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A Commentary On The Psalms From Primitive and Mediæval Writers Volumes 1 To 4 by Rev. J.M. Neale D.D.

Here we have the first of the Psalms which are ascribed to the family of Korah, of which there are eleven, and all of them are singularly beautiful. It was to this family that the especial charge of the Temple gates was committed by David; and down to the time of Jehoshaphat they maintained their reputation for psalmody. For, in the great battle between Jehoshaphat and the Ammonites, before, the conflict began we read: “And the Levites of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD GOD of Israel with a loud voice on high.”* There can be no doubt that this Psalm was written by some of the Levites who followed David when he fled from Absalom; and either the day before or the day after he passed over the Jordan. But more probably after he had passed the Jordan; because,* as we have seen, Psalm 41 appears to have been written after David had become acquainted with the success of Hushai’s false counsel, which counsel necessitated his immediate crossing the Jordan. And, therefore, unless we arbitrarily imagine the 42nd to precede in order of time the 41st Psalm, the present one must have been composed after that passage. Besides, as we shall see at verse 5a, the whole feature seems rather that of our looking towards Jerusalem, as would naturally have been the case when the Jordan was passed, than away from it, as if it still had to be crossed. Only this seems certain, that the present and the preceding Psalm were written, if not on the same day, at least on two succeeding days.

ARG. THOMAS. That CHRIST puts away our wickedness by the ablution of Baptism. The voice of CHRIST, and of penitence after Baptism, hastening to or desiring the fruition of tears. Before Baptism the voice of CHRIST and them who are about to obtain faith. Read it with Isaiah.1

VENERABLE BEDE. The sons of Korah, as Heman, Ethan, Asaph, Jeduthun, were not writers of Psalms, but singers. They were elected by David to psalmody, and, on account of the significance of their name, had their titles prefixed to their works. Kore, then, by interpretation is Calvary; in the place of which name our LORD was crucified: wherefore they are worthily called the sons of Kore, who under the banner of that Passion, serve with the whole devotion of their minds. This Psalm fits every Christian who is kindled with the flame of the LORD’S love. We ought all to remember what blessed Jerome saith: “While I carefully examine the whole Psalter, I no where find that the sons of Kore were the authors of a melancholy Psalm; everything in their Psalms is glad and joyous; and while they despise earthly delights, and desire that which is celestial and eternal, they well agreed with the meaning of their name.” The son of Kore, signed, as we have said, by the honourable mark of the Cross, at the very opening of the Psalms professeth that the whole desire of his heart is fixed on the LORD. Like as the hart, &c. In the second part he speaketh to his soul, and telleth her not to be troubled in the stormy sea of this world, because GOD is her certain and lifelong rest and support. Why art thou so heavy, O my soul?

SYRIAC PSALTER. A supplication of the Prophets; and it is the Psalm which David sang while he was an exile, and longing to return to Jerusalem.

EUSEBIUS OF CÆSAREA. A supplication of the Prophets over the rejection of the Jewish people.








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