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Bible Commentaries

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

Psalms 150

Verse 1

1. The call 150:1

The psalmist called on his audience to praise God in His heavenly sanctuary. This psalm, like so many of the Hallel psalms (113-118, 120-136, 146-150), opens and closes with a call to worship. The term "sanctuary" (lit. holy place) is evidently in apposition to "mighty expanse," and both terms are parallel synonyms for "heaven," i.e., God’s home-the universe.

Verses 1-6

Psalms 150

The inspired poet called on every person to praise Yahweh for His powerful deeds and supreme greatness (10 times out of the 13 uses of "praise" in this psalm). This psalm serves as a final doxology, bringing the collection of psalms to a solemn and joyful conclusion.

"The conclusion of the Psalter is this extravagant summons to praise, which seeks to mobilize all creation with a spontaneous and unreserved act of adoration, praise, gratitude, and awe. There are no ’bases’ given; no reason needs to be given." [Note: Brueggemann, p. 167.]

Verse 2

2. The cause 150:2

All God’s powerful acts and His surpassing greatness call for praise. These are general categories describing the works and character of God. The psalmist could have cited many specific examples in each category.

"To praise the abundance of his power is the purpose which links together the most diverse voices in heaven and on earth in a tremendous symphonic hymn of praise." [Note: Weiser, p. 841.]

Verses 3-5

3. The celebration 150:3-5

These verses cite a few examples of the accompaniments to Israel’s verbal worship that were appropriate in her culture. They included wind, stringed, and percussion instruments, as well as joyful dancing. [Note: See VanGemeren, pp. 879-80, for an excursus on musical instruments used in Israel’s worship in the Old Testament.] This would have been a noisy celebration.

Verse 6

4. The culmination 150:6

Having dealt with the "where" and "how" of worship, the psalmist now specified the "who." "Everything that has breath" should praise Yahweh. In the light of the context, he was undoubtedly thinking of all kinds of people. This verse is a fitting conclusion to the Book of Psalms.

All people should praise God. This is the message of the book.

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 150". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". 2012.