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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 150

Verses 1-6


Book 5

This book, which seems originally to have been joined with Book 4, contains forty-four Pss., the vast majority of which are of late date. The contents of these Pss. are a surer guide to the period to which they belong than is the case in the other books, as many of them give either direct references or unmistakable hints regarding experiences of the exile or the return. Thus Psalms 107:10-16 refers to the years of captivity, as does also Psalms 137. Other Pss., such as 126, refer to the joy of the return, and others still, e.g. 132, are prompted by the rebuilding of the Temple.

The feature of this book which is most marked is its liturgical character. Many (though not all) of the Pss. contained in it are not individualistic but congregational, and bear traces of having been composed for use in public worship. Psalms 115:9-18; Psalms 116:12-19; Psalms 118, 135, 136 may be cited as good illustrations. Many smaller groups have been incorporated in this book, and can be easily recognised. The principal are the Hallel Psalms (113-118), the Songs of Ascents or Pilgrim Psalms (120-134), and the Hallelujah group (145-150). Psalms 108 is composed of Psalms 57:7-11 and Psalms 60:5-12, and was obviously compiled for liturgical purposes. Psalms 136 is a chant with responses for choir or congregation after each verse.

Fifteen of the Pss. of this book bear the title ’Of David,’ indicating that they were taken by the final editor from the earliest or Davidic psalter. One of these (Psalms 142) has a historical note, which describes it as ’a prayer when he was in the cave’; but there is nothing in the Ps. to justify the reference. The book is Jehovistic in its choice of the divine name, Jehovah occurring 236 times and Elohim only 7 times.

Verses 1-6

This is ’the grand Finale of the spiritual concert,’ and worthily closes not only this little Hallelujah group, but the whole Psalter.

1. Firmament of his power] the spreading roof of the sky which His power has made.

3. Trumpet] i.e. Shopher, a kind of horn.

Psaltery] i.e. Nebhel, a species of harp, or guitar, or lyre, with a bulging resonance box at one end. Harp] i.e. Kinnor, the most ancient form of harp; a lyre.

4. Timbrel] i.e. Toph, a circlet of wood covered with skin and ornamented with brass bells; tambourine.

Stringed instruments] i.e. Minnim, properly, ’strings,’ i.e. of a harp. Organs] RV ’the pipe,’ i.e. Ugabh, perhaps a Pan’s pipe: cp. Genesis 4:21.

5. Cymbals] i.e. Tseltselim, evidently of two kinds.’ High sounding] cp. 1 Corinthians 13:1.

6. The climax is reached. ’Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Hallelujah.’

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 150". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/psalms-150.html. 1909.