Augustine. Exposition on the Book of Psalms. Schaff, Philip (editor). New York: Christian Literature Publishing Col, 1886. Nicene and Post-Nicene Church Fathers: Series 1: Volume VIII. Re-published 2014, Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle electronic edition, ISBN-13: 978-1-78379-372-3.
Augustine notes the ascription of Psalm 9 speaks of “hidden things of the Son” and claims Davidic authorship (Augustine Psalms, loc. 319555). Since no specific son is named, Augustine takes it to refer to Jesus, the Son of David, the Son of God. He goes on to explain how in Scripture an unspecified “son” regularly refers to Christ. He then speaks of the way a first and second advent of the Son was hidden from the Jews, thus being one of the hidden things (Augustine Psalms, loc. 319570). On a related note, the timing and nature of God’s judgment can well be among the hidden things.
Verse one speaks of confessing to the Lord wholeheartedly. Augustine sees this as the action of a man who understands God’s hidden things (Augustine Psalms, loc. 319586). The one who perceives God’s mysteries is qualified to praise God. Verse two observes that true gladness and rejoicing come from knowing God. Augustine notes that this is better than the gladness we can have from earthly things (Augustine Psalms, loc. 319594).
In the second half of verse two Augustine notes the speech becoming more practical and straightforward, which he again ties to the Christ speaking (Augustine Psalms, loc. 319602). The true enemies of Christ had to fall back and perish (v. 3). Because Christ lives in the Christian, the ungodly will have to depart. God has judged his cause from his throne (Augustine Psalms, loc. 319609). Gos’s rebuke causes the ungodly to perish (v. 5). Augustine discusses the idea of temporality in brief. In verse five, when God blots out the name of the wicked it is not just temporal, but lats forever (Augustine Psalms, loc. 319637).
Verse six reflects on the enemy’s destructive abilities which will end. Augustine takes this to be the true enemy, the devil, and his swords to be wrong teaching (Augustine Psalms, loc. 319637). This wrong teaching which can destroy cities and even civilizations will be laid low by God. Though our temporal cities pass away, in verse seven we see that the Lord lives forever. His seat in heaven is a place of righteous judgment (Augustine Psalms, loc. 319656). From there, Augustine observes, he engages in hidden judgment and, one day, will make public judgment. Augustine sees God’s judgment as merciful. In verse nine the Lord is “a refuge to the poor.” He takes this to mean that even if a person is in a position of power and glory, he will not cling to the things of the world but will find the Lord as his reward (Augustine Psalms, loc. 319671). This is the essence of the reference in verse ten to hoping in God.
Verse eleven turns to telling the peple to sing praises to God, who dwells with them, a statement Augustine takes to indicate God’s watchful care (Augustine Psalms, loc. 319687). Again, the imagery points both to what is and what is to come. The Lord is the one who will venge the harm His people come to. Augustine makes it clear that the conflict is between the Christian and the pagan, who will not hesitate to bring persecution on those who seem defenseless (Augustine Psalms, loc. 319695). In verse 13 the cry of the poor does come before God. Augustine notes that God is the one who can even rescue his people from the gates of death (v. 13), so the salvation of God’s people is clear in the gates of Jerusalem, which he sees as the eternal city (Augustine Psalms, loc. 319711). Therefore, the Church is glad in God’s salvation.
In verse 15 we turn again to a comparison between God’s people and the pagan. The pagans are stuck in the trouble they have made for themselves (Augustine Psalms, loc. 319719). The Lord makes himself known in his judgment (v. 16). Augustine notes the pause at the end of verse 16 as a time to thank God for his care for his people (Augustine Psalms, loc. 319735). While God causes the nations to be forgotten, He will always remember the poor. Those who forget God will be forgotten but those who remember God will be remembered and will never perish (Augustine Psalms, loc. 319735). Therefore we ask that the Lord would arise and show His glory. Augustine concludes that this is the great victory of God over the Antichrist.