Verse 13. The Psalm ends with a doxology. Blessed be the Lord, i.e., let him be glorified. The blessing at the beginning from the mouth of God is returned from the mouth of his servant. We cannot add to the Lord's blessedness, but we can pour out our grateful wishes, and these he accepts, as we receive little presents of flowers from children who love us. Jehovah is the personal name of our God. God of Israel is his covenant title, and shows his special relation to his elect people. From everlasting and to everlasting. The strongest way of expressing endless duration. We die, but the glory of God goes on and on without pause. Amen and amen. So let it surely, firmly, and eternally be. Thus the people joined in the Psalm by a double shout of holy affirmation; let us unite in it with all out hearts. This last verse may serve for the prayer of the universal church in all ages, but none can sing it so sweetly as those who have experienced as David did the faithfulness of God in times of extremity.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 13. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen. We are here taught,
- To give glory to God, as the Lord God of Israel, a God in covenant with his people; that has done great and kind things for them, and has more and better in reserve.
- To give him glory as an eternal God, that has both his being and his blessedness from everlasting and to everlasting.
- To do this with great affection and fervour of spirit, intimated in a double seal set to it, Amen, and Amen. We say Amen to it, and let all others say Amen too. Matthew Henry.
Verse 13. Amen and Amen. As the Psalms were not written by one man, so neither do they form one book. The Psalter is, in fact, a Pentateuch, and the lines of demarcation, which divide the five books one from another, are clear and distinct enough. At the end of the 41st Psalm, of the 72nd, of the 89th, and of the 106th, we meet with the solemn, Amen, single or redoubled, following on a doxology, which indicates that one book ends and that another is about to begin. A closer study of the Psalms shows that each book possesses characteristics of its own. Jehovah ("the Lord") for example, is prominent as the divine name in the first book, Elohim ("God") in the second. E. H. Plumptre, M.A., in "Biblical Studies," 1870.
Verse 13. There is also another observable difference between the two books. In the first, all those Psalms which have any inscription at all are expressly assigned to David as their author, whereas in the second we find a whole series attributed to some of the Levitical singers. J. J. Stewart Perowne.
Verse 13. How ancient the division is cannot now be clearly ascertained. Jerome, in his epistle to Marcella, and Epiphanius speak of the Psalms as having been divided by the Hebrews into five books, but when this division was made they do not inform us. The forms of ascription of praise, added at the end of each of the five books, are in the Septuagint version, from which we may conclude that this distribution had been made before that version was executed. It was probably made by Ezra, after the return of the Jews from Babylon to their own country, and the establishment of the worship of God in the new temple, and it was perhaps made in imitation of a similar distribution of the books of Moses. In making this division of the Hebrew Psalter, regard appears to have been paid to the subject matter of the Psalms. John Calvin.
Verse 13. These forty-one Psalms, it has been observed, forming the first book, relate chiefly to the ministry of Christ upon earth, preparing those who were looking for the consolation of Israel, for his appearing amongst them. Accordingly, the second book, commencing with Psalm 42, may refer chiefly to the infant church of Christ. W. Wilson, D.D.
Verse 13. May not the growth of the Book of Psalms be illustrated by the case of our Modern Hymn Books which in the course of years require first one appendix and then another, so as to incorporate the growing psalmody of the church? In this case the purely Davidic Psalms of the first division formed the nucleus to which other sacred songs were speedily added. C. H. S.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- The object of praise -- Jehovah, the covenant God.
- The nature of the praise -- without beginning or end.
- Our participation in the praise -- "Amen and Amen."
The ancient rabbins saw in the Five Books of the Psalter the image of the Five Books of the Law. This way of looking on the Psalms as a second Pentateuch, the echo of the first, passed over into the Christian church, and found favour with some early fathers. It has commended itself to the acceptance of good recent expositors, like Dr. Delitzsch, who calls the Psalter "the congregation's five fold word to the Lord, even as the Thora (the Law) is the Lord's five fold word to the Congregation." This mat be mere fancy, but its existence from ancient times shows that the five fold division attracted early notice. William Binnie, D.D.
God presented Israel with the Law, a Pentateuch, and grateful Israel responded with a Psalter, a Pentateuch of praise. F.L.K.
HERE ENDETH THE FIRST BOOK OF THE PSALMS