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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Psalms 89

PSALM 89

:-. Of Ethan—(See on :-, title). This Psalm was composed during some season of great national distress, perhaps Absalom's rebellion. It contrasts the promised prosperity and perpetuity of David's throne (with reference to the great promise of :-), with a time when God appeared to have forgotten His covenant. The picture thus drawn may typify the promises and the adversities of Christ's kingdom, and the terms of confiding appeal to God provided appropriate prayers for the divine aid and promised blessing.

Verse 1

1. mercies—those promised (Isaiah 55:3; Acts 13:34), and—

faithfulness—that is, in fulfilling them.

Verse 2

2. I have said—expressed, as well as felt, my convictions ( :-).

Verse 3

3, 4. The object of this faith expressed in God's words ( :-).

with—or literally, "to"

my chosen—as the covenant is in the form of a promise.

Verse 6

6, 7. This is worthy of our belief, for His faithfulness (is praised) by the congregation of saints or holy ones; that is, angels (compare Deuteronomy 33:2; Daniel 8:13).

sons of the mighty—(compare Psalms 29:1). So is He to be admired on earth.

Verse 8

8-14. To illustrate His power and faithfulness examples are cited from history. His control of the sea (the most mighty and unstable object in nature), and of Egypt ( :-), the first great foe of Israel (subjected to utter helplessness from pride and insolence), are specimens. At the same time, the whole frame of nature founded and sustained by Him, Tabor and Hermon for "east and west," and "north and south," together representing the whole world, declare the same truth as to His attributes.

Verse 12

12. rejoice in thy name—praise Thy perfections by their very existence.

Verse 13

8-14. To illustrate His power and faithfulness examples are cited from history. His control of the sea (the most mighty and unstable object in nature), and of Egypt ( :-), the first great foe of Israel (subjected to utter helplessness from pride and insolence), are specimens. At the same time, the whole frame of nature founded and sustained by Him, Tabor and Hermon for "east and west," and "north and south," together representing the whole world, declare the same truth as to His attributes.

Verse 15

15. His government of righteousness is served by "mercy" and "truth" as ministers (Psalms 85:10-13).

know the joyful sound—understand and appreciate the spiritual blessings symbolized by the feasts to which the people were called by the trumpet (Leviticus 25:9, c.).

walk . . . countenance—live in His favor (Psalms 4:6 Psalms 44:3).

Verse 16

16, 17. in—or, "by"

thy righteousness—Thy faithful just rule.

glory—or, "beauty."

of their strength—They shall be adorned as well as protected.

our horn—exalt our power (Psalms 75:10; Luke 1:69).

Verse 18

18. (Margin). Thus is introduced the promise to "our shield," "our king," David.

Verse 19

19-37. Then—when the covenant was established, of whose execution the exalted views of God now given furnish assurance.

thou . . . to thy holy one—or godly saint, object of favor ( :-). Nathan is meant (2 Samuel 7:17; 1 Chronicles 17:3-15).

laid help—literally, "given help." David was chosen and then exalted.

Verse 20

20. I have found—having sought and then selected him ( :-).

Verse 21

21. will protect and sustain (Isaiah 41:10),

Verse 22

22-25. by restraining and conquering his enemies, and performing My gracious purpose of extending his dominion—

Verse 25

25. hand [and] right hand—power (Psalms 17:7; Psalms 60:5).

sea, and . . . rivers—limits of his empire (Psalms 72:8).

Verse 26

26, 27. first-born—one who is chief, most beloved or distinguished (Exodus 4:22; Colossians 1:15). In God's sight and purposes he was the first among all monarchs, and specially so in his typical relation to Christ.

Verse 28

28-37. This relation is perpetual with David's descendants, as a whole typical in official position of his last greatest descendant. Hence though in personal relations any of them might be faithless and so punished, their typical relation shall continue. His oath confirms His promise, and the most enduring objects of earth and heaven illustrate its perpetual force (Psalms 72:5; Psalms 72:7; Psalms 72:17).

Verse 35

35. Once—one thing ( :-).

by my holiness—as a holy God.

that I will not lie—literally, "if I lie"—part of the form of swearing (1 Samuel 24:6; 2 Samuel 3:35).

Verse 36

28-37. This relation is perpetual with David's descendants, as a whole typical in official position of his last greatest descendant. Hence though in personal relations any of them might be faithless and so punished, their typical relation shall continue. His oath confirms His promise, and the most enduring objects of earth and heaven illustrate its perpetual force (Psalms 72:5; Psalms 72:7; Psalms 72:17).

Verse 37

37. It shall . . . moon . . . heaven—literally, "As the moon, and the witness in the sky is sure, that is, the moon."

Verse 38

38-52. present a striking contrast to these glowing promises, in mournful evidences of a loss of God's favor.

cast off—and rejected (compare Psalms 15:4; Psalms 43:2; Psalms 44:9).

Verse 39

39. An insult to the "crown," as of divine origin, was a profanation.

Verse 40

40-45. The ruin is depicted under several figures—a vineyard whose broken "hedges," and "strongholds," whose ruins invite spoilers and invaders; a warrior, whose enemies are aided by God, and whose sword's "edge"—literally, "rock" or "strength" (Joshua 5:2) is useless; and a youth prematurely old.

Verse 45

45. days of his youth—or, "youthful vigor," that is, of the royal line, or promised perpetual kingdom, under the figure of a man.

Verse 46

46. How long, c.—(Compare Psalms 13:1 Psalms 88:14; Jeremiah 4:4).

Verse 47

47. These expostulations are excited in view of the identity of the prosperity of this kingdom with the welfare of all mankind (Genesis 22:18; Psalms 72:17; Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 11:1-10); for if such is the fate of this chosen royal line.

Verse 48

48. What man—literally, "strong man—shall live?" and, indeed, have not all men been made in vain, as to glorifying God?

Verse 49

49-51. The terms of expostulation are used in view of the actual appearance that God had forsaken His people and forgotten His promise, and the plea for aid is urged in view of the reproaches of His and His people's enemies (compare Isaiah 37:17-35).

Verse 50

50. bear in my bosom—as feeling the affliction of the people ( :-).

footsteps—ways ( :-).

Verse 51

49-51. The terms of expostulation are used in view of the actual appearance that God had forsaken His people and forgotten His promise, and the plea for aid is urged in view of the reproaches of His and His people's enemies (compare Isaiah 37:17-35).

Verse 52

52. Blessed, &c.—denotes returning confidence ( :-).

Amen, and Amen—closes the third book of Psalms.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 89". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfb/psalms-89.html. 1871-8.