13. Seeing that Jehovah has chosen Zion,1 he hath desired it for his habitation. 14. This is my rest for ever, here will I dwell: because I have desired it. 15. Blessing I will bless her provision, I will satisfy her poor with bread; 16. And I will clothe her priests with salvation2 and her merciful ones shall shout aloud for joy.
13. Seeing that Jehovah has chosen Zion. By coupling the kingdom with the priesthood and sanctuary service, he declares it still more emphatically to have been of divine and not human appointment. The connection is not to be overlooked, on another account. The true strength and stability of that kingdom were in Christ, and Christ's kingdom is inseparable from his priesthood. This may explain why mention is made of Zion being chosen. God decreed nothing in relation to the kingdom, but what had a certain connection with the sanctuary, the more perfectly to prefigure the Mediator who was to come, and who was both priest and king, after the order of Melchizedek. The kingdom and tabernacle were, therefore, closely allied. Notice is taken of the reason upon which the choice proceeded that mount Zion was not chosen for any excellency belonging to it, as we have seen, (Psalm 68:16,) but because such was the will of God. His good pleasure is specified in contrast with any merit in the place itself. This is another proof of what we have already stated that the covenant made by God with David proceeded from his mere goodness.
14. This is my rest for ever. The same truth is here put into the mouth of God, to give it additional weight; and it is declared not to have been in vain that the Temple had been erected, since God would show effectually and by practical testimonies the delight which he had in the worship of his own appointment. God's resting, or talking up his habitation, are expressions which denote his being present with men in the manifestation of his power. Thus he dwelt in Zion, in the sense that there his people worshipped him according to the prescription of his law, and found besides the benefit of the service in his favorable answer to their requests. It was eventually seen, in a very striking manner, that this was the promise of an infallible God, whet, after the Temple had been overthrown, the altar cast down, and the whole frame of legal service interrupted, the glory of the Lord afterwards returned to it once more, and remained there up to the advent of Christ. We all know in what a wicked and shameful manner the Jews abused the divine promise which is here made, under the impression that it necessarily laid God under an obligation to favor them, taking occasion from if, in the pride of their hearts, to despise, and even cruelly persecute the Prophets. Luther on this account calls it "the bloody promise;" for, like all hypocrites who make God's holy name a covert for iniquity, they did not hesitate, when charged with the, worst, crimes, to insist that it was beyond the power of the Prophets to take from them privileges which God had bestowed. With them to assert that the Temple could be stripped of its glory, was equivalent to charging God with falsehood, and impeaching his faithfulness. Under the influence of this spirit of vain confidence they proceeded such inconceivable lengths in shedding innocent blood. Were the Devil of Rome armed with pretensions as splendid, what bounds would be set to its audacity? As it is, we see how fiercely, and with what bloody pride it arrogates the name of the Church, while outraging all religion, in open contempt of God and flagrant violation of humanity. But what of that? the hierarchy would otherwise fall, and this must stand, if Christ would not desert his spouse the Church! The refutation of such a plea is not far to seek. The Church is limited to no one place: now that the glory of the Lord shines through all the earth, his rest is where Christ and his members are. It is necessary that we rightly understand what the Psalmist says of the everlasting continuance of the Temple. The advent of Christ was "the time of reformation," and the figures of the former Testament, instead of being then proved or rendered vain, were substantiated, and received their fulfillment in him. If it be still objected that mount Zion is here spoken of as the everlasting residence of God, it is sufficient to answer that the whole world became an enlarged mount Zion upon the advent of Christ.
15. Blessing I will bless, etc. God's dwelling in the midst of the people was what constituted the great source of their blessedness; and now some of the proofs are mentioned which he would give of his fatherly regard, such as preparing and administering their ordinary food, relieving their wants, clothing their priests with salvation, and filling all his people with joy and gladness. This it was necessary should be added, for unless we have ocular demonstration of the divine goodness, we are not spiritual enough to rise upwards to the apprehension of it. We have a twofold demonstration of it in the matter of our daily food; first in the earth's being enriched so as to furnish us with corn, and wine, and oil; and again in the earth's produce being multiplied, through a secret power, so as to provide us with sufficient nourishment. There is here a promise that God would exert a special care over his own people to supply them with food, and that though they might not have a great abundance, yet the poor would be satisfied. We must not omit mentioning the remarkable and ludicrous mistake which the Papists have made upon this passage, and which shows the judicial stupidity they lie under to be such, that there is nothing so absurd they will not swallow. By confounding two letters into one, for victus they read vidus, and then conjectured that this must be a mutilation for viduas blessing I will bless her widows! Thus they made "widows" out of "food" an extraordinary blunder, which we would scarcely credit, were it not a fact that they sing the word out in their temples to this present day.3 But God, who blesses the food of his own people, has infatuated their minds, and left them to confound everything in their absurd reveries and triflings. The inspired penman goes on to repeat what he had already said of other blessings, only the term salvation is used instead of righteousness, but in the same sense I already mentioned. Some understand it to have reference to purity of doctrine and holiness of life; but this seems a forced interpretation, and he means simply that they would be safe and happy under the divine protection.