Verse 45. The days of his youth hast thou shortened. The time of the king's energy was brief, he grew feeble before his time.
Thou hast covered him with shame. Shame was heaped upon him because of his premature decay and his failure in arms. This was very grievous to the writer of this Psalm, who was evidently a most loyal adherent of the house of David. In this our day we have to bemoan the lack of vigour in religion -- the heroic days of Christianity are over, her raven locks are sprinkled with untimely grey. Is this according to the covenant? Can this be as the Lord has promised? Let us plead with the righteous Judge of all the earth, and beseech him to fulfil his word wherein he has promised that those who wait upon him shall renew their strength.
Selah. The interceding poet takes breath amid his lament, and then turns from describing the sorrows of the kingdom to pleading with the Lord.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 45. The days of his youth hast thou shortened. Our kings have not reigned half their days, nor lived out half their lives. The four last kings of Judea reigned but a short time, and either died by the sword or in captivity. Jehoahaz reigned only three months, and was led captive to Egypt, where he died. Jehoiakim reigned only eleven years, and was tributary to the Chaldeans, who put him to death, and cast his body into the common sewer. Jehoiachim, reigned three months and ten days, and was led captive to Babylon, where he continued in prison to the time of Evil merodach, who, though he loosed him from prison, never invested him with any power. Zedekiah, the last of all, had reigned only eleven years when he was taken, his eyes put out, was loaded with chains, and thus carried to Babylon. Most of these kings died a violent and premature death. Thus the "days of their youth" -- of their power, dignity, and life, "were shortened", and they themselves covered with shame. Selah; so it most incontestably is. --Adam Clarke.
Verse 45. Thou hast covered them with shame. Selah. Thou hast wrapped him up in the winding sheet of shame. Lord, this is true. --John Trapp.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 45. -- The excellence of the first days of Christianity, and in what respect their glory has departed from us.