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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary
New American Standard Version
Bible Study Resources
Nave's Topical Bible - Church; Gospel; Joy; Nation; Thompson Chain Reference - Beattitudes, General; The Topic Concordance - Blessings; Countenance; Exaltation; Knowledge; Rejoice; Torrey's Topical Textbook - Blessed, the; Feast of Jubilee, the; Trumpet;
Verse Psalms 89:15. Blessed is the people — "O the blessednesses of that people (אשרי העם ashrey haam) that know the joyful sound;" that are spared to hear the sound of the trumpet on the morning of the jubilee, which proclaims deliverance to the captives, and the restoration of all their forfeited estates. "They shall walk vigorously (יהלכון yehallechun) in the light of thy countenance" (באור פניך beor paneycha) - the full persuasion of the approbation of God their Father, Redeemer, and Sanctifier.
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 89:15". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-89.html. 1832.
Psalms 89:0 Remember the covenant with David
Apparently Israel had suffered some military setback that threatened its existence. This caused some people to think that God had forsaken his anointed king. The psalmist therefore recalls the covenant promise God made to David to preserve his dynasty for ever, and on the basis of this he claims God’s help (1-4; see 2 Samuel 7:8-16).
Before speaking further of the covenant, the psalmist praises God for his majesty and greatness. None among the multitudes of glorious heavenly beings can compare with him (5-7). On the earth also he is all-powerful, crushing his foes, working wonders and administering justice (8-14). This one is the God of the people of Israel. He is their glory, joy and strength, the one who gave them their king (15-18).
Assured of God’s perfection and sovereignty, the psalmist turns to consider the covenant that God made with Israel. He outlines how God chose David to be his anointed king (19-20), gave him victory over all his enemies (21-23), enlarged his kingdom beyond the borders of Israel (24-25) and gave him power and glory (26-27). Above all, God made a covenant with David to establish his dynasty permanently (28-29). Even if some kings proved unworthy, God promised that he would not alter his plans. He had chosen the dynasty of David as the means of bringing the Messiah (30-37).
It seems now, however, that their great and powerful God has left them. Their covenant Lord appears to have forgotten his promises (38-39). The kingdom has been ruined, the city destroyed, the land plundered (40-41). Enemies are allowed to conquer as they please. The Davidic king has lost his throne and been openly disgraced (42-45). Why, then, does God not act? Certainly, some must die, but is he going to allow these enemies to conquer and kill until the king and his people are eventually wiped out (46-48)? The psalmist prays that God will remember his covenant promise to David, save his people from their present shame, and give them freedom under the rule of their Davidic king again (49-52).
BOOK 4: PSALMS 90-106
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Psalms 89:15". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/psalms-89.html. 2005.
Blessed is the people - Happy is their condition. See the notes at Psalms 1:1.
That know the joyful sound - That hear that sound. DeWette explains this of the call to the festivals and offerings, Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 10:10; Psalms 27:6. That is, says he, those who honor and worship God. The Hebrew word - תרועה terû‛âh - means a loud noise; a tumult; especially, shouts of joy, or rejoicing, Job 8:21; 1 Samuel 4:5; the “shout of a king,” that is, the joyful acclamations with which a king is welcomed, Numbers 23:21; the shout of battle, Jeremiah 4:19; Jeremiah 49:2. Then it means the sound or clangor of trumpets, Leviticus 25:9; Numbers 29:1-6. The word is, therefore, especially applicable to the sounding of the trumpets which attended the celebration of the great; festivals among the Hebrews, and there can be little doubt that this is the reference here. The idea is, that they are blessed or happy who are the worshippers of Yahweh, the true God; who are summoned to his service; who are convened to the place of his worship.
They shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance - They shall live in thy favor, and enjoy thy smiles.
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 89:15". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-89.html. 1870.
15.Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound. Here the same train of reflection concerning the Church is pursued, not only because unbelievers are blind to the consideration of God’s works, but also because the prophet has no other purpose in view than to inspire the godly with good hope, that they may with confidence rely upon God, and not be discouraged by any adversities from boldly calling upon him. It is declared that those are happy to whom it is given to rejoice in God; for although all men in common are sustained and nourished by his liberality, yet the feeling of his paternal goodness is far from being experienced by all men in such a manner as to enable them, from a certain persuasion that he is favorable to them, to congratulate themselves upon their happy condition. It is, therefore, a singular privilege which he confers upon his chosen ones, to make them taste of his goodness, that thereby they may be encouraged to be glad and rejoice. And, in fact, there is not a more miserable condition than that of unbelievers, when by their brutish insensibility they trample under foot the Divine benefits which they greedily devour; for the more abundantly God pampers them, the fouler is their ingratitude. True happiness then consists in our apprehending the Divine goodness which, filling our hearts with joy, may stir us up to praise and thanksgiving.
The prophet afterwards proves from the effect, that those who with joy and delight acknowledge God to be their father are blessed, because they not only enjoy his benefits, but also, confiding in his favor, pass the whole course of their life in mental peace and tranquillity. This is the import of walking in the light of God’s countenance: it is to repose upon his providence from the certain persuasion that he has a special care about our well-being, and keeps watch and ward effectually to secure it. The expressions rejoicing in his name, and glorying in his righteousness, are to the same purpose. The idea involved in them is, that believers find in God abundant, yea more than abundant, ground to rejoice and glory. The word daily appears to denote steadfast and unwavering perseverance; and thus there is indirectly censured the foolish arrogance of those who, inflated only with wind and presuming on their own strength, lift up their horns on high. Standing as they do upon an insecure foundation, they must at length inevitably fall. Whence it follows, that there is no true magnanimity nor any power which can stand but that which leans upon the grace of God alone; even as we see how Paul (Romans 8:31) nobly boasts, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” and defies all calamities both present and to come.
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 89:15". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-89.html. 1840-57.
I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations ( Psalms 89:1-4 ).
Now in verse Psalms 89:3 , actually, the psalm begins with the psalmist declaring, "I will sing praises to the Lord; sing of His mercies. My mouth will make known His faithfulness." Now God responds to that. And verse Psalms 89:3 is God's response. And God's response goes actually clear on down to verse Psalms 89:37 . So God is speaking now. It's a prophecy as the psalmist now is speaking forth for God. "I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to David my servant." What did He swear to David? "Thy seed will I establish forever, and build up thy throne to all generations."
And the heavens shall praise thy wonders ( Psalms 89:5 ),
And now the psalmist comes back. Selah ends God's voice there. God will begin speaking again down a little ways further. So now the psalmist takes it up again. "And the heavens shall praise Thy wonders,"
O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. For who in heaven can be compared unto the LORD? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto Jehovah? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints ( Psalms 89:5-7 ),
Or reverenced, actually, in the assembly of the saints.
and to be had in reverence of all of them that are about him ( Psalms 89:7 ).
I think that we can learn quite a bit from the Jewish people concerning the reverence of God. I think that there is a tendency sometimes within the church circles of really not having the proper reverential attitude towards God. Sometimes we begin to get a little flippant about God. And we talk about the man upstairs and we begin to speak of God in irreverent kind of terms even. And I think that we need to be careful about this. We need to become aware and conscious of the greatness of God, the vastness of God. And to be always really just sort of in awe before Him.
There are some people that just by their very position command respect. Because Ronald Reagan has been elected as the next President of the United States, you wouldn't go up, you know, if you were at the airport and you saw him getting off the plane, you wouldn't go running up and say, "Well, Ronnie, all right man. Glad to see you made it, you know." Because of the position as President of the United States you would treat him with respect. You would have respect for the position that the man now has.
We have... living in a society that seems to try to break down this respect for authority. And it is a common thing among our society now of not really showing proper respect for authority. But that is a whole social breakdown. Not showing respect to police officers. Not showing respect to those that are in authority. It just shows a part of the whole social breakdown that is taking place. But it is tragic, because sometimes people also carry that disrespectful attitude over to God. And we should always, actually, hold God in the very highest of respect and reverence.
Now the Jews had such reverence for God that when the scribes would copy the scriptures, every time they came to the name Eloihim, God, in their text, they would take their pen and they would wash it. And then they would dip it in fresh ink to write the letters for God. If they came to the Adonai, the Lord, then they would take and get a fresh pen to write Adonai in the text. If they came to the consonants that stood for that holy name of God, the Y-H-V-H, they would go in and take a bath, change and put on fresh clothes and get a total fresh pen and dip it in ink and write the consonants. But they wouldn't put in the vowels because they felt that the name of God was so holy that they shouldn't even pronounce it in their minds and it should never be uttered from the lips of a person. They wouldn't dare even utter the name.
Now that I think is carrying it perhaps further than God intended, and yet, it does show a degree of reverence towards God that I think that somewhere in the middle of the pendulum we'll find the truth. They may be a little extreme on the one end of legalism, but I think that we tend towards an extreme on the other end, and that in the middle here we need ourselves to come more to the middle of a greater reverence and respect for God. That we don't just speak lightly of God, but we hold Him in highest esteem and respect. God is greatly to be reverenced in the assembly of the saints and to be had in reverence of all of them that are about Him.
O Jehovah God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? For you rule the raging of the sea: when the waves arise, you still them. You have broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; you have scattered your enemies with your strong arm. The heavens are yours, and the earth also is yours: as for the world and the fulness thereof, you have founded them. The north, the south you've created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name. You have a mighty arm: strong is your hand, and high is your right hand. Justice and judgment are your habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face. Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. And in thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For you are the glory of their strength: and in thy favor our horn shall be exalted. For the LORD is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our King ( Psalms 89:8-18 ).
Now God responds to this. The psalmist declares of the greatness of God, declaring why He should be reverenced because of the fact that He rules over the earth, over the heavens, created the earth.
Then you spake in vision to the holy one, and said, I have laid up help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one that is chosen out of the people. I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: With whom my hand shall be established: my arm shall also strengthen him. The enemy shall not exact upon him ( Psalms 89:19-22 );
That is, will not collect a tribute. He will not be paying tribute to the enemies. He will not be defeated and have to pay tribute to the enemies.
nor the son of wickedness afflict him. And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted ( Psalms 89:22-24 ).
The horn is a symbol of strength, and so the name of the Lord will be his strength.
I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers. He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the eaRuth ( Psalms 89:25-27 ).
This, no doubt, has a double fulfillment not only in David, but also in that Seed that should come from David that will rule as King of kings and Lord of lords, even a prophecy of Jesus Christ.
My mercy will I keep for him for ever, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor allow my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once I have sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me ( Psalms 89:28-36 ).
Which, of course, goes on to the prophecy of Christ, "Who will sit upon the throne of David to order it and to establish it in righteousness and in judgment from henceforth, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this" ( Isaiah 9:7 ). So God has sworn that Christ will sit upon the throne of David forever and ever.
It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as the faithful witness in heaven ( Psalms 89:37 ).
And the Selah brings us to the end of God's response to the psalmist. Now the psalmist declares:
But you have cast off and abhorred, you have been angry with your anointed. You have made void the covenant of your servant: you have profaned his crown by casting it to the ground. You have broken down all of his hedges; you have brought his strongholds to ruin. All that pass by the way spoil him: he is a reproach to his neighbors. Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries; thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice. Thou hast also turned the edge of his sword, and hast not made him to stand in the battle. You have made his glory to cease, and cast his throne down to the ground. The days of his youth have you shortened: and you've covered him with shame. How long, LORD? will you hide yourself for ever? shall thy wrath burn like fire? Remember how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain? What man is he that lives, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Lord, where are thy former lovingkindnesses, which you swore to David in thy truth? Remember, Lord, the reproach of your servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people; Wherewith your enemies have reproached, O LORD; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed ( Psalms 89:38-51 ).
And then the close of the third book of the psalms.
Blessed be Jehovah for evermore. Amen, and Amen ( Psalms 89:52 ).
I have mentioned before that each of the books of the psalms closes with a benediction, with the Amen, and Amen. That brings us to the end of the third book. And Psalms 90:1-17 begins the fourth book of the psalms. "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 89:15". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/psalms-89.html. 2014.
The writer of this royal psalm was Ethan, another wise Levitical musician in David’s service (1 Kings 4:31; 1 Chronicles 15:17-18). The occasion of writing is unclear. Judging from the content of the psalm it appears to have been a time after David had suffered defeat and some severe affliction.
Ethan interceded for the king, claiming the Davidic Covenant promises (cf. 2 Samuel 7:5-16; 1 Chronicles 17). Why was God afflicting David so severely since He had promised to bless him so greatly? Ethan called on God to honor the Davidic Covenant and send the king relief.
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2. The character of God 89:5-18
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Ethan went on to speak of the blessings the Israelites who acknowledged and walked with God experienced. They had joy, exaltation, glory, strength, and security. "The joyful sound" (Psalms 89:15, NASB) refers to the shout of joy God’s people uttered when they saw Him lifted up and honored (cf. 1 Samuel 4:5-6). [Note: Ibid., p. 322.] A better translation might be, "Happy the people who have learnt to acclaim thee" (NEB). "Our horn" (Psalms 89:17) means "our strength." Ethan rejoiced that Israel’s king, who was her defense, belonged to God (Psalms 89:18).
"In many Jewish synagogues today, Psalms 89:15-18 are recited on their New Year’s Day after the blowing of the shofar." [Note: Wiersbe, The . . . Wisdom . . ., p. 252.]
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Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound,.... Of the love, grace, and mercy of God displayed in Christ, of peace and pardon by his blood, of justification by his righteousness, of atonement by his sacrifice, and of complete salvation by his obedience, sufferings, and death; this is the sound of the Gospel, and a joyful one it is to sensible sinners; and is so called in allusion either to a shout made upon a victory gained, and such a sound is the Gospel; it declares victory by Christ over sin, Satan, the world, and death, and every enemy; and that he has made his people more than conquerors over them; or to the jubilee trumpet, which proclaimed liberty and a restoration of inheritances, Leviticus 25:9 and so the Gospel proclaims liberty to the captives, freedom from the dominion of sin, and condemnation by it, from the tyranny of Satan, and the bondage of the law; and gives an account of the inheritance the saints have in Christ, and through his death, to which they are regenerated, and for which they are made meet by the Spirit of God, and of which he is the seal and earnest: or to the silver trumpets, for the use of the congregation of Israel, and blown at their solemn feasts, and other times, and were all of a piece,
Numbers 10:1, the trumpet of the Gospel gives a certain sound, an even one, a very musical one; there is no jar nor discord in it; is a soul charming alluring sound, and very loud; it has reached, and will reach again, to the ends of the earth, Romans 10:18, it is a blessing to hear it, but it is a greater to "know" it, not merely notionally, but spiritually and experimentally; so as not only to approve of it, and be delighted with it, but so as to distinguish it from all other sounds; and by faith to receive it, and appropriate the things it publishes to a man's own soul; and such must be "blessed", or happy persons, for the reasons following in this verse, and in Psalms 89:16:
they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance: enjoy the gracious presence of God, have the manifestation of himself, the discoveries of his love, communion with him through Christ, and the comforts of the Holy Spirit, and these continued; so that they shall walk in the sunshine of these things, though not always; for sometimes they walk in darkness, and see no light; but it is an unspeakable mercy and blessing to walk herein at any time, for ever so short a season, see Psalms 4:6.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 89:15". "Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-89.html. 1999.
|The Blessedness of Israel Declared.|| |
15 Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. 16 In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. 17 For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted. 18 For the LORD is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.
The psalmist, having largely shown the blessedness of the God of Israel, here shows the blessedness of the Israel of God. As there is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, so, happy art thou, O Israel! there is none like unto thee, O people! especially as a type of the gospel-Israel, consisting of all true believers, whose happiness is here described.
I. Glorious discoveries are made to them, and glad tidings of good brought to them; they hear, they know, the joyful sound,Psalms 89:15; Psalms 89:15. This may allude, 1. To the shout of a victorious army, the shout of a king, Numbers 23:21. Israel have the tokens of God's presence with them in their wars; the sound of the going in the top of the mulberry-trees was indeed a joyful sound (2 Samuel 5:24); and they often returned making the earth ring with their songs of triumph; these were joyful sounds. Or, 2. To the sound that was made over the sacrifices and on the solemn feast-day, Psalms 81:1-3. This was the happiness of Israel, that they had among them the free and open profession of God's holy religion, and abundance of joy in their sacrifices. Or, 3. To the sound of the jubilee-trumpet; a joyful sound it was to servants and debtors, to whom it proclaimed release. The gospel is indeed a joyful sound, a sound of victory, of liberty, of communion with God, and the sound of abundance of rain; blessed are the people that hear it, and know it, and bid it welcome.
II. Special tokens of God's favour are granted them: "They shall walk, O Lord! in the light of thy countenance; they shall govern themselves by thy directions, shall be guided by the eye; and they shall delight themselves in thy consolations. They shall have the favour of God; they shall know that they have it, and it shall be continual matter of joy and rejoicing to them. They shall go through all the exercises of a holy life under the powerful influences of God's lovingkindness, which shall make their duty pleasant to them and make them sincere in it, aiming at this, as their end, to be accepted of the Lord." We then walk in the light of the Lord when we fetch all our comforts from God's favour and are very careful to keep ourselves in his love.
III. They never want matter for joy: Blessed are God's people, for in his name, in all that whereby he has made himself known, if it be not their own fault, they shall rejoice all the day. Those that rejoice in Christ Jesus, and make God their exceeding joy, have enough to counterbalance their grievances and silence their griefs; and therefore their joy is full (1 John 1:4) and constant; it is their duty to rejoice evermore.
IV. Their relation to God is their honour and dignity. They are happy, for they are high. Surely in the Lord, in the Lord Christ, they have righteousness and strength, and so are recommended by him to the divine acceptance; and therefore in him shall all the seed of Israel glory,Isaiah 45:24; Isaiah 45:25. So it is here, Psalms 89:16; Psalms 89:17. 1. "In thy righteousness shall they be exalted, and not in any righteousness of their own." We are exalted out of danger, and into honour, purely by the righteousness of Christ, which is a clothing both for dignity and for defence. 2. "Thou art the glory of their strength," that is, "thou art their strength, and it is their glory that thou art so, and what they glory in." Thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph. 3. "In thy favour, which through Christ we hope for, our horn shall be exalted." The horn denotes beauty, plenty, and power; these those have who are made accepted in the beloved. What greater preferment are men capable of in this world than to be God's favourites?
V. Their relation to God is their protection and safety (Psalms 89:18; Psalms 89:18): "For our shield is of the Lord" (so the margin) "and our king is from the Holy One of Israel. If God be our ruler, he will be our defender; and who is he than that can harm us?" It was the happiness of Israel that God himself had the erecting of their bulwarks and the nominating of their king (so some take it); or, rather, that he was himself a wall of fire round about them, and, as a Holy One, the author and centre of their holy religion; he was their King, and so their glory in the midst of them. Christ is the Holy One of Israel, that holy thing; and in nothing was that peculiar people more blessed than in this, that he was born King of the Jews. Now this account of the blessedness of God's Israel comes in here as that to which it was hard to reconcile their present calamitous state.
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Psalms 89:15". "Henry's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/psalms-89.html. 1706.
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20