Psalms 8

For the director of music. According to gittith. A psalm of David.

1 [a][b]LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?[c]
5 You have made them[d] a little lower than the angels[e]and crowned them[f] with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their[g] feet:
7 all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 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 19

  • 1. S 1 Chronicles 16:10
  • 2. S Exodus 15:11; Luke 2:9
  • 3. Psalms 57:5; Psalms 108:5; Psalms 113:4; Psalms 148:13; Habakkuk 3:3
  • 4. Matthew 21:16*
  • 5. Psalms 143:12; Psalms 44:16; 1 Corinthians 1:27
  • 6. S Genesis 15:5; S Deuteronomy 10:14; Psalms 89:11
  • 7. S Exodus 8:19; S 1 Chronicles 16:26; S 2 Chronicles 2:12; Psalms 102:25
  • 8. S Genesis 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:41; Psalms 136:9
  • 9. S 1 Chronicles 29:14; Job 7:17; Psalms 144:3; Hebrews 2:6
  • 10. S Genesis 1:26
  • 11. Psalms 21:5; Psalms 103:4
  • 12. S Genesis 1:28
  • 13. S Job 10:3; Psalms 19:1; Psalms 102:25; Psalms 145:10; Isaiah 26:12; Isaiah 29:23; Isaiah 45:11; Hebrews 1:10
  • 14. Hebrews 2:6-8*
  • 15. S 1 Kings 5:3; 1 Corinthians 15:25,27*; Ephesians 1:22
  • 16. Genesis 13:5; Genesis 26:14
  • 17. S Genesis 2:19
  • 18. Genesis 1:26
  • 19. ver 1

Footnotes 7

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 8:1-9 is numbered 8:2-10.
  • [b]. Title: Probably a musical term
  • [c]. Or "what is a human being that you are mindful of him," / "a son of man that you care for him?"
  • [d]. Or "him"
  • [e]. Or "than God"
  • [f]. Or "him"
  • [g]. Or "made him ruler . . . ;" / ". . . his"

Chapter Summary

Psalms 8 Commentaries