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147. Psalm 147

Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.

2The Lord doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.

3He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

4He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.

5Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

6The Lord lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.

7Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:

8Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.

9He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.

10He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.

11The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.

12Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.

13For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee.

14He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat.

15He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly.

16He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoar frost like ashes.

17He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?

18He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.

19He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel.

20He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the Lord.

12. Celebrate Jehovah, O Jerusalem! Having spoken in general of the mercies of God, he again addresses his discourse to the Lord’s people, who alone, as we have remarked already, can appreciate them, calling upon them to recognize with thanksgiving the blessings which others riot upon without acknowledgment. Under the name of Jerusalem, he comprises the whole Church, for in that place the faithful then held their religious assemblies, and flowed together as it were to the standard of the Lord. Although he will take occasion afterwards again to speak of the government of the world at large, he here commemorates the goodness of God as manifested to his own people, in protecting his own Church, bountifully cherishing it, enriching it abundantly with all blessings, and preserving it in peace and safety from all harm. When he says that the bars of the gates are strengthened by God, he means that the holy city was perfectly guarded by him from all fear of hostile attack. To the same effect is the other expression which comes after — that all its bounds were made peace Enemies were under divine restraint so as to cause no disturbance or confusions. Not that the Church is always in a state of peace throughout its whole extent, and exempt from attack, but that God in a visible manner stretches forth his hand to repel these assaults, and it can securely survey the whole array of its enemies. A more extensive meaning indeed may be given to the term peace, which is often taken to signify a happy and prosperous condition. But as mention is made of bounds, the former sense seems most appropriate. The blessing of God enjoyed within is next spoken of, consisting in this, that the citizens dwell prosperously and happily in it, and are fed bountifully, even to satiety; which does not mean that the children of God always wallow in abundance. This might be the means of corrupting them, prone as our nature is to wantonness; but it suggests that they recognize the liberality of God in their daily food more clearly than others who want faith, and whom either abundance renders blind, or poverty vexes with deplorable anxiety, or covetousness inflames with a desire that never can be satisfied. God’s paternal favor was shown more particularly to our fathers under the law in the abundance of temporal provision, it being necessary to lead them forward to something higher by what was elementary.


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