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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 90:1

 

 

Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Lord, thou hast been our dwellingplace - מעון maon ; but instead of this several MSS. have מעוז maoz, "place of defense," or "refuge," which is the reading of the Vulgate, Septuagint, Arabic, and Anglo-Saxon. Ever since thy covenant with Abraham thou hast been the Resting-place, Refuge, and Defence of thy people Israel. Thy mercy has been lengthened out from generation to generation.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 90:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-90.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Lord - Not יהוה Yahweh here, but אדני 'Adonāy The word is properly rendered “Lord,” but it is a term which is often applied to God. It indicates, however, nothing in regard to his character or attributes except that he is a “Ruler or Governor.”

Thou hast been our dwelling-place - The Septuagint renders this, “refuge” - καταφυγἡ kataphugē So the Latin Vulgate, “refugium;” and Luther, “Zuflucht.” The Hebrew word - מעון mâ‛ôn - means properly a habitation, a dwelling, as of God in his temple, Psalm 26:8; heaven, Psalm 68:5; Deuteronomy 26:15. It also means a den or lair for wild beasts, Nahum 2:12; Jeremiah 9:11. But here the idea seems to be, as in the Septuagint, Vulgate, and Luther, “a refuge”; a place to which one may come as to his home, as one does from a journey; from wandering; from toil; from danger: a place to which such a one naturally resorts, which he loves, and where he feels that he may rest secure. The idea is, that a friend of God has that feeling in respect to Him, which one has toward his own home - his abode - the place which he loves and calls his own.

In all generations - Margin, “generation and generation.” That is, A succeeding generation has found him to be the same as the previous generation had. He was unchanged, though the successive generations of men passed away.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 90:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-90.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

PSALM 90

BOOK IV

INTRODUCTION FOR BOOK IV

There are seventeen psalms in this book, classified by Dummelow as:

Penitential Psalms, Psalms 90; Psalms 91; Psalms 94; and Psalms 101.

Psalms of Thanksgiving, Psalms 92; Psalms 93; Psalms 95-100; and Psalms 103-106,

National Psalms, Psalms 94; Psalms 97; Psalms 99; Psalms 102; Psalms 105; and Psalms 106.

Historical Psalms, Psalms 105 and Psalms 106.

A Gnomic Psalm, Psalms 101.[1]

Dummelow's last classification, Gnomic, means, "expressing maxims, or universal truths." Of course, there is overlapping in such a classification, several elements often appearing in the same psalm.

Significantly, the Septuagint (LXX) classifies no less than eleven of these psalms as Davidic: Psalms 91; Psalms 93-99; Psalms 101; Psalms 103 and Psalms 104.[2] The superscriptions in our version also assign Psalms 101 and Psalms 103 to David.

Some scholars are unwilling to allow that Moses is the author of Psalms 90, as indicated in the superscription, but no good reason whatever has ever been advanced for denying it. Furthermore, "Rabbinic tradition assigns the ten following Psalms, Psalms 91-100, to Moses."[3] Other Psalms written by Moses are also found in Exodus 15, and in Deuteronomy 32.

PSALM 90

FROM EVERLASTING TO EVERLASTING THOU ART GOD (PS. 90:2)

As noted above, this Psalm is ascribed to Moses in the superscription; and one objection cited by scholars against this is Psalms 90:10 which declares man's life-span to be "Three-score and ten years ... or even four-score years." That statement is alleged to disqualify Moses as the author, because he lived to be 120 years of age, and his brother Aaron likewise lived well past a hundred.

That objection is worthless, because Moses indeed, as was Aaron, was especially blessed of God for the purpose of God's achieving the exodus of his people from Egypt and bringing them to the borders of Canaan. Not only did Moses reach that advanced age, but his eyesight had not failed, nor was his strength abated.

Also, that foolish objection ignores the fact that all of the Israelites who were above 20 years of age at the Red Sea Crossing died during the subsequent forty years, Caleb and Joshua, of course, being the only two exceptions.

Furthermore, the words here may be viewed as a prophecy of how man's life-span would be restricted in the ages to come. Is it true? Indeed yes. The fact is that a very small percentage of mankind enjoys a life-span any longer than that laid down here. In view of all this, we reject this objection to Moses' authorship.

One other very feeble and incompetent objection is founded upon Psalms 90:1, in which the author glances back upon many generations of God's blessings, the critical allegation being that Moses belonged to the "first generation" of the chosen people and could not have claimed God's blessings for "all generations." This objection is founded on the error that supposes the generation of the exodus to have been the "first generation" of the chosen people. God chose Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and the "chosen people" had already been under God's loving protection for almost half a millennium in the days of Moses. As Delitzsch said, "Such trifling points as this dwindle down to nothing."[4]

We shall conclude this study of the Mosaic authorship of Psalms 90 with this paragraph from Delitzsch.

"There is scarcely any written memorial of antiquity which so brilliantly justifies the tradition concerning its origin as does this Psalm ... Not alone with respect to its contents, but also with reference to its form and language, it is perfectly suitable to Moses. Even Hitzig could bring nothing of importance against this view."[5]

A Prayer of Moses the Man of God (Superscription). Three times this title is awarded to Moses in the Scriptures: Deuteronomy 33:1; Joshua 14:6; and Ezra 3:2.

Based upon Psalms 90:7-12, McCaw concluded that, "The definite historical background of the Psalm is the latter months of the wilderness wanderings (Numbers 21:14-23)."[6]

Despite the psalm being labeled "A Prayer of Moses," it is a prayer only in the last six verses. The first six are a meditation.

Psalms 90:1-6

THE MEDITATION

"Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.

Before the mountains were brought forth,

Or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world,

Even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Thou turnest man to destruction,

And sayest, Return ye children of men.

For a thousand years in thy sight

Are but as yesterday when it is past,

And as a watch in the night.

Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep:

In the morning they are like grass that groweth up.

In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up;

In the evening it is cut down and withereth."

No more eloquent comment upon the wretched fate of the human race was ever made. God had warned Adam that, "In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." And, as the great lawgiver of Israel thought upon the dying generations of the human family, the Spirit of God spoke through Moses in these precious words. It must have been a sad experience indeed for Moses to watch an entire generation of the Chosen People die in the wilderness.

"Our dwelling place in all generations" (Psalms 90:1). This was true in two ways. In the nation of Israel itself, their faith in God dated back to the patriarchs. The years of Egyptian slavery had not destroyed their knowledge of the Lord. Even the mid-wives of Egypt knew enough about the God of the Hebrews that through fear of God they refused to follow strictly Pharaoh's order to destroy all the male children. "The `God' of this passage is `The Lord,' the covenant God of the Hebrews; and "None can ignore those generations of faithful believers in the developing nation from the days of Abraham, all of whom made the Lord their dwelling place."[7]

It is true in another sense. From the beginning of Adam's race, God has been the only security of the human family. The discerning souls of all generations found their only hope in God, the only exceptions being the "fools" who said in their hearts that, "There is no God" (Psalms 14:1).

An adaptation of these words was used by William Croft for the title of his famous chant (Called St. Anne), "Oh God, Our Help in Ages Past."[8] Kyle Yates made this the title of Psalms 90.[9]

"From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God" (Psalms 90:2). The eternity of God, his prior existence as the First Cause, the God of Creation, the Maker and Sustainer of All Things is eloquently extolled and honored in this sentence, which we have chosen as an appropriate heading for this magnificent psalm.

"Return, ye children of men" (Psalms 90:3). "For dust thou art, and to the dust shalt thou return" (Genesis 3:19). Moses' comment here is plainly a reference to this passage from Genesis.

"A thousand years ... as yesterday ... as a watch in the night" (Psalms 90:4). This contrasts the dying generations of mankind with the eternity of God. The Apostle Peter quoted this verse (2 Peter 3:8), warning Christians not to forget it, a warning which some have not heeded. Making "God's days" to be 24 hours long is nothing but a human conceit, contrary to God's specific word and its accompanying warning not to forget it.

It should be noted that "a thousand years" with God are also as a few hours (a watch in the night). It would be impossible to make it any plainer that God's `days' or God's `years' cannot be restricted to the limitations of the human understanding of those terms.

"Thou carriest them away as a flood ... as a sleep" (Psalms 90:5). Like the succeeding waves of the sea, the generations of men rise and fade away. As the hours pass away when one is asleep, the lives of men fly away (Psalms 90:10). This writer has read these beautiful words at funerals throughout a period of sixty-four years in the ministry of the gospel of Christ.

"Like grass ... in the morning it flourisheth ... in the evening ... withereth" (Psalms 90:5-6). This simile is also used repeatedly in the New Testament. Christ used it in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:30); James utilized it in James 1:10-11; and the Apostle Peter developed it in 1 Peter 1:24.

It would be difficult to imagine a simile more expressive of the fleeting, ephemeral nature of human life.

THE LAMENT

Some have referred to these verses as "a complaint," but to us, the word "lament" is better. We do not believe that Moses "complained" about God's established order; but he certainly did grieve that it was the way it is.


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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 90:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/psalms-90.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations,.... Even when they had no certain dwelling place in the world; so their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, dwelt in tabernacles in the land of promise, as in a strange land; and their posterity for many years served under great affliction and oppression in a land that was not theirs; and now they were dwelling in tents in the wilderness, and removing from place to place; but as the Lord had been in every age, so he now was the dwelling place of those that trusted in him; being that to them as an habitation is to man, in whom they had provision, protection, rest, and safety; see Psalm 31:2 so all that believe in Christ dwell in him, and he in them, John 6:56, they dwelt secretly in him before they believed; so they dwelt in his heart's love, in his arms, in him as their head in election, and as their representative in the covenant of grace from eternity; and, when they fell in Adam, they were preserved in Christ, dwelling in him; and so they were in him when on the cross, in the grave, and now in heaven; for they are said to be crucified, buried, and risen with him, and set down in heavenly places in him, Galatians 2:20, and, being converted, they have an open dwelling in him by faith, to whom they have fled for refuge, and in whom they dwell safely, quietly, comfortably, pleasantly, and shall never be turned out: here they have room, plenty of provisions, rest, and peace, and security from all evils; he is an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the storm. Some render the word "refuge";F1מעון "refugium", V. L. Vatablus; "asylum", Gejerus. such is Christ to his people, being the antitype of the cities of refuge; and others "helper", as the Targum; which also well agrees with him, on whom their help is laid, and is found.


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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 90:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-90.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

"A Prayer of Moses a the man of God." Lord, thou hast been our b dwelling place in all generations.

(a) Thus the Scripture refers to the prophets.

(b) You have been as a house and defence to us in all our troubles and travels now this four hundred years.


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 90:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-90.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

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).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 90:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-90.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Dwelling place - Although we and our fathers, for some generations, have had no fixed habitation, yet thou hast been instead of a dwelling - place to us, by thy watchful and gracious providence. And this intimates that all the following miseries were not to be imputed to God but themselves.

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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 90:1". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-90.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

1O Lord! thou hast been our dwelling-place. In separating the seed of Abraham by special privilege from the rest of the human family, the Psalmist magnifies the grace of adoption, by which God had embraced them as his children. The object which he has in view in this exordium is, that God would now renew the grace which he had displayed in old time towards the holy patriarchs, and continue it towards their offspring. Some commentators think that he alludes to the tabernacle, because in it the majesty of God was not less conspicuous than if he had dwelt in the midst of the people; but this seems to me to be altogether out of place. He rather comprehends the whole time in which the Fathers sojourned in the land of Canaan. As the tabernacle had not yet continued for the space of forty years, the long duration here mentioned —our dwelling-place from generation to generation — wouldnot at all be applicable to it. It is not then intended to recount what God showed himself to be towards the Israelites from the time that he delivered them from Egypt; but what their fathers had experienced him to be in all ages, even from the beginning. (565) Now it is declared that as they had always been pilgrims and wanderers, so God was to them instead of a dwelling-place. No doubt, the condition of all men is unstable upon earth; but we know that Abraham and his posterity were, above all others, sojourners, and as it were exiles. Since, then, they wandered in the land of Canaan till they were brought into Egypt, where they lived only by sufferance from day to day, it was necessary for them to seek for themselves a dwelling-place under the shadow of God, without which they could hardly be accounted inhabitants of the world, since they continued everywhere strangers, and were afterwards led about through many windings and turnings. The grace which the Lord displayed in sustaining them in their wanderings, and shielding them with his hand when they sojourned among savage and cruel nations, and were exposed to injurious treatment at their hands — this grace is extolled by Moses in very striking terms, when he represents God as an abode or dwelling-place to these poor fugitives who were continually wandering from one place to another in quest of lodgings. This grace he magnifies from the length of time during which it had been exercised; for God ceased not to preserve and defend them for the space of more than four hundred years, during which time they dwelt under the wings of his protection.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 90:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-90.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 90:1 « A Prayer of Moses the man of God. » Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.

A Prayer of Moses] Made by him, belike, when he saw the carcases of the people fall so fast in the wilderness; committed to writing for the instruction of those that were left alive, but sentenced to death, Numbers 14:26-38, and here fitly placed as an illustration of that which was said in the precedent psalm, Psalms 89:48, "What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah."

Ver. 1. Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place] In all our troubles and travels through this wilderness, and before, we have not been houseless and harbourless, for "Thou hast been our dwelling place," our habitacle of refuge, as some render it, Maon. habitaculum tutum. We use to say, A man’s house is his castle. The civil law saith, De domo sua nemo extrahi debet, aut in ius vocari, quia domus tutissimum cuique refugium atque receptaculum, No man ought to be drawn out of his house at the suit of another; because his house is his safest refuge and receptacle. He that dwelleth in God cannot be unhoused, because God is stronger than all; neither can any one take another out of his hands, John 10:29 Here, then, it is best for us to take up as in our mansion house, and to seek a supply of all our wants in God alone. It was a witty saying of that learned Picus Mirandula, God created the earth for beasts to inhabit, the sea for fishes, the air for fowls, the heaven for angels and stars. Man, therefore, hath no place to dwell and abide in but the Lord alone. See Ezekiel 11:16, 2 Corinthians 6:8-10.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 90:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-90.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Psalms 90:1

This is, beyond fair doubt, the oldest Psalm in the whole Psalter. It is the work, not of David, but, as the inscription tells us in the Bible version, of Moses. Especially like Moses is the union of melancholy and fervour which meets us here—the fervour of the intrepid servant of God dashed by the melancholy which followed on his great disappointments. In this verse he is the spokesman and representative of all that is good and great in the past annals of mankind. He is speaking for the living; he is speaking also for the dead. The spiritual experience which these words represent is continually deeper and wider; and they are repeated at this moment by more souls in heaven and earth than ever before—souls which have found in them the motto and the secret of life, whether in struggle or in victory—"Lord, Thou hast been our refuge from one generation to another."

I. "Our refuge." In the Bible version more accurately it is "our dwelling-place." God is the home of the soul of man. The soul finds in the presence of God a protection against the enemies which threaten it with ruin in the rough life of the outer world. In this sense David cries, "I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength." Besides this idea of protection from evils without, the word suggests a place where care is thrown aside, where the affections expand themselves freely and fully, where loving looks, and kindly words, and gentle deeds are the order of the day. When God is said to be the refuge or the home of man, it is meant that God gives to man his best and tenderest welcome, that God alone is the Being in whom man finds perfect repose and satisfaction for all the faculties and sympathies of his nature.

II. Contrast this idea of the relation between God and the man's soul with the three fundamental relations in which we men stand to Him as our Maker, our Preserver, and the end or object of our existence. Here in this word "refuge" or "home" we have another and a much more tender relation of God to the human soul. He who bade us be, He who keeps us in being, He towards whom our whole being should tend, is also our true and lasting resting-place. He is the one Being within whose life we can find and make a lasting home.

III. "Lord, Thou hast been our refuge." This is the spirit of the very noblest occupation in which we can engage; it is the spirit of prayer. This acknowledgment underlies all the forms which the soul's intercourse with God is wont to take. Prayer is always, in its widest sense, an act by which the soul of man, here amid these changing scenes of time, seeks its true home and resting-place in seeking God. And as such it always ennobles men, not less now than in the earliest days of man's history. Our gilded civilisation is no sort of protection against the widespread misery around us, "the changes and chances of this mortal life," which are the lot of us all. The realities of life force us to look beyond it, to cry, with Moses, "Lord, Thou hast been our refuge from one generation to another."

H. P. Liddon, Penny Pulpit, No. 920.

References: Psalms 90:1.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. i., No. 46; M. B. Riddle, Christian World Pulpit, vol. ii., p. 324.


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Bibliography
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Psalms 90:1". "Sermon Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/psalms-90.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 90.

Moses, setting forth God's providence, complaineth of human fragility, divine chastisements, and brevity of life: he prayeth for the knowledge and sensible experience of God's good providence.

A Prayer of Moses, the man of God.

Title. האלהים אישׁ למשׁה תפלה tephillah lemosheh iish haelohim.— Mr. Peters is of opinion, that both this and the following psalm were composed by Moses, for the instruction and consolation of the people in the wilderness; and the present chiefly for the use of those whose lot was to die there, as will appear more fully from the subsequent notes. The Chaldee title asserts, that it was composed by Moses, when the people tempted God in the wilderness. This begins the fourth Book of the Psalms.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 90:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-90.html. 1801-1803.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

We cannot be at a loss to form a proper idea of the antiquity of this Psalm; for the title shows that Moses was the penman of it. Perhaps it was written at the time when the Lord determined, for Israel's unbelief, that the carcasses of that generation should die in the wilderness, as related in Nu 14. It is called a prayer, and in it the Man of God strikingly sets forth the frailty of man, and his transitory state, compared to the eternity of God.

A Prayer of Moses, the man of God.

Psalms 90:1

With what a vast source of consolation doth the Psalmist introduce his subject, in contemplating the Lord as the refuge of his people! He doth not say what the Lord hath provided in comforts, amidst the dying circumstances of the world, in which the believer shall find relief; but that the Lord himself is the refuge, the hiding place, the portion of the soul. Reader, I pray you read those sweet scriptures, Isaiah 28:12; Psalms 32:7.


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Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 90:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/psalms-90.html. 1828.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

PSALM 90

Who, considering that terrible but righteous sentence of God concerning the cutting off all that sinful generation in the wilderness, of which see Num 14, takes that occasion to publish these meditations concerning mans mortality and misery in this life, which might be useful both to that and to all succeeding generations.

Moses, setting forth the eternity and providence of God, Psalms 90:1:2, describeth the misery and shortness of man’s life, Psalms 90:3-11; prayeth for wisdom to number his days, Psalms 90:12; and for the knowledge and sensible experience of God’s good providence, Psalms 90:13-17.

Although we and our fathers, for some generations, have had no certain and fixed habitation, but have been strangers in a land that was not ours, and afflicted for four hundred years, according to thy prediction, Genesis 15:13; and although we now are, and have been for some time, and still are like to continue, in, a vast howling wilderness, having no houses but dwelling in tents, and wandering from place to place, we know not whither; yet thou, O Lord, hast fully supplied this want, and hast been instead of and better than a dwelling-place to us, by thy watchful and gracious providence over us in all places and exigencies. And this is a very proper preface to this Psalm, to intimate that all the following miseries were not to be imputed to God, but unto themselves, who by their own sins had brought these mischiefs upon themselves.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 90:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-90.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

1. Thou hast been our dwelling-place—This is the proposition sustained throughout the first six verses. The mutable and perishable in man are contrasted with the immutable and absolute in God, in whose eternal years alone the flickering and crushed life of man finds refuge and stability. Especially does the Church find its life and perpetuation in the all-invigorating life of God; and Moses speaks from the heart of the Church.

In all generations—Literally, In generation and generation. Four designations of time are given: “In generation and generation,” “before the mountains were brought forth,” “before the world was fashioned,” “from everlasting to everlasting.” Anterior to the date of the world nothing is known but eternity, but God fills both time and eternity. No conceptions of God can be more awful, more sublime.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 90:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-90.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 90:1. Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place, &c. — Although we and our fathers, for some generations, have had no fixed habitation, but have been strangers in a land that was not ours, and afflicted four hundred years; (see Genesis 15:13;) and although we now are, and have been for some time, and must still continue, in a vast, howling wilderness, dwelling in tents, and wandering from place to place; yet thou, Lord, hast been instead of a dwelling-place to us, by thy watchful and gracious providence over us in all places and exigencies. This is said by way of preface to the Psalm, to intimate that the following miseries, which came upon them, were not to be imputed to God, but to themselves.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 90:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/psalms-90.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

David. Septuagint add, "it has no title in Hebrew," and hence the Jews refer it to the preceding author, with St. Jerome, &c. But this rule is very uncertain. (Calmet) (Berthier) --- Some suppose that Moses composed it when he led the Israelites out of Egypt, or in the wilderness; while others think that it is the work of David under some imminent danger. The Fathers apply it to Jesus Christ. Yet it may be considered simply as a moral instruction, (Calmet) superior in elegance to any Greek or Latin poem. (Muis) --- Aid. Hebrew, "secret place." Of heaven. Is not in Hebrew shaddai, which means, (Haydock) "the almighty self-sufficient, or destroying God." (Calmet) --- We must keep close to God by mental prayer, if we would enjoy the divine protection. (St. Gregory, Mor. vii. 7.) (Berthier)


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 90:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-90.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Title. A Prayer. Hebrew. Tephillah. See App-63.

Moses: the man of the wilderness. Hence the wilderness, and works of creation, referred to.

the man of God. See App-49. There are seven specially so called: Moses (Deuteronomy 33:1); Samuel (1 Samuel 9:6-10; Compare Psalms 90:14); David (Nehemiah 12:24); Elijah (1 Kings 17:18); Elisha (2 Kings 4:7); Shemaiah (2 Chronicles 11:2); Igdaliah (Jeremiah 35:4); and four unnamed (1 Samuel 2:27. 1 Kings 13:1; 1 Kings 20:28. 2 Chronicles 25:7).

God. Hebrew. Elohim.with Art.): i.e. the true God. App-4.

Lord*. Hebrew Adonai. App-4. = The Lord specially in relation to the earth. This is why this fourth book commences with this title, denoting the Sovereign Lord.

dwelling place = habitation, or refuge.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 90:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-90.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

LORD, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.

Psalms 90:1-17.-A meditation: the Lord our dwelling-place, the counterpoise to our transitory life: death, the wages of sin (Psalms 90:1-10); prayer: as men so little know the connection of our dying frailty with God's mighty anger against our sins, God teach us it so that we may apply our hearts to the wisdom which shrinks from sin (Psalms 90:11-12); return from thy wrath as the people turn to thee; comfort us according to the shortness of life wherein thou hast afflicted us (Psalms 90:13-17).

Title. - The man of God - implies that Moses' high character and office are a guarantee for the inspired authority of the psalm. His word is to be reverently heeded, as the Word of God Himself. It is a title applied also to David, Elijah, and Elisha in the Old Testament, and to Timothy in the New Testament. Compare Deuteronomy 33:1; Joshua 14:6. The time of the psalm was probably (Psalms 90:13-15) toward the close of the 40 years' wandering in the desert. The people, after long chastisement, beg mercy. God answered them in the triumphs miraculously vouchsafed at their entrance into Canaan. Here, as in Genesis 2:1-25; Genesis 3:1-24, death is set forth as the result of sin. The limitation of life to 70 or 80 years accords with the fact, that most of the generation that perished in the wilderness were from 20 to 40 years of age in leaving Eygpt, and 40 more years in the wilderness - i:e., in all, 70 or 80 years at death. Moses, the leader whom the prophets followed, gave also the first movement to psalm poetry, (Deuteronomy 32:1-52; Deuteronomy 33:1-29.)

Psalms 90:1-5.-The First division of the First part: meditation. The transitoriness of life points us to Yahweh as our only permanent abode.

Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. This verse contains the theme: Psalms 90:2-5, the ground on which it rest. Nowhere else is the term "dwelling place" [ maa`own (Hebrew #4583)] applied to God, except here and Psalms 91:9, and Deuteronomy 33:27 : cf. Isaiah 4:6. How naturally was the image suggested by the sense of the value of a fixed habitation, which the homeless condition of the Israelites would force upon them in the wilderness!


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

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 90:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-90.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(1) Dwelling place.—LXX. and Vulg., “refuse,” possibly reading maôz (as in Psalms 37:39) instead of maôn. So some MSS. But Deuteronomy 33:17 has the feminine of this latter word, and the idea of a continued abode strikes the key-note of the psalm. The short duration of each succeeding generation of men on the earth is contrasted with the eternity of God and the permanence given to Israel as a race by the covenant that united them with the Eternal. But we may give extension to the thought. Human history runs on from generation to generation (so the Hebrew; comp. Deuteronomy 32:7); one goes, another comes; but in relation to the unchanging God, who rules over all human history, even the transient creatures of an hour may come to feel secure and at home.


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

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 90:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-90.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
A. M. 2514. B.C. 1490. (Title.) A Prayer, or, A prayer, being a Psalm of Moses. This Psalm is supposed to have been composed by Moses, when all the generation of the Israelites who had offended God, were sentenced to fail in the wilderness, at the age of seventy or eighty years, except Moses, Caleb, and Joshua
Numbers 13:1-14
the man
Exodus 33:14-19; Deuteronomy 33:1; 1 Kings 13:1; 1 Timothy 6:11
Lord
71:3; 91:1,9; Deuteronomy 33:27; Isaiah 8:14; Ezekiel 11:16; John 6:56; 1 John 4:16
all generations
Heb. generation and generation.
89:1; *marg:

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 90:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-90.html.

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