PSALM 65 OVERVIEW
Verse 1. Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion. The believer sometimes seems to want words to exalt God, and stops, as it were, in the middle; his thoughts want words. Thus praise waits, or is silent for God; it is silent to other things, and it waits to be employed about him. The soul is often put to a nonplus in crying up the grace of God, and wants words to express its greatness; yea, to answer the elevation of the thoughts; the heart indites a song of praise, but it cannot tune it. The psalmist is stopped, as it were, through admiration (which is silentium intellectus), for when the mind can rise no higher, it falls admiringly; hence some say, God is most exalted with fewest words. Alexander Carmichael.
Verse 1. Praise waiteth for thee, O God. Mercy is not yet come, we expect it; whilst thou art preparing the mercy, we are preparing the praise. Edward Leigh in "Annotations on the Five Poetical Books of the Old Testament," 1657.
Verse 1. Praise waiteth on thee. As a servant, whose duty it is to do what thou commandest; or, for thee; is ready to be offered in thy courts for special favours. I think there is an allusion to the daily service in which God was praised. Benjamin Boothroyd.
Verse 1. Praise waiteth for thee, O God. Te decet hymnus, so the vulgar edition reads this place. To thee, O Lord, belong our hymns, our psalms, our praises, our cheerful acclamations, and conformable to that, we translate it, Praise waiteth for thee, O God. But if we take it according to the original, it must be tibi, silentium laus est, Thy praise, O Lord, consists in silence. That man praises God best that says least of him; of his mysterious essence, of his unrevealed will and secret purposes. Abraham Wright.
Verse 1. "To thee is silence and praise." Piscator.
Verse 1. The Hebrew may be rendered, Praise is silent for thee. As if the holy man had said, "Lord, I quietly wait for a time to praise thee; my soul is not in an uproar because you stay. I am not murmuring, but rather stringing my harp and tuning my instrument with much patience and confidence, that I may be ready to strike up when the joyful news of my deliverance come." William Gurnall.
Verse 1. To thee belongeth silence praise. Praise without any tumult. (Alexander.) It has been said, "The most intense feeling is the most calm, being condensed by repression." And Hooker says of prayer, "The very silence which our unworthiness putteth us unto doth itself make request for us, and that in the confidence of his grace. Looking inward, we are stricken dumb; looking upward, we speak and prevail." Horsley renders it, "Upon thee is the repose of prayer." Andrew A. Bonar.
Verse 1. Praise is silent for thee. The Chaldee interpretation is, that our praise is not sufficiently worthy that we should praise God. The very praises of angels are esteemed as nothing before him. For so its rendering is: "Before thee, O God, whose Majesty dwells in Zion, the praise of angels is regarded as silence."... Jerome's version here is, "To thee silence is praise, O God, in Zion." Atheneus says, silence is a divine thing; and Thomas a Kempis calls silence the nutriment of devotion. Thomas Le Blanc.
Verse 1. To thee belong submission, praise, O God, in Sion. (Version of the American Bible Union.) Thou hast a claim for submission in times of sorrow, for praise in seasons of joy. Thomas J. Conant, in "The Psalms... with occasional notes." 1871.
Verse 1. Vow. A vow is a voluntary and deliberate promise made unto God in an extraordinary case. "It is a religious promise made unto God in a holy manner:" so a modern writer defines it. (Szegedinus.) It is a "holy and religious promise, advisedly and freely made unto God, concerning something which to do or to omit appeareth to be grateful and well pleasing unto him:" so Bucanus. I forbear Aquinas's definition of a vow. If these which I have given satisfy not, then view it in the words of Peter Martyr, a man of repute, and well known to our own nation in the days of Edward VI., of ever blessed memory: "It is a holy promise, whereby we bind ourselves to offer somewhat unto God." There is one more who defines it, and he is a man whose judgment, learning, and holiness hath perfumed his name; it is learned Perkins, in his "Cases of Conscience." "A vow," saith he, "is a promise made unto God of things lawful and possible." Henry Hurst (--1690), in "The Morning Exercises."
Verse 1. (last clause). The reference here is to the vows or promises which the people had made in view of the manifested judgments of God, and the proofs of his goodness. Those vows they were now ready to carry out in expressions of praise. Albert Barnes.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 1. The fitness, place, use, and power of silence in worship.
Verse 1. The limitations, advantages, and obligations of vows.