by persecution they could destroy Thee; but according to Thine Heart, wherein Thou knewest what profit Thy passion would have.(8) "And fulfil all Thy counsel." "And fulfil all Thy counsel," not only that whereby Thou didst lay down Thy life for Thy friends,(9) that the corrupted grain might rise again to more abundance;(10) but that also whereby "blindness in part hath happened unto Israel, that the fulness of the Gentiles might enter in, and so an Israel might be saved."(11)
6. "We will exult in Thy salvation" (verse 5). We will exult in that death will in no wise hurt Thee; for so Thou wilt also show that it cannot hurt us either. "And in the name of the Lord our God will we be magnified." And the confession of Thy name shall not only not destroy us, but shall even magnify us.
7. "The Lord fulfil all Thy petitions." The Lord fulfil not only the petitions which Thou madest on earth, but those also whereby Thou intercedest for us in heaven. "Now have I known that the Lord hath saved his Christ" (verse 6). Now hath it been shown to me in prophecy, that the Lord will raise up His Christ again. "He will hear Him from His holy heaven." He will hear Him not from earth only, where He prayed to be glorified;(12) but from heaven also, where interceding for us at the Right Hand of the Father,(13) He hath from thence shed abroad the Holy Spirit on them that believe on Him. "In strength is the safety of His right hand." Our strength is in the safety of His favour, when even out of tribulation He giveth help, that "when we are weak, then we may be strong."(14) "For vain is "that "safety of man,"(15) which comes not of His right hand but of His left: for thereby are they lifted up to great pride, whosoever in their sins have secured a temporal safety.
8. "Some in chariots, and some in horses" (verse 7). Some are drawn away by the ever moving succession of temporal goods; and some are preferred to proud honours, and in them exult: "But we will exult in the name of the Lord our God." But we, fixing our hope on things eternal, and not seeking our own glory, will exult in the name of the Lord our God.
9. "They have been bound, and fallen" (verse 8). And therefore were they bound by the lust of temporal things, fearing to spare the Lord, lest they should lose their place by "the Romans:"(1) and rushing violently on the stone of offence and rock of stumbling, they fell from the heavenly hope: to whom the blindness in part of Israel hath happened, being ignorant of God's righteousness, and wishing to establish their own.(2) "But we are risen, and stand upright." But we, that the Gentile people might enter in, out of the stones raised up as children to Abraham,(3) who followed not after righteousness, have attained to it, and are risen;(4) and not by our own strength, but being justified by faith, we stand upright.
10. "O Lord, save the King:" that He, who in His Passion hath shown us an example of conflict, should also offer up our sacrifices, the Priest raised from the dead, and established in heaven. "And hear us in the day when we shall call on Thee" (verse 9). And as He now offereth for us, "hear us in the day when we shall call on Thee."
21 (Ps 21)
1. The title is a familiar one; the Psalm is of Christ.(6)
2. "O Lord, the King shall rejoice in Thy strength" (verse 1). O Lord, in Thy strength, whereby the Word was made flesh, the Man Christ Jesus shall rejoice. "And shall exult exceedingly in Thy salvation." And in that, whereby Thou quckenest all things, shall exult exceedingly.
3. "Thou hast given Him the desire of His soul" (vet. 2). He desired to eat the Passover,(7) and to lay down His life when He would, and again when He would to take it; and Thou hast given it to Him.(8) "And hast not deprived Him of the good pleasure of His lips." "My peace," saith He, "I leave with you:"(9) and it was done.
4. "For Thou hast presented Him with the blessings of sweetness" (verse 3). Because He had first quaffed the blessing of Thy sweetness, the gall of our sins did not hurt Him. "Diapsalma. Thou hast set a crown of precious stone on His Head."(10) At the beginning of His discoursing precious stones were brought, and compassed Him about;(11) His disciples, from whom the commencement of His preaching should be made.
5. "He asked life; and Thou gavest Him:" He asked a resurrection, saying, "Father, glorify Thy Son;"(12) and Thou gavest it Him, "Length of days for ever and ever" (verse 4). The prolonged ages of this world which the Church was to have, and after them an eternity, world without end.
6. "His glory is great in Thy salvation" (verse 5). Great indeed is His glory in the salvation, whereby Thou hast raised Him up again. "Glory and great honour shalt Thou lay upon Him." But Thou shalt yet add unto Him glory and great honour, when Thou shall place Him in heaven at Thy right hand.
7. "For Thou shalt give Him blessing for ever and everse" This is the blessing which Thou shalt give Him for ever and ever: "Thou shall make Him glad in joy together with Thy countenance" (verse 6). According to His manhood, Thou shall make Him glad together with Thy countenance, which He lifted up to Thee.
8. "For the King hopeth in the Lord." For the King is not proud, but humble in heart, he hopeth in the Lord. "And in the mercy of the Most Highest He shall not be moved" (verse 7). And in the mercy of the Most Highest His obedience even unto the death of the Cross shall not disturb His humility.
9. "Let Thy hand be found by all Thine enemies." Be Thy power, O King, when Thou comest to judgment, found by all Thine enemies; who in Thy humiliation discerned it not. "Let Thy right hand find out all that hate Thee" (verse 8). Let the glory, wherein Thou reignest at the right hand of the Father, find out for punishment in the day of judgment all that hate Thee ; for that now they have not found it.
10. "Thou shalt make them like a fiery oven:" Thou shalt make them on fire within, by the consciousness of their ungodliness: "In the time of Thy countenance:" in the time of Thy manifestation. "The Lord shall trouble them in His wrath, and the fire shall devour them" (verse 9). And then, being troubled by the vengeance of the Lord, after the accusation of their conscience, they shall be given up to eternal fire, to be devoured.
11. "Their fruit shalt Thou destroy cut of the earth." Their fruit, because it is earthly, shalt Thou destroy out of the earth. "And their seed from the sons of men" (verse 10). And their works; or, whomsoever they have seduced, Thou shalt not reckon among the sons of men, whom Thou hast called into the everlasting inheritance.
12. "Because they turned evils against Thee." Now this punishment shall be recompensed to them, because the evils which they supposed to hang over them by Thy reign, they turned against Thee to Thy death. "They imagined a device, which they were not able to establish" (verse 11). They imagined a device, saying, "It is expedient that one die for all:"(1) which they were not able to establish, not knowing what they said.
13. "For Thou shalt set them low." For Thou shalt rank them among those from whom in degradation and contempt Thou wilt turn away. "In Thy leavings(2) Thou shalt make ready their countenance" (verse 12). And in these things that Thou leavest, that is, in the desires of an earthly kingdom, Thou shalt make ready their shamelessness for Thy passion.
14. "Be Thou exalted, O Lord, in Thy strength" (verse 13). Be Thou, Lord, whom in humiliation they did not discern, exalted in Thy strength, which they thought weakness. "We will sing and praise Thy power." In heart and in deed we will celebrate and make known Thy marvels.
22 (Ps 22)
1. "To the end," for His own resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself speaketh.(5) For in the morning on the first day of the week was His resurrection, whereby He was taken up, into eternal life, "Over whom death shall have no more dominion."(6) Now what follows is spoken in the person of The Crucified. For from the head of this Psalm are the words, which He cried out, whilst hanging on the Cross, sustaining also the person of the old man, whose mortality He bare. For our old man was nailed together with Him to the Cross.(7)
2. "O God, my God, look upon me, why hast Thou forsaken(8) me far from my salvation?" (verse 1). Far removed from my salvation: for" salvation is far from sinners."(9) "The words of my sins." For these are not the words of righteousness, but of my sins. For it is the old man nailed to the Cross that speaks, ignorant even of the reason why God hath forsaken him: or else it may be thus, The words of my sins are far from my salvation.
3. "My God, I will cry unto Thee in the daytime, and Thou wilt not hear (verse 2). My God, I will cry unto Thee in the prosperous circumstances of this life, that they be not changed; and Thou wilt not hear, because I shall cry unto Thee in the words of my sins. "And in the night-season, and not to my folly." And so in the adversities of this life will I cry to Thee for prosperity; and in like manner Thou wilt not hear. And this Thou doest not to my folly, but rather that I may have wisdom to know what Thou wouldest have me cry for, not with the words of sins out of longing for life temporal, but with the words of turning to Thee for life eternal.
4. "But Thou dwellest in the holy place, O Thou praise of Israel" (verse 3). But Thou dwellest in the holy place, and therefore wilt not hear the unclean words of sins. The "praise" of him that seeth Thee; not of him who hath sought his own praise in tasting of the forbidden fruit, that on the opening of his bodily eyes he should endeavour to hide himself from Thy sight.
5. "Our Fathers hoped in Thee." All the righteous, namely, who sought not their own praise, but Thine. "They hoped in Thee, and Thou deliveredst them" (verse 4).
6. "They cried unto Thee, and were saved." They cried unto Thee, not in the words of sins, from which salvation is far; and therefore were they saved. "They hoped in Thee, and were not confounded" (verse 5). "They hoped in Thee," and their hope did not deceive them. For they placed it not in themselves.
7. "But I am a worm, and no man" (verse 6). But I, speaking now not in the person of Adam, but I in My own person, Jesus Christ, was born without human generation in the flesh, that I might be as man beyond men; that so at least human pride might deign to imitate My humility. "The scorn of men, and outcast of the people." In which humility I was made the scorn of men, so as that it should be said, as a reproachful railing, "Be thou His disciple: "(10) and that the people despise Me.
8. "All that saw Me laughed Me to scorn" (verse 7). All that saw Me derided Me. "And spoke with the lips, and shook the head."(11) And they spoke, not with the heart, but with the lips.
9. For they shook their head in derision, saying, "He trusted in the Lord let Him deliver Him: "(12) let Him save Him, since He desireth Him" (ver 8).These were their words; but they were spoken "with the lips."
10. "Since Thou art He who drew Me out of the womb" (verse 9). Since Thou art He who drew Me, not only out of that Virgin womb (for this is the law of all men's birth, that they be drawn out of the womb), but also out of the womb of the Jewish nation; by the darkness whereof he is covered, and not yet born into the light of Christ, whosoever places his salvation in the carnal observance of the Sabbath, and of circumcision, and the like. "My hope from My mother's breasts." "My hope," O God, not from the time when I began to be fed by the milk of the Virgin's breasts; for it was even before; but from the breasts of the Synagogue, as I have said, out of the womb, Thou hast drawn Me, that I should not suck in the customs of the flesh.
11. "I have been strengthened in Thee from the womb" (verse 10). It is the womb of the Synagogue, which did not carry Me, but threw Me out: but I fell not, for Thou heldest me. "From My mother's womb Thou art My God." "From My mother's womb: My mother's womb did not cause that, as a babe, I should be forgetful of Thee.
12. "Thou art My God," "depart not from Me; for trouble is hard at hand" (verse 11). Thou art, therefore, My God, depart not from Me; for trouble is nigh unto Me; for it is in My body. "For there is none to help." For who helpeth, if Thou helpest not?
13. "Many calves came about Me." The multitude of the wanton populace came about Me. "Fat bulls closed Me in" (verse 12). And their leaders, glad at My oppression, "closed Me in."
14. "They opened their mouth upon Me" (verse 13). They opened their mouth upon Me, not out of Thy Scripture, but of their own lusts. "As a ravening and roaring lion." As a lion, whose ravening is, that I was taken and led; and whose roaring, "Crucify, Crucify."(1).
15. "I was poured out like water, and all My bones were scattered" (verse 14). "I was poured out like water," when My persecutors fell: and through fear, the stays of My body, that is, the Church, My disciples were scattered from Me.(2) "My heart became as melting wax, in the midst of my belly." My wisdom, which was written of Me in the sacred books, was, as if hard and shut up, not understood: but after that the fire of My Passion was applied, it was, as if melted, manifested, and entertained in the memory of My Church.
16. "My strength dried up as a potsherd" (verse 15). My strength dried up by My Passion; not as hay, but a potsherd, which is made stronger by fire. "And My tongue cleaved to My jaws." And they, through whom I was soon to speak, kept My precepts in their hearts. "And Thou broughtest Me down to the dust of death." And to the ungodly appointed to death, whom the wind casteth forth as dust from the face of the earth,(3) Thou broughtest Me down.
17. "For many dogs came about Me" (verse 16). For many came about Me barking, not for truth, but for custom. "The council of the malignant came about Me." The council of the malignant besieged Me. (4) "They pierced My hands and feet." They pierced with nails My hands and feet.
18. "They numbered distinctly all My bones" (verse 17). They numbered distinctly all My bones, while extended on the wood of the Cross. "Yea, these same regarded, and beheld Me." Yea, these same, that is, unchanged, regarded-and beheld Me.
19. "They divided My garments for themselves, and cast the lot upon My vesture"(5) (verse 18).
20. "But Thou, O Lord, withhold not Thy help far from Me" (verse 19). But Thou, O Lord, raise Me up again, not as the rest of men, at the end of the world, but immediately. "Look to My defence." "Look," that they in no wise hurt Me.
21. "Deliver My soul from the sword." "Deliver My soul" from the tongue of dissension. "And My only One from the hand of the dog" (verse 20). And from the power of the people, barking after their custom, deliver My Church.
22. "Save Me from the lion's mouth:" save Me from the mouth of the kingdom of this world: "and my humility from the horns of the unicorns "(6) (verse 21). And from the loftiness of the proud, exalting themselves to special pre-eminence, and enduring no partakers, save My humility.
23. "I will declare Thy name to My brethren"(7) (verse 22). I will declare Thy name to the humble,(8) and to My Brethren that love one another as they have been beloved by Me.(9) "In the midst of the Church will I sing of Thee." In the midst of the Church will I with rejoicing preach Thee.
24. "Ye that fear the Lord, praise Him." "Ye that fear the Lord," seek not your own praise, but "praise Him." "All ye seed of Jacob, magnify Him" (verse 23). All ye seed of him whom the elder shall serve, magnify Him.
25. "Let all the seed of Israel fear Him." Let all who have been born to a new life, and restored to the vision of God "fear Him." "Since He hath not despised, nor disregarded the prayer of the poor man" (verse 24). Since He hath not despised the prayer, not of him who, crying unto God in the words of sins was loath to overpass a vain life, but the prayer of the poor man, not swollen up with transitory pomps. "Nor hath He turned away His face from Me." As from him who said, I will cry unto Thee, but Thou wilt not hear. "And when I cried unto Him He heard Me."
26. "With Thee is My praise" (verse 25). For I seek not Mine own praise,(1) for Thou art My praise, who dwellest in the holy place; and, praise of Israel, Thou hearest The Holy One now beseeching Thee. "In the great Church I will confess Thee." In the Church of the whole world" I will confess Thee." "I will offer My vows in the sight of them that fear Him." I will offer the sacraments of My Body and Blood in the sight of them that fear Him.
27. "The poor shall eat, and be filled" (verse 26). The humble and the despisers of the world shall eat, and imitate Me. For so they will neither desire this world's abundance, nor fear its want. "And they shall praise the Lord, who seek Him." For the praise of the Lord is the pouring out of that fulness. "Their hearts shall live for ever and everse" For that food is the food of the heart.
28. "All the borders of the earth shall remember themselves, and be turned to the Lord" (verse 27). They shall remember themselves: for, by the Gentiles, born in death and bent on outward things, God had been forgotten; and then shall all the borders of the earth be turned to the Lord. "And all the kindreds of the nations shall worship in His sight." And all the kindreds of the nations shall worship in their own consciences.
29. "For the kingdom is the Lord's, and He shall rule over the nations" (verse 28). For the kingdom is the Lord's, not proud men's: and He shall rule over the nations.
30. "All the rich of the earth have eaten, and worshipped" 2 (verse 29). The rich of the earth too have eaten the Body of their Lord's humiliation, and though they have not, as the poor, been filled even to imitation, yet they have worshipped. "In His sight shall fall all that descend to earth." For He alone seeth how all they fall, who abandoning a heavenly conversation, make choice, on earth, to appear happy to men, who see not their fall.
31. "And My Soul shall live to Him." And My Soul, which in the contempt of this world seems to men as it were to die, shall live, not to itself, but to Him. "And My seed shall serve Him" (verse 30). And My deeds, or they who through Me believe on Him, shall serve Him.
32. "The generation to come shall be declared to the Lord" (verse 31). The generation of the New Testament shall be declared to the honour of the Lord. "And the heavens shall declare His righteousness." And the Evangelists shall declare His righteousness. "To a people that shall be born, whom the Lord hath made." To a people that shall be born to the Lord through faith.
23 (Ps 23)
1. The Church speaks to Christ: "The Lord feedeth me, and I shall lack nothing" (verse 1 ). The Lord Jesus Christ is my Shepherd, "and I shall lack nothing."
2. "In a place of pasture there hath He placed me" (verse 2). In a place of fresh pasture, leading me to faith,(4) there hath He placed me to be nourished. "By the water of refreshing hath He brought me up." By the water of baptism, whereby they are refreshed who have lost health and strength, hath He brought me up.
3. "He hath converted my soul: He hath led me forth in the paths of righteousness, for His Name's sake" (verse 3). He hath brought me forth in the narrow ways, wherein few walk, of His righteousness; not for my merit's sake, but for His Name's sake.
4. "Yea, though I walk in the midst of the shadow of death" (verse 4). Yea, though I walk in the midst of this life, which is the shadow of death.(5) "I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me." I will fear no evil, for Thou dwellest in my heart by faith: and Thou art now with me, that after the shadow of death I too may be with Thee. "Thy rod and Thy staff, they have comforted me." Thy discipline, like a rod for a flock of sheep, and like a staff for children of some size, and growing out of the natural into spiritual life, they have not been grievous to me; rather have they comforted me: because Thou art mindful of me.
5. "Thou hast prepared a table in my sight, against them that trouble me" (verse 5). Now after the rod, whereby, whilst a little one, and living the natural life, I was brought up among the flock in the pastures; after that rod, I say, when I began to be under the staff, Thou hast prepared a table in my sight, that I should no more be fed as a babe with milk,(6) but being older should take meat, strengthened against them that trouble me. "Thou hast fattened my head with oil." Thou hast gladdened my mind with spiritual joy. "And Thy inebriating cup, how excellent is it!" And Thy cup yielding forgetfulness of former vain delights, how excellent is it !
6. "And Thy mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:" that is, as long as I live in this mortal life, not Thine, but mine. "That I may dwell in the house of the Lord' for length of days" (verse 6). Now Thy mercy shall follow me not here only, but also that I may dwell in the house of the Lord for everse
1. A Psalm of David himself, touching the glorifying and resurrection of the Lord, which took place catty in the morning on the first day of the week, which is now called the Lord's Day.
2. "The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof, the compass of the world, and all they that dwell therein" (verse 1); when the Lord, being glorified, is announced for the believing of all nations; and the whole compass of the world becomes His Church. "He hath founded it above the seas." He hath most firmly established it above all the waves of this world, that they should be subdued by it, and should not hurt it. "And hath prepared it above the rivers" (verse 2). The rivers flow into the sea, and men of lust lapse into the world: these also the Church, which, when worldly lusts have been conquered by the grace of God, hath been prepared by love for the reception of immortality, subdues.
3. "Who shall ascend into the mount of the Lord?" Who shall ascend to the height of the righteousness of the Lord? "Or who shall stand in His holy place?" (verse 3). Or who shall abide in that place, whither He shall ascend,(4) founded above the seas, and prepared above the rivers?
4. "The innocent of hand, and the pure in heart" (verse 4). Who then shall ascend thither, and abide there, but the guiltless in deed, and pure in thought? "Who hath not received his soul in vain." Who hath not reckoned his soul among things that pass away, but feeling it to be immortal, hath longed for an eternity stedfast and unchangeable. "And hath not sworn in deceit to his neighbour." And therefore without deceit, as things eternal are simple and undeceiving, hath so behaved himself to his neighbour.
5. "This man shall receive blessing from the Lord, and mercy from the God of his salvation"(5) (verse 5 )
6. "This is the generation of them that seek the Lord" (verse 6). For thus are they born that seek Him. "Of them that seek the face of the God of Jacob.(6) Diapsalma." Now they seek the face of God, who gave the pre-eminence to the younger born.(7)
7. "'Fake away your gates, ye princes" (verse 7). All ye, that seek rule among men, remove, that they hinder not, the entrances which ye have made, of desire and fear. "And be ye lift up, ye everlasting gates." And be ye lift up, ye entrances of eternal life, of renunciation of the world, and conversion to God. "And the King of glory shall come in." And the King, in whom we may glory without pride, shall come in: who having overcome the gates of death, and having opened for Himself the heavenly places, fulfilled that which He said, "Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world."(8)
1. Ps 24,6. - 2. Ps 24,7. - 3. Ps 24,8. - 4. Jn 16,33.
8. "Who is this King of glory?" Mortal nature is awe-struck in wonder, and asks, "Who is this King of glory? " The Lord strong and mighty." He whom thou didst deem weak and overwhelmed. "The Lord mighty in battle" (verse 8). Handle the scars, and thou wilt find them made whole, and human weakness restored to immortality. The glorifying of the Lord, which was owing to earth, where It warred with death, hath been paid.
9. "Take away your gates, ye princes."(9) Let us go hence straightway into heaven. Again, let the Prophet's trumpet cry aloud, "Take away too, ye princes of the air, the gates, which ye have in the minds of men who `worship the host of heaven.'"(10) "And be ye lift up, ye everlasting gates." And be ye lift up, ye doors of everlasting righteousness, of love, and chastity, through which the soul loveth the One True God, and goeth not a-whoring with the many that are called gods. "And the King of glory shall come in" (verse 9). "And the King of glory shall come in," that He may at the right hand of the Father intercede for us.
1. Ps 24,8. - 2. Ps 24,9. - 3. 2R 18,10.
10. "Who is this King of glory?" What! dost thou too, prince of the power of this air,(11) marvel and ask, "Who is this King of glory?" "The Lord of powers, He is the King of glory" (verse 10). Yea, His Body now quickened, He who was tempted marches above thee; He who was tempted by the angel, the deceiver, goes above all angels. Let none of you put himself before us and stop our way, that he may be worshipped as a god by us: neither principality, nor angel, nor power, separateth us from the love of Christ.'(12) It is good to trust in the Lord, rather than to trust in a prince;(13) that he who glorieth, should glory in the Lord.(13) These indeed are powers in the administration of this world, but "the Lord of powers, He is the King of glory."
1. Rm 8,34 - 2. Ep 11,2 - 3. Ps 24,10 - 4. Rm 7,39 - 5. Ps 118,9 - 6. 1Co 1,31
Augustin on Psalms 19