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Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
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PSALM 84

Ps 84:1-12. (See on Ps 8:1, title, and Ps 42:1, title). The writer describes the desirableness of God's worship and prays for a restoration to its privileges.

1. amiable—not lovely, but beloved.

tabernacles—(Ps 43:3).

2. longeth—most intensely (Ge 31:30; Ps 17:12).

fainteth—exhausted with desire.

courts—as tabernacles (Ps 84:1)—the whole building.

crieth out—literally, "sings for joy"; but here, and La 2:19, expresses an act of sorrow as the corresponding noun (Ps 17:1; 61:2).

heart and … flesh—as in Ps 63:1.

3. thine altars—that is, of burnt offering and incense, used for the whole tabernacle. Its structure afforded facilities for sparrows and swallows to indulge their known predilections for such places. Some understand the statement as to the birds as a comparison: "as they find homes, so do I desire thine altars," &c.

4. This view is favored by the language here, which, as in Ps 15:1; 23:6, recognizes the blessing of membership in God's family by terms denoting a dwelling in His house.

5. (Compare Ps 68:28).

in whose heart … the ways—that is, who knows and loves the way to God's favor (Pr 16:17; Isa 40:3, 4).

6. valley of Baca—or, "weeping." Through such, by reason of their dry and barren condition, the worshippers often had to pass to Jerusalem. As they might become wells, or fountains, or pools, supplied by refreshing rain, so the grace of God, by the exercises of His worship, refreshes and revives the hearts of His people, so that for sorrows they have "rivers of delight" (Ps 36:8; 46:4).

7. The figure of the pilgrim is carried out. As such daily refit their bodily strength till they reach Jerusalem, so the spiritual worshipper is daily supplied with spiritual strength by God's grace till he appears before God in heaven.

appeareth … God—the terms of the requisition for the attendance on the feasts (compare De 16:16),

9. God is addressed as a shield (compare Ps 84:11).

thine anointed—David (1Sa 16:12).

10. I had … doorkeeper—literally, "I choose to sit on the threshold," the meanest place.

11, 12. As a sun God enlightens (Ps 27:1); as a shield He protects.

grace—God's favor, its fruit—

glory—the honor He bestows.

uprightly—(Ps 15:2; 18:23).

12. that trusteth—constantly.

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