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1. Bless Jehovah, O my soul! O Jehovah my God! thou art exceeding great; thou hast clothed thyself with praise and glory. 2. Being arrayed 177177 “It is a singular circumstance,” says Horsley, “in the composition of this psalm, that each of the parts of the First Semichorus after the first, [that is, verses 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 13, 14, 19,] begins with a participle. And these participles are accusatives, agreeing with יהוה, the object of the verb ברכי, at the beginning of the whole psalm. Bless Jehovah — putting on — extending — laying — constituting — travelling — making — setting — sending — watering — making — making. Thus, this transitive verb, in the opening of the psalm, extending its government through the successive parts of the same semichorus, except the last, unites them all in one long period. As this singular artifice of composition seems to be the characteristic of a particular species of ode, in this psalm, I have scrupulously conformed to it in my translation, at the expense of the elegance of my English style.” Calvin, for the most part, translates these words as participles, but in the nominative case. with light as with a garment; and spreading out the heavens as a curtain: 3. Laying the beams of his upper rooms 178178 “The original word, which comes from עלה, ascendit, signifies any upper room to which persons ascend. So 2 Samuel 18:32, ‘he went up to עלית השער, the chamber over the gate.’ Accordingly, the LXX. Here render it, ὑπερῶον, ‘an upper room’, and the Latin, ‘superiora ejus’, ‘his upper stories.’ By עליותיו, therefore, must be meant, though not the supreme, yet the superior or middle region of the air, which is here described as an upper story in a house laid firm with beams, (accounting the earth and the region of air about that as the lower room,) and this floor is here said poetically to be ‘laid in the waters,’ those waters which (Genesis 1) are above the expansion or lower region of the air, which divides the waters from the waters. This is most evident by verse 13, where God is said to ‘water the mountains מעליותיו, from these his upper rooms, these clouds whence the rain descends.’ In them, saith the Psalmist, ‘the beams of these upper rooms were laid,’ i.e., whereas in the building of an upper story, there must be some walls or pillars to support the weight of it, and in that the beams are laid, God here by his own miraculous immediate power laid, and ever since supported these upper rooms, there being nothing there but waters to support them, and those we know the most fluid tottering body, not able to support itself; and therefore that is another work of his divine power, that the waters which are so fluid, and unable to contain themselves within their own bounds, should yet hang in the middle of the air, and be as walls or pillars to support that region of air, which is itself another fluid body ” — Hammond. Fry, after quoting Dr Geddes’ version, — “Flooring his chambers with waters,” and Bishop Horsley’s “Laying the floors of his chambers upon the waters,” goes on to say: — “After referring, however, to the different places where the word occurs, and considering the structure of ancient buildings, I conceive the allusion to be to the roof, or contignated frame of the house. Genesis 19:8, seems decisive. We seem to lose somewhat of the beauty of the original by translating עליות too literally. It signifies certainly, upper rooms, or stories; but the allusion is not to these on account of their situation, but as the part of the house principally inhabited by its owner, the lower parts of eastern houses being used for offices. — See Parkhurst and authors there quoted: compare Psalm 18, ‘He set darkness his veil around him, — his canopy the waters and thick mists of the clouds.’” Fry’s translation is, “And framing his habitation with waters.” in the waters; making the clouds his chariot; and walking upon the wings of the wind; 4. Making the winds his messengers; and his ministers a flaming fire.
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