Psalm 89:13
You have a mighty arm: strong is your hand, and high is your right hand.
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(13) High is thy right hand.—The strong hand is supposed raised to strike. (Comp. Psalm 89:42.)

Psalm 89:13-14. Thou hast a mighty arm, &c. — Thy power, extending itself throughout the whole, always effects, in every place, whatsoever thou designest, and that with an irresistible force; whether it be to punish evil- doers, or to preserve and exalt them that do well. Justice and judgment — That is, just judgment, or justice in judging; are the habitation of thy throne, or the basis, or foundation, as the word מכוןmechon, is used, Ezra 2:68; Ezra 3:3; Psalm 97:2; Psalm 104:5. They are the ground- work of all thy proceedings, and the stability of thy throne and government. For God could not be the Ruler and Judge of the world if he did not in all things act according to the most perfect righteousness, which indeed is the result of his most holy and righteous nature, Genesis 18:25. Mercy and truth shall go before thy face — As thy harbingers and companions whithersoever thou goest. Thou art neither unjust, nor unmerciful, nor unfaithful in any of thy dealings with thy creatures: none shall be able to say thou doest them any wrong; for thou dost not rule the world merely by thy absolute power; but placest thy principal glory in justice and equity, mercy and fidelity; from which thou never swervest.89:5-14 The more God's works are known, the more they are admired. And to praise the Lord, is to acknowledge him to be such a one that there is none like him. Surely then we should feel and express reverence when we worship God. But how little of this appears in our congregations, and how much cause have we to humble ourselves on this account! That almighty power which smote Egypt, will scatter the enemies of the church, while all who trust in God's mercy will rejoice in his name; for mercy and truth direct all he does. His counsels from eternity, and their consequences to eternity, are all justice and judgment.Thou hast a mighty arm - Margin, as in Hebrew," an arm with might." That is, Thou hast great power - the arm being the instrument by which we accomplish our purposes.

Strong is thy hand - The hand, too, is an instrument by which we execute our plans. Hence, God is so often represented a having delivered his people with a strong hand.

And high is thy right hand - It is by the right hand particularly that we carry out our purposes. We lift it high when we are about to strike with force. All this is expressive of the divine omnipotence.

12. rejoice in thy name—praise Thy perfections by their very existence. Thy hand; either thy left hand, because thy right hand seems to be opposed to it; or thy right hand, as it is limited and explained in the next clause.

High is; or, is or shall be exalted, or lifted up. That strength of thy hand hath been, or shall be, put forth for thy people, as occasion requireth. Thou hast a mighty arm,.... Christ is the arm of the Lord, and a mighty one he is, and so is the Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation; here it seems to design the almighty power of God, displayed in the works of creation and providence; see Isaiah 51:9.

strong is thy hand; thy "left hand", as some, it being distinguished from his right hand, mentioned in the next clause; the Targum adds,

"to redeem thy people;''

the work of redemption was put into the hand of Christ, and it prospered in his hand, and his own arm brought salvation to him; and his hand is strong to keep and preserve his people, where they are put, and where they are safe; and the hand of the Lord is strong to correct and chastise them, and sometimes his hand lies heavy upon them, and presses them sore, when it becomes them to humble themselves under his "mighty hand": and it also strong to punish his and their enemies:

and high is thy right hand; when it is lifted up in a way of judgment against wicked men, and for the defence of his people, then may it be said to be exalted: and it is high enough to reach the highest and most powerful of his adversaries; see Psalm 118:16. The Targum adds,

"to build the house of thy sanctuary.''

Some render (c) these two last clauses as a wish or prayer; "let thy hand be strong, and let thy right hand be lifted up".

(c) So Paginus, Montana, and V. L.

Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.
13. THINE is an arm with might. ‘Arm,’ ‘hand,’ ‘right hand’ (terms frequently used in connexion with the Exodus, e.g. Exodus 15:6; Exodus 15:9; Exodus 15:12; Exodus 15:16) denote not merely power but the exertion of power; and the use of verbs in the second line, lit. Thy hand sheweth strength, thy right hand exalteth itself, emphasises the thought, that God not only possesses but exercises His power.Verse 13. - Thou hast a mighty arm; literally, an arm with might. Strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand. These anthropomorphisms will disturb no one; they pervade the whole of Scripture. At the close of the promises in Psalm 89:4-5 the music is to become forte. And ויודוּ attaches itself to this jubilant Sela. In Psalm 89:6-19 there follows a hymnic description of the exalted majesty of God, more especially of His omnipotence and faithfulness, because the value of the promise is measured by the character of the person who promises. The God of the promise is He who is praised by the heavens and the holy ones above. His way of acting is פלא, of a transcendent, paradoxical, wondrous order, and as such the heavens praise it; it is praised (יודו, according to Ges. 137, 3) in the assembly of the holy ones, i.e., of the spirits in the other world, the angels (as in Job 5:1; Job 15:15, cf. Deuteronomy 33:2), for He is peerlessly exalted above the heavens and the angels. שׁחק, poetic singular instead of שׁחקים (vid., supra on Psalm 77:18), which is in itself already poetical; and ערך, not, as e.g., in Isaiah 40:18, in the signification to co-ordinate, but in the medial sense: to rank with, be equal to. Concerning בּני אלים, vid., on Psalm 29:1. In the great council (concerning סוד, of both genders, perhaps like כּוס, vid., on Psalm 25:14) of the holy ones also, Jahve is terrible; He towers above all who are about Him (1 Kings 22:19, cf. Daniel 7:10) in terrible majesty. רבּה might, according to Psalm 62:3; Psalm 78:15, be an adverb, but according to the order of the words it may more appropriately be regarded as an adjective; cf. Job 31:34, כּי אערץ המון רבּה, "when I feared the great multitude." In Psalm 89:9 He is apostrophized with אלהי צבאות as being the One exalted above the heavens and the angels. The question "Who is as Thou?" takes its origin from Exodus 15:11. חסין is not the construct form, but the principal form, like גּביר, ידיד, עויל ,יד, and is a Syriasm; for the verbal stem Syr. hṣan is native to the Aramaic, in which Syr. haṣı̄nā' equals שׁדּי. In יהּ, what God is is reduced to the briefest possible expression (vid., Psalm 68:19). In the words, "Thy faithfulness compasseth Thee round about," the primary thought of the poet again breaks through. Such a God it is who has the faithfulness with which He fulfils all His promises, and the promises given to the house of David also, as His constant surrounding. His glory would only strike one with terror; but the faithfulness which encompasses Him softens the sunlike brilliancy of His glory, and awakens trust in so majestic a Ruler.
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