Thy people are free-will gifts in the day of Thy strength, in the honours of holiness, From the womb, from the morning, Thou hast the dew of thy youth.
Psalm 110:3 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power - This verse has been wofully perverted. It has been supposed to point out the irresistible operation of the grace of God on the souls of the elect, thereby making them willing to receive Christ as their Savior. Now, whether this doctrine be true or false it is not in this text, nor can it receive the smallest countenance from it. There has been much spoken against the doctrine of what is called free will by persons who seem not to have understood the term. Will is a free principle. Free will is as absurd as bound will, it is not will if it be not free; and if it be bound it is no will. Volition is essential to the being of the soul, and to all rational and intellectual beings. This is the most essential discrimination between matter and spirit. Matter can have no choice; Spirit has. Ratiocination is essential to intellect; and from these volition is inseparable. God uniformly treats man as a free agent; and on this principle the whole of Divine revelation is constructed, as is also the doctrine of future rewards and punishments. If man be forced to believe, he believes not at all; it is the forcing power that believes, not the machine forced. If he be forced to obey, it is the forcing power that obeys; and he, as a machine, shows only the effect of this irresistible force. If man be incapable of willing good, and nilling evil, he is incapable of being saved as a rational being; and if he acts only under an overwhelming compulsion, he is as incapable of being damned. In short, this doctrine reduces him either to a punctum stans, which by the vis inertiae is incapable of being moved but as acted upon by foreign influence; or, as an intellectual being, to nonentity. "But if the text supports the doctrine laid upon it, vain are all these reasonings." Granted. Let us examine the text. The Hebrew words are the following: עמך נדבת ביום חילך ammecha nedaboth beyom cheylecha, which literally translated are, Thy princely people, or free people, in the day of thy power; and are thus paraphrased by the Chaldee: "Thy people, O house of Israel, who willingly labor in the law, thou shalt be helped by them in the day that thou goest to battle."
The Syriac has: "This praiseworthy people in the day of thy power."
The Vulgate: "With thee is the principle or origin (principium) in the day of thy power." And this is referred, by its interpreters, to the Godhead of Christ; and they illustrate it by John 1:1 : In principio erat Verbum, "In the beginning was the Word."
The Septuagint is the same; and they use the word as St. John has it in the Greek text: Μετα σου ἡ αρχη εν ἡμερᾳ της δυναμεως σου· "With thee is the Arche, or principle, in the day of thy power."
The Ethiopic is the same; and the Arabic nearly so, but rather more express: "The government, riasat, exists with thee in the day of thy power."
The Anglo-Saxon, "With thee the principle in day of thy greatness."
The old Psalter, With the begynnyngs in day of thi vertu. Which it thus paraphrases: "I, the fader begynnyng with the, begynnyng I and thou, an begynnyng of al thyng in day of thi vertu."
Coverdale thus: "In the day of thy power shal my people offre the free-will offeringes with a holy worship." So Tindal, Cardmarden, Beck, and the Liturgic Version.
The Bible printed by Barker, the king's printer, 4th. Lond. 1615, renders the whole verse thus: "Thy people shall come willingly at the time of assembling thine army in the holy beauty; the youth of thy womb shall be as the morning dew."
By the authors of the Universal History, vol. iii., p. 223, the whole passage is thus explained: "The Lord shall send the rod, or scepter, of thy power out of Sion," i.e., out of the tribe of Judah: compare Genesis 49:20, and Psalm 78:68. "Rule thou over thy free-will people;" for none, but such are fit to be Christ's subjects: see Matthew 11:29. "In the midst of thine enemies," Jews and heathens; or, in a spiritual sense, the world, the flesh, and the devil. "In the day of thy power," i.e., when all power shall be given him, both in heaven and earth; Matthew 28:18. "In the beauties of holiness," which is the peculiar characteristic of Christ's reign, and of his religion.
None of the ancient Versions, nor of our modern translations, give any sense to the words that countenances the doctrine above referred to; it merely expresses the character of the people who shall constitute the kingdom of Christ. נדב nadab signifies to be free, liberal, willing, noble; and especially liberality in bringing offerings to the Lord, Exodus 25:2; Exodus 35:21, Exodus 35:29. And נדיב nadib signifies a nobleman, a prince, Job 21:8; and also liberality. נדבה nedabah signifies a free-will offering - an offering made by superabundant gratitude; one not commanded: see Exodus 36:3; Leviticus 7:16, and elsewhere. Now the עם נדבות am nedaboth is the people of liberality - the princely, noble, and generous people; Christ's real subjects; his own children, who form his Church, and are the salt of the world; the bountiful people, who live only to get good from God that they may do good to man. Is there, has there ever been, any religion under heaven that has produced the liberality, the kindness, the charity, that characterize Christianity? Well may the followers of Christ be termed the am nedaboth - the cheerfully beneficent people. They hear his call, come freely, stay willingly, act nobly, live purely, and obey cheerfully.
The day of Christ's power is the time of the Gospel, the reign of the Holy Spirit in the souls of his people. Whenever and wherever the Gospel is preached in sincerity and purity, then and there is the day or time of Christ's power. It is the time of his exaltation. The days of his flesh were the days of his weakness; the time of his exaltation is the day of his power.
In the beauties of holiness - בהדרי קדש behadrey kodesh, "In the splendid garments of holiness." An allusion to the beautiful garments of the high priest. Whatever is intended or expressed by superb garments, they possess, in holiness of heart and life, indicative of their Divine birth, noble dispositions, courage, etc. Their garb is such as becomes the children of so great a King. Or, They shall appear on the mountains of holiness, bringing glad tidings to Zion.
From the womb of the morning - As the dew flows from the womb of the morning, so shall all the godly from thee. They are the dew of thy youth; they are the offspring of thy own nativity. As the human nature of our Lord was begotten by the creative energy of God in the womb of the Virgin; so the followers of God are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, but by the Divine Spirit.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Psalm 22:27,28 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before you...
Judges 5:2 Praise you the LORD for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves.
Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls.
Romans 11:2-6 God has not cast away his people which he foreknew. Know you not what the scripture said of Elias...
2 Corinthians 8:1-3,12,16 Moreover, brothers, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia...
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Hebrews 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ...
Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come on you: and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem...
Acts 2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost...
Acts 4:30-35 By stretching forth your hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of your holy child Jesus...
Acts 19:20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
2 Corinthians 13:4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him...
Galatians 1:15,16 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace...
Psalm 96:9 O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
Ezekiel 43:12 This is the law of the house; On the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold...
Ephesians 1:4 According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
1 Thessalonians 4:7 For God has not called us to uncleanness, but to holiness.
Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
from the womb, etc. or, more than the womb of the morning: thou shalt have, etc.
Acts 4:4 However, many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
Acts 21:20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said to him, You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe...
Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, see, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds...
Psalm 110:3 Parallel CommentariesAdornments Army Array Arrayed Battle Dawn Dew Freely Free-Will Gifts Gladly Holiness Holy Honours Host Lead Majesty Morning Mountains Offer Power Splendour Strength Themselves Troops Volunteer Warfare Willing Willingly Womb Young YouthAdornments Army Array Arrayed Battle Dawn Dew Freely Free-Will Gifts Gladly Holiness Holy Honours Host Lead Majesty Morning Mountains Offer Power Splendour Strength Themselves Troops Volunteer Warfare Willing Willingly Womb Young YouthTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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