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A Psalm of David.
The prayers of the church to the lord, that they may he preserved from the hells, verses 1 to 3; that they may be instructed in truths, verses 4 to 6; that from mercy their sins may be remitted, verses 7 to 11; thus they will have good and conjunction, verses 12 to 14; a prayer of the church to the lord, and in the supreme sense, of the lord to the father, that seeing he alone fights against the hells, he may be assisted, verses 15 to 20; that he has integrity, verse 21; whence comes redemption, verse 22.
Verse 7. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions. In the Word, evils are sometimes called sins, sometimes iniquities, and sometimes transgressions but what is meant specifically by the latter and the former, is only made evident from the internal sense, those evils are called transgressions, which are done contrary to the truths of faith; those are called iniquities, which are done contrary to the goods of faith, and those sins, which are done contrary to the goods of charity and love; the two former proceed from a perverted understanding, but the latter from a depraved will; as in David, "Wash me from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin; for I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sins are continually before you," Psalm 51:2, 3; iniquity denotes evil against the goods of faith, sin denotes evil against the goods of charity and love, and transgression denotes evil against the truths of faith; inasmuch as this latter is evil proceeding from a perverse understanding, and is thus known from the truths of faith, it is therefore said, I acknowledge my transgressions. Again, "Remember your mercies, jehovah, and your compassions; remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions," Psalm 25:6, 7; where sins denote evils derived from a depraved will, and transgressions denote evils derived from a perverse understanding. AC 9156.
Verse 7. Remember not the sins of my youth. In the Word it is said of jehovah, that is, of the lord, that he remembers, and that he does not remember, and by it is signified that in such case it is done of mercy, whether it be preservation or deliverance; in like manner as that he sees, hears, knows, and that he does not see, does not hear, and does not know, by which expressions also are signified compassions and non-compassions; the reason why it is so expressed is grounded in what passes in a similar way with man, and in appearance; for. when man averts himself from the lord, as is the case when he does evil, then, because the lord is to his back, it appears to him as if the lord did not see him, did not hear and know him, neither remember him, when yet this is what appertains to the man, and hence from appearance it is so expressed in the Word; but the case is changed when man turns himself to the lord, as he does when he does well: every one may know that recollection or remembrance cannot he predicated of the lord, inasmuch as things past and future in him are eternal, that is, are present from eternity to eternity. That to remember, when concerning the lord, denotes to have compassion, and thus to preserve or deliver from a principle of mercy is manifest from the following passages, "jehovah has remembered us in our humility, because his mercy is for ever," Psalm 136:23. Again, "Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions, according to your mercy remember you me, because of your goodness, O jehovah," Psalm 25:7. AC 9849.
Verse 10. All the paths of jehovah are mercy and truth to those who keep his covenant. Doing mercy denotes the good of love, because all mercy is of love, for he who is principled in love or charity, is also principled in mercy; and in this case love and charity with him become mercy, when a neighbour is in want or misery, and in that state he affords him help; hence it is that by mercy is signified the good of love. Truth denotes the truth of faith, because all truth is of faith, on which account also, in the original tongue, faith is signified by the same expression. Inasmuch as the good of love and the truth of faith are in the closest conjunction, and the one is not given without the other, therefore, those two principles are frequently in the Word spoken of conjointly, as in David, "All the paths of jehovah are mercy and truth to those who keep his covenant," Psalm 25:10. AC 6180.
The Word is the Divine Truth revealed from the lord, and inasmuch as by it the lord conjoins himself with the man of the church, therefore also it is the book of a covenant, because a covenant denotes conjunction. AC 9396.
Verse 12. What man is he that fears jehovah? Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. What is signi-fied in the Word by fearing God, may appear from very many passages therein understood as to the internal sense; the fear of God, as used in the Word, signifies worship, and indeed worship either grounded in fear, or in the good of faith, or in the good of love; worship grounded in fear, when the subject treated of is concerning the unregenerate; worship grounded in the good of faith, when the subject treated of is concerning the spiritual regenerate; and worship grounded in the good of love, when the subject treated of is concerning the celestial regenerate. In the above passage the fear of jehovah is spoken of the spiritual man, as is evident from this consideration, that it is said, he shall teach him in the way, for that way is Truth, may be seen, AC 627. 2333. AC 2826.
Verse 22. Redeem Israel, O god, out of all his distresses. To redeem Israel from his distresses here denotes to deliver those who are of the church from the falses which distress. AE 328. See also in this number what is properly meant by redemption; that it consists in deliverance from hell, conjunction with the lord, and salvation, and that it is not therefore to be confounded with the passion of the cross, which was the last temptation by which the lord subdued the powers of darkness, and at the same time glorified his humanity, or united it with his divinity, and thus gave the penitent continual access to himself.
Verse 4. Cause me to know your ways, O jehovah, teach me your paths. A distinction is here made between ways and paths, and though our enlightened Expositor has not told us what this distinction is, yet there can be little difficulty in discovering it, if it be considered, that paths are more particular ways, and that ways are more general paths. Supposing then that ways and paths are significative of Truths, it will then be seen clearly, that ways are figurative of general Truths, and paths of particular ones. Thus a way may be expressive of a general Truth, such as you shall not commit murder, or you shall not steal, whilst paths may be expressive of all the particular ideas which enter into the notion of murder and of theft.
Verses 17, 18. The troubles of my heart are enlarged, O bring you me out of my distresses; look upon mine affliction and my pain, and take away all my sin. There is every reason to believe, that in the original Hebrew all these four terms, namely: troubles, distresses, affliction and pain, have a definite meaning, being intended to express some species of sorrow manifesting itself in some distinct region of the human mind, whether it be the will, the understanding, the operation, or all united. It is to be lamented that in our English language the terms expressive of sorrow are not so definite in their meaning, so that in the application of the above four terms we use them promiscuously, without any regard to their peculiar meaning, as applied to the sorrow of any one region of the mind more than of another. The case is the same in regard to our expressions of joy, which we thus use indiscriminately, making no internal distinction between a delight, a gratification, a pleasure, a satisfaction, etc. Yet it is plain that in the Book of revealed Wisdom, called the word of god, we meet with no such confusion of terms, but expressions are applied which determine at once to what region of the mind both our joys and our sorrows belong. Thus we read perpetually of joy and gladness, one expression being intended to denote a gratification of the will in its reception of the good of love and charity, and the other being intended to express the gratification of the understanding in its reception of the Truth of heavenly wisdom. jesus christ too makes a similar distinction respecting our sorrows, when he says to his disciples, "You shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice, and you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy," John 16:20. where it must be plain to every serious reader, that by weeping, lamenting, and being sorrowful, the divine speaker meant to express distinct degrees of sorrow, as manifested in the distinct degrees of the human mind.PSALMS 25 Other translations - previous - next - meaning - Psalms - BM Home - Full Page