|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
150:1-6 A psalm of praise. - We are here stirred up to praise God. Praise God for his sanctuary, and the privileges we enjoy by having it among us; praise him because of his power and glory in the firmament. Those who praise the Lord in heaven, behold displays of his power and glory which we cannot now conceive. But the greatest of all his mighty acts is known in his earthly sanctuary. The holiness and the love of our God are more displayed in man's redemption, than in all his other works. Let us praise our God and Saviour for it. We need not care to know what instruments of music are mentioned. Hereby is meant that in serving God we should spare no cost or pains. Praise God with strong faith; praise him with holy love and delight; praise him with entire confidence in Christ; praise him with believing triumph over the powers of darkness; praise him by universal respect to all his commands; praise him by cheerful submission to all his disposals; praise him by rejoicing in his love, and comforting ourselves in his goodness; praise him by promoting the interests of the kingdom of his grace; praise him by lively hope and expectation of the kingdom of his glory. Since we must shortly breathe our last, while we have breath let us praise the Lord; then we shall breathe our last with comfort. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord. Such is the very suitable end of a book inspired by the Spirit of God, written for the work of praise; a book which has supplied the songs of the church for more than three thousand years; a book which is quoted more frequently than any other by Christ and his apostles; a book which presents the loftiest ideas of God and his government, which is fitted to every state of human life, which sets forth every state of religious experience, and which bears simple and clear marks of its Divine origin.
Verse 5. - Praise him upon the loud cymbals; praise him upon the high-sounding cymbals. "We can hardly," says Professor Cheyne, "venture to distinguish two kinds of cymbals on the ground of these two epithet" The mention of "cymbals" is reserved to the last, as being the instrument of music most expressive of joy and jubilation. It completes the musical climax, as ver. 6 completes the ideal one.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Praise him upon the loud cymbals,.... Or "cymbals of hearing" (x); that were heard with pleasure and delight, and afar off: the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions render it, "well sounding cymbals", which give a grateful sound to the ear; these were made of brass, 1 Chronicles 15:19; to which the apostle alludes, 1 Corinthians 13:1;
praise him upon the high sounding, cymbals; or "cymbals of shouting" (y), ovation or triumph; which were used on joyful occasions, as victories, deliverances, and the like; and were used also in the temple service, see 1 Chronicles 16:5; according to the Targum and Septuagint version, these were three stringed instruments; for so they render the word them in 1 Samuel 18:6. Now these several instruments of music are named, not as to be used in Gospel times; but, being expressive of the highest praise and joy shown in former times, are mentioned to set forth the highest strains and notes of praise in New Testament saints; as well as to denote their heartiness, agreement, and unanimity in this service, Romans 15:6.
(x) "in cymbalis auditus", Montanus, Vatablus. (y) "in cymbalis jubilationis", V. L. Musculus, Cocceius; "in cymbalis ovationis", Montanus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. cymbals—suited to loud praise (Ne 12:27).
Psalm 150:5 Parallel Commentaries
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