|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:3-9 We are to consider the heavens, that man thus may be directed to set his affections on things above. What is man, so mean a creature, that he should be thus honoured! so sinful a creature, that he should be thus favoured! Man has sovereign dominion over the inferior creatures, under God, and is appointed their lord. This refers to Christ. In Heb 2:6-8, the apostle, to prove the sovereign dominion of Christ, shows he is that Man, that Son of man, here spoken of, whom God has made to have dominion over the works of his hands. The greatest favour ever showed to the human race, and the greatest honour ever put upon human nature, were exemplified in the Lord Jesus. With good reason does the psalmist conclude as he began, Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth, which has been honoured with the presence of the Redeemer, and is still enlightened by his gospel, and governed by his wisdom and power! What words can reach his praises, who has a right to our obedience as our Redeemer?
Verse 8. - The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas; literally, fowl of the air, and fishes of the sea, the passer through the paths of the seas. Every passer through the paths of the seas, whether exactly a fish or no. The cetacea are thus included (comp. Genesis 1:21).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The fowl of the air,.... These he rained about the tents of the Israelites for their relief, Psalm 78:27, and can command them to feed his people, as the ravens did Elijah, 1 Kings 17:4; or to destroy his enemies, Jeremiah 15:3; see Psalm 50:10;
and the fish of the sea: instances of Christ's power over them, and of their being at his command, and for his service, may be seen in Matthew 17:27;
and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas: some (k) understand this of ships, made by the wisdom and art of men, in which they pass through the paths of the sea, and fish in the midst of it. The Targum paraphrases it, "and leviathan, which passes through the paths of the sea". Compare with this Isaiah 27:1. Some interpret all these things in a figurative and allegorical way; and some of the ancients by "sheep" understood believers among the Gentiles; by "oxen", the Jews; by "the beasts of the field", idolaters and profane persons; "by the fowls of the air", angels; and by "the fish of the sea", devils: but these are much better explained by Cocceius, who, by "sheep", understands common members of the churches; by "oxen", those that labour in the word and doctrine; by "the beasts of the field", aliens from the city and kingdom of God; men fierce and cruel, Isaiah 11:6; by "the fowl of the air", such as are tilted up with pride and vanity; and by "the fish of the sea", such as are immersed in worldly pleasures. But it is best to interpret the whole literally; from whence may be observed, that what was lost by the first Adam is restored by the second; and that believers have a free use of all the creatures through Christ: and not only the things here mentioned are subject to him, but everything else; there is nothing left that is not put under him, only he is excepted that put all things under him, Hebrews 2:8.
(k) Aben Ezra & Kimchi in loc.
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