Psalm 102:25
Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) Comp. Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 48:13.

Psalm 102:25. Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth — The eternity of God looks both backward and forward: it is both without beginning and without end. The latter is affirmed and illustrated Psalm 102:24; Psalm 102:26-27, the former is implied in this verse. Thou hadst a being before the creation of the world, when there was nothing but eternity, but the earth and heaven had a beginning given them by thy almighty power.

102:23-28 Bodily distempers soon weaken our strength, then what can we expect but that our months should be cut off in the midst; and what should we do but provide accordingly? We must own God's hand in it; and must reconcile this to his love, for often those that have used their strength well, have it weakened; and those who, as we think, can very ill be spared, have their days shortened. It is very comfortable, in reference to all the changes and dangers of the church, to remember that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. And in reference to the death of our bodies, and the removal of friends, to remember that God is an everlasting God. Do not let us overlook the assurance this psalm contains of a happy end to all the believer's trials. Though all things are changing, dying, perishing, like a vesture folding up and hastening to decay, yet Jesus lives, and thus all is secure, for he hath said, Because I live ye shall live also.Of old - See this passage fully explained in the notes at Hebrews 1:10-12. In the beginning; at the first. The phrase used here means literally "to the face;" then, "before" in the order of time. It means here, long ago; of olden time; at the beginning. The meaning is, that the years of God had stretched through all the generations of people, and all the changes which had occurred upon the earth; that at the very beginning he existed, and that he would continue to exist to the very close, unchangeably the same. 23-28. The writer, speaking for the Church, finds encouragement in the midst of all his distresses. God's eternal existence is a pledge of faithfulness to His promises.

in the way—of providence.

weakened—literally, "afflicted," and made fearful of a premature end, a figure of the apprehensions of the Church, lest God might not perform His promise, drawn from those of a person in view of the dangers of early death (compare Ps 89:47). Paul (Heb 1:10) quotes Ps 102:26-28 as addressed to Christ in His divine nature. The scope of the Psalm, as already seen, so far from opposing, favors this view, especially by the sentiments of Ps 102:12-15 (compare Isa 60:1). The association of the Messiah with a day of future glory to the Church was very intimate in the minds of Old Testament writers; and with correct views of His nature it is very consistent that He should be addressed as the Lord and Head of His Church, who would bring about that glorious future on which they ever dwelt with fond delightful anticipations.

The eternity of God looks both backward and forward, it is both without beginning and without end. The former is affirmed and illustrated Psalm 102:24,26,27, the latter is clearly implied in this verse. Thou hadst a being before the creation of the world, when there was nothing but eternity, but the earth and heavens had a beginning given them by thy almighty power.

Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth,.... The lower part of the creation, the Lord's footstool, called the earth beneath: this has its foundation; though what it is cannot be well said, it cannot be searched out; it is sometimes said to be founded upon the waters, and yet so as not to be removed for ever, Jeremiah 31:37, this shows the wisdom of God, as a wise master builder, and the stability of the earth; and is a proof of the deity of Christ, to whom these words belong: this is said to be done "of old", or "at" or "in the beginning", as Jarchi and the Targum; and so in Hebrews 1:10, where they are applied to the Messiah, the Son of God; and this, as it proves the eternity of Christ, who must be in the beginning, and before all things, so it confutes the notion of the eternity of the earth, received by some philosophers: besides, the words may be rendered, "before" (g) "thou foundest the earth"; and so refers to the preceding, "thy years", &c. were before the earth was; that is, from eternity, and so fully express the eternal existence of Christ:

and the heavens are the work of thy hands; these are the airy and starry heavens, and the heaven of heavens; which are creatures, and not to be worshipped, made by Christ himself, and are expressive of his power, wisdom, and glory.

(g) "antea", Pagninus, Montanus, Gejerus.

Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 25. - Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth (comp. Isaiah 48:13). And the heavens are the work of thy hands (see Genesis 1:1, 7; Genesis 2:4; Psalm 89:11; Hebrews 1:10). Psalm 102:25On the way (ב as in Psalm 110:7) - not "by means of the way" (ב as in Psalm 105:18), in connection with which one would expect of find some attributive minuter definition of the way - God hath bowed down his strength (cf. Deuteronomy 8:2); it was therefore a troublous, toilsome way which he has been led, together with his people. He has shortened his days, so that he only drags on wearily, and has only a short distance still before him before he is entirely overcome. The Chethb כחו (lxx ἰσχύος αὐτοῦ) may be understood of God's irresistible might, as in Job 23:6; Job 30:18, but in connection with it the designation of the object is felt to be wanting. The introductory אמר (cf. Job 10:2), which announces a definite moulding of the utterance, serves to give prominence to the petition that follows. In the expression אל־תּעלני life is conceived of as a line the length of which accords with nature; to die before one's time is a being taken up out of this course, so that the second half of the line is not lived through (Psalm 55:24, Isaiah 38:10). The prayer not to sweep him away before his time, the poet supports not by the eternity of God in itself, but by the work of the rejuvenation of the world and of the restoration of Israel that is to be looked for, which He can and will bring to an accomplishment, because He is the ever-living One. The longing to see this new time is the final ground of the poet's prayer for the prolonging of his life. The confession of God the Creator in Psalm 102:26 reminds one in its form of Isaiah 48:13, cf. Psalm 44:24. המּה in Psalm 102:27 refers to the two great divisions of the universe. The fact that God will create heaven and earth anew is a revelation that is indicated even in Isaiah 34:4, but is first of all expressed more fully and in many ways in the second part of the Book of Isaiah, viz., Isaiah 51:6, Isaiah 51:16; Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22. It is clear from the agreement in the figure of the garment (Isaiah 51:6, cf. Psalm 50:9) and in the expression (עמד, perstare, as in Isaiah 66:22) that the poet has gained this knowledge from the prophet. The expressive אתּה הוּא, Thou art He, i.e., unalterably the same One, is also taken from the mouth of the prophet, Isaiah 41:4; Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 46:4; Isaiah 48:12; הוּא is a predicate, and denotes the identity (sameness) of Jahve (Hofmann, Schriftbeweis, i. 63). In v. 29 also, in which the prayer for a lengthening of life tapers off to a point, we hear Isaiah 65:2; Isaiah 66:22 re-echoed. And from the fact that in the mind of the poet as of the prophet the post-exilic Jerusalem and the final new Jerusalem upon the new earth under a new heaven blend together, it is evident that not merely in the time of Hezekiah or of Manasseh (assuming that Isaiah 40:1 are by the old Isaiah), but also even in the second half of the Exile, such a perspectively foreshortened view was possible. When, moreover, the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews at once refers Psalm 102:26-28 to Christ, this is justified by the fact that the God whom the poet confesses as the unchangeable One is Jahve who is to come.
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