Psalm 148 Study Notes


148:1 On Hallelujah! see note at 146:1. Compare this verse with 19:1; 29:1.

148:2-3 A military term denoting forces, heavenly armies often refers to the stars and other heavenly bodies (1Kg 22:19; 2Kg 23:5; Jr 31:35; see 1Sm 17:45).

148:4 Waters above the heavens is figurative for celestial bodies of water, the reservoirs from which God is said to have brought rain (104:3; Gn 1:6-7; 7:11).

148:5 The powerful word of the Lord (33:9) spoke the world into existence (Gn 1). The Hebrew word bara’ (“create”) is only used in reference to God.

148:6 God established creation and set boundaries, exercising sovereign control over the cosmos (104:9; Gn 1:6-10; 9:11; Jb 28:26; 38:8-10).

148:7 The psalmist contrasted the three levels of heaven (vv. 5-6) with three levels of the earth. Even sea monsters (Hb tannin) are called on to praise God (69:34).

148:8 The elements of nature perform at God’s command (103:20; 104:4).

148:9-10 The psalmist hinted at the creation account in these verses, using peculiar expressions typical of Gn 1.

148:11-12 The list of people represents descending social status. All people are united in worship (Rm 10:12; Gl 3:28; Col 3:11). Prophets, priests, and other temple personnel were not mentioned, perhaps because they were the ones who were calling all others to praise God.

148:13 Yahweh’s kingly splendor is universal. No other god deserves praise.

148:14 To raise a horn signifies strength (see notes at 18:1-2; 75:4; 89:15-17).