9. Thou hast visited the earth, and watered it; thou hast greatly enriched it; the river of God is full of waters: thou wilt prepare their corn, for so thou hast provided for it. 10. Thou dost saturate its furrows, thou makest the rain to fall into them; thou moistenest it with showers; thou blessest the buddings forth of it. 11. Thou crownest the year with thy goodness, and thy paths will drop fatness. 12. They drop upon the dwellings1 of the wilderness, and the hills shall be girt about with gladness;2 13. The pastures are clothed with flocks, the valleys are covered with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing.
1 "Ou, pasturages," -- Fr. marg. "Or, pastures."
2 "Curiously wrought or embroidered girdles are still, as they were of old, an essential part of Eastern finery both to men and women. It is in allusion probably to such sumptuous girdles worn particularly on joyful occasions, that the Psalmist here represents the hills as 'girded with joy.'" -- Mant.
3 This is the sense preferred by Aben Ezra and Kimchi. Thou hast visited in mercy; i.e., blessed the earth or land, after thou hast made it dry or thirsty; thou hast or dost enrich it greatly; i.e., thou, the same God, who hast punished and made thirsty dost again return in mercy, enriching the land and restoring plenty to it. Thus it was after the three years' famine recorded in 2 Samuel 21:1. But the Septuagint, Arabic, Chaldee, and Syriac versions, interpret the word in the sense of watering.
4 Some think reference is made to the overflowing of the Jordan after a long drought.
5 This river ran through Jerusalem, the city of God. Bishop Hare, following Simeon de Muis, is of opinion that this river is meant.
6 "The stream of God, i.e., copious rain, according to the Oriental idiom." -- Dr Geddes. See p. 7, note 1, of this volume. And without supposing this Hebraism, the treasures of water which descend from the clouds may, with great poetical beauty, be termed the river of God. He collects them there by the wonderful process of evaporation, and he pours them down. They are entirely in his hand, and absolutely beyond the. control of man. "The keys of the clouds," say the Jews, "are peculiarly kept in God's hand, as the keys of life and resurrection." He can employ them as the instruments of his mercy, by pouring down from them upon the earth copious and refreshing showers, to promote vegetation and produce fruitful seasons; and he can also make them when he pleases the instruments of judgment, either by bottling them up, or by pouring from them floods of rain, as in the deluge, and when the harvest is made a heap in the day of grief and desperate sorrow, Isaiah 17:11. Horsley, instead of
7 In the Septuagint the last clause reads, "
8 This, say some, was probably the year which followed the three years of famine, after Absalom's rebellion.
9 Some have imagined that instead of paths we should render cloud; but the former reading is more poetical. The original word
10 "By desert or wilderness," observes Dr Shaw, "the reader is not always to understand a country altogether barren and unfruitful, but such only as is rarely or never sown or cultivated; which, though it yields no crops of corn or fruit, yet affords herbage, more or less, for the grazing of cattle, with fountains or rills of water, though more sparingly interspersed than in other places."
11 The phrase, "the pastures are clothed with flocks," cannot be regarded as the vulgar language of poetry. It appears peculiarly beautiful and appropriate, when we consider the numerous flocks which whitened the plains of Syria and Canaan. In the Eastern countries, sheep are much more prolific than with us, and they derive their name from their great fruitfulness; bringing forth, as they are said to do, "thousands and ten thousands in their streets," Psalm 144:13. They, therefore, formed no mean part of the wealth of the East.