Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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Psalm 86

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Psalm lxxxvi. (Fundamenta ejus.)

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Mountains. So far the Jews extend the title, supposing that the subject of this canticle was concerning Sion, Moria, &c. Others think that, thereof, refers to a part of the psalm which has been lost, (Calmet) or to the temple or city which occupied the prophet's thoughts; or it is sufficiently explained by the word Sion, which follows, as the relative sometimes comes first. (Du Hamel) See Proverbs xiv. 3. --- This psalm might be composed (Berthier) by some of the Corites, during, or after the captivity, when Jerusalem received strangers within her walls, as a figure of the Christian Church; (Isaias ii. 2., and Zacharias viii. 20.; Calmet) or David (Berthier) might write it when he had removed the ark to Sion, which was to be the seat of the true religion. (Ferrand) --- Mountains. The apostles and prophets; (Ephesians ii. 20.; Challoner) on which the Church is founded. (Haydock) --- The city was styled holy, from the temple built on Moria. Several other mountains were included within its walls. (Calmet)

Ver. 2. Jacob. Jerusalem belonged to some of his children. Hence the psalmist clearly speaks of something better, even of the Church of Christ, (Berthier) which God has chosen for his spouse, having abandoned the synagogue, (Apocalypse xxi. 9.; Calmet) which was only intended to be a pedagogue. (Haydock)

Ver. 4. Rahab. Egypt, &c. To this Sion, which is the Church of God, many shall resort from all nations. (Challoner) --- Christ gives his apostles command to preach to all, Matthew xxviii., and Luke xxiv. 27. (Worthington) --- Some have supposed that Rahab, who received the spies, is here put, to signify the Chanaanites. But her name is written Reb; and the word before us is Rahab, (Haydock) signifying "pride," (Menochius) or Egypt; particularly the Delta, which is still called Rib. (Calmet) --- Me. I will receive into my Church not only the Jews, but also the most abandoned nations. (Haydock) --- Foreigners. Philistines, Psalm lxxxii. 8. (Menochius) --- Were. Hebrew, "this man was born there." (Haydock) --- In Christ there is no distinction of nations, Romans x. 12. The Jews will never shew us the completion of this prophecy any where but in the Church. (Calmet) --- It is spoken of as past, to denote the certainty of the event. (Worthington)

Ver. 5. Shall not Sion say, &c. The meaning is, that Sion, viz., the Church, shall not only be able to commemorate this or that particular person of renown born in her, but also to glory in great multitudes of people and princes, of her communion; who have been foretold in the writings of the prophets, and registered in the writings of the apostles. (Challoner) --- We might also translate, "shall it not be said of Sion?" (Worthington) --- Some may have read dicetur, instead of dicet. "Shall not a man say to Sion, yea, a man is born in her?" (Haydock) --- Septuagint have, "mother," metre, which St. Jerome says should be meti, shall not. Other nations may have produced some great men. But Sion has given birth to the Man-God, who was brought into the world in its vicinity, and preached and rose again there. (Berthier) --- She has had many heroes, and has been founded by the Highest. (Menochius) --- Christ, both God and man, is the builder of his Church, and people, in admiration, recount how many great personages have embraced her communion. (Worthington) --- John the Baptist, a man sent by God, announced the Messias; who, according to his humanity, was born of a virgin, among the people of Sion; while, by his divine nature, He was the most High. (Denis the Carthusian) (Bellarmine) --- See Amama. --- Sion, or Jerusalem, shall be the mother of an infinite multitude, (Isaias xlix. 18.) the metropolis of Judea. Septuagint, Arabic, &c., read, "mother," in this sense. People deemed it an honour to be born there. (Calmet) --- Christ "became man for our sakes, being God before us. How do we know this? The Lord has told us in the writings of peoples." (St. Augustine) (Du Hamel)

Ver. 6. Writings. He alone can number the inhabitants: or He will enroll all nations as citizens of Sion. (Calmet) --- The New Testament explains the vocation of the Gentiles, and the incarnation of Christ. (Berthier) --- The Scriptures are the books of all mankind, as well as of princes. All are equally interested in their contents, and ought to become acquainted with them. Hebrew, "the Lord has numbered, writing down peoples: He was born in it for ever." (St. Jerome) --- This refers to Jesus Christ, whose birth is also specified in the preceding verse, (Berthier) as ennobling Sion, far more than that of Homer, Alexander, or Csar could do any of the pagan cities, Egypt, &c., ver. 4. (Haydock) --- The mystery of the incarnation will shine forth at the last day, as well as the glory of the elect. But these things are already consigned in part to all nations, in the writings of the apostles, (Berthier) and in ecclesiastical history. (Menochius) --- Princes, is not here in Hebrew. (Berthier)

Ver. 7. The dwelling, &c. Hebrew, "the singers, like people dancing, (for joy) all my fountains are in thee." St. Jerome reads, "strong ones," and (Haydock) others, "my thoughts," instead of "fountains;" which shews that they have read differently. Vesharim, may signify and princes, taken form the line above, though of this we ought to have some proofs from manuscripts, &c. (Berthier) --- The authority of the Septuagint may perhaps suffice, (Haydock) as they have read more correctly mauni, "habitation," rather than mahyanai, as we have at present. (Berthier) --- If we adopt this sense, (Haydock) the fountains may denote the nations which shall spring from Sion, Psalm lxvii. 27. (Hammond) --- All the inhabitants shall be filled with joy in the heavenly Jerusalem, Apocalypse xvii. 15. (Calmet) --- This short, but difficult psalm, allegorically describes the mystery of Christ, and of the Church. (Berthier) --- Catholics may taste pure delights, having peace of conscience, &c. But the blessed enjoy the most perfect content in the Church triumphant. (Worthington) (Menochius)


Bible Text & Cross-references:

The glory of the Church of Christ.

1 For the sons of Core, a psalm of a canticle.

The foundations thereof are in the holy mountains:

2 The Lord loveth the gates of Sion above all the tabernacles of Jacob.

3 Glorious things are said of thee, O city of God.

4 I will be mindful of Rahab and of Babylon knowing me.

Behold the foreigners, and Tyre, and the people of the Ethiopians, these were there.

5 Shall not Sion say: This man and that man is born in her? and the Highest himself hath founded her.

6 The Lord shall tell in his writings of peoples and of princes, of them that have been in her.

7 The dwelling in thee is as it were of all rejoicing.