Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.
Ps 147:1-20. This and the remaining Psalms have been represented as specially designed to celebrate the rebuilding of Jerusalem (compare Ne 6:16; 12:27). They all open and close with the stirring call for praise. This one specially declares God's providential care towards all creatures, and particularly His people.
1. (Compare Ps 92:1; 135:3).
The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.
2. (Compare Ps 107:3; Isa 11:12).
He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
3. Though applicable to the captive Israelites, this is a general and precious truth.
He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.
4, 5. God's power in nature (Isa 40:26-28, and often) is presented as a pledge of His power to help His people.
telleth … stars—what no man can do (Ge 15:5).
Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.
6. That power is put forth for the good of the meek and suffering pious, and confusion of the wicked (Ps 146:8, 9).
Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:
7-9. His providence supplies bountifully the wild animals in their mountain homes.
Sing … Lord—literally, "Answer the Lord," that is, in grateful praise to His goodness, thus declared in His acts.
Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.
He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.
He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.
10, 11. The advantages afforded, as in war by the strength of the horse or the agility of man, do not incline God to favor any; but those who fear and, of course, trust Him, will obtain His approbation and aid.
The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.
Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.
For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee.
13. strengthened … gates—or, means of defense against invaders,
He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat.
14. maketh … borders—or, territories (Ge 23:17; Isa 54:12).
filleth thee, &c.—(Compare Margin).
He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly.
15-18. God's Word, as a swift messenger, executes His purpose, for with Him to command is to perform (Ge 1:3; Ps 33:9), and He brings about the wonders of providence as easily as men cast crumbs.
He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.
He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?
17. morsels—used as to food (Ge 18:5), perhaps here denotes hail.
He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.
He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel.
19, 20. This mighty ruler and benefactor of heaven and earth is such especially to His chosen people, to whom alone (De 4:32-34) He has made known His will, while others have been left in darkness. Therefore unite in the great hallelujah.
He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.