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PSALM 102

A Prayer for the afflicted when he is overwhelmed, and pours out his complaint before jehovah.

  1. Hear my prayer, O jehovah, and let my cry come to you.
  2. Hide not your face from me; in the day when I am in distress, incline your ear to me; in the day when I call, answer me speedily.
  3. For my days are consumed like smoke; and my bones are burnt up like fire-wood.
  4. My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread.
  5. Because of the voice of my groaning, my bones cleave to my flesh.
  6. I am like the pelican of the wilderness; I am become like the owl of the desert.
  7. I am sleepless, and am become as a lonely bird upon the house-top.
  8. Mine enemies reproach me all the day; they that rave at me are sworn against me.
  9. For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping,
  10. Because of your indignation and your anger; for you have lifted me up, and have cast me down.
  11. My days are like a shadow that declines, and I am withered like grass.
  12. But you, O jehovah, abidest for ever, and your remembrance from generation to generation.
  13. You shall arise, and have mercy upon Zion; for the time to favour her, yea, the appointed time is come.
  14. For your servants take pleasure in her stones, and have compassion on her dust.
  15. So the nations shall fear the name of jehovah, and all the kings of the earth your glory.
  16. When jehovah shall have builded up Zion, he will appear in his glory;
  17. He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.
  18. This shall be written for the generation to come; and the people, which shall be created, shall praise jah.
  19. For he has looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven has jehovah beheld the earth;
  20. To hearken to the groaning of the prisoner; to set at liberty the sons of death.
  21. To declare in Zion the name of jehovah, and his praise in Jerusalem;
  22. When the peoples are gathered together, and the kingdoms to serve jehovah.
  23. He has afflicted my strength in the way; he has shortened my days.
  24. I said, O my god, take me not away in the half of my days! your years are throughout all generations.
  25. Of old have you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
  26. They shall perish, but you shall endure; yea, they all shall grow old like a garment, like a clothing shall you change them, and they shall be changed.
  27. But you are the same, and your years shall not end.
  28. The sons of your servants shall dwell in the land, and their seed shall be established before you.

The Internal Sense

A prayer of the lord when he was in temptations even to despair, which state is described, verses 1 to 11; that nevertheless they who are out of the church expect mercy, that they may become a church, verses 12 to 18; that he will hear them, and have mercy, that out of them a church may be formed, verses 19 to 22; that He may not sink under temptations before that time, verses 23, 24; lest thereby the church and the heavens should perish, but they will be established, verses 25 to 28.

Exposition

Verse 2. Hide not your face from me in the day when I am in distress, etc. It was said above that by the faces of jehovah are signified the interior things of the Word, and of the church, and of worship; the reason is because the interior Divine things of the Word, of the church, and of worship, are all the Divine truths proceeding from the lord, thus the lord in heaven. What is here meant by the faces of jehovah, every one may comprehend, namely the divine being, or whatever is of the divine being, thus mercy, peace, and all good, but in the universal sense the Divine truth, since in the Divine truth is all good; both with man and with angels there is Divine good and Divine truth, and without the latter there is not the former; for truth is the recipient of good, hence therefore it follows that if Divine good is not in Divine truth, there the faces of jehovah are not. AC 10579.

Hence also it may be known what is signified by hiding or concealing the faces, when it relates to jehovah or the lord, namely that it is to leave man in his own selfhood, and thence in the evils and falses which arise from his selfhood; for man considered in himself is nothing but what is evil and false, and is withheld from evils and falses by the lord that he may be in good, which is effected by an elevation out of the selfhood. AE 412.

That to hear in a supreme sense denotes Providence, and that to see denotes foresight, appears from those passages in the Word, in which eyes and also ears are predicated of jehovah or the lord. AC 3869.

Verse 35. My bones are burnt up like firewood. For the spiritual signification of bones, see Psalm 34:20, Exposition.

Verse 9. For I have eaten ashes like bread, etc. What these words signify, is evident from what was said just above, AC 7519, namely that by truth from the divine being, which is represented by Moses, the falses of the lusts of those who infest are shown and manifested in heaven, whence the presence of heaven, and from presence the existence of such things amongst the evil, as are signified by the ulcers. That ashes denote what is false, may be confirmed from the passages where they are mentioned. AC 7520.

Verse 14. For your servants take pleasure in her stones, etc, etc. By the stones of Zion, in which the servants of jehovah take pleasure, are understood Divine truths, for by Zion, to which jehovah shall be merciful, is meant the church which is in celestial love. AE 717.

Verses 14, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23. You shall arise and have mercy upon Zion, etc. etc. Those words relate to the coming of the lord, and to the redemption of the faithful by him; his coming is signified by the time to have mercy upon her, and by the appointed time; the truths to be restored are signified by the stones in which the servants take pleasure; the establishment of the church and the worship of the lord by Divine truths are described by what follows. AE 850.

By making heaven and earth in the Word is not meant the first creation itself of the visible heaven and earth, but the establishment of the church, and the regeneration of man; by heaven is meant its internal, and by earth its external; that this creation is meant, is manifest from the passages in the Word, where mention is made of creating, as in David, the people who shall be created shall praise jah, Psalm 102:18; again, "You sendest forth your spirit, they are created, and you renewest the faces of the earth, Psalm 104:30. AC 10373.

By the earth which god formed, and by the heavens which are the work of his hands, which shall perish, is signified the same as by the former earth, and former heaven which passed away, see Rev 21:1; and since the face of the earth and of the heavens in the spiritual world is entirely changed in the day of the last judgement, and in the place of the former a new earth and new heavens will exist, therefore it is said, that all will grow old as a garment, you shall change them as a clothing, and they shall be changed; they are compared to garments, because garments signify external truths, belonging to those who were in the former heaven and in the former earth, which do not remain because they are not in internal truths; the state of Divine truth, which is to remain from the lord to eternity, is signified by you shall dwell, and you are the same, and your years shall not end, where by the years of god are signified the states of Divine truth; the sons of your servant shall dwell, and their seed shall be established before you, signifies that angels and men, who are recipient of Divine truth, shall have eternal life, and that the truths of doctrine belonging to them will continue for ever; the sons of the servants of god are angels and men, who are recipient of Divine truth, and the truths of doctrine are their seed. AE 708.

Verse 18. Shall praise jah, see Psalm 68:4, Exposition.

Verse 19. For he has looked down from the height of his sanctuary, etc. Where sanctuary denotes the heaven where the truth of faith is, hence the term god is applied and not jehovah, also the term king, because the term god is used where truth is treated of, and the term jehovah where good is treated of. AC 8330.

Verse 20. To set at liberty the sons of death, see Psalm 79:11, Exposition.

Verse 21. The name of jehovah. What is properly meant by the name of jehovah, see Psalm 79:9, Exposition.

Verses 24 and 27. I said, O my god, take me not away in the half of my days, etc. etc. That year signifies an entire period of the church from beginning to end, and consequently that year signifies time or period within the general time or period, may appear from the passages in the Word, where mention is made of years. That year in an internal sense, does not signify year, may also appear from this consideration, that the angels, who are in the internal sense of the Word, cannot form an idea of any year, but inasmuch as year denotes a full period of time in the natural world, therefore instead of year they have an idea of what is full in respect to states of the church, and of what is external in respect to the states of heaven, times with them denoting states. AC 2906.

Some total period in the Word is marked either by a day, or by a week, or by a month, or by a year, yea, if it was even a hundred or a thousand years, as day in the first chapter of Genesis in which was signified the regeneration of man in the most ancient church, for a day and a year signify nothing else in the internal sense but time, and because they signify time, they signify state, wherefore a year is applied to denote time and state in the Word throughout. AC 893.

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