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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Psalms 148

 

 

Verse 1

Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights.

Psalms 148:1-14.-Praise for God's having raised Israel to national stability from depression. All things are called upon to praise-the heavens, angelic and material; the earth, its deeps and heights; men, great and small.

Praise ye the Lord from the heavens - denoting the place whence the praise is to issue: answering to Psalms 148:7. "Praise the Lord from the earth."


Verse 2

Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.

Praise ye him ... all his hosts - (Psalms 103:20-21.) The sun, moon, and stars are the material, the angels, the immaterial portion of "His hosts." The former unconsciously praise God by their very being. The Psalmist's call to them to praise God does not imply that they are conscious of his call, but merely expresses His satisfaction that God is praised by them.


Verse 3

Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 4

Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.

Praise him, ye heavens of heavens - the highest heavens: as "holy of holies" is in Hebrew idiom the superlative, "the most holy place" (1 Kings 8:27; Deuteronomy 10:14). Compare the parallel history, Nehemiah 9:6. So 2 Corinthians 12:2 alludes to a gradation in height of the several heavens - "the third heaven." The angels, the stars, and the clouds (Psalms 148:2-4) imply successive regions above.

And ye waters that (be) above the heavens - the clouds, the lowest heavens, in contrast to the "heavens of heavens," the highest (Genesis 1:7; Psalms 104:3). Those called to praise the Lord are six, answering to the number of verses in the first half strophe.


Verse 5-6

Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.

For he commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished them forever and ever. Herein are stated the grounds of praise. He stablishes the things which he creates, so that they never can free themselves from entire subserviency to His will. There can be no change but by His appointment.

He hath made a decree which shall not pass. So respecting the sea (Job 38:10-11), and respecting the extent of man's life (Job 14:5). Hengstenberg translates, 'He, gave them a law which they never transgress.' But the verb 'transgress' or "pass" is singular, which favours the English version. Hengstenberg takes the singular as referring to each part of creation, or to all the parts regarded as one whole (cf. Psalms 104:9; Jeremiah 5:22). The "decree" is the order or sphere and law of being prescribed to all created things, which order does not pass or change so long as God wills it, nor until they have fulfilled the purpose assigned to them. The stars must pursue their course; the upper and lower waters must remain distinct.


Verse 7

Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:

Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons - sea monsters, taniyniym (Hebrew #8577) (Psalms 74:13). They are specially named because by their monstrous size they attest the infinite greatness of God's creative power. "From the earth," the sphere whence the praise is to emanate: answering to Psalms 148:1, "from the heavens."


Verse 8

Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word:

Fire - lightning.

Vapour - the result of fire and water together. Hengstenberg translates, 'smoke;' the dark smoke contrasting with the white snow (Psalms 119:83; Genesis 19:28).

Stormy wind fulfilling his word - (Psalms 147:15.) However the stormy wind, with its wild impetuosity, may seem reckless of all law, it still is executing the word and will of God no less than the angels, who "do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word" (Psalms 103:20).


Verse 9

Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:

Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars. Objects are selected eminent in their kind. The cedars, because of their majestic height, are called "the cedars of God:" they proclaim His creative power, (Psalms 80:10, margin.)


Verse 10

Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 11

Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:

Kings of the earth - the earthly representatives of God's all-ruling power.

And all people. Even the humble, as well as the great, set forth God's glory.


Verse 12

Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children:

Both young men and maidens; old men and children. The preservation of the old so long, and the vigour of the young, are living proofs of God's power and love: so both old and young should praise the Lord.


Verse 13

Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.

Let them praise the name of the Lord - "them," all those enumerated above, both in heaven and on earth.

For his name alone is excellent - (Psalms 8:1; Isaiah 12:4.) "Excellent" - literally, exalted.

His glory is above the earth and heaven - (Psalms 113:4.)


Verse 14

He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD.

He also exalteth the horn of his people - which before was "defiled in the dust" (Job 16:15; Psalms 92:10; Psalms 75:10). As 'His name is exalted' (Psalms 148:13), so 'He also exalteth His people.'

The praise of all his saints - in apposition to "He exalteth the horn of His people" - i:e., which thing affords to all His saints material for praising Him (Ainsworth): or in doing which He exalteth the praise (glory) of all His saints (Gejer). So Hengstenberg, 'He lifted up the renown of all His saints, which until now had been covered with shame.' I prefer taking it, He is the praise - i:e., the glory of His saints, which furnishes a motive to them that they should praise Him (cf. Psalms 149:9). The clauses preceding and succeeding this all refer to their being honoured in having Him for their God, especially near to them, and in their being exalted by Him.

A people near unto him. So the spiritual Israel (Ephesians 2:13; Ephesians 2:17). Compare the literal Israel's nearness to God, as priests unto Him, permitted to approach Him (Leviticus 10:3; Ezekiel 42:13; Deuteronomy 4:7; Exodus 19:6; Numbers 16:10; Psalms 147:19-20).

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 148:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-148.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 14th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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