Ps 118:1-29. After invoking others to unite in
praise, the writer celebrates God's protecting and delivering care
towards him, and then represents himself and the people of God as
entering the sanctuary and uniting in solemn praise, with prayer for a
continued blessing. Whether composed by David on his accession to
power, or by some later writer in memory of the restoration from
Babylon, its tone is joyful and trusting, and, in describing the
fortune and destiny of the Jewish Church and its visible head, it is
typically prophetical of the Christian Church and her greater and
1-4. The trine repetitions are emphatic
(compare Ps 118:10-12, 15, 16; 115:12,
Let … say—Oh! that Israel may
now—as in Ps 115:2; so in Ps 118:3, 4. After "now say" supply "give
that his mercy—or, "for His
5. distress—literally, "straits," to
which "large place" corresponds, as in Ps 4:1; 31:8.
6, 7. Men are helpless to hurt him, if God be
with him (Ps
56:9), and, if enemies, they
will be vanquished (Ps 54:7).
8, 9. Even the most powerful men are less to
be trusted than God.
10-12. Though as numerous and irritating as
118:12], by God's help his
enemies would be destroyed.
12. as the fire of thorns—suddenly.
in the name, &c.—by the power
13-16. The enemy is triumphantly addressed as
15. rejoicing and salvation—the latter
as cause of the former.
16. right hand … is exalted—His
power greatly exerted.
17, 18. He would live, because confident his
life would be for God's glory.
19-21. Whether an actual or figurative
entrance into God's house be meant, the purpose of solemn praise is
intimated, in which only the righteous would or could engage.
22, 23. These words are applied by Christ
21:42) to Himself, as the
foundation of the Church (compare Ac 4:11; Eph 2:20; 1Pe
2:4, 7). It may here denote
God's wondrous exaltation to power and influence of him whom the rulers
of the nation despised. Whether (see on Ps
118:1) David or Zerubbabel (compare Hag 2:2; Zec 4:7-10) be primarily meant, there is here
typically represented God's more wonderful doings in exalting Christ,
crucified as an impostor, to be the Prince and Saviour and Head of His
24. This is the day—or period
distinguished by God's favor of all others.
25. Save now—Hebrew,
"Hosanna" (compare Ps 115:2,
&c., as to now) a form of prayer (Ps 20:9), since, in our use, of praise.
26. he that cometh … Lord—As above
intimated, this may be applied to the visible head of the Jewish Church
entering the sanctuary, as leading the procession; typically it belongs
to Him of whom the phrase became an epithet (Mal 3:1; Mt
27-29. showed us light—or favor (Ps 27:1;
97:11). With the sacrificial
victim brought bound to the altar is united the more spiritual offering
of praise (Ps 50:14, 23), expressed in the terms with which the