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Psalms 144:12

Psalms 144:12

That our sons [may be] as plants grown up in their youth
The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Ethiopic, Syriac, and Arabic versions, read, "whose sons [are as] plants" as if this and what follows were a description of the families, estates, substance, and outward happiness of wicked men, the enemies of David, the strange children he desired to be delivered from, agreeably to ( Job 21:7-13 ) ( Psalms 73:4 Psalms 73:5 Psalms 73:7 Psalms 73:12 ) ; and if the word "saying", or "who say", be supplied, as by some F15, and connected with "that our sons are" they may express the vain boastings of these men, and explain what is meant by the vanity their mouth spake; as well as furnish out another reason for the repetition of the above requests, namely, for the sake of introducing those vain boasts to which the happiness of good men is opposed, who have an interest in God as their God, ( Psalms 144:15 ) ; but we with other versions take them to be a petition of the psalmist; that as he would deliver him personally out of the hands of his enemies, so he would bless his subjects with all prosperity and happiness in their families and estates; like a good prince concerned for the real welfare of his people, and wishes that their sons might be as plants, young, tender, well nursed, and taken care of, that were healthful, thriving, flourishing, and promising much fruit; so they might he of healthful constitutions, well educated in all useful knowledge, natural and religious, and grow both in wisdom and stature, and appear to be of promising parts for usefulness in the church and state; and especially that they might be the plants of the Lord, pleasant ones to him, and profitable to others; be planted in Christ, and in his house, and grow in grace and in the knowledge of him, and grow up to him their bead in all things. The Targum is,

``that our sons may be as plants of the dactyles (or palm trees, ( Psalms 92:12 ) ), nourished up in the doctrine of the law from their youth;''
see ( Psalms 128:3 ) ; [that] our daughters [may be] as corner stones, polished [after] the
similitude of a palace;
or "temple"; tall, beautiful, and in good proportion; children have their name in Hebrew from a word which signifies to "build" F16, because by them families are built up, ( Ruth 4:11 ) ; and by marriage divers families are connected together, so that they are as corner stones to them; thus Plautus F17 speaks of children as a building, and parents as the fabricators of them; laying the foundation of them, raising them up and polishing them, and sparing no cost to make them useful to the commonwealth: or "as corner pillars" {r}, which support the house and continue in it; so they guide the house, take care of the affairs of it, and be keepers at home, ( 1 Timothy 5:14 ) ( Titus 2:5 ) ; and like such as are in temples or in kings' palaces, finely graved and beautifully polished, be adorned with grace and good works, particularly with modesty, meekness, and humility, ( 1 Thessalonians 2:9 1 Thessalonians 2:10 ) ( 1 Peter 3:3 1 Peter 3:4 ) ; and grow up into an holy temple in the Lord, being parts of the spiritual building, and being laid on the foundation, of which Jesus Christ is the corner stone. The Targum is,
``our daughters splendid and fit for the priests that minister in the midst of the temple.''
The Syriac version,
``their daughters as spouses adorned like temples.''

FOOTNOTES:

F15 So Schmidt.
F16 (hnb) "aedificavit, unde" (Mynb) & (twnb) "filii et filiae".
F17 Mostellaria, Act. 1. Sc. 2.
F18 (tywzk) "sicut angulares lapides, aut columnae", Michaelis.
Read Psalm 144:12