He has also established them for ever and ever: he has made a decree which shall not pass.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Stablished.—Literally, made to stand, i.e., set them up.
He hath made . . .—Rather, he hath made an ordinance, and will not transgress it. This is more obvious and natural than to supply a new subject to the second verb, “and none of them transgress it.” This anticipates, but only in form, the modern scientific doctrine of the inviolability of natural order. It is the imperishable faithfulness of God that renders the law invariable. See the remarkable passages, Jeremiah 31:36; Jeremiah 33:20, from winch we conclude that a covenant was supposed to have been made between God and nature as between Jehovah and Israel, the one being as imperishable as the other. A comparison of the two passages referred to shows that the Hebrew words ordinance and covenant might be used synonymously. The Authorised Version, which, following the LXX. and Vulg., makes the ordinance itself imperishable, violates the usage of the Hebrew verb.Psalm 119:90, note; Psalm 72:5, note; Psalm 89:2, note; Psalm 89:36-37, note. See also 2 Peter 3:7, note; 2 Peter 3:10, note; 2 Peter 3:13, note.
He hath made a decree which shall not pass - He has given a law or statute which they cannot pass. The word rendered decree here seems to be used in the sense of limit or bound; and the idea is, that he has bound them by a fixed law; he has established laws which they are compelled to observe. The fact is, in regard to them, that he has established great laws - as the law of gravitation - by which they are held from flying off; he has marked out orbits in which they move; he has so bound them that they perform their revolutions with unerring accuracy in the very path which he has prescribed. So accurate are their movements that they can be predicted with exact precision; and so uniform, that any succession of ages does not vary or affect them.
a decree … pass—His ordinances respecting them shall not change (Jer 36:31), or perish (Job 34:20; Ps 37:36).Stablished them for ever and ever; either absolutely, as to the substance of them, or at least to the end of the world. He hath made them constant and incorruptible, not changeable and perishing, as the things of the lower world are.
Made a decree; either concerning their several courses and influences; or rather, for their continuance for ever; which best agrees with the foregoing and following words.
Which shall not pass; which decree shall never be made void. Psalm 72:5;
he hath made a decree which shall not pass; concerning those creatures and their duration, which shall never pass away, or be frustrated or made void; but shall always continue and have its sure and certain effect; see Jeremiah 31:35; and is true of every decree of God, which is eternal and not frustrable, and is always fulfilled, Isaiah 14:27.He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. And he hath made them stand fast] To Him they owe not only their original creation but their perpetual maintenance. Cp. Sir 43:26; Colossians 1:17.
he hath made a decree which shall not pass] This rendering, which is that of the LXX (παρελεύσεται) and Jer. (praeteribit) may be defended by Esther 1:19; Esther 9:27 : but the general usage of the verb and subst. is in favour of the rendering, He hath given (them) a statute which none (of them) shall transgress. The ‘law of gravity’ and the other ‘laws of nature’ keep them fixed in their orbits and courses. For chôq (something prescribed, an enactment, statute) in the sense of the laws imposed on nature by Jehovah see Jeremiah 31:35-36; Jeremiah 33:25.Verse 6. - He hath also established them forever and ever (comp. Psalm 89:37). The expression, "forever and ever," must not be pressed. It means "for all time" - while heaven and earth endure - but does not imply an absolute perpetuity. He hath made a decree which shall not pass; rather, which shall not pass away (see the Revised Version; and comp Genesis 8:22; Jeremiah 31:35, 36; Jeremiah 33:25). Nehemiah 7:1-4). The blessing of God again rests upon the children of the sacred metropolis. Its territory, which has experienced all the sufferings of war, and formerly resounded with the tumult of arms and cries of woe and destruction, God has now, from being an arena of conflict, made into peace (the accusative of the effect, and therefore different from Isaiah 60:17); and since the land can now again be cultivated in peace, the ancient promise (Psalm 81:17) is fulfilled, that God would feed His people, if they would only obey Him, with the fat of wheat. The God of Israel is the almighty Governor of nature. It is He who sends His fiat (אמרתו after the manner of the ויּאמר of the history of creation, cf. Psalm 33:9) earthwards (ארץ, the accusative of the direction). The word is His messenger (vid., on Psalm 107:20), עד־מהרה, i.e., it runs as swiftly as possible, viz., in order to execute the errand on which it is sent. He it is who sends down snow-flakes like flocks of wool, so that the fields are covered with snow as with a white-woollen warming covering.
(Note: Bochart in his Hierozoicon on this passage compares an observation of Eustathius on Dionysius Periegetes: τὴν χιόνα ἐριῶδες ὕδωρ ἀστείως οἱ παλαιοὶ ἐκάλουν.)
He scatters hoar-frost (כּפור from כּפר, to cover over with the fine frozen dew or mist as though they were powdered with ashes that the wind had blown about. Another time He casts His ice
(Note: lxx (Italic, Vulgate) κρύσταλλον, i.e., ice, from the root κρυ, to freeze, to congeal (Jerome glaciem). Quid est crystallum? asks Augustine, and replies: Nix est glacie durata per multos annos ita ut a sole vel igne acile dissolvi non possit.)
(קרחו from קרח; or according to another reading, קרחו from קרח) down like morsels, fragments, כפתּים, viz., as hail-stones, or as sleet. The question: before His cold - who can stand? is formed as in Nahum 1:6, cf. Psalm 130:3. It further comes to pass that God sends forth His word and causes them (snow, hoar-frost, and ice) to melt away: He makes His thawing wind blow, waters flow; i.e., as soon as the one comes about, the other also takes place forthwith. This God now, who rules all things by His word and moulds all things according to His will, is the God of the revelation pertaining to the history of salvation, which is come to Israel, and as the bearer of which Israel takes the place of honour among the nations, Deuteronomy 4:7., 32-34. Since the poet says מגּיד and not הגּיד, he is thinking not only of the Tra, but also of prophecy as the continuous self-attestation of God, the Lawgiver. The Ker דּבריו, occasioned by the plurals of the parallel member of the verse, gives an unlimited indistinct idea. We must keep to דברו, with the lxx, Aquila, Theodotion, the Quinta, Sexta, and Jerome. The word, which is the medium of God's cosmical rule, is gone forth as a word of salvation to Israel, and, unfolding itself in statutes and judgments, has raised Israel to a legal state founded upon a positive divine law or judgment such as no Gentile nation possesses. The Hallelujah does not exult over the fact that these other nations are not acquainted with any such positive divine law, but (cf. Deuteronomy 4:7., Baruch 4:4) over the fact that Israel is put into possession of such a law. It is frequently attested elsewhere that this possession of Israel is only meant to be a means of making salvation a common property of the world at large.
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