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Bible Commentaries

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable
Psalms 148

 

 


Verses 1-4

The psalmist summoned everything above the earth to praise God. This included the angels as well as the stars, planets, sun, moon, and clouds, to which the writer attributed the ability to praise by personification.


Verses 1-6

1. Praise for establishing the heavens148:1-6


Verses 1-14

Psalm 148

Another anonymous psalm stresses the importance of praising God. This one calls on the heavens to praise Him for establishing them, and the earth to bless Him for exalting Israel. Each major section of the psalm begins with a call to worship ("Praise the LORD"), and the whole poem ends with the same call, forming an inclusio. "Praise" appears13times in the14verses of this psalm.


Verse 5-6

These heavenly entities should praise Yahweh because He created them all by His command. The order of creation in this psalm generally follows the order of Genesis 1 , though the writer took some poetic liberty. Furthermore, these created things continue to exist as they do because God made a decree that they should endure as long as He wills. The Canaanites worshipped the stars and planets, so this psalm would have been a polemic against their idolatry.


Verses 7-12

Parallel to the heavenly multitudes, the psalmist next called on all of the earthly multitudes to praise Yahweh. Again he personified inanimate objects and listed various representative groups. Some merisms express the totality of the group, such as "old men and children" ( Psalm 148:12), an expression that represents people of all ages. The pagans also worshipped creatures and natural formations, which this psalm shows are Yahweh"s creations. [Note: On the subject of God"s direct responsibility for all destructive windstorms, see Robert B. Chisholm Jeremiah , "How a Hermeneutical Virus Can Corrupt Theological Systems," Bibliotheca Sacra166:663 (July-September2009):267-69.]


Verses 7-14

2. Praise for exalting Israel148:7-14


Verse 13-14

These earthly entities should praise Yahweh because He is greater than anything in heaven and on earth. Only His name is worthy of exaltation. In particular, God had raised up a king (strong one, horn) for His chosen people Israel. This person had become the praise of all His saints in Israel, the nation close to His heart.

"Thus far the psalmist has not said anything about the people of God. He has made reference to the "angels" of God ( Psalm 148:2) in heaven but has left out any reference to the people who do his bidding on earth until the very end. This is a climactic development of the psalm. God loves and cares for all his creation, but he has a special affinity for "his people," "his saints" ..., "Israel," also known as "the people close to his heart" ..." [Note: VanGemeren, pp874-75.]

The whole creation should praise God because He is the Creator and Sustainer of all. Furthermore, He blessed Israel by giving His chosen people worthy leadership. The "horn" God raised up-who is worthy of all praise, i.e, all forms of genuine praise, the sum total of all collective praises, and praise from all created things, living and inanimate-is Jesus Christ, the descendant of David.

 


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Bibliography Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 148:4". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/psalms-148.html. 2012.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 24th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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