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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible
Psalms 92



Verse 1

1. Good… give thanks—The word “good,” in Hebrew, is of broad significancegood in all times and on all occasions. Such is the exercise of praise to God. “In every thing give thanks,” 1 Thessalonians 5:18; “Offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually,” Hebrews 13:15

Verse 2

2. Morning… night—Daily, special, and constant. An allusion to the daily morning and evening sacrifice, when the people went up to the temple to worship, or at these hours (about 9 A.M. and 3 P.M.) observed the time in prayer at home.

Verse 3

3. Instrument of ten strings… psaltery… harp—See note on Psalms 81:2; Psalms 33:2.

Upon the harp with a solemn sound—Either a gentle sound, or a grave undertonedouble bass. The meditative tone of the psalm, though cheerful, would indicate the latter.

Verse 4

4. Glad through thy work— “Work,” here, is used collectively for a series of providential acts. The pious heart is gladdened when faith sees the purposes of God unfolding.

Triumph in the works of thy hands—In this second hemistich a different word for “work” is used; one of more comprehensive import, and expressive of acts of creation as well as providence.

Verse 5

5. Thy works… thy thoughts—The term “works,” here, refers to those of creation and providence; “thoughts,” to plans and methods. These are words of that sound philosophy which penetrates deep enough into God’s “works” to perceive they are unfathomable to human intellect, and is modest enough to confess the same, while it is devout also to adore the wisdom which it cannot comprehend. Compare Romans 11:33

Verse 6

6. Brutish man—A stupid man. Compared to a brute because he lives to appetite, and enters not into the true reasons of things; not recognising God as creator and ruler. See Psalms 49:12; Psalms 49:20.

Fool—The word signifies a dull, sluggish person, with the accessory idea of impiety, and answers to “brutish man” in the preceding line. Such men have no perception of the wise and wonderful moral government which is pledged to the certain overthrow of the wicked and the establishment of the righteous.

Verse 7

7. Wicked spring as the grass—Suddenly, and with greenness and freshness of hope.

Destroyed for ever—And at the moment when their hope springs forth like the fresh grass. The brutish man does not consider this.

Verse 9

9. For, lo… for, lo—This repetition of the interjective particle is intensive, as if the speaker was seized with sudden amazement and horror at the spectacle of such an unlooked for destruction of his enemies, who were also God’s enemies. If we apply this, historically, to Sennacherib, compare this vision of his catastrophe with the proud beginnings of the war, when he first marched to Jerusalem by the way of Michmash, (described Isaiah 10:28-32,) and Isaiah’s prediction of his overthrow, Isaiah 10:33-34; compare, also, 2 Kings 19:35-37.

Scattered—Broken to pieces, that is, with violence and without order.

Verse 10

10. But my horn shalt thou exalt—Thou shalt “exalt” me to power and honour.

Unicorn—Or buffalo. See on Psalms 22:21. There is no animal of one horn which answers to the Hebrew ראם, (re’eem,) which, following the Septuagint and Vulgate, our translators have always rendered “unicorn.” The rhinoceros does not meet the Bible description, and far less the antelope. See more in note on Psalms 22:21. Exalting the “horn” denotes strength and victory, and the figure is based upon the majestic and proud elevation of the “horns” of the wild buffalo when excited by danger. On his proverbial strength see Numbers 23:22.

Fresh oil—Green oil. “Retaining,” says Calmet, “somewhat of the colour and fragrance of the plant.” Roberts thinks it is cold-drawn oil, which has been extracted from the berry or fruit without the process of boiling. “The orientals,” he says, “prefer this kind for anointing themselves to all others. It is considered the most precious and the most pure and efficacious. Nearly all the medicinal oils are thus extracted, and are very dear.”

Verse 11

11. Mine eye… shall see… desire—The enemies which were feared had become powerless. God had made “the horn” of his power a terror to them, and the gladness of promised victory had come to the author’s soul like fresh oil. His eye, his ear, could desire no more. The expression “Thine eye shall see,” etc., denotes, Thou shalt witness and consider. Compare Psalms 37:34; Psalms 59:10; Psalms 91:8. This language is yet to receive, in the spiritual sphere, its highest fulfilment to the Church.

Verse 12

12. The righteous shall flourish—The psalmist now drops the first person, as used in Psalms 92:4; Psalms 92:10-11, and again speaks in general terms of general principles.

Like the palm—This tree was long-lived, vigorous, fresh in its growth, perpetual in its verdure, and renowned for its beauty and fertility. Song of Solomon 7:7. It was once the glory of Palestine, though now almost perished from the land. The branches of the palm were used as the emblem of joy and triumph, (Leviticus 23:40; Nehemiah 8:15; John 12:12-13; Revelation 7:9;) but the metaphor in the text is based on the fresh, rapid, and healthful growth of the tree, as the word “flourish” indicates. See the use of this word in Ezekiel 17:24; Isaiah 35:1-2, translated blossom;Song of Solomon 6:11; Song of Solomon 7:12; Psalms 92:13.

Cedar—The pride of the mountain, as the palm was of the lower lands. It is celebrated for its breadth of branch, its majesty, its verdure, and its utility.

Verse 13

13. Planted in the house of the Lord—The metaphor is carried through this and the following verses. The right planting is first essential to growth and fertility. See note on Psalms 52:8; and compare Jeremiah 17:8; Ezekiel 19:10; Ezekiel 19:13; Matthew 15:13.

Shall flourishGrow vigorously, and with unfading leaf. See Psalms 92:12 and Psalms 1:3. True church life, in its doctrines, ordinances, and fellowships, is God’s soil for spiritual growth.

Verse 14

14. Fruit in old age… fat and flourishing—The greenness and fertility here may allude to the olive tree, (see on Psalms 52:8; Psalms 128:3;) but the description transcends the laws of nature, as the doctrine of the divine life outsteps the analogy of vegetable life. The fruits of the Spirit are grown upon the stock of the immortal and regenerate mind, and are as unfailing as it. See note on Psalms 128:3

Verse 15

15. To show that the Lord is upright—To vindicate the truth of his promises, and the rectitude of his ways with those who fear him.

He is my rock—A precious confession, coming from the depths of a grateful and triumphant soul.

There is no unrighteousness in him—Moses had said the same, after a long life of wonderful experience. Deuteronomy 32:4. Evil may present various forms of apparent contradiction of God’s faithfulness, but the deeper insight of faith apprehends, and the result proves, that God is justified in his sayings, and will overcome when he judges. Psalms 51:4; Romans 3:4.


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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 92:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

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Saturday, December 5th, 2020
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