Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee
Of himself, his being, and perfections; what he was unto them, had done for them, and would do for them, as in the following verses: or "testify in thee" F4, bear witness to their spirits, that they were his people, and he was their God; this is a witness which the people of God have in themselves; it is the inward testimony of the Spirit; besides which, there is the outward testimony of the word, and which also may be here meant; for it may be rendered,
I will give a testimony to thee:
the law is a testimony of the will of God to his people, what he would have done, or not done; and the Gospel is a testimony of his grace, and the whole word testifies of Christ, his person, offices, obedience, sufferings, and death: some render it, "testify against thee" F5, for their murmurings, rebellion, and idolatry, as in ( Psalms 50:7 ) and they are called upon to hear the voice of God in his word, and in his providences, being his people; and as such he addresses them, which bespeaks interest in them, affection to them, and an acknowledgment of them, and carries in it a reason why they should hear him:
O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me;
this explains who are meant by the Lord's people, Israel, the posterity of Jacob, a chosen and special people, who are exhorted not only to hear, but to hearken and to obey; suggesting, it would be well with them, if they did as in ( Psalms 81:13 Psalms 81:14 ) , and some F6 take these words to be a wish, as there; "Israel, O that thou wouldest hearken unto me": see ( Isaiah 48:18 ) .