Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings
Not literally such, though the Jewish writers F5 generally so understand it; as do some Christian interpreters, who explain it of the wonderful formation, nourishment, and growth of infants; and of the marvellous care of God in providing the breast for them; in filling it with milk, and teaching them to suck; which, being observed by men, occasion praise to God, to the confusion of atheists and infidels. But this is no other than what is common to brute creatures: rather the words are to be understood in a figurative sense. So Jarchi applies them to the priests and Levites in the temple: but it is best to interpret them of the apostles and first preachers of the Gospel; and of such who received it and professed it; who were in their own eyes, and in the eyes of the world, as babes and sucklings, ( Matthew 11:25 ) ;
hast thou ordained strength:
by which is meant the Gospel, the rod of Christ's strength, and the power of God unto salvation; and which being made useful for the conversion of souls, is the cause of much praise and thanksgiving to God: this, by the mouths and means of the apostles and first ministers of the word, God ordained, or "founded" F6, settled and established in the world, notwithstanding all the opposition made unto it; so that the gates of hell cannot prevail against it, to root it out of the world; but it will continue the everlasting Gospel;
because of thine enemies:
either for the sake of subduing them, and bringing them to the obedience of Christ, that is, the elect of God, who are before conversion enemies to God and Christ; or rather for the sake of confounding the implacable enemies of God and Christ, and of the cause and interest of religion. In order to which God has made choice of instruments the most mean and despicable, ( 1 Corinthians 1:26-28 ) ; and God's end in this more particularly is expressed in the following clause;
that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger;
Satan, the enemy of mankind, the adversary of Christ personal and mystical, who is filled with envy, wrath, and malice, against Christ and his people; him, by the, means of the Gospel and the ministry of it, God has "caused to cease" F7, as the word may be rendered; not as to his being, but as to his power and authority, in the Gentile world; out of which, to his great mortification, he was cast, by the mouth and ministry of babes and sucklings. These words are applied by Christ to the children in the temple, crying Hosanna to the son of David, out of whose mouths God perfected the praise of the Messiah; and by which, and Christ's defence of them, the Scribes and Pharisees, the mortal enemies of Christ, and who wanted to revenge themselves on him, were silenced and stilled, ( Matthew 21:15 Matthew 21:16 ) .
F5 Aben Ezra & R. Moses in ibid. Kimchi, Obadiah Gaon, & Ben Melech in loc.
F6 (tdoy) "fundasti", Pagninus, Montanus, Piscator, Cocceius, so the Targum; "fundatam disposuisti", Junius & Tremellius, Rivetus.
F7 (tybvhl) "ad eessare faciendum", Montanus, Vatablus, Piscator; "ut facias cessare", Gejerus; so Ainsworth.