And be grieved; at their happiness, and grudge it: the Targum is,
"and shall be angry at him;''
the upright man.
He shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away; like snow water (r); or as a snail melteth, or as wax before the fire, Psalm 58:7, shall pine away with grief and envy at the happiness and prosperity of the righteous; the wicked will weep and gnash their teeth, when they shall see them in the kingdom of heaven, and they themselves shut out, Luke 13:28. The desire of the wicked shall perish; they shall not have their desire, neither of good things for themselves here and hereafter, nor of evil things for the righteous.
(r) "Mens mea tabida liquescit", &c. "Liquescunt pectora", &c. Ovid. de Ponto, l. 1. Eleg. 1. v. 68. & Eleg. 2. v. 57.
INTRODUCTION TO Psalm 113
With this psalm begins the great "Hallel", which ends with Psalm 118; and was used to be sung at the Jewish festivals, particularly at the feast of tabernacles and of the passover; and is thought by some to be the hymn sung by Christ and his apostles, after the celebration of the Lord's supper; in which there are many things pertinent to that occasion as well as to the above feasts. This psalm is a song of praise for redemption by Christ, to be sung in Gospel times, when the name of the Lord should be known among all nations, from the rising to the setting sun. It is thought by some to be an abridgment of the song of Hannah, 1 Samuel 2:1, there is an agreement.
Praise, O ye servants of the Lord; meaning not the angels, nor all men, nor the priests and Levites only; but all the saints, who are a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God; who are servants, not of sin, nor of Satan, nor of men, but of God and Christ; and who serve the Lord willingly and cheerfully, with much pleasure and delight, in righteousness and holiness, with reverence and godly fear, and without trusting to and depending on their service for salvation: and one principal branch of their service is praise, especially under the Gospel dispensation; in which all legal sacrifices are abolished, and the sacrifice of praise is continued; and which is pleasant and delightful work, and yet there is a backwardness to it; and therefore there is need of such an exhortation to excite unto it, and to repeat it, as follows:
praise the name of the Lord; not any particular name, as Jehovah; but him himself, and the perfections of his nature; his holiness, justice, truth, faithfulness, power, goodness, grace and mercy. The repetition of the exhortation denotes either the abundance of praise to be given to the Lord, or the constancy and continuance of it; which ought to be done at all times, every day, since his mercies are new every morning. Some have thought the threefold repetition respects the trinity of Persons, who are each to be praised, as in Numbers 6:24, but this is doubtful, and perhaps not sufficient to build such a doctrine on; and especially since the first of these exhortations is the title of the psalm: however, this is a certain truth, that Jehovah, Father, Son, and Spirit, are to be praised.
From this time forth and for evermore; from the beginning of time, or as soon as time began, the Lord's name was to be praised, and was praised by the holy angels, who were present at laying the foundation of the earth, Job 38:4, and all the works of the Lord, in their way, have praised him ever since. Here it may respect the time of penning this psalm, or the time when the persons called upon commenced the servants of the Lord, the time of their conversion; a time of love, life, light, and deliverance, and therefore a time to begin to praise the Lord: or the whole time of the Gospel dispensation, to which this psalm refers; the accepted time and day of salvation, and of the Gentiles glorifying God for his mercy; in which the Lord is to be and is praised, as he will be to all eternity, by angels and glorified saints.
the Lord's name is to be praised; it ought to be, though it is not; and ere long it will be, when all nations shall come and worship before him, Revelation 15:3.
And his glory above the heavens; it is above what the heavens do or can declare; they declare something of it, but not all. Christ, who is the brightness of his Father's glory, is made higher than the heavens, and has ascended far above them; and is above the angels in them, both as to nature, name, office, and place, Hebrews 1:4.
Who dwelleth on high? in the high and holy place, in the highest heaven, which is his throne; or "who exalteth himself to dwell" (s); so the Targum,
"he exalteth his habitation to dwell,''
suitable to the dignity and the greatness of his majesty; as he is high and above all, so he has fixed his habitation in the highest heavens; as he is self-existent, he is self-exalted, and none can exalt him as himself; he is exalted above all blessing and praise; and if it is an exaltation of him to dwell in the highest heavens, what an exaltation will it be of the saints to dwell with him there, in those mansions in his house which Christ is gone to prepare for them! This clause may be applied to Christ, who, both previous to his humiliation, and after it, dwelt in the highest heavens with his Father, in his bosom, from whence he came down on earth, and whither he is gone again, and is highly exalted there.
(s) "sustollens se ad habitandum", Montanus; "qui se elevat", Pagninus.
And lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; which denotes a mean condition; so one born in a mean place, and brought up in a mean manner, is sometimes represented as taken out of a dunghill (t): and also it is expressive of a filthy one; men by sin are not only brought into a low estate, but into a loathsome one, and are justly abominable in the sight of God, and yet he lifts them out of it: the phrases of "raising up" and "lifting out" suppose them to be fallen, as men are in Adam, fallen from a state of honour and glory, in which he was created, into a state of sin and misery, and out of which they cannot deliver themselves; it is Christ's work, and his only, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to help or lift up his servant Israel, Isaiah 49:6.
(t) "Ex sterquilinio effosse", Plauti Casina, Acts 1. Sc. 1. v. 26.
Even with the princes of his people; the more eminent among the people of God, such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with whom they shall sit down in the kingdom of heaven; and with the prophets of the Old Testament, and the apostles of the New; and even with all the saints, who are made kings and priests unto God; see Psalm 45:16.