Psalm 118:26
Blessed be he that comes in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.
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(26) Blessed . . .—These words of welcome are probably spoken by the Levite in charge, to the procession approaching the gates. According to Rabbinical writings, pilgrim caravans were thus welcomed on their arrival at Jerusalem.

Psalm 118:26. Blessed be he that cometh — Namely, unto us, from whom he was long banished; or, unto the throne; or, he that cometh from his Father into the world, namely, the Messiah, known by the name of him that cometh, or was to come: see the margin. In the name of the Lord — By command and commission from him, and for his service and glory. We earnestly pray that God would bless his person and government, and all his enterprises. We have blessed you out of the house of the Lord — We, who are the Lord’s ministers, attending upon him in his house, and appointed to bless in his name, (Numbers 6:23,) do pray for, and, in God’s name, pronounce his blessing upon thee, and upon thy kingdom. So these are the words of the priests.118:22,23, may refer to David's preferment; but principally to Christ. 1. His humiliation; he is the Stone which the builders refused: they would go on in their building without him. This proved the ruin of those who thus made light of him. Rejecters of Christ are rejected of God. 2. His exaltation; he is the chief Cornerstone in the foundation. He is the chief Top-stone, in whom the building is completed, who must, in all things, have the pre-eminence. Christ's name is Wonderful; and the redemption he wrought out is the most amazing of all God's wondrous works. We will rejoice and be glad in the Lord's day; not only that such a day is appointed, but in the occasion of it, Christ's becoming the Head. Sabbath days ought to be rejoicing days, then they are to us as the days of heaven. Let this Saviour be my Saviour, my Ruler. Let my soul prosper and be in health, in that peace and righteousness which his government brings. Let me have victory over the lusts that war against my soul; and let Divine grace subdue my heart. The duty which the Lord has made, brings light with it, true light. The duty this privilege calls for, is here set forth; the sacrifices we are to offer to God in gratitude for redeeming love, are ourselves; not to be slain upon the altar, but living sacrifices, to be bound to the altar; spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise, in which our hearts must be engaged. The psalmist praises God, and calls upon all about him to give thanks to God for the glad tidings of great joy to all people, that there is a Redeemer, even Christ the Lord. In him the covenant of grace is made sure and everlasting.Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord - See the notes at Matthew 21:9. This is the language of those who had charge of the sanctuary, addressing him who came in the name of the Lord to present his thank-offering. It is the language of welcome; the assurance that his offering would be acceptable to God. It was applicable to the Messiah, as coming in the name of the Lord, and was so used by the multitudes Matthew 21:9, and by the Saviour himself Matthew 23:39; but this use of the language does not prove that it had original reference to him. The Old Testament abounds in language which may thus be employed to express ideas under the Christian dispensation; but this does not prove that all such language was originally designed to refer to that dispensation.

We have blessed you out of the house of the Lord - We, the priests, the ministers of religion, have pronounced and do pronounce you blessed. We welcome your approach. You may come freely with your thank-offering. It will be accepted of the Lord. You come under our benediction, and the benediction of God.

26. he that cometh … Lord—As above intimated, this may be applied to the visible head of the Jewish Church entering the sanctuary, as leading the procession; typically it belongs to Him of whom the phrase became an epithet (Mal 3:1; Mt 21:9). Blessed be he; we earnestly pray that God would bless his person and government, and all his enterprises. That cometh, to wit, unto us, from whom he was long banished; or unto the throne; or from his Father into the world; the Messias, who is known by the name of him that cometh or was to come, as Matthew 11:3 21:9 Luke 7:20 13:35 John 12:13, and of whom this very word is used, Genesis 49:10 Isaiah 35:4. He who is about to come, or will certainly come. In the name of the Lord; by command and commission from him, and for his service and glory.

We have blessed you out of the house of the Lord; we who are the Lord’s ministers, attending upon him in his house, and appointed to bless in his name, Numbers 6:23 Deu 10:8, do pray for, and in God’s name pronounce, his blessing upon thee. So these are the words of the priests. Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord,.... These words were used by the multitude that followed Christ, as he went into Jerusalem, in order to eat his last passover, and suffer and die for his people, and are applied to him; as also by his disciples, who expressed them thus, "Blessed be the King that cometh", &c. Luke 19:38; the King Messiah, who came from heaven to earth, from his Father into this world, to save the chief of sinners; who now came to Jerusalem on that errand, and into the temple, as the proprietor of it; where he showed his power, and exercised his authority: he came not in his own name, but in his Father's name; and not to do his own will, but his; nor did he seek his own glory, but his Father's: he came as his servant to do his work; he came with a commission from him, by his order, and to obey his commands, which he did; he came with his full consent and will, and, as man and Mediator, was helped and assisted by him; and as such he is pronounced blessed: all blessing, happiness, and honour, are wished for him, and ascribed unto him, as his just due; being Lord and King, Saviour and Redeemer, of his people;

we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord; these are the words of the priests, one part of whose office it was to bless the people, Numbers 6:23; but these were not the chief priests of the Jews in Christ's time; for they were displeased with the multitude, and with the children in the temple, for crying "hosanna" to the son of David, and wishing well to him, Matthew 21:15. But the disciples of Christ, or ministers of the Gospel, who blessed the people that blessed their Lord and Master; or wished well to them, and prayed for them that wished well to him. The sense is, either we who are of the house of the Lord bless you; we who stand there, and serve him, are rulers of the household of God, and stewards of the mysteries of grace: or we bless you, and pray for your welfare, who are of the household of faith; who are fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God: or we bless you with provisions out of the house of God; with the goodness and fatness of his house, the word and ordinances, by administering them to you: or we pray that the Lord would bless you out of Zion, or out of the highest heavens, where he is; even with all spiritual blessings, in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; see Psalm 134:1. The Targum of this verse Psalm 118:25, is,

"We beseech thee, O Lord, "save" now, said the builders; We beseech thee, O Lord, send now prosperity, said Jesse and his wife. Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord, said the builders; Let us bless you out of the house of the sanctuary of the Lord, said David.''

Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: {n} we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.

(n) Who are the priests, and have the charge of it, as in Nu 6:23.

26. The priests in the Temple bless the entering procession. Blessed in the name of Jehovah be he that entereth! The accentuation rightly connects in the name of Jehovah with blessed. Cp. Psalm 129:8; Deuteronomy 21:5; 2 Samuel 6:18.

With these words and with the Hosanna[77] (‘save now’) of the preceding verse, the multitudes greeted Jesus as He rode into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:9). The Psalm may already have received a Messianic interpretation. Hosanna was a “God save the king” (Psalm 20:9); and “he that cometh” was a title of the Messiah (Matthew 11:3). The disciples, expanding the original, shouted “Blessed is the king that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Luke 19:38; cp. Mark 11:10).

[77] Hosanna (ὡσαννά) represents a contracted form הוֹשַׁע־נָּא (cp. Psalm 86:2), hôshă‘-nnâ, which was substituted for the fuller form הוֹשִׁיעָה נָּא hôshî‘âh nnâ used in the Psalm. See Dalman, Gramm. des Jüd. Pal. Aram. p. 198.Verse 26. - Blessed be he that cometh in the Name of the Lord. Once more a voice issues from the interior of the temple (comp. ver. 20). The priestly choir there stationed to receive the procession, blesses it as coming "in the Name of the Lord;" i.e. for a religious purpose, and with pious intentions. We have blessed you, they say (or, rather perhaps, we bless you) out of the house of the Lord. "The house of the Lord is the fountain and the treasury of all blessing" (Hengstenberg). The gates of the Temple are called gates of righteousness because they are the entrance to the place of the mutual intercourse between God and His church in accordance with the order of salvation. First the "gates" are spoken of, and then the one "gate," the principal entrance. Those entering in must be "righteous ones;" only conformity with a divine loving will gives the right to enter. With reference to the formation of the conclusion Psalm 118:19, vid., Ew. 347, b. In the Temple-building Israel has before it a reflection of that which, being freed from the punishment it had had to endure, it is become through the mercy of its God. With the exultation of the multitude over the happy beginning of the rebuilding there was mingled, at the laying of the foundation-stone, the loud weeping of many of the grey-headed priests. Levites, and heads of the tribes who had also seen the first Temple (Ezra 3:12.). It was the troublous character of the present which made them thus sad in spirit; the consideration of the depressing circumstances of the time, the incongruity of which weighed so heavily upon their soul in connection with the remembrance of the former Temple, that memorably glorious monument of the royal power of David and Solomon.

(Note: Kurtz, in combating our interpretation, reduces the number of the weeping ones to "some few," but the narrative says the very opposite.)

And even further on there towered aloft before Zerubbabel, the leader of the building, a great mountain; gigantic difficulties and hindrances arose between the powerlessness of the present position of Zerubbabel and the completion of the building of the Temple, which had it is true been begun, but was impeded. This mountain God has made into a plain, and qualified Zerubbabel to bring forth the top and key-stone (האבן הראשׁה) out of its past concealment, and thus to complete the building, which is now consecrated amidst a loud outburst of incessant shouts of joy (Zechariah 4:7). Psalm 118:22 points back to that disheartened disdain of the small troubles beginning which was at work among the builders (Ezra 3:10) at the laying of the foundation-stone, and then further at the interruption of the buidling. That rejected (disdained) corner-stone is nevertheless become ראשׁ פּנּהּ, i.e., the head-stone of the corner (Job 38:6), which being laid upon the corner, supports and protects the stately edifice - an emblem of the power and dignity to which Israel has attained in the midst of the peoples out of deep humiliation.

In connection with this only indirect reference of the assertion to Israel we avoid the question - perplexing in connection with the direct reference to the people despised by the heathen - how can the heathen be called "the builders?" Kurtz answers: "For the building which the heathen world considers it to be its life's mission and its mission in history to rear, viz., the Babel-tower of worldly power and worldly glory, they have neither been able nor willing to make use of Israel...." But this conjunction of ideas is devoid of scriptural support and without historical reality; for the empire of the world has set just as much value, according to political relations, upon the incorporation of Israel as upon that of every other people. Further, if what is meant is Israel's own despising of the small beginning of a new ear that is dawning, it is then better explained as in connection with the reference of the declaration to Jesus the Christ in Matthew 21:42-44; Mark 12:10., Acts 4:11 (ὑφ ̓ ὑμῶν τῶν οἰκοδομούντων), 1 Peter 2:7, the builders are the chiefs and members of Israel itself, and not the heathen. From 1 Peter 2:6; Romans 9:33, we see how this reference to Christ is brought about, viz., by means of Isaiah 28:16, where Jahve says: Behold I am He who hath laid in Zion a stone, a stone of trial, a precious corner-stone of well-founded founding - whoever believeth shall not totter. In the light of this Messianic prophecy of Isaiah Psa 118:22 of our Psalm also comes to have a Messianic meaning, which is warranted by the fact, that the history of Israel is recapitulated and culminates in the history of Christ; or, according to John 2:19-21 (cf. Zechariah 6:12.), still more accurately by the fact, that He who in His state of humiliation is the despised and rejected One is become in His state of glorification the eternal glorious Temple in which dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and is united with humanity which has been once for all atoned for. In the joy of the church at the Temple of the body of Christ which arose after the three days of burial, the joy which is here typically expressed in the words: "From with Jahve, i.e., by the might which dwells with Him, is this come to pass, wonderful is it become (has it been carried out) in our eyes," therefore received its fulfilment. It is not נפלאת but נפלאת, like הבאת in Genesis 33:11, קראת from קרא equals קרה in Deuteronomy 31:29; Jeremiah 44:23, קראת from קרא, to call, Isaiah 7:14. We can hear Isaiah 25:9 sounding through this passage, as above in Psalm 118:19., Isaiah 26:1. The God of Israel has given this turn, so full of glory for His people, to the history.

(Note: The verse, "This is the day which the Lord hath made," etc., was, according to Chrysostom, an ancient hypophon of the church. It has a glorious history.)

He is able now to plead for more distant salvation and prosperity with all the more fervent confidence. אנּא (six times אנּה) is, as in every other instance (vid., on Psalm 116:4), Milra. הושׁיעה is accented regularly on the penult., and draws the following נא towards itself by means of Dag. forte conj.; הצליחה on the other hand is Milra according to the Masora and other ancient testimonies, and נא is not dageshed, without Norzi being able to state any reason for this different accentuation. After this watchword of prayer of the thanksgiving feast, in Psalm 118:26 those who receive them bless those who are coming (הבּא with Dech) in the name of Jahve, i.e., bid them welcome in His name.

The expression "from the house of Jahve," like "from the fountain of Israel" in Psalm 68:27, is equivalent to, ye who belong to His house and to the church congregated around it. In the mouth of the people welcoming Jesus as the Messiah, Hoosanna' was a "God save the king" (vid., on Psalm 20:10); they scattered palm branches at the same time, like the lulabs at the joyous cry of the Feast of Tabernacles, and saluted Him with the cry, "Blessed is He who cometh in the name of the Lord," as being the longed-for guest of the Feast (Matthew 21:9). According to the Midrash, in Psalm 118:26 it is the people of Jerusalem who thus greet the pilgrims. In the original sense of the Psalm, however, it is the body of Levites and priests above on the Temple-hill who thus receive the congregation that has come up. The many animals for sacrifice which they brought with them are enumerated in Ezra 6:17. On the ground of the fact that Jahve has proved Himself to be אל, the absolutely mighty One, by having granted light to His people, viz., loving-kindness, liberty, and joy, there then issues forth the ejaculation, "Bind the sacrifice," etc. The lxx renders συστήσασθε ἑορτὴν ἐν τοῖς πυκάζουσιν, which is reproduced by the Psalterium Romanum: constituite diem solemnem in confrequentationibus, as Eusebius, Theodoret, and Chrysostom (although the last waveringly) also interpret it; on the other hand, it is rendered by the psalterium Gallicum: in condensis, as Apollinaris and Jerome (in frondosis) also understand it. But much as Luther's version, which follows the latter interpretation, "Adorn the feast with green branches even to the horns of the altar," accords with our German taste, it is still untenable; for אסר cannot signify to encircle with garlands and the like, nor would it be altogether suited to חג in this signification.

(Note: Symmachus has felt this, for instead of συστήσασθε ἑορτὴν ἐν τοῖς πυκάζουσιν (in condensis) of the lxx, he renders it, transposing the notions, συνδήσατε ἐν πανηγύρει πυκάσματα. Chrysostom interprets this: στεφανώματα καὶ κλάδους ἀνάψατε τῷ ναῷ, for Montfaucon, who regards this as the version of the Sexta, is in error.)

Thus then in this instance A. Lobwasser renders it comparatively more correctly, although devoid of taste: "The Lord is great and mighty of strength who lighteneth us all; fasten your bullocks to the horns beside the altar." To the horns?! So even Hitzig and others render it. But such a "binding to" is unheard of. And can אסר עד possibly signify to bind on to anything? And what would be the object of binding them to the horns of the altar? In order that they might not run away?! Hengstenberg and von Lengerke at least disconnect the words "unto the horns of the altar" from any relation to this precautionary measure, by interpreting: until it (the animal for the festal sacrifice) is raised upon the horns of the altar and sacrificed. But how much is then imputed to these words! No indeed, חג denotes the animals for the feast-offering, and there was so vast a number of these (according to Ezra loc. cit. seven hundred and twelve) that the whole space of the court of the priests was full of them, and the binding of them consequently had to go on as far as to the horns of the altar. Ainsworth (1627) correctly renders: "unto the hornes, that is, all the Court over, untill you come even to the hornes of the altar, intending hereby many sacrifices or boughs." The meaning of the call is therefore: Bring your hecatombs and make them ready for sacrifice.

(Note: In the language of the Jewish ritual Isru-chag is become the name of the after-feast day which follows the last day of the feast. Psalm 118 is the customary Psalm for the Isru-chag of all מועדים.)

The words "unto (as far as) the horns of the altar" have the principal accent. In v. 28 (cf. Exodus 15:2) the festal procession replies in accordance with the character of the feast, and then the Psalm closes, in correspondence with its beginning, with a Hodu in which all voices join.

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