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264 PSALM LI. 2. Among

by Manasseh Ben Israel
264 PSALM LI. 2. Among mortals, slaves carry lights before their masters, but the Lord carried a pillar of fire by night, and a pillar of cloud by day before Israel. The slave washes, dresses, shoes, and adorns his master; but by Ezekiel the Lord says,  I washed thee  with water, I clothed thee with embroidery, and shod thee with skins, 9  and in Exodus,  and bare you on the wings of eagles: 1 0 finally, while the  master sleeps, the slaves watch, but of the Lord it says,  The Guardian of Israel neither sleeps  or slumbers; as the verse states this particular providence, the Psalm 1 1  begins,  Shall I lift up mine eyes to the hills? as one looking for succour,  Whence shall my help come ? What prince is there on earth who can assist or help me in my affliction? None.  My help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth, he will not suffer thy foot to slip. O Israelitish people, although you suffer this prolonged and lengthened captivity, you shall not perish in it; thy Guardian sleeps not, although He seems to slumber;  for the Guardian of Israel neither sleepeth nor slumbereth, but is always watching, preserving us from becoming extinct, and perishing under our misfortunes; and as God often punishes people that they may become penitent, although He may seem to leave them for a time in trouble, as if asleep or had forgotten them; affording an opportunity for their crying to him, like David in his misfortunes, and exclaim  Awake, O Lord, why sleepest thou ? but truly He sleepeth not, but in  the end he will deliver them from trouble. By which the doubt is solved. 12 QUESTION 18. Psa. 51: 2. When Nathan the prophet came Psa. 51: 4. Against thee alone have I sinned, unto him after he had gone in unto Bath- and done the evil in thy sight, sheba. Where Davids conduct with Bath- sheba offended Uriahs honour, how could he say to thee alone, O Lord, I have sinned ? RECONCILIATION. Some infer from the latter verse, that princes are accountable to God alone for their actions. Others collect from it that David did not commit adultery, from the divorce it was usual for a man to give his wife when he went out to battle; nor of homicide, for Uriah had committed the crime of treason, but this is difficult to prove: the most probable is the explanation of R. David Kimchi and other interpreters, that Uriah being dead, there was no one but God to whom he could confess the sin, or from whom he could implore pardon; for which reason he said,  to thee alone, O Lord, have I sinned; to thee only I confess my sin. Or, according to R. David Kimchi, Davids sin was private and secret; for, although he sent for Uriah, none knew why he was summoned, nor why he caused his death, but suspected he had been guilty of the crime of treason, and, as a secret sin, when the prophet Nathan came to speak to him, to God only he ought then to confess it. By which the doubt is solved. 9 Eze. 16: 9, 10. 10  Exod. 19: 4. 11  Psalm 121. 12  See the end of Psalms, p. 281. Chapter Home  | TOC  | Index t t t t

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264 PSALM LI. 2. Among mortals, slaves carry lights before their masters, but the Lord carried a pillar of fire by night, and a pillar of cloud by day before Israel. The slave washes, dresses, shoes, and adorns his master; but by Ezekiel the Lord says, \\" I washed thee with water, I clothed thee with embroidery, and shod thee with skins,\\" 9 and in Exodus, \\" and bare you on the wings of eagles:\\" 1 0 finally, while the master sleeps, the slaves watch, but of the Lord it says, \\" The Guardian of Israel neither sleeps or slumbers;\\" as the verse states this particular providence, the Psalm 1 1 begins, \\" Shall I lift up mine eyes to the hills?\\" as one looking for succour, \\" Whence shall my help come ?\\" What prince is there on earth who can assist or help me in my affliction? None. \\" My help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth, he will not suffer thy foot to slip.\\" O Israelitish people, although you suffer this prolonged and lengthened captivity, you shall not perish in it; thy Guardian sleeps not, although He seems to slumber; \\" for the Guardian of Israel neither sleepeth nor slumbereth,\\" but is always watching, preserving us from becoming extinct, and perishing under our misfortunes; and as God often punishes people that they may become penitent, although He may seem to leave them for a time in trouble, as if asleep or had forgotten them; affording an opportunity for their crying to him, like David in his misfortunes, and exclaim \\" Awake, O Lord, why sleepest thou ?\\" but truly He sleepeth not, but in the end he will deliver them from trouble. By which the doubt is solved. 12 QUESTION 18. Psa. 51: 2. When Nathan the prophet came Psa. 51: 4. Against thee alone have I sinned, unto him after he had gone in unto Bath- and done the evil in thy sight, sheba. Where David's conduct with Bath- sheba offended Uriah's honour, how could he say to thee alone, O Lord, I have sinned ? RECONCILIATION. Some infer from the latter verse, that princes are accountable to God alone for their actions. Others collect from it that David did not commit adultery, from the divorce it was usual for a man to give his wife when he went out to battle; nor of homicide, for Uriah had committed the crime of treason, but this is difficult to prove: the most probable is the explanation of R. David Kimchi and other interpreters, that Uriah being dead, there was no one but God to whom he could confess the sin, or from whom he could implore pardon; for which reason he said, \\" to thee alone, O Lord, have I sinned; to thee only I confess my sin.\\" Or, according to R. David Kimchi, David's sin was private and secret; for, although he sent for Uriah, none knew why he was summoned, nor why he caused his death, but suspected he had been guilty of the crime of treason, and, as a secret sin, when the prophet Nathan came to speak to him, to God only he ought then to confess it. By which the doubt is solved. 9 Eze. 16: 9, 10. 10 Exod. 19: 4. 11 Psalm 121. 12 See the end of Psalms, p. 281. << Chapter >> Home | TOC | Index t t t t
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