Come, ye children - All ye that are of an humble, teachable spirit.
I will teach you the fear of the Lord - I shall introduce the translation and paraphrase from my old Psalter; and the rather because I believe there is a reference to that very improper and unholy method of teaching youth the system of heathen mythology before they are taught one sound lesson of true divinity, till at last their minds are imbued with heathenism, and the vicious conduct of gods, goddesses, and heroes, here very properly called tyrants, becomes the model of their own; and they are as heathenish without as they are heathenish within.
Trans. Cummes sones heres me: bred of Lard I sal gou lere.
Par - Cummes with trauth and luf: sones, qwam I gette in haly lere: heres me. With eres of hert. I sal lere you, noght the fabyls of poetes; na the storys of tyrauntz; bot the dred of oure Larde, that wyl bryng thou til the felaghschippe of aungels; and thar in is lyfe." I need not paraphrase this paraphrase, as it is plain enough.
Come, ye children - From persons in general Psalm 34:8 - from the saints and the pious Psalm 34:9 - the psalmist now turns to children - to the young - that he may state to them the result of his own experience, and teach them from that experience how they may find happiness and prosperity. The original word here rendered “children” properly means “sons;” but there can be no doubt that the psalmist meant to address the young in general. There is no evidence that he especially designed what is here said for his own sons. The counsel seems to have been designed for all the young. I see no reason for supposing, as Rosenmuller, DeWette, and Prof. Alexander do, that the word is here used in the sense of “disciples, scholars, learners.” That the word may have such a meaning, there can be no doubt; but it is much more in accordance with the scope of the psalm to regard the word as employed in its usual sense as denoting the young. It is thus a most interesting address from an aged and experienced man of God to those who are in the morning of life - suggesting to them the way by which they may make life prosperous and happy.
Hearken unto me - Attend to what I have to say, as the fruit of my experience and observation.
I will teach you the fear of the Lord - I will show you what constitutes the true fear of the Lord, or what is the nature of true religion. I will teach you how you may so fear and serve God as to enjoy his favor and obtain length of days upon the earth.