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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 142

Haydock's Catholic Bible CommentaryHaydock's Catholic Commentary

Verse 1

Absalom is not specified in Roman Septuagint, &c., (Calmet) though it be in other copies. (Haydock) --- The latter part of the title has been added by the Greeks. (St. Hilary) --- If David composed the psalm, on occasion of his son’s revolt, he considered it as a punishment of his former transgression. The Fathers explain it of Jesus Christ, who suffered for our sins. (Berthier) --- It might also relate to the captives, (Ferrand) or to the same event as the preceding psalm, (Bossuet) though there is no reason for abandoning the title. (Calmet) --- Justice. Or mercy. (St. Chrysostom) --- Absalom had no just cause of complaint, (Haydock) and God had promised to protect David on the throne.

Verse 2

Justified. Compared with thee, (Calmet) and without mercy. God is bound by his promise to hear the penitent. (Worthington) --- David and St. Paul had been assured of the remission of their sins, yet never ceased to beg for pardon. (Berthier)

Verse 3

Of old. Literally, "of an age," (Haydock) who are quite forgotten, Lamentations iii. 6. (Calmet) --- The devil had violently tempted me, by means of temporal and spiritual calamities. (Worthington) --- The greatest darkness is that of the heart, Ephesians iv. 17. (Haydock)

Verse 4

Troubled. David knew not what course to take, 1 Kings xv. 25, 31. Our Saviour was in the greatest agony. (Calmet)

Verse 5

Of old. What God had done formerly for me and others. (Worthington) --- The sacred records of 3,000 years tended to raise the hopes of David. (Berthier)

Verse 6

Water. We can add nothing to this idea. (Calmet) --- Man can do no good without God’s grace, which David implores with his hands stretched out, both to mortify himself, and to denote fervour. (Worthington)

Verse 7

Pit. Or "lake," meaning (Haydock) the grave. (Calmet) --- If man be left to himself, he will presently yield to sin, from which he will not be delivered without God’s grace.

Verse 8


The psalmist in tribulation calleth upon God for his delivery. The seventh penitential psalm.

Morning. At the first assault of temptation, (Worthington) or speedily. David might address this prayer to God during the night, after he left Jerusalem. He was only relieved the next day, when his troops had crossed the Jordan, 2 Kings xvii. 12. --- To thee. With the most ardent desire, Jeremias xxii. 27. This might suit the captives, ver. 5, 11. (Calmet)

Verse 9

Fled. Hebrew, "To thee I have hidden myself," (Montanus) or "am protected." (St. Jerome) --- But the Septuagint seem to have read better, esithi. "I have hoped." (Chaldean)

Verse 10

Spirit. I look for a favourable wind, like one at sea, in danger of suffering shipwreck, and I apply to God, to the Holy Ghost the Comforter. --- Right. Even (Calmet) and not like this country, full of precipices. In Judea the right worship was observed. (Haydock) --- The penitent may rest assured, that God will free him from all perils, (Worthington) and bring him (Hebrew) "into the land of rectitude," which is heaven. The Holy Ghost is here represented as a distinct person. (Berthier)

Verse 12

Mercy. Towards me. Justice required that the rebels should be punished, as they were, even contrary to David’s intention, 1 Kings xviii. 5. (Calmet)

Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 142". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hcc/psalms-142.html. 1859.
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