Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, June 12th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 101

Haydock's Catholic Bible CommentaryHaydock's Catholic Commentary

Verse 1

Poor. Hebrew, "afflicted." This may refer to some of the captives, who were returning, (ver. 14.; Calmet) or to Jesus Christ, (St. Augustine) to whom St. Paul applies ver. 26, 28., and whose redemption was prefigured by the former event. (Calmet) --- David might have both in view. (Haydock) --- Yet most believe that the psalm was written by Daniel, or Jeremias, &c. (Calmet) -- It may have two literal senses, like many others. (Berthier)

Verse 2

Cry. Fervent petition, though only in the heart, Exodus xiv. 15.

Verse 3

Turn not. We first abandon God, but must humbly beg for grace. (Worthington)

Verse 4

Fire. Cremium denotes any combustible matter. (Columella xii. 19.) (St. Jerome) (Calmet) --- While in mortal sin, our best actions, alms, &c., avail nothing, 1 Corinthians xiii. (Worthington)

Verse 5

Bread. Through excessive sorrow, (Haydock) I am fainting in captivity. (Calmet) --- The human race is relieved by the bread of life, the holy Eucharist. (St. Augustine) (Berthier) --- Sinners have no relish for spiritual food. (Worthington)

Verse 6

Flesh, or "skin." (St. Jerome) --- The necessary moisture is consumed. (Eusebius) (Worthington)

Verse 7

A pelican, &c. I am become, through grief, like birds that affect solitude and darkness. (Challoner) --- Kaath comes from a root that signifies to vomit (Haydock) as this bird lives chiefly on shell-fish, which it swallows, and when the heat of its stomach has caused the shells to open, it throws them up again, and eats the fish. (Bochart) (Parkhurst in ka.) (Haydock) --- It seems to be the onocratalus, which resembles the heron. What many of the ancients have related concerning its giving life again to its young, by its blood, &c., must be accounted fabulous. The Fathers have not expressed these facts as certain, (Calmet) though they have beautifully accommodated them to the tenderness and grace, which Christ has shewn to lost man. See Eusebius and St. Augustine. (Haydock) --- Raven. Owl, or rather another species of pelican, so called from having a bag under its chap, "to inclose" fish, &c. (Parkhurst in cose.) --- With its prey it retires to solitary places. So the distressed love solitude and silence. (Haydock)

Verse 8


A prayer for one in affliction: the fifth penitential psalm.

Sparrow. Hebrew Tsippor means any "quick moving" bird, &c., (Idem.[Parkhurst in cose.?]) and as the sparrow is not a solitary bird, it may here signify the owl. (Bochart) (Calmet) --- But these etymological reasons are not very certain, nor important. (Haydock) --- We may adhere to the Septuagint, as many interpreters do. (Berthier) --- The sparrow having lost its mate, mourns in or near its nest. (Worthington)

Verse 9

Against me. To kill me, (Acts xxiii. 12.) or to prove my guilt. (Calmet) --- They are my sworn enemies, (Worthington) who formerly seemed my friends. (Haydock)

Verse 10

For. Or "therefore." --- Weeping. These figurative expressions denote excessive grief, Psalm lxxix. 6. (Calmet) --- Meat and drink gave me no more satisfaction than ashes. (Worthington) --- Rolling on the ground, through grief, my food was spoiled. (Menochius)

Verse 13

Memorial. Thou wilt be remembered by us with gratitude for all eternity, (Haydock) or wilt thou punish for ever such short-lived creatures? (Calmet) --- St. Paul understands this of Jesus Christ, (Hebrews i. 11.; Berthier) or he rather refers to ver. 26. (Haydock) --- The hope of the Messias gives me comfort. (Worthington)

Verse 14

Come. Pointed out; (Jeremias xxix. 10.; Calmet) or David wishes to repair the ravages caused by Absalom, or foretells the return from captivity, (Haydock) and the grace granted to the Church, and to every faithful soul. (Worthington)

Verse 15

Thereof. They had a great regard for the very soil, 4 Kings v. 17. (Calmet) --- Hebrew, "dust," as it was then uncultivated. (Berthier) --- Esdras, &c., repaired the ruins of Sion, as Christ and his apostles established the Church. (Menochius)

Verse 16

Glory. The conversion of nations is often predicted as about to take place after the captivity; yet not so fully, till the time of Christ. (Calmet) --- His glory is so manifest, that all kings know it, although, they be not converted. (Worthington)

Verse 17

Seen. Dwelling with us, John i. (Haydock) --- Jerusalem had attained its ancient splendour before the coming of the Messias. (Calmet)

Verse 18

Humble. Patriarchs, priests, and all true penitents. (Worthington)

Verse 19

Generation. Literally, "in another," by the subsequent writers of the Old and New Testaments. (Haydock) --- Let all posterity become acquainted with this psalm, and know under what obligations we have been to the Lord. --- Created. The Jews after the captivity, and, in a higher sense, (Calmet) Christians, the new creature, 2 Corinthians v. 17. (Calmet) (Worthington) --- This interpretation seems much the better, as kings and nations were converted only by the Messias, and his apostles. (Berthier)

Verse 22

That. The faithful in the Church endeavour to serve Christ. (Worthington)

Verse 23

Kings. This did not take place till the gospel was preached, (Calmet) though some kings offered sacrifice before, yet without being converted. See Zacharias ii. 10. (Haydock)

Verse 24

He answered him in the way of his strength. That is, the people mentioned in the foregoing verse, or the penitent, in whose person this psalm is delivered, answered the Lord in the way of his strength: that is, according to the best of his power and strength; inquiring after the fewness of his days: to know if he should live long enough to see the happy restoration of Sion, &c. (Challoner) --- The sense of the Vulgate is as good as that of the present Hebrew, "he hat weakened (afflicted; Montanus) my strength, in the way; He hath shortened my days. I said, my God, make me not depart in the midst," &c. --- The captives, or those who were set free, address God, though the psalmist himself may express what prayers he had poured forth in his bonds. (Calmet) --- The variation of the Septuagint and Hebrew originates in the points; and the text has, his force, very properly, though the Jews would substitute "my." (Berthier) --- The stability of the Church is hence proved by St. Augustine. (Haydock)

Verse 25

Days. Allow me time to grow in virtue. (Worthington) If I be cut off in my youth, I may not be prepared. (Menochius)

Verse 27

Perish. Or be changed in their qualities, (Worthington) as well as all other things, like a garment. This does not convey the idea of annihilation; and the Fathers are divided on this subject, 2 Peter iii. 10., and Apocalypse xxi. 23. (Calmet)

Verse 28

Fail. This regards Christ, (Hebrews i.) who has established his Church, (Calmet) to be perpetual (Worthington) in this world, (Haydock) and triumphant in eternity, ver. 29. (Calmet) --- The psalm must therefore be understood literally of Him; unless it may have two senses, which those to whom St. Paul wrote must have known, otherwise it would not prove Christ’s divinity. The Socinians are greatly puzzled how to evade this argument. (Berthier)

Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 101". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hcc/psalms-101.html. 1859.
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