Psalm 50:10
For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) A thousand hills.—Literally, mountains of a thousand, an expression for which there is no analogy, but which might conceivably mean, “mountains where the cattle are by thousands;” but surely the LXX. and Vulg. are right here, in rendering “oxen” instead of “a thousand,” and we should read “hills of oxen.”

50:7-15 To obey is better than sacrifice, and to love God and our neighbour better than all burnt-offerings. We are here warned not to rest in these performances. And let us beware of resting in any form. God demands the heart, and how can human inventions please him, when repentance, faith, and holiness are neglected? In the day of distress we must apply to the Lord by fervent prayer. Our troubles, though we see them coming from God's hand, must drive us to him, not drive us from him. We must acknowledge him in all our ways, depend upon his wisdom, power, and goodness, and refer ourselves wholly to him, and so give him glory. Thus must we keep up communion with God; meeting him with prayers under trials, and with praises in deliverances. A believing supplicant shall not only be graciously answered as to his petition, and so have cause for praising God, but shall also have grace to praise him.For every beast of the forest is mine - All the beasts that roam at large in the wilderness; all that are untamed and unclaimed by man. The idea is, that even if God "needed" such offerings, he was not dependent on them - for the numberless beasts that roamed at large as his own would yield an ample supply.

And the cattle upon a thousand hills - This may mean either the cattle that roamed by thousands on the hills, or the cattle on numberless hills. The Hebrew will bear either construction. The former is most likely to be the meaning. The allusion is probably to the animals that were pastured in great numbers on the hills, and that were claimed by men. The idea is, that all - whether wild or tame - belonged to God, and he had a right to them, to dispose of them as he pleased. He was not, therefore, in any way dependent on sacrifices. It is a beautiful and impressive thought, that the "property" in all these animals - in all living things on the earth - is in God, and that he has a right to dispose of them as he pleases. What man owns, he owns under God, and has no right to complain when God comes and asserts his superior claim to dispose of it at his pleasure. God has never given to man the absolute proprietorship in "any" thing; nor does he invade our rights when he comes and claims what we possess, or when in any way he removes what is most valuable to us. Compare Job 1:21.

8-15. However scrupulous in external worship, it was offered as if they conferred an obligation in giving God His own, and with a degrading view of Him as needing it [Ps 50:9-13]. Reproving them for such foolish and blasphemous notions, He teaches them to offer, or literally, "sacrifice," thanksgiving, and pay, or perform, their vows—that is, to bring, with the external symbolical service, the homage of the heart, and faith, penitence, and love. To this is added an invitation to seek, and a promise to afford, all needed help in trouble. I would command or dispose them at my pleasure, without thy leave or assistance, even the cattle which feed upon innumerable hills, or in valleys and fields.

For every beast of the forest is mine,.... By creation and preservation; and therefore he stood in no need of their bullocks and he goats;

and the cattle upon a thousand hills; meaning all the cattle in the whole world.

{i} For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.

(i) Though he delighted in sacrifice, yet he had no need for man's help in it.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 10. - For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. So the Revised Version, Dr. Kay, Canon Cook, the Four Friends, and others; but many critics regard such a rendering as impossible. Of these, some translate, "And the cattle upon the hills, where there are thousands" (Hupfeld, Hengstenberg, etc.); while others read אלהים for אלפ, and render, "And the cattle upon the mountains of God" (Olshausen, Cheyne). Psalm 50:10Exposition of the sacrificial Tra for the good of those whose holiness consists in outward works. The forms strengthened by ah, in Psalm 50:7, describe God's earnest desire to have Israel for willing hearers as being quite as strong as His desire to speak and to bear witness. העיד בּ, obtestari aliquem, to come forward as witness, either solemnly assuring, or, as here and in the Psalm of Asaph, Psalm 81:9, earnestly warning and punishing (cf. Arab. šahida with b, to bear witness against any one). On the Dagesh forte conjunctive in בּך, vid., Ges. ֗20, 2, a. He who is speaking has a right thus to stand face to face with Israel, for he is Elohim, the God of Israel - by which designation reference is made to the words אנכי יהוה אלהיך (Exodus 20:2), with which begins the Law as given from Sinai, and which here take the Elohimic form (whereas in Psalm 81:11 they remain unaltered) and are inverted in accordance with the context. As Psalm 50:8 states, it is not the material sacrifices, which Israel continually, without cessation, offers, that are the object of the censuring testimony. ועולתיך, even if it has Mugrash, as in Baer, is not on this account, according to the interpretation given by the accentuation, equivalent to ועל־עולותיך (cf. on the other hand Psalm 38:18); it is a simple assertory substantival clause: thy burnt-offerings are, without intermission, continually before Me. God will not dispute about sacrifices in their outward characteristics; for - so Psalm 50:9 go on to say-He does not need sacrifices for the sake of receiving from Israel what He does not otherwise possess. His is every wild beast (חיתו, as in the Asaph Psalm 79:2) of the forest, His the cattle בּהררי אלף, upon the mountains of a thousand, i.e., upon the thousand (and myriad) mountains (similar to מתי מספּר or מתי מעט), or: where they live by thousands (a similar combination to נבל עשׂור). Both explanations of the genitive are unsupported by any perfectly analogous instance so far as language is concerned; the former, however, is to be preferred on account of the singular, which is better suited to it. He knows every bird that makes its home on the mountains; ידע, as usually, of a knowledge which masters a subject, compasses it and makes it its own. Whatever moves about the fields if with Him, i.e., is within the range of His knowledge (cf. Job 27:11; Psalm 10:13), and therefore of His power; זיז (here and in the Asaph Psalm 80:14) from זאזא equals זעזע, to move to and fro, like טיט from טיטע, to swept out, cf. κινώπετον, κνώδαλον, from κινεῖν. But just as little as God requires sacrifices in order thereby to enrich Himself, is there any need on His part that might be satisfied by sacrifices, Psalm 50:12. If God should hunger, He would not stand in need of man's help in order to satisfy Himself; but He is never hungry, for He is the Being raised above all carnal wants. Just on this account, what God requires is not by any means the outward worship of sacrifice, but a spiritual offering, the worship of the heart, Psalm 50:14. Instead of the שׁלמים, and more particularly זבח תּודה, Leviticus 7:11-15, and שׁלמי נדר, Leviticus 7:16 (under the generic idea of which are also included, strictly speaking, vowed thank-offerings), God desires the thanksgiving of the heart and the performance of that which has been vowed in respect of our moral relationship to Himself and to men; and instead of the עולה in its manifold forms of devotion, the prayer of the heart, which shall not remain unanswered, so that in the round of this λογικὴ λατρεία everything proceeds from and ends in εὐχαριστία. It is not the sacrifices offered in a becoming spirit that are contrasted with those offered without the heart (as, e.g., Sir. 32 [35]:1-9), but the outward sacrifice appears on the whole to be rejected in comparison with the spiritual sacrifice. This entire turning away from the outward form of the legal ceremonial is, in the Old Testament, already a predictive turning towards that worship of God in spirit and in truth which the new covenant makes alone of avail, after the forms of the Law have served as swaddling clothes to the New Testament life which was coming into being in the old covenant. This "becoming" begins even in the Tra itself, especially in Deuteronomy. Our Psalm, like the Chokma (Proverbs 21:3), and prophecy in the succeeding age (cf. Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:6-8; Isaiah 1:11-15, and other passages), stands upon the standpoint of this concluding book of the Tra, which traces back all the requirements of the Law to the fundamental command of love.
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