Psalm 44

1 We have heard with our ears, O God,
Our fathers have told us,
What work thou didst in their days,
In the days of old.
2 Thou didst drive out the nations with thy hand;
But them thou didst plant:
Thou didst afflict the peoples;
But them thou didst spread abroad.

1-5. The church was established by the Lord among the ancients, evils having been cast out. P. P.

2 By fathers are signified those who were of the ancient church. A. 6075.

3 For they gat not the land in possession by their own
sword,
Neither did their own arm save them;
But thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of
thy countenance,
Because thou wast favorable unto them.
4 Thou art my King, O God:
Command deliverance for Jacob.

3 4. The light of the countenance of Jehovah is Divine truth from Divine good, so also the right hand and arm. A. 8281.

4 It is said thy right hand, and thy arm, and the light of thy faces because the right hand stands for power, the arm for strength, and the light of faces Divine truth from the Divine good. A. 10019.

5 6. See Psalm iii. 2, 3. A. 10481.

5 Through thee will we push down our adversaries:
Through thy name will we tread them under that rise
up against us.
6 For I will not trust in my bow,
Neither shall my sword save me.
7 But thou hast saved us from our adversaries,
And hast put them to shame that hate us.
8 In God have we made our boast all the day long,
And we will give thanks unto thy name forever. [Selah]

6 Thrusting one’s enemies with the horn — push down — also means destroying falsities by the power of truth and good of faith. Who cannot see that in these passages no mention would have been made of thrusting with the horn as done by men, unless by the signification of horns as power. A. 9081.

By treading under foot in these passages is. also signified to destroy. E. 632.

6-9. This was done by God, and not by man. P. P.

9 But now thou hast cast us off, and brought us to dishonor,
And goest not forth with our hosts.
10 Thou makest us to turn back from the adversary;
And they that hate us take spoil for themselves.
11 Thou hast made us like sheep appointed for food,
And hast scattered us among the nations.

10, 11. By God not going forth with their armies is signified that He did not defend them, because they were in falsities of evil, for armies stand for falsities of evil, hence it is said that they were cast off and put to shame, and made to turn back from the enemy, the enemy meaning evil which is from hell. E. 573.

10-13, 20. Nevertheless the hells now prevail against Him as if there were no Divine presence, whence it is that there is no church. P. P.

12 Thou sellest thy people for nought,
And hast not increased thy wealth by their price.
13 Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbors,
A scoffing and a derision to them that are round about
us.
14 Thou makest us a byword among the nations,
A shaking of the head among the peoples.
15 All the day long is my dishonor before me,
And the shame of my face hath covered me,
16 For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth,
By reason of the enemy and the avenger.
17 All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten
thee,
Neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant.

12-14. By selling and being sold is signified to alienate truths, and to be alienated from them, and to accept falses for truths and be captivated thereby. E. 840.

14-17. He is blasphemed by the evil of the church. P. P.

15 See Psalm xviii. 44. S. 86.
See Psalm xviii. 44. T. 251.
See Psalm xxxiii. 10. E. 331.

18-22. Notwithstanding that perfection is His. P. P.

18 Our heart is not turned back,
Neither have our steps declined from thy way,
19 That thou hast sore broken us in the place of jackals,
And covered us with the shadow of death.

20 If we have forgotten the name of our God,
Or spread forth our hands to a strange god;
21 Will not God seaich this out?
For he knoweth the secrets of the heart.

19 “The heart has averted itself backwards.” In the other life spirits turn themselves according to their loves. They who love the Lord and the neighbour look continually to the Lord, . . . but they who love themselves and the world above all things turn away the face from the Lord, and turn themselves to hell, and every one to those there who are in a similar love with himself, and this also in every turning of their body. A. 10420.

19, 20. That those are here meant by the dragon who are in faith alone, and reject the works of the law as not saving, has been several times attested to me by living experience in the spiritual world. R. 537.

Treating also concerning temptations. That he was then secluded from influx out of heaven like the sensual man, so as not to perceive what was good and what was true, is signified by God breaking him in the place of dragons, and covering him with the shade of death, the place of dragons denoting where they who are dragons are in hell, namely, who have destroyed all good in themselves. The false in which these are is called the shade of death. E. 714.

22 Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

23 He is so treated on account of the Divine. P. P.
23, 24. By the slain are meant they who are rejected, treated with abuse, and held in hatred by the evil in the world of spirits, and who might be led away, also they who desire to know truths, but cannot on account of the falsities in the church may be evident. See Zechariah xi. 4, 5, 7: Matthew xxiv. 9: John xvi. 2, 3, etc. R. 325. In the spiritual sense murder means all modes of killing and destroying the souls of men. These modes are various and manifold, as turning them away from God, religion, and Divine worship, by throwing out scandals against them, and by persuading to such things as cause aversion and also abhorrence. Such things are done by all the devils and satans in hell, with whom they who violate and prostitute the holy things of the church in this world are conjoined. In the prophetic Word they whom they destroy are meant by the slain. T. 310.

By being killed all day long, and accounted as sheep for the slaughter is meant that of ourselves we are perpetually falling into false persuasions, and are seduced by them, and especially when these prevail. E. 315.

23 Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord?
Arise, cast us not off for ever.
24 Wherefore hidest thou thy face,
And forgettest our affliction and our oppression?

24, 27. Therefore may the Divine bring Him help. P. P.
25 See Psalm xxvii. 8, 9. R. 939.

See Psalm xiii. 2. E. 412.

  1. He is in the last state of temptation, as if He were forsaken. P. P.

25-27. When man turns himself away from the face of Jehovah he cleaves to the dust and with his belly to the earth. A. 247.

25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust:
Our body cleaveth unto the earth.

26 By dust also is signified what is damned. A. 7418.

By the soul and the belly in the spiritual sense is signified the thought of the understanding, and by the being bowed down to the dust and cleaving to the earth is signified the being imbued with falsities, for by dust and earth is here signified what is infernal and accursed. E. 622.

See Psalm xxxi. 10. E. 750.

26 Rise up for our help,
And redeem us for thy lovingkindness’ sake.

27 That the Lord as to the Human is the Redeemer is not denied in the church. R. 281.

See Psalm xix. 15. R. 613.

To redeem signifies to vindicate from evils and to liberate from falsities, and also to vindicate and liberate from hell. All the evils and falsities with man rise up from hell. Since they are removed by reformation and regeneration from the Lord, these are also signified by redeeming, or by redemption. E. 328.

Arise for our help, and ransom us for thy mercy’s sake. D. P., Page 87.

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)