Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, June 12th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 19

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-14

Psalms 19:4 . Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. The LXX, φθογγος , phthoggos. Vulgate, sonus, their sound; the music of their voice. The elegant Tertullian, in his apology for the christian religion, applies the same idea to the spread of the gospel. After stating to the emperor that their cities, their camps and castles, were full of christians, he asks, “In whom have all the nations of the earth believed, except in Christ? Not only the Parthians, the Medes, the Elamites; not only Phrygia and Pamphylia; not only Egypt, Lybia, and Cyrene; not only the boundaries of Spain, but Gaul, and those parts of Britain, inaccessible to the Roman arms, are become subject to Christ.” Origen also asks, “When before the time of Christ did the land of Britain agree in the worship of one God? When did Mauritania, [the country of the blacks] when did the whole globe at once agree in this? Whereas now, on account of the churches spread to the utmost boundaries of the world, the whole earth rejoices to invoke the God of Israel.” As three bishops from England attended a council at Aries in the south of France, in the year 215, ( Origen, hom. 4. apud Ezekiel) it is almost certain that the gospel was preached in this island in the apostolic age.

Psalms 19:10 . Much fine gold. Hebrews ומפז omippaz. The LXX, precious stones, for these were set in gold.

Psalms 19:13 . Keep back thy servant from presumptuous… The LXX, from the worship of strange… The word gods is omitted, lest it pollute the sacred page of both the Greek and the Hebrew text.

Psalms 19:14 . My Redeemer. Hebrews גאלי goali, my kinsman, whose right it was to redeem the inheritance. Surely the psalmist refers to Him who became bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh; our kinsman, who redeemed us by the sacrifice of Himself.


How glorious is the contemplation of the starry heavens. It relieves the silence of the night by inspiring the sublime of devotion. Suns after suns, systems of suns and planets, moving in orbits without number, to illumine the vast expanse. Oh what wisdom to plan the whole, what power to uphold them, what goodness and love in all their designations of glory and beauty! They speak to the eye, they pour melody on the soul, and touch the heart in ever-changing concert from day to day, and from night to night. They sing through all climates, and publish praises in every language. How can the philosopher, who studies and teaches the laws of astronomy, and is rewarded with the highest of academical honours and revenues, be a violator of every law of heaven by following the wicked propensities of his heart. Ask the beasts, as in Job, and they will tell thee to lead a better life.

In addition to the laws of nature, we have those of revelation, that by grace we may attain ultimately to the original perfection of our nature. We have the law of the Lord, converting the soul, the law which is perfect, causing the heart to rejoice. These laws are pure; they enlighten the eyes, and refresh the soul; they are more to be desired than fine gold and brilliant gems. For when we cannot attain by nature to the perfection which creation discovers to exist in our Maker, grace comes to our aid with all her renovating powers, and blooming hopes of eternal joy.

This glorious revelation of the grace and mercy of God is to be connected with prayer, that God would keep us from the great transgression of base backslidings in heart and life; for in that case we fall below the pride of the boasting philosopher, who neither sees nor adores his Maker in all his works.

The best preservative against a relapse, is habitual devotion; to exercise ourselves in godly conversation, and in solitude where the meditations of our heart can profoundly enter into the truths of God. By these exercises the habitudes of piety and holiness are formed in the heart, and strength is imparted from the Lord our Redeemer.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 19". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/psalms-19.html. 1835.
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