Psalm 5

Yahweh, hear my words; * attend to what I say.
    Listen to my cry, * my King and my God, * for I pray to you, Yahweh.
    At daybreak hear my voice; * at daybreak I present my case; * I watch for you.
        A no-god delights in evil, * but you receive no evil guest;
        let no boasters * stand before you.
           I hate all evildoers: * so destroy all liars!
           An idol and fetish man * Yahweh detests.
               But through your great love * I will enter your house.
                   I will bow down towards your holy temple * with those who fear you, Yahweh.
               Lead me to Paradise * away from my rivals; * make your way smooth for me.
           In their mouth there's nothing to be trusted; * their belly is a bottomless pit.
           Their throat gulps like an open grave; * they kill with their tongues.
        Make them perish, God; * their scheming bring them down.
        For their many crimes * knock them down, * since they have challenged you.
    Let all who run to you rejoice * and always sing for joy.
    You give them shelter, * that they may rejoice in you * who love your name.
For you bless the righteous, Yahweh; * your favor protects them like a shield.

1 Unto the end, for her that obtaineth the inheritance. A psalm of David.

5:0 This Psalm is the fifth in the order of Psalms, but the fourth to bear a title: Unto the end, for her who obtains the inheritance. A psalm of David. Here is indicated the efficient cause of the Psalm, both moving and moved; the latter is David. The end of this Psalm is shown by the phrase "unto the end," It should be understood that Christ is the final ordering cause, as was explained regarding the title of the previous Psalm. The matter of the Psalm is also indicated, which is the Church of the Gentiles, as is indicated by the phrase "for her", that is, it is edited in the person of this Church, and it introduces her speech by the phrase "that obtaineth the inheritance". This is eternal life, spoken of in Isaiah 54:17 This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord. From it the unfaithful Synagogue was rejected as a maid and slave, according to Genesis 21:10 Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac. This passage is reflected in the historical Psalms.

This also makes clear how this Psalm follows upon the previous one. The preceding Psalm showed how the goods which are in Christ flow to his members and invited his adversaries to convert to him and receive those goods. Here, this prophetic exhortation is considered heard, and to show how fruitful it was, in this Psalm the Church of the Gentiles is introduced as praying and asking for those goods. So this Psalm is divided into four parts: (1) The Church asks to be heard, (2) It proves that it should be heard: "For to you will I pray." (3) It specifies what it is asking for: "Conduct me, Lord." (4) Feeling that it has been heard, it states that its prayer will certainly be fulfilled: "They shall rejoice forever."

The first part contains (1) first a simple request to be heard, (2) secondly it adds to the petition a commendation of the One to whom the request is made, so that it may be made effective: "Understand my cry."

2. Give ear, O Lord, to my words,
Yahweh, hear my words;

5:1.1.1 By a simple request two things are asked for: to hear the words coming from the mouth, and to understand the cry coming from the heart. So he says, "Lord, I hear the prophet exhorting me to covert to you, and therefore I ask you, Lord: Give ear, O Lord, to my words, that is, may your ears be listening and your eyes open to hear the prayer of your servant. God is not without ears and hearing. -Psalm 93:9 He who planted the ear, does he not hear? The Gloss explains that God's ears mean the presence of his majesty. For by the power of his presence he hears requests. -Wisdom 1:10 A jealous ear, that is, the ear of God, who is not only zealous/jealous but zeal itself, hears all things. Man has a corporal ear, which is spoken of in John 18, where Peter is said to have cut off the ear of Malchus. He also has the spiritual ear of the spirit, which is of two kinds: The first is that of intelligence, -Psalm 85:8 Let me hear what God the Lord will speak. The other is that of the will. -Job 42:5 I had heard of thee by the hearing of the ear. Of these three kinds of hearing are meant in Luke 8:8 He who has ears to hear, let him hear; cf. also Rev 2-3. This means that whoever has bodily ears with the capcity of hearing with interior intelligence should hear by obedience of the will. The Uncreated Spirit also has his ear, which is his presence, as has been said, or his kindness, which is spoken of in Psalm 10:17 Thou wilt hear the desire of the meek…, thou wilt incline thy ear.

understand my cry.
attend to what I say.

5:1.1.2 from the heart, not from the mouth. The Gloss says: "It is shown that the cry is spiritual and not vocal because it is understood. This is the kind of cry made by Moses -Ex 17:4 etc. and Susanna -Daniel 13, and Hanna -1 Sam 1.

3. Hearken to the voice of my prayer, O my King and my God.
Listen to my cry, my King and my God,

5:1.2 Here there is added to the petition a commendation of the one to whom it is made. For he says, and you, my King, which he is according to his humanity, because he was anointed. -Psalm 45:7 Your God anointed you. And Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me. He was anointed not just king, but king with the singular kingship from which all kingship derives its name. -Rev 19:16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, King of kings and Lord of lords. Therefore he is greatly to be feared. -Jer 10:7 Who would not fear thee, O King of the nations? And my God, with reference to you divinity, by which you rule, sustain and govern everything. -Psalm 31:14-15 Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand. But you remain immutable and invariable. -James 1:17 with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. These two, that is the divinity and the humanity of Christ, are referred to together elsewhere: -Psalm 47:6 Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!

Note, as some observe, that the Trinity of persons is hinted at here: First the Holy Spirit, when he said "Lord", then the Son, when he added, "My King", and the Father when he added "and my God". They say that "God" can rightly be understood as the Father, because the word "God" means a principle. And the Father is the principle of the other persons. The title "Lord" is given to the Holy Spirit because, while he proceeds from the Father and the Son and no person proceeds from him, he might mistakenly be thought not to have power of ruling. The term "King" clearly refers to the Son, who was given the power of legislating, ruling and judging, according to Isaiah 33:22 For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our ruler, the Lord is our king; he will save us.

Another and perhaps better interpretation is that "Lord" refers to the Father, where authority first resides. "My King" refers to the Son, as was said above, and "my God" refers to the Holy Spirit. For the word "God", according to one understanding, means one who fosters. And fostering pertains to the goodness of God, which is appropriated to the Holy Spirit.

And notice the progress of ideas. First there is perceiving by hearing, secondly there is understanding what was heard, thirdly there is giving attention to what was understood. Prayer for deliverance from evil demands compassion. That which asks for a good thing to be given demands attention. Note also that he asks God to listen with his ears to his words, and what is more, to understand the cry of his heart, and what is most, to give attention to the prayer of his heart, for the best thing is for the voice to agree with the heart.

4 For to thee will I pray:
for I pray to you, Yahweh.

5:2. This is the second part, in which he shows that he should be heard, because his prayer has all the elements necessary for a prayer to be heard, and these are seven, which he takes up one after the other: (1) right intention, (2) sollicitude: "In the morning you will hear," (3) constancy: "In the morning I will stand," (4) purity of conscience: "But as for me, in the multitude," (5) unity and concord: "I will go into," (7) reverence: "I will adore."

5:2.1 So he says, I am asking you to attend to my prayer, and you should do so, because I pray to you, O Lord, by directing my intention to no one else but you. I should be noted first that when above the three persons were alluded to, here when he says "Lord" he is referring the unity of essence. This is like Isaiah 6:3 When the Cherubim said "Holy, Holy, Holy," they added Lord God of hosts because of the unity of essence. There can be no prayer unless the intention is directed to God. But there is variety in prayer, which is the feeling of the mind turning to God, when, to avoid lassitude, it breaks into audible voice. Similarly it is said in Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer rise as incense before you. -2 Maccabees 2:10 Moses prayed to the Lord, that is, directing his intention to the Lord, and the fire came down and consumed the whole burnt offerings. -Lamentations 3:41 Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven.

O Lord, in the morning thou shalt hear my voice.
At daybreak hear my voice;

5:2.2 This is the second requirement. A right intention is not enough, but sollicitude is also necessary in looking for an opportunity to pray. I will pray eagerly, because in the morning you will hear, that is, grant what I ask. I am talking about the physical morning. -Isaiah 26:9 I am awake with you in the morning (Vul). For that time is very suitable for prayer. With food digested and bodily strength recovered, one is freed from bodily demands and can better relax with spiritual matters. That is why Jacob is said to have prayed at dawn and to have obtained what he wanted from the angel (Gen 32:26). -Sirach 39:5 He will set his heart to rise early to seek the Lord who made him. Therefore Augustine says that it is a shame for a Christian if the rays of the sun find him resting in bed.

Note that there are many meanings of "morning": (1) That of time -Gen 1:5 And there was evening and there was morning, one day. (2) The time of childhood or youth -Psalm 90:5 The morning passes like the grass, which refers to those who die in childhood, in the morning it flourishes, that is in youth, in the evening it falls, hardens and dries (Vul). (3) The morning of prosperity -Isaiah 21:12 Morning comes, and also the night. If you will inquire, inquire; come back again. (4) The morning of newness, when Christ rose from the dead, with nature renewed. -Psalm 30:5 Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. -Matthew 28:1 Toward the dawn of the first day of the week. (5) The morning of shining grace, which could be taken as the meaning of the present verse.

Note that "to grant" (or "hear out" exaudire) means (1) to listen up to the result (or "going out": ad exitum audire), as the demons were heard out (Mat 8:31-32). (2) It can also mean to grant because of merits, as in the preceding Psalm: The Lord will hear me when I call to him. (3) It can also mean to hear for someone's benefit -Psalm 91:15 When he calls I will answer him. (4) Or it can mean to grant more than the petitioner expected. -Luke 1:13 Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer is heard.

5 In the morning I will stand before thee,
at daybreak I present my case;

5:2.3 This is the third element, which constancy in prayer. So he says: There will be opportunity to pray, but also constancy and stability. I will not pray just for the moment or the hour, but will stand there in the morning, erect, attent and persevering. Of the first of these three qualities, Elias says of himself (1 Kings 18:15 As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand. The second is mentioned in Psalm 123:2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look fixed and attentively to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God. The third is mentioned in Luke 18:1 He told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart, and he gave the example of the widow who got her due from the unjust judge because of her insistance.

Therefore I will stand literally in the morning, as was said above, to tell of your mercy in the morning (Psalm 92:2). Or morning could mean the sunrise of grace; this can be called morning for several reasons: (1) In the morning people wake up from sleep; so with the rise of grace they wake up from sin. -1 Kings 19:5 Elijah lay down and slept under a broom tree; and behold, an angel touched him, and said to him, "Arise". -Cant 7:12 Let us go out early to the vineyards. (2) Because when people wake up they go eagerly to work. -Psalm 104:22-23 When the sun rises… Man goes forth to his work and to his labor until the evening. (3) In the morning sicknesses are alleviated; so also when the light of grace rises temptations are mitigated. -Job 8:5-6 If you will seek God [early] and make supplication to the Almighty, if you are pure and upright, surely then he will rouse himself for you and reward you with a rightful habitation. (4) Also in the morning thieves flee and go into hiding; so when grace shines the devils flee. -Job 24:17 Morning is deep darkness to all of them (Vul). -Ex 14:24-25 And in the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down upon the host of the Egyptians, and discomfited the host of the Egyptians, clogging their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily. (5) Also in the morning the beautiful songs of birds are heard; so when grace begins to shine, the dove of contrition and the nightengale of spiritual joy are heard from the spiritual spouse. -Cant 2:12 The voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. -Job 38:7 Where were you when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (6) Finally, in the morning dew is sent down from above to make the land fruitful; so when grace shines and the soul turns to God in prayer, a heavenly sweetness is put in the soul so that it becomes more ready to perform well. -Exodus 16:21 Morning by morning they gathered the manna.

and will see: because thou art not a God that willest iniquity.
I watch for you. A no-god delights in evil,

5:2.4.1 This is the fourth element, which is purity of conscience. He shows that he will get this indirectly by praying. For by the fact that he says he will know God, and that he does not like evil things but hates them, he is implying when he prays that he has been purified from these evils. It is as if he said: I know that you hate evil people and do not grant them their requests. So it remains that when I want to pray I will try not to be like them. Two things are said here: (1) First that he knows that God does not love iniquity. (2) But because universal knowledge is weak, he specifies this by saying secondly that "the wicked will not live near you".

So he says, I will pray constantly and will see, that is, by preparing myself, because you are not a God who desires iniquity. He says less, meaning more, namely that he hates iniquity. -Wisdom 11:24 Thou lovest all things that exist, and hast loathing for none of the things which thou hast made. But you did not make iniquity, and so you hate it. -Wisdom 1:13 God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. -Hab 3:13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil and canst not look on wrong.

Note that "iniquity" in its etymology means ineqality. There is a bad kind of inequity which displeases God, as in this case. -Psalm 66:18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. And there is a good kind of inequity, which is an inequality of life or of the living, which is to ascend to the heights of contemplation and then descend to the depths of action. This inequlity is referred to in Sir 42:1Sir 42:14 Better is the wickedness of a man than a woman who does good. -Luke 16:8 The master commended the dishonest steward.

6. Neither shall the wicked dwell near thee:
but you receive no evil guest;

5: Here he specifies, so that he will not seem to have merely general knowledge. Evil is of two kinds: (1) first interior, and in reference to this he says Nor will the wicked live near you, and (2) exterior. The latter is of two kinds: (1) One is the omission of something owed, noted in the phrase: "nor shall the unjust abide before your eyes, or (2) it is the perpetration of something forbidden, and this in either of two ways: (1) first with regard to the instrument of doing evil, and this is either (1) the hand: "You hate all who work iniquity", or (2) the tongue: "You will destroy all who speak lies". (2) Or it has to to with the manner of doing evil: either openly: "A man of blood the Lord detests", or hiddenly: "and deceitful".

So he says, I will know that you hate iniquity, not only in general, but also in particular, because No evil man, that is, one inwardly aflame with evil desire, will live near you. -Job 8:20 God will not extend his hand to the evildoers (Vul).

nor shall the unjust abide before thy eyes.
let no boasters * stand before you.

5: Nor will the unjust, who omit what they are obliged to, stay before your eyes, that is, before your look of kindness. -Psalm 34:15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous. -Wisdom 4:15 God's grace and mercy are with his elect, and he watches over his holy ones. Therefore neither now in the present will the wicked remain with you or the unjust stay before your eyes, nor in the future. -Isaiah 26:10 Let the wicked be taken away so that he will not see the glory of God (Vul var.). -Rev 22:15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and every one who loves and practices falsehood.

7 Thou hatest all the workers of iniquity:
I hate all evildoers:

5: Just as those who omit their obligations will not remain before your eyes, so you hate all who work iniquity, and this because of their iniquity. For you hate both wickedness and the wicked. -Wisdom 14:9 Equally hateful to God are the ungodly man and his ungodliness. Nor is this surprising, for the wicked hates what God loves, and whoever hates a friend is rightly hated by the friend of the friend. -Psalm 11:5 Whoever loves iniquity hates his own soul (Vul), which God loves. -Wisdom 11:24 For thou lovest all things that exist, and hast loathing for none of the things which thou hast made. Also the wicked person hates God. -John 15:18 If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.

Thou wilt destroy all that speak a lie.
so destroy all liars!

5: who sin by their mouth. But then he would have to kill everybody, since it is said in Psalm 116:11 All men are liars. -Rom 3:4 Let God be true though every man be false. Or at least you will destroy all but the perfect. -James 3:2 If any one makes no mistakes in what he says he is a perfect man. I answer that this verse is to be understood of lies that are mortal, that is, pernicious, in the are of religious doctrine. A sign of this is that what he says here is contrasted with sins of action and morals. Thus this sin of mouth is understood as being against the faith and religious teaching. Thus Wisdom 1:11 A lying mouth destroys the soul.

Here eight kinds of lies can be distinguished, according to Augustine: (1) The first is a lie against religious teaching, as if we were to affirm that Christ did not suffer, or was not born or is not God. (2) The second kind is that which neither helps no one and harms someone, such as detraction or false witness in a trial. (3) The third is what is of benefit to someone but harms another, such as false witness in a matter of money. (4) What issaid simply for the desire of lying, without any benefit or reason. (5) What is said to please someone, such as the deceit of an adulturer. The masters place all these five kinds under pernicious lies, and say they are mortal sins. (6) What harms no one, but helps someone to avoid danger to one's fortune, such as in regard to money. (7) What harms no one, but helps someone to preserve his natural endowment, such as bodily life. (8) What harms no one, but helpse someone to preserve the status of grace, such as virginity or the like. These three kinds the masters put in the category of officious lies. Some say they are mortal sins, others not. Augustine, however, says that in all these categories there is sin, but he does not determine whether they are all mortal. The masters add a third category, which is that of a joking lie, which is not for the purpose of deceiving but of making someone laugh. A falsehood is proferred, and everyone knows that it is not true. All say that this is a venial sin, especially in imperfect people. Regarding perfect people, there is a difference of opinion.

The bloody and the deceitful man the Lord will abhor.
An idol and fetish man * Yahweh detests.

5: First of all there should be noticed how beautifuly and rhetorically he speaks, using different verbs in each phrase: "The wicked will not abide," "The unjust will not stay," "The doer of iniquity is hated," "The liar will be destroyed," "A man of blood and deceit is abominable." Note that in Scripture a man of blood is sometimes called a robber. -Sir 34:21 The bread of the needy is the life of the poor; whoever deprives them of it is a man of blood. He is also called a murderer. -2 Sam 16:7 Shimei said to David, wanting to kill him, Begone, begone, you man of blood, you worthless fellow! And the Lord said to David, You will not build me a house (1 Chron 17:4), because you are a man of blood (2 Sam 16:8). A man of blood is also said to be anyone who sins generally in the open, because blood is called a sin. -Psalm 51:14 Deliver me from blood(guiltiness), O God. -Hosea 4:2 There is swearing, lying, killing, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds and murder follows murder.

Therefore the Lord holds in abomination a man of blood and deceit, that is, one who sins openly or in secret respectively. These two are put together also in Psalm 55:23 Men of blood and treachery shall not live out half their days. For an abominable thing is quickly thrown away. But in Proverbs 16:12 those are called abominable to the King who act irreverently, such as the arrogant and the proud. Prov 16:5 also says, Every one who is arrogant is an abomination to the Lord. Or these can be in hiding and in secret, as are pretenders and hypocrites, who present a totally false image of themselves. Gaufr??? says, "The hypocrite lies with his whole body. He has the appearance of virtue, but rejects the virtue of piety. -1 Tim 3:5 holding the form of religion but denying the power of it.

8 But as for me in the multitude of thy mercy,
But through your great love

5:2.5 This is the fifth element demanded of one who prays, and that is confidence. He says, in other words, My prayer will have the right intention, diligence, constancy, purity of conscience and firm confidence. Why? Because I will hope in the multitude of your mercy. He does not merely say that he hopes in God's mercy, but in the multitude of his mercy, to show that the Lord's mercy is great. Thus he says elsewhere (Psalm 51:1), According to thy abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. -2 Sam 24:14 Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is great. For God does not deny his mercy to anyone coming to him. -Psalm 103:17 The steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear him, for he holds and conserves those who come to him. -Lam 3:22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end.

I will come into thy house;
I will enter your house.

5:2.6 This is the sixth element, namely, unity and concord. Without this God does not hear a prayer. -Mat 5:23-24 So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. But he is outside the house of God who is divided from others by hatred and discord. Therefore to enter the house of God is to join and unite oneself to others through concord in faith and love. -Acts 4:32 Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul.

Note that the house of God which one must enter is of several kinds: (1) The lower house, which is the Church militant. -Psalm 26:8 O Lord, I love the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy glory dwells. (2) And there is the superior house of God, which is the Church triumphant. -Baruch 3:24 O Israel, how great is the house of God! -Psalm 122:1 Let us go to the house of the Lord, rejoicing. We must enter it by contemplation. (3) And there is the interior house of God, our very conscience. -Psalm 101:2 I will walk with integrity of heart within my house. We must enter this by diligent discussion. (4) And there is the exterior house of God, our body. -Job 4:19 those who dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust. This is the house of God, because God is its maker and occupier. -1 Cor 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own. We must enter this house by considering our fragility and lowliness. -Nahum 3:14 Go into the clay, tread the mortar. (5) There is the front house of God, which is Holy Scripture. -Psalm 55:14 Within God's house we walked in fellowship. We must enter this by constant meditation. (6) And there is the back house of God, which is the abandoned synagogue. -Mat 23:38 Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate. We must enter this house by compassion for its misery and blindness.

I will worship towards thy holy temple, in thy fear.
I will bow down towards your holy temple

5:2.7 This is the seventh and last element, namely, reverence in praying. In other words he says, I will be in concord and will worship, that is, I will pray to you, coming to your holy temple, which is a more suitable place for my to pray than any other place. I will do so in your fear, which is the fear of reverence and honor.

Or by the temple he means the man Christ, in whom God dwells as in his spiritual temple. -Col 2:9 In him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily. This is the temple spoken of in Ezechiel 43:10 And you, son of man, describe to the house of Israel the temple and its appearance and plan. It is Christ full of divinity, as true God pierced on every side, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities. The is the temple which he himself spoke of in John 2:19 Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. One should pray toward this temple with reverence and fear. -Prov 28:14 Blessed is the man who fears the Lord always. -Job 9:28 I become afraid of all my suffering, for I know thou wilt not hold me innocent.

9 Conduct me, O Lord, in thy justice: because of my enemies,
Lead me to Paradise away from my rivals;

5: This is the third part of the Psalm. Having asked to be heard, and having given the reasons why he should be heard, he now specifically states what he is asking for. He asks for two things: (1) first to be helped against evil men, (2) secondly that they be punished: "Judge them, God." In the first section he (1) first asks help against the evil so that they will not impede his progress in goodness. (2) Secondly he shows the need for this petition, declaring the wickedness of his adversaries: "Since there is no truth in their mouth." In the first of these he says two things: (1) First he asks to be preserved from the evil, so that they do not impede his progress in goodness, (2) secondly that they do not pervert his good intention: "Direct my way in your sight."

So he says, I have asked in a way to be heard, and I have shown why I should be heard. Therefore, Lord, lead me, by giving me perseverance, in your justice, which you have given and began in me. Otherwise, unless you lead me, I cannot continue or progress. Thus Psalm 119:35 Lead me in the path of thy commandments. -Exodus 33:15 If thy presence will not go with me, do not carry us up from here. -because of my enemies, who should be removed so that they cannot impede me.

Here it should be noted that the Lord brings people back from going astray by the gift of fear. -Zecharaiah 10:10 I will bring them home from the land of Egypt. He brings them to the right way by the gift of piety. -Isaiah 14:2 Peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them. He leads them on the way by the gift of knowledge. -Exodus 15:13 Thou hast led in thy steadfast love the people whom thou hast redeemed. He leads them through the way, that is, from virtue to virtue, by the gift of fortitude. -Psalm 77:20 Thou didst lead thy people like a flock. He leads them from love of the way by the gift of counsel. -Psalm 135:7 He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth. He leads them to the gift of the homeland by the gift of understanding. -Gen 24:48 Then I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me by the right way. He leads into security upon arriving by the gift of wisdom. -Jeremiah 2:7 I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things.

direct my way in thy sight.
make your way smooth for me.

5: Direct, as if to say, do not only help against their impeding my progress, but direct my way in your sight by a right intention, lest they turn me aside. For this is yours to do. -Prov 16:9 A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. -Jeremiah 10:23 I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. Therefore Tobit taught his son in these words (4:19) Bless the Lord God on every occasion; ask him that your ways may be made straight. -Psalm 27:11 Teach me thy way, O LORD; and lead me on a level path. -Psalm 90:16 Let thy work be manifest to thy servants, and thy glorious power to their children.

10. for there is no truth in their mouth;
In their mouth there's nothing to be trusted;

5: Here prayer is shown to be necessary for preservation from enemies, that is, from their perfect malice, which is shown in four things: (1) First, because there is no truth in their mouths. (2) Secondly, because vanity abounds in their hearts. (3) Thirdly, as a consequence of the first two, because their iniquity overflows to corrupt others, and that in two ways: (1) openly: "Their throat is an open grave," or (2) secretly: "They acted deceitfully with their tongues."

So he says, I ask to be delivered by you from my enemies. And that is not surprising, because there is no created truth in their mouths. -Hosea 4:1 There is no faithfulness or kindness, and no knowledge of God in the land. -Isaiah 59:14 Truth has fallen in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter. Consequently there is in their mouths no uncreated truth, which is the Son. -John 14:6 I am the way, and the truth, and the life. And if sometimes they simulate truth, in their hearts they have deceit and error. -Sirach 19:23 Some wickedly humble themselves, but inside they are full of deceit (Vul).

their heart is vain.
their belly is a bottomless pit.

5: Their heart is empty, dedicated to vanity. -Psalm 4:2 How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies? This vanity in the heart is the cause of falsehood in the mouth. Gregory says that a light conscience conceives, and right away a lighter tongue bursts it out. He also says that as one outwardly speaks, so he is proved to be inwardly. -Matthew 12:34 For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

11 Their throat is an open sepulchre:
Their throat gulps like an open grave;

5: meaning that there is no truth in their mouths, and nothing in their heart but vanity. So it follows that their throat is an open grave, that is, openly sending forth the stench of detraction. For what comes out spiritually from the superior part smells no less than what comes out from the lower physical part. Seneca says that it makes no difference whether those detractors speak on a superior or a lower level.

Note that hypocrites are called closed graves. -Matthew 23:27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. The glutonous also are graves, but open, as they indifferently devour physical food and corrupt it after they have consumed it. -Numbers 11:34 Therefore the name of that place was called Kibrothhattaavah (grave of concupiscence), because there they buried the people who had the craving. But these and the preceding graves are ways to hell. -Luke 12:22-23 The rich man also died and was buried in Hades. It is also said of the hypocrite in Job 21:31-32 Who declares his way to his face, and who requites him for what he has done when he is borne to the grave. To show that this refers to the grave of hell, he adds: Watch is kept over his tomb. This is the detractor. -Jer 5:16 Their quiver is like an open tomb.

Note that a detractor is compared to an open tomb because he emits stench. -Lev 13:45 The leper shall cover his upper lip and cry, `Unclean, unclean.' And he is compared to a hornet which passes over the flowers and lands on dung. -Deuteronomy 7:20 The LORD your God will send hornets among them. And he is compared to a damaged wall that is ready to fall. -1 Sam 5:9 Walls were around (Vul) the men of the city, both young and old, so that tumors broke out upon them. And he is like a hyena that carries bodies of the dead from their graves to tear them apart and eat them. -Jer 12:8 (according to one version) My heritage has become for me a hyena's cave. And he is like the vulture, which is a combattative bird that flies around to eat dead meat. -Isaiah 34:15 Yea, there shall the kites be gathered, each one with her mate.

they dealt deceitfully with their tongues:
they kill with their tongues.

5:3.1.2 Secretly plotting evil, they acted deceitfully. -Jer 9:5 Every one deceives his neighbor, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies. Therefore it is said in Sirach 28:19 Happy the man who is protected from an evil tongue. -Sirach 37:20 A man skilled in words may be hated; he will be destitute of all food.

judge them, O God.
Make them perish, God;

5:3.2.1 In this part he asks for his enemies to be punished, and this not from a desire for revenge, but from zeal of justice. (1) First he asks for vindication in general, (2) then he expresses in what terms: "Let them fall." So he says, Such are those I ask to be liberated from, but I ask this: Judge them, God, with a judgement of condemnation. Or this may not be the case of a request for vindication, but a declaration of fact. On the judgement of the soul and the different kinds of judgement we said enough on the last verse of Psalm 1.

Let them fall from their devices:
their scheming bring them down.

5: Here he specifies the kind of vindication, and it embraces three things: (1) The first is that they may fall from the good they hope for. (2) Thesecond is that they fall in to the evil they do not hope for: "According to the multitude of their wickedness, drive them out." (3) Thirdly, he shows why they should thus fall: "Because they have provoked you."

So he says, I ask you to judge them, and in this way: Let them fall from their devices, which they think will prevent them from falling into evil. -Psalm 146:4 On that very day his plans perish. So let them fall from those schemes referred to in Wisdom 2:1 For they reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves. -Psalm 73:8 They scoff and speak with malice.

according to the multitude of their wickedness cast them out:
For their many crimes knock them down,

5: According to the multitude of their wickedness, drive them out, and send them far from you into hell. -Job 18:18 He is thrust from light into darkness, and driven out of the world. -Psalm 44:2 Thou with thy own hand didst drive out the nations… thou didst afflict the peoples. Note that he says "according to the multitude of their wickedness", so that those who have sinned more will be driven further from the good and will be sunk more deeply in the evil of punishment. -Deuteronomy 25:2 The judge shall cause him to lie down and be beaten in his presence with a number of stripes in proportion to his offense. -Isaiah 27:8 Measure by measure, by exile thou didst contend with them. -Rev 18:7 As she glorified herself and played the wanton, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning.

for they have provoked thee, O Lord.
since they have challenged you.

5: And they deserve to fall down and be expelled this way, because they have provoked you, Lord, who are kind, and kindness itself. You were spoken of in Deuteronomy 32:21 They have stirred me to jealousy with what is no god; they have provoked me with their idols. -Hosea 12:14 Ephraim has given bitter provocation. The Gloss explains, according to another reading, that by sinning they made you, who are so sweet, bitter to themselves. So Jerome says that whatever evil we suffer is our fault, because we made the sweet God bitter and forced him to be severe against his will. He is the one truly described by the following poem:

        The Prince is slow to punish, but fast to reward.
        He is sad every time he is forced to be severe.

12 But let all them be glad that hope in thee:
Let all who run to you rejoice

5:3.2.3 This is the third, part in which he specifies what he is asking for. He is here asking for a true gladness for the good. So he continues in this way: Let them be judged, fall, and be expelled, and let all those who hope in you, who are your members in number and in merit, be glad in you, here at first by hope -Rom 12:12 Rejoice in your hope, and later on in reality -Isaiah 61:7 In your land you shall possess a double portion; yours shall be everlasting joy. -Isaiah 35:10 They shall come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

they shall rejoice for ever,
and always sing for joy.

5:4.1.1 This is the fourth and last part of the whole Psalm. Having asked to be heard, and having proven that he should be heard, and having precisely formulated his petition, now, as if he has pre-knowledge that he will be heard, he asserts with certitude that what he asked for will be granted. Here (1) he first predicts the coming joy of the good. (2) Secondly he attributes it all to grace: "Lord, as with a shield." In the first place he makes four points: (1) First the eternity of the joy of the good. (2) Secondly, its security: "And he will live with them." (3) Thirdly, its truth: "And they will glory in you." (4) Fourthly, its abundance: "For you will bless."

So he says, I have thus prayed, but I am certain, because the just will rejoice for eternity. But on the contrary you will afflict the wicked. -Proverbs 14:31 The wicked is overthrown through his evil-doing, but the righteous finds refuge through his integrity. -Isaiah 65:14 Behold, my servants shall sing for gladness of heart, but you shall cry out for pain of heart, and shall wail for anguish of spirit. -Isaiah 35:1-2 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom… It will rejoice with joy and singing. They will not rejoice for an hour, but for eternity. The joy of the hypocrite is not like this. -Job 20:5 The exulting of the wicked is short. -Job 21:13 They spend their days in prosperity, and in a moment they go down to hell (Vul).

and thou shalt dwell in them.
You give them shelter,

5:4.1.2 And he will live with them, so that those rejoicing may have full security, since you are not merely near them, but among them. -Job 17:3 Free me, Lord, and place me near you, then let anyone fight me (Vul). -Rev 21:3 Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them. -Isaiah 32:18 My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. But this secure joy is also true, and that is the next point.

And all they that love thy name shall glory in thee:
that they may rejoice in you who love your name.

5:4.1.3 These are those who love the name of your Son. -Isaiah 30:27 Behold, the name of the Lord comes from far. This is the reception of the heritage, which was spoken of at the beginning of this Psalm. -Psalm 21:3 For thou dost meet him with goodly blessings.

13 For thou wilt bless the just.
For you bless the righteous, Yahweh;

5:4.1.4 Both ideas are taken up in Psalm 132:14 I will abundantly bless her provisions, giving a blessing of grace and a blessing of glory

O Lord, thou hast crowned us, as with a shield of thy good will.
your favor protects them like a shield.

5:4.2 In this second part he attributes everything to the grace of God. It is as if he said, They will rejoice with a perpetual, secure, true and abundant joy, and that not by their own power, but because you, Lord, crowned us, that is, you surrounded us on every side with good will. That is to say that grace comes from your good will, which protects us like a shield on every side.

Note that there are many kinds of shields: (1) The shield of faith against the errors of heretics -Eph 6:16 taking the shield of faith. (2) The shield of patience against the sufferings wrongfully brought on by tyrants. -2 Chron 9:15 King Solomon made two hundred large shields of beaten gold; six hundred shekels of beaten gold went into each shield. (3) The shield against avarice -Sirach 29:13 More than a mighty shield and more than a heavy spear, it will fight on your behalf against your enemy, that is, the world which tempts one to avarice. (4) The shield of the memory of Christ's passion, which protects against the titillations of the flesh -Lam 3:65 You will give them your labor as a shield for their heart (Vul). (5) The shield of the example of the saints against the suggestions of pride brought on by demons -2 Sam 1:21 Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain upon you, nor upsurging of the deep! For there the shield of the mighty was defiled. -Joshua 8:25 Joshua did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the javelin, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. (6) There is also the shield of Sacred Scripture against those who fight the truth -Cant 4:4 The tower of David was built for an arsenal, whereon hang a thousand bucklers, all of them shields of warriors. (7) And there is the shield of the word of God against those who want to corrupt human morals -Prov 30:5 Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.