- Probably Moses wrote this psalm, on occasion of the sentence passed on the Israelites, that their carcases should fall in the wilderness. Herein he considers the eternity of God, verse 1-3.
- And the frailty of man, ver, 4-6. He submits to the righteous sentence of God, verse 7-11.
- And prays for the return of his favour, verse 12-17.
- A prayer of Moses the Man of God.
Title of the psalm. A prayer of Moses-Who considering that terrible sentence of God, concerning the cutting off all that sinful generation in the wilderness, takes occasion to publish these meditations concerning man's mortality and misery. V. 1. Dwelling place - Although we and our fathers, for some generations, have had no fixed habitation, yet thou hast been instead of a dwelling-place to us, by thy watchful and gracious providence. And this intimates that all the following miseries were not to be imputed to God but themselves.
Thou - Thou hadst thy power, and all thy perfections, from all eternity.
Turnedst - But as for man, his case is far otherwise, though he was made by thee happy. and immortal, yet for his sin thou didst make him mortal and miserable. Saidst - Didst pronounce that sad sentence, return, O men, to the dust out of which ye were taken, Genesis 3:19.
Past - Indeed time seems long when it is to come, but when it is past, very short and contemptible. A watch - Which lasted but three or four hours.
Them - Mankind. Away - Universally, without exception or distinction. A sleep - Short and vain, as sleep is, and not minded 'till it be past.
Are consumed - Thou dost not suffer us to live so long as we might by the course of nature.
Hast set - Thou dost observe them, as a righteous judge, and art calling us to an account for them. Secret sins - Which though hid from the eyes of men, thou hast brought to light by thy judgments.
Our years - Of the generality of mankind, in that and all following ages, some few persons excepted. Flee - We do not now go to death, as we do from our very birth, but flee swiftly away like a bird, as this word signifies.
Thy fear - According to the fear of thee; according to that fear which sinful men have of a just God. So - It bears full proportion to it, nay indeed doth far exceed it.
Teach us - To consider the shortness of life, and the certainty and speediness of death. That - That we may heartily devote ourselves to true wisdom.
Return - To us in mercy. How long - Will it be before thou return to us? Repent thee - Of thy severe proceedings against us.
Early - Speedily.
The beauty - His gracious influence, and glorious presence. In us - Do not only work for us, but in us,