Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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Psalm 147

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Psalm cxlvii. (Lauda Jerusalem.)

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 12 [or 1.] Alleluia. This word is not in Hebrew. (Haydock) --- Many with the Septuagint add, "of Aggæus and Zacharias." (Calmet) --- The psalm has the same object in view as the preceding. (Berthier) --- The Fathers explain it of the Church, and of heaven. (Calmet) --- Sion. This place was highly favoured before the captivity, and rebuilt afterwards so as to enjoy many blessings. But all this was only a figure of the privileges belonging to the Church, and to the heavenly Sion, the true vision of peace. (Worthington) --- The earthly Jerusalem was too often faithless; (Galatians iv. 26., and Hebrews xii. 22.) so that the psalmist cannot have it alone in view. (Berthier)

Ver. 13. [or 2.] Within thee. Jerusalem was better fortified than (Haydock) other cities. But the Church is built upon a rock, and enriched with many graces, while heaven is free from all danger, and its inhabitants secure. (Worthington) --- Nehemias repeopled the city, which he had surrounded with walls, (Calmet) despising the sarcasms of his enemies, 2 Esdras vii. 4.

Ver. 14. [or 3.] Peace. To obtain this, the peace of Jesus Christ must triumph in our hearts, Colossians iii. 15. (Haydock) --- Borders. People perceiving that Assuerus favoured the Jews, durst no longer attack them, 2 Esdras vi. 16. (Calmet) --- They enjoyed peace and plenty. In the Church we have remission of sin in baptism and penance, and the spiritual food of Christ's body and blood in the blessed Eucharist, with the graces of the other sacraments. In heaven peace and joy subsist for ever. (Worthington) --- Fat. The best (Haydock) of all sorts of fruit. (Theodoret) --- The Fathers understand the blessed Eucharist, or the holy Scriptures. (St. Augustine, &c.) (Calmet)

Ver. 15. [or 4.] Speech. Rain, (Kimchi) Jesus Christ, (St. Augustine) or the gospel, (St. Hilary; St. Jerome) which was presently propagated over all the earth, Romans x. 18. (Worthington) --- God's commands are instantly obeyed. (Haydock) --- No sooner did he speak to Saul, but he was converted, Acts ix. 4., and Hebrews iv. 12. (Berthier)

Ver. 16. [or 5.] Like wool. Because it is white, and light, and covereth the earth as with a fleece, which keeps it warm, and makes it fruitful. On which account also, in the following words, mists (or as it is in the Hebrew, hoar frosts) are compared to ashes, which give a fruitfulness to the ground. (Challoner) --- Trees and fruits are preserved by the snow resting upon them. Vota arborum frugumque....nives....insidere. (Pliny, [Natural History?] xvii. 2.) --- Mists are succeeded by clear weather. By penance and austerity sins are remitted, and devils expelled, Isaias i. 18. (Worthington)

Ver. 17. [or 6.] His chrystal. Some understand it of hail, which is as it were ice, divided into bits, or morsels. (Challoner) (Ecclesiasticus xliii. 22.) (Calmet) --- In summer and winter God sends proper moisture for the earth. (Tirinus) --- The most hardened are sometimes converted: but this must be the effect of grace. (Worthington) --- Cold. If it were to continue, all would perish. He therefore sends the warm (Calmet) "south wind." (Syriac)

Ver. 18. [or 7.] Wind. "Spirit." The blessed Trinity (St. Jerome) grants compunction. (Berthier) --- By preaching and grace conversions are wrought.

Ver. 19. [or 8.] Jacob. These spiritual blessings pertain only to the true Church. (Worthington)

Ver. 20 [or 9.] Them. He hath not announced his decrees to them. This glory was reserved for Israel, Deuteronomy iv. 7. (Calmet) --- The written law was granted to the latter. Yet God had sufficiently manifested his will to all mankind, so that they must also appear before his tribunal. (St. Chrysostom) (Berthier) --- Alleluia. Considering that all were in the mass of sin, and that God justly let many perish; those whom he justifies are more bound to praise him; and therefore the prophet concludes this and the following psalms with Alleluia. (Worthington) --- Christians, and particularly Catholics, are most concerned, since many have rebelled against the light of faith, (Berthier) and abuse the gift of the holy Scriptures. (Haydock)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

The Church is called upon to praise God for his peculiar graces and favours to his people. In the Hebrew, this psalm is joined to the foregoing.

12(1) Alleluia.

Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem: praise thy God, O Sion.

13(2) Because he hath strengthened the bolts of thy gates: he hath blessed thy children within thee.

14(3) Who hath placed peace in thy borders: and filleth thee with the fat of corn.

15(4) Who sendeth forth his speech to the earth: his word runneth swiftly.

16(5) Who giveth snow like wool; who scattereth mist like ashes.

17(6) He sendeth his chrystal like morsels: who shall stand before the face of his cold?

18(7) He shall send out his word, and shall melt them: his wind shall blow, and the waters shall run.

19(8) Who declareth his word to Jacob: his justices and his judgments to Israel.

20(9) He hath not done in like manner to every nation: and his judgments he hath not made manifest to them. Alleluia.