The compilers of the Psalter found no tradition of authorship attached to this Psalm, and did not themselves conjecture one, nor have we any guide towards the time of its composition beyond the tone of innocence assumed in the last part, which marks that part as belonging to a period subsequent to the captivity, when persecution and suffering were no longer regarded as punishment for national disloyalty to the covenant. The poetical form is uncertain, but there is a marked change in the rhythm at Psalm 66:13, and some commentators regard the psalm as composite.
Title.—See titles, Psalms 4, 48
Here there is a peculiarity in the absence of any author’s name after the double title song, psalm. (Comp. Psalms 67, where the words are reversed.)
All ye lands.—The margin is better.
Make his praise glorious.—So the LXX., but the construction is dubious. Literally, put glory his praise, meaning perhaps, in parallelism with the first clause, “make the Divine glory the subject of your praise.” But the opening words of the next verse, “say unto God, how,” &c, are so bald that a suspicion arises as to the arrangement of the text. Perhaps by bringing back the initial words of Psalm 66:3 we get the true sense, “ascribe glory (and) speak praise to God.”
There did we rejoice.—The verb is properly optative—there (i.e., in those works) let us rejoice, and thus rendered is more in keeping with the first verses of the psalm. The LXX. and Vulg. have the future, “There we will rejoice in him.”
Let not . . .—Literally, the rebellious, let them not exalt for themselves, where we may supply “horn” as in Psalm 75:4-5, or “head” as in Psalm 3:3; Psalm 110:7. For the rebellious, comp. Psalm 68:6.
We went through fire and water.—A figure of extreme danger. (Comp. Isaiah 43:2.)
A wealthy place.—The LXX. and Vulg., “to refreshment,” which is certainly more in keeping with the figures employed, and may perhaps be got out of the root-idea of the word, “overflow.” But a slight change gives the frequent figure “a broad place.”
The protestation of innocence in this verse, being made by or for the community at large, marks a late period for the composition. (See Introduction, and Psalms 44, Introduction and Notes.)