Psalm 72:17
His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.
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(17) Shall be continued.—Rather, have issue. Literally, send out new shoots.

As long as the sun.—See Note on Psalm 72:5.

Shall be blessed in him.—Or, bless themselves in him. The meaning is clear, though the Hebrew is rather vague. The monarch will himself be a source of blessing to his people, who will never tire of blessing him. The psalmist’s prayer finds a genuine echo in the noble dedication of In Memoriam:

“May you rule us long,

And leave us rulers of your blood

As noble, till the latest day!

May children of our children say,

‘She wrought her people lasting good.’ ”

For the doxology closing the second book, and for the note apparently appended by the collector of this book, “the prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended,” see General Introduction.

Psalm 72:17. His name shall endure for ever — Namely, the honour and renown of his eminent wisdom, and justice, and goodness. This agrees but very obscurely and imperfectly to Solomon, who stained the glory of his reign by his prodigious luxury, and oppression, and apostacy from God, into which he fell in the latter part of his days. His name shall be continued — Hebrew, ינון, jinnon, shall be propagated, or transmitted, to his children; as long as the sun — Hebrew, לפני שׁמשׁ, liphnee shemesh, before the sun; meaning, either, 1st, Publicly, and in the face of the sun: or, 2d, Perpetually; as a constant and inseparable companion of the sun; as long as the sun itself shall continue. Men shall be blessed in him — In him, as it was promised to Abraham, shall all the true children of Abraham be blessed with the blessings of grace and glory, and that by and through his merits and Spirit. Hebrew, יתברכו, jithbarechu, shall bless themselves. All nations shall call him blessed — They shall bless God for him, shall continually extol and magnify him, and think themselves happy in him. To the end of time and to eternity, his name shall be celebrated; every tongue shall confess it, and every knee shall bow before it. And the happiness shall also be universal, complete, and everlasting; men shall be blessed in him truly and for ever.72:2-17 This is a prophecy of the kingdom of Christ; many passages in it cannot be applied to the reign of Solomon. There were righteousness and peace at first in the administration of his government; but, before the end of his reign, there were troubles and unrighteousness. The kingdom here spoken of is to last as long as the sun, but Solomon's was soon at an end. Even the Jewish expositors understood it of the kingdom of the Messiah. Observe many great and precious promises here made, which were to have full accomplishment only in the kingdom of Christ. As far as his kingdom is set up, discord and contentions cease, in families, churches, and nations. The law of Christ, written in the heart, disposes men to be honest and just, and to render to all their due; it likewise disposes men to live in love, and so produces abundance of peace. Holiness and love shall be lasting in Christ's kingdom. Through all the changes of the world, and all the changes of life, Christ's kingdom will support itself. And he shall, by the graces and comforts of his Spirit, come down like rain upon the mown grass; not on that cut down, but that which is left growing, that it may spring again. His gospel has been, or shall be, preached to all nations. Though he needs not the services of any, yet he must be served with the best. Those that have the wealth of this world, must serve Christ with it, do good with it. Prayer shall be made through him, or for his sake; whatever we ask of the Father, should be in his name. Praises shall be offered to him: we are under the highest obligations to him. Christ only shall be feared throughout all generations. To the end of time, and to eternity, his name shall be praised. All nations shall call HIM blessed.His name shall endure for ever - Margin, as in Hebrew, "Shall be forever;" that is, "He" shall endure forever.

His name shall be continued as long as the sun - As long as that continues to shine - an expression designed to express perpetuity. See the notes at Psalm 72:5. The margin here is, "shall be as a son to continue his father's name forever." The Hebrew word - נון nûn - means "to sprout, to put forth;" and hence, to "flourish." The idea is that of a tree which continues always to sprout, or put forth leaves, branches, blossoms; or, which never dies.

And men shall be blessed in him - See Genesis 12:3; Genesis 22:18. He will be a source of blessing to them, in the pardon of sin; in happiness; in peace; in salvation.

All nations shall call him blessed - Shall praise him; shall speak of him as the source of their highest comforts, joys, and hopes. See Luke 19:38; Matthew 21:9; Matthew 23:39. The time will come when all the nations of the earth will honor and praise him.

17. His name—or, "glorious perfections."

as long as the sun—(Compare Ps 72:5).

men shall be blessed—(Ge 12:3; 18:18).

His name; the honour and renown of his eminent wisdom, and justice, and goodness; which agrees but very obscurely; and imperfectly to Solomon, who stained the glory of his reign by his prodigious luxury and oppression, and apostacy from God, into which he fell in the latter part of his days.

Shall be continued; or, shall be propagated or transmitted to his children; which suits much better to Christ, from whom we are called Christians, than to Solomon.

As long as the sun, Heb. before the sun; either,

1. Publicly, and in the face of the sun. Or,

2. Perpetually; as a constant and inseparable companion of the sun; as long as the sun itself shall continue. See Poole "Psalm 72:5".

Be blessed in him; either,

1. As a pattern of blessedness. When any man shall wish well to a king, he shall say, The Lord make thee like Solomon. See Poole "Genesis 22:18". Or rather,

2. As the cause of it, by and through his merits and mediation. His name shall endure for ever,.... As a King; for he is chiefly spoken of here in his kingly office: not merely the fame of him; for so the fame of an earthly king; even of a tyrant, may continue as long as the world does; but the meaning is, that he himself should continue in his office for ever: his throne is for ever and ever; of his government there will be no end; his kingdom is an everlasting one; he shall reign over the house of Jacob, and on the throne of David, for ever and ever: he shall have no successor in this his office, any more than in the priestly office; which is an unchangeable one, or does not pass from one to another: his Gospel is his name, Acts 9:15; and that shall endure for ever, or to the end of the world; until all his elect are gathered in, notwithstanding the violent persecutions of men, the cunning craft of false teachers, and the death of Gospel ministers and professors: as long as this is preached, Christ's name will endure, since he is the sum and substance of it; and not only is his name perpetuated in his Gospel, but also in his ordinances, those of baptism and the Lord's supper, which are administered in his name, and will be unto his second coming;

his name shall be continued as long as the sun; or "shall be sonned" or "filiated" (r); that is, shall be continued in his sons, in his spiritual offspring, as long as the sun lasts; as the names of parents are continued in their children; so the name of Christ is, and will be, continued in him: he has children which the Lord has given him; a seed that he shall see in all periods of time, to whom he stands in the relation of the everlasting Father; these bear his name, are called "Christians" from him, and these his seed and offspring shall endure for ever: for though sometimes their number may be few; yet there are always some in the worst of times; Christ has always had some to bear his name, and ever will have; and in the latter day they will be very numerous, even as the sand of the sea. The Jews take the word "Yinnon", here used, for a name of the Messiah (s), and render the words, "before the sun his name was Yinnon"; and so the Targum,

"before the sun was, or was created, (as in the king's Bible,) his name was prepared;''

or appointed: for they say (t), the name of the Messiah was one of the seven things created before the world was: it is certain that Christ was the Son of God, from eternity, or the eternal Son of God: he was so before his resurrection from the dead, when he was only declared, and did not then become the Son of God: he was owned by his divine Father, and believed in as the Son of God by men before that time: he was so before his incarnation, and not by that: he, the Son of God, was sent in human nature, and made manifest in it, and was known by David and Solomon, under that relation; and, as such, he was concerned in the creation of all things; and was in the day of eternity, and from all eternity, the only begotten Son of the Father; see Psalm 2:7; but the version and sense which Gussetius (u) gives seem best of all; "his name shall generate", or "beget children before the sun"; that is, his name preached, as the Gospel, which is his name, Acts 9:15, shall be the means of begetting many sons and daughters openly and publicly, in the face of the sun, and wherever that is;

and men shall be blessed in him; men, and not angels, sinful men; such as are by nature children of wrath, and cursed by the law of works, yet blessed in Christ; even all elect men, all that are chosen in him, whether Jews or Gentiles; for he is the "seed of Abraham", in whom "all the nations of the earth should be blessed", Genesis 22:18; as they are with all spiritual blessings; with redemption, peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life: they are in him, and blessed in him; he is their head and representative, and so blessed in him; he is the fountain, cause, author, and giver of all blessings; they all come from him, through him, and for his sake, through his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice. Or, "they shall be blessed in him": that is, his children and spiritual offspring, in whom his name is perpetuated. Or, "they shall bless themselves in him" (w); reckon themselves blessed in him, and make their boast of him, and glory in him;

all nations shall call him blessed; as he is a divine Person; not only the Son of the Blessed, but God over all, blessed for ever; and as man, being set at the right hand of God, crowned with glory and honour, and all creatures, angels and men, subject to him; and as Mediator, acknowledging him to be the fountain of all blessedness to them, and, upon that account, ascribing all blessing, honour, glory, and praise, unto him.

(r) "filiabitur", Montanus, Vatablus, Michaelis. (s) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 2. Midrash Echa Rabbati, fol. 50. 2. Pirke Eliezer, c. 32. fol. 33. 2.((t) T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 54. 1. Nedarim, fol. 39. 2. Bereshit Bereihit Rabba, s. 1. fol. 1. 2. (u) Ebr. Comment. p. 511. (w) "et benedicentes sibi in eo", Junius & Tremellius; so Cocceius, Michaelis, Ainsworth.

His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call {o} him blessed.

(o) They will pray to God for his continuance and know that God prospers them for his sake.

17. May his name endure for ever;

As long as the sun doth shine may his name have Issue:

May all nations bless themselves in him, (and) call him happy.

The Psalmist prays that the king’s name may not perish like the name of the wicked (Job 18:19), but may always have issue, be perpetuated in his posterity as long as time lasts (cp. Psalm 72:5). The Ancient Versions however (LXX, Syr., Targ., Jer.) point to the reading yikkôn, shall be established, instead of yinnôn, shall have issue, a word which is found nowhere else. Cp. Psalm 89:37; 1 Kings 2:12; 1 Kings 2:45. The LXX reads, “All the families of the earth shall be blessed in him, all nations shall call him happy.” But each of these last three verses is a tristich, and the words “all families of the earth” are introduced from Genesis 12:3. May all nations bless themselves in him, invoking for themselves the blessings which he enjoys as the highest and best which they can imagine (cp. Genesis 48:20);—an allusion to the promises to Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22:18; Genesis 26:4).Verse 17. - His Name shall endure forever (comp. Psalm 45:2, 6; Psalm 102:12; Isaiah 9:7). "The eternity of the Name is based upon the eternity of the kingdom" (Hengstenberg). His Name shall be continued as long as the sun (comp. ver. 5); or, his Name shall be renewed - shall spring again to fresh life. Dr. Kay compares an expression of Renan's, "Son culte se rajeunira." And men shall be blessed in him; literally, men shall bless themselves in him (comp. Genesis 22:18; Genesis 26:4). All nations shall call him blessed. With these words the psalm, properly speaking, ends. The doxology (vers. 18, 19) and the note (ver. 20) were probably appended by the arranger of the book. This third strophe contains prospects, the ground of which is laid down in the fourth. The position of the futures here becomes a different one. The contemplation passes from the home relations of the new government to its foreign relations, and at the same time the wishes are changed into hopes. The awe-commanding dominion of the king shall stretch even into the most distant corners of the desert. ציּים is used both for the animals and the men who inhabit the desert, to be determined in each instance by the context; here they are men beyond all dispute, but in Psalm 74:14; Isaiah 23:13, it is matter of controversy whether men or beasts are meant. Since the lxx, Aquila, Symmachus, and Jerome here, and the lxx and Jerome in Psalm 74:14, render Αἰθίοπες, the nomadic tribes right and left of the Arabian Gulf seem traditionally to have been associated in the mind with this word, more particularly the so-called Ichthyophagi. These shall bend the knee reverentially before him, and those who contend against him shall be compelled at last to veil their face before him in the dust. The remotest west and south become subject and tributary to him, viz., the kings of Tartessus in the south of Spain, rich in silver, and of the islands of the Mediterranean and the countries on its coasts, that is to say, the kings of the Polynesian portion of Europe, and the kings of the Cushitish or of the Joktanitish שׁבא and of the Cushitish סבא, as, according to Josephus, the chief city of Meroכ was called (vid., Genesis, S. 206). It was a queen of that Joktanitish, and therefore South Arabian Sheba, - perhaps, however, more correctly (vid., Wetzstein in my Isaiah, ii. 529) of the Cushitish (Nubian) Sheba, - whom the fame of Solomon's wisdom drew towards him, 1 Kings 10. The idea of their wealth in gold and in other precious things is associated with both peoples. In the expression השׁיב מנחה (to pay tribute, 2 Kings 17:3, cf. Psalm 3:4) the tribute is not conceived of as rendered in return for protection afforded (Maurer, Hengstenberg, and Olshausen), nor as an act repeated periodically (Rdiger, who refers to 2 Chronicles 27:5), but as a bringing back, i.e., repayment of a debt, referre s. reddere debitum (Hupfeld), after the same idea according to which obligatory incomings are called reditus (revenues). In the synonymous expression הקריב אשׁכּר the presentation appears as an act of sacrifice. אשׁכּר signifies in Ezekiel 27:15 a payment made in merchandise, here a rent or tribute due, from שׂכר, which in blending with the Aleph prostheticum has passed over into שׂכר by means of a shifting of the sound after the Arabic manner, just as in אשׁכּל the verb שׂכל, to interweave, passes over into שׂכל (Rdiger in Gesenius' Thesaurus). In Psalm 72:11 hope breaks through every bound: everything shall submit to his world-subduing sceptre.
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