Verse 2. Praise ye him, all his angels. Living intelligences, perfect in character and in bliss, lift up your loudest music to your Lord, each one, of you. Not one bright spirit is exempted from this consecrated service. However many ye be, O angels, ye are all his angels, and therefore ye are bound, all of you, to render service to your Lord. Ye have all seen enough of him to be able to praise him, and ye have all abundant reasons for so doing. Whether ye be named Gabriel, or Michael, or by whatever other titles ye are known, praise ye the Lord. Whether ye bow before him, or fly on his errands, or desire to look into his covenant, or behold his Son, cease not, ye messengers of Jehovah, to sound forth his praise while ye move at his bidding.
Praise ye him, all his hosts. This includes angelic armies, but groups with them all the heavenly bodies. Though they be inanimate, the stars, the clouds, the lightnings, have their ways of praising Jehovah. Let each one of the countless legions of the Lord of hosts show forth his glory; for the countless armies are all his, his by creation, and preservation, and consequent obligation. Both these sentences claim unanimity of praise from those in the upper regions who are called upon to commence the strain -- "all his angels, all his hosts." That same hearty oneness must pervade the whole orchestra of praising ones; hence, further on, we read of all stars of light, all deeps, all hills, all cedars, and all people. How well the concert begins when all angels, and all the heavenly host, strike the first joyful notes! In that concert our souls would at once take their part.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 2. Praise ye him, all his angels. Angels are first invoked, because they can praise God with humility, reverence, and purity. The highest are the humblest, the leaders of all created hosts are the most ready themselves to obey. --Thomas Le Blanc.
Verse 2. Praise ye him, all his angels. The angels of God were his first creatures; it has even been thought that they existed prior to the inanimate universe. They were already praising their Maker before the light of day, and they have never ceased their holy song. Angels praise God best in their holy service. They praised Christ as God when they sang their Gloria in Excelsis at the Incarnation, and they praised him as man when they ministered to him after his temptation and before his crucifixion. So also now angels praise the Lord by their alacrity in ministering to his saints. --John Lorinus.
Verse 2. Praise ye him, all his hosts. That is, his creatures (those above especially which are as his cavalry) called his "hosts", for,
- Their number; 2, their order; 3, their obedience. --John Trapp.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- The angels as praiseful servants.
- The other hosts of God, and how they praise him.
- The rule without exception: "all -- all." Imagine one heavenly being living without praising the Lord!