Psalm 72:2
He shall judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with judgment.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 72:2. He shall judge thy people with righteousness — Namely, if thou givest him what I have desired. And by this prediction he tacitly admonishes him of, and obliges him to, the performance of his duty. Or the words may be rendered, Let him judge, the future being put for the imperative, as is often the case; and so it is a prayer. And thy poor — Or, thy afflicted, or oppressed ones; for such are thine in a special manner; thou art their judge and patron, Psalm 68:5, and hast commanded all thy people, and especially kings and magistrates, to take a singular care of them, because they have few or no friends.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.He shall judge thy people with righteousness - On this verse see the notes at Isaiah 11:3-4. The fact that this so entirely accords with the description in Isaiah 11, which undoubtedly refers to the Messiah, has been alluded to above as confirming the opinion that the psalm has a similar reference. 2, &c. The effects of such a government by one thus endowed are detailed.

thy people … and thy poor—or, "meek," the pious subjects of his government.

He shall judge, to wit, if thou givest him what I have desired. And by this prediction he doth tacitly admonish him of, and oblige him to, the performance of his duty herein. Or, Let him judge; the future being put for the imperative, as hath been oft observed. So it is a prayer.

Thy people; for they are thine more than his; and therefore he must not govern them according to his own will and pleasure, but according to the rules of thy word, and for thy service and glory.

Thy poor; or, thy afflicted or oppressed ones, for such are thine in a special manner; thou art their Judge and Patron, Psalm 68:5, and hast commanded all thy people, and especially kings and magistrates, to take a singular care of them, because they have few or no friends. He shall judge thy people with righteousness,.... Or, "so shall he judge"; or, "that he may judge" (n), as the Syriac and Arabic versions; having the judgments and righteousness of God given him, he will be thereby qualified to judge the people of God; such as are so, not by creation, but by special grace; his chosen and covenant people, the redeemed and purchased people of God, and who in the effectual calling appear to be so, and are made his willing people. These Christ judges, rules, and governs, protects and defends, in a righteous manner; pleads their cause, vindicates their right, and avenges them on their enemies, as well as justifies them with his own righteousness;

and thy poor with judgment; justice and equity. Such who are literally poor, and are the Lord's poor, whom he has chosen, and makes rich in faith, and heirs of a kingdom; and with whom Christ, when here on earth, was chiefly concerned, and now is; and not with the great men and rulers of the earth: or such who are poor in spirit, sensible of their spiritual poverty; that find themselves hungry and thirsty, and destitute of righteousness, and without money, or anything to procure either. Or, "thine afflicted ones" (o); such as are distressed in body or mind, with respect to things temporal or spiritual; oppressed by sin, Satan, and the world, These Christ regards, and administers justice to in his own time and way; see Isaiah 11:4.

(n) "ut jus dicat", Tigurine version; so Ainsworth. (o) "afflictos tuos", Montanus, Vatablus, Musculus, Piscator, Gejerus, Michaelis, Tiguriue version.

He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. He shall give sentence to thy people with righteousness,

And to thine afflicted ones with Judgement.

Many commentators render the verbs throughout the Ps. as optatives, Let him give sentence, and so forth. In Psalm 72:8 ff. this rendering is required by the form of the verb; but here the form is a simple future. The administration of the king endowed with divine capacities for ruling is described (Psalm 72:2; Psalm 72:4; Psalm 72:6), together with the resultant blessings (3, 5, 7). The rendering give sentence is adopted to indicate that the Heb. word is different from that in Psalm 72:4.

It has been argued that ‘thine afflicted ones’ implies that the nation was at the time in a state of depression and humiliation: but the term is not necessarily coextensive with ‘thy people’; it denotes, as frequently in the prophets, the poorer classes, who especially needed the protection of good government. See Isaiah 3:14-15; Isaiah 10:2; Jeremiah 22:16; Amos 8:4.Verse 2. - He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. Then will he have wisdom to judge thy people aright. The wish is in the closest possible agreement with the prayer in 1 Kings 3:6-9. The thought of this proclamation so thoroughly absorbs the poet that he even now enters upon the tone of it; and since to his faith the deliverance is already a thing of the past, the tender song with its uncomplaining prayer dies away into a loud song of praise, in which he pictures it all to himself. Without Psalm 71:19-21 being subordinate to עד־אגיד in Psalm 71:18, וצדקתך is coupled by close connection with בגורתך. Psalm 71:19 is an independent clause; and עד־מרום takes the place of the predicate: the righteousness of God exceeds all bounds, is infinite (Psalm 36:6., Psalm 57:11). The cry כמוך מי, as in Psalm 35:10; Psalm 69:9, Jeremiah 10:6, refers back to Exodus 15:11. According to the Chethb, the range of the poet's vision widens in Psalm 71:20 from the proofs of the strength and righteousness of God which he has experienced in his own case to those which he has experienced in common with others in the history of his own nation. The Ker (cf. on the other hand Psalm 60:5; Psalm 85:7; Deuteronomy 31:17) rests upon a failing to discern how the experiences of the writer are interwoven with those of the nation. תּשׁוּב in both instances supplies the corresponding adverbial notion to the principal verb, as in Psalm 85:7 (cf. Psalm 51:4). תּהום, prop. a rumbling, commonly used of a deep heaving of waters, here signifies an abyss. "The abysses of the earth" (lxx ἐκ τῶν ἀβύσσων τῆς γῆς, just as the old Syriac version renders the New Testament ἄβυσσος, e.g., in Luke 8:31, by Syr. tehūmā') are, like the gates of death (Psalm 9:14), a figure of extreme perils and dangers, in the midst of which one is as it were half hidden in the abyss of Hades. The past and future are clearly distinguished in the sequence of the tenses. When God shall again raise His people out of the depth of the present catastrophe, then will He also magnify the גּדלּה of the poet, i.e., in the dignity of his office, by most brilliantly vindicating him in the face of his foes, and will once more (תּסּוב, fut. Niph. like תּשׁוּב ekil .h above) comfort him. He on his part will also (cf. Job 40:14) be grateful for this national restoration and this personal vindication: he will praise God, will praise His truth, i.e., His fidelity to His promises. בּכלי נבל instead of בּנבל sounds more circumstantial than in the old poetry. The divine name "The Holy One of Israel" occurs here for the third time in the Psalter; the other passages are Psalm 78:41; Psalm 89:19, which are older in time, and older also than Isaiah, who uses it thirty times, and Habakkuk, who uses it once. Jeremiah has it twice (Jeremiah 50:29; Jeremiah 51:5), and that after the example of Isaiah. In Psalm 71:23, Psalm 71:24 the poet means to say that lips and tongue, song and speech, shall act in concert in the praise of God. תּרנּנּה with Dagesh also in the second Nun, after the form תּקוננּה, תּשׁכּנּה, side by side with which we also find the reading תּרנּנּה, and the reading תּרנּנה, which is in itself admissible, after the form תּאמנה, תּעגנה, but is here unattested.

(Note: Heidenheim reads תּרנּנּה with Segol, following the statement of Ibn-Bil'am in his טעמי המקרא and of Mose ha-Nakdan in his דרכי הנקוד, that Segol always precedes the ending נּה, with the exception only of הנּה and האזנּה. Baer, on the other hand, reads תונּנּה, following Aben-Ezra and Kimchi (Michlol 66b).)

The cohortative after כּי (lxx ὅταν) is intended to convey this meaning: when I feel myself impelled to harp unto Thee. In the perfects in the closing line that which is hoped for stands before his soul as though it had already taken place. כי is repeated with triumphant emphasis.

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