Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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Psalm 142

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Psalm cxlii. (Domine exaudi.)

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Absalom is not specified in Roman Septuagint, &c., (Calmet) though it be in other copies. (Haydock) --- The latter part of the title has been added by the Greeks. (St. Hilary) --- If David composed the psalm, on occasion of his son's revolt, he considered it as a punishment of his former transgression. The Fathers explain it of Jesus Christ, who suffered for our sins. (Berthier) --- It might also relate to the captives, (Ferrand) or to the same event as the preceding psalm, (Bossuet) though there is no reason for abandoning the title. (Calmet) --- Justice. Or mercy. (St. Chrysostom) --- Absalom had no just cause of complaint, (Haydock) and God had promised to protect David on the throne.

Ver. 2. Justified. Compared with thee, (Calmet) and without mercy. God is bound by his promise to hear the penitent. (Worthington) --- David and St. Paul had been assured of the remission of their sins, yet never ceased to beg for pardon. (Berthier)

Ver. 3. Of old. Literally, "of an age," (Haydock) who are quite forgotten, Lamentations iii. 6. (Calmet) --- The devil had violently tempted me, by means of temporal and spiritual calamities. (Worthington) --- The greatest darkness is that of the heart, Ephesians iv. 17. (Haydock)

Ver. 4. Troubled. David knew not what course to take, 1 Kings xv. 25, 31. Our Saviour was in the greatest agony. (Calmet)

Ver. 5. Of old. What God had done formerly for me and others. (Worthington) --- The sacred records of 3,000 years tended to raise the hopes of David. (Berthier)

Ver. 6. Water. We can add nothing to this idea. (Calmet) --- Man can do no good without God's grace, which David implores with his hands stretched out, both to mortify himself, and to denote fervour. (Worthington)

Ver. 7. Pit. Or "lake," meaning (Haydock) the grave. (Calmet) --- If man be left to himself, he will presently yield to sin, from which he will not be delivered without God's grace.

Ver. 8. Morning. At the first assault of temptation, (Worthington) or speedily. David might address this prayer to God during the night, after he left Jerusalem. He was only relieved the next day, when his troops had crossed the Jordan, 2 Kings xvii. 12. --- To thee. With the most ardent desire, Jeremias xxii. 27. This might suit the captives, ver. 5, 11. (Calmet)

Ver. 9. Fled. Hebrew, "To thee I have hidden myself," (Montanus) or "am protected." (St. Jerome) --- But the Septuagint seem to have read better, esithi. "I have hoped." (Chaldean)

Ver. 10. Spirit. I look for a favourable wind, like one at sea, in danger of suffering shipwreck, and I apply to God, to the Holy Ghost the Comforter. --- Right. Even (Calmet) and not like this country, full of precipices. In Judea the right worship was observed. (Haydock) --- The penitent may rest assured, that God will free him from all perils, (Worthington) and bring him (Hebrew) "into the land of rectitude," which is heaven. The Holy Ghost is here represented as a distinct person. (Berthier)

Ver. 12. Mercy. Towards me. Justice required that the rebels should be punished, as they were, even contrary to David's intention, 1 Kings xviii. 5. (Calmet)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

The psalmist in tribulation calleth upon God for his delivery. The seventh penitential psalm.

1 A psalm of David, when his son, Absalom, pursued him. [2 Kings xvii.]

Hear, O Lord, my prayer: give ear to my supplication in thy truth: hear me in thy justice.

2 And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight no man living shall be justified.

3 For the enemy hath persecuted my soul: he hath brought down my life to the earth.

He hath made me to dwell in darkness as those that have been dead of old: 4 and my spirit is in anguish within me: my heart within me is troubled.

5 I remembered the days of old, I meditated on all thy works: I meditated upon the works of thy hands.

6 I stretched forth my hands to thee: my soul is as earth without water unto thee.

7 Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit hath fainted away.

Turn not away thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.

8 Cause me to hear thy mercy in the morning; for in thee have I hoped.

Make the way known to me, wherein I should walk: for I have lifted up my soul to thee.

9 Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord, to thee have I fled: 10 teach me to do thy will, for thou art my God.

Thy good spirit shall lead me into the right land: 11 for thy name's sake, O Lord, thou wilt quicken me in thy justice.

Thou wilt bring my soul out of trouble: 12 and in thy mercy thou wilt destroy my enemies.

And thou wilt cut off all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.