Psalm 149:8
To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;
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149:6-9 Some of God's servants of old were appointed to execute vengeance according to his word. They did not do it from personal revenge or earthly politics, but in obedience to God's command. And the honour intended for all the saints of God, consists in their triumphs over the enemies of their salvation. Christ never intended his gospel should be spread by fire and sword, or his righteousness by the wrath of man. But let the high praises of God be in our mouths, while we wield the sword of the word of God, with the shield of faith, in warfare with the world, the flesh, and the devil. The saints shall be more than conquerors over the enemies of their souls, through the blood of the Lamb and the word of his testimony. The completing of this will be in the judgement of the great day. Then shall the judgement be executed. Behold Jesus, and his gospel church, chiefly in her millennial state. He and his people rejoice in each other; by their prayers and efforts they work with him, while he goes forth in the chariots of salvation, conquering sinners by grace, or in chariots of vengeance, to destroy his enemies.To bind their kings with chains - To make them prisoners and captives. This is but carrying out the idea in the previous verses, of inflicting punishment upon them for the wrongs which they had done to the people of God. There is no evidence that this refers to a spiritual conquest, or to a spiritual subjection of those nations to the true religion. The whole idea is in accordance with what is so often expressed in the Psalms - that of inflicting just punishment on the wicked. See the General Introduction, Section 6.

And their nobles with fetters of iron - To make them prisoners. That is, to subdue them. Captives in war, even those of elevated rank, were often led in chains to grace the triumph of conquerors.

7. The destruction of the incorrigibly wicked attends the propagation of God's truth, so that the military successes of the Jews, after the captivity, typified the triumphs of the Gospel. See Poole "Psalm 149:7".

To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron. Which is thought to allude to what was done to the Canaanitish kings, in the times of Joshua; and to the princes of Midian by Gideon; and to Agag by Saul; and to the Ammonites, Syrians, and others, by David: but it refers either to the first times of the Gospel, and the influence of the sword of the Spirit over the hearts of men; and on some very great personages, as kings and nobles, brought to Christ and his churches, in chains of powerful and efficacious grace, declaring a ready and cheerful subjection to his Gospel and ordinances; such as Constantine, Theodosius, and others; and who were instruments in subduing, conquering, and destroying tyrannical and persecuting emperors and princes, as Maximilian, Licinius, and others; see Isaiah 45:14; and more instances of the power of the Gospel, and the influence of divine grace on such persons, there will be in the latter day; see Isaiah 49:23. It may also respect the use of the Gospel ministry, compared to a twoedged sword on the hearts of men in common; whereby Satan, the strong man armed, who keeps the palace as a king or prince, is dispossessed; and sin, which reigns like a king unto death, is dethroned, and grace is set up as a governing principle. But it may chiefly regard the destruction of antichristian kings and nobles, and their states, through the prevalence of the Gospel and the power of Christ, and the twoedged sword coming out of his mouth, Revelation 17:14. To bind {f} their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;

(f) Not only the people, but the kings who were their enemies should be destroyed.

8. The subjection and homage of the nations to Israel are repeatedly anticipated in the later chapters of Isaiah (Isaiah 45:14; Isaiah 49:7; Isaiah 49:23; Isaiah 60:3 ff.). In Psalms 2 the Messianic king, here the Messianic people, subjugates the nations.

their nobles] Their honourable men, as Isaiah 23:8-9; Nahum 3:10.

Verse 8. - To bind their kings with chains. Even royal captives were thus treated in the ancient world. Assyrian and Babylonian monarchs always represent their captives, even when kings, as fettered. Nebuchadnezzar "bound Zedekiah with fetters of brass" (2 Kings 25:7). Parthia, and later Persia, and even Rome, followed the same practice. And their nobles with fetters of iron. On the monuments, cap-fives below the rank of kings are not often seen "fettered." Their arms, however, are frequently tied together with a cord, and they are fastened one to another by a stout rope. Psalm 149:8The glance is here directed to the future. The people of the present have again, in their God, attained to a lofty self-consciousness, the consciousness of their destiny, viz., to subjugate the whole world of nations to the God of Israel. In the presence of the re-exaltation which they have experienced their throat is full of words and songs exalting Jahve (רוממות, plural of רומם, or, according to another reading, רומם, Psalm 56:1-13 :17), and as servants of this God, the rightful Lord of all the heathen (Psalm 82:8), they hold in their hand a many-mouthed, i.e., many edged sword (vid., supra, p. 580), in order to take the field on behalf of the true religion, as the Maccabees actually did, not long after: ταῖς μὲν χερσὶν ἀγωνιζόμενοι ταῖς δὲ καρδίαις πρὸς τὸν Θεόν εὐχόμενοι (2 Macc. 15:27). The meaning of Psalm 149:9 becomes a different one, according as we take this line as co-ordinate or subordinate to what goes before. Subordinated, it would imply the execution of a penal jurisdiction over those whom they carried away, and כּתוּב would refer to prescriptive facts such as are recorded in Numbers 31:8; 1 Samuel 15:32. (Hitzig). But it would become the religious lyric poet least of all to entertain such an unconditional prospect of the execution of the conquered worldly rulers. There is just as little ground for thinking of the judgment of extermination pronounced upon the nations of Canaan, which was pronounced upon them for an especial reason. If Psalm 149:9 is taken as co-ordinate, the "written judgment" (Recht) consists in the complete carrying out of the subjugation; and this is commended by the perfectly valid parallel, Isaiah 45:14. The poet, however, in connection with the expression "written," has neither this nor that passage of Scripture in his mind, but the testimony of the Law and of prophecy in general, that all kingdoms shall become God's and His Christ's. Subjugation (and certainly not without bloodshed) is the scriptural משׁפּט for the execution of which Jahve makes use of His own nation. Because the God who thus vindicates Himself is Israel's God, this subjugation of the world is הדר, splendour and glory, to all who are in love devoted to Him. The glorifying of Jahve is also the glorifying of Israel.
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