O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongs; O God, to whom vengeance belongs, show yourself.
Read Chapter 94
Augustine of Hippo
1. As we listened with much attention, while the Psalm was in reading, so let us listen attentively, while the Lord revealeth the mysteries which He hath deigned to obscure in this passage. For some mysteries in the Scriptures are shut up for this reason, not that they may be denied, but that they may be opened unto those who knock. If therefore ye knock with affection of piety, and sincere heartfelt love, He, who seeth from what motives ye knock, will open unto you. It is known unto all of us (and I wish we may not be among their number), that may murmur against God's long-suffering, and grieve either that impious and wicked men live in this world, or that they have great power; and what is more, that the bad generally have great power against the good, and that the bad often oppress the good; that the wicked exult, while the good suffer; the evil are proud, while the good are humbled. Observing such things in the human race (for they abound), impatient and weak minds are perverted, a...
3. Let us now attend to the Psalm. "The Lord is the God of vengeance; the God of vengeance hath dealt confidently" (ver. 1). Dost thou think that He doth not punish? "The God of vengeance" punisheth. What is, "The God of vengeance"? The God of punishments. Thou murmurest surely because the bad are not punished: yet do not murmur, lest thou be among those who are punished. That man hath committed a theft, and liveth: thou murmurest against God, because he who committed a theft on thee dieth not. ...Therefore, if thou wouldest have another correct his hand, do thou first correct thy tongue: thou wouldest have him correct his heart towards man, correct thy heart towards God; lest perchance, when thou desirest the vengeance of God, if it come, it find thee first. For He will come: He will come, and will judge those who continue in their wickedness, ungrateful for the prolongation of His mercy, for His long-suffering, treasuring up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath, and revelat...
2. The Psalm hath this title, that is, this inscription: "A Psalm of David himself, on the fourth day of the week." This Psalm is about to teach patience in the sufferings of the righteous: it enjoineth patience against the prosperity of the wicked, and buildeth up patience. This is the drift of the whole of it, from beginning to end. Wherefore then hath it such a title, "on the fourth of the week"? The first of the week is the Lord's day: the second, is the second week-day, which people of the world call the Moon's day: the third, is the third weekday, which they term Mars' day. The fourth of the Sabbaths therefore is the fourth week-day, which by Pagans is styled Mercury's day, and also by many Christians; but I would not call it so: and I wish they would change for the better, and cease to do so; for they have a phrase of their own, which they may use. For these terms are not of universal use: many nations have severally different names for them: so that the mode of speech used by t...
Himself. This intimates, that he was inspired to write.
Week. Wednesday, on which day Judas sold our Saviour, and his punishment is here foretold. (Worthington)
"The title is not in Hebrew "and has been added since the times of the Septuagint. (Theodoret)
It refers to the persecutions of David, (Jansenius) or to the captives, (Calmet) or it contains an important instruction on Providence, and on the judgment which Christ will pronounce. (Berthier)
Freely. Hebrew, "Lord God of vengeance, God of vengeance, shine forth. "(Haydock)
This agrees better with the sequel. To appear or act freely have the same meaning. (Berthier)
God executes judgment publicly, and without restraint. (Menochius)
To Him revenge belongs, Deuteronomy xxxii. 35., Romans xii. 20., and Nahum ii. (Haydock)
It is time to punish the haughty Babylon. (Calmet)
God more usually take the title of merciful. But he is equally just, and will respect no dignity or power, but the merits of each one. (Worthington) ...