Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 89:37

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

As the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven - That is, as long as the sun and moon shall endure, as long as time shall last, his kingdom shall last among men. The moon appears to be termed a faithful witness here, because by her particularly time is measured. Her decrease and increase are especially observed by every nation, and by these time is generally estimated, especially among the eastern nations. So many moons is a man old; so many moons since such an event happened; and even their years are reckoned by lunations. This is the case with the Mohammedans to the present day. Or the rainbow may be intended; that sign which God has established in the cloud; that faithful witness of his that the earth shall no more be destroyed by water. As long therefore as the sun, the moon, and the rainbow appear in the heavens, so long shall the spiritual David reign, and his seed prosper and increase.

Selah - It is confirmed; it shall not fail.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

It shall be established forever as the moon - As long as the moon shall endure. The heavenly bodies are the most permanent objects that we know of; and they, therefore, became the emblems of stability and perpetuity. Compare the notes at Psalm 72:7.

And as a faithful witness in heaven - As the witness in heaven, or in the sky, is sure. The reference is to the moon, regarded as a witness for God. What is said here of the moon as an index of his faithfulness, might be said also of the sun and the stars; but the beauty of the image is increased by the attention being fixed to a single object. As the moon is fixed, regular, enduring - so are the promises and purposes of God. Such were the promises made to David; such was the oath which had been taken by God; such the covenant which he had made. The psalmist now proceeds Psalm 89:38-45 to show that this oath and these promises seemed to be disregarded; that there were things occurring which appeared as if God had forgotten them; that there was not that manifest prosperity and favor which was implied in the promise; but that a series of calamities had occurred which it was difficult to reconcile with these solemn pledges. On the ground of this he prays Psalm 89:46-52 that God would return, and would remember his covenant, and would bless David and his people.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The Lord anointed David with the holy oil, not only as an emblem of the graces and gifts he received, but as a type of Christ, the King Priest, and Prophet, anointed with the Holy Ghost without measure. David after his anointing, was persecuted, but none could gain advantage against him. Yet all this was a faint shadow of the Redeemer's sufferings, deliverance, glory, and authority, in whom alone these predictions and promises are fully brought to pass. He is the mighty God. This is the Redeemer appointed for us, who alone is able to complete the work of our salvation. Let us seek an interest in these blessings, by the witness of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. As the Lord corrected the posterity of David for their transgressions, so his people shall be corrected for their sins. Yet it is but a rod, not a sword; it is to correct, not to destroy. It is a rod in the hand of God, who is wise, and knows what he does; gracious, and will do what is best. It is a rod which they shall never feel, but when there is need. As the sun and moon remain in heaven, whatever changes there seem to be in them, and again appear in due season; so the covenant of grace made in Christ, whatever alteration seems to come to it, should not be questioned.
Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 262

In answer to the claim that at the death of Christ the precepts of the Decalogue had been abolished with the ceremonial law, Wesley said: “The moral law, contained in the Ten Commandments and enforced by the prophets, He did not take away. It was not the design of His coming to revoke any part of this. This is a law which never can be broken, which ‘stands fast as the faithful witness in heaven.’ ... This was from the beginning of the world, being ‘written not on tables of stone,’ but on the hearts of all the children of men, when they came out of the hands of the Creator. And however the letters once wrote by the finger of God are now in a great measure defaced by sin, yet can they not wholly be blotted out, while we have any consciousness of good and evil. Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind, and in all ages; as not depending either on time or place, or any other circumstances liable to change, but on the nature of God, and the nature of man, and their unchangeable relation to each other. GC 262.1

“‘I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.’ ... Without question, His meaning in this place is (consistently with all that goes before and follows after),—I am come to establish it in its fullness, in spite of all the glosses of men: I am come to place in a full and clear view whatsoever was dark or obscure therein: I am come to declare the true and full import of every part of it; to show the length and breadth, the entire extent, of every commandment contained therein, and the height and depth, the inconceivable purity and spirituality of it in all its branches.”—Wesley, sermon 25. GC 262.2

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