Psalm 72:3
The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.
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(3) The mountains . . .—Better, literally, Let the mountains and the hills bring forth to the people peace in (or by) righteousness. This imperative sense, instead of the future, is by most modern commentators preserved throughout the psalm. The LXX. give it here and in Psalm 72:17, but else use the future.

The verb here employed (properly meaning “lift up”) is used in Ezekiel 17:8, for “bearing fruit,” and in Isaiah 32:17 peace is described as the natural work or fruit of righteousness. (Comp. Psalm 85:10.) For the same prominence given to its hills as the characteristic feature of Palestine, a land which is “not only mountainous, but a heap of mountains,” comp. Joel 3:18.

Psalm 72:3-4. The mountains, &c. — Which are so dangerous to passengers, on account of robbers or wild beasts, which commonly abide there; shall bring forth peace — Shall be travelled over, or inhabited, with perfect security and safety. Or peace is here put for that prosperity, ease, and plenty, which is the fruit of peace; when the mountains and hills are cultivated and tilled, and so are capable of producing abundance of grain, though naturally full of stones and barren. He shall judge the poor of the people — That is, vindicate them from their potent oppressors, as judging often means. He shall save the children of the needy — Whom the rich had, or would have seized upon, for bond-men, upon some pretence or other.

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.The mountains shall bring peace to the people - The idea in this verse is that the land would be full of peace and the fruits of peace. All parts of it would be covered with the evidences that it was a land of quietness and security, where people could pursue their callings in safety, and enjoy the fruit of their labors. On the mountains and on all the little hills in the land there would be abundant harvests, the result of peace (so strongly in contrast with the desolations of war) - all showing the advantages of a peaceful reign. It is to be remembered that Judea is a country abounding in hills and mountains, and that a great part of its former fertility resulted from terracing the hills, and cultivating them as far as possible toward the summit. The idea here is, that one who should look upon the land - who could take in at a glance the whole country - would see those mountains and hills cultivated in the most careful manner, and everywhere bringing forth the productions of peace. Compare Psalm 65:11-13. See also the notes at Psalm 85:11-12.

And the little hills, by righteousness - That is, By the prevalence of righteousness, or under a reign of righteousness, the little hills would furnish illustrations of the influence of a reign of peace. Everywhere there would be the effects of a reign of peace. The whole land would be cultivated, and there would be abundance. Peace always produces these blessings; war always spreads desolation.

3. As mountains and hills are not usually productive, they are here selected to show the abundance of peace, being represented as

bringing—or, literally, "bearing" it as a produce.

by righteousness—that is, by means of his eminently just and good methods of ruling.

He mentioneth the

mountains and

hills, as bringing forth this blessed fruit; either because such places are usually barren, and therefore this was an evidence of extraordinary fruitfulness, and a special blessing of God; or because they are dangerous to passengers, in regard of the robbers and wild beasts, which commonly abide there; whereby it is implied that other places should do so too, and that it should be common and universal.

Peace; all manner of prosperity and felicity, which the Hebrews frequently express by that word.

The mountains shall bring peace to the people,.... The people of God, as before. Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret this of the nations, and kings of the nations, comparable to mountains and hills, as in Micah 6:1; that should make peace with Israel in the days of Solomon, and in the days of the King Messiah. Jarchi, of the abundance of fruit the mountains and hills should bring forth; so that there would be no contention among men about gathering it; but everyone would invite his neighbour to partake thereof, according to Zechariah 3:10, and so the Midrash (p). The Targum explains it of the inhabitants of the mountains; and may be applied to the churches of Christ, comparable to the mountains for their firmness and stability, Isaiah 2:2; and to the abundance of peace, holiness, and righteousness, that should be found in them in the times of Christ; or to the ministers of the Gospel, whose feet are beautiful, upon the mountains publishing peace and salvation by Christ, Isaiah 52:7;

and the little hills by righteousness: that is, shall bring peace, by or with righteousness, the righteousness of Christ; the effect of which is spiritual peace and joy, Romans 5:1.

(p) In Yalkut Simeoni, ut supra. (par. 2. fol. 112. 2.)

The {d} mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.

(d) When justice reigns, even the places most barren will be enriched with your blessings.

3. Logically this verse forms but one sentence, and the exact reproduction of the Heb. division into two clauses for the sake of rhythm has an awkward effect. The sense is, By righteousness shall the mountains and the hills bear peace for the people. The mountains and the hills, which are the characteristic features of Palestine, represent poetically the whole land, which, under a just government, will bear the fruit of peace and general welfare for its inhabitants. Similarly Isaiah describes peace as the result of righteousness (Isaiah 32:17); and peace was the distinguishing characteristic of Solomon’s reign (1 Chronicles 22:9), as well as of its antitype the Messianic age (Isaiah 2:4; Isaiah 9:6-7; Zechariah 9:10).

Verse 3. - The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. Through the general establishment prominent features. Psalm 72:3The 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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