But thou [art] he that took me out of the womb
The Papists affirm, that there was something miraculous in the manner of Christ's coming into the world, as well as in his conception; that his conception of a virgin was miraculous is certain, being entirely owing to the wonderful and mysterious overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, and which was necessary to preserve his human nature from the contagion of sin, common to all that descend from Adam by ordinary generation; that so that individual of human nature might be proper to be united to the Son of God, and that it might be a fit sacrifice for the sins of men; but otherwise in all other things, sin only excepted, he was made like unto us; and it is a clear case, that his mother bore him the usual time, and went with him her full time of nine months, as women commonly do; see ( Luke 1:56 ) ( Matthew 1:18 Matthew 1:20 Matthew 1:24 ) ( Luke 2:5 Luke 2:6 ) ; and it is as evident that he was born and brought forth in the same manner other infants are, seeing he was presented, to the Lord in the temple, and the offering was brought for him according to the law respecting the male that opens the womb, ( Luke 2:22 Luke 2:23 ) ; and the phrase that is here used is expressive of the common providence of God which attends such an event, every man being as it were midwifed into the world by God himself; see ( Job 10:18 ) ( Psalms 71:6 ) ; though there was, no doubt, a peculiar providence which attended the birth of our Lord, and makes this expression more peculiarly applicable to him; since his mother Mary, when her full time was come, was at a distance from the place of her residence, was in an inn, and in a stable there, there being no room for her in the inn, and so very probably had no women about her to assist her, nor any midwife with her; and there was the more visible appearance of the hand of God in this affair, who might truly be said to take him out of the womb:
thou didst make me hope [when I was] upon my mother's breasts;
which may be understood of the expectation and hope, common to infants, which have not the use of reason, with all creatures, whose eyes wait upon the Lord, and he gives them their meat in due season; and here may regard the sudden and suitable provision of milk in the mother's breast, to which there is in the infant a natural desire, and an hope and expectation of. The words may be rendered, as they are by some, "thou didst keep me in safety", or make me safe and secure F26, when I was "upon my mother's breast": this was verified in Christ at the time Herod sought to take away his life; he was then in his mother's arms, and sucked at her breast; when the Lord in a dream acquainted Joseph with Herod's design, and directed him to flee with the young child and his mother into Egypt, where they were kept in safety till the death of Herod. This sense of the words frees them from a difficulty, how the grace of hope, or of faith and confidence, can, in a proper sense, be exercised in the infant state; for though the principle of grace may be implanted so early, yet how it should be exercised when there is not the due use of reason is not easy to conceive; if, therefore, the words are taken in this sense, the meaning must be, that he was caused to hope as soon as he was capable of it, which is sometimes the design of such a phrase; see ( Job 31:18 ) ; unless we suppose something extraordinary in Christ's human nature, which some interpreters are not willing to allow, because he was in all things like unto us excepting sin; but I see not, that seeing the human nature was an extraordinary one, was perfectly holy from the first of it, the grace of God was upon it as soon as born, and it was anointed with the Holy Ghost above its fellows, why it may not be thought to exercise grace in an extraordinary manner, so early as is here expressed, literally understood.
F26 (yxyjbm) "tu me tutum fecisti", Cocceius; so Michaelis.