Psalm lxxxiv. (Benedixisti Domine.)
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Psalm.
It resembles the 66th [psalm], and seems to have been sung when the first-fruits were brought to the temple. Most people explain
it of the captives delivered, (Theodoret; Du Pin) and of Christ's redemption. (Eusebius; St. Augustine) (Calmet) --- David
foresaw the afflictions and captivity of his people; and was aware of the miseries of mankind, to be removed by the
Messias alone. (Berthier)
Ver. 2. Blessed.
Hebrew, "taken into favour," or "hast rendered fruitful." (Judea) (Calmet) --- God had bestowed many benefits upon his people,
rescuing them from the Egyptian bondage, and not punishing them as much as they deserved. (Worthington) --- Others explain
it of the captivity at Babylon, or under the devil. (Menochius) --- David speaks of the former event by the prophetic spirit,
and the latter misfortune was always deplorable, and to be terminated only by the Messias. (Berthier) --- The redemption of
man was prefigured by the liberation of the Jews. (Du Hamel)
Ver. 5. Convert.
Bring back the remnant of thy people, dispersed through the world. Only a few returned under Cyrus; the rest came back by
degrees principally during the reigns of Hystaspes and Alexander the Great. (Calmet, Diss.) --- While we continue unconverted,
we are objects of God's wrath. (Berthier) (Lamentations v. 21.) --- Our Saviour. Septuagint, "of our salvations." St.
Jerome, "our Jesus." (Haydock) --- Saviour of mankind, mitigate thy wrath against us. (Worthington)
Ver. 6. Ever.
The Pythagoreans settled their differences before sunset. (Plut.) --- "Cherish not, mortals, an immortal wrath." (Aristotle,
Rhet. ii. 21.) (Haydock) --- As long, O God, as we see not our brethren restored, we shall think that thou art not perfectly
reconciled to us. (Calmet)
Ver. 7. Turn,
conversus. The ancient psalters read convertens. "Converting, O God, thou wilt bring us to life," free us from
captivity, and redeem us from sin by Jesus Christ, the conqueror of death. (Calmet) --- Before their conversion sinners lie
dead in guilt. (Worthington) --- O God, thou wilt again restore us to life. (Du Hamel)
Ver. 8. Salvation.
By Cyrus, or rather by the Messias, whose time drew near. (Calmet)
Ver. 9. Hear.
Hitherto the prophet had been distracted by the thought of his people's misery. (St. Augustine) --- In me, is not expressed
in Hebrew. --- Heart. Some of the ancients add, "to him." (Calmet) --- The Septuagint seem to have had a copy different
from the present Hebrew, "But let them not turn again to folly;" (Protestants; Haydock) though the sense is much the same.
They may have read lobom lie, "their heart to God," (Berthier) or lobsle, (Calmet) "the heart, Sela;" instead
of lecisla, "to folly." (Haydock) --- Those Israelites who had given way to idolatry, were little inclined to return
to their own country, at the invitation of Cyrus. Though Christ came to save all, only men of good will obtained his peace,
Luke ii. 4., and John i. 5. (Calmet) --- There is no peace for the wicked, Isaias xlviii. 22., and Philippians iv. 9. (Berthier)
--- The redemption of the world was here revealed. (Worthington) (Menochius)
Ver. 10. Land.
After the captivity, Judea flourished by degrees. But the glory of the second temple consisted in the presence of the Messias,
Aggeus ii. 8. (Calmet) --- Those who were moved with godly fear, embraced the gospel, in order to be saved, while many rejected
it through their own fault. (Worthington)
Ver. 11. Kissed.
Or, "embraced," like friends, as the ancient psalters read. The people practised these virtues after the captivity, and more
particularly in the Church of Christ. (Calmet) --- At the time appointed, He reconciled sinners to his Father, having satisfied
his justice, (Berthier) and displayed his own mercy. (Menochius) --- Thus justice is strictly observed, and peace made between
God and man. (Worthington) --- The justice of the Father and the mercy of the Son kiss each other. (Du Hamel) (Haydock)
Ver. 12. Earth.
Good men preserve a clear conscience. (Worthington) --- Virtues of every description (Menochius) are become common among God's
people, (Calmet) particularly Christians, though our Saviour may here be styled justice. (Menochius) --- He was born
of a pure virgin. (St. Jerome) (Lyranus) --- Jam redit et virgo; redeunt saturnia regna. (Virgil, Ec. iv.) (Haydock)
Ver. 13. Fruit.
By imitation, (Calmet) "we may give birth to Jesus Christ," says St. Jerome. God bestows grace, and so men yield fruit. (Worthington)
Ver. 14. Him.
The holy John the Baptist shall prepare the way of the Lord. (Lyranus) (Muis) --- Hebrew, "each one's justice," &c. (Symmachus)
--- After the captivity religion shall reign. If we wish to enter heaven, we must follow virtue. (Calmet)