Psalm 145:1
I will extol you, my God, O king; and I will bless your name for ever and ever.
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(1) The psalm opens with familiar psalm strains. (Comp. openings of Psalms 30, 34)

For ever and ever.—In contemplation of the greatness and majesty of God time ceases to be. The poet vows a homage indefinitely prolonged.

Psalm 145:1-4. I will extol thee, my God, O King — Or, my God, the king; termed so by way of eminence; the King of kings, the God by whom kings reign, and to whom I and all other kings owe subjection and obedience. Every day will I bless thee — Praising God should be our daily work. No day should pass, though never so busy on the one hand, or sorrowful on the other, without it. We ought to reckon it the most necessary of our daily business, and the most delightful of our daily comforts. God is every day blessing us, and doing us good, and therefore there is good reason why we should be every day blessing him, and speaking well of him. I will praise thy name for ever and ever — Not only to the end of my life in this world, but to all eternity in the world to come. Great is the Lord — In his being, majesty, and glory, and in all perfections. His presence is infinite, his power irresistible, his majesty awful, his sovereignty incontestable, his dominion illimitable, his glory insupportable; there is therefore no dispute, but great is the Lord, and if great, then greatly to be praised — With all that is within us, to the utmost of our power, and with all the circumstances of solemnity imaginable. His greatness indeed cannot be comprehended; it is unsearchable — But then it is so much the more to be praised, as we can neither fathom the depth nor discern the height of it. “The greatness of Jehovah,” says Dr. Horne, “whether we consider it as relating to his essence or his works, is never to be fully comprehended by his saints, whose delight it is to contemplate the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; the extent and duration of his being and his kingdom, the profundity of his counsels, and the sublimity of his power and glory. These are the inexhaustible subjects of divine meditation, transmitted from age to age. And as the greatness of our God and Saviour hath no bounds, so his praises should have no end; nor should the voice of thanksgiving ever cease in the church. As one generation drops it, another should take it up, and prolong the delightful strain till the sun and moon shall withdraw their light, and the stars fall extinguished from their orbs.”145:1-9 Those who, under troubles and temptations, abound in fervent prayer, shall in due season abound in grateful praise, which is the true language of holy joy. Especially we should speak of God's wondrous work of redemption, while we declare his greatness. For no deliverance of the Israelites, nor the punishment of sinners, so clearly proclaims the justice of God, as the cross of Christ exhibits it to the enlightened mind. It may be truly said of our Lord Jesus Christ, that his words are words of goodness and grace; his works are works of goodness and grace. He is full of compassion; hence he came into the world to save sinners. When on earth, he showed his compassion both to the bodies and souls of men, by healing the one, and making wise the other. He is of great mercy, a merciful High Priest, through whom God is merciful to sinners.I will extol thee ... - I will lift thee up; I will lift up thy name and praise, so that it may be heard afar.

And I will bless thy name forever and ever - I will bless or praise thee. I will do it now; I will do it in all the future. I will do it in time; I will do it in eternity. See the notes at Psalm 30:1.


Ps 145:1-21. A Psalm of praise to God for His mighty, righteous, and gracious government of all men, and of His humble and suffering people in particular.

1, 2. (Compare Ps 30:1).

bless thy name—celebrate Thy perfections (Ps 5:11). God is addressed as king, alluding to His government of men.

1 I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.

2 Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.

3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.

4 One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.

5 I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.

6 And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts; and I will declare thy greatness.

7 They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.

Psalm 145:1

"I will extol thee, my God, O king." David as God's king adores God as his king. It is well when the Lord's royalty arouses our loyalty, and our spirit is moved to magnify his majesty. The Psalmist has extolled his Lord many a time before, he is doing so still, and he will do so in the future: praise is for all tenses. When we cannot express all our praise just now, it is wise to register our resolution to continue in the blessed work, and write it down as a bond, "I will extol thee." See how David testifies his devotion and adherence to his God by the pronoun "my," how he owns his allegiance by the title "king," and how he goes on to declare his determination to make much of him in his song.

"And I will bless thy name for ever and ever." David determined that his praise should rise to blessing, should intelligently spend itself upon the name or character of God, and should be continued world without end. He uses the word "bless" not merely for variation of sound, but also for the deepening and sweetening of the sense. To bless God is to praise him with a personal affection for him, and a wishing well to him; this is a growingly easy exercise as we advance in experience and grow in grace. David declares that he will offer every form of praise, through every form of existence. His notion of duration is a full one - "for ever" has no end, but when he adds another "ever" to it he forbids all idea of a close. Our praise of God shall be as eternal as the God we praise.

Psalm 145:2

"Every day will I bless thee." Whatever the character of the day, or of my circumstances and conditions during that day, I will continue to glorify God. Were we well to consider the matter we should see abundant cause in each day for rendering special blessing unto the Lord. All before the day, all in the day, all following the day should constrain us to magnify our God every day, all the year round. Our love to God is not a matter of holy days: every day is alike holy to holy men. David here comes closer to God than when he said, "I will bless thy name": it is now, "I will bless thee." This is the centre and kernel of true devotion: we do not only admire the Lord's words and works, but himself. Without realizing the personality of God, praise is well-nigh impossible; you cannot extol an abstraction. "And I will praise thy name for ever and ever." He said he would bless that name, and now he vows to praise it; he will extol the Lord in every sense and way. Eternal worship shall not be without its variations; it will never become monotonous. Heavenly music is not harping upon one string, but all strings shall be tuned to one praise. Observe the personal pronouns here: four times he says "I will": praise is not to be discharged by proxy: there must be your very self in it, or there is nothing in it.

Psalm 145:3

"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised." Worship should be somewhat like its object - great praise for a great God. There is no part of Jehovah's greatness which is not worthy of great praise. In some beings greatness is but vastness of evil: in him it is magnificence of goodness. Praise may be said to be great when the song contains great matter, when the hearts producing it are intensely fervent, and when large numbers unite in the grand acclaim. No chorus is too loud, no orchestra too large, no Psalm too lofty for the lauding of the Lord of Hosts.

continued...THE ARGUMENT

This Psalm and the rest which follow to the end are wholly laudatory, setting forth the praises of God. The excellency of this Psalm appears not only from the opinion of the Hebrew writers, but also from the care which the psalmist took to digest it into such accurate and alphabetical order, that it might be more easily fixed in the mind and memory of the reader.

David magnifieth God for his greatness and terrible acts, Psalm 145:1-7; for his goodness and everlasting kingdom, Psalm 145:8-13; for his care and providence over all, Psalm 145:14-16; and for his saving mercies to them that fear him, Psalm 145:17-21.

O King; or, the King, by way of eminency; the King of kings, the God by whom kings reign, and to whom I and all other kings owe subjection and obedience.

I will extol thee, my God, O King,.... Or "the King" (a), the King Messiah, who is by way of eminency called "the King", as in Psalm 21:1. This is the foundation of this whole psalm, as Aben Ezra observes; and shows who is intended and who is the subject of it that is spoken of throughout, even the Messiah, who is the King of the world, the King of the kings of it, the King of Zion, of his church and people, the King of saints, of all believers in him, by the appointment of God, by the conquest of his grace, over whom he reigns by his Spirit and grace; for this his kingdom is spiritual, is in righteousness, and everlasting: and this great King is not a creature, but God, the mighty God, David's Lord and God, and the Lord and God of every saint; whom David loved as such, believed in, looked unto for salvation; from whom he received grace and expected glory, and knew and claimed his interest in him, which is the great privilege of believers in him; see John 20:28; and therefore they, as David, will extol him above all created beings, he being God over all; extol him above all men, even the best and greatest, Moses, Joshua, Aaron, Abraham, or any other, who are his creatures, his children, and his subjects; and even as man he is to be extolled above all men; being chosen out from among the people, fairer than the children of men, and the chiefest among ten thousand; and above the angels, having a more excellent name and nature than they; they being his creatures and servants, and he their Creator and the object of their worship: Christ is extolled by his people when they ascribe deity to him, magnify him in his offices, and make use of him in them all; attribute their whole salvation to him, think and speak highly of him, and declare him extolled and exalted at the right hand of God, as he now is, and as the Old Testament saints, as David and others, had a foresight of and rejoiced in, Psalm 110:1; the Septuagint, Syriac, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions, have it, "my King"; see Zechariah 9:9;

and I will bless thy name for ever and ever; by pronouncing him the Son of the Blessed, God over all blessed for ever; and by ascribing blessing, honour, glory, and power, unto him; by adoring and celebrating the perfections of his nature, which are his name, by which he is known; by expressing a high value and esteem for every precious name of his, as Immanuel, God with us; Jesus, a Saviour, &c. and a regard to his everlasting Gospel, which is his name, bore by his ministering servants throughout the world; see Psalm 8:1.

(a) "rex", Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

<Psalm of praise.>> {a} I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.

(a) He shows which sacrifices are pleasant and acceptable to God, even praise and thanksgiving and seeing that God still continues his benefits toward us, we ought never to be weary in praising him for the same.

1. my God, O king] Or, my God the King. He Who is Israel’s God is the absolute, universal King. The phrase has a larger meaning than that of Psalm 5:2, my King and my God.

for ever and ever] Israel is probably the speaker; and Israel as the people of God is immortal (Habakkuk 1:12). Generation after generation (Psalm 145:4) will take up the unending chorus of praise. If it is an individual who speaks, we must suppose, with Delitzsch, that in his devotion to the eternal King he forgets his own mortality. For it is at least doubtful if, even late in the post-exilic period, the doctrine of a personal immortality of conscious and active blessedness was so clearly developed that the words could have been used originally in the sense in which the Christian uses them now. But, as Del. rightly remarks, the divinely implanted impulse of the soul to find its highest delight in the praise of its Creator is in itself a practical argument for a life after death.

1, 2. Cp. Psalm 30:1; Psalm 34:1; Psalm 34:3; and generally the doxology in 1 Chronicles 29:10 ff.Verse 1. - I will extol thee, my God, O King; rather, O my God, the King; i.e. the one and only King of heaven and earth. And I will bless thy Name forever and ever. An internal conviction of the writer's immortality is implied in these words. With the exception of Psalm 108:1-13, which is composed of two Davidic Elohim-Psalms, the Elohim in Psalm 144:9 of this strophe is the only one in the last two Books of the Psalter, and is therefore a feeble attempt also to reproduce the Davidic Elohimic style. The "new song" calls to mind Psalm 33:3; Psalm 40:4; and נבל עשׂור also recalls Psalm 33:2 (which see). The fact that David mentions himself by name in his own song comes about in imitation of Psalm 18:51. From the eminence of thanksgiving the song finally descends again to petition, Psalm 144:7-8, being repeated as a refrain. The petition developes itself afresh out of the attributes of the Being invoked (Psalm 144:10), and these are a pledge of its fulfilment. For how could the God to whom all victorious kings owe their victory (Psalm 33:16, cf. 2 Kings 5:1; 1 Samuel 17:47) possibly suffer His servant David to succumb to the sword of the enemy! חרב רעה is the sword that is engaged in the service of evil.
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