Psalm 144:13
That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets:
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(13) All manner of store.—See margin, all kinds of corn.

Thousands and ten thousands.—Literally, thousands multiplied.

Streets.—Rather, outplaces, i.e., pastures, fields, as in Job 5:10 (where see margin).

144:9-15 Fresh favours call for fresh returns of thanks; we must praise God for the mercies we hope for by his promise, as well as those we have received by his providence. To be saved from the hurtful sword, or from wasting sickness, without deliverance from the dominion of sin and the wrath to come, is but a small advantage. The public prosperity David desired for his people, is stated. It adds much to the comfort and happiness of parents in this world, to see their children likely to do well. To see them as plants, not as weeds, not as thorns; to see them as plants growing, not withered and blasted; to see them likely to bring forth fruit unto God in their day; to see them in their youth growing strong in the Spirit. Plenty is to be desired, that we may be thankful to God, generous to our friends, and charitable to the poor; otherwise, what profit is it to have our garners full? Also, uninterrupted peace. War brings abundance of mischiefs, whether it be to attack others or to defend ourselves. And in proportion as we do not adhere to the worship and service of God, we cease to be a happy people. The subjects of the Saviour, the Son of David, share the blessings of his authority and victories, and are happy because they have the Lord for their God.That our garners may be full - That our fields may yield abundance, so that our granaries may be always filled.

Affording all manner of store - Margin, "From kind to kind." Hebrew, "From sort to sort;" that is, every sort or kind of produce or grain; all, in variety, that is needful for the supply of man and beast.

That our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets - A great part of the wealth of Palestine always consisted in flocks of sheep; and, from the earliest periods, not a few of the inhabitants were shepherds. This language, therefore, is used to denote national prosperity.

In our streets - The Hebrew word used here means properly whatever is outside; what is out of doors or abroad, as opposed to what is within, as the inside of a house; and then, what is outside of a town, as opposed to what is within. It may, therefore, mean a street Jeremiah 37:21; Job 18:17; Isaiah 5:25; and then the country, the fields, pastures, etc.: Job 5:10; Proverbs 8:26. Here it refers to the pastures; the fields; the commons.


Ps 144:1-15. David's praise of God as his all-sufficient help is enhanced by a recognition of the intrinsic worthlessness of man. Confidently imploring God's interposition against his enemies, he breaks forth into praise and joyful anticipations of the prosperity of his kingdom, when freed from vain and wicked men.

So as they may fill our streets, being brought in thither for food to the towns and cities. Or, in our folds or stables, as the Chaldee and others render it; or, as the LXX. and others, in their (or rather, in our, as it is in the Hebrew) outlets or outgoings, i.e. in the fields, where they abide.

That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store,.... Or "our corners" (s), the corners of their houses, as Aben Ezra and Kimchi; the nooks that were in them might be full of provisions for the supply of the family; or that their barns and granaries might be full of all kind of corn, as wheat, rye, barley, &c. which might be sufficient from year to year, as the Targum; plenty of all food is intended, in opposition to a scarcity, dearth, and famine, Proverbs 3:9; that so there might be enough for increasing families. Spiritually it may design that large provision of grace in the churches of Christ, and the fulness of the blessings of the Gospel the ministers of it come forth with, bringing out of their treasure things new and old, in the ministration of the word and administration of ordinances;

that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets; or millions; in which lay the riches of men formerly, and indeed in our nation now, where wool is the staple commodity of it; and these are creatures that breed and increase much; when they stand well, a few soon become a thousand, and these thousands produce ten thousands or millions, more. The Hebrew word "sheep", seems to be derived from the Arabic word "tzana", which signifies to be "fruitful", whether in men or beasts: "tzana": "foecunda fuit, et multos liberos hubuit mulier-----idem significat, et multa habuit pecora", Golius, col. 1428; and though for the most part they bring but one at a time, yet Aristotle (t) says, sometimes two, three, and four; and in India, Aelianus (u) says, they bring four, and never less than three. It is a beautiful sight to see them driven in such numbers through the streets of cities to markets, or to pasture. Or rather this may design the country towns and villages, where large flocks of them are kept. The people of God resemble these in their meekness, harmlessness, innocence, and other things; and who not only increase in grace and gifts, and spiritual knowledge, and in all goodness, which is desirable, but also in numbers, as they did in the first times of the Gospel, and will in the last, when they shall be increased as a flock; the fulness of the Gentiles, the other sheep, shall be brought in, and the nation of the Jews called at once.

(s) "anguli nostri", Pagninus, Vatablus, Cocceius, Michaelis. (t) Hist. Animal. l. 6. c. 19. (u) De Animal. l. 4. c. 32.

That our {l} garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets:

(l) That the corners of our houses may be full of store for the great abundance of your blessings.

13. all manner of store] Lit. from kind to kind, every kind of produce. The word is an indication of the late date of the Psalm. It occurs elsewhere in the Heb. of the O.T. only in 2 Chronicles 16:14; (Heb.) Sir 38:28; Psalm 49:8 (?), but is common in Aramaic.

in our streets] Rather, in our fields.

Verse 13. - That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store; or, "while our garners are full," etc. That our sheep may bring forth; rather, and our sheep bring forth. Thousands and tea thousands in our streets; rather, in our fields. Khutsoth (חוּצות) is rendered "fields" by our translators in Job 5:10 and Proverbs 8:26. Psalm 144:13With reference to the relation of this passage to the preceding, vid., the introduction. אשׁר (it is uncertain whether this is a word belonging originally to this piece or one added by the person who appended it as a sort of clasp or rivet) signifies here quoniam, as in Judges 9:17; Jeremiah 16:13, and frequently. lxx ὢν οἱ υίοὶ (אשׁר בניהם); so that the temporal prosperity of the enemies is pictured here, and in Psalm 144:15 the spiritual possession of Israel is contrasted with it. The union becomes satisfactorily close in connection with this reading, but the reference of the description, so designedly set forth, to the enemies is improbable. In Psalm 144:12-14 we hear a language that is altogether peculiar, without any assignable earlier model. Instead of נטעים we read נטעים elsewhere; "in their youth" belongs to "our sons." מזוינוּ, our garners or treasuries, from a singular מזו or מזוּ (apparently from a verb מזה, but contracted out of מזוה), is a hapaxlegomenon; the older language has the words אסם, אוצר, ממּגוּרה instead of it. In like manner זן, genus (vid., Ewald, Lehrbuch, S. 380), is a later word (found besides only in 2 Chronicles 16:14, where וּזנים signifies et varia quidem, Syriac zenonoje, or directly spices from species); the older language has miyn for this word. Instead of אלּוּפים, kine, which signifies "princes" in the older language, the older language says אלפים in Psalm 8:8. The plena scriptio צאוננוּ, in which the Waw is even inaccurate, corresponds to the later period; and to this corresponds שׁ equals אשׁר in Psalm 144:15, cf. on the other hand Psalm 33:12. Also מסבּלים, laden equals bearing, like the Latin forda from ferre (cf. מעבּר in Job 21:10), is not found elsewhere. צאן is (contrary to Genesis 30:39) treated as a feminine collective, and אלּוּף (cf. שׁור in Job 21:10) as a nomen epicaenum. Contrary to the usage of the word, Maurer, Kצster, Von Lengerke, and F׬rst render it: our princes are set up (after Ezra 6:3); also, after the mention of animals of the fold upon the meadows out-of-doors, one does not expect the mention of princes, but of horned cattle that are to be found in the stalls.

זוית elsewhere signifies a corner, and here, according to the prevailing view, the corner-pillars; so that the elegant slender daughters are likened to tastefully sculptured Caryatides - not to sculptured projections (Luther). For (1) זוית does not signify a projection, but a corner, an angle, Arabic Arab. zâwyt, zâwia (in the terminology of the stone-mason the square-stone equals אבן פּנּהּ, in the terminology of the carpenter the square), from Arab. zwâ, abdere (cf. e.g., the proverb: fı̂'l zawâjâ chabâjâ, in the corners are treasures). (2) The upstanding pillar is better adapted to the comparison than the overhanging projection. But that other prevailing interpretation is also doubtful. The architecture of Syria and Palestine - the ancient, so far as it can be known to us from its remains, and the new - exhibits nothing in connection with which one would be led to think of "corner-pillars." Nor is there any trace of that signification to be found in the Semitic זוית. On the other hand, the corners of large rooms in the houses of persons of position are ornamented with carved work even in the present day, and since this ornamentation is variegated, it may be asked whether מחתּבות does here signify "sculptured," and not rather "striped in colours, variegated," which we prefer, since חטב (cogn. חצב) signifies nothing more than to hew firewood;

(Note: In every instance where חטב (cogn. חצב) occurs, frequently side by side with שׁאב מים (to draw water), it signifies to hew wood for kindling; wherefore in Arabic, in which the verb has been lost, Arab. ḥaṭab signifies firewood (in distinction from Arab. chšb, wood for building, timber), and not merely this, but fuel in the widest sense, e.g., in villages where wood is scarce, cow-dung (vid., Job, at Job 20:6-11, note), and the hemp-stalk, or stalk of the maize, in the desert the Arab. b‛rt, i.e., camel-dung (which blazes up with a blue flame), and the perennial steppe-plant or its root. In relation to Arab. ḥaṭab, aḥṭb signifies lopped, pruned, robbed of its branches (of a tree), and Arab. ḥrb ḥâtb a pruning war, which devastates a country, just as the wood-gathering women of a settlement (styled Arab. 'l-ḥâťbât or 'l-ȟwâṭt) with their small hatchet (Arab. miḥṭab) lay a district covered with tall plants bare in a few days. In the villages of the Merg' the little girls who collect the dry cow-dung upon the pastures are called Arab. bnât ḥâṭbât, בּנות הטבות. - Wetzstein.)

and on the other side, the signification of the Arabic chaṭiba, to be striped, many-coloured (IV to become green-striped, of the coloquintida), is also secured to the verb חטב side by side with that signification by Proverbs 7:16. It is therefore to be rendered: our daughters are as corners adorned in varied colours after the architecture of palaces.

(Note: Corners with variegated carved work are found even in the present day in Damascus in every reception-room (the so-called Arab. qâ‛t) or respectable houses cf. Lane, Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, Introduction). An architectural ornament composed with much good taste and laborious art out of wood carvings, and glittering with gold and brilliant colours, covers the upper part of the corners, of which a ḳâ‛a may have as many as sixteen, since three wings frequently abut upon the bêt el-baḥǎra, i.e., the square with its marble basin. This decoration, which has a most pleasing effect to the eye, is a great advantage to saloons from two to three storeys high, and is evidently designed to get rid of the darker corners above on the ceiling, comes down from the ceiling in the corners of the room for the length of six to nine feet, gradually becoming narrower as it descends. It is the broadest above, so that it there also covers the ends of the horizontal corners formed by the walls and the ceiling. If this crowning of the corners, the technical designation of which, if I remember rightly, is Arab. 'l-qrnyt, ḳornı̂a, might be said to go back into Biblical antiquity, the Psalmist would have used it as a simile to mark the beauty, gorgeous dress, and rich adornment of women. Perhaps, too, because they are not only modest and chaste (cf. Arabic mesturât, a veiled woman, in opposition to memshushât, one shone on by the sun), but also, like the children of respectable families, hidden from the eyes of strangers; for the Arabic proverb quoted above says, "treasures are hidden in the corners," and the superscription of a letter addressed to a lady of position runs: "May it kiss the hand of the protected lady and of the hidden jewel." - Wetzstein.)

The words האליף, to bring forth by thousands, and מרבּב (denominative from רבבה), which surpasses it, multiplied by tens of thousands, are freely formed. Concerning חוּצות, meadows, vid., on Job 18:17. פּרץ, in a martial sense a defeat, clades, e.g., in Judges 21:15, is here any violent misfortune whatever, as murrain, which causes a breach, and יוצאת any head of cattle which goes off by a single misfortune. The lamentation in the streets is intended as in Jeremiah 14:2. שׁכּכה is also found in Sol 5:9; nor does the poet, however, hesitate to blend this שׁ with the tetragrammaton into one word. The Jod is not dageshed (cf. Psalm 123:2), because it is to be read שׁאדני, cf. מיהוה equals מאדני in Genesis 18:14. Luther takes Psalm 144:15 and Psalm 144:15 as contrasts: Blessed is the people that is in such a case, But blessed is the people whose God is the Lord. There is, however, no antithesis intended, but only an exceeding of the first declaration by the second. For to be allowed to call the God from whom every blessing comes his God, is still infinitely more than the richest abundance of material blessing. The pinnacle of Israel's good fortune consists in being, by the election of grace, the people of the Lord (Psalm 33:12).

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