Psalm 33:13
The LORD looks from heaven; he beholds all the sons of men.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 33:13-15. He beholdeth all the sons of men — Although he had a special relation to Israel, yet he hath a general care over all mankind, all whose hearts and ways he observes. He fashioneth their hearts alike —

היצר יחד לבם, hajotzer jachad lib-bam, It is he that formed their hearts, one and all, and consequently must know what are their thoughts and intentions: or, in the present tense, as our version renders it, He formeth, and so it refers to the works of God’s providence; and the psalmist having said that God sees and observes all men, now adds, that he rules and governs them; yea, even their hearts, which are most unmanageable, he disposes and inclines according to the counsel of his will. Alike, or, equally, one as well as another; whether they be Jews or Gentiles, bond or free, princes or peasants; all are alike subject to his jurisdiction. He considereth all their works — Both outward and inward, all the workings of their minds and actions, and all their endeavours and actions. How great then “must be the advantage of living in the favour, and under the protection, of this great Being, who, from the watch-tower of his eternal throne, beholdeth, directeth, and controlleth, at pleasure, not only the actions and the words, but the very thoughts and imaginations of all the inhabitants of the earth!” — Horne.33:12-22 All the motions and operations of the souls of men, which no mortals know but themselves, God knows better than they do. Their hearts, as well as their times, are all in his hand; he formed the spirit of each man within him. All the powers of the creature depend upon him, and are of no account, of no avail at all, without him. If we make God's favour sure towards us, then we need not fear whatever is against us. We are to give to him the glory of his special grace. All human devices for the salvation of our souls are vain; but the Lord's watchful eye is over those whose conscientious fear of his name proceeds from a believing hope in his mercy. In difficulties they shall be helped; in dangers they shall not receive any real damage. Those that fear God and his wrath, must hope in God and his mercy; for there is no flying from him, but by flying to him. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us; let us always have the comfort and benefit, not according to our merits, but according to the promise which thou hast in thy word given to us, and according to the faith thou hast by thy Spirit and grace wrought in us.The Lord looketh from heaven - heaven is represented as his abode or dwelling; and from that place he is represented as looking down upon all the nations of the earth. The meaning here is, that he sees all that dwell upon the earth, and that, therefore, all that worship him are under his eye. He knows their wants, and he will watch over them to protect them. It is not merely to the abstract truth that God sees all who dwell upon the earth that the psalmist means to refer; but that those who are his friends, or who worship him, are all under his eye, so as to enjoy his watchful care and attention.

He beholdeth all the sons of men - All the descendants of "Adam," for this is the original. There is no improbability in supposing that the word "Adam" here (usually meaning "man") is employed as a proper name to denote the great ancestor of the human race, and that the psalmist means to refer to the race as one great family descended from a common ancestor, though scattered abroad over the face of the world.

13. looketh—intently (Isa 14:16).13 The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.

14 From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.

15 He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.

16 There is no king saved by the multitude of an host; a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.

17 An horse is a vain thing for safety; neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.

18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;

19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

Psalm 33:13

"The Lord looketh from heaven." The Lord is represented as dwelling above and looking down below; seeing all things, but peculiarly observing and caring for those who trust in him. It is one of our choicest privileges to be always under our Father's eye, to be never out of sight of our best Friend. "He beholdeth all the sons of men." All Adam's sons are as well watched as was Adam himself, their lone progenitor in the garden. Ranging from the frozen pole to the scorching equator, dwelling in hills and valleys, in huts and palaces, alike doth the divine eye regard all the members of the family of man.

Psalm 33:14

From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth." Here the sentiment is repeated: it is worth repeating, and it needs repeating, for man is most prone to forget it. As great men sit at their windows and watch the crowd below, so doth the Lord; he gazeth intently upon his responsible creatures, and forgets nothing of what he sees.

Psalm 33:15

"He fashioneth their hearts alike." By which is meant that all hearts are equally fashioned by the Lord, kings' hearts as well as the hearts of beggars. The text does not mean that all hearts are created originally alike by God, such a statement would scarcely be true, since there is the utmost variety in the constitutions and dispositions of men. All men equally owe the possession of life to the Creator, and have therefore no reason to boast themselves. What reason has the vessel to glorify itself in presence of the potter? "He considereth al their works." Not in vain doth God see men's acts: he ponders and judges them. He reads the secret design in the outward behaviour, and resolves the apparent good into its real elements. This consideration foretokens a judgment when the results of the divine thoughts will be meted out in measures of happiness or woe. Consider thy ways, O man, for God considers them!

Psalm 33:16

continued...

No text from Poole on this verse. The Lord looketh from heaven,.... Where his throne and temple are, upon the earth and men, and things in it, as follows;

he beholdeth all the sons of men; the evil and the good; which is contrary to the sense of many wicked men, who imagine he takes no notice of what is done here below; but his eye is upon all, upon all the workers of iniquity, how secret soever they may be; and not only his eye of Providence is upon good men, but his eye of love, grace, and mercy; and he has a special and distinct knowledge of them: agreeably to this are some expressions of Heathen writers; says one (e),

"the eye of God sees all things;''

says another (f),

"there is a great God in heaven who sees all things, and governs.''

(e) , &c. Hesiod. Opera & Dies, l. 1. v. 263. (f) , &c. Sophoclis Electra, v. 174, 175.

The LORD {i} looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.

(i) He proves that all things are governed by God's providence and not by fortune.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13, 14. The Psalmist dwells upon Jehovah’s all-seeing omniscience in order to emphasise the peculiar privilege of His people. Throned in heaven (1 Kings 8:39 ff.) He surveys all mankind. Cp. Psalm 11:4; Psalm 14:2; Psalm 102:19-20.Verse 13. - The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men (comp. Psalm 11:4: 14:2; 102:19). God's having any care at all for man is a wondrous condescension, and so worthy of all praise; his having regard to all men - all the frail sons of weak and sinful Adam - is still more wonderful, still more deserving of eulogy. God's praiseworthiness (b) as the Creator of the world in the kingdom of Nature. Jahve's דּבר is His almighty "Let there be;" and רוח פּיו (inasmuch as the breath is here regarded as the material of which the word is formed and the bearer of the word) is the command, or in general, the operation of His commanding omnipotence (Job 15:30, cf. Job 4:9; Isaiah 34:16, cf. Psalm 11:4). The heavens above and the waters beneath stand side by side as miracles of creation. The display of His power in the waters of the sea consists in His having confined them within fixed bounds and keeping them within these. נד is a pile, i.e., a piled up heap (Arabic nadd), and more especially an inference to harvest: like such a heap do the convex waters of the sea, being firmly held together, rise above the level of the continents. The expression is like that in Joshua 3:13, Joshua 3:15, cf. Exodus 15:8; although there the reference is to a miracle occurring in the course of history, and in this passage to a miracle of creation. כּנס refers to the heap itself, not to the walls of the storehouses as holding together. This latter figure is not introduced until Psalm 33:7: the bed of the sea and those of the rivers are, as it were, אוצרות, treasuries or storehouses, in which God has deposited the deep, foaming waves or surging mass of waters. The inhabitants (ישׁבי, not יושׁבי) of the earth have cause to fear God who is thus omnipotent (מן, in the sense of falling back from in terror); for He need only speak the word and that which He wills comes into being out of nothing, as we see from the hexameron or history of Creation, but which is also confirmed in human history (Lamentations 3:37). He need only command and it stands forth like an obedient servant, that appears in all haste at the call of his lord, Psalm 119:91.
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