INTRODUCTION TO Psalm 150
This psalm is of the same kind and upon the same subject with the two preceding ones; and very probably was written by the same hand, and about the same time; and is a very proper psalm to conclude this book with, being all praise. Some say (q) this psalm was sung by the Israelites, when they came with their firstfruits into the sanctuary, with the basket on their shoulders. "Thirteen" times in this short psalm is the word "praise" used; not on account of thirteen properties or perfections in God, as Kimchi thinks: but it is so frequently and in every clause used, to show the vehement desire of the psalmist that the Lord might be praised; and to express his sense of things, how worthy he is of praise; and that all ways and means to praise him should be made use of, all being little enough to set forth his honour and glory. And not the Levites only, whose business it was in the temple service to praise the Lord with musical instruments, are here exhorted to it, as R. Judah the Levite thinks, but all people; not the people of Israel only, as Kimchi; but the Gentiles also, even all that have breath, Psalm 150:6. For, as R. Obadiah Gaon observes, this psalm belongs to the times of the Messiah; to the Gospel dispensation, to the latter part of it, especially when Jews and Gentiles shall be converted; and when all will praise the Lord, as they will have reason for it.
(q) Weemse's Christ. Synagog. l. 1. c. 6. s. 4. p. 145.
Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.Praise ye the Lord,.... Or, "hallelujah"; which, in the Targum, Septuagint, and Vulgate Latin versions, is the title of the psalm; and expresses the subject of it, the praise of the Lord;
praise God in his sanctuary; in the temple, the house of his sanctuary as the Targum and R Judah; or in heaven, as R. Moses, his holy place, where he is praised by holy angels and glorified saints; or in the church below, of which the sanctuary or temple was a type. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and the eastern versions, render it, "in his Holy Ones"; among his saints, in the assembly of them, where he is to be feared and praised: it may be translated, "in his Holy One" (r); and be understood of Christ, as it is by Cocceius; who is holy in both his natures, and is often called God's Holy One, and the Holy One of Israel; and whose human nature is a tabernacle or temple, wherein the fulness of the Godhead dwells; and in, and through, and for whom, the Lord is to be praised. Some render it, "for" or "because of his holiness" (s); the perfection of holiness in him; in which he is glorious and fearful in the praises of, and which appears in all his works of providence and grace;
praise him in the firmament of his power; the heaven above us, so called, Genesis 1:6; which, in the Hebrew language, has its name from its being spread and expanded over the earth; and, in the Greek and Latin tongues, from the firmness and stability of it; and which is a work of mighty power, and therefore so called; it particularly respects the starry heavens; for the sun, and moon, and stars, were placed in the firmament, Genesis 1:14; or the air and atmosphere about us, that presses upon us, and keeps all firm and stable. And now as this shows forth the glory of God, and his handiwork, Psalm 19:1; not only all in it should and do in their way praise the Lord; but especially men on earth, who enjoy the benefit of it. R. Judah understands this of the ark in the temple, called the ark of the Lord's strength.
(r) "in sancto habitaculo suo", Vocceius; "in sancto ejus", Gejerus; , Symmachus apud Drusium. (s) "Ob sanctitatem ejus", Tirinus, Muis; "ob insignem sanctitatem ipsius", Campensis apud Gejerum.
Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.Praise him for his mighty acts,.... The creation of all things out of nothing; the sustaining of all beings; the government of the world; the redemption of man by Christ, and the wonderful works done by him on earth; the work of grace upon the hearts of his people, and the preservation of them in grace to glory;
praise him according to his excellent greatness; or, "according to the multitude of his greatness" (t); which appears in his nature, perfections, and work, and these both of providence and grace; and in proportion hereunto, and according to the abilities of creatures, angels, and men, is he to be praised; which is giving him the honour due unto his name; see Psalm 96:8.
(t) "secundum multudinem magnitudinie ejus", V. L. Montanus, Gejerus; so Ainsworth.
Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.Praise him with the sound of the trumpet,.... Which was used in calling the assembly together, for worship and on other occasions; and at the feast of blowing of trumpets, and in the year of jubilee, Numbers 10:1; and by the priests in temple service, 1 Chronicles 16:6; and was typical of the Gospel, which gives a certain and joyful sound, and is the cause and means of praising God, Isaiah 27:13;
praise him with the psaltery; to which psalms were sung;
and harp; which were instruments of music, both used in divine worship under the former dispensation; and in which David was well skilled and delighted, and appointed proper persons to praise with them, 1 Chronicles 15:20. They were typical of the spiritual melody made in the hearts of God's people, while they are praising him in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, under the Gospel, Ephesians 5:19.
Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.Praise him with the timbrel and dance,.... Or "pipe" (u); See Gill on Psalm 149:3;
praise him with stringed instruments; or divers "kinds" (w) of instruments not named, as R. Saadiah Gaon; and which, as Aben Ezra says, had all one sound or note; what they were is not known, as also many of them that are particularly mentioned;
and organs; which have their name from the loveliness of their sound; these are of ancient original and use, Genesis 4:21; but were not of the same kind with those now in use, which are of much later invention.
(u) "et tibia", Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Gejerus. (w) "varia symphonia", Cocceius.
Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.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.
Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord,.... Even the brute creatures, as in a preceding; but more especially man, in whom God has breathed the breath of life, and is become not only a living but a rational soul; and more especially spiritual men, converted persons, whether Jews or Gentiles; on whom the Spirit of the Lord has breathed, and whom he has quickened; and who breathe in prayer after divine things; and who also have abundant reason to bless and praise his name for what he has bestowed upon them, and has in reserve for them; and for which they should praise him as long as they have breath; see Revelation 5:13;
praise ye the Lord; all before mentioned, and in the manner as directed, and that in time and to all eternity. Thus ends the book of Psalms.
There is another psalm added in the Septuagint, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, and in the metaphrase of Apollinarius; but is owned to be a supernumerary one, and not to be found in all copies; and is said to be written by David, when he fought with Goliath, and conquered him, and is as follows.
1. I was little among my brethren, and a youth in my father's house; I fed my father's sheep. 2. My hands made (or used) the organ; and my fingers fitted (or played on) the psaltery or harp: 3. And who hath declared to my Lord? he is Lord, he hath heard. 4. He sent his angel, and took me from my father's sheep; and anointed me with the oil of his anointing, 5. My brethren were goodly and great; and the Lord delighted not in them. 6. I went forth to meet the stranger (the Philistine), and he cursed me by his idols: 7. And I threw at him three stones into his forehead, by the power of the Lord, and laid him prostrate (z). 8. I drew out the sword from him; I cut off his head, and took away reproach from the children of Israel.
(z) This verse is only in the Arabic version.