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Bible Commentaries

Geneva Study Bible

Psalms 89

Verse 1

89:1 [Maschil of Ethan the Ezrahite.] I will {a} sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

(a) Though the horrible confusion of things might cause them to despair of God’s favour, yet the manifold examples of his mercies cause them to trust in God though to man’s judgment they saw no reason to.

Verse 2

89:2 For I have {b} said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou {c} establish in the very heavens.

(b) As he who surely believed in heart.

(c) As your invisible heaven is not subject to any alteration and change: so shall the truth of your promise be unchangeable.

Verse 3

89:3 {d} I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,

(d) The prophet shows what the promise of God was, on which he grounded his faith.

Verse 5

89:5 And the {e} heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.

(e) The angels will praise your power and faithfulness in delivering your Church.

Verse 6

89:6 For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD? [who] among the {g} sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD?

(g) Meaning, the angels.

Verse 7

89:7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the {h} saints, and to be had in reverence of all [them that are] about him.

(h) If the angels tremble before God’s majesty and infinite justice, what earthly creature by oppressing the Church dares to set himself against God?

Verse 9

89:9 {i} Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.

(i) For as he delivered the Church by the Red sea, and by destroying Rahab, that is, the Egyptians, so will he deliver it, when the dangers are great.

Verse 12

89:12 The north and the south thou hast created them: {k} Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name.

(k) Tabor is a mountain west from Jerusalem, and Hermon to the East, so the prophet signifies that all parts and places of the world will obey God’s power for the deliverance of his Church.

Verse 14

89:14 {l} Justice and judgment [are] the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

(l) For by this he judges the world and shows himself to be a merciful father and faithful protector to his.

Verse 15

89:15 Blessed [is] the people that {m} know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy {n} countenance.

(m) Feeling in their conscience that God is their father.

(n) They will be preserved by your fatherly providence.

Verse 17

89:17 For thou [art] the {o} glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted.

(o) In that they are preserved and continue, they should give the praise and glory to you alone.

Verse 18

89:18 For the LORD [is] our {p} defence; and the Holy One of Israel [is] our king.

(p) In that our King has power to defend us, it is the gift of God.

Verse 19

89:19 Then thou spakest in vision to {q} thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon [one that is] {r} mighty; I have exalted [one] chosen out of the people.

(q) To Samuel and to others, to assure that David was the chosen one.

(r) Whom I have both chosen and given strength to execute his office, as in Psalms 89:21.

Verse 23

89:23 And I will {s} beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him.

(s) Though there will always be enemies against God’s kingdom yet he promises to overcome them.

Verse 24

89:24 But my faithfulness and my {t} mercy [shall be] with him: and in my name shall his {u} horn be exalted.

(t) I will mercifully perform my promise to him despite his infirmities and offences.

(u) His power, glory and estate.

Verse 25

89:25 I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the {x} rivers.

(x) He will enjoy the land around him.

Verse 26

89:26 He shall cry unto me, Thou [art] my {y} father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.

(y) His excellent dignity will appear in this, that he will be named the son of God and the firstborn in which he is a figure of Christ.

Verse 29

89:29 His seed also will I make [to endure] {z} for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.

(z) Though for the sins of the people the state of the kingdom decayed, yet God reserved still a root till he had accomplished this promise in Christ.

Verse 33

89:33 {a} Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.

(a) Though the faithful answer not in all points to their profession, yet God will not break his covenant with them.

Verse 34

89:34 My covenant will I not break, nor {b} alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.

(b) For God in promising has respect to his mercy, and not to man’s power in performing.

Verse 37

89:37 It shall be established for ever as the moon, and [as] a faithful {c} witness in heaven. Selah.

(c) As long as the Sun and Moon endure, they will be witnesses to me of this promise.

Verse 39

89:39 Thou hast {d} made void the covenant of thy servant: thou hast profaned his {e} crown [by casting it] to the ground.

(d) Because of the horrible confusion of things, the prophet complains to God, as though he did not see the performance of his promise and thus discharging his cares on God, he resists doubt and impatience.

(e) By this he means the horrible dissipation and tearing of the kingdom which was under Jeroboam, or else by the Spirit of prophecy Ethan speaks of those great miseries which came to pass soon after at the captivity of Babylon.

Verse 45

89:45 The days of his {f} youth hast thou shortened: thou hast covered him with shame. Selah.

(f) He shows that the kingdom fell before it came to perfection or was ripe.

Verse 46

89:46 How long, {g} LORD? wilt thou hide thyself for ever? shall thy wrath burn like fire?

(g) The prophet in joining prayer with his complaint, shows that his faith never failed.

Verse 47

89:47 Remember {h} how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain?

(h) Seeing man’s life is short, and you have created man to bestow your benefits on him, unless you hasten to help, death will prevent you.

Verse 50

89:50 Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants; [how] I do bear in my {i} bosom [the reproach of] all the mighty people;

(i) He means that God’s enemies not only slandered him behind his back, but also mocked him to his face and as it were cast their injuries in his bosom.

Verse 51

89:51 Wherewith {k} thine enemies have reproached, O LORD; wherewith they have reproached the {l} footsteps of thine anointed.

(k) So he calls them who persecute the Church.

(l) They laugh at us who patiently wait for the coming of your Christ.

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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 89". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". 1599-1645.