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To him that presides upon the Gittith, a Psalm of David,
Celebration of the father by the lord: that he would consider his innocence, and assist him against the hells, verses 1, 2, 3, 9. The lord's state of humiliation is described, verses 4, 5; his state of glorification described, verses 6, 7, 8.
Verse 2. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings have you founded strength. Sucklings and they who give suck are occasionally mentioned in the Word, and by them is signified the first state of infants, which state is evidently a state of innocence: for man, as soon as he is born, is introduced into a state of innocence, that that state may be a plane for all his other states, and the inmost in them, which state is signified in the Word by a suckling; next into a state of the affection of celestial good, that is, of love towards parents, which with them is in the place of love to the lord, which state is signified by an infant; afterwards, into a state of the affection of spiritual good, or of mutual love, that is, of charity towards those who are in a like state, which state is signified by childhood; as he grows older, into a state of the affection of truth, which state is signified by that of young men; but the subsequent states by men, and at length by old men. This last state, which is signified by old men, is a state of wisdom in which is the innocence of infancy; thus the first state and the last are united, and man, when old, as again an infant, but a wise one, is introduced into the lord's kingdom. That a suckling, in the Word, signifies innocence, is also evident from David: "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings have you founded strength;" (Psalm 8:2, Matt 21:16) where babes denote celestial love, sucklings denote innocence. So in Jeremiah: "Wherefore commit you this great evil against your souls, to cut off from you man and woman, babe and suckling, out of the midst of Judah, to leave you none for remains?" (Jer 44:7) where the babe and suckling in like manner denote celestial love and its innocence, and when these no longer exist, there are no longer any remains, that is, no longer any good and truth remaining stored up in the internal man from the lord; for all goods and truths perish with innocence, innocence being immediately from the Divine Being or principle Himself, thus being the very essential thing in them. AC 3183.
But it is to be noted, that the innocence of sucklings, of infants, and of children, is merely external, and that internal innocence does not exist with man, until he is born anew, that is, is as it were anew made a suckling, an infant, and a child. AC 5236.
Verse 5. And with glory and honour have you crowned him. In the word, frequent mention is made of glory and honour, and in every case, glory signifies truth and honour good. The reason why both are mentioned together is because in every part of the Word there is a heavenly marriage, which is the conjunction of truth and good. The reason that this marriage is in every part of the Word, is because the Divine Principle which proceeds from the lord, is Divine Truth united to Divine Good; and the latter with the former constitutes heaven, and likewise the church, therefore it is, in every part of the Word. Thus also, in every part of the Word there is a divine principle from the lord, and the lord himself. AE 287.
Verses 6, 7, 8. You have made him to have dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet; the flock and oxen, all of them; and also the beasts of the field, the bird of the heavens, and the fishes of the sea, etc. So long as man is spiritual, his dominion proceeds from the external man to the internal; but when he becomes celestial, and does good from love, the dominion then proceeds from the internal man to the external; as the lord describes himself, and thus at the same time the celestial man, who is his likeness: "You have made him to have dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet; the flock and oxen, all of them; and also the beasts of the field, the bird of the heavens, and the fishes of the sea, etc.;" here, therefore, beasts are first mentioned, then birds, then the fishes of the sea; because the celestial man proceeds from love, which is of the will, otherwise than the spiritual man, with whom fishes and birds have the precedence, which relate to the understanding which is of faith, and the beasts follow. AC 52.
Birds, in the Word, signify things intellectual; fishes signify scientifics, which have their source in things sensual; for scientifics, intellectual things, rational things, and sensual things, are of three kinds, all of them inseminated in the memory, or rather in the memories; and, in the regenerate man, they are called forth thence by the lord through the internal man. AC 988, 291.
That flocks and herds have such a signification, and do not mean only flocks and herds, is manifest from the passages in the Word where they are mentioned, as in David: "You have made him to have dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet; the flock and oxen, all of them; and also the beasts of the field," (Psalm 8:7, 8) the subject here treated of is concerning the lord, and concerning his power over all things in heaven and on earth; and by the flock and oxen are signified interior and exterior goods belonging to man, and by beasts affections belonging to them. If this was not the case, how could the lord's power, which is divine, be described as being over the flock, oxen, and beasts? AC 10610.
Verse 5. You have made him a little less than God, and with glory and honour have you crowned him. These words, it is manifest, have relation to the great redeemer in his state of humiliation here on earth; and also to his state of exaltation; for we have the authority of his own words to assure us, that all things in the Psalms, as well as in the law of Moses and in the prophets, were written concerning him. (Luke 24:44.) His state of humiliation is described in the former part of the verse, where it is written, You have made him a little less than God, and his state of exaltation is further described in the latter part, where we read, and with glory and honour have you crowned him.
But what shall we say is to be understood by the two distinct expressions, glory and honour, with which this great saviour is here said to be crowned? And what, also, is the reason why these expressions are so frequently joined together in other parts of the revealed Word; as where it is written, "jehovah made the heavens; glory and honour are before him;" (Psalm 96:5, 8) "O lord my god, you are very great; you are clothed with glory and honour;" (Psalm 106:1) "The works of jehovah are great; glory and honour are his work;" (Psalm 111:2, 3) "They shall see the glory of jehovah, and the honour of our god;" (Isaiah 35:2. See also Rev 4:9, 11; 21:24, 26.) It is impossible to give any satisfactory answer, to these questions, unless it be considered, and considered attentively, that the above expressions, glory and honour, have distinct reference to the two divine principles of wisdom and love, or of truth and goodness, which unitedly characterise the divine being, and thus form in him a divine marriage, and by derivation from him, a heavenly marriage. When therefore it is said of this great saviour, With glory and honour have you crowned him, it is the same thing as if it had been said, that his humanity was made divine by virtue of its union with the wisdom and love of his divinity, and that thus god and man in him are one, as soul and body are one, so that whoever approaches and adores his divine body, or humanity, approaches and adores, at the same time, his divine soul, or divinity; since they are no longer two, but one divine person. In agreement with this idea, glory and honour are predicated of man, since man becomes glorious and honourable, in the true and proper sense of the words, in proportion as he receives wisdom and love, or truth and good, from their divine source, the glorified, or divine humanity of the lord god the saviour jesus christ.PSALMS 8 Other translations - previous - next - meaning - Psalms - BM Home - Full Page