Psalms 147

1 Praise the LORD.[a]How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel.
3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
4 He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.
5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.
6 The LORD sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.
7 Sing to the LORD with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp.
8 He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.
9 He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call.
10 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior;
11 the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
12 Extol the LORD, Jerusalem; praise your God, Zion.
13 He strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you.
14 He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.
15 He sends his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly.
16 He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy blast?
18 He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.
19 He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel.
20 He has done this for no other nation; they do not know his laws.[b]Praise the LORD.

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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 46

  • 1. S Psalms 135:3
  • 2. Psalms 33:1
  • 3. S Psalms 51:18; Psalms 102:16
  • 4. S Psalms 106:47; Deuteronomy 30:3
  • 5. S Psalms 34:18
  • 6. S Numbers 12:13; S Job 5:18; Isaiah 1:6; Ezekiel 34:16
  • 7. S Genesis 15:5; Isaiah 40:26
  • 8. S Psalms 48:1
  • 9. S Exodus 14:31
  • 10. Psalms 145:3; Isaiah 40:28
  • 11. S 2 Chronicles 33:23; Psalms 146:8-9
  • 12. Psalms 37:9-10; Psalms 145:20
  • 13. Psalms 30:4; Psalms 33:3
  • 14. S Psalms 42:4
  • 15. S Psalms 27:6
  • 16. S Psalms 98:5
  • 17. S Job 26:8
  • 18. S Deuteronomy 11:14; S Deuteronomy 32:2; S 2 Samuel 1:21; S Job 5:10; Job 38:26
  • 19. S Job 28:26; S Psalms 104:14
  • 20. S Genesis 1:30; Psalms 104:27-28; S Matthew 6:26
  • 21. S Genesis 8:7; Job 38:41
  • 22. S 1 Samuel 16:7
  • 23. S Job 39:11; Psalms 33:16-17
  • 24. S Psalms 35:27
  • 25. Psalms 33:18; Psalms 103:11
  • 26. Psalms 119:43
  • 27. Psalms 6:4
  • 28. Psalms 48:1
  • 29. S Deuteronomy 33:25
  • 30. S Leviticus 25:21; Psalms 128:5; Psalms 134:3
  • 31. S Leviticus 26:6; S 2 Samuel 7:10; S Isaiah 48:18; Isaiah 60:17-18
  • 32. S Psalms 132:15
  • 33. S Deuteronomy 32:14
  • 34. Job 37:12; Psalms 33:9; Psalms 148:5
  • 35. Isaiah 55:11
  • 36. Psalms 148:8; Job 37:6
  • 37. S Job 37:12; Job 38:29
  • 38. Exodus 9:22-23; S Job 38:22; S Psalms 78:47
  • 39. ver 15; Psalms 33:9; Psalms 107:20
  • 40. S Psalms 50:3
  • 41. S Exodus 20:1; Romans 3:2
  • 42. Psalms 78:5
  • 43. S Deuteronomy 33:4; Joshua 1:8; 2 Kings 22:8; Malachi 4:4; Romans 9:4
  • 44. Dt 4:7-8,32-34
  • 45. S Psalms 79:6
  • 46. Psalms 33:2; Psalms 103:1

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Hebrew "Hallelu Yah" ; also in verse 20
  • [b]. Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint "nation; / he has not made his laws known to them"

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

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