Psalm 72

Endow the king, God, with your judgment, * and the king's son with your justice,
    that he may govern your people with justice, * and your oppressed with judgment.
        May the mountains bring peace to your people, * and the hills bring justice.
    May he defend the oppressed of the people, * save the children of the needy, * and crush
            the extortioner!
May he revere you as long as the sun, * and till the moon be extinguished: * generations on end.

    May he descend like rain on the grasslands, * like showers on the dry land.
    May the just man flourish in his days, * and peace pour down till the moon be no more.
        May he rule from sea to sea, * and from the Euphrates to the ends of the earth.
        May the desert tribes bow before him, * and his enemies lick the dust.
           May the kings of Tarshish and the islands * bring him tribute,
               the kings of Sheba and Seba * offer him gifts.
                   May all kings prostrate before him, * and may all nations serve him!
                   If he rescues the needy crying for aid, * and the oppressed who has no helper,
               if he takes pity on the poor and needy, * and saves the lives of the destitute,
           if he redeems their lives from lawless oppression, * and their blood is precious in his eyes,
        then long may he live, * and may he be given gold from Sheba;
        let perpetual prayer be made for him, * and blessings called on him all day long!
    Let there too be a robe of wheat on the land, * and lush grass on the hill tops.
    Let his children blossom like Lebanon, * flourishing like the grass of the earth.

Let his descendants last forever, * bear offspring till the sun be extinguished.
    Let his descendants be blessed through him, * and all nations made happy by him.
    Blessed be Yahweh God, * the God of Israel * who alone does wonders.
Blessed be his glorious name forever! * May all the earth be filled with his glory.
Amen. Amen.

1. A psalm on Solomon.

72:0 This is Psalm 72, the 21st in the second part of the Book of Psalms. After the Church requested help in the 19th Psalm [70] of this part, and in the 20th [71] showed that it all came from God's grace, this 21st Psalm had to talk about him through whom all grace and all progress of the soul comes, that is, about Christ who is mediator of God and men (1 Tim 2:5). And that is as he is the rector of the Church and its peaceful moderator (conversator). This is hinted at by the title: A Psalm for Solomon, meaning that the subject of the Psalm leads us to the true Solomon, who is Christ , prefigured in Solomon, and signified by reason of the name. For Solomon means "peaceful", and Christ is the preacher of peace -Mat 5:9 Blessed are the peace makers, for they will be called sons of God. And he is the giver of peace -John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. Moreover, he became our very peace, reconciling the highest and the lowest with each other in himself -Eph 2:14 He is our peace, who made both sides one. Likewise, by reason of his work, since, just as in Solomon's time his kingdom grew and spread far because of his wisdom, so Christ augmented the Church, uplifted it and confirmed it in peace -Qoheleth 9:15 A poor and destitute man was found who liberated the city by his wisdom. Therefore this Psalm has to do with the true Solomon, Christ according to his human and divine natures, and his human nature in so far as he is a king. This is the fourth Psalm that is about Christ. The first is Psalm 2, the second Psalm 8, the third is Psalm 19a, and this is the fourth.

The Psalm has two parts: (1) The first is about Christ's rule, (2) the second is a thanksgiving and commendation for such a ruler: "May his name be praised". The first part is in three: (1) The first is a request to give judgment in favor of Christ. (2) The second is a prediction that this will be so: "He will judge the poor". (3) The third describes the king himself, his coming, rule, and manner of ruling: "He will come down like rain". The first of these has two points: (1) First he asks for kingship to be given to Christ. (2) Secondly, he asks that this be announced beforehand: "Let the mountains receive". The first of these is: (1) a request for the judgment given to Christ and its execution, (2) a declaration of the purpose and utility of what he asks for: "to judge the people". The first of these has two items: (1) He asks that Christ be given the authority to judge. (2) The quality of judgment is stated: "and your justice". Or first he asks and secondly he requests the same thing to show the affection of his heart.

2. Give to the king thy judgment, O God,
Endow the king, God, with your judgment,

72: The idea is: O God, all good things are from you, but through Christ the King. Therefore I ask: O God, the Father, give the judgment, which is yours and you can give -Deut 1:17 Do not respect persons, because judgment belongs to God. -1 Chron 19:6 See what you are doing, because you are not giving man's judgment, but Yahweh's. For he reserved this, just like glory, to himself. -Is 42:8 I will not give my glory to another. -Deut 32:34 Vengeance is mine, and I will repay in due time. Evil judges act against God's judgment, the proud against his glory, the hot-headed against his vengeance. Give to the king, that is, Christ, who will be king -Jer 23:5 The king will rule and be wise. Moreover, he will be the paramount king -Rev 1:5 He is the firstborn of the dead and prince of the kings of earth. -Rev 19:16 There will be enscribed on his cloak and thigh the name "King of kings and Lord of lords". And he is the king maker -Prov 8:15 Through me kings rule and judges decree justice.

and to the king's son thy justice:
and the king's son with your justice,

72: The idea is: Give judgment not merely in justice, but give your justice, in its execution, to the son of the king, namely, your Son, because you are a king -Ps 95:3 For Yahweh is a great God and a great King. -Ps 47:8 For God is king of all the earth. Note that God the Father is called a king -Prov 20: The king sits on his throne of judgment, scattering all evil by his look. The Son also is a king -Ps 44:5 You are my very king. The first gave judgment to the second -John 5:22 The Father gave all judgment to the Son. Therefore it is said in Isaiah 33:22 Yahweh our judge, Yahweh our law maker, Yahweh our king will save us. He is good in solitude -Job 3:13-14 I would dwell with kings and governors who build desert dwellings for themselves. [He is king over] the devil -Job 41:25 He is king over all the sons of pride (Vul), over the great kingdom which is sin -Rom 6:12 Do not let sin reign in your mortal bodies, an indication that it does reign in some people -Rom 5:14 Sin reigned from Adam until Moses, and over the flesh -Prov 30:21-22 The earth is moved by three things, and the fourth it cannot withstand: by a slave when he gets power.

To judge thy people with justice,
that he may govern your people with justice,

72:1.1.l.2.1 Here is stated the purpose for which judgment is given to Christ, namely to distinguish God's people from others who are not his people. There are two points: (1) For this the Psalmist requests Christ to be allowed to discern between the people and the non-people. (2) He openly declares who are God's people: "the poor". The idea is: I request you to give judgment and justice to judge, that is, to discern and separate your people from the evil, and that by your justice, without respect for persons, as in fact happened -Acts 10:34-35 Truly I learned that God is not as respector of persons, but in every nation whoever fears him and acts rightly is acceptable to him. -Is 11:3 He will not judge as eyes see, looking at who is dressed in purple, nor will he rebuke according to hearsay, listening to persuasive speech and a boasting tonge.

and thy poor with judgment.
and your oppressed with judgment.

72: He explains himself: To judge the poor with judgment, that they may be spared what is desribed in Isaiah 1:23 They do not judge the orphan, and have no interest in the cause of the widow, but they may experience what is described in Isaiah 11:4 He will judge the poor with justice and argue in favor of the weak of the land with righteousness. Note what the Gloss says: Some of these poor are the people of God, and this is true of interior poverty, which is the same as true humility -Mat 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, because theirs is the kingdom of God. -Jer 23:5 He will make judgment and justice in the land. -Is 16:5 A throne will be prepared with mercy, and he will sit on it with fidelity in the tent of David, a judge seeking fair judgment and pursuing justice.

3. Let the mountains receive peace for the people: and the hills justice.
May the mountains bring peace to your people, and the hills bring justice.

72:1.1.2 After he asked the kingship to be given to Christ, the Psalmist now asks for the coming of this future king to be announced beforehand, (1) first through greater people, (2) secondly through lesser people: "and the hills". The idea is: I ask you to give judgment to your Son, that is, you send him to judge, first the mountains, that is, the Patriarchs and the Prophets who were close to heaven by the loftiness of their lives -Phil 3:20 Our citizenship is in heaven. -Ps 87:1 Its foundations are in the holy mountains. -Micah 4:1 The mountain of the house of Yahweh will be prepared on the top of the mountains. Let them receive peace, that is, Christ himself -Eph 2:14 He is our peace, who made both sides one, for the people, to whom it should be announced -Is 52:7 (cf. Nahum 2:1) How beautiful are the feet of him who announces and proclaims peace, namely, Christ. And let the hills, who are the lesser preachers, receive justice to be likewise spread to the people. Christ is this justice -1 Cor 1:30 Who has become our justice from God.

Two points are touched on which are necessary for prelates and rulers of others. The first is that they should seek peace for their subjects, which they must first have in themselves, so that their pride many not cause discord and schisms in the Church -1 Cor 1:10 Everyone speak the same thing and do not let there be schisms among you. The second is for minor prelates to hold onto justice, correcting and giving each one his due -Wis 1:1 Love justice, you who judge the earth.

The mountains can also be understood as the prelates, and the hills as the subjects. The first must let peace flow to those under them, that is, the teaching of the Gospel and reconciliation with God -Gen 8:11 The dove brought the olive branch to the ark. The lesser should give them justice, that is, humble obedience -Heb 13:7 Obey your leaders and be subject to them, for they watch over you in view of giving an account for your souls.

4. He shall judge the poor of the people,
May he defend the oppressed of the people,

72: Here he shows that what he asked for will come about. There are two points: (1) that the Son will judge, (2) that he will have power to do so: "And he will remain". The first point touches on three things found in a right judgment: (1) distinction of the good from the evil, (2) a listing of the good: "He will save", (3) the overthrowing of the evil: "and will humble". The idea is: I have asked the he come who is to judge, and that his coming be announced. This will happen, because he will judge, separating from the evil, the poor and the humble of the people, that is, of the lower class, or those who are interiorly poor with spiritual poverty -Mat 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, and who behave humbly exteriorly, because they do not extol themselves over others with whom they are in company -Sir 3:18 The greater you are, humble yourself the more. Or of the people, that is, those who are hiding among the people, like grain among straw, with the idea that those who now hide among the evil will be separated from them, as grain is from straw -Mat 3:12-13 His winnowing fan is in his hand and he will clean his barn. -Mat 25:32 He will separate the sheep from the goats, putting the sheep at his right hand, and the goats at his left. -Mal 3:3 He will sit blowing and purifying the silver.

and he shall save the children of the poor:
save the children of the needy,

72: The idea is that he will judge separating, and will save the children of the poor, which means the poor, just as "daughter of Zion" means Zion, and "the daughter of Jerusalem" means Jerusalem -James 2:5 Did the Lord not choose the poor of this world, rich in faith? This is the wheat to be put in the barn -Mat 3:12 He will gather the wheat into his barn, and burn the chaff outside with inextinguishible fire. -Zeph 3:12 I will leave in your midst a poor and destitute people who will take refuge in the name of Yahweh. Or the children of the poor are distinguished from the poor. The poor are the Apostles and Prophets; the children of the poor are those who follow them, good children from good parents -Prov 20:7 The just man who walks in integrity will have blessed children after him.

and he shall humble the oppressor.
and crush the extortioner!

72: At present he will weaken the power of the oppressor, the devil, who maligns the human race -Is 52:4 My people went down to Egypt to settle there as aliens; then Assyria oppressed them for no reason. But he will be humiliated -Is 25:11 He will humiate his pride despite what his hands, that is, his powers, attempt. But in the future God will humiliate him by annihilating him completely -Hosea 13: I will be your death, o death; I will be your bit, hell (Vul). -Hab 3:5 The devil will go out before his feet (Vul), thrown with his whole body into hell -Rev 12:10 The accusor of our brothers was thrown out.

5. And he shall continue with the sun
May he revere you as long as the sun,

72: Here he shows that he is worthy and able, (1) first because of the duration of his power, (2) secondly because of his dignity: "before the moon". The idea is: I said that he will judge, and will be worthy and able do so, for he will remain in power with the sun, that is, as long as the sun lasts, or for the time of the sun measured by motion -Dan 7:14 His power is an eternal power which will not pass away, and his kingdom will not be destroyed- as long as the sun moves and time is distinguished -Gen 1:14 Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens, to divide the day and the night and to be signs. Even when the sun stands still, his power will last, for the sun will stand still after the judgment, but Christ's power will not cease -Hab 3:11 The sun and the moon stood in their dwelling.

and before the moon, throughout all generations.
and till the moon be extinguished: generations on end.

72: His dignity is (1) first shown by way of parable, and (2) secondly the parable is explained: "throughout all generations". The idea is: Remaining with the sun, in dignity he will come before the moon, and all changeable things, which are understood by the moon, which constantly changes. He explains this: He will remain from generation to generation, that is, as long as one generation succeeds another -Qoheleth 1:4 A generation goes, another comes. Also he literally existed before the moon -Prov 8:22-23 Before he made anything, from the beginning, from eternity I was established- and after everything -Rev 1:8 I am the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end.

The sun can also stand for the just man, while the moon stands for the stupid and fickle man -Sir 27:11 The words of the pious are always wisdom, but the senseless changes like the moon. He remains with the sun, because he is with the just person like one sun to another -Mal 4:2 The sun of justice will arise for you who fear me (Vul). But one sun surpasses another -Sir 33:7 Why does one day surpass another? There is another reading: But he goes before the moon, because he puts the stupid sinner behind him -Gen 4:14 Today you through me out of your sight. -Ps 31:23 I am cast out of your sight. -Jer 7:24 They went backward rather than forward. -Mark 8:33 Get behind me, Satan, spoken to the infatuated Peter.

6. He shall come down like rain upon the fleece;
May he descend like rain on the grasslands,

72: After asking and prophetically asserting that what he asked would come to be, he describes the coming of this king, and the benefits and manner of his ruling. There are four points: (1) the coming and manner of his coming into the world, (2) the benefits of his coming: "There will arise in his days", (3) the spread of his kingdom: "He will dominate from sea", (4) the honor due to him reigning in this way: "They will fall down before him". The first point includes the different manners of his two comings, (1) his coming into the womb of the Virgin while preserving her integrity, (2) his coming into the world itself by preparing good things: "like showers". So the idea is: I asked, and this will truly come about, because he will come down, into the Virgin's womb, fulfilling the desire expressed in Isaiah 63:19 O that you would open the heavens and come down. -Dan 4:10 Next a watchful one, a holy one, came down from heaven. For what? For our redemption -Ex 3:7-8 I have seen the affliction of my people in Egypt… and have come down to rescue them. Like rain, so as to fecundate the Virgin, and ourselves through her -Is 55:10-11 As rain and snow come down from the sky and do not go back there, but water the earth and make it give birth and germinate, so the word which comes from my mouth- and to extinguish completely the ardor of concupiscence in her, and through her to calm or diminish it in us -Dan 3:49 The angel of the Lord, whom later Nebuchodonosor said he saw like the son of God, went down with Azariah and his companions into the furnace… and made the middle of the furnace like a dew filled wind- and to satisfy the thirst and desire of the ancients as well as our own -Ps 104:11 The wild donkeys quench their thirst. -Joel 1:20 The beasts of the field pant after you. So it is said in John 7:37 Whoever is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.

And this is on the fleece, as was figured in Gideon's deed (Judges 6:36-40). The fleece is the Virgin's womb. For fleece is soft and accommodating, as was the Blessed Virgin. Bernard said: Turn the whole series of Gospels to see if you can find anything hard or difficult in Mary; do not be afraid to go to her. A large amount of wool can be compacted into a small place; so Mary, who is so much greater than others, said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord." Likewise wool absorbs water; so Mary absorbs grace -Luke 1:28 Hail full of grace. Wool is also used to make clothes; so from the flesh of the Virgin there was made a garment for Christ -Job 10:11 You clothed me with skin and flesh. -Prov 31:13 She looked for wool and linen and worked with the skill of her hands. It was a purple cloak -Is 63:2 Why are your clothes red? -1 Sam 2:19 His mother made him a little coat. Our tunics are made by our mothers and our fathers. We are leprous and have infected clothing, according to the Law (Lev 13), but the redness on his clothes is from one penalty. Likewise wool is purified and washed by rain and is not spoiled by it. So the Virgin's womb was purified by her son and made cleaner; it was not corrupted -Ex 3:2 Moses saw that the bush was burning and not being consumed. -Ps 18:31 God, perfect is his way.

and as showers falling gently upon the earth.
like showers on the dry land.

72: As if to say: He will enter the Virgin's womb and also descend on the earth, that is, come into the world like showers that soak it and make it more fertile -Heb 6:7 The land which drinks the rain that often comes down on it and brings forth good plants for those who cultivate it, receives a blessing from God. So he descended like showers on the earth when he was announced by the Apostles and preachers. -Joel 3:13 In those days the mountains will ooze sweetness (Vul). These are the dews spoken of in Psalm 65:11 Soften it with copious showers.

7. In his days shall justice spring up,
May the just man flourish in his days,

72: Here are shown the benefits of the one to come: (1) first what are the benefits, and (2) secondly how lasting they are: "till the moon be taken away". The first has two points: (1) the abundance of the works of justice, and (2) the abundance of mutual peace: "and abundance". So the idea is: He will come and, like showers, prepare the land for fruit. Which fruit? In his days: which will be when he who is the true sun comes on earth -Mal 4:2 The sun of justice will arise for you who fear me (Vul). -Wis 5:6 The light of justice has not shone on us and the sun has not risen on us. Justice will arise as if it had never existed, and from that will come an abundance of good works -Is 45:8 May justice arise together. -Ps 84:12 The truth, Christ (John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life) will come from the earth, arising from the Virgin Mary, and justice look down from heaven -Is 60:2 Yahweh will rise upon you, Jerusalem, and his glory will be seen on you. His glory will be glorious justice.

and abundance of peace,
and peace pour down

72: It is a good conclusion that peace follows justice -Is 32:17 The work of justice is peace. -Micah 5:5 Peace will be when Assyria invades our land (Vul). The same thing is in Isaiah 2:4 (cf. Micah 4:3) They will hammer their swords into hoes, and the spears into sickles. Nation will not rise against nation, nor shall they prepare for war again.

till the moon be taken away.
till the moon be no more.

72: Here we see the duration of the benefits, and the idea is that they will last for eternity, since the moon is never to be taken away. Another reading has: until the moon is extolled, since it literally should become as bright as the sun -Is 30:26 The light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times as bright, like the light of seven days in one.

The moon is also the Church, illuminated by the true Sun -Cant 3:6 Who is this that comes up from the desert, as beautiful as the moon? (Vul). Until the moon is extolled, that is, until the Church is brought to the glory of the resurrection and is conformed to Christ, fulfilling Habbakuk 3:11 The sun, Christ, and the moon, the Church, stood in their dwelling, in the Empyrean heaven. But how is there an abundance of peace, when we see so many wars and the Church is battered so much? The answer is twofold: (1) Those who truly are the Church in merit and number have interior peace, no matter how much they are outwardly tortured in the world -Luke 2:14 And on earth peace to men of good will. -John 16:33 You have peace in me, but tribulation in the world. (2) The promise is conditional upon keeping God's commandments, since the cause of wars is sin -Is 48:18 Would that you would be attentive to my commandments, and your peace would be like the river.

8. And he shall rule from sea to sea,
May he rule from sea to sea,

72: The third mark of his kingdom will be its spread, (1) first in place, and (2) in time: "from the River". The idea is: He will come and here are the benefits of his coming. He will dominate from sea, one extremity, to sea, the other extremity. Yet these seas are not separated, but are joined. It is the same ocean sea which comes into some land inlets and forms the seas which are navigated by ships -Ps 89:10 You dominate the swelling of the sea.

and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
and from the River [Euphrates] to the ends of the earth.

72: That is, from the River Jordan, from the time that the Father's voice was heard over the one baptized in the Jordan -Mat 3:17 =Luke 3:22 This is my beloved Son. Then he began to preach and was commissioned by his Father. To the ends of the earth, that is, may his preaching and dominion be extented everywhere, to the ends of the earth, which will not be completed altogether and perfectly until the end of the world. Therefore, what was said of the Apostles (Ps 19:5), "Their call went out to through all the earth," is to be understood of the Apostles themselves or of their successors. Then there will be fulfilled Isaiah 42:10 his praise from the ends of the earth. Or it could be understood literally as reigning everywhere if his reign touches the extremes and the middle -Is 9:6 to extend his kingdom in boundless peace.

Spiritually, the sea is the world -Ps 104:25 This is the sea, great and wide, which is the first sea. The second sea is hell -Ps 43:3 The mountains will be thrown into the heart of the sea, whereas Paradise is a most pleasant river -Gen 2:10 A river came from the place of pleasure. -Ps 45:5 A river brings joy to the city of God (Vul). The shore, which forms the land boundary, is just -Ps 98:3 All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Therefore his dominion will extend from worldly men to the damned, and from the saved and gloriously reigning down to the just [on earth].

He did well to call the world a sea, because it stinks to those who are far from the sea and brought up away from it, but those near the sea do not perceive this -Phil 3: 20 Our citizenship is in heaven. If you are far from the sea, does it not stink to you? -Phil 3:8 I consider everything shit (Vul) in comparison with the advantage of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. But those who are brought up with saphron and pleasure close to the sea have embraced the shit, taking it as pleasant smelling (cf. Lam 4). Likewise, those who are near the sea enter it boldly to fish, even though they see many endangered every day, but those from afar do not dare. Likewise, worldly people get involved in the world to fish for some benefit or profit, even though they have no doubt that many who fish in that way are lost -Is 19:8 The fishermen will mourn. -Rev 18:11 The businessmen of the world will weep. Likewise, when it seems that the sea is very calm, then a storm arises. So in the world, when there seems to be peace, then arises discord, war and tumult -Sir 18:26 From morning to evening the weather changes, and there is a submerging storm -1 Thes 5:3 When they say peace and security, then agony comes on them. Likewise, in the sea fish eat fish; so in the world one destroys another or detracts from him -Hab 1:13-14 Why are you silent when the wicked devours one who is more just than himself? And you make man like the fish of the sea. But after a big fish has devoured others, it itself is devoured -Is 33:1 Woe to you who destroy… you will be destroyed.

9. Before him the Ethiopians shall fall down:
May the desert tribes bow before him,

72: Here is shown the honor and reverence that the king will receive, (1) first in general, (2) secondly, especially after his resurrection: "And he will live and be given." The first has two points: (1) that great reverence will come to him, and his kingdom will spread, (2) that he will be worthy of this reverence: "because he will deliver". The first point has two items: (1) the honor and reverence shown to him in the very conversion of people, (2) that not everyone is dedicated to evil -according to the Gloss- or a vehement display of reverence: "and his enemies". So the idea is: He will reign, his rule will spread, and he will be honored, because the Ethiopians will bow down before him. These are horrid gentiles, blackened by sin, who are coming to be received into the Faith -Ps 68:32 Ethiopia speed its wares to God. -Is 43:3 I gave Egypt, Ethiopia and Saba as a propitiation for you. -Zeph 3:10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants will bring me tribute. Then will be fulfilled what was thought to be impossible -Jer 13:23 Can an Ethiopian change his skin?

and his enemies shall lick the ground.
and his enemies lick the dust.

72: His enemies, stimulated by the Ethiopians' example (but not all will be converted), will lick the ground, delighted and ardent to adhere to it -Michah 7:17 They will lick the dust like a serpent. Or by the earth he means earthly and schismatic teachers to whom they adhere. For the rule is that whoever does not adhere to God is immediately affected by earthly things and adheres to evil -James 4:4 Whoever wants to be a friend of this world becomes an enemy of God. He rightly says "lick", because they will not be saved by earthly and false teachings -Qoheleth 5:9 The lover of money will not be satisfied with money.

Or a benign interpretation can be given: They adore as a sign of reverence, and even those who shortly beforehand were your enemies lick the ground you trod on as a sign of the greatest humility and reverence -Is 49:23 They will lick the dust under your feet and those who opposed you will come bent down.

10. The kings of Tharsis and the islands shall offer presents:
May the kings of Tarshish and the islands bring him tribute,

72: Here is described the honor that the converted peoples show him: (1) first according to special categories, (2) secondly in summary: "and they will adore him". The first shows that he will be honored (1) by contemplatives, (2) by the proficient who do battle: "and the islands", (3) by preachers, drawn from the first two categories: "the kings of Arabia". The idea is: By their conversion they adore God and his enemies are confounded. Even the kings of Tarshish -that is, of contemplation, since that is its meaning, according to the Gloss- will bring gifts -2 Chron 9:21 The ships of king Solomon went to Tarshish and brought back contemplative goods to the peaceful Christ, bringing gold and silver, which are knowledge and eloquence. They had spent some time there, not returning right away, as the Gloss says, because precious merchandise is not acquired very quickly -Qoheleth 10:4 If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your post. Only after spending time in contemplation should you return to offer your gifts and yourself to God, along with your neighbor whom you convert -Is 60:7 They will mount my altar as pleasing gifts.

72: The islands will also bring gifts. Islands everywhere in the sea are battered by waves, and signify those who are tried in tribulation and are knocked by adversity on every side, but are not broken -Hosea 9:13 Ephraim, as I saw, was like Tyre, a very hard promontory. On these islands, see Isaiah 41:1 Let the islands be silent before me, says Christ.

the kings of the Arabians and of Saba shall bring gifts:
the kings of Sheba and Seba offer him gifts.

72: Arabia and Saba are full of the best scents, which delight the flesh and symbolize the prosperity and pleasures of the world. Those who own these are like real kings. They will bring gifts, converting others to God by their example -Is 66:20 They will bring all your brothers from all the nations as a gift to Yahweh. The word Arab means "humble". Saba means "on fire with charity" -Zech 12:6 I will place the nobles of Judah as a pot of fire among the wood. These are those who can bring God gifts: the gold of wisdom, the incense of devotion, the myrrh of mortification of the flesh. Or we can understand these kings literally as bringing gifts to Christ from those regions (Cf. Matthew 2).

11. And all kings of the earth shall adore him:
May all kings prostrate before him,

72: This summarizes what was said in parts. (1) First, he gathers all the senior people under the heading of kings, (2) then the lesser people under the heading of nations: "all nations". The idea is: Contemplatives and other will reverence him, and very rightly all kings will adore him. These may be spiritual kings, those who rule themselves well -Is 60:3 And the nations will walk in your light, and kings in the splendor of your rising. Your doors will be open constantly all day, and will not be closed at night, so that the strength of the nations may be brought to you and their kings led to you. For what? So as humbly to adore -Is 49:23 They will fall prostrate before you, faces to the ground.

all nations shall serve him.
and may all nations serve him!

72: This is a generic statement, meaning that some representatives of each nation will serve him. Or "nations" refers to lesser people and other subjects -Is 60:12 Any nation or kingdom that does not serve you will perish. -Zeph 3:9 I shall purge the lips of the peoples, so that all may invoke the name of Yahweh. Now many serve money -Qoheleth 10:9 Everything obeys money- but they cannot serve God at the same time -Mat 6:24 You cannot serve God and mamon.

12. For he shall deliver the poor from the mighty:
If he rescues the needy crying for aid,

72: After talking about the veneration of the king, here is given the reason for this veneration, which is the deliverance of the poor from the power of the devil. Three points are made: (1) The deliverance of the poor is given as the reason for venerating the king. (2) Their poverty is described: "and the poor". (3) The manner of deliverance is told: "He will spare the poor". The idea is: They will justly venerate him, because he will deliver, or has delivered, where the past is taken for prophetic certainty of the future, the poor, which is the human race, in so far as this is the people of believers -John 8:36 If the Son freed you, you are truly free. -Ps 88:16 I am poor and in labor from my youth. He will deliver him from the powerful one, that is, the devil -Job 41:25 He has no equal on earth. -Jer 31:11 Yahweh redeemed Jacob and saved him from the hand of one stronger than him.

and the needy that had no helper.
and the oppressed who has no helper,

72: That is, he delivered the poor, the poor that had no helper -Sir 51:6-7 My soul was near the depths of Sheol. I was completely surrounded and there was no one to help me. A literally poor man has no helper; everyone hates him -Prov 14:40 The poor man is hateful even to his neighbor. And the rich devour them because they are stronger -Sir 13:18 Lion's prey are the wild asses of the desert; so too the poor are feeding grounds for the rich. Yet the Lord will deliver them -Ez 34:10 I delivered my sheep from their mouth.

13. He shall spare the poor and needy:
if he takes pity on the poor and needy,

72: Here is told the manner and order of delivering them, and it has four items: (1) the wiping away of guilt, (2) the infusion of grace to wipe away guilt and help one to do good: "and will save the souls of the poor", (3) the lessening of the penalty because of suffering: "from usuries and iniquity", (4) raising them up from the guilt and penalty of captives: "and honorable". The idea is: I said that he would deliver the poor, and in this order: He will spare the poor who possesses no good, and the needy who lacks much good by relaxing their guilt -Is 49:13 Yahweh will take pity on the poor.

and he shall save the souls of the poor.
and saves the lives of the destitute,

72: He will do so in the present by infusing grace so that they can be just, doing good and avoiding evil -Ps 74:19 Do not deliver to wild beats those taught by you. In the future he will do so more fully and openly -Is 49:26 All flesh will know that I, Yahweh, am your saviour and redeemer, the Strong one of Jacob. And he will perfectly restore their bodies to them, glorified and conformed to his own excellence -Phil 3:20-21 We expect as savior our Lord Jesus Christi, who will transform our lowly bodies to be like his glorious body.

14. He shall redeem their souls from usuries and iniquity:
if he redeems their lives from lawless oppression,

72: This is the third benefit, namely the relaxation of penalties because of his own passion. The idea is: He will pull out of sin, infuse grace and also redeem their souls by his own blood and the pain of his own passion from usuries, that is, penalties inflicted because of sin, and the iniquity of the devil demanding those usuries. For usury is sometimes widely used to cover any loan, according to Proverbs 22:7 The borrower is the lender's slave. Properly speaking, usury is the evil of cupidity -Ps 15:5 Who did not give at usurous rate. -Ez 18:8 He did not give at usurous rate. These are the penalties inflicted for sin, because Gregory says: The thing that stings for eternity is the same that gave pleasure for a moment. This is the usury spoken of here. And there is a good usury, such as caryying out what was heard in preaching -Mat 25:27 I would have come and taken what was my own with usury- and showing mercy to one's neighbor. He will redeem from the latter usuries -Is 44:22 Return to me, for I have redeemed you, not by any price, but by precious blood. -1 Pet 1:18-19 You were not freed by corruptible things, silver or gold, from the futile way of life handed down by your ancestors, but by the precious blood, as of a blameless and spotless lamb, Christ.

and their names shall be honourable in his sight.
and their blood is precious in his eyes,

72: This is a sublimation, to show that those who were redeemed are not vile, because redeemed slaves are considered vile. So he says that he will redeem, and their names, that is, of the redeemed, will be honorable, not only before men, but before God himself, because he himself will give them a name -Is 62:2 You will be called by a new name which the mouth of Yahweh will declare. What is that name? A name of holiness -Is 62:12 They will be called a holy people, redeemed by Yahwerh. It is a name of sonship -Wis 5:4-5 This is the one we held in derision, making him the but of our insults… See how he has been counted among the sons of God and his lot is among the holy ones. -1 John 3:1 See what love the Father gave us, that we can be called sons of God, and that we are.

Or: their name will be honorable before him not now, but in the future kingdom, in which they are inscribed -Luke 10:20 Your names are written in heaven on a most shining and durable stone, God's most sincere predestination -Rev 2:17 I will give the one who overcomes a shining stone on which is written a new name which only the recipient knows. -Is 65:15-16 To his servants he will give another name by which he will be blessed on earth, by which whoever blesses himself on earth will bless himself by the God of fidelity. Note that all this is said about the poor -Luke 16:20 a poor man called Lazarus.

15. And he shall live,
then long may he live,

72: Here we see the reverence and honor specially given to him as having risen from the dead: (1) first the kinds of reverence, (2) secondly the reason for this reverence: "There shall be a firmament". Under the first heading, there is (1) the supposition that he is alive, having risen, even though he seemed dead, (2) the reverence given him: "and he will be given". The idea is: He will be shown reverence and honor, as is right, and he will live, having risen from the dead, even though he was seen to die -2 Cor 13:4 If he was crucified from weakness, he lives by the power of God. -Rev 1:17-18 I am the first and the last, the living, although I was dead. He will live eternally, having life in himself -John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life.

and to him shall be given of the gold of Arabia,
and may he be given gold from Sheba;

72: This is the actual showing of reverence, and we see (1) who gives this reverence, and (2) what kind of reverence: "and they will adore". The idea is: He will live, and I will live, and he will be given gold from Arabia, from the wise of the world, who are gold because of the brightness of wisdom, but of Arabia because of the vanity of the world. But they will be converted to Christ, for his sake made stupid in the eyes of the world -1 Cor 1:20 God considers stupid the wisdom of this world. -1 Cor 3:13 Whoever wishes to be wise among you in this age, let him become stupid so that he may become wise.

Note that whoever lives a life of grace is given gold from Arabia. Arabia means "western". So wisdom is given from the extremity of life, for whoever lives well dies well -Is 38:19 The living by the life of nature and of grace will praise you in the end and will be enlightened with the light of eternal wisdom. -Job 11:17 When you think you are finished, you will arise like the morning star (Vul). -ibid. A noonday splendor will arise for you in the evening (Vul).

for him they shall always adore:
let perpetual prayer be made for him,

72: Here the manner of veneration is shown in (1) in the growth of the body of Christ by prayer and (2) by thankful praise of him: "all day". The idea is: The wise will be converted to him and adore, that is, they will pray to him, always, at the right times and hours -1 Thes 5:17 Pray without ceasing. And that for his growth and multiplication in his members and his body, as taught in Matthew 6:10 Pray: your kingdom come. This prayer is very pleasing to God -John 4:23 True adorers will adore the Father in spirit and truth. Therefore they will not pray for any temporal thing, since whoever has the gold of Arabia, western wisdom, that is, the consideration of death, despises all temporal things. -Jerome: He easily despises all temporal things who always remembers that he will die. This is the best philosophy. Therefore summary of philosophy is continuous thinking of death.

they shall bless him all the day.
and blessings called on him all day long!

72: The idea is that they will grow as much as they can according to his body. And they will bless him, giving thanks by word and life, all day, that is, continually -Hab 3:3 The earth is full of his praise. -Rev 4:9 They gave honor and blessing to the one sitting on the throne, who lives forever and ever. -Rev 19:5 Praise our God, all his servants, and you who fear him, great and small.

16. And there shall be a firmament on the earth on the tops of mountains,
Let there too be a robe of wheat on the land, and lush grass on the hill tops.

72: Here is added the reason and justification for honoring him, (1) first for his benefits given in the present, (2) secondly for those to be given in the future: "and there will flourish". In the first, there are two benefits: (1) the fulfilling and confirmation of Scripture, (2) the exaltation of his people: "shall be exalted". The idea is: He will be rightly honored, because he will be a firmament, a fulfilment of stable truth in himself. This will be on the tops of the mountains, that is, the Apostles and other saints who are called mountain tops, because they are over the Patriarchs and Prophets, who are mountains -Ps 25:14 Yahweh is a refuge [firmament] to those who fear him, and he reveals to them his covenant. And he is above all mountains -Is 2:2 The mountain of the house of Yahweh will be estalbished on the heights of the mountains.

There shall be a firmament on earth, because everything is written for earthly men -Rom 15:4 Whatever was written was written to instruct us. Therefore it is said of Scripture, Prov 12:19 The truthful lip will be established forever, because it is founded on the mountains and on Christ, and it is completely fulfilled in him -Mat 5:17 I did not come to dissolve the Law… but to fulfil it. So the life of prelates should be a foundation (firmament) of their teaching -Luke 22:32 When you come back, strengthen your brothers.

above Libanus shall the fruit thereof be exalted:
Let his children blossom like Lebanon,

72: This is the second benefit in the present. That is: Scripture will be confirmed by him, and his fruit, that is of the king for whom I asked judgment to be given, and his fruit are his sons, shall be exalted above Lebanon, that is, above the cedars of Lebanon, literally, because they are already heavenly in their dwelling -Phil 3:20 Our citizenship is in heaven. And yet they will be much more exalted when they are transferred to heaven -Is 58:14 I will raise you above the heights of the earth and feed you with the inheritance of Jacob your father. Again, they will be exalted above the high people of the world, because these will be shattered by those saints -Ps 29:5 Yahweh will break the cedars of Lebanon. And if the evil are exalted a little, this is nothing -Wis 4:3 They will not strike deep roots or secure a solid foundation.

and they of the city shall flourish like the grass of the earth.
flourishing like the grass of the earth.

72: This is the good to be granted in the future. The idea is: The fruit, that is, the children, of the city, which is the Church, will flourish with eternal good scent and brilliance -Sir 24:23:17 My flowers are the fruits of honor and worthiness (Vul). They are fruits, because they are useful to many, through teaching, preaching and praying for them. They are flowers because of their beauty, and [abundant] like the grass of the earth -Is 66:14 Your bones will flourish like grass. The desire for this flourishing is expressed in Sirach 39:19:14 Break forth in blossoms like the lily. Send up the sweet odor of your hymn of praise.

17. Let his name be blessed for evermore:
Let his descendants last forever,

72:2.1.1 This is the second part of the whole Psalm. After talking about the peaceful and most powerful reign of Christ, here there are thanks and praise for what was told. (1) First the Psalmist urges all generally to praise him; (2) secondly he gives and example of praise: "Blessed be the Lord". Under the first point, he (1) first gives and exhortation, and (2) then the reason for his exhortation: "before the sun". The idea is: The king, the son of a king, will come as I foretold, and will do what I foretold. Therefore let his name be praised by all forever, not just in one age. Or, I asked the Father, and he will do it. Therefore let his name be praised, that is, the Father's, since the Son is the name of the Father and makes the Father known, just as a name makes a man known. This is the name mentioned in Isaiah 30:27 See, the name of Yahweh came from afar. -Prov 30:4 What is his name, and what is the name of his son? You should know.

his name continueth before the sun.
bear offspring till the sun be extinguished.

72: Here several reasons are given why the exhortation to praise should be accepted: (1) eternity, (2) utility: "And in him will be blessed", (3) sublimity or dignity: "All nations". The idea is: May his name be blessed, since his name exists before the sun, in true and complete being. And this is not surprising, since all things were made through him -John 1:3 Through him all things were made, especially the sun -Ps 74:16 You made the moon and the sun. -Sir 24:3 I made an indefectible light arise in the sky (Vul). -Prov 8:24 Before the abysses were, I was conceived.

And in him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed:
Let his descendants be blessed through him,

72: Here is stated the utility, and the idea is: He is eternal, and in him, and in no other, will be blessed all tribes of the earth. For he is the one spoken of to Abraham, Genesis 22:18 All nations will bless themselves (Vul: be blessed) in your seed, with the blessing spoken of in Matthew 25:34 Come, blessed of my Father, take possession of the kingdom. -Eph 1:3 He blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly world. And not just one tribe will be blessed, but all tribes, that is, some people from every tribe -Rev 7:9 I saw a great crowd which could not be numbered, from all nations, tribes and peoples, standing before the throne.

all nations shall magnify him.
and all nations made happy by him.

72: The idea is: He should be blessed, because he is eternal and helpful and of great dignity. And all nations, that is some people from every nation, will magnify him -Rev 15:4 Who will not fear you, Lord, and glorify your name… because all nations will come and prostrate before you. Because he heard that in Christ all will be blessed, he will magnify and bless him -Job 29:11 People heard and blessed me. -Sir 51:22 My tongue will declare his praises. Likewise I give you blessing and praise. Therefore, when the blessed woman heard (Luke 1:28), Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you, she replied right away (Luke 1:46): My soul glorifies the Lord.

18. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone doth wonderful things.
Blessed be Yahweh God, the God of Israel, who alone does wonders.

72: After inviting everyone generally to praise God and his name, he offers himself as an example, blessing him and his name and foretells his future glory and praying that what was predicted may be fulfilled. This entails three things: (1) a blessing, (2) a prediction: "shall be filled", (3) a request that it be fulfilled: "Amen, amen". In the first of these he blesses: (1) first the divine nature, (2) secondly its glory or fame: "And blessed be may the name". He begins by: (1) blessing, (2) giving the reason for blessing: "who works". The idea is: I exhorted all to praise the Lord; so now I say, Blessed be the Lord, not any lord, but the God of Israel. And right away he gives the reason why he should be praised: because he alone works miracles. An objection: His men have always worked miracles and they still do -John 14:12 Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do and even greater ones. Response: Only he does so as the source; others do so ministerily. For whenever anyone works a miracle, it is God working it in him -Ps 77:15 You are the God who works miracles. -John 25:24 If I did not do among them what no one else had done, they would not be guilty of sin. -Job 9:8,10 Who alone stretches out the heavens… and makes miracles without number.

19. And blessed be the name of his majesty for ever:
Blessed be his glorious name forever!

72: The idea is: Let him be praised in himself, together with the name, that is, the fame and glory, of his majesty -Ez 3:12 Blessed be the glory of Yahweh from his place. -Tob 3:11 May your name be blessed forever. That is the name mentioned in Canticles 1:3 Your name is oil poured out. For the Son does not lack majesty, even though he appeared humble and abject on earth -Is 6:4 The whole house was filled with smoke, that is, the majesty of Christ. Yet it remains to be seen -Mat 24:30 Then they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with great power and majesty.

and the whole earth shall be filled with his majesty.
May all the earth be filled with his glory.

72:2.2.2 Shall be filled. This is the prediction, the idea being: May the name of his majesty be praised, and the whole earth shall be filled with his majesty, that is, his glory -Is 6:3 The whole earth was full of his glory. This is at the second coming, when there will be the fulfilment of Matthew 24:27 As lightning comes from the east and appears in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man, and all will be filled with his most glorious majesty. This majesty will be terrible to the evil, but sweet to the good -1 Cor 15:28 That God may be all in all. A terrible majesty he will be in the evil, a pleasant and lovable one in the good, because he will fill them with joy -John 16:24 Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. -Ps 103:5 Who will imbue your eternity with his beauty.

So be it. So be it.
Amen. Amen.

72:2.2.3 Here he asks that this may be done. The petition is repeated to show the fervor of the petitioner's desire. May he answer this petition, who is blessed for infinite ages upon ages. Amen.