Psalm 147:7
Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:
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(7) Sing.—Literally, answer, which some think suggests an antiphonal arrangement. Though the strophic arrangement is only loosely marked, the psalm takes a new departure here, with a fresh invocation to praise, going on to fresh proofs from nature of the Almighty Power.

Psalm 147:7-9. Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving — Hebrew, ענו ליהוה בתודה, literally, answer to the Lord in praise. “Sing alternately,” which may fairly be supposed to be the sense intended by the psalmist, as it was the ancient practice to sing alternately. Celebrate in this way, with your thankful songs, the infinite power, wisdom, and goodness of God. Sing praise upon the harp — Let instruments of music accompany your voices, and exert your utmost ability in his praise. Who covereth the heaven with clouds — Which, though they darken the air, and intercept the beams of the sun, yet contain and distil those refreshing dews and showers which are necessary to render the earth fruitful. Who — By the rain which descends on them; maketh grass to grow upon the mountains — Even the high mountains, which man neither takes care of, nor could water; and gives that grass to the wild beasts that inhabit them, for which man neither does nor can make any provision. And feeds the young ravens which cry — Which, in their way, call upon him for sustenance. And surely this watchful care of the Divine Providence over all creatures, speaks the same language to us which God made use of to Joshua, and which the apostle hath applied to Christians; I will never leave thee nor forsake thee, Joshua 1:5; Hebrews 13:5. For “He who provides food for the wild beasts, will never leave the lambs of his flock destitute; and he who feeds the young of the unclean ravens when they cry, and, as it were, ask a supply of their wants from him, will not, in the day of dearth and calamity, forsake the meek and harmless dove that mourns continually in prayer before him.” — Horne.

147:1-11 Praising God is work that is its own wages. It is comely; it becomes us as reasonable creatures, much more as people in covenant with God. He gathers outcast sinners by his grace, and will bring them into his holy habitation. To those whom God heals with the consolations of his Spirit, he speaks peace, assures them their sins are pardoned. And for this, let others praise him also. Man's knowledge is soon ended; but God's knowledge is a dept that can never be fathomed. And while he telleth the number of the stars, he condescends to hear the broken-hearted sinner. While he feeds the young ravens, he will not leave his praying people destitute. Clouds look dull and melancholy, yet without them we could have no rain, therefore no fruit. Thus afflictions look black and unpleasant; but from clouds of affliction come showers that make the soul to yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness. The psalmist delights not in things wherein sinners trust and glory; but a serious and suitable regard to God is, in his sight, of very great price. We are not to be in doubt between hope and fear, but to act under the gracious influences of hope and fear united.Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving - Accompany the praise of God - the expression of worship - with a grateful remembrance of the past. The one will aid the other, and the two will constitute acceptable and proper worship. The first word here means properly to answer, or respond; and the idea would seem to be, that we are to make a suitable response or answer to the manifold layouts which we have received at the hand of God.

Sing praise upon the harp unto our God - On the word harp, see the notes at Isaiah 5:12. The harp was an instrument commonly employed in divine worship. See the notes at Psalm 33:2 : "Praise the Lord with harp." Compare Psalm 43:4; Psalm 49:4; Psalm 57:8; Psalm 71:22.

7-9. His providence supplies bountifully the wild animals in their mountain homes.

Sing … Lord—literally, "Answer the Lord," that is, in grateful praise to His goodness, thus declared in His acts.

7 Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God'

8 Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.

9 He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.

10 He delighteth not in the strength of the horse - he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.

11 The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.

Psalm 147:7

In this paragraph the contrast announced in the former section is enlarged upon from another point of view, namely, as it is seen in nature and in providence.

"Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving;" or rather, "respond to Jehovah." He speaks to us in his works, let us answer him with our thanks. All that he does is gracious, every movement of his hand is goodness; therefore let our hearts reply with gratitude, and our lips with song. Our lives should be responses to divine love. Jehovah is ever engaged in giving, let us respond with thanksgiving.

"Sing praise upon the harp unto our God." Blend music with song. Under a dispensation of ritual the use of music was most commendable, and suitable in the great congregation, those of us who judge it to be less desirable for public worship, under a spiritual economy, because it has led to so many abuses, nevertheless rejoice in it in our privacy, and are by no means insensible to its charms. It seems a profanation that choice minstrelsy should so often be devoted to unworthy themes' the sweetest harmonies should be consecrated to the honour of the Lord. He is our God, and this fact is one choice joy of the song. We have chosen him because he has chosen us; and we see in him peculiarities which distinguish him from all the pretended deities of those among whom we dwell. He is our God in covenant relationship for ever and ever, and to him be praise in every possible form.

Psalm 147:8

"Who covereth the heaven with clouds." He works in all things, above as well as below. Clouds are not caused by accident, but produced by God himself, and made to assume degrees of density by which the blue firmament is hidden. A sky-scape might seem to be a mere fortuitous concourse of vapours, but it is not so: the Great Artist's hand thus covers the canvas of the heavens. "Who prepareth rain for the earth." The Lord prepares clouds with a view to rain, and rain with an eye to the fields below. By many concurrent circumstances all things are made ready for the production of a shower; there is more of art in the formation of a rain-cloud and in the fashioning of a rain-drop, than appears to superficial observers. God is in the vapour, and in the pearly drop which is born of it. "Who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains." By the far-reaching shower he produces vegetation where the hand of man is all unknown. He cares not only for Goshen's fertile plains, but for Carmel's steep ascents. God makes the heavens the servants of the earth, and the clouds the irrigators of the mountain meadows. This is a kind of evolution about which there can be no dispute. Nor does the Lord forget the waste and desolate places, but causes the lone hills to be the first partakers of his refreshing visitations. This is after the manner of our God. He not only causes rain to descend from the heavens to water the grass, and thus unites the skies and the herbs by a ministry of mercy; but he also thinks of the rocky ledges among the hills, and forgets not the pastures of the wilderness. What a God is this!

"Passing by the rich and great,

For the poor and desolate."

Psalm 147:9


No text from Poole on this verse.

Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving,.... These are the words of the psalmist unto the Israelites, according to Aben Ezra and Kimchi; but may be an exhortation to all men, especially good men; who are capable of observing the following things concerning providential goodness and special grace, on account of which they are called upon to "sing unto the Lord": or to "answer" (q); to sing alternately, or by responses; the word is used for singing, Hosea 2:15; see Exodus 15:21; and intends vocal singing, as the next clause instrumental singing, as Kimchi observes. However, the Lord is the object of it, to whom praise is to be sung for all the great and good things done by him, and that "with thanksgiving" to God for them; which, though a distinct thing from singing, and may be done without it, as in prayer; yet singing ought never to be without that; see Ephesians 5:19;

sing praise upon the harp unto our God; an instrument of music used in the times of the Old Testament; an emblem of the heart, and of making melody in it to the Lord: the hearts of believers are the harps of God, on and with which they sing unto him, when they sing aright, and these are in proper tune.

(q) "respondete", Montanus, Cocceius; "alternis canite", Tigurine version, Piscator, Michaelis.

Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:
7. sing praise] Make melody unto our God with harp, as Psalm 98:5 a.

7–11. A renewed call to praise Jehovah for His beneficence, and to recognise the conditions of His favour.

Verse 7. - Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving. God is not only to be praised for his greatness (ver. 5), but also to be thanked for his loving-kindness (vers. 2, 3, 8, 9). Sing praise upon the harp unto our God. The glad sound of the harp should accompany his praises. Psalm 147:7With Psalm 147:7 the song takes a new flight. ענה ל signifies to strike up or sing in honour of any one, Numbers 21:27; Isaiah 27:2. The object of the action is conceived of in בּתּודה as the medium of it (cf. e.g., Job 16:4). The participles in Psalm 147:8. are attributive clauses that are attached in a free manner to לאלהינוּ. הכין signifies to prepare, procure, as e.g., in Job 38:41 - a passage which the psalmist has had in his mind in connection with Psalm 147:9. מצמיח, as being the causative of a verb. crescendi, is construed with a double accusative: "making mountains (whither human agriculture does not reach) to bring forth grass;" and the advance to the thought that God gives to the cattle the bread that they need is occasioned by the "He causeth grass to grow for the cattle" of the model passage Psalm 104:14, just as the only hinting אשׁר יקראוּ, which is said of the young of the raven (which are forsaken and cast off by their mothers very early), is explained from ילדיו אל־אל ישׁוּעוּ in Job loc. cit. The verb קרא brev ehT .tic .col boJ ni , κράζειν (cf. κρώζειν), is still more expressive for the cry of the raven, κόραξ, Sanscrit kârava, than that שׁוּע; κοράττειν and κορακεύεσθαι signify directly to implore incessantly, without taking any refusal. Towards Him, the gracious Sustainer of all beings, are the ravens croaking for their food pointed (cf. Luke 12:24, "Consider the ravens"), just like the earth that thirsts for rain. He is the all-conditioning One. Man, who is able to know that which the irrational creature unconsciously acknowledges, is in the feeling of his dependence to trust in Him and not in himself. In all those things to which the God-estranged self-confidence of man so readily clings, God has no delight (יחפּץ, pausal form like יחבּשׁ) and no pleasure, neither in the strength of the horse, whose rider imagines himself invincible, and, if he is obliged to flee, that he cannot be overtaken, nor in the legs of a man, upon which he imagines himself so firm that he cannot be thrown down, and which, when he is pursued, will presumptively carry him far enough away into safety. שׁוק, Arab. sâq, is the leg from the knee to the foot, from Arab. sâqa, root sq, to drive, urge forward, more particularly to urge on to a gallop (like curs, according to Pott, from the root car, to go). What is meant here is, not that the strength of the horse and muscular power are of no avail when God wills to destroy a man (Psalm 33:16., Amos 2:14.), but only that God has no pleasure in the warrior's horse and in athletic strength. Those who fear Him, i.e., with a knowledge of the impotency of all power possessed by the creature in itself, and in humble trust feel themselves dependent upon His omnipotence - these are they in whom He takes pleasure (רצה with the accusative), those who, renouncing all carnal defiance and self-confident self-working, hope in His mercy.
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