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To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm or Song.
The leading thought of the preceding psalm that the nations are to be brought to God through the knowledge of his works runs through this. There is a “mission tone” in both, with this difference: Psalms 56:0 contemplates the submission of the heathen through the providence of God over the nations, while this looks to the same result from his providence in nature, in securing the earth’s increase. In either case God’s blessing upon Israel, according to the Jewish expectation, would be the chief cause of this world-wide reformation. This hopeful outlook upon the world’s conversion was stimulated, at different epochs, by the success of David’s Syrian wars, by the promise of Nathan to him, by the brilliant opening of Solomon’s peaceful reign, by the piety and renown of Hezekiah and the events of his times, but on no occasion so much as on the return of the exiles from Babylon. See the latter half of Isaiah’s prophecy. As Israel obtained favour of the Egyptians at the Exodus, (Exodus 12:33-2.12.36,) so did they receive honour and favour in the sight of the nations on their return from Babylon. See Psalms 126:1-19.126.2. Not only had learned Jews from time to time been elevated to public office in Babylon, but Nebuchadnezzar, Darius the Mede, Cyrus, Darius Hystaspes, and Artaxerxes Longimanus, during the Captivity and the earlier period of the Restoration, issued edicts in favour of the Hebrews and their religion, and of the restoration of their national polity. See Daniel 3:28-27.3.29; Daniel 4:0; Daniel 6:25-27.6.27; Ezra 1:1-15.1.4; Ezra 6:6-15.6.12; Ezra 7:11-15.7.26; Nehemiah 2:7-16.2.8. We must place this psalm at the time of their immediate expectation of return; or, if the preterite of the verb in the first line of Psalms 67:6 (see the note) be retained, it would fitly apply to the ingathering of the first harvest after their return.
On Neginoth On the stringed instruments, a simple designation of the mode of performance to be observed by the precentor.
A Psalm or Song Sometimes the words are reversed, for no apparent reason, as Psalms 66:0, title, A song or psalm. See on title of Psalms 30:0
1. God be merciful unto us An invocation, repeated in Psalms 67:6-19.67.7, and founded on the form of blessing by the high priest, Numbers 6:23-4.6.26
2. That thy way may be known Literally, for the knowing thy way. The telic use of the preposition denotes the end or object for which the blessing (Psalms 67:1) is invoked upon the Church, namely, to the end that the ways of God may be made known in the earth. Thus, in all ages, through his Church, the world is to learn his ways with men.
Thy way Thy method, particularly thy plan of grace. “Way,” here, is the parallel word to salvation in the next line of the verse.
Saving health Hebrew, simply, salvation.
“Health” has nothing to answer to it in the original. The fuller form occurs Psalms 28:8, where “saving strength,” is literally strength of salvations.
All nations All Gentile nations. The word usually bears this sense.
3. Let all the people praise thee Hebrew, the peoples, or nations, shall give thee thanks, all of them. A beautiful refrain, repeated in Psalms 67:5, and in musical performance sung as a responsive chorus.
4. Oh let the nations The word עמים , ( ammeem,) peoples, occurs in the plural seven times in this short psalm; גוים , ( goyeem,) nations, Gentiles, once; and ארצ , ( ahretz,) earth, the world, four times, always in connexion with the universal knowledge of God, and the happy effect of the universal acknowledgment of him. The verbs which, in our English version, are rendered optatively as expressing a wish, as, “Let all the people praise thee,” etc., should be read as predictions in the declarative future, “All the people shall praise thee,” etc. The psalm is a glorious anticipation of the universal spread of the gospel, and the conversion of the Gentile nations.
Judge… govern The latter word signifies to lead, as in Psalms 22:3; Psalms 77:20, and is the office of a shepherd. As a ruler, God will judge righteously; as a shepherd, he will lead gently; and when he shall be accepted in these offices by the nations, “Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven.” Psalms 85:11
6. Then shall the earth yield her increase Which shows that godliness has “promise of the life that now is.” 1 Timothy 4:8; Psalms 85:12. The Hebrew prophets always associated the complete dominion of God in the earth with righteousness, peace, and plenty to all mankind; and that such a state would obtain in Messiah’s reign was their expectation. Isaiah 2:1-23.2.5; Psalms 72:0, and Psalms 96:10-19.96.13. But the verb is in the perfect tense, “The earth has yielded her increase,” as if in acknowledgment of a recent, abundant harvest, which the author accepts as a pledge of universal blessing yet to come.
7. And all the ends of the earth shall fear him This is the ultimate moral end of all gracious dispensation. Universal piety is here, as everywhere in the prophets, held forth as the guaranty of universal gladness and prosperity, (Psalms 67:2,) and God will cause the world to see it, “for a witness unto all nations,” (Matthew 24:14,) whether they accept the gospel or not.
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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 67". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
Second Sunday after Epiphany