Psalm 145:1
David's Psalm of praise. I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.
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(1) The psalm opens with familiar psalm strains. (Comp. openings of Psalms 30, 34)

For ever and ever.—In contemplation of the greatness and majesty of God time ceases to be. The poet vows a homage indefinitely prolonged.

Psalm 145:1-4. I will extol thee, my God, O King — Or, my God, the king; termed so by way of eminence; the King of kings, the God by whom kings reign, and to whom I and all other kings owe subjection and obedience. Every day will I bless thee — Praising God should be our daily work. No day should pass, though never so busy on the one hand, or sorrowful on the other, without it. We ought to reckon it the most necessary of our daily business, and the most delightful of our daily comforts. God is every day blessing us, and doing us good, and therefore there is good reason why we should be every day blessing him, and speaking well of him. I will praise thy name for ever and ever — Not only to the end of my life in this world, but to all eternity in the world to come. Great is the Lord — In his being, majesty, and glory, and in all perfections. His presence is infinite, his power irresistible, his majesty awful, his sovereignty incontestable, his dominion illimitable, his glory insupportable; there is therefore no dispute, but great is the Lord, and if great, then greatly to be praised — With all that is within us, to the utmost of our power, and with all the circumstances of solemnity imaginable. His greatness indeed cannot be comprehended; it is unsearchable — But then it is so much the more to be praised, as we can neither fathom the depth nor discern the height of it. “The greatness of Jehovah,” says Dr. Horne, “whether we consider it as relating to his essence or his works, is never to be fully comprehended by his saints, whose delight it is to contemplate the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; the extent and duration of his being and his kingdom, the profundity of his counsels, and the sublimity of his power and glory. These are the inexhaustible subjects of divine meditation, transmitted from age to age. And as the greatness of our God and Saviour hath no bounds, so his praises should have no end; nor should the voice of thanksgiving ever cease in the church. As one generation drops it, another should take it up, and prolong the delightful strain till the sun and moon shall withdraw their light, and the stars fall extinguished from their orbs.”

145:1-9 Those who, under troubles and temptations, abound in fervent prayer, shall in due season abound in grateful praise, which is the true language of holy joy. Especially we should speak of God's wondrous work of redemption, while we declare his greatness. For no deliverance of the Israelites, nor the punishment of sinners, so clearly proclaims the justice of God, as the cross of Christ exhibits it to the enlightened mind. It may be truly said of our Lord Jesus Christ, that his words are words of goodness and grace; his works are works of goodness and grace. He is full of compassion; hence he came into the world to save sinners. When on earth, he showed his compassion both to the bodies and souls of men, by healing the one, and making wise the other. He is of great mercy, a merciful High Priest, through whom God is merciful to sinners.I will extol thee ... - I will lift thee up; I will lift up thy name and praise, so that it may be heard afar.

And I will bless thy name forever and ever - I will bless or praise thee. I will do it now; I will do it in all the future. I will do it in time; I will do it in eternity. See the notes at Psalm 30:1.


Ps 145:1-21. A Psalm of praise to God for His mighty, righteous, and gracious government of all men, and of His humble and suffering people in particular.

1, 2. (Compare Ps 30:1).

bless thy name—celebrate Thy perfections (Ps 5:11). God is addressed as king, alluding to His government of men.

1 I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.

2 Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.

3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.

4 One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.

5 I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.

6 And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts; and I will declare thy greatness.

7 They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.

Psalm 145:1

"I will extol thee, my God, O king." David as God's king adores God as his king. It is well when the Lord's royalty arouses our loyalty, and our spirit is moved to magnify his majesty. The Psalmist has extolled his Lord many a time before, he is doing so still, and he will do so in the future: praise is for all tenses. When we cannot express all our praise just now, it is wise to register our resolution to continue in the blessed work, and write it down as a bond, "I will extol thee." See how David testifies his devotion and adherence to his God by the pronoun "my," how he owns his allegiance by the title "king," and how he goes on to declare his determination to make much of him in his song.

"And I will bless thy name for ever and ever." David determined that his praise should rise to blessing, should intelligently spend itself upon the name or character of God, and should be continued world without end. He uses the word "bless" not merely for variation of sound, but also for the deepening and sweetening of the sense. To bless God is to praise him with a personal affection for him, and a wishing well to him; this is a growingly easy exercise as we advance in experience and grow in grace. David declares that he will offer every form of praise, through every form of existence. His notion of duration is a full one - "for ever" has no end, but when he adds another "ever" to it he forbids all idea of a close. Our praise of God shall be as eternal as the God we praise.

Psalm 145:2

"Every day will I bless thee." Whatever the character of the day, or of my circumstances and conditions during that day, I will continue to glorify God. Were we well to consider the matter we should see abundant cause in each day for rendering special blessing unto the Lord. All before the day, all in the day, all following the day should constrain us to magnify our God every day, all the year round. Our love to God is not a matter of holy days: every day is alike holy to holy men. David here comes closer to God than when he said, "I will bless thy name": it is now, "I will bless thee." This is the centre and kernel of true devotion: we do not only admire the Lord's words and works, but himself. Without realizing the personality of God, praise is well-nigh impossible; you cannot extol an abstraction. "And I will praise thy name for ever and ever." He said he would bless that name, and now he vows to praise it; he will extol the Lord in every sense and way. Eternal worship shall not be without its variations; it will never become monotonous. Heavenly music is not harping upon one string, but all strings shall be tuned to one praise. Observe the personal pronouns here: four times he says "I will": praise is not to be discharged by proxy: there must be your very self in it, or there is nothing in it.

Psalm 145:3

"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised." Worship should be somewhat like its object - great praise for a great God. There is no part of Jehovah's greatness which is not worthy of great praise. In some beings greatness is but vastness of evil: in him it is magnificence of goodness. Praise may be said to be great when the song contains great matter, when the hearts producing it are intensely fervent, and when large numbers unite in the grand acclaim. No chorus is too loud, no orchestra too large, no Psalm too lofty for the lauding of the Lord of Hosts.

continued...THE ARGUMENT

This Psalm and the rest which follow to the end are wholly laudatory, setting forth the praises of God. The excellency of this Psalm appears not only from the opinion of the Hebrew writers, but also from the care which the psalmist took to digest it into such accurate and alphabetical order, that it might be more easily fixed in the mind and memory of the reader.

David magnifieth God for his greatness and terrible acts, Psalm 145:1-7; for his goodness and everlasting kingdom, Psalm 145:8-13; for his care and providence over all, Psalm 145:14-16; and for his saving mercies to them that fear him, Psalm 145:17-21.

O King; or, the King, by way of eminency; the King of kings, the God by whom kings reign, and to whom I and all other kings owe subjection and obedience.

I will extol thee, my God, O King,.... Or "the King" (a), the King Messiah, who is by way of eminency called "the King", as in Psalm 21:1. This is the foundation of this whole psalm, as Aben Ezra observes; and shows who is intended and who is the subject of it that is spoken of throughout, even the Messiah, who is the King of the world, the King of the kings of it, the King of Zion, of his church and people, the King of saints, of all believers in him, by the appointment of God, by the conquest of his grace, over whom he reigns by his Spirit and grace; for this his kingdom is spiritual, is in righteousness, and everlasting: and this great King is not a creature, but God, the mighty God, David's Lord and God, and the Lord and God of every saint; whom David loved as such, believed in, looked unto for salvation; from whom he received grace and expected glory, and knew and claimed his interest in him, which is the great privilege of believers in him; see John 20:28; and therefore they, as David, will extol him above all created beings, he being God over all; extol him above all men, even the best and greatest, Moses, Joshua, Aaron, Abraham, or any other, who are his creatures, his children, and his subjects; and even as man he is to be extolled above all men; being chosen out from among the people, fairer than the children of men, and the chiefest among ten thousand; and above the angels, having a more excellent name and nature than they; they being his creatures and servants, and he their Creator and the object of their worship: Christ is extolled by his people when they ascribe deity to him, magnify him in his offices, and make use of him in them all; attribute their whole salvation to him, think and speak highly of him, and declare him extolled and exalted at the right hand of God, as he now is, and as the Old Testament saints, as David and others, had a foresight of and rejoiced in, Psalm 110:1; the Septuagint, Syriac, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions, have it, "my King"; see Zechariah 9:9;

and I will bless thy name for ever and ever; by pronouncing him the Son of the Blessed, God over all blessed for ever; and by ascribing blessing, honour, glory, and power, unto him; by adoring and celebrating the perfections of his nature, which are his name, by which he is known; by expressing a high value and esteem for every precious name of his, as Immanuel, God with us; Jesus, a Saviour, &c. and a regard to his everlasting Gospel, which is his name, bore by his ministering servants throughout the world; see Psalm 8:1.

(a) "rex", Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

<Psalm of praise.>> {a} I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.

(a) He shows which sacrifices are pleasant and acceptable to God, even praise and thanksgiving and seeing that God still continues his benefits toward us, we ought never to be weary in praising him for the same.

1. my God, O king] Or, my God the King. He Who is Israel’s God is the absolute, universal King. The phrase has a larger meaning than that of Psalm 5:2, my King and my God.

for ever and ever] Israel is probably the speaker; and Israel as the people of God is immortal (Habakkuk 1:12). Generation after generation (Psalm 145:4) will take up the unending chorus of praise. If it is an individual who speaks, we must suppose, with Delitzsch, that in his devotion to the eternal King he forgets his own mortality. For it is at least doubtful if, even late in the post-exilic period, the doctrine of a personal immortality of conscious and active blessedness was so clearly developed that the words could have been used originally in the sense in which the Christian uses them now. But, as Del. rightly remarks, the divinely implanted impulse of the soul to find its highest delight in the praise of its Creator is in itself a practical argument for a life after death.

1, 2. Cp. Psalm 30:1; Psalm 34:1; Psalm 34:3; and generally the doxology in 1 Chronicles 29:10 ff.

Verse 1. - I will extol thee, my God, O King; rather, O my God, the King; i.e. the one and only King of heaven and earth. And I will bless thy Name forever and ever. An internal conviction of the writer's immortality is implied in these words. Psalm 145:1The strains with which this hymn opens are familiar Psalm-strains. We are reminded of Psalm 30:2, and the likewise alphabetical song of praise and thanksgiving Psalm 34:2. The plena scriptio אלוהי in Psalm 143:10; Psalm 98:6. The language of address "my God the King," which sounds harsh in comparison with the otherwise usual "my King and my God" (Psalm 5:3; Psalm 84:4), purposely calls God with unrelated generality, that is to say in the most absolute manner, the King. If the poet is himself a king, the occasion for this appellation of God is all the more natural and the signification all the more pertinent. But even in the mouth of any other person it is significant. Whosoever calls God by such a name acknowledges His royal prerogative, and at the same time does homage to Him and binds himself to allegiance; and it is just this confessory act of exalting Him who in Himself is the absolutely lofty One that is here called רומם. But who can the poet express the purpose of praising God's Name for ever? Because the praise of God is a need of his inmost nature, he has a perfect right to forget his own mortality when engaged upon this devotion to the ever-living King. Clinging adoringly to the Eternal One, he must seem to himself to be eternal; and if there is a practical proof for a life after death, it is just this ardent desire of the soul, wrought of God Himself, after the praise of the God of its life (lit., its origin) which affords it the highest, noblest delight. The idea of the silent Hades, which forces itself forward elsewhere, as in Psalm 6:6, where the mind of the poet is beclouded by sin, is here entirely removed, inasmuch as here the mind of the poet is the undimmed mirror of the divine glory. Therefore Psalm 145:2 also does not concede the possibility of any interruption of the praise: the poet will daily (Psalm 68:20) bless God, be they days of prosperity or of sorrow, uninterruptedly in all eternity will he glorify His Name (אהללה as in Psalm 69:31). There is no worthier and more exhaustless object of praise (Psalm 145:3): Jahve is great, and greatly to be praised (מהלּל, taken from Psalm 48:2, as in Psalm 96:4, cf. Psalm 18:4), and of His "greatness" (cf. 1 Chronicles 29:11, where this attribute precedes all others) there is no searching out, i.e., it is so abysmally deep that no searching can reach its bottom (as in Isaiah 40:28; Job 11:7.). It has, however, been revealed, and is being revealed continually, and is for this very reason thus celebrated in Psalm 145:4 : one generation propagates to the next the growing praise of the works that He has wrought out (עשׂה מעשׁים), and men are able to relate all manner of proofs of His victorious power which prevails over everything, and makes everything subject to itself (גּבוּרת as in Psalm 20:7, and frequently). This historically manifest and traditional divine doxa and the facts (דּברי as in Psalm 105:27) of the divine wonders the poet will devoutly consider. הדר stands in attributive relation to כּבוד, as this on its part does to הודך. Thy brilliantly gloriously (kingly) majesty (cf. Jeremiah 22:18; Daniel 11:21). The poet does not say גּם אני, nor may we insert it, either here in Psalm 145:5, or in Psalm 145:6, where the same sequence of thoughts recurs, more briefly expressed. The emphasis lies on the objects. The mightiness (עזוּז as in Psalm 78:4, and in Isaiah 42:25, where it signifies violence) of His terrible acts shall pass from mouth to mouth (אמר with a substantival object as in Psalm 40:11), and His mighty acts (גּדלּות, magnalia, as in 1 Chronicles 17:19, 1 Chronicles 17:21) - according to the Ker (which is determined by the suffix of אספּרנּה; cf. however, 2 Samuel 22:23; 2 Kings 3:3; 2 Kings 10:26, and frequently): His greatness (גּדלּה) - will he also on his part make the matter of his narrating. It is, however, not alone the awe-inspiring majesty of God which is revealed in history, but also the greatness (רב used as a substantive as in Psalm 31:20; Isaiah 63:7; Isaiah 21:7, whereas רבּים in Psalm 32:10; Psalm 89:51 is an adjective placed before the noun after the manner of a numeral), i.e., the abundant measure, of His goodness and His righteousness, i.e., His acting in inviolable correspondence with His counsel and order of salvation. The memory of the transcendent goodness of God is the object of universal, overflowing acknowledgement and the righteousness of God is the object of universal exultation (רנּן with the accusative as in Psalm 51:16; Psalm 59:17). After the poet has sung the glorious self-attestation of God according to both its sides, the fiery and the light sides, he lingers by the light side, the front side of the Name of Jahve unfolded in Exodus 34:6.
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