Psalm 138:4
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O LORD, for they have heard the words of your mouth,

King James Bible
All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth.

American Standard Version
All the kings of the earth shall give thee thanks, O Jehovah, For they have heard the words of thy mouth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
May all the kings of the earth give glory to thee: for they have heard all the words of thy mouth.

English Revised Version
All the kings of the earth shall give thee thanks, O LORD, for they have heard the words of thy mouth.

Webster's Bible Translation
All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth.

Psalm 138:4 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The second part of the Psalm supplicates vengeance upon Edom and Babylon. We see from Obadiah's prophecy, which is taken up again by Jeremiah, how shamefully the Edomites, that brother-people related by descent to Israel and yet pre-eminently hostile to it, behaved in connection with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldaeans as their malignant, rapacious, and inhuman helpers. The repeated imper. Piel ערוּ, from ערה (not imper. Kal from ערר, which would be ערוּ), ought to have been accented on the ult.; it is, however, in both cases accented on the first syllable, the pausal ערוּ (cf. כּלוּ in Psalm 37:20, and also הסּוּ, Nehemiah 8:11) giving rise to the same accentuation of the other (in order that two tone-syllables might not come together). The Pasek also stands between the two repeated words in order that they may be duly separated, and secures, moreover, to the guttural initial of the second ערוּ its distinct pronunciation (cf. Genesis 26:28; Numbers 35:16). It is to be construed: lay bare, lay bare (as in Habakkuk 3:13, cf. גּלּה in Micah 1:6) in it (Beth of the place), of in respect of it (Beth of the object), even to the foundation, i.e., raze it even to the ground, leave not one stone upon another. From the false brethren the imprecation turns to Babylon, the city of the imperial power of the world. The daughter, i.e., the population, of Babylon is addressed as השּׁדוּדה. It certainly seems the most natural to take this epithet as a designation of its doings which cry for vengeance. But it cannot in any case be translated: thou plunderer (Syriac like the Targum: bozuzto; Symmachus ἡ λῃστρίς), for שׁדד does not mean to rob and plunder, but to offer violence and to devastate. Therefore: thou devastator; but the word so pointed as we have it before us cannot have this signification: it ought to be השּׁדודה, like בּגודה in Jeremiah 3:7, Jeremiah 3:10, or השּׁדוּדה (with an unchangeable ā), corresponding to the Syriac active intensive form ālûṣo, oppressor, gōdûfo, slanderer, and the Arabic likewise active intensive form Arab. fâ‛ûl, e.g., fâshûs, a boaster, and also as an adjective: ǵôz fâshûs, empty nuts, cf. יקוּשׁ equals יקושׁ, a fowler, like nâṭûr (נאטור), a field-watcher. The form as it stands is part. pass., and signifies προνενομευμένη (Aquila), vastata (Jerome). It is possible that this may be said in the sense of vastanda, although in this sense of a part. fut. pass. the participles of the Niphal (e.g., Psalm 22:32; Psalm 102:19) and of the Pual (Psalm 18:4) are more commonly used. It cannot at any rate signify vastata in an historical sense, with reference to the destruction of Babylon by Darius Hystaspes (Hengstenberg); for Psalm 137:7 only prays that the retribution may come: it cannot therefore as yet have been executed; but if השׁדודה signified the already devastated one, it must (at least in the main) have been executed already. It might be more readily understood as a prophetical representation of the executed judgment of devastation; but this prophetic rendering coincides with the imprecative: the imagination of the Semite when he utters a curse sees the future as a realized fact. "Didst thou see the smitten one (maḍrûb)," i.e., he whom God must smite? Thus the Arab inquires for a person who is detested. "Pursue him who is seized (ilḥaḳ el̇ma'chûdh)," i.e., him whom God must allow thee to seize! Thy speak thus inasmuch as the imagination at once anticipates the seizure at the same time with the pursuit. Just as here both maḍrûb and ma'chûdh are participles of Kasl, so therefore השּׁדוּודה may also have the sense of vastanda (which must be laid waste!). That which is then further desired for Babylon is the requital of that which it has done to Israel, Isaiah 47:6. It is the same penal destiny, comprehending the children also, which is predicted against it in Isaiah 13:16-18, as that which was to be executed by the Medes. The young children (with reference to עולל, עולל, vid., on Psalm 8:3) are to be dashed to pieces in order that a new generation may not raise up again the world-wide dominion that has been overthrown, Isaiah 14:21. It is zeal for God that puts such harsh words into the mouth of the poet. "That which is Israel's excellency and special good fortune the believing Israelite desires to have bestowed upon the whole world, but for this very reason he desires to see the hostility of the present world of nations against the church of God broken" (Hofmann). On the other hand, it cannot be denied that the "blessed" of this Psalm is not suited to the mouth of the New Testament church. In the Old Testament the church as yet had the form of a nation, and the longing for the revelation of divine righteousness clothed itself accordingly in a warlike garb.

Psalm 138:4 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

all the kings

Psalm 72:11 Yes, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.

Psalm 102:15,22 So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth your glory...

Isaiah 49:23 And kings shall be your nursing fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers...

Isaiah 60:3-5,16 And the Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising...

Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying...

Revelation 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it...

when they hear

Psalm 22:22,27 I will declare your name to my brothers: in the middle of the congregation will I praise you...

Psalm 51:13 Then will I teach transgressors your ways; and sinners shall be converted to you.

Psalm 69:30-32 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving...

Psalm 71:18 Now also when I am old and gray headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have showed your strength to this generation...

Cross References
Psalm 45:17
I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.

Psalm 72:11
May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him!

Psalm 102:15
Nations will fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth will fear your glory.

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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