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Bible Commentaries

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Psalms 137

Verse 1

David. It contains a form of thanksgiving for him, or for any other. (Worthington) (Berthier) --- Some Greek copies add, "of Aggeus and Zacharias." But this is of small authority, though they might sing this psalm (Calmet) when the Jews had been delivered from all their enemies, (Origen) under Darius, who married Esther. It might also be used by Ezechias, after his recovery, (Calmet) or by David, when he found himself at rest, (Muis) and had the Messias in view. (Berthier) --- Praise. Literally, "confess," (Haydock) by repentance, (St. Jerome) and praise. (St. Hilary) --- For, &c. This sentence is placed after angels, in Septuagint and is not at all in Hebrew, (Berthier) Chaldean, Syriac, &c. (Calmet) --- It seems probable that the Septuagint found this reason for praise in their copies. --- Angels. Some would translate "judges, gods," &c. But the psalmist would rather pray before the angels, who would attend in the temple, and present his petitions. (Berthier) (Apocalypse v., and viii.) (Apostolic Constitutions viii. 4.) --- Their presence ought to full us with awe, (Luke xii. 8., and 1 Timothy v. 21.) and with confidence, if our prayer comes from the heart. (Haydock) --- Such God will hear, and the angels will present, Tobias xii., Acts x., and 1 Corinthians xi. 10., and Psalm xxiv. 10.

Verse 2

Towards. Thus the Jews acted, when they were at a distance from the temple, and in captivity. (Worthington) --- Truth. Which thou hast displayed in my regard. --- Holy. Septuagint may have perhaps written Greek: Logion, "Word," agreeably to the Hebrew, though our version seems more easy. (Berthier) --- St. Jerome (ad Sun.) explains it of Jesus Christ, the Word, whose name is so exalted, (Philippians ii. 9.; Calmet) as well as the divine majesty. (Worthington) --- The holy doctor translates, "thou hast magnified thy word above every name." But thy is joined with name in Hebrew. Others would supply, "thy name and thy word." (Berthier) --- Strength. Septuagint, &c., add, "thy." (Calmet) --- All virtue comes from God. (Haydock) --- If my prayer be granted, as formerly, I shall advance in virtue. (St. Chrysostom) (Ephesians iii. 14.)

Verse 4

Mouth. All kingdoms shall sooner or later, become acquainted with the gospel. (Worthington) --- The predictions of Jeremias, &c., had been communicated to the neighbouring princes, (Calmet) and all might know that God had executed his threats and promises. (Haydock) --- Yet none of them embraced the true religion, even after the captivity, so that this relates to Christ. (Berthier)

Verse 5

Ways. Of Providence, (Calmet) and mercy, &c., Psalm xxiv. 10. (Berthier) --- Some have read, "canticles," Greek: odais, being substituted for Greek: odois. (Haydock)

Verse 6

The high, &c. The proud and haughty, who exalt themselves , God knoweth afar off; that is, he despiseth the, and setteth them at a distance from him; whilst he stoopeth down to favour and embrace the low and humble. (Challoner) --- He treats the proud as strangers to him. (Worthington) --- If kings would sing in the ways of the Lord, they also must love, and be humble. (St. Augustine) --- God knows all things before they happen, (St. Chrysostom) and both high and low are equally open to his eye, Psalm cxii. 5., and cxxxviii. 2., and 8. (Calmet)

Verse 7

Wilt quicken me. And not otherwise. (St. Augustine) --- There is no going to heaven without crosses. (Haydock) --- Wrath. Most furious and cruel enemies. (Calmet)

Verse 8

Repay. Taking me under his protection, (St. Chrysostom) he will punish my oppressors; or he has done it already. (Calmet) --- Hands. Rescue me from the oppression of my temporal and spiritual enemies. (Berthier)

Verse 9


Thanksgiving to God, for his benefits.

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 137". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.