Psalms 8

Listen to Psalms 8
1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your 1name in all the earth! You have set your 2glory above the heavens.
2 3Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established 4strength because of your foes, to still 5the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I 6look at your heavens, the work of your 7fingers, the moon and the stars, 8which you have set in place,
4 9what is man that you are 10mindful of him, and 11the son of man that you 12care for him?
5 Yet you have made him a little lower than 13the heavenly beings[a] and crowned him with 14glory and honor.
6 You have given him 15dominion over the works of your hands; 16you have put all things under his feet,
7 all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

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Psalms 8 Commentary

Chapter 8

God is to be glorified, for making known himself to us. (1,2) And for making even the heavenly bodies useful to man, thereby placing him but little lower than the angels. (3-9)

Verses 1-2 The psalmist seeks to give unto God the glory due to his name. How bright this glory shines even in this lower world! He is ours, for he made us, protects us, and takes special care of us. The birth, life, preaching, miracles, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus are known through the world. No name is so universal, no power and influence so generally felt, as those of the Saviour of mankind. But how much brighter it shines in the upper world! We, on this earth, only hear God's excellent name, and praise that; the angels and blessed spirits above, see his glory, and praise that; yet he is exalted far above even their blessing and praise. Sometimes the grace of God appears wonderfully in young children. Sometimes the power of God brings to pass great things in his church, by very weak and unlikely instruments, that the excellency of the power might the more evidently appear to be of God, and not of man. This he does, because of his enemies, that he may put them to silence.

Verses 3-9 We are to consider the heavens, that man thus may be directed to set his affections on things above. What is man, so mean a creature, that he should be thus honoured! so sinful a creature, that he should be thus favoured! Man has sovereign dominion over the inferior creatures, under God, and is appointed their lord. This refers to Christ. In ( Hebrews 2:6-8 ) , the apostle, to prove the sovereign dominion of Christ, shows he is that Man, that Son of man, here spoken of, whom God has made to have dominion over the works of his hands. The greatest favour ever showed to the human race, and the greatest honour ever put upon human nature, were exemplified in the Lord Jesus. With good reason does the psalmist conclude as he began, Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth, which has been honoured with the presence of the Redeemer, and is still enlightened by his gospel, and governed by his wisdom and power! What words can reach his praises, who has a right to our obedience as our Redeemer?

Cross References 16

  • 1. Psalms 148:13; Isaiah 12:4; [Exodus 34:5]
  • 2. Psalms 113:4
  • 3. Cited Matthew 21:16; [Matthew 11:25; 1 Corinthians 1:27]
  • 4. Jeremiah 16:19
  • 5. Psalms 44:16
  • 6. [Psalms 111:2]
  • 7. Exodus 8:19; Exodus 31:18
  • 8. Genesis 1:16
  • 9. Cited Hebrews 2:6-8; [Psalms 144:3; Job 7:17; Job 25:6]
  • 10. [Genesis 8:1]
  • 11. Psalms 80:17
  • 12. Psalms 65:9; Genesis 21:1; Genesis 50:24
  • 13. [Genesis 1:26]
  • 14. Psalms 21:5
  • 15. Genesis 1:26, 28
  • 16. Cited 1 Corinthians 15:27; [Matthew 28:18]

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or than God; Septuagint than the angels

Chapter Summary

Psalms 8 Commentaries

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