corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.11.17
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Psalms 50

 

 

Verse 1

The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.

As formerly at the giving of the law on Sinai, so now at the final consummation of the Gospel, Yahweh appears in glory. His judging as King on Zion, and thence over the whole earth, is set forth.

Psalms 50:1-23.-He, after a long silence, summons all to witness His righteousness in judging, and gathering His saints who have convenanted with Him by sacrifice (Psalms 50:1-16); expostulation with Israel for formalism; His effectual invitation to them to call upon Him in trouble) Psalms 50:7-15); judgment on transgressors who take God's covenant in their mouth, while rejecting God's commands, presuming on His silence (Psalms 50:16-21); concluding summary: Warning to forgetters of God: thanksgiving, and a right conversation, the way to salvation (Psalms 50:22-23).

Title - Psalm of Asaph - The warning against sacrificial formalism appropriately is given by a Levite, one of the class whose duty it was to attend to the outward rite. Heman, Asaph, and Ethan were chief musicians of David (1 Chronicles 15:17; 1 Chronicles 15:19). Asaph is called "the seer" (2 Chronicles 29:30). The Psalms bearing his name, Psalms 73:1-28 to Psalms 83:1-18 are similar in style.

The mighty God, (even) the Lord - 'EEL (Hebrew #410), 'ELOHIYM (Hebrew #430), YAHWEH (Hebrew #3068): a climax, each successive name rising in sublimity above the preceding. Not only MIGHTY (singular), equivalent to 'Eloah (Hebrew #433), but as 'ELOHIYM (Hebrew #430) (plural), having all the fullness and infinitude of Deity; not only so, but also YAHWEH (Hebrew #3068), self-existent, unchanging, faithful to His covenant with His people.

Hath spoken - or 'speaks.' What he speaks follows (Psalms 50:5; Psalms 50:7-23).

And called the earth, from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Not Israel alone but the whole earth is concerned in the issue of the scene. At the same time, the saints, Israel, and the wicked are the prominent persons affected by the judgment, the nations in general subsequently (Psalms 50:5; Psalms 50:7; Psalms 50:16; Psalms 50:23). The whole earth is called on to witness God's coming manifestation (Deuteronomy 4:26). For the display of God's righteousness in reproving, afflicting, and then converting and vindicating Israel, and taking vengeance on the wicked (the Antichristian confederacy), eventuates in the conversion of the Gentile nations throughout the earth.


Verse 2

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty (Psalms 47:2), God has shined - in contrast to Deuteronomy 33:2, "The Lord came from Sinai (not the perfection of beauty, but rugged and gloomy); He shined forth from Mount Paran." The Lord at His second advent shall not come with the "fiery law," speaking terror to His saints, but to be " glorified" and " admired" in them (2 Thessalonians 1:10). Zion shall be the place of His throne, whence He shall judge and reign (Psalms 2:6). The theocracy on earth shall then be realized with a glory of which its temporary continuance in the Holy Land was but a faint shadow (Ezekiel 43:7).


Verse 3

Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.

Our God shall come. "OUR God" contains the reason why He shall come-namely, because He is the God of His waiting people (Hebrews 9:28).

And shall not keep silence. The ungodly think that, because He now keeps silence, He will never come and speak the sentence of doom upon transgressors; therefore they go on in their course of wickedness (Psalms 50:21). The godly, too, have their patience sorely tried by God's seeming slowness in fulfilling His promise of vindicating His people openly by word and deed: let them remember "the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie; though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come, it will not tarry" (Habakkuk 2:3).

A fire shall devour before him - an accompaniment of the second advent (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; Hebrews 10:27; 2 Peter 3:7; 2 Peter 3:10). So at Sinai (Exodus 19:16; Exodus 20:18; Exodus 24:17).

And it shall be very tempestuous round about him. Fire and storm are symbols of God's anger (1 Kings 19:11-12; Ezekiel 13:11; Hebrews 12:29).


Verse 4

He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.

He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. He desires all His creatures, above and below, to witness His open vindication of His righteousness in executing judgment for His people (Deuteronomy 32:1).


Verse 5

Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.

Gather, my saints together unto me - literally, 'my pious ones,' the objects of grace; Hebrew, chasidai. All Israel was termed so, by its national calling to be godly, as the object of God's grace. The ulterior reference is to the spiritual Israel, and their gathering to the Lord. So Matthew 24:31; also 1 Thessalonians 4:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:1.

Those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice - namely, by the only true sacrifice, "the blood of the everlasting covenant" (Hebrews 13:20}, the Antitype to all the sacrifices of the law, which could never take away sin and make the comer perfect in the sight of God (Hebrews 9:12-14; Hebrews 10:1-14).


Verse 6

And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.

And the heavens shall declare his righteousness. The vindication of "His righteousness" to His own glory is the final end of the "covenant" of redemption, and of the judgment about to be executed in behalf of His elect at the second advent. The saints, His people who are accepted of God on the ground of the covenant by sacrifice, are distinguished from Israel, who is reproved (Psalms 50:7-8) for formal sacrifices.

His expostulation with Israel for formalism in legal services, and His effectual call to thankfulness, obedience, and prayer in trouble, with the promise of deliverance (Psalms 50:7-15).


Verse 7

Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.

Hear, O my people, and I will speak - no longer 'keeping keeping' silence (Psalms 50:3).

O Israel, and I will testify against thee - as in Deuteronomy 31:26; Deuteronomy 31:28; Nehemiah 9:29, "Thou testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law." This shall be the object of God's final pleading with them, just before their conversion, after sore "trouble" (Psalms 50:15; Daniel 12:1). The Hebrew signifies to protest imploringly, and with the solemnity of an oath [ w


Verse 8

I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.

I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices. Here God implies that Israel brought the sacrifices regularly enough; but what He complains of is the lack of inward service. In Psalms 50:9-12 God proceeds to show the grounds on which He esteemed the mere outward sacrifices as so secondary in importance. If He needed them, He would not need to apply to men, because all creation is His. In Psalms 50:13 it is added that Gods spiritual nature shows that "the flesh of bulls" could not give Him satisfaction.

Or thy burnt offerings, (to have been) continually before me - rather, as Septuagint and Vulgate, 'thy burnt offerings are continually before me.' The Hebrew for 'burnt offering' [ `owlaah (Hebrew #5930)], is literally an ascending, because the holocaust or burnt offering was raised up upon the altar, and wholly burnt there, and so ascended as smoke to heaven.


Verse 9

I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.

I will take no bullock - a young ox; the stage next after that of a calf.


Verse 10

For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.

For every beast of the forest is mine - (Genesis 1:24.)

And the cattle upon a thousand hills. Hengstenberg translates, 'the cattle upon the hills of the thousand' -

i.e., where they go by thousands.


Verse 11

I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.

I know all the fowls. Knowledge and ownership go together; Omniscience is inseparably linked with I know all the fowls. Knowledge and ownership go together; Omniscience is inseparably linked with Omnipotence and universal dominion.

And the wild beasts of the field are mine - literally, 'are with me;' i:e., are at once in my mind and at my disposal.


Verse 12

If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.

If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof. Yet the Lord Almighty condescends to deal with us as if He could receive a benefit at our hands. Compare Luke 19:31, where the disciples are directed to tell the owner, of the donkey-colt, "The Lord hath need of him." This is His grace to us, that while we offer our all to Him, it is not Him but ourselves whom we benefit (Acts 17:25).


Verse 13

Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?

Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? The answer is in John 4:24; and yet the Godhead made itself for a time subject to the conditions of the flesh, in the person of the incarnate God (Luke 24:39-43).


Verse 14-15

Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:

-The true sacrifices, as contrasted with the false: the duty is stated in Psalms 50:14; the blessed result in Psalms 50:15.

Verse 14. Offer unto God thanksgiving - literally, 'praise' or 'confession' of all that God is in himself, and is to us. Praise is mentioned as one species of inward worship performed by the heart, and as a specimen of all such worship, as contrasted with external worship not so accompanied.

And pay thy vows unto the Most High - not only by "thanksgiving," but in all other ways of loving obedience of heart and life, render to God all that thou hast bound thyself to as His servant and His child (Psalms 116:17-18; Job 22:27; Ecclesiastes 5:4-5). Outward vows are to be faithfully paid to God, not that He needs aught from us, but for the fulfillment of our promise, which, if we keep to our fellow- men, much more ought we to keep to God. The chief vow which God urges on Israel to fulfill is that which they made of obedience at Sinai, -- "All that the Lord hath spoken we will do" (Exodus 19:8). The context, which dwells on the uselessness of mere ritualism, makes it likely that the "vows" meant are faith, love, and obedience.

Verse 15. And call upon me in the day of trouble. - a gracious promise consequent on the heart "thanksgiving" and 'payment' of Israel's moral as well as ceremonial, "vows." If first thou givest heartfelt thanks, and art faithful to thy vows of obedience (Psalms 50:15), then thou mayest "call upon me in the day of trouble," and

I will deliver thee, and thou shalt (have fresh occasion to) glorify me. So obedience and thanksgiving, rendered in the first instance by Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:19-30), issued in immediate "deliverance," in answer to the "call" of faith "in the day of trouble." The absence of the conjunction and marks the immediate effect of believing, obedient, and thankful prayer (cf. Isaiah 65:24). So Israel, in her last and greatest tribulation, shall experience the Lord in her present help, after she has turned humbly to: Him (Daniel 12:1; Zechariah 12:10-14; Zechariah 13:1-9; Zechariah 14:1-5).

Judgment on the wicked who take God's covenant in their mouth, but flagrantly violate it by absence of natural affection and offences of heart, hand, and tongue against their neighbours, especially against the godly, presuming on God's present silence.


Verse 16-17

But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?

But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? (Exodus 23:13.)

Seeing thou hatest instruction - (Isaiah 1:15.) Hypocrites make mention of God's covenant only to display their religious knowledge, as if they were able to teach others, and to judge their neighbours (Romans 2:18-24). The law was given not to be spoken about, but to be done (Romans 2:13). This is the rank soil out of which Antichrist, the last breaker of the "covenant," shall spring (Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:30-32). 'Such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries' (see 1 Maccabees 1:30). So Paul describes the features of professors in the last days, when they are ripe for Antichrist's manifestation (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

Verse 17. Seeing thou hatest instruction - whereas "instruction in righteousness" is the very object of God's "statutes" and "covenant," which thou 'takest in thy mouth,' and professest to "declare" (Psalms 50:16; Psalms 19:7-9; 2 Timothy 3:16). To "hate reproof," is, according to the wise man, "brutish."


Verse 18

When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.

When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him - thou dost actively, and with complacency, acquiesce in his proceedings (Romans 1:32); like the inhabitants of Sodom and those of Gibeah (Hosea 7:3).


Verse 19

Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.

Thou givest thy mouth to evil - Hebrew, 'Thou sendest;' i:e., Thou givest loose rein to thy mouth in regard to evil.


Verse 20

Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son.

Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother. "Sittest" implies deliberate purpose; taking thy seat habitually with slanderers (Psalms 1:1): the climax of sin.

Thou slanderest thine own mother's son - Hebrew, thou givest a blow (namely, with the tongue) to, etc. This is preferable, to the Septuagint [ skandalon (Greek #4625)]; and Gesenius translates, 'thou puttest a stumbling-block' in his way, laying a snare for him. For the commandments of the second table of the decalogue are referred to, Psalms 50:18 - theft and adultery, in breach of the 7th and 8th; false witness and slander, in violation of the 9th (Psalms 50:19-20).


Verse 21

These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.

These things hast thou done, and I kept silence. But "our God shall come, and ... not keep silence" (Psalms 50:3). Thou didst mistake my "silence" of long-suffering for "silence" of consent or connivance at thy sin (Isaiah 57:11; Ecclesiastes 8:11-12; Psalms 55:19). But the long-suffering "goodness of God (was designed not to harden thee in the notion of impunity, but) leadeth thee to repentance" (Romans 2:4). Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself - i:e., 'consenting with' (Psalms 50:18), or 'taking pleasure in' sinners as such.

But I will reprove thee - not in mere words, but in deed (Psalms 50:22).

And set them in order before thine eyes. Thou hast fancied, from my silence, I take no account of thy sins; but I will set them in full array before thine eyes; so that thou canst no longer blindfold conscience, but must own them, and be condemned out of thine own mouth.

Epilogue, or summary in conclusion. In Psalms 50:22 the threat against forgetters of God; in Psalms 50:23 the promise to those who will praise Him and walk aright.


Verse 22

Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.

Now consider this - "this," i:e., all that has gone before, of warning against hypocrites and ungodly professors.

Ye that forget God - alike the openly wicked and the hollow formalists.

Lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver - as a ravenous beast lets none rescue from him his prey.


Verse 23

Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me - or 'shall glorify me.' Hengstenberg, from Psalms 50:15 (see note), and also from the parallel clause in this verse, "I will show the salvation of God," takes the sense, 'shall have occasion given him to glorify me.' "Offereth praise" - literally, as in Psalms 50:14 'sacrificeth praise' or 'confession' [ zobeeach (Hebrew #2076) towdaah (Hebrew #8426)] (Hebrews 13:15; Hosea 14:2). This first clause is a compendious summary of Psalms 50:14-15.

To him that ordereth his conversation aright - literally, 'his way' (contrast Psalms 125:5).

Will I show the salvation of God - contrasted with 'tearing in pieces' (Psalms 50:22) those who violate God's covenant by transgressions against their neighbour (Psalms 50:17-20).

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 50:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-50.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, November 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology