Psalm 72:2
He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment.
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Psalm 72:2. He shall judge thy people with righteousness — Namely, if thou givest him what I have desired. And by this prediction he tacitly admonishes him of, and obliges him to, the performance of his duty. Or the words may be rendered, Let him judge, the future being put for the imperative, as is often the case; and so it is a prayer. And thy poor — Or, thy afflicted, or oppressed ones; for such are thine in a special manner; thou art their judge and patron, Psalm 68:5, and hast commanded all thy people, and especially kings and magistrates, to take a singular care of them, because they have few or no friends.

72:2-17 This is a prophecy of the kingdom of Christ; many passages in it cannot be applied to the reign of Solomon. There were righteousness and peace at first in the administration of his government; but, before the end of his reign, there were troubles and unrighteousness. The kingdom here spoken of is to last as long as the sun, but Solomon's was soon at an end. Even the Jewish expositors understood it of the kingdom of the Messiah. Observe many great and precious promises here made, which were to have full accomplishment only in the kingdom of Christ. As far as his kingdom is set up, discord and contentions cease, in families, churches, and nations. The law of Christ, written in the heart, disposes men to be honest and just, and to render to all their due; it likewise disposes men to live in love, and so produces abundance of peace. Holiness and love shall be lasting in Christ's kingdom. Through all the changes of the world, and all the changes of life, Christ's kingdom will support itself. And he shall, by the graces and comforts of his Spirit, come down like rain upon the mown grass; not on that cut down, but that which is left growing, that it may spring again. His gospel has been, or shall be, preached to all nations. Though he needs not the services of any, yet he must be served with the best. Those that have the wealth of this world, must serve Christ with it, do good with it. Prayer shall be made through him, or for his sake; whatever we ask of the Father, should be in his name. Praises shall be offered to him: we are under the highest obligations to him. Christ only shall be feared throughout all generations. To the end of time, and to eternity, his name shall be praised. All nations shall call HIM blessed.He shall judge thy people with righteousness - On this verse see the notes at Isaiah 11:3-4. The fact that this so entirely accords with the description in Isaiah 11, which undoubtedly refers to the Messiah, has been alluded to above as confirming the opinion that the psalm has a similar reference. 2, &c. The effects of such a government by one thus endowed are detailed.

thy people … and thy poor—or, "meek," the pious subjects of his government.

He shall judge, to wit, if thou givest him what I have desired. And by this prediction he doth tacitly admonish him of, and oblige him to, the performance of his duty herein. Or, Let him judge; the future being put for the imperative, as hath been oft observed. So it is a prayer.

Thy people; for they are thine more than his; and therefore he must not govern them according to his own will and pleasure, but according to the rules of thy word, and for thy service and glory.

Thy poor; or, thy afflicted or oppressed ones, for such are thine in a special manner; thou art their Judge and Patron, Psalm 68:5, and hast commanded all thy people, and especially kings and magistrates, to take a singular care of them, because they have few or no friends.

He shall judge thy people with righteousness,.... Or, "so shall he judge"; or, "that he may judge" (n), as the Syriac and Arabic versions; having the judgments and righteousness of God given him, he will be thereby qualified to judge the people of God; such as are so, not by creation, but by special grace; his chosen and covenant people, the redeemed and purchased people of God, and who in the effectual calling appear to be so, and are made his willing people. These Christ judges, rules, and governs, protects and defends, in a righteous manner; pleads their cause, vindicates their right, and avenges them on their enemies, as well as justifies them with his own righteousness;

and thy poor with judgment; justice and equity. Such who are literally poor, and are the Lord's poor, whom he has chosen, and makes rich in faith, and heirs of a kingdom; and with whom Christ, when here on earth, was chiefly concerned, and now is; and not with the great men and rulers of the earth: or such who are poor in spirit, sensible of their spiritual poverty; that find themselves hungry and thirsty, and destitute of righteousness, and without money, or anything to procure either. Or, "thine afflicted ones" (o); such as are distressed in body or mind, with respect to things temporal or spiritual; oppressed by sin, Satan, and the world, These Christ regards, and administers justice to in his own time and way; see Isaiah 11:4.

(n) "ut jus dicat", Tigurine version; so Ainsworth. (o) "afflictos tuos", Montanus, Vatablus, Musculus, Piscator, Gejerus, Michaelis, Tiguriue version.

He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment.
2. He shall give sentence to thy people with righteousness,

And to thine afflicted ones with Judgement.

Many commentators render the verbs throughout the Ps. as optatives, Let him give sentence, and so forth. In Psalm 72:8 ff. this rendering is required by the form of the verb; but here the form is a simple future. The administration of the king endowed with divine capacities for ruling is described (Psalm 72:2; Psalm 72:4; Psalm 72:6), together with the resultant blessings (3, 5, 7). The rendering give sentence is adopted to indicate that the Heb. word is different from that in Psalm 72:4.

It has been argued that ‘thine afflicted ones’ implies that the nation was at the time in a state of depression and humiliation: but the term is not necessarily coextensive with ‘thy people’; it denotes, as frequently in the prophets, the poorer classes, who especially needed the protection of good government. See Isaiah 3:14-15; Isaiah 10:2; Jeremiah 22:16; Amos 8:4.

Verse 2. - He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. Then will he have wisdom to judge thy people aright. The wish is in the closest possible agreement with the prayer in 1 Kings 3:6-9. Psalm 72:2The name of God, occurring only once, is Elohim; and this is sufficient to stamp the Psalm as an Elohimic Psalm. מלך (cf. Psalm 21:2) and בּן־מלך are only used without the article according to a poetical usage of the language. The petition itself, and even the position of the words, show that the king's son is present, and that he is king; God is implored to bestow upon him His משׁפּטים, i.e., the rights or legal powers belonging to Him, the God of Israel, and צדקה, i.e., the official gift in order that he may exercise those rights in accordance with divine righteousness. After the supplicatory teen the futures which now follow, without the Waw apodoseos, are manifestly optatives. Mountains and hills describe synecdochically the whole land of which they are the high points visible afar off. נשׂא is used in the sense of נשׂא פּרי Ezekiel 17:8 : may שׁלום be the fruit which ripens upon every mountain and hill; universal prosperity satisfied and contented within itself. The predicate for Psalm 72:3 is to be taken from Psalm 72:3, just as, on the other hand, בּצדקה, "in or by righteousness," the fruit of which is indeed peace (Isaiah 32:17), belongs also to Psalm 72:3; so that consequently both members supplement one another. The wish of the poet is this: By righteousness, may there in due season be such peaceful fruit adorning all the heights of the land. Psalm 72:3, however, always makes one feel as though a verb were wanting, like תּפרחנה suggested by Bttcher. In Psalm 72:4 the wishes are continued in plain unfigurative language. הושׁיע in the signification to save, to obtain salvation for, has, as is frequently the case, a dative of the object. בּני־אביון are those who are born to poverty, just like בּן־מלך, one who is born a king. Those who are born to poverty are more or less regarded, by an unrighteous government, as having no rights.
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