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Psa 150:1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
Ver. 1. Praise ye the Lord ] See Psalms 148:1 .
Praise God in his sanctuary ] It is probable, saith Beza, that hoc Psalmo mirifici ardoris plano, by this psalm, which is so full of wonderful ardour, the holy singers of the sanctuary did mutually stir up one another to praise the Lord. It hath been noted before, that here we have in six verses twelve hallelujahs. Some by "sanctuary" understand heaven; others, the hearts of believers.
Praise him in the firmament of his power ] Or, for the firmament wherein appeareth his power, Psalms 21:1 . Or, for the Church, and the firmament of faith.
Psa 150:2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
Ver. 2. Praise him for his mighty acts ] Those wonderful effects of his creative and providential omnipotence.
Praise him according to his excellent greatness ] Or, Greatness of greatness; which yet can never be done, but must be endeavoured. Propound the highest pitch and best patterns.
Psa 150:3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
Ver. 3. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet ] With all your might and members, with utmost joy and jollity in the Lord. Lord, I am a musical instrument, saith Nazianzen, for thee to touch, that I may sound forth thy glory and praise (Orat. de Basilio).
Psa 150:4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
Ver. 4. Praise him with the timbrel and dance ] Or, pipe. But these are ancient things (as it is said in another case, 1Ch 4:22 ), and now out of date. When the use of these musical instruments crept into the Christian Churches (which was not till lately) great abuses crept in with it; the preaching of the word was changed into songs and anthems, little understood by those that sang them, and that grave and simple psalmody or singing of psalms (so much used of old and by this blessed Reformation restored to the Church) was jostled out, or rather turned in turpissimum lenocinium (as one justly complaineth), such as Nebuchadnezzar made before his golden image, Dan 3:1 Justin Martyr musices usum reprehendit qu. 107, ad Orthodox. Sic Theodoret Lib. de Sacrific. When Aristotle was asked what he thought of music, he answered, Iovem nec canere, nec citharam pulsars; thinking it an unprofitable art to men, that was no more delightful to God. Plato told the musicians who pressed into his company, that philosophers could do well enough without them. There is (no doubt) a lawful use of music, and great power it hath to move men’s minds one way or another, 2 Kings 3:15 1 Samuel 16:23 . But in God’s public worship it is dangerous to do anything without his special warrant, though we intend never so well in so doing; as we see in Uzzah. Temple music was part of the Jewish pedagogy, of the Levitical worship; and therefore cannot be retained without injury to Christ.
Psa 150:5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
Ver. 5. Praise him upon the loud cymbals ] These were, saith Cicero (in Pison.), instrumenta aerea, concava, tinnula, in matris Deorum sacris usurpata; bells, some render it. The apostle speaketh of a tinkling cymbal; and a grave divine complaineth, that God cannot please some hearers unless he speak tinkling and tickling words (Dr Stough on 2Ti 1:13 ).
Psa 150:6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.
Ver. 6. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord ] Or, Let every breath praise the Lord. Tam Dei meminisse opus est quam respirare, saith Chrysostom. We have all as much reason to praise God as we have need to draw breath; our breath should be like the smoke of the tabernacle, or those pillars of incense therehence ascending. Tremellius rendereth it, Tota ipsa anima laudet Iah, Let the very whole soul of us praise the Lord.
Praise ye the Lord ] The psalmist had made an end, and yet he hath not done. When we have said our utmost for God’s praise we must rest uusatisfied, and begin anew.
Hoc primum repetas opus, hoc postremus omittas.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 150". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Sixth Week after Easter