Psalm 147:19
He shows his word to Jacob, his statutes and his judgments to Israel.
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(19) Jacob . . . Israel.—As in the other two pieces into which the psalm divides (Psalm 147:6-11), the thought passes from the grandeur of God revealed in nature to the divine protection and favour accorded to Israel.

Psalm 147:19-20. He showeth his word unto Jacob — “That word, the effects of which, upon the spiritual system, are similar to those experienced by nature in the vernal season: that word was showed unto Jacob, and became the property of Israel, while Israel continued to be the church of God. It hath since been made over, with all its types realized, and its prophecies accomplished in Jesus, to the Christian Church.” He hath not dealt so with any nation — But for many ages left all others to their native darkness and blindness, and to those dim discoveries of God, and of themselves, and of God’s will concerning them, which they had from the light of nature. Divine revelation is that peculiar blessing, “which distinguishes the church of God from the rest of the world, and for which her children are bound at all times to praise the Lord.” 147:12-20 The church, like Jerusalem of old, built up and preserved by the wisdom, power, and goodness of God, is exhorted to praise him for all the benefits and blessings vouchsafed to her; and these are represented by his favours in the course of nature. The thawing word may represent the gospel of Christ, and the thawing wind the Spirit of Christ; for the Spirit is compared to the wind, Joh 3:8. Converting grace softens the heart that was hard frozen, and melts it into tears of repentance, and makes good reflections to flow, which before were chilled and stopped up. The change which the thaw makes is very evident, yet how it is done no one can say. Such is the change wrought in the conversion of a soul, when God's word and Spirit are sent to melt it and restore it to itself.He showeth his word unto Jacob - Margin, words. His commands; his promises; his laws. The things which were before adverted to, pertain to the world in general. All people see his works; all enjoy the benefits of his arrangements in the seasons - in the changes which occur upon the earth; but he has especially favored his own people by giving them his laws - his revealed will. This distinguishes them above all other nations of the earth, and gives them special occasion for gratitude.

His statutes and his judgments unto Israel - His laws; his written word. The word judgments here refers to the law of God as being that which he judges or determines to be right.

19, 20. This mighty ruler and benefactor of heaven and earth is such especially to His chosen people, to whom alone (De 4:32-34) He has made known His will, while others have been left in darkness. Therefore unite in the great hallelujah. He showeth his word; he fully declared his mind and will by revelation and in his word.

Unto Jacob; to the children of Jacob or Israel, and to them alone, as it follows. He showeth his word unto Jacob,.... From the things of nature and providence, the psalmist passes to the blessings of grace and goodness; for which the Lord is to be praised, particularly for his word and ordinances. The Targum interprets this of the words of the law; and indeed the law, or decalogue, was given only to the Israelites, the posterity of Jacob; as also the ceremonial and judicial laws; and even the whole Scripture, the oracles of God, were committed to them in a very peculiar manner: all which distinguished them from the Gentiles, and gave them the preference to them; see Deuteronomy 4:6, Romans 3:1. But the Gospel part of the word is also included; the word of grace, peace, reconciliation, righteousness, eternal life, and salvation, which was first published to the Jews: it was "shown" unto them, for it cannot be known by any without a revelation; the Gospel, and the things of it, are hidden things to natural men, and could never have been discerned by any, had they not been shown by the Lord; as they are externally in the ministration of the word, and internally and effectually by the Spirit of God; who is the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of divine things;

his statutes and his judgments unto Israel; the ordinances of divine worship under the former dispensation, which were peculiar to literal Israel; and those of the Gospel dispensation, which belong to the spiritual Israel, Jews and Gentiles; and which are shown and directed to in the word, to be observed by them; and both the Gospel and the ordinances of it are instances of divine favour, for which the Lord is to be praised.

He sheweth his {m} word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel.

(m) As before he called God's secret working in all his creatures his word: so he means by this his word the doctrine of life everlasting, which he has left to his Church as a precious treasure.

19, 20. Cp. Deuteronomy 4:7-8. The Lord, whose word all Nature obeys, has given Israel His word in the law; a privilege which distinguishes it from every other nation.

judgments] Or, ordinances.Verse 19. - He showeth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. Beyond and above all the physical blessings which God bestows on man are the gifts of spiritual enlightenment and direction. These also Israel may count on receiving from him, who has already given them a written revelation - "statutes and judgments" - while he also enlightens and directs them from time to time by his prophets. In the lxx this strophe is a Psalm (Lauda Jerusalem) of itself. The call goes forth to the church again on the soil of the land of promise assembled round about Jerusalem. The holy city has again risen out of its ruins; it now once more has gates which can stand open in the broad daylight, and can be closed and bolted when the darkness comes on for the security of the municipality that is only just growing into power (Nehemiah 7:1-4). The blessing of God again rests upon the children of the sacred metropolis. Its territory, which has experienced all the sufferings of war, and formerly resounded with the tumult of arms and cries of woe and destruction, God has now, from being an arena of conflict, made into peace (the accusative of the effect, and therefore different from Isaiah 60:17); and since the land can now again be cultivated in peace, the ancient promise (Psalm 81:17) is fulfilled, that God would feed His people, if they would only obey Him, with the fat of wheat. The God of Israel is the almighty Governor of nature. It is He who sends His fiat (אמרתו after the manner of the ויּאמר of the history of creation, cf. Psalm 33:9) earthwards (ארץ, the accusative of the direction). The word is His messenger (vid., on Psalm 107:20), עד־מהרה, i.e., it runs as swiftly as possible, viz., in order to execute the errand on which it is sent. He it is who sends down snow-flakes like flocks of wool, so that the fields are covered with snow as with a white-woollen warming covering.

(Note: Bochart in his Hierozoicon on this passage compares an observation of Eustathius on Dionysius Periegetes: τὴν χιόνα ἐριῶδες ὕδωρ ἀστείως οἱ παλαιοὶ ἐκάλουν.)

He scatters hoar-frost (כּפור from כּפר, to cover over with the fine frozen dew or mist as though they were powdered with ashes that the wind had blown about. Another time He casts His ice

(Note: lxx (Italic, Vulgate) κρύσταλλον, i.e., ice, from the root κρυ, to freeze, to congeal (Jerome glaciem). Quid est crystallum? asks Augustine, and replies: Nix est glacie durata per multos annos ita ut a sole vel igne acile dissolvi non possit.)

(קרחו from קרח; or according to another reading, קרחו from קרח) down like morsels, fragments, כפתּים, viz., as hail-stones, or as sleet. The question: before His cold - who can stand? is formed as in Nahum 1:6, cf. Psalm 130:3. It further comes to pass that God sends forth His word and causes them (snow, hoar-frost, and ice) to melt away: He makes His thawing wind blow, waters flow; i.e., as soon as the one comes about, the other also takes place forthwith. This God now, who rules all things by His word and moulds all things according to His will, is the God of the revelation pertaining to the history of salvation, which is come to Israel, and as the bearer of which Israel takes the place of honour among the nations, Deuteronomy 4:7., 32-34. Since the poet says מגּיד and not הגּיד, he is thinking not only of the Tra, but also of prophecy as the continuous self-attestation of God, the Lawgiver. The Ker דּבריו, occasioned by the plurals of the parallel member of the verse, gives an unlimited indistinct idea. We must keep to דברו, with the lxx, Aquila, Theodotion, the Quinta, Sexta, and Jerome. The word, which is the medium of God's cosmical rule, is gone forth as a word of salvation to Israel, and, unfolding itself in statutes and judgments, has raised Israel to a legal state founded upon a positive divine law or judgment such as no Gentile nation possesses. The Hallelujah does not exult over the fact that these other nations are not acquainted with any such positive divine law, but (cf. Deuteronomy 4:7., Baruch 4:4) over the fact that Israel is put into possession of such a law. It is frequently attested elsewhere that this possession of Israel is only meant to be a means of making salvation a common property of the world at large.

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