Psalms 138:1

1 I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise;

Psalms 138:1 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 138:1

I will praise thee with my whole heart
Cordially and sincerely, in the uprightness and integrity of his heart; which denotes not the perfection of his service, but the sincerity of it; his heart was in it, and his whole heart; all the powers and faculties of his soul were engaged in it, being deeply sensible of the great favours and high honours bestowed upon him; and though the object of praise, to whom he was obliged for them, is not so fully expressed; yet is easily understood to be Jehovah, the Being of beings, the Father of mercies, even Jehovah, Father, Son, and Spirit, and especially the Messiah; see ( Psalms 111:1 ) ;

before the gods will I sing praise unto thee;
before the princes, as Jarchi; before the kings, as the Syriac version; with which agrees ( Psalms 119:46 ) ; and who would join therein, ( Psalms 138:4 ) ; or before the judges, as the Targum, Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech; or civil magistrates, who are sometimes called gods, ( Psalms 82:1 Psalms 82:6 ) ; and they are the powers ordained of God, and represent him on earth; or the sanhedrim, as the Midrash; or before the gods of the Gentiles, those fictitious deities, above whom Jehovah is; and over whom the psalmist triumphs, having conquered the nations where they were worshipped; and therefore in their presence, and notwithstanding them, or in opposition to them, praised the Lord; see ( Psalms 18:49 ) ; or rather before the ark, the symbol of the presence of the true God; or, as Gussetius F12 interprets it, "before thee, O God, will I sing praise"; or I will sing praise to thee, the Son the Messiah, one divine Person before another; the Son before God the Father, and it may be added before God the Holy Spirit, the two other divine Persons; the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions, render it, "before the angels", who are sometimes called gods, ( Psalms 8:5 ) ( 97:7 ) ; and who attend the assemblies of the saints and churches of Christ, ( 1 Corinthians 11:10 ) ( Ephesians 3:10 ) .


F12 Comment. Ebr. p. 50.

Psalms 138:1 In-Context

1 I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise;
2 I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness; for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.
3 On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.
4 All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth.
5 They shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.