Psalm 36
Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Himself. Hebrew has simply, "for David," (Calmet) as well as the Greek of the Vatican. "It is a mistake in Bellanger to say in general that the Greek adds "a psalm," since this is true only with respect to the edition of Aldus and Complutensian, says Berthier. But he is not quite accurate, as Erasmus inserts "a psalm" in his edition of St. Jerome's Septuagint; and the Alexandrian copy, which is equally famous with that of the Vatican, has [unto the end, a psalm] for David. Grabe has indeed marked all but the last word as a peculiarity, or not to be found in Origen's copy. But he has published his edition with such accuracy, that we may distinguish what his manuscript contained from other interpolations. It were to be wished that the same attention had been paid to the Vatican copy. But hitherto all the editors have taken the liberty to make alterations without specifying where; so that we can have no security that we ever quote the real manuscript of the Vatican. The learned prefect, Zacagni, gives abundant proof of this in his letter to Grabe, which has been published by Kennicott, Diss. 2. Yet any of these editions may be quoted as the Greek or Septuagint, as we have yet no copy perfectly authentic: and the learned are not even agreed which standard ought to be followed. If that which presents the greatest number of Origen's corrections be preferable, the Alexandrians manuscript must bear away the psalm . If the reverse, the glory must be given to its rival in the Vatican, which approaches the nearest to the Greek: koine, or to the edition of St. Lucian. See Kennicott. These remarks may be of service, as Berthier often seems inclined to place the Vatican edition on the same level as the Latin Vulgate. (Haydock) --- This psalm is alphabetical. The Syriac, Septuagint, &c., read, (ver. 28) the unjust, &c., avilim; a word which seems now to be deficient in the Hebrew, which has no verse beginning with a. (Calmet) --- Some other derangement has taken place. (Houbigant) --- The verses might be so divided as to begin every second verse with a fresh letter, and so to retain 42 verses. See ver. 7., and 20. The matter is of no great importance. The prophet has comprised several duties in alphabetical order, to help the memory, (Berthier) and to excite attention. (Worthington) --- He may predict the death of Saul, (Rabbins) or hint at the rebellion of Absalom in his old age; (ver. 25.; Ferrand) or rather he may comfort the captives at Babylon, promising them liberty, and denouncing the fall of their oppressors, above ten times. He admonishes them not to be scandalized at the distress of the just, and the prosperity of the wicked. (Calmet) --- Emulous. Hebrew, "Fret not thyself." (Protestants) "Mingle not with;" (Berthier; Pagnin) "contend not." (St. Jerome) (Haydock) --- Envy. Their splendour is deceitful. (Calmet) --- Be not, therefore, seduced (Haydock) to imitate the wicked (Menochius) nor offended, that they should prosper here. (Worthington)

Wither. Hebrew, "be cut down." (Calmet) --- Fall. Hebrew, "wither." (St. Jerome) (Haydock) --- This admirably describes the transient glory of sinners, Isaias xl. 6., and James i. 10. (Calmet) --- All life is short. (Worthington) (1 Peter i. 24.) (Menochius)

Riches. Septuagint and Houbigant read emune, "abundance." Hebrew begins with a. The sense is much the same. (Berthier) --- "Thou shalt feed on faith," (St. Jerome) or "incessantly." (Symmachus) --- The Jews entertained the greatest desire of the promised land. (Calmet) --- It may here denote our soul, (Origen) the Church, (St. Augustine) the Scriptures, (St. Athanasius) or heaven. (St. Jerome, &c.) (Calmet) --- Trust in God and be content. He will give thee what is requisite. (Worthington)

Heart. Provided they be rational. (St. Augustine) --- He will enable thee to repose in peace, and to taste innocent pleasures in the Lord. (Calmet)

Commit. Literally, "lay open." Hebrew, "roll." (Haydock) --- This expresses the most unbounded confidence, Psalm liv. 23., and Proverbs xvi. 3. --- Do it. Whatever may be proper. He will display thy justice, (ver. 6.) and free the from anxiety, (Calmet) taking care of thee, 1 Peter v. 7. (Menochius)

Day. This will appear at the last judgment. (St. Augustine)

Be. Hebrew dom, begins only this verse with d. The other letters occupy two verses, (Berthier) the second of which may commence with any of the letters. (Haydock) --- "Be silent to the Lord; wait upon Him." (St. Jerome) (Haydock) --- If he should suffer thee to be afflicted, envy not those who are in a more prosperous condition, nor give way to indignation, ver. 8. (Calmet) --- None can be truly subjected to God, who do not comply with his laws and pray. (Origen) (St. Augustine) --- We must wait patiently for his aid, Lamentations iii. 26., and Isaias xxx. 15. "Allow the gods to judge what's best for us." (Juvenal, Sat. 13.) (Haydock)

Evil. Repining (Menochius) at the ways of Providence, &c. (Calmet) (ver. 1.) --- Reflect on God's will. (Haydock) --- Laboras; sed in via Dei. (St. Augustine) --- Hebrew, "be not angry nevertheless (ac, a word which Houbigant deems useless) to do evil;" (Montanus) or "against the wicked," (Prin. dis.) as lehareah may be perhaps signified; though it is more usually taken for a verb, as the points decide. (Berthier)

Land of the living. (Worthington) --- David knew that many truly pious people would never obtain riches in the land of Chanaan, even though they might have remained there, if the nation had been faithful. He therefore comforts them with the prospect of a better land. If this were not the meaning, the Church would put these canticles in the mouth of her children to little purpose. (Berthier)

While. Till the day of judgment. (Origen; St. Ambrose) --- And shalt. Hebrew, "and it shall not be." (Protestants) "it, or he shall not subsist." (St. Jerome) (Haydock) --- The state of the wicked is not therefore so enviable. The captives witnessed the fall of the great Colossus, the empire of the Babylonians. (Calmet)

Meek. Hebrew hanavim, also means "the afflicted." (Berthier) --- Captives, ye shall be reinstated in your dear country. Our Saviour alludes to this text, (Matthew v. 4.) and the Fathers beautifully explain it of heaven. (Eusebius; St. Augustine) (Calmet) --- What is now become of those who have heretofore filled the world with tumult and bloodshed to obtain dominion! They are confined to the land where everlasting horror and on order dwells. They would wish they had never existed, as our Saviour mentions; while those who passed through life unknown, or despised, but always seeking God, are now arrived at the summit of all their wishes. (Haydock) --- O holy religion! thou explainest all these things. The just have ceased to exist: but their better part has inherited the land of the living. Yet a little while, and all will be in order, and in its proper place; though that of the wicked deserves not the name. (Berthier)

Watch. Hebrew, "plot against." (Haydock) --- Teeth. In rage to destroy him, (Calmet) whose virtue is a continual censure of his impiety. (Haydock)

Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary

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