Psalm 72:3

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 3. The mountains shall bring peace to the people. Thence, aforetime, rushed the robber bands which infested the country; but now the forts there erected are the guardians of the land, and the watchmen publish far and near the tidings that no foe is to be seen. Where Jesus is there is peace, lasting, deep, eternal. Even those things which were once our dread, lose all terror when Jesus is owned as monarch of the heart: death itself, that dark mountain, loses all its gloom. Trials and afflictions, when the Lord is with us, bring us an increase rather than a diminution of peace.

And the little hills, by righteousness. Seeing that the rule of the monarch was just, every little hill seemed clothed with peace. Injustice has made Palestine a desert; if the Turk and Bedouin were gone, the land would smile again; for even in the most literal sense, justice is the fertilizer of lands, and men are diligent to plough and raise harvests when they have the prospect of eating the fruit of their labours. In a spiritual sense, peace is given to the heart by the righteousness of Christ; and all the powers and passions of the soul are filled with a holy calm, when the way of salvation, by a divine righteousness, is revealed. Then do we go forth with joy, and are led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills break forth before us into singing.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 3. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, etc. Those who apply this Psalm to Solomon expound the distich thus; "That the steep mountains on the frontier, strongly garrisoned, shall secure the land from hostile invasion; and the hills, cleared of the banditti, which in the rude ages were accustomed to inhabit them, under the government of the king, intended in this Psalm, should be the peaceful seats of a useful, civilised peasantry." This sense is not ill expressed in Mr. Merrick's translation:

"Peace, from the fort clad mountain's brow,
Descending, bless the plain below;
And justice from each rocky cell,
Shall violence and fraud expel."

But so little of the Psalm is at all applicable to Solomon, and the greater part of it so exclusively belongs to the Messiah, that I think these mountains and hills allude to the nature of the land of Judaea; and the general sense is, that, in the times of the great king, the inhabitants of that mountainous region shall live in a state of peace and tranquillity. The thing intended is the happy condition of the natural Israel, in the latter day restored to God's favour, and to the peaceful possession of their own land. It is a great confirmation of this sense, that righteousness is mentioned as the means of the peace which shall be enjoyed. Samuel Horsley.

Verse 3. The mountains shall bring peace to the people. It was, and still is, common in the East to announce good or bad news from the tops of mountains and other eminences. By this means acts of justice were speedily communicated to the remotest parts of the country. Thus, when Solomon decided the controversy between the two harlots, the decision was quickly known over all the land. See 1 Kings 3:28 . Alexander Geddes.

Verse 3. The mountains shall bring peace. The reference is to the fertility of the soil, which now is shown in an extraordinary way, when mountain summits, which are either oppressed with hopeless sterility or yield at a far inferior rate to the valleys, produce all things plentifully. And by this figure he signifies that this happiness of his kingdom shall not be the portion of a few only, but shall abound in all places and to all people, of every condition and of every age. No corner of the land, he affirms, shall be destitute of this fertility. Mollerus.

Verse 3. The mountains shall bring peace. You may be sure to have peace when your mountains shall bring forth peace; when those mountains, which heretofore were mountains of prey and hills of the robbers, shall be a quiet habitation; when peace shall not be walled up in cities, or fenced in by bulwarks, but the open fields and highways, the mountains and the hills shall yield it abundantly; under every hedge, and under every green tree, there shall you find it; when the cottagers and the mountaineers shall have their fill of it; when they shall eat and be satisfied, lie down and none shall make them afraid, then the blessing is universal: and this is the work of righteousness. Joseph Caryl.

Verse 3. The mountains and hills are not at all named as the most unfruitful places of the land, which they really were not, in Palestine, compare Deuteronomy 33:15 Psalms 147:8 , "Who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains;" Psalms 65:12 , -- nor even because what is on them can be seen everywhere, and from all sides. (Tholuck), compare against this, Joel 3:18 , "The mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk," Isaiah 55:12 , - - but, as being the most prominent points and ornaments of the country, and, therefore, as representing it, well fitted to express the thought that the country shall be everywhere filled with peace. E. W. Hengstenberg.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 3. Mountains of divine decree, of immutable truth, of almighty power, of eternal grace, etc. These mountains of God are securities of peace.