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6 Cast forth lightning, and scatter them:
Shoot out thine arrows, and destroy them. 7 Send thy ‘hand from above; Rid me, and deliver me out of great waters,
From the hand of strange children, 8 Whose mouth speaketh vanity, And their right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
I will sing a new song unto thee, O God! Upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings
Will I sing praises unto thee. 10 It fis he that giveth 'salvation unto kings: Who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful
sword. 11 Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange
children, Whose mouth speaketh vanity,
And their right hand is a right hand of falsehood: 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: 13 That our garners may be full, affording 'all manner
of store: That our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten
thousands in our streets : 14 That our oxen may be 'strong to labour;
That there be no breaking in, nor going out;
That there be no complaining in our streets. 15 Happy & is that people, that is in such a case !
Yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD!
* Heb. cut.
8 Heb. able to bear bur.
dens, or, loaden with
INTRODUCTION TO PSALM CXXII.
PSALM OF DAVID,
The rebellion of Absalom was now quelled, and no new leader appearing of sufficient daring and public reputation to revive the war, the thoughts of the nation naturally turned on peace. The kingdom was not, indeed, fully restored to tranquility. There were elements of discord existing which, though smothered by the recent defeat of Absalom, needed only an occasion and a guiding spirit to kindle them into new hostilities to the throne of David. The tribes of Benjamin and Ephraim were the most disaffected, to which, by the law of brotherhood, we may also reckon the half tribe of Manasseh west of Jordan. The half tribe of Manasseh east of Jordan had long since been disowned as deserters of the house of Joseph, (see Judges xii, 4,) but the western Manassites still sympathized with the tribe of Ephraim. A party in the tribe of Benjamin opposed David from political motives, because that by him the house of Sanl had been supplanted, and the ruling dynasty transferred from Benjamin to Judah. The house of Joseph opposed him, because that by virtue of the patriarchal benediction (Genesis xlviii, 15, 16, and xlix 22–26) it was supposed that the joint tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh were to exert a predominant power in Israel; and, also, because of the transfer of the "ark of the covenant" from Shiloh to Jerusalem. These party influences had united in the recent rebellion, and the agitations occasioned by the war had reached the utmost limits of all the tribes. The tribe of Judah, with a majority of the tribe of Benjamin, adhered firmly to David ; the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh west, and a fraction of Benjamin stood aloof, and there were ominous indications of sympathy with them in all the other tribes.
Thus stood the different parties in the nation. The passions of men had been aroused by the rebellion, and while the enthusiasm inspired by the presence and popularity of Absalom was kept alive there were multitudes ready to rush heedlessly into war. But this enthusiasm had now subsided, and the people were left at leisure to reflect upon what they had done. The throne of David was too firmly founded in justice and in the hearts of the people, to be easily overthrown. His name was a terror in war; in peace he was the benefactor and father of his people. The tribes which had rebelled should first signify their desire of peace. There is but one way by which they can re-assure the king of their allegiance. They must invite him back to Jerusalem and to his throne. When the heart of the nation began to relent, the reflux of public sentiment in David's favour was rapid and general. “And all the people were at strife throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “The king saved us out of the hands of our enemies, and he delivered us out of the hand of the Philistines; and now he is fled out of the land for Absalom. And Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now, therefore, why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back ?'”
David was informed of this favourable change of sentiment, and was anxious that his own tribe should first tender the invitation. This they did, and “sent this word unto the king, Return thou, and all thy servants.'» David had now remained some time at Mahanaim, waiting a favourable opening for his return to his capital. Not only did the duties of government require it, but the worship of God invited him thither. Immediately he sets out on his return with his household, attended by his faithful guards and the whole army. They re-cross the Jordan, and are met, at Gilgal, by the deputation of the tribe of Judah, who came to escort the king to his capital. The deputations of the ten tribes also meet here, and a fierce altercation arises between them and Judah, each contending for the honour of precedence in the escort, till Judah prevails, and the ten tribes return home disaffected, and partially join in a second, but short-lived and abortive revolt under Sheba. 2 Samuel xx. Meanwhile, the immense host move forward toward Jerusalem, with all the demonstrations of triumphal joy. Psalm cxxii seems to have been written on this occasion, and chanted as the vast procession approached the gates of the city. Verse 1 of this Psalm seems to refer to the invitation of the tribes, for David to return to Jerusalem. The Psalm gives distinct intimations of the time and condition of things in which it was written. The author was absent from Jerusalem, and longing to go up to worship, (verse 1 ;) Jerusalem at that time was “compactly built,” (verse 3,) which shows it could not have been very early in the reign of David, nor very soon after the capture of Zion. 2 Samuel vi, 7. Already the tribes were in the regular practice of going to Jerusalem to worship, and in this all the tribes were united, (verse 4,) which shows it to have been written before the revolt of the ten tribes, and somewhat late in the history of David's reign. Also, the establishment of David's throne in Zion, (verse 5,) dates it after the promise of Nathan. 2 Samuel vii. Jerusalem at this time had been disquieted, its peace disturbed, (verses 6–8.) The whole spirit and tone of the Psalm is in sympathy with David's heart and circumstances when he returned from Mahanaim; and, from verse 7, seems to have been his salutation to the city upon re-entering its gates. Those only who loved Jerusalem could prosper; its enemies should be overthrown, (verse 6.) Afterward this Psalm was added to the list of pilgrim songs," or songs of ascents, or goings up, (songs of degrees,) to be sung by the pilgrims on their going up to Jerusalem to attend the holy festivals. Read 2 Samuel xix, 9-40.
WHEN THEY INVITED DAVID BACK TO JERUSALEM, SAYING,
RETURN THOU, AND ALL THY SERVANTS.
David's joy upon returning to Jerusalem, 1, 2; which is the seat of religion and
government to the nation, 3–5; for which cause he prayeth for its peace and prosperity, 6–9.
TA Song of Degrees of David. 'I was glad when they said unto me,
“Let a us go into the house of the LORD." 2 Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem ! .3 Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact to
a Isa. 2. 8. Zech. 8. 21,
b See 2 Sam. 5. 9.
4 Whither c the tribes go up,
The tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, To give thanks unto the name of the LORD. 5 For there 'are set thrones of judgment, The thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: They shall prosper that love thee. 7 Peace be within thy walls,
And prosperity within thy palaces ! 8 For my brethren and companions' sakes,
I will now say, Peace be within thee! 9 Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.
• Exod. 23. 17. Deut. 16. 16. d Exod. 16. 84
1 Heb. do sit. Dent. 17. 8.
2 Chron. 19. 8.
e Psa. 61. 18 (Neh. 2. 10.
INTRODUCTION TO PSALMS XXVI AND XXVII.
PSALMS OF DAVID.
These Psalms have an obvious connection. They breathe one spirit, and are occupied with one theme. The Psalmist is yet in elements of trouble and misery, which threaten him with evils greater than those which are now present. His recent escape from greater danger, however, supports and enlivens his faith. Psalm xxvii, 1–3. His integrity and uprightness have preserved him, and though for a while he seemed to be classed with the wicked, and to receive their punishment, yet God has now avenged and vindicated him, and thus will he do to all the truly upright. Psalm xxvi, 9-12, and xxvii, 13-14. There is not here a lively remembrance of his sin, as on other occasions, because God has delivered him, and thus manifested his sin forgiven. He is now restored also to the sanctuary, which is his chief object of joy and thanks