COMMENTARY ON PSALM 5
translated by F.F. Reilly
There is evidence in the previous Psalm 4 of a prayer referring to those enemies persecuting. Here in Psalm 5, the persecutions , or tribulations , are referred to within prayers, lest one be deceived.
About such prayer two main ideas are conveyed. First, a prayer itself is presented referring to tribulations, lest one be deceived, and second, that any relapse of anyone be repaired, for, There: "O Lord, rebuke me not in thy anger, nor chasten me in thy wrath." (Psalm 6: 1, etc.).
This Psalm 5 has a title that connotes some new idea. It is: "To the choirmaster for the flutes. A Psalm of David." Here is a new idea that follows an inheritance, as a figure of human speech, or a mystery, is referred to.
The figure of human speech may be exposed in two ideas. First, according to the "Gloss," it presents, and has a record within the Book of Genesis, Chapter 21, in passing (Birth of Isaac). Herein, Sarah, seeing Ishmael with her son Isaac, is disturbed. So Sarah says to Abraham: "Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac." (Genesis: 21: 21).
Now, Sarah considers the playing of Ishmael with her son Isaac, as a form of persecution. So, Abraham totally accepts what his wife Sarah claims regarding his son Ishmael (by the slave woman). For: "But God said to Abraham, "Be not displeased because of the lad and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your descendants be named." (Genesis: 21: 12).
This records, as it were: Isaac will be thy heir, Abraham, and not Ishmael. Because latter is said: "Abraham gave all he had to Isaac. But to the sons of his concubines, Abraham gave gifts, and while he was still living he sent them away from his son Isaac, eastward to the east country." (Genesis: 25: 5-6).
This Psalm 5 can refer to this event. For, the Jewish people (like to a figure of human speech) can follow after Abraham's inheritance, with their ruler, King David. And likewise, this event can refer to Christian people. For: "Now we, brethren, like Isaac, are children of the promise." (Galatians: 4: 28).
Thus, Psalm 5 proceeds to a definite aim. This aim is Christ (the promised Messiah), whom it extols. And Christ's one Church is fulfilling Abraham's inheritance, as the Temple (of the Old Covenant) is being abandoned.
In another exposition, according to Jerome literally, the title of Psalm 5 is: "Canticle of David, as a victory for the inheritors." Such is recorded, because this Psalm 5 was composed for a victory, which David literally had.
It must be noted that David fleeing, sent forth his inheritance through his own son Absalom. Such is recorded in the Second Book of Samuel, Chapter 16. Hence just as the preceding Psalm 4 referred to the liberation, and victory against Absalom, so here Psalm 5 refers to the recovery of David's inheritance. Since David, by returning to Jerusalem, up to now had many maliciously cursing him, and indeed, some others against him. Hence, in 2 Samuel, Chapter 20 (Sheba's Rebellion Crushed), David said to Amasa, to call the men of Judah together within three days, so that Sheba, the son of Bichri, be pursued. For, this son of Bichri has been afflicting us all more than Absalom. Now, all the tribes of Judah had passed up to Abel of Bethmaacah, and all the elect had been gathered. Sheba, some of Bichri, being beheaded, David ruled over all Israel.
Therefore, in this Psalm 5 three ideas are considered literally. First, the psalmist seeks to be heard; second, he shows his trust in a hearing. There: "O Lord, in the morning thou dost hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for thee, and watch." (Verse 3).
Here it must be noted that he who wishes to receive anything from anyone proceeds as follows. First, he desires what he wishes to seek, second, that he meditates upon the words set forth, and third, he proposes those things amid a hearing.
Conversely is the hearer. First, the hearer perceives the words by a hearing. Second, he captures the meaning of words by the intellect. Third, the hearer is inclined to fulfill the desire of the one seeking, or praying.
Therefore, David spoke to the Lord God, according to this similarity. So, first he seeks, that he listens to exterior words by a hearing. Then is said: "Give ear to my words, O Lord; give heed to my groaning." (Verse 1).
Second, he seeks the sense of the words by the intellect. Since it is said: "Hearken to the sound of my cry, my King and my God." (Verse 2). That is, not as exterior, but as to an interior love. Because: "From his temple he heard my voice and my cry to him reached his ears." (Psalm 18:6). Jerome has: "Understand my groaning that I think must be proposed." So such an exposition prefers the idea of the intellect meditating.
Third is sought a hearing. There: "Hearken to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to thee do I pray." (Verse 2). That is, so that you, my God, desire to listen to my prayer. For: "Be pleased, O God, to deliver me. O Lord, make haste to help me." (Psalm 70 6:1).
Now, does God ever intend to listen to any of such things regards himself? It must be said that here it is spoken metaphorically. Namely, that all these things the Lord God will approve: the exterior words, the interior meditation and what is proposed.
Secondly, a reason for listening is considered, when it is said: "My king." (Verse 2). So this is the beginning of Verse 2, according to the Greek version (the Septuagint).
Then is presented a threefold reason for listening on God's part. Of which one is God is my King. For, it is the king that rules, and a listening relates to God. Out of this reason it pertains to God to provide necessities. For: "Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? For this is thy due." (Jeremiah: 10: 7).
A second reason for listening is: "And my God." (Verse 2). For: God himself is the end and aim of everyone's will. Because: "The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts." (Psalm 28:  : 7). This Lord is indeed "My God." Since: "Should not a people consult their God." (Isaiah: 8: 19).
A third reason for listening arises on the part of the God prayed to. Hence is said: "O Lord, in the morning thou dost hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for thee, and watch." (Verse 3).
This Verse 3 claims as it were: It is befitting that you, God, have promised your listening to the persons prayed for. For: "Every one who asks, receives, and he who seeks, finds, and to him who knocks, it will be opened." (Matthew 7:8).
Verse 3 cannot be referred to what Jerome states: "I appealed." Since it is said: "I prepare a sacrifice for you, and watch." (Verse 3). Which claims, as if there is a continuation of prayer without interruption. Because, ever yet, I, David, will appeal. Thus: "He told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart" (Luke 18:1).
In the second part of Psalm 5, the proof of such listening is had. The first part showed the reason for one's trust concerning a listening, and second, the exact reason for such faiths. There: "In the morning I prepare a sacrifice for thee, and watch." (Verse 3).
Thus is said: "In the morning." (Verse 3). That is, as first, and then such is said, literally, as if: quickly, or impetuously. For: "He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he. hears it, he will answer you." (Isaiah 30:19).
A reason for such a trust is exposed: "For thou art not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not sojourn with thee." (Verse 4).
Note that in some versions regards previous Verse 3, the word "morning" is mentioned twice. Once, as the morning of the natural day. As: "And God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night." (Genesis: 1:6).
Second is the word "morning" used for human life, as referring to "youth." For: "In the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers." (Psalm 90 :6).
Also, the word "morning" may refer to an entire day of blessing, like the first conversion of man to God. For the man begins to possess the blessing of light. Because: "Satisfy us in the morning with thy steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days." (Psalm 90 :14).
Again, "morning" may relate to our days in eternity. For: "Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning." (Psalm 30::5). That is, "for the night," as within our present time, but "in the morning," as to our eternal days. Thus is assigned a double reason for one's faith. First, since faith stands forth in our morning, as it adheres to God alone, and prepares oneself alone (within eternity). Hence, Jerome has for Verse 3:"I shall prepare." Because: "Before making a vow, prepare yourself, and do not be like a man who tempts the Lord." (Sir 18:23).
So: "In the morning." (Verse 3). That is, at the Canonical divine office of Matins: "I prepare a sacrifice for thee and watch." (Verse 3). Namely, as one attending to you "My king and my God." (Verse 2).
This condition of morning is not so in the evening, since the evening is not free of cares. But then one has a freedom of heart to meditate upon God. As: "When I think of thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the watches of the night." (Psalm 63 :6). And: "My soul years for thee in the night." (Isaiah 26:9). Thus, the Lord God hears such devoted persons in the morning with a blessing, and darkens faults being dispersed.
Jerome has this version for Verse 3:"I will prepare and meditate." For: "He dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth upon a cloudless morning." (2 Samuel 23:4).
Since: "Thou dost hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for thee, and watch." (Verse 3). That is, by freeing me, David, from my faults and my punishment.
Again: "In the morning." (Verse 3). Namely, in days eternal. Since: "When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (Job 38:7). Thus, a person is totally heard.
Also: "In the morning." (Verse 3). That is, from one's youth: "I prepare a sacrifice for thee, and watch." (Verse 3). Because: "It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth" (Lam 3:27). And: "My soul grappled with wisdom and in my conduct I was strict." (Sir 51:19).
Then: "O Lord, in the morning thou dost hear my voice." (Verse 3). Because: "I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me." (Prov 8:17).
Another reason for one's faith is because one watches. Hence, it is said: "And watch." (Verse 3), as it exposes faith, as a person first watches. Hence is later stated: "But I through the abundance of thy steadfast love will enter thy house, I will worship toward thy holy temple in the fear of thee." (Verse 7).
First is declared that a person watches. Those who are hindered from hearing are exposed, and their obstacles. Such impediments are evil persons. Hence is declared: "And watch." (Verse 3). Because: "For thou art not a God who delights in wickedness. Evil may not sojourn with you." (Verse 4).
Here two ideas are noted. First, evil persons are excluded from good persons. Second, evil persons lead themselves into the affliction of punishments. There: "You hate all evil-doers. You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors bloodthirsty and deceitful men." (Verses 5-6).
Concerning evil persons excluded from good persons, God is here mentioned. It speaks of God like to a certain good person, who seeks out some persons, and abhors others.
There may be a threefold gradation of all persons. First, among some persons the sin one is committing as pleasing. Second, for another person the personality of some persons is pleasing. Third, for some persons neither the sin or the person sinning is pleasing. And all such good persons view this threefold situation without any indignation.
However, such a threefold gradation may have no reference to God. For sin neither pleases God nor does God look down with any familiarity upon a sinner. Thus, within the first gradation (the sin one is committing is pleasing), "...and watch" (Verse 3)."...for thou art not a God who delights in wickedness." (Verse 4).
Regarding the second grade (the personality of the person sinning is pleasing), there is said: "Evil may not sojourn with thee." (Verse 4). For: "No man who practices deceit will dwell in my house." (Psalm 101:7). 'And: "I hate the company of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked." (Psalm 26 :5).
As to the third grade (for some persons neither the sin, nor the person sinning, is pleasing). For: "The boastful may not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers." (Verse 5). Namely, all sinners, before thy eyes, lack approval. For: "You who are of purer eyes than behold evil and cannot look on wrong, why do you look on faithful men and are silent when the wicked swallow up the man more righteous than he?" (Hab 1:13).
Here is shown in what many evil persons are led to their punishments. Such is exposed in a threefold order. Since, there is a triple gradation of ways a person hates another person.
First, a person holds another person in hatred, by wishing evil to one in their heart. Second, hatred may be carried out by an infliction of punishments. Third, as when a person is punished, yet the one punishing will reconcile the person punished to himself. Thus, God first hates, so is said: "You hate all evildoers" (Verse 5). Because: "Equally hateful to God, are the ungodly man and his ungodliness." (Wis 14:9).
Yet, on the contrary: "How would anything have endured if thou hast not willed it? Or how would anything not called forth by thee have been preserved?" (Wis 11:25). I (Thomas) reply: Whatsoever God, the Creator, creates, he never hates. God did not either create or produce evils. Yet, if God's creature wills, or insists on evils, then God, the Creator, does indeed allow the evils of such a creature. But God allows such evil-doing creatures, insofar as they do not reform or repent. Thus, God the Creator ordains his divine abhorrence, or hatred, by his punishments. Even, God, the Creator, infers an evil creature's guilt. So is declared in Verse 6: "You destroy those who speak lies. The Lord abhors bloodthirsty and deceitful men." For: "And a lying mouth destroys the soul." (Wis:1:11).
Note here that all lying is threefold. First, lying is pernicious, as it results in harm. Such harm can be a spiritual or a temporal harm to a person. For instance, in relation to a pernicious teaching, or doctrine. Second, lying can be jocose or humorous. Such harmless lying is done to delight some person. Third, lying can be official. Here a person lies to profit either mentally, or temporally. And one must here understand Augustine, who claims: "There is no official lying, minus a sin: Thus, if anyone lies to free another person, such is not a good deed." And, the Apostle Paul states: "And why do evil that good may come? - as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just." (Romans 3:8). Any evil could occur even through a good deed. So, an "official lie," is often times a venial fault. And a jocose lie is also a venial fault. Thus, truly the pernicious lie, resulting in real harm, is a mortal fault and sin, and is so understood here in Verse 6.
The Lord God abhors evils' in a third manner by inferring evil to a sinner; who is not yet reconciled to God. Hence is said: "The Lord abhors bloodthirsty and deceitful men." (Verse 6). Because, God abominates the evil that one does, even in their thought. Thus is declared: "bloodthirsty and deceitful men," whose thought is to shed blood. "For their feet run to evil and they make haste to shed blood" (Prov 1:16). Also: "And Shimer said as he cursed, 'Begone, begone, you man of blood, you worthless fellow.'" (2 Sam 16:7).
A sad person is one who speaks amid sorrow. In Verse 6, one proceeds orderly, since a person first simply wills evil within their thoughts of evil. God abhors such a person, When such persons continue to follow into evils, they then provoke God to punish them. As they persist in such evil, God is abandoned by them. Because: "The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but he loves him who pursues righteousness."
Verses.7 - 8
In consequence is said: "But I thought the abundance of thy steadfast love will enter thy house, I will worship towards thy holy temple in the fear of thee." (Verse 7). Here the psalmist exposes in what manner a person prepares for the Lord God. So, in reference to this idea, two further ideas are exposed.
First is shown how a person advances towards Cod. Second is shown what prayer is invoked. There: "I will worship toward thy holy temple in the fear of thee," (Verse 7).
Someone may say: You claim: "Evil may not sojourn with thee" ( Verse 4). But, is not everyone ever a sinner? So can anyone ever arise, (or sojourn with thee)? One can indeed do so. Yet this is done not due to one's own merit, or credit.' So is said: "But I through the abundance of thy steadfast love, will enter thy house." (Verse 7). That is, I shall sojourn with you, O Lord, in your house.
Then is literally stated: "I will worship toward your holy temple (Verse 7). Because: "If I am delayed you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living, the pillar and bulwark of the truth." (1 Tim 3:15). Also: "For we do not present our own supplications, but on the grounds of thy great mercy." (Dan 9:18).
However, since a person is indeed a sinner (like to a bloodthirsty and deceitful man), could such a sinner really advance and worship in fear? Certainly Because: "To fear the Lord is the root of wisdom and her branches are long life. Unrighteousness cannot be justified, for a man's anger tips the scale to his ruin." (Sir 1:20 and 22). So is said in Verse 7: "In the fear of thee."
The psalmist, above in Verses l-2-3, sought that his prayer be heard.' Here in Verse 7-8, he exposes his prayer for his own self, and then for others.
Regarding the prayer for the psalmist, two ideas are proposed. First, the very prayer itself is presented; and second, a reason for this prayer is set forth. There: "For there is no truth in their mouth; their heart is destruction, their throat is an open sepulcher; they flatter with their tongue." (Verse 9).
Concerning the psalmist's prayer itself, two things are sought. First, the psalmist wishes to be led; and second, then to be directed. These things are sought, since everyone in this present world is like to a mere pilgrim on a journey. For: "And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right, or when you turn to the left." (Is 30:21).
Those pilgrims who travel on their journey require two things. If their road is not safe, they are in need of a leader, so that when in doubt, there is one directing and protecting. Because all over the roads of this world there are enemies, or robbers. Thus: "When my spirit is faint you know my way. In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me." (Ps 142:3).
A road may also be unknown. So: "Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, whom God has hedged in?" (Job 3:23). Thus, the psalmist seeks direction: "Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of my enemies; make thy way straight for me" (Verse 8).
Another version states: "Direct thy path in my sight." But the declared version in Verse 8 coincides with Jerome's Latin Vulgate, while the other version agrees with the Greek Septuagint version. Yet the sense is the same for both versions, which declares, as it were: Lord, I am within your hidden path. For: "There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death," (Prov 14:12). Thus is said: "Make thy way straight before me" (Verse 8). Or: "Before me." Namely, so that I, David, be pleasing to thee, O Lord. Or: "Make thy way." That is: Be ever within my heart; so that I may be able to follow thee, O Lord.
Verses 9 - 10
Then is claimed: "For there is no truth in their mouth, their heart is destruction; their throat is an open sepulcher, they flatter with their tongue" (Verse 9). Here is assigned the reason for the prayer, the description of enemies, and the imminent danger.
First there is a defect within goodness; second is an abundance of evil. There: "Their heart is destruction; their throat is an open sepulcher, they flatter with their tongue." (Verse 9). So: "For there is no truth in their mouth." (Verse 9). Because, such persons hold one idea of speech in their mouth, while there is another idea in their heart. Thus: "Hear the word of the Lord, O people of Israel; for the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or kindness and no knowledge of God in the land." (Hos 4:1). So, here is an assigned reason, why the Lord God cannot remain with such persons, as their security.
Besides, there is present an abundance of evil-doers. First, as to their thought, as is said: "Their heart is destruction." (Verse 9). Namely, they think of un-attainable vanities, so as to deceive persons, whom you, O Lord, direct, or protect. For: "Do not bring every man into your house, for many are the wiles of the crafty." (Sir 11:29).
Moreover, there is present a certain dryness within such evil-doers. Since: "Their throat is an open sepulcher." (Verse 9). Namely, the throat, as to taste, and speech, since Verse 9 can refer to their talk. Hence: "Their throat is an open sepulcher." (Verse 9). That is, a sepulcher is a residence for dead bodies, from which exude an odor, or stench. Likewise, the odor of some speeches overcome listeners, either spiritually, or corporeally. Because: "Do not be deceived: 'Bad company ruins good morals." (1 Cor 15:33).
Also, the speeches of some persons prove foul, or stenchful with ideas of filth. "Like a decoy partridge in a cage, so is the mind of a proud man." (Sir 11:30).
This Verse 9 may even be exposed in the nature of avid eating, or gluttony. So, one could view literally the mouth as an open sepulcher. Namely, as such evil-doers are voracious, and fulfill such voraciousness, and thus are addicted to act in perversity. Also, Verse 9 can be explained figuratively as an open sepulcher. That is, insofar as there is a location to receive dead bodies, as prepared to deceive other persons. Because: "Their quiver is like an open tomb, they are all mighty men." (Jer 5:16).
Then is stated an oppression: "They flatter with their tongue." (Verse 9). That is: by their bland speeches such evil-doers lead others to their death. "For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering words they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded." (Rom 16:18). Also: "Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceitfully, "With his mouth each speaks peacefully to his neighbor, but in his heart he plans an ambush for him" (Jer 9:8).
This Verse 9 can also be referred to a prayer for just persons, or even for the Church. So is said: "Make them' bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of their many transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against thee." (Verse 10). That is, as one prays towards others.
Against evildoers one prays, and then prays for just persons. There: "But let all who take refuge in thee rejoice, let them ever sing for joy, and do thou defend them, that those who love thy name may exult in thee." (Verse 11).
Regarding persons who pray regards the evildoers, three ideas are proposed. First, a person seeks judgment against evil persons, and second, a method for judgment is determined. There: "Let them fall by their own counsel." (Verse 10). Third, the cause of a judgment is assigned: "Because of their many transgressions, cast them out, for they have rebelled against thee," (Verse 10). Thus is declared: "Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsel." (Verse 10). Namely, by those things by which evildoers are malicious.
Here must be noted that a judgment is twofold. First is a judgment by discretion, by which even all good persons are judged. For: "Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people from deceitful and unjust men, deliver me" (Ps 43:1).
Second is a judgment of condemnation. Because: "He who believes in him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God" (Jo 3:18).
Here the Apostle John refers to evildoers and their condemnation by which they are judged at the Last Judgment. Hence Jerome exclaims: "Condemn them, O God."
However, the contrary is exclaimed by the Apostle Matthew. He claims: "Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you" (Matt 5:44). I, Thomas, reply. It must be said that prophets, in their prophecies, do not report as prompted by their own will. For: "No prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." (2 Peter 1:21). Therefore, whatsoever prophets uttered was declared by their own mind, in reference to divine justice. Thus, prophecies were rather predictions of future events, rather than the prophets' own petitions. (cf. Prologue). So: "Make them bear their own guilt," etc. (Verse 10). Namely: I, David, do know that you, God, will judge them.
The method of a judgment is twofold. First, so that evil-doers will depart from their malicious schemes. Second, that evil-doers will be displaced in their present position.
By the first method the malicious schemes of evildoers are impeded. So is declared: "Let them fall by their own counsel." (Verse 10). That is, within their own malicious schemes. Because: "He takes the wise in their own craftiness and the schemes of the wily are brought to a quick end." (Job 5:13). Or: "Let them fall." (Verse 10). Namely, let them be punished, due to their own schemes. For: "While their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them" (Rom 2:15).
According to the second method for judgment, evildoers are displaced and such evil persons would be removed from the company of good persons. Hence the Apostle Matthew declares: "Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his enemies...." (Matt 25:4l). Also Job: "He is thrust from light into darkness and driven out of the world." (Job 18:18).
Then is said: "Because of their many transgressions, cast them out, for they have rebelled against 'thee." (Verse 10, So, due to such evil schemes, there is a method of judging and condemning. Because: "Then if the guilty man deserves to be beaten, the judge shall cause him to lie down and be beaten in his presence with a number of stripes in proportion to his offense." (Deut 25:2).
The cause for a judgment is then assigned: "For they have rebelled against thee" (Verse 10). That is, they have provoked you, O Lord, to wrath, and the Lord's will for punishing is shown. Other versions have: "They go into battle against you, O Lord." Namely, you, O Lord, who are mild, consistently oppose them."
Evildoers, or sinners, after increasing their evils, become impertinent. Then the Lord God does not spare them. He becomes wrathful and induced to vindicate himself. For: "Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience." (Rom 2:4). Also: "They have stirred me to jealousy with what is no god; they have provoked me with their idols." (Deut 32:21).
In conclusion is stated: "But let all who take refuge in thee rejoice, let them ever sing for joy" (Verse 11). Here a prayer is said, as its exposition is added: "Let them sing for joy." (Verse 11).
Concerning this exposed prayer, two ideas are further exposed. First is viewed what is desired, namely, a joy. So is declared: "Let them ever sing for joy." (Verse 11). That is, as an aim or end, for everything. "But let the righteous be joyful, let them exult before God, let them be jubilant with joy." (Ps 68 :4).
Second, the prayer is exposed as to persons who are hoping. Hence is said: "But let all who take refuge in thee rejoice." (Verse 11). And then is added: "Let them ever sing for joy." (Verse 11).
Thus the former persons are exposed: "And do thou defend them" (Verse 11), The latter persons are explained as ones hoping: "That those who love thy name may exult in thee." (Verse 11).
The fatherland, or heaven hereafter, is eternal, and not in mere space or time. For: "Everlasting joy shall be upon their heads." (Is 51:11).
Also, heaven hereafter is secure and minus any disturbance whatsoever. Because: "My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places." (Is 32:18). Thus is said: "But let all who take refuge in thee rejoice, let them ever sing for joy." (Verse 11). Jerome's version for Verse 11 is: "And you will protect." For: I heard a great voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men, He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them." (Rev 21:3).
So, eternal heaven, or fatherland is forever secure and safe. This condition is due to four reasons. First, heaven is established on the eternal glory of God. Hence: "That those who love thy name may exult in thee." (Verse 11). Namely, no person glories about anything unless possessed perfectly. For instance: blessed persons possess God perfectly. So is declared: "That those who love thy name may exult in thee." (Verse 11).
Second, heaven is an eternal fatherland, due to the idea of matter. For blessed ones exult in a most fulsome thing, as in every good material thing. Hence: "Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name, ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full" (Jo 15:11).
Third, heaven is derived also out of human society. For, a human creature is unable to enjoy anything perfectly. One can only do so as he has friends sharing his own good fortune. Thus is declared: "That those who love thy name may exult in thee." (Verse 11). For: "Singers and dancers alike say, "All my springs are in you." (Ps 87 :7).
Fourth, heaven has its reason from a perfection of those: "Who love thy name." (Verse 11). Because it is befitting that friends enjoy each other's good fortunes, and since no persons pass by what they desire, or love.
In conclusion is also declared: "For thou dost bless the righteousness, O Lord; thou dost cover him with favor as with a shield" (Verse 12). That is, here is exposed why just persons hope, or desire.
First, they hope for the gift of a divine blessing, and second their desire is within a reference to divine mercy for predestined souls.
Regarding the gift of divine blessing, it is said: "For thou dost bless the righteous, O Lord" (Verse 12). Namely, by granting divine blessings to just persons. Because: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" (Eph 1:3).
Concerning divine mercy for predestined souls, it is declared by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 1:11: "In him according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will, he who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory." Thus is declared: "Thou dost cover him with favor as with a shield" (Verse 12). Namely, by the eternal divine will of thy mercy, O Lord God. And by which you, Lord God, are eternally disposed to grant eternal salvation. Because: "Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him." (Eph 1:4).
So is declared: "With a shield." (Verse 12). Namely, as this indicates God's will is similar to a shield against all evils. For: "He said, 'The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and horn of my salvation." (2 Samuel 22:2-3).
Or, the Lord God is like to a protecting shield. Truly is God so, in the eternal fatherland heaven, as a shield surrounding all souls. For instance, a custom prevailed in ancient Rome to employ surrounding shields, in which trapped Rome held hope of a final victory. So, when Rome conquered, they used their own surrounding shields as crowns of victory. Thus, saints, or blessed, are likewise portrayed with surrounding shields, or crowns of haloes on their head. Because such good persons proved victorious over their enemies. In like fashion then, Romans bore shields over their heads as victory crowns.