Psalm 115:7

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 7. They have hands, but they handle not. Looking lower down upon the images, the Psalmist says, "They have hands, but they handle not," they cannot receive that which is handed to them, they cannot grasp the sceptre of power or the sword of vengeance, they can neither distribute benefits nor dispense judgments, and the most trifling act they are utterly unable to perform. An infant's hand excels them in power.

Feet have they, but they walk not. They must be lifted into their places or they would never reach their shrines; they must be fastened in their shrines or they would fall; they must be carried or they could never move; they cannot come to the rescue of their friends, nor escape the iconoclasm of their foes. The meanest insect has more power of locomotion than the greatest heathen god.

Neither speak they through their throats. They cannot even reach so far as the guttural noise of the lowest order of beasts; neither a grunt, nor a growl, nor a groan, nor so much as a mutter, can come from them. Their priests asserted that the images of the gods upon special occasions uttered hollow sounds, but it was a mere pretence, or a crafty artifice: images of gold or silver are incapable of living sounds. Thus has the Psalmist surveyed the idol from head to foot, looked in its face, and sounded its throat, and he writes it down as utterly contemptible.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 7. They have hands, but they handle not. Even their artist therefore surpasses them, since he had the faculty of moulding them by the motion and functions of his limbs; though thou wouldest be ashamed to worship that artist. Even you surpass them, though thou hast not made these things, since thou doest what they cannot do. Augustine.

Verse 7. Neither speak they through their throat. Yehgu; not so much as the low faint moaning of a dove. Isaiah 38:14 . William Kay.

Verse 7. Speak, or, as the Hebrew word likewise signifies, breathe. They are not only irrational, but also inanimate. Thomas Fenton.