Psalm 67:4
O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.
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(4) For thou shalt judge:—Better, for thou judgest.

And govern. . . .—Better, and dost lead. The word is used in Psalm 23:3 of the “pastoral” care of God.

67:1-7 A prayer for the enlargement of Christ's kingdom. - All our happiness comes from God's mercy; therefore the first thing prayed for is, God be merciful to us, to us sinners, and pardon our sins. Pardon is conveyed by God's blessing, and secured in that. If we, by faith, walk with God, we may hope that his face will shine on us. The psalmist passes on to a prayer for the conversion of the Gentiles, which shows that the Old Testament saints desired that their advantages might also be enjoyed by others. And many Scripture prophecies and promises are wrapped up in prayers: the answer to the prayer of the church is as sure as the performance of God's promises. The joy wished to the nations, is holy joy. Let them be glad that by his providence the Lord will overrule the affairs of kingdoms; that even the kingdoms of this world shall became the kingdom of the Lord, and of his Christ. Then is declared a joyful prospect of all good when God shall do this. The success of the gospel brings outward mercies with it; righteousness exalts a nation. The blessing of the Lord sweetens all our creature-comforts to us, and makes them comforts indeed. All the world shall be brought to worship Him. When the gospel begins to spread, it shall go forward more and more, till it reaches to the ends of the earth. It is good to cast in our lot with those that are the blessed of the Lord. If nothing had been spoken in Scripture respecting the conversion of the heathen, we might think it vain to attempt so hopeless a work. But when we see with what confidence it is declared in the Scriptures, we may engage in missionary labours, assured that God will fulfil his own word. And shall we be backward to make known to the heathen the knowledge with which we are favoured, and the salvation we profess to glory in? They cannot learn unless they are taught. Then let us go forward in the strength of the Lord, and look to him to accompany the word the Holy Ghost; then Satan's kingdom shall be destroyed, and the kingdom of our Redeemer established.O let the nations be qlad, and sing for joy - All the nations of the earth. Let them all be made acquainted with thee; with thy character; with the principles of thy govermnent; with the methods by which thou dost bestow thy favors, that they all may be made glad. These things pertain to them all. The knowledge of these things would convey inestimable blessings to them all, and fill all their hearts with joy. Nothing would, in fact, diffuse so much happiness over a miserable and guilty world - nothing would furnish such an occasion for universal joy, gratitude, and praise - as the possession of the knowledge of the great principles on which God rules the world, and on which he blesses people.

For thou shalt judge the people righteously - That is, The great principles of thy administration are right, or righteous. and the nations will have occasion to rejoice in them.

And, govern the nations upon earth - Margin, lead. So the Hebrew. That is, God would instruct them what to do; he would guide them in paths of prosperity, happiness, salvation. Individuals and nations, as they follow the counsels of God, are safe and happy; and in no other way.

3-5. Thanks will be rendered for the blessings of His wise and holy government (compare Isa 2:3, 4; 11:4). 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.

O let the nations be glad and sing for joy,.... As they were glad, and did sing for joy, and glorified God, when Christ was made known, and the Gospel was preached unto them, Acts 8:5.

for thou shalt judge the people righteously; meaning not the people of the world at the last day, at the general judgment, which will be a righteous one; when God will judge the world in righteousness, according to the strict rules of justice and equity, by him whom he has ordained, Psalm 96:1; but either the righteous judgment which will be executed on the enemies of Christ's church and people; particularly on antichrist, which will be matter of great joy, Revelation 19:1; and Kimchi interprets it of the judgment of the nations which shall come with Gog and Magog; or else the judging and vindicating the Lord's own people, defending their cause, righting their wrongs, and suffering no weapon to prosper against them;

and govern the nations upon earth; or "lead them" (n); not to punishment, as Kimchi, who interprets this clause as the other; but by his grace and Spirit, into the knowledge of his way, and saving health; or as a shepherd leads his flock into green pastures, and beside the still waters; or as a king leads and governs his people, as David guided the people of Israel, with the skilfulness of his hands; so Christ leads and governs his people, protects and defends them, holds them by his right hand, guides them with his counsel, and then receives them to glory; see Psalm 23:2.

Selah; on this word; see Gill on Psalm 3:2.

(n) "duces eas", Montanus; "deduces", Junius & Tremellius, Cocceius; "deducis", Piscator.

{c} O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.

(c) By these repetitions he shows that the people can never rejoice and give thanks enough for the great benefits that they will receive under the kingdom of Christ.

4. The reason for the universal rejoicing of the nations is given in the words, for thou shalt Judge the peoples with equity; i.e. rule them with just and equitable government. Cp. the attributes of the true king as God’s representative, Isaiah 11:3 f; Psalm 72:12 ff. Judge does not here mean punish, but govern.

govern] Or, lead, a word often applied to God’s leading of Israel through the wilderness (Psalm 78:14). All nations are under His providential guidance, not Israel only, His specially chosen flock. Cp. Amos 9:7.

Verse 4. - O let the nations be glad and sing for joy. There could be no greater blessing to the nations than their attraction into God's kingdom; nor, consequently, any event more worthy to be hailed with joyful acclaim, with songs of joy and thanksgiving. For thou shalt judge the people (rather, the peoples) righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. The main advantage of the change would be the bringing of the heathen into that kingdom of perfect righteousness, wherein God (in the Person of Christ) would dispense justice unerringly, and rule all men with perfect and absolute equity. Psalm 67:4Now follows the prospect of the entrance of all peoples into the kingdom of God, who will then praise Him in common with Israel as their God also. His judging (שׁפט) in this instance is not meant as a judicial punishment, but as a righteous and mild government, just as in the christological parallels Psalm 72:12., Isaiah 11:3. מישׁר in an ethical sense for מישׁרים, as in Psalm 45:7; Isaiah 11:4; Malachi 2:6. הנחה as in Psalm 31:4 of gracious guidance (otherwise than in Job 12:23).
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