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John Wesley's Explanatory Notes
on the Whole Bible

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PSALM LXXXIX. Chapter Overview

This psalm manifestly treats of the declining state of the house and kingdom of David, in or about the Babylonish captivity. The psalmist praises and rejoices in God, verse 1-18.
He builds all his hopes on God's covenant with David, verse 19-37.
He laments the present calamities of the king and royal family, verse 38-45.
Expostulates with, prays to God, and praises him, verse 46-52.
Maschil of Ethan the Ezrahite.

Title of the psalm. Ezrahite-Not him who is mentioned, 1 Kings 4:31, but some person of the same name, and inspired by the same spirit, who lived long after.

Verse 1
Sing - He prefaces this, lest the following complainers of present miseries should argue ingratitude for former mercies. Faithfulness - Whatsoever hath befallen us, it proceeded not from thy unfaithfulness.

Verse 2
Establish - As firmly and durably as the heavens themselves.

Verse 3
Chosen - With David; whom I have chosen to the kingdom.

Verse 4
Build up - I will perpetuate the kingdom to thy posterity; which was promised upon condition, and was literally accomplished in Christ.

Verse 5
Heavens - The inhabitants of heaven. Faithfulness - Understand, shall be praised; which supplements are usual in scripture.

Verse 6
Among - The highest angels.

Verse 7
Feared - With a fear of reverence. Saints - The whole society of angels. All that - That encompass his throne.

Verse 8
Round thee - Like a girdle encompassing thee. It appears in all thy words and works.

Verse 10
Rhahab - Egypt.

Verse 12
Tabor - The several parts of the land of Canaan, both within Jordan, where mount Tabor is; and without it, where Hermon lies. Rejoice - Shall be fruitful and prosperous, and so give their inhabitants cause to rejoice. In - By thy favour.

Verse 14
Justice and judgment - Justice in judging.

Verse 15
Know - Who enjoy the presence of God and his ordinances, to which they are called by the sound of trumpets. Walk - Under the comfortable influences of thy favour.

Verse 16
Name - In the knowledge and remembrance of thy name, of thy infinite power and goodness.

Verse 17
The glory - To thee alone belongs the glory of all their valiant achievements.

Verse 19
Vision - Which then was the usual way by which God spake to the prophets. Holy one - To thy holy prophets; the singular number being put for the plural; especially to Samuel and Nathan. Laid help - I have provided help for my people. Upon - Upon a person of singular courage and wisdom.

Verse 22
Exact - Not conquer him or make him tributary.

Verse 25
Set - Establish his power and dominion. The sea - The mid-land sea. The rivers - Euphrates, called rivers, in regard of divers branches of it, and rivers which flow into it. So here is a description of the uttermost bounds of the promised land.

Verse 27
My first-born - As he calls me father, verse 26, so I will make him my son, yea my first-born; who had divers privileges above other sons. This and the following passage in some sort agree to David, but are properly accomplished in Christ. Higher - This also was in some sort accomplished in David, but more fully in the Messiah.

Verse 29
For ever - To sit upon the throne for ever, as the next words explain it. This was accomplished only in Christ.

Verse 37
A witness - The rainbow, which is God's faithful witness, a token of God's everlasting covenant between God and every living creature for perpetual generations, Genesis 9:12,16.

Verse 38
But - Having hitherto declared the certainty of God's promises, he now humbly expostulates with God about it.

Verse 45
Youth - The youthful and flourishing estate of David's kingdom was very short, and reached not beyond his next successor.

Verse 47
Short - Our time, the time of our king and kingdom, in whose name the psalmist puts up this petition. Wherefore - Wherefore hast thou made us and our king (and consequently all other men, whose condition is nothing better than ours) in vain, or to so little purpose? Didst thou raise us and him, settle the crown upon David's head by a solemn covenant, and vouchsafe so many and great promises and privileges, and all this but for a few years, that our crown and glory should be taken from us, within a little time after it was put upon our heads?

Verse 48
What man - All men at their best estate are mortal and miserable; kings and people must unavoidably die by the conditions of their natures; and therefore, Lord, do not increase our affliction.

Verse 50
How I - We thy servants; our king and his people; of whom he speaks as of one person.

Verse 51
Anointed - By whom he seems to understand either first the kings of Judah, the singular number being put for the plural; and by their footsteps may be meant either their ways or actions, or the memorials of their ancient splendor; or secondly the Messiah, whom the Jews continually expected for a long time, which being well known to many of the Heathens, they reproached the Jews, with the vanity of this expectation. And by the footsteps of the Messiah, he may understand his coming.

Verse 52
Blessed - Let thine enemies reproach thee and thy promises concerning the sending of the Messiah, I will heartily bless and praise thee for them, and encourage myself with them.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalm 89". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes
on the Whole Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/wen/view.cgi?book=ps&chapter=089>. 1765.  

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