Psalm 8:6
Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
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(6) The poet continues, in a rapturous strain, to complete the cycle of animated nature, and to describe man’s kingship over all other created beings. For St. Paul’s expansion of the thought, and elevation of it into yet a higher sphere, see 1Corinthians 15:27.

Psalm 8:6-8. Thou madest him to have dominion over the work of thy hands — Didst constitute him lord of the inferior creatures, and invest him with a sovereign dominion over them. The charter whereby man was to hold this royalty bore date with his creation, Genesis 1:28; and though it was forfeited by his fall, it was, in a great degree, renewed after the flood; since which time man has had all things, in such a sense, under his feet, that he can not only serve himself of the labour, but also of the products and lives of the inferior creatures, which are delivered into his hands for that purpose. All sheep and oxen, &c. — Thus he instances in some of the inferior creatures, and among others, names even the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea. For, though many of them are much stronger, and many of them much swifter than man; yet, man’s superior knowledge enables him, one way or other, to reduce them under his power, and to exercise dominion over them. It must be carefully observed, however, that this refers, in a special manner, to the Lord Jesus Christ, and has its perfect accomplishment only in him. For, as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews argues, Hebrews 2:6-8, “We see not yet all things put under” man in that complete and absolute sense which the psalmist’s words seem to imply; but we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, or was made lower for a little while, as the Hebrew may be rendered, for the suffering of death, that is, that he might be capable of suffering death; we see him crowned with the glory and honour of having all things, yea, and persons, put under him, in the completest and most absolute sense; exalted to the Father’s right hand, far above all principality and power, and every name that is named; invested with all power in heaven and on earth; constituted not only the head of the church but head over all things to the church, and intrusted with the administration of the kingdom of providence, in conjunction with, and subserviency to, the kingdom of grace. Now we must remember that, as it was our common human nature that Christ assumed; so our common human nature is thus exalted in him to that glory and honour, and complete dominion over the creatures, which Adam possessed in paradise, but which he lost for himself, and all his race, by the fall. Nay, in Christ our nature is raised to the possession of dignity and glory, power and dominion, riches and felicity, incomparably greater than was conferred on man at his creation. And through Christ the fallen children of men may rise; and all believers in Christ, and members of his mystical body, shall rise to a participation of this honour and happiness, and not only be made but a little lower than the angels, but as our blessed Lord testifies, ισαγγελοι, equal to the angels, if not even superior to them.

8:3-9 We are to consider the heavens, that man thus may be directed to set his affections on things above. What is man, so mean a creature, that he should be thus honoured! so sinful a creature, that he should be thus favoured! Man has sovereign dominion over the inferior creatures, under God, and is appointed their lord. This refers to Christ. In Heb 2:6-8, the apostle, to prove the sovereign dominion of Christ, shows he is that Man, that Son of man, here spoken of, whom God has made to have dominion over the works of his hands. The greatest favour ever showed to the human race, and the greatest honour ever put upon human nature, were exemplified in the Lord Jesus. With good reason does the psalmist conclude as he began, Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth, which has been honoured with the presence of the Redeemer, and is still enlightened by his gospel, and governed by his wisdom and power! What words can reach his praises, who has a right to our obedience as our Redeemer?Thou madest him to have dominion - Thou didst cause him to have, or didst give him this dominion. It does not mean that God made or created him for that end, but that he had conceded to him that dominion, thus conferring on him exalted honor. The allusion is to Genesis 1:26, Genesis 1:28.

Over the works of thy hands - His works upon the earth, for the dominion extends no further.

Thou hast put all things under his feet - Hast placed all things in subjection to him. Compare Psalm 47:3; Psalm 91:13; Lamentations 3:34; Romans 16:20; 1 Corinthians 15:25. The language is taken from the act of treading down enemies in battle; from putting the feet on the necks of captives, etc. The idea is that of complete and entire subjection. This dominion was originally given to man at his creation, and it still remains (though not so absolute and entire as this), for nothing is in itself more remarkable than the dominion which man, by nature so feeble, exercises over the inferior creation. it is impossible to account for this in any other way than as it is accounted for in the Bible, by the supposition that it was originally conceded to man by his Creator. On the question of the applicability of this to Christ, see the notes at Hebrews 2:6-9.

5-8. God has placed man next in dignity to angels, and but a little lower, and has crowned him with the empire of the world.

glory and honour—are the attributes of royal dignity (Ps 21:5; 45:3). The position assigned man is that described (Ge 1:26-28) as belonging to Adam, in his original condition, the terms employed in detailing the subjects of man's dominion corresponding with those there used. In a modified sense, in his present fallen state, man is still invested with some remains of this original dominion. It is very evident, however, by the apostle's inspired expositions (Heb 2:6-8; 1Co 15:27, 28) that the language here employed finds its fulfilment only in the final exaltation of Christ's human nature. There is no limit to the "all things" mentioned, God only excepted, who "puts all things under." Man, in the person and glorious destiny of Jesus of Nazareth, the second Adam, the head and representative of the race, will not only be restored to his original position, but exalted far beyond it. "The last enemy, death," through fear of which, man, in his present estate, is "all his lifetime in bondage" [Heb 2:15], "shall be destroyed" [1Co 15:26]. Then all things will have been put under his feet, "principalities and powers being made subject to him" [1Pe 3:22]. This view, so far from being alien from the scope of the passage, is more consistent than any other; for man as a race cannot well be conceived to have a higher honor put upon him than to be thus exalted in the person and destiny of Jesus of Nazareth. And at the same time, by no other of His glorious manifestations has God more illustriously declared those attributes which distinguish His name than in the scheme of redemption, of which this economy forms such an important and essential feature. In the generic import of the language, as describing man's present relation to the works of God's hands, it may be regarded as typical, thus allowing not only the usual application, but also this higher sense which the inspired writers of the New Testament have assigned it.

Thou didst give all power and all things into his hands, Matthew 28:18 John 13:3.

Thou hast put all things, both in heaven, where are the angels mentioned Psalm 8:5, and in the earth, air, and sea, as it follows; for nothing is excepted besides God, 1 Corinthians 15:25,27 Heb 2:8.

Under his feet, i.e. made them subject to him, as this phrase oft signifies. See Deu 33:3 Judges 5:27 Psalm 18:38 110:1.

Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands,.... All power in heaven and in earth being given to him: when he was raised from the dead, and when he ascended on high, and was set down at the right hand of God, he was made or declared Lord and Christ; Lord of the hosts of heaven, of all the angels there, King of saints, King of kings, and Lord of lords. All things in heaven and earth, which God has made, are put into his hands, to subserve his cause and glory, and for the good of his people; for he is head over all things to the church. The Ethiopic version reads, "all the works of thy hands"; among whom are angels. This is a greater dominion than was given to the first man, Adam, Genesis 1:25;

thou hast put all things under his feet; or put them in subjection to him, as the phrase signifies, and as it is interpreted, Hebrews 2:8. Good angels are subject to him, as appears by their ministration to him, their dependence on him, and adoration of him, 1 Peter 3:22; devils are subject to him, whether they will or not; and so are wicked men, whose power and wrath he is able to restrain, and does; and the church is subject to Christ, as her head; and so all good men, willingly and heartily, and from a principle of love, obey his commands: yea, all creatures in the earth, air, and sea, are in subjection to him; an enumeration of which is given in the following verses.

Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
6. Again a reference to Genesis 1:26; Genesis 1:28. ‘Thou hast put all things under his feet’ reads like a paraphrase of the word there rendered ‘let them have dominion,’ which means primarily ‘to tread under foot,’ and thence ‘to rule.’ On St Paul’s application of the words in 1 Corinthians 15:27 see above.

Verse 6. - Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands. An evident reference to Genesis 1:28, "Have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." By these words man's right of dominion was established. His actual dominion only came, and still comes, by degrees. Thou hast put all things under his feet (comp. 1 Corinthians 15:25-28; Hebrews 2:8). In their fulness, the words are only true of the God-Man, Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18). Psalm 8:6(Heb.: 8:7-9) Man is a king, and not a king without territory; the world around, with the works of creative wisdom which fill it, is his kingdom. The words "put under his feet" sound like a paraphrase of the רדה in Genesis 1:26, Genesis 1:28, כּל is unlimited, as in Job 13:1; Job 42:2; Isaiah 44:24. But the expansion of the expression in Psalm 8:8, Psalm 8:9 extends only to the earth, and is limited even there to the different classes of creatures in the regions of land, air, and water. The poet is enthusiastic in his survey of this province of man's dominion. And his lofty poetic language corresponds to this enthusiasm. The enumeration begins with the domestic animals and passes on from these to the wild beasts-together the creatures that dwell on terra firma. צנה (צנא Numbers 32:24) from צנה (צנא) Arab. dnâ (dn'), as also Arab. dân, fut. o., proliferum esse is, in poetry, equivalent to צאן, which is otherwise the usual name for small cattle. אלפים (in Aramaic, as the name of the letter shows, a prose word) is in Hebrew poetically equivalent to בּקר; the oxen which willingly accommodate themselves to the service of man, especially of the husbandman, are so called from אלף to yield to. Wild animals, which in prose are called חיּת הארץ, (השּׂדה) here bear the poetical name בּהמות שׂדי, as in Joel 2:22, cf. Joel 1:20, 1 Samuel 17:44. שׂדי (in pause שׂדי) is the primitive form of שׂדה, which is not declined, and has thereby obtained a collective signification. From the land animals the description passes on to the fowls of the air and the fishes of the water. צפּור is the softer word, instead of עוף; and שׁמים is water. צפּור is the softer word, instead of עוף; and שׁמים is used without the art. according to poetical usage, whereas היּם without the art. would have sounded too scanty and not sufficiently measured. In connection with ימּים the article may be again omitted, just as with שׁמים. עבר is a collective participle. If the following were intended: he (or: since he), viz., man, passes through the paths of the sea (Bttcher, Cassel, and even Aben-Ezra and Kimchi), then it would not have been expressed in such a monostich, and in a form so liable to lead one astray. The words may be a comprehensive designation of that portion of the animal kingdom which is found in the sea; and this also intended to include all from the smallest worm to the gigantic leviathan: ὁππόσα ποντοπόρους παρεπιστείβουσι κελεύθους (Apollinaris). If man thus rules over every living thing that is round about him from the nearest to the most remote, even that which is apparently the most untameable: then it is clear that every lifeless created thing in his vicinity must serve him as its king. The poet regards man in the light of the purpose for which he was created.
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