Psalm 117:2
For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endures for ever. Praise you the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
117:1,2 All people called upon to praise God. - Here is a solemn call to all nations to praise the Lord, and proper matter for that praise is suggested. We are soon weary of well-doing, if we keep not up the pious and devout affections with which the spiritual sacrifice of praise ought to be kindled and kept burning. This is a gospel psalm. The apostle, Ro 15:11, quotes it as a proof that the gospel was to be preached to the Gentile nations, and that it would be entertained by them. For many ages, in Judah only was God known, and his name praised; this call was not then given to any Gentiles. But the gospel of Christ is ordered to be preached to all nations, and by him those that were afar off are made nigh. We are among the persons to whom the Holy Spirit here speaks, whom he calls upon to join his ancient people in praising the Lord. Grace has thus abounded to millions of perishing sinners. Let us then listen to the offers of the grace of God, and pray for that time when all nations of the earth shall show forth his praises. And let us bless God for the unsearchable riches of gospel grace.For his merciful kindness is great toward us - His kindness; his compassion; his love. All nations - all people - may say this, and therefore the psalm is adapted to universal praise. Especially may this be said in view of the love of God to mankind in the gift of a Saviour - a Saviour not for any one people especially or exclusively, but for the world, John 3:16.

And the truth of the Lord endureth for ever - All that God has said: his declarations; his promises; his assurances of mercy. They are the same in all lands where they are made known, and they are the same in all ages of the world. Truth is a representation of things as they are; and truth, therefore, must be ever the same. What was true in the first ages of the world in regard to the relation of the sum of the squares on the two sides of a right-angled triangle to the square of the hypothenuse is true now, and will always be true; and so, what God has affirmed at any one time will always remain the same in all ages and in all lands. What was truth to Abraham is truth to us; what was truth to Paul is truth to us; what was truth to the martyrs is truth to us; what is truth to us will be truth to all generations of the world in all lands, and will be truth forever. This fact, too, is a just foundation for universal praise, and therefore the psalm is so adapted to be used in all lands and among all people. How often in our own language has this psalm been the medium of the utterances of praise in Christian sanctuaries:

"From all that dwell below the skies,

Let the Creator's praise arise;

Let the Redeemer's name be sung,

Through every land, by every tongue.

Eternal are thy mercies, Lord;

Eternal truth attends thy word;

Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore,

Till suns shall rise and set no more.

2. is great toward us—literally, "prevailed over" or "protected us." Toward us; either,

1. Towards us Jews, to whom he hath given those peculiar privileges which he hath denied to all other nations. But this may seem an improper argument to move the Gentiles to praise God for his mercies to others from which they were excluded. Or,

2. Towards all of us, all the children of Abraham, whether carnal or spiritual, who were to be incorporated together, and made one body and one fold by and under the Messias, John 10:16 Ephesians 2:14, which mystery seems to be insinuated by this manner of expression. For his merciful kindness is great towards us,.... Not us Israelites only, of whom David was, but Gentiles also; or otherwise there would be no force in the reason why all people and nations should praise the Lord: but it respects the time when these should become one people, partaking of the same grace, blessings, promises, and privileges; in which the grace, mercy, and lovingkindness of God, greatly appeared; "it prevailed over us" (p), as it may be rendered: the word is used of the prevailing of the waters of the flood over the earth, Genesis 7:18; and so may denote the exuberance of the grace of God, of the abounding and superabounding of it. There is an abundance of it in the heart of God, in his covenant, and in his Son; and which is displayed in redemption by him; in the forgiveness of sin; and in the conversion of sinners, and their everlasting salvation: particularly there has been an inundation or deluge of it in the Gentile world, where it has flowed and overflowed; where sin abounded, grace has much more abounded; and therefore the Lord is to be praised. And another reason follows,

and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever; the faithfulness of God to his promises, not only made to the Jewish fathers concerning the Messiah, and redemption by him; but to the Gentiles, and concerning the blessing of all nations in the promised seed: and the faithfulness and truth of God, with respect to any of his promises, never fails; nor will his word of truth, the Gospel; nor Jesus Christ, who is the truth, and the truth of God; the truth of types, promises, and prophecies; see Psalm 43:3; for he is the same today, yesterday, and for ever.

Praise ye the Lord; for his superabounding grace, and eternal truth; even all the people of God, of all nations, Jews and Gentiles.

(p) "exsuperavit", Vatablus; "invaluit", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Gejerus, Michaelis; "exuberavit", Cocceius.

For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the {a} truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.

(a) That is, the most certain and continual testimony of his fatherly graces.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. For mighty hath been his lovingkindness toward us] Mighty as Israel’s transgressions have been (Psalm 65:3), God’s mercy has been mightier (Psalm 103:11-12; cp. Romans 5:20; 1 Timothy 1:14). Lovingkindness and truth are fundamental attributes of Jehovah’s character (Psalm 115:1, and often). St Paul unites them in the proposition in support of which he quotes Psalm 117:1. “I say that Christ hath been made a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, that he might confirm the promises given unto the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy” (Romans 15:8-9).Verse 2. - For his merciful kindness (or, his mercy) is great towards us; literally, has been great over us. The appeal is to history, and the mercy intended is that shown in God's continual protection of Israel. And the truth of the Lord endureth forever. God's "truth" is here, as so often, his faithfulness to his promises, the promises being especially those made to Abraham and David. His mercy and truth" to Israel were an indication of what the Gentiles might expect of him in his dealings with them (comp. Romans 15:8, 9).



From what he has experienced the poet infers that the saints of Jahve are under His most especial providence. Instead of המּות the poet, who is fond of such embellishments, chooses the pathetic form המּותה, and consequently, instead of the genitival construct state (מות), the construction with the Lamed of "belonging to." It ought properly to be "soul" or "blood," as in the primary passage Psalm 72:14. But the observation of Grotius: quae pretiosa sunt, non facile largimur, applies also to the expression "death." The death of His saints is no trifling matter with God; He does not lightly suffer it to come about; He does not suffer His own to be torn away from Him by death.

(Note: The Apostolic Constitutions (vi. 30) commend the singing of these and other words of the Psalms at the funerals of those who have departed in the faith (cf. Augusti, Denkwrdigkeiten, ix. 563). In the reign of the Emperor Decius, Babylas Bishop of Antioch, full of blessed hope, met death singing these words.)

After this the poet goes on beseechingly: ānnáh Adonaj. The prayer itself is not contained in פּתּחתּ למוסרי - for he is already rescued, and the perfect as a precative is limited to such utterances spoken in the tone of an exclamation as we find in Job 21:16 - but remains unexpressed; it lies wrapped up as it were in this heartfelt ānnáh: Oh remain still so gracious to me as Thou hast already proved Thyself to me. The poet rejoices in and is proud of the fact that he may call himself the servant of God. With אמתך he is mindful of his pious mother (cf. Psalm 86:16). The Hebrew does not form a feminine, עבדּה; Arab. amata signifies a maid, who is not, as such, also Arab. ‛abdat, a slave. The dative of the object, למוסרי (from מוסרים for the more usual מוסרות), is used with פתחת instead of the accusative after the Aramaic manner, but it does also occur in the older Hebrew (e.g., Job 19:3; Isaiah 53:11). The purpose of publicly giving thanks to the Gracious One is now more full-toned here at the close. Since such emphasis is laid on the Temple and the congregation, what is meant is literal thank-offerings in payment of vows. In בּתוככי (as in Psalm 135:9) we have in the suffix the ancient and Aramaic i((cf. Psalm 116:7) for the third time. With אנּה the poet clings to Jahve, with נגדּה־נּא to the congregation, and with בּתוככי to the holy city. The one thought that fills his whole soul, and in which the song which breathes forth his soul dies away, is Hallelujah.

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