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A.M. 2959. B.C. 1045.
This Psalm was used by the Jews in their public services on the sabbath day, to which the matter of it was very well suited. For it celebrates the works of God, both that first and great work, the creation of the universe, and that succeeding, and no less wonderful work, his upholding and superintending all the creatures which he had made, and especially his ruling mankind, both good and bad, and preserving and governing his church and people. The rabbins pretend it was written by Adam. But, as the instruments of music, here mentioned, were not used in the worship of God till David’s time, it is most probable that it was composed by him, and that not so much to commemorate the creation and sabbath which followed it, as to foretel the rest from persecution which God had promised to give his church under the Messiah. In this Psalm, God is praised for his works, Psalms 92:1-5 . The doom of the wicked is foretold, Psalms 92:6-9 . The prosperity of the righteous, Psalms 92:10-15 .
Psalms 92:1-2. It is a good thing to give thanks, &c. It is a good work, and a just debt, which is due from us to God; to show forth thy loving- kindness, &c. To adore and celebrate thy goodness and truth continually, and especially at those two solemn times of morning and evening, which, on every day, and particularly upon the sabbath day, were devoted to the worship and service of God.
Psalms 92:4-5. For thou hast made me glad through thy work, &c. Which thou didst create by thine almighty power, and dost still govern with infinite wisdom. “A prospect of creation, in the vernal season,” says Dr. Horne, “fallen as it is, inspires the mind with joy, which no words can express. But how doth the regenerate soul exult and triumph at beholding that work of God’s hands whereby he creates all things anew in Christ Jesus! If we can be pleased with such a world as this, where sin and death have fixed their habitation; shall we not much rather admire those other heavens and that other earth wherein dwell righteousness and life? What are we to think of the palace, since even the prison is not without its charms!” O Lord, how great are thy works! Great beyond expression, beyond conception! The products of boundless power and unsearchable wisdom; men’s works are nothing to them. We cannot comprehend the greatness of God’s works, and therefore must reverently and awfully wonder, and even stand amazed at the magnificence of them. Thy thoughts are very deep Here he assigns the reason of the inconceivable greatness and grandeur of God’s works. Mens’ works are little and trifling, for their thoughts are shallow: but God’s works are very great, and such as cannot be measured, because his thoughts are very deep, and such as cannot be fathomed. Or, he speaks of God’s counsels and methods in the government of the world and of his church. All his counsels, whether in creation or providence, as much exceed the contrivances of human wisdom as his works do the efforts of human power!
Psalms 92:6. A brutish man Who cannot, or doth not, seriously consider things; whose mind is corrupted by sensual and brutish appetites; who is led by sense, and not by reason and faith, knoweth not That thy works are so inexpressibly great and wonderful; neither doth a fool understand this The depth of wisdom displayed in thy counsels, and of power in thine operations, or the particular work of God, described Psalms 92:7. “Glorious are thy works, profound thy counsels, marvellous thy dispensations in nature, in providence, in grace; but all are lost to the man void of spiritual discernment; who, like his fellow-brutes, is bowed down to earth, and knoweth no pleasures but those of sense. Here he hath chosen his paradise, and set up his tabernacle; not considering that his tabernacle must shortly be taken down, and he must remove hence for ever.” Horne. Reader, is this thy character?
Psalms 92:7-8. When the wicked spring, &c. Many interpreters connect this with the preceding verse, thus: A brutish man knoweth not, &c., that when the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish, it is that they shall be destroyed for ever: “they are only nourishing themselves, like senseless cattle, in plentiful pastures, for the approaching day of slaughter.” Their present worldly prosperity is a presage and occasion of their utter ruin. But thou, O Lord, art most high for evermore That is, they shall perish, but thou shalt endure, as is said in a like comparison, Psalms 102:26. They flourish for a season, but thou rulest for ever, to judge and punish them. So this verse is added by way of opposition to the former.
Psalms 92:9-10. For lo, thine enemies, &c., shall perish He represents their destruction as certain, and as present, which the repetition of the words implies. But my horn shalt thou exalt, &c. But, as for me and other righteous persons, (of whom he says the same thing, Psalms 92:12,) we shall be advanced to true and everlasting honour and felicity: I shall be anointed with fresh oil Oil, sweet and uncorrupted; that is, I shall have great cause of rejoicing, and testifying my joy, by anointing myself; as the manner was in feasts, and all joyful solemnities.
Psalms 92:11. Mine eye also shall see my desire, &c. The words, my desire, are twice inserted in this verse by our translators, and it seems improperly, as there is nothing for them in the original, which is literally, Mine eye also shall look upon mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear of the wicked that rise up against me; nor are they found in the Septuagint, or in several other versions ancient and modern. There is indeed an ellipsis, but, as Dr. Horne observes, would it not be better to supply it thus: “Mine eye shall behold the fall of mine enemies; and mine ears shall hear of the destruction of the wicked?” &c. The psalmist undoubtedly foresaw their dreadful doom, but we cannot infer, from that circumstance, that he desired it.
Psalms 92:12. The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree Which is constantly green and flourishing, spreads its branches very wide, and grows to a vast size, affording a most refreshing shade to travellers. It also produces dates, a very sweet, luscious, and grateful kind of fruit; is a most beautiful tree, and every way an invaluable treasure to the inhabitants of those hot countries, and therefore a fit emblem of the flourishing state of a righteous man. He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon The cedars in Lebanon are immensely large, being some of them thirty-five, or even forty feet in the girt, and thirty-seven yards in the spread of their boughs. They flourish for ages, and are always green; and, when cut down, yield a most beautiful kind of wood, inclining to a brown colour, solid, durable, and, in some sort, incorruptible. These then, as well as the palm-trees, compared with the short-lived and withering grass, are a striking illustration of the well-founded, durable, and continually increasing virtue and happiness of the truly righteous, in opposition to the momentary, trifling, and perpetually decaying prosperity of the wicked.
Psalms 92:13-14. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord In his church, of which all righteous persons are real and living members: those whom God, by his gracious providence and Holy Spirit, hath planted and fixed there, and incorporated with his people; shall flourish in the courts of our God Like the trees just mentioned, they shall retain their pleasant verdure, extend their cooling shade, refresh many by their sweet and nourishing fruit, or support and adorn them by their useful qualities, and increase continually in grace and goodness. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age When their natural strength decays it shall be renewed: their last days shall be their best days, wherein, as they shall grow in grace, so they shall increase in comfort and blessedness. He seems to allude to the palm-trees above mentioned, which produce, indeed, little fruit till they be about thirty years of age, but after that time, while their juice continues, the older they become, are the more fruitful, and will bear each three or four hundred pounds of dates every year. “Happy the man whose goodness is always progressive, and whose virtues increase with his years; who loseth not, in multiplying of worldly cares, the holy fervours of his first love, but goeth on, burning and shining more and more, to the end of his days!” Horne.
Psalms 92:15. To show that the Lord is upright, &c. That he is true to his promises, and faithful to every word that he hath spoken, and therefore does not leave nor forsake those that cleave to him, but carries on the work which he has begun. As it is by his promises that believers first partake of a divine nature, so it is by his promises that that divine nature is preserved and maintained, and therefore the power it exerts is an evidence that the Lord is upright, and such he will show himself to be with an upright man, Psalms 18:25. He is my rock I have chosen him for my rock, on which to build my confidence and hopes for time and eternity, and in the clefts of which to take shelter in the time of danger: and I have found him a rock, strong and steadfast, and his word firm and stable. And there is no unrighteousness in him He is as able, and will be as kind, as his word represents him to be. All that ever trusted in God have found him faithful and all-sufficient, and none were ever made ashamed of their hope in him. He is just and upright in his dealings with his intelligent creatures, “immoveable in his counsels, and determined to punish the wicked and reward the good; so that, when his proceedings shall come to be unfolded at the last day, it will appear to men and angels that there is no unrighteousness in him.” Horne.
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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 92". Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Sunday after Epiphany