|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
135:15-21 These verses arm believers against idolatry and all false worship, by showing what sort of gods the heathen worshipped. And the more deplorable the condition of the Gentile nations that worship idols, the more are we to be thankful that we know better. Let us pity, and pray for, and seek to benefit benighted heathens and deluded sinners. Let us endeavour to glorify his name, and recommend his truth, not only with our lips, but by holy lives, copying the example of Christ's goodness and truth.
Verse 19. - Bless the Lord, O house of Israel. The concluding strain corresponds to the opening one, and is a simple hymn of praise. Israel generally, the priestly order, the Levites, and the devout worshippers of God, of whatever class, are called upon in succession to praise and bless Jehovah (comp. Psalm 115:9-11). Bless the Lord, O house of Aaron (see Psalm 115:10, 12; Psalm 118:3).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Bless the Lord, O house of Israel,.... Who are chosen by the Lord to be a special people to him above all others; redeemed from Egyptian bondage; through a variety of surprising providences brought into and settled in the land of Canaan; distinguished by various blessings, favoured with the word, worship, and ordinances of God, and not left to worship idols of gold and silver, as other nations; and therefore had great reason to bless the Lord: as also the spiritual Israel, or the household of God and of faith, the family of Christ; and that because they are of his family, because of the love of God to them, his choice of them, his covenant with them, their redemption by Christ, their effectual calling; or for being made Israelites indeed, and the provisions made for them in the house of God for their spiritual welfare;
bless the Lord, O house of Aaron: who were separated from their brethren to minister in the priest's office; to offer gifts and sacrifices for the people, and to bless them, Exodus 28:1; which was a very sacred and honourable employment, and they were under obligation to bless the Lord, who had called them to it, and put this honour on them; as are the ministers of the Gospel, who have received gifts from Christ; whom he has counted faithful, and put into the ministry; made stewards of the mysteries of his grace, and ambassadors in his stead; and especially if made useful for edification and conversion: and indeed all the Lord's people, who are all made priests unto God, and have nearness unto him, liberty and boldness to enter into the holiest of all, as Aaron once a year into the most holy place; and who have better sacrifices to offer than he, the living sacrifices of their own bodies and souls, and not slain beasts; spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise; and, above all, the sweet smelling sacrifice of Christ they bring in the arms of faith, and so enter into the courts of God.
The Treasury of David
19 Bless the Lord, O house of Israel: bless the Lord, O house of Aaron
20 Bless the Lord, O house of Levi: ye that fear the Lord, bless the Lord.
21 Blessed be the Lord out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the Lord.
"Bless the Lord, O house of Israel." All of you, in all your tribes, praise the one Jehovah. Each tribe, from Reuben to Benjamin, has its own special cause for blessing the Lord, and the nation as a whole has substantial reasons for pouring out benedictions upon his name. Those whom God has named "the house of Israel," a family of prevailing princes, ought to show their loyalty by thankfully bowing before their sovereign Lord. "Bless the Lord, O house of Aaron." These were elected to high office and permitted to draw very near to the divine presence; therefore they beyond all others were bound to bless the Lord. Those who are favoured to be leaders in the church should be foremost in adoration. In God's house the house of Aaron should feel bound to speak well of his name before all the house of Israel.
"Bless the Lord, O house of Levi." These helped the priests in other things, let them aid them in this also. The house of Israel comprehends all the chosen seed; then we come down to the smaller but more central ring of the house of Aaron, and now we widen out to the whole tribe of Levi. Let reverence and adoration spread from man to man until the whole lump of humanity shall be leavened. The house of Levi had choice reasons for blessing God, read the Levite story and see. Remember that the whole of the Levites were set apart for holy service, and supported by the tribes allotted to them; therefore they were in honour bound above all others to worship Jehovah with cheerfulness.
"Ye that fear the Lord, bless the Lord." These are the choicer spirits, the truly spiritual: they are not the Lord's in name only, but in heart and spirit. The Father seeketh such to worship him. If Aaron and Levi both forget and fail, these will not. It may be that this verse is intended to bring in God-fearing men who were not included under Israel, Aaron, and Levi. They were Gentile proselytes, and this verse opens the door and bids them enter. Those who fear God need not wait for any other qualification for sacred service; godly fear proves us to be in the covenant with Israel, in the priesthood with Aaron, and in the service of the Lord with Levi. Filial fear, such as saints feel towards the Lord, does not hinder their praise; nay, it is the main source and fountain of their adoration.
"Blessed be the Lord out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem." Let him be most praised at home. Where he blesses most, let him be blessed most. Let the beloved mount of Zion, and the chosen city of Jerusalem echo his praises. He remains among his people: he is their dwelling-place, and they are his dwelling-place, let this intimate communion ensure intense gratitude on the part of his chosen. The temple of holy solemnities which is Christ, and the city of the Great King, which is the church, may fitly be regarded as the head-quarters of the praises of Jehovah, the God of Israel. "Praise ye the Lord." Hallelujah. Amen, and Amen.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19-21. (Compare Ps 115:9-11). There we have "trust" for "bless" here.
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