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the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 72

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-20

Psalms 72

This is a Messianic Psalm in which either David or Solomon desires that five things be in the midst of the people of God, as follows: 1) Prosperity, 2) Power, 3) Preservation, 4) Perpetuity and 5) Praise. This Psalm concludes the second book of the Psalms, as each book concludes, with a doxology.

Scripture v. 1-20:

Verse 1 is a petition either of or for Solomon, requesting that God grant the king His judgments, or let legal sentences come to the king from Him. The essence of righteous judgment comes from God, the Lord of justice, Genesis 17:18; Deuteronomy 1:17; 2 Chronicles 19:6; Proverbs 8:15. The appeal, "Give," is asked in anticipation that such wise judgment would be given from on high, James 1:6. Solomon asked for an understanding heart, to judge the people of God, in his prayer at Gibeon, 1 Kings 3:9; 1 Kings 3:28. Jesus Christ received this gift from God, "without measure," as the anti-type John 3:34.

Verse 2 asserts "He (this king of the gift of righteous judgment) shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment," Psalms 75:6-7; Isaiah 11:2; Isaiah 32:1; Isaiah 33:15; Revelation 19:11; Isaiah 9:7.

Verse 3 Indicates that the real king was the Christ, who is to come again, not just Solomon. At His coming "The mountains (great governments) shall bring peace to his people and the "Little hills" shall also experience righteousness and peace, even as the name Solomon means peaceful. Peace will be the dominant characteristic of the millennial era, brought by our Lord, over all the earth, Isaiah 45:8; Leviticus 26:3-6; Leviticus 2 Ki5:4.

Verse 4 declares that He, the Messiah King will, 1) Judge the poor, 2) Save the children of the needy, and 3) break in pieces the oppressor, 1 Samuel 30:24; Isaiah 11:4; Psalms 82:3. He will vindicate the cause of the afflicted, expanding v. 2 and introducing v. 5.

Verse 5 declares they, "the oppressors," will fear God as long as the sun and the moon endure, throughout all generations, Isaiah 9:7.

Verses 6, 7 add that "He shall descend like rain upon the new-mown grass, as (desired) showers that water the earth," Deuteronomy 32:2; Ezekiel 34:26; Hosea 6:3.
Verse 7 continues that "In his days shall the righteous flourish and abundance of peace as long as the moon endureth," Job 36:7; Psalms 92:12; Isaiah 2:4; Daniel 2:44; Luke 1:33.

Verse 8 certifies that "He shall have, hold, or possess dominion from sea to sea and from river to the end of the earth," Exodus 23:31; Numbers 24:19; Zechariah 9:10; Psalms 2:8; Psalms 2:8; 1 Kings 4:21-22.

Verses 9, 10 foretell that those who dwell in the wilderness or desert area will bow before Him, and His enemies will lick the dust, an oriental symbol of absolute submission, Isaiah 49:3; Psalms 22:9; Isaiah 53:12; Job 40:12.
Verse 10 adds that "the kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts," those of the wealthy, both of the west and of the south of Israel, 1 Kings 4:21; 1 Kings 10:10; 1 Kings 10:24-25; Psalms 68:29; Psalms 45:12; Isaiah 60:6-9. Gifts were then, in Solomon’s day, tributary presents, given by men who acknowledged allegiance to a superior ruler, 2 Kings 3:4; 2 Kings 17:3. The "isles" refers to distant Gentile realms, Isaiah 43:4; Matthew 12:21; Sheba is a region ;n Arabia, called Yemen; and Seba is Ethiopia, in Africa, Isaiah 43:3; Isaiah 45:14. Seba also represents a Cushite settlement on the Persian Gulf.

Verse 11 adds "yea, all kings shall fall down before him, all nations shall serve him;" of whom Solomon," in all his glory," was but a symbol, 1 Timothy 6:15; Psalms 59:13; Psalms 103:19.

Verses 12, 13 declare that he (the Messiah king) will deliver the crying needy and the poor, and him that hath no helper," being compassionate, showing mercy, Psalms 35:10; Psalms 74:21; Psalms 22:11. He will not let the weak be trampled by the strong, Job 29:12. He will also "spare the poor and save the souls of the needy," not permitting them to be oppressed, as the poor man’s king,, Psalms 68:5; Hebrews 9:28; Luke 2:11; 1 Samuel 11:13; Matthew 9:36.

Verse 14 relates that "He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence," from oppression by "the man of sin," whom He shall destroy, Psalms 10:7; Psalms 55:11; Psalms 69:18; And their blood shall be "precious in His sight," so that He shall shield them from death and harm thereafter, through the Messianic, millennial era that He shall establish, Psalms 116:5; 1 Samuel 26:21; Matthew 6:25.

Verse 15 adds that this Messiah-King shall live; to Him shall be given the gold of Sheba, the southern area of Arabia; "Long live the King," shall be His loyal devotees’ cry, 2 Samuel 16:16; as He shall reign forever, 1 Kings 1:31; Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 53:1-10; Isaiah 60:6. Daily he shall be praised and prayers of gratitude will be offered to him continually, 1 Timothy 2:1.

Verse 16 prophesies that "there shall come to be an handful of corn on the top of the mountains; the fruit of it shall shake like Lebanon; and the city occupants shall flourish like grass of the earth." The idea is that there shall be an abundance of produce, so that even the mountain tops will be covered, not merely by waving branches, like the cedars of Lebanon, but by waving sheaves of grain and the people of once desolate cities will be heavily populated again, Job 5:25; Isaiah 49:20; Zechariah 10:8; Proverbs 14:28. See also Genesis 41:49; Isaiah 17:5; Deuteronomy 3:25; Isaiah 9:7. Some have interpreted this to be our Lord’s establishing His church, with the "handful of disciples," on the mount of Beatitudes, Matthew 5, 6, 7, and Matthew 8:1; and when He took the twelve apostles and ordained them, after praying all night in the mountain, with the blessing that band of His church has brought to the earth, Matthew 6:12-13.

Verse 17 foretells that this Messiah-King’s "name shall continue forever, even as long as the sun," by analogy, Psalms 112:6; Isaiah 9:6. Men shall be blessed in His reign and all nations (races) shall call him blessed, as certified Genesis 12:1; Genesis 22:18; Luke 1:48. All shall acknowledge they are blessed because of Him, Isaiah 65:16; Genesis 48:20; Genesis 26:4.

Verse 18-20 constitute a doxology of praise for "Exodus," deliverance, to close this second book of Psalms, that corresponds with Exodus, second book of the Pentateuch. This doxology is longer than that closed the first book, Psalms 41:4.
Verse 18 extols the Lord God, the God of Israel, the covenant God, and the care taking God who only repeatedly does wondrous, gratuitous, marvelous things, 1 Chronicles 29:11; Deuteronomy 10:21.
Verse 19 further extols "blessed be his glorious name forever, (adding) let the whole earth be filled (covered, permeated) with His glory; Amen, and Amen! or so may it ever exist, Nehemiah 9:5; Exodus 24:17; Ruth 4:22.
Verse 20 concludes "the prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended," or concluded; This does not imply that he prayed no more or that he composed all of the previous prayer-psalms; But the implication is, that as a body, the Psalms of this book were in the nature of prayers, and that He was the inspired compiler or author of them.


About a thousand years before Christ, Homer, the Greek "prince of poets" and an inveterate traveler, is said to have learned the history of Ulysses on the island of Ithaca, from which sprang his great work, The Odyssey. He went blind after that, but continued as a wandering minstrel, writing the Iliad and composing hymns for the festivals of the gods and singing his poems in religious and public assemblies.

There lived around the same time another poet, a Hebrew. Rather than great adventures, this poet sang of suffering and glory and touched upon every emotion the human soul is capable of having. Projecting into the future, he celebrated in holy song what is yet to be. Though three millenniums have passed, his jubilant hymns of praise and worship still lift human hearts into the realm of the unseen. This was the psalmist David, Israel’s shepherd-king.

Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey have great poetic value and appeal to some intellects, but comparatively few have read them; after a time their charm is gone and the heart is left empty. David’s psalms, however, are read by millions, in hundreds of languages, year after year, their charm and power increasing with use. True, Homer was a genius. But the Spirit of God came upon David, and his productions are God-given revelations. Homer’s works are but the works of time: David’s works are eternal.

-From Dr. Proppe’s Scrapbook

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Psalms 72". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/psalms-72.html. 1985.
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