Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO PSALM 89\\ \\<>\\. Who this Ethan was is not certain. Kimchi takes him to be the same with Ethan the wise man, a grandson of Judah, \\#1Ki 4:31 1Ch 2:6\\. But seeing he lived some hundreds of years before the times of David, it is not likely that he should be the writer of this psalm; for David is made mention of in it, which could not be, unless it can be thought to be by a spirit of prophecy; which indeed is the opinion of Doctor Lightfoot {k}, who takes this Ethan to be the penman of this psalm; and who ``from the promise, \\#Ge 15:1\\ sings joyfully the deliverance (of Israel); that the raging of the Red sea should be ruled, \\#Ps 89:9\\, and Rahab, or Egypt, should be broken in pieces, \\#Ps 89:10\\, and that the people should hear the joyful sound of the law, \\#Ps 89:15\\, and as for the name of David in it, this, he says, might be done prophetically; as Samuel is thought to be named by Moses, \\#Ps 99:6\\, which psalm is held to be made by him; or else might be put into it, in later times, by some divine penman, endued with the same gift of prophecy, who might improve the ground work of this psalm laid by Ethan, and set it to an higher key; namely, that whereas he treated only of bodily deliverance from Egypt, it is wound up so high as to reach the spiritual delivery by Christ; and therefore David is often named, from whence he should come.'' There was another Ethan, a singer, in David's time; and it is more probable that he is the person, who might live to the times of Rehoboam, and see the decline of David's family, and the revolt of the ten tribes from it; or perhaps it was one of this name who lived in the times of the Babylonish captivity, and saw the low estate that David's family were come into; to which agrees the latter part of this psalm; and, in order to comfort the people of God, he wrote this psalm, showing that the covenant and promises of God, made with David, nevertheless stood firm, and would be accomplished: the title of the Septuagint version calls him Etham the Israelite; and the Arabic version Nathan the Israelite: the Targum makes him to be Abraham, paraphrasing it ``a good understanding, which was said by the hand of Abraham, that came from the east.'' But whoever was the penman of this psalm, it is "maschil", an instructive psalm, a psalm causing to understand; it treats concerning the covenant of grace, and the promises of it; and concerning the mercy and faithfulness of God, in making and keeping the same; and concerning the Messiah and his seed, his church and people; and the stability and duration of all these: many passages in it are applied to the Messiah by Jewish writers, ancient and modern; and \\#Ps 89:20\\ is manifestly referred to in \\#Ac 13:22\\.