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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Psalms 90



Verse 1

Psalm 90:1-17. Contrasting man‘s frailty with God‘s eternity, the writer mourns over it as the punishment of sin, and prays for a return of the divine favor. A Prayer [mainly such] of Moses the man of God - (Deuteronomy 33:1; Joshua 14:6); as such he wrote this (see on Psalm 18:1, title, and see on Psalm 36:1, title).

dwelling-place — home (compare Ezekiel 11:16), as a refuge (Deuteronomy 33:27).

Verse 2

brought forth [and] formed — both express the idea of production by birth.

Verse 3

to destruction — literally, “even to dust” (Genesis 3:19), which is partly quoted in the last clause.

Verse 4

Even were our days now a thousand years, as Adam‘s, our life would be but a moment in God‘s sight (2 Peter 3:8).

a watch — or, third part of a night (compare Exodus 14:24).

Verse 5-6

Life is like grass, which, though changing under the influence of the night‘s dew, and flourishing in the morning, is soon cut down and withereth (Psalm 103:15; 1 Peter 1:24).

Verse 7-8

For — A reason, this is the infliction of God‘s wrath.

troubled — literally, “confounded by terror” (Psalm 2:5). Death is by sin (Romans 5:12). Though “secret,” the light of God‘s countenance, as a candle, will bring sin to view (Proverbs 20:27; 1 Corinthians 4:5).

Verse 9

are passed — literally, “turn,” as to depart (Jeremiah 6:4).

spend — literally, “consume.”

as a tale — literally, “a thought,” or, “a sigh” (Ezekiel 2:10).

Verse 10

Moses‘ life was an exception (Deuteronomy 34:7).

it is … cut off — or, “driven,” as is said of the quails in using the same word (Numbers 11:31). In view of this certain and speedy end, life is full of sorrow.

Verse 11

The whole verse may be read as a question implying the negative, “No one knows what Thy anger can do, and what Thy wrath is, estimated by a true piety.”

Verse 12

This he prays we may know or understand, so as properly to number or appreciate the shortness of our days, that we may be wise.

Verse 13

(Compare Psalm 13:2).

let it repent — a strong figure, as in Exodus 32:12, imploring a change in His dealings.

Verse 14

early — promptly.

Verse 15

As have been our sorrows, so let our joys be great and long.

Verse 16

thy work — or, providential acts.

thy glory — (Psalm 8:5; Psalm 45:3), the honor accruing from Thy work of mercy to us.

Verse 17

let the beauty — or sum of His gracious acts, in their harmony, be illustrated in us, and favor our enterprise.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 90:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

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