Psalm 67:4
O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for you shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations on earth. Selah.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) For thou shalt judge:—Better, for thou judgest.

And govern. . . .—Better, and dost lead. The word is used in Psalm 23:3 of the “pastoral” care of God.

67:1-7 A prayer for the enlargement of Christ's kingdom. - All our happiness comes from God's mercy; therefore the first thing prayed for is, God be merciful to us, to us sinners, and pardon our sins. Pardon is conveyed by God's blessing, and secured in that. If we, by faith, walk with God, we may hope that his face will shine on us. The psalmist passes on to a prayer for the conversion of the Gentiles, which shows that the Old Testament saints desired that their advantages might also be enjoyed by others. And many Scripture prophecies and promises are wrapped up in prayers: the answer to the prayer of the church is as sure as the performance of God's promises. The joy wished to the nations, is holy joy. Let them be glad that by his providence the Lord will overrule the affairs of kingdoms; that even the kingdoms of this world shall became the kingdom of the Lord, and of his Christ. Then is declared a joyful prospect of all good when God shall do this. The success of the gospel brings outward mercies with it; righteousness exalts a nation. The blessing of the Lord sweetens all our creature-comforts to us, and makes them comforts indeed. All the world shall be brought to worship Him. When the gospel begins to spread, it shall go forward more and more, till it reaches to the ends of the earth. It is good to cast in our lot with those that are the blessed of the Lord. If nothing had been spoken in Scripture respecting the conversion of the heathen, we might think it vain to attempt so hopeless a work. But when we see with what confidence it is declared in the Scriptures, we may engage in missionary labours, assured that God will fulfil his own word. And shall we be backward to make known to the heathen the knowledge with which we are favoured, and the salvation we profess to glory in? They cannot learn unless they are taught. Then let us go forward in the strength of the Lord, and look to him to accompany the word the Holy Ghost; then Satan's kingdom shall be destroyed, and the kingdom of our Redeemer established.O let the nations be qlad, and sing for joy - All the nations of the earth. Let them all be made acquainted with thee; with thy character; with the principles of thy govermnent; with the methods by which thou dost bestow thy favors, that they all may be made glad. These things pertain to them all. The knowledge of these things would convey inestimable blessings to them all, and fill all their hearts with joy. Nothing would, in fact, diffuse so much happiness over a miserable and guilty world - nothing would furnish such an occasion for universal joy, gratitude, and praise - as the possession of the knowledge of the great principles on which God rules the world, and on which he blesses people.

For thou shalt judge the people righteously - That is, The great principles of thy administration are right, or righteous. and the nations will have occasion to rejoice in them.

And, govern the nations upon earth - Margin, lead. So the Hebrew. That is, God would instruct them what to do; he would guide them in paths of prosperity, happiness, salvation. Individuals and nations, as they follow the counsels of God, are safe and happy; and in no other way.

3-5. Thanks will be rendered for the blessings of His wise and holy government (compare Isa 2:3, 4; 11:4). Be glad and sing for joy, for thy transcendent mercy to them, in rescuing them from the vanities and damnable errors of their fathers, and in bringing them to the knowledge of the true God, and of eternal life.

Shalt judge, i.e. rule and govern them, as it is explained in the next clause, and as this phrase is used.

Righteously; which is the great commendation of any government, and the greatest argument and encouragement to the Gentiles to put themselves under it; the rather, because they had found the misery of living under the unrighteous and tyrannical government of the devil, and of their idolatrous and heathenish rulers.

Govern, Heb. lead, to wit, gently, as a shepherd doth his sheep; and not rule them with rigour, as other lords had done. O let the nations be glad and sing for joy,.... As they were glad, and did sing for joy, and glorified God, when Christ was made known, and the Gospel was preached unto them, Acts 8:5.

for thou shalt judge the people righteously; meaning not the people of the world at the last day, at the general judgment, which will be a righteous one; when God will judge the world in righteousness, according to the strict rules of justice and equity, by him whom he has ordained, Psalm 96:1; but either the righteous judgment which will be executed on the enemies of Christ's church and people; particularly on antichrist, which will be matter of great joy, Revelation 19:1; and Kimchi interprets it of the judgment of the nations which shall come with Gog and Magog; or else the judging and vindicating the Lord's own people, defending their cause, righting their wrongs, and suffering no weapon to prosper against them;

and govern the nations upon earth; or "lead them" (n); not to punishment, as Kimchi, who interprets this clause as the other; but by his grace and Spirit, into the knowledge of his way, and saving health; or as a shepherd leads his flock into green pastures, and beside the still waters; or as a king leads and governs his people, as David guided the people of Israel, with the skilfulness of his hands; so Christ leads and governs his people, protects and defends them, holds them by his right hand, guides them with his counsel, and then receives them to glory; see Psalm 23:2.

Selah; on this word; see Gill on Psalm 3:2.

(n) "duces eas", Montanus; "deduces", Junius & Tremellius, Cocceius; "deducis", Piscator.

{c} O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.

(c) By these repetitions he shows that the people can never rejoice and give thanks enough for the great benefits that they will receive under the kingdom of Christ.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. The reason for the universal rejoicing of the nations is given in the words, for thou shalt Judge the peoples with equity; i.e. rule them with just and equitable government. Cp. the attributes of the true king as God’s representative, Isaiah 11:3 f; Psalm 72:12 ff. Judge does not here mean punish, but govern.

govern] Or, lead, a word often applied to God’s leading of Israel through the wilderness (Psalm 78:14). All nations are under His providential guidance, not Israel only, His specially chosen flock. Cp. Amos 9:7.Verse 4. - O let the nations be glad and sing for joy. There could be no greater blessing to the nations than their attraction into God's kingdom; nor, consequently, any event more worthy to be hailed with joyful acclaim, with songs of joy and thanksgiving. For thou shalt judge the people (rather, the peoples) righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. The main advantage of the change would be the bringing of the heathen into that kingdom of perfect righteousness, wherein God (in the Person of Christ) would dispense justice unerringly, and rule all men with perfect and absolute equity. The words in Psalm 66:16 are addressed in the widest extent, as in Psalm 66:5 and Psalm 66:2, to all who fear God, wheresoever such are to be found on the face of the earth. To all these, for the glory of God and for their own profit, he would gladly relate what God has made him to experience. The individual-looking expression לנפשׁי is not opposed to the fact of the occurrence of a marvellous answering of prayer, to which he refers, being one which has been experienced by him in common with the whole congregation. He cried unto God with his mouth (that is to say, not merely silently in spirit, but audibly and importunately), and a hymn (רומם,

(Note: Kimchi (Michlol 146a) and Parchon (under רמם) read רומם with Pathach; and Heidenheim and Baer have adopted it.)

something that rises, collateral form to רומם, as עולל and שׁובב to עולל and שׁובב) was under my tongue; i.e., I became also at once so sure of my being heard, that I even had the song of praise in readiness (vid., Psalm 10:7), with which I had determined to break forth when the help for which I had prayed, and which was assured to me, should arrive. For the purpose of his heart was not at any time, in contradiction to his words, און, God-abhorred vileness or worthlessness; ראה with the accusative, as in Genesis 20:10; Psalm 37:37 : to aim at, or design anything, to have it in one's eye. We render: If I had aimed at evil in my heart, the Lord would not hear; not: He would not have heard, but: He would not on any occasion hear. For a hypocritical prayer, coming from a heart which has not its aim sincerely directed towards Him, He does not hear. The idea that such a heart was not hidden behind his prayer is refuted in Psalm 66:19 from the result, which is of a totally opposite character. In the closing doxology the accentuation rightly takes תּפלּתי וחסדּו as belonging together. Prayer and mercy stand in the relation to one another of call and echo. When God turns away from a man his prayer and His mercy, He commands him to be silent and refuses him a favourable answer. The poet, however, praises God that He has deprived him neither of the joyfulness of prayer nor the proof of His favour. In this sense Augustine makes the following practical observation on this passage: Cum videris non a te amotam deprecationem tuam, securus esto, quia non est a te amota misericordia ejus.

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