Psalm 50:10
For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) A thousand hills.—Literally, mountains of a thousand, an expression for which there is no analogy, but which might conceivably mean, “mountains where the cattle are by thousands;” but surely the LXX. and Vulg. are right here, in rendering “oxen” instead of “a thousand,” and we should read “hills of oxen.”

50:7-15 To obey is better than sacrifice, and to love God and our neighbour better than all burnt-offerings. We are here warned not to rest in these performances. And let us beware of resting in any form. God demands the heart, and how can human inventions please him, when repentance, faith, and holiness are neglected? In the day of distress we must apply to the Lord by fervent prayer. Our troubles, though we see them coming from God's hand, must drive us to him, not drive us from him. We must acknowledge him in all our ways, depend upon his wisdom, power, and goodness, and refer ourselves wholly to him, and so give him glory. Thus must we keep up communion with God; meeting him with prayers under trials, and with praises in deliverances. A believing supplicant shall not only be graciously answered as to his petition, and so have cause for praising God, but shall also have grace to praise him.For every beast of the forest is mine - All the beasts that roam at large in the wilderness; all that are untamed and unclaimed by man. The idea is, that even if God "needed" such offerings, he was not dependent on them - for the numberless beasts that roamed at large as his own would yield an ample supply.

And the cattle upon a thousand hills - This may mean either the cattle that roamed by thousands on the hills, or the cattle on numberless hills. The Hebrew will bear either construction. The former is most likely to be the meaning. The allusion is probably to the animals that were pastured in great numbers on the hills, and that were claimed by men. The idea is, that all - whether wild or tame - belonged to God, and he had a right to them, to dispose of them as he pleased. He was not, therefore, in any way dependent on sacrifices. It is a beautiful and impressive thought, that the "property" in all these animals - in all living things on the earth - is in God, and that he has a right to dispose of them as he pleases. What man owns, he owns under God, and has no right to complain when God comes and asserts his superior claim to dispose of it at his pleasure. God has never given to man the absolute proprietorship in "any" thing; nor does he invade our rights when he comes and claims what we possess, or when in any way he removes what is most valuable to us. Compare Job 1:21.

8-15. However scrupulous in external worship, it was offered as if they conferred an obligation in giving God His own, and with a degrading view of Him as needing it [Ps 50:9-13]. Reproving them for such foolish and blasphemous notions, He teaches them to offer, or literally, "sacrifice," thanksgiving, and pay, or perform, their vows—that is, to bring, with the external symbolical service, the homage of the heart, and faith, penitence, and love. To this is added an invitation to seek, and a promise to afford, all needed help in trouble. I would command or dispose them at my pleasure, without thy leave or assistance, even the cattle which feed upon innumerable hills, or in valleys and fields. For every beast of the forest is mine,.... By creation and preservation; and therefore he stood in no need of their bullocks and he goats;

and the cattle upon a thousand hills; meaning all the cattle in the whole world.

{i} For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.

(i) Though he delighted in sacrifice, yet he had no need for man's help in it.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 10. - For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. So the Revised Version, Dr. Kay, Canon Cook, the Four Friends, and others; but many critics regard such a rendering as impossible. Of these, some translate, "And the cattle upon the hills, where there are thousands" (Hupfeld, Hengstenberg, etc.); while others read אלהים for אלפ, and render, "And the cattle upon the mountains of God" (Olshausen, Cheyne). The judgment scene. To the heavens above (מעל, elsewhere a preposition, here, as in Genesis 27:39; Genesis 49:25, an adverb, desuper, superne) and to the earth God calls (קרא אל, as, e.g., Genesis 28:1), to both לדין עמּו, in order to sit in judgment upon His people in their presence, and with them as witnesses of His doings. Or is it not that they are summoned to attend, but that the commission, Psalm 50:5, is addressed to them (Olshausen, Hitzig)? Certainly not, for the act of gathering is not one that properly belongs to the heavens and the earth, which, however, because they exist from the beginning and will last for ever, are suited to be witnesses (Deuteronomy 4:26; Deuteronomy 32:1; Isaiah 1:2, 1 Macc. 2:37). The summons אספוּ is addressed, as in Matthew 24:31, and frequently in visions, to the celestial spirits, the servants of the God here appearing. The accused who are to be brought before the divine tribunal are mentioned by names which, without their state of mind and heart corresponding to them, express the relationship to Himself in which God has placed them (cf. Deuteronomy 32:15; Isaiah 42:19). They are called חסידים, as in the Asaph Psalm 79:2. This contradiction between their relationship and their conduct makes an undesigned but bitter irony. In a covenant relationship, consecrated and ratified by a covenant sacrifice (עלי־זבח similar to Psalm 92:4; Psalm 10:10), has God placed Himself towards them (Exodus 24); and this covenant relationship is also maintained on their part by offering sacrifices as an expression of their obedience and of their fidelity. The participle כּרתי here implies the constant continuance of that primary covenant-making. Now, while the accused are gathered up, the poet hears the heavens solemnly acknowledge the righteousness of the Judge beforehand. The participial construction שׁפט הוּא, which always, according to the connection, expresses the present (Nahum 1:2), or the past (Judges 4:4), or the future (Jeremiah 25:31), is in this instance an expression of that which is near at hand (fut. instans). הוּא has not the sense of ipse (Ew. 314, a), for it corresponds to the "I" in אני שׁפט or הנני שׁפט; and כּי is not to be translated by nam (Hitzig), for the fact that God intends to judge requires no further announcement. On the contrary, because God is just now in the act of sitting in judgment, the heavens, the witnesses most prominent and nearest to Him, bear witness to His righteousness. The earthly music, as the סלה directs, is here to join in with the celestial praise. Nothing further is now wanting to the completeness of the judgment scene; the action now begins.
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