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Mictam of David.

  1. Preserve me, O god; for with you do I take refuge.
  2. You have said to jehovah, You are the lord; I have no good beside you.
  3. As for the saints that are in the earth, and the illustrious ones; in them is all my delight.
  4. Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten to go backward: I will not offer their drink-offerings of blood, nor will I take their names upon my lips.
  5. jehovah is the portion of my part and my cup: you uphold my lot.
  6. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places: yea, a delightful inheritance is mine.
  7. I will bless jehovah, who has given me counsel: nightly, also, do my reins correct me.
  8. I have set jehovah continually before me: because he is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
  9. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices: my flesh also shall dwell confidently.
  10. For you will not leave my soul to hell, you will not suffer your holy one to see corruption.
  11. You will make known to me the way of life. In your presence is fullness of joys; at your right hand are pleasures for ever more.

The Internal Sense

The lord's confidence in himself, verses 1, 2. For the delivery of the good, whom the wicked infest, verses 3, 4. That the divine [ Essence or Principle] is his, verses 5—8. That his human [Principle] will rise again glorified, verses 9, 10, 11.


Verse 4. I will not offer their drink-offerings of blood. By a drink-offering is signified the Divine Good of Truth, which is the good of faith, and is love towards the neighbour. For there are two universal genera of good, one which is called the good of faith, the other which is called the good of love. The good of faith is what is signified by a drink-offering, and the good of love is what is signified by oil. They who are brought of the lord to good by an internal way, are in the good of love; but they who are brought by an external way, are in the good of faith. Drink-offerings are also predicated of blood in David: Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten to go backward: I will not offer their drink-offerings of blood: (Psalm 16:4) and thereby are signified profanations of truth; for blood, in that sense, is violence offered to charity. AC 4581.

Verse 7. I will bless jehovah who has given me counsel: nightly, also, do my reins correct me. By the reins are signified the truths of faith, and their purification from falsity; the reason is because the purification of the blood is performed in the reins or kidneys: and by blood, in the Word, is signified truth, (see AC 4735, 9127.) The like also is signified by the organ which purifies it: all purification from falsity is also effected by truths. Hence is evident what is signified in the Word, by jehovah, or the lord, searching the heart or reins, namely, that he explores the truths of faith and the goods of love, and separates them from falsities and evils. This is signified by the reins in the following passages: "jehovah or hosts, the judge of justice, that tries the reins and the heart;" Jerem 11:20; and again: "You have planted them, they have taken root, they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit; You are near in their mouth, and far from their reins;" Jerem 12:2; and in David: "I will bless jehovah who has given me counsel: nightly, do my reins correct me;" where night signifies the state of man when falsities arise; the combat of truths with them on this occasion by my reins correct me. AE 167.

Verse 9. My flesh also shall dwell confidently. Flesh, in the Word, has various significations; it signifies man's proprium, thus either his good or evil, and thence also the whole man, but in the supreme sense, it signifies the Divine Human [principle] of the lord, specifically the divine good of divine love which proceeds from Him. That flesh signifies the Divine Human [principle] as to the good of love, appears in John: "jesus said, I am the living bread, which comes down from heaven; if any one eat of this bread, he shall live for ever. The bread which I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews, therefore, strove amongst themselves, saying, how can this man give His flesh to eat? jesus therefore said to them, verily, verily, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you: he who eats My flesh and drinks My blood, has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. for My flesh is meat indeed and My blood is drink indeed: he who eats My flesh and drinks My blood, dwells in Me and I in him. This is the bread which comes down from heaven;" John 6:51-58: that by flesh is here meant the proprium of the lord's Divine Human [principle,] which is the divine good of divine love, is manifestly evident, and it is that which in the holy supper is called His body; that the body or flesh in the holy supper is divine good, and the blood divine truth, may be seen above, AE 329; and whereas bread and wine signify the same with flesh and blood, bread divine good and wine divine truth, therefore these were commanded in their place. Divine good from the lord was also signified by the flesh of the sacrifices, which Aaron and his sons might eat, also they who sacrificed and others who were clean; and that it was holy, may be seen in Exodus 12:7, 8, 9; 29:30 to 34: wherefore if an unclean person ate of that flesh, he was to be cut off from his people; Lev. 7:21; that these things were called bread, may be seen in Lev. 22:6, 7, and other places: that that flesh was called the flesh of holiness, Jer. 11:15; Haggai 2:12; and the flesh of the offering, which was to be upon the tables in the lord's kingdom; Ezekiel 40:43. The lord's Divine Human [principle] is also called flesh in John: "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us, and we saw His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father." John 1:14. That flesh also signified good with man, may appear from the following passages; thus in Ezekiel: "I will give them one heart, and I will give a new spirit in the midst of you, and I will remove the heart of stone out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh :" Ezek. 11:19; 36:26; the heart of flesh is the will and love of good. And in David: "god, you are my god, in the morning I seek You, my soul thirsts for You, my flesh desires You, in a land of drought, and I am weary without waters;" Psalm 63:2; again: "My soul desires the courts of jehovah, my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God;" Psalm 84:2; by the flesh which desires jehovah, and which cries out for the living god, is signified man as to the good of the will-principle; for the flesh of man corresponds to the good or evil of his will, and the blood to the truth or the false of his understanding, in the present case the good of the will is denoted by flesh, because it desires jehovah, and cries out for god. So in Job: "I have known my Redeemer, He lives, and at the last shall arise upon the dust, and afterwards these things shall be encompassed with my skin, and from my flesh I shall see god:" Job 19:25, 26, 27: to see god from his flesh signifies from his voluntary proprium made new from the lord, thus from good. And in Ezekiel: "I will give upon the bones, which were seen in the midst of the valley, nerves, and I will cause flesh to come up upon them, and I will cover them with skin, and I will give spirit in them, that they may live:" Ezek. 37:6, 8; where also by flesh is signified the proprium of the will made new from the lord, consequently good; what is there signified by the bones and by the rest, may be seen above, AE 418. AE 1082.

The Translator's Notes and Observations

Verse 5. jehovah is the portion of my part and my cup —These two terms, my part and my cup, point out man's two-fold relationship to his great creator, who is the divine source of all heavenly good in the will, and of all heavenly truth in the understanding. The term part has evident relation to the first of these blessings; and that the term cup has relation to the second, will be equally manifest from the spiritual signification of the term cup. For a cup, as every one knows, is significative and declarative of its contents, thus of the wine with which it is filled, and by wine, according to the testimony of the Sacred Scriptures throughout, is represented the truth of faith grounded in the good of charity, thus wisdom and its life. It is therefore written in Psalm xxiii: "You prepare a table for me, in the presence of mine enemies: you anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over;" verse 5; and in Psalm cxvi: "What shall I render to the lord for all his benefits to me? I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the lord;" verses 12, 18; where it is evident that by the term cup is signified some spiritual principle of man's life, and since it stands in connection with other expressions which relate to the good of heavenly love in the will, therefore, it must be understood as significative of heavenly truth in the understanding, this truth being properly the cup of salvation. But the true meaning of the term cup is rendered still more plain and explicit from what the great redeemer says concerning it, when, at his last supper, he delivers it to his disciples, and marks it by the holy name and title of his own blood. For thus it is written on the interesting occasion: "And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, Drink you all of it, for this is my blood, that of the new testament:" Matt 26:27, 28; Mark 14:23, 24; Luke 22:20 where his blood of the new testament can admit of no other probable interpretation, than as denoting and representing the truths of his wisdom; especially when in connection with his body, by which is manifestly figured the good of his love.

Verse 9. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices—The intelligent reader will not fail here to note the distinction between heart and glory, and how the former has relation to the will, or love, and the latter to the understanding or thought; and how both expressions united therefore mark the heavenly marriage of the divine good and the divine true, which distinguishes the word of the most high from any human composition whatever.

Verse 10. You will make known to me the way of life— What is here rendered life, in accommodation to the English idiom, in the original Hebrew is expressed by lives, in the plural, to denote that the life of god is two-fold, namely the life of love and the life of wisdom; and accordingly, in Gen. ii., where mention is made of god's breathing into mans nostrils the breath of life, verse 7, and afterwards at verse 9, of his planting the tree of life in the midst of the garden, the term life is expressed in the plural, and it is called the breath of lives and the tree of lives. This two-fold life is further alluded to in the present verse, by the two expressions, fullness of joys, and pleasures for ever more;fullness of joys, which is said to be in the Lord's presence, being intended to mark also the blessings of his love; and pleasures for ever more, which are said to be at his right hand, being intended to mark also the blessings of his wisdom. For a similar reason, the term face, here rendered presence, when applied to the almighty in the word of the Old Testament, is always in the plural number, to instruct us that he has two faces, the face of his love, and the face of his wisdom, and that he is seen accordingly by the celestial and the spiritual, or by those who are principled more in the good of his love, and those who are principled more in the truth of his wisdom.

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