Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
David. This word alone occurs in Hebrew. Septuagint and St. Jerome add also Psalm. (Haydock) --- St. Augustine and Theod.[Theodotion or Theodoret] agree with the Vulgate. (Calmet) --- These variations prove that we cannot depend much on the titles; and the learned do not look upon them as the word of God. The psalm may have been composed, when David was persecuted by his son, (Berthier) or by Saul. It may also allude to the captives. This is the first of the seven alphabetical psalms. The 33d, 35th, 110th, 111th, 118th, and 144th, are of the same description, being written in this manner (Calmet) on account of their importance, (Kimchi) or to help the memory, (Berthier) or for copies, to teach young people to write. (Grotius) --- Each verse forms a distinct sentence, not much connected with the rest. We perceive some derangement in the present Hebrew copies of this psalm, as the letters are not in proper order, though it might easily be restored by altering the divisions (Calmet) than their Thalmudical songs. (Pellican in Psalm lxxxv. 9.) --- The Septuagint and St. Jerome seem to have had better copies. Christ, the Church, (Calmet) or any pious soul, may address this fervent prayer to God under affliction. --- Lifted up in a true spirit of prayer, (Berthier) with fervour and confidence, Deuteronomy xxiv. 15., and Lamentations iii. 41. (Calmet) --- Attention is requisite to obtain a petition, (Worthington) as well as fervour, &c. (Haydock)
In thee. Hebrew bec. Thus the second verse will properly begin with b, (Capel; Houbigant) though the Jews place my God first, as it is in the Vulgate, Deus meus, in te, &c. (Haydock) Ashamed. Septuagint (Complutensian) adds, "for ever."
Laugh. Saying scornfully where is their God? (Calmet) --- Wait. This is often urged (Isaias xlii. 23.) as comprising all the science of a spiritual life. We must neither despair nor omit the means of salvation. (Berthier) --- Those who hope for the accomplishment of God's promises, will not be disappointed. (Calmet)
All, is not expressed in Hebrew or some copies of the Septuagint. (Berthier) --- Cause. No one can have reason to do so. But those who injure their harmless brethren, are more reprehensible, (Haydock) and the psalmist foretells that they will be put to shame. (St. Jerome) --- This manner of praying frequently occurs in the psalms, to signify the event, and the approbation of the just. (Worthington) --- Shew. The forth verse ought to begin here with d, as in Hebrew. (Haydock) --- Paths. The mysterious ways of Providence, (Eusebius) or the law which is unknown to many, (St. Athanasius) and practised by still fewer. (Calmet)
And teach. If the verse were to commence thus, (Calmet) v would not be out of its place. (Haydock) --- Without God's direction, we cannot walk in the narrow path. (Berthier) --- Long. We must never cease to desire the knowledge of true doctrine. (Worthington)
World. God's truth or fidelity in performing his promises, and his tender mercies towards his people, are the motives most frequently urged. (Calmet)
Ignorances. Hebrew, "defects," as youth is more apt to omit duties than to act very wickedly. Yet it is difficult to decide how grievous such sins may be. (Berthier) --- Passion and ignorance then concur to lead the inexperienced astray. (Haydock) --- From the first use of reason, many are careless, and neglect to learn their duty. (Worthington) --- Ignorance is sometimes a sin, though it may be more pardonable, 1 Timothy i. (Menochius)
Righteous. Though he is always ready to receive the penitent, he will punish the obstinate with severity. (Calmet; Worthington) --- Yet he points out the means of obtaining his favour. (St. Augustine) --- A law. Hebrew, "will instruct." (Calmet)
Mild. Only rebels are made the victims of justice. (Haydock)
PSALM XXIV. (AT TE DOMINE LEVAVI.)
A prayer for grace, mercy, and protection against our enemies.
Seek. Hebrew, "keeps." But no one seeks after the law, who does not strive to keep it. (Berthier) --- Jesus Christ shewed mercy at his first coming, and he will display truth at his second, judging all with equity. (St. Augustine) --- Testimonies. When God gave the law to manifest his will, he attested heaven and earth, that all might observe it carefully. (Calmet) --- The law is God's covenant, and the testimony of his will. He mercifully preventeth us with his grace, and will reward with truth and justice. (Worthington)