Psalm 90

1The Psalmist declareth God's providence over Israel; 3he complaineth of human frailty, 7divine chastisements, 10and the shortness of life: 12he prayeth for a due sense of this, and for the sensible experience of God's good providence.

0 A1 Prayer of Moses 2the man of God.

1 It is perceived that Moses has uttered this prayer when the people of Israel had sinned in the wilderness. See Numbers 14.

2 See Deut. 33:1; Judges 13:6.

1LORD, thou hast been our 3dwelling place in 4all generations.

3 Namely, in all our miseries. See Exod. 33:14; Deut. 8:15; 33:27. Hebr. an habitation, refuge.

4 Hebr. in generation and generation, that is, throughout and unto all generations, or at all times.

25Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

5 That is, before the hills and mountains were drawn forth as it were out of the abyss. See similar expressions, Gen. 2:4; Job 15:7; 38:28, 29; Isa. 51:2.

3Thou 6turnest man to destruction; and sayest, 7Return, ye children of men.

6 That is, to such a state and condition that he is smashed and ground, so small as dust. See Gen. 3:19.

7 Namely, the body to the earth, Psalm 146:4; and the spirit to God, Eccl. 12:7.

48For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and 9as a watch in the night.

8 He wants to say: Although a man lived a thousand years, yet he must die, and Thou takest his life away from him as easily as if he had lived but a day or a week, 2 Peter 3:8. Other, But a thousand years, etc., reflecting on the second verse, to express the difference which is between mortal man and the ever living God.

9 Hebr. as the watch in the night, that is, one fourth part of the night, the same being usually divided into four parts. See Mark 13:35; John 11:9.

510Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: 11in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.

10 As if he said: As suddenly as a flood of water tears and washes away all what is in the way.

11 He wants to say: Men are scarcely born, but they perish immediately; understanding by the morning man’s youth or infancy.

6In the morning it flourisheth, and 12groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.

12 That is, is renewed with more vigor and beauty. Compare Job 14:7; Isa. 40:31. Some take it for the hasty or sudden change into destruction.

7For we are consumed 13by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.

13 Kindled against us by reason of our sins.

8Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our 14secret sins 15in the light of thy countenance.

14 Which are hid before the eyes of men, and which often times we neither know nor regard ourselves. See Job 20:11; Psalm 19:12.

15 Namely, Thou hast set them that they do clearly appear before Thy face. See Psalm 51:9; 1 Cor. 4:5; Heb. 4:13.

9For all our days 16are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years 17as a tale that is told.

16 Other, turn themselves.

17 That is, very quickly. Other, as a word, which is a sound that does not last, but it vanishes hastily into the air.

10The days of our years are 18threescore years and ten; and if 19by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet 20is 21their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

18 Or, 70. Namely, commonly, though some do live longer.

19 Hebr. in strengths, namely, if any be of a strong and vigorous constitution by nature.

20 That is, when a man is in the best of his age or life, even before old age has come, he is already subject to much toil and trouble in this world.

21 Other, the haughtiness or stoutness of them, that is, what makes men stout and presumptuous, namely, the strength of a man’s life.

1122Who knoweth the power of thine anger? 23even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.

22 So namely, that he takes care how he might be dismissed of Thine anger. Or, as to beware of provoking Thee to wrath by his sins.

23 Hebr. according to thy fears, that is, according as we ought to fear Thee, or, as Thou art dreadful.

1224So teach us to number our days, 25that we may apply our 26hearts unto wisdom.

24 Other, rightly to number. Thus the Hebrew word is taken Num. 27:7; 2 Kings 7:9.

25 That is, that we, rightly understanding Thy fierce wrath against sin, may learn to fear Thee and to spend the short time of our life in Thy service, Job 28:28.

26 Hebr. bring on or cause a heart of wisdom.

13Return, O LORD, 27how long? and 28let it repent thee 29concerning thy servants.

27 Namely, delayest Thou; or, shall it endure that Thou art turned away from us. Or, before Thou deliverest us. See Psalm 6:3.

28 Or, repent. See Gen. 6:6. Understand hereby: that Thou hast so grievously afflicted us.

29 That is, over us, who are Thy servants or Thy people.

14O satisfy us 30early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad 31all our days.

30 As if he said: Show us early Thy kindness after the long and dark night of oppression.

31 That is, all the days of our life.

15Make us glad 32according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we 33have seen evil.

32 The sense is: As Thou hast grieved us a long time with heavy afflictions, make us glad again in time to come with Thy gracious aid and deliverance.

33 That is, felt and suffered it, as Psalm 16:10; 89:48. See also Psalm 4:6.

16Let 34thy work 35appear unto thy servants, and 36thy glory 37unto their children.

34 That is, the perfect deliverance out of all our troubles and miseries.

35 Or, be seen.

36 That is, the deliverance, whereby Thy glory is made manifest; namely, Thy power, kindness and wisdom.

37 That is, over their posterity, according to the covenant made with their fathers.

17And let 38the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and 39establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

38 Or, Let the LORD our God likewise delight in us.

39 That is, rule and govern all our purposes and doings so that from hence forward it may through Thy grace remain ever firm and constant; for without God we can do nothing, John 15:5; James 1:17.