Psalm 105:4
Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face ever more.
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(4) Seek the Lord.—Better, Enquire after Jehovah and his power. The congregation is directed to the historical survey which follows. This sense seems settled by Psalm 111:2 : “The works of Jehovah are great, enquired into by all those who take delight in them.” And hence the word “strength” must be understood as used generally of the manifestation of Divine power in the wondrous deeds now to be mentioned.

105:1-7 Our devotion is here stirred up, that we may stir up ourselves to praise God. Seek his strength; that is, his grace; the strength of his Spirit to work in us that which is good, which we cannot do but by strength derived from him, for which he will be sought. Seek to have his favour to eternity, therefore continue seeking it while living in this world; for he will not only be found, but he will reward those that diligently seek him.Seek the Lord and his strength - Seek strength from him; seek that his strength may be imparted to you; seek him as a Being of almighty power; as One by whom you may be strengthened. The Septuagint and Vulgate render this, "Seek the Lord, and 'be strengthened.'" Strength comes from God, and it is only by his strength that we can be strong; only by our making use of his omnipotence in our own behaIf that we can discharge the duties, and bear the trials of this life. Compare the notes at Isaiah 40:29-31.

Seek his face evermore - His favor. His smiling upon us, his lifting up the light of his countenance, is synonymous with his favor. See Psalm 24:6; Psalm 27:8. Compare the notes at Psalm 4:6.

3, 4. Seeking God's favor is the only true mode of getting true happiness, and His strength [Ps 105:4] is the only true source of protection (compare Ps 32:11; 40:16).

Glory … name—boast in His perfections. The world glories in its horses and chariots against the Church of God lying in the dust; but our hope is in the name, that is, the power and love of God to His people, manifested in past deliverances.

The Lord, and his strength, i.e. by a figure called hendiaduo, the Lord in his strength, to wit, in his sanctuary, or before the ark, which is called God’s strength, Psalm 63:2 78:61, and the ark of his strength, Psalm 132:8.

His face, i.e. his gracious presence in his sanctuary, and the blessed fruits of it. See on Psalm 27:8. Seek the Lord and his strength,.... The ark, which is called his strength, and the ark of his strength, Psalm 78:61, because he had shown his great strength by it, in dividing the waters at Jordan, throwing down the walls of Jericho, and plaguing the Philistines because of it, when among them. This was a symbol of God's presence, before which he was sought by his people; and was a type of our Lord Jesus, the man of God's right hand, whom he has made strong for himself, and who is called his strength, Psalm 80:18. Some render it, and which Aben Ezra makes mention of, though he rejects it, "seek the Lord in his strength"; or "by it": God is to be sought in Christ; he is the way of access to him. Or the meaning is, seek strength from the Lord; spiritual strength; strength to assist in the exercise of grace, and discharge of duty; seek it from him, in whom are both righteousness and strength. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Syriac versions, render it, "seek the Lord, and be ye strengthened". The way to gain an increase of spiritual strength is to seek the Lord by prayer, or in his ordinances; see Psalm 138:3. The Targum is,

"seek the doctrine of the Lord, and his law.''

It follows:

seek his face evermore: his favour and lovingkindness; his smiling countenance, which beholds the upright; his gracious presence, and communion with him; which is always desirable, ever to be sought after, and will be eternally and without interruption enjoyed in another world.

Seek the LORD, and his {b} strength: seek his face evermore.

(b) By the strength and face he means the ark where God declared his power and his presence.

4. Two synonymous words are rendered seek in this verse. Both originally referred to the outward act of visiting the sanctuary, but both come to express the inward purpose of the heart as well. So far as they can be distinguished the first denotes the attitude of loving devotion, the second that of inquiry or supplication. To ‘seek Jehovah’ is the duty and the joy of the true Israelite. From His strength and presence alone can Israel derive the protection and blessing that it needs. His strength cannot here mean the Ark, as in Psalm 78:61.Verse 4. - Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore. Turn to the Lord, not from him; seek his favour, his support, the light of his countenance. The poet has now come to an end with the review of the wonders of the creation, and closes in this seventh group, which is again substantially decastichic, with a sabbatic meditation, inasmuch as he wishes that the glory of God, which He has put upon His creatures, and which is reflected and echoed back by them to Him, may continue for ever, and that His works may ever be so constituted that He who was satisfied at the completion of His six days' work may be able to rejoice in them. For if they cease to give Him pleasure, He can indeed blot them out as He did at the time of the Flood, since He is always able by a look to put the earth in a tremble, and by a touch to set the mountains on fire (ותּרעד of the result of the looking, as in Amos 5:8; Amos 9:6, and ויעשׁנוּ of that which takes place simultaneously with the touching, as in Psalm 144:5, Zechariah 9:5, cf. on Habakkuk 3:10). The poet, however, on his part, will not suffer there to be any lack of the glorifying of Jahve, inasmuch as he makes it his life's work to praise his God with music and song (בּחיּי as in Psalm 63:5, cf. Bar. 4:20, ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις μου). Oh that this his quiet and his audible meditation upon the honour of God may be pleasing to Him (ערב על synonymous with טּוב על, but also שׁפר על, Psalm 16:6)! Oh that Jahve may be able to rejoice in him, as he himself will rejoice in his God! Between "I will rejoice," Psalm 104:34, and "He shall rejoice," Psalm 104:31, there exists a reciprocal relation, as between the Sabbath of the creature in God and the Sabbath of God in the creature. When the Psalmist wishes that God may have joy in His works of creation, and seeks on his part to please God and to have his joy in God, he is also warranted in wishing that those who take pleasure in wickedness, and instead of giving God joy excite His wrath, may be removed from the earth (יתּמּוּ, cf. Numbers 14:35); for they are contrary to the purpose of the good creation of God, they imperil its continuance, and mar the joy of His creatures. The expression is not: may sins (חטּאים, as it is meant to be read in B. Berachoth, 10a, and as some editions, e.g., Bomberg's of 1521, actually have it), but: may sinners, be no more, for there is no other existence of sin than the personal one.

With the words Bless, O my soul, Jahve, the Psalm recurs to its introduction, and to this call upon himself is appended the Hallelujah which summons all creatures to the praise of God - a call of devotion which occurs nowhere out of the Psalter, and within the Psalter is found here for the first time, and consequently was only coined in the alter age. In modern printed copies it is sometimes written הללוּ־יהּ, sometimes הללוּ יהּ, but in the earlier copies (e.g., Venice 1521, Wittenberg 1566) mostly as one word הללוּיהּ.

(Note: More accurately הללוּיהּ with Chateph, as Jekuthil ha-Nakdan expressly demands. Moreover the mode of writing it as one word is the rule, since the Masora notes the הללוּ־יהּ, occurring only once, in Psalm 135:3, with לית בטעם as being the only instance of the kind.)

In the majority of MSS it is also found thus as one word,

(Note: Yet even in the Talmud (J. Megilla i. 9, Sofrim v. 10) it is a matter of controversy concerning the mode of writing this word, whether it is to be separate or combined; and in B. Pesachim 117a Rab appeals to a Psalter of the school of Chabibi (תילי דבי חביבי) that he has seen, in which הללו stood in one line and יה in the other. In the same place Rab Chasda appeals to a תילי דבי רב חנין that he has seen, in which the Hallelujah standing between two Psalms, which might be regarded as the close of the Psalm preceding it or as the beginning of the Psalm following it, as written in the middle between the two (בעמצע פירקא). In the הלליה written as one word, יה is not regarded as strictly the divine name, only as an addition strengthening the notion of the הללו, as in במרחביה Psalm 118:5; with reference to this, vide Geiger, Urschrift, S. 275.)

and that always with הּ, except the first הללוּיהּ which occurs here at the end of Psalm 104, which has ה raphe in good MSS and old printed copies. This mode of writing is that attested by the Masora (vid., Baer's Psalterium, p. 132). The Talmud and Midrash observe this first Hallelujah is connected in a significant manner with the prospect of the final overthrow of the wicked. Ben-Pazzi (B. Berachoth 10a) counts 103 פרשׁיות up to this Hallelujah, reckoning Psalm 1:1-6 and Psalm 2:1-12 as one פרשׁת'.

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