Gradual of Second Sunday After Pentecost

Psalm. 119:1-2

In my trouble I cried to the Lord, and He heard me. V. O Lord, deliver my soul from wicked lips and a deceitful tongue.


Verse 1. A gradual canticle. The following psalms, in number fifteen, are called gradual psalms or canticles, from the word gradus, signifying steps, ascensions, or degrees; either because they were appointed to be sung on the fifteen steps, by which the people ascended to the temple; or that in the singing of them the voice was to be raised by certain steps or ascensions: or that they were to be sung by the people returning from their captivity, and ascending to Jerusalem, which was seated amongst mountains. The holy Fathers, in a mystical sense, understand these steps, or ascensions, of the degrees by which Christians spiritually ascend to virtue and perfection; and to the true temple of God in the heavenly Jerusalem. Ch. — Both these last interpretations seem more plausible and literal, as given by S. Chrysostom, &c. Bert. — The allusion to the steps of the temple (Ezec. xl.) is very uncertain, as well as the raising of the voice in higher notes during each psalm. C. — They might be sung on a pulpit, 2 Esd. ix. 4. and 2 Par. xx. 19. M. — The authors seem to have lived at the close of the captivity, (C.) though David might well compose these canticles during some of his trials, or foreseeing this event. Bert. — They contain a consoling assurance of mankind’s redemption, prefigured by the liberation of the Jews, and also that the power and fury of persecutors shall cease. W. — Shir, hamahaloth, may denote a very excellent canticle. Jun. Muis. H. — Trouble. No time is more proper for prayer. S. Chrys. C. — Heard. I am encouraged by past experience to hope for redress. W.

Verse 2. Tongue. From the Babylonians, who seek to delude me, (C.) and from detraction, which is most dangerous. W.

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