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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 117

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-2

Beginning with Psalms 113:1-9 , you have what are known as the Hallel psalms, meaning the psalms of praise. Hallel meaning praise in Hebrew, and hallelujah, the hallelujah praise to Yahweh. So these are the psalms of praise, 113 through 118. And they are the songs that were traditionally sung at their holidays or at the feast days. The Feast of Passover, the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Feast of Pentecost, there were traditional psalms that were sung for each of these feasts. And so as we get into these Psa 113:1-9 through 118, these are no doubt psalms that Jesus sang with His disciples. And it's only a shame that cassettes were invented so late. I think it would be absolutely classic to be able to hear Jesus singing with His disciples these Hallel songs.

Now we do read on the night that Jesus was betrayed, when He celebrated the Passover supper with the disciples, it said, "And after they had sung a psalm, they went out to the Mount of Olives" ( Matthew 26:30 ). The psalm that they sang was probably Psalms 118:1-29 , because that is the traditional psalm that is sung at the conclusion of the Passover feast. That, of course, is very interesting because Psalms 118:1-29 is a prophetic psalm of Jesus Christ that was to have its fulfillment that very day, or actually did have its fulfillment that week, just before this took place. And thus, as Jesus was talking to them just before the Passover of the one-hundred-and-eighteenth psalm, it was one that was very uppermost in their mind, because this is one that was always sung at the Passover feast. So it is interesting as you read it to imagine and picture Jesus singing this particular psalm with His disciples.

Tonight we begin with Psalms 117:1-2 , which is the shortest of all the psalms. It is a psalm in which there is celebrated the universal reign of Jesus Christ, who shall come to reign over all the earth.

O Praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people ( Psalms 117:1 ).

So this is the calling forth of universal praise unto Him. Let everyone; it's not just for the nation Israel now, it's for the world, for all people, and the reason for our praise.

For his merciful kindness is great towards us ( Psalms 117:2 ):

Oh, how thankful I am for the kindness with which the Lord deals with me when I am so often wrong. The merciful kindness with which He deals with me. How often I find myself praising the Lord for His merciful kindness, for He has not rewarded us according to our iniquities. But, "As high as the heaven is above the earth, so high is His mercy over them that reverence Him" ( Psalms 103:11 ). Oh, the merciful kindness with which God deals with me in my weaknesses, in my flaws, in my faults. "His merciful kindness is great towards us."

and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD ( Psalms 117:2 ).

So the Hallel psalm, beautiful little psalm calling forth for universal praise unto Him. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 117". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/psalms-117.html. 2014.
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