Psalm 89:6
For who in the heaven can be compared to the LORD? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to the LORD?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) Sons of the mighty.—Rather, sons of God—i.e., angels. (Comp. Psalm 29:1.)

Psalm 89:6-7. Who among the sons of the mighty — That is, of the most mighty princes upon earth: or among the highest angels; who well may and needs must admire and adore thee, because thou art incomparably and infinitely more excellent than they. God is greatly to be feared — With a fear of reverence; for dread and terror have no place in those blessed mansions, and holy spirits. In the assembly of the saints — The whole society of angels, called saints, or holy ones, again, as in Psalm 89:5. And to be had in reverence of all about him — The angels, who are always in his presence, and encompass his throne.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.For who in the heaven ... - literally, In the cloud; that is, in the sky. The idea is that none in the regions above - the upper world - can be compared with God. There is no other god - there is no one among the angels, great and glorious as they are, that can be likened to him.

Who among the sons of the mighty ... - The angels - regarded as mighty. The "sons of the mighty" on earth are spoken of as mighty men - as men of power - as men of exalted rank. So here, the idea is, that none of the angels, though of exalted rank ("principalities," or "powers," compare Romans 8:38; Ephesians 1:21), could be put in comparison with God. See the notes at Isaiah 40:25.

6, 7. This is worthy of our belief, for His faithfulness (is praised) by the congregation of saints or holy ones; that is, angels (compare De 33:2; Da 8:13).

sons of the mighty—(compare Ps 29:1). So is He to be admired on earth.

Among the sons of the mighty; either, first, among the potentates of the earth; or rather, secondly, among the highest angels; who well may and needs must admire and adore time, because thou art incomparably and infinitely more excellent than they. For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord?.... Or "ranked" (n), or put upon a par, with him; none of the angels in heaven; for though they are holy, wise, knowing, powerful, faithful, kind, and merciful creatures, yet not to be compared with the Lord for holiness, wisdom, knowledge, strength, faithfulness, and mercy; see Exodus 15:11,

who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord? the Syriac version very wrongly renders it "the sons of angels", seeing angels do not propagate their species, Luke 20:36 to which Kimchi agrees, who makes the "mighty" to be angels, and their sons to be the host of heaven, which are moved and guided by them: the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions, render it "the sons of God"; and this phrase, indeed, is applicable to the angels, Job 38:7, and so the Targum interprets it of the multitude of the angels; but rather the mighty men of the earth, and their children, are meant; princes, nobles, judges, and civil magistrates of all sorts, men of power and authority in the world; there are none of them to be likened to the Lord, who is King of kings, and Lord of lords; see Psalm 82:1.

(n) "par aestimetur", Junius & Tremellius; "par aestimabitur", Piscator.

For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD? who among the {g} sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD?

(g) Meaning, the angels.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6, 7. For who in the sky can be compared unto Jehovah?

Who is like Jehovah among the sons of God,

A God greatly to be dreaded in the council of the holy ones,

And to be feared above all that are round about him?

God’s nature is unique, incomparable. Even among celestial beings there is none that can be compared with Him.

The phrase bnç çlîm, found elsewhere only in Psalm 29:1, denotes angels. It might be rendered sons of the mighty, describing them as mighty celestial beings; or sons of the gods, beings “belonging to the class of superhuman, heavenly powers” (Cheyne); but it is best taken as a doubly-formed plural, and rendered as in R.V. marg., sons of God (El); synonymous with bnç Elôhîm in Job 1:6; Job 2:1; Job 38:7.

With Psalm 89:7 cp. Isaiah 8:13. The angels form the council of the great King (Job 15:8, R.V. marg.; Jeremiah 23:18; Jeremiah 23:22), but He towers above them all in unapproachable majesty.Verse 6. - For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? God's angels praise him, and only him; since there is none in heaven or earth to be compared to him. Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord? "The sons of the mighty" are the angels (comp. Psalm 29:1). He who complains thus without knowing any comfort, and yet without despairing, gathers himself up afresh for prayer. With ואני he contrasts himself with the dead who are separated from God's manifestation of love. Being still in life, although under wrath that apparently has no end, he strains every nerve to struggle through in prayer until he shall reach God's love. His complaints are petitions, for they are complaints that are poured forth before God. The destiny under which for a long time he has been more like one dying than living, reaches back even into his youth. מנּער (since נער is everywhere undeclined) is equivalent to מנּערי. The ἐξηπορήθην of the lxx is the right indicator for the understanding of the ἅπαξ λ.ε.γ. אפוּנה. Aben-Ezra and Kimchi derive it from פּן, like עלה from על,

(Note: The derivation is not contrary to the genius of the language; the supplementing productive force of the language displayed in the liturgical poetry of the synagogue, also changes particles into verbs: vid., Zunz, Die synagogaie Poesie des Mittelalters, S. 421.)

and assign to it the signification of dubitare. But it may be more safely explained after the Arabic words Arab. afana, afina, ma'fûn (root 'f, to urge forwards, push), in which the fundamental notion of driving back, narrowing and exhausting, is transferred to a weakening or weakness of the intellect. We might also compare פּנה, Arab. faniya, "to disappear, vanish, pass away;" but the ἐξηπορήθην of the lxx favours the kinship with that Arab. afina, infirma mente et consilii inops fuit,

(Note: Abulwald also explains אפוּנה after the Arabic, but in a way that cannot be accepted, viz., "for a long time onwards," from the Arabic iffân (ibbân, iff, afaf, ifâf, taiffah), time, period - time conceived of in the onward rush, the constant succession of its moments.)

which has been already compared by Castell. The aorist of the lxx, however, is just as erroneous in this instance as in Psalm 42:5; Psalm 55:3; Psalm 57:5. In all these instances the cohortative denotes the inward result following from an outward compulsion, as they say in Hebrew: I lay hold of trembling (Isaiah 13:8; Job 18:20; Job 21:6) or joy (Isaiah 35:10; Isaiah 51:11), when the force of circumstances drive one into such states of mind. Labouring under the burden of divine dispensations of a terrifying character, he finds himself in a state of mental weakness and exhaustion, or of insensible (senseless) fright; over him as their destined goal before many others go God's burnings of wrath (plur. only in this instance), His terrible decrees (vid., concerning בעת on Psalm 18:5) have almost annihilated him. צמּתתוּני is not an impossible form (Olshausen, 251, a), but an intensive form of צמּתוּ, the last part of the already inflected verb being repeated, as in עהבוּ הבוּ, Hosea 4:18 (cf. in the department of the noun, פּיפיּות, edge-edges equals many edges, Psalm 149:6), perhaps under the influence of the derivative.

(Note: Heidenheim interprets: Thy terrors are become to me as צמתת (Leviticus 25:23), i.e., inalienably my own.)

The corrections צמתּתני (from צמתת) or צמּתתני (from צמּת) are simple enough; but it is more prudent to let tradition judge of that which is possible in the usage of the language. In Psalm 88:18 the burnings become floods; the wrath of God can be compared to every destroying and overthrowing element. The billows threaten to swallow him up, without any helping hand being stretched out to him on the part of any of his lovers and friends. In v. 19a to be now explained according to Job 16:14, viz., My familiar friends are gloomy darkness; i.e., instead of those who were hitherto my familiars (Job 19:14), darkness is become my familiar friend? One would have thought that it ought then to have been מידּעי (Schnurrer), or, according to Proverbs 7:4, מודעי, and that, in connection with this sense of the noun, מחשׁך ought as subject to have the precedence, that consequently מידּעי is subject and מחשׁך predicate: my familiar friends have lost themselves in darkness, are become absolutely invisible (Hitzig at last). But the regular position of the words is kept to if it is interpreted: my familiar friends are reduced to gloomy darkness as my familiar friend, and the plural is justified by Job 19:14 : Mother and sister (do I call) the worm. With this complaint the harp falls from the poet's hands. He is silent, and waits on God, that He may solve this riddle of affliction. From the Book of Job we might infer that He also actually appeared to him. He is more faithful than men. No soul that in the midst of wrath lays hold upon His love, whether with a firm or with a trembling hand, is suffered to be lost.

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