Why we should not trust in men. (1-4) Why we should trust in God. (5-10)
Verses 1-4 If it is our delight to praise the Lord while we live, we shall certainly praise him to all eternity. With this glorious prospect before us, how low do worldly pursuits seem! There is a Son of man in whom there is help, even him who is also the Son of God, who will not fail those that trust in him. But all other sons of men are like the man from whom they sprung, who, being in honour, did not abide. God has given the earth to the children of men, but there is great striving about it. Yet, after a while, no part of the earth will be their own, except that in which their dead bodies are laid. And when man returns to his earth, in that very day all his plans and designs vanish and are gone: what then comes of expectations from him?
Verses 5-10 The psalmist encourages us to put confidence in God. We must hope in the providence of God for all we need as to this life, and in the grace of God for that which is to come. The God of heaven became a man that he might become our salvation. Though he died on the cross for our sins, and was laid in the grave, yet his thoughts of love to us did not perish; he rose again to fulfil them. When on earth, his miracles were examples of what he is still doing every day. He grants deliverance to captives bound in the chains of sin and Satan. He opens the eyes of the understanding. He feeds with the bread of life those who hunger for salvation; and he is the constant Friend of the poor in spirit, the helpless: with him poor sinners, that are as fatherless, find mercy; and his kingdom shall continue for ever. Then let sinners flee to him, and believers rejoice in him. And as the Lord shall reign for ever, let us stir up each other to praise his holy name.
This psalm is entitled by the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions, "hallelujah", of Haggai and Zechariah; and by Apollinarius, the common hymn of them: and the Syriac inscription is still more expressive,
``it was said by Haggai and Zechariah, prophets, who came up with the captivity out of Babylon.''
Theodoret says this title was in some Greek copies in his time; but was not in the Septuagint, in the Hexapla: nor is it in any other Greek interpreters, nor in the Hebrew text, nor in the Targum; though some Jewish commentators, as R. Obadiah, take it to be an exhortation to the captives in Babylon to praise the Lord: and Kimchi interprets it of their present captivity and deliverance from it; and observes, that the psalmist seeing, by the Holy Spirit, the gathering of the captives, said this with respect to Israel; and so refers it to the times of the Messiah, as does also Jarchi, especially the Ps 146:10; and which, though they make it to serve an hypothesis of their own, concerning their vainly expected Messiah; yet it is most true, that the psalm is concerning the Messiah and his kingdom, to whom all the characters and descriptions given agree.