Psalms 115:17

17 The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any that go down into silence.

Psalms 115:17 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 115:17

The dead praise not the Lord
Not the dead in sin; such as the makers of idols, and those that trust in them, who are like unto them; men must be made spiritually alive, ere they can show forth the praises of God: nor the dead corporeally. The souls of departed saints can and do praise the Lord: these die not with their bodies, nor sleep in the grave; they go immediately to God and Christ, and are employed in the service of God continually; particularly in praising him, as do the angels with whom they join; they sing the song of Moses and of the Lamb, of providence and grace; especially the song of redeeming love, with which they always praise the Lord: but they cannot praise him with their bodily organs until the resurrection, which by death are rendered useless; they can praise him no more among men on earth, as they have before done; there is no work of this kind in the grave.

Neither any that go down in silence;
the grave, so called, because everything is mute and silent there F3; the instruments of speech are no more used on any account; no noise and clamour there from wicked men; there the wicked cease from troubling; and no songs of praise from good men, all still and quiet there. So the Targum,

``not any that go down to the house of the grave of the earth;''

or the earthly grave. And therefore save us, O Lord, suffer not the enemy to destroy us; for, should he, we shall no more be capable of praising thee, as we have done and desire to do; for no such service is to be done in the grave, see ( Psalms 6:4 Psalms 6:5 ) ( 30:9 ) ( 88:10-12 ) .


F3 "Silet rex ipsa silentum", Virgil. "Migrantesque domos animarum intrasse silentum". Propert. l. 3. Eleg. 12. v. 33.

Psalms 115:17 In-Context

15 May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
16 The heavens are the Lord's heavens, but the earth he has given to human beings.
17 The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any that go down into silence.
18 But we will bless the Lord from this time on and forevermore. Praise 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.