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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 33

Verses 1-22

This is an anonymous Ps. of national deliverance, called forth by some historical occasion which it is now impossible to fix with any certainty. From its central conception of God as the ruler of all the earth and all the nations, it appears to belong to the later prophetic age. The metrical structure is specially regular. The first three and the last three vv. form corresponding groups of 6 lines each, and Psalms 33:4-19 consist of six groups of 4 lines each. The opening call to praise (Psalms 33:1-3) is followed by a description of God’s character (Psalms 33:4-5); of His rule over all the inhabitants of the earth, based on His creative power (Psalms 33:6-9); of His rule over the nations, and of the special privilege of Israel as His people, whose defence is not in military power, but in Jehovah (Psalms 33:10-19). The closing vv. (20-22) respond to the summons at the beginning of the Ps.

1. Ye righteous.. the upright] the Israelites who are genuine servants of God.

2. The psaltery and an instrument of ten strings] RV ’the psaltery of ten strings.’ The harp and the psaltery were both stringed instruments, the latter being the larger. 3. A new song] to celebrate a new deliverance. The phrase occurs in several Pss., and has a special connexion with the deliverance from the Babylonian exile: see Isaiah 42:10.

4. Truth] RV ’faithfulness.’

5. Righteousness] is the principle of God’s character, judgment] its practical application to the government of the world. Goodness] RV ’lovingkindness.’

7. The depth (RV ’deeps’) in storehouses] The ancient idea of a reservoir of water beneath the earth: see Genesis 7:11.

9. Read, ’He spake and it was: He commanded and it stood,’ referring to the repeated ’it was so’ of Genesis 1.

10. The heathen] RV ’the nations.’ The people] RV ’the peoples.’

12. Cp. Deuteronomy 33:29.

15. RV ’he that fashioneth.. that considered.’ Their hearts alike] RV ’the hearts of them all.’

17. An horse] The Israelites had no cavalry, and the chariots and horsemen of their enemies appeared specially formidable to them: see Deuteronomy 17:16; Psalms 20:7; Psalms 147:10; Proverbs 21:31; Isaiah 31:1.

Verses 1-22

This is an anonymous Ps. of national deliverance, called forth by some historical occasion which it is now impossible to fix with any certainty. From its central conception of God as the ruler of all the earth and all the nations, it appears to belong to the later prophetic age. The metrical structure is specially regular. The first three and the last three vv. form corresponding groups of 6 lines each, and Psalms 33:4-19 consist of six groups of 4 lines each. The opening call to praise (Psalms 33:1-3) is followed by a description of God’s character (Psalms 33:4-5); of His rule over all the inhabitants of the earth, based on His creative power (Psalms 33:6-9); of His rule over the nations, and of the special privilege of Israel as His people, whose defence is not in military power, but in Jehovah (Psalms 33:10-19). The closing vv. (20-22) respond to the summons at the beginning of the Ps.

1. Ye righteous.. the upright] the Israelites who are genuine servants of God.

2. The psaltery and an instrument of ten strings] RV ’the psaltery of ten strings.’ The harp and the psaltery were both stringed instruments, the latter being the larger. 3. A new song] to celebrate a new deliverance. The phrase occurs in several Pss., and has a special connexion with the deliverance from the Babylonian exile: see Isaiah 42:10.

4. Truth] RV ’faithfulness.’

5. Righteousness] is the principle of God’s character, judgment] its practical application to the government of the world. Goodness] RV ’lovingkindness.’

7. The depth (RV ’deeps’) in storehouses] The ancient idea of a reservoir of water beneath the earth: see Genesis 7:11.

9. Read, ’He spake and it was: He commanded and it stood,’ referring to the repeated ’it was so’ of Genesis 1.

10. The heathen] RV ’the nations.’ The people] RV ’the peoples.’

12. Cp. Deuteronomy 33:29.

15. RV ’he that fashioneth.. that considered.’ Their hearts alike] RV ’the hearts of them all.’

17. An horse] The Israelites had no cavalry, and the chariots and horsemen of their enemies appeared specially formidable to them: see Deuteronomy 17:16; Psalms 20:7; Psalms 147:10; Proverbs 21:31; Isaiah 31:1.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 33". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/psalms-33.html. 1909.