|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
78:56-72 After the Israelites were settled in Canaan, the children were like their fathers. God gave them his testimonies, but they turned back. Presumptuous sins render even Israelites hateful to God's holiness, and exposed to his justice. Those whom the Lord forsakes become an easy prey to the destroyer. And sooner or later, God will disgrace his enemies. He set a good government over his people; a monarch after his own heart. With good reason does the psalmist make this finishing, crowning instance of God's favour to Israel; for David was a type of Christ, the great and good Shepherd, who was humbled first, and then exalted; and of whom it was foretold, that he should be filled with the Spirit of wisdom and understanding. On the uprightness of his heart, and the skilfulness of his hands, all his subjects may rely; and of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end. Every trial of human nature hitherto, confirms the testimony of Scripture, that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, and nothing but being created anew by the Holy Ghost can cure the ungodliness of any.
Verse 69. - And he built his sanctuary like high palaces; rather, like the heights. The "heights of heaven" (Job 11:8; Job 22:12) are probably meant. Like the earth which he hath established forever; i.e. lofty as heaven, stable and firmly fixed as earth. The ultimate fate of the sanctuary is mercifully hidden from the psalmist.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he built his sanctuary like high palaces,.... The temple at Jerusalem, called a sanctuary, or holy place, because separated and dedicated to holy use and service; where the holy God had his residence, and was worshipped, and was a figure of the holy place not made with hands: this is said to be built by the Lord, because the materials provided for it, and which David and his people so willingly offered, were his own; "of his own" they gave him; as well as the pattern after which it was made was had from the Spirit of God; and it was the Lord that put it into the heart of David to set such a work afoot, and encouraged Solomon to begin and finish it, and gave wisdom, health, and strength, to the workmen to accomplish it; and in reference to this are the words in Psalm 127:1, "except the Lord build the house", &c. and this he built not like the "high places", where idolatry was committed; the temple was not built in imitation of them; but like what high and eminent men, like such buildings as: they erect; like stately palaces, so Aben Ezra and Kimchi, built for kings and great personages; and such a building was the temple, the most magnificent in all the world, as built by Solomon, and even as rebuilt by Zerubbabel, and repaired by Herod; see Mark 13:1 or it was built "on high", as the Syriac version, on a high hill, Mount Moriah: the Targum is,
"as the horn of the unicorn;''
and so the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions. Jarchi interprets it as the high heavens, of which it was a figure; it was like them for magnificence and glory, and like the earth for stability, as follows:
like the earth, which he hath established for ever; as to the substance of it; though as to the qualities of it, it will be done away, and a new one arise; otherwise it will abide for ever, Ecclesiastes 1:4, this respects the continuance of the temple during the Jewish dispensation, when the Gospel temple, or Gospel church, should take place, which will continue to the end of the world: this is opposed to the frequent moves of the tabernacle and ark before the temple was built, when there was no abiding habitation provided for it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
69. Exalted as—
high palaces—or, "mountains," and abiding as—the earth.
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