Psalm 19:2
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
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(2) Uttereth.—Literally, ours out, or makes to well up, like a fountain, undoubtedly in reference to the light streaming forth.

Sheweth.—Literally, breathes out; perhaps with reference to the cool evening breeze, so welcome in the East. (See Song of Solomon 2:17, Note.) Notice that it is not here the heavens that are telling (as in Psalm 19:1) the tale of God’s glory to man, or “to the listening earth,” as in Addison’s well- known hymn, but day tells its successor day, and night whispers to night, so handing on, as if from parent to son, the great news.

Psalm 19:2. Day unto day — Or rather, day after day, uttereth speech — Hebrew, יביע אמר, jabiang omer, poureth forth the word or discourse, (namely, concerning God,) constantly, abundantly, and forcibly, as a fountain doth water, as the word signifies. It hath, as it were, a tongue to speak the praises of its Maker. Night unto night showeth knowledge — A clear and certain knowledge, or discovery of God its author, and his infinite perfections. “The labour of these our instructers,” says Dr. Horne, “knows no intermission, but they continue to lecture us incessantly in the science of divine wisdom. There is one glory of the sun, which shines forth by day; and there are other glories of the moon and of the stars, which become visible by night. And because day and night interchangeably divide the world between them, they are therefore represented as transmitting in succession, each to other, the task enjoined them, like the two parts of a choir, chanting forth alternately the praises of God.” Thus the instruction becomes perpetual. Every day and every night renews or repeats these documents and demonstrations of God’s glory: so that he who has neglected them yesterday has an opportunity put into his hands again to- day of profiting by their instruction. And, at the same time, the circumstances of their regular, constant, and beneficial vicissitude, set forth and proclaim aloud the excellence of that wisdom and goodness, which first appointed, and still continues it. How does inanimate nature reproach us with our indolence, inattention, and indevotion!

19:1-6 The heavens so declare the glory of God, and proclaim his wisdom, power, and goodness, that all ungodly men are left without excuse. They speak themselves to be works of God's hands; for they must have a Creator who is eternal, infinitely wise, powerful, and good. The counter-changing of day and night is a great proof of the power of God, and calls us to observe, that, as in the kingdom of nature, so in that of providence, he forms the light, and creates the darkness, Isa 45:7, and sets the one against the other. The sun in the firmament is an emblem of the Sun of righteousness, the Bridegroom of the church, and the Light of the world, diffusing Divine light and salvation by his gospel to the nations of the earth. He delights to bless his church, which he has espoused to himself; and his course will be unwearied as that of the sun, till the whole earth is filled with his light and salvation. Let us pray for the time when he shall enlighten, cheer, and make fruitful every nation on earth, with the blessed salvation. They have no speech or language, so some read it, and yet their voice is heard. All people may hear these preachers speak in their own tongue the wonderful works of God. Let us give God the glory of all the comfort and benefit we have by the lights of heaven, still looking above and beyond them to the Sun of righteousness.Day unto day - One day to another; or, each successive day. The day that is passing away proclaims the lesson which it had to convey from the movements of the heavens, about God; and thus the knowledge of God is accumulating as the time moves on. Each day has its own lesson in regard to the wisdom, the power, and the goodness of God, and that lesson is conveyed from one day to another. There is a perpetual testimony thus given to the wisdom and power of the Great Creator.

Uttereth speech - The word here rendered uttereth means properly to pour forth; to pour forth copiously as a fountain. Compare Proverbs 18:4; Proverbs 1:23; Proverbs 15:2, Proverbs 15:28. Hence, the word means to utter; to declare. The word "speech" means properly "a word;" and then, "a lesson;" or "that which speech conveys." The idea is, that the successive days thus impart instruction, or convey lessons about God. The day does this by the returning light, and by the steady and sublime movement of the sun in the heavens, and by all the disclosures which are made by the light of the sun in his journeyings.

And night unto night showeth knowledge - Knowledge respecting God. Each successive night does this. It is done by the stars in their courses; in their order; their numbers; their ranks; their changes of position; their rising and their setting. There are as many lessons conveyed to man about the greatness and majesty of God by the silent movements of each night as there are by the light of the successive days - just as there may be as many lessons conveyed to the soul about God in the dark night of affliction and adversity, as there are when the sun of prosperity shines upon us.

2. uttereth—pours forth as a stream; a perpetual testimony. Day unto day; or rather, after (as the Hebrew lamed oft signifies, as Exodus 16:1 29:38 2 Chronicles 30:21 Psalm 96:2) day; for the day doth not utter this to the day, but to us upon the day. The sense is either,

1. That orderly, and constant, and useful succession of days and nights one after another declare this. But of the course of the sun, the effect whereof this succession is, he speaks Psalm 19:5. Or rather,

2. Every day and night renews or repeats these documents and demonstrations of God’s glory. He that neglects them one day, may learn them the next day.

Uttereth, or, poureth forth, to wit, constantly, and abundantly, and forcibly, as a fountain doth water, as this Hebrew verb signifies.

Speech; or the word, or discourse, to wit, concerning God. It hath as it were a tongue to speak the praises of its Maker, i.e. it gives men occasion to magnify and adore him.

Showeth knowledge, i. e. gives us a clear and certain knowledge or discovery of God their author.

Day untoday uttereth speech,.... This, with the following clause,

and night untonight showeth knowledge, some understand of the constant and continued succession of day and night; which declares the glory of God, and shows him to be possessed of infinite knowledge and wisdom; and which brings a new accession of knowledge to men; others, of the continual declaration of the glory of God, and of the knowledge of him made by the heavens and the firmament, the ordinances of which always continue; the sun for a light by day, and the moon and stars for a light by night; and so night and day constantly and successively proclaim the glory and wisdom of God: but rather this is to be understood of the constancy of the Gospel ministry, and the continuance of the evangelic revelation. The apostles of Christ persevered in their work, and laboured in the word and doctrine night and day: they were in it at all seasons; yea, were instant in season and out of season; and though they are dead, the Gospel continues, and will do as long as day and night remain: and these, like overflowing fountains, sent forth in great abundance, as the word (x) rendered "uttereth" signifies, the streams of divine light and knowledge; they were full of matter, and their tongues were as the pen of a ready writer; they diffused the savour of the knowledge of Christ, in great plenty, in every place where they came. These words express the continuance of the Gospel revelation, as the next do the extent of it.

(x) "eructat", Musculus, Munster, Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; so Ainsworth; "scaturit", Muis; "scaturiendo effundit", Cocceius; "copiose ac constanter instar foecundae cujusdam scaturiginis protrudit, emittit", Gejerus; so Michaelis.

{b} Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

(b) The continual success of the day and night is sufficient to declare God's power and goodness.

2. This proclamation is continuous and unceasing. “Dies diem docet.” Each day, each night, hands on the message to its successor in an unbroken tradition. Day and night are mentioned separately, for each has a special message entrusted to it: the day tells of splendour, power, beneficence; the night tells of vastness, order, mystery, beauty, repose. They are “like the two parts of a choir, chanting forth alternately the praises of God.” (Bp. Horne.)

uttereth] Lit. pours out, in copious abundance.

sheweth] Or, proclaimeth, a different word from that of Psalm 19:1. Knowledge is “that which may be known of God” (Romans 1:19). “Aristotle says[10], that should a man live under ground, and there converse with works of art and mechanism, and should afterwards be brought up into the open day, and see the several glories of the heaven and earth, he would immediately pronounce them the works of such a being as we define God to be.” Addison in The Spectator, No. 465.

[10] The passage is a fragment of Aristotle’s Dialogue on Philosophy quoted by Cicero De Natura Deorum, ii. 37. 95, and is well worth referring to.

Verse 2. - Day unto day uttereth speech; literally, poureth out speech, as water is poured from a fountain. Each day bears its testimony to the next, and so the stream goes on in a flow that is never broken. And night unto night showeth knowledge. Dr. Kay compares St. Paul's statement, that "that which may be known of God" is manifested to man through the creation (Romans 1:19, 20). A certain superiority seems to be assigned to the night, "as though the contemplation of the starry firmament awakened deeper, more spiritual, thoughts than the brightness of day." Psalm 19:2(Heb.: 19:2-4) The heavens, i.e., the superterrestrial spheres, which, so far as human vision is concerned, are lost in infinite space, declare how glorious is God, and indeed אל, as the Almighty; and what His hands have made, i.e., what He has produced with a superior power to which everything is possible, the firmament, i.e., vault of heaven stretched out far and wide and as a transparency above the earth (Graeco-Veneta τάμα equals ἔκταμα, from רקע, root רק, to stretch, τείνειν), distinctly expresses. The sky and firmament are not conceived of as conscious beings which the middle ages, in dependence upon Aristotle (vid., Maimonides, More Nebuchim ii. 5), believed could be proved fro this passage, cf. Nehemiah 9:6; Job 38:7. Moreover, Scripture knows nothing of the "music of the spheres" of the Pythagoreans. What is meant is, as the old expositors correctly say, objectivum vocis non articulatae praeconium. The doxa, which God has conferred upon the creature as the reflection of His own, is reflected back from it, and given back to God as it were in acknowledgment of its origin. The idea of perpetuity, which lies even in the participle, is expanded in Psalm 19:3. The words of this discourse of praise are carried forward in an uninterrupted line of transmission. הבּיע (fr. נבע, Arab. nb‛, root נב, to gush forth, nearly allied to which, however, is also the root בע, to spring up) points to the rich fulness with which, as from an inexhaustible spring, the testimony passes on from one day to the next. The parallel word חוּה is an unpictorial, but poetic, word that is more Aramaic than Hebrew ( equals הגּיד). אמשׁ also belongs to the more elevated style; the γνωστὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ deposited in the creature, although not reflected, is here called דּעת. The poet does not say that the tidings proclaimed by the day, if they gradually die away as the day declines, are taken up by the night, and the tidings of the night by the day; but (since the knowledge proclaimed by the day concerns the visible works of God by day, and that proclaimed by the night, His works by night), that each dawning day continues the speech of that which has declined, and each approaching night takes up the tale of that which has passed away (Psychol. S. 347, tr. p. 408). If Psalm 19:4 were to be rendered "there is no speech and there are no words, their voice is inaudible," i.e., they are silent, speechless witnesses, uttering no sound, but yet speaking aloud (Hengst.), only inwardly audible but yet intelligible everywhere (Then.): then, Psalm 19:5 ought at least to begin with a Waw adversativum, and, moreover, the poet would then needlessly check his fervour, producing a tame thought and one that interrupts the flow of the hymn. To take Psalm 19:4 as a circumstantial clause to Psalm 19:5, and made to precede it, as Ewald does, "without loud speech...their sound has resounded through all the earth" (341, d), is impossible, even apart from the fact of אמר not meaning "Loud speech" and קוּם hardly "their sound." Psalm 19:4 is in the form of an independent sentence, and there is nothing whatever in it to betray any designed subordination to Psalm 19:5. But if it be made independent in the sense "there is no loud, no articulate speech, no audible voice, which proceeds from the heavens," then Psalm 19:5 would form an antithesis to it; and this, in like manner, there is nothing to indicate, and it would at least require that the verb יצא should be placed first. Luther's rendering is better: There is no language nor speech, where their voice is not heard, i.e., as Calvin also renders it, the testimony of the heavens to God is understood by the peoples of every language and tongue. But this ought to be אין לשׁון or אין שׂפה ro אין (Genesis 11:1). Hofmann's rendering is similar, but more untenable: "There is no speech and there are no words, that their cry is not heard, i.e., the language of the heavens goes forth side by side with all other languages; and men may discourse ever so, still the speech or sound of the heavens is heard therewith, it sounds above them all." But the words are not בּלי נשׁמע (after the analogy of Genesis 31:20), or rather בּלי ישּׁמע (as in Job 41:8; Hosea 8:7). בּלי with the part. is a poetical expression for the Alpha privat. (2 Samuel 1:21), consequently כלי נשׁמע is "unheard" or "inaudible," and the opposite of נשׁמע, audible, Jeremiah 31:15. Thus, therefore, the only rendering that remains is that of the lxx., Vitringa, and Hitzig: There is no language and no words, whose voice is unheard, i.e., inaudible. Hupfeld's assertion that this rendering destroys the parallelism is unfounded. The structure of the distich resembles Psalm 139:4. The discourse of the heavens and the firmament, of the day (of the sky by day) and of the night (of the sky by night), is not a discourse uttered in a corner, it is a discourse in speech that is everywhere audible, and in words that are understood by all, a φανερόν, Romans 1:19.
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