this honour have all his saints; which is spoken of throughout the psalm; as to be acceptable unto God, and well pleasing in his sight; to be adorned with grace, and beautified with salvation; to have the high praises of God in their mouths, and a twoedged sword in their hands, and to do the execution with it above mentioned;
praise ye the Lord; even all his saints; who of all men have most reason to do it, for the grace that is given them, and the honour put upon them.
INTRODUCTION TO Psalm 150
This psalm is of the same kind and upon the same subject with the two preceding ones; and very probably was written by the same hand, and about the same time; and is a very proper psalm to conclude this book with, being all praise. Some say (q) this psalm was sung by the Israelites, when they came with their firstfruits into the sanctuary, with the basket on their shoulders. "Thirteen" times in this short psalm is the word "praise" used; not on account of thirteen properties or perfections in God, as Kimchi thinks: but it is so frequently and in every clause used, to show the vehement desire of the psalmist that the Lord might be praised; and to express his sense of things, how worthy he is of praise; and that all ways and means to praise him should be made use of, all being little enough to set forth his honour and glory. And not the Levites only, whose business it was in the temple service to praise the Lord with musical instruments, are here exhorted to it, as R. Judah the Levite thinks, but all people; not the people of Israel only, as Kimchi; but the Gentiles also, even all that have breath, Psalm 150:6. For, as R. Obadiah Gaon observes, this psalm belongs to the times of the Messiah; to the Gospel dispensation, to the latter part of it, especially when Jews and Gentiles shall be converted; and when all will praise the Lord, as they will have reason for it.
(q) Weemse's Christ. Synagog. l. 1. c. 6. s. 4. p. 145.
praise God in his sanctuary; in the temple, the house of his sanctuary as the Targum and R Judah; or in heaven, as R. Moses, his holy place, where he is praised by holy angels and glorified saints; or in the church below, of which the sanctuary or temple was a type. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and the eastern versions, render it, "in his Holy Ones"; among his saints, in the assembly of them, where he is to be feared and praised: it may be translated, "in his Holy One" (r); and be understood of Christ, as it is by Cocceius; who is holy in both his natures, and is often called God's Holy One, and the Holy One of Israel; and whose human nature is a tabernacle or temple, wherein the fulness of the Godhead dwells; and in, and through, and for whom, the Lord is to be praised. Some render it, "for" or "because of his holiness" (s); the perfection of holiness in him; in which he is glorious and fearful in the praises of, and which appears in all his works of providence and grace;
praise him in the firmament of his power; the heaven above us, so called, Genesis 1:6; which, in the Hebrew language, has its name from its being spread and expanded over the earth; and, in the Greek and Latin tongues, from the firmness and stability of it; and which is a work of mighty power, and therefore so called; it particularly respects the starry heavens; for the sun, and moon, and stars, were placed in the firmament, Genesis 1:14; or the air and atmosphere about us, that presses upon us, and keeps all firm and stable. And now as this shows forth the glory of God, and his handiwork, Psalm 19:1; not only all in it should and do in their way praise the Lord; but especially men on earth, who enjoy the benefit of it. R. Judah understands this of the ark in the temple, called the ark of the Lord's strength.
(r) "in sancto habitaculo suo", Vocceius; "in sancto ejus", Gejerus; , Symmachus apud Drusium. (s) "Ob sanctitatem ejus", Tirinus, Muis; "ob insignem sanctitatem ipsius", Campensis apud Gejerum.
praise him according to his excellent greatness; or, "according to the multitude of his greatness" (t); which appears in his nature, perfections, and work, and these both of providence and grace; and in proportion hereunto, and according to the abilities of creatures, angels, and men, is he to be praised; which is giving him the honour due unto his name; see Psalm 96:8.
(t) "secundum multudinem magnitudinie ejus", V. L. Montanus, Gejerus; so Ainsworth.
praise him with the psaltery; to which psalms were sung;
and harp; which were instruments of music, both used in divine worship under the former dispensation; and in which David was well skilled and delighted, and appointed proper persons to praise with them, 1 Chronicles 15:20. They were typical of the spiritual melody made in the hearts of God's people, while they are praising him in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, under the Gospel, Ephesians 5:19.
praise him with stringed instruments; or divers "kinds" (w) of instruments not named, as R. Saadiah Gaon; and which, as Aben Ezra says, had all one sound or note; what they were is not known, as also many of them that are particularly mentioned;
and organs; which have their name from the loveliness of their sound; these are of ancient original and use, Genesis 4:21; but were not of the same kind with those now in use, which are of much later invention.
(u) "et tibia", Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Gejerus. (w) "varia symphonia", Cocceius.
praise him upon the high sounding, cymbals; or "cymbals of shouting" (y), ovation or triumph; which were used on joyful occasions, as victories, deliverances, and the like; and were used also in the temple service, see 1 Chronicles 16:5; according to the Targum and Septuagint version, these were three stringed instruments; for so they render the word them in 1 Samuel 18:6. Now these several instruments of music are named, not as to be used in Gospel times; but, being expressive of the highest praise and joy shown in former times, are mentioned to set forth the highest strains and notes of praise in New Testament saints; as well as to denote their heartiness, agreement, and unanimity in this service, Romans 15:6.
(x) "in cymbalis auditus", Montanus, Vatablus. (y) "in cymbalis jubilationis", V. L. Musculus, Cocceius; "in cymbalis ovationis", Montanus.