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Bible Commentaries

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Psalms 8

Verse 1

O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

In — Not only in Israel, but among all nations. Which shews that this psalm speaks of the Messiah, and the times of the New Testament.

Heavens — Where thy throne of glory is established, where the blessed angels celebrate thy praises, where Christ sitteth at thy right hand in glorious majesty, from whence he poureth down excellent gifts upon babes.

Verse 2

Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

Babes — Weak and foolish, and contemptible persons, who are frequently called babes or children. Such are very unfit to grapple with an enemy: and therefore when such persons conquer the most powerful and malicious enemies, it must needs confound them, and advance the glory of God: as indeed it did, when such mean persons as the apostles, and disciples of Christ, maintained and propagated the gospel, in spite of all the wit, power, and rage of their enemies.

Ordained — Perfectly or firmly settled strength; that is, the praise of his strength or power, Matthew 21:16, it is rendered praise.

Still — Silence and confound them.

Avenger — The devil, and all who are his vassals and espouse his quarrel.

Verse 3

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

The moon — Either the sun is included under this general title: or he omitted it, because he made this psalm by night.

Ordained — Placed in that excellent and unalterable order, and directed to their several motions.

Verse 4

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

What is man — How mean and inconsiderable a thing is man, if compared with thy glorious majesty.

Man — Heb. infirm, or miserable man. By which it is apparent that he speaks of man, not according to the state of his creation, but as fallen into a state of sin and misery, and mortality.

Mindful — Carest for him, and conferest such high favours upon him.

The son — Heb. the son of Adam, that great apostate from God, the sinful son of a sinful father, his son by likeness of disposition and manners, no less than by procreation. All which tends to magnify the following mercy.

Visitest — Not in anger, as that word is sometimes used, but with thy grace and mercy.

Verse 5

For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

For — Thou hast in Christ mercifully restored man to his primitive estate, wherein he was but one remove below the angels; from which he was fallen by sin.

Crowned — Man, fallen and lost man: who is actually restored to glory and dominion in Christ his head and representative, who received this crown and dominion for man's good, and in his stead; which he will in due time communicate to his members. And so the two expositions of this place concerning mankind and concerning Christ, may be reconciled. For he speaks of that honourable estate conferred first upon Christ, and then by his hands upon mankind. But the words more literally rendered are, Thou madest him a little less than God. And hence some have inferred, that man in his original state was the highest of all creatures.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/wen/psalms-8.html. 1765.