Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
The inscription of a title. That is, a pillar or monument, Greek: stelographia: which is as much as to say, that this psalm is most worthy to be engraved on an everlasting monument. (Challoner) --- Mictam. Protestants, "Michtam." Marginal note, or "golden psalm of David," or most excellent. St. Jerome, &c., have divided the word into two: "of the humble and upright David." (Haydock) --- It may signify "inscribed." (Calmet) --- But there seems to be no reason for abandoning the Septuagint, who were well acquainted with the original. The psalm is in the form of a prayer, which David pronounces in the person of Christ, to whom the apostles apply several verses; and, as the rest seem to be of the same nature, we must understand all of the Messias, praying, in his sacred humanity, (Berthier) that his body may remain incorrupt. It may refer to Ezechias, to the captives, or rather to David, persecuted by Saul, and provoked to serve false gods, 1 Kings xxvi. 19. But then many expressions must be explained figuratively, (Calmet) and this would tend to weaken the prediction, (Berthier) which all the Fathers have understood of Christ suffering. (Calmet) --- The thing most worthy to be noted, (stilographia) by the prophet David, is our Saviour's crucifixion; (Worthington) the memory of which must be perpetuated. Job (xix. 24.) wished that what he said about the resurrection, might thus be engraven on flint. (Haydock) --- Preserve. David acknowledges his infirmity, and that all good comes from God. (Calmet) --- Jesus was heard praying with tears, &c., Hebrews v. 7. In his humanity, He might use these expressions, (Haydock) as He was the head of a new people, whom he wished to sanctify and instruct. (Berthier) --- He often prayed, as the gospel informs us. (Worthington)
I have. Hebrew, "Thou, my soul, hast said." But St. Jerome agrees with us. --- Goods. Hebrew, "my good is not above thee." I can desire nothing greater. (Berthier) --- Aquila and Vatable seem to have the same idea as the Septuagint. We reap all the profit from our piety. (Calmet) --- The redemption was entirely for man's benefit, (Worthington) though it gave the greatest glory to God. (Haydock) --- Since God, therefore, wants nothing, I will shew my kindness (Bellarmine) to the poor. (Haydock)
Saints. Hebrew, "the magnificent" priests, God himself, (Exodus xv. 11.; Calmet) and ceremonies of religion, (Haydock) for which David had a wonderful affection. (Calmet) --- But Christ has displayed the greatest love towards all his converts, and they had need of it. (Berthier) --- God here speaks, shewing that Christ should make known his wonderful charity to the apostles and other saints.
Haste. Men who are convinced of their own infirmities, hasten to find a remedy. (Worthington) --- No sooner had fallen man been redeemed, that he strove to advance in the ways of perfection. (Berthier) --- The sins, to which the saints sometimes yield, tend to make them more cautious (Calmet) and grateful to their deliverer, like St. Peter. Persecutions likewise cause them to cling closer to God, and fill them with interior joy, Acts v. 41. (Haydock) --- If we explain it of the wicked, chastisement often makes them repent, Psalm lxxvii. 34. (Calmet) --- "Their idols have been multiplied after their followers, I will not join in their libations of blood." (St. Jerome) --- David was continually exposed to such temptations, among the idolaters; but out of contempt, he would not even pronounce the name of the idols. (Calmet) --- Blood, or bloody. (Du Hamel) --- The pagan (Worthington) and Mosaic sacrifices shall cease. Christ will unite us (Berthier) by a more excellent oblation of his own body and blood. (Haydock) --- Christians shall be distinguished by a fresh appellation, being styled children of light and of God, in opposition to the sons of men, (St. Augustine, &c.; Calmet) and pagans.
PSALM XV. (CONSERVA ME DOMINE.)
Christ's future victory and triumph over the world and death.
Cup. Eternal happiness consists in seeing (Worthington) and enjoying God, (Haydock) and is promised to the patient. Though Christ was truly king of Israel and exercised jurisdiction, (John xii., and xviii. 37., and Matthew xxi., &c.; Worthington) yet it was not of a temporal nature; (Haydock) and his chief inheritance was the Lord, who would reward his merits. He has taught all clergymen to make this happy choice; as they declare when they become such. Man may call God his inheritance, as he was made for him; and though he may have fallen, if he rise again, his title will be restored, and he may obtain felicity, whether he live in the world or retire from it. (Worthington) --- David alludes to the custom of allotting each his portion of wine and meat, which was greater in proportion to the person's dignity. He rejects with disdain all worldly and sensual joys. (Calmet) --- God in not "a part," but the whole portion of a good man. --- It is, &c. St. Jerome, "Thou are the possessor of my lot." I trust in thee for all. (Haydock) (1 Peter i. 4., and 2 Timothy i. 12.) In the ancient sacrifices a part was reserved for the offerer. But Jesus keeps nothing back.