For I see Thy heavens, a work of Thy fingers, Moon and stars that Thou didst establish.
Psalm 8:3 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
When I Consider thy heavens - כי אראה ki ereh; Because I will see. He had often seen the heavens with astonishment, and he purposes to make them frequent subjects of contemplation; and he could not behold them without being affected with the skill, contrivance, and power, manifested in their formation.
The work of thy fingers - What a view does this give of the majesty of God! The earth is nearly eight thousand English miles in diameter: but to form an adequate conception of its magnitude, we must consider it in its superficial and solid contents. Upon the supposition that the earth's polar diameter is seven thousand nine hundred and forty miles, and its equatorial, seven thousand nine hundred and seventy-seven, (estimates considered to very near approximations to the truth), the whole superficies of the terraqueous globe will amount to about one hundred and ninety-eight millions, nine hundred and eighty thousand, seven hundred square miles; and its solid contents, in cubic miles will be expressed by the following figures: 264,544,857,944, i.e., two hundred and sixty-four thousand five hundred and forty-four millions, eight hundred and fifty-seven thousand, nine hundred and forty-four. Great as we have shown the bulk of the earth to be, from the most accurate estimates of its diameter it is but small when compared with the bulks of some of the other bodies in the solar system. The planet Herschel, or Georgium Sidus, known on the continent of Europe by the name of Uranus, is eighty times and a half greater than the earth; Saturn, nine hundred and ninety-five times greater; Jupiter, one thousand two hundred and eighty-one times greater; and the sun, the most prodigious body in the system, one million three hundred and eightyfour thousand, four hundred and sixty-two times greater. The circumference of the sun contains not fewer than two millions seven hundred and seventy-seven thousand English miles; and a degree of latitude, which on the earth amounts only to sixty-nine miles and a half, will on the sun (the circle being supposed in both instances to be divided into three hundred and sixty degrees) contain not less than about seven thousand seven hundred and forty miles, a quantity almost equal to the terrestrial axis. But the immense volume (in cubic miles) which the solar surface includes amounts to the following most inconceivable quantity: 366,252,303,118,866,128, i.e., three hundred and sixty six thousand two hundred and fifty-two billions, three hundred and three thousand one hundred and eighteen millions, eight hundred and sixty-six thousand, one hundred and twenty-eight. Notwithstanding the amazing magnitude of the sun, we have abundant reason to believe that some of the fixed stars are much larger; and yet we are told they are the work of God's Fingers! What a hand, to move, form, and launch these globes! This expression is much more sublime than even that of the prophet: "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out the heavens with a span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure; and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance!" Isaiah 40:12. This is grand; but the heavens being the work Of God's Fingers is yet more sublime.
The moon and the stars - The sun is not mentioned, because the heavens - the moon, planets, and stars - could not have appeared, had he been present. Those he wished to introduce because of their immense variety, and astonishing splendor; and, therefore, he skilfully leaves out the sun, which would have afforded him but one object, and one idea. To have mentioned him with the others would have been as ridiculous in astronomy, as the exhibition of the top and bottom of a vessel would be in perspective. Various critics have endeavored to restore the Sun to this place: and even Bishop Horsley says, "It is certainly strange that the sun should be omitted, when the moon and the stars are so particularly mentioned." But with great deference to him, and to Dr. Kennicott, who both show how the text may be mended I say, it would be most strange had the psalmist introduced the sun, for the reasons already assigned. The Spirit of God is always right; our head is sometimes, our hearts seldom so.
Which thou hast ordained - כוננתה conantah, which thou hast prepared and established. Made their respective spheres, and fitted them for their places. Space to matter, and matter to space; all adjusted in number, weight, and measure.
Psalm 8:3Quoniam videbo celos tuos, et opera digitorum tuorum, lunam et stellas quas tu fundasti.
Trans. For I sal se thi hevens werkes of thi fyngers the mone and the Sternys the quilk thow groundid.
Par. Thow destrues al that es contrariand til the; bot i in al thying confourom me to do thi wil, for thi i sal se in lyf withouten end. "Thi hevens", that es Aungels and Apostels the qwilk er werkes of thi fingers: that es, that er mode perfyte thurgh the Haly Gost, of qwam es seven gyftes. Of he be bot a Spirit, als mani fyngers er in a hand. And i sal see the "Mone", that es haly Kyrk: and the sternes that es ilk a ryghtwise man by hym selfe, the qwilk thu groundid in charite.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork.
Psalm 111:2 The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.
Job 22:12 Is not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are!
Job 36:24 Remember that you magnify his work, which men behold.
Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made...
Psalm 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Exodus 8:19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he listened not to them...
Exodus 31:18 And he gave to Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him on mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone...
Luke 11:20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come on you.
Psalm 104:19 He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knows his going down.
Psalm 136:7-9 To him that made great lights: for his mercy endures for ever...
Psalm 148:3 Praise you him, sun and moon: praise him, all you stars of light.
Genesis 1:16-18 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also...
Deuteronomy 4:19 And lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven...
Job 25:3,5 Is there any number of his armies? and on whom does not his light arise...
Psalm 8:3 Parallel CommentariesConsider Establish Established Fingers Heavens Moon Ordained Places Stars WorkConsider Establish Established Fingers Heavens Moon Ordained Places Stars WorkTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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