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Psalms 66:1 « To the chief Musician, A Song [or] Psalm. » Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:
Ver. 1. Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands ] Heb. All the earth; shout aloud for joy, as the people did at the return of the ark, so that the earth rang again. God shall one day show himself to be the God, not of Jews only, but of Gentiles also; these shall as well cry Christ as those Jews; these say Father, as those Abba. And as there was great joy in Samaria when the gospel was there first received, Acts 8:8 , so shall there be the like in all other parts of the earth.
Psa 66:2 Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.
Ver. 2. Make his praise glorious ] Heb. Put glory to his praise; so Joshua 7:19 . God’s glory is as himself, eternal and infinite, no way capable of our addition or detraction; howbeit, to try how we prize it, and will exalt it, he declareth that he accounteth himself made more glorious by us when we receive him into our hearts as King of glory, and praise him accordingly.
Psa 66:3 Say unto God, How terrible [art thou in] thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.
Ver. 3. Say unto God ] Hereby it appeareth that this, among other psalms of like nature, was written for the perpetual use of the Church, and to serve for a set form of praising God, as occasion required, either in public or private.
Shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee ] Heb. shall lie unto thee; that is, saith Kimchi, shall deny that they ever did anything against thee, or thy people. Or, rather, they shall perforce acknowledge thy power and prowess; as Julian the apostate did in his last Vicisti Galilaee; they shall also yield obedience to thee, such as it is, because they can neither will nor choose; this Virtus nolentinm nulla est.
Psa 66:4 All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing [to] thy name. Selah.
Ver. 4. All the earth shall worship thee ] Heb. they shall bow down to thee, stoop to thy government, submit to the sceptre of thy kingdom; they shall become the kingdoms of our Lord Jesus Christ. O dieculam illam! O mora! Christe veni.
Selah ] Let that thy kingdom come; come speedily, come in our days, as the modern Jews pray daily ( Bimherah, Beiamenu ).
Psa 66:5 Come and see the works of God: [he is] terrible [in his] doing toward the children of men.
Ver. 5. Come and see ] Venite, videte; he taketh good people by the hand, as it were, leading them to the sight of God’s stupendous proceedings, which may not be slighted, Isaiah 5:12 .
Toward the children of men ] For they are his chief care, and about them is his providence principally exercised.
Psa 66:6 He turned the sea into dry [land]: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him.
Ver. 6. He turned the sea into dry land ] A mercy much celebrated, and not without cause, in all later ages.
They went through the flood on foot ] That is, through the river Jordan, when it had overflowed the banks; and met with no enemy on the other side to forbid their landing.
There did we rejoice in him ] We who were then in the loins of our forefathers, and so shared in their joy. See Hosea 12:4 . See Trapp on " Hos 12:4 "
Psa 66:7 He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.
Ver. 7. He ruleth by his power ] As sole sovereign, universal monarch, αυτοκρατωρ, παντοκρατωρ . Sesostris, king of Egypt, would needs be styled κοσμοκρατωρ , emperor of the whole world (Herod. l. 2); he lived about the time of Samson, and perished by the hands of his own householdservants.
His eyes behold the nations ] For which purpose they run to and fro through the earth, 2 Chronicles 16:9 .
Let not the rebellious, &c. ] Heb. the off fallen, froward, and refractory persons; these shall soon be repressed and crest fallen.
Psa 66:8 O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:
Ver. 8. O bless our God, ye people ] We must not only publish God’s praises, but provoke others also so to do.
Psa 66:9 Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.
Ver. 9. Which holdeth our soul in life ] Heb. putteth, that is, bestoweth life on us, preserveth it, restoreth it. Some think this psalm was made upon David’s deliverance from the giant that sought to kill him, 2 Samuel 21:16 .
And suffereth not our feet to be moved ] David gave back divers paces, say the Hebrews, but was seasonably rescued by Abishai, who slew the Philistine.
Psa 66:10 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
Ver. 10. For thou, O God, hast proved us ] Non ut ipse sciat sed ut scire nos faciat, saith Austin. God proveth his people, not thereby to better his own knowledge of them, John 2:25 ; John 6:6 ; Joh 21:17; Acts 1:24 , but to bring them to a better knowledge of their own both vices and graces. It is not known what corn will yield till it come to the flail; nor what grapes, till they come to the press. Grace is hid in nature, as sweet water in rose leaves; the fire of affliction fetcheth it out.
Thou hast tried us as silver ] The wicked also are tried, Revelation 3:10 , but they prove reprobate silver, Jeremiah 6:28 ; Jeremiah 6:30 , or, at best, as alchemy gold, that will not bear the seventh fire, as Job did, Job 23:10 .
Psa 66:11 Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.
Ver. 11. Thou broughtest us into the net ] A metaphor from hunters or fowlers, Utitur figuris tanquam in poemate.
Thou layedst affliction upon our loins ] Coarctationem in lumbis; we are not only hampered, as in a net, but fettered, as with chains; as if we had been in the jailor’s or hangman’s hands.
Psa 66:12 Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy [place].
Ver. 12. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads ] Subjected us to the villanies and outrages of the basest persons, who have used us more like beasts than men.
We went through fire and through water ] That is, through variety of sharpest afflictions, noted out by this proverbial passage; fire and water are merciless elements, Aelius Pertinax fortunae pila pervulgate dicebatur, quod variis casibus exercitus fuit. It is the true Christian’s comfort that nothing befalleth him but by a sweet providence; and that God goeth along with him into both fire and water, Isaiah 43:2 , to see that he take no hurt by either.
But thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place ] Heb. moist, that is, into the air, saith Aben Ezra, opposed to fire and water, where we might draw breath, and live comfortably. In locum irriguum, in refrigerium. It is but winking, said that martyr at the stake, and we shall be in heaven immediately. The Arabic hath it, Eduxisti nos ad requiem. Confer Acts 3:19 .
Psa 66:13 I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows,
Ver. 13. I will go into thine house, &c. ] I will begin to others in that public solemn thanksgiving, and not grudge at the cost; I will be Vir gregis, as the he-goat before the flocks, Jeremiah 50:8 .
Psa 66:14 Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.
Ver. 14. Which my lips have uttered ] Heb. have opened, that is, which I have uttered diductis labiis, with lips wide open. Videmus qualiter vota nuncupari soleant, saith Vatablus, Here we see after what sort vows use to be made, when we are under any pressing affliction; but when once delivered, how heavily many come off in point of payment.
And my mouth hath spoken when I was in trouble ] Then men will promise anything for ease and release. But what saith the Italian proverb? Sciapato il morbo, fraudato il Santo, when the disease is cured the saint is defrauded. Horace calleth upon Mecaenas, who in his sickness had vowed to build a temple,
- Reddere victimas
Aedemque votivam memento:
Nos humilem feriemus agnam.
Psa 66:15 I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.
Ver. 15. I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings ] Heb. marrow, the very best of the best; and better I could beteem the Lord if I had it.
With the incense of rams ] Which, being offered in faith, and as figures of that great sacrifice to come, shall be accepted of God for a sweet smelling savour.
I will offer bullocks with goats ] Faciam boves; this Eccius allegeth, but absurdly, to prove the Popish unbloody sacrifice of the mass; as if Christ, when he said, This do ye in remembrance of me, had meant, Thus sacrifice ye.
Psa 66:16 Come [and] hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.
Ver. 16. Come and hear ] He had said before, "Come and see," Psalms 66:5 . He held it a greater honour prodesse quam praeesse.
All ye that fear God ] For such only will hear to good purpose; others either cannot or care not.
And I will declare, &c. ] Communicate unto you my soul-secrets and experiments. There is no small good to be gotten by such declarations. Bilney, perceiving Latimer to be zealous without knowledge, came to him in his study, and desired him for God’s sake to hear his confession. I did so, saith Latimer, and, to say the truth, by his confession I learned more than before in many years. So from that time forward I began to smell the word of God, and forsake the school doctors and such fooleries (Acts & Mon.).
Psa 66:17 I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.
Ver. 17. I cried unto him ] I prayed fervently and frequently.
And he was extolled, &c. ] My prayers were soon turned into praises, which I silently framed within myself even while I was praying.
Psa 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear [me]:
Ver. 18. If l regard iniquity in my heart ] If I have but a month’s mind to it, as we say; if I cast but a leering look towards it; if there be in me but an irresolution against it; how much more, then, if I allow it and wallow in it? He who chooseth to hold fast sin doth, by his own election, forsake mercy, John 2:8 , neither let such a man think that he shall receive anything at the hands of God, James 1:7 . As in a wound, a plaster prevaileth not while the iron remaineth within; so neither prayer while sin rankleth. God will never accept a good motion from a bad mouth, as that State in story would not. A man may deliver an excellent speech, but, because of his stinking breath, we may have no pleasure to hear him; so in this case. Prayer as a pouring out of the heart, as hath been already, observed. If iniquity harbour there, prayer is obstructed, and if it do break out, it will have the scent and savour of that iniquity upon it, and thereby displease. Kimchi maketh this strange sense (quite from the purpose, and from the truth), If I regard iniquity only in my heart, so that I break not forth into outward act, God will not hear, i.e. so hear, as to impute it, or to account it a sin. Pharisaice.
Psalms 66:19 [But] verily God hath heard [me]; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
Ver. 19. But verily God hath heard me ] As I well perceive by his answer, full and enlarged, as the cloud that riseth out of the earth in thin and insensible vapours, falleth down in great and abundant showers.
Psa 66:20 Blessed [be] God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
Ver. 20. Blessed be God, &c. ] This is the conclusion of David’s syllogism, in this and the two former verses; and herein his logic is better than Aristotle’s.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 66". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany