Psalm 89:45
The days of his youth hast thou shortened: thou hast covered him with shame. Selah.
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89:38-52 Sometimes it is not easy to reconcile God's providences with his promises, yet we are sure that God's works fulfil his word. When the great Anointed One, Christ himself, was upon the cross, God seemed to have cast him off, yet did not make void his covenant, for that was established for ever. The honour of the house of David was lost. Thrones and crowns are often laid in the dust; but there is a crown of glory reserved for Christ's spiritual seed, which fadeth not away. From all this complaint learn what work sin makes with families, noble families, with families in which religion has appeared. They plead with God for mercy. God's unchangeableness and faithfulness assure us that He will not cast off those whom he has chosen and covenanted with. They were reproached for serving him. The scoffers of the latter days, in like manner, reproach the footsteps of the Messiah when they ask, Where is the promise of his coming? 2Pe 3:3,4. The records of the Lord's dealings with the family of David, show us his dealings with his church, and with believers. Their afflictions and distresses may be grievous, but he will not finally cast them off. Self-deceivers abuse this doctrine, and others by a careless walk bring themselves into darkness and distress; yet let the true believer rely on it for encouragement in the path of duty, and in bearing the cross. The psalm ends with praise, even after this sad complaint. Those who give God thanks for what he has done, may give him thanks for what he will do. God will follow those with his mercies, who follow him with praises.The days of his youth hast thou shortened - This does not mean that he had shortened his life, but that he had abbreviated the period of his vigor, his hope, and his prosperity; instead of lengthening out these, and prolonging them into advancing years, he had by calamities, disappointments, reverses, and troubles, as it were, abridged them. No such youthful vigor, no such youthful hope now remained. The feelings of age - the cutting off from the world - had come suddenly upon him, even before he had reached the season when this might be expected to occur. Though at a time of life and in circumstances when he might have hoped for a longer continuance of that youthful vigor, he had suddenly been brought into the sad condition of an old man.

Thou hast covered him with shame - Hast clothed him with shame or disgrace. Everything in his circumstances and in his appearance indicates shame and disgrace, and the divine displeasure.

45. days of his youth—or, "youthful vigor," that is, of the royal line, or promised perpetual kingdom, under the figure of a man. The youthful and flourishing estate of David’s kingdom was very short, and reached not beyond his next successor, and it hath been languishing by degrees till this time, when it seems to be dead and buried.

The days of his youth hast thou shortened,.... His days of joy and pleasure; such as days of youth are, in opposition to the days of old age, which are evil, Ecclesiastes 11:9, these were shortened when his sorrows and sufferings came on, and God hid his face from him; and indeed he was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief all his days: the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "the days of his time"; and the Arabic version "the days of his years"; for he did not live out half the time of man's age, which is threescore years and ten, Psalm 90:10, he dying at the age of thirty three or four; but, notwithstanding this, he lives again, and lives for evermore; he has length of days for ever and ever, Psalm 21:4, though his days were in some sense shortened, yet in another sense they are and will be prolonged, even his own, and those of his spiritual seed, according to the promise of God, Isaiah 53:10,

thou hast covered him with shame; see Psalm 69:7, when his face was covered with shame and spitting, from which he hid it not, Isaiah 1:6, but now he is crowned with glory and honour; wherefore all these complaints, though true, are no objections to what is before said and swore to.

Selah. See Gill on Psalm 3:2.

The days of his {f} youth hast thou shortened: thou hast covered him with shame. Selah.

(f) He shows that the kingdom fell before it came to perfection or was ripe.

45. He is prematurely old. Cp. Psalm 102:23. The words might be figuratively applied to the nation (Hosea 7:9), or to the kingdom, prematurely brought to an end: but it is more natural to regard them as referring to the king himself. Jehoiachin was but 18 (2 Kings 24:8), or according to 2 Chronicles 36:9, only 8 years old, when he came to the throne, and he reigned only three months and ten days. The prime of his life was spent in exile, apparently in actual confinement in which he was literally ‘clothed with dishonour’ (2 Kings 25:29).

Verse 45. - The days of his youth hast thou shortened. This does not seem to mean an actual cutting short by death (since the Davidical king has been spoken of as alive in vers. 38, 41, 43), but rather a cutting short of youthful energy and vigour, a premature senescence, such as may well have fallen upon Jehoiachin or Zedekiah. Thou hast covered him with shame; or, "heaped shame upon him" - "covered him up with shame." The phrase would suit Jehoiachin, who was kept in prison by Nebuchadnezzar, and in "prison garments" (2 Kings 25:29), for the space of thirty-five years. Psalm 89:45Now after the poet has turned his thoughts towards the beginnings of the house of David which were so rich in promise, in order that he might find comfort under the sorrowful present, the contrast of the two periods is become all the more sensible to him. With ואתּה in Psalm 89:39 (And Thou - the same who hast promised and affirmed this with an oath) his Psalm takes a new turn, for which reason it might even have been ועתּה. זנח is used just as absolutely here as in Psalm 44:24; Psalm 74:1; Psalm 77:8, so that it does not require any object to be supplied out of Psalm 89:39. נארתּה in Psalm 89:40 the lxx renders kate'strepsas; it is better rendered in Lamentations 2:7 ἀπετίναξε; for נאר is synonymous with נער, to shake off, push away, cf. Arabic el-menâ‛ir, the thrusters (with the lance). עבדּך is a vocational name of the king as such. His crown is sacred as being the insignia of a God-bestowed office. God has therefore made the sacred thing vile by casting it to the ground (חלּל לארץ, as in Psalm 74:17, to cast profaningly to the ground). The primary passage to Psalm 89:41-42, is Psalm 80:13. "His hedges" are all the boundary and protecting fences which the land of the king has; and מבצריו "the fortresses" of his land (in both instances without כל, because matters have not yet come to such a pass).

(Note: In the list of the nations and cities conquered by King Sheshonk I are found even cities of the tribe of Issachar, e.g., Shen-ma-an, Sunem; vid., Brugsch, Reiseberichte, S. 141-145, and Blau as referred to above.)

In שׁסּהוּ the notions of the king and of the land blend together. עברי־דרך are the hordes of the peoples passing through the land. שׁכניו are the neighbouring peoples that are otherwise liable to pay tribute to the house of David, who sought to take every possible advantage of that weakening of the Davidic kingdom. In Psalm 89:44 we are neither to translate "rock of his sword" (Hengstenberg), nor "O rock" (Olshausen). צוּר does not merely signify rupes, but also from another root (צוּר, Arab. ṣâr, originally of the grating or shrill noise produced by pressing and squeezing, then more particularly to cut or cut off with pressure, with a sharply set knife or the like) a knife or a blade (cf. English knife, and German kneifen, to nip): God has decreed it that the edge or blade of the sword of the king has been turned back by the enemy, that he has not been able to maintain his ground in battle (הקמתו with ē instead of ı̂, as also when the tone is not moved forward, Micah 5:4). In Psalm 89:45 the Mem of מטהרו, after the analogy of Ezekiel 16:41; Ezekiel 34:10, and other passages, is a preposition: cessare fecisti eum a splendore suo. A noun מטּהר equals מטהר with Dag. dirimens,

(Note: The view of Pinsker (Einleitung, S. 69), that this Dag. is not a sign of the doubling of the letter, but a diacritic point (that preceded the invention of the system of vowel-points), which indicated that the respective letter was to be pronounced with a Chateph vowel (e.g., miṭŏhar), is incorrect. The doubling Dag. renders the Sheb audible, and having once become audible it readily receives this or that colouring according to the nature of its consonant and of the neighbouring vowel.)

like מקדּשׁ Exodus 15:17, מנּזר Nahum 3:17 (Abulwald, Aben-Ezra, Parchon, Kimchi, and others), in itself improbable in the signification required here, is not found either in post-biblical or in biblical Hebrew. טהר, like צהר, signifies first of all not purity, but brilliancy. Still the form טהר does not lie at the basis of it in this instance; for the reading found here just happens not to be טהרו, but מטּהרו; and the reading adopted by Norzi, Heidenheim, and Baer, as also by Nissel and others, so far as form is concerned is not distinct from it, viz., מטּהרו (miṭtŏharo), the character of the Sheb being determined by the analogy of the following (cf. בּסּערה, 2 Kings 2:1), which presupposes the principal form טהר (Bttcher, 386, cf. supra, 2:31, note). The personal tenor of Psalm 89:46 requires that it should be referred to the then reigning Davidic king, but not as dying before his time (Olshausen), but as becoming prematurely old by reason of the sorrowful experiences of his reign. The larger half of the kingdom has been wrested from him; Egypt and the neighbouring nations also threaten the half that remains to him; and instead of the kingly robe, shame completely covers him.

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