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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 36

Verses 1-12

Psalms 36:1 . There is no fear of God before his eyes. David had some particular or general character of a wicked man before his eyes; a man who flattered himself as bearing an appearance of wisdom and virtue, till his real character was developed by his actions. Then he ceased to be accounted either wise or good.

Psalms 36:5 . Thy mercy, oh Lord, is in the heavens, from which the sun and the rain descend in every token of mercy to man, and to the beasts of the earth.

Psalms 36:6-7 . Thy righteousness is like the great mountains, which nothing can remove. It is neither the roaring of the seas, nor the shaking of the tempest that can obstruct the constant streams of goodness that flow from thine inexhaustible fulness. Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. The latter words are expletive of the former; which is generally so in the metaboles, which abound in the psalms.

Psalms 36:8 . They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house. The peace-offerings of sheep and oxen, with cakes and wine, suggested this idea of spiritual and intellectual delight. When God is adored in the happy and appropriate language of prayer; when the law and the prophets are expounded, in connection with every associate idea of providence and grace, the soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and delights to dwell in his courts. The garden of God is irrigated with rivers of pleasure, for with him is the fountain of life, ever flowing in plenitude of divine enjoyment.

Psalms 36:9 . In thy light shall we see light. Life and light are here happily associated, as in the new testament; for this is life eternal to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. It is in his light that we see the way of happiness opened; it is in his light that we see future glory disclosed; it is in his light that we see with open face, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, and walk in the light as he is in the light.

This is an alphabetical psalm, with three exceptions, at Psalm 36:29, 32, 39. It bears the inscription of David, and is designed to console the mind when labouring under strong temptations.

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Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 36". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1835.