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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 66:3

 

 

Say to God, "How awesome are Your works! Because of the greatness of Your power Your enemies will give feigned obedience to You.

Adam Clarke Commentary

How terrible art thou - Consider the plagues with which he afflicted Egypt before he brought your fathers from their captivity, which obliged all his enemies to submit.

Thine enemies submit themselves - Literally, lie unto thee. This was remarkably the case with Pharaoh and the Egyptians. They promised again and again to let the people go, when the hand of the Lord was upon them: and they as frequently falsified their word.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 66:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-66.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Say unto God - In your songs of praise. Let your songs be directly addressed to him, setting forth the grounds of that praise, or the reasons why it is due to him.

How terrible art thou in thy works! - How fearful! how much to be reverenced! The meaning is, that the manifestations of his power and greatness, in the events which occur under his government, are suited to impress the mind with awe and reverence.

Through the greatness of thy power - By the putting forth of thy power. Or, Thou hast such power over thine enemies as to be able to compel them to submit to thee.

Shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee - Margin, Lie, or yield reigned obedience. The Hebrew word means to lie, to speak lies; then, to feign, to flatter, to play the hypocrite. It is thus applied to the vanquished, who make a hollow profession of submission and love to their victors. See the word explained in the notes at Psalm 18:44; compare Psalm 81:15; Deuteronomy 33:29; Job 31:28. The meaning here is, that he had power to subdue them, and to compel them to acknowledge his right to reign. It is the putting forth of mere power which is here referred to; and all that such power can do, is to secure outward and reigned submission. It cannot of itself secure the submission of the heart, the will, and the affections. That is to be secured by love, not by power; and the difference between the submission of the true people of God and that of all others is that the former are subdued by love, the latter by power; the submission of the former is genuine, that of the latter is forced. The inhabitants of heaven will be submissive to God because they love him; the dwellers in hell will be restrained by power, because they cannot deliver themselves. So now, the submission of a true child of God is that of love, or is a willing submission; the submission of a hypocrite is that of fear, when he feigns obedience because he cannot help it, or because he simply dreads the wrath of God. The object here is to celebrate the power of God, and it was sufficient, in order to set that forth, to say that it awed, and outwardly subdued the enemies of God.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 66:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-66.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Say unto God,.... Or, "concerning God"F20אמרו לאלהים  "dicite de Deo", Campensis apud Gejerum; and some in Michaelis. , as some; or, "before God", as the Targum; say to him as follows, in psalms and hymns of praise:

how terrible art thou in thy works! or "reverend"F21נורא  "reverendus", Junius & Tremellius. ; to be feared and reverenced with a godly fear on account of them; such as the works of nature and providence, which are stupendous and marvellous, fearfully and wonderfully wrought; and especially those of grace and redemption, in which the goodness of Christ is manifest, and for which he is to be feared: unless rather his judgments upon his enemies are here meant; who, though he is a Lamb to his own people, is the Lion of the tribe of Judah to them, whom he will break in pieces as a potter's vessel it may be read, "how terrible", or "tremendous", is everyone of "thy works"; so Aben Ezra, and also Jarchi, who interprets the next clause,

through the greatness of thy power, thus,

"when thou showest to the world thy power, by the pestilence, or sword, or famine, or lightnings:'

shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee? in a lying, flattering, and deceitful manner, as the wordF23יבחשו  "mentientur", V. L. Musculus, Montanus; "mendaciter se dedunt", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Amama. here used signifies; See Gill on Psalm 18:44; or, as the above interpreters,

"they shall, through the greatness of fear, confess the lies and transgressions they have committed.'

It will be a forced, and not a free, confession and submission; Christ's enemies, whether they will or not, will be obliged to own that he is Lord, to the glory of God the Father, Philippians 2:10.


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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.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 66:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-66.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Say unto God, How terrible [art thou in] thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies b submit themselves unto thee.

(b) As the faithful obey God willingly, so the infidels disguise themselves as obedient out of fear.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 66:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-66.html. 1599-1645.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

3.Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! Here he proceeds to state the grounds why he would have us to praise God. Many content themselves with coldly descanting to others of his praises, but with the view of awakening and more deeply impressing our hearts, he directs us to address ourselves immediately to God. It is when we hold converse with him apart, and with no human eye to witness us, that we feel the vanity of hypocrisy, and will be likely to utter only what we have well and seriously meditated in our hearts. Nothing tends more to beget a reverential awe of God upon our spirits than sisting ourselves in his presence. What the Psalmist adds is fitted and designed to produce the same feeling, that through the greatness of God’s power, his enemies feign submission to him Are they who would perversely and obstinately revolt from his service, forced to humble themselves before him, whether they will it or not, how much more, then, ought his own children to serve him, who are invited into his presence, by the accents of tenderness, instead of being reduced to subjection by terror? There is an implied contrast drawn between the voluntary homage which they yield, as attracted by the sweet influences of grace, and that slavish obedience which is wrung reluctantly from the unbeliever. The Hebrew word here used for to lie, signifies to yield such a submission as is constrained, and not free or cordial, as Psalms 18:45. Neither the words nor the scope favor the other senses which have been suggested, as, that his enemies would acknowledge themselves to have been deceived in their hopes, or that they would deny having ever intended hostilities against him. There are many ways in which hypocrites may lie, but nothing more is meant by the Psalmist here, than that the power of God is such as to force them into a reluctant subjection.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 66:3". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-66.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 66:3 Say unto God, How terrible [art thou in] thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.

Ver. 3. Say unto God] Hereby it appeareth that this, among other psalms of like nature, was written for the perpetual use of the Church, and to serve for a set form of praising God, as occasion required, either in public or private.

Shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee] Heb. shall lie unto thee; that is, saith Kimchi, shall deny that they ever did anything against thee, or thy people. Or, rather, they shall perforce acknowledge thy power and prowess; as Julian the apostate did in his last Vicisti Galilaee; they shall also yield obedience to thee, such as it is, because they can neither will nor choose; this Virtus nolentinm nulla est.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 66:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-66.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 66:3. Thine enemies submit themselves unto thee According to the original, לךֶ יכחשׁו iekachashu leka, lie unto thee. See on Psalms 18:44.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 66:3". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-66.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

How terrible art thou in thy works! To wit to thine enemies, as it follows. Submit themselves unto thee, Heb. lie unto thee, i.e. profess subjection to thee, not sincerely and freely, but by constraint, and out of a servile fear.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 66:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-66.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3. Say unto God—The psalmist now directs how to fulfil the requirement of Psalms 66:2 : namely, by rehearsing and proclaiming the great events which have transpired, and ascribing them to God.

Terrible… thy works—The redemption of Israel from Egypt and Babylon was accomplished by acts of divine power which struck the idolatrous nations with terror. Thus is it in all ages. The triumph of the Church is the downfall of Christ’s enemies. Grace and judgment play their respective parts. See Psalms 2; Revelation 18; Revelation 19:1-8.

Submit themselves— כחשׁ, (kahhash,) rendered “submit,” properly signifies to deceive, to lie, to feign, and must be here understood of that feigned submission, outward and formal but unreal and heartless which captives yield to a conqueror. So in Psalms 18:44; Psalms 81:15. Thus “the haters of the Lord shall submit themselves” with forced confession, being subdued and terrified at the majesty, power, and glory of God.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 66:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-66.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Way. The true religion. (Menochius) --- Salvation. Christ, who is the only way to be saved, John xiv. 6., and Matthew i. 21. (Calmet) --- This way is new, leading to new heavens, &c., Hebrews x. 20., and 2 Peter iii. 13. (Berthier)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 66:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-66.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.

Through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee - literally, 'feign (submission) to thee' (Psalms 18:44; Psalms 81:15). God's terrible deeds constrain all, if they will not render a willing obedience, at least to render a reluctant one. So Pharaoh (Exodus 8:8-15; Exodus 8:25; Exodus 8:29). Even the wicked must at last glorify God, in spite of themselves (Proverbs 16:4).


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 66:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-66.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.
How terrible
47:2; 65:5; 76:12; Exodus 15:1-16,21; Judges 5:2-4,20-22; Isaiah 2:19; 64:3; Jeremiah 10:10
through
18:44; 22:28,29; 68:30; 81:15
submit themselves
or, yield feigned obedience. Heb. lie.
78:35,36

Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 66:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-66.html.

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