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a Bible passage

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Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it;

shout, O depths of the earth;

break forth into singing, O mountains,

O forest, and every tree in it!

For the Lord has redeemed Jacob,

and will be glorified in Israel.


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23. Praise, O ye heavens. He now exhorts the Jews to render thanksgiving, not only that they may testify their gratitude, but that their own expectation of deliverance may be strengthened; and, therefore, he enjoins believers to look upon it as an event already accomplished, as if the Lord had already delivered them. Such modes of address make a deeper impression on our hearts than if the promises had been presented in a naked form. Since, therefore, believers might doubt of their salvation, because they still languished amidst their miseries and were almost dead, the Prophet arouses them, and not only dictates to them a song, that they may fulfill their vows, but shews that the word of God will be so great and uncommon that it shall move heaven and earth and the dumb creatures.

Burst into praise, ye mountains. We might simply have interpreted it, “Heaven above and earth below;” but as he mentions the “mountains,” he gives the appellation of the lower parts of the earth to places which are level, such as plains and valleys, that all countries, wherever they are situated, may be excited to praise and celebrate the name of God.

For Jehovah hath redeemed Jacob. He now adds, that that work which he had aroused all to admire is the redemption of the Church, and declares that the glory of God shall shine forth in it illustriously. Besides, it is proper to remember what I formerly remarked, that here not only does he celebrate the return of the people to their native country, but the end is also included; for they would be “redeemed” from the captivity in Babylon on this condition, that God should at length collect under one head a Church taken out of the whole world. 188188     “Son Eglise composee de toutes les nations de la terre.” “His Church composed of all the nations in the world.”