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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 117

Clarke's CommentaryClarke Commentary

Verse 1


The psalmist calls upon the nations of the world to praise the

Lord for his mercy and kindness, and for the fulfilment of his

promises, 1, 2.


This is the shortest Psalm in the whole collection; it is written as a part of the preceding in thirty-two of Kennicott's and De Rossi's MSS., and is found thus printed in some ancient editions. The whole Psalm is omitted in one of Kennicott's and in two of De Rossi's MSS. It celebrates the redemption from the Babylonish captivity, the grand type of the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus.

The Syriac says: "It was spoken concerning Ananias and his followers when they came out of the furnace; but it also foretells the vocation of the Gentiles by the preaching of the Gospel." In this way St. Paul applies it, Romans 15:11.

Verse Psalms 117:1. O praise the Lord, all ye nations — Let all the Gentiles praise him, for he provides for their eternal salvation.

Praise him, all ye people. — All ye Jews, praise him; for ye have long been his peculiar people. And while he sends his Son to be a light to the Gentiles, he sends him also to be the glory of his people Israel.

Verse 2

Verse Psalms 117:2. For his merciful kindness is great — גבר gabar, is strong: it is not only great in bulk or number, but it is powerful; it prevails over sin, Satan, death, and hell.

And the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. — Whatsoever he has promised, that he will most infallibly fulfill. He has promised to send his Son into the world, and thus he has done. He his promised that he should die for transgressors, and this he did. He has promised to receive all who come unto him through Christ Jesus, and this he invariably does. He has promised that his Gospel shall be preached in every nation, and this he is doing; the truth of the Lord remaineth for ever. Therefore, Praise ye the Lord!


This Psalm contains a doxology to God for his mercy and truth; and it is prophetical, having reference to the calling of the Gentiles; Romans 15:11.

It contains two parts: -

I. An exhortation to praise God.

II. The reason for it.

I. 1. He speaks to the Gentiles: "Praise the Lord, all ye nations." Praise him for the promise of salvation; and then, when fulfilled, praise him for the enjoyment of this salvation, - for the remission of sins, and gift of the Holy Ghost.

2. He speaks to the converted Jews, whom he notes under the name of people, as they are called Psalms 2:1; Acts 4:25. As they and the Gentiles are intended to make one Church, so they should join in the praise of him of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.

II. The reason given: -

1. Because his mercy is great. It is strong; confirmed toward us, in sending his Son to save both Jews and Gentiles from their sins.

2. Because the truth of his promises is fulfilled. The promised Messiah is come, and has performed all that was prophesied of him.

3. Because this truth is forever. His promises and their fulfilment belong to all generations. There will never be another Messiah; Jesus is the true one: he tasted death for every man; he forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin; and his blood cleanses from all unrighteousness. Now, for all this, "Praise ye the Lord!"

[N. B. Proclaiming the eternal mercy of God in Christ is more likely to persuade sinners to return to their Maker than all the fire of hell.]

Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 117". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/acc/psalms-117.html. 1832.
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