|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
47:5-9 Praise is a duty in which we ought to be frequent and abundant. But here is a needful rule; Sing ye praises with understanding. As those that understand why and for what reasons they praise God, and what is the meaning of the service. It is not an acceptable service, if it is not a reasonable service. We are never to forget the end of Messiah's exaltation, so continually do the prophets dwell upon the conversion of the nations to the gospel of Christ. Why do we vainly fancy that we belong to him, unless the Spirit reign in our hearts by faith? Lord, is it not thy glory and delight to give repentance to Israel and remission of sins, now that thou art exalted as a Prince and a Saviour? Set up thy kingdom in our hearts. Bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. And so sweetly constrain all the powers and faculties of the souls of thy redeemed, into holy love, fear, and delight in thee, that praise with the understanding may rise from every heart, both here and for ever, to Thee, our God.
Verse 7. - For God is the King of all the earth (comp. ver. 2). Sing ye praises with understanding; literally, sing a psalm of instruction. As Hengstenberg remarks, "Every song in praise of God, on account of God, on account of his glorious deeds, contains a rich treasure of instruction and improvement." Here the special instruction is that God is King over the whole earth, that he reigns over the heathen, and that the heathen shall also some time or other own his sovereignty.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For God is the King of all the earth,.... Or "the king of all the earth is God" (e); the same that is ascended into heaven, and is King of saints, even Christ Jesus; and so he will appear to be, especially in the latter day; See Gill on Psalm 47:2;
sing ye praises with understanding; or, as De Dieu renders it, to him that understandeth, that is, to God the only wise, whose understanding is infinite; even to Christ, who, as God, knows all things; and, as man and Mediator, is of quick understanding, and has all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in him; so R. Obadiah, "sing of him who understands"; or, "sing ye praises, O everyone that understandeth" (f); that is, how to sing, as everyone does not; this is the sense of Aben Ezra and Kimchi; or "with understanding", as we render it; with understanding of what is sung. The Apostle Paul seems to refer to this passage in 1 Corinthians 14:15. The Targum renders it, "with a good understanding".
(e) So Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Michaelis. (f) "canite, intelligens", Montanus; i.e. "unusquisque", Vatablus.
The Treasury of David
7 For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.
"For God is the King of all the earth." The Jews of our Saviour's time resented this truth, but had their hearts been right they would have rejoiced in it. They would have kept their God to themselves, and not even have allowed the Gentile dogs to eat the crumbs from under his table. Alas! how selfishness turns honey into wormwood. Jehovah is not the God of the Jews only, all the nations of the earth are, through the Messiah, yet to own him Lord. Meanwhile his providential throne governs all events beneath the sky. "Sing ye praises with understanding." Sing a didactic Psalm. Sound doctrine praises God. Even under the economy of types and ceremonies, it is clear that the Lord had regard to the spirituality of worship, and would be praised thoughtfully, intelligently, and with deep appreciation of the reason for song, It is to be feared from the slovenly way in which some make a noise in singing, that they fancy any sound will do. On the other hand, from the great attention paid by some to the mere music, we feel sadly sure that the sense has no effect upon them. Is it not a sin to be tickling men's ears with sounds when we profess to be adoring the Lord? What has a sensuous delight in organs, anthems, etc., to do with devotion? Do not men mistake physical effects for spiritual impulses? Do they not often offer to God strains far more calculated for human amusement than for divine acceptance? An understanding enlightened of the Holy Spirit is then and then only fully capable of offering worthy praise.
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