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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 147



Verse 1

1. The change of one letter, זמרה, to זמרו, makes it is pleasant become he is pleasant, and some critics have so rendered it.

Verse 2

2. The Lord… build—The king of Persia and Nehemiah are recognised only as subordinates. It was the Lord who gathered home his banished ones and restored their city.

Verse 3

3. Broken in heart—This was their sad state in exile, but now they are comforted.

Verse 4

4. He telleth the… stars—Here is something more than poetical embellishment. He who thus knows and calls the stars, much more knows and names his people.

Verse 6

6. Lifteth up… casteth… down—As has just been shown, in restoring his people and repelling their enemies.

Verse 7

7. Sing—The exiles are not only happy in their return, but they see mercy and goodness in the prospect of rain from heaven and fruitful seasonsof future food and gladness.

Verse 8

8. Clouds—The early Sanscrit calls the clouds “the cows of the gods nourishing the earth.”

Upon the mountains—That is, beyond man’s reach, for the wild goats of the rock.

Verse 9

9. Ravens which cry—The young ravens, like the sparrows, are low and worthless birds. The divine care over them implies more care over those who are of more value than many sparrows.

Verse 10

10. Delighteth not… taketh not pleasure—Hebrew poetry loves to divide thoughts into parallel expressions. The English would be more likely to say: “The strength and legs (speed) of horse or man.”

Verse 11

11. Taketh pleasure—As in Ezra and Nehemiah, who, having been loyal to God in trying times, now felt the sunshine of his pleasure.

Verse 12

12. Praise the Lord—The psalm bursts out afresh with joy at the condition of Jerusalem and the prospects of the nation. Israel returned from the captivity with the profound conviction, never again to be shaken, that the gods of other nations were vanity, and that Jehovah was God almighty, eternal, and alone.

Verse 15

15. The allusion is to the creative energy: “And God said.” The effect of his word was instantaneous.

Verse 16

16. Giveth snow—A Greek writer calls snow “fleecy rain.” So frost is like sprinkled ashes, and hail like scattered morsels.

Verse 19

19. His statutes… judgments—The special blessing of Israel. God’s “statutes and judgments” had produced the Daniels, Esthers, and Mordecais of the captivity, and kept heart and hope from sinking down.

Other nations had sad confusion of moral ideas. The chief advantage of the Jews was, that to them were committed the oracles of God, the light and truth that now go forth to the ends of the earth.


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 147:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

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