He has remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Commanded.—Better, appointed, or conferred.Psalm 105:8-11. He hath remembered his covenant for ever — Or, will remember it; that is, practically, so as to perform and make it good. The word — The promise; which he commanded — Established, or appointed, to a thousand generations — To all generations; a certain number being put for an uncertain. And his oath unto Isaac — Wherewith he ratified the covenant with him, Genesis 26:3. And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law — That it might be as firm and irrevocable as a law; saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan — The patriarchs had no right to it, save by promise, and their seed were to be put in possession of it, not by the common ways of settling nations, but by miracles; God would give it them himself, and, as it were, with his own hand; and so that it should be, as their lot, assigned and measured out to them by God, even the lot of their inheritance — To which they should have a sure title by virtue of their birth: it should come to them by descent, not by purchase; by the favour of God, and not by any merit of their own.Luke 1:72. Though the covenant was made long since; though many generations of people have passed by; though great changes have occurred; though many calamities have come upon the nations, yet his ancient covenant and promise have never been forgotten. All his promises have been fulfilled; all ever will be. The "covenant" here referred to is that which was made with Abraham, and through him with the Hebrew people.
The word which he commanded - The thing which he commanded; that is, all which he ordained and appointed.
To a thousand generations - Very many generations; or, any number of generations: that is, always. Compare Exodus 20:6. The experience of the people through all the generations of their history has shown that in what he has promised and directed he is unchanging.
word—answering to "covenant" [Ps 105:9] in the parallel clause, namely, the word of promise, which, according to Ps 105:10, He set forth for an inviolable law.
commanded—or, "ordained" (Ps 68:28).
9 Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac;
10 And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:
11 Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance:
12 When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it.
13 When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people;
14 He suffered no man to do them wrong; yea, he reproved kings for their sakes;
15 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
"He hath remembered his covenant for ever." Here is the basis of all his dealings with his people; he had entered into covenant with them in their father Abraham, and to this covenant he remained faithful. The exhortation to remember (in Psalm 105:5) receives great force from the fact that God has remembered. If the Lord has his promise in memory, surely we ought not to forget the wonderful manner in which he keeps it. To us it should be matter for deepest joy that never in any instance has the Lord been unmindful of his covenant engagements, nor will he be so world without end. O that we were as mindful of them as he is. "The word which he commanded to a thousand generations." This is only an amplification of the former statement, and serves to set before us the immutable fidelity of the Lord during the changing generations of men. His judgments are threatened upon the third and fourth generations of them that hate him, but its love runs on for ever, even to "a thousand generations." His promise is here said to be commanded, or vested with all the authority of a law. It is proclamation from a sovereign, the firman of an Emperor, whose laws shall stand fast in every jot and tittle though heaven and earth shall pass away. Therefore let us give thanks unto the Lord and talk of all his wondrous works, so wonderful for their faithfulness and truth.
"Which covenant he made with Abraham." When the victims were divided and the burning lamp passed between the pieces (Genesis 15.) then the Lord made, or ratified, the covenant with the patriarch. This was a solemn deed, performed not without blood, and the cutting in pieces of the sacrifice: it points us to the greater covenant which in Christ Jesus is signed, sealed, and ratified, that it may stand fast for ever and ever. "And his oath unto Isaac." Isaac did not in vision see the solemn making of the covenant, but the Lord renewed unto him his oath (Genesis 26:2-5). This was enough for him, and must have established his faith in the Most High. We have the privilege of seeing in our Lord Jesus both the sacrificial seal, and the eternal oath of God, by which every promise of the covenant is made yea and amen to all the chosen seed.
"And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law." Jacob in his wondrous dream (Genesis 28:10-15) received a pledge that the Lord's mode of procedure with him would be in accordance with covenant relations; for said Jehovah, "I will not leave thee till I have done that which I have spoken to thee of." Thus, if we may so speak with all reverence, the covenant became a law unto the Lord himself by which he bound himself to act. O matchless condescension, that the most free and sovereign Lord should put himself under covenant bonds to his chosen, and make a law for himself, though he is above all law. "And to Israel for an everlasting covenant." When he changed Jacob's name he did not change his covenant, but it is written, "he blessed him there" (Genesis 32:29), and it was with the old blessing, according to the unchangeable word of abiding grace.
continued...He hath remembered, practically, so as to perform it; as that word is frequently used in Scripture.
The word; the word of promise, or the covenant, as is explained both in the foregoing and following words. And so the word is taken Judges 13:12 Luke 1:38.
Commanded, i.e. established, or ordained, or appointed, as this word is oft taken, as Psalm 68:28 71:3 133:3 Isaiah 13:3 23:11. To a thousand generations; to all generations; a certain number being put for an uncertain. He seems to allude to that passage, Exodus 20:6.
The word which he commanded to a thousand generations; that which is properly a covenant with Christ our head on our account, is a word of promise to us; a promise of grace and glory; a free promise, absolute and unconditional: and this he has "commanded", or ordered, decreed, and determined that it shall stand good, and be punctually performed, "to a thousand generations"; that is, for ever; for all his promises are yea and amen in Christ.He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)8. He hath remembered] Rather, He remembereth. The Heb. perfect here expresses a general truth guaranteed by past experience. Chron. has Remember ye; but the exhortation is out of place here. Jehovah’s covenant is further described as the word of promise which he commanded (cp. Psalm 111:9), as it were enacting it as a law (cp. statute, Psalm 105:10, and Psalm 2:7). To a thousand generations (Deuteronomy 7:9), parallel to and synonymous with for ever, is to be connected with He remembereth.
With this and the following verses comp. the promise of Leviticus 26:42-45.Verse 8. - He hath remembered his covenant forever. Thirdly, the psalmist praises God's faithfulness. God entered into a covenant with Israel, and that covenant still holds good. He has not forgotten it, and will never forget it. It is the word which he commanded to a thousand generations (comp. Deuteronomy 7:9). Professor Cheyne concludes, from this passage, that the psalm was not written during the Captivity. But surely a captive in Babylon might have had faith enough to believe that God had not abolished, but only suspended, his covenant. Psalm 33:2; Psalm 75:2, of a praising and thankful confession offered to God; קרא בשׁם ה, to call with the name of Jahve, i.e., to call upon it, of an audible, solemn attestation of God in prayer and in discourse (Symmachus, κηρύσσετε). The joy of heart
(Note: The Mugrash of ישׂמח with the following Legarme seems here to be of equal value with Zakeph, 1 Chronicles 16:10.)
that is desired is the condition of a joyous opening of the mouth and Israel's own stedfast turning towards Jahve, the condition of all salutary result; for it is only His "strength" that breaks through all dangers, and His "face" that lightens up all darkness. משׁפּטי־פּיו, as Psalm 105:7 teaches, are God's judicial utterances, which have been executed without any hindrance, more particularly in the case of the Egyptians, their Pharaoh, and their gods. The chronicler has פּיהוּ and זרע ישׂראל, which is so far unsuitable as one does not know whether עבדו is to be referred to "Israel" the patriarch, or to the "seed of Israel," the nation; the latter reference would be deutero-Isaianic. In both texts the lxx reads עבדו (ye His servants).
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