Psalms 72

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.
12 For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper.
13 He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.
14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life; and precious is their blood in his sight.
15 Long may he live! May gold of Sheba be given to him. May prayer be made for him continually, and blessings invoked for him all day long.
16 May there be abundance of grain in the land; may it wave on the tops of the mountains; may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field.
17 May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun. May all nations be blessed in him; may they pronounce him happy.
18 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.
19 Blessed be his glorious name forever; may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.
20 The prayers of David son of Jesse are ended.

Psalms 72 Commentary

Chapter 72

David begins with a prayer for Solomon. (1) He passes into a prophecy of the glories of his reign, and of Christ's kingdom. (2-17) Praise to God. (18-20)

Verse 1 This psalm belongs to Solomon in part, but to Christ more fully and clearly. Solomon was both the king and the king's son, and his pious father desired that the wisdom of God might be in him, that his reign might be a remembrance of the kingdom of the Messiah. It is the prayer of a father for his child; a dying blessing. The best we can ask of God for our children is, that God would give them wisdom and grace to know and to do their duty.

Verses 2-17 This is a prophecy of the kingdom of Christ; many passages in it cannot be applied to the reign of Solomon. There were righteousness and peace at first in the administration of his government; but, before the end of his reign, there were troubles and unrighteousness. The kingdom here spoken of is to last as long as the sun, but Solomon's was soon at an end. Even the Jewish expositors understood it of the kingdom of the Messiah. Observe many great and precious promises here made, which were to have full accomplishment only in the kingdom of Christ. As far as his kingdom is set up, discord and contentions cease, in families, churches, and nations. The law of Christ, written in the heart, disposes men to be honest and just, and to render to all their due; it likewise disposes men to live in love, and so produces abundance of peace. Holiness and love shall be lasting in Christ's kingdom. Through all the changes of the world, and all the changes of life, Christ's kingdom will support itself. And he shall, by the graces and comforts of his Spirit, come down like rain upon the mown grass; not on that cut down, but that which is left growing, that it may spring again. His gospel has been, or shall be, preached to all nations. Though he needs not the services of any, yet he must be served with the best. Those that have the wealth of this world, must serve Christ with it, do good with it. Prayer shall be made through him, or for his sake; whatever we ask of the Father, should be in his name. Praises shall be offered to him: we are under the highest obligations to him. Christ only shall be feared throughout all generations. To the end of time, and to eternity, his name shall be praised. All nations shall call HIM blessed.

Verses 18-20 We are taught to bless God in Christ, for all he has done for us by him. David is earnest in prayer for the fulfilment of this prophecy and promise. It is sad to think how empty the earth is of the glory of God, how little service and honour he has from a world to which he is so bountiful. May we, like David, submit to Christ's authority, and partake of his righteousness and peace. May we bless him for the wonders of redeeming love. May we spend our days, and end our lives, praying for the spread of his gospel.

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Gk: Heb [may they fear you]
  • [b]. Cn: Heb [those who live in the wilderness]
  • [c]. Or [bless themselves by him]

Chapter Summary

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 Commentaries