Psalm 8:7
All sheep and oxen, yes, and the beasts of the field;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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?All sheep and oxen - Flocks and herds. Genesis 1:26, "over the cattle." Nothing is more manifest than the control which man exercises over flocks and herds - making them subservient to his use, and obedient to his will.

And the beasts of the field - Those not included in the general phrase "sheep and oxen." The word rendered "field," שׂדה śâdeh - or the poetic form, as here - שׂדי śâday, means properly a plain; a level tract of country; then, a field, or a tilled farm, Genesis 23:17; Genesis 47:20-21,; and then the fields, the open country, as opposed to a city, a village, a camp Genesis 25:27; and hence, in this place the expression means the beasts that roam at large - wild beasts, Genesis 2:20; Genesis 3:14. Here the allusion is to the power which man has of subduing the wild beasts; of capturing them, and making them subservient to his purposes; of preventing their increase and their depredations; and of taming them so that they shall obey his will, and become his servants. Nothing is more remarkable than this, and nothing furnishcs a better illustration of Scripture than the conformity of this with the declaration Genesis 9:2, "And the fear of you, and the dread of you, shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air," etc. Compare the notes at James 3:7. It is to be remembered that no small number of what are now domestic animals were originally wild, and that they have been subdued and tamed by the power anti skill of man. No animal has shown himself superior to this power and skill.

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.

All sheep and oxen; here is no perfect enumeration, but under these are comprehended all other beasts, and much more men and angels.

The beasts of the field, i.e. the wild beasts; which together with divers fowls and fishes were subject to Christ, and are governed and employed as it pleaseth him; although many of them be without the reach and are not brought under the, power of any other man. All sheep and oxen,.... The tame creatures, which are useful for food and clothing:

yea, and the beasts of the field; the wild beasts, which he can make use of to destroy and devour his enemies, and whom he can restrain from harming his own people, Jeremiah 15:8.

All {d} sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;

(d) By the temporal gifts of man's creation, he is led to consider the benefits which he has by his regeneration through Christ.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7, 8. Man’s subjects are as it were mustered and passed in review: domestic animals, and even the wild creatures that roam at large over the open country; the birds of the air (lit. heaven, as Psalm 104:12), and the fish of the sea, and all the manifold inhabitants of the mysterious depths of ocean. See Genesis 1:21; Genesis 9:2. Cp. Homer’s ὑγρὰ κέλευθα (Il. i. 312); “the wet sea-paths,” as Milton calls them in his version of the Psalm.

The living creatures here enumerated are only mentioned by way of example and illustration of “all things.” In the Psalmist’s day the dominion of man over nature was most strikingly exercised in his mastery over the animal creation, which he tamed or caught and turned to his own use. “Man has become,” says Darwin, “even in his rudest state, the most dominant animal that has ever appeared on this earth.” In our own day it is by the investigation of the great laws of nature, and by the utilisation of the great forces of nature, that man asserts and extends his sovereignty.Verse 7. - All sheep and oxen; literally, flocks and oxen, all of them. The domesticated animals are placed first, as most completely under man's actual dominion. Yea, and the beasts of the field; i.e. "and all other land animals" (comp. Genesis 1:28; Genesis 9:2). If some were still unsubdued (2 Kings 17:25, 26; Job 40:24; Job 41:1-10), their subjugation was only a question of time (see Isaiah 11:6-9; Isaiah 65:25). (Heb.: 8:2-3) Here, for the first time, the subject speaking in the Psalm is not one individual, but a number of persons; and who should they be but the church of Jahve, which (as in Nehemiah 10:30) can call Jahve its Lord (אדנינוּ, like אדני from אדנים plur. excellentiae, Ges. ֗108, 2); but knowing also at the same time that what it has become by grace it is called to be for the good of the whole earth? The שׁם of God is the impress (cognate Arabic wasm, a sign, Greek σῆμα) of His nature, which we see in His works of creation and His acts of salvation, a nature which can only be known from this visible and comprehensible representation (nomen equals gnomen).

(Note: Cf. Oehler's art. Name in Herzog's Real-Encyklopdie.)

This name of God is certainly not yet so known and praised everywhere, as the church to which it has been made known by a positive revelation can know and praise it; but, nevertheless, it, viz., the divine name uttered in creation and its works, by which God has made Himself known and capable of being recognised and named, ifs אדּיר amplum et gloriosum, everywhere through out the earth, even if it were entirely without any echo. The clause with אשׁר must not be rendered: Who, do Thou be pleased to put Thy glory upon the heavens (Gesenius even: quam tuam magnificentiam pone in caelis), for such a use of the imperat. after אשׁר is unheard of; and, moreover, although it is true a thought admissible in its connection with the redemptive history (Psalm 57:6, 12) is thus obtained, it is here, however, one that runs counter to the fundamental tone, and to the circumstances, of the Psalm. For the primary thought of the Psalm is this, that the God, whose glory the heavens reflect, has also glorified Himself in the earth and in man; and the situation of the poet is this, that he has the moon and stars before his eyes: how then could he wish that heaven to be made glorious whose glory is shining into his eyes! It is just as impracticable to take תּנה as a contraction of נתנה, like תּתּה 2 Samuel 22:41, equals נתתּה, as Ammonius and others, and last of all Bhl, have done, or with Thenius (Stud. u. Krit. 1860 S. 712f.) to read it so at once. For even if the thought: "which (the earth) gives (announces) Thy glory all over the heavens" is not contrary to the connection, and if נתן עז, Psalm 68:34, and נתן כבוד, Jeremiah 13:16, can be compared with this נתן הוד, still the phrase נתן הוד על means nothing but to lay majesty on any one, to clothe him with it, Numbers 27:20; 1 Chronicles 29:25; Daniel 11:21, cf. Psalm 21:6; and this is just the thought one looks for, viz., that the name of the God, who has put His glory upon the heavens (Psalm 148:13) is also glorious here below. We must, therefore, take תּנה, although it is always the form of the imper. elsewhere, as infin., just as רדה occurs once in Genesis 46:3 as infin. (like the Arab. rı̆da a giving to drink, lı̆da a bringing forth - forms to which לדה and the like in Hebrew certainly more exactly correspond).

תּנה הודך signifies the setting of Thy glory (prop. τὸ τιθέναι τὴν δόξαν σου) just like דּעה את־ה the knowledge of Jahve, and Obad. Psa 8:5, שׂים קנּך, probably the setting of thy nest, Ges. 133. 1. It may be interpreted: O Thou whose laying of Thy glory is upon the heavens, i.e., Thou who hast chosen this as the place on which Thou hast laid Thy glory (Hengst.). In accordance with this Jerome translates it: qui posuisti gloriam tuam super caelos. Thus also the Syriac version with the Targum: dejabt (דיהבת) shubhoch 'al shemajo, and Symmachus: ὃς ἔταξας τὸν ἔπαινόν σου ὑπεράνω τῶν οὐρανῶν. This use of the nomen verbale and the genitival relation of אשׁר to תּנה הודך, which is taken as one notion, is still remarkable. Hitzig considers that no reasonable man would think and write thus: but thereby at the same time utterly condemns his own conjecture תּן ההודך (whose extending of glory over the heavens). This, moreover, goes beyond the limits of the language, which is only acquainted with תּן as the name of an animal. All difficulty would vanish if one might, with Hupfeld, read נתתּה. But תנה has not the slightest appearance of being a corruption of נתתה. It might be more readily supposed that תּנה is an erroneous pointing for תּנה (to stretch or extend, cf. Hosea 8:10 to stretch forth, distribute): Thou whose glory stretches over the heavens, - an interpretation which is more probable than that it is, with Paulus and Kurtz, to be read תּנּה: Thou whose glory is praised (pass. of the תּנּה in Judges 5:11; Judges 11:40, which belongs to the dialect of Northern Palestine), instead of which one would more readily expect יתנּה. The verbal notion, which is tacitly implied in Psalm 113:4; Psalm 148:13, would then be expressed here. But perhaps the author wrote תּנה הודך instead of נתתּ הודך, because he wishes to describe the setting out of the heavens with divine splendour

(Note: In the first Sidonian inscription אדּיר occurs as a by-name of the heavens (שמם אדרם).)

as being constantly repeated and not as done once for all. There now follows, in Psalm 8:3, the confirmation of Psalm 8:2: also all over the earth, despite its distance from the heavens above, Jahve's name is glorious; for even children, yea even sucklings glorify him there, and in fact not mutely and passively by their mere existence, but with their mouth. עולל ( equals מעולל), or עולל is a child that is more mature and capable of spontaneous action, from עולל (Poel of עלל ludere),

(Note: According to this derivation עולל (cf. Beduin עאלול, ‛âlûl a young ox) is related to תּעלוּל; whereas עוּל as a synonym of יונק signifies one who is supported, sustained. For the radical signification of עוּל according to the Arabic ‛âl, fut. o. is "to weigh heavy, to be heavy, to lie upon; to have anything incumbent upon one's self, to carry, support, preserve," whence ‛ajjil the maintained child of the house, and (ajjila (Damascene ‛êla) he who is dependent upon one for support and the family depending upon the paterfamilias for sustenance. Neither Arab. ‛âl, fut. o., nor gâl, fut. i. usually applied to a pregnant woman who still suckles, has the direct signification to suckle. Moreover, the demon Ghul does not receive its name from swallowing up or sucking out (Ges.), but from destroying (Arab. gâl, fut. o.).)

according to 1 Samuel 22:19; Psalm 15:3, distinct from יונק, i.e., a suckling, not, however, infans, but, - since the Hebrew women were accustomed to suckle their children for a long period, - a little child which is able to lisp and speak (vid., 2 Macc. 7:27). Out of the mouth of beings such as these Jahve has founded for Himself עז. The lxx translates it the utterance of praise, αἶνον; and עז certainly sometimes has the meaning of power ascribed to God in praise, and so a laudatory acknowledgment of His might; but this is only when connected with verbs of giving, Psalm 29:1; Psalm 68:35; Psalm 96:7. In itself, when standing alone, it cannot mean this. It is in this passage: might, or victorious power, which God creates for Himself out of the mouths of children that confess Him. This offensive and defensive power, as Luther has observed on this passage, is conceived of as a strong building, עז as מעוז (Jeremiah 16:19) i.e., a fortress, refuge, bulwark, fortification, for the foundation of which He has taken the mouth, i.e., the stammering of children; and this He has done because of His enemies, to restrain (השׁבּית to cause any one to sit or lie down, rest, to put him to silence, e.g., Isaiah 16:10; Ezekiel 7:24) such as are enraged against Him and His, and are inspired with a thirst for vengeance which expresses itself in curses (the same combination is found in Psalm 44:17). Those meant, are the fierce and calumniating opponents of revelation. Jahve has placed the mouth of children in opposition to these, as a strong defensive controversive power. He has chosen that which is foolish and weak in the eyes of the world to put to shame the wise and that which is strong (1 Corinthians 1:27). It is by obscure and naturally feeble instruments that He makes His name glorious here below. and overcomes whatsoever is opposed to this glorifying.

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