Praise ye the Lord
Or "hallelujah"; this is the title of the psalm, and is expressive of the subject matter of it; and so it stands in the Targum, Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions; as it should, as appears from the psalm being alphabetical; for the first letter of this word is the fifth and not the first of the alphabet; it is wanting in the Syriac version, which gives the title in this manner, without a name, concerning the glorious virtues of
``the works of God; but it exhorts us to give thanks to Christ; and it is said in the person of the apostles.''I will praise the Lord with my whole heart;
the psalmist excites to praise God by his own example; the object of his praise is Jehovah, the self-existent Being, the Being of beings, the author of his Being, and in whom all men live and move, and have their being; the God of their mercies, temporal and spiritual, and therefore should praise him, even Jehovah, Father, Son, and Spirit; especially Jehovah the Messiah may be here intended, whose work of redemption is particularly attended to: the manner in which he determines to perform this service is, "with his whole heart": which ought to be engaged in every religious exercise, even the whole of it, all the powers and faculties of the soul, without being divided between other objects, and distracted or drawn off from the Lord by them; the phrase is not expressive of perfection, which is not to be expected in any duty, but of sincerity and cordial affection. The place where follows,
in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation:
which may signify one and the same; even the place where upright persons assemble and gather together for divine worship, the tabernacle in David's time, and the temple afterwards; and may point at any place of worship in Gospel times, and the people that meet there; who being for the most part upright persons, or in a judgment of charity so accounted, though every individual among them may not be such, are thus called; and that because they have the uprightness, righteousness, and holiness of Christ imputed to them; and have right spirits renewed in them, and so are upright in heart; and, in consequence of this, walk uprightly according to the rules of the Gospel. It may be rendered, as it is by the Targum,
``in the secret F5 of the upright, and the congregation;''because here the secret of the Lord is made known to his people; the mysteries of his grace are revealed; and his ordinances, which are his counsel, are administered: or it may design some particular friends and acquaintance of the psalmist's, who privately met and took sweet counsel together, and communicated their secrets to one another, as the other word "congregation" may intend the public assembly of the people; and then the sense is, that he would sincerely praise the Lord both in private and public, and that because of his works; as follows.
F5 (dwob) "in secreto", Pagninus, Montanus, Piscator; so Ainsworth.