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The Geneva Bible Translation Notes, [1599], at

Psalms Chapter 89

Psalms 89:1

psa 89:1

"Maschil of Ethan the Ezrahite." I will (a) sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

(a) Though the horrible confusion of things might cause them to despair of God's favour, yet the manifold examples of his mercies cause them to trust in God though to man's judgment they saw no reason to.

Psalms 89:2

psa 89:2

For I have (b) said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou (c) establish in the very heavens.

(b) As he who surely believed in heart.

(c) As your invisible heaven is not subject to any alteration and change: so shall the truth of your promise be unchangeable.

Psalms 89:3

psa 89:3

(d) I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,

(d) The prophet shows what the promise of God was, on which he grounded his faith.

Psalms 89:5

psa 89:5

And the (e) heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.

(e) The angels will praise your power and faithfulness in delivering your Church.

Psalms 89:6

psa 89:6

For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD? [who] among the (g) sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD?

(g) Meaning, the angels.

Psalms 89:7

psa 89:7

God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the (h) saints, and to be had in reverence of all [them that are] about him.

(h) If the angels tremble before God's majesty and infinite justice, what earthly creature by oppressing the Church dares to set himself against God?

Psalms 89:9

psa 89:9

(i) Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.

(i) For as he delivered the Church by the Red sea, and by destroying Rahab, that is, the Egyptians, so will he deliver it, when the dangers are great.

Psalms 89:12

psa 89:12

The north and the south thou hast created them: (k) Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name.

(k) Tabor is a mountain west from Jerusalem, and Hermon to the East, so the prophet signifies that all parts and places of the world will obey God's power for the deliverance of his Church.

Psalms 89:14

psa 89:14

(l) Justice and judgment [are] the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

(l) For by this he judges the world and shows himself to be a merciful father and faithful protector to his.

Psalms 89:15

psa 89:15

Blessed [is] the people that (m) know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy (n) countenance.

(m) Feeling in their conscience that God is their father.

(n) They will be preserved by your fatherly providence.

Psalms 89:17

psa 89:17

For thou [art] the (o) glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted.

(o) In that they are preserved and continue, they should give the praise and glory to you alone.

Psalms 89:18

psa 89:18

For the LORD [is] our (p) defence; and the Holy One of Israel [is] our king.

(p) In that our King has power to defend us, it is the gift of God.

Psalms 89:19

psa 89:19

Then thou spakest in vision to (q) thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon [one that is] (r) mighty; I have exalted [one] chosen out of the people.

(q) To Samuel and to others, to assure that David was the chosen one.

(r) Whom I have both chosen and given strength to execute his office, as in (Psa 89:21).

Psalms 89:23

psa 89:23

And I will (s) beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him.

(s) Though there will always be enemies against God's kingdom yet he promises to overcome them.

Psalms 89:24

psa 89:24

But my faithfulness and my (t) mercy [shall be] with him: and in my name shall his (u) horn be exalted.

(t) I will mercifully perform my promise to him despite his infirmities and offences.

(u) His power, glory and estate.

Psalms 89:25

psa 89:25

I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the (x) rivers.

(x) He will enjoy the land around him.

Psalms 89:26

psa 89:26

He shall cry unto me, Thou [art] my (y) father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.

(y) His excellent dignity will appear in this, that he will be named the son of God and the firstborn in which he is a figure of Christ.

Psalms 89:29

psa 89:29

His seed also will I make [to endure] (z) for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.

(z) Though for the sins of the people the state of the kingdom decayed, yet God reserved still a root till he had accomplished this promise in Christ.

Psalms 89:33

psa 89:33

(a) Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.

(a) Though the faithful answer not in all points to their profession, yet God will not break his covenant with them.

Psalms 89:34

psa 89:34

My covenant will I not break, nor (b) alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.

(b) For God in promising has respect to his mercy, and not to man's power in performing.

Psalms 89:37

psa 89:37

It shall be established for ever as the moon, and [as] a faithful (c) witness in heaven. Selah.

(c) As long as the Sun and Moon endure, they will be witnesses to me of this promise.

Psalms 89:39

psa 89:39

Thou hast (d) made void the covenant of thy servant: thou hast profaned his (e) crown [by casting it] to the ground.

(d) Because of the horrible confusion of things, the prophet complains to God, as though he did not see the performance of his promise and thus discharging his cares on God, he resists doubt and impatience.

(e) By this he means the horrible dissipation and tearing of the kingdom which was under Jeroboam, or else by the Spirit of prophecy Ethan speaks of those great miseries which came to pass soon after at the captivity of Babylon.

Psalms 89:45

psa 89:45

The days of his (f) youth hast thou shortened: thou hast covered him with shame. Selah.

(f) He shows that the kingdom fell before it came to perfection or was ripe.

Psalms 89:46

psa 89:46

How long, (g) LORD? wilt thou hide thyself for ever? shall thy wrath burn like fire?

(g) The prophet in joining prayer with his complaint, shows that his faith never failed.

Psalms 89:47

psa 89:47

Remember (h) how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain?

(h) Seeing man's life is short, and you have created man to bestow your benefits on him, unless you hasten to help, death will prevent you.

Psalms 89:50

psa 89:50

Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants; [how] I do bear in my (i) bosom [the reproach of] all the mighty people;

(i) He means that God's enemies not only slandered him behind his back, but also mocked him to his face and as it were cast their injuries in his bosom.

Psalms 89:51

psa 89:51

Wherewith (k) thine enemies have reproached, O LORD; wherewith they have reproached the (l) footsteps of thine anointed.

(k) So he calls them who persecute the Church.

(l) They laugh at us who patiently wait for the coming of your Christ.

Next: Psalms Chapter 90