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Thursday, May 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 128

Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book PsalmsScott on the Psalms

Verses 1-6

Psalms 128:1-6.

V.I. ’ Some think this was a form ’ prescribed to be used at the blessing of their marriages ; ’ when they wished the new married couple all manner of ’ happiness ; especially a long life in peaceable times.’ Bp. Patrick. (Notes^ Genesis 1:28. Ruth 4:11-12.) It is grobable, that this opinion occasioned the insertion of the salm, in ’ the form for the solemnization of matrimony,’ in our church. No blessing can warrantably be expected in any situation of life, except by those who " fear God " and walk in his ways ; " and they will be blessed in every station. (Note, Psalms 112:1.)

V. 2. ’ The world esteemeth them happy, which live in ’ wealth and idleness : but the Holy Ghost approveth them ’ best, that live of the mean profit of their labours.’ (Note, Ecclesiastes 5:18-20. Is. 3: 10, 11; 62. 8, 9; 65. 21- 23.) ’ He will prosper thy honest labours, and give thee an heart ’ also to enjoy the fruit of them ; yea, this will seem no ’ small part of thy happiness, that thou art able to live of ’ thyself, and not be beholden to others.’ Bp. Patrick.

V. 3, 4. The opinion above-mentioned, (Note 1) illustrates the propriety of the blessedness secured to a pious man, being here viewed with a special respect to the comforts of the married state : for on that supposition, newly married persons are exclusively addressed. Yet it is worth while for those, who, either from supposed religious motives, or from an idea that wives and children hinder men’s interest or comfort, are averse to marriage, either in their own case, or that of others, to consider this verse, in which a faithful wife and a flourishing offspring are, by the Spirit of inspiration, considered as most valuable blessings ; and some of the most beautiful images in nature are employed by the Holy Spirit, to shew what a solace, and ornament, and comfort they are, to those who fear God. Would such language have been suggested to the inspired writers, if marriage had been a less holy or less happy state, than celibacy ? (Notes, Genesis 2:24. 1 Timothy 4:1-5.) The Psalmist here speaks of one wife, and no more, as a blessing to a pious man. Polygamy, practised by David, and by Solomon far more, though connived at, does not seem, even then, to have been general ; and certainly it is unnatural, and contrary to domestick comfort.

(Notes, Genesis 7:7. Proverbs 5:15-19. Ecclesiastes 9:7-9. Matthew 19:3-6. Mark 10:2-12.)

V. 5, 6. Whatever may be the dispensations of Providence towards believers ; (for general rules always admit’ of exceptions, and the preceding verse should be considered as a general rule, not as an express promise ;) yet, they shall be blessed out of Zion, " with all spiritual blessings in heavenly things in Christ Jesus." The concluding part of these verses seems to be made difficult in the application of it, either to facts, or probable expectations of believers, by being translated in the future tense, and not in the imperative or optative mood, according to the original : " The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion : and " mayest thou see the good ot Jerusalem all thy days ; yea, " mayest thou see thy children’s children, and peace upon " Israel." Or, " Look thou for the good of Jerusalem, &c." (Notes,Psalms 51:18-19. Psalms 122:6-9. P. O.) It cannot be supposed, that every pious man shall see prosperous times and a flourishing family, and live to old age. But such a wish, or prayer, or exhortation, was perfectly suited to the occasion. ’ Mayest thou be so happy as to see Jerusalem, ’ the seat of justice and religion, in a flourishing condition ’ all thy life long. ...And long mayest thou live, to such ’ a good old age, as to see thy children’s children : and ’ the whole nation, all the time, in a prosperous tranquillity.’ Bp. Patrick.


Those who " fear God and walk in his ways " are the only happy persons, whatever their station in life may be. Nor will their comfort be diminished, if they labour hard in any honest calling, for the subsistence of themselves and families; and if they have only the necessaries of life, without any of its luxuries. Indeed their happiness does not consist in relative comforts ; and many of them, having all things in God, seek not wives and children, or are resigned, if bereft of them : yet religion, while it teaches the duties of every relation in life, best insures the comfort of each. Marriage is peculiarly honourable and blessed to him, who enters it in the fear of God, and desires to walk with his family according to his will : and he may expect that his wife will be " as a fruitful vine, by the sides " of his house, and his children as olive branches round " about his table." (Note, Psalms 144:12-15. P.O. 10- 15, latter part.) But the Lord " will bless his people out of Zion : " they shall see and taste of the blessings of his church, all the days of their life : and whether they be spared, like* old Israel, to see their children’s children, and to behold the church in prosperity on earth, or not ; they shall certainly share the peace of the heavenly Jerusalem, and bequeath the blessing of God as a legacy to their posterity.

Bibliographical Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 128". Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsp/psalms-128.html. 1804.
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