The Catholic Counter-Reformation in the 21st Century
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PSALM EIGHTEEN (17)
Apocalypse

  1. To the choirmaster, to the Servant of Yahweh, to David, who sang the words of this song to Yahweh on the day when Yahweh delivered him from the clutches of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.
  2. He said  : «  I love You, Yahweh, My strength,
  3. «  Yahweh, My rock and My fortress, and He who delivers Me, My God, My rock where I find refuge  ; My shield, the horn of My salvation, My bulwark.  »
  4. As praise I will call upon Yahweh, and from My enemies I shall be saved.

I. MORTAL DANGER

  1. The nets of death closed in on Me  ; and the torrents of Belial terrified Me.
  2. The nets of Sheol encircled Me  ; before Me snares of death.
  3. In My distress, I called upon Yahweh. To My God I uttered cries. He heard My voice from His Temple, and My cry uttered to His Face reached His ears.

II. GOD’S SALVATION

  1. The earth quivered and quaked  ; the foundations of the mountains trembled and quaked because of His fury.
  2. Smoke rose in His nostrils, and from His mouth a fire devoured  ; fiery embers came out of Him.
  3. He will bend the heavens and come down, a dark cloud under His feet.
  4. He will mount a cherub and He will fly, and He will soar on the wings of the wind.
  5. He will make darkness His hiding-place, His tent all about Him, watery darkness and dense clouds.
  6. Hail bursts from a brightness before Him, and fiery embers come through His clouds.
  7. Yahweh thundered from Heaven  ; the Most High made His voice resound  : hail and fiery embers.
  8. He let His arrows fly and dispersed them, multiplied His bolts of lightning and put them to rout.
  9. Then the beds of the seas appeared, and the foundations of the world were laid bare at Your threat, Yahweh, at the blast of Your nostril’s breath.
  10. He will send down from On High and take Me, draw Me from the deep waters.
  11. He will deliver Me from My mighty enemy, from those who detest Me, for they are stronger than I.
  12. They assailed Me on the day of My misfortune, and Yahweh was My support.
  13. He set Me free  ; He delivered Me, for He places His favour on Me.

III. THE MESSIAH, MEEK AND HUMBLE OF HEART

  1. Yahweh requites Me in accord with My righteousness  ; in accord with the purity of My hands He requites Me,
  2. for I have kept the ways of Yahweh  ; I was not impious towards My God.
  3. His judgements are all before Me, and His decrees I did not cast aside.
  4. I am perfect with Him, and I am on guard against My iniquity.
  5. Yahweh requites Me in accord with My righteousness, in accord with the purity of My hands, which He has before His eyes.
  6. Holy You are with him who is holy  ; perfect You are with the perfect man.
  7. Pure You are with the one who is pure, but crafty You are with the devious.

THE MESSIAH VICTORIOUS

  1. For You save a people that has been humbled, and You bring low haughty eyes.
  2. For You, Yahweh, You give light to My lamp; My God lights up My darkness.
  3. Because, thanks to You, I pursue a band of raiders, and, thanks to God, I go over the wall.
  4. Perfect is God’s way  ; Yahweh’s word is tried and true  ; He Himself is a shield for those who take shelter in Him.
  5. Who is God except Yahweh  ? Who but our God is the rock,
  6. the God who girds Me with strength and makes perfect My way  ?
  7. He likens My feet to those of the hind, and on My summits He keeps Me standing.
  8. He trains My hands for battle, and the bow of bronze stretches out My arms.
  9. You give Me the shield of Your salvation, and Your right hand supports Me, and Your humility will make Me numerous.
  10. You lengthen My steps beneath Me, and My ankles do not weaken.
  11. I pursue My enemies and overtake them  ; I do not turn back without having exterminated them.
  12. I strike them down, and they cannot rise  ; they fall under My feet.
  13. You have girt Me with strength for the battle  ; You bring those who rose up against Me to their knees beneath My feet.
  14. You handed over to Me the neck of My enemies, and I annihilate those who hate Me.
  15. They cry out, and there is no saviour  ; towards Yahweh, and He does not answer them.
  16. I pulverise them like dust in the wind  ; like the mud of the streets, I pour them out.
  17. You deliver Me from the revolts of the people. You place Me at the head of nations. The people is unknown to Me. They serve Me.
  18. Lending an ear, they listen to Me. The sons of a foreigner court Me.
  19. The sons of foreigners faint and tremble in their strongholds.

ORACLE OF THE MESSIAH

  1. Yahweh lives  ! Blessed be My Rock, and exalted be the God of My salvation,
  2. the God who avenges Me and subjects the peoples to Me  !
  3. By delivering Me from the wrath of My enemies, you exalt Me above those who rise up against Me. You deliver Me from the man of violence.
  4. That is why I will praise you among the nations, Yahweh, and I will sing for Your Name’s sake.
  5. He increases the salvations of His king, and He has mercy on His Anointed One, on David and His descendents, forever.
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THE second Book of Samuel ends with the extermination of Saul’s descendents and the account of the last deeds of David against the Philistines. There follows a song of thanksgiving that David addresses to Yahweh (2 S 22). This song of victory inspired Psalm 18 centuries later with a view to sustaining confidence amidst the tribulations of the last times of the Old Testament. The expectation of the Messiah, son of David, was purified in the fire of the trials of the Exile and the disappointments of the return. They lead us to expect the future sufferings of the «  Servant of Yahweh  » (Is 42.1; 49.3; 50.10; 52.13; cf. Ps 15.4), an expression that is applied to David himself in the dedication  :

1. To the choirmaster, to the Servant of Yahweh, to David who sang the words of this song to Yahweh on the day when Yahweh delivered him from the clutches of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.

In this post-exilic context, the «  enemies  » are the Samaritans, and the new «  Assyrians  » are the Greeks of the second century B.C. (cf. Ps 17.10-11)

2. He said  : «  I love You, Yahweh, My strength,

3. «  Yahweh, My rock and My fortress, and He who delivers Me, My God, My rock where I find refuge  ; My shield, the horn of My salvation, My bulwark.  »

«  I love you  » expresses an intense feeling of love of God, such as that with which David’s soul, and Moses’ before him, was enflamed, for Yahweh was the «  rock  » from which Moses made living water flow (Nb 20.8); Yahweh was the «  fortress  » in which David took refuge, at first the cave of Adullam (1 S 22.1-5) in the desert of Judah, then Mount Sion, which David seized in order to make it his citadel (2 S 5.7, cf. Ps 8 .3). Seven “ figuratives ” of God’s presence evoke the succession of divine interventions in Israel’s history.

«  He who delivers Me, My God, My rock  »  : these expressions evoke the prophet Elijah, who escaped from Jezebel’s dagger to find refuge in the cleft of the rock (1 K 19), the same cleft about which God had said to Moses  : «  Behold, here is a place near Me. You shall stand upon the rock. When My glory passes by, I will set you in the cleft of the rock, and I will protect you with My hand, until I pass by.  » (Ex 33.21-22)

«  My shield  » is Yahweh yet again, in virtue of the promise that He made to Abraham  : «  Fear not, Abram  ! I am your shield  ; I will make your reward very great.  » (Gn 15  :1) The image is dear to the Psalmist, in those times of distress and apostasy during which the good were surrounded by the wicked  ; they had no protection against them. (Ps 3.4)

«  The horn of My salvation  » is a symbol of strength that saves. Zechariah sang, «  He has raised up the horn of salvation in the House of David  » (Lk 1.69). Yahweh is the «  salvation  » that the Prophet Isaiah promised after the punishment of the Exile  ! «  God indeed is my Saviour  ; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is Yahweh, and He has been my Saviour. With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation.  » (Is 12.2-3)

Yahweh is «  My bulwark  » in devastated Jerusalem, occupied by the Samaritans who wanted to prevent the repatriates from reconstructing it (Ne 2.11 – 4.17; cf. Ps 9.10)  !

4. As praise I will call upon Yahweh, and from My enemies I shall be saved.

«  Praise  » accompanies salvation, as was the case for the Dedication of the Temple, which Judas Maccabeus restored in December 164 B.C.  : «  All the people prostrated themselves and adored and directed praise to Heaven, to Him who had given them success.  » (1 M 4.55)

I. MORTAL DANGER

5. The nets of death closed in on Me  ; and the torrents of Belial terrified Me.

This was at the time of the Assyrian invasion  : «  Because this people has rejected the waters of Shiloah that flow gently, and melts with fear before Rezin and Remaliah’s son, the Lord will raise against them the great and mighty waters of the River, the king of Assyria and all his power. It shall rise above all its channels, and overflow all its banks  ; It shall pass into Judah, and flood it all throughout  : up to the neck it shall reach.  » (Is 8.6-8)

6. The nets of Sheol encircled Me  ; before Me snares of death.

As in hunting… We find the same images in the texts from Qumrân, in the scroll of Hymns and the Document of Damascus. In both the psalm and the writings of Qumrân, they designate the faithful Yahwists who were «  encircled  » on the eve of the Greek invasion (cf. Ps 17.11).

The lure that the new occupying forces and their refined civilisation exerted would be a mortal «  snare  », as were the pagan peoples of the past whom Yahweh drove out of the Promised Land, saying  : «  They must not abide in your land, lest they make you sin against Me by ensnaring you into worshiping their gods.  » (Ex 23.33; cf. Ex 34.12; Jg 2.3).

7. In My distress, I called upon Yahweh. To My God I uttered cries. He heard My voice from His Temple, and My cry uttered to His Face reached His ears.

«  Distress  » designates the state of oppression of the Exile (Ps 4.2), with a view to Israel’s conversion  : «  In your distress, when all these things shall have come upon you, you shall finally return to Yahweh, your God, and heed His voice.  » (Dt 4.30)

«  From His Temple  », literally  : from His «  Hekal  », refers to the second room of the Temple (Ps 5.8; 11.4).

II. GOD’S SALVATION

8. The earth quivered and quaked  ; the foundations of the mountains trembled and quaked because of His fury.

All of these verbs evoke the ancient theophany of Sinai. They are an appeal to God for Him to renew its marvels for the benefit of His faithful  : «  Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would quake before Your Face.  » (Is 63  :19)

9. Smoke rose in His nostrils, and from His mouth a fire devoured  ; fiery embers came out of Him.

The nose is the seat of wrath. Once again it is a memory from the Exodus  : «  Now the people complained in the hearing of Yahweh  ; and when He heard it His wrath flared up so that the fire of Yahweh burned among them and consumed the outskirts of the camp.  » (Nb 11.1) This is the apparatus of Yahweh’s jealousy, which can go into action in answer to the call of His Messiah in order to deliver from the «  nets of death  », the «  torrents of Belial  » (v. 5), and the «  nets of Sheol  » (v. 6). For «  love is strong as death, jealousy relentless as Sheol. The flash of it is a flash of fire, a flame of Yahweh Himself.  » (Sg 8.6)

10. He will bend the heavens and come down, a dark cloud under His feet.

We are able to translate it in the future tense because the memory of past theophanies forms the basis for the Psalmist’s hope for a new intervention of God, as was promised by the Prophet Isaiah (Is 31.4; 63.19)

The «  dark cloud  » is the sign of Yahweh’s presence as was the case on Sinai, where «  the people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the dark cloud where God was  » (Ex 20.21).

11. He will mount a cherub and He will fly, and He will soar on the wings of the wind.

As when He left the Temple according to Ezekiel’s vision  : «  Then the glory of Yahweh left the threshold of the Temple and rested upon the cherubim. These lifted their wings, and I saw them rise from the earth, the wheels rising along with them. They stood at the entrance of the eastern gate of the Temple of Yahweh, and the glory of the God of Israel was up above them.  » (Ez 10.18-19)

12. He will make darkness His hiding-place, His tent all about Him, watery darkness and dense clouds.

The darkness is that of the God’s absence in times of chastisement as at the time of the Flood. God does not show Himself. This same darkness, however, is the harbinger of His consoling intervention  :

«  In an outburst of wrath, for a moment I hid My Face from you  ; But with enduring love I take pity on you, says Yahweh, your Redeemer. This is for Me like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah should never again deluge the earth  ; So I have sworn not to be angry with you, or to rebuke you.  » (Is 54  :8-9)

13. Hail bursts from a brightness before Him, and fiery embers come through His clouds.

The «  brightness  » (nogah ) shone forth from the «  brightness (nogah ) of Yahweh’s glory  » (Ez 10.4).

We are still in Ezekiel’s vision, when he found himself among the deportees on the banks of the river Chebar  : «  I looked and saw in the firmament above the cherubim what appeared to be sapphire stone  ; something like a throne could be seen above them. He said to the man dressed in linen  : “ Go within the wheelwork under the cherubim  ; fill both your hands with burning coals from among the cherubim, then scatter them over the city. ” As I looked on, he entered.  » (Ez 10.1-2)

14. Yahweh thundered from Heaven  ; the Most High made His voice resound  : hail and fiery embers.

According to the prophet Ezekiel’s vision, «  the noise of the wings of the cherubim could be heard as far as the outer court  ; it was like the voice of God the Almighty when He speaks.  »

15. He let His arrows fly and dispersed them, multiplied His bolts of lightning and put them to rout.

The pronoun complement of the verbs “ disperse ” and “ put to rout ” obviously designates the enemies. In Ps 12.2, it was the faithful who were «  dispersed  ». In Ps 3.2, the enemies were countless. There has been a fine reversal of fates  !

16. Then the beds of the seas appeared, and the foundations of the world were laid bare at Your threat, Yahweh, at the blast of Your nostril’s breath.

As on the day of the crossing of the Reed Sea.

17. He will send down from On High and take Me, draw Me from the deep waters.

As He did for Moses, whom Pharaoh’s daughter so named, for, she said, «  I drew him out of the water  » (Ex 2.10). The popular etymology of Moses’ name, moshé in Hebrew, is derived from mâshâ, “ draw out ”. The Psalmist uses the same verb here, and they are the only two usages of this word in the Bible. It is thus a prophetic figure that announces the Messiah, son of David, Son of God, whom God His Father «  will send from On High  » to the earth in order to come to the assistance of man, who has been carried off by the «  torrents of Belial  » (v. 5).

18. He will deliver Me from My mighty enemy, from those who detest Me, for they are stronger than I.

As He had done for Moses before Pharaoh, for Gideon before Madian, for Samson before the Philistines, and for David before Goliath.

19. They assailed Me on the day of My misfortune, and Yahweh was My support.

The Messiah will draw His self-assurance from the support that Yahweh gave to each of His «  servants  » in the past, particularly David  : «  Yahweh brought David victory in all his undertakings.  » (2 S 8.6)

20. He set Me free  ; He delivered Me, for He places His favour on Me.

The Father’s voice itself will fulfil this prophesy on the day of Jesus’ baptism (Mt 3.17; Mk 1.11).

God’s love for David responds to David’s love for God (v. 2). What is the reason for this love  ?

III. THE MESSIAH, MEEK AND HUMBLE OF HEART

21. Yahweh requites Me in accord with My righteousness  ; in accord with the purity of My hands He requites Me,

«  He recompenses Me  », literally  : «  He makes come back for Me  », is a play on words that is untranslatable. It means that God grants at last, after many delays, the «  return  » from exile through the merits of the King-Messiah, and in His favour.

22. for I have kept the ways of Yahweh  ; I was not impious towards My God.

Psalm 1, which opens the collection like a preface, contrasts the fate of the righteous and ungodly (Ps 1.1-2). Psalm 4 is redolent with the prayer of the righteous one who is at peace with God (Ps 4.9), even though he «  had kept the robber’s paths  » in order to redeem Adam (Ps 17.4).

In fact, Psalm 14 must admit that all men are ungodly  : «  Not one does good.  » (Ps 14.1) The Psalms are topical in our times of apostasy  ! The archetype of the ungodly man of all times, who says  : «  There is no God  !  » is designated at the beginning of Psalm 14 by the word nabal, which evokes an historical figure, David’s antithesis  : «  The man was named Nabal, his wife, Abigail. She was a woman of intelligence and beauty, but the man was brutish and wicked.  » (1 S 25.3)

The Book of Samuel related how this man acts towards David as though God does not exist.

Opposite Nabal is David, who is faithful to his covenant with Yahweh  :

23. His judgements are all before Me, and His decrees I did not cast aside.

«  His decrees  » were revealed to us at the beginning of the Psalter  : «  He said to me  : “ You are My Son, today I have begotten You ”.  » (Ps 2.7)

24. I am perfect with Him, and I am on guard against My iniquity.

After the aberrations of the time of his grandeur, his love of Bathsheba and the assassination of Uriah, for which he repented, David knows that he is a sinner, but he speaks for Him who will be able to say  : «  Can any of you charge me with sin  ?  » (Jn 8.46) And  : «  Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.  »

25. Yahweh requites Me in accord with My righteousness, in accord with the purity of My hands, which He has before His eyes.

In fact, «  man sees the appearance but Yahweh looks into the heart  » (1 S 16.7). He thus chose David from among his brethren…

26. Holy You are with him who is holy, perfect You are with the perfect man.

Yahweh had already said so to Moses  : «  Be holy, for I, Yahweh your God, am holy.  » (Lv 19.2)

27. Pure You are with the one who is pure, but crafty You are with the devious.

That is why Jesus would recommend to His disciples also to be «  shrewd as serpents and simple as doves  » (Mt 10.16), in the likeness of their heavenly Father.

THE MESSIAH VICTORIOUS

28. For You save a people that has been humbled, and You bring low haughty eyes.

Divine justice consists in saving «  a people that has been humbled  » and in bringing low the haughty. The preceding psalms often speak of the anawîm, the humble (9.13, 19; 10.2, 9, 12, 17; 12.6; 14.6). Psalm 18 announces that God is coming to free them by bringing them victory.

29. For You, Yahweh, You give light to My lamp; My God lights up My darkness.

The light of the lamp symbolises the dynastic succession (1 K 11.36; 15.4; 2 K 8.19) that was promised to David, as will be recalled in the last verse of the psalm (v. 51). Through it, God Himself lights up the present darkness.

30. Because, thanks to You, I pursue a band of raiders, and, thanks to God, I go over the wall.

Two of David’s feats illustrate this verse.

We read in the first Book of Samuel that after the Amalekites had made a raid in the Negev, «  David inquired of Yahweh, “ Shall I pursue these raiders  ? Can I overtake them  ? ” The answer was  : “ Go in pursuit, for you shall surely overtake them and rescue the captives. ”  » (1 S 30.8)

Another day David went over the wall of Keilah where he was trapped (1 S 23.7-13).

31. Perfect is God’s way  ; Yahweh’s word is tried and true  ; He Himself is a shield for those who take shelter in Him.

David would triumph over Goliath and his shield bearer without any protection other than Yahweh, who surrounded him on all sides like a shield.

32. Who is God except Yahweh  ? Who but our God is the rock,

And who is Goliath, «  who is this uncircumcised Philistine who dares to insult the armies of the living God  ?  » (1 S 17.26)

33. the God who girds Me with strength and makes perfect My way  ?

In his youth, when he tended his father’s sheep, and whenever a lion or bear came to carry off a sheep from the flock, «  I would go after it and attack it and rescue the prey from its mouth, he told Saul. If it attacked me, I would seize it by the jaw, strike it, and kill it.  » (1 S 17.34-35)

When Saul pursued David with his murderous jealousy, he could truthfully say to Jonathan  : «  What have I done  ? What is my sin  ?  » (1 S 20.1)

He is «  perfect  ».

34. He likens My feet to those of the hind and on My summits He keeps Me standing.

On the other hand, Saul and Jonathan «  had fallen  » on Mount Gilboa. (2 S 1.25).

After having uttered his elegy on Saul and Jonathan, «  David inquired of Yahweh  : “ Shall I go up into one of the cities of Judah  ? ” Yahweh replied to him  : “ Yes  ! ” Then David asked  : “ Where shall I go  ? ” He replied  : “ To Hebron. ” So David went up there.  » (2 S 2.1-2) On David’s lips, however, the expression «  My summits  » designates above all Jerusalem, which he conquered from the Jebusites (2 S 5.6).

35. He trains My hands for battle, and the bow of bronze stretches out My arms.

The turn of phrase is unexpected but it is necessitated by grammatical analysis. The subject of the verb is «  the bow  » that the archer uses with «  out-stretched  » arms  : one arm holding the bow, the other shooting its arrows.

36. You give Me the shield of Your salvation, and Your right hand supports Me, and Your humility will make Me numerous.

«  Before destruction, a man’s heart is haughty, but humility precedes glory.  » (Pr 18.12) Here the Psalmist applies this maxim to God Himself, when he attributes to the Messiah the multitudes, according to His promise (Ps 2.8). Such is God’s «  humility  », His infinite condescendence  !

37. You lengthen My steps beneath Me, and My ankles do not weaken.

«  David grew stronger, but the house of Saul weaker.  » (2 S 3.1)

38. I pursue My enemies and overtake them  ; I do not turn back without having exterminated them.

David’s battles against the Philistines illustrates this verse  :

«  The Philistines came up again and overran the valley of Rephaim. David inquired of Yahweh, who replied  : “ You must not attack frontally, but circle their rear and meet them before the mastic trees. When you hear a sound of marching in the tops of the mastic trees, act decisively, for Yahweh will have gone forth before you to attack the camp of the Philistines. ” David obeyed Yahweh’s command and routed the Philistines from Gibeon as far as Gezer.  » (2 S 5.22-25)

Gezer marks the limit of the Philistine territory  : the enemy is “ exterminated ”, in the etymological sense of the term, i.e., driven back beyond the frontiers of David’s kingdom.

39. I strike them down, and they cannot rise  ; they fall under My feet.

As was the case for Goliath when «  David overcame the Philistine with sling and stone  ; he struck the Philistine mortally, and did it without a sword. David ran and stood over him  ; with the Philistine’s own sword, which he drew from its sheath, he dispatched him and cut off his head.  » (1 S 17.50-51)

40. You have girt Me with strength for the battle, You bring those who rose up against Me to their knees beneath My feet.

41. You handed over to Me the neck of My enemies, and I annihilate those who hate Me.

Thus will be fulfilled the aboriginal oracle  : «  He will crush your head.  » (Gn 3.15)

What a reversal of fates (cf. Ps 9.14)   !

42. They cry out, and there is no saviour  ; towards Yahweh, and He does not answer them.

«  There is no saviour  !  » corresponds to Nabal’s blasphemy  : «  There is no God  !  » (cf. Ps 14.1)

43. I pulverise them like dust in the wind  ; like the mud of the streets, I pour them out.

This verse and the two subsequent ones announce the accomplishment of the prophecy in Psalm 2  : «  You shall shepherd them with a sceptre of iron, and smash them like a potter’s vessel.  » (Ps 2.9)

44. You deliver Me from the revolts of the people. You place Me at the head of nations.

The people is unknown to Me. They serve Me.

This is indeed what the oracle of Yahweh announced in favour of His Anointed One  : «  I have anointed My king on Sion, My holy Mountain. I will proclaim the decree of Yahweh. He said to Me  : “ You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will make the nations Your heritage, and the ends of the earth Your possession. ”  » (Ps 2.6-8)

This verse already announces Israel’s reprobation  : «  Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.  » (Mt 25.12; cf. Ps 6.9; Mt 7.23; Lk 13.25)

45 Lending an ear, they listen to Me. The sons of a foreigner court Me.

Thus they follow the Psalmist’s recommendation  : «  Now therefore, O kings, be wise  ; learn, O judges of the earth.  » (Ps 2.10)

46. The sons of foreigners faint and tremble in their strongholds.

They «  faint  », literally  : they «  wither  » like foliage (Ps 1.3). The Hebrew verb is derived from the same root as the name of Nabal, whose heart «  died within him, and he became like a stone  » when his wife Abigail related to him her intercession in favour of David.

ORACLE OF THE MESSIAH

The psalm ends in the same way as the account of Nabal  :

47. Yahweh lives  ! Blessed be My Rock, and exalted be the God of My salvation,

48. the God who avenges Me and subjects the peoples to Me  !

Literally  : «  The God who gives vengeances for Me.  » Yahweh avenges the Messiah  ; the Messiah does not take revenge for Himself. In this He follows the example of His father David  :

«  On hearing that Nabal was dead, David said  : “ Blessed be Yahweh, who has requited the insult I received at the hand of Nabal, and who restrained His servant from doing evil, but has punished Nabal for his own evil deeds. ”  » (1 S 25.39)

49. By delivering Me from the wrath of My enemies, you exalt Me above those who rise up against Me. You deliver Me from the man of violence.

50. That is why I will praise you among the nations, Yahweh, and I will sing for Your Name’s sake.

51. He increases the salvations of His king, and He has mercy on His Anointed One, on David and His descendents, forever.

CONCLUSION

We have the impression that with this psalm, which recapitulates the divine revelation in its entirety, we have finished a first booklet or “ first volume ” of the Psalmist’s work. The first part (v. 2-20) evokes «  the salvations  » that God procured for «  His king  » in the past. According to the final expression (v. 51), the plural form «  salvations  » evokes the richness of the work of salvation throughout history. Then verses 21 to 27 correspond to Psalm 1 on the «  two ways  ». David faithfully followed the first way that leads to salvation. Verses 28 to 46 evoke the memory of David’s victories, which corresponds to Psalm 2. The whole ends in an oracle of thanksgiving to God, affirming that David, head of the race (v. 51) is the figure of the Messiah who is to come to deliver us from the snares of Hell (v. 5-6)

The sequel booklet will teach us what it cost Him.

Brother Bruno of Jesus-Mary
He is risen  ! n° 86, November 2009