Psalm 149:2
Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
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149:1-5 New mercies continually demand new songs of praise, upon earth and in heaven. And the children of Zion have not only to bless the God who made them, but to rejoice in him, as having created them in Christ Jesus unto good works, and formed them saints as well as men. The Lord takes pleasure in his people; they should rejoice in Him. When the Lord has made sinners feel their wants and unworthiness, he will adorn them with the graces of his Spirit, and cause them to bear his image, and rejoice in his happiness for ever. Let his saints employ their waking hours upon their beds in songs of praise. Let them rejoice, even upon the bed of death, assured that they are going to eternal rest and glory.Let Israel - The people of Israel; the Hebrew people; the people of God.

Rejoice in him that made him - Him, who has made the people what they are. All that they have and are is to be traced to him, as really as the universe of matter is to be traced to his power. Their condition is not one of development, or one which is the result of their own wisdom, grace, or power. See the notes at Psalm 100:3 : "It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves." Compare Isaiah 54:5.

Let the children of Zion - Those who dwell in Zion or Jerusalem.

Be joyful in their King - In God as their king.

(a) That they have a king, or that there is one to rule over them;

(b) That they have such a king; one so wise, so powerful, so good;

(c) That he administers his government with so much efficiency, impartiality, equity, wisdom, goodness. Compare Psalm 100:3-5.

2. God had signalized His relation as a sovereign, in restoring them to their land. That made him; that made them not only his creatures, but, which is unspeakably greater, his people; or, that advanced and adorned them with singular privileges, as this word is used, 1 Samuel 12:6, and elsewhere.

Be joyful in their King; David and his posterity, and especially the chief of all of them, the Messiah. Let them rejoice and bless God that they have so potent, so wise, and so just a king. Let Israel rejoice in him that made him,.... Or, "in his Makers" (i), Father, Son, and Spirit; as in Job 35:10; see also Ecclesiastes 12:1; for all three Persons had a concern in the creation of man at first, "let us make man", &c. Genesis 1:26; and have in the formation of every individual man; of the Israelites as men, and of them as a body politic and ecclesiastic, being raised up, constituted, and formed by the Lord in their civil and church state, and therefore had reason to rejoice in him, Deuteronomy 32:6; and so have all the spiritual Israel of God, whom he has chosen, redeemed, and called; every Israelite indeed, all who are the workmanship of God, the people he has formed for himself, and to show forth his praise: these should rejoice in God the Father, who has chosen them in Christ, blessed them with all spiritual blessings in him, sent him to redeem them, has justified them by his righteousness, pardoned their sins through his blood, adopted them and made them heirs of glory; and in the Son of God their Redeemer, they should rejoice in his person, in his righteousness, sacrifice, and fulness; and in the Holy Spirit, who has regenerated and sanctified them, is their Comforter, and the earnest of their future glory;

let the children of Zion be joyful in their King: not in David, unless as a type, but in his Son, the King Messiah, who is King of Zion; and therefore the children of Zion, the church, who are born of her, the mother of us all, and born in her through the ministry of the word, and brought up there by means of the Gospel, and the ordinances of it; such as are regenerate persons, sons of God, and members of Gospel churches, should rejoice in Christ, the King of saints; that they have such a King over them, who is the greatest of Kings, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; so righteous in the administration of his government, so wise in making laws for them, so powerful to protect and defend them; and who must reign tilt all enemies are put under his feet, even for ever and ever. Every appearance of Christ's kingdom is matter of joy to saints; his first coming was as a King, though in a mean and lowly manner; yet joyful to Zion and her children, Zechariah 9:9; his ascension to heaven, when he was declared Lord and Christ; the pouring forth of his Spirit, and the success of his Gospel in the Gentile world, to the overthrow of Paganism in it, Revelation 12:10; and especially it will be an occasion of great joy to his subjects, when he takes to himself his great power, and reigns, Revelation 11:15.

(i) "in factoribus suis", Gejerus, Michaelis; so Ainsworth.

Let Israel rejoice in him that {b} made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their {c} King.

(b) In that they were preferred before all other nations, it was a new creation, and therefore Ps 95:7 they were called the sheep of God's hands.

(c) For God as he is the creator of the soul and body, so will he that both two serve him, and that his people be continually subject to him, as to their most lawful king.

2. Jehovah is Israel’s Maker (Psalm 95:6; Psalm 100:3; Isaiah 44:2; Isaiah 51:13), for to Him it owes its original existence as a nation, and the present restoration of its national life; now that it has no earthly king, it acknowledges Him as its true King as in days of old (1 Samuel 8:7; 1 Samuel 12:12), and celebrates the glory of His kingdom, which is universal (Psalm 145:1; Psalm 145:11-13), yet in an especial sense has its seat in Zion (Isaiah 52:7).Verse 2. - Let Israel rejoice in him that made him; or, "in his Maker" (comp. Psalm 95:6). This ground of thankfulness Israel possesses in common with all the rest of mankind; but he has also another exclusive ground - let the children of Zion be joyful in their King (comp. Judges 8:23; 1 Samuel 8:7; 1 Samuel 10:19; 1 Samuel 12:12, etc.). God, by covenant with Israel, had constituted himself in an especial way their King (Hosea 13:10). The call to the praise of Jahve is now turned, in the second group of verses, to the earth and everything belonging to it in the widest extent. Here too מן־הארץ, like מן־השּׁמים, Psalm 148:1, is intended of the place whence the praise is to resound, and not according to Psalm 10:18 of earthly beings. The call is addressed in the first instance to the sea-monsters or dragons (Psalm 74:13), i.e., as Pindar (Nem. iii. 23f.) expresses it, θῆρας ἐν πελάγεΐ ὑπερο'χους, and to the surging mass of waters (תּהמות) above and within the earth. Then to four phenomena of nature, coming down from heaven and ascending heavenwards, which are so arranged in Psalm 148:8, after the model of the chiasmus (crosswise position), that fire and smoke (קטור), more especially of the mountains (Exodus 19:18), hail and snow stand in reciprocal relation; and to the storm-wind (רוּח סערה, an appositional construction, as in Psalm 107:25), which, beside a seeming freeness and untractableness, performs God's word. What is said of this last applies also to the fire, etc.; all these phenomena of nature are messengers and servants of God, Psalm 104:4, cf. Psalm 103:20. When the poet wishes that they all may join in concert with the rest of the creatures to the praise of God, he excepts the fact that they frequently become destructive powers executing judicial punishment, and only has before his mind their (more especially to the inhabitant of Palestine, to whom the opportunity of seeing hail, snow, and ice was more rare than with us, imposing) grandeur and their relatedness to the whole of creation, which is destined to glorify God and to be itself glorified. He next passes over to the mountains towering towards the skies and to all the heights of earth; to the fruit-trees, and to the cedars, the kings among the trees of the forest; to the wild beasts, which are called חחיּה because they represent the most active and powerful life in the animal world, and to all quadrupeds, which, more particularly the four-footed domestic animals, are called בּהמה; to the creeping things (רמשׂ) which cleave to the ground as they move along; and to the birds, which are named with the descriptive epithet winged (צפּור כּנף as in Deuteronomy 4:17, cf. Genesis 7:14; Ezekiel 39:17, instead of עוף כּנף, Genesis 1:21). And just as the call in Psalm 103 finds its centre of gravity, so to speak, at last in the soul of man, so here it is addressed finally to humanity, and that, because mankind lives in nations and is comprehended under the law of a state commonwealth, in the first instance to its heads: the kings of the earth, i.e., those who rule over the earth by countries, to the princes and all who have the administration of justice and are possessed of supreme power on the earth, then to men of both sexes and of every age.

All the beings mentioned from Psalm 148:1 onwards are to praise the Name of Jahve; for His Name, He (the God of this Name) alone (Isaiah 2:11; Psalm 72:18) is נשׂגּב, so high that no name reaches up to Him, not even from afar; His glory (His glorious self-attestation) extends over earth and heaven (vid., Psalm 8:2). כּי, without our being able and obliged to decide which, introduces the matter and the ground of the praise; and the fact that the desire of the poet comprehends in יהללוּ all the beings mentioned is seen from his saying "earth and heaven," as he glances back from the nearer things mentioned to those mentioned farther off (cf. Genesis 2:4). In Psalm 148:14 the statement of the object and of the ground of the praise is continued. The motive from which the call to all creatures to Hallelujah proceeds, viz., the new mercy which God has shown towards His people, is also the final ground of the Hallelujah which is to sound forth; for the church of God on earth is the central-point of the universe, the aim of the history of the world, and the glorifying of this church is the turning-point for the transformation of the world. It is not to be rendered: He hath exalted the horn of His people, any more than in Psalm 132:17 : I will make the horn of David to shoot forth. The horn in both instances is one such as the person named does not already possess, but which is given him (different from Psalm 89:18, Psalm 89:25; Psalm 92:11, and frequently). The Israel of the Exile had lost its horn, i.e., its comeliness and its defensive and offensive power. God has now given it a horn again, and that a high one, i.e., has helped Israel to attain again an independence among the nations that commands respect. In Psalm 132, where the horn is an object of the promise, we might directly understand by it the Branch (Zemach). Here, where the poet speaks out of his own present age, this is at least not the meaning which he associates with the words. What now follows is an apposition to ויּרם קרן לעמּו: He has raised up a horn for His people - praise (we say: to the praise of; cf. the New Testament εἰς ἔπαινον) to all His saints, the children of Israel, the people who stand near Him. Others, as Hengstenberg, take תּהלּה as a second object, but we cannot say הרים תּהלּה. Israel is called עם קרבו, the people of His near equals of His nearness or vicinity (Kster), as Jerusalem is called in Ecclesiastes 8:10 מקום קדושׁ instead of קדשׁ מקום (Ew. 287, a, b). It might also be said, according to Leviticus 10:3, עם קרביו, the nation of those who are near to Him (as the Targum renders it). In both instances עם is the governing noun, as, too, surely גּבר is in גּבר עמיתי ni, Zechariah 13:7, which need not signify, by going back to the abstract primary signification of עמית, a man of my near fellowship, but can also signify a man of my neighbour, i.e., my nearest man, according to Ew. loc. cit. (cf. above on Psalm 145:10). As a rule, the principal form of עם is pointed עם; and it is all the more unnecessary, with Olshausen and Hupfeld, to take the construction as adjectival for עם קרוב לו. It might, with Hitzig after Aben-Ezra, be more readily regarded as appositional (to a people, His near, i.e., standing near to Him). We have here an example of the genitival subordination, which is very extensive in Hebrew, instead of an appositional co-ordination: populo propinqui sui, in connection with which propinqui may be referred back to propinquum equals propinquitas, but also to propinquus (literally: a people of the kind of one that is near to Him). Thus is Israel styled in Deuteronomy 4:7. In the consciousness of the dignity which lies in this name, the nation of the God of the history of salvation comes forward in this Psalm as the leader (choragus) of all creatures, and strikes up a Hallelujah that is to be followed by heaven and earth.

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