|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
50:1-6 This psalm is a psalm of instruction. It tells of the coming of Christ and the day of judgment, in which God will call men to account; and the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of judgement. All the children of men are concerned to know the right way of worshipping the Lord, in spirit and in truth. In the great day, our God shall come, and make those hear his judgement who would not hearken to his law. Happy are those who come into the covenant of grace, by faith in the Redeemer's atoning sacrifice, and show the sincerity of their love by fruits of righteousness. When God rejects the services of those who rest in outside performances, he will graciously accept those who seek him aright. It is only by sacrifice, by Christ, the great Sacrifice, from whom the sacrifices of the law derived what value they had, that we can be accepted of God. True and righteous are his judgments; even sinners' own consciences will be forced to acknowledge the righteousness of God.
Verse 1. - The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken. A combination of three names of God - viz. El, Elohim, and Jehovah - only found here and in Joshua 22:22. There it is translated "the Lord God of gods," which is a possible rendering. Separately, the three names seem to mean, "The Mighty One," "The Many in One" (Cheyne) or "The Three in One," and '"The Self-Existent One." He who is all these, the psalmist announces, "has spoken," and called (or, summoned) the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof; i.e. God has summoned all mankind to hear his judgment of his covenant people.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The mighty God,.... In the Hebrew text it is "El", "Elohim", which Jarchi renders the "God of gods"; that is, of angels, who are so called, Psalm 8:5; so Christ, who is God over all, is over them; he is their Creator, and the object of their worship, Hebrews 1:6; or of kings, princes, judges, and all civil magistrates, called gods, Psalm 82:1; and so Kimchi interprets the phrase here "Judge of judges". Christ is King of kings, and Lord of lords, by whom they reign and judge, and to whom they are accountable. The Targum renders it "the mighty God"; as we do; which is the title and name of Christ in Isaiah 9:6; and well agrees with him, as appears by his works of creation, providence, and redemption, and by his government of his church and people; by all the grace, strength, assistance, and preservation they have from him now, and by all that glory and happiness they will be brought unto by him hereafter, when raised from the dead, according to his mighty power. It is added,
even the Lord, hath spoken: or "Jehovah", Some have observed, that these three names, El, Elohim, Jehovah, here mentioned, have three very distinctive accents set to them, and which being joined to a verb singular, "hath spoken", contains the mystery of the trinity of Persons in the unity of the divine Essence; see Joshua 22:22; though rather all the names belong to Christ the Son of God, and who is Jehovah our righteousness, and to whom, he being the eternal Logos, speech is very properly ascribed. He hath spoken for the elect in the council and covenant of grace and peace, that they might be given to him; and on their behalf, that they might have grace and glory, and he might be their Surety, Saviour, and Redeemer. He hath spoken all things out of nothing in creation: he spoke with. Moses at the giving of the law on Mount Sinai: he, the Angel of God's presence, spoke for the Old Testament saints, and spoke good and comfortable words unto them: he hath spoken in his own person here on earth, and such words and with such authority as never man did; and he has spoken in his judgments and providences against the Jews; and he now speaks in his Gospel by his ministers: wherefore it follows,
and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof; which may be considered as a preface, exciting attention to what is after spoken, as being of moment and importance; see Deuteronomy 32:1; or as calling the earth, and so the heavens, Psalm 50:4, to be witnesses of the justness and equity of his dealings with the Jews, for their rejection of him and his Gospel; see Deuteronomy 4:26; or rather as a call to the inhabitants of the earth to hear the Gospel; which had its accomplishment in the times of the apostles; when Christ having a people, not in Judea only, but in the several parts of the world from east to west, sent them into all the world with his Gospel, and by it effectually called them through his grace; and churches were planted everywhere to the honour of his name; compare with this Malachi 1:11.
The Treasury of David
1 The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.
2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.
3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.
4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.
5 Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.
6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness for God is judge himself. Selah.
"The mighty God, even the Lord" - El, Elohim, Jehovah, three glorious names for the God of Israel. To render the address the more impressive, these august titles are mentioned, just as in royal decrees the names and dignities of monarchs are placed in the forefront. Here the true God is described as Almighty, as the only and perfect object of adoration and as the self-existent One, "Hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun until the going down thereof." The dominion of Jehovah extends over the whole earth, and therefore to all mankind is his decree directed. The east and the west are bidden to hear the God who makes his sun to rise on every quarter of the globe. Shall the summons of the great King be despised? Will we dare provoke him to anger by slighting his call?
"Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined." The Lord is represented not only as speaking to the earth, but as coming forth to reveal the glory of his presence to an assembled universe. God of old dwelt in Zion among his chosen people, but here the beams of his splendour are described as shining forth upon all nations. The sun was spoken of in the first verse, but here is a far brighter sun. The majesty of God is most conspicuous among his own elect, but it is not confined to them; the church is not a dark lantern, but a candlestick. God shines not only in Zion, but out of her. She is made perfect in beauty by his indwelling and that beauty is seen by all observers when the Lord shines forth from her.
Observe how with trumpet voice and flaming ensign the infinite Jehovah summons the heavens and the earth to hearken to his word.
"Our God shall come." The Psalmist speaks of himself and his brethren as standing in immediate anticipation of the appearing of the Lord upon the scene. "He comes," they say, "our covenant God is coming;" they can hear his voice from afar, and perceive the splendour of his attending train. Even thus should we wait the long-promised appearing of the Lord from heaven. "And shall not keep silence." He comes to speak, to plead with his people, to accuse and judge the ungodly. He has been silent long in patience, but soon he will speak with power. What a moment of awe when the Omnipotent is expected to reveal himself! What will be the reverent joy and solemn expectation when the poetic scene of this Psalm becomes in the last great day an actual reality! "A fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him." Flame and hurricane are frequently described as the attendants of the divine appearance. "Our God is a consuming fire." "At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hailstones and coals of fire." Psalm 18:12. "He rode upon a cherub, and did fly; yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind." "The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God." 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 2 Thessalonians 1:8. Fire is the emblem of justice in action, and the tempest is a token of his overwhelming power. Who will not listen in solemn silence when such is the tribunal from which the judge pleads with heaven and earth?
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ps 50:1-23. In the grandeur and solemnity of a divine judgment, God is introduced as instructing men in the nature of true worship, exposing hypocrisy, warning the wicked, and encouraging the pious.
1-4. The description of this majestic appearance of God resembles that of His giving the law (compare Ex 19:16; 20:18; De 32:1).
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