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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Psalms 65

 

 

Verse 1

Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed.

Psalms 65:1-13.-Three strophes. God gives occasion for praise in Zion by hearing prayer, purging away transgression, and satisfying with the goodness of His house (Psalms 65:1-4); as God of the whole world, He displays His terrors in answer to His people's cry, and stilleth the waves and tumults, to the uttermost parts of the earth, for them (Psalms 65:5-8); as God of nature, He so fertilizes the earth that the year is crowned with blessing, and the valleys sing (Psalms 65:9-13). The "sing" in Psalms 65:13, the conclusion, answers to song in the title. God's harvest-blessings-a pledge of His universal care of His people-is the primary subject. The ulterior reference is to the blessedness of the millennial earth and of God's people.

Praise waiteth for thee ... in Zion - literally, 'for thee (there is) the silence (of) praise,' etc. 'Silence-praise' -

i.e., the praise which produces still repose of the soul on her God (cf. note, Psalms 42:1; Psalms 42:5). God is ever giving new causes for praise. Praise, with calm reposing on God, effectually allays the agitation which distresses the soul so long as it looks in trouble elsewhere than to God (Psalms 42:5; Psalms 131:2). Zion was the only legitimate place of worship (Psalms 132:14). Its antitype now is the spiritual city, or Church of Christ.

And unto thee shall the vow be performed. The Vulgate, Arabic, and many manuscripts add 'in Jerusalem,' which suits the parallelism.


Verse 2

O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.

O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. "Flesh" implies the idea of weakness and need (cf. Psalms 56:4). God has an infinite fullness for all. Even His dumb creatures unconsciously, yet really, wait upon Him for the satisfying of their wants (Psalms 104:27; Job 38:41). As yet all men do not come to Him to supply their needs, though the offer is to all (Matthew 11:28; Revelation 22:17). But hereafter 'all nations and tongues shall come and see His glory'-`the salvation of our God' (Isaiah 66:18; Isaiah 52:10).


Verse 3

Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away.

Iniquities prevail against me - literally 'matters of iniquities ' (Psalms 105:27 margin) Even in thanksgivings the Iniquities prevail against me - literally, 'matters of iniquities,' (Psalms 105:27, margin) Even in thanksgivings the people of God must remember their sins. They here virtually say, We are unworthy to approach thee in prayer: our iniquities are such that we cannot avert or endure their consequences (Psalms 38:4; Psalms 40:12; Psalms 130:3-4), when, lo! thou of thyself dost come forward to save us.

As for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away. The Hebrew implies, 'thou shalt cover them with the atonement' [ kaapar (Hebrew #3722)]. The greatness of our sin magnifies the riches of thy grace (Romans 5:20). The transition from the singular, "me," to the plural, "our," shows that in the former clause the whole people speak as one man.


Verse 4

Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.

Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee. So Psalms 33:12 as to the blessedness of the nation chosen by the Lord; here the reference is to the individual man. Blessed is the man whom thou admittest into communion with thee. The temple-worship, wherein God admitted the covenant people into His immediate presence, was the visible pledge of this spiritual communion (Deuteronomy 4:7).

That he may dwell in thy courts - (Psalms 15:1; Psalms 84:4.) "Dwell" shows that the blessing belongs to the spiritual worshippers, who by faith, with sacrifices of prayer and praise, are continually, in heart, even when not in body, dwelling in the house of God (Psalms 27:4; Psalms 36:8; Exodus 19:4; Exodus 19:6).

We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house - image from a rich feast provided by a munificent lord. So Psalms 63:5. Both the spiritual good things of God's house and the temporal blessings He gives to all the members of His family (Ephesians 2:19; Ephesians 3:15).

Even of thy holy temple. The holiness of the temple is the ground of the bestowal of such ample blessings (Psalms 46:4, end). See notes on Psalms 5:1-12 in explanation of the term "temple" applied to the tabernacle before the erection of Solomon's temple.


Verses 5-8

By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea:

-The manifestations of God's power to the uttermost parts of the earth are a ground of confidence to His praying people.

Verse 5 (By) terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us O God of our salvation ie Thou in Verse 5. (By) terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation - i:e., Thou, in accordance with that righteousness whereby thou dust give everyone his due (Deuteronomy 32:4), answerest our prayers in trouble, by vouchsafing to us marvelous deliverances, terribly displaying thy power against thy people's foes, as in Egypt, and at the Red Sea, and in Canaan. Compare Deuteronomy 10:21 and David's own phrase, 2 Samuel 7:23, "God went ... to do for you great things and terrible."

Who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth. God's display of His terrible power in behalf of His people will ultimately have the effect of so impressing all nations that they will join themselves to the Lord (Isaiah 66:16; Isaiah 66:18; Isaiah 66:23). God is in Himself potentially "the confidence of all the ends of the earth." Hereafter he will be recognized by all to be so (Psalms 22:27-28), of which the Queen of Sheba's coming to Solomon "from the uttermost parts of the earth" is a type (Matthew 12:42).

And of them that are afar off upon the sea - dwelling in distant maritime regions and islands.

Verse 6. Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power. His omnipotence is shown in His giving the mountains their unshaken security. "Mountains" are also the symbols of the elevated powers of the earth, kingdoms and dynasties (cf. end of Psalms 65:7; Psalms 46:3; Jeremiah 51:25).

Verse 7. Which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people. The sea is the emblem of the world-power (Psalms 46:2; Psalms 89:9; Daniel 7:2). In Jeremiah 5:22-24, as here, the stilling of the sea is joined with the harvest blessings, as manifesting the power of God, and calling for fear and thanksgivings on our part. God stilled Pharaoh's ocean-like rage against Israel; as also the Assyrian Sennacherib's against Jerusalem.

Verse 8. They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at thy tokens - for instance, thy thunders (cf. Psalms 65:5), the tokens or evidences of God's power and majesty, well calculated to inspire the beholders with reverential awe.

Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice -- so that thou dost inspire with joy and love as well as with fear. "The outgoings of the morning and evening" are the east and the west-the points in the sky from which the morning and evening go out - i:e., the dwellers in the east and in the west; answering to the parallel, 'They that dwell in the uttermost parts.'


Verses 9-12

Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it.

-God's power manifested in bestowing the blessings of harvest.

Verse 9. Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it - literally, 'Thou makest it to run' or 'overflow' [Piel of shuwq (Hebrew #7783)]. Like a munificent friend visiting one in need, and leaving behind a generous token of remembrance (Joel 2:14).

Thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water - the fountain of fertilizing rain from above, which God has at command and which never, like earthly springs, runs dry (Deuteronomy 11:11-12). So spiritually, Psalms 36:8; Jeremiah 2:13.

Thou preparest them corn - like a provident householder. "Them" - i:e., the inhabitants of "the earth."

When thou hast so provided for it - i:e., for the earth; literally, 'for so thou preparest it'-namely, the earth-for yielding fruit. The farmer does but a small part, and could do nothing but through the providential care of the Master-Cultivator, God (Psalms 65:10).

Verse 10. Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly; thou settlest the furrows thereof - literally, 'Thou waterest the furrows thereof, (so) levelling its clods' or ridges-namely, with the copious rains-which makes them to settle or come down. So the Hebrew.

Verse 11. Thou crownest the year with thy goodness - rather, 'Thou crownest (i:e., adornest with thy benefits, Psalms 103:4) the year of thy goodness;' i:e., the year or season granted to us by thy goodness.

And thy paths drop fatness - wheresoever thou dost visit (Psalms 65:9), rich abundance (Psalms 63:5) accompanies thy steps.

Verse 12. They drop (upon) the pastures of the wilderness (Job 38:26-27,) - rather, 'The pastures of the wilderness drop,' namely, fatness (Psalms 65:11).

And the little hills rejoice on every side - the Hebrew more poetically, as Psalms 65:13, 'And the little hills gird themselves with joy.'

The pastures are clothed with flocks. So the Hebrew is translated "pastures" in Isaiah 30:23, though elsewhere it means "flocks," or 'lambs' [ kaariym (Hebrew #3733)].

The valleys also are covered over with corn ( ya`at

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 65:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-65.html. 1871-8.

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