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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible
Psalms 138



Verse 1

1. Before the gods—Certainly not the heathen idols, which are contemptuously called nothings. See on Psalms 96:5. “Before the gods,” means in their presence. Clearly this is an instance where אלהים, eloheem, denotes princes, kings, dignitaries, and should read: “Before the princes or kings,” etc. See on Psalms 82:1; Psalms 82:6. Compare John 10:34-35

Verse 2

2. Thy holy temple—Here denoting the place of thy holiness.

Worship Bow down, prostrate myself.

Loving kindness and… truthMercy and truth, as Psalms 25:10the ground and theme of his thanksgiving, which is expressed with “all his heart,” joyfully and publicly before kings, and prostrate before God in the place of his worship. The style is strongly Davidic.

Magnified thy word—That is, given it strength and honour by fulfilling it.

Above all thy name—Taking “name” in its true philosophical and lexical idea, as the sign or memorial of a thing or person, and the understanding of a name to be the true conception of the thing it represents, the under thought, the phrase “above all thy name,” would mean, above all other manifestations of thyself. The divine word, which had been now so wonderfully verified in David’s history, and which still, in promise, ran forward “for a great while to come,” (2 Samuel 7:19,) “magnifying” itself into visions of Messiah and his future Church, had transcended all other memorials of himself. The phrase should be taken in connexion with 2 Samuel 7:18-29. See introductory note.

Verse 3

3. Strengthenedst—Literally, Thou hast caused me to rise up.

With strength in my soul—A more clear, direct profession of spiritual strength supernaturally bestowed could not be given in the words of any language. More amplified, but not more unequivocal, is the expression of Paul, “Strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.” Ephesians 3:16

Verse 4-5

4, 5. The kings of the earth shall praise thee—The words give the moral tendency and intent of this wonderful display of divine mercy, and, as a general thing, its ultimate effectnamely, to cause the nations to confess and praise Jehovah. A result to be fully realized only in gospel times through the unfoldings of the great gospel word.

Verse 6

6. See on Psalms 113:5-6.

Afar off—That is, though God is apparently “afar off,” in the highest heaven, yet he knoweth the proud, and taketh cognizance of all their thoughts and acts. See on “afar off,” Psalms 139:2, and on this judicial knowing, Jeremiah 29:23. It is opposed to his having respect to, or seeing with approbation, the “lowly” of the previous line.

Verse 8

8. Perfect that which concerneth me—He will finish, accomplish, all that relates to my welfare. Nothing shall fall to the ground. All shall work for good, tending to one complete result. See Psalms 57:2, and compare Philippians 1:6.


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 138:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

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Friday, December 4th, 2020
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