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Psalm 147

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Hallelu-Yah

147a:0 This is Psalm 147a (Vul 146). After rousing his own soul to praise God and teaching it how to praise him, here he extends the invitation to all in general. And, since the invitation is to praise, the title "Hallelu-Yah" is appropriate.

According to the Gloss, the Psalmist (1) simply calls people to joyful and beautiful praise of God, (2) then tells how to praise, rousing the soul from laziness: "Sing to the Lord with praise". In the first, he (1) simply calls for praise, (2) then to the joy and beauty of praise: "to our God". In the first there is (1) the invitation, (2) the reason why it should be accepted: "because psalm is good".

Praise ye the Lord, because psalm is good:
How good to hymn our God!

147a:1.1 The idea is: I urged my soul to praise, and it promised to do so, but I say to all: Praise the Lord —Is 49:13 Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! —Isaiah 44:23 Sing, O heavens, for Yahweh has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For Yahweh has redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel.

And that, because psalm, that is, singing from the heart and mouth, is good, as well as the song of work, for it is smooth and sweet and merits eternal joy. Therefore Paul said —1 Cor 14:15 I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray with the mind also. On singing praise with the mouth —Job 39:19 Do you give the horse its might? Do you clothe its neck with mane? (Vul: neighing). —Is 43:21 the people whom I formed for myself so that they might declare my praise. —Ps 47:8 sing a skillful song.

to our God be joyful and comely praise.
How pleasant to praise our Glorious One!

147a:1.2.1 Here he calls to the joy and beauty of praise, (1) first inviting, (2) then giving the reason for inviting: "The Lord builds". The idea is: Praise with praise that is joyful and beautiful, otherwise it is not joyful, to our God. First prayer must be beautiful by removal of sin, which is done in confession, and then it is pleasing to God and joyful —Cant 2:14 Let me see your face first in confession, let me hear your voice afterwards in prayer —Sir 15:9 Praise is unseemly on the lips of a sinner. For prayer does not willingly mix with uncleanliness, for it is ultra-clean.

2. The Lord buildeth up Jerusalem:
Rebuilder of Jerusalem is Yahweh;

147a:1.2.2.1.1 Here four reasons are given why such praise should be made: (1) the building up of the Church, (2) the distinction of merits in the Church: "who tells the numbers", (3) the exaltation in merit of the meek over others: "who lifts up", (4) the bringing down of the evil: "and brings the wicked down". In the first there is (1) the building up, and (2) its manner: "he will gather". The idea is: Let there be joyful and beautiful praise to my God, because the Lord, who is our God, is building up Jerusalem, that is, the Church, both militant and triumphant —Prov 9:1 Wisdom has built her house. —Proverbs 14:1 The wise woman builds her house. —Amos 9:11 On that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen, and repair its breaches. He builds it from living stones, laying them on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, with Christ Jesus as the key corner stone. But while he is building on one side, many destroy on the other —Sir 34:28 When one builds and another tears down, what do they gain but hard work?

he will gather together the dispersed of Israel. 3. Who healeth the broken of heart, and bindeth up their bruises.
he gathers the outcasts of Israel, the healer of the brokenhearted, and binder of their wounds.

147a:1.2.2.1.2 Here is the method and order of building: (1) the congregation of the dispersed, by preaching, (2) their healing after contrition for sin: "who heals", (3) their bandaging by the administration of the sacraments: "and binds". The idea is: He is and will be building the Church, and in that way will gather the dispersed of Israel to the unity of faith of the chosen people —Lam 4:1 The sacred stones, with which the sanctuary should be built, lie scattered at the head of every street. But he will gather them —Ez 11:17 I will gather you from the peoples, and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered. —Hosea 1:11 The people of Judah and the people of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint for themselves one head. —Is 11:12 He will raise a signal for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel.

He heals, after gathering them to the unity of the Faith, otherwise they would not be contrite, the contrite of heart —Hosea 14:4 I will heal their disloyalty. Exactly to these came the supreme doctor —Mat 9:12 Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Therefore it is said —Dan 3:39-40 May the contrite soul, the humbled spirit, be as acceptable to you as burnt offerings of rams and bullocks, as thousands of fat lambs: such let our sacrifice be to you today.

If he heals the faithful, who through their faith repent of their sins, then he bandages, by administering the sacraments, their wounds —Sir 6:3 Her bonds will be your purple cord. Therefore he is shocked at our wounds and brokenness —Jer 8:22 Is there no balm in Gilead, that is, in the Church? Gilead means a mound of testimony, which signifies the Church. Balm, which draws puss, is the sacrament of confession and penance. The doctor is Christ or the prelate who administers the sacrament. To the question "Is it not there?" the answer is "Certainly it is there". Then why is the wound of my people not healed? —Ez 34:16 I will bind up the injured. —Is 57:15 I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.

4. Who telleth the number of the stars: and calleth them all by their names.
He assigns a number to each star; to them all gives names.

147a:1.2.2.2.1 Here is the distinction of merits in the Church that has been built: (1) the distinction itself and the consequential distinction of rewards, (2) proof that the Lord knows and can bring this about: "Great is our Lord". In the first: (1) the distinction by itself, (2) in comparison with the rewards: "and calls". The idea is: As he is the builder of the Church, so he numbers, distinguishing and differentiating, the stars, that is, the saints, from whom the Church is built —Is 40:26 He who brings out their host and numbers them, calling them all by name. —1 Cor 15:41 Star differs from star in glory. He distinguishes and discerns these stars so well that he knows and sees all their merits —Heb 4:12 He is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. For he knows which way and how far hearts are turning —Prov 16:2 Yahweh weighs spirits. This counting was prefigured in Num 26:63 These were those enrolled by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who enrolled the Israelites. And this is what John heard —Rev 7:4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the people of Israel.

He distinguishes merits and calls them all, the stars and the saints, by their names. Calling their names is inscribing them in eternity —Luke 10:20 Rejoice that your names are written in heaven. —Phil 4:3 whose names are in the book of life. —Is 65:15 To his servants he will give a different name, different from that given by their parents, one indicating their order of merit.

5. Great is our Lord, and great is his power: and of his wisdom there is no number.
Great is our Lord, surpassing in power; none can describe his skill.

147a:1.2.2.2.2 This says that the Lord is: (1) capable to do that, showing his magnitude simply, (2) that he is knowledgeable, showing his infinite wisdom: "and of his wisdom". In the first he shows his magnitude (1) simply, (2) in operation: "great is his power". The idea is: He numbers the multitude of the stars and determines their reward. He can do this,because great is our Lord in himself and great is his power in his action —Sir 43:30 Awful is Yahweh's majesty, and wonderful is his power. —Sir 3:19 Great is the power of God; by the humble he is glorified. —2 Mac 7:17 See his mighty power.

He is capable, because he has such great power, and of his wisdom there is no number —Sir 1:3 (Vul addition) Who can investigate the wisdom of God that precedes everything? — Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! It surpasses all numbering.

6. The Lord lifteth up the meek,
Yahweh reassures the humble,

147a:1.2.2.3 The third reason for praise is the exaltation of the meek by merit. The idea is: Besides building the Church and distinguishing the order of merit of its members, the Lord lifts up the meek, taking them up to the heights of merit and the house of reward —Prov 3:34 To the humble he gives grace, and he gives wisdom for the completion of their merit —Num 12:3 Moses was the meekest man on earth, and he was given a pre-eminent share of divine wisdom —Sir 5:13 Be swift to hear, bt slow to answer. —James 1:21 Welcome with meekness the implanted word. And on the day of judgment —Is 11:4 He will decide with equity for the meek of the earth. And after the judgment will be fulfilled Matthew 21:5 Look, your king is coming to you, humble.

and bringeth the wicked down even to the ground.
and reduces the wicked to the underworld.

147a:1.2.2.4 The fourth reason is the the bringing down of the wicked, which will be in the future. The idea is: He will lift up the meek, but bring the wicked down, who are cruel, contrary to the meek and unmerciful, to the earth in the present, so that they know and speak of nothing but earthly things —Is 29:4 Then deep from the earth you shall speak, from low in the dust your words shall come. In the future they will be brought down to hell —Is 45:2 I will go before you and level the heights. —Is 25:12 It will be brought down, laid low, cast to the ground, even to the dust. That is the bottom, which is hell.

7. Sing ye to the Lord with praise: sing to our God upon the harp.
Sing to Yahweh with thanksgiving; make music to our God with the lyre,

147a:2.1 Here he stirs up the lazy and formulates the manner of praise, (1) simply showing how to praise, (2) giving many reasons why God should be praised: "Who covers". In the first he calls on people to praise God (1) by first confessing their sins, (2) then afterwards by good works: "sing on the harp". The idea is: I urged you to praise God, but you are lazy, and perhaps you do not know how to praise. So I say: Sing to the Lord God in confession of sin. This should be the first step —Jud 1:1 Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?" Yahweh said, "Judah shall go up. —Genesis 46:28 Israel sent Judah ahead to Joseph. —1 Mac 2:66 Judas shall command the army for you. —Prov 18:17 The just man is the first accusor of himself (Vul).

After you praise God by confessing your sins, then sing by good works, for this is authentic praise, on the harp, that is, by keeping the ten commandments. For the law of the ten commandments is like a harp of ten strings —Ps 33:2 Play for him the ten-stringed lyre. —Is 23:16 Take a harp, the law of the ten commandments. Whoever plays this harp sings sweetly to God —Rev 14:2 The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps.

8. Who covereth the heaven with clouds, and prepareth rain for the earth.
who covers the heaven with clouds, who prepares rain for the earth,

147a:2.2.1.1.1 Here is the cause and reason for praising God, that is the conferral of his benefits on those who should receive them, and the non-conferral on thos who should not receive them. He therefore says (1) to whom which benefits should be given and to whom not, and (2) the reason why: "The Lord takes pleasure". In the first he shows (1) which benefits are given, and (2) to whom: "He shall not delight". In the first there is: (1) preparation for the spiritual benefits of Scripture, (2) the giving of bodily benefits: "who makes grass", (3) the giving of spiritual benefits: "who gives beasts". In the first there is: (1) the deposit of truth in Scripture, (2) the reason for that deposit: "and prepares". The idea is: Sing to him, because he covers the heaven, that is, the truth of Sacred Scripture, where God hides as in heaven with clouds, that is, sacramental symbols. That heaven should stand for the truth of Scripture is found in Revelation 8:13 I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew in midheaven. But God covered this heaven with a cloud —Is 50:3 I clothe the heavens with blackness —Job 36:32 In his hands he hid the light, and then commanded it to return (Vul). —Dan 12:4 But you, Daniel, keep the words secret and the book sealed until the time of the end. See Revelation 5 on the sealed book.

He deposits truth in Sacred Scripture, and thus prepares rain, that is, the teaching of the Holy Church, for the earth —Ps 68:10 Your generous rain, God, pour down. —Job 38:28 Has the rain a father, or who has begotten the drops of dew? —Ez 34:26 They shall be showers of blessing.

Who maketh grass to grow on the mountains, and herbs for the service of men.
who makes the mountains sprout grass.

147a:2.2.1.1.2 Here is the conferral of corporal benefits: (1) their production, (2) for whom: "for the service". The idea is: God prepared Scripture, and he makes grass, something mature for the sustenance of the greater, grow on the mountains, the big and rich people of this world, and herbs, which are more tender, for the sustenance of the lesser people. Briefly, this is an abundance of temporal goods —Prov 27:25 New growth appears, and the herbage of the mountains is gathered. For the mountains are the high and powerful of this world —Is 54:10 The mountains may depart and the hills be removed. But they bear grass and herbs of temporal things —Job 40:20 The mountains bring him grass (Vul)— for the service of men, that is, preachers and teachers, to fulfil Genesis 25:23 The greater shall serve the smaller in temporal things, and the smaller, humble and poor [= the preachers] will serve the greater in spiritual things —1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits? —Isaiah 49:23 Kings shall be your guardians, and their queens your nursing mothers.

9. Who giveth to beasts their food: and to the young ravens that call upon him.
who gives to the cattle their grain, to the crows what they gather.

147a:2.2.1.1.3 Here is the conferral of spiritual benefits, that is, spiritual food (1) to the simple, (2) to the successors of sinners: "and to the young ravens". The idea is: He gives teachers corporal benefits from the mountains, and he is the same who gives beasts, that is, the simple in the Church —Ps 36:7 You make men and animals thrive. —Joel 2:22 Do not fear, you animals of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness are green. —Jonah 4:11 And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?

And he also gives food to the young ravens, that is, the children of the Gentiles who are black an horrible with sin. The ravens were our fathers who, disoriented by the sin of idolatry, would not return to the ark (cf Gen 8:7). Their children are slow to be converted, or procrastinate —Zeph 2:14 The raven will croak on the doorstep. This is contrary to Sirach 5:8 Delay not your conversion to Yahweh. But it is the children of the ravens who are converted and call to the Lord for spiritual food —Isaiah 60:14 The descendants of those who oppressed you shall come bending low to you.

There are also good ravens who are black with sin in their own estimation. These are the holy Doctors and Apostles, and the Lord prepares food for them and their children —Job 38:41 Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God, and wander about for lack of food? —Luke 12:24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them.

10. He shall not delight in the strength of the horse: nor take pleasure in the legs of a man.
Not in the power of horses does he delight; not in a man's thighs is he pleased,

147a:2.2.1.2 After showing to whom he confers these benefits, he shows to whom he does not: (1) to the contumacious and proud, (2) to bold and unbalanced men: "nor in the legs". The idea is: He gives food to the simple children of sinners who ask for it, but he does not delight in giving that to someone who has the strength of the horse, such as the contumacious and proud —Sir 10:7 Arrogance is hateful to the Lord and to mortals. Rather he resists such people —James 4:6 God resists the proud, because they resist him —Job 15:26 They ran against him with a thick neck.

As he is not pleased with pride and the contumacious, so he is not pleased by the legs of a man, that is, bold and unbalanced men who display their legs to show how strong and healthy they are. The very way many walk manifests their hearts —Sir 19:26 A man's ttire, his hearty laughter and his gait proclaim him for what he is. —Is 3:16 The daughters of Zion are haughty and walk with outstretched necks.

11. The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him: and in them that hope in his mercy.
but Yahweh is pleased with those who fear him, with those who rely on his strength.

147a:2.2.2 After showing that blessings are given to some and not to others, here he give the reason for the difference, which is God's will and pleasure in (1) those who fear him, and (2) at the same time hope in him. The idea is: He gives to some and not to others. Why? Because the Lord is pleased with those who fear him, such as those mentioned —Sir 1:13 Those who fear the Lord will have a happy end; on the day of their death they will be blessed. For the word "death" there are variants: "consolation" or "judgment" —Sir 25:11 Fear of Yahweh surpasses all else, its possessor is beyond compare. This is what Paul talks about —Eph 5:10 Trying to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.

And with those who hope in his mercy, since fear would not please him if it were not accompanied by hope —Sir 2:9 You who fear Yahweh, hope for good things. —Deut 24:6 No one must take a mill or an upper millstone in pledge; that would be to take life itself in pledge. The upper stone is hope, the lower fear. —Gregory: Hope lifts to things above; fear presses down. In this way a man is ground to become the food of God, and is brought to the eternal table of glory. May He bring us to that who is blessed for all ages. Amen.

 

Hallelu-Yah [of Haggai and Zekariah]

147b:0 This is Psalm 147b (Vul 147). After inviting all in general to praise God, here he specially invites the children of the Church. He first invites them to praise God, then enumerates the benefits given to the Church, for which the Lord should be praised. He touches mostly on those benefits which have to do with the reconstruction of the Church, just as the previous Psalm had to do with its construction. Its reconstruction was prefigured in the rebuilding of the temple at the time of the Prophets Haggai and Zechariah, who preached to the people to rebuild it. That is what is implied in the title, which refers to the praise of God offered by Haggai and Zekariah at the rebuilding or restoration of the temple, all of which prefigures the rebuilding of the Church.

The Psalm (1) invites not all in general, but only the members of the Church to praise God, and (2) gives the reason why they should praise him, namely the multiple benefits which God gave the Church: "for he strengthened". In the first, we can say that he invites (1) the Church triumphant, (2) the Church militant: "praise your God".

12. Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem: praise thy God, O Sion.
Praise Yahweh, Jerusalem; Zion, praise your God!

147b:1 The idea is: I urged all generally to praise the Lord, but now I address you specially, Jerusalem, the heavenly city. Although you were here in trouble and affliction, you are now in the highest peace and serenity; so praise the Lord. —Tob 13:9-10 Jerusalem, Holy City, God has scourged you for what you have done, but will still take pity on the children of the upright. Thank the Lord as he deserves and bless the King of the ages. That will fulfil Tobit 13:17 The gates of the heavenly Jerusalem will resound with songs of exultation; and all her houses will say, "Hallelu-Yah! Blessed be the God of Israel."

Yes, praise the Lord, Jerusalem, and also you, O Zion, the Church militant still on earth, praise your God —Zech 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! —Zech 2:14 Sing, rejoice, daughter of Zion. Jerusalem rightly stands for the Church of heaven, because it means "vision of peace", and there He is openly seen of whom it is said —Eph 2:14 He is our peace who makes both groups one. Zion, however, means a "mirror" or "reflection", and stands for the Church that contemplates God from afar, as through a mirror —1 Cor 13:12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face.

13. Because he hath strengthened the bolts of thy gates, he hath blessed thy children within thee. 14. Who hath placed peace in thy borders: and filleth thee with the fat of corn.
For he strengthened the bars of your gates; he blessed your sons within you. He grants your borders peace; he fills you with the finest wheat.

147b:2.1 Here he lists the many benefits for which the Church should praise God: (1) the benefits given to the Church triumphant, (2) those given to the Church militant: "who sends his speech". The first lists four benefits: (1) the confirmation of graces, (2) their multiplication: "he blessed your children", (3) perfect peace and security: "who placed peace", (4) delightful satisfaction: "and filled you". The idea is: Jerusalem, you should give praise, because the Lord strengthened the bars of your gates, that is, the graces of the angels, since the gates are the holy angels and the souls that are there —Ps 24:7 Up, you doors of the Eternal! —Is 60:18 You shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise. The bars of these gates are graces, namely, the knowledge and love of God, which he strengthened and confirmed, so that the people may never stop knowing and loving —Sir 49:13 He set up gates and bars.

As for the second benefit, the idea is: Aafter confirming in grace your gates, that is, holy angels and men, he blessed, by giving multiple spiritual and eternal goods, your children who are within you —Tob 13:13 You will exult and rejoice over the chidren of the upright, for they will all have been gathered in and will bless the Lord of the ages. —Is 61:9 These are the people Yahweh has blessed.

As for the third benefit, the idea is: He confirmed and multiplied good things, and it is he who grants your borders peace, so that you may not be attacked or disturbed from any side, fulfilling Leviticus 26:6 And I will grant peace in the land. —Is 26:12 Yahweh, you will order peace for us. You will give us peace interiorly and exteriorly in our borders —Tob 13:15-16 My soul blesses the Lord, the great King, because Jerusalem will be built anew, to have perfect peace and quiet —Is 66:12 I will extend prosperity to her like a river.

As for the fourth benefit, the idea is: If you have perfect security from the Lord, your God, he also is the one who satisfies you, giving you complete security, with the finest wheat, which is the intimate sweetness of Christ, the Son of God, who said of himself —John 12:24 unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies. —Ps 81:17 He would feed Israel with wheat from the hill. You may object that satisfaction is not just in fine wheat —Deut 8:3 = Mat 4:4 = Luke 4:4 Man does not live by bread alone. Reply: He mentioned the first and most important food, not saying everything —Jer 31:12 They will come, shouting for joy on the heights of Zion, thronging towards Yahweh's lavish gifts, for wheat, new wine and oil, which are goodness, truth and mercy. Wheat is God's goodness, wine is his truth, and oil is his kindness —Prov 1:33 Those who listen to me will be secure and will live at ease, without dread of disaster. —Is 32:18 My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.

15. Who sendeth forth his speech to the earth:
He sends his word to the earth;

147b:2.2.1 Here are the benefits given to the Church militant: (1) the incarnation of the Son of God, (2) the preaching of the word of God: "his word runs swiftly", (3) the conversion of sinners: "who gives snow", (4) the revelation to his own people of his judgments: "who declares his word". The idea is: Jerusalem, praise God for the benefits mentioned, and Zion, that is, the Church militant, you also praise, because he sends his word, that is, his Son, to the earth. He literally wanted his Son to come to earth. The ancients requested this sending, (1) sometimes under the symbol of the divine hand —Ps 144:7 Stretch forth your hands from high. (2) sometimes under the name of wisdom —Wis 9:10 Send her forth from the holy heaven. (3) sometimes under the figure of a lamb —Is 16:1 Send lambs. —Wis 18:14-15 When peaceful silence lay over all, and night had run the half of her swift course, down from the heavens, from the royasl throne, leapt your all-powerful Word. —Baruch 3:18 After this he was seen on earth and he mingled among men.

his word runneth swiftly.
toward the mountain speeds his thunder.

147b:2.2.2 As for the second benefit, the idea is: He sends his Son, and his word, send by God the Father, runs swiftly, sometimes rebuking, sometimes switching from rebuking to warning, or from warning to consoling, or from consoling to threatening. It jumps and runs from vice to virtue, or one virtue to another, penetrating everywhere and entering everywhere —Heb 4:12 Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword. —Job 38:25 Who has cut a channel for the torrents of rain. —2 Thes 3:1 Pray for us, that the word of God may run and be glorified. It is not surprising that it should run and be clear, because it is on fire —Ps 118:140 Your word is tested (Vul: on fire), your Highness. —Prov 30:5 Every word of God proves true (Vul: is on fire); he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. It is fire itself —Jer 23:29 Is not my word like fire.

16. Who giveth snow like wool: scattereth mists like ashes. 17. He sendeth his crystal like morsels:
He spreads snow like wool; frost he strews like ashes. He casts his hail like crumbs;

147b:2.2.3.1.1 The third benefit is the conversion of sinners: (1) their conversion, (2) the manner of their conversion: "he shall send out". In the first there is (1) the conversion of sinners, (2) an exaggeration of their sin and guilt, to show how great was the gift: "who shall stand". In the first there is conversion from three kinds of sin: (1) sins through weakness, (2) sins through ignorance: "scatters mists" (3) sins through obstinancy and certain malice: "he sends his crystal". The idea is: He sends or sent his Son, and his word runs, and he is the one who gives snow, namely, the sinner who is as cold and fragile as snow, like wool, which is material for clothing, so that God may put it on. Sinners are like snow that God reserves to turn them into wool —Job 38:22 Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail? —Ps 33:7 He puts the depths of the sea in a storeroom. —Job 24:19 Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters, that is from the status of sinners to the excessive heat of charity. This is the clothing for God.

He scatters mist, the cloudy and obscure sinner through ignorance, like ashes, that is, the true penitent who considers himself as ash. The sinner is called a cloud, because he is quickly dissolved by God, like a cloud by the sun —Isaiah 44:22 I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud, and your sins like mist. —Sirach 43:14 Therefore the storehouses are opened, and the clouds fly out like birds, that is, sinners were lifted on high. In this phrase they are said to be "scattered like ashes", as true penitents, as said in Jonah 3:6 The king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And Abraham, who was truly humble, said —Gen 18:27 Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.

The third group are the obstinate sinners. The idea is: As he turned snow into wool and clouds into ashes, so he sends through the world to refresh and feed it, his ice like morsels which refresh, like toasted bread. So an obstinate sinner is called ice, frozen in stubborn malice by the devil —Sirach 43:20 The cold north wind blows, and ice freezes on the water. But the Lord sometimes converts such a person, not merely to make him faithful, but also a teacher —Job 28:2 Copper, which makes sound, is smelted from crystalline ore, dissolved by the heat of the Holy Spirit —Job 12:22 He brings deep darkness, the darkest sinner, to light that enlightens others by word and doctrine. This is what happened to Paul —Timothy 1:13 I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy.

who shall stand before the face of his cold?
before his cold who can stand?

147b:2.2.3.1.2 Here is an exaggeration of their sin, to show how great was the grace given. The idea is: He converted snow into wool, and the cloud into ice, which is hard frozen in evil, for who can stand before his cold, that is, before freezing sin, which is sent by God's permission —Mat 24:12 Because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold.

18. He shall send out his word, and shall melt them: his wind shall blow, and the waters shall run.
He sends his message and melts them, makes his wind blow and the waters stream.

147b:2.2.3.2 Here is the manner of their conversion, which takes place (1) through the incarnation of the Son of God and (2) through the sending of the Holy Spirit: "his wind shall blow". The idea is: Especially sinners will be converted, but how? He will send his word, as was said before, and will melt them, that is, the hearts of sinners. He will send his Word from his heart, but will not lose him because he will remain in is heart —John 1:18 It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known. —1 John 3:8 The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. Before this hot (??), even fiery word, snow and ice melt —Cant 5:6 My heart melted (Vul) as my beloved spoke. —Sir 3:15 Like warmth upon frost it will melt away your sins.

Just as he sent his Son and they melted, so his spirit blows interiorly in their hearts —John 3:8 The Spirit blows where it willsand the waters run, as frozen hearts are melted. This is the breeze requested in Canticles 4:16 Awake, O north wind,cold and harmful, and come, O south wind! —Job 39:26 Is it by your wisdom that the hawk soars, and spreads its wings toward the south? Not only interior or even exterior waters of tears will flow, but also waters of teaching, so that they may become teachers —Joel 3:1 I will pour out my spirit on all humanity. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy. Thus we have three causes of conversion: the Incarnation, the sending of the Spirit, and preaching.

19. Who declareth his word to Jacob: his justices and his judgments to Israel.
He declares his words to Jacob, his statutes and laws to Israel.

147b:2.2.4.1 Here is the fourth benefit given to the Church militant: the revelation of God's judgments. (1) First the gift is show, (2) then it is extolled: "He has not acted like this". In the first there is (1) the announcement of his words, (2) an explanation of what judgements: "his justices". The idea is: He made the aforesaid benefits, and it is he who declares his word to Jacob, that is, the younger people of Christians —Is 9:8 The Lord sent a word against Jacob. —Baruch 3:36 He found the whole way to knowledge, and gave her to his servant Jacob. He also announced the incarnate Word through angels to Jacob in the shepherds who were working and keeping watch —Luke 2:10 I bring you good news of great joy.

And what is that word? It is his justices, by which he distinguishes the good and the evil, and his judgments, proceding from those justices, to Israel, the faithful people that sees God. For he makes them understand Proverbs 16:11 The balances and scales are Yahweh's judgment. And they agree with Romans 2:6 He will repay according to each one's deeds. And he will also make them understand that he afflicts the good even for no fault of their own, in order to increase their merit —Jer 49:12 Those who would not have had to drink the cup will have to drink it all the same. —Is 19:17 The land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians.

20. He hath not done in like manner to every nation: and his judgments he hath not made manifest to them. Alleluia.
He has not dealt thus with any other nation, and has never taught them his laws. Hallelu-Yah!

147b:2.2.4.2 Here the benefit is shown to be greater by the fact that others were excluded from it. There is stated (1) the exclusion, (2) from what they were excluded. The idea is: He revealed to Jacob and Israel these benefits, but did not do so to every other nation, as he did for Jacob and Israel whom he redeemed —2 Sam 7:23 Who is like your people, like Israel? Is there another nation on earth whose God went to redeem it as a people? —Deut 4:8 What other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this entire law that I am setting before you today?

And his judgments, which he makes regarding the good and the evil, he has not made known to them, as he has to this people who are special to him —Deut 26:18 Today Yahweh has obtained your agreement: to be his treasured people. And he revealed to them what is in Deuteronomy 12:1 These are the statutes and ordinances that you must diligently observe. —Baruch 4:4 Happy are we, O Israel, for we know what is pleasing to God, so that by doing them we may be made happy in glory, by the gift of Him who is blessed for all ages. Amen.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Subpages (1): Psalm 148
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