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A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour towards Abimelech, and drove him away, and he departed.
Celebration of the lord, because he delivers them that trust in him from all evil, verses 1 to 11; that he will preserve the good, and that the wicked will perish, verses 12 to 22.
Verses 4, 6. I sought jehovah, and he answered me. etc. It is a general [rule or law] in all divine worship, that man should first will, desire, and pray, and then that the lord should answer, inform, and do, otherwise man does not receive any thing divine. We read frequently in the Word, that the lord answers when they call upon and cry to him, as in Psalm 34:4, 6; but yet the lord gives them to ask and what to ask, wherefore the lord knows it before, but still the lord wills that man should ask first, to the end that he may do it as from himself, and thus it is appropriated to him; otherwise if the petition itself were not from the lord, it would not be said that they should receive what they asked. AE 376.
Verses 9, 10. O fear jehovah you his saints, for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger, but they who seek jehovah shall not lack any good. They who fear jehovah and have no want, here signify those who love to do the commandments of the lord, and they who seek jehovah and shall not lack any good, signify those who are therefore loved by the lord, and receive from him truths and goods; the young lions who lack and suffer hunger, signify those who are knowing and wise from themselves; to lack and be hungry denotes that they have neither truth nor good. AE 386.
Verse 12. Who is the man that desires life, [lives]. In this and in other passages mention is made of lives in the plural, because there are two faculties of life in man, one which is called understanding, and which is of truth, and the other which is called will, and is of good; these two lives or faculties of life make one, when the understanding is of the will, or, what is the same thing, when truth is of good; hence it is that in the Hebrew tongue so frequent mention is made of life and also of lives. In respect to lives, they signify in the plural both what is of the will and what is of the understanding, consequently what is of good, and what is of truth; for the life of man is nothing else but good and truth wherein is life from the lord, inasmuch as man, without good and truth and the life therein, is no man; for man without these principles would not be able to will any thing or to think any thing, all his faculty of willing being derived from what is good or not good; and all his faculty of thinking being derived from what is true or not true; hence man has lives, which are one life when his thought is derived from his will-principle, that is, when truth which is of faith is derived from good which is of love. AC 3623.
Verse 13. Keep your tongue from evil, etc. By the lips and tongue, with which they speak a lie and guile, is signified the thought with intention of persuading falses against truths, and of seducing. AE 866.
Verse 14. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Peace is a blessed principle of the heart and soul arising from conjunction of the lord with heaven and the church, and this from the conjunction of good and truth with those who are there, hence there is no longer any combat of what is evil and false against what is good and true, or no disagreement or war in a spiritual sense; the consequence is peace, in which is effected all fructification of good and multiplication of truth, consequently all wisdom and intelligence: and whereas this peace is from the lord alone, and from him with the angels in heaven and with men in the church, therefore by peace in the supreme sense is meant the lord, and in a respective sense heaven and the church, consequently good conjoined to truth with those who are there. From this description of peace an idea may he formed of the signification of peace in the following passages, "Depart from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it," Psalm 34:14; where peace denotes all things which are; of heaven and the church, whence comes the happiness of eternal life; and since this happiness appertains only to those who are in good, therefore it, is said, "Depart from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it," again: "Much peace have they who love your law, and nothing shall offend them; I have hoped for your salvation, and done your commandments," Psalm 119:165, 166; where peace denotes what is celestially blessed, happy, and delightful, and since these blessings are given only to those who love to do the commandments of the lord, therefore it is said, "Much peace have they who love your law, I have hoped for your salvation O jehovah, and have done your commandments." Salvation denotes eternal life, that they have no infestation from evils and falses, is signified by nothing offending them. AE 365.
Verse 16. The face of jehovah is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth, Inasmuch as the wicked, in the other world, are in the evil of punishment, therefore it is supposed by them that this is from the lord, and that he looks at them with an angry look, and casts them into hell and punishes, like a man in a passion, when yet the lord never regards any one but from love and mercy. AE 412.
Verse 20. He keeps all his bones, not one of them is broken. That by these Words is signified scientific truth, and that it shall be entire, appears from the signification of bone, as denoting the ultimate in which interior things terminate as in their bases, that they may be supported to prevent their being severed to pieces; such an ultimate in spiritual things is the scientific principle, for all spiritual truths and goods flow down according to order into inferior things [or principles], and terminate at length in scientifics, and there present themselves visibly to man; that not to break denotes that it shall he entire, is evident. The scientific principle is said to be entire, when it admits into itself nothing but truths which are in agreement with their good, for the scientific principle is the common receptacle. Moreover scientifics are circumstanced like the bones in man; if they be not entire, or in their order, as when they are out of joint, or distorted, the form of the body hence varies, and according to it the actions. AC 8005.
Verse 7. The angel of jehovah camps round about them that fear him, and delivers them. The doctrine of the ministration of angels is here insisted on and expressed in the strongest terms, being called an encampment round about them that fear him, which manifestly implies that man, as to his soul or spirit, is in the midst of them, and is thus guarded by their angelic protection. It may be objected perhaps, that the Divine protection of the lord alone, is a sufficient security for man against all the attempts of his spiritual adversaries, and that consequently then; is no need of additional succour from the above ministration. This objection is specious, because it is certainly true that the lord alone is a guardian both willing and able to defend his creature man; but then it surely merits consideration, that the ministration of angels is not so much for the purpose of lending aid to the lord in his administration of the concerns of mankind, as with a view to extend his mercy by finding an employment for the innumerable host of his angelic kingdom, which is to them at once the most delightful and the most beneficial. It is not then necessity, but the superabundance of the Divine mercy, to which we are indebted for the above angelic encampment, which at once makes manifest the adorable love of our heavenly father, brings into fuller exercise the affection and thoughts of his ministering spirits, and provides more fully for the guardianship and comfort of mankind.
Verse 8. O taste and see how good jehovah is. Tasting has relation to the will of man, and seeing to his understanding, consequently the injunction to taste and see that jehovah is good, implies the combined exercise of these two faculties. It is not sufficient therefore that man only tastes the Divine goodness in his will, unless he also seen it with his understanding, nor that he sees it with his understanding, unless he at the same time tastes it in his will, consequently it is an imperative duty binding on every Christian, to apply both his will and understanding unitedly to the sublime and momentous purpose here pointed at, to taste and see that jehovah is good.
Verse 20. He keeps all his bones, and not one of them is broken. This passage is a proof, amongst a thousand others, of the internal sense contained in the letter of the Sacred Volume of Revelation, for what eye cannot see that the bones here spoken of cannot possibly mean the natural bones of the material body? We are compelled then to interpret the expression as relating to the interior bones of the spirit of man, and that these bones are the scientific principle of the human mind, will appear in the plainest and most satisfactory manner from consulting what has been just above said on the subject in the Exposition.PSALMS 34 Other translations - previous - next - meaning - Psalms - BM Home - Full Page