William Kelly Major Works Commentary
To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.This closes and crowns the series founded on the two prefatory psalms, the righteous man in the midst of the wicked (Jews though they were), and the Messiah the object of his trust and of the opposition of the nations and peoples, both the righteous and the Christ assured of God's favour and establishment in blessing and glory according to promise. But even the Messiah was rejected beyond all, and the righteous meanwhile share His experience, to which His Spirit gives a voice as He directs their hearts purified by faith while they pass through varied trials. This we have been tracing in Pss. 3 - 7. Ps. 8 is "To the chief musician upon Gittith a psalm of David." Learned men suggest an instrument invented at Gath, or an air of the vintage festivity: a holy but happy season for a pious Jew. Fürst regards it as a hollow instrument from the verb "to deepen." It is, however, sensibly distinct from the psalms before and after, as the anticipation of God's counsels, and specially cited as such in the N.T. for the exaltation of the glorified Man over all things, after His humiliation unto death on the cross.
It is evident that we have here a glory far higher and wider than that of Ps. 2. Indeed it is the universe, if we heed the N.T., where the suffering of death is shown to be the hinge and ground of this conferred glory, heavenly and unlimited over all things. It is the great day of Jehovah in the rule of the second Man, the last Adam: His glory set above the heavens, but His name glorious in all the earth. He is the exalted Head over all things, consequent on His humiliation, wherein God was glorified as in nothing so much, though all His life glorified the Father.
Here also two psalms (Ps. 9, Ps. 10) open a new series which follows them, as Ps. 1, and Ps. 2 prepared the way for those which last occupied us. It is not here the great principles of man righteous and the Messiah, with the experience of sorrow and trial to which this leads, and the heart's expression to God which it forms, and the greater glory that results at last (as in Pss. 3 - 8). The new prefatory pair treats of the actual circumstances which the remnant are called to face (Pss. 9, 10), which plunges us in the crisis of the latter day, leading to the experience suitable to them and formed by the Spirit of Christ in the righteous accordingly (Pss. 11-15). This may serve to show what divine order reigns in that which might seem to a superficial reader the least consecutive, or mutually connected, book of all scripture; and ]low much more light from God is given than those look for who are verbally familiar with them every day, but misapplied!
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!