Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 72:1

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Give the king thy judgments - Let Solomon receive thy law, as the civil and ecclesiastical code by which he is to govern the kingdom.

And thy righteousness unto the king's son - Righteousness may signify equity. Let him not only rule according to the strict letter of thy law, that being the base on which all his decisions shall be founded; but let him rule also according to equity, that rigorous justice may never become oppressive. Solomon is called here the king, because now set upon the Jewish throne; and he is called the king's son, to signify his right to that throne on which he now sat.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Give the king - Supposing the psalm to have been composed by David in view of the inauguration of his son and successor, this is a prayer that God would bestow on him the qualifications which would tend to secure a just, a protracted, and a peaceful reign. Though it is to be admitted that the psalm was designed to refer ultimately to the Messiah, and to be descriptive of “his” reign, yet there is no impropriety in supposing that the psalmist believed the reign of Solomon would be, in some proper sense emblematic of that reign, and that it was his desire the reign of the one “might,” as far as possible, resemble that of the other. There is no improbability, therefore, in supposing that the mind of the psalmist might have been directed to both in the composition of the psalm, and that while he used the language of prayer for the one, his eye was mainly directed to the characteristics of the other.

Thy judgments - Knowledge; authority; ability to execute thy judgments, or thy laws. That is, he speaks of the king as appointed to administer justice; to maintain the laws of God, and to exercise judicial power. It is one of the primary ideas in the character of a king that he is the fountain of justice; the maker of the laws; the dispenser of right to all his subjects. The officers of the law administer justice “under” him; the last appeal is to him.

And thy righteousness - That is, Clothe him, in the administration of justice, with a righteousness like thine own. Let it be seen that he represents “thee;” that his government may be regarded as thine own administration through him.

Unto the king‘s son - Not only to him, but to his successor; that is, let the administration of justice in the government be perpetuated. There is no improbability in supposing that in this the psalmist may have designed also to refer to the last and the greatest of his successors in the line - the Messiah.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
This psalm belongs to Solomon in partbut to Christ more fully and clearly. Solomon was both the king and the king's son, and his pious father desired that the wisdom of God might be in him, that his reign might be a remembrance of the kingdom of the Messiah. It is the prayer of a father for his child; a dying blessing. The best we can ask of God for our children is, that God would give them wisdom and grace to know and to do their duty.