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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 9

Verses 1-20

Psalms 9:5 . Thou hast rebuked the heathen. A song in ancient time was made after every victory, a sort of Te Deum, to be sung in the congregation. The collection of those hallowed martial odes was called the Book of the wars of the Lord. The rabbins say that this psalm was composed after the fall of Goliath, and the defeat of the Philistines. They, and the Ammonites, had shed innocent blood.

Psalms 9:12 . When he maketh inquisition for blood. The Ammonites, on the breaking out of the rebellion, had sacrificed a number of Hebrews to Moloch their god. Allow me here to add, that the monied interests of this kingdom, who lend immense sums on exorbitant interest for foreign wars, may possibly find some truth in these words. All infidel as they are, and full of contempt of the bible, yet profane history furnishes a thousand cases which speak as David speaks.

Psalms 9:17 . The wicked shall be turned into hell. Hebrews grave: the LXX, hades: the Vulgate, sepulchre. See Job 26:4. Isaiah 30:33. They shall fall in war, and receive a rude burial in the field. The wicked however fall only in small proportions by war; and if the grave be all that is meant here, good men also go to the tomb, and often in early life. By consequence the text designates a state of future punishment for wicked and ungodly men. It has a special regard to the bloody heathen nations around the Jews, who shed rivers of innocent blood, and forgot God, as known in the covenant of Noah, and of Shem, surnamed the just.

When wicked men become loaded with every crime which can degrade them as moral beings, overwhelm their conscience and make good men odious in their eyes, where can they go but to Pluto’s dark house? When Eneas persisted in his prayers to go down to Tartarus to seek the manes of his father Anchises, the pythoness, or sybil prophetess, gave him a caution of equal moment to us, as to him. “Descendant of the gods, son of Anchises, easy is the descent to hell. The gate to the dark court of Pluto is open day and night; but to recover one’s steps, and escape to the superior regions, here is the task, here is the labour.”

Sate sanguine Divûm, Tros Anchisiade: facilis descensus Averni: Noctes atque dies patet atri janua Ditis:

Sed revocare gradum, superasque evadere ad auras, Hoc opus, hic labor est. ÆNEID, 6:125.

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Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 9". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1835.