on Psalms 22 :31
Unto a people that shall be born - That is, one generation shall continue to announce unto another the true religion of the Lord Jesus; so that it shall be for ever propagated in the earth. Of his kingdom there shall be no end.
on Psalms 22 :31
They shall come - That is, there were those who would thus come. Who these would be is not specified. The obvious sense is, that some would rise up to do this; that the succession of such men would be kept up from age to age, making known these great facts and truths to succeeding generations. The language would be applicable to a class of men called, from age to age, to proclaim these truths, and set apart to this work. It is a fair application of the verse to refer it to those who have been actually designated for such an office - the ministers of religion appointed to keep up the memory of the great work of redemption in the world. Thus understood, the passage is a proper carrying out of the great truths stated in the psalm - that, in virtue of the sufferings of the Redeemer, God would be made known to men; that his worship would be kept up in the earth; that distant generations would serve him.
And shall declare his righteousness - No language could better describe the actual office of the ministers of the Gospel as appointed to set forth the "righteousness" of God, to vindicate his government and laws, and to state the way in which men may be made righteous, or may be justified. Compare Romans 1:17; Romans 3:26.
Unto a people that shall be born - To future generations.
That he hath done this - That God has done or accomplished what is stated in this psalm; that is, on the supposition that it refers to the Messiah, that he has caused an atonement to be made for mankind, or that redemption has been provided through the sufferings of the Messiah.
I have given what seems to me to be a fair exposition of this psalm, referring it wholly to the Messiah. No part of the interpretation, on this view of the psalm, seems to me to be forced or unnatural, and as thus interpreted it seems to me to have as fair and obvious an applicability to him as even Isaiah 53:1-12, or any other portion of the prophecies. The scene in the psalm is the cross, the Redeemer suffering for the sins of man. The main features of the psalm relate to the course of thoughts which then passed through the mind of the Redeemer; his sorrow at the idea of being abandoned by God; his confidence in God; the remembrance of his early hopes; his emotions at the taunts and revilings of his enemies; his consciousness of prostrated strength; his feelings as the soldiers pierced his hands and his feet, and as they proceeded to divide his raiment; his prayer that his enemies might not be suffered to accomplish their design, or to defeat the work of redemption; his purpose to make God known to men; his assurance that the effect of his sufferings would be to bring the dwellers on the earth to serve God, and to make his name and his righteousness known to far distant times. I regard the whole psalm, therefore, as applicable to the Messiah alone; and believing it to be inspired, I cannot but feel that we have here a most interesting and affecting account, given long before it occurred, of what actually passed through the mind of the Redeemer when on the cross - an account more full than we have anywhere else in the Bible. Other statements pertain more particularly to the external events of the crucifixion; here we have a record in anticipation of what actually passed through his own mind in those hours of unspeakable anguish when he made an atonement for the sins of the world.
on Psalms 22 :31