Matthew Poole's Commentary
Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights.THE ARGUMENT.
The nature of this Psalm is for substance the same with the former, containing an invitation to all the creatures to praise God for his manifold blessings.
The psalmist exhorteth all celestial and terrestrial creatures, especially man, to praise God for his favour and mercy to his church.
From the heavens; all the host of heaven, which he particularly expresseth in the following verses.
In the heights; in those high and heavenly places.
Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.He inviteth the angels here, and the senseless creatures afterward, to praise God; not as if the former needed, or the latter were capable of, his exhortation, but only by a poetical rapture; the design whereof is, that men by this means might be more provoked to this duty. The angels are called
hosts, here and 1 Kings 22:19, for their vast numbers, exquisite order, and perfect subjection to their General, the Lord of hosts.
Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.Sun and moon; you which are adored by the blind heathens for gods, you are but his creatures, and therefore were obliged, if you were capable, to worship and praise him for your glorious light and powerful influences.
Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.Ye heavens of heavens; ye highest and most glorious heavens, the place of God’s throne and glorious presence, as this phrase is used, Deu 10:14 1 Kings 8:27 Nehemiah 9:6 Psalm 115:16. Or, ye starry heavens, which also may well be so called, because they are above the air, which is oft. called heaven in Scripture.
Ye waters that be above the heavens; ye clouds, which are above a part of the heavens; of which See Poole "Genesis 1:7".
Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.They owe their being wholly to God’s good will.
He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.Stablished them for ever and ever; either absolutely, as to the substance of them, or at least to the end of the world. He hath made them constant and incorruptible, not changeable and perishing, as the things of the lower world are.
Made a decree; either concerning their several courses and influences; or rather, for their continuance for ever; which best agrees with the foregoing and following words.
Which shall not pass; which decree shall never be made void.
Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:Either,
1. Dragons and serpents, which abide in the deep caverns and holes of the earth; or,
2. Whales or other sea-monsters, which dwell in the depths of the sea, which are oft called by this name, as Job 7:12 Ezekiel 29:3, and elsewhere, as the word here rendered
deeps is most commonly used concerning the sea.
Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word:Fire; lightnings and other fire-works of the air.
Vapours, or fumes; hot exhalations, as the word properly signifies, as cold exhalations are comprehended under the title of snow. And both of them, arising from the earth, are here fitly mentioned as belonging to it.
Fulfilling his word; executing his commands, either for the comfort and refreshment, or for the punishment, of the inhabitants of the earth.
Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:Admirable for your height, and strength, and use, though not for your fruit.
Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:No text from Poole on this verse.
Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:Kings of the earth; who, though you are called gods, and adored like gods by your subjects, yet are but men, and the creatures and subjects of this sovereign Lord, to whom you owe both your being, and all your power and dignity.
Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children:No text from Poole on this verse.
Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.Not so much in place as in excellency, above all the glories which are in earth and in heaven.
He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD.Exalteth the horn of his people, to wit, above the horns of all the people in the world, in respect of their spiritual and eternal privileges, as it here follows.
The horn in Scripture doth commonly note strength, victory, glory, and felicity, as Deu 33:17, and everywhere.
The praise; either,
1. He is the praise, as God is called, Deu 10:21, to wit, the God of their praise, as Psalm 119:1, the chiefest object and matter of it: or,
2. Which is the praise; which work of God in exalting their horn is their glory, and maketh them praiseworthy, or obligeth and provoketh them in a singular manner to perform this great duty of praising God, which is so generally neglected by others. Near unto him, by special relation, and friendship, and covenant, and by familiar intercourses; God manifesting his face and favour to them, and they frequently and solemnly approaching into his presence, and worshipping him at his footstool.