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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Psalms 66

 

 

Verse 1

Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:

Psalms 66:1-20.-Thanksgiving for deliverance. All the earth is invited to praise God for the marvels performed for His people (Psalms 66:1-4); the marvels, especially His turning the sea into dry land (Psalms 66:5-7); ground of praise, in that He brought His people into a wealthy place (Psalms 66:8-12); payment of the Psalmist's vows made in trouble (Psalms 66:13-14); invitation to all to hear what God has done for his soul, since he prayed in sincerity and purity (Psalms 66:16-20). There is a general reference to the deliverance from Sennacherib. Psalms 46:1-11 specially commemorates it (cf. Psalms 66:8 there with Psalms 66:5 here).

All ye lands - Hebrew, 'all the earth.'


Verse 2

Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.

Sing forth the honour (glory) of his name - i:e., 'the glory which belongs to Him because of His power and goodness manifested in His acts' (Psalms 29:1-2).

Make his praise glorious - Hebrew, 'make His hymn a glory;' i:e., praise Him with a glorious hymn.


Verse 3

Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.

Through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee - literally, 'feign (submission) to thee' (Psalms 18:44; Psalms 81:15). God's terrible deeds constrain all, if they will not render a willing obedience, at least to render a reluctant one. So Pharaoh (Exodus 8:8-15; Exodus 8:25; Exodus 8:29). Even the wicked must at last glorify God, in spite of themselves (Proverbs 16:4).


Verse 4

All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.

All the earth shall worship thee - (Psalms 22:27.)


Verse 5

Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.

Come and see the works of God. Psalms 46:8 was probably written shortly before (cf. introductory remarks). The Church at all times appeals to the world, "Come and see" as Jesus said to the two disciples of John the Baptist, and Philip to Nathanael (John 1:39; John 1:46). God's marvels are to be seen by all, and seeing them is the first step toward believing in their Divine Author (Psalms 65:5-8).

He is terrible in his doing toward (Hebrew, upon) the children of men. Men are the objects upon whom His doings are performed.


Verse 6

He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him.

He turned the sea into dry land - both the waters of the Red Sea and those of the Jordan. This drying up of seas of obstacles which oppose His people's course is continually being acted over again, and will be so especially at the final deliverance of Israel. The drying up of the Red Sea again is expressly foretold in the case of Israel's restoration (Isaiah 11:11; Isaiah 11:15). So also in the case of all His elect (Isaiah 43:2).

They went through the flood on foot - Hebrew, 'they go,' etc. This shows that the deliverance at the Red Sea is virtually repeated from age to age in behalf of the Church.

There did we rejoice in him - Hebrew, 'will we rejoice,' etc. Past deliverances are pledges of those to come: so that the latter are described in figures borrowed from the former (Zechariah 10:11). The Euphrates in Isaiah 11:1-16 and the Nile in Zechariah 10:1-12 are substituted for the little Jordan, to show that the deliverance at the Jordan is to be repeated on a larger scale.


Verse 7

He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.

His eyes behold the nations - `His eyes look forth among the people.' From his heavenly watch-tower He beholds all the enemy's proud and malicious efforts against His Church.

Let not the rebellious exalt themselves. The "rebellious" are the apostate antichristian faction, and all who obey not the Gospel. I warn them against a contest with Omnipotence: they cannot elude His eye nor resist "his power, whereby he ruleth for ever."

His power, whereby he ruleth for ever (cf. the same advice, Isaiah 27:4-5). The Hebrew is, 'let them not exalt (themselves) for themselves.' What they intend to their own elevation shall turn out to their own shame. So in the Hebrew, Psalms 58:7.


Verses 8-12

O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:

-The sore trouble out of which God brought His people into a wealthy place; praise to God accordingly.

Verse 8,9. O bless our God ... Which holdeth (Hebrew, putteth) our soul in life - i:e., restores us to life from our political death as a nation. The same image is used of Israel's future revivification in Ezekiel 37:1-28 (cf. Psalms 30:3).

And suffereth not our feet to be moved - (Psalms 15:5, end; 55:22; 121:3.)

Verse 10. For thou, O God, hast proved us - thou hast tested the steadfastness of our faith, hope, and patience in the furnace of trial.

Thou hast tried us, as silver is tried - (1 Peter 1:7; Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:3; Isaiah 48:10.) Chastisement presupposes sin, to remove which is the design of trials. Therefore the profession of innocence, in Psalms 66:18, is only relative, not absolute. He is sincere in aim; his integrity is genuine, though at times he falls into sins of infirmity which call for chastisement (Isaiah 1:25).

Verse 11. Thou laidst affliction upon our loins - literally, a heavy burden; so the pressure of affliction. The loins are the seat of strength (Psalms 69:23). The image is from beasts of burden.

Verse 12. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads - as horses which are guided by the head, though it is upon the back that the rider sits. "Men" - literally, mean men [ '


Verse 13

I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows,

I will pay thee my vows. He speaks as personifying the elect nation. The outward vows represent the inward devotion and gratitude.


Verse 14

Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.

Which my lips have uttered - literally, have opened; i:e., vehemently uttered when in pain.


Verse 15

I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.

With the incense of rams - i:e., their burned fat.

I will offer bullocks - literally, 'I will make;' hence, 'I will set in order.'


Verse 16

Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.

Come and hear, all ye that fear God - answering to "come and see" (Psalms 66:5). As the former exhortation constrains men to fear God, by the thought of His 'terrible doings,' so this invites them by the consideration of His grace in having saved the speaker's soul. The former was addressed to those who had not heretofore feared God. This is addressed to them who already 'fear Him.' So the woman of Samaria (John 4:29). So Jesus desired the cured demoniac (Mark 5:19; Psalms 116:12-14).

And I will declare what he hath done for my soul. God had 'put the soul of his people in life,' restoring them from their dead state (Psalms 66:9).


Verse 17

I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.

I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue - literally, 'an extolling (of Him was) under my tongue,' implying fullness of praise (Psalms 10:7). A store of praise being conceived as under the tongue, whence a portion might be taken on all occasions. The sense is, 'scarcely had I cried unto Him when, by delivering me, He gave me abundant reason to extol Him' (Psalms 34:6).


Verse 18

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me - rather 'If I had regarded iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have heard me' (Job 35:12-13; Isaiah 1:15; Isaiah 59:2-3; John 9:31; 1 John 3:22). Integrity of aim, with purity as to secret or open sin and habitual hypocrisy, not absolute sinlessness, is meant.


Verse 19

But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.

But verily God hath heard me - which proves that no such hindrance to my deliverance as arises from hypocrisy or willful and habitual sin existed in my case.

Conclusion:


Verse 20

Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.

Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer - namely, from Himself.

Nor his mercy from me. The hearing of our prayers is due, not to our merits, but to God's "mercy" (Muis). Nor his mercy from me. The hearing of our prayers is due, not to our merits, but to God's "mercy" (Muis).

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 66:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-66.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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