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Psa 146:1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.
Ver. 1. Praise the Lord, O my soul ] See Psalms 103:1 .
Psa 146:2 While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.
Ver. 2. While I live will I praise the Lord ] George Carpenter, the Bavarian martyr, being desired by some godly brethren, that when he was burning in the fire he would give them some sign of his constance, answered, Let this be a sure sign unto you of my faith and perseverance in the truth, quod usque dum os aperire, aut certe hiscere licebit, that so long as I am able to hold open my mouth, or to whisper, I will never cease to praise God, and to profess his truth. Id quod et fecit, saith mine author, that which also he did; and so did many other martyrs besides (Scultet. Annal. dec. 2, p. 110).
While I have any being ] Either in this world or in the next; for then also, and much more, I shall praise God.
Psa 146:3 Put not your trust in princes, [nor] in the son of man, in whom [there is] no help.
Ver. 3. Put not your trust in princes ] But in God alone; this being a principal piece of his praise; it is a kind of setting the crown on his head. See Judges 9:15 . The word rendered princes signifieth liberal, bountiful ones, ευεργεται , so princes would be accounted; but there is no trusting to them without God, or against him.
Nor in the son of man ] The arm of flesh. See Psalms 118:8-9 .
In whom there is no help ] For themselves, saith Aben Ezra; much less for others.
Psa 146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
Ver. 4. His breath goeth forth ] It is but in his nostrils at best; every moment ready to puff out; cease from him, therefore, Isa. ii. Man, say the Rabbis, is but a bladder full of air, which can stand on no ground; but, pricked with a pin, it shriveleth to nothing. Man, saith a Father, is nothing else but soul and soil, breath and body; a puff of wind the one, a pile of dust the other, no solidity in either (Naz.).
He returneth to his earth ] Of which he was made, and to which he is condemned, Genesis 3:19 , and upon which he hath too much set his affections, being totus terreus, entirely of earth; and so the sooner forfeiteth all. It was therefore good counsel that one once gave to a great man, who had showed him his stately house and pleasant gardens: You had need make sure of heaven, my lord, or else, when you die, you will be a very great loser. But this few princes think of; which made the Spanish friar say, There were but few princes in hell; for what reason? there were but few in all.
In that day his thoughts perish ] His golden thoughts, his shining white thoughts, irritae diffluunt, come to just nothing. Princes may haply have in their heads whole commonwealths, and the affairs of many kingdoms; as Alexander had, and Tamerlane, who died of an ague in the midst of his great preparations for the conquest of the Greek empire. Or, his thoughts ( ad alios benefaciendos, as Aben Ezra expoundeth it) of doing thee and others good; these fall to the ground with him. Great men’s words are like dead men’s shoes, saith one; he may go barefoot that waiteth for them. Wherefore
Psa 146:5 Happy [is he] that [hath] the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope [is] in the LORD his God:
Ver. 5. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help ] Since he is the King immortal, all powerful, as Psalms 146:6 , and no less willing, since he is a God in covenant.
Whose hope is in the Lord his God ] This is a well grounded hope indeed, and such as will not drag after a man. The leper believed Christ’s power, "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." Martha believed his will to raise her dead brother, but doubted of his power; since he had now been four days in the grave. He that is confident of both is upon sure ground, and happy indeed.
Psa 146:6 Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein [is]: which keepeth truth for ever:
Ver. 6. Which made heaven, and earth, &c. ] And, therefore, can help, doubtless.
Which keepeth truth for ever ] And, therefore, will; since he will not suffer his faithfulness to fail, nor alter the thing that is gone out of his mouth, Psa 89:33-37 And this "for ever" is opposed to that mortality and mutability of earthly princes, Psalms 146:4 .
Psa 146:7 Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners:
Ver. 7. Which executeth judgment ] Vindicat violatos. This should draw custom and company about him; as all that were in distress fled to David, and he became their captain.
Which giveth food to the hungry ] As he did to Elijah, by the ravens; to Hunniades, by his shepherd, with whom he supped on coarse fare, and found it sweet; to the town of Rochel, by a shoal of fish extraordinarily cast up into it by the tide, when they were straitly besieged and distressed.
The Lord looseth the prisoners ] As he did Peter, Acts 12:7-11 , and still he knoweth how to deliver his, saith the same Peter, who could speak it by good experience, 2 Peter 2:9 .
Psa 146:8 The LORD openeth [the eyes of] the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous:
Ver. 8. The Lord openeth the eyes ] Both of body and mind, as in the Gospel. As for those miracles, which Tacitus and Suetonius attribute to Vespasian (as that he made a blind man see with spittle, healed another that was lame, and another that had a dry hand, by treading upon it), they are the miracles of Christ, which those profane authors would cast upon their emperor. Tacitus writeth that the blind man said to Vespasian that the god Serapis sent him to him. Now, the Paynims did think that the Christians did worship Serapis, as appeareth by the Epistle of Adrian, the emperor, to Severianus, the consul, that in the town of Alexandria they that worshipped Serapis were Christians, &c.
The Lord raiseth, &c. ] As he did that daughter of Abraham in the Gospel, whom Satan had bound and bowed down twelve years, Luke 13:16 , and as he doth still, Isaiah 61:1 .
The Lord loveth the righteous ] And this is more than all the rest. God dispenseth outward blessings, but not always in love.
Psa 146:9 The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.
Ver. 9. The Lord preserveth ] These all are his clients, because neglected by the world, as yielding no profit.
He turneth upside down ] As one doth a dish that is washed and wiped, 2 Kings 21:13 .
Psa 146:10 The LORD shall reign for ever, [even] thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.
Ver. 10. The Lord shall reign for ever ] Non sibi, sed in salutem nostram, for our sakes he reigneth, that he may execute judgment, give food, loose prisoners, open eyes, &c.
Supplices idem, timidosque terra
Erigit vultus, et honore donat.
Therefore trust in him, and him alone, and that way praise him
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 146". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany