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the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 108

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Verses 1-13

Psa 108:1-13

Psalms 108:1-13

A COMPOSITE OF Psalms 57:7-11 UNITED WITH Psalms 60:5-12

"My heart is fixed, O God;

I will sing, yea, I will sing praises, even with my glory.

Awake, psaltery and harp:

I myself will awake right early.

I will give thanks unto thee, O Jehovah, among the peoples;

And I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.

For thy lovingkindness is great above the heavens;

And thy truth reacheth unto the skies.

Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens,

And thy glory above all the earth.

That thy beloved may be delivered,

Save with thy right hand, and answer us.

God hath spoken in his holiness:

I will exult;

I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.

Gilead is mine;

Manasseh is mine;

Ephraim also is the defense of my head;

Judah is my sceptre.

Moab is my washpot;

Upon Edom will I cast my shoe;

Over Philistia will I shout.

Who will bring me into the fortified city?

Who hath led me unto Edom?

Hast not thou cast us off, O God?

And thou goest not forth, O God, with our hosts.

Give us help against the adversary;

For vain is the help of man.

Through God we shall do valiantly:

For he it is that will tread down our adversaries."

As Dummelow suggested in the quotation at the beginning of the previous chapter, this psalm was evidently put together for some type of liturgical use in one of the various Temple services of the Jews. Nothing whatever is known about who arranged this psalm or actually for what purpose.

The variations here are of such a slight nature that we consider them absolutely insignificant.

As we have already commented fully upon the passages united to form this psalm, we are content to refer the reader to those passages without further elaboration here.

Leupold proposed the following as an outline of what is written here.

A. Resolution to praise God for deliverance (Psalms 108:1-6).

B. The recalling of God’s ancient promises (Psalms 108:7-9).

C. Looking to the conquest of Edom (Psalms 108:10-13).

E.M. Zerr:

Psalms 108:1. Fixed is from a Hebrew word that means to be prepared or ready. David meant he was prepared to praise the Lord and give him all of the glory due Him.

Psalms 108:2. Awake as an intransitive verb means to be aroused to some action of importance. The Psalmist was calling on people to be interested in the praises of God. There is nothing unusual in suggesting the psaltery and harp, for he was known to be a specialist in using such instruments in connection with religious worship.

Psalms 108:3. Private praise was not all that David proposed to offer to the Lord. The people of the nations were to be witnesses of his praise. (See comments at 107:32.)

Psalms 108:4. The heavens or the clouds are inanimate things and are not subjects for the mercy of God. The exalted status that they represent in the universe was used to compare the greatness of divine mercy towards living beings.

Psalms 108:5. The preceding verse affirmed the fact of the exaltation of God’s mercy. In this verse the Psalmist endorses such exaltation by bidding the Author of the quality to be himself exalted.

Psalms 108:6. Thy beloved means the people of God. Since the divine mercy is so high and great, David felt free to ask its Author to extend some of it to the people who had ever been the objects of divine love.

Psalms 108:7. The first person pronoun I refers to God, and he was declaring his claims to certain territories and groups of people, and what he intended to do with them. He would divide or reduce Shechem and Succoth.

Psalms 108:8. Gilead was a district east of the Jordan and was a very noted territory. It was logical for God to claim it, not only on the ground that "the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof," but his people had taken it over in the march from Egypt to Canaan. Manasseh and Ephraim are mentioned in this way because they were the sons of Joseph and each formed a complete tribe. (Genesis 48:5.) Judah is my lawgiver was said in prospect, for the Old Testament law came through Moses who was of the tribe of Levi. But Judah was the tribe through whom Christ was to come, who was to give the final law of Heaven to the world. (Genesis 49:10; Hebrews 7:12-14.)

Psalms 108:9. This verse is the same as Psalms 60:8, and the reader is requested to see my comments at that place.

Psalms 108:10. David was thinking about the mighty support that would be needed to help him encounter his many obstacles. To invade a strong territory (Edom was a powerful enemy) would be an instance of great deeds. The Psalmist was enquiring as to who could enable him to accomplish such an exploit.

Psalms 108:11. David turned in hope toward God, although he was the one who had cast us off in the sense of the bitter chastisements. But God has been merciful and the Psalmist expects to be led into victory at last.

Psalms 108:12. The main thought in this verse is the contrast between the help from God and that from man. The former is great while the other is vain.

Psalms 108:13. This is practically the same in thought as the preceding verse. Valiantly means forcefully, and David meant that the people could manifest force if they relied on the Lord. This is the same thought Paul expressed in Ephesians 6:10.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Psalms 108". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/psalms-108.html.
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