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Bible Commentaries

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Psalms 118

 

 

Verses 1-29

Psalm 118-119

Psalm 118

Christ the Head of the Corner

1. His mercy endureth forever (Psalms 118:1-7)

2. The past experience (Psalms 118:8-12)

3. Jehovah My Salvation (Psalms 118:13-19)

4. The rejected stone the head of the corner (Psalms 118:20-29)

This Psalm is the last one which is used from ancient times by the Jews in celebrating the Passover in the home. The Psalms sung begin with Psalms 113:1-9 and end with this Psalm, the one hundred-eighteenth. It is called the “Hallel,” the Praise. Our Lord sang together with His disciples this Hallel (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26). The One hundred-eighteenth Psalm was therefore the last which they sang, before the Lord with His disciples that memorable night when He was betrayed, went to the Mount of Olives. And speaking to the chief priests and elders our Lord applied this Psalm to Himself. See Psalms 118:22 and compare with Matthew 21:42. Furthermore Psalms 118:26 is also used by our Lord in Matthew 23:39. So there is no question that the Spirit of God speaks of Him in this Psalm. It has been suggested that this Psalm was written and used in connection with the completion and consecration of the second temple. That it was used in other feast days, apart from Passover, seems evident; perhaps in connection with the feast of tabernacles. The Psalm begins with thanksgiving for His mercy manifested towards Israel in their deliverance. Nations had compassed them about, but in the Name of the Lord they were cut off. Therefore Israel sings “The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.” The voice of rejoicing and salvation is therefore in the tabernacles of the righteous (Psalms 118:14-15). They are delivered from death. Note the “gates of righteousness” in Psalms 118:19, through which they wish to enter in to praise the Lord. But immediately after we read, “This gate is the LORD’s, the righteous shall enter it.” It is Christ the Door, through which Israel also must enter, as every other sinner must use Him as the gate, the door of salvation. We read therefore at once “I will praise Thee for Thou hast heard me and art become my salvation.”

And then the verse concerning the stone which the builders rejected and which has become the head of the corner. His people rejected Him and He became for them the stone of stumbling and a rock of offence. They were nationally broken to pieces (Matthew 21:44). Then He became the cornerstone of another house, the church, of which He is the chief cornerstone. In the day of His second coming He will be the smiting stone, striking down Gentile dominion (Daniel 2:1-49) and grinding opposing nations to powder (Matthew 21:44). And after that He will be the cornerstone for His people Israel, upon whom all rests. This is indeed marvellous in their eyes as it is also to us. The cry “Hosanna,” or “Save now” (Psalms 118:25) and “Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the LORD is the welcome of Israel to her returning King.

 


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Bibliography Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Psalms 118:4". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gab/psalms-118.html. 1913-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, June 26th, 2019
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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