Psalm 146:7
Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners:
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(7) Comp. Psalm 103:6; Psalm 104:27; Psalm 107:9; Psalm 136:25; Isaiah 55:1.

Here follow five lines, each beginning with the Divine name, and each consisting of three words, the rhythm prominent in the book of Job.

Psalm 146:7-9. Which executeth judgment for the oppressed — Who doth not slight nor forget the cries of his grieved subjects; but in due time asserts the right of those who are oppressed, and can find no relief in other courts of judgment. Which giveth food to the hungry — Who supplies the needs of the poor that are ready to perish for want; and is so gracious as to set them at liberty, who, by unjust or merciless men, are held in a miserable captivity. The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind — “Illuminates their minds; or even restores their natural sight when it is defective and weak; or when perfectly gone, and there are no hopes of a human cure.” This part of the Psalm was most exactly and literally fulfilled in our Lord Jesus Christ during the time of his public ministry: see the margin. The Lord raiseth them that are bowed down — By supporting and comforting them in their distresses, and in due time removing their burdens. This also was literally performed by Christ in the days of his flesh: see Luke 13:12. And he still performs similar spiritual cures by his grace, giving rest to those that are weary and heavy laden, and raising up, with his comforts, those that are humbled and cast down under a sense of the guilt and power of sin. The Lord loveth the righteous — He has a peculiar favour for all the truly pious, who may, with the more confidence, depend upon his power when they are assured of his love. The Lord preserveth the strangers — Who are generally friendless, and exposed to many injuries from men, but are protected and preserved by God when they commit themselves to his care. Fatherless children, and destitute widows, also find support and relief from him against the injustice and violence of their wicked oppressors. But the way of the wicked he turneth upside down — Hebrew, יעות, he subverteth, or overthroweth it. He not only frustrates their plots and enterprises, but turneth them against themselves. Or, he perplexes and puzzles their steps, and causes them to stumble and fall. This, and all the foregoing sentences, are so many arguments to encourage pious men to trust in God in all their straits and difficulties.

146:5-10 The psalmist encourages us to put confidence in God. We must hope in the providence of God for all we need as to this life, and in the grace of God for that which is to come. The God of heaven became a man that he might become our salvation. Though he died on the cross for our sins, and was laid in the grave, yet his thoughts of love to us did not perish; he rose again to fulfil them. When on earth, his miracles were examples of what he is still doing every day. He grants deliverance to captives bound in the chains of sin and Satan. He opens the eyes of the understanding. He feeds with the bread of life those who hunger for salvation; and he is the constant Friend of the poor in spirit, the helpless: with him poor sinners, that are as fatherless, find mercy; and his kingdom shall continue for ever. Then let sinners flee to him, and believers rejoice in him. And as the Lord shall reign for ever, let us stir up each other to praise his holy name.Which executeth judgment for the oppressed - This is the third reason why the lot of those is a happy one who trust in God. It is because he has power to pronounce and execute a right judgment or sentence in regard to the oppressed and the wronged, and because it is characteristic of his nature that he does thus execute judgment. See the notes at Psalm 103:6 : "The Lord executeth right. eousness and judgment for all that are oppressed."

Which giveth food to the hungry - See the notes at Psalm 107:9 : "For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness." This is the fourth reason why they who confide in God are happy. Compare Luke 1:53 : "He hath filled the hungry with good things."

The Lord looseth the prisoners - This is the fifth reason why they who trust in the Lord are "happy." Compare the notes at Psalm 68:6 : "He bringeth out those which are bound with chains." See also the notes at Psalm 107:10 : "Being bound in affliction and iron." Compare Job 36:8-9.


Ps 146:1-10. An exhortation to praise God, who, by the gracious and faithful exercise of His power in goodness to the needy, is alone worthy of implicit trust.

No text from Poole on this verse.

Which executeth judgment for the oppressed,.... All judgment being committed to Christ as Mediator, he executes it on the behalf of his oppressed ones, and breaks in pieces their oppressors; being oppressed with sin, and lying under the power of it, he condemned it in his flesh, wrought out a righteousness to justify from it, and redeemed them from all their iniquities; being oppressed by Satan, and led captive by him, he took them as a prey from the mighty, and led captivity captive; and, when oppressed by the world, he is on their side and takes their part, and thoroughly pleads their cause, and suffers no weapon formed against them to prosper; and will before long destroy antichrist and his followers, and bring down his judgments on them, so that men of the earth shall no more oppress; and especially at the last judgment, he, the righteous Judge, will render tribulation to them that have troubled his people, and set the crown of righteousness on their heads; see Psalm 10:18;

which giveth food to the hungry: in a literal sense he gave manna and quails to the hungry Israelites in the wilderness, fed five thousand with five loaves and two small fishes, and four thousand with seven loaves and a few fishes, when here on earth; and in a spiritual sense, to such as are in a starving and famishing condition, and hunger and thirst after righteousness, he gives himself, the bread of life, and his grace, the water of life; he gives them to eat of the hidden manna, and of the tree of life; he gives them his word, his Gospel, which is milk for babes and meat for strong men; he gives them his ordinances, which are a feast of fat things, and so he tills and satisfies their hungry souls;

the Lord looseth the prisoners: such as were bound by diseases and infirmities of body, he loosed in the days of his flesh here; and some that were held with the cords of death he raised from the dead, Luke 13:11; and his people, who are in a spiritual sense prisoners of sin, Satan, and the law, being shut up and held under by them, he proclaims liberty to them, and the opening the prison to them that are bound; he opens the prison doors, and says to the prisoners, Go forth; he delivers them from the power of sin, the slavery of Satan, and the bondage of the law, and brings them into a state of liberty, Isaiah 61:1; yea, all the prisoners in the grave he will loose at the last day; he has the key of hell and death, and will open those prisons and set them free; they shall come forth, some to the resurrection of life, and others to the resurrection of damnation.

Which executeth judgment {e} for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners:

(e) Whose faith and patience for a while he tries but at length he punishes the adversaries, that he may be known to be the judge of the world.

7. Illustrations of Jehovah’s beneficent action, not without allusion to the circumstances of Israel. Observe how these Divine works were literally manifested in Christ’s miracles. 7 a is abbreviated from Psalm 103:6; with 7 b cp. Psalm 107:9.

the Lord &c.] Five times the name of Jehovah stands emphatically at the beginning of the line, to shew that it is He and no other Who does all these things. Prison may be a figure for exile, or for suffering generally (cp. Psalm 107:10; Psalm 107:14). Releasing from prison and giving sight to the blind are coupled together in Isaiah 42:7; Isaiah 61:1, “to prisoners opening of eyes.”

Verse 7. - Which executeth judgment for the oppressed (comp. Psalm 103:6, "The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed"). Israel's history was an ample comment on this text. Which giveth food to the hungry (comp. Psalm 145:15, 16, and the comment ad loc.). The Lord looseth the prisoners. Either captive nations, as Israel; or individuals, as Jeremiah from his dungeon (Jeremiah 37:16, 17), Daniel from the lions' den (Daniel 6:23), Peter from his prison-house (Acts 12:7-10), and the like. Deliverance from the bands of sin may also be intended. Psalm 146:7The five lines beginning with Jahve belong together. Each consists of three words, which in the main is also the favourite measure of the lines in the Book of Job. The expression is as brief as possible. התּיר is transferred from the yoke and chains to the person himself who is bound, and פּקח is transferred from the eyes of the blind to the person himself. The five lines celebrate the God of the five-divisioned Tra, which furnishes abundant examples for these celebrations, and is directed with most considerate tenderness towards the strangers, orphans, and widows in particular. The orphan and the widow, says the sixth line, doth He recover, strengthen (with reference to עודד see Psalm 20:9; Psalm 31:12). Valde gratus mihi est hic Psalmus, Bakius observes, ob Trifolium illud Dei: Advenas, Pupillos, et Viduas, versu uno luculentissime depictum, id quod in toto Psalterio nullibi fit. Whilst Jahve, however, makes the manifold sorrows of His saints to have a blessed issue, He bends (יאוּת) the way of the wicked, so that it leads into error and ends in the abyss (Psalm 1:6). This judicial manifestation of Jahve has only one line devoted to it. For He rules in love and in wrath, but delights most of all to rule in love. Jahve is, however, the God of Zion. The eternal duration of His kingdom is also the guarantee for its future glorious completion, for the victory of love. Hallelujah!
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