Bless you the LORD, all you his hosts; you ministers of his, that do his pleasure.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Hosts.—There are apparently in the psalmist’s thought three grades of beings in the hierarchy of praise:—
1.High angels around the throne.
2. Angelic powers, such as winds, lightnings, &c, specially commissioned to do God’s behests, as in Psalm 104:4.
3.Creation generally. (Comp. Psalms 148)Isaiah 1:9; notes at Ephesians 1:21.
Ye ministers of his - The same beings referred to by the word "hosts," and all others who may be employed in executing his will. The "hosts" or armies of the Lord are thus marshalled that they may "do his pleasure," or that they may execute his purposes.
That do his pleasure - What is agreeable to him; that is, who perform his will. Employed in his service, and appointed to execute his will, they are called on to bless his name. The fact of being employed in his service is a sufficient reason for praise. It is implied here that those "ministers of his" actually do his will. They are obedient to his commands; they regard themselves as employed for him.All ye his hosts; ye angels; to whom he still continues his address, and whom he more particularly describes by the name of hosts, a title oft given to the angels, as Genesis 32:2 1 Kings 22:19 2 Chronicles 18:18 Luke 2:13 Revelation 19:14, in regard of their vast numbers, mighty power, unanimous concurrence, and exquisite order. In the former verse the expression was indefinite and general, ye his angels, here it is universal and yet particular,
all ye his hosts. He seems to apply himself to the several orders of angels, of whom see Ephesians 3:10 Colossians 1:16, and to each individual angel.
Ye ministers: this Hebrew word is commonly used of the highest and most honourable sort of servants.
That do his pleasure; whose constant business and delight it is to execute the will and commands of God. Psalm 148:2. Others, of the angels, as before; who are sometimes styled the heavenly host, Luke 2:13, and may be so called from their numbers, there being legions of them; and for their military employment, in guarding and protecting the saints, in encamping about them, and fighting for them. Or rather, since these seem to be distinguished from the angels before addressed, by them may be meant the church militant and her members; who are like an army with banners, consisting of volunteer soldiers under Christ, the Captain of their salvation; whose battles they fight against sin, Satan, and the world; and have a great deal of reason to bless and praise the Lord, for all the great and good things he has done to them, and for them.
Ye ministers of his that do his pleasure; so the angels are called, and they do the will of God; what is acceptable to him, and well pleasing in his sight, Hebrews 1:7. But rather, as distinct from them, the ministers of the Gospel are intended; a name which the preachers of it bear, both in the Old and in the New Testament, Isaiah 61:4, They are ministers of Christ's appointing, calling, qualifying, and sending; and who are employed in his service, in preaching him, his Gospel, and the truths of it; and who do his pleasure, that which is grateful to him, when they speak his word faithfully, declare his whole counsel, and keep back nothing that is profitable: and these have reason to bless the Lord for the gifts bestowed upon them, and for their success and usefulness; and indeed they bear a leading part in giving praise and glory to God, Revelation 4:9.Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)21. By Jehovah’s hosts and ministers may be meant the innumerable multitudes of celestial beings of lower rank, subordinated to the celestial hierarchy spoken of in Psalm 103:20 (Daniel 7:10; Hebrews 1:14); or perhaps “the host of heaven,” the stars, which are closely connected with angels in the O.T. (Job 38:7), and all the powers of Nature, which subserve Jehovah’s purposes (Psalm 104:4; Psalm 148:2-3).Verse 21. - Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts. Here the inferior angels seem to be meant - that "multitude of the host of heaven" which appeared to the shepherds on Christ's natal day (Luke 2:13), and which is elsewhere often referred to in Holy Scripture (see Psalm 24:10; Psalm 148:2; Isaiah 40:26; Matthew 25:31; Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; Hebrews 12:22; Jude 1:14). Ye ministers of his (comp. Psalm 104:4) that do his pleasure. The inferior, no less than the superior, ranks of angels continually carry out the will of God, being "ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" (Hebrews 1:14). Psalm 90:5., cf. Isaiah 40:6-8; Isaiah 51:12; that of the flower, Job 14:2. אנושׁ is man as a mortal being; his life's duration is likened to that of a blade of grass, and his beauty and glory to a flower of the field, whose fullest bloom is also the beginning of its fading. In Psalm 103:16 בּו (the same as in Isaiah 40:7.) refers to man, who is compared to grass and flowers. כּי is ἐάν with a hypothetical perfect; and the wind that scorches up the plants, referred to man, is an emblem of every form of peril that threatens life: often enough it is really a breath of wind which snaps off a man's life. The bold designation of vanishing away without leaving any trace, "and his place knoweth him no more," is taken from Job 7:10, cf. ibid. Job 8:18; Job 20:9. In the midst of this plant-like, frail destiny, there is, however, one strong ground of comfort. There is an everlasting power, which raises all those who link themselves with it above the transitoriness involved in nature's laws, and makes them eternal like itself. This power is the mercy of God, which spans itself above (על) all those who fear Him like an eternal heaven. This is God's righteousness, which rewards faithful adherence to His covenant and conscientious fulfilment of His precepts in accordance with the order of redemption, and shows itself even to (ל) children's children, according to Exodus 20:6; Exodus 34:7; Deuteronomy 7:9 : on into a thousand generations, i.e., into infinity.
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