Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
This psalm begins the Hallel, or as sometimes called, the great Hallel—though that name more properly is confined to Psalms 136—recited at the great Jewish feasts. It is partly modelled on Hannah’s song. Its form is regular.
Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD.(1) Ye servants of the Lord—i.e., Israel. (See Psalm 69:36.)
The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.(4) Comp. Psalm 8:1, &c
Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!(6) Humbleth himself.—Contrast this condescension with the indifference to human joys and sorrows which heathen deities were said to show.
He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;(7-8) See 1Samuel 2:8, from which the verses are taken; and comp. Luke 1:52.
So the heathen poet sang of Jove (Hor.: Odes i., 34, 35).
(7) Dunghill.—Literally, a heap of rubbish. “Before each village in Hauran there is a place where the household heap up the sweepings of their stalls, and it gradually reaches a great circumference and a height which rises far above the highest buildings of the village.” “The mezbela serves the inhabitants of the district as a watch-tower, and on close oppressive evenings as a place of assembly, because there is a current of air on the height. There the children play about the whole day long; there the forsaken one lies who, having been seized with some horrible malady, is not allowed to enter the dwellings of men, by day asking alms of the passers by, and at night hiding himself among the ashes which the sun has warmed.”—Delitzsch’s Commentary on the Book of Job, ii. 152, with Note by Wetzstein. It was on the mezbela that, according to tradition, Job sat.
He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.(9) He maketh.—See margin. Motherhood alone assured the wife of a fixed and dignified position in her husband’s house. The quotation from Hannah’s song suggested the allusion to her story. We are no doubt right in taking this joyful mother as emblematic of the nation itself restored to prosperity and joy.