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Home > Fathers of the Church > Expositions on the Psalms (Augustine) > Psalm 29

Exposition on Psalm 29

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A psalm of David himself, of the consummation of the tabernacle.

1. A Psalm of the Mediator Himself, strong of hand, of the perfection of the Church in this world, where she wars in time against the devil.

2. The Prophet speaks, Bring unto the Lord, O you Sons of God, bring unto the Lord the young of rams Psalm 28:1. Bring unto the Lord yourselves, whom the Apostles, the leaders of the flocks, have begotten by the Gospel. 1 Corinthians 4:15 Bring unto the Lord glory and honour Psalm 28:2. By your works let the Lord be glorified and honoured. Bring unto the Lord glory to His name. Let Him be made known gloriously throughout the world. Worship the Lord in His holy court. Worship the Lord in your heart enlarged and sanctified. For you are His regal holy habitation.

3. The Voice of the Lord is upon the waters Psalm 28:3. The Voice of Christ is upon the peoples. The God of majesty has thundered. The God of majesty, from the cloud of the flesh, has awfully preached repentance. The Lord is upon many waters. The Lord Jesus Himself, after that He sent forth His Voice upon the peoples, and struck them with awe, converted them to Himself, and dwelt in them.

4. The Voice of the Lord is in power Psalm 28:4. The Voice of the Lord now in them themselves, making them powerful. The Voice of the Lord is in great might. The Voice of the Lord working great things in them.

5. The Voice of the Lord breaking the cedars Psalm 28:5. The Voice of the Lord humbling the proud in brokenness of heart. The Lord shall break the cedars of Libanus. The Lord by repentance shall break them that are lifted on high by the splendour of earthly nobility, when to confound them He shall have chosen the base things of this world, 1 Corinthians 1:28 in the which to display His Divinity.

6. And shall bruise them as the calf of Libanus Psalm 28:6. And when their proud exaltation has been cut off, He will lay them low after the imitation of His Own humility, who like a calf was led to slaughter Isaiah 53:7 by the nobility of this world. For the kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers agreed together against the Lord, and against His Christ. And the Beloved is as the young of the unicorns. For even He the Beloved, and the Only One of the Father, emptied Himself of His glory; and was made man, Philippians 2:7 like a child of the Jews, that were ignorant of God's righteousness, Romans 10:3 and proudly boasting of their own righteousness as peculiarly theirs.

7. The Voice of the Lord cutting short the flame of fire Psalm 28:7. The Voice of the Lord, without any harm to Himself, passing through all the excited ardour of them that persecute Him, or dividing the furious rage of His persecutors, so that some should say, Is not this haply the very Christ; others, Nay; but He deceives the people: John 7:41, 12 and so cutting short their mad tumult, as to pass some over into His love, and leave others in their malice.

8. The Voice of the Lord moving the wilderness Psalm 28:8. The Voice of the Lord moving to the faith the Gentiles once without hope, and without God in the world; Ephesians 2:12 where no prophet, no preacher of God's word, as it were, no man had dwelt. And the Lord will move the desert of Cades. And then the Lord will cause the holy word of His Scriptures to be fully known, which was abandoned by the Jews who understood it not.

9. The Voice of the Lord perfecting the stags Psalm 28:9. For the Voice of the Lord has first perfected them that overcame and repelled the envenomed tongues. And will reveal the woods. And then will He reveal to them the darknesses of the Divine books, and the shadowy depths of the mysteries, where they feed with freedom. And in His temple does every man speak of His glory. And in His Church all born again to an eternal hope praise God, each for His own gift, which He has received from the Holy Spirit.

10. The Lord inhabites the deluge Psalm 28:10. The Lord therefore first inhabites the deluge of this world in His Saints, kept safely in the Church, as in the ark. And the Lord shall sit a King forever. And afterward He will sit reigning in them forever.

11. The Lord will give strength to His people Psalm 28:11. For the Lord will give strength to His people fighting against the storms and whirlwinds of this world, for peace in this world He has not promised them. John 16:33 The Lord will bless His people in peace. And the same Lord will bless His people, affording them peace in Himself; for, says He, My peace I give unto you, My peace I leave with you. John 14:27

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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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