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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 146


This psalm is the last of the five assigned to the occasion of the dedication of the second temple, a description of which is elsewhere given. See on Ezra 6:15-22. It is a song of praise to God as the eternal helper a character in which Israel had now good cause to remember him. It is also very fitting that such a psalm should conclude the series so employed.

Verse 1

1. O my soul The Hebrew, having no reflexive pronoun, uses “soul” for self, “my soul” being myself; nor is the expression disagreeable in English.

Verse 2

2. While I have any being Hebrew, in my continuance. An allusion to the life after death, according to the simple and comprehensive language usually employed to set forth the idea of immortality.

Verse 3

3. Put not… trust in princes A prince, (Cyrus, Ezra 1:1-4,) and then another, (Darius Hystaspes, Ezra 6:0,) had helped Israel in rebuilding the temple. Yet they were but the servants of a Higher; they were but sons of men, weak and changeful.

Verse 4

4. His breath goeth In Hebrew rhetoric the first clause is often a condition. When “his breath,” etc. His thoughts perish, means, not the destruction of the thinking faculty, the mind, but the ruin of his plans.

Verse 5

5. Happy The first word of the Psalms occurs here for the twenty-fifth and last time. It is a word of great force, always exclamatory. “O the blessednesses!”

Verse 7

7. The five lines beginning with The Lord, etc., Psalms 146:7, are, in Hebrew, of three words each, forming a beautiful and peculiar strain, which may be read as one verse. Thus:

Jehovah looseth [the] prisoners,

Jehovah openeth [the eyes of the] blind,

Jehovah raiseth [the] depressed,

Jehovah loveth [the] righteous,

Jehovah keepeth strangers.

The words in brackets are not in the original, but are implied.

Verse 9

9. The word upside is not in the Hebrew, and is not desirable. The way of the wicked is turned down, toward the abyss of darkness, while that of the just is turned upward, toward the perfect day.

Verse 10

10. The Lord shall reign for ever Israel had seen kings and dynasties come and go, while Jehovah, the God of their fathers, was the same, and his years and power did not fail. He is now anew recognised as the God of this mountain, Mount Zion, which, therefore, cannot be removed, and he that trusteth in him shall, like Zion, abide for ever.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 146". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.