Psalm 115:6
They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:
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115:1-8 Let no opinion of our own merits have any place in our prayers or in our praises. All the good we do, is done by the power of his grace; and all the good we have, is the gift of his mere mercy, and he must have all the praise. Are we in pursuit of any mercy, and wrestling with God for it, we must take encouragement in prayer from God only. Lord, do so for us; not that we may have the credit and comfort of it, but that they mercy and truth may have the glory of it. The heathen gods are senseless things. They are the works of men's hands: the painter, the carver, the statuary, can put no life into them, therefore no sense. The psalmist hence shows the folly of the worshippers of idols.They have mouths ... - They are shaped like people, but have none of the attributes of intelligent beings. 4-7. (Compare Isa 40:18-20; 44:9-20). No text from Poole on this verse.

They have ears, but they hear not,.... The makers of them have taken care to place a pair of ears to their heads, but could not convey the faculty of hearing to them; so that though their priests may cry from morning to noon, as Baal's worshippers did, saying, O Baal, hear us; and even tonight, and one day and night after another, nothing is heard, 1 Kings 18:26. Indeed the image of Jupiter at Crete was made without ears; because it was thought unbecoming that he, who was prince and lord of all, should give ear to any (y): but the God of heaven and earth is a God hearing prayer; his ear is not heavy, that it cannot hear; his ears are always open to the cries of his people.

Noses have they, but they smell not; the incense that is set before them, nor the sacrifices offered to them, Deuteronomy 4:28, but our God smelled a sweet savour in legal sacrifices, offered up in the faith of the Messiah; and especially he smells a sweet savour in the sacrifice of his Son, and in the prayers of his saints, which are sweet odours; and particularly as they come to him perfumed with the incense of Christ's mediation, Genesis 8:21.

(y) Plutarch. de Isid. & Osir. prope finem.

They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:
Psalm 115:6The poet, with "And our God," in the name of Israel opposes the scornful question of the heathen by the believingly joyous confession of the exaltation of Jahve above the false gods. Israel's God is in the heavens, and is therefore supramundane in nature and life, and the absolutely unlimited One, who is able to do all things with a freedom that is conditioned only by Himself: quod vult, valet (Psalm 115:3 equals Psalm 135:6, Wisd. 12:18, and frequently). The carved gods (עצב, from עצב, cogn. חצב, קצב) of the heathen, on the contrary, are dead images, which are devoid of all life, even of the sensuous life the outward organs of which are imagined upon them. It cannot be proved with Ecclesiastes 5:16 that ידיהם and רגליחם are equivalent to ידים להם, רגלים. They are either subjects which the Waw apodosis cf. Genesis 22:24; Proverbs 23:24; Habakkuk 2:5) renders prominent, or casus absoluti (Ges. ֗145, 2), since both verbs have the idols themselves as their subjects less on account of their gender (יד and רגל are feminine, but the Hebrew usage of genders is very free and not carried out uniformly) as in respect of Psalm 115:7: with reference to their hands, etc. ימישׁוּן is the energetic future form, which goes over from משׁשׁ into מוּשׁ, for ימשּׁוּ. It is said once again in Psalm 115:7 that speech is wanting to them; for the other negations only deny life to them, this at the same time denies all personality. The author might know from his own experience how little was the distinction made by the heathen worship between the symbol and the thing symbolized. Accordingly the worship of idols seems to him, as to the later prophets, to be the extreme of self-stupefaction and of the destruction of human consciousness; and the final destiny of the worshippers of false gods, as he says in Psalm 115:8, is, that they become like to their idols, that is to say, being deprived of their consciousness, life, and existence, they come to nothing, like those their nothingnesses (Isaiah 44:9). This whole section of the Psalm is repeated in Psalm 135 (Psalm 115:6, Psalm 115:15).
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