Psalm 89:13
Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy 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. Psalm 89:13At the time of the poet the nation of the house of David was threatened with assault from violent foes; and this fact gives occasion for this picture of God's power in the kingdom of nature. He who rules the raging of the sea, also rules the raging of the sea of the peoples, Psalm 65:8. גּאוּת, a proud rising, here of the sea, like גּאוה in Psalm 46:4. Instead of בּשׂוע, Hitzig pleasantly enough reads בּשׁוא equals בּשׁאו from שׁאה; but שׂוא is also possible so far as language is concerned, either as an infinitive equals נשׂוא, Psalm 28:2; Isaiah 1:14 (instead of שׂאת), or as an infinitival noun, like שׂיא, loftiness, Job 20:6, with a likewise rejected Nun. The formation of the clause favours our taking it as a verb: when its waves rise, Thou stillest them. From the natural sea the poet comes to the sea of the peoples; and in the doings of God at the Red Sea a miraculous subjugation of both seas took place at one and the same time. It is clear from Psalm 74:13-17; Isaiah 51:9, that Egypt is to be understood by Rahab in this passage as in Psalm 87:4. The word signifies first of all impetuosity, violence, then a monster, like "the wild beast of the reed," Psalm 68:31, i.e., the leviathan or the dragon. דּכּאת is conjugated after the manner of the Lamed He verbs, as in Psalm 44:20. כּחלל is to be understood as describing the event or issue (vid., Psalm 18:43): so that in its fall the proudly defiant kingdom is like one fatally smitten. Thereupon in Psalm 89:12-15 again follows in the same co-ordination first the praise of God drawn from nature, then from history. Jahve's are the heavens and the earth. He is the Creator, and for that very reason the absolute owner, of both. The north and the right hand, i.e., the south, represent the earth in its entire compass from one region of the heavens to the other. Tabor on this side of the Jordan represents the west (cf. Hosea 5:1), and Hermon opposite the east of the Holy Land. Both exult by reason of the name of God; by their fresh, cheerful look they give the impression of joy at the glorious revelation of the divine creative might manifest in themselves. In Psalm 89:14 the praise again enters upon the province of history. "An arm with (עם) heroic strength," says the poet, inasmuch as he distinguishes between the attribute inherent in God and the medium of its manifestation in history. His throne has as its מכון, i.e., its immovable foundation (Proverbs 16:12; Proverbs 25:5), righteousness of action and right, by which all action is regulated, and which is unceasingly realized by means of the action. And mercy and truth wait upon Him. קדּם פּני is not; to go before any one (הלּך לפני, Psalm 85:14), but anticipatingly to present one's self to any one, Psalm 88:14; Psalm 95:2; Micah 6:6. Mercy and truth, these two genii of sacred history (Psalm 43:3), stand before His face like waiting servants watching upon His nod.
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