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Psalm 66

Praise for God’s Goodness to Israel

To the leader. A Song. A Psalm.

1

Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;


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1. Shout unto God, all the earth The psalm begins with this general declaration, which is afterwards reduced to particulars. 467467     “Generalis est praefatio, quam mox sequentur hypotheses.” — Lat. “C’est une preface generale, dont les applications speciales suivent incontinent apres.” — Fr. He addresses himself to the whole world, and from this it would seem evident, that he predicts the extent to which the kingdom of God should reach at the coming of Christ. In the second verse the call is repeated with increasing vehemency, to stir up to the praises of God, such as might otherwise be remiss in the service. To sing the honor of his name, is an expression sufficiently obvious; meaning, that we should extol his sacred name in a manner suitable to its dignity, so that it may obtain its due and deserved adoration. But the clause which follows is rather ambiguous. Some think that it conveys a repetition of the same idea contained in other words, and read, set forth the glory of his praise. 468468     Hammond’s objection to this is, that if כבור, glory, were in the construct state, governing the noun which follows, and giving this reading, the glory of his, praise, the vowel should be changed from kamets, to segol I prefer taking the Hebrew word signifying praise to be in the accusative case; rendering the words literally, make a glory his praise. And by this I understand him to mean, not as some do, that we should glory exclusively in his praises, 469469     This is Aben Ezra’s view. He would read, “Make your glory his praise;” that is, let it be your glory to praise him. but simply, that we highly exalt his praises, that they may be glorious. The Psalmist is not satisfied with our declaring them moderately, and insists that we should celebrate his goodness in some measure proportionably to its excellence.

3. Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! Here he proceeds to state the grounds why he would have us to praise God. Many content themselves with coldly descanting to others of his praises, but with the view of awakening and more deeply impressing our hearts, he directs us to address ourselves immediately to God. It is when we hold converse with him apart, and with no human eye to witness us, that we feel the vanity of hypocrisy, and will be likely to utter only what we have well and seriously meditated in our hearts. Nothing tends more to beget a reverential awe of God upon our spirits than sisting ourselves in his presence. What the Psalmist adds is fitted and designed to produce the same feeling, that through the greatness of God’s power, his enemies feign submission to him Are they who would perversely and obstinately revolt from his service, forced to humble themselves before him, whether they will it or not, how much more, then, ought his own children to serve him, who are invited into his presence, by the accents of tenderness, instead of being reduced to subjection by terror? There is an implied contrast drawn between the voluntary homage which they yield, as attracted by the sweet influences of grace, and that slavish obedience which is wrung reluctantly from the unbeliever. The Hebrew word here used for to lie, signifies to yield such a submission as is constrained, and not free or cordial, as Psalm 18:45. Neither the words nor the scope favor the other senses which have been suggested, as, that his enemies would acknowledge themselves to have been deceived in their hopes, or that they would deny having ever intended hostilities against him. There are many ways in which hypocrites may lie, but nothing more is meant by the Psalmist here, than that the power of God is such as to force them into a reluctant subjection.




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