Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
A Psalm of Praise
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
2 Serve the Lord with gladness:
Come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the LORD he is God:
It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves.
We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
And into his courts with praise:
Be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting;
And his truth endureth to all generations.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
CONTENTS AND SUPERSCRIPTION.—As Pss. 38 and 70 were not only written in order to call to remembrance Jehovah’s gracious deeds in general, but stand in a definite relation to offerings, so here also the superscription seems to indicate a liturgical purpose, and that not merely for confession in the public worship (Sept. Vulg.), with the songs of praise of the people, but for real sacrifices of praise, called in Ps. 107:22; 116:17, זֲבח תּוֹדָה, but also simply תּוֹרָהPs. 56:13; 2 Chron. 29:31. “The same class of Shelamim is meant, which were presented in thankful praise for divine blessings enjoyed, and especially for miraculous protection and deliverance.” (Delitzsch). Along with a great resemblance to Ps. 95 there are still not wanting essential peculiarities. For example, both strophes express and justify the invitation to the thankful acknowledgment and public worship of Jehovah.
Psalm 100:1–3. Make a joyful noise, etc. We may suppose this to allude to the shouts of homage of those who acknowledge Jehovah as King, and accordingly regard the serving [Psalm 100:2], as the correlative of ruling in the wider sense (Venema, Hengst.) as in Ps. 72:11. Serving with gladness (Psalm 100:2), stands in contrast to “serve with fear and rejoice with trembling,” in Ps. 2:11, as in that passage it is subjection that is spoken of, while here it is the voluntary union of the whole earth, that is, of men of all nations, with the Church, which appears worshipping before Jehovah in Zion. But the whole psalm has to do directly and specially with acts of public worship, which partly presuppose that more general service, and partly have it for a consequence. The event from which these nations are to gain the knowledge (Ps. 4:4) that Jehovah is God. is not mentioned here. It must, however, according to the context, have a world-wide significance, and be connected with the deliverance of the people who confess to Him (Psalm 100:3) that they are His work (Deut. 32:6, 15; Is. 29:23; 60:21), His inheritance, and a people tended and led like a flock. “His people and flock” are in apposition not to “us” (Hengstenberg), but to “we.” For this passage belongs to the fifteen, which, according to the Masoretic enumeration, occur in the Old Testament, where לֹא is written and לֹו read. Indeed, both readings may be justified (Kimchi), and the translations given: while we were not (Symmachus, Isaaki), or better: not we (Sept., Vulg., Jerome), made clearer by the addition, ourselves (Luther, Geier, and others), as a contrast to the boasting of Pharaoh (Ezek. 29:3). But the reading לֹו (Chald., Jerome, Aben Ezra, Saadia), in nineteen codices of De Rossi and nine of Kennicott is preferred by most of the recent expositors. [This is expressed by the marginal reading in E. V., “And His we are,” which is preferred by Perowne and Noyes. The other is favored by Alexander, Wordsworth, and Barnes. The passage cited above, Ezek. 29: 3, to which this is supposed to be a contrast, is probably to be understood as it is in E. V.: “I have made it (the Nile) myself.”—J. F. M.].
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
1. God is not merely Creator and Ruler of the world. He is also Founder, Guardian, Lord, and Shepherd of His Church. His people should exhibit their sense of this relation, and especially give it expression in public worship, in order that all the world may discover that this God is the only God, to adore whom, men of all lands should unite with the Church.
2. The conviction that such is God’s will, evokes missionary songs in the Church, and sets before her eyes the duty of Missions. But it also awakens a love for the former as well as for the latter service of the Lord, strengthens the belief in the eternal efficacy of the mercy and truth of God, and, to gratitude for the blessings already received from the hand of the Highest, unites the expectation that the world-embracing destiny of the true religion (Is. 56:7; 60; 66:23) will be realized.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
We should be as willing to serve God as we are bound to do so, and encourage one another to that duty as well as invite others to engage in it.—Delight in God’s service as connected with the knowledge of God and gratitude for His benefit.—The manner, ground, and blessing of the proper public worship of God.—The Church is to the world, what the house of God is to the Church, the place of blessing in the knowledge and worship of God.
STARKE: There is nothing to be found under the sun, which can make the heart more joyful than sincere religion.—If God’s mercy and truth are eternal, they remain still with us now, and we and our descendants until the end of the world will have them for our consolation.—RIEGER: In the kingdom of God every one can and is permitted to come before the face of this God of mercy.—DIEDRICH: We discover all God’s glory in His word, through which He has declared His name to us, that it is Love.—God asks no hard service, but only that we know Him, believe Him, and from His fulness of grace alone draw all our strength for every undertaking.—TAUBE: A shout of joy through the whole world, over the majestic God of Zion, so rich in mercy, who comes to bless the earth.
[MATT. HENRY: We must intermix praise and thanksgiving in all our services; this golden thread must run through every duty, Heb. 13:15. For it is the work of angels.—Knowledge is the mother of devotion and of all obedience. Blind sacrifices will never please a seeing God.—BARNES: The Psalm is based on the unity of the human race: that there is one God and Father of all, and one great family on earth.—J. F. M.].
A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.