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A prayer for the enlargement of God's kingdom, to the joy of the people, and to the increase of God's blessings.
To the chief musician on Neginoth, A Psalm or Song.
Title. שׁיר מזמור בנגינת למנצח lamnatseach bingiinoth mizmor shiir.— We read, 2Sa 6:17-18 that when David had brought the ark to Jerusalem, he offered, burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, as promised in the foregoing psalm, Psalms 66:13. And as soon as he had offered them, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord: i.e. as Bishop Patrick supposes, he pronounced this psalm, wherein he manifestly imitates that form of blessing which the priests were appointed to use on solemn occasions, Numbers 6:24; Numbers 6:27. See Psalms 4:6.
Psalms 67:2. That thy way may be known— That is, that all the world may be sensible of the truth of the Jewish religion; and expect no blessing, but from the supreme God of the Jews. Thy saving health, or salvation, refers to the glad tidings of salvation through Christ. The Syriac version, in its preface to this psalm, says, "It gives us a prophesy of the calling of the Gentiles, and the preaching of the Apostles." Theodoret thinks the same.
Psalms 67:4. Thou shalt judge— i.e. "Thou shalt hereafter govern them by righteous and good laws, who were before under the government of Satan, and had nothing to guide them but some few laws and tendencies of nature, or some precepts of an old tradition which are now almost obliterated." The word תנחם tanchem, rendered govern, in the original, signifies, in a comprehensive latitude, all acts of conduct, as of a shepherd towards his sheep, leading them into their pasture; and so of God, leading and directing men into those courses which are most eminently profitable for them; of a general towards his soldiers, marshalling them and going before them, and so animating them in fighting against their enemies; and of a king, ruling and ordering his subjects, as God doth those who sincerely submit themselves to him: all which the word lead or conduct may contain in it; and that will be the fitter, because the more literal, and therefore more comprehensive rendering, and to be preferred to that of governing.
Psalms 67:6. Then shall the earth yield her increase— Or, as the words may be better rendered, according to the ancient versions, The earth hath yielded, or given her fruits. This is an argument to enforce the universal confession, acknowledgment, and service of God, Psalms 67:5. St. Paul uses the same argument to the heathens, Acts 14:17. The 7th verse would be best rendered in the form of a benediction, like the first verse: God bless us, even our God, i.e. "Confer still further and greater blessings upon us at the coming of the Messiah."
REFLECTIONS.—David, as a lively member of the church of God, pours forth his prayers to him for its prosperity, and that desirable event, the conversion of the Gentile world.
1. He prays in particular for the church of God. God be merciful unto us, and forgive and pardon us, as sinners ever need to pray, and bless us; which comprehends all we can ask or think, and God sees useful for us: and cause his face to shine upon us; comforting our souls and cheering us, causing the sun of righteousness to arise with healing in his wings; and these are requests which every faithful believer will never cease to offer for himself and his brethren.
2. He prays for a diffusion of gospel light and grace throughout the world, that all nations might know the saving health revealed in Jesus Christ, and the way of justification through his blood and merits, and of sanctification by his Spirit.
3. That in consequence thereof they might be led to praise God, as for the light and truth dispensed, so for the protection and grace promised. For thou shalt judge righteously, vindicating thy believing people from every charge laid against them, and saving them from every enemy; and govern the nations upon earth, who shall be happy under thy safe and gentle sway. Note; (1.) The service of Christ is the perfect freedom and happiness of his people. (2.) The faithful shall have cause to all eternity to bless the day when first their neck was bowed to his easy yoke.
4. Great, he foresees, will be the increase of the church, under the divine blessing, by the preaching of the gospel. The earth, the various nations of it, shall yield a plenteous harvest of converted souls; and God for ever bless his faithful people, putting his fear into their hearts; and be their everlasting confidence and joy. Note; (1.) When we can say God is our God, we may confidently add, he will bless us. (2.) They who are interested in his love, have the increase of earth, and every creature-comfort, heightened by a sweet savour of Christ in them.
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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 67". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13