|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
118:22,23, may refer to David's preferment; but principally to Christ. 1. His humiliation; he is the Stone which the builders refused: they would go on in their building without him. This proved the ruin of those who thus made light of him. Rejecters of Christ are rejected of God. 2. His exaltation; he is the chief Cornerstone in the foundation. He is the chief Top-stone, in whom the building is completed, who must, in all things, have the pre-eminence. Christ's name is Wonderful; and the redemption he wrought out is the most amazing of all God's wondrous works. We will rejoice and be glad in the Lord's day; not only that such a day is appointed, but in the occasion of it, Christ's becoming the Head. Sabbath days ought to be rejoicing days, then they are to us as the days of heaven. Let this Saviour be my Saviour, my Ruler. Let my soul prosper and be in health, in that peace and righteousness which his government brings. Let me have victory over the lusts that war against my soul; and let Divine grace subdue my heart. The duty which the Lord has made, brings light with it, true light. The duty this privilege calls for, is here set forth; the sacrifices we are to offer to God in gratitude for redeeming love, are ourselves; not to be slain upon the altar, but living sacrifices, to be bound to the altar; spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise, in which our hearts must be engaged. The psalmist praises God, and calls upon all about him to give thanks to God for the glad tidings of great joy to all people, that there is a Redeemer, even Christ the Lord. In him the covenant of grace is made sure and everlasting.
Verse 27. - God is the Lord, which hath showed us light. Having received the priestly benediction, the processionists resume their strain. They have entered within the courts; they are approaching the altar of sacrifice; they have brought their offering. "Jehovah," they say, "is God, and hath given us light" (see the Revised Version). That is, he has enlightened our spirits to see and acknowledge his mercies; or, perhaps, he has led us, as he did the people, by a pillar of fire in the wilderness; and now we stand before the altar with our offering - receive it at our hands, ye priests-and bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. So shalt the act of thanksgiving be complete, and the solemn service ended. The fanciful exposition of Luther, lately revived by Professor Cheyne, will scarcely approve itself to critics generally.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
God is the Lord, which hath showed us light,.... These are the words of the people, acknowledging divine favours; particularly that the Lord had caused his face to shine upon them, as the priest wished for, Numbers 6:25. The Lord might be said to show them light, by sending the Messiah to them, who came a light into the world; by making a Gospel day, for which they expressed their gladness, Psalm 118:24; by causing the light of his glorious Gospel to shine into their hearts; by making them who were darkness light, the darkness of ignorance and unbelief to pass away, and the true light to shine; by lifting up the light of his countenance upon them, and giving them hopes of the light of glory and happiness, and making them meet to be partakers of the inheritance with the saints in light; for all which they are thankful, and call for sacrifices;
bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar; that is, the lamb, as the Targum and Aben Ezra. Take a lamb for sacrifice, and bind it with cords; and being bound, lead it to the altar; there slay it, and then pour the blood upon the horns of it; which were the usual rites in sacrifice. Or bring a large number of sacrifices bound, as many as will fill the court, even up to the horns of the altar, upon this joyful occasion: for the sacrifice was not bound to the horns of the altar; but it denotes here such a number of sacrifices as would fill the court, and reach thither; so Gussetius (h) interprets it very rightly. But we are not to think of slain beasts, but of holy and living sacrifices, even the persons of God's people; their bodies and souls, and their sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving; since this refers to Gospel times; whose hearts in such service are to be united to fear the Lord, and fixed trusting in him; and are to be drawn to it with the cords of love, which are more than all whole burnt offerings; and which sacrifices are to be brought to the altar, Christ; which is most holy, and sanctifies gifts and persons, and renders them acceptable to God; and which is to be compassed about with songs of deliverance and salvation, by persons from every quarter, the four corners of the earth. Luther renders it,
"adorn the feast with leaves;''
"bind on the feast day branches,''
of trees, as was usual on the feast of tabernacles; see Leviticus 23:40; and it was usual with the Heathens to strew their altars with green herbs and flowers (i), particularly vervain, put for all other sweet herbs (k): hence Ovid (l) calls them "herbosas aras"; which the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions seem to countenance.
(h) Comment. Ebr. p. 87. (i) Martial. l. 3. Ep. 24. "virides aras". Vid. Ovid. de Trist. l. 3. Eleg. 13. "Ramis tegerem ut frondentibus aras", Virgil. Aeneid. 3. v. 25. (k) Terent. Andria, 4. 2.((l) Metamorph. l. 15. Fab. 49.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
27-29. showed us light—or favor (Ps 27:1; 97:11). With the sacrificial victim brought bound to the altar is united the more spiritual offering of praise (Ps 50:14, 23), expressed in the terms with which the Psalm opened.
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