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-xxxi.); in the fifth part Elihu sums up the argument (xxxii. -xxxvii.), and in the sixth part Jehovah determines the controversy; Job humbles himself, is accepted, and restored to health and prosperity. (xxxiii.-xlii.)
PART I. The Exordium, containing the Narration of Job's Circumstances and Trials (ch. i. ii.) which is written in prose.
SECT. 1. The situation and circumstances of Job. (i. 1-6.) SECT. 2. The first trial of Job by Satan, with divine permission, in the loss of his property and children; the integrity of Job declared. (i. 7-22.)
SECT. 3. The second trial of Job by Satan, in the severe affliction of his person (ii. 1-10.), and the visit of his friends to console him.
PART II. The first Dialogue or Controversy between Job and his friends. (iii.-xiv.)
SECT. 1. The complaint of Job on his calamitous situation,
which is the ground-work of the following arguments. (iii.) SECT. 2. The speech of Eliphaz, in which he reproves the impatience of Job, and insinuates that his sufferings were the punishment of some secret iniquity. (iv. v.) SECT. 3. Job's reply, in which he apologizes for the intemperance of his grief by the magnitude of his calamities, prays for speedy death, accuses his friends of cruelty, and expostulates with God, whose mercy he supplicates. (vi. vii.) SECT. 4. The argument of Eliphaz resumed by Bildad, who reproves Job with still greater acrimony, and accuses him of irreligion and impiety. (viii.)
SECT. 5. Job's rejoinder, in which, while he acknowledges the justice and sovereignty of God, he argues that his afflictions are no proof of his wickedness, and in despair again wishes for death. (ix. x.) This passionate reply calls forth, SECT. 6. Zophar, who prosecutes the argument begun by Eliphaz, and continued by Bildad, with still greater severity; and exhorts him to repentance, as the only means by which to recover his former prosperity. (xi.) SECT. 7. The answer of Job, who retorts on his friends, censuring their pretensions to superior knowledge, and charging them with false and partial pleading against him, and appeals to God, professing his hope in a future resurrection. (xii.—xiv.)
PART III. The second Dialogue or Controversy (xv.-xxi.);
in which we have,
SECT. 1. The argument renewed, nearly in the same manner as it had been commenced by Eliphaz, who accuses Job of impiety in justifying himself. (xv.)
SECT. 4. The answer of Job, who, having reproved the harsh conduct of Bildad, re-vindicates his own conduct with great warmth and animation, and takes a retrospect of his former character in the relative situations of life, as a husband, as a master, and as a magistrate: and concludes by repeating his ardent wish for an immediate trial with his calumniator before the tribunal of God. (xxvi—xxxí.)
PART V. Contains the summing up of the whole argu ment by Elihu; who, having condemned the conduct of al the disputants, whose reasonings were not calculated to produce conviction (xxxii.), proceeds to contest several of Job's positions, and to show that God frequently afflicts the chil dren of men for the best of purposes, and that in every instance our duty is submission. He concludes with a grand description of the omnipotence of the Creator. (xxxiii.xxxvii.)
PART VI. The Termination of the Controversy, and the Restoration of Job to his former Prosperity (xxxviii.-xlii.); containing,
SECT. 1. The appearance of Jehovah to pronounce judg 'ment; who addresses Job, out of a whirlwind, in a most sublime and magnificent speech, the substance of which is nearly a counterpart to that of Elihu. In it are illustrated the omnipotence of God, and man's utter ignorance of his ways, and works of creation and providence. (xxxvii.--xli.) SECT. 2. The submission of Job, which is accepted, his restoration to his former prosperity, and the increase of his substance to double. (xlii. 1-10.)
SECT. 3. A more particular account of Job's restoration and prosperity. (xlii. 11—17.)1
XI. Independently of the important instruction and benefit which may be derived from a devout perusal of the book of Job, this divine poem is of no small value, as transmitting to us a faithful delineation of the patriarchal doctrines of religion; that confirms and illustrates the notices of that religion contained in the book of Genesis, an outline of which has been given in the first volume. On this account, we trust, the reader will not be reluctantly detained, if we take a brief retrospect of the patriarchal creed,-more especially as some very learned men have denied that it contained any reference either to fallen angelic spirits, or to a future resurrection of the body from the grave, and consequently to a
future state of existence.
The two grand articles of patriarchal faith, from the earliThat there is a God, and, 2. That he is a rewarder of them est days, according to Saint Paul (Heb. xi. 6.), were, 1. that diligently seek him. These articles are particularly con
I know that my Redeemer liveth,
And that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. But there are several other important points of doctrine either directly stated, or which may be legitimately inferred from different parts of this book; they may be reduced to the following nine articles :
SECT. 2. Job's reply, who complains of the increasing un-tained in Job's declaration, kindness of his friends, protests his innocency, and looks to death as his last resource. (xvi. xvii.) SECT. 3. Bildad, going over his former line of argument, with increased asperity, applies it to Job, whose aggravated sufferings, he urges, are justly inflicted upon him. (xviii.) SECT. 4. Job's appeal to the sympathy of his friends, and from them to God: professing his faith in a future resurrection, he cautions his friends to cease from their invectives, lest God should chastise them. (xix.) SECT. 5. Job's appeal is retorted upon himself by Zophar (xx.); to whom the patriarch replies by discussing at large the conduct of Divine Providence, in order to evince the fallacy of Zophar's argument of the short-lived triumph of the wicked. (xxi.)
PART IV. The third Debate or Controversy (xxii.—xxxi.); in which,
SECT. 1. Eliphaz resumes the charge, representing Job's vindication and appeal as displeasing to God: contends that certain and utter ruin is the uniform lot of the wicked, as was evinced in the destruction of the old world by the deluge; and concludes with renewed exhortation to repentance and prayer. (xxii.)
1. The creation of the world by one supreme, omnipresent, and eternal Being, of boundless wisdom, irresistible power, indescribable glory, inflexible justice, and infinite goodness. This first great principle of what is usually called natural religion, is laid down throughout the whole book as an incontestable truth; but it is particularly illustrated in the speech of Jehovah him
self in Job xxxvii.-xli.
2. The government of the world by the perpetual and superintending providence of God. This article of the patriarchal ix. 4-13.; and in almost every other chapter of the book: in creed is particularly noticed in Job i. 9. 21.; ii. 10.; v. 8-27.; every instance, this doctrine is proposed, not as a matter of nice obligations to fear and serve, to submit to and trust in their speculation, but as laying mankind under the most powerful Creator, Lord, and Ruler.
carried on by the ministration of a heavenly hierarchy (i. 6, 3. That the providential government of the Almighty is iv. 18, 19.; v. 1.; xxxiii. 22, 23.), which is composed of
SECT. 2. In reply, Job ardently desires to plead his cause be-
SECT. 3. The rejoinder of Bildad, who repeats his former pro-
1 Dr. Hales is of opinion that the last six verses of this chapter, 11-17. (which particularize the increase of Job's family, the names of his daughters, who, according to primitive usage were made co-heiresses with their brothers, together with the number of years during which he survived his trial), form an appendix; which was probably added in later times from tradition, either by Moses, who resided so long in his neighbourhood, or by Samuel, or by the person (whoever he was) that introduced the book into the sacred canon. Analysis of Chronology, vol. ii. book i. p. 101. 2 See Vol. I. Chap. V. Sect. I. § 1. pp. 142, 143,
various ranks and orders, possessing different names, dignities, and offices.1
4. An apostacy or defection in some rank or order of these powers (iv. 18.; xv. 15.); of which Satan seems to have been one, and perhaps chief. (i. 6-12.; ii. 2—7.)
5. The good and evil powers or principles, equally formed by the Creator, and hence equally denominated "Sons of God;" both of them employed by him in the administration of his Providence and both amenable to him at stated courts, held for the purpose of receiving an account of their respective missions. (i. 6, 7.; ii. 1.)
6. That Zabianism, or the idolatrous worship of the stars, was a judicial offence, cognizable by the pelilim or judges; who were arbitrators, consisting of the heads of tribes or families, appointed by common consent to try offences against the community, and to award summary justice.3 Such was the case of the Trans-jordanite tribes, who were suspected of apostacy, and were threatened with extirpation by the heads of the ten tribes on the western side of Jordan. (Josh. xxii. 16-22.) 7. Original sin, or "that corruption of the nature of every man that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam." "It is certain," as Bishop Burnet has well remarked, "that in Scripture this general corruption of our nature is often mentioned:" and it is not to be supposed that this article of doctrine, however repugnant to the pride of man, should be omitted in the book of Job. Accordingly we find it expressly asserted in chap. xiv. 4.; xv. 14-16. and xxxv. 3.
8. The propitiation of the Creator in the case of human transgressions by sacrifices (i. 5.; xlii. 8.), and the mediation and intercession of a righteous person. (xlii. 8, 9.) In his intercession for his friends, Job is generally regarded as a type of Him" who ever liveth to make intercession" for transgressors. If any evidence were wanting to prove sacrifices of divine institution, the declaration in xlii. 8. alone would be sufficient.?
9. That there will be a day of future resurrection (xiv. 7-11. with verses 12-15. of the same chapter), judgment (xix. 25-29.), and retribution to all mankind. (xxvii. 8.; xxxi. 13, 14.)
The passage, in which Job expresses his firm faith in a Redeemer (xix. 25-29.), has been greatly contested among critics; some of whom refer it simply to his deliverance from his temporal distresses, maintaining that it has no allusion whatever to a future state; while others understand it in the contrary sense, and consider it a noble confession of -faith in the Redeemer. The latter opinion has been ably advocated by Pfeiffer, the elder Schultens, Michaelis, Velthusen, Rosenmüller, Dr. Good, and the Rev. Drs. Hales and J. P. Smith, and is now generally received. The following is Dr. Hales's version of this sublime passage of Job:
I know that my REDEEMER [is] living,
And that at the last [day]
He will arise [in judgment] upon dust [mankind].
Yet ever from my flesh shall I see God:
Whom I shall see for me [on my side],
And mine eyes shall behold him not estranged;
[Though] my reins be [now] consumed within me.
But ye should say, "Why persecute we him [further]?"
As obedim, servants; malachim, angels; melizim, intercessors; me. mitim, destinies or destroyers; alep, the miliad or thousand; kedosim, SANCTI, the heavenly SAINTS or hosts generally. Good's Introd. Diss. to his Version of Job, p. lxv. See ch. iv. 18. xxxiii. 22, 23. v. 1. xv. 15. of his translation, compared with p. lxxiv. of his Dissertation, and his notes on
the passages cited.
2 Ibid. p. lxv.
Job xxxi. 26-28. Dr. Hales, to whose researches we are indebted for
the sixth article of the patriarchal creed, translates the 28th verse thus:-
Burnett on Art. ix. p. 139. Having cited several passages at length, he thus concludes: "These, with many other places of Scripture to the same purpose, when they are joined to the universal experience of all mankind concerning the corruption of our whole race, lead us to settle this point, that in fact it has overrun our whole kind, the contagion is spread over all." Archbp. Magee has collected all the evidence on this important subject with great ability. Discourses on the Atonement, vol. ii. part i. pp.
Dr. Hales's Analysis, vol. ii. pp. 83-86. For the very elaborate notes with which he has supported and vindicated his translation, we must refer the reader to his work. Other illustrations of this passage may be seen in Pfeiffer's Dubia Vexata Scripturæ, Centuria III. No. 39. (Op. tom.i. pp. 169-272.); and Dr. Smith's Scripture Testimony to the Messiah, vel. i. pp. 199-211. In Dr. A. Clarke's Commentary, there is a good illus. tration of Job xix. 25-29.
Nor was the morality of Job less excellent than his theo logy. He thus expresses his undeviating obedience to the laws of God, and his delight therein :
xxiii. 11. My foot hath held his steps,
His way have I kept and not declined:
12. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips.
From this and other passages, Dr. Hales with great pro bability thinks it evident, that there was some collection of certain precepts, or rules of religion and morality, in use among the patriarchs-such were the precepts of the Noachida or sons of Noah: and there is great reason to believe, that the substance at least of the decalogue, given at Sinai was of primitive institution. Compare Gen. ix. 1-6. How well the venerable patriarch observed the duties of morality, will be manifest to every one who will take the trouble of perusing chap. xxix. 11-17. and xxxi. 6-22.
There is a remarkable reference in the book of Job to the former destruction of the world by water, and to its final dissolution by fire; which was prophesied by Enoch before the deluge, whence it must have been known to Noah; and no doubt transmitted by him to his family; and so might be communicated to Job and his friends. It occurs in the last speech of Eliphaz, the most intelligent of the three. xxii. 15. Dost [not] thou keep the old way,
Which wicked men have trodden?
16. Who were cut off, before their time,
17. Who said unto GoD, "Depart from us:"
And, "What can THE ALMIGHTY do for us?"
And the innocent [Noah] derided them:
And the fire shall consume the remnant of them!” As if Noah had said, Though this judgment by water, however universal, may not so thoroughly purge the earth, as that iniquity shall not spring up again, and wicked men abound: yet know that a final judgment by fire will utterly consume the remnant of such sinners as shall then be found alive, along with the earth itself.9
ON THE BOOK OF PSALMS.
I. General title of this book.-II. Structure of the Psalms.III. Their canonical authority.-IV. Authors to whom they are ascribed.-1. Moses.-2. David.-3. Asaph.-4. The sons of Korah.-5. Jeduthun.-6. Heman and Ethan.7. Solomon.-8. Anonymous psalms.-V. Chronological ar rangement of the Psalms by Calmet.-VI. Collection of the Psalms into a volume.-VII. The inscriptions or titles prefixed to the different psalms.-VIII. Probable meaning of the word Selah.-IX. Scope of the book of Psalms.X. Rules for better understanding them.-XI. A table of the psalms classed according to their several subjects.
I. THIS book is entitled in the Hebrew an ED (SCPHER TeHILIM), that is the Book of Hymns or Praises; because the greater part of them treat of the praises of God, while the remainder consist either of the complaints of an afflicted soul, or of penitential effusions, or of the prayers of a heart overwhelmed with grief. In the Roman edition of the Septuagint Version printed in 1587, which professes to follow the Vatican manuscript, this book is simply denominated YAAMOI, the Psalms; and in the Alexandrian manuscript, preserved in the British Museum, it is entitled YAATHPION MET' NAAIE, the Psalter with Odes or Hymns.10 The Syriac
9 Dr. Hales's Analysis of Chronology, vol. ii. book i. pp. 111, 112. 10 These Odes or IIymns, which are thirteen in number, are printed in Dr. Grabe's edition of the Septuagint: they are thus entitled:1. The Ode of Moses in Exodus. (ch. xv. v. 1. et seqq.)
2. The Ode of Moses in Deuteronomy. (ch. xxxii. v. 1. seqq.)
3. The Prayer of Hannah the Mother of Samuel. (1 Sam. ch. ii. v. 1. segg.) 4. The Prayer of Isaiah (in the margin, of Hezekiah). Isa. ch. xxvi. v. 9. seqq.
5. The Prayer of Jonah. (Jon. ch. ii. v. 3. seqq)
6. The Prayer of Habakkuk (Sept. Ambakouin). Hab. ch. iii. v. 2. seqq. 7. The Prayer of Hezekiah. (Isa. ch. xxxviii. v. 10. seqq.)
8. The Prayer of Manasseh. (2 Chron. ch. xxxiii. according to some copies, but one of the apocryphal pieces in our Bibles.) 9. The Prayer of Azariah. (Dan. ch. iii. v. 26. seqq.) 10. The Hymn of our Fathers. (Dan. ch. iii. v. 52. segg.) 11. The Prayer of Mary, the Mother of God. (Luke ch. i. v. 46. seqq.) 12. The Prayer of Simeon. (Luke ch. ii. v. 29. segg.)
13. A Morning Hymn, the first part of which nearly corresponds with the sublime hymn in the post-communion service of the church of England.
Version, in Bishop Walton's Polyglott, denominates it the Book of Psalms of David, the King and Prophet; and the Arabic Version commences with the first Book of Psalms of David the Prophet, King of the Sons of Israel.
II. Augusti, De Wette, and some other German critics, have termed the Book of Psalms the Hebrew Anthology, that is, a collection of the lyric, moral, historical, and elegiac poetry of the Hebrews. This book presents every possible variety of Hebrew poetry. All the Psalms, indeed, may be termed poems of the lyric kind, that is, adapted to music, but with great variety in the style of composition. Thus some are simply odes. "An ode is a dignified sort of song, narrative of the facts, either of public history, or of private life, in a highly adorned and figured style. But the figure in the Psalms is that, which is peculiar to the Hebrew language, in which the figure gives its meaning with as much perspicuity as the plainest speech." Others, again, are ethic or didactic, "delivering grave maxims of life, or the precepts of religion, in solemn, but for the most part simple, strains." To this class we may refer the hundred and nineteenth, and the other alphabetical psalms, which are so called because the initial letters of each line or stanza follow the order of the alphabet.2 Nearly one-seventh part of the Psalms is composed of elegiac, or pathetic compositions on mournful subjects. Some are enigmatic, delivering the doctrines of religion in enigmata, sentences contrived to strike the imagination forcibly, and yet easy to be understood; while a few may be referred to the class of idyls, or short pastoral poems. But the greater part, according to Bishop Horsley, is a sort of dramatic ode, consisting of dialogues between certain persons sustaining certain characters. "In these dialogue-psalms the persons are frequently the psalmist himself, or the chorus of priests and Levites, or the leader of the Levitical band, opening the ode with a proem declarative of the subject, and very often closing the whole with a solemn admonition drawn from what the other persons say. The other persons are, Jehovah, sometimes as one, sometimes as another of the three persons; Christ in his incarnate state, sometimes before, sometimes after his resurrection; the human soul of Christ, as distinguished from the divine essence. Christ, in his incarnate state, is personated sometimes as a priest, sometimes as a king, sometimes as a conqueror; and in those psalms in which he is introduced as a conqueror, the resemblance is very remarkable between this conqueror in the book of Psalms, and the warrior on the white horse in the book of Revelations, who goes forth with a crown on his head and a bow in his hand, conquering and to conquer. And the conquest in the Psalms is followed, like the conquest in the Revelations, by the marriage of the conqueror. These are circumstances of similitude, which, to any one versed in the prophetic style, prove beyond a doubt that the mystical conqueror is the same personage in both."3
III. The right of the book of Psalms to a place in the sacred canon has never been disputed: they are frequently alluded to in the Old Testament, and are often cited by our Lord and his apostles as the work of the Holy Spirit. They are generally termed the Psalms of David, that Hebrew monarch being their chief author. Origen, Chrysostom, Augustine, Ambrose, Euthymius, and others of the ancient fathers, indeed, were of opinion that he was their sole author: but they were opposed by Hilary and Athanasius (or the author of the synopsis attributed to him), Jerome, Eusebius, and other fathers of equal eminence. And indeed this notion is manifestly erroneous; for an attentive examination of the Psalms will immediately prove them to be the compositions of various authors, in various ages, some much more ancient than the time of David, some of a much later age; and others were evidently composed during the Babylonish captivity. Some modern commentators have even referred a few to the time of the Maccabees: but for this opinion, as we shall show in a subsequent page, there does not appear to
1 Bishop Horsley's translation of the Psalms, vol. i. p. xv. cxlv. On the peculiar structure of the Hebrew alphabetical poems, see The alphabetical psalms are xxv. xxxiv. xxxvii. cxi. cxii. cxix. and Vol. I. Part II. Chap. II. § VI. 7. supra.
Bishop Horsley's Psalms, vol. i. p. xvi.
Chrysostom in Psal. i. Ambros. Præfat. in Psal. i. Augustin de Civitate Dei, lib. xvii. c. 14. Theodoret, Præf. in Psal. Cassiodorus, Proleg. in Psal. Euthymius, Præf. in Psal. Philastrius, Hæres. 129. Huet. Dem. Ev. tom. i. prop. iv. p. 330.
Hilarii Proleg. in Psal. et comment. in Psal. cxxxi. Athanasii Synopsis. Hieronymi Epist. ad Sophronium. Eusebii Cæsariensis Præf. in Psalmos, pp. 7, 8. et in Inscrip. Psal. p. 2. et in Psal. xli. lx. lxii. Calmet, Præf. Générale sur les Pseaumes. (Com. tom. iv. pp. v. vi.) Huet, ut supra.
See p. 240. infra.
be any foundation. Altogether they embrace a period of about nine hundred years..
The earliest composer of sacred hymns unquestionably was Moses (Exod. xv.); the next who are mentioned in the Scriptures, are Deborah (Judg. v.) and Hannah (1 Sam. ii.): but it was David himself, an admirable composer and performer in music (1 Sam. xvi. 18. Amos vi. 5.), who gave a regular and noble form to the musical part of the Jewish service, and carried divine poetry and psalmody to perfection; and therefore he is called the sweet psalmist of Israel. (2 Sam. xxiii. 1.) He, doubtless by divine authority, appointed the singing of psalms by a select company of skilful persons, in the solemn worship of the tabernacle (1 Chron. vi. 31. xvi. 4-8.); which Solomon continued in the first temple (2 Chron. v. 12, 13.), and it was re-established by Ezra, as soon as the foundation of the second temple was laid. (Ezra iii. 10, 11.) Hence the Jews became well acquainted with these songs of Sion; and, having committed them to memory, were celebrated for their melodious singing among the neighbouring countries. (Psal. cxxxvii. 3.) The continuance of this branch of divine worship is confirmed by the practice of our Lord, and the instructions of St. Paul (Matt. xxvi. 30. Mark xiv. 26. Eph. v. 19. Col. iii. 16. compared with Rev. v. 9. xiv. 1, 2, 3.); and the practice of divine psalmody has subsisted through every succeeding age to our own time, not more to the delight than to the edification of the church of Christ. "There are, indeed, at this time" (to use the words of a sensible writer), "very few professing Christians who do not adopt these sacred hymns in their public and private devotions, either by reading them, composing them as anthems, or singing poetical translations, and imitations of them. In this particular there ever has existed, and there still exists, a wonderful communion of saints. The language, in which Moses, and David, and Solomon, Heman, Asaph, and Jeduthun, worshipped God, is applicable to Christian believers. They worship the same God, through the same adorable Redeemer; they give thanks for similar mercies, and mourn under similar trials; they are looking for the same blessed hope of their calling, even everlasting life and salvation, through the prevailing intercession of the Messiah. The ancient believers, indeed, worshipped him as about to appear; we adore him as having actually appeared, and put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. They saw, as through a glass, darkly but we face to face." IV. The Jewish writers ascribe the book of Psalms to ten different authors, viz. Adam, to whom they ascribe the ninety-second psalm; Melchizedec; Abraham, whom they call Ethan, and give to him the eighty-ninth psalm; Moses, Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and the three sons of Korah: and they make David to be merely the collector of them into one volume or book. But this opinion is evidently fabulous: for, 1. The ninety-second psalm, which is ascribed to Adam, appears from its internal structure and style to be of a later date, though no author is mentioned in its title or inscription: besides, if Adam had left any sacred odes, it is more than probable that some notice would have been taken of them in the book of Genesis, which, however, is totally silent concerning any such compositions. 2. That the hundred and tenth psalm, which is attributed to Melchizedec, was certainly written by David, is evident, not only from the title, which claims him for its author, but also from its style and manner, which correspond with the acknowledged productions of the royal prophet; and especially from the testimony of Jesus Christ and his apostle Peter. (Matt. xxii. 43 -45. Mark xii. 36. Luke xx. 42. Acts ii. 34.) And, 3. It is most certain that David was the author of very many psalms, not merely of those which have his name in their respective titles, but likewise of several others, to which his name is not prefixed, especially of psalms ii. and xev., as we are assured by the inspired apostles. (Acts iv. 25, 26. Heb. iv. 7.) To make David, therefore, merely the collector and editor of those divine compositions, is alike contradictory to the clearest evidence, derived from the book of Psalms New Testament, as well as contrary to the whole current of itself, and from the testimony of the inspired writers of the antiquity.
A careful investigation of these divine odes will enable
On the subject of Jewish psalmody, there is much curious information collected in "The Temple Music; or, an Essay concerning the Method of singing the Psalms of David in the Temple, before the Babylonish Captivity. By Arthur Bedford. London, 1706." 8vo.
The editor of the 4to. Bible of 1810, with the notes of several of the venerable reformers.
Francisci Junii Proleg. ad Librum Psalmorum, § 2.
us to form a better opinion concerning their respective authors, whom the modern Jews, and all modern commentators, understand to be Moses, David, Solomon, Asaph, Heman, Ethan, Jeduthun, and the three sons of Korah. Other authors have been conjectured by some eminent critics, whose hypotheses will presently be noticed.
songs of triumph and thanksgiving for his victory over sin, and death, and hell. In a word, there is not a page in this book of Psalms, in which the pious reader will not find his Saviour, if he reads with a view of finding him."3
From the variety of circumstances and situations in which David was placed at different times, and the various affec1. To MOSES the Talmudical writers ascribe ten psalms, tions which consequently were called into exercise, we may viz. from xc. to xcix. inclusive. The nineteenth psalm, in readily conceive that his style is exceedingly various. The the Hebrew manuscripts, is inscribed with his name; and remark, indeed, is applicable to the entire book of Psalms, from its general coincidence in style and manner with his but eminently so to the odes of David. Hence it is that sacred hymns in Exod. xv. and Deut. xxxii. it is generally those, which are expressive of the natural character and state considered as the composition of the great lawgiver of the of man, and of sin, seem to bear marks of difficulty, and, as Jews. But Dr. Kennicott and other critics think that it was it were, disgust in their composition. "The sentences are written in a later age, and consequently cannot be of that laboured and move heavily, and cannot be perused with that date which the title imports: because in the time of Moses lively pleasure, which, on the contrary, is received from those most of the persons mentioned in Scripture lived to an age themes of the psalmist which place before us the glorious far exceeding the standard of threescore years and ten or four-attributes of God, and express either His love to man, or the score, which in the ninetieth psalm is assigned as the limit believer's love to Him. These strains flow with vigorous of human life. But this " opinion seems founded on the ex- and well adapted expressions, as if the subject was felt to be ceptions from the general rule, rather than on the rule itself. most delightful, entered on with alacrity, and pursued with The life of Aaron, Moses, Joshua, and Caleb, unquestionably holy joy." Some of David's psalms possess great subliexceeded the age of fourscore considerably, and ran on from mity, as the twenty-fourth; but softness, tenderness, and a hundred and ten to a hundred and twenty; but all these pathos, are their prevailing characteristics. were probably instances of special favour. The decree which abbreviated the life of man, as a general rule, to seventy or eighty years, was given as a chastisement upon the whole race of Israelites in the wilderness; and, with these few exceptions, none of them at the date of this psalm could have reached more than seventy, and few of them so high a number. But it does not appear that the term of life was lengthened afterwards. Samuel died about seventy years old, David under seventy-one, and Solomon under sixty; and the history of the world shows us that the abbreviation of life in other countries was nearly in the same proportion." The other nine psalms, xci. to xcix., are attributed to Moses by the Jews, by virtue of a canon of criticism which they have established, namely, that all anonymous psalms are to be referred to that author whose name occurred in the title last preceding them. But for this rule no foundation whatever exists: it is certain that the ninety-ninth psalm could not have been written by Moses, for in the sixth verse mention is made of the prophet Samuel, who was not born till two hundred and ninety-five or six years after the
death of Moses.
3. With the name of ASAPH, a very celebrated Levite, and chief of the choirs of Israel in the time of David (1 Chron. xvi. 4, 5.), twelve psalms are inscribed, viz. 1. lxxiii.— Ixxxiii. But the seventy-fourth and seventy-ninth psalms evidently cannot be his, because they deplore the overthrow of Jerusalem and the conflagration of the temple, and in point of style approach nearest to the Lamentations of Jeremiah. Either, therefore, they are erroneously ascribed to him, or were composed by another Asaph, who lived during the captivity. The subjects of Asaph's psalms are doctrinal or preceptive: their style, though less sweet than that of David, is much more vehement, and little inferior to the grandest parts of the prophecies of Isaiah and Habakkuk. The fiftieth psalm, in particular, is characterized by such a deep vein of thought and lofty tone of sentiment as place him in the number of poets of the highest order. In Asaph the poet and the philosopher were combined. "He was," says Eichhorn, "one of those ancient wise men, who felt the insufficiency of external religious usages, and urged the necessity of cultivating virtue and purity of mind." It may be well said of him, as of the scribe in the New Testament, that he was not far from the kingdom of God.5
2. The name of DAVID is prefixed to seventy-one psalms in the Hebrew copies, to which the Septuagint version adds 4. Ten psalms, viz. xlii.-xlvii. lxxxiv. lxxxv. lxxxvii. eleven others but it is evident, from the style and subject- and lxxxviii. are inscribed, "For the sons of KORAH:" but matter of the latter, that many of them cannot be the compo- who these persons were is not altogether certain; and such sition of David, particularly the hundred and second, which is the uncertainty of the prepositional prefix, that the most is in no respect whatever applicable to him, but from its subject-eminent critics have not been able to decide whether these matter must be referred to some pious Jew who composed it psalms were written by them, or were composed for them, after the return from the Babylonish captivity, while the temple was in ruins, and the country in a state of desolation. The hundred and thirty-eighth psalm, also, though attributed in the Septuagint to David, could not have been written by him, for reference is made in it to the temple, which was not erected till after his death by Solomon. On the contrary, some of the psalms thus ascribed to David in the Septuagint version are unquestionably his, as well as some which are anonymous: of the former class is the ninety-fifth, and of the latter the second psalm, both of which are cited as David's psalms by the inspired writers of the New Testament. Compare Acts iv. 25-28. xiii. 33. Heb. iii. 7-11. iv. 7-13.
and to be performed by them with music in the temple. Professor Stuart thinks it probable that they were the descendants of Korah, who perished in the rebellion. (Num. xvi.) It is certain that all his children did not perish with him (Num. xvi. 11.): it is certain also that some of their descendants were among those who presided over the tabernacle music. (1 Chron. vi. 22. 37.) In 1 Chron. ix. 19. we find Shallum a descendant of Korah, mentioned as one of the overseers of the tabernacle, and it appears that he belonged to a family called Korahites. These last are mentioned also in 1 Chron. xxvi. 1. and 2 Chron. xx. 19. as being among those engaged in sacred music. Hence it would appear, that there were men of eminence among the Korahites in the Many of the psalms, which bear the royal prophet's name, time of David and Solomon; and the probability is, that the were composed on occasion of remarkable circumstances in psalms above enumerated, which bear their names, belong to his life, his dangers, his afflictions, his deliverances. "But them as authors. In style they differ very sensibly from the of those which relate to the public history of the natural Is-compositions of David; and they are some of the most exrael, there are few in which the fortunes of the mystical Israel are not adumbrated; and of those which allude to the life of David, there are none in which the Son of David is not the principal and immediate subject. David's complaints against his enemies are Messiah's complaints, first of the unbelieving Jews, then of the heathen persecutors, and of the apostate faction in later ages. David's afflictions are Messiah's sufferings. David's penitential supplications are Messiah's, under the burden of the imputed guilt of man. David's songs of triumph and thanksgiving are Messiah's 1 Extract from Dr. Good's (unpublished) Version of the Book of Psalms, in Professor Gregory's Memoirs of his Life, p. 316. 2 This opinion is very ancient: it was adopted by Origen (Select. in Psalmos, Opp. tom. ii. p. 574. edit. Benedict.), and by Jerome (Epist. cxxxix. ad Cyprianum, p. 388. edit. Plantin.), who says it was derived from a tralition recorded by Iullus, patriarch of the Jews. Advers. Ruffin. lib. i. sap. 3. p. 235. Rosenmüller, Scholia in Psalmos, tom. i. p. xii.
quisite of all the lyric compositions which the Book of Psalms contains. The title was, probably, affixed by some editor of a later age, who knew only the general report that the psalms in question belonged to the sons of Korah, and could obtain nothing certain as to the individuals who were their respective authors."
5. By whom psalms xxxix. lxii. and lxxvii. were com3 Bishop Horsley's Psalms, vol. i. p. x.
Memorial Sketches of the late Rev. David Brown, p. 93.-a very instructive piece of clerical biography. Mr. B., to whom we are indebted for the above remark, was most accurately intimate with the psalins in their original Hebrew. "He accustomed himself to them," says his biographer, "in the original, as the medium of his most private and earnest devotions, whether of contrition, supplication, or praise. In all affliction, and in all rejoicing, he alike called upon God in the language of David." Ibid.
Noyes's translation of the Psalms, p. xiii. • Stuart's Hebrew Christomathy, p. 206.
posed, is not now known: their titles are inscribed to JEDUTHUN, who was one of the three directors of music in the national worship, mentioned in 1 Chron. xxv. 1.
6. To HEMAN the Ezrahite is ascribed the eighty-eighth psalm; and to ETHAN the Ezrahite the following psalm. They were both probably descendants from Zerah, who is mentioned in 1 Chron. ii. 6.; but at what time they lived is uncertain. They are, however, supposed to have flourished during the Babylonish captivity.
7. It is highly probable that many of the psalms were composed during the reign of SOLOMON, who, we learn from 1 Kings iv. 32. "wrote a thousand and five songs," or poems.
There are only two psalms, however, which bear his name, viz. the seventy-second and the hundred and twentyseventh psalms. The title of the former may be translated for as well as of Solomon; and, indeed, it is evident, from considering its style and subject-matter, that it could not have been composed by him. But, as he was inaugurated just before David's death, it was in all probability, one of David's latest odes. The hundred and twenty-seventh psalm is most likely Solomon's, composed at the time of his nuptials: it strongly and beautifully expresses a sense of dependence upon Jehovah for every blessing, especially a numerous offspring, which we know was an object of the most ardent desire to the Israelites.
8. Besides the preceding, there are upwards of thirty psalms which in the Hebrew Bibles are altogether ANONYMOUS, although the Septuagint version gives names to some of them, chiefly, it should seem, upon conjecture, for which there is little or no foundation. Thus the Alexandrian Greek translators ascribe the hundred and thirty-seventh psalm to Jeremiah, who could not have written it, for he died before the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, which joyous event is most pleasingly commemorated in that ode. In like manner, the hundred and forty-sixth and hundred and forty-seventh psalms are attributed by them to the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, for no other reason, it should seem, than because psalm cxlvi. 7-10. treats of the deliverance of the captives and those who were oppressed, and cxlvii. of the restoration of the Jewish church. Psalms ii. and xcv. however, as we have already remarked,' though anonymous, are ascribed by the inspired apostles to David. Some modern critics have imagined, that there are a few of the untitled psalms which were composed so lately as the time of the Maccabees. Thus Rudinger assigns to that period psalms i. xliv. xlvi. xlix. and cviii.; Herman Vonder Hardt, psalm cxix.; and Venema, psalms lxxxv. xciii. and cviii. This late date, however, is impossible, the canon of the Old Testament Scriptures being closed by Ezra, nearly three centuries before the time of the Maccabees. But whether David, or any other prophet, was employed as the instrument of communicating to the church such or such a particular psalm is a question, which, if it cannot always be satisfactorily answered, needs not disquiet our minds. When we discern, in an epistle, the well-known hand of a friend, we are not solicitous about the pen with which it was written."3
V. The following CHRONOLOGICAL ARRANGEMENT of the Psalms, after a careful and judicious examination, has been adopted by Calmet, who has further specified the probable occasions on which they were composed :
1. Psalms of which the Date is uncertain. These are eight in number; viz.
Psal. i. This is a preface to the whole book, and is by some ascribed to David, by others to Ezra, who is supposed to have collected the psalms into a volume.
Psal. iv. The expressions of a devout person amid the corrupt manners of the age. An evening prayer.
Psal. viii. The prerogatives of man: and the glory of Jesus Christ.
Psal. xix. A beautiful eulogy on the law of God. A psalm of praise to the Creator, arising from a consideration of his works, as displayed in the creation, in the heavens, and in the stars.
1 See p. 239. supra.
Rosenmüller, Scholia in Psalmos, Prolegom. c. 2. pp. xi.-xix. He adopts the untenable hypothesis of Rudinger.
3 Bishop Horne's Commentary on the Psalms, vol. i. Pref. p. v.
4 Commentaire Littéral, ton. iv. pp. lxii.-lxvi. As some of the Psalms in the Vulgate Latin version, which was used by Calmet, are divided and numbered in a different manner from that in which they appear in our Bibles, we have adapted the references to the psalms to the authorized English version.
Psal. lxxxi. This psalm, which is attributed to Asaph, was sung in the temple, at the feast of trumpets, held in the beginning of the civil year of the Jews, and also at the feast of tabernacles.
Psal. xci. This moral psalm, though assigned to Moses, was in all probability composed during or after the captivity. It treats on the happiness of those who place their whole con fidence in God.
Psal. cx. The advent, kingdom, and generation of the Mes siah; composed by David.
Psal. cxxxix. A psalm of praise to God for his all-seeing providence and infinite wisdom.
2. Psalms composed by David during the Persecution of These are seventeen; namely,
Psal. xi. David, being entreated by his friends to withdraw from the court of Saul, professes his confidence in God. Psal. xxxi. David, proscribed by Saul, is forced to withdraw from his court.
Psal. xxxiv. Composed by David, when, at the court of Achish king of Gath, he counterfeited madness, and was permitted to depart.
Psal. Ivi. Composed in the cave of Adullam, after David's escape from Achish.
Psal. xvi. David persecuted by Saul, and obliged to take refuge among the Moabites and Philistines.
Psal. liv. David pursued by Saul in the desert of Ziph, whence Saul was obliged to withdraw and repel the Philistines. David's thanksgiving for his deliverance.
Psal. lii. Composed by David after Saul had sacked the city of Nob, and put the priests and all their families to the sword.
Psal. cix. Composed during Saul's unjust persecution of David. The person, against whom this psalm was directed, was most probably Doeg. Bishop Horsley considers it as a prophetic malediction against the Jewish nation.
Psal. xvii. A prayer of David during Saul's bitterest persecution of him.
Psal. xxii. David, persecuted by Saul, personates the Messiah, persecuted and put to death by the Jews.
Psal. xxxv. Composed about the same time, and under the same persecution.
Psal. lvii. David, in the cave of En-gedi, implores divine pro tection, in sure prospect of which he breaks forth into grateful praise. (1 Sam. xxiv. 1.)
Psal. Iviii. A continuation of the same subject. against Saul's wicked counsellors.
Psal. cxlii. David in the cave of En-gedi. Psal. cxl. cxli. David, under severe persecution, implores help of God.
Psal. vii. David violently persecuted by Saul.
3. Psalms composed by David at the beginning of his Reign Of this class there are six and after the Death of Saul. teen; viz.
Psal. ii. Written by David, after he had fixed the seat of his government at Jerusalem, notwithstanding the malignant opposition of his enemies. It is a most noble prediction of the kingdom of the Messiah.
Psal. lxviii. Composed on occasion of conducting the ark from Kirjath-jearim to Jerusalem.
Psal ix. and xxiv. Sung by David on the removal of the ark from the house of Obededom to Mount Sion.
Psal. ci. David describes the manner in which he guided his people in justice and equity.
Psal. xxix. A solemn thanksgiving for the rain that fell after David had avenged the Gibeonites on the house of Saul, by whom they had been unjustly persecuted. 2 Sam. xxi. et seq.
Psal. xx. Composed by David when he was on the point of marching against the Ammonites and Syrians who had leagued together against him. 2 Sam. x.
Psal. xxi. A continuation of the preceding subject. thanksgiving for his victory over the Ammonites. Psal. vi. xxxviii. and xxxix. Composed by David during sickness; although no notice is taken of this sickness in the history of David, yet it is the opinion of almost every commentator that these psalms refer to some dangerous illness from which his recovery was long doubtful.
Psal. xl. A psalm of thanksgiving for his recovery from sick