Bible Commentary

Psalm 72

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Psalm 72)

Verse 1

[1] Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son.

Judgments — He saith judgments in the plural number, because though the office of judging and ruling was but one, yet there were divers parts and branches, of it; in all which he begs that Solomon may be directed to do as God would have him to do.

Verse 2

[2] He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment.

Thy afflicted ones — For such are thine in a special manner, thou art their judge and patron.

Verse 3

[3] The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.

The mountains — Which are so dangerous to passengers, in regard of robbers and wild beasts. Hereby it is implied, that other places should do so too, and that it should be common and universal.

Verse 4

[4] He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.

Judge — Vindicate them from their oppressors.

Verse 5

[5] They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.

Thee — Thee, O God, this shall be another blessed fruit of this righteous government, that together with peace, true religion shall be established, and that throughout all generations, which was begun in Solomon's days, but not fully accomplished 'till Christ came.

Verse 6

[6] He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth.

He shall come — Christ did come down from heaven, and brought or sent down from heaven his doctrine, (which is often compared to rain) and the sweet and powerful influences of his spirit.

Verse 8

[8] He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.

Dominion — From one sea to another, or in all the parts of the habitable world. This was accomplished in Christ, and in him only.

The river — Euphrates: which was the eastern border of the kingdom of Canaan, allotted by God, but enjoyed only by David, Solomon, and Christ. Of whose kingdom this may be mentioned, as one of the borders; because the kingdom of Christ is described under the shadow of Solomon's kingdom.

Verse 10

[10] The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.

The sea — Of remote countries, to which they used to go from Canaan by sea; which are frequently called isles in scripture; the kings that rule by sea or by land.

Verse 11

[11] Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.

All nations — Which cannot be said of Solomon with any truth or colour, but was unquestionably verified in Christ,

Verse 14

[14] He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.

Deceit and violence — The two ways whereby the lives of men are usually destroyed.

Precious — He will not be prodigal of the lives of his subjects, but like a true father of his people, will tenderly preserve them, and severely avenge their blood upon those who shall shed it.

Verse 15

[15] And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised.

Live — Long and prosperous, as Solomon: yea, eternally as Christ.

Gold — This was done to Solomon, 1 Kings 10:15, and to Christ, Matthew 2:11. But such expressions as these being used of Christ and his kingdom, are commonly understood in a spiritual sense.

Verse 16

[16] There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.

A handful — This intimates the small beginnings of his kingdom; and therefore does not agree to Solomon, whose kingdom was in a manner as large at the beginning of his reign, as at the end, but it exactly agrees to Christ.

The earth — Sown in the earth.

Mountains — In the most barren grounds.

Shake — It shall yield such abundance of corn, that the ears being thick and high, shall, when they are shaken with the wind, make a noise not unlike that which the tops of the trees of Lebanon, sometimes make.

Of the city — The citizens of Jerusalem, which are here put for the subjects of this kingdom.

Verse 20

[20] The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

The prayer — This psalm is the last which David composed: for this was wrote but a little before his death.

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