Psalm 113:8
That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.
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113:1-9 An exhortation to praise God. - God has praise from his own people. They have most reason to praise him; for those who attend him as his servants, know him best, and receive most of his favours, and it is easy, pleasant work to speak well of their Master. God's name ought to be praised in every place, from east to west. Within this wide space the Lord's name is to be praised; it ought to be so, though it is not. Ere long it will be, when all nations shall come and worship before him. God is exalted above all blessing and praise. We must therefore say, with holy admiration, Who is like unto the Lord our God? How condescending in him to behold the things in the earth! And what amazing condescension was it for the Son of God to come from heaven to earth, and take our nature upon him, that he might seek and save those that were lost! How vast his love in taking upon him the nature of man, to ransom guilty souls! God sometimes makes glorious his own wisdom and power, when, having some great work to do, he employs those least likely, and least thought of for it by themselves or others. The apostles were sent from fishing to be fishers of men. And this is God's constant method in his kingdom of grace. He takes men, by nature beggars, and even traitors, to be his favourites, his children, kings and priests unto him; and numbers them with the princes of his chosen people. He gives us all our comforts, which are generally the more welcome when long delayed, and no longer expected. Let us pray that those lands which are yet barren, may speedily become fruitful, and produce many converts to join in praising the Lord.That he may set him with princes - May give him a rank - a position - with nobles and great people upon the earth. Many instances of this nature have occurred in the history of the world. Not a few of the nobles of England, including several of its lord chancellors, have been raised thus from very humble life; and in every nation God shows that he has power to give to those of humblest rank a name and place which no hereditary titles and honors can bestow: thus Shakespeare was the son of a glover and woolstapler. God has power to come into the humblest cottage of poverty, and to bring forth those who shall stand foremost in their generation as people of genius and power. Nothing is more absolute than the power which God thus holds over the nations of the earth, and it is meet that a Being who has this power, and who exercises it, should be praised and honored.

Even with the princes of his people - Among those who are selected to preside over the people whom he has chosen for himself. It is implied here that this would be a higher honor than to be exalted to power among a pagan people - a people ignorant of the true God. It is a higher honor to be counted worthy to rule a Christian nation than a pagan people; it is a higher honor to be a ruler in the church - over those whom God has redeemed for himself - than it is to administer a secular government.

7, 8. which condescension is illustrated as often in raising the worthy poor and needy to honor (compare 1Sa 2:8; Ps 44:25). Set him with princes; in equal honour and power with them, as he did Joseph, David, and others.

The princes of his people; which in God’s account and in truth are far more honourable and happy that, the princes of heathen and barbarous nations, because their subjects are more noble, and they have God’s special presence and providence among them.

That he may set him with princes,.... As all the saints are by birth, being the sons of God, the King of kings; born of him, and not of the will of man; and are of a princely spirit, have a free spirit, and offer themselves and services willingly to the Lord; have the spirit of adoption, in opposition to a spirit of bondage; and, as princes, have power with God and prevail; and are also heirs of God, heirs of salvation, heirs of a kingdom, as princes be; now such as are raised by Christ and his grace from a low estate and condition are set among those princes here; they are brought to Zion, and have a place and a name in the house of God, better than that of sons and daughters; and become fellowcitizens with the saints; and they are set among princes hereafter in the kingdom of heaven.

Even with the princes of his people; the more eminent among the people of God, such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with whom they shall sit down in the kingdom of heaven; and with the prophets of the Old Testament, and the apostles of the New; and even with all the saints, who are made kings and priests unto God; see Psalm 45:16.

That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.
8. ‘To dwell’ or ‘sit with princes’ is a figure for elevation to the highest rank and dignity[72]. So Job 36:7, “[God] withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous: but with kings upon the throne he setteth them for ever, and they are exalted.” Cp. 2 Samuel 9:7.

[72] According to the Massoretic text the Chireq compaginis or binding vowel, which is characteristic of this Psalm (Psalm 113:5-7; Psalm 113:9), is here attached to the infinitive. But it is almost certain that, with the LXX, לּהושיבו ‘to set him,’ should be read for להושיבי.

Verse 8. - That he may set him with princes. The words of 1 Samuel 2:8 are still followed. (For the sentiment, see also Job 36:7.) Historically, the statement is illustrated by the examples of Joseph, Saul, David, Daniel, Mordecai. Even with the princes of his people. Not merely with heathen princes, but with those who exercise sovereignty over Israel, as Joseph with Pharaoh, Daniel with Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus, Mordecai with Ahasuerus or Xerxes. Psalm 113:8The thoughts of Psalm 113:7 and Psalm 113:8 are transplanted from the song of Hannah. עפר, according to 1 Kings 16:2, cf. Psalm 14:7, is an emblem of lowly estate (Hitzig), and אשׁפּת (from שׁפת) an emblem of the deepest poverty and desertion; for in Syria and Palestine the man who is shut out from society lies upon the mezbele (the dunghill or heap of ashes), by day calling upon the passers-by for alms, and by night hiding himself in the ashes that have been warmed by the sun (Job, ii. 152). The movement of the thoughts in Psalm 113:8, as in Psalm 113:1, follows the model of the epizeuxis. Together with the song of Hannah the poet has before his eye Hannah's exaltation out of sorrow and reproach. He does not, however, repeat the words of her song which have reference to this (1 Samuel 2:5), but clothes his generalization of her experience in his own language. If he intended that עקרת should be understood out of the genitival relation after the form עטרת, why did he not write מושׁיבי הבּית עקרה? הבּית would then be equivalent to בּיתה, Psalm 68:7. עקרת הבּית is the expression for a woman who is a wife, and therefore housewife, הבּית (בּעלת) נות, but yet not a mother. Such an one has no settled position in the house of the husband, the firm bond is wanting in her relationship to her husband. If God gives her children, He thereby makes her then thoroughly at home and rooted-in in her position. In the predicate notion אם הבּנים שׂמחה the definiteness attaches to the second member of the string of words, as in Genesis 48:19; 2 Samuel 12:30 (cf. the reverse instance in Jeremiah 23:26, נבּאי השּׁקר, those prophesying that which is false), therefore: a mother of the children. The poet brings the matter so vividly before him, that he points as it were with his finger to the children with which God blesses her.
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