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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 144:12

Let our sons in their youth be as grown-up plants, And our daughters as corner pillars fashioned as for a palace;

Adam Clarke Commentary

That our sons may be as plants - God had promised to his people, being faithful, Three descriptions of Blessings, Deuteronomy 28:4.

  1. The fruit of the body - sons and daughters.
  • The fruits of the ground - grass and corn in sufficient plenty.
  • Fruit of the cattle-"the increase of kine, and flocks of sheep."
  • These are the blessings to wnich the psalmist refers here, as those in which he might at present exult and triumph: blessings actually enjoyed by his people at large; proofs of his mild and paternal government, and of the especial blessing of the Almighty. The people who there in such a state, and revolted, had no excuse: they were doubly guilty, as ungrateful both to God and man.


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    Bibliography
    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 144:12". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-144.html. 1832.

    Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

    That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth - That our sons - not called forth to the hardships of the tent and the field, the perils and the exposures of war - may grow up under the culture of home, of the family, in quiet scenes, as plants carefully cultivated and flourishing. Compare Psalm 128:3. The Hebrew here is, “grown large in their youth;” not “grown up,” which has a paradoxical appearance. The meaning is, that they may be stout, strong, vigorous, well-formed, even in early life; that they may not be stunted in their growth, but be of full and manly proportions.

    That our daughters may be as cornerstones - The word used here - זויות zâvı̂yôth - occurs only in the plural form, and means properly “corners” - from a verb meaning to hide away, to conceal. The word is used respecting the corners of an altar, Zechariah 9:15; and seems here to refer to the corner columns of a palace or temple: perhaps, as Gesenius (Lexicon) supposes, in allusion to the columns representing female figures so common in Egyptian architecture.

    Polished - Margin, “cut.” The idea is not that of “polishing” or “smoothing,” but of cutting or sculpturing. It is the stone carefully cut as an ornament.

    After the similitude of a palace - A more literal translation would be, “The likeness or model of a temple;” or, for the building of a temple. That is, that they may be such as may be properly compared with the ornamental columns of a temple or palace. The comparison is a very beautiful one, having the idea of grace, symmetry, fair proportions: that on which the skill of the sculptor is most abundantly lavished.


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    Bibliography
    Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 144:12". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-144.html. 1870.

    Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

    DAVID'S PRAYER FOR ALL ISRAEL

    "When our sons shall be as plants grown up in their youth,

    And our daughters as corner-stones hewn after the fashion of a palace;

    When our garners are full, affording all manner of store,

    And our sheep bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields;

    When our oxen are well laden;

    When there is no breaking in, and no going forth,

    And no outcry in our streets:

    Happy is the people that is in such a case;

    Yea, happy is the people whose God is Jehovah."

    There is undoubtedly in this paragraph a brilliant word-picture of overwhelming domestic tranquillity and prosperity.

    (1) Psalms 144:12 gives a picture of prosperous and happy families. There is some doubt among scholars as to the exact meaning of the metaphors here; but the idea is clear enough. Strong, vigorous sons, and beautiful efficient daughters adorn the primary unit of any successful society, namely, the family.

    (2) Psalms 144:13 stresses the full storehouses and the fantastic growth of their flocks of sheep.

    (3) Psalms 144:14 speaks of "well laden" oxen, hauling in the bumper crops.

    "No breaking in ... no going forth ... no outcry in the streets" (Psalms 144:14b). Only domestic tranquility may be thus described. The marginal reading for "going forth" is "sallying," a term associated with warfare, indicating that the meaning here is "no going forth to war."

    "Happy is the people that is in such a case" (Psalms 144:15). Note the present tense here. This indicates that the marvelous blessings requested in David's prayer are already being enjoyed in Israel. The prayer is a prayer for the continuation of what is already being enjoyed by God's people.

    Rawlinson pointed out that, "The best recent critics see in this passage a description of Israel's actual condition in the writer's day. In line with this, Dr. Kay, and Professor Cheyne render the verbs in the passage as present, `the sons are,' `the daughters are,' etc."[20]

    Instead of these last four verses being "a fragment,"[21] or "A copyist's quotation of some lost Davidic psalm,"[22] these verses fit the whole psalm as a glove fits the hand. What could be more natural and reasonable than the fact that David, having seen the end of wars and strife and the astounding blessing of God in the prosperity of his people, should have prayed earnestly to God for the continuation of the happy conditions, giving God all the glory for it?


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    James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

    Bibliography
    Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Psalms 144:12". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/psalms-144.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

    That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth,.... The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Ethiopic, Syriac, and Arabic versions, read, "whose sons are as plants", &c. as if this and what follows were a description of the families, estates, substance, and outward happiness of wicked men, the enemies of David, the strange children he desired to be delivered from, agreeably to Job 21:7; and if the word "saying", or "who say", be supplied, as by someF15So Schmidt. , and connected with "that our sons are", &c. they may express the vain boastings of these men, and explain what is meant by the vanity their mouth spake; as well as furnish out another reason for the repetition of the above requests, namely, for the sake of introducing those vain boasts to which the happiness of good men is opposed, who have an interest in God as their God, Psalm 144:15; but we with other versions take them to be a petition of the psalmist; that as he would deliver him personally out of the hands of his enemies, so he would bless his subjects with all prosperity and happiness in their families and estates; like a good prince concerned for the real welfare of his people, and wishes that their sons might be as plants, young, tender, well nursed, and taken care of, that were healthful, thriving, flourishing, and promising much fruit; so they might he of healthful constitutions, well educated in all useful knowledge, natural and religious, and grow both in wisdom and stature, and appear to be of promising parts for usefulness in the church and state; and especially that they might be the plants of the Lord, pleasant ones to him, and profitable to others; be planted in Christ, and in his house, and grow in grace and in the knowledge of him, and grow up to him their bead in all things. The Targum is,

    "that our sons may be as plants of the dactyles (or palm trees, Psalm 92:12), nourished up in the doctrine of the law from their youth;'

    see Psalm 128:3;

    that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace; or "temple"; tall, beautiful, and in good proportion; children have their name in Hebrew from a word which signifies to "build"F16בנה "aedificavit, unde" בנים & בנות "filii et filiae". , because by them families are built up, 4:11; and by marriage divers families are connected together, so that they are as corner stones to them; thus PlautusF17Mostellaria, Act. 1. Sc. 2. speaks of children as a building, and parents as the fabricators of them; laying the foundation of them, raising them up and polishing them, and sparing no cost to make them useful to the commonwealth: or "as corner pillars"F18כזוית "sicut angulares lapides, aut columnae", Michaelis. , which support the house and continue in it; so they guide the house, take care of the affairs of it, and be keepers at home, 1 Timothy 5:14; and like such as are in temples or in kings' palaces, finely graved and beautifully polished, be adorned with grace and good works, particularly with modesty, meekness, and humility, 1 Thessalonians 2:9; and grow up into an holy temple in the Lord, being parts of the spiritual building, and being laid on the foundation, of which Jesus Christ is the corner stone. The Targum is,

    "our daughters splendid and fit for the priests that minister in the midst of the temple.'

    The Syriac version,

    "their daughters as spouses adorned like temples.'


    Copyright Statement
    The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
    A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

    Bibliography
    Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 144:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-144.html. 1999.

    Geneva Study Bible

    k That our sons [may be] as plants grown up in their youth; [that] our daughters [may be] as corner stones, polished [after] the similitude of a palace:

    (k) He desires God to continue his benefits toward his people, counting the procreation of children and their good education among the chiefest of God's benefits.

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    Bibliography
    Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 144:12". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-144.html. 1599-1645.

    Wesley's Explanatory Notes

    That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:

    That — This mercy I beg not only for my own sake, but for the sake of thy people, that they may enjoy those blessings which thou hast promised them; and particularly, that our sons, who are the strength and hopes of a nation, may be like plants, flourishing and growing in height and strength, as plants do in their youth; for when they grow old, they wither and decay.

    Cornerstone — Strong and beautiful.


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    These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

    Bibliography
    Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 144:12". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-144.html. 1765.

    Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

    12.Because our sons, etc. These three concluding verses some consider as being a wish or a prayer. (271) Others think that David congratulates himself, and all the people, that through the divine blessing every species of mercy was showered down prosperously upon them. I have no doubt that David commemorates, by way of thanksgiving, the liberality which God had shown to his people. But it consists very well with this, to suppose that he prays at the same time for the continuance or preservation of those divine benefits which must well-nigh be cut off altogether by wicked men and domestic foes, unless God should interpose, in the troubles and confusions which prevailed. The end he has in view therefore is, that God would not suffer the signal blessings with which he had loaded his people to fail and depart. He begins by making mention of the children, comparing the male portion of them, by way of commendation of their excellency, to plants which have grown up in their youth; for trees rarely come to any height if they do not grow large early, and when yet tender. He speaks of the girls as being like corners skillfully and ingeniously cut out, to make the building beautiful; as if he would say that they adorned the house by their comeliness and elegance. It is not surprising that he should reckon a noble and well trained offspring to be the very first of God’s earthly blessings, a point of which I have spoken elsewhere more at large. As David speaks in the name of the whole people, and of his own condition as mixed up with that of the community, we may infer from this that he was not exclusively occupied with his own private interests.


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    Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 144:12". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-144.html. 1840-57.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    Psalms 144:12 That our sons [may be] as plants grown up in their youth; [that] our daughters [may be] as corner stones, polished [after] the similitude of a palace:

    Ver. 12. That our sons may be as plants, &c.] As young plants, fair and flourishing.

    That our daughters may be as corner stones, &c.] Tall and trim, comely of person and costly arrayed, resembling the polished pillars at palace gates. Tremellius rendereth the last words of this verse, sint structura templi, may be the building of the temple, that is, may be such living stones as may be used to the building and polishing of God’s Church, that we may altogether grow up to a holy temple in the Lord, Ephesians 2:21; Ephesians 4:12-13. For, indeed, what can better preserve Jacob from confusion, or his face from waxing pale, than to see his children, the work of God’s hands, framed and fitted for God’s building. This maketh religious parents to sanctify God’s name (as here), even to sanctify the Holy One, and with singular encouragement, from the God of Israel, Isaiah 29:22-23.


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    Bibliography
    Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 144:12". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-144.html. 1865-1868.

    Sermon Bible Commentary

    Psalms 144:12

    I. These two figures express, in different ways, the notions of fixity and substance. Both plant and column are fixed and steady. The plant is fixed by its roots into the earth, the column fixed into the building. Life must be rooted in fixed belief in God and the way of reconciliation and fellowship with Him. This belief alone gives meaning, and purpose, and substance to life. It is great truths believed that nourish the soul.

    II. Growth and permanence are both set forth in the text. Growth belongs just as necessarily to the conception of a plant as permanence does to that of a column. Growth of soul and spirit is the result of holding firmly to great central truths and drawing the very pith of them into the being. While man represents progress and woman permanence, the true ideal life includes both equally.

    III. In the plant and the column we have represented individualism, separateness, independence, and, on the other hand, combination, unity, and mutual help and support.

    IV. The text speaks of two different kinds of beauty: that of the plant, the beauty of nature; that of the sculptured column, the beauty of culture. We are reminded that all beauty of soul must be the result both of nature and cultivation. (1) That the soul may be beautiful, it must be a living soul, living by contact with the infinite, in fellowship with God. This is truly the beauty of nature, the deepest nature. (2) Think of the sculpturing of that stone. If the substance had had feeling, at what cost that beautiful form would have been obtained! Human souls are shaped into beauty often through great suffering and trial. Let us not forget that. But let us specially consider that we must wield the chisel and mallet on ourselves, strike off the evil, and seek that the ideal of our nature should come out.

    J. Leckie, Sermons Preached at Ibrox, p. 178.


    David is not praying that the youth of the land should have any abnormal precociousness, or should be in any way ahead of their years; but the picture before his mind is that of vigorous, healthful, upright, manly, and ingenuous youth: and he feels that this, if realised, would be the highest glory of the land. For the young men of his country he desired:—

    I. A healthful frame; a strong, robust, vigorous physique. It has been said that as righteousness is the health of the soul, so health is the righteousness of the body.

    II. A solid character. A quaint writer says, "If a man is to grow, he must grow like a tree; there must be nothing between him and heaven." It is an old adage that knowledge is power, but it is still more true to say that character is power.

    III. A hidden life. Each of you needs that which no human power can communicate, and without which the fairest religious profession is only a painted corpse. Personal and saving religion is no development from within, no product of moral evolution; it is something whose germ must be imparted to you by the Holy Spirit, and without which germ you are in the sight of God absolutely dead.

    J. Thain Davidson, The City Youth, p. 239.


    References: Psalms 144:12.—W. Walters, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxi., p. 338. Psalms 144:15.—F. W. Farrar, Ibid., vol. xix., p. 33; W. M. Arthur, Ibid., vol. xxvii., p. 200. Psalms 145:1.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. ii., p. 295. Psalms 145:1, Psalms 145:2.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxxii., No. 1902.




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    Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Psalms 144:12". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/psalms-144.html.

    Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

    Psalms 144:12, &c. That our sons may be, &c.— Our sons are like plants grown tall in their youth; and our daughters like corner-pillars polished for the ornament of a palace. Green; who renders the following verses also in the present; and with him agrees Mr. Mudge, who observes, that these verses are spoken in a kind of exultation, arising from a view of the happiness which they enjoyed; and are connected to the 9th and 10th. The 11th is a parenthesis; for it appears from the last verse, that he is not wishing, but describing a prosperity; describing their sons like young trees, large at the same time that they are young; their daughters exactly and beautifully shaped, like pillars for a palace: their sheep not bringing forth thousands, but multiplied by ten thousands in their out countries (for sheep were kept abroad on the open downs, not under or near a covert); I take חוצות chutzoth, here, to signify this; for streets are no places for sheep. Their oxen are not described by number, for that belongs to sheep, but by their firmness and usefulness for tillage: according to the original, מסבלים mesubbalim, fit to bear; i.e. the yoke. The following words פרצ אין ein perets I take to mean, No house-breaking; ( פריצ parits is a robber or house-breaker;) No violent intrusion or forcing a man out of his property; and thus it will agree with what follows; No complaining in our streets; namely, upon account of violence or injustice. Kimchi observes of these verses, that all those three blessings, namely, of the womb, of the earth, and of cattle, which are mentioned in Deuteronomy 28:4 are specified here. Green tenders the second clause of the 14th verse, There is no hostile invasion, nor going into captivity. We may just observe, that the Hebrew word רחב rechob, rendered streets in this verse, is different from that so rendered in the former. The old English word street, from the Latin stratum, signifies any place for rest or repose; a bed, a couch, a litter, or place fit for ewes to couch or lamb: and our translators in the 13th verse seem to have used it properly, and agreeable to the Hebrew, in this sense.

    REFLECTIONS.—1st, All the returns that we can make for mercies received, are blessing and praise ascribed to the gracious giver of all good. Of this the Psalmist sets us the example.

    1. He blesses God for all the goodness that he had experienced. Blessed be the Lord my strength, by whose power I have been upheld, and by whose providence I have been protected; which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight; and from a shepherd's crook enabled him to wield Goliah's sword. My goodness, the author of all grace, and engaged to be mine, to bless me in a covenant of love; and my fortress, where I am safe from the attacks of my enemies: my high tower, above the reach of human or Satanical malice; and my deliverer out of every danger: my shield, to guard me in the day of battle; and he in whom I trust, who neither can nor will ever disappoint my confidence, while I depend upon him: who subdueth my people under me; bringing me, after all my wanderings, to the peaceable possession of Israel's throne.

    2. He expresses his admiration of God's condescension and kindness. Lord, what is man, so low in his original, and now become so vile by sin, that thou takest knowledge of him? or the sin of man, that thou makest account of him? shewing such poor and wretched creatures such kindness and regard; especially sending his Son to be incarnate to redeem them. Man is like to vanity; an empty nothing, or a vapour. His days are as a shadow that passeth away; so swift, so transitory. O that men were wise, that they pondered these things, that they considered their latter end. If their moment be so short, and eternity depends upon it, how diligently should they redeem each hour!

    3. He looks up to God for support against all his remaining enemies; and calls on him to manifest his presence in some tremendous displays of his power, (as when he descended on Sinai's hoary top,) to scorch them with his lightnings, and shoot forth those arrows of his vengeance, which no human powers can for a moment withstand. By this divine interposition he hopes for deliverance out of the deep waters of trouble, and the hosts of enemies which surrounded him. And their character called for such righteous judgment against them: their mouth speaketh vanity, false and deceitful; and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood; whether lifted up in prayer, or in a solemn oath; the one is hypocritical, the other faithless. Note; (1.) There is a terrible day approaching, when vengeance will overtake the enemies of God. (2.) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of the deepest waters of affliction; and they who call upon him will find him near to save them. (3.) Falsehood and lies may for a moment prosper, but in the end will issue in everlasting confusion.

    2nd, We have,

    1. David's praises for his deliverances in answer to his prayer. I will sing a new song unto thee, O God, and join his music with his voice, to raise the sound: Upon a psaltery, and an instrument of ten strings, will I sing praises unto thee. And abundant reason he had: for it is he that giveth salvation unto kings, whose armies are not their safety, but the power of God giving success to their enterprises; who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful sword of all his secret and open enemies. The Son of David was thus enabled also to triumph, when God raised him from the dead, and exalted him to the throne; sin, Satan, death, and every enemy of his faithful people, being bruised under his feet.

    2. The Psalmist prays for the continuance of the same care over himself, (many enemies of the same ill character remained, from whom he desires to be delivered,) and for his subjects, that prosperity, plenty, and peace, might reign among them; their families be increased, their sons and daughters endowed with every corporal and mental accomplishment; their garners full with every kind of store; their flocks multiplied exceedingly: their oxen strong; no irruptions from an enemy; no leading out to captivity; no complaints of faction, famine, sickness, or the sword, ever heard; but all peaceful without and quiet within. Such a state cannot but denote a happy people: not that happiness consists in these outward blessings merely; but, where bestowed, they are marks of God's favour, which is the supreme felicity. Happy, therefore, are the people who have the Lord for their God. Note; (1.) The blessings of the basket and the store, so far as they come from God in a way of love, are doubly sweet; and they twice enjoy this world's good things who see and gratefully bless the hand which bestows them. (2.) All that earth can give is but shadow, without God. He alone can truly satisfy the desires of the soul. (3.) They who have God for their Lord, bound to them by grace through faith in a covenant of love and peace, must needs be happy, for all his things are theirs.


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    Bibliography
    Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 144:12". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-144.html. 1801-1803.

    Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

    This mercy I beg, not only for my own sake, but for the sake of thy people, that thine and our enemies being subdued, and peace established in the land, thy people may enjoy those blessings which thou hast promised to them; and particularly,

    that our sons, which are the strength, and safety, and hopes of a nation, may be like plants, flourishing and thriving, and growing in height and strength, as plants do in their youth, and they only; for when they grow old, they wither and decay.

    Our daughters; upon whom the hope of posterity depends.

    As corner-stones, polished after the similitude of palace; strong and beautiful, and adorned with all the ornaments belonging to their sex.


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    Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 144:12". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-144.html. 1685.

    Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

    12. Grown up—That is, becoming strong, refers to our sons in an early and vigorous development. So polished refers to daughters. It is better rendered carved. To this day the corners of houses in Damascus may be seen carved in beautiful style, showing the figures here used to mean gracefulness of form and richness of attire.


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    Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 144:12". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-144.html. 1874-1909.

    George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

    Thy. Hebrew, "his." But the Septuagint read more correctly, with the Chaldean, &c. --- Men. The Gentiles, to whom the saints, (Berthier) or converted Jews preached. (Haydock)


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    Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 144:12". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-144.html. 1859.

    E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

    That = Who. Hebrew. "asher. Supply the Ellipsis thus: "Who [say] our sons are, &c. "All the words in italic type in verses: Psalms 144:12-15 - maybe omitted, or the Present Tense may be supplied throughout. The verb "say" or "saying" is very frequently to be thus understood. See note on Psalms 109:5.

    may be. Supply "Are" and omit "That".


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    Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 144:12". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-144.html. 1909-1922.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

    That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:

    That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth - `growing up vigorously in their times of youth' (Psalms 128:3). Deliverance from the enemy is a necessary preliminary to having a vigorous population. In times of oppression by a foreign enemy pale and sickly children abound.

    That our daughters may be as corner-stones, polished after the similitude of a palace. Female figures were used instead of columns in supporting buildings, called by the Romans Caryatides. This usage, if it existed in David's time and country, would beautifully illustrate this verse. The Hebrew for "corner-stones" is used of 'the corners of an altar,' Zechariah 9:15 [ zaawiyot (Hebrew #2106)]. They were those stones which, as occupying so prominent a place in the building as the corner, were made lofty, graceful, and elegant (Ephesians 2:20). Hengstenberg explains it 'projectures;' the shining and tapering points of a beautiful palace; its graceful pinnacles.


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    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 144:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-144.html. 1871-8.

    Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

    (12) That our sons.—This rendering of the relative, which so strangely begins this fragment, would be possible after Genesis 11:7; Genesis 13:16, &c, if a finite verb instead of participles followed; or it might mean “because,” as in Genesis 30:18, &c, but for the same anomalous construction; or it might, as by the LXX., be rendered whose, if any antecedent for it could be discovered. But all these devices are plainly impossible, and there is nothing for it but to treat the passage which it introduces as a fragment of another poem quite unconnected with the previous part of the psalm. Render, we whose.

    As plants.—The Hebrew word seems always to denote a young, vigorous tree lately planted. (See especially Job 14:9, aptly translated by the LXX. νεόϕυτον. (For the comparison, comp. Isaiah 5:7; Psalms 1:3, Note, Psalms 128:3.)

    Grown up in their youth.—The form here used is peculiar, but in another conjugation the verb is frequently used of bringing up children (see 2 Kings 10:6; Isaiah 1:2; Isaiah 23:4, &c.). as it is of the rain nourishing young plants (Isaiah 44:14). Here the poet must mean grown tall beyond their age, or the figure is somewhat tame. A suggestion to read, “reproductive in their youth,” i.e., though young themselves, bringing up families, improves the poetry, and suits well the intention of this fragment of song and the general feeling of the Hebrew race. Comp. especially Psalms 127:4, “sons of youth” (Burgess).

    Corner stones.—The word only occurs once besides, in Zechariah 9:15, where it is used of the corners of the altar. The derivation is from a root meaning to conceal, as is also the word rendered garners, in the next verse. Aquila and Symmachus, “angles.”

    Polished.—The Hebrew word means to hew, used, with one exception, of wood for fuel, but is cognate with a word used of stones, and in Isaiah 51:1 in the passive participle of a cave hewn in a rock. The exception is Proverbs 7:16, where the word is applied to tapestry.

    After the similitude of a palace—i.e., like a large and stately building. There seems no reason to confine the reference to the Temple, as the LXX. and Vulg. do, though the absence of the article is not insuperably against this (Isaiah 44:28).

    The explanations usually given of this passage make the resemblance to be either to caryatides carved at the angles of a palace, or to carved or variegated wood pillars in the corners of a spacious room. For the former there seems to be no authority in Scripture or known Hebrew usage. The latter has the support of Dr. J. G. Wetzstein, but seems far-fetched. It is far more according to Hebrew feeling to render the words simply, like hewn angles, the building of a palace; an image suggestive, like that of “the wall” in Song of Solomon 8:9 (see Note), of unassailable chastity and virtue. Perhaps the phrase “women of strength or of a strong fortification,” in Ruth 3:11, may imply the same figure. Grätz alters to “daughters of a palace.”


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    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

    Bibliography
    Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 144:12". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-144.html. 1905.

    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:
    as plants
    115:14,15; 127:4,5; 128:3; Isaiah 44:3-5; Lamentations 4:2
    as corner stones
    Job 42:15; Proverbs 31:10-27; Isaiah 3:16-24
    polished
    Heb. cut. the similitude.
    Song of Solomon 8:8,9; 1 Peter 3:3-6

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

    Bibliography
    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 144:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-144.html.

    Lectionary Calendar
    Saturday, September 21st, 2019
    the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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