Ps 90:1-17. Contrasting man's frailty with God's eternity, the writer mourns over it as the punishment of sin, and prays for a return of the divine favor. A Prayer [mainly such] of Moses the man of God -- (De 33:1; Jos 14:6); as such he wrote this (see on Ps 18:1, title, and Ps 36:1, title).
1. dwelling-place -- home (compare Eze 11:16), as a refuge (De 33:27).
2. brought forth [and] formed -- both express the idea of production by birth.
3. to destruction -- literally, |even to dust| (Ge 3:19), which is partly quoted in the last clause.
4. Even were our days now a thousand years, as Adam's, our life would be but a moment in God's sight (2Pe 3:8).
a watch -- or, third part of a night (compare Ex 14:24).
5, 6. Life is like grass, which, though changing under the influence of the night's dew, and flourishing in the morning, is soon cut down and withereth (Ps 103:15; 1Pe 1:24).
7, 8. For -- A reason, this is the infliction of God's wrath.
troubled -- literally, |confounded by terror| (Ps 2:5). Death is by sin (Ro 5:12). Though |secret,| the light of God's countenance, as a candle, will bring sin to view (Pr 20:27; 1Co 4:5).
9. are passed -- literally, |turn,| as to depart (Jer 6:4).
spend -- literally, |consume.|
as a tale -- literally, |a thought,| or, |a sigh| (Eze 2:10).
10. Moses' life was an exception (De 34:7).
it is ... cut off -- or, |driven,| as is said of the quails in using the same word (Nu 11:31). In view of this certain and speedy end, life is full of sorrow.
11. The whole verse may be read as a question implying the negative, |No one knows what Thy anger can do, and what Thy wrath is, estimated by a true piety.|
12. This he prays we may know or understand, so as properly to number or appreciate the shortness of our days, that we may be wise.
13. (Compare Ps 13:2).
let it repent -- a strong figure, as in Ex 32:12, imploring a change in His dealings.
14. early -- promptly.
15. As have been our sorrows, so let our joys be great and long.
16. thy work -- or, providential acts.
thy glory -- (Ps 8:5; 45:3), the honor accruing from Thy work of mercy to us.
17. let the beauty -- or sum of His gracious acts, in their harmony, be illustrated in us, and favor our enterprise.