Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, July 17th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 148

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights.

Praise the Lord — And again, "Praise ye the Lord"; and so often, in this the rest of the hallelujatical psalms. In praising God the saints are unsatisfiable, and would be infinite (as his perfections are infinite), so that they make a circle (as one phraseth it), the beginning, middle, and end whereof is hallelujah.

From the heavens: praise him in the heights — Or, high places. As God in framing the world began above and wrought downward, so doth the psalmist in this his exhortation to all creatures to praise the Lord.

Verse 2

Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.

Praise ye him, all his angels — Whose proper office it is to adore and praise God, Job 38:7 Isaiah 6:3 Hebrews 1:6 , which also they do constantly and completely; as those that both perfectly know him and love him. Jacob saw them, 1. Ascending, to contemplate and praise the Lord, and minister to him, Luke 2:13 Daniel 7:10 Matthew 18:10 Psalms 103:20 . Psalms 103:2 . Descending, to execute God’s will upon men, for mercy to some, and for judgment to others; which tendeth much to his praise. And David, by calling upon these heavenly courtiers, provoketh and pricketh on himself to praise God.

Praise ye him, all his hostsi.e. His creatures (those above especially, which are as his cavalry), called his hosts for their, 1. Number 2. Order; 3. Obedience.

Verse 3

Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.

Praise ye him, sun and moon — These do, after a sort, declare the glory of God, Psalms 19:1-2 Habakkuk 3:3 ; not with mind and affection, as if they were understanding creatures (as Plato held, In Epimenide), but by their light influences, admirable motions, and obedience, whereby quasi mutis vocibus, by a dumb kind of eloquence, saith Nazianzen, they give praise to God, and bid check to us for our dulness and disorders.

Praise him, all ye stars of light — A light, then, they have of their own (besides what they borrow of the sun), which they withhold at God’s appointment, Isaiah 13:10 , and influences they have which cannot be restrained or resisted, Job 38:31-32 .

Verse 4

Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that [be] above the heavens.

Praise him, ye heavens of heavens — Whereby he meaneth not the lowest heavens, the air whereon we breathe, and wherein birds fly, clouds swim, …, as some would have it; but the highest heaven, called by St Paul the third heaven, the habitation of the crowned saints and glorious angels; called by philosophers coelum Empyreum, and here by the psalmist the heavens of heavens, as King of kings, Song of songs, …, by an excellence. See Deuteronomy 10:14 .

And ye waters that be above the heavensi.e. Above the air, and that do distinguish between the air and the sky, as the Primmn Mobile doth between the sky and the highest heavens, Superius suspensae aquarum fornices.

Verse 5

Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.

For he commanded, and they were created — His fiat only made all; this is celebrated by that heavenly choir, Revelation 4:11 .

Verse 6

He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.

He hath also stablished them for ever — viz. The course and appointed motions of the heavens, which he hath settled by a covenant, and hath not falsified with them, Jeremiah 33:25 ; much less will he with his faithful people.

Verse 7

Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:

Praise the Lord from the earth — The psalmist proceedeth to factor for God among the inferior creatures; beginning with the lowest in the waters beneath, as the dragons or great whales; and then coming to rain and snow, …, which are made out of the waters above.

Ye dragons, and all deeps — Of sea dragons, see Aelian. lib. 4, Animal. cap. 12: they live partly in the sea and partly on the land, as do crocodiles. These also yield matter of God’s praise.

Verse 8

Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word:

Ver 8. Fire, and hail; snow, and vapours — This latter is the matter of those former meteors which he purposely mingleth with those forementioned miracles of land and waters, the more to set forth the power of God, because these seem to have no settledness of subsistence, and yet in them he is made visible.

Stormy wind fuelling his word — The winds blow not at random, but by a Divine decree; and God hath ordered that whether north or south blow they shall blow good to his people, Song of Solomon 4:16 . He saith to all his creatures, as David did to his captains concerning Absalom, Handle them gently for my sake.

Verse 9

Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:

Mountains, and all hills — These praise God by their form, hugeness, fruits, prospects, …

Fruitful trees — These, by the variety of their natures and fruits, do notably set forth the wisdom, power, and goodness of the Almighty; while they spend themselves and the principal part of their sap and moisture in bringing forth some pleasant berry, or the like, for the use of man, who is thereby engaged to bless God.

Verse 10

Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:

Beastsi.e. Wild beasts, that are fullest of life; and therehence have their name in the Hebrew tongue.

And all cattle — Domestic and tame beasts, even to the elephant; which is said to turn up the first sprig towards heaven, in token of thankfulness, by a natural instinct, when he comes to feed.

Creeping things — Whether in earth or sea; all these are summoned in by the psalmist to pay their tribute of praise, and to do their homage to the Most High.

Verse 11

Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:

Kings of the earth — These are doublybound to God (as Queen Elizabeth wrote to the French king); first, as they are men; and next, as they are so great men; but this is little considered. Tamerlane, having overcome Bajazet, asked him whether ever he had given God thanks for making him so great an emperor? who confessed ingenuously he never thought of it.

Princes, and all judges of the earth — These are thrice called upon, because hardly persuaded to pay God his rent, as holding themselves too high to do him homage.

Verse 12

Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children:

Both young men, and maidens — Souls have no sexes; let the choice youths and the compt lasses quae totae occupantur in sese ornandis, saith Kimchi, who are much taken up in tricking and trimming themselves, leave that folly, and give glory to God.

Verse 13

Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory [is] above the earth and heaven.

Let them praise the name of the Lord — Join in this harmony of hallelujah.

His glory is above — Being deeper than earth, higher than heaven.

Verse 14

He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; [even] of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD.

He also exalteth the horni.e. He graceth them singularly.

A people near unto him — And in that respect happy above all people on the earth, Deuteronomy 4:7 ; Deuteronomy 33:29 , because in covenant with him and near allied to him, as the word here importeth.

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 148". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/psalms-148.html. 1865-1868.
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