Psalm 72:20
The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.
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72:18-20 We are taught to bless God in Christ, for all he has done for us by him. David is earnest in prayer for the fulfilment of this prophecy and promise. It is sad to think how empty the earth is of the glory of God, how little service and honour he has from a world to which he is so bountiful. May we, like David, submit to Christ's authority, and partake of his righteousness and peace. May we bless him for the wonders of redeeming love. May we spend our days, and end our lives, praying for the spread of his gospel.The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended - This is not found in the Syriac. The following is added in that version at the close of the psalm: "The end of the Second Book." In regard to this twentieth verse, it is quite clear that it is no part of the psalm; and it is every way probable that it was not placed here by the author of the psalm, and also that it has no special and exclusive reference to this psalm, for the psalm could in no special sense be called "a prayer of David." The words bear all the marks of having been placed at the close of a collection of psalms, or a division of the Book of Psalms, to which might be given as an appropriate designation, the title "The Prayers of David, the son of Jesse;" meaning that that book, or that division of the book, was made up of the compositions of David, and might be thus distinguished from other portions of the general collection. This would not imply that in this part of the collection there were literally no other psalms than those which had been composed by David, or that none of the psalms of David might be found in other parts of the general collection, but that this division was more entirely made up of his psalms, and that the name might therefore be given to this as his collection. It may be fairly inferred from this, that there was such a collection, or that there were, in the Book of Psalms, divisions which were early recognized. See the General Introduction. Dr. Horsley supposes, however, that this declaration, "The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended," pertains to this psalm alone, as if David had nothing more to pray for or to wish than what was expressed in these glowing representations of the kingdom of the Messiah, and of the happy times which would be enjoyed under his rule. 20. ended—literally, "finished," or completed; the word never denotes fulfilment, except in a very late usage, as in Ezr 1:1; Da 12:7. This Psalm is called the last of David’s Psalms; (which are called prayers, because they consist very much of prayers;) either,

1. The last of that part or book of the Psalms, which reached from the beginning of the Psalms hitherto, whereof the far greatest number were composed by David, and all of them digested into this order; the rest of which follow, being collected by some other holy man or men of God after David’s death, and composed part by David, and part by other prophets. Or rather,

2. The last Psalm which David composed; for this was done but a little before his death, of which see the first note on this Psalm. The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended. The Septuagint version renders it, the hymns. This psalm is thought by some to be the last that was written by David, though put in this place; and it is certain that the psalms are not always placed in the order of time in which they were written: this being, as is supposed, made by him in his old age, when Solomon his son was appointed and set upon his throne by his order; on account of which he composed it, with a view to the Messiah, the antitype of Solomon. Or, as others, this is the last of the psalms, which were put together and digested in order by David himself; the rest that follow being collected by Hezekiah or the Levites. Aben Ezra mentions it as the sense of some of their interpreters,

"then shall be fulfilled the prayers of the son of Jesse;''

that is, as R. Joseph Kimchi explains it, when those consolations are completed, then the prayers of David the son of Jesse shall be fulfilled. The sense is, when all the things spoken of in this psalm, concerning the Messiah and his kingdom, should be accomplished, then the prayers of David, and so of every good man, his hearty wishes and desires, will then be answered, and have their full effect, and not till then. This verse seems to be written not by David, for the psalm itself ends with "Amen and Amen"; but by some collector of the Psalms: it is not in the Arabic version, in the room of which is "Hallelujah"; and in the Syriac version it is, "the end of the second book". The first book of Psalms ends with the forty first Psalm. The whole is divided into five parts by the Jews; observed by Origen (x) and Hilarius (y), and others.

(x) Apud Montfaucon. Praelim. ad Hexapla Origen. p. 78, 79. (y) Prolog. in Psalm. p. 33.

The {q} prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

(q) Concerning his son Solomon.

20. Compare the note in Job 31:40 which separates the speeches of Job from those of Elihu and Jehovah. As the Fourth and Fifth Books contain Psalms ascribed to David, this note cannot have been placed here by an editor who had the whole Psalter before him. Most probably it was added by the compiler of the Elohistic collection, to separate the ‘Psalms of David’ from the ‘Psalms of Asaph’ which follow, and to indicate that there were no more ‘Davidic’ Psalms in his collection. The only Psalm in Book iii which bears the name of David (86) is outside the Elohistic collection, and is moreover obviously a late compilation, composed of fragments of other Psalms. For the term prayers see Introd. p. xx. The LXX rendering ὕμνοι however may point to another reading תהלות, praises.Verse 20. - The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended. This is a note appended, either by the collector of the first two Books of the Psalms, or by the collector of the Third Book, who thus marked the difference between the previous collection and his own, the former containing sixty psalms ascribed to David in their titles, and the latter one only (Psalm 86).

The confirmation of these prospects is now given. Voluntative forms are intermingled because the prospect extending into the future is nevertheless more lyrical than prophetic in its character. The elevation of the king to the dominion of the world is the reward of his condescension; he shows himself to be the helper and protecting lord of the poor and the oppressed, who are the especial object upon which God's eye is set. He looks upon it as his task to deal most sympathizingly and most considerately (יחס) just with those of reduced circumstances and with the poor, and their blood is precious in his eyes. Psalm 72:12 is re-echoed in Job 29:12. The meaning of Psalm 72:14 is the same as Psalm 116:15. Instead of יקר, by a retention of the Jod of the stem it is written ייקר. Just as in Psalm 49:10, ייקר here also is followed by ויחי. The assertion is individualized: and he (who was threatened with death) shall live (voluntative, having reference to the will of the king). But who is now the subject to ויתּן-? Not the rescued one (Hitzig), for after the foregoing designations (Psalm 72:11.) we cannot expect to find "the gold of Sheba" (gold from Jeman or Aethiopia) in his possession. Therefore it is the king, and in fact Solomon, of whom the disposal of the gold of Sheba (Saba) is characteristic. The king's thought and endeavour are directed to this, that the poor man who has almost fallen a victim shall live or revive, and not only will he maintain his cause, he will also bestow gifts upon him with a liberal hand, and he (the poor one who has been rescued and endowed from the riches of the king) shall pray unceasingly for him (the king) and bless him at all times. The poor one is he who is restored to life and endowed with gifts, and who intercedes and blesses; the king, however, is the beneficent giver. It is left for the reader to supply the right subjects in thought to the separate verbs. That clearly marked precision which we require in rhetorical recital is alien to the Oriental style (vid., my Geschichte der jdischen Poesie, S. 189). Maurer and Hofmann also give the same interpretation as we have done.
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