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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 146:1

 

 

Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul!

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Praise ye the Lord - “Ye” - all people. Margin, Hallelujah. See Psalm 104:35; Psalm 106:1.

Praise the Lord, O my soul - See Psalm 103:1, note; Psalm 104:1, note.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 146:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-146.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

PSALM 146

PRAISE THE LORD FOR WHAT HE DOES

We have already reviewed Psalms 113-118, which are called a "Hallel" in the Jewish tradition; and that collection also includes the last five psalms in the Psalter.[1]

Each of these last five psalms begins and ends with the words, "Praise ye the Lord" (KJV), "Praise ye Jehovah" (American Standard Version), "Praise the Lord" (RSV, the Good News Bible), or "Praise the Eternal" (Moffatt). All of these renditions are derived from a single Hebrew word, "Hallelujah". All of these are called "The Hallelujah Psalms."

There is a double emphasis in the psalm: (1) an admonition not to put confidence in men; and (2) an emphasis upon trusting in the Lord. This stress of both negative and positive elements is characteristic of practically all Biblical teaching. Even the Sermon on the Mount carries a heavy charge of both elements.

Nothing is positively known of either the author or the occasion of Psalms 146.

Regarding the date, there seems to be a consensus of opinions placing all of these last five psalms in the post-exilic period. This may very well be true. Writing near the beginning of this century (1907) Briggs stated that, "The psalm has three Aramaisms; it belongs to the late Greek period."[2] Such a comment was excusable in 1907, a full generation before the Ras Shamra discoveries which absolutely nullified Aramaisms as a criterion for determining date. There always remains the question of whether or not current scholars may be merely repeating the false conclusions of an older generation of "higher" critics.

We follow here the paragraphing suggested by Leupold: (1) A summons to praise God (Psalms 146:1-2); (2) the negative warning, "put no trust in princes" (Psalms 146:3-4); (3) positive counsel to trust in the Lord (Psalms 146:5-9); and (4) the everlasting kingdom of the Lord (Psalms 146:10).[3] On this 10th verse, Delitzsch regarded it as a part of the third paragraph,[4] and we prefer this arrangement.

Regarding the nature of all five of these Hallelujah Psalms, McCaw noted that:

"They have no word of petition or any suggestion of personal need; and there is a minimum of historical allusion. All is focused upon God who alone is worthy to be praised. Each of the five brings to light some particular aspect of the praise of God; and Psalms 146 strikes the characteristic note of individualism. `If I do not praise God, then the praise of God is incomplete.'"[5]

Psalms 146:1-2

A SUMMONS TO PRAISE THE LORD

"Praise ye Jehovah.

Praise Jehovah, O my soul.

While I live will I praise Jehovah:

I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being."

The "Hallelujah" with which the psalm begins is usually understood as an invitation for "congregational praise," but, "Far from being a mere observer of others worshipping, this psalmist determines to share in it personally."[6]

"While I have any being" (Psalms 146:2). "The idea here is not that he will praise God during his lifetime, but as long as he has an existence. In the future world, forever, he would praise him."[7] The poet Addison caught something of this meaning in these lines.

"Through every period of my life

Thy goodness I'll pursue;

And after death, in distant worlds,

The glorious theme renew.

Through all eternity to Thee

A joyful song I'll raise;

But oh, eternity's too short

To utter all thy praise!"

- AddisonSIZE>

It is also of interest that Psalms 104:33b is identical with Psalms 146:2b here.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Psalms 146:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/psalms-146.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Praise ye the Lord,.... Or, "hallelujah"; which, in the Greek and Vulgate Latin versions, is the title of the psalm; but is rather the beginning of it; and is an exhortation to men, especially to the saints, to praise the Lord, the Lord Christ, the Lord of the world, who has created it and upholds it; the Lord of lords, David's Lord; and the Lord of all his people, by creation, redemption, and grace; and from whom they receive all blessings and mercies, temporal and spiritual, and are therefore under the highest obligations to praise him;

praise the Lord, O my soul; the psalmist does not put others upon that he does not choose to do himself; but, as the sweet psalmist of Israel, and prophet of the church, leads the way and sets and example; and not only strikes his harp and psaltery, and with his tongue, mouth, and lips, shows forth the praise of the Lord; but engages his heart, his soul, in this work; which, as it was capable of it, so most agreeable to the Lord, who requires the heart in his service, and to be worshipped in spirit and in truth: and this being the better and more noble part of man, making melody in it to the Lord, and engaging all the powers and faculties of it in such an employment, must be acceptable to him.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 146:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-146.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my a soul.

(a) He stirs up himself and all his affections to praise God.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 146:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-146.html. 1599-1645.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

1.Praise Jehovah. The five last Psalms close with the same word with which they begin. (286) But having in general called upon all to praise God, he addresses himself, or, which is the same thing, his soul, only that under the name of soul he addresses his inward self more emphatically. We may infer from this, that the influence which moved him was not volatile and superficial, (as many will blame themselves with remissness on this point, and then immediately lapse into it again,) but a staid and constant affection, followed up by activity, and proved by its effects not to be feigned. As David felt, that good endeavors are frustrated or hindered through the craft of Satan, he thinks it proper to apply a stimulus for exciting his own zeal, in the first place, before professing to be a leader or teacher to others. Although his heart was truly and seriously in the work, he would not rest in this, until he had acquired still greater ardor. And if it was necessary for David to stir himself up to the praises of God, how powerful a stimulant must we require for a more difficult matter when we aim at the divine life with self-denial. As to the religious exercise here mentioned, let us feel that we will never be sufficiently active in it, unless we strenuously exact it from ourselves. As God supports and maintains his people in the world with this view, that they may employ their whole life in praising him, David very properly declares, that he will do this to the end of his course.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 146:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-146.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 146:1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.

Ver. 1. Praise the Lord, O my soul] See Psalms 103:1.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 146:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-146.html. 1865-1868.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

The subject, begun in the former Psalm, is here continued. Praise may and will be opened by the church in time, but it will never cease through all eternity.

Psalms 146:1

Hallelujah is the first and last word of this and all the remaining Psalms. A blessed method of adoring God, and what forms the employment of the church in heaven. Hence while the Psalmist recommends the plan, he resolves himself to follow it.


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Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 146:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/psalms-146.html. 1828.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 146.

The Psalmist voweth perpetual praises to God: he exhorteth not to trust in man. God for his power, justice, mercy, and kingdom, is only worthy to be trusted.

THESE five last psalms are particularly stiled the Hallelujahs, because they both begin and end with that word. The Vulgate, LXX, and other ancient versions, ascribe this psalm to Haggai and Zechariah. It was probably written after the captivity, when the Jews found it was in vain to rely upon the favour of princes; some of whom hindered the building of the temple, as much as Cyrus at the first had furthered it.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 146:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-146.html. 1801-1803.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

1. O my soul—The Hebrew, having no reflexive pronoun, uses “soul” for self, “my soul” being myself; nor is the expression disagreeable in English.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 146:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-146.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Alleluia. In some editions of the Septuagint (Haydock) and in Syriac, Arabic, &c., the same inscription occurs, as in the former psalms. Many ascribe this to the same authors, and to the same occasion. Hebrew and Chaldean have no title. Yet the psalm seems to be a thanksgiving (Calmet) for the permission to build the temple and walls of Jerusalem, (Origen) which had been neglected, till God visited the people with a famine, ver. 8., 2 Esdras v. 1., and Aggeus i. 6. (Bossuet) --- Zorobabel, &c., urge the people to build. (Syriac) (Calmet) --- Still David might compose this psalm, as he was a prophet, (Berthier) and he may allude to the beginning of his reign, when the people were all united. (Jansenius) --- Good. Agreeable and advantageous for us. --- Praise. This consists in purity of life, rather than in the sweetest accents. (Calmet)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 146:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-146.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

The first of the five "Hallelujah" Psalms concluding the whole book; each beginning and ending with this word. The first has GENESIS for its subject; the second, Exodus; the third, LEVITICUS the fourth, NUMBERS, and the fifth, DEUTERONOMY. See the Structure, p. 827, and notes below.

Praise ye THE LORD = Hallelu-JAH. App-4.

Praise. Figure of speech Apostrophe. App-6.

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

O my soul = O I myself (emphatic). Hebrew. nephesh. App-13.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 146:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-146.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.

Psalms 146:1-10.-Call to praise. Folly of trusting in dying man; the happiness of making the God of Jacob our help (Psalms 146:1-5); His gracious attributes; as Zion's God, He shall reign forever (Psalms 146:6-10). The Hallelujah marks the date after the Babylonian captivity. The Septuagint, Vulgate, Ethiopic, Syriac, and Arabic, attribute the psalm to Haggai and Zechariah. It probably was sung at the dedication of the second temple (Hengstenberg). I prefer, as it, like Psalms 150:1-6, begins and ends with Hallelujah (Praise ye the Lord), to join it with them, as sung at the consecration of the walls under Nehemiah.

Praise ye the Lord (Hallelujah). Praise ye the Lord (Hallelujah).

Praise the Lord, O my soul - from Psalms 104:1; Psalms 104:35.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 146:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-146.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.
A. M. 3489. B.C. 515. Praise ye the Lord. Heb. Hallelujah
105:45
Praise the Lord
103:1,22; 104:1,35

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 146:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-146.html.

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