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"To him that presides over the music, to Jeduthun, a Psalm of David.
The lord's patience in a state of temptations, verses 1 to 3, 8 to 11; that he wishes the end of them, verses 4 to 7; a prayer to the father that he may not be deserted, verses 12, 13.
Verses 4, 5, Make known to me, O jehovah, my end, and the measure of my days, what it is, that I may know how frail I am. Behold, you have made my days as a hand-breadth, and mine age is as nothing before you. It appears as if by these words were meant only times of life, the end of which he is desirous to know, and that they quickly pass away: but in the spiritual sense, are not meant times, but instead of times, states of life, wherefore by make known to me, O jehovah, my end, the measure of my days, what it is, is signified that he may know the state of his life and its quality, thus what would continue to be the quality of his life; by behold, you have made my days as a hand-breadth, is signified that the quality of the state of his life is of little moment; and by my time being as nothing before you, is signified that the state of his life is of no avail: for time and days signify states of life as to truth and as to good, and hence as to intelligence and wisdom, consequently that the former and the latter, so far as they are from himself, are of no account: that this is the meaning of the words cannot be seen by those who only think naturally, because natural thought cannot be separated from the idea of time, but spiritual thought, such as angelic thought is, has nothing in common with time, nor with space, nor with person. AE 629.
Verse 10, Remove your plague away from me, I am consumed by the stroke of your hand. By plagues, in the Word, are signified such things as destroy spiritual life with men, and consequently the church, and of course things which induce death, understood in a spiritual sense, which in general, have reference to the cupidities arising from the loves of self and of the world; for these loves are the roots from which evils and falses of every genus and species bud forth and are born. AE 584.
In the Word in many passages it is said of jehovah, that he burns with anger, and is angry, and also that he consumes and destroys; but it is so expressed because it so appears to man, who turns himself away from the lord, as is the case when he does evil; and whereas on such occasions he is not heard, and is also punished, he believes that the lord is in anger with him, when yet the lord is in no case angry, and in no case consumes, for he is mercy itself, and good itself: hence it is evident what the quality of the Word is as to the letter, namely that it is according to appearance with man. In like manner, when it is said that, jehovah repents, as in what follows, when yet, jehovah in no case repents, for he foresees all things from eternity: hence also it may be manifest into how many errors they fall, who do not think beyond the sense of the letter, when they read the Word, thus who read it without doctrine from the Word, which doctrine teaches how the case is: for they who read the Word from doctrine, know that jehovah is mercy itself, and good itself, and that it cannot in any way be said of infinite mercy, and of infinite goodness, that it burns with anger and consumes; wherefore from that doctrine they know and see that it is so said according to the appearance presented to man. AC 10431.
Verse 12, For I am a sojourner, with you, a stranger as all my fathers were. By a sojourner are signified those who were instructed in the truths of the church, and who received those truths, but by a stranger are meant those who were not willing to be instructed in the truths of the church, because they were not willing to receive them. AC 8002.
Verse 12, Hear my prayer, O jehovah, give ear to my cry. A distinction is here made between prayers and a cry, also, between hearing and giving ear to: the distinction probably is grounded in what subsists between the will and the understanding, prayer having relation to the affection of the will in its application to the almighty, and cry having relation to the thought of the understanding on the same occasion. The almighty therefore is said to hear the former, and to give ear to the latter, to instruct us, that though he is attentive to both, yet his attention is more fixed on a devout desire of the heart, than on an enlightened application of the intellect.
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