1 Jehovah, I have called upon thee; make haste unto me:
Give ear unto my voice, when I call unto thee.
2 Let my prayer be set forth as incense before thee;
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
1, 2. The reason that the incense is called the prayer of the saints is because fragrant odours correspond to affections for good and truth. It is from this that a grateful odour, and an odour of rest to Jehovah are so many times mentioned in the Word. See Exodus xxix. 18, 25, 41. Leviticus i. 9, 13, 17, etc. R. 278.
Worship from spiritual good being signified by incense, and from celestial good by a pure offering, that a meat offering signified that good can be seen from A. 4581, 10079, 10137. E. 324.
Prayer of the Lord to the Father to have regard to His perfection. P. P.
1-5. Prayers are called incense, and the lifting up of the hands is called the evening sacrifice. The reason is because by prayers is signified, the same as by incense, and by the lifting up of hands the same as by the evening sacrifice. By incense is meant spiritual good, or the good of charity to the neighbour. By the evening sacrifice or meat offering is signified celestial good, or the good of love to the Lord, thus both signify worship. Because prayers proceed not from the mouth, but from the heart by the mouth, and all worship which is from the heart is from the good of love and charity, therefore it is said “Set a watch, O Jehovah.” See verses 3 and 4. David was lamenting the prevalence of evils, and the calamities which they bring on those who practise them, hence he says—”for my prayer shall also be in their calamity.” E. 325.
2 That such things which are of faith grounded in the good of love and of charity, such as are confessions, adorations, and prayers are signified by incense is manifest from David. A. 9475.
The meat offering of the evening is the good of love in the external man. A. 10137.
When mention is made of worship, that holiness is meant which is wrought by prayers, adorations, confessions, and the like, which proceed from internals that are of love and charity. Those things constitute the worship which is meant by burning of incense. A. 10177.
By the smoke of the incense going up before God is signified what is acceptable and grateful. … In heaven the most fragrant odours are perceived, corresponding to the perceptions of the angels arising from their love. R. 394-
The meat offerings, which were of fine flour of wheat were offered upon the altar together with the sacrifices. R. 778.
Burnt-offering also signifies worship from the good of celestial love, and sacrifice worship from the good of spiritual love. These two goods are also signified by meat-offering and incense. E. 491.
3 Set a watch, O Jehovah, before my mouth;
Keep the door of my lips.
4 Incline not my heart to any evil thing,
To practise deeds of wickedness
With men that work iniquity:
And let me not eat of their dainties.
5 Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness;
And let him reprove me, it shall be as oil upon the head;
Let not my head refuse it:
For even in their wickedness shall my prayer continue.
4, 5. He has nothing in common with those who are in evils, because He is united with His Divine. P. P.
6 Their judges are thrown down by the sides of the rock;
And they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.
7 As when one ploweth and cleaveth the earth,
Our bones are scattered at the mouth of Sheol.
6 By judges are meant those who are in falsities, and in an abstract sense the falsities of the thought and of doctrine. By judges in the Word is signified the same as by judgment, and judgments signify the truths according to which judgments are made, and in the opposite sense they signify falsities. Since they who are in falsities in the spiritual world dwell in rocks, it is therefore said of them here that they are cast down in rocky places, meaning that they are let into their falsities, and dwell in hells corresponding to them. E. 411.
6, 7. His words, which are Divine, are of no account with them. P. P494.
8 For mine eyes are unto thee, O Jehovah the Lord:
In thee do I take refuge; leave not my soul destitute.
9 Keep me from the snare which they have laid for me,
And from the gins of the workers of iniquity.
10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
Whilst that I withal escape.
8-10. Confidence that their evil thoughts and intentions by which they themselves perish, do no harm. P. P.
9, 10. See Psalm xi. 6. A. 9348.
Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)