Matthew Poole's Commentary
To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm or Song. God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.THE ARGUMENT
This Psalm contains a prayer for the church of Israel, as also for the Gentile world, whose conversion he prophetically describes.
The church prayeth for the enlargement of the kingdom of God, Psalm 67:1,2, to the joy of the nations, Psalm 67:3-5; and for the increase of spiritual and temporal blessings, Psalm 67:6,7.
Unto us, thy people of Israel. As thou hast hid thy face and favour from us, so now do thou manifest it to us. For the phrase, Numbers 6:25,26 Psa 31:16.
That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.Nor do we desire this mercy only for our comfort, but also for the advancement of thy glory, and the propagation of the true religion among all nations, who by the contemplation of thy gracious and wonderful works to and for us will be induced to love and serve thee, and to list themselves among thy people. By God’s way he understands, either,
1. That way wherein God walks; or the manner of his dealing with his people: How gracious and bountiful a Master thou art to all thy servants! Or rather,
2. That way wherein God requires men to walk, the way of God’s precepts, the way of truth, or the true religion; as the way or ways of the Lord are frequently taken, Genesis 17:19 Judges 2:22 Psalm 18:21 Psalm 119:1 Acts 18:25,26, &c.; the same which in the next clause is called his
saving health, Heb. salvation; and both together signify the way of salvation, which the psalmist desires may be known among all nations; which was expected by the ancient and godly Jews at the coming of the Messias, who is called the way, John 14:6, and God’s salvation, Luke 2:30. And so the sense of the place is this, Deal so graciously with thy people Israel, that thereby the Gentile world may at last be allured to join themselves with them, and to embrace their religion and Messias; according to that famous prophecy, Zechariah 8:23, In those days ten men out of all nations shall take hold of the skirt of a Jew, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.
Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.O hasten that time, when all the Gentiles shall forsake their dumb idols, and serve and praise thee the living God, as they will have abundant cause to do.
O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.Be glad and sing for joy, for thy transcendent mercy to them, in rescuing them from the vanities and damnable errors of their fathers, and in bringing them to the knowledge of the true God, and of eternal life.
Shalt judge, i.e. rule and govern them, as it is explained in the next clause, and as this phrase is used.
Righteously; which is the great commendation of any government, and the greatest argument and encouragement to the Gentiles to put themselves under it; the rather, because they had found the misery of living under the unrighteous and tyrannical government of the devil, and of their idolatrous and heathenish rulers.
Govern, Heb. lead, to wit, gently, as a shepherd doth his sheep; and not rule them with rigour, as other lords had done.
Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.No text from Poole on this verse.
Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.When the people of the earth shall be converted to the worship and service of the true God, God will take away his curse from the earth, and cause it to yield them abundance of all sorts of fruits; under which one blessing promised under the law to them that obey God, all other blessings both temporal and spiritual are comprehended, as is very usual in the Old Testament.
Our own God; he who is Israel’s God in a peculiar manner, by that everlasting covenant which he hath made with us.
God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.No text from Poole on this verse.