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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 43

Haydock's Catholic Bible CommentaryHaydock's Catholic Commentary

Verse 1

Understanding. See Psalm xli. (Menochius) --- David or the Corites composed this piece, to comfort the just under persecution. (Berthier) --- It may allude to the situation of the Jews at Babylon, (Calmet) or under Antiochus Epiphanes, (Ven. Bede) though St. Paul, (Romans viii. 36.) applies ver. 22. to the persecutions of the primitive Christians, which seems to shew, that the whole psalm refers to them, (Berthier) as the Fathers have explained it. Yet it may literally be understood of the Israelites (Calmet) also, (Haydock) as well as the Christian martyrs, since all things happened to the Israelites in figure. (Worthington)

Verse 2

Old, in calling Abraham, and rescuing the Hebrews for the Egyptian bondage, &c. (Worthington) --- God formerly protected our Fathers; but how are things changed? (Calmet) --- Gideon uses nearly the same words, Judges vi. (Menochius)

Verse 3

Plantedst them, thy people. See Jeremias ii. 21., and xii. 10., and Ezechiel xvii. 6. --- Out, by means of insects, &c., Wisdom xii. 8., and Josue xxiv. 12. (Calmet) --- The Hebrews were miraculously assisted, (Worthington) without any merit of their own, (Calmet) as all were wicked at first. Yet Abraham was freely chosen, that the visible Church might be preserved. (Worthington)

Verse 5

Saving (salutes) the manifold instances of protection. (Haydock)

Verse 6


The Church commemorates former favours, and present afflictions; under which she prays for succour.

Horn, like bulls. (Worthington) --- This we have done in former times. (Calmet) --- Not man’s strength, but God’s favour, granteth the victory. (Worthington)

Verse 9

We glory. Literally, "be praised." (Haydock) --- We have always attributed our success to thee. (Calmet)

Verse 10

Now. He foretelleth divers states of the Jews, and of the Church. (Worthington)

Verse 11

To. Literally, "after," post. They were formerly defeated; now it is our turn. (Haydock)

Verse 12

Nations. Many never returned from captivity. (Calmet) See Deuteronomy xxviii. 43.

Verse 13

Reckoning. Protestants, "thou dost not increase thy wealth by their price." (Haydock) --- Thou art eager to get quit of them, as of the vilest slaves. (Theodoret; Grotius) (Isaias l. 2., and lii. 3.) Exchange. Some copies of the Septuagint read Greek: allalagmasi, "jubilations," with the Ethiopic. (St. Augustine, &c.) --- While others have more correctly Greek: allagmasi, like the Vulgate. There were none to purchase, so that thou hast given the people for nothing. (Calmet) --- At the last siege of Jerusalem, the Jews, who had sold (Worthington) or bought Christ for thirty pieces of money, (Haydock) were themselves sold for the smallest price; thirty being given for one penny. See Josephus, Jewish Wars. (Worthington)

Verse 15

Head, out of contempt. (Menochius) --- The Gentiles propose us as an example of a people fallen a prey to the divine indignation, 4 Kings xix. 21., and Lamentations ii. 15.

Verse 17

Detracteth me. St. Jerome, "blasphemeth" God, while they upbraid us, as a faithless people. (Calmet)

Verse 18

Covenant. Till the passion of Christ, the Jews did not wholly fall from God, and then many were chosen from among them, to found the Christian religion. (Worthington) --- The Corites speak in the name of their faithful brethren, whom no provocation had induced to follow the superstitious practices of Babylon. (Calmet)

Verse 19

Neither. Literally, "and or yet." (Haydock) --- But the negative particle is taken (Worthington) from the first part of the verse. (Calmet) --- St. Jerome, "Neither hast thou," &c. (Menochius) --- Yet many adhere to the Hebrew, &c., "And thou hast turned," &c. Though it may be taken in a dangerous sense, (Calmet) yet it may only signify, (Haydock) that God had removed his people from the country where his worship was observed, and had refused them his protection; hence their paths have been unfortunate. (Theodoret) --- This agrees better with the sequel. (Berthier) --- It is no proof that God is the author of sin, in either sense. (Tirinus)

Verse 20

Affliction. Hebrew, or "dragons," (St. Jerome; Menochius) alluding to the deserts, to which the Jews retired, when the Assyrians invaded them. The text may be more applicable to the first Christians, who might truly say, that they had not transgressed. (Houbigant) -- To the martyrs, death was but like a shadow. (St. Gregory) (Mark iv. 17.) --- Here it denotes great darkness and misery. (Menochius)

Verse 21

If we. This is a Hebrew idiom, to express, we have not. (Worthington)

Verse 22

Slaughter. They will not suffer us to be quiet respecting our religion, striving to delude us: or, if we prove resolute, like Daniel, they expose us to torments. (Calmet) --- This was more fully verified at the first propagation of the gospel, (Romans viii. 36.) as it still continues to be among those, who cease not to persecute Catholics by artifice, as well as by open violence. Christians in every age (Haydock) are persecuted, more than the prophets (Worthington) generally were. (Haydock)

Verse 23

Sleepest thou, seeming not to attend to our sufferings. (Menochius) --- End, shall we never be restored to favour? (Calmet)

Verse 25

Dust. We are at death’s door, being oppressed with grief, as long as thou dost not assist us. (Worthington) --- We petition in the most fervent (Haydock) and humble posture, Isaias xlix. 23., and Micheas vii. 17. (Calmet)

Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 43". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hcc/psalms-43.html. 1859.
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