Psalm 50:11
I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.
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(11) Wild beasts.—Literally, that which moveth. (Comp. Psalm 80:13.)

50:7-15 To obey is better than sacrifice, and to love God and our neighbour better than all burnt-offerings. We are here warned not to rest in these performances. And let us beware of resting in any form. God demands the heart, and how can human inventions please him, when repentance, faith, and holiness are neglected? In the day of distress we must apply to the Lord by fervent prayer. Our troubles, though we see them coming from God's hand, must drive us to him, not drive us from him. We must acknowledge him in all our ways, depend upon his wisdom, power, and goodness, and refer ourselves wholly to him, and so give him glory. Thus must we keep up communion with God; meeting him with prayers under trials, and with praises in deliverances. A believing supplicant shall not only be graciously answered as to his petition, and so have cause for praising God, but shall also have grace to praise him.I know all the fowls of the mountains - That is, I am fully acquainted with their numbers; their nature; their habits; their residence. I have such a knowledge of them that I could appropriate them to my own use if I were in need of them. I am not, therefore, dependent on people to offer them, for I can use them as Iplease.

And the wild beasts of the field are mine - Margin, "with me." That is, they are before me. They are never out of my presence. At any time, therefore, I could use them as I might need them. The word rendered "wild beasts" - זיז zı̂yz - means any moving thing; and the idea here is, whatever moves in the field, or roams abroad. Everything is his - whether on the mountains, in the forest, or in the cultivated field.

8-15. However scrupulous in external worship, it was offered as if they conferred an obligation in giving God His own, and with a degrading view of Him as needing it [Ps 50:9-13]. Reproving them for such foolish and blasphemous notions, He teaches them to offer, or literally, "sacrifice," thanksgiving, and pay, or perform, their vows—that is, to bring, with the external symbolical service, the homage of the heart, and faith, penitence, and love. To this is added an invitation to seek, and a promise to afford, all needed help in trouble. I know where they are, and whence I can easily fetch them when I think good.

The fowls of the mountains; not only tame and domestic fowls, but even such as are wild and fly up and down upon mountains; which though out of man’s reach, are at God’s command. I know all the fowls of the mountains,.... God not only knows them, but takes care of them; not a sparrow fails to the ground without his knowledge, and all the fowls of the air are fed by him, Matthew 10:29; and therefore needed not their turtledoves and young pigeons, which were the only fowls used in sacrifice;

and the wild beasts of the field are mine; which are mentioned in opposition to domestic ones, such as they had in their houses or folds, Psalm 50:9.

I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.
11. The wild beasts of the field] A peculiar phrase, found only in another Asaphite Psalm (Psalm 80:13), meaning probably all that moveth in the field, including the ‘creeping thing’ (Genesis 1:24 f).

are mine] Lit., are with me, i.e. are in my sight (P.B.V.), or, in my mind (R.V. marg.).

12f. If God had need of sustenance, He would not be dependent upon man for it: but a spiritual Being needs no material support.Verse 11. - I know all the fowls of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are mine; literally, are 'with me. All creation is God's, known to him, and owned by him, to be dealt with at his pleasure. How, then, should he need gifts from men? The judgment scene. To the heavens above (מעל, elsewhere a preposition, here, as in Genesis 27:39; Genesis 49:25, an adverb, desuper, superne) and to the earth God calls (קרא אל, as, e.g., Genesis 28:1), to both לדין עמּו, in order to sit in judgment upon His people in their presence, and with them as witnesses of His doings. Or is it not that they are summoned to attend, but that the commission, Psalm 50:5, is addressed to them (Olshausen, Hitzig)? Certainly not, for the act of gathering is not one that properly belongs to the heavens and the earth, which, however, because they exist from the beginning and will last for ever, are suited to be witnesses (Deuteronomy 4:26; Deuteronomy 32:1; Isaiah 1:2, 1 Macc. 2:37). The summons אספוּ is addressed, as in Matthew 24:31, and frequently in visions, to the celestial spirits, the servants of the God here appearing. The accused who are to be brought before the divine tribunal are mentioned by names which, without their state of mind and heart corresponding to them, express the relationship to Himself in which God has placed them (cf. Deuteronomy 32:15; Isaiah 42:19). They are called חסידים, as in the Asaph Psalm 79:2. This contradiction between their relationship and their conduct makes an undesigned but bitter irony. In a covenant relationship, consecrated and ratified by a covenant sacrifice (עלי־זבח similar to Psalm 92:4; Psalm 10:10), has God placed Himself towards them (Exodus 24); and this covenant relationship is also maintained on their part by offering sacrifices as an expression of their obedience and of their fidelity. The participle כּרתי here implies the constant continuance of that primary covenant-making. Now, while the accused are gathered up, the poet hears the heavens solemnly acknowledge the righteousness of the Judge beforehand. The participial construction שׁפט הוּא, which always, according to the connection, expresses the present (Nahum 1:2), or the past (Judges 4:4), or the future (Jeremiah 25:31), is in this instance an expression of that which is near at hand (fut. instans). הוּא has not the sense of ipse (Ew. 314, a), for it corresponds to the "I" in אני שׁפט or הנני שׁפט; and כּי is not to be translated by nam (Hitzig), for the fact that God intends to judge requires no further announcement. On the contrary, because God is just now in the act of sitting in judgment, the heavens, the witnesses most prominent and nearest to Him, bear witness to His righteousness. The earthly music, as the סלה directs, is here to join in with the celestial praise. Nothing further is now wanting to the completeness of the judgment scene; the action now begins.
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