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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
Psalms 144



Verses 1-15

This, and the six following psalms, are all eucharistical, and seem to have been composed when David’s sorrows were changed to joys. He here praises God for past mercies, and asks grace for the future, with confidence that prosperity would crown the industry of a happy people with smiling affluence.

Psalms 144:3. What is man, frail man. See the note on Psalms 8:4.

Psalms 144:9. Upon a psaltery, a little portable harp of sweet sound, generally used in psalmody.

Psalms 144:12. Our sons as plants. A plantation of young and flourishing trees, for youth should be as trees that promise the growth and fruitfulness of a future age.—Our daughters as corner-stones. As statues of illustrious persons, that adorn the angles and battlements of palaces and temples. He is a wise and happy prince, who does this for his subjects.

Psalms 144:13. That our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets. In many oriental towns, between the houses of the rich, there were the hovels of the poor, and farm houses where sheep were penned at night, for safety from the wolves.


David wrote this psalm on his accession to the throne. His first object and warmest wish was to thank the Lord, who of a poor shepherd had made him a general and a king. When the rich mercy and grace of God smile around the soul, his glory and perfections are heightened in their beauty, and the expanded heart is lost in gratitude and love.

Being surrounded with a belt of foes, Psalms 83., David entreats the Lord to bow his heavens, and go forth for Zion, as he came down with fire and with arrows, against the ancient foes. The allusion is to the Lord’s descent in a cloud on mount Sinai, where he overshadowed and defended his people.

After the victory he asks the covenant blessings which Moses had promised on their children, on their cattle, and on their lands. Deuteronomy 28:29. Happy indeed are the people who are in such a case, having the Lord for their God. Christ in like manner went forth against his foes, the Jews, on coming to the mediatorial throne; and so every believer should pray the Lord that every sentiment of this psalm may be written on his heart. Then he shall war against all his spiritual foes with confidence, and sing a new song to the Lord, who hath raised him up to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 144:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1835.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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