Psalm 65:11
You crown the year with your goodness; and your paths drop fatness.
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(11) Thou crownest.—Better, hast crowned. We generally connect the idea of completion with this metaphor, but the original thought in the Hebrew word, as in the Greek στέφω, is probably to encompass. Comp. the Latin corono in Lucretius, 2:802—

“Sylva coronat aquas ingens nemus omne.”

All “the circle of the golden year” had been attended by Divine goodness. The meaning seems to be that God had made a year which was naturally prosperous still more abundant.

Paths.—The root from which the Hebrew word is formed means to roll, or revolve, and it often means the track made by a wheel. This idea may be present since God is often represented in Hebrew poetry as riding on a chariot of clouds, generally with the association of wrath and destruction (Psalm 18:10; Psalm 68:4), but here, with the thought of plenty and peace following on His track, as in the Latin poet—

“Te fugiunt venti, te nubila cœli

Adventumque tuum, tibi suaves dœdala tellus

Submittit flores, tibi rident æquora ponti

Placatumque ridet diffuso lumine cœlum.”


But it is more natural to give the word the meaning revolutions, and to think of the blessings brought by the “seasons as they roll.”

Fatness.—A cognate accusative to the word “drop” used absolutely in the next verse. (Comp. Proverbs 3:20.)

Psalm 65:11-12. Thou crownest the year with thy goodness — Thou, by thy powerful goodness, dost enrich and adorn all the seasons of the year with their proper fruits and blessings. And thy paths — Either, 1st, Thy clouds, (as the word מעגליךְ, is rendered in the Liturgy version,) upon which God is frequently said to walk or ride, and which drop fatness upon the earth; or the outgoings, or ways of the divine goodness. Wherever God goes, speaking after the manner of men, or works, he leaves the tokens of his mercy behind him, he dispenses rich and salutary blessings, and thus makes his paths to shine after him. Mudge renders this verse, Thou encirclest the year with thy richness, and the tracks of thy wheels drop fatness. God is considered, he thinks, in his chariot, riding round the earth, and from that chariot, that is, the clouds, everywhere distilling fatness, fertility, and increase. They — God’s paths, the clouds; drop upon the pastures of the wilderness — And not only upon the pastures of the inhabited land. The deserts, which man takes no care of, and receives no profit from, yet are under the care of the divine providence; and the produce of them redounds to the glory of God, as the great Benefactor of the whole creation. For hereby they are furnished with food for wild beasts, which, being God’s creatures, he thus takes care of and provides for. And the little hills — He intends chiefly the hills of Canaan, which, for the generality of them, were but small, if compared with the great and high mountains which are in divers parts of the world. He mentions the hills, because, being most dry and parched with the sun, they most need, and are most benefited by the rain; rejoice on every side — That is, all around, as being clothed with verdure, enamelled with flowers, and rendered fertile for the use of man and beasts. Nothing can be more elegant and poetical than the personifying of the hills, the pastures, and valleys in this and the following verse. But, indeed, as Dr. Delaney justly observes, this whole paragraph, from the 9th verse to the 13th, is “the most rapturous, truly poetic, and natural image of joy that imagination can form.” The reader of taste cannot but see this in any translation of it, however simple. “When the divine poet had seen the showers falling from heaven, and Jordan overflowing his banks, all the consequent blessings were that moment present to his quick, poetic sight, and he paints them accordingly.”65:6-13 That Almighty strength which sets fast the mountains, upholds the believer. That word which stills the stormy ocean, and speaks it into a calm, can silence our enemies. How contrary soever light and darkness are to each other, it is hard to say which is most welcome. Does the watchman wait for the morning? so does the labourer earnestly desire the shades of evening. Some understand it of the morning and evening sacrifices. We are to look upon daily worship, both alone and with our families, to be the most needful of our daily occupations, the most delightful of our daily comforts. How much the fruitfulness of this lower part of the creation depends upon the influence of the upper, is easy to observe; every good and perfect gift is from above. He who enriches the earth, which is filled with man's sins, by his abundant and varied bounty, can neither want power nor will to feed the souls of his people. Temporal mercies to us unworthy creatures, shadow forth more important blessings. The rising of the Sun of righteousness, and the pouring forth of the influences of the Holy Spirit, that river of God, full of the waters of life and salvation, render the hard, barren, worthless hearts of sinners fruitful in every good work, and change the face of nations more than the sun and rain change the face of nature. Wherever the Lord passes, by his preached gospel, attended by his Holy Spirit, his paths drop fatness, and numbers are taught to rejoice in and praise him. They will descend upon the pastures of the wilderness, all the earth shall hear and embrace the gospel, and bring forth abundantly the fruits of righteousness which are, through Jesus Christ, to the glory of the Father. Manifold and marvellous, O Lord, are thy works, whether of nature or of grace; surely in loving-kindness hast thou made them all.Thou crownest the year with thy goodness - Margin, the year of thy goodness. The Hebrew is literally the year of thy goodness - meaning a year remarkable for the manifestation of kindness; or a year of abundant productions. But the Hebrew will admit of the other construction, meaning that God crowns or adorns the year, as it revolves, with his goodness; or that the harvests, the fruits, the flowers of the year are, as it were, a crown set on the head of the year. The Septuagint renders it, "Thou wilt bless the crown of the year of thy goodness." DeWette renders it, "Thou crownest the year with thy blessing." Luther, "Thou crownest the year with good." On the whole, the most probable meaning is that expressed in our common version, referring to the beauty and the abundant productions of the year as if they were a crown on its head. The seasons are often personified, and the year is here represented as a beautiful female, perhaps, walking forward with a diadem on her brow.

And thy paths drop fatness - That is, fertility; or, Fertility attends thy goings. The word rendered "drop," means properly to distil; to let fall gently, as the rain or the dew falls to the earth; and the idea is, that whereever God goes, marching through the earth, fertility, beauty, abundance seems to distil or to fall gently along his path. God, in the advancing seasons, passes along through the earth, and rich abundance springs up wherever he goes.

11. thy paths—ways of providence (Ps 25:4, 10). Thou, by thy powerful goodness, dost enrich and adorn all the seasons of the year with their proper fruits and blessings.

Thy paths; the clouds, upon which God is frequently said to walk or ride, as Job 36:28 38:26,27 Psa 104:3 Nahum 1:3; which sense is favoured by the next verse, where these paths are said to drop, &c.

Drop fatness; make the earth fat and fruitful. Thou crownest the year with thy goodness,.... The whole circling year, from one end of it to the other; particularly that season of it when the harvest is gathered in; the seed being sown, the earth watered, the springing of it blessed, and the corn brought to perfection, the year is crowned with a plentiful harvest: this may denote the acceptable year of the Lord, the year of the redeemed, the whole Gospel dispensation, Isaiah 61:2; in certain seasons and periods of which there have been great gatherings of souls to Christ; at the first of it multitudes were converted in Judea, and in the Gentile world, which were the first fruits of the Spirit; and in all ages there have been more or less instances of this kind; and in the latter day there will be a large harvest, when the Jews will be converted, and the fulness of the Gentiles brought in;

and thy paths drop fatness; the heavens, as Jarchi interprets it; or the clouds, as Kimchi; which are the chariots and horses of God, in which he rides, and are the dust of his feet, Psalm 104:3, Nahum 1:3; and these drop down rain upon the earth, and make it fat and flourishing; and may mystically design the administration of the Gospel, and the administration of ordinances; which are the paths in which the Lord goes forth to his people, and directs them to walk in, and in which he meets them with a fulness of blessings, and satisfies them as with marrow and fatness.

Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.
11. Thou crownest &c.] Thou hast crowned the year of thy goodness, added fresh beauty and perfection to a year already marked by special bounty, and thy paths drop fatness, rich blessings fall as Thou traversest the land, an allusion probably to an unusually copious fall of the ‘latter rain,’ which was more uncertain than the early rain, and was most anxiously looked for as a special blessing (Job 29:23; Proverbs 16:15; Jeremiah 3:3; Zechariah 10:1).

P.B.V. clouds (Great Bible, not Coverdale, who has fotesteppes) seems to be intended as an explanation of paths. Cp. Nahum 1:3.Verse 11. - Thou crownest the year with thy goodness. As God had begun, so he goes on to the "crowning" of the whole. And thy paths drop fatness. As he moves about, visiting the earth (ver. 9), there drop from him fertility and abundance. The praise of God on account of the lovingkindness which Israel as a people among the peoples has experienced. The future תּעננוּ confesses, as a present, a fact of experience that still holds good in all times to come. נוראות might, according to Psalm 20:7, as in Psalm 139:14, be an accusative of the more exact definition; but why not, according to 1 Samuel 20:10; Job 9:3, a second accusative under the government of the verb? God answers the prayer of His people superabundantly. He replies to it גוראות, terrible deeds, viz., בּצדק, by a rule which stringently executes the will of His righteousness (vid., on Jeremiah 42:6); in this instance against the oppressors of His people, so that henceforth everywhere upon earth He is a ground of confidence to all those who are oppressed. "The sea (ים construct state, as is frequently the case, with the retention of the ) of the distant ones" is that of the regions lying afar off (cf. Psalm 56:1). Venema observes, Significatur, Deum esse certissimum praesidium, sive agnoscatur ab hominibus et ei fidatur, sive non (therefore similar to γνόντες, Romans 1:21; Psychol. S. 347; tr. p. 408). But according tot he connection and the subjective colouring the idea seems to have, מבטח וגו is to be understood of the believing acknowledgment which the God of Israel attains among all mankind by reason of His judicial and redemptive self-attestation (cf. Isaiah 33:13; 2 Chronicles 32:22.). In the natural world and among men He proves Himself to be the Being girded with power to whom everything must yield. He it is who setteth fast the mountains (cf. Jeremiah 10:12) and stilleth the raging of the ocean. In connection with the giant mountains the poet may have had even the worldly powers (vid., Isaiah 41:15) in his mind; in connection with the seas he gives expression to this allegorical conjunction of thoughts. The roaring of the billows and the wild tumult of the nations as a mass in the empire of the world, both are stilled by the threatening of the God of Israel (Isaiah 17:12-14). When He shall overthrow the proud empire of the world, whose tyranny the earth has been made to feel far and wide, then will reverential fear of Him and exultant joy at the end of the thraldom (vid., Isaiah 13:4-8) become universal. אותת (from the originally feminine אות equals ăwăjat, from אוה, to mark, Numbers 34:10), σημεῖα, is the name given here to His marvellous interpositions in the history of our earth. קצוי, Psalm 65:6 (also in Isaiah 26:15), out of construction is קצות. "The exit places of the morning and of the evening" are the East and West with reference to those who dwell there. Luther erroneously understands מוצאי as directly referring to the creatures which at morning and evening "sport about (webern), i.e., go safely and joyfully out and in." The meaning is, the regions whence the morning breaks forth and where the evening sets. The construction is zeugmatic so far as בּוא, not יצא, is said of the evening sun, but only to a certain extent, for neither does one say נבוא ערב (Ewald). Perret-Gentil renders it correctly: les lieux d'o surgissent l'aube et le crepuscule. God makes both these to shout for joy, inasmuch as He commands a calm to the din of war.
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