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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 100

Introduction

A Psalm of praise.

This psalm is in the spirit of Psalms 99, of which, according to Hengstenberg and others, it may be considered as the concluding part. It is an anticipation of New Testament times, when the gospel should be given to all the nations, and is a call, or exhortation, to “all lands” to come and worship Jehovahthe form in which the Hebrews expressed their faith in the universal kingdom of Messiah. It closes the series which began with Psalms 91, and more especially with Psalms 93, and is in striking conformity with the second part of Isaiah, or from the fortieth chapter to the close.

The lyrical versions of this psalm are among our sublimest hymns of praise in the modern Church; like that of Watts, “Before Jehovah’s awful throne,” etc., and the standard tune to the long metre version “Old Hundredth” derives its name from this psalm, as it stood in the Geneva collection in 1564.TITLE:

A Psalm of praise—The word תודה, (todah, ) is variously translated praise and thanksgiving in the common Version. In its ritualistic sense it denotes, when connected with זבח, (zebahh, ) victim, sacrifice, the praise offering, or thank offering, which was expressive of the feelings of the worshipper upon his realization of a state of peace and friendship with God. Leviticus 7:11-15. It differed from the sin offering and trespass offering, which were to expiate the cause of enmity, or the guilt of transgression. Leviticus 4; Leviticus 5:15-16. This zebahh-hatodah, or praise offering, was one of the three forms of peace offering, accompanied with a social feast, to denote friendship and reconciliation. Leviticus 7:15. The title of this psalm is not to be taken in the general sense of a “psalm for thanksgiving,” but in the liturgical sense above given, as in Psalms 107:22; Psalms 116:17. It is the echo of Psalms 95:2, where also the same word occurs in the same sense. “It is commonly thought that it was composed to be sung on the occasion of offering the sacrifice of thanksgiving.”Phillips.

Verse 1

1.All ye lands—The call is to all nations and peoples of the earth.

 

Verse 2

2.Serve the Lord with gladness—Different from “serve the Lord with fear,” Psalms 2:11. There the hostile nations were to be awed into submission; here the reconciled nations, as with peace offerings of thanksgiving, are called to rejoice.

 

Verse 3

3.Know ye that the Lord he is God—To know that Jehovah is God, is to know that he only is God, and that idols are nothing. This the heathen world is to learn by the works and word of God, especially as manifested in the redemption of his people. 1 Kings 18:39; Psalms 46:10; Deuteronomy 7:9. See on idols, Psalms 96:5.

He’ hath made us, and not we ourselves—If we take , (‘asah,) make, in the sense of constituted, formed, appointed, (as in 1 Samuel 12:22, “It pleased the Lord to make you his people,”) and refer it to the true Church, the present form of the text makes a good sense. God has made, constituted, the Church by his sole power and authority. The Church did not call herself, nor redeem or constitute herself. The work is all divine. But if the word refers back to the creation of man, the translation “and not we ourselves” is flat and without meaning. The Hebrew simply reads, “He made us, and to (or of) him we [are.]” Or, adopting the Keri, or Hebrew marginal reading, we substitute , velo, for , velo, and read (as in the margin of our common English Bible) “He made us, and we are his.” The doctrine is, that not only has God made us, but he made us for himself. The New Testament expression is found in Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11. The opposite to this is rebuked (Isaiah 29:16; Ezekiel 29:3) where Pharaoh says: “My river is mine own, and I made it for myself.”

 

Verse 4

4.Thanksgiving—The word should here also be understood of the zebahh-hatodah, the praise offering under the law. See note on the title of this psalm. But this ground idea anticipates the spiritual and prophetic sensethe ceaseless praise offering of the lips by the universal Church, fully brought out in Hebrews 13:15; Hosea 14:2.

Be thankful unto him—Give thanks to him. As the priest led the victim to the altar, and the people entered the sacred enclosure and drew near to perform their part in worship, and in the religious feast before the Lord, they were to feel and express the gratitude and praise which their peace offering denoted.

 

Verse 5

5.For the Lord is good— “This last seems to be the response of the whole chorus of the priests at the instant of the firing of the sacrifice, the prefect, or precentor, having begun the previous strains.”Hammond. But in a higher sense, it is the refrain to the song of the universal Church when the grand praise offering for the world’s submission shall be presented, through our great High Priest.

 

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 100". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/whe/psalms-100.html. 1874-1909.