Psalm 9:11
Sing praises to the LORD, which dwells in Zion: declare among the people his doings.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 9:11. Sing praises to the Lord — Those who believe God is greatly to be praised not only desire to do that work better themselves, but desire that others also may join with them in it, and would gladly be instrumental to bring them to it. Which dwelleth in Zion — As the special residence of his glory is in heaven, so the special residence of his grace is in his church, of which Zion was a type: there he meets his people with his promises and graces, and there he expects they should meet him with their praises and services. Declare among the people his doings — Not only among the Israelites, but to the heathen nations, that they may also be brought to the knowledge and worship of the true God.9:11-20 Those who believe that God is greatly to be praised, not only desire to praise him better themselves, but desire that others may join with them. There is a day coming, when it will appear that he has not forgotten the cry of the humble; neither the cry of their blood, or the cry of their prayers. We are never brought so low, so near to death, but God can raise us up. If he has saved us from spiritual and eternal death, we may thence hope, that in all our distresses he will be a very present help to us. The overruling providence of God frequently so orders it, that persecutors and oppressors are brought to ruin by the projects they formed to destroy the people of God. Drunkards kill themselves; prodigals beggar themselves; the contentious bring mischief upon themselves: thus men's sins may be read in their punishment, and it becomes plain to all, that the destruction of sinners is of themselves. All wickedness came originally with the wicked one from hell; and those who continue in sin, must go to that place of torment. The true state, both of nations and of individuals, may be correctly estimated by this one rule, whether in their doings they remember or forget God. David encourages the people of God to wait for his salvation, though it should be long deferred. God will make it appear that he never did forget them: it is not possible he should. Strange that man, dust in his and about him, should yet need some sharp affliction, some severe visitation from God, to bring him to the knowledge of himself, and make him feel who and what he is.Sing praises to the Lord - As the result of these views of his character, and at the remembrance of his doings. The heart of the psalmist is full of exultation and joy at the remembrance of the divine interposition, and he naturally breaks out into these strong expressions, calling on others to rejoice also.

Which dwelleth in Zion - On the word Zion, see the notes at Psalm 2:6. Compare Psalm 3:4; Psalm 5:7. As Zion was the place where at this time the tabernacle was set up, and the worship of God was celebrated, it is spoken of as his dwelling-place.

Declare among the people his doings - Make general and wide proclamation of what he has done; that is, make him known abroad, in his true character, that others may be brought also to put their trust in him, and to Praise him.

11. (Compare Ps 2:6; 3:4). Which dwelleth in Zion; whose special and gracious presence is there; for there was the ark at this time.

Among the people, i.e. to the heathen nations, that they also may be brought to the knowledge and worship of the true God. Sing praises to the Lord, which dwelleth in Zion,.... The psalmist having determined in the strength of grace to praise the Lord himself, and show forth all his marvellous works, and given his reasons for it, both with respect to himself in particular, and with respect to the people of God in general, here calls upon others to engage in the same work; the Lord is not only to be praised, which may be done by celebrating the perfections of his nature, and the works of his hands; by giving him thanks for mercies temporal and spiritual, and by living to his glory; but his praises are to be sung by a modulation of the voice in musical notes, as the word used signifies; see Sol 2:12; where the same word is used of the singing of birds; and this is to be done by the saints jointly, in concert together, as Paul and Silas in prison sang the praises of God; and there is great reason why they should join together in this work, since they share the blessings of divine grace in common together; and it is their duty to stir up one another to this service, as well as to other parts of worship: and this perfectly agrees with the exhortation to the saints, and the work they shall be employed in at the fall of Babylon, or destruction of antichrist, Revelation 14:1. Jehovah, to whom praises are to be sung, is described as the inhabitant of Zion, the ark and tabernacle being there before the temple was built, which were symbols of the divine Presence. The Targum paraphrases it, "who causeth his Shechinah to dwell in Zion"; as many of the Jewish writers interpret this psalm of Goliath, a doubt arises here about it, since in the days of Saul, and at the time of Goliath's death, Zion was in the hands of the Jebusites, and the ark of God was not there till many years afterwards; to this it is replied, that David might compose this psalm upon that occasion not immediately at that time, but after he was king of Israel, and when the ark was brought to Zion; or that he said this by a prophetic spirit, foreseeing that, God would dwell there; and Kimchi observes, that it was everywhere a received tradition among the people of Israel that the sanctuary would be built there; but however this be, certain it is that the church of God goes by the name of Zion frequently; see Psalm 2:6, Hebrews 12:22. God by his essence and power is everywhere, he fills heaven and earth, and cannot be contained in either; his glorious presence is in heaven; his gracious presence is in his church and among his people; where they dwell he dwells, and where he dwells they dwell: hence the church is called by the same name as the Lord is here, the inhabitant of Zion, Isaiah 12:6; and this description of him points out the place where his praises are to be sung, in Zion; who are to sing them, the members of the church; and the reason why, because the Lord dwells in Zion; and is there a refuge for his people, and protects them;

declare among the people his doings; what God does for the souls of men is not only to be declared among the people of God, Psalm 66:16; but also among the people of the world, when a suitable opportunity offers; and especially in the public ministry of the word; partly that the name of God may be exalted, his grace, goodness, and mercy be displayed; and partly that it might be the means of the conversion of God's chosen ones among them, Psalm 96:2; though it may be here his doings in providence are meant, his special providential care of his church and people, and his vengeance on their enemies, on Babylon; for upon the ruin of antichrist, the judgments of God, his providential dispensations towards his church and people, will be made manifest, and all nations will be called upon to fear and worship him; see Jeremiah 50:28; the word (k) which is here used signifies such deeds and actions as are the effects of thought and counsel, and which are purposely and industriously done; and whatsoever is done by the Lord, whether in a way of grace or providence, is done after the counsel of his own will; as he thought so it is, as he purposes so it comes to pass, and all things are done well and wisely, and answer the ends and designs of them.

(k) "significat tam machinationes, sive consilia", 1 Sam. 3. "quam consiliorum eventus, seu opera ipsa, quomodo", Jeremiah 32.19. Gejerus.

Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. which dwelleth in Zion] Or, (cp. Psalm 9:7) sitteth enthroned. Zion became the special abode of Jehovah from the time when the Ark, the symbol of His Presence, was placed there (Psalm 76:2; Psalm 132:13 f.). The cherubim which overshadowed the ark were the throne of His glory (Psalm 80:1; Psalm 99:1). It was the earthly counterpart of heaven (Psalm 2:4): from thence He manifested Himself for the help of His people (Psalm 3:4; Psalm 20:2).

the people] Rather, the peoples, as R.V. marg. Not Israel, but the nations around, are meant. Jehovah’s doings (Psalm 77:12; Psalm 78:11; Psalm 103:7), i.e. His mighty works on behalf of His people, are to be proclaimed among them. The first step towards their conversion is that they should know the evidences of His power and love. Cp. Psalm 18:49; Psalm 57:9; Psalm 96:3; Psalm 105:1; Isaiah 12:4.

11, 12. Stanza of Zayin. A call to praise.Verse 11. - Sing praises to the Lord. Having praised God himself (vers. 1, 2), and declared the grounds upon which his praises rest (vers. 3-10), David now calls upon all faithful Israelites to join him in his song of thanksgiving. "Sing praises unto the Lord," he says, which dwelleth in Zion. Who is enthroned, i.e., on the mercy-seat between the cherubim in the tabernacle, now set up upon Mount Zion (2 Samuel 6:1-17). The date of the psalm is thus to some extent limited, since it must have been composed subsequently to the transfer of the ark to Jerusalem. Declare among the people his doings. In the original "among the peoples" (עַמִּים); i.e. not the people of Israel only, but all the surrounding nations. David is possessed with the conviction that the revelation of God made to Israel is not to be confined to them, but through them to be communicated to "all the ends of the earth" - to the heathen at large, to all nations (comp. Psalm 18:49; Psalm 66:4; Psalm 72:11, 19, etc.). (Heb.: 9:6-7) The strophe with ג, which is perhaps intended to represent ד and ה as well, continues the confirmation of the cause for thanksgiving laid down in Psalm 9:4. He does not celebrate the judicial act of God on his behalf, which he has just experienced, alone, but in connection with, and, as it were, as the sum of many others which have preceded it. If this is the case, then in Psalm 9:6 beside the Ammonites one may at the same time (with Hengstenb.) think of the Amalekites (1 Samuel 8:12), who had been threatened since the time of Moses with a "blotting out of their remembrance" (Exodus 17:14; Deuteronomy 25:19, cf. Numbers 24:20). The divine threatening is the word of omnipotence which destroys in distinction from the word of omnipotence that creates. רשׁע in close connection with גּוים is individualising, cf. Psalm 9:18 with Psalm 9:16, Psalm 9:17. ועד is a sharpened pausal form for ועד, the Pathach going into a Segol (קטן פתח); perhaps it is in order to avoid the threefold a-sound in לעולם ועד (Ngelsbach 8 extr.). In Psalm 9:7 האויב (with Azla legarme) appears to be a vocative. In that case נתשׁתּ ought also to be addressed to the enemy. But if it be interpreted: "Thou hast destroyed thine own cities, their memorial is perished," destroyed, viz., at the challenge of Israel, then the thought is forced; and if we render it: "the cities, which thou hast destroyed, perished is the remembrance of them," i.e., one no longer thinks of thine acts of conquest, then we have a thought that is in itself awkward and one that finds no support in any of the numerous parallels which speak of a blotting out and leaving no trace behind. But, moreover, in both these interpretations the fact that זכרם is strengthened by המּה is lost sight of, and the twofold masculine זכרם המּה is referred to ערים (which is carelessly done by most expositors), whereas עיר, with but few exceptions, is feminine; consequently זכרם המה, so far as this is not absolutely impossible, must be referred to the enemies themselves (cf. Psalm 34:17; Psalm 109:15). האויב might more readily be nom. absol.: "the enemy - it is at end for ever with his destructions," but חרבּה never has an active but always only a neuter signification; or: "the enemy - ruins are finished for ever," but the signification to be destroyed is more natural for תּמם than to be completed, when it is used of ruinae. Moreover, in connection with both these renderings the retrospective pronoun (חרבותיו) is wanting, and this is also the case with the reading חרבות (lxx, Vulg., Syr.), which leaves it uncertain whose swords are meant. But why may we not rather connect האויב at once with תּמּוּ as subject? In other instances תּמּוּ is also joined to a singular collective subject, e.g., Isaiah 16:4; here it precedes, like הארב in Judges 20:37. חרבות לנצח is a nominative of the product, corresponding to the factitive object with verbs of making: the enemies are destroyed as ruins for ever, i.e., so that they are become ruins; or, more in accordance with the accentuation: the enemy, destroyed as ruins are they for ever. With respect to what follows the accentuation also contains hints worthy of our attention. It does not take נתשׁתּ (with the regular Pathach by Athnach after Olewejored, vid., on Psalm 2:7) as a relative clause, and consequently does not require זכרם המה to be referred back to ערים.

We interpret the passage thus: and cities (viz., such as were hostile) thou hast destroyed (נתשׁ evellere, exstirpare), perished is their (the enemies') memorial. Thus it also now becomes intelligible, why זכרם, according to the rule Ges. 121, 3, is so remarkably strengthened by the addition of המּה (cf. Numbers 14:32; 1 Samuel 20:42; Proverbs 22:19; Proverbs 23:15; Ezekiel 34:11). Hupfeld, whose interpretation is exactly the same as ours, thinks it might perhaps be the enemies themselves and the cities set over against one another. But the contrast follows in Psalm 9:8 : their, even their memorial is perished, while on the contrary Jahve endures for ever and is enthroned as judge. This contrast also retrospectively gives support to the explanation, that זכרם refers not to the cities, but to האויב as a collective. With this interpretation of Psalm 9:7 we have no occasion to read זכרם מהמּה (Targ.), nor זכר מהמּה (Paul., Hitz.). The latter is strongly commended by Job 11:20, cf. Jeremiah 10:2; but still it is not quite admissible, since זכר here is not subjective (their own remembrance) but objective (remembrance of them). But may not ערים perhaps here, as in Psalm 139:20, mean zealots equals adversaries (from עיר fervere, zelare)? We reply in the negative, because the Psalm bears neither an Aramaising nor a North Palestinian impress. Even in connection with this meaning, the harshness of the ערים without any suffix would still remain. But, that the cities that are, as it were, plucked up by the root are cities of the enemy, is evident from the context.

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