Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ps 66:1-20. The writer invites all men to unite in praise, cites some striking occasions for it, promises special acts of thanksgiving, and celebrates God's great mercy.
1. Make … noise—or, "Shout."
Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.
2. his name—as in Ps 29:2.
make his praise glorious—literally, "place honor, His praise," or, "as to His praise"; that is, let His praise be such as will glorify Him, or, be honorable to Him.
Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.
3, 4. A specimen of the praise.
How terrible—(Compare Ps 65:8).
submit—(Compare Margin), show a forced subjection (Ps 18:44), produced by terror.
All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.
Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.
5, 6. The terrible works illustrated in Israel's history (Ex 14:21). By this example let rebels be admonished.
He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him.
He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.
7. behold the nations—watch their conduct.
O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:
8, 9. Here is, perhaps, cited a case of recent deliverance.
Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.
9. holdeth … in life—literally, "putteth our soul in life"; that is, out of danger (Ps 30:3; 49:15).
to be moved—(Compare Ps 10:6; 55:22).
For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
10-12. Out of severe trials, God had brought them to safety (compare Isa 48:10; 1Pe 1:7).
Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.
11. affliction—literally, "pressure," or, as in Ps 55:3, "oppression," which, laid on the
loins—the seat of strength (De 33:11), enfeebles the frame.
Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
12. men to ride over our heads—made us to pass.
through fire, &c.—figures describing prostration and critical dangers (compare Isa 43:2; Eze 36:12).
wealthy—literally, "overflowing," or, "irrigated," and hence fertile.
I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows,
13-15. These full and varied offerings constitute the payment of vows (Le 22:18-23).
Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.
I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.
15. I will offer—literally, "make to ascend," alluding to the smoke of burnt offering, which explains the use of "incense."
incense—elsewhere always denoting the fumes of aromatics.
Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.
16-20. With these he unites his public thanks, inviting those who fear God (Ps 60:4; 61:5, His true worshippers) to hear. He vindicates his sincerity, inasmuch as God would not hear hypocrites, but had heard him.
I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.
17. he was extolled with my tongue—literally, "exaltation (was) under my tongue," as a place of deposit, whence it proceeded; that is, honoring God was habitual.
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
18. If I regard iniquity in my heart—literally, "see iniquity with pleasure."
But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.