Psalms 148:4 MEANING

Psalm 148:4
(4) Heavens of heavens.--See Psalm 68:33, and references. Before passing downwards to the earth the invocation pauses to combine all the heights, which have been before addressed in the expression which denotes their position relatively to the earth; the highest heaven of all, and then the world of water which, in the Hebrew conception of the Cosmos, was supposed to be the foundation, while itself rests on the firmament or heavenly vault. (See Psalm 104:3.)

Verse 4. - Praise him, ye heavens of heavens; i.e. "ye highest heavens" (comp. Deuteronomy 10:14; 1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 68:33). And ye waters that be above the heavens (comp. Genesis 1:7). The clouds are probably intended.

148:1-6 We, in this dark and sinful world, know little of the heavenly world of light. But we know that there is above us a world of blessed angels. They are always praising God, therefore the psalmist shows his desire that God may be praised in the best manner; also we show that we have communion with spirits above, who are still praising him. The heavens, with all contained in them, declare the glory of God. They call on us, that both by word and deed, we glorify with them the Creator and Redeemer of the universe.Praise him, ye heaven of heavens,.... All the heavens, the airy and starry heavens; and the third heaven, the residence of God, angels and saints: these are made by the Lord, and declare the glory of his power, wisdom, and goodness, and show forth his handiwork, Psalm 19:1. A voice was heard from heaven, praising Jehovah the Son, when on earth in our nature; a cloud of the lower heavens received him when he went from hence, and in the clouds thereof he will come again: the highest heavens opened to receive him, and will retain him until the restitution of all things; and from hence he will descend to judge the world in righteousness, Matthew 3:16;

and ye waters that be above the heavens; divided by the firmament from the waters below; and are no other than the thick clouds, in which the waters are bound up, and not rent, but at the pleasure of God, Genesis 1:7; so Seneca (d) calls the clouds the celestial waters. And these give men occasion to praise the Lord, that those vast bodies of water that are over their heads are not let down in such large quantities upon them as would destroy them; and that are carried about from place to place, and let down and gentle showers, to water and refresh the earth, and make it fruitful, so that it brings forth food for man and beast. The Targum is,

"ye waters, that by the Word (of the Lord) hang above the heavens;''

in which is displayed the glory of amazing power, wisdom, and goodness. The most ancient Syrians and Arabians were thoroughly persuaded, that beyond the bounds of the visible heavens there was a great sea, without any limits; which some (e) suppose to be the waters here meant.

(d) Nat. Quaest. l. 3. c. 23. (e) Vid. Steeb. Coelum Sephirot. Heb. c. 7. s. 3. p. 126, 127. and Gregory's Works, p. 110.

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