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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 145

Introduction

David’s Psalm of praise.

“Every one who repeats David’s psalm of praise three times a day, may be sure that he is a child of the world to come.” So says the Jewish Talmud, basing its statement on the supposition that a succession of sentiments so hearty and grateful must surely convert and purify the soul. The psalm is understood to have been a charge to Solomon, when he took the throne of his aged father, as narrated in 1 Kings 1:0, and 1 Chronicles 22:0. In it David profoundly reviews his long and varied life, and sets forth his experience, as a guide to his youthful successor.

This is an alphabetic psalm, each verse beginning with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The נ ( nun) verse is lacking, though the Septuagint supplies, “The Lord is faithful in his words and holy in all his works;” which in Hebrew would begin with נאמן , initial nun. In the course of the psalm very many phrases and sentiments already familiar are found. A few, however, will be noticed as new, and beautifully fitting to the occasion.

Verse 1

1. My God, O king David reminds princes that there is a King above themselves: “Man that is in honour, continueth not.” Constant, grateful loyalty to the King Eternal is the joy and duty of earthly rulers.

Verse 4

4. One generation… to another The difference between the ages of the outgoing and of the incoming king was fully fifty years. That period was like a scroll written full of God’s merciful and mighty deeds done for David. He unrolls the record and hands it to his son, to keep as a testimony of what had been done for his family.

Verse 13

13. Everlasting kingdom “Kingdom” might better be kingly office, or majesty. David’s tenure of kingship now ceases; Solomon’s soon will cease; the monarchs of old have passed away; but the divine majesty neither fails nor changes. Twelve hundred years ago a Christian church at Damascus was changed into a Mohammedan mosque, but on its outside wall is still inscribed, in Greek letters, “Thy kingdom, O Christ, is a kingdom of all ages;” which shows in what sense the earlier Christians applied this verse.

Verses 15-16

15, 16. These verses were chanted in the ancient Church before the noon repast. Psalms 145:15 was also repeated at the Holy Communion. In due season is referred to the successive maturing of various grains and fruits in the course of the year. It is put as a marked feature of the divine government, that, great as it is, the wants of the weakest are treated with consideration, even to the feeding of the sparrows and the tinting of a lily.

Verse 18

18. The Lord is nigh It is here shown that while God sends his rain and sunshine and harvest upon all his creatures, he gives special hearing and special mercy to the true hearted, to them that fear him.

Verse 21

21. David comes to the end of the Hebrew alphabet, but not to the end of his gratitude and praise. All flesh, here, means all the human race. It is something more than a wish that is here expressed; it is a prophetic glimpse of the time when, from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, the Lord’s name shall be praised, and David’s tehillah the Hebrew name for this psalm be sung by every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 145". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/whe/psalms-145.html. 1874-1909.