Verse 18. His enemies will I clothe with shame. They shall be utterly defeated, they shall loathe their evil design, they shall be despised for having hated the Ever Blessed One. Their shame they will be unable to hide, it shall cover them: God will array them in it for ever, and it shall be their convict dress to all eternity. But upon himself shall his crown flourish. Green shall be his laurels of victory. He shall win and wear the crown of honour, and his inherited diadem shall increase in splendour. Is it not so to this hour with Jesus? His kingdom cannot fail, his imperial glories cannot fade. It is himself that we delight to honour; it is to himself that the honour comes, and upon himself that it flourishes. If others snatch at his crown their traitorous aims are defeated; but he in his own person reigns with ever growing splendour.
"Crown him, crown him,
Crowns become the victor's brow."
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 18. His enemies will I clothe with shame. That is, shame shall so inseparably cover them, that as wheresoever a man goeth, he carrieth his clothes with him; so wheresoever they go they shall carry their shame with them. And that which is strangest of all, they which are ashamed use to clothe or cover their shame, and then think themselves well enough; but David's enemies shall be so ashamed, that even the very covering of their shame shall be a discovering of it; and the clothing or cloaking of their ignominy shall be nothing else but a girding of it more closely and more inseparably unto them. -- Thomas Playfere.
Verse 18. Upon himself shall the crown flourish. This idea seems to be taken from the nature of the ancient crowns bestowed upon conquerors. From the earliest periods of history, the laurel, olive, ivy, etc., furnished crowns to adorn the heads of heroes, who had conquered in the field of battle, gained the prize in the race, or performed some other important service to the public. These were the dear bought rewards of the most heroic exploits of antiquity. This sets the propriety of the phrase in full view. The idea of a crown of gold and jewels flourishing, is at least unnatural; whereas, flourishing is natural to laurels, oaks, etc. These were put upon the heads of the victors ill full verdure, and their merit seemed to make them flourish on their heads, in fresher green. The literal crown which Jesus wore was also of the vegetable kind, and the thorn of sorrow never flourished in such rigour as on his head. Now he has got the crown of life, which shall not fade away, like the perishing verdure of the crowns of other heroes. It shall flourish for ever, with all the rigour of immortality, and bring forth all the olive fruits of peace for his people. Its branches shall spread, and furnish crowns for all the victors in the spiritual warfare. --Alexander Pirie, --1804.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- His enemies clothed.
- Who are they? The openly profane. The moral but irreligious. The self righteous. The hypocritical.
b) How clothed with shame? In repentance, in disappointment, in remorse, in destruction. Sin detected. Self defeated. Hopes scattered.
c) Who clothes them The Lord. He will shame them thoroughly.
- Himself crowned.
- His crown: his dominion and glory.
b) Its flourishing. Glory extending. Subjects increasing. Wealth growing. Foes fearing, etc.
Verse 18. (last clause). The Lord Jesus himself the source, sustenance, and centre of the prosperity of his kingdom.
WORKS WRITTEN ABOUT THE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SECOND PSALM. IN SPURGEON'S DAY
In "The Works of John Boys", 1626, folio, pp. 821-5, there is an Exposition of Psalm 132. This is a poor and lean performance.