Matthew Poole's Commentary
To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?THE ARGUMENT
That question mentioned Acts 8:34, is very proper here. Of whom speaketh the prophet this (Psalm)? of himself, or of some other man? It is confessed that David was a type of Christ, and that many Psalms, or passages of the Psalms, though properly and literally understood of David, yet had a further and mystical reference to Christ, in whom they were accomplished. But there are some other Psalms, or passages in the Psalms, as also some chapters or passages in other prophets, especially in Isaiah, who lived not very long after David, which either by those sacred penmen, or at least by the Holy Ghost inspiring them, which is one and the same thing, were directly, primarily, and immediately intended for, and areproperly and literally to be understood of, the Messias; though withal there may be some respect and allusion to the state of the penman himself, who being a type of Christ, it is not strange if there be many resemblances between them. And this seems to be the state of this Psalm, which is understood of the Messias by the Hebrew doctors themselves, and by Christ himself, and by his apostles, as we shall see. And there are many passages in it, which are most literally accomplished in him, and cannot in a tolerable sense be understood of any other, as we shall see in the particular verses. And therefore I doubt not that David, though he had an eye to his own condition in divers passages here used, yet was carried forth by the Spirit of prophecy beyond himself, and unto Christ, to whom alone it truly and fully agrees.
Aijeleth Shahar; or, the hind of the morning, to note that the person here designed was like a hind, comely and meek, and every way lovely, but withal persecuted by wicked men, and that oftentimes is in the morning, when she comes out of her lurking and lodging place, and when the hunters use to go abroad to their work. Or this was the title of some musical instrument, or tune, or song, which was usually sung in the morning.
The prophet, as a type of Christ, complaineth that God had forsaken him, Psalm 22:1, and heard not his prayers, Psalm 22:2. He showeth that he heard his fathers, and delivered them, Psalm 22:3-5; but owns himself a worm, Psalm 22:6, and the reproach of men, Psalm 22:7. He showeth the language of the enemy against him; yet his trust is in God, Psalm 22:8-21. He calleth all Israel to praise him, Psalm 22:22-25. He showeth the happiness of the meek, Psalm 22:26; and of all the Gentiles, Psalm 22:27-31.
My God; whom, notwithstanding thy forsaking me, I heartily love, and in whom I trust; who art my Friend and Father, though now thou frownest upon me.
My God; the repetition notes the depth of his distress, which made him cry so earnestly, and the strugglings of his faith with his fears and sorrows.
Why hast thou forsaken me, i.e. left me in the hands of malicious men, withdrawn the light of thy countenance, and the supports and comforts of thy Spirit from me, and filled me with the terrors of thy wrath, so that I am ready to sink under my burden? This was in part verified in David, but much more fully in Christ, who applies these words to himself, Matthew 27:46.
From the words of my roaring, i.e. from regarding, or pitying, or answering my strong prayers, and lamentable outcries, forced from me by my intolerable distresses and miseries.
O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.i.e. I continue praying day and night without intermission. Or thus, I have no silence, i.e. no quietness or rest, as this word signifies, Judges 18:9; in which respect also the sea and waves thereof are said to be silent, i.e. still and quiet, Psalm 107:29 Mark 4:39. And so this last clause answers to and expounds the former, thou hearest not, which is most usual in this book.
But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.Thou art holy, i. e just and true in all thy ways, and therefore hearing prayers, and keeping thy covenant; a true lover of holiness, and of all holy men. This he adds, either,
1. To aggravate his misery, that such a God should neglect and forsake him. Or rather,
2. To strengthen his faith, and to enforce his prayers, and prevail with God, for the honour of his holy name, to hear and help him.
That inhabitest the praises of Israel; either,
1. That dwellest in thy tabernacle and ark, which is called Israel’s glory, 1 Samuel 4:21, and the place where God was praised, Isaiah 64:11. Or,
2. That receivest and rightly possessest the praises of Israel, whom the people are perpetually praising for one mercy or another; and therefore I trust I also shall have occasion to praise thee. But because this Hebrew verb, when it is used transitively, and is taken for inhabiting, is generally, as far as I have observed, construed with a preposition, which here it is not, this verse may seem to be better rendered thus, as it is by divers learned men, But thou abidest, or perseverest, or continuest to be (as this verb is used, Psalm 9:7 55:19 102:12)
holy, ( notwithstanding thy present neglect of my prayers and miseries,) O the praises, or, O thou who art the praises, (or, and the praises, i.e. the great cause and object of the praises,) of Israel, i. e whom Israel solemnly and usually praised, Deu 10:21 Jeremiah 17:14.
Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.This he adds for the reasons mentioned in the first note, Psalm 22:3.
They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.i.e. Not disappointed of that for which they prayed and hoped.
But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.Our fathers were honoured by thee and by others, because of thy appearance for their defence and deliverance; but I am treated like a worm, i.e. neglected and despised, both by thee, who dost not afford me help, and by the men of my age and nation, as it follows. For the phrase, see Job 25:6 Isaiah 41:14.
Despised of the people; not only of the great men, but also of the common people; which doth not so truly agree to David (who, though he was hated and persecuted by Saul and his courtiers, was honoured and beloved by the body of the people) as to Christ: compare Isaiah 53:2,3.
All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,Laugh me to scorn; instead of pitying or helping, deride me, and insult over me; such is their inhumanity.
They shoot out the lip; they gape with their mouths, and put forth their tongues, in mockery. See Job 16:10 Isaiah 57:4.
They shake the head; another posture of scoffers. See Job 16:4 Psalm 44:14 Isaiah 37:22. This and the next verse are applied to Christ, Matthew 27:39,43.
Saying: this supplement is very usual, and here it is necessary, because the next words are the expressions of his insulting enemies.
He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.He trusted on the Lord; he rolled himself
upon the Lord; where they seem to scoff not only at the thing, but at the expression. Their sense is, He pretended that he did wholly lean, and rest himself, and cast his cares upon God, and quietly and confidently commit all his affairs to his providence, assuring himself of a happy issue from him.
That he would deliver him; or, without any supplement, let him deliver him, as it follows, though the Hebrew words be differing. And so the same thing is twice repeated, to show both the vehemency of their hatred, and their confidence of success against him. They thought his case desperate, and past all hope and remedy.
Seeing he delighted in him, as he useth to allege and boast, but how vainly the event now showeth.
But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.This is noted as an effect of God’s wonderful and gracious providence. And although this be a mercy which God grants to all mankind, yet it may well be alleged here, partly in way of gratitude for this great, though common, mercy; nething being more reasonable and usual than for David and other holy men to praise God for such blessings; and partly as an argument to encourage himself to expect and to prevail with God, to grant him the deliverance which now he desires, because he had formerly delivered him; this being a very common argument: see 1 Samuel 17:37 2 Corinthians 1:10. But this is applicable to Christ in a singular manner, not as a late learned writer takes it, that God separated him from the womb, but that God did bring him out (as the word properly signifies)
of the womb, to wit, immediately and by himself, and without the help of any man, by the miraculous operation of the Holy Ghost, which made him there, or else he could never have been brought thence.
Thou didst make me hope, or trust, i.e. thou didst give me sufficient ground for hope and trust, if I had then been capable of acting that grace, because of thy wonderful and watchful care over me in that weak and helpless state; which was eminently true of Christ, whom God so miraculously preserved and provided for in his infancy; the history whereof we read Mt 2. It is not strange that hope is figuratively ascribed to infants, seeing even the brute creatures are said to hope, Romans 8:20, and to wait and cry to God, Psalm 145:15 147:9.
When I was upon my mother’s breasts, i.e. when I was a sucking child; which may be properly understood.
I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.I was like one forsaken by his parent, and cast wholly upon thy providence. I had no father upon earth, and my mother was poor and helpless.
Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.Be not far from me, to wit, as to affection and succour.
Trouble is near at hand, and ready to swallow me up; and therefore if thou dost not speedily deliver me, it will be too late; which is an argument that David oft useth, as Psalm 6:5 88:11, &c.
There is none to help; thy help therefore will be the more seasonable, because it is most hecessary, and thou wilt have the more of glory by it, because it will appear that it is thy work alone.
Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.Bulls; wicked, and violent, and potent enemies; for such are so called, Ezekiel 39:18 Amos 4:1.
Strong bulls of Bashan, i.e. fat and lusty, as the cattle there bred were, Deu 3:13 32:14, and therefore fierce and furious.
They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.Partly to affright me, and principally to tear and devour me, as the following metaphor explains it. Otherwise it might be understood of their crying out with loud and earnest voices, that he might be condemned and put to death.
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.I am poured out like water; my heart faileth, my spirits are spent and gone like water, which once spilt can never be recovered; my very flesh is melted within me, and I am become as weak as water. See the like phrase Joshua 7:5, and compare 2 Samuel 14:14 Job 14:11.
All my bones are out of joint; I am as weak and unable to move or help myself, and withal as full of torment, as if I were upon a rack, and all my bones were disjointed. Or, all my bones are separated, one from another; as they were in some sort in Christ, by the stretching of his body upon the cross.
My heart; the seat of life, and fountain which supplies spirits and vigour to the whole body.
Is like wax; melted, as it follows, through fear and overwhelming grief: compare Psalm 68:2 97:5.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.I have in a manner no more radical moisture left in me than is in a dry potsherd.
My tongue eleaveth to my jaws, through that excessive thirst and drought. See John 19:20.
Thou hast brought me into the dust of death; partly by thy providence delivering me into the power of mine enemies, and partly by thy terrors in my mind and soul.
For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.He calls his enemies
dogs for their vileness and filthiness, for their insatiable greediness and implacable fury and fierceness against him. He explains what he means by dogs, even wicked men, who are oft so called, not some few of them singly, but the whole company or congregation of them; whereby may be noted either their great numbers, or their consulting and conspiring together, as it were, in a lawful assembly; which was most literally and eminently fulfilled in Christ.
They pierced my hands and my feet: these words cannot with any probability be applied to David, nor to the attempts of his enemies upon him; for their design was not to torment his hands or feet, but to take away his life. And if it be pretended that it is to be understood of him in a metaphorical sense, it must be considered, that it is so uncouth and unusual a metaphor, that those who are of this mind cannot produce any one example of this metaphor, either in Scripture or in other authors; nor are they able to make any tolerable sense of it, but are forced to wrest and strain the words. But what need is there of such forced metaphors, when this was most properly and literally verified in Christ, whose hands and feet were really pierced and nailed to the cross, according to the manner of the Roman crucifixions, to whom therefore this is applied in the New Testament. See Matthew 27:35 Mark 15:24 Luke 23:33 John 19:18,23,37.
I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.I may tell all my bones; partly through my leanness, caused by excessive grief, which is much more credible of Christ than of David; and partly by my being stretched out upon the cross.
They look and stare upon me, to wit, with delight and complacency in my calamities, as this phrase is used, Psalm 35:21 37:34 54:7 59:10 Obadiah 1:12. Compare Luke 23:35.
They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.This also cannot be applied to David without an uncouth and strained metaphor, but was literally fulfilled in Christ, Matthew 27:35 John 19:24.
But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.No text from Poole on this verse.
Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.From the sword, i.e. from the rage and violence of mine enemies, as the next clause explains it, and as the sword is oft taken in Scripture. See Jeremiah 25:16,27,29 Eze 38:21.
My darling, Heb. my one, or only one, to wit, his soul, as he now said; which he so calls, either because it was very dear to him; or rather, because it was left alone, and destitute of friends and helpers; for so this word is used, Psalm 25:16 35:17.
From the power, Heb. the hand; which is oft put for power, and in that sense is ascribed to a flame, Isaiah 47:14, and to evil, Habakkuk 2:9.
Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.The lion; either the devil, that raging and roaring lion, who did many ways assault and annoy him; or his lionlike enemies.
Heard me, i.e. answered and delivered me.
Unicorn; a strong, and fierce, and untamable wild beast; though the learned are not agreed about the kind of it. See of it Deu 33:17 Job 39:9,10 Psa 92:10 Isaiah 34:7, and my Latin Synopsis on Numbers 23:22. For it is not worth while to trouble the unlearned reader with such disputes.
I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.I will declare, i.e. publish or celebrate it; when thou hast delivered me, thou shalt have the glory of it, as now thy honouris eclipsed by my calamities.
Thy name, i.e. that power, and faithfulness, and goodness, and those perfections which thou hast manifested on my behalf.
My brethren; the same whom he calls the congregation in the next clause, and the seed of Jacob and Israel in the next verse; which also doth not so fitly agree to David, who never to my remembrance gives this title to any but such as were near akin to him, as it doth to Christ, who extendeth this name to all his disciples and believers, Matthew 12:48,49 25:40 28:10, and to whom this very text is applied, Hebrews 2:11,12. Not only privately, but even in the public congregation.
Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.Praise him; partly for my sake, and chiefly for your own benefit received by my deliverance.
All ye the seed of Israel: the two universal particles seem to intimate that he speaks not only of the carnal, but also of the spiritual seed; which also is more than probable, by comparing this with Psalm 22:27,28.
For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.He hath not despised: I was despised by the people, Psalm 22:6, but not by God.
Nor abhorred, i.e. he did not turn away his face from it, as men do from things which they abhor, but looked upon it with compassion.
Neither hath he hid his face from him, to wit, for ever; for he did so for a time; but now, saith he, he hath lift up upon me the light of his countenance.
My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.In the great congregation; either in the general assemblies of the Israelites at their solemn feasts; or in the universal church, made up of Jews and Gentiles, as the following verses explain it.
My vows, i.e. those praises and services which in my distress I vowed to return unto thee when thou didst deliver me.
The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.The meek, i.e. faithful or godly persons, who are frequently called meek ones, as Psalm 25:9 76:9 149:4 Isaiah 11:4 61:1 Zephaniah 2:3, because the grace of God doth soften and sweeten the hearts of sinners, and subdues their pride, and passion, and rebellion against God, and their fierceness towards men. Or, the poor, as this word is oft rendered; which seems well to suit this place, partly, because these are opposed to the fat ones upon earth, Psalm 22:29; partly, because the following eating and satisfaction may seem most proper and acceptable to such as were in want; partly, because here is an allusion to the legal feasts, made of the remainders of the sacrifices, in which the poor had a share; and partly, because this well agrees to the time of Christ’s coming, when the body of the Jewish nation were a poor and afflicted people, and the poor especially did receive the gospel, Matthew 11:5.
Eat and be satisfied; which is mentioned as a great blessing, Joel 2:26, as it is threatened as a grievous curse that men should eat and not be satisfied, Leviticus 26:26 Micah 6:14. But because it was comparatively a poor and mean thing to have one’s belly filled and satisfied with that food which perisheth and passeth away presently after it is received, this magnificent promise is doubtless to be understood spiritually, of those spiritual blessings, that grace, and peace, and comfort, and full satisfaction, which all believing and pious souls have in the sense of God’s love, and the pardon of their sins, and in the influences of God’s Spirit into their souls. That seek him; that seek his favour; or that inquire after him, and labour to know and discern him; wherein possibly the Spirit of God may intimate to us the necessity of seeking, and the difficulty of finding or discovering God, when he shall appear in the flesh, and in the form of a servant; which was likely to hide him from the eyes of the carnal and careless Jews, and not to be discerned but by those that were studious and inquisitive concerning the mind of God revealed in the Scriptures concerning that matter.
Your heart, i.e. their; for he speaks of the same persons still, though there be a change from the third to the second person, as is usual in these poetical and prophetical books of Scripture.
Shall live, i.e. shall be greafiy refreshed and comforted; life being oft put for a happy and comfortable life, as 1 Kings 1:25 Psalm 34:12; in which respect Jacob’s heart or spirit is said to have revived, Genesis 45:27; as, on the contrary, Nabal’s heart was said to have died within him, 1 Samuel 25:37, when it was oppressed with great sadness.
For ever; your comfort shall not be short and transitory, as worldly comforts are, but everlasting.
All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.All the ends of the world, i.e. all nations, from one end of the world to the other. So this is an evident prophecy of the calling of the Gentilesto the knowledge of God and Christ by thy gospel, and consequently a clear proof that this Psalm doth directly and immediately speak of Christ; to whom alone, and not to David, this and divers other passages of it do manifestly belong.
Shall remember: it is not particularly expressed what they should remember, because there were several things that should and would be remembered by them, which were likely to occasion their turning to the Lord. They shall remember their former and manifold wickedness with grief, and shame, and fear; and particularly their sin and folly in worshipping dead and impotent idols that never did nor could do them either good or hurt. They shall remember that God who did make lively impressions upon their minds, which yet they had in great measure blotted out and forgotten, but now by the preaching of the gospel they shall be revived. They shall remember their great and manifold obligations to God, which they had quite forgotten; his patience and goodness in sparing them so long in the midst of all their impieties, and in revealing his gospel to them, and giving his Son for them. They shall remember the gracious words and glorious works of Christ, and what he did and suffered for them; which possibly divers of them had been eye and ear witnesses of in Judea, (although, with the unbelieving Jews, they despised and misconstrued them,) and others had heard the fame and tidings of them.
Unto the Lord; unto the only true God, and unto Jesus Christ, to whom this name of Jehovah is ofttimes ascribed in Scripture.
All the kindreds, Heb. all the families; which is not to be understood strictly of every particular person and family, but of all sorts and of great numbers of them; as such universal phrases are very frequently taken in Scripture.
For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations.This is added as a reason why the Gentiles should be converted, because God is not only the God and Lord of the Jews, but also of the Gentiles, and of all nations, Romans 3:29,30. And therefore though for a time he thought fit to confine his kingdom to Israel, yet he had resolved in due time to enlarge his kingdom, and to set up his throne and government in the Gentile world, which were no less created and redeemed by him than the Jews. Compare Zechariah 13:2 14:9.
All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.All, i.e. many of them, as the word all is oft used, as Psalm 72:11 Matthew 3:5 17:11 Luke 6:26 John 3:26 2 Timothy 3:9.
They that be fat upon earth, i.e. kings and princes, and the great men of the world, who are oft described by this metaphor, as Psalm 78:31 Isaiah 10:16; compare Job 15:27 Psalm 17:10 73:7; whose conversion to Christ is also foretold in other places, as Psalm 45:12 72:10,11 Isa 60:3,5,10 1 Timothy 2:1,2 Kings 21:24. These are opposed to the poor and miserable part of the world, of whom he speaks in the next words, as also Psalm 22:26, where see the first note. So the sense of the place is, that both poor and rich should embrace the gospel. But the Syriac interpreter renders these words otherwise, the hungry of the earth. And another, to the same purpose, those that are turned to ashes (for which I should rather say, they that lie down in ashes, which is a usual description of poor, afflicted, and humbled persons) on the ground; for the first Hebrew word, rendered fat, with the change but of one point, signifies ashes.
Shall eat, and be satisfied, as it was more fully expressed, Psalm 22:26; shall feed upon the Bread of life, Christ and all his benefits.
And worship: this is added to explain the word, and to show what kind of eating he spoke of not of a carnal, but of a spiritual feast.
They that go down to the dust; they that languish and draw nigh to death, through poverty, or misery, or anguish of mind and conscience; for such are oft said to go down into or to sit in the dust, as Job 30:19 Psalm 44:25 113:7 Isaiah 29:4 47:1. These may be opposed to the fat ones mentioned in the first clause of the verse. None can keep alive his own soul: this may seem to be a further description of the same persons, and an aggravation of their miserable condition, from this circumstance, that it was not in their power to help themselves; their soul was going down to the dust, as he said in the last foregoing clause, and now he adds that none of them could stop it, or keep himself alive; so that their case was wholly desperate as to themselves; and this drove them out of themselves to seek relief from God, and to receive Jesus Christ and the gospel of salvation gladly. Heb. and he who (the pronoun relative being here understood, as it is in very many places) doth not or cannot quicken or enliven his own soul, i.e. himself, as the soul is oft taken; and quickening may be put either for nourishing, as Isaiah 7:21, or for comforting, as here, Psalm 22:26, or preserving life, whether temporal or spiritual and eternal, as Genesis 19:19 Ezekiel 13:19 18:27. But these words are and may be rendered otherwise, and that very agreeably to the Hebrew text, and the scope of the place. Having said that all nations should
bow before him, i.e. before Christ and unto Christ, whom they should own as their Lord and Saviour, he now adds these words, either,
1. As a reason why they did receive him, or believe in him, because (for so the particle vau is frequently rendered, as 1 Kings 1:21 18:3,4 Psa 60:12 Isaiah 16:2 64:5, and oft elsewhere) he did not keep alive his own soul, as he could easily have done, by his Divine power, in spite of all that his enemies could do, but freely gave himself to death for them. Because he laid down his life for sinners, which the Father had commanded him, and he had promised to do, therefore God loved him, John 10:17,18, and glorified him, and performed his promise made to him upon that condition, that if he did make his soul an offering for sin, he should see his seed, &c., Isaiah 53:10. Or,
2. As an amplification or commendation of the faith of the Gentiles in coming and bowing to Christ, although (for so also the Hebrew vau is often used, as Psalm 99:8 Proverbs 26:24 Ecclesiastes 9:16) he did not keep alive his own soul, but laid down his own life, and suffered himself to be killed by wicked men; which was one principal reason why the Jews would not believe on him, as is noted, Matthew 27:40,42,43, and therefore was a just commendation to the Gentiles, that, notwithstanding this great stumbling-block, believed on him. But this I propose with submission. Only it may be observed that this last clause of the verse in the Hebrew is in the singular number, and therefore more likely to belong to him, immediately going before it, which is of the same number, than to the other preceding clauses, which are all expressed in the plural number. And though I know enallage of numbers be very usual, yet they are not to be supposed without necessity.
A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.Christ shall not want a seed or posterity, Hebrews 2:13; for though the Jewish nation should generally reject and forsake him, which may seem to be here implied, Christ shall have many disciples or followers, and the Gentiles shall come in their stead. Compare this promise with that, he shall see his seed, Isaiah 53:10. Or, their
seed, i.e. the seed of the Gentile worshippers last mentioned. Christian religion shall not be the business of one age, but, as the Gentiles shall believe in Christ, so shall their posterity in succeeding generations; this being God’s usual method, to take children into covenant with their parents, of which see Deu 10:15 30:19 Psalm 69:36 Isaiah 43:5 44:3. And as when the Jews refused Christ, their children were cast out of the covenant with them; so when the Gentiles embraced the gospel covenant, their children were admitted with them.
It shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation; that believing seed shall be reputed, both by God and men, the generation, or children, or people of the Lord, as the Jews formerly were. But upon the Jews’ contempt of Christ and the gospel, the Gentiles shall come in their stead, and enjoy their titles and privileges. Compare this place with Psalm 87:5.
They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.They; either the converts and worshippers, ver. Psalm 22:27,29; or their seed last mentioned, Psalm 22:30. Or this may be indefinitely spoken, as such verbs are oft used,
they shall come, i.e. some or other shall come, and do the work here mentioned, to wit, the apostles and ministers of the gospel. Shall come, to wit, from Judea and Jerusalem (from whence the gospel was first to go forth) to the Gentile world, to the several parts whereof the apostles went upon this errand.
His righteousness; God’s righteousness; either,
1. His wonderful grace and mercy to mankind, in giving them Christ and the gospel; for righteousness is oft put for mercy or kindness, as hath been noted again and again. Or,
2. That righteousness which God hath appointed for the justification of sinners, called the righteousness of faith, Romans 3:21,22 Php 3:9, which the Jews were ignorant of, and would not submit to, Romans 10:3, but the Gentiles joyfully embraced. Or,
3. His truth or faithfulness, (which is very frequently and fitly called righteousness,) in the performance of those exceeding great and precious promises made and recorded in the Old Testament, and especially those two concerning the sending of the Messias, and concerning the calling of the Gentiles.
That shall be born; either,
1. Spiritually, i.e. born again; for regeneration is oft called a birth; as Psalm 87:4,5 Joh 1:13 1 Peter 1:23, and a creation, Psalm 102:18. Or rather,
2. Naturally, i.e. unto succeeding generations; whereby David gives us a key to understand this Psalm, and teacheth us that he speaks not here of himself, or of the occurrences of his times, but of things which were to be done in after-ages, even of the spreading of the gospel among the Gentiles, in the time of the New Testament.
That he hath done this, i.e. they shall declare that this is the work of God, and not of man, and carried on by his only power in the world, against all the wit and force of men. Or rather, because (this being added as a proof or demonstration of that righteousness of God now mentioned) he (i.e. the Lord, plainly understood here, and expressed in the foregoing verse) hath done or wrought it, to wit, his righteousness; i.e. he hath executed with his hand what he spake with his mouth; he hath demonstrated the truth of his promises by his actions, and by the accomplishment of them.