Psalm 90

1 Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place
In all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

1 See Psalm xxvi. 8. A. 9481.

1-6. Man is nothing of himself, but the Lord alone (is of Himself). P. P.

2 By the mountains born, and by the earth formed, and by the orb is not meant the creation of the world, but the establishment of the church, hence from age to age signifies from the establishment of churches to their end, for churches succeed one another, since when one is finished or vastated, another is established. A mountain stands for celestial love, consequently the church which is in that love. A. 10248.

The reason why eternity is not mentioned, but that it is said “from everlasting to everlasting” is because the latter is a natural expression, and the former spiritual, and the literal sense of the Word is natural, and the internal sense spiritual, and the latter is contained in the former. E. 468.

By the mountains are signified those who dwell upon mountains in the heavens, who are those that are in celestial good, but by the earth and the world is signified the church from those who are in truths and in goods. E. 741.

3 Thou turnest man to destruction,
And sayest, Return, ye children of men.
4 For a thousand years in thy sight
Are but as yesterday when it is past,
And as a watch in the night.
5 Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as
a sleep:
In the morning they are like grass which groweth up.

4 A thousand years stands for what is without time, thus for eternity, which is infinity of time. A. 2575.

By yesterday is signified eternity. A. 6983.

See Psalm lxviii. 18. A. 8715.

In the Divine idea there is not time, but all things past and future are present. R. 4.

God is everywhere present in the whole world, and yet not anything proper to the world is in Him, that is not anything that is of space or time. T. 30.

Verse partly quoted. D. P., Page 32.

6 In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up;
In the evening it is cut down, and withereth.
7 For we are consumed in thine anger,
And in thy wrath are we troubled.
8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee,
Our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.
9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath:
We bring our years to an end as a sigh.
10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten,
Or even by reason of strength fourscore years;
Yet is their pride but labor and sorrow;
For it is soon gone, and we fly away

6 Evening is the last state of the church, when there is dense falsity because there is no faith, and dense evil because there is no charity. A. 7844.

See Psalm xxx. 6. C. J. 13.

7-1 1. The church perishes. P. P.

8 See Psalm xxvii. 8, 9. R. 939.

In this passage the light of Jehovah’s countenance signifies the light of heaven issuing from the Lord as a sun. This light is essential Divine truth from which are all intelligence and wisdom, therefore whatever comes into it, the quality thereof is manifested as in clear day. Hence it is that when the evil come into tins light they appear altogether according to their real quality, deformed and monstrous according to the evils concealed in them. From these considerations it is evident what is understood by, “Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, and our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.” E. 412.

11, 12. To number days means to ordain and arrange states of life. Days are said to be numbered when they are ordained and arranged, thus when they are finished. A. 10217.

11 Who knoweth the power of thine anger,
And thy wrath according to the fear that is due unto
12 So teach us to number our days,
That we may get us a heart of wisdom.
13 Return, O Jehovah; how long?
And let it repent thee concerning thy servants.
14 Oh satisfy us in the morning with thy lovingkindness,
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast
afflicted us,
And the years wherein we have seen evil.
16 Let thy work appear unto thy servants,
And thy glory upon their children.
17 And let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
And establish thou the work of our hands upon us;
Yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

12 To number signifies to know the quality from the least to the greatest, and according thereto to arrange and dispose, that is to provide. E. 453.

12, 13. Unless restored by the Lord. P. P.

14 See Psalm lxiii. 2. E. 179.

By means of His coming. P. P.

14, 15. See Psalm li. 10. S. 87.

See Psalm xl. 17. E. 660.

14-17. Thence is salvation. P. P.

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)