Psalm 89:36
His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 89:36-37. His throne as the sun before me — In respect of perpetual duration, as appears, both from the foregoing and following words. It shall be established as the moon — As the moon, though subject to eclipses, and frequent and manifold changes, yet doth constantly and perpetually remain in heaven, as a witness of my covenant of the night, as it is called Jeremiah 33:20, so shall the house and kingdom of David continue for ever. And as a faithful witness in heaven — By which may be meant either, 1st, The moon last mentioned, which was to be a faithful witness to this promise of God so long as it continued in the heavens; or the rainbow, which, though in itself it be unstable and transient, and doth but seldom appear, yet in Scripture is mentioned as God’s faithful and perpetual witness, being called a token of God’s everlasting covenant, between him and every living creature for perpetual generations, Genesis 9:12-16.

89:19-37 The Lord anointed David with the holy oil, not only as an emblem of the graces and gifts he received, but as a type of Christ, the King Priest, and Prophet, anointed with the Holy Ghost without measure. David after his anointing, was persecuted, but none could gain advantage against him. Yet all this was a faint shadow of the Redeemer's sufferings, deliverance, glory, and authority, in whom alone these predictions and promises are fully brought to pass. He is the mighty God. This is the Redeemer appointed for us, who alone is able to complete the work of our salvation. Let us seek an interest in these blessings, by the witness of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. As the Lord corrected the posterity of David for their transgressions, so his people shall be corrected for their sins. Yet it is but a rod, not a sword; it is to correct, not to destroy. It is a rod in the hand of God, who is wise, and knows what he does; gracious, and will do what is best. It is a rod which they shall never feel, but when there is need. As the sun and moon remain in heaven, whatever changes there seem to be in them, and again appear in due season; so the covenant of grace made in Christ, whatever alteration seems to come to it, should not be questioned.His seed shall endure forever ... - His posterity. See the notes at Psalm 89:29. There, the expression is, "his throne as the days of heaven." Here it is, "his throne as the sun before me." The meaning is the same. It would stand through all time. Compare the notes at Psalm 72:5. 35. Once—one thing (Ps 27:4).

by my holiness—as a holy God.

that I will not lie—literally, "if I lie"—part of the form of swearing (1Sa 24:6; 2Sa 3:35).

In respect of perpetual duration, as appears both from the foregoing words, and from the following verse.

His seed shall endure for ever,.... This is a confirmation by his oath of what he had before said, Psalm 89:29 which may be understood either of the perseverance of particular believers, of everyone of the spiritual seed of Christ; or of the duration of the church in general, throughout all ages, as before observed; and these being matters of moment and importance, and of which there are sometimes doubts in the minds of the Lord's people about them, and that they may be firmly believed by them, he confirms them with an oath; for God never swears to trivial things; and when he does swear, it is to remove the doubts of his people, and make their minds easy:

and his throne as the sun before me; that is, shall continue as long as it does; see Psalm 89:29, or shall be bright, splendid, and glorious as the sun, so the Targum,

"and his throne light as the sun before me;''

meaning his church and kingdom, of which the throne is an emblem, and which became so in Gospel times, clear and lucid as the sun, Sol 6:10, when day was made by the rising of the sun of righteousness, and by the bright shining of the Gospel ministry; and at particular periods since, as in the times of Constantine, when the church was clothed with the sun, and at the Reformation, when Christ appeared with a rainbow on his head, and his face was as the sun, Revelation 12:1 and especially this will be the case of the church in the latter day, when the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun seven fold, as the light of seven days; and when the city, the church, will stand in no need of the sun, nor of the moon; and also in the ultimate glory, when the saints will shine as the sun in the kingdom of God; see Isaiah 30:26. This passage is applied to the Messiah by the Jews (a).

(a) Zohar in Gen. fol. 30. 1.

His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
36. Cp. Psalm 89:4; Psalm 89:29; Psalm 72:5; Psalm 72:7; Psalm 72:17.

Verse 36. - His seed shall endure forever (comp. ver. 29). And his throne as the sun before me; i.e. shall endure as the sun (comp. Psalm 72:5 and 2 Samuel 7:13). Psalm 89:36Now follows the paraphrase of 2 Samuel 7:14, that the faithlessness of David's line in relation to the covenant shall not interfere with (annul) the faithfulness of God - a thought with which one might very naturally console one's self in the reign of Rehoboam. Because God has placed the house of David in a filial relationship to Himself, He will chastise the apostate members as a father chastises his son; cf. Proverbs 23:13. In 1 Chronicles 17:13 the chronicler omits the words of 2 Samuel 7:14 which there provide against perverted action (העוות) on the part of the seed of David; our Psalm proves their originality. But even if, as history shows, this means of chastisement should be ineffectual in the case of individuals, the house of David as such will nevertheless remain ever in a state of favour with Him. In Psalm 89:34 חסדּי לא־אפיר מעמּו corresponds to וחסדּי־לא־יסוּר ממּנּוּ in 2 Samuel 7:15 (lxx, Targum): the fut. Hiph. of פרר is otherwise always אפר; the conjecture אסיר is therefore natural, yet even the lxx translators (ου ̓ μὴ διασκεδάσω) had אפיר before them. שׁקּר בּ as in Psalm 44:18. The covenant with David is sacred with God: He will not profane it (חלּל, to loose the bonds of sanctity). He will fulfil what has gone forth from His lips, i.e., His vow, according to Deuteronomy 23:24 [23], cf. Numbers 30:3 [2]. One thing hath He sworn to David; not: once equals once for all (lxx), for what is introduced by Psalm 89:36 (cf. Psalm 27:4) and follows in Psalm 89:37, Psalm 89:38, is in reality one thing (as in Psalm 62:12, two). He hath sworn it per sanctitatem suam. Thus, and not in sanctuario meo, בּקדשׁי in this passage and Amos 4:2 (cf. on Psalm 60:8) is to be rendered, for elsewhere the expression is בּי, Genesis 22:16; Isaiah 45:23, or בּנפשׁו, Amos 6:8; Jeremiah 51:14, or בּשׁמי, Jeremiah 44:26, or בּימינו, Isaiah 62:8. It is true we do not read any set form of oath in 2 Samuel 7, 1 Chronicles 17, but just as Isaiah, Isaiah 54:9, takes the divine promise in Genesis 8:21 as an oath, so the promise so earnestly and most solemnly pledged to David may be accounted by Psalm-poesy (here and in Psalm 132:11), which reproduces the historical matter of fact, as a promise attested with an oath. With אם in Psalm 89:36 God asserts that He will not disappoint David in reference to this one thing, viz., the perpetuity of his throne. This shall stand for ever as the sun and moon; for these, though they may one day undergo a change (Psalm 102:27), shall nevertheless never be destroyed. In the presence of 2 Samuel 7:16 it looks as if Psalm 89:38 ought to be rendered: and as the witness in the clouds shall it (David's throne) be faithful (perpetual). By the witness in the clouds one would then have to understand the rainbow as the celestial memorial and sign of an everlasting covenant. Thus Luther, Geier, Schmid, and others. But neither this rendering, nor the more natural one, "and as the perpetual, faithful witness in the clouds," is admissible in connection with the absence of the כּ of comparison. Accordingly Hengstenberg, following the example of Jewish expositors, renders: "and the witness in the clouds is perpetual," viz., the moon, so that the continuance of the Davidic line would be associated with the moon, just as the continuance of the condemned earth is with the rainbow. But in what sense would the moon have the name, without example elsewhere, of witness? Just as the Book of Job was the key to the conclusion of Psalm 88, so it is the key to this ambiguous verse of the Psalm before us. It has to be explained according to Job 16:19, where Job says: "Behold in heaven is my witness, and my surety in the heights." Jahve, the אל נאמן (Deuteronomy 7:9), seals His sworn promise with the words, "and the witness in the sky (ethereal heights) is faithful" (cf. concerning this Waw in connection with asseverations, Ew. 340, c). Hengstenberg's objection, that Jahve cannot be called His own witness, is disposed of by the fact that עד frequently signifies the person who testifies anything concerning himself; in this sense, in fact, the whole Tra is called עדוּת ה (the testimony of Jahve).
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