Psalms 72:1-7

1 Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king's son.
2 May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.
3 May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.
4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.
5 May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.
7 In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more.

Psalms 72:1-7 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO PSALM 72

\\<<[A Psalm] for Solomon>>\\. The title of this psalm is by some rendered, "a psalm of Solomon" {h}; as a psalm dwdl, "for David", is often rendered "a psalm of David"; and so make Solomon to be the writer of it: to which the Targum inclines, which paraphrases it, ``by the hand of Solomon, said in prophecy.'' But, though Solomon had a gift of divine poetry, as appears by the Song of Songs, composed by him; and the Thousand and Five, he was the author of; and perhaps wrote the hundred twenty seventh Psalm: yet by the first and last verses of this psalm it may be concluded it was not written by him, but by David; and very likely at the close of his days, when he ordered Solomon to be anointed king, and expressed his satisfaction in it; his prayers and wishes then being ended with regard to that affair; see 1Ki 1:34,48. And so the title in the Syriac version is, ``a psalm of David, when he made Solomon king:'' the same Kimchi observes; it was written for him, and on his account: and it might be sent to him, and delivered into his hands, to be laid up and kept by him, and be referred to for his use at proper times. For it may be rendered, as in the Arabic version, "to Solomon"; which adds, the son of David: or else it may denote the subject of the psalm, and be read, "concerning Solomon" {i}; the Messiah, the antitypical Solomon; who is often called by this name in the Song of Songs; see So 3:7,9,11, 8:11; Solomon being a type of him in his wisdom and riches, and in the peaceableness and extent of his kingdom; to which reference is had in this psalm. But a greater than Solomon is here; that the Messiah is the subject of it is manifest from the largeness of his kingdom, it reaching to the ends of the earth; which was not true of Solomon, Ps 72:8; and from the duration of it, it being as long as the sun and moon endure, Ps 72:5,7,17; and from the abundance of peace and prosperity in it, which equally last, Ps 72:3,7; and from the subjection of kings and nations to him, even all of them, Ps 72:9-11; and from the happiness of his subjects; they having protection, deliverance, and salvation by him, and all spiritual blessings in him; which shows him to be the promised seed, in whom all nations should be blessed, Ps 72:2,4,12-14,16,17, and from the honour, praise, glory, and blessedness, ascribed to him, Ps 72:15,17-19. So Tertullian {k}, long ago, observed, that this psalm belongs to Christ, and not to Solomon. And that the Messiah is intended, many of the Jewish writers, both ancient and modern, acknowledge, as appears from the Targum, Talmud, Midrash, and other writings, which will be observed in the exposition of it. Jarchi, though he interprets it of Solomon, yet owns that their Rabbins expound the whole psalm of the Messiah: and Kimchi, who explains it hyperbolically of Solomon, acknowledges that, in the proper and literal sense, it is to be understood of the Messiah; and which is the sense given by his father, R. Joseph Kimchi. Aben Ezra says, this psalm is either concerning Solomon, or concerning the Messiah; but Abarbinel {l} makes no doubt that it is said concerning him. R. Obadiah says, it is concerning the coming of the Messiah; and to this agrees the title in the Syriac version, ``and a prophecy concerning the coming of the Messiah, and the calling of the Gentiles.'' {h} hmlvl "ipsius Selomoh", Vatablus; Salomonis, Cocceius. {i} "De Salomone", Muis. {k} Adv. Marcion. l. 5. c. 9. {l} Mashmiah Jeshuah, fol. 78. 2, 3.

Psalms 72:1-7 In-Context

1 Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king's son.
2 May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.
3 May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.
4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.
5 May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.
7 In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
8 May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
9 May his foes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust.
10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts.
11 May all kings fall down before him, all nations give him service.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Gk: Heb [may they fear you]