Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
Contrasting man's frailty with God's eternity, the writer mourns over
it as the punishment of sin, and prays for a return of the divine favor.
A Prayer [mainly such]
of Moses the man of God--
as such he wrote this (see on
1. dwelling-place--home (compare
as a refuge
2. brought forth [and] formed--both express the idea of production
3. to destruction--literally, "even to dust"
which is partly quoted in the last clause.
4. Even were our days now a thousand years, as Adam's, our life would
be but a moment in God's sight
a watch--or, third part of a night (compare
5, 6. Life is like grass, which, though changing under the influence
of the night's dew, and flourishing in the morning, is soon cut down and
7, 8. For--A reason, this is the infliction of God's wrath.
troubled--literally, "confounded by terror"
Death is by sin
Though "secret," the light of God's countenance, as a candle, will
bring sin to view
9. are passed--literally, "turn," as to depart
as a tale--literally, "a thought," or, "a sigh"
10. Moses' life was an exception
it is . . . cut off--or, "driven," as is said of the quails in using
the same word
In view of this certain and speedy end, life is full of sorrow.
11. The whole verse may be read as a question implying the negative,
"No one knows what Thy anger can do, and what Thy wrath is, estimated by
a true piety."
12. This he prays we may know or understand, so as properly to number
or appreciate the shortness of our days, that we may be wise.
let it repent--a strong figure, as in
imploring a change in His dealings.
15. As have been our sorrows, so let our joys be great and long.
16. thy work--or, providential acts.
(Ps 8:5; 45:3),
the honor accruing from Thy work of mercy to us.
17. let the beauty--or sum of His gracious acts, in their harmony, be
illustrated in us, and favor our enterprise.