|<< Psa 145|
Psalms 146-150 Listen
About these 5 Psalms...
There's certainly no problem deriving the theme of these five Psalms. The word "praise" is found 40 times. Ancient Jews knew these five Psalms as a group which they called the "praise collection." Authorship of these is not known with any certainty - remotely possible that it could have been David...probably not. Some scholars have attributed 147-148 to Haggai and Zechariah, though there is no solid evidence to do so. However, 147 definitely appears to have been penned after the return of the exiles to Jerusalem from Babylonian captivity (beginning 535 B.C.), and 148 seems to tag along with it. Perhaps all five of these Psalms were written after the return of the exiles. Enough of the technicalities; just sit back and enjoy five light-reading Psalms that provide great words for modern-day praise choruses.
Who are you gonna trust? (Psalm 146)
1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.
2 While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.
3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.
4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
5 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:
6 Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:
7 Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners:
8 The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous:
9 The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.
10 The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.
When you're down, who are you gonna trust? Let's hit it from a different perspective - who NOT to trust in verse 3, "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help." God is solid, dependable help; man is not.
An outline of this Psalm may be seen as follows:
We're just happy to be home! (Psalm 147)
1 Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.
2 The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.
3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
4 He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.
5 Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
6 The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.
7 Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:
8 Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.
9 He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.
10 He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.
11 The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.
12 Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.
13 For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee.
14 He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat.
15 He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly.
16 He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.
17 He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?
18 He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.
19 He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel.
20 He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.
Verse 2 is a dead give-away on this one, "The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel." Obviously, this is a reference to the fall of Jerusalem, beginning in 605 B.C. with its final demise in 586 B.C., along with the return of the exiles to Jerusalem some 70 years later. Note verse 11, "The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy." The Hebrew word translated "fear" means "moral reverence." The last two verses here reinforce the Old Testament covenants to Israel:
Psalms 147:19 He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel.
Psalms 147:20 He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.
This Psalm is divided into three stanzas:
A covenant's a covenant (Psalm 148)
1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights.
2 Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.
3 Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.
4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.
6 He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.
7 Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:
8 Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word:
9 Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:
10 Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:
11 Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:
12 Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children:
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.
14 He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD.
This Psalm seems to tag along with 147, and is thus regarded to be written after the return of the exiles also (After 535 B.C.). Verse 6 follows the covenant-to-Israel theme when it says, "He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass." You can imagine the exuberance over the miracle of returning to their homeland after exile. That's certainly something about which to offer praise. Verse 7 is interesting, "Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:" According to the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for "dragons" may be translated "dragon, sea monster, serpent or whale."
Sing unto the LORD a new song (Psalm 149)
1 Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.
2 Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.
4 For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.
5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.
6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand;
7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;
8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;
9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.
This Psalm certainly fits the post-exilic motif also (see above for explanation)...especially when you view verses 7-9 in that context. A return to the land calls for some celebrating. What's celebrating without a timbrel and harp...and maybe a little dancin' also.
We see God's people praising in this Psalm until we get to "a twoedged sword in their hand" in verse 6. The remainder of the Psalm deals with God's vengeance exercised at the hand of God's people. It is important to read scripture in context. Verses 6-9 here should be understood that the vengeance spoken of is on behalf of Israel who seeks to reclaim their independence and complete control over their homeland. In that context, this Psalm has prophetic implications.
Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD (Psalm 150)
1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.
Six verses here, and only one verb is used throughout - "praise" - 13 times, and 12 times as a plural imperative ("Y'all praise!"). Obviously this Psalm is all about...PRAISE!. Looking for an endorsement for loud music? Here's Psalm 150:5 written to order, "Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals." It sounds as though this Psalmist liked his music loud!