Psalm 18:49
Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.
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(49) In Romans 15:9, St. Paul quotes this verse, together with Deuteronomy 32:43 and Psalm 117:1, as proof that salvation was not in God’s purpose confined to the Jews. It seems almost too magnificent a thought in David, that he could draw the surrounding nations within the circle of the religion as he had drawn them within the dominion of Israel. Nor is it likely that an individual would use such an expression. Israel as a nation might praise God “among the nations.” Therefore this verse is adduced as an argument by those who assign a later date to the psalm. But perhaps we are only to think of the nations as brought (see Psalm 18:44) an unwilling audience of the praises which the conqueror raises to his God for the strength that had subdued them.

18:32, and the following verses, are the gifts of God to the spiritual warrior, whereby he is prepared for the contest, after the example of his victorious Leader. Learn that we must seek release being made through Christ, shall be rejected. In David the type, we behold out of trouble through Christ. The prayer put up, without reconciliation Jesus our Redeemer, conflicting with enemies, compassed with sorrows and with floods of ungodly men, enduring not only the pains of death, but the wrath of God for us; yet calling upon the Father with strong cries and tears; rescued from the grave; proceeding to reconcile, or to put under his feet all other enemies, till death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed. We should love the Lord, our Strength, and our Salvation; we should call on him in every trouble, and praise him for every deliverance; we should aim to walk with him in all righteousness and true holiness, keeping from sin. If we belong to him, he conquers and reigns for us, and we shall conquer and reign through him, and partake of the mercy of our anointed King, which is promised to all his seed for evermore. Amen.Therefore will I give thanks unto thee - Margin, confess. The Hebrew word - ידה yâdâh - in the form used here, means properly to profess, to confess, to acknowledge; then especially to acknowledge or recognize blessings and favors; in other words, to give thanks, to praise. The idea here is that he would make a public acknowledgment of those blessings which he had received; or that he would cause the remembrance of them to be celebrated among the nations.

Among the heathen - Among the nations. See the note at Psalm 18:43. The meaning here is, that he would cause these blessings to be remembered by making a record of them in this song of praise; a song that would be used not only in his own age and in his own country, but also among other nations, and in other times. He would do all in his power to make the knowledge of these favors, and these proofs of the existence of the true God, known abroad and transmitted to other times. The apostle Paul uses this language Romans 15:9 as expressing properly the fact that the knowledge of God was to be communicated to the "Gentiles:" "As it is written, For this cause will I confess to thee among the Gentiles." The word "heathen" or nations, in the passage before us, corresponds precisely with the meaning of the word Gentiles; and Paul has used the language of the psalm legitimately and properly as showing that it was a doctrine of the Old Testament that the truths of religion were not to be confined to the Jews, but were to be made known to other nations.

And sing praises unto thy name - Unto thee; the name often being used to denote the person. The meaning is, that he would cause the praises of God to be celebrated among foreign or pagan nations, as the result of what God had done for him. Far, probably, very far beyond what David anticipated when he penned this psalm, this has been done. The psalm itself has been chanted by million who were not in existence, and in lands of which the psalmist had no knowledge; and, connected as it has been with the other psalms in Christian worship, it has contributed in an eminent degree to extend the praises of God far in the earth, and to transmit the knowledge of him to generations as they succeeded one another. What David anticipated is, moreover, as yet only in the progress of fulfillment. Millions not yet born will make use of the psalm, as million have done before, as the medium of praise to God; and down to the most distant times this sacred song, in connection with the others in the Book of Psalms, will contribute to make God known in the earth, and to secure for him the praises of mankind.

49, 50. Paul (Ro 15:9) quotes from this doxology to show that under the Old Testament economy, others than the Jews were regarded as subjects of that spiritual government of which David was head, and in which character his deliverances and victories were typical of the more illustrious triumphs of David's greater Son. The language of Ps 18:50 justifies this view in its distinct allusion to the great promise (compare 2Sa 7:12). In all David's successes he saw the pledges of a fulfilment of that promise, and he mourned in all his adversities, not only in view of his personal suffering, but because he saw in them evidences of danger to the great interests which were committed to his keeping. It is in these aspects of his character that we are led properly to appreciate the importance attached to his sorrows and sufferings, his joys and successes. Among the heathen; or, among the Gentiles or nations; i.e. either,

1. In the great congregations, consisting df the Israelites of all tribes; of whom this very word is used, Joshua 3:17 4:1 Ezekiel 2:3, and elsewhere, as hath been noted before. Or,

2. In the presence of those Gentiles, who resorted to Jerusalem in great numbers, or before others of them, who are either subject to me, or confederate with me, as I have occasion of speaking or writing to any of them. But this was but an uncertain and inconsiderable business. And therefore David is here transported beyond himself, even to his seed for ever, as it is expressed Psalm 18:50, and speaks this in special relation to Christ, who was to be his Seed, and of whom he was an eminent type, and by whom alone this was done to any purpose. And therefore this is justly applied to him, and to his preaching to and calling of the Gentiles, Romans 15:9.

Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the Heathen,.... These words are cited by the apostle, in Romans 15:9; and applied to the conversion of the Gentiles, which is manifestly prophesied of in some preceding verses of this psalm: there it is rendered, "I will confess to thee among the Gentiles"; and designs not confession of sin, nor profession of the truth, but an acknowledgment of unworthiness, joined with thankfulness for mercies received; done in the most public manner, not only in the congregation of the righteous, but before the Heathen conquered by him; owning before them all, that the victories he had obtained over them were not to be ascribed to his arm and sword, but to the power of the Lord;

and sing praises unto thy name; which is comely for the saints to do, and which Jesus Christ himself did, in the great congregation of his disciples, and among the Gentiles, by his apostles, and others, on the account of the conversion of them.

Therefore will {m} I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.

(m) This prophecy belongs to the kingdom of Christ and calling of the Gentiles, as in Ro 15:9.

49. The celebration of Jehovah’s faithfulness to His servant is not to be confined within the narrow limits of Israel. His praise is to be proclaimed among the nations, which, as they are brought under the dominion of His people, may eventually be brought to the knowledge of Jehovah. Cp. Psalm 96:3; Psalm 96:10. This verse is quoted by St. Paul in Romans 15:9 (together with Deuteronomy 32:43; Psalm 117:1; Isaiah 11:10), in proof that the Old Testament anticipated the admission of the Gentiles to the blessings of salvation.

Verse 49. - Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen. As, in some sense, "the head of the heathen" (ver. 43), David was bound to offer prayer, and praise, and thanksgiving "among them," if it were only to teach them by his example, and lead them on towards the worship of the true God. And sing praises unto thy Name; i.e. to thy Person - God being in his Name. Psalm 18:49(Heb.: 18:50-51) The praise of so blessed a God, who acts towards David as He has promised him, shall not be confined within the narrow limits of Israel. When God's anointed makes war with the sword upon the heathen, it is, in the end, the blessing of the knowledge of Jahve for which he opens up the way, and the salvation of Jahve, which he thus mediatorially helps on. Paul has a perfect right to quote Psalm 18:50 of this Psalm (Romans 15:9), together with Deuteronomy 32:43 and Psalm 117:1, as proof that salvation belongs to the Gentiles also, according to the divine purpose of mercy. What is said in Psalm 18:50 as the reason and matter of the praise that shall go forth beyond Israel, is an echo of the Messianic promises in 2 Samuel 7:12-16 which is perfectly reconcileable with the Davidic authorship of the Psalm, as Hitzig acknowledges. And Theodoret does not wrongly appeal to the closing words עד־עולם against the Jews. In whom, but in Christ, the son of David, has the fallen throne of David any lasting continuance, and in whom, but in Christ, has all that has been promised to the seed of David eternal truth and reality? The praise of Jahve, the God of David, His anointed, is, according to its ultimate import, a praising of the Father of Jesus Christ.
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