Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. VIII:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Expositions on the Book of Psalms.: Psalm XXI
Psalm XXI. 584
To the end, a psalm of David himself.
1. The title is a familiar one; the Psalm is of Christ. 585
2. “O Lord, the King shall rejoice in Thy strength” (Psa. 21.1). O Lord, in Thy strength, whereby the Word was made flesh, the Man Christ Jesus shall rejoice. “And shall exult exceedingly in Thy salvation.” And in that, whereby Thou quickenest all things, shall exult exceedingly.
3. “Thou hast given Him the desire of His soul” (Psa. 21.2). He desired to eat the Passover, 586 and to lay down His life when He would, and again when He would to take it; and Thou hast given it to Him. 587 “And hast not deprived Him of the good pleasure of His lips.” “My peace,” saith He, “I leave with you:” 588 and it was done.
4. “For Thou hast presented Him with the blessings of sweetness” (Psa. 21.3). Because He had first quaffed the blessing of Thy sweetness, the gall of our sins did not hurt Him. “Diapsalma. Thou hast set a crown of precious stone on His Head.” 589 At the beginning of His discoursing precious stones were brought, and compassed Him about; 590 His disciples, from whom the commencement of His preaching should be made.
5. “He asked life; and Thou gavest Him:” He asked a resurrection, saying, “Father, glorify Thy Son;” 591 and Thou gavest it Him, “Length of days for ever and ever” (Psa. 21.4). The prolonged ages of this world which the Church was to have, and after them an eternity, world without end.
6. “His glory is great in Thy salvation” (Psa. 21.5). Great indeed is His glory in the salvation, whereby Thou hast raised Him up again. “Glory and great honour shalt Thou lay upon Him.” But Thou shalt yet add unto Him glory and great honour, when Thou shalt place Him in heaven at Thy right hand.
7. “For Thou shalt give Him blessing for ever and ever.” This is the blessing which Thou shalt give Him for ever and ever: “Thou shalt make Him glad in joy together with Thy countenance” (Psa. 21.6). According to His manhood, Thou shalt make Him glad together with Thy countenance, which He lifted up to Thee.
8. “For the King hopeth in the Lord.” For the King is not proud, but humble in heart, he hopeth in the Lord. “And in the mercy of the Most Highest He shall not be moved” (Psa. 21.7). And in the mercy of the Most Highest His obedience even unto the death of the Cross shall not disturb His humility.
9. “Let Thy hand be found by all Thine enemies.” Be Thy power, O King, when Thou comest to judgment, found by all Thine enemies; who in Thy humiliation discerned it not. “Let Thy right hand find out all that hate Thee” (Psa. 21.8). Let the glory, wherein Thou reignest at the right hand of the Father, find out for punishment in the day of judgment all that hate Thee; for that now they have not found it.
10. “Thou shalt make them like a fiery oven:” Thou shalt make them on fire within, by the consciousness of their ungodliness: “In the time of Thy countenance:” in the time of Thy manifestation. “The Lord shall trouble them in His wrath, and the fire shall devour them” (Psa. 21.9). And then, being troubled by the vengeance of the Lord, after the accusation of their conscience, they shall be given up to eternal fire, to be devoured.
11. “Their fruit shalt Thou destroy out of the earth.” Their fruit, because it is earthly, shalt Thou destroy out of the earth. “And their seed from the sons of men” (Psa. 21.10). And their works; or, whomsoever they have seduced, Thou shalt not reckon among the sons of men, whom Thou hast called into the everlasting inheritance.
12. “Because they turned evils against Thee.” Now this punishment shall be recompensed to them, because the evils which they supposed to hang over them by Thy reign, they turned against Thee to Thy death. “They imagined a p. 58 device, which they were not able to establish” (Psa. 21.11). They imagined a device, saying, “It is expedient that one die for all:” 592 which they were not able to establish, not knowing what they said.
13. “For Thou shalt set them low.” For Thou shalt rank them among those from whom in degradation and contempt Thou wilt turn away. “In Thy leavings 593 Thou shalt make ready their countenance” (Psa. 21.12). And in these things that Thou leavest, that is, in the desires of an earthly kingdom, Thou shalt make ready their shamelessness for Thy passion.
14. “Be Thou exalted, O Lord, in Thy strength” (Psa. 21.13). Be Thou, Lord, whom in humiliation they did not discern, exalted in Thy strength, which they thought weakness. “We will sing and praise Thy power.” In heart and in deed we will celebrate and make known Thy marvels.
[Prophetic of His ascension.—C.]57:586
Luke xxii. 15.57:587
John x. 18.57:588
John xiv. 27.57:589
[Rev. xix. 12. Our author agrees with the Septuagint and the Vulgate here, as to “precious stone.” Jerome gives coronam obrizam. Gr. ὄβρυζον.—C.]57:590
Matt. 5:1, Mal. 3:17.—C.]57:591
John xvii. 1.58:592
John xi. 50.58:593
[In reliquiis tuis. So Vulgate.—C.]
Next: Psalm XXII
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