I will speak of the glorious honor of your majesty, and of your wondrous works.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)I will speak.—Or, perhaps, sing. The verb is often rendered meditate (Psalm 77:12; Psalm 119:15, &c.):Psalm 145:5-7. I will speak of the glorious honour, &c. — Here are divers words heaped together, to intimate that no words are sufficient to express the majesty of God. And of thy wondrous works — “Those works of God which demand to be celebrated by the tongues of men, are here divided into three kinds. First, such as declare his glory, and excite our admiration whenever we behold them. Of this sort are the shining frame of the heavens, and all the bodies which move therein; the earth, with its furniture without, and its contents within; the magnificent and stupendous ocean which flows around; the different tribes of animals inhabiting both the one and the other; and above all, the construction of man, the lord of this lower world. Under the second class of God’s works are ranged all those which the psalmist styles his terrible acts, or the exertions of his power against his enemies; such as the destruction of the old world by water; of Sodom and Gomorrah by fire; of Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea; of the Canaanitish nations by the sword; and the victory gained over sin and death by the resurrection of Christ. In the third rank stand those works which have proceeded from the goodness of God, and his righteousness, in the performance of his promises. And among these we may reckon all the different species of provision which have been made by providence, for the bodies of men in the world, and by grace for their souls in the church. On any of these subjects meditation cannot be long employed, without breaking forth into wonder, gratitude, and praise.” — Horne.
Of the glorious honor of thy majesty - The glory of the honor of thy majesty. This accumulation of epithets shows that the heart of the psalmist was full of the subject, and that he labored to find language to express his emotions. It is beauty; it is glory; it is majesty: it is all that is great, sublime, wonderful - all combined - all concentrated - in one Being.
thy wondrous works—or, "words of thy wonders," that is, which described them (Ps 105:27, Margin).The glorious honour of thy majesty: here are divers words heaped together, to intimate that no words were sufficient to express it.
and of thy wondrous works; in becoming incarnate, in dying for the sins of his people, in rising from the dead the third day, in ascending to heaven and receiving gifts for men; in pouring down the spirit on them, in governing his church throughout all ages of the world, and judging the world at last.I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)5. The glorious splendour of thy majesty
And all thy marvellous works shall be my theme.
Splendour, glory, majesty, are the attributes of God as King. Cp. Psalm 145:12; Psalm 21:5; Psalm 104:1; Psalm 96:6.
For the word rendered shall be my theme, lit. I will busy myself with, discourse concerning, see note on Psalm 105:2.
thy wondrous works] The Heb. text reads the matters or details (דִּבְרֵי) of My marvellous works (cp. Psalm 65:3; Psalm 105:27); but the LXX represents a verb (יְדַבֵּרוּ), so that the verse would run, Of the glorious splendour of thy majesty do men talk, and of all thy marvellous works will I discourse. This reading improves the rhythm, and makes the structure of the verse correspond exactly to that of Psalm 145:6. The further alteration of the first person in Psalm 145:5 b, 6 b to the third in the LXX they will discourse … they will declare is unnecessary. Worship in P.B.V. = honour. Cf. Luke 14:10.Verse 5. - I will speak of the glorious honor of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works (comp. Psalm 26:7; Psalm 71:17). It was the duty of every faithful Israelite to set forth God's majesty, and to "declare his works with rejoicing" (Psalm 117:2). David proclaims himself ready to perform this duty. Then, he thinks, others will join in. Judges 9:17; Jeremiah 16:13, and frequently. lxx ὢν οἱ υίοὶ (אשׁר בניהם); so that the temporal prosperity of the enemies is pictured here, and in Psalm 144:15 the spiritual possession of Israel is contrasted with it. The union becomes satisfactorily close in connection with this reading, but the reference of the description, so designedly set forth, to the enemies is improbable. In Psalm 144:12-14 we hear a language that is altogether peculiar, without any assignable earlier model. Instead of נטעים we read נטעים elsewhere; "in their youth" belongs to "our sons." מזוינוּ, our garners or treasuries, from a singular מזו or מזוּ (apparently from a verb מזה, but contracted out of מזוה), is a hapaxlegomenon; the older language has the words אסם, אוצר, ממּגוּרה instead of it. In like manner זן, genus (vid., Ewald, Lehrbuch, S. 380), is a later word (found besides only in 2 Chronicles 16:14, where וּזנים signifies et varia quidem, Syriac zenonoje, or directly spices from species); the older language has miyn for this word. Instead of אלּוּפים, kine, which signifies "princes" in the older language, the older language says אלפים in Psalm 8:8. The plena scriptio צאוננוּ, in which the Waw is even inaccurate, corresponds to the later period; and to this corresponds שׁ equals אשׁר in Psalm 144:15, cf. on the other hand Psalm 33:12. Also מסבּלים, laden equals bearing, like the Latin forda from ferre (cf. מעבּר in Job 21:10), is not found elsewhere. צאן is (contrary to Genesis 30:39) treated as a feminine collective, and אלּוּף (cf. שׁור in Job 21:10) as a nomen epicaenum. Contrary to the usage of the word, Maurer, Kצster, Von Lengerke, and Frst render it: our princes are set up (after Ezra 6:3); also, after the mention of animals of the fold upon the meadows out-of-doors, one does not expect the mention of princes, but of horned cattle that are to be found in the stalls.
זוית elsewhere signifies a corner, and here, according to the prevailing view, the corner-pillars; so that the elegant slender daughters are likened to tastefully sculptured Caryatides - not to sculptured projections (Luther). For (1) זוית does not signify a projection, but a corner, an angle, Arabic Arab. zâwyt, zâwia (in the terminology of the stone-mason the square-stone equals אבן פּנּהּ, in the terminology of the carpenter the square), from Arab. zwâ, abdere (cf. e.g., the proverb: fı̂'l zawâjâ chabâjâ, in the corners are treasures). (2) The upstanding pillar is better adapted to the comparison than the overhanging projection. But that other prevailing interpretation is also doubtful. The architecture of Syria and Palestine - the ancient, so far as it can be known to us from its remains, and the new - exhibits nothing in connection with which one would be led to think of "corner-pillars." Nor is there any trace of that signification to be found in the Semitic זוית. On the other hand, the corners of large rooms in the houses of persons of position are ornamented with carved work even in the present day, and since this ornamentation is variegated, it may be asked whether מחתּבות does here signify "sculptured," and not rather "striped in colours, variegated," which we prefer, since חטב (cogn. חצב) signifies nothing more than to hew firewood;
(Note: In every instance where חטב (cogn. חצב) occurs, frequently side by side with שׁאב מים (to draw water), it signifies to hew wood for kindling; wherefore in Arabic, in which the verb has been lost, Arab. ḥaṭab signifies firewood (in distinction from Arab. chšb, wood for building, timber), and not merely this, but fuel in the widest sense, e.g., in villages where wood is scarce, cow-dung (vid., Job, at Job 20:6-11, note), and the hemp-stalk, or stalk of the maize, in the desert the Arab. b‛rt, i.e., camel-dung (which blazes up with a blue flame), and the perennial steppe-plant or its root. In relation to Arab. ḥaṭab, aḥṭb signifies lopped, pruned, robbed of its branches (of a tree), and Arab. ḥrb ḥâtb a pruning war, which devastates a country, just as the wood-gathering women of a settlement (styled Arab. 'l-ḥâťbât or 'l-ȟwâṭt) with their small hatchet (Arab. miḥṭab) lay a district covered with tall plants bare in a few days. In the villages of the Merg' the little girls who collect the dry cow-dung upon the pastures are called Arab. bnât ḥâṭbât, בּנות הטבות. - Wetzstein.)
and on the other side, the signification of the Arabic chaṭiba, to be striped, many-coloured (IV to become green-striped, of the coloquintida), is also secured to the verb חטב side by side with that signification by Proverbs 7:16. It is therefore to be rendered: our daughters are as corners adorned in varied colours after the architecture of palaces.
(Note: Corners with variegated carved work are found even in the present day in Damascus in every reception-room (the so-called Arab. qâ‛t) or respectable houses cf. Lane, Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, Introduction). An architectural ornament composed with much good taste and laborious art out of wood carvings, and glittering with gold and brilliant colours, covers the upper part of the corners, of which a ḳâ‛a may have as many as sixteen, since three wings frequently abut upon the bêt el-baḥǎra, i.e., the square with its marble basin. This decoration, which has a most pleasing effect to the eye, is a great advantage to saloons from two to three storeys high, and is evidently designed to get rid of the darker corners above on the ceiling, comes down from the ceiling in the corners of the room for the length of six to nine feet, gradually becoming narrower as it descends. It is the broadest above, so that it there also covers the ends of the horizontal corners formed by the walls and the ceiling. If this crowning of the corners, the technical designation of which, if I remember rightly, is Arab. 'l-qrnyt, ḳornı̂a, might be said to go back into Biblical antiquity, the Psalmist would have used it as a simile to mark the beauty, gorgeous dress, and rich adornment of women. Perhaps, too, because they are not only modest and chaste (cf. Arabic mesturât, a veiled woman, in opposition to memshushât, one shone on by the sun), but also, like the children of respectable families, hidden from the eyes of strangers; for the Arabic proverb quoted above says, "treasures are hidden in the corners," and the superscription of a letter addressed to a lady of position runs: "May it kiss the hand of the protected lady and of the hidden jewel." - Wetzstein.)
The words האליף, to bring forth by thousands, and מרבּב (denominative from רבבה), which surpasses it, multiplied by tens of thousands, are freely formed. Concerning חוּצות, meadows, vid., on Job 18:17. פּרץ, in a martial sense a defeat, clades, e.g., in Judges 21:15, is here any violent misfortune whatever, as murrain, which causes a breach, and יוצאת any head of cattle which goes off by a single misfortune. The lamentation in the streets is intended as in Jeremiah 14:2. שׁכּכה is also found in Sol 5:9; nor does the poet, however, hesitate to blend this שׁ with the tetragrammaton into one word. The Jod is not dageshed (cf. Psalm 123:2), because it is to be read שׁאדני, cf. מיהוה equals מאדני in Genesis 18:14. Luther takes Psalm 144:15 and Psalm 144:15 as contrasts: Blessed is the people that is in such a case, But blessed is the people whose God is the Lord. There is, however, no antithesis intended, but only an exceeding of the first declaration by the second. For to be allowed to call the God from whom every blessing comes his God, is still infinitely more than the richest abundance of material blessing. The pinnacle of Israel's good fortune consists in being, by the election of grace, the people of the Lord (Psalm 33:12).
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