Psalms 147

Listen to Psalms 147
1 1Praise the LORD! For 2it is good to sing praises to our God; for 3it is pleasant,[a] and 4a song of praise is fitting.
2 The LORD 5builds up Jerusalem; he 6gathers the outcasts of Israel.
3 He heals 7the brokenhearted and 8binds up their wounds.
4 He 9determines the number of the stars; he 10gives to all of them their names.
5 11Great is our Lord, and 12abundant in power; 13his understanding is beyond measure.
6 The LORD 14lifts up the humble;[b] he casts the wicked to the ground.
7 15Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on 16the lyre!
8 He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares 17rain for the earth; he makes 18grass grow on the hills.
9 He 19gives to the beasts their food, and to 20the young ravens that cry.
10 His delight is not in 21the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
11 but the LORD 22takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who 23hope in his steadfast love.
12 Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion!
13 For he strengthens 24the bars of your gates; he blesses your children within you.
14 He 25makes peace in your borders; he 26fills you with the 27finest of the wheat.
15 He 28sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly.
16 He gives 29snow like wool; he scatters 30hoarfrost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his crystals of 31ice like crumbs; who can stand before his 32cold?
18 He 33sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
19 He declares his word to Jacob, his 34statutes and rules[c] to Israel.
20 He 35has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his rules.[d] 36Praise the LORD!

Images for Psalms 147

Psalms 147 Commentary

Chapter 147

The people of God are exhorted to praise him for his mercies and care. (1-11) For the salvation and prosperity of the church. (12-20)

Verses 1-11 Praising God is work that is its own wages. It is comely; it becomes us as reasonable creatures, much more as people in covenant with God. He gathers outcast sinners by his grace, and will bring them into his holy habitation. To those whom God heals with the consolations of his Spirit, he speaks peace, assures them their sins are pardoned. And for this, let others praise him also. Man's knowledge is soon ended; but God's knowledge is a dept that can never be fathomed. And while he telleth the number of the stars, he condescends to hear the broken-hearted sinner. While he feeds the young ravens, he will not leave his praying people destitute. Clouds look dull and melancholy, yet without them we could have no rain, therefore no fruit. Thus afflictions look black and unpleasant; but from clouds of affliction come showers that make the soul to yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness. The psalmist delights not in things wherein sinners trust and glory; but a serious and suitable regard to God is, in his sight, of very great price. We are not to be in doubt between hope and fear, but to act under the gracious influences of hope and fear united.

Verses 12-20 The church, like Jerusalem of old, built up and preserved by the wisdom, power, and goodness of God, is exhorted to praise him for all the benefits and blessings vouchsafed to her; and these are represented by his favours in the course of nature. The thawing word may represent the gospel of Christ, and the thawing wind the Spirit of Christ; for the Spirit is compared to the wind, ( John 3:8 ) . Converting grace softens the heart that was hard frozen, and melts it into tears of repentance, and makes good reflections to flow, which before were chilled and stopped up. The change which the thaw makes is very evident, yet how it is done no one can say. Such is the change wrought in the conversion of a soul, when God's word and Spirit are sent to melt it and restore it to itself.

Cross References 36

  • 1. See Psalms 135:1
  • 2. Psalms 92:1
  • 3. Psalms 135:3
  • 4. Psalms 33:1
  • 5. Psalms 51:18; Psalms 102:16
  • 6. Deuteronomy 30:3; Isaiah 11:12; Isaiah 27:13; Isaiah 56:8; Ezekiel 39:28
  • 7. Psalms 34:18
  • 8. Ezekiel 34:16
  • 9. [Genesis 15:5]
  • 10. Isaiah 40:26
  • 11. Psalms 48:1
  • 12. Nahum 1:3
  • 13. Isaiah 40:28; [Job 5:9]
  • 14. [Psalms 146:8, 9]
  • 15. Exodus 15:21; [Psalms 95:1, 2]
  • 16. See 1 Chronicles 15:16
  • 17. See Job 5:10
  • 18. Psalms 104:14; Job 38:27
  • 19. Psalms 104:27, 28
  • 20. See Job 38:41
  • 21. Psalms 33:17
  • 22. Psalms 149:4
  • 23. Psalms 33:18
  • 24. Nehemiah 7:3
  • 25. Exodus 34:24; Proverbs 16:7; Isaiah 60:17, 18
  • 26. Psalms 132:15
  • 27. Psalms 81:16; Deuteronomy 32:14
  • 28. [Psalms 148:8]
  • 29. Job 37:6
  • 30. [Job 38:29]
  • 31. Job 37:10
  • 32. Job 37:9
  • 33. ver. 15; [Job 37:12]; See Psalms 33:9; Psalms 107:20
  • 34. Malachi 4:4; [Psalms 78:5]; See Deuteronomy 33:2-4
  • 35. Deuteronomy 4:7; See Deuteronomy 4:32-34
  • 36. See Psalms 135:1

Footnotes 4

Chapter Summary


This psalm is thought to be written by David, and according to Theodoret predicts the return of the Jews from Babylon, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem by Zerubbabel, which seems to be grounded on Ps 147:2; though the words there agree well enough with the times of David; hence the title in the Septuagint, Ethiopic, Arabic, and Syriac versions, and Apollinarius, is as the preceding; the Syriac adds,

``concerning Zerubbabel and Joshua the priest, and Ezra, who were solicitous and diligent in building Jerusalem.''

Aben Ezra and other Jewish writers think it foretells the future rebuilding of Jerusalem, and the restoration of the Jews from their present captivity, and refer it to the times of the Messiah; and so far it may be right, that it respects Christ and the praise of him, on account of his nature and works; and may take in the conversion of the Jews. It seems to be written by the same person, and on the same account, as the preceding psalm.

Psalms 147 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.