Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, July 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 149

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-9

This is a grand ode of thanksgiving after victory; it is applied by the rabbi Kimchi to the days of the Messiah. The pious Hebrews always hang by the anchor of their hope.

Psalms 149:3 . Praise his name in the dance. במחול Be-machol. Latin, in choro. It appears from the fourth verse of the next psalm, that this was an instrument of music, because it is put there between the instruments of music. Certainly they did not dance in the worship of the temple. The timbrel. Hebrews תפ toph. Something like the instrument which the Italians call the tambour. The harp. Hebrews כנור kinnor, an instrument struck with the fingers, which answers to the description of the harp.


Here Israel and the children of Zion are called upon by name to sing hallelujah to the Lord, and be joyful in their King. This psalm was introduced into the temple worship as a new song, and consequently to celebrate some recent victory over the enemy; and as a war song when going forth to battle.

They were to praise him also in the dance; for though it may appear ridiculous to us of graver habits, yet the Hebrews when most filled with the Holy Spirit, in their professions of joy, did use gesticulations with their feet, while their fingers struck the timbrel, or touched the cords of the harp. But the manner and the end of those dances were totally dissimilar from the objects of dancing in our wanton assemblies, dances which are not to be named in religious society.

They are exhorted to praise God, because he took pleasure in his people, and would beautify or glorify the meek with salvation. Nor was their devotion to be confined to the sanctuary. Every family sitting at ease, and not afraid of the heathen, was to sing praise after their meals; for they sat on beds, or rather couches, to receive their food. The King of glory having given David power to bind in chains the kings who leagued against Zion, they might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness all their days. This honour, and it is great to say, have all his saints; namely, to vanquish all their foes with the two-edged sword of the Spirit, and then to sing praises to God as priests and kings, in songs of everlasting joy. Believer, only adopt in faith the language of this psalm, and all thy foes shall vanish as the hoar frost before the warmth of the morning sun. Yea, as Jonathan and his armour bearer, appearing more like gods scattering the Philistine hosts, so shalt thou banish the enemies of thy peace.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 149". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/psalms-149.html. 1835.
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