|<< Psalm 135 >>|
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible
An exhortation to praise God for his goodness and greatness, Psalm 135:1-5; for his wonders in nature, Psalm 135:6, Psalm 135:7; his wonders done in Egypt, Psalm 135:8, Psalm 135:9; in the wilderness, Psalm 135:10-12; for his goodness to his people, Psalm 135:13, Psalm 135:14. The vanity of idols, Psalm 135:15-18. Israel, with its priests and Levites, exhorted to praise the Lord, Psalm 135:19-21.
This Psalm is intimately connected with the preceding. It is an exhortation addressed to the priests and Levites, and to all Israel, to publish the praises of the Lord. The conclusion of this Psalm is nearly the same with Psalm 115; and what is said about idols, and the effects of the power of God, seems to be taken from it and the tenth chapter of Jeremiah; and from these and other circumstances it appears the Psalm was written after the captivity; and might as Calmet conjectures, have been used at the dedication of the second temple.
1Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the name of the LORD; praise him, O ye servants of the LORD.
Praise ye the Lord - This may be considered as the title, for it has none other.
Praise ye the name of the Lord - Perhaps the original הללו את שם יהוה haleu eth shem Yehovah, should be translated, Praise ye the name Jehovah; that is, Praise God in his infinite essence of being, holiness, goodness, and truth.
2Ye that stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God,
Ye that stand - Priests and Levites. For which he gives several reasons.
3Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant.
The Lord is good - Here is the first reason why he should be praised; and a second is subjoined:
For it is pleasant - It is becoming to acknowledge this infinite Being, and our dependence on him; and it is truly comfortable to an upright mind to be thus employed.
4For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.
For the Lord hath chosen Jacob - This is a third reason. He has taken the Israelites for his peculiar people, סגלתו segullatho, his peculiar treasure; and now has brought them home to himself from their captivity and wanderings.
5For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.
The Lord is great - Unlimited in his power: another reason.
Is above all gods - Every class of being, whether idolized or not; because he is the Fountain of existence. This is a fifth reason.
6Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.
Whatsoever the Lord pleased - All that he has done is right, and therefore it is pleasing in his sight. He is the author of all existence. Angels, men, spirits, the heavens, the earth, and all their contents, were made by him, and are under his control.
7He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.
He causeth the vapours to ascend - Dr. Shaw thinks that the account here refers to the autumnal rains in the east. Of them he speaks as follows: "Seldom a night passes without much lightning in the north-west quarter, but not attended with thunder; and when this lightning appears in the west or south-west points, it is a sure sign of the approaching rain, which is often followed by thunder. A squall of wind and clouds of dust are the sure forerunners of the first rain." This account induces Mr. Harmer to believe that the word נשאים nesiim, should be translated clouds, not vapours. It shows that God: -
Maketh lightnings for the rain - The squalls of wind bring on these refreshing showers, and are therefore precious things of the treasuries of God, and when he thunders, it is the noise of waters in the heavens. See Jeremiah 10:13, which contains almost the same words as those in this verse: "When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasuries."
8Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast.
Who smote the first-born of Egypt - See the parallel passages.
9Who sent tokens and wonders into the midst of thee, O Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his servants.
10Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings;
11Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan:
12And gave their land for an heritage, an heritage unto Israel his people.
13Thy name, O LORD, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O LORD, throughout all generations.
14For the LORD will judge his people, and he will repent himself concerning his servants.
The Lord will judge his people - He will do them justice against their enemies.
15The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.
The idols of the heathen - This verse and the following, to the end of the 18th, are almost word for word the same as Psalm 115:4-8 (note), where see the notes.
16They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not;
17They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths.
To this verse one of Kennicott's MSS. adds the Psalm 115:6 and Psalm 115:7 of Psalm 115.
18They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them.
19Bless the LORD, O house of Israel: bless the LORD, O house of Aaron:
Bless the Lord. O house, etc. - See similar verses, Psalm 115:9-13 (note), and the notes there.
20Bless the LORD, O house of Levi: ye that fear the LORD, bless the LORD.
21Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.
Blessed be the Lord out of Zion - Who has once more restored our temple and city, and now condescends to dwell with us in Jerusalem.