PSALM 72 OVERVIEW
Title. A Psalm for Solomon. The best linguists affirm that this should be rendered, of or by Solomon. There is not sufficient ground for the rendering for. It is pretty certain that the title declares Solomon to be the author of the Psalm, and yet from Psalms 72:20 it would seem that David uttered it in prayer before he died. With some diffidence we suggest that the spirit and matter of the Psalm are David's, but that he was too near his end to pen the words, or cast them into form: Solomon, therefore, caught his dying father's song, fashioned it in goodly verse, and, without robbing his father, made the Psalm his own. It is, we conjecture, the Prayer of David, but the Psalm of Solomon. Jesus is here, beyond all doubt, in the glory of his reign, both as he now is, and as he shall be revealed in the latter day glory.
Division. We shall follow the division suggested by Alexander. "A glowing description of the reign of Messiah as righteous, Psalms 72:1-7 ; universal, Psalms 72:8-11 ; beneficent, Psalms 72:12-14 ; and perpetual, Psalms 72:15-17 ; to which are added a doxology, Ps 72:18-19; and a postscript, Psalms 72:20 ."
Verse 1. Give the king thy judgments, O God. The right to reign was transmitted by descent from David to Solomon, but not by that means alone: Israel was a theocracy, and the kings were but the viceroys of the greater King; hence the prayer that the new king might be enthroned by divine right, and then endowed with divine wisdom. Our glorious King in Zion hath all judgment committed unto him. He rules in the name of God over all lands. He is king "Dei Gratia" as well as by right of inheritance.
And thy righteousness unto the king's son. Solomon was both king and king's son; so also is our Lord. He has power and authority in himself, and also royal dignity given of his Father. He is the righteous king; in a word, he is "the Lord our righteousness." We are waiting till he shall be manifested among men as the ever righteous Judge. May the Lord hasten on his own time the long looked for day. Now wars and fightings are even in Israel itself, but soon the dispensation will change, and David, the type of Jesus warring with our enemies, shall be displaced by Solomon the prince of peace.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Title. For Solomon. I shall but mention a threefold analogy between Christ and Solomon.
- In his personal wisdom ( 1 Kings 4:29-30 ); so Christ (Col 2:3); "In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
- In the glorious peace and prosperity of his kingdom: the kingdom was peaceably settled in his hand. 1 Chronicles 22:9 4:24-25. And so he fell to the work of building the temple, as Christ doth the church; so Christ ( Isaiah 9:6 ); he is the Prince of Peace, the great Peacemaker. Ephesians 2:14 .
- In his marriage with Pharaoh's daughter. Some observe that the daughter of Pharaoh never seduced him: neither is there any mention made of the Egyptian idols. 1Ki 11:5,7. In his other outlandish marriages he did sin; but this is mentioned as by way of special exception ( 1 Kings 11:1 ); for she was a proselyte, and so it was no sin to marry her: and the love between her and Solomon is made a type of the love between Christ and the church. So Christ hath taken us Gentiles to be spouse unto him. Psalm
- Samuel Mather (1626-1671), in "The Figures or Types of the Old Testament."
Whole Psalm. The Seventy-second Psalm contains a description of an exalted king, and of the blessings of his reign. These blessings are of such a nature as to prove that the subject of the Psalm must be a divine person.
- His kingdom is to be everlasting.
- It secures perfect peace with God and goodwill among men.
- All men are to be brought to submit to him through love.
- In him all the nations of the earth are to be blessed; i.e., as we are distinctly taught in Galatians 3:16 , it is in him that all the blessings of redemption are to come upon the world. Charles Hodge, in "Systematic Theology."
Whole Psalm. This Psalm was penned by a king, it is dedicated to a king, and is chiefly intended concerning him who is "King of kings." Joseph Caryl, in a Sermon entitled "David's Prayer for Solomon."
Whole Psalm. Two Psalms bear Solomon's name in their titles. One of these is the Hundred and Twenty-seventh, the other is the Seventy-second; and here the traces of his pen are unequivocal. A mistaken interpretation of the note appended to it, "The prayers of David the Son of Jesse are ended," led most of the old commentators to attribute the Psalm to David, and to suppose that it is a prayer offered in his old age "for Solomon," as the peaceful prince who was to succeed him on the throne. However, it has long been known that the note in question refers to the whole of the preceding portion of the Psalter, much of which was written by Asaph and the sons of Korah; and there can be no doubt that the title can only be translated, "of Solomon." So clear are the traces of Solomon's pen that Calvin, whose sagacity in this kind of criticism has never been excelled, although he thought himself obliged, by the note at the end of the Psalm, to attribute the substance of it to David, felt Solomon's touch so sensibly, that he threw out the conjecture that the prayer was the father's, but that it was afterward thrown into the lyrical form by the son. This is not the place for detailed exposition; I will, therefore, content myself with remarking that, properly speaking, the Psalm is not "for Solomon" at all. If it refers to him and his peaceful reign, it does so only in as far as they were types of the Person and Kingdom of the Prince of Peace. The Psalm, from beginning to end, is not only capable of being applied to Christ, but great part is incapable of being fairly applied to any other. William Binnie.
Whole Psalm. This is the forth of those Psalms which predict the two natures of Christ. This Psalm admonishes us that we believe in Christ as perfect God, and perfect Man and King. Psalter of Peter Lombard (- -1164).
Whole Psalm. That under the type of Solomon (to whom it is inscribed) the Messiah is "The King" of whom this Psalm treats, we have the consent, not only of the most eminent divines of modern times, and of the Fathers of the early Christian church, but the ancient and most distinguished Jewish expositors; of which reference, indeed, it contains the most conclusive internal evidence. And, as under a new type, so is the kingdom here presented to us in a new aspect, in marked contradistinction to its character as foreshadowed by its other great type, the Davidic: for the character of David's reign was conquest. He was "a man of war" ( 1 Chronicles 28:1-3 ); the appointed instrument for subjecting the enemies of God's people Israel, by whom they were put in undisturbed possession of the promised land. But the character of Solomon's reign was peace, the import of his name, succeeding to the throne after all enemies had been subdued, and governing the kingdom which David's wars had established ( 1 Kings 2:12 ), the two types, respectively, of Christ as he is yet to be manifested at his next appearing; first revealed as David, as seen in the vision of that event ( Revelation 19:11 ): "I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war," etc., subduing the Antichristian confederacy ( Revelation 19:19-21 ), as before predicted in the Second Psalm, of this same confederacy: "Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." And then, as Solomon, taking his throne, and extending the blessings of his kingdom of peace to the ends of the earth. David in the Second Psalm; Solomon in this. William De Burgh.
Whole Psalm. The reader is reminded of James Montgomery's hymn, beginning, "Hail to the Lord's Anointed;" it is a very beautiful versification of this Psalm, and will be found in "Our Own Hymn Book," No. 353.
Verse 1. Give the king thy judgments, O God. Right and authority to execute judgment and justice. The Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son. John Fry.
Verse 1. The king... The king's son. I do not apprehend, with the generality of interpreters, that by The king, and The king's son, David means himself and his son, but Solomon only, to whom both the titles agree, as he was David's son, and anointed by him king during his lifetime. Samuel Chandler.
Verse 1. The king... The king's son. We see that our Lord is here termed both $lm, and $lm !b, being king himself, and also the son of a king; both as respects his human origin, having come forth from the stock of David, and also as to his divine origin; for the Father of the universe may, of course, be properly denominated King. Agreeably to this designation, we find on the Turkish coins the inscription: Sultan, son of Sultan. George Phillips.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- He shall.
- They shall. Ring the changes on these, as the Psalm does.
Verse 1. The prayer of the ancient church now fulfilled.
- Our Lord's titles.
- King, by divine nature.
- King's Son, in both natures. Thus we see his power innate and derived.
- Our Lord's authority: "Judgments."
- To rule his people.
- To rule the world for his people's benefit.
- To judge mankind.
- To judge devils.
- Our Lord's character. He is righteous in rewarding
and punishing, righteous towards God and man.
- Our loyal prayer. This asks for his rule over
ourselves and the universe.
WORKS WRITTEN ABOUT THE SEVENTY-SECOND PSALM IN SPURGEON'S DAY
In CHANDLER'S Life of David, Vol. 2, pp. 440-44, there is an Exposition of this Psalm.