He makes the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise you the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)He maketh.—See margin. Motherhood alone assured the wife of a fixed and dignified position in her husband’s house. The quotation from Hannah’s song suggested the allusion to her story. We are no doubt right in taking this joyful mother as emblematic of the nation itself restored to prosperity and joy.Psalm 113:9. He maketh the barren woman to keep house — Hebrew, מושׁיבי הבית, moshibi habaith, to dwell in a house, or family, or among children, namely, born of her. In the sacred history of the Old Testament, we find many instances of barren women, who were miraculously made to bear children. Isaac, Joseph, Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist were thus born of mothers who had been barren. “These examples,” says Dr. Horne, “may be considered as preludes to that marvellous exertion of divine power, whereby the Gentile Church, after so many years of barrenness, became, in her old age, a fruitful parent of children, and the mother of us all. Wherefore it is written, Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear, &c., Isaiah 54:1.” Psalm 68:6. Compare 1 Samuel 2:5. This, too, is suggested as a reason why God should be praised and adored. In instances where all hope of posterity is cut off, he interposes, and diffuses joy through a dwelling. We may look abroad, and see abundant occasion for praising God, in his condescension to human affairs - in his lifting up the poor from the humblest condition - in his exalting those of lowly rank to places of honor, trust, wealth, and power; but, after all, if we wish to Find occasions of praise that will most tenderly affect the heart, and be connected with the warmest affections of the soul, they will be most likely to be found in the domestic circle - in the mutual love - the common joy - the tender feelings - which bind together the members of a family. In such a family, the words with which this psalm begins and ends, "Hallelujah," "Hallelujah," are especially appropriate; and if any community on earth should apply these words to itself it should be such a family, called upon by everything tender, holy, and lovely, to "praise the" Lord.
the barren woman … house—literally, "the barren of the house," so that the supplied words may be omitted.To keep house, Heb. to dwell in a house or family, or amongst children, to wit, coming out of her own womb, as is clearly implied by the opposition of this to her barrenness. And the word
house is oft put for children, as Exodus 1:21 Ruth 4:11 Psalm 115:10,12. And so it is explained in the next clause. Ruth 4:11. This may be applied to the church of God, as it is to the congregation of Israel by the Targum,
"who makes the congregation of Israel, which is like to a barren woman, that sitteth sorrowful, to dwell with the men of her house, full of multitudes.''
Jarchi interprets it of Zion, who was as a barren woman; see Isaiah 54:1, Galatians 4:27. It may be illustrated by the case of the primitive and apostolic church, which at first had but very few converts, but afterwards, both in Judea and in the Gentile world, had large numbers; as the church in the latter day will also have, when the fulness of the Gentiles is brought in, and the nation of the Jews born at once.
And to be a joyful mother of children; as the barren woman is when she becomes the mother of children; and indeed every woman rejoices when a man is born into the world, John 16:21, and so does the church of Christ and people of God, when souls are born again among them; this causes great joy among the saints; see Psalm 87:4.He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. He maketh the barren housewife to dwell
As a joyful mother of sons.
He gives her a secure and happy position in her home. The reference in Psalm 113:6-7 to the Song of Hannah suggests this further reference to the experience of Hannah, as an instance of the way in which Jehovah has compassion on those who are despised. But doubtless under the figure of the once childless wife gladdened with a family of sons the Psalmist intends to allude to Zion. Cp. Isaiah 54:1; Isaiah 66:8. So the Targum: “Who maketh the congregation of Israel, which was like a barren woman mourning for the men of her household, to be full of crowds, like a mother who rejoiceth over sons.”
Praise ye the Lord] In the LXX this Hallelujah is transferred, perhaps rightly, to the beginning of Psalms 114. See on Psalm 104:35.Verse 9. - He maketh the barren woman to keep house. Hannah's song is still in the psalmist's thoughts, and suggests this illustration (see 1 Samuel 2:5). But it must not be restricted to a literal interpretation. The true "barren woman" was Israel (Isaiah 54:1), whose curse of barrenness was ultimately removed, and who became, as here prophesied, a joyful mother of children (comp. Isaiah 49:12, 18, 20; Isaiah 54:2, 3; Isaiah 60:5; Galatians 4:27). Praise ye the Lord (comp. Psalm 104, 105, 106, 115, 116, 117, 135, 146-150, which terminate similarly).
Psalm 134:1, or eve, after the manner of Psalm 103:20., extended over the earth, is given to the whole of the true Israel that corresponds to its election by grace and is faithful to its mission; and its designation by "servants of Jahve" (Psalm 69:37, cf. Psalm 34:23), or even "servant of Jahve" (Psalm 136:22), has come into vogue more especially through the second part of Isaiah. This Israel is called upon to praise Jahve; for the praise and celebration of His Name, i.e., of His nature, which is disclosed by means of its manifestation, is a principal element, yea, the proper ground and aim, of the service, and shall finally become that which fills all time and all space. מהלּל laudatum (est), is equivalent to ἀινετόν, laudabile (lxx, Vulgate), and this does not differ greatly from laudetur. The predictive interpretation laudabitur is opposed to the context (cf. moreover Kφhler on Malachi 1:11).
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