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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Psalms 146

 

 

Verse 1

Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.

Psalms 146:1-10.-Call to praise. Folly of trusting in dying man; the happiness of making the God of Jacob our help (Psalms 146:1-5); His gracious attributes; as Zion's God, He shall reign forever (Psalms 146:6-10). The Hallelujah marks the date after the Babylonian captivity. The Septuagint, Vulgate, Ethiopic, Syriac, and Arabic, attribute the psalm to Haggai and Zechariah. It probably was sung at the dedication of the second temple (Hengstenberg). I prefer, as it, like Psalms 150:1-6, begins and ends with Hallelujah (Praise ye the Lord), to join it with them, as sung at the consecration of the walls under Nehemiah.

Praise ye the Lord (Hallelujah). Praise ye the Lord (Hallelujah).

Praise the Lord, O my soul - from Psalms 104:1; Psalms 104:35.


Verse 2

While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

While I live will I praise the Lord; I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being - (Psalms 104:33.)


Verse 3

Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

Put not your trust in princes, (nor) in the son of man, in whom there is no help - rather, 'no salvation' (Jeshuhah, a different Hebrew word from that for "help," Psalms 146:5, `eezer (Hebrew #5828)). This verse is drawn from Psalms 118:8-9. The "princes" meant are the rulers of the God-opposed world-power. The Jews had found dependence on Pharaoh no safeguard against Nebuchadnezzar when Jerusalem was besieged by the latter. Again the princess of the Medo-Persian world-power had been quickly turned away from helping them by the slander of their Samaritan enemies, after their return from Babylon. "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord" (Proverbs 21:1). If we make God our friend and our confidence, He can make the world-powers also to befriend us (Psalms 75:6-7; Isaiah 2:22).


Verse 4

His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth (from Psalms 104:29 : cf. Genesis 3:19; Ecclesiastes 12:7), in that very day his thoughts perish. The Chaldaic translates, 'his machinations perish.' The perishing nature of the class of beings to which princes belong shows how little "trust" is to be placed in them (Psalms 146:3). However elated be their thoughts now, these shall all soon come to nothing (1 Corinthians 2:6; 1 Corinthians 3:20). The Hebrew for 'thoughts" means-literally, 'shinings,' 'polishings,' implying how elaborately fabricated were his plans [ `eshtownotaayw (Hebrew #6250), from `aashat (Hebrew #6245), to shine]. How can he bring "help" or salvation to others who cannot save himself? Death suddenly snaps asunder his web of projects, and therefore ends all the hope that was placed in him.


Verse 5

Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:

Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help - instead of 'trusting in princes, in whom there is no help' (Psalms 146:3 : cf. Psalms 118:7; Psalms 144:15). Literally, 'in his help.' Compare Deuteronomy 33:26, "the God of Jeshurun rideth upon the heaven in thy help." The very name of God here [ 'Eel (Hebrew #410), El] expresses strength, in contradistinction to human impotence.


Verse 6

Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:

Which made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that therein is. Here he sets forth the proofs of the strength of God implied in His name 'Eel (Hebrew #410); answering to the first clause of Psalms 146:5, "Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help:" for in having Him he hath the Almighty Maker of all things.

Which keepeth truth forever. God therefore hath the will, as well as the strength, to help that happy man. Such a one has God's truth pledged to him, as it is to all believers (Psalms 85:10).


Verse 7

Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners:

Which executeth judgment for the oppressed (Psalms 103:6) - i:e., for His own people when oppressed.

Which giveth food to the hungry - (Psalms 37:19; Psalms 107:5; Psalms 107:9.)

The Lord looseth the prisoners. Psalms 142:7 is the prayer, "Bring my soul out of prison:" this is the answer (Psalms 107:10; Psalms 107:14).


Verse 8

The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous:

The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind (Isaiah 35:5) - both the literally and the spiritually blind: those ignorant of the way of salvation (Deuteronomy 28:29; Isaiah 59:10; Job 12:25).

The Lord raiseth them that are bowed down - from Psalms 145:14.


Verse 9

The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

The Lord preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow - (Psalms 68:5-6.) Therefore he will preserve those who are not strangers, but His own people, when in danger, and will relieve (or stablish; raise up) His widowed (Luke 18:3; Luke 18:7) and orphan-like (John 14:18, margin) Church.

But the way of the wicked he turneth upside down - he makes their fate the very opposite of what their own "thoughts" devised it (Psalms 146:4; Proverbs 19:21): instead of happiness, which they thought to attain by perverse ways, their end is misery.


Verse 10

The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.

The Lord shall reign forever, (even) thy God, O Zion, unto all generations - from Exodus 15:18; Revelation 11:15. In contrast to the transitory kingdoms of the world. They who have such an everlasting kingdom awaiting them in the end, can afford to bear trials patiently, not yielding to despair on the way.

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 146:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-146.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, December 12th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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