Psalm lxxxv. (Inclina Domine.)
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. David.
He might compose this psalm under any affliction, though prayer is always necessary (Berthier) for any person. (Worthington)
--- Others apply it to Ezechias, (Theodoret) the captives, or the Church. (Calmet) --- Jesus Christ prays during his passion,
and foretells his resurrection, and the vocation of the Gentiles. (St. Augustine) --- Needy. Hebrew, "mild or
afflicted." Humility is requisite to pray well, as those who think themselves rich, ask not with fervour. (Calmet) --- God
"inclines his ear if thou dost not lift up thy neck." (St. Augustine)
Ver. 2. I
am holy. I am by my office and profession dedicated to thy service, (Challoner) as a Levite, (Calmet) or a member of the
true Church. (Haydock) --- He may also speak in the person of Christ, who prays for us and in us. (Du Hamel) --- Syriac and
Arabic read, "thou art good." (Calmet) --- Our necessities, firm purposes of leading a virtuous life, and confidence in God,
move him to shew mercy. (Worthington)
Ver. 4. Soul.
I ardently desire to serve in thy temple, Jeremias xxii. 27. A holy importunity, (Luke xviii. 2.; Tertullian, Apol. 39.; Calmet)
and fervour in prayer, (Haydock) with perseverance, attention, and a sense of God's infinite perfections, are requisite. (Worthington)
Ver. 7. Heard
me. This gives me confidence that thou wilt do it again. (Haydock) --- Thou art not like senseless idols. (Calmet)
Ver. 8. Gods,
which have been set up by men; or among angels, &c., (Calmet) capable of working miracles by an independent power. (Haydock)
Ver. 9. Name.
This was partly verified after the captivity, and fully when the gospel was preached. (Calmet) --- The Gentiles came by faith,
and glorified God by good works, Matthew v. 17. (Worthington)
Ver. 10. Alone.
Vatican Septuagint, Arabic, &c., add, "the great." (Calmet) (Acts xvii. 24.
Ver. 11. Truth.
Let me see the justice of thy conduct in suffering the wicked to prosper, (Psalm lxxii. 17.) or let me invariably observe
thy holy law, which alone can give me true content. --- Rejoice. Hebrew, as we read at present, "likewise fear," (Calmet)
"unite," (Montanus) or "let my heart be one," solitary, disengaged from all, unicum, (St. Jerome) "to fear," &c.
(Calmet) --- This sense is very good. But yached, means also rejoice. (Berthier) --- Our joy must be mixed with
fear. (Du Hamel)
Ver. 13. Hell
of the damned, (Worthington) according to the Fathers: or out of captivity and dangers. (Berthier) --- If it be understood
of Christ, it must refer to limbo. (Bellarmine) (Menochius) --- It seems equivalent to the lower pit, Psalm lxxxvii.
7. (Haydock) --- The Jews admit seven regions in hell, (Genebrard) and our theologians four: 1. Of the damned; 2.
of unbaptized infants; 3. of purgatory; and 4. of the saints in Abraham's bosom. St. Augustine mentions the
first and last here: but he speaks clearly of purgatory in other places. (De Gen. contra Manch. ii. 17. in Psalm vi.) (Calmet)
--- David was rescued from the most imminent dangers, and Christ came out of limbo, (Psalm xv. 10.; Du Hamel) by his own power.
Ver. 14. Eyes.
The Babylonians oppress us most unjustly. (Calmet)
Ver. 15. True.
This title is also applied to Christ, who, of course, is God:; since every man is liable to mistake, Romans iii. 4., and Apocalypse
xix. 1. God authorized Moses and the prophets to address Him, as the psalmist does, Exodus xxxiv. 6., and Joel ii. 13. (Berthier)
Ver. 16. Command.
Hebrew, "strength," (Haydock) to resist the enemy. (Menochius) --- Order me as thou pleasest: I am entirely devoted to thee
from my very birth, Psalm cxv. 16. Restore the throne of David. (Calmet) --- The prophets frequently thus turn to the Church,
the kingdom of the Messias, who was born of the handmaid of the Lord. (Worthington)
Ver. 17. Good.
Mark me for thy slave, (Calmet) which will be the highest honour. (Haydock) --- Give me such a sign as the angel did when
he was going to destroy the first-born of Egypt. (St. Athanasius) --- By some prodigy convince our oppressors that there is
a God. (Calmet) (Berthier) --- The resurrection, prefigured by Jonas, was the great proof of Christ and his Church; and this
serves either for the conversion or for the condemnation of mankind. See St. Augustine. (Worthington)
Quod precor eveniet, sunt certa oracula vatum,
Nam Deus optanti prospera signa dedit. (Ovid, 2 de Ponto 1.)
--- Comforted. St. Cyprian was in sorrow while suffering, but was
comforted when crowned. "All the martyrs, with Christ, pray for us." (St. Augustine) (Du Hamel)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
A prayer for God's grace to assist us to the end.
1 A prayer for David himself.
Incline thy ear, O Lord, and hear me: for I am needy and poor.
2 Preserve my soul, for I am holy: save thy servant, O my God, that trusteth
3 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I have cried to thee all the day. 4 Give
joy to the soul of thy servant; for to thee, O Lord, I have lifted up my soul.
5 *For thou, O Lord, art sweet and mild: and plenteous in mercy to all
that call upon thee.
6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer: and attend to the voice of my petition.
7 I have called upon thee in the day of my trouble: because thou hast
8 There is none among the gods like unto thee, O Lord; and there is none
according to thy works.
9 All the nations thou hast made shall come and adore before thee, O
Lord: and they shall glorify thy name.
10 For thou art great and dost wonderful things: thou art God alone.
11 Conduct me, O Lord, in thy way, and I will walk in thy truth: let
my heart rejoice, that it may fear thy name.
12 I will praise thee, O Lord, my God, with my whole heart, and I will
glorify thy name for ever:
13 For thy mercy is great towards me: and thou hast delivered my soul
out of the lower hell.
14 O God, the wicked are risen up against me, and the assembly of the
mighty have sought my soul: and they have not set thee before their eyes.
15 And thou, O Lord, art a God of compassion, and merciful, patient,
and of much mercy, and true.
16 O look upon me, and have mercy on me: give thy command to thy servant,
and save the son of thy handmaid.
17 Shew me a token for good: that they who hate me, may see, and be confounded,
because thou, O Lord, hast helped me and hast comforted me.
5: Joel ii. 13.