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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Psalms 92

 

 

Verse 1

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:

Psalms 92:1-15.-Introduction; the privilege of praising Yahweh early and late for His works (Psalms 92:1-14); His greatness in destroying the wicked (Psalms 92:5-7). Center of the psalm: God is most high forevermore, even when sinners seem high, and saints low (Psalms 92:8); Destruction of the wicked-salvation of the righteous (Psalms 92:9-15); cf. Psalms 37:1-40; Psalms 49:1-20; Psalms 73:1-28. Here doubts arising from the prosperity of sinners are overcome by leading us into the midst of God's praises in the sanctuary (Psalms 92:3).

Title. - A Psalm or Song (a song of joyful praise) for the sabbath day. As Psalms 81:1-16 was intended for use at the Passover, so this psalm is for the "holy convocation" on "the Sabbath" (Leviticus 23:3). On it the Church is to 'rest from her own works,' and to 'triumph in the Lord's work' (Psalms 92:4) in saving her and destroying her foes. Yarchi and the Talmudic Quodshim explain the title, 'A psalm-song for the future age (the age of Messiah), all of which will be sabbath.' Christ's redeeming work will be the grand theme of the coming sabbatical age, (Hebrews 4:9, margin.)

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord - It is good to praise Him who is all good (Psalms 147:1).


Verse 2

To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,

To show forth thy loving-kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night - Hebrew, 'in the nights.' Morning and nights comprehend the whole day (Genesis 1:5). Praise to God is to be never-ceasing (Psalms 5:3; Psalms 16:7; Psalms 34:1). The times of morning and evening sacrifice on the Sabbath day are especially alluded to, when the psalm was intended to be sung in the public service of the sanctuary (Psalms 92:3). The Lord's "loving-kindness" and "faithfulness" are the attributes of Yahweh, which guarantee the salvation of His people.


Verse 3

Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.

Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp. "Psaltery," or lyre-Hebrew, nabel. "The harp" - Hebrew, kinowr (Hebrew #3658), or guitar. See the note at Psalms 33:2.

With a solemn sound - Hebrew, 'upon Higgaion.' Compare margin, Psalms 9:16, note. 'With (upon) musing' (Hengstenberg). The praise rests upon musing meditation, accompanied with the harp.


Verse 4

For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.

For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. The singular "work" is God's doing viewed as one whole (Psalms 90:16.) The plural "works," or 'actings' (a different Hebrew word from that for "work"), are the particular details of God's one work. The 'work of God' here is one no less marvelous than that of creation, which was the original ground of hallowing the Sabbath (see title of this psalm) - namely, the final redemption of His people.


Verse 5

O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.

O Lord, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. The 'works of Yahweh,' which are pronounced "great," are His doings for the deliverance of His people through the destruction of "the wicked," their enemies. The 'depth' of God's "thoughts" consists in their inexhaustible riches of wisdom and goodness, not perceived by the ungodly at all, and comprehended only in part by believers (Psalms 92:6; Psalms 40:5; Job 11:8; Romans 11:33, "O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God, how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out;" also Isaiah 28:29). The depth of God's thoughts appears in this, that where the unrighteous seem to triumph, and the cause of the godly to be lost, the deliverance of the righteous and the destruction of the ungodly are unexpectedly brought about in vindication of the righteousness of God.


Verse 6

A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.

A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this - (Psalms 49:10-11; Psalms 73:22.) God designedly leaves darkness enough in His ways to test the faith of His people, and to confound the willfully blind, stupid, and "brutish." "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him" (Psalms 25:14). What "this" is which the brutish know not, and only believers know, is set forth in Psalms 92:7.


Verse 7

When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:

When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed forever - i:e., their flourishing is only 'that they may be destroyed forever.' The deliverance of the godly is involved in the extermination of the wicked. The wicked "spring" up quickly, and 'flourish as the grass,' and are as speedily withered. On the contrary, "the righteous flourish like the palm tree," or "like a cedar in Lebanon" (Psalms 92:12). Being "planted in the house of the Lord, they shall flourish in the courts of our God" (Psalms 92:13).

The central pivot of the psalm


Verse 8

But thou, LORD, art most high for evermore.

But thou, Lord, art most high forevermore - literally, 'art height,' etc.; the abstract used for the concrete, to imply that the essence of all that is high is concentrated in Yahweh. When God and the cause of holiness seem low, God is really never higher than then; because out of seeming weakness He perfects the greatest strength. When the wicked seem high, they are then on the verge of being cast down forever. The believer who can realize this will not despair at the time of his own depression, and of the seeming exaltation of the wicked. If we can feel 'Yahweh most high forevermore,' we can well be unruffled, however low we lie.


Verse 9

For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.

For, lo, thine enemies, O Lord, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish. "For" introduces the facts on which the Psalmist grounds the truth (Psalms 92:8) that the Lord is "most high forevermore." The "lo" points to them as obvious and patent.

All the workers of iniquity shall be scattered - literally, separated [ paarad (Hebrew #6504)] from the Lord's people, as the chaff is separated from the wheat by the wind previously to being burnt. Compare also Job 4:11. The Chaldaic translates, 'shall be scattered in the age to come, and separated from the congregation of the just' (Psalms 1:4-5; Matthew 3:12; Matthew 13:30).


Verse 10

But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.

But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn - the buffalo, or the wild ox; Hebrew, Reem: i:e., thou exaltest me to strength and dignity.

I shall be anointed with fresh oil - the emblem of gladness; an image from the practice of anointing the head with rich unguents at a feast. The "I" here in the person of the Psalmist represents all the godly. Their elevation follows necessarily upon the ruin of the ungodly (Psalms 92:9). Because their Lord is "most high forevermore" (Psalms 92:8), they are 'exalted' on high by Him. He who is height itself, makes them high. Israel, as the representative people of God, has the same height predicated of her, and under the same image of the Reem's horns (Numbers 23:22; Numbers 24:8; Deuteronomy 33:17). The wicked now 'lift up their horn on high;' but it shall soon be abased to the dust (Psalms 75:4-5; Psalms 75:10).


Verse 11

Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me.

Mine eye also shall see (my desire) on mine enemies, (and) mine ears shall hear (my desire) of the wicked that rise up against me - (Psalms 91:8.) The words introduced in the English version, "my desire," imply a desire for vengeance in the Psalmist which is not in the original-literally, 'Mine eye also shall look upon mine enemies (those who lie in wait for me [ shuwr (Hebrew #7790)]), and mine ears shall hear of those that rise against me (namely) evil-doers;' i:e., shall see and hear how the Lord recompenses their evil on themselves.


Verse 12

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree - in contrast to "the wicked," who 'spring as the grass, and do flourish' for a brief space, soon to be "destroyed forever" (Psalms 92:7). The psalm, as it refers to the Church primarily, has here an allusion to the tabernacle, the holy place of meeting between God and His assembled people (Psalms 92:13). The holy candlestick in the sanctuary, the symbol of the Church, had the form of a tree with flowers and fruit, to denote the beauty, the ever-fresh joy, and the fruitfulness of the people of God. Figures of flowers were upon the curtains of the tabernacle; and the interior wall of Solomon's temple was decorated with carved palms and opening blossoms (margin, 1 Kings 6:29), along with cherubic figures.

He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon - upright, and ever retaining its fresh verdure. So, spiritually, believers.


Verse 13

Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.

Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God - They in spirit always dwell in the sanctuary of God's presence, of which the outward sanctuary is the visible pledge. The house of God is to believers what a rich soil is to natural trees (Isaiah 5:1). The Church, with its ordinances, is 'a vineyard in a very fruitful hill.' Compare Psalms 1:3.


Verse 14

They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;

They shall still bring forth fruit in old age - (Isaiah 46:4.) they shall be fat and flourishing}-`full of sap and green.'


Verse 15

To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

To show that the Lord is upright: (he is) my rock, and (there is) no unrighteousness in him - akin to Deuteronomy 32:4. "My rock" expresses God's stedfast faithfulness to His word. It in the second clause answers to "Yahweh" in the first, which name expresses unchanging faithfulness to His promises (cf. Psalms 92:2). God's uprightness, or straightforward, right dealing with His people, remains unchanged, even though for a time His people may seem to be forsaken.

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 92:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-92.html. 1871-8.

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Sunday, December 8th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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