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Jamieson, Fausset & Brown :: Commentary on Psalm 90

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The Book of Psalms

Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET

PSALM 90

Psa 90:1-17. Contrasting man's frailty with God's eternity, the writer mourns over it as the punishment of sin, and prays for a return of the divine favor. A Prayer [mainly such] of Moses the man of God-- ( Deu 33:1 Jos 14:6 ); as such he wrote this (see on JF & B for Ps 18:1, title, and JF & B for Ps 36:1, title).

      1. dwelling-place--home (compare Eze 11:16 ), as a refuge ( Deu 33:27 ).

      2. brought forth [and] formed--both express the idea of production by birth.

      3. to destruction--literally, "even to dust" ( Gen 3:19 ), which is partly quoted in the last clause.

      4. Even were our days now a thousand years, as Adam's, our life would be but a moment in God's sight ( 2Pe 3:8 ).
      a watch--or, third part of a night (compare Exd 14:24 ).

      5, 6. Life is like grass, which, though changing under the influence of the night's dew, and flourishing in the morning, is soon cut down and withereth ( Psa 103:15 1Pe 1:24 ).

      7, 8. For--A reason, this is the infliction of God's wrath.
      troubled--literally, "confounded by terror" ( Psa 2:5 ). Death is by sin ( Rom 5:12 ). Though "secret," the light of God's countenance, as a candle, will bring sin to view ( Pro 20:27 1Cr 4:5 ).

      9. are passed--literally, "turn," as to depart ( Jer 6:4 ).
      spend--literally, "consume."
      as a tale--literally, "a thought," or, "a sigh" ( Eze 2:10 ).

      10. Moses life was an exception ( Deu 34:7 ).
      it is. . . cut off--or, "driven," as is said of the quails in using the same word ( Num 11:31 ). In view of this certain and speedy end, life is full of sorrow.

      11. The whole verse may be read as a question implying the negative, "No one knows what Thy anger can do, and what Thy wrath is, estimated by a true piety."

      12. This he prays we may know or understand, so as properly to number or appreciate the shortness of our days, that we may be wise.

      13. (Compare Psa 13:2 ).
      let it repent--a strong figure, as in Exd 32:12, imploring a change in His dealings.

      14. early--promptly.

      15. As have been our sorrows, so let our joys be great and long.

      16. thy work--or, providential acts.
      thy glory-- ( Psa 8:5 45:3 ), the honor accruing from Thy work of mercy to us.

      17. let the beauty--or sum of His gracious acts, in their harmony, be illustrated in us, and favor our enterprise.

Introduction to Job ← Prior Book
Introduction to Proverbs Next Book →
Commentary on Psalm 89 ← Prior Chapter
Commentary on Psalm 91 Next Chapter →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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