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Bible Commentaries

Expositor's Bible Commentary
Psalms 117



Verse 1-2

Psalms 117:1-2

THIS shortest of the psalms is not a fragment, though some MSS attach it to the preceding and some to the following psalm. It contains large "riches in a narrow room," and its very brevity gives force to it. Paul laid his finger on its special significance, when he quoted it in proof that God meant His salvation to be for the whole race. Jewish narrowness was an after growth and a corruption. The historical limitations of God’s manifestation to a special nation were means to its universal diffusion. The fire was gathered in a grate, that it might warm the whole house. All men have a share in what God does for Israel. His grace was intended to fructify through it to all. The consciousness of being the special recipients of Jehovah’s mercy was saved from abuse, by being united with the consciousness of being endowed with blessing that they might diffuse blessing.

Nor is the psalmist’s thought of what Israel’s experience proclaimed concerning God’s character less noteworthy. As often, lovingkindness is united with troth or faithfulness as twin stars which shine out in all God’s dealings with His people. That lovingkindness is "mighty over us"-the word used for being mighty has the sense of prevailing, and so "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." The permanence of the Divine Lovingkindness is guaranteed by God’s Troth, by which the fulfilment of every promise and the prolongation of every mercy are sealed to men. These two fair messengers have appeared in yet fairer form than the psalmist knew, and the world has to praise Jehovah for a world wide gift, first bestowed on and rejected by a degenerate Israel, which thought that it owned the inheritance, and so lost it.


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Bibliography Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Psalms 117:4". "Expositor's Bible Commentary".

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, January 26th, 2020
the Third Sunday after Epiphany
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