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66. Psalm 66

Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:

2Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.

3Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.

4All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.

5Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.

6He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him.

7He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.

8O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:

9Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.

10For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.

11Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.

12Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

13I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows,

14Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.

15I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.

16Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.

17I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.

18If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.

20Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.

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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