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Psalms 84:1 « To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm for the sons of Korah. » How amiable [are] thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!
A Psalm ] Or the same subject with the forty-second, and made when David was banished, either by Saul or Absalom, or else when busied abroad in his wars, 2 Samuel 8:1-14 , and so debarred from the use of God’s public ordinances.
Ver. 1. How amiable are thy tabernacles ] viz. For thy word’s sake that is there preached, and thy worship there performed. The Protestants at Lyons, in France, called their place for public meeting to serve God Paradise. Chrysostom calleth it the place of angels and archangels, the kingdom of God, yea, heaven itself (Hom. 36, ad 1Co 14:1-40 ). Another calleth it, The heavenly exchange between God and his people; they present duty, he confers mercy. Luther saith he would not live in paradise without the ordinances; as with them he could frame to live in hell itself: and a small village with a godly pastor, and a good people in it, is an earthly paradise, saith he. If that Italian martyr could date his letter, From the delectable orchard of the Leonine prison, what may we think of the free use of the ordinances? what of heaven? nam facile litera transfertur ad Spiritum.
Psa 84:2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.
Ver. 2. My soul longeth ] As she did who said, Give me children or else I die. His soul once longed for the waters of the well of Bethlehem, but not so earnestly as now to draw waters with joy out of those wells of salvation.
My heart and my flesh ] Ut sit sanctitas in corde, et sanitas in corpore. And for obtaining of this, whole David crieth aloud, as a child when hungry crieth every whit of him, hands feet, face, all cry; and then the mother flings by all, then she flies and outruns herself; so here: The desires of the righteous shall be satisfied, Proverbs 10:24 .
Psa 84:3 Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, [even] thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.
Ver. 3. Yea, the sparrow ] Avis communissima, haunteth about houses, buildeth about windows, and there chirpeth.
And the swallow a nest for herself, &c. ] She hath her name in Hebrew from her liberty to fly boldly, and to nestle in men’s chimneys, Proverbs 26:2 . The Hebrew word קן , for a nest, hath the first letter larger than the rest, to note God’s providence in teaching birds to build. Hebrew Text Note
Even thine altars ] Or, Oh thine altars! (so some read it) by a passionate exclamation, importing strongest desires after them. The want of God’s ordinances should pinch us to the heart.
Psa 84:4 Blessed [are] they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.
Ver. 4. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house ] viz. Those menial servants of thine, the priests and Levites, who have their lodgings near thee, and their employment about thee, Exclamatio pathetica ex abrupto (Trem.). This is still the happiness of God’s ministers, whose holy function and calling (both in the preparation to it and execution of it) Ieadeth them to God, and holdeth them with him.
They will be still praising thee ] As having hearts full of heaven and consciences full of comfort. There cannot but be music in the temple of the Holy Ghost.
Psa 84:5 Blessed [is] the man whose strength [is] in thee; in whose heart [are] the ways [of them].
Ver. 5. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee ] i.e. Who is enabled by thee, both in body and mind, to come from the place of his abode to the solemn feasts.
In whose heart are the ways of them ] Here the old translation, In whose heart are thy ways, is far better, i.e. As he bringeth his body to the ordinances, so he hath thy ways or laws engraven in his heart.
Psalms 84:6 [Who] passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.
Ver. 6. Who passing through the valley of Baca ] εν τη κοιλαδι του κλαυθμωνος (Sept.). That is, of tears, say some; of mulberry trees, say others; the one are moist, the other use to grow in more dry places. Between them both they may serve, saith one, to make up a more complete emblem of this miserable world, made up of woes and wants. In hoc exilio, saith Bernard, in hoc ergastulo, in hac peregrinatione, in hac valle lachrymarum, &c.
Make it a well ] They are as cheerful in their travel to God’s house as if they had plenty of water all the way. Finis edulcat media, the joy of the Lord is their strength, whereby they are carried on an end, as they say, to their journey’s end, the joyful preconceit of appearing before God in Zion allaying their great thirst.
Psa 84:7 They go from strength to strength, [every one of them] in Zion appeareth before God.
Ver. 7. They go from strength to strength ] i.e. Lustily and constantly, turma turmae subinde sese adiungente, one company coming this way, and another that, out of their several parishes, and so they grow stronger, and go more comfortably on together, Pergunt turmatini (Beza). Some render it, de doctrina in doctrinam, vel de academia in academiam; they grow till they come to a perfect knowledge of God.
Every one of them in Zion appeareth before God ] And then think their pains, though never so great, well bestowed, though then they saw God’s face but obscurely, in the dark glass of the ceremonies. Popish pilgrims, though used hardly, and lose much of their estates, yet satisfy themselves in this, I have that I came for, viz. the sight of a dumb idol. What, then, should not we suffer to see God in his ordinances? &c.
Psa 84:8 O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.
Ver. 8. O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer ] Satisfy my yearnings, pantings, and inquietations of mind after the liberty of thy sanctuary, Psalms 84:2 . These very desires he calleth prayers.
Psa 84:9 Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.
Ver. 9. Behold ] Not only hear, Psalms 34:15 , with the note.
Look upon the face of thine anointed ] Christi, cuius festina adventum, saith Kimchi; do me good for Christ’s sake.
Psa 84:10 For a day in thy courts [is] better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
Ver. 10. For a day in thy courts ] Every flower hath its sweetness; so hath every holy duty its comfort.
I had rather be a doorkeeper ] As the Korites were, to whom this psalm was committed; and for whose encouragement this might be spoken. A doorkeeper is first in, last out; so would David be in holy assemblies. Tardy hearers would be loth to beg this office out of his hand.
In the tents of wickedness ] Tentoriis vexationis, Kimchi.
Psa 84:11 For the LORD God [is] a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good [thing] will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
Ver. 11. For the Lord God is a sun and shield ] A universal, all-sufficient, and satisfactory good, proportionate to our necessities.
The Lord will give grace and glory ] One would think that were enough, yea, but then here is more than enough, "No good thing will he withhold," &c., and thence is David’s desire so to be about him.
Psa 84:12 O LORD of hosts, blessed [is] the man that trusteth in thee.
Ver. 12. O Lord of hosts, &c. ] Conclusio Epiphonematica.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 84". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13