v0.99. Update for DTD 0.99. Main change: use DC record instead
of MARC. Significant changes to the head section.
v0.98. Update for DTD 0.98; delete some unneeded head elements; italicize Citation style
A list of published editions and changes
Current editorial/publication status of text
Commentary on Psalms - Volume 4
Commentary on the Book of Psalms - Volume 4
John Calvin, 1509-1564
Anderson, Rev. James
Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library
THE BOOK OF PSALMS BY JOHN CALVIN
TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL LATIN, AND COLLATED WITH THE AUTHOR'S FRENCH VERSION,
BY THE REV. JAMES ANDERSON
CHRISTIAN CLASSICS ETHEREAL LIBRARY GRAND RAPIDS, MI
The psalm commences with the celebration of the infinite glory of God. It is then declared that such is his faithfulness that he never deceives his own people, who, embracing his promises, wait with tranquil minds for their salvation amidst all the tempests and agitations of the world.
1. Jehovah hath reigned, he hath clothed himself with majesty: fd1 Jehovah hath clothed himself with strength, he hath girded himself: fd2 he hath also established the world, it shall not be moved. 2. Thy throne is stable; fd3 from then, from everlasting art thou.
1. Jehovah hath reigned. We here see what I have lately adverted to, that in the power of God there is exhibited to us matter of confidence; for our not investing God with the power which belongs to him, as we ought to do, and thus wickedly despoiling him of his authority, is the source of that fear and trembling which we very often experience. This, it is true, we dare not do openly, but were we well persuaded of his invincible power, that would be to us an invincible support against all the assaults of temptation. All admit in word what the prophet here teaches, That God reigns; but how few are there who oppose this shield to the hostile powers of the world, as it becomes them to do, that they may fear nothing however terrible? In this then consists the glory of God, that he governs mankind according to his will. It is said that he clothes himself with majesty and strength; not that we ought to imagine that there is any thing in him which is derived from another, but it is intended by the effect and indubitable experience to show his wisdom and righteousness in the government of mankind. The Psalmist proves that God will not neglect or abandon the world, from the fact that he created it. A simple survey of the world should of itself suffice to attest a Divine Providence. The heavens revolve daily, and, immense as is their fabric, and inconceivable the rapidity of their revolutions, we experience no concussion — no disturbance in the harmony of their motion. The sun, though varying its course every diurnal revolution, returns annually to the same point. The planets, in all their wanderings, maintain their respective positions. How could the earth hang suspended in the air were it not upheld by God’s hand? By what means could it maintain itself unmoved, while the heavens above are in constant rapid motion, did not its Divine Maker fix and establish it? Accordingly the particle ãa, aph, denoting emphasis, is introduced — Yea, he hath established it.
2. Thy throne is stable. Some read, is prepared, and this agrees well with the context. provided we take the two clauses as one sentence, meaning — O Lord, as thou art from eternity, even so thy throne is erected or prepared from that time. For the sense which some have attached to the words, as if they contained a simple assertion of God’s eternity, is poor; and the Psalmist evidently intends to say that as God is eternal in essence, so he has always been invested with power and majesty. The term throne signifies, by the figure synecdoche, righteousness, and office or power of government; it being customary to transfer such images taken from men to God,in accommodation to our infirmity. fd4 By this ascription of praise the Psalmist effectually disposes of all the absurd ideas which have been broached, tending to deny or disparage the power of God, and declares, upon the matter, that God may sooner cease to be, than to sit upon his throne in the government of this world.