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Bible Commentaries

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Psalms 90

Verse 1

Dwelling place - Although we and our fathers, for some generations, have had no fixed habitation, yet thou hast been instead of a dwelling - place to us, by thy watchful and gracious providence. And this intimates that all the following miseries were not to be imputed to God but themselves.

Verse 2

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Thou — Thou hadst thy power, and all thy perfections, from all eternity.

Verse 3

Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.

Turnedst — But as for man, his case is far otherwise, though he was made by thee happy. and immortal, yet for his sin thou didst make him mortal and miserable.

Saidst — Didst pronounce that sad sentence, return, O men, to the dust out of which ye were taken, Genesis 3:19.

Verse 4

For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

Past — Indeed time seems long when it is to come, but when it is past, very short and contemptible.

A watch — Which lasted but three or four hours.

Verse 5

Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.

Them — Mankind.

Away — Universally, without exception or distinction.

A sleep — Short and vain, as sleep is, and not minded 'till it be past.

Verse 7

For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.

Are consumed — Thou dost not suffer us to live so long as we might by the course of nature.

Verse 8

Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.

Hast set — Thou dost observe them, as a righteous judge, and art calling us to an account for them.

Secret sins — Which though hid from the eyes of men, thou hast brought to light by thy judgments.

Verse 10

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

Our years — Of the generality of mankind, in that and all following ages, some few persons excepted.

Flee — We do not now go to death, as we do from our very birth, but flee swiftly away like a bird, as this word signifies.

Verse 11

Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.

Thy fear — According to the fear of thee; according to that fear which sinful men have of a just God.

So — It bears full proportion to it, nay indeed doth far exceed it.

Verse 12

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Teach us — To consider the shortness of life, and the certainty and speediness of death.

That — That we may heartily devote ourselves to true wisdom.

Verse 13

Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.

Return — To us in mercy.

How long — Will it be before thou return to us? Repent thee - Of thy severe proceedings against us.

Verse 14

O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

Early — Speedily.

Verse 17

And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

The beauty — His gracious influence, and glorious presence.

In us — Do not only work for us, but in us,

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 90". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". 1765.