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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 72

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

Psalms 72:1 « [A Psalm] for Solomon. » Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son.

A Psalm for Solomon ] Whom his father David had crowned while yet alive; and now, at point of death, leaveth him this last bequeath as a basilicon doron, a direction in point of government, and a prediction of a most flourishing reign thereupon; this last he so describeth, that by a spirit of prophecy, attributing eternity thereunto, he riseth up from Solomon to Christ, of whom he was a type; like as also the promise made to David, concerning Solomon and Christ, was conceived in such terms by God himself, as if they had been almost one and the same person, 2 Samuel 7:13-14 1 Chronicles 22:10 . (Beza).

Ver. 1. Give the king thy judgments, O God ] i.e. Give me, for that little time I have here to live and reign, skill and will to do it aright, and as thy law requireth.

And thy righteousness unto the king’s son] To Solomon, and his successors; for David’s great care was the welfare of God’s people after his decease, for which end he both prayeth, and principleth his son Solomon; and herein his great piety to the end appeareth. I could not but love the man (said Theodosius, the emperor, concerning Ambrose) who, while he lived he heartily wished that the contentions that were in the Church might be quenched, though it were with his blood; so when he died he was more solicitous of the Church’s welfare than of his own.

Verse 2

Psa 72:2 He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment.

Ver. 2. He shall judge thy people with righteousness ] sc. If thou please to remember thy promise to me, and to answer this my prayer of faith founded thereupon.

And thy poor ] Or, thine afflicted. The people (the poor afflicted especially) are the Lord’s and therefore not to be tyrannized over and trampled on by their governors.

Verse 3

Psa 72:3 The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.

Ver. 3. The mountains shall bring peace ] i.e . They shall not be so pestered and infested by thieves and robbers, who usually haunt and hide themselves in hills and hollow places.

By righteousness ] By right administration of justice, as it was here in King Alfred’s days, who ordained that his subjects should be divided into tens, or tithings, every one of which severally should give bond for the good abearing of each other; and he who was of that dissolute behaviour, that he could not be admitted to these tithings, was forthwith conveyed to the house of correction. The most ancient of these men were called by a specialty the tithing men.

Verse 4

Psa 72:4 He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.

Ver. 4. He shall judge the poor of the people ] Indeed all, indifferently, without respect of persons; but a poor man’s tale shall be heard, and his cause judged, as well as a rich man’s. Under Christ’s government it shall be so howsoever; "I know thy poverty, but thou art rich," saith he, Revelation 3:9 . Amongst men, both in suits of love and of law, money maketh mastery; not so here.

And shall break in pieces the oppressor ] The tale berarer, saith the Greek; the slanderer, saith the Latin; the devil, say some. Over these he shall turn the wheel.

Verse 5

Psa 72:5 They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.

Ver. 5. They shall fear thee ] Who hast blessed them with so good a king; such as maketh it his main care to set up God, wherever he hath to do.

As long as the sun and moon endureth ] The Lacedemonians publicly professed, Quoad sol eodem itinere meabit, quo nunc meat, eo usque nunquam societatem cum Xerxe coibimus, While the sun shall hold on his course we will never make a league with Xerxes.

Verse 6

Psa 72:6 He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers [that] water the earth.

Ver. 6. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass ] That is, he shall be very dear to us, and much delighted in. See Job 29:23 , See Trapp on " Job 29:23 "

As showers that water the earth ] This is chiefly fulfilled in Christ, who, by raining down righteousness, maketh his Church to grow and flourish.

Verse 7

Psa 72:7 In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.

Ver. 7. In his days shall the righteous flourish ] As watered gardens, Jeremiah 31:12 , or as the willows by the water courses, Isaiah 44:4 , παντα καλως εσται .

And abundance of peace ] The work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effects of righteousness quietness, and assurance for ever, Isaiah 32:17 . Christ’s subjects have peace, peace, Isaiah 25:3 , a multiplied peace, a multiplied pardon, Isaiah 55:7 ; where sin aboundeth grace superaboundeth; neither can they commit more than God will remit unto them.

Verse 8

Psa 72:8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.

Ver. 8. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea ] Solomon shall, from the Mediterranean, in the west, to the Persian Sea, or Indian Ocean, in the east.

And from the river unto the ends of the earth ] i.e. From Euphrates, and the northern countries, to Egypt, and the uttermost parts of all Africa. This was a type of Christ’s universal dominion throughout the whole world, Zec 9:9 Psalms 110:1 .

Verse 9

Psa 72:9 They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.

Ver. 9. They that dwell in the wilderness ] Wild, barbarous, rude people; such as were the ancient Britons our progenitors, till Christ, the Sun of righteousness, shone upon them, till they were brought to the obedience of faith; Tunc enim sensim evanuit feritas, indies exulavit immanitas, corruit crudelitas, &c., for then it was otherwise (Bond in Horat.).

And his enemies shall lick the dust ] A ceremony much in use among the easterlings. Prostrati adorant honoratiorem, saith Herodotus of the Persians; they worship their betters, by falling to the ground before them; and how Tiridates, king of Parthians, worshipped Nero, is to be read in Dio Cassius. Christ’s foes shall all be made his footstool.

Verse 10

Psa 72:10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.

Ver. 10. The kings of Tarshish, and of the isles ] i.e. All the kings of the earth, which being encompassed with the ocean, is therefore by the old geographers called a great island. Judaea, though part of the continent, is called an isle, Isaiah 20:6 , because separated from other countries; with whom God would have his people to have as little to do as might be, that they might not be corrupted with foreign fashions. This was accomplished partly in Solomon; see 1 Kings 4:21 ; 1Ki 4:34 ; 1 Kings 10:25 ; perfectly it is, and shall be in Christ: De Solomone certum est, de Christo certius, saith Kimchi; all the kingdoms of the earth shall one day be his kingdoms; he shall be the universal Monarch, and he alone.

Verse 11

Psa 72:11 Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.

Ver. 11. Yea, all kings, &c. ] Of Christ this is and shall be verified without a hyperbole. Constantine, Valentinian, and Theodosius, three emperors, called themselves Christ’s vassals, as Socrates reporteth; Canutus set his crown upon the crucifix, &c.

Verse 12

Psa 72:12 For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and [him] that hath no helper.

Ver. 12. For he shall deliver the needy ] See on Psalms 72:4 . If the people complained of Solomon’s government, and cried out to his son Rehoboam, Alleva iugum, Ease our yoke laid upon us by thy father, it was out of a sinful discontent; αει γαρ το παρον Bαρυ , saith Thucydides, people seldom know when they are well, but are ever quarrelling at and complaining of the present govermnent; yea, even of Christ’s easy yoke and light burden, as if importable.

Verse 13

Psa 72:13 He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.

Ver. 13. He shall spare the poor and needy ] Hereby David showeth his son and all his successors, Qualis debeat esse rex bonus, what manner of man a king ought to be. Regiment without righteousness turneth into tyranny; it is but robbery with authority. O. Scipio Nasica for his good government was surnamed Optimus by the Senate, and had a house given him at the public charge, in Via Sacra, that the poor might repair to him.

Verse 14

Psa 72:14 He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.

Ver. 14. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence ] Those two noted engines of all mischief to the poor, viz. privy deceit (usury, the Septuagint and Vulgate render it) and open violence, επιβουλη και επιβολη , fraud and force, craft and cruelty.

And precious shall their blood be in his sight ] He shall be very tender of their lives, that they be not causelessly cast away, either in times of peace or war. Precious also in the sight of the Lord Christ is the death of his saints, his martyrs, Psalms 116:15 .

Verse 15

Psa 72:15 And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; [and] daily shall he be praised.

Ver. 15. And he shall live ] The king shall, according to the poor man’s prayer when relieved; or the poor shall, and the king shall give him gold brought from Sheba, or Arabia the Happy. Whereupon

Prayer shall be made, &c. ] By the poor for him, or through him (applying it to Christ), and for the increase of his kingdom, and for his coming.

Verse 16

Psa 72:16 There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and [they] of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.

Ver. 16. There shall be an handful of corn, &c. ] i.e. The barren mountains shall yield grain abundantly, and by handfuls; as Egypt did in those seven years of plenty, Genesis 41:47 .

The fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon ] The grain shall rattle and rustle, like the trees in Lebanon, shaken by the wind.

And they of the city shall flourish ] Men also shall increase and multiply, Jeremiah 31:27 , to a very great number, as piles of grass Christ’s subjects shall.

Verse 17

Psa 72:17 His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and [men] shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.

Ver. 17. His name shall endure for ever ] i.e. His kingdom, for it shall not be nomen inane. Other kingdoms have their times and their turns, their rise and their ruin; not so Christ’s, and this is great comfort.

His name shall be continued ] Filiabitur nomine eius, it shall be begotten as one generation is begotten of another. Heb. his name shall be childed; that is, so continued as families are continued; there shall be a constant succession of Christ’s name to the end of the world; there will still be Christians who are his children, Hebrews 2:13-14 . The old Hebrews tell us, that Jinnon (the Hebrew word here used) is one of Christ’s names.

And men shall be blessed in him ] Or, they shall bless themselves in him, viz. in Solomon, but especially in Christ, of whom Solomon was but a shadow.

All nations shall call him blessed ] If all generations shall call the mother of Christ blessed, Luke 1:48 , how much more Christ himself!

Verse 18

Psa 72:18 Blessed [be] the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.

Ver. 18. Blessed be the Lord God ] Sunt verba componentis; these are the words of the psalmist, say the Rabbis, blessing God, who had given Leiagneph choach, strength to him fainting to finish the second book of the Psalms, as he had done the first; or rather praising God for all the forementioned benefits by the Lord Christ, Sunt verba scribae, ut hodie, Aben Ezra, ex R. Jehudah.

Verse 19

Psa 72:19 And blessed [be] his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled [with] his glory; Amen, and Amen.

Ver. 19. And blessed be his glorious name ] Blessed and blessed; so unsatisfiable and unweariable are the saints in blessing God for a Christ; and surely God expecteth that with one mind and one mouth this should be done by all his, at all times, Romans 15:6 , and that they should say to Christ, as Judges 8:22 . Rule thou over us, for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian.

Amen, and Amen ] See Trapp on " Psa 41:13 "

Verse 20

Psa 72:20 The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

Ver. 20. The prayers of David are ended ] That is, this was his last prayer (in time, though not in order), and is therefore well to be considered. Or, so end the prayers that were both written and set in order by David; the rest seem to have been gathered together by Ezra, or some other holy man, after the return from Babylon.

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 72". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/psalms-72.html. 1865-1868.
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