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Jamieson, Fausset & Brown :: Commentary on Psalm 118

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The Book of Psalms

Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET

PSALM 118

Psa 118:1-29. After invoking others to unite in praise, the writer celebrates God's protecting and delivering care towards him, and then represents himself and the people of God as entering the sanctuary and uniting in solemn praise, with prayer for a continued blessing. Whether composed by David on his accession to power, or by some later writer in memory of the restoration from Babylon, its tone is joyful and trusting, and, in describing the fortune and destiny of the Jewish Church and its visible head, it is typically prophetical of the Christian Church and her greater and invisible Head.

      1-4. The trine repetitions are emphatic (compare Psa 118:10-12, 15, 16 115:12, 13 ).
      Let. . . say--Oh! that Israel may say.
      now--as in Psa 115:2; so in Psa 118:3, 4. After "now say" supply "give thanks."
      that his mercy--or, "for His mercy."

      5. distress--literally, "straits," to which "large place" corresponds, as in Psa 4:1 31:8.

      6, 7. Men are helpless to hurt him, if God be with him ( Psa 56:9 ), and, if enemies, they will be vanquished ( Psa 54:7 ).

      8, 9. Even the most powerful men are less to be trusted than God.

      10-12. Though as numerous and irritating as bees ( Psa 118:12 ), by God's help his enemies would be destroyed.

      12. as the fire of thorns--suddenly.
      in the name, &c.--by the power ( Psa 20:5 124:8 ).

      13-16. The enemy is triumphantly addressed as if present.

      15. rejoicing and salvation--the latter as cause of the former.

      16. right hand. . . is exalted--His power greatly exerted.

      17, 18. He would live, because confident his life would be for God's glory.

      19-21. Whether an actual or figurative entrance into God's house be meant, the purpose of solemn praise is intimated, in which only the righteous would or could engage.

      22, 23. These words are applied by Christ ( Mat 21:42 ) to Himself, as the foundation of the Church (compare Act 4:11 Eph 2:20 1Pe 2:4, 7 ). It may here denote God's wondrous exaltation to power and influence of him whom the rulers of the nation despised. Whether (see on JF & B for Ps 118:1) David or Zerubbabel (compare Hag 2:2 Zec 4:7-10 ) be primarily meant, there is here typically represented God's more wonderful doings in exalting Christ, crucified as an impostor, to be the Prince and Saviour and Head of His Church.

      24. This is the day--or period distinguished by God's favor of all others.

      25. Save now--Hebrew, "Hosanna" (compare Psa 115:2, &c., as to now) a form of prayer ( Psa 20:9 ), since, in our use, of praise.

      26. he that cometh. . . Lord--As above intimated, this may be applied to the visible head of the Jewish Church entering the sanctuary, as leading the procession; typically it belongs to Him of whom the phrase became an epithet ( Mal 3:1 Mat 21:9 ).

      27-29. showed us light--or favor ( Psa 27:1 97:11 ). With the sacrificial victim brought bound to the altar is united the more spiritual offering of praise ( Psa 50:14, 23 ), expressed in the terms with which the Psalm opened.

Introduction to Job ← Prior Book
Introduction to Proverbs Next Book →
Commentary on Psalm 117 ← Prior Chapter
Commentary on Psalm 119 Next Chapter →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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