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Psalm 92

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The author of this psalm is not indicated in the title, and it is impossible now to ascertain who he was. Nor can the occasion be determined “when” it was composed. It is of so general a character that it might have been written at any period of the Jewish history; and, so far as the style and the contents are concerned, it may have been written by either of those whose names are attached to the other psalms.

The psalmist refers:

I. To the blessedness of praise, or to the propriety of celebrating the praise of God, the duty and advantage of praising God, Psalms 92:1-4 A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day. It is good to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to show forth Your loving-kindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night; on the ten strings , and on the harp, with sounding music on the lyre. For You, LORD, have made Me glad with Your work; I will triumph in the works of Your hands.

II. He refers to the works of God as laying the foundation of praise, the grandeur of God’s works, Psa_92:5-6 O LORD, how great are Your works; Your purposes are very deep. A beastly man does not know; nor does a fool understand this.

III. He refers to the justice of God, or the fact that the wicked, however they may seem to be prospered, will be cut off, Psa_92:7-9 When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity blossom, it is that they shall be destroyed forever; but You, LORD, are high forever. For, lo, Your enemies, O LORD; for lo, Your enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.

IV. He refers to the prosperity and the security of the righteous; to the influence of religion and the favor of God on life, as making it prosperous and happy, and as preparing people to be useful and cheerful in old age, the happiness of the righteous, all this founded on the perfections of God Psa_92:10-15 But You shall lift up my horn as the wild ox; and I shall be anointed with fresh oil. Also my eye shall see my desire on my enemies, and my ears shall hear the wicked who rise up against me. The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flowering; to show that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and no unrighteousness is in Him.

Psa 92:1 A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:

It is a good thing to give thanks - This Psalm begins very abruptly. Good to confess unto the Lord. He had been acknowledging God’s goodness, and praising Him for His mercy; and now he tells how good he felt this to be. The theme: God should be praised for His righteous judgments on the wicked and His care and defense of His people. Such a topic, at all times proper, is specially so for the reflections of the Sabbath day.

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord - For all mercies, temporal and spiritual; for Christ, and salvation by Him; for the Gospel, and for Gospel opportunities and ordinances; for, such days and seasons this psalm was composed for. It is "good" so to do, for it is the will of God that we should in and for everything give thanks; it is due unto Him, and is our reasonable service; it is well pleasing unto God through Christ; it is pleasant work for the saints themselves, and is profitable unto them; to be thankful for what they have is the way to have more.

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord - the act is appropriate; the effect is good.

(1) The thing itself is appropriate, for there is much, under all circumstances, to be thankful for: life, health, food, clothing, air, water, friends, recollections, hopes - and, above all, the blessings of redemption, and the assurance that we are reconciled with God forever. If all else fail, the hope of heaven - the assurance that the Redeemer died - the offer of salvation - cannot fail. That is ours, and cannot be taken away.

(2) The effect is good. It is a desirable state of mind. It tends to happiness, contentment, peace, joy in the Lord. A gloomy mind makes all things around more gloomy; an unthankful mind is an unhappy mind; a murmuring, complaining, dissatisfied mind makes its possessor wretched, and all around him miserable.

(3) it is good as it is due to God. For all His favor we should be thankful - and all that we enjoy is His gift.

(4) it tends much to lessen the real troubles and afflictions of life to dwell on those things for which we should be thankful.

And to sing praises unto thy name - As this psalm was designed for the “Sabbath day,” this shows that one of the appropriate services of the Sabbath is “praise.” It is a day when it is fit to recall the mercies of God to our minds; and the remembrance of those mercies, and their celebration by appropriate songs

O Most High - God exalted over all. The fact that “He” is exalted over all is an appropriate thought when we come before Him to praise Him; appropriate at all times, and in all circumstances of life.

A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day - The Sabbath is the day that God has hallowed, and that is to be consecrated to God by our turning away from the business pursuits of the working days (Isa_58:13.) and applying ourselves to the praise and adoration of God, which is the most proper, blessed Sabbath employment.

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Psa 92:2 To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,

In the morning - To praise God in the morning will have a good influence on us, in preparing us for the toils and trials of the day. There is no better preparation for a day, in view of its burdens, cares, toils, and trials, than a thankful, cheerful mind looking at the Lord in the morning.

Your faithfulness every night - The reference is to the return of evening; and the meaning is, that it is a good thing, or that it is appropriate to contemplate the faithfulness of God at the close of every day. The mind is then calm, after the toils of the day are over which is favorable for reflection. There is much in every day to be thankful for, and it is well to recall it at night.

To show forth thy lovingkindness - that has preserved me throughout the night, and brought me to the beginning of a new day: and thy faithfulness in the night, that has so amply fulfilled the promise of preservation during the course of the day. This verse contains a general plan for morning and evening prayer.

Psa 92:3 Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.

Upon an instrument of ten strings - The general idea in this verse is, that instruments “of all kinds” are to be employed in celebrating the praises of God. All these instruments of music were typical of the spiritual joy and melody which the saints have in their hearts when they praise the Lord;

Upon the harp with a solemn sound - The Hebrew word rendered “solemn sound” means properly “murmur;” then, the sound of a harp; and then, meditation. Here the meaning seems to be, “with murmurs upon the harp;” that is, with the sound of the harp - its murmuring tones. It does not denote here a distinct instrument of music, but it refers to the tones of the harp: not to the meditations of the mind of the worshipper - but to the low and gentle sounds of the instrument itself.

Psa 92:4 For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.

Through thy work - Either the work of creation, the finishing of which the Sabbath was designed particularly to commemorate; or the works of God in general - the universe; or the general dealings of His providence; or some particular interpositions of Providence in His behalf that called for special praise. All these are appropriately combined in the celebrations - the praises - of the Sabbath; to these should be added, as among the most marvelous of His works, and that which furnishes special occasion for praise on the Christian Sabbath, the wonderful work of redemption - that which of all the “works” of God makes a heart rightly affected most “glad.” Jam_5:13 Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing psalms.

I will triumph in the works of thine hands - I will exult or rejoice shout aloud for joy, on account of them; and also triumph over all enemies, as being out of the reach of them, so as to be hurt and ruined by them.

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Psa 92:5 O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.

O Lord, how great are thy works! - The meaning here is this: The psalmist, on the Sabbath, in giving himself to meditation on the works of God, is overwhelmed with a sense of their vastness, their incomprehensible nature, and the depth of wisdom evinced, far beyond the grasp of man, in what God had done. So profound as not to be fathomed by the comprehension of man. How soon is man lost; how soon does he get beyond his depth; how soon does he feel that here is greatness which he cannot comprehend, and wisdom which he cannot fathom, and goodness which he cannot appreciate, when he sits down to meditate on the works of God.

And thy thoughts are very deep - Rom_11:33-34 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? The meaning is, that the plans or the purposes of God, as evinced in the works of creation and providence, are too profound for man to understand them. Who but God himself can comprehend them? Yet some things are knowable by us. 1Co_2:10 But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Psa 92:6 A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.

A brutish man knoweth not - the man who is all flesh; in whom spirit or intellect neither seems to work nor exist. The brutish man, who never attempts to see God in His works.

A brutish man knoweth not - The brutish man is one that only knows things naturally, as brute beasts do, and in which also he corrupts himself; he is governed by sense, and not by reason, and much less by faith, which he has not; one that indulges his sensual appetite, whose god is his belly, and minds nothing but earth and earthly things; and, though he has an immortal soul, has no more care of it, and concern about it, than a beast that has none; he lives like one, without fear or shame; and in some things acts below them, and at last dies, as they do, without any thought of, or regard unto, a future state:

A brutish man knoweth not - A man who is stupid, and who is like the beasts or brutes; that is, a man whose tastes and propensities are like the brutes, or who does not seem to act as if endowed with a rational nature. The idea evidently is, that there are many such people, and that it is not to be wondered at that they have no exalted idea of the greatness of God. As a matter of fact there are many in human form - many made in the image of God - who seem to have no more notion of God, and who see no more wisdom and goodness in His works, than the horse or the ox.

Neither doth a fool understand this - the fool, is different from the brutish man; the latter has mind, but it is buried in flesh; the former has no mind, and his stupidity is unavoidable.

Neither doth a fool understand this - A fool, in the sense that he has been made foolish and stupid by sin; that he does not worship and honor God. He has no right understanding in regard to the Maker and the Governor of the universe.

Psa 92:7 When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:

When the wicked spring as the grass - When they grow up as plants do; when they seem to flourish and prosper. Psa_90:5-6 You carry them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep; in the morning they are like grass which grows up. In the morning it sprouts and shoots up; in the evening it is cut down, and dries up. The word “grass” here refers to the vegetable creation generally, embracing plants and flowers of all kinds.

when all the workers of iniquity do flourish - As plants and flowers do. They are like vigorous plants; not like the stunted and dry shrubs of the desert. Hebraic poetic literary style often repeats an idea using slightly different language. This is nearly the same idea as the first statement, repeated for emphasis. First they spring up, then they flourish.

When the wicked spring as the grass - This is a lesson which is frequently inculcated in the sacred writings. The favor of God towards man is not to be known by outward prosperity; nor is His disapprobation to be known by the adverse circumstances in which any person may be found. When, however, we see the wicked flourish, we may take for granted that their abuse of God’s mercies will cause Him to cut them off and, dying in their sins, they are destroyed.

It is that they shall be destroyed for ever - The meaning here is that destruction will be the result. They will not be made happy in another world by their prosperous and prospered wickedness here, as if God approved of their course; but the end will be that they will be destroyed. The design of the psalmist seems to be to turn the mind from the idea that mere external prosperity is necessarily connected with happiness; or that one who is prospered in this life is on that account safe. There is another world, and there ample justice will be done to all.

It is that they shall be destroyed for ever - they are like brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, 2Pe_2:12 But these, as unreasoning natural brute animals having been born for capture and corruption, speak evil of the things that they do not understand. And they will utterly perish in their own corruption, and as land is manured and cultivated, and grass springs up and flourishes, that it may be, when grown, cut down, and become the fodder of beasts, or the fuel of fire; so the prosperity of the wicked issues in their ruin, and is an aggravation of their damnation; their destruction is of soul and body in hell, and is an everlasting one.

God sometimes grants prosperity to wicked men in displeasure; yet they flourish but for a moment. Let us seek for ourselves the salvation and grace of the gospel, that being daily anointed by the Holy Spirit. It is from His grace, by His word and Spirit, that believers receive all the virtue that keeps them alive, and makes them fruitful. Other trees, when old, leave off bearing, but in God's trees the strength of grace does not fail with the strength of nature. Psalm 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivulets of water that brings forth its fruit in its seasons, and its leaf shall not wither, and all which he does shall be blessed.

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Psa 92:8 But thou, LORD, art most high for evermore.

But thou, Lord, art most high for evermore - They are brought down and destroyed; but the Lord is exalted eternally, both for His judgments and His mercies. Whatever may occur to people, God will maintain this exalted position as supreme over all.

But thou, Lord, art most high for evermore - God is "the most High"; that is one of his names; He is above all, is higher than the highest; and He dwells on high, and looks down upon the inhabitants of the earth, and sees what is doing among them; and to Him they will be accountable another day for what they do; and when wicked, men perish, being destroyed, He will continue forever in all his greatness, glory, and majesty. This he does in part, by contrasting their ruin with God’s exaltation and eternity.

Psa 92:9 For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.

For, lo, thine enemies, O Lord, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish - The repetition of the word “lo” here - “behold!” - is emphatic. The attention of the psalmist was fixed on this as an event which would be sure to occur. It was certain that God would be exalted; it followed from this, that all His enemies would be subdued in order that He might be thus exalted.

For, lo, thine enemies, O Lord - The particle "lo", or "behold", is not used for the sake of God, but for the sake of men; to excite their attention, and to observe unto them that those who are everlastingly destroyed are the enemies of the Lord.

All the workers of iniquity shall be scattered - implying eagerness and activity, as if they were in haste to flee away. The allusion is to an army that is discomfited, disorganized, “demoralized,” and scattered; or to chaff that is dispersed by the wind. Job_21:18 they are as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the storm steals away. Isa_17:13 The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters; but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind. Isa_29:5 And the multitude of your strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passes away; yea, it shall be at an instant, suddenly. Hos_13:3 Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud and as the early dew that passes away, as the chaff storm-driven out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney.

all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered - one from another, and not be able to unite and combine together against the saints, as they have done; or they shall be separated from them at the last day, being placed at Christ's left hand; and shall not stand in judgment, nor in the congregation of the righteous.

Psa 92:10 But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.

But my horn shalt thou exalt - The horn is a symbol of strength or power; and the meaning here is, that, while the wicked would be cut off, he would be prospered; that is, he had such confidence that he was the friend of God, that he believed God would honor him and exalt him. The psalmist here speaks of himself not so much with reference to his own particular case, but as the representative of the righteous. The idea is, that God will thus exalt “a righteous man.”

Like the horn of an unicorn - perhaps here, the oryx or buffalo. Supposed to be remarkable for the strength of its horn. The horn is an emblem of defensive power and at the same time of stately grace. Translated in some bibles as wild ox.

But my horn shall thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn - Which is said to be very high and strong, Deu_33:17 His glory is like the first-born of his bull, and his horns are like the horns of the wild ox. With them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth. And they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh. This may be understood of the establishment of David's kingdom, of his royal authority, power, and the glory of it, signified by his horn; which was fulfilled when he had subdued the neighboring nations, and the kings of them, and was exalted above them, and had rest from all his enemies: and may be applied unto the Messiah, the horn of David, the horn of salvation raised up in his house, Psa_132:17 There I will make the horn of David to bud; I have prepared a lamp for My anointed. and so may refer to exaltation at the right hand of God, and the strength and glory of His kingdom; 1Sa_2:10 The foes of the LORD shall be broken to pieces. He thunders in the heavens upon them. The LORD shall judge the ends of the earth. And He shall give strength to His king, and exalts the horn of His anointed. and also may be interpreted of every good man, in opposition to the wicked; who, though low and abased, God will exalt and set them among princes, and cause them to be coheirs with Christ.

I shall be anointed with fresh oil - Oil pure and sweet; not old and rancid. That is, he would be made happy, cheerful, bright, and prosperous.

I shall be anointed with fresh oil - oil often signifies the Spirit of God, His gifts and graces; and fresh oil may intend new supplies of His grace out of the fullness of it, which is in Christ; and also the renewed joys and comforts of the Holy Spirit, who is the oil of gladness Christ was anointed with above His fellows, and is given to His people in measure.

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Psa 92:11 Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me.

Mine eye also shall see my desire - That is, I shall be permitted to see the destruction of my foes; I shall be gratified with seeing them overthrown.

On mine enemies - The word used here occurs nowhere else. It means, properly one who “watches;” one who is in ambush; and refers to persons who “watched” his conduct; who “watched” for his ruin.

And mine ears shall hear - He would hear of their ruin; he would hear what he desired to hear. Even in his own times his enemies shall be destroyed; and of this destruction he shall either be an eye-witness or have authentic information.

Psa 92:12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree - That is, the beauty, the erectness, the stateliness, the growth of the palm tree - all this is an emblem of the condition, the prosperity, the happiness of a righteous man. The wicked shall be cut down; but the righteous shall flourish. This image - the comparison of a righteous man to a flourishing, majestic, green, and beautiful tree - is not uncommon in the Scriptures.

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree - Very different from the wicked, Psa_92:7, who are likened to grass which is weak and tender, and soon cut down. Like trees, and like palm trees, that are firm and strong, these shall have a long and useful life. They are compared also to the cedar of Lebanon, an incorruptible wood, and extremely long-lived.

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree - Not like grass, as the wicked, Psa_92:7; but l, and of a long continuance: the word for righteous being of the singular number, has led some to think that Christ is meant; but though he is eminently the righteous One, being so in Himself, and the author of righteousness to others, yet not He, but His church and people, are compared to a palm tree, Son_7:7: the sense is, that every one of the righteous, or everyone that is righteous, through the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, and are created anew in righteousness and true holiness, and live soberly, righteously, and godly, are like the flourishing palm trees; which grow upright, and under the greatest pressures, and rise upwards against the greatest weight upon them; are very durable, and their branches used in token of joy and victory;

he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon - where the best, tallest, largest, and strongest cedars grow; to which the righteous are compared, who grow up by degrees higher and higher, and, stronger and stronger in Christ, go from strength to strength, having their spiritual strength renewed by Him; and cast forth their roots in Him, like Lebanon, and the cedars there; and spread their boughs and branches, like them, in the exercise of grace and discharge of duty; and grow in every grace, of faith, hope, love, humility, self-denial, and submission to the will of God, and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ; and are durable as the cedar, never die, their life being hid with Christ in God.

Psa 92:13 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.

Those that be planted in the house of the Lord - As if plants were reared up in the house of God. The same image, under the idea of the olive tree, occurs in Psa_52:8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever. The passage here may refer particularly to those who have been trained up in connection with the church; young plants set out in the sanctuary, and cultivated until they have reached their growth.

Those that be planted in the house of the Lord - they that are planted out of the wilderness of the world, and into Christ, and are rooted in Him, and are planted together in the likeness of His death and resurrection; have the graces of the Spirit of God implanted in them, have received the ingrafted word; and, in consequence of all this, are grafted into the olive tree.

Those that be planted in the house of the Lord - As these trees flourish in their respective soils and climates, so shall the righteous in the ordinances of God.

Shall flourish in the courts of our God - Having been planted there, they will grow there; they will send out their boughs there; they will produce fruit there. The “courts” of the house of God were properly the areas or open spaces around the tabernacle or the temple; but the word came also to denote the tabernacle or the temple itself, or to designate a place where God was worshipped. It has this meaning here. The passage affords an encouragement to parents to train up their children in attendance on the ordinances of public worship; and it shows the advantage of having been born in the church, and of having been trained up in it. Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it. The passage may also be regarded as furnishing a proof of what will be the result of being thus “planted” and nurtured in connection with the church, inasmuch as trees carefully planted and cultivated are expected to produce more and better fruit than those which grow wild.

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Psa 92:14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;

They shall still bring forth fruit in old age - As a tree that is carefully planted and cultivated may be expected to live long, and to bear fruit even when it is old. So of one devoted early to God, and trained up under the influences of religion. The care, the culture, the habits of temperance, of industry, of moderation, and of sobriety so formed, are favorable to length of days, and lay the foundation for usefulness when old age comes. An aged man should be useful. He should feel that whatever wisdom he may possess as the result of long study and experience, belongs to God and to truth; that one great reason for sparing him is that he may be useful; that the world needs the benefit of his counsel and his prayers; that his life is lengthened out not for his own ease or enjoyment, but that virtue and piety may be extended in the world by all the influence which he can bring to bear upon it in advanced years.

They shall still bring forth fruit in old age - They shall continue to grow in grace, and be fruitful to the end of their lives.

They shall still bring forth fruit in old age - Being thus planted and watered, they shall not only bring forth the fruits of righteousness, but shall continue, and go on to do so, and even when they are grown old; contrary to all other trees, which, when old, cease bearing fruit; but so do not the righteous; grace is often in the greatest vigor when nature is decayed; witness Abraham, Job, David, Zachariah, and Elisabeth, and good old Simeon, who went to the grave like shocks of corn, fully ripe:

They shall be fat - The meaning is, that they shall be vigorous, or have the appearance of vigor and health.

Psa 92:15 To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

To show that the Lord is upright - Such persons show how faithful God is to His promises, how true to His word, how kind to them who trust in Him. He is the Rock, the Fountain, whence all good comes.

And there is no unrighteousness in him - He does nothing evil, nothing unwise, nothing unkind. He is both just and merciful. There is no evil or wrong in His character or in His dealings. In all respects He is worthy of confidence: “worthy” to be loved, trusted, adored, obeyed, by the inhabitants of all worlds.

He is my Rock - the psalmist sets his seal to the truth of God's faithfulness, firmness, and constancy, calling Him a Rock for His strength and stability, and claiming his interest in Him; declaring he found Him to be so by experience,

there is no unrighteousness in him - not in His sovereign acts of grace, so neither in His providential dispensations, either towards good men or bad men; not in suffering the wicked to prosper, as in Psa_92:7, and the righteous to be afflicted; nor in punishing bad men here, or hereafter; nor in justifying sinners by the righteousness of His Son, and giving them the crown of righteousness at the last day: all His proceedings are in the most just and equitable manner; Rom_9:14 What shall we say then? Is there not unrighteousness with God? Let it not be!

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I have forgotten to add this to other studies Ive posted here about the psalms. It is posted in one of my studies already though. Here is my disclaimer about sources used and how I study.

I read a chapter then I go over it verse by verse. I read through commentaries etc to glean background information, rejecting what does not seem correct and keeping what does. I mix it up, add some of my own, interspersed with paragraphs from the commentaries. The commentaries and all my notes are what I post with each verse. For copyright purposes, I use the KJV since it is not copyrighted in the US, and for posting publicly, I use commentaries whose copyrights are open. When reading my study/ studies, I encourage you to use whichever version of the bible you are most comfortable with. I used the following commentaries: John Wesley's Explanatory Notes; Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge; Spurgeon's A Treasury of David; Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary; Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament; Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary; Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible; Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible; John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible and Strong's Concordance. I have read modern commentaries but have not posted from them in my public studies.

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