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Home > Fathers of the Church > Expositions on the Psalms (Augustine) > Psalm 21

Exposition on Psalm 21

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To the end, a psalm of David himself.

1. The title is a familiar one; the Psalm is of Christ.

2. O Lord, the King shall rejoice in Your strength Psalm 20:1. O Lord, in Your strength, whereby the Word was made flesh, the Man Christ Jesus shall rejoice. And shall exult exceedingly in Your salvation. And in that, whereby Thou quickenest all things, shall exult exceedingly.

3. You have given Him the desire of His soul Psalm 20:2. He desired to eat the Passover, Luke 22:15 and to lay down His life when He would, and again when He would to take it; and You have given it to Him. John 10:18 And hast not deprived Him of the good pleasure of His lips. My peace, says He, I leave with you: John 14:27 and it was done.

4. For You have presented Him with the blessings of sweetness Psalm 20:3. Because He had first quaffed the blessing of Your sweetness, the gall of our sins did not hurt Him. Diapsalma. You have set a crown of precious stone on His Head. At the beginning of His discoursing precious stones were brought, and compassed Him about; His disciples, from whom the commencement of His preaching should be made.

5. He asked life; and You gave Him: He asked a resurrection, saying, Father, glorify Your Son; John 17:1 and You gave it Him, Length of days for ever and ever Psalm 20:4. The prolonged ages of this world which the Church was to have, and after them an eternity, world without end.

6. His glory is great in Your salvation Psalm 20:5. Great indeed is His glory in the salvation, whereby You have raised Him up again. Glory and great honour shall Thou lay upon Him. But You shall yet add unto Him glory and great honour, when You shall place Him in heaven at Your right hand.

7. For You shall give Him blessing for ever and ever. This is the blessing which You shall give Him for ever and ever: You shall make Him glad in joy together with Your countenance Psalm 20:6. According to His manhood, You shall make Him glad together with Your countenance, which He lifted up to You.

8. For the King hopes in the Lord. For the King is not proud, but humble in heart, he hopes in the Lord. And in the mercy of the Most Highest He shall not be moved Psalm 20:7. And in the mercy of the Most Highest His obedience even unto the death of the Cross shall not disturb His humility.

9. Let Your hand be found by all Your enemies. Be Your power, O King, when You come to judgment, found by all Your enemies; who in Your humiliation discerned it not. Let Your right hand find out all that hate You Psalm 20:8. Let the glory, wherein Thou reign at the right hand of the Father, find out for punishment in the day of judgment all that hate You; for that now they have not found it.

10. You shall make them like a fiery oven: You shall make them on fire within, by the consciousness of their ungodliness: In the time of Your countenance: in the time of Your manifestation. The Lord shall trouble them in His wrath, and the fire shall devour them Psalm 20:9. And then, being troubled by the vengeance of the Lord, after the accusation of their conscience, they shall be given up to eternal fire, to be devoured.

11. Their fruit shall You destroy out of the earth. Their fruit, because it is earthly, shall You destroy out of the earth. And their seed from the sons of men Psalm 20:10. And their works; or, whomsoever they have seduced, You shall not reckon among the sons of men, whom You have called into the everlasting inheritance.

12. Because they turned evils against You. Now this punishment shall be recompensed to them, because the evils which they supposed to hang over them by Your reign, they turned against You to Your death. They imagined a device, which they were not able to establish Psalm 20:11. They imagined a device, saying, It is expedient that one die for all: John 11:50 which they were not able to establish, not knowing what they said.

13. For You shall set them low. For You shall rank them among those from whom in degradation and contempt You will turn away. In Your leavings You shall make ready their countenance Psalm 20:12. And in these things that Thou leavest, that is, in the desires of an earthly kingdom, You shall make ready their shamelessness for Your passion.

14. Be Thou exalted, O Lord, in Your strength Psalm 20:13. Be Thou, Lord, whom in humiliation they did not discern, exalted in Your strength, which they thought weakness. We will sing and praise Your power. In heart and in deed we will celebrate and make known Your marvels.

About this page

Source. Translated by an anonymous scholar. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 8. Edited by Philip Schaff. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1888.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <>.

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