Psalm 34

1 I will bless Jehovah at all times:
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul shall make her boast in Jehovah:
The meek shall hear thereof, and be glad.
3 Oh magnify Jehovah with me,
And let us exalt his name together.

1-12. Song in praise of the Lord because He delivers those who trust in Him from all evil. P. P.

4 I sought Jehovah, and he answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked unto him, and were radiant;
And their faces shall never be confounded.
6 This poor man cried, and Jehovah heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.

5 We may often read in the Word that the Lord answers those who call and cry. R. 376.

See Psalm iv. 2. E. 471.

7 The angel of Jehovah encampeth round about them
that fear him,
And delivereth them.
8 Oh taste and see that Jehovah is good:
Blessed is the man that taketh refuge in him.
9 Oh fear Jehovah, ye his saints;
For there is no want to them that fear him.

8 A camp in the spiritual sense signifies all the things of the church which rank themselves among its truths and goods. R. 862.

8, 10. See Psalm xxii. 24. R. 527.
See Psalm xxii. 24. E. 696.
See Psalm xxxiii. 18, 19. R. 323.

10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger;
But they that seek Jehovah shall not want any good thing.
11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me:
I will teach you the fear of Jehovah.

10, 11. That the celestial who are in power from good and its truth, which are from the Lord, are meant by lions is evident. A. 6367.

Here also they that fear Jehovah, and with whom there is no want signify those who love to do the precepts of the Lord. They that seek Jehovah, and who shall not want any good thing signify those who for this are loved by the Lord, and receive from Him goods and truths. The young lions that are said to lack and suffer hunger signify those whose knowledge and wisdom are self-derived, to lack and suffer hunger means that they have neither truth nor good. E. 386.

12 What man is he that desireth life,
And loveth many days, that he may see good ?
13 Keep thy tongue from evil,
And thy lips from speaking guile.

13 In respect to lives they signify in the plural both what is of the will, and what is of the understanding, consequently what is of good, and what is of truth, for the life of man is nothing else than good and truth wherein is life from the Lord, since man without good and truth, and life therein, is no man. A. 3623.

13-23. He saves the good, and the evil perish. P. P.

14 See Psalm xvii. 1. E. 866.

15 See Psalm iv. 7-9. R. 306.

14 Depart from evil, and do good;
Seek peace, and pursue it.

Here peace is used to denote all things belonging to heaven and to the church, whence the felicity of eternal life is derived. Since this is only given to those who are principled in good, therefore it is said “depart from evil and do good: seek peace and pursue it.” E. 365.

15 The eyes of Jehovah are toward the righteous,
And his ears are open unto their cry.
16 The face of Jehovah is against them that do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cried, and Jehovah heard,
And delivered them out of all their troubles.
18 Jehovah is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart,
And saveth such as are of a contrite spirit.

17 By the face of Jehovah, or the Lord, is also signified anger, revenge, punishment, and evil, because the simple, in consequence of the common idea that all things are from God, believe that evil is also from God, especially the evil of punishment. Wherefore according to that common idea, and also according to appearance, to Jehovah, or the Lord, is attributed anger, revenge, punishment, and evil, when yet those things are not from theLord, but from man. A, 9306.

See Psalm xiii. 2. R. 939.

Now because such persons — who have lived in evil —expose themselves to the evil of punishment and to hell,they therefore suppose that this proceeds from the Lord, and that He regards them with a stern countenance, and casts them down into hell, and punishes them nearly in the same way as a man who is in anger, whereas the Lordnever regards any one but from the purest love and mercy. It is from the above appearance to the evil, that the expressions in these passages are used in the Word. E. 412.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous;
But Jehovah delivereth him out of them all.
20 He keepeth all his bones:
Not one of them is broken.

19 The reason why to approach stands for conjunction and presence is, because in the other life the distances of one from another are altogether according to the dissimilitudes and diversities of the interiors, which are of thoughts and affections. God is said to be nigh at hand to those who desist from evil. A. 9378.

21 Evil shall slay the wicked;
And they that hate the righteous shall be condemned.

22 They that use violence shall be held guilty. A. 376.

22, 23. Guilt is the blame or imputation of sin and of transgression against good and truth. Thus guilt stands for all sin which remains, its separation by good from the Lord is redemption. A. 3400.

22 Jehovah redeemeth the soul of his servants;
And none of them that take refuge in him shall be condemned.

23 Jehovah redeemeth the soul of His servants. D. P., Page 87.

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)