|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
148:7-14 Even in this world, dark and bad as it is, God is praised. The powers of nature, be they ever so strong, so stormy, do what God appoints them, and no more. Those that rebel against God's word, show themselves to be more violent than even the stormy winds, yet they fulfil it. View the surface of the earth, mountains and all hills; from the barren tops of some, and the fruitful tops of others, we may fetch matter for praise. And assuredly creatures which have the powers of reason, ought to employ themselves in praising God. Let all manner of persons praise God. Those of every rank, high and low. Let us show that we are his saints by praising his name continually. He is not only our Creator, but our Redeemer; who made us a people near unto him. We may by the Horn of his people understand Christ, whom God has exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour, who is indeed the defence and the praise of all his saints, and will be so for ever. In redemption, that unspeakable glory is displayed, which forms the source of all our hopes and joys. May the Lord pardon us, and teach our hearts to love him more and praise him better.
Verse 8. - Fire and hail. By "fire," in this combination, we must understand "lightning," or rather the various electrical phenomena accompanying storms in the East, which are sometimes very strange and terrible. Snow and vapors; rather, vapor. The mist so often accompanying snowstorms is probably the "vapor" intended. Stormy wind fulfilling his word (comp. Psalm 107:25).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Fire, and hail,.... These, and what follow in this verse, are in the air, but are what are exhaled or drawn up from the earth or water; "fire" is lightning, which is very swift in its motion, and powerful in its effects; this is the fire which consumed Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities of the plain; which in Elijah's time came down and destroyed the captains and their fifties; and which attended the Lord's appearance on Mount Sinai; when "the voice of his thunder was in the heaven, the lightnings lightened the world, and the earth trembled and shook", Psalm 77:18; and by which the power, majesty, and glory of God are greatly displayed; see Psalm 29:3; "hail", which is water frozen in the air and congealed; this was one of the plagues of Egypt; and with hailstones many of the Canaanites were slain in the times of Joshua; and by these God has shown his power, and has got himself praise from his people by destroying their enemies, though they have blasphemed his name on account of them, as they will when the great hailstorm of all shall fall, Revelation 16:21;
snow, and vapour; the former is a gift of God, and very beneficial to the earth, and the cause of praise and thankfulness to God; See Gill on Psalm 147:16; the word (f) for "vapour" signifies smoke, and is what rises out of the earth like smoke, as Kimchi and Ben Melech observe; and is hot and dry, and forms lightnings and winds, and has its place among things that occasion praise;
stormy wind fulfilling his word; which is raised up by a word of his command; he creates it, brings it out of his treasures, holds it in his lists, and lets it go out at his pleasure to fulfil his will; either, as at some times in a way of mercy, as to dry up the waters of the flood, to make a way for Israel through the Red sea, to bring quails to them in the wilderness, and rain to the land of Israel in Ahab's time; and sometimes in a way of judgment, to drown Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea, to break the ships of Tarshish, to fetch Jonah the disobedient prophet back, and to distress him afterwards; see Psalm 107:25; to do all this is an argument of divine power, and a proof of deity, as it is of our Lord's, Matthew 8:27. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions, read it in the plural number, "which do his word"; referring it not to the stormy wind only, but to fire and hail, snow and vapour; but the Hebrew text restrains it to the stormy wind.
(f) "vapor seu fumus", Piscator, Muis, Gejerus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. fulfilling his word—or, law, may be understood of each. Next the most distinguished productions of the vegetable world.
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