Introit of Palm Sunday

Psalm. 21:20,22,2

O LORD, keep not Thy help far from me: look to my defense: deliver me from the lion’s mouth, and my lowness from the horns of the unicorns. Ps. O God, my God, look upon me; why hast Thou forsaken me? Far from my salvation are the words of my sins. Lord, keep not…


Verse 20. Thy help. So some editions of the Sept. read, but S. Jer. approves “my help,” as it is in the Com. edit. conformably to the Heb. (C.) which seems more animated, though the sense is the same. Bert. — The humanity here addresses the divine nature, to obtain a speedy resurrection. S. Jer. — Heb. “O, my strength, haste thou to help me.” What is man when left to himself! The whole of a spiritual life consists in keeping close to God, and being convinced of our own infirmity. Bert.

Verse 22. Lowness. This sense appears to be preferable to the Heb. “hear me from,” &c. C. — Yet some who render the orig. literally have, “save me from the throat of the lion, and from the horns of the unicorns; thou hast heard me.” This seems very striking, as Christ henceforth recounts the glorious effects of his sufferings. The Sept. have explained hanithani as a noun, though it properly signifies, thou hast heard, or humbled. Bert. — They may not have read the last n. C. — Yet S. Jer. has, exaudisti me, “thou hast granted my request.” H.

Verse 2. O God. Our Saviour repeated these words as they are in Heb. though the vulgar tongue was Syriac, (C.) or Greek mixed with the Abamean. Paulus. — Eli (or Eloi. S. Mark) lamma sabacthani. So he pronounced what the Jews would now read, Eli…lama (or lamach. T.) hazabtani; (C.) and in our method, ali…lome azbocthoni. But it must be admitted (H.) that the true pronunciation is irretrievably lost. The Masorets vary from the ancient versions, (Masclef. Capel. Houb. Mr. C. Butler. Hor. Bib. 4 edit. p. 69.) and from one another; so that after being at the immense labour of learning their rules, we shall be no more secure of attaining the truth. H. — It were, therefore, greatly to be wished that the learned would agree about some characters to express uniformly the Hebrew in modern languages, as it would greatly facilitate the knowledge of the sacred writings. Kennicott. Diss. i. p. 243. — We have only attempted to use such as might inform the reader what letters were in the original; and yet we are sorry to find that z, or the long á and é are often printed without the mark above; which shews the inconvenience of so many points, introduced by the Masorets. H. — Look upon me, are words admitted by Christ, “because (says Eusebius) they are not in Heb.” But this reason is not conclusive, as he might have left them out, though they were in the original. The Sept. may have rendered one ali, in this sense, “to me,” as they have not added my to the first mention of God: or, they may have anticipated from v. 20 (Bert.) this explication. Christ speaks with reference to his sacred humanity, as his divinity suspended its beatific influence, that he might drink the bitter chalice. Theod. S. Jer. — He also speaks the language of his afflicted members, who think they are abandoned. S. Aug. C. — Sins. That is, the sins of the world, which I have taken upon myself, cry out against me, and are the cause of all my sufferings. Ch. — An ancient psalm of S. Germ. reads “lips,” instead of sins. Heb. “roaring.” S. Jer. C. — “Prayer,” Sixt. Edit. “Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” Prot. H. — the Sept. seem to have read shagathi, whereas the Heb. places the g after the a, or they have substituted the cause for the effect; as sin was certainly the cause of Christ’s affliction, and of his Father’s not granting present relief. Indeed our Saviour did not ask for it, but only expressed the sentiments of suffering nature, which he corrected by the most perfect submission, to teach us how to behave. Bert. — God is the God of all creatures, but more particularly of Christ, by personal union. W. — The latter tenderly expostulates, (H.) that he is not comforted like other saints, (Mat. xxvii. 64.) since he had undertaken to die for the sins of the world, and reputed them as his own. W. — Delicta nostra sua delicta fecit, ut justitiam suam nostram justitiam faceret. S. Aug. — He speaks in the name of his members. S. Tho. 3. p. q. 15. a 1. — Christ could commit no sin: (1 Pet. ii. 21. and 2 Cor. v. 21.) but as long as he had taken our iniquities upon himself, to expiate with his own blood, he could not be at ease till he had perfected the work. David was convinced that his own sins were punished by the rebellion of Absalom, as Nathan had declared. 2 K. xii. 10. C.

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