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Bible Commentaries

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

Psalms 113


This psalm begins the Hallel, or as sometimes called, the great Hallel—though that name more properly is confined to Psalms 136:0—recited at the great Jewish feasts. It is partly modelled on Hannah’s song. Its form is regular.

Verse 1

(1) Ye servants of the Lordi.e., Israel. (See Psalms 69:36.)

Verse 4

(4) Comp. Psalms 8:1, &c

Verse 6

(6) Humbleth himself.—Contrast this condescension with the indifference to human joys and sorrows which heathen deities were said to show.

Verse 7

(7) Dunghill.—Literally, a heap of rubbish. “Before each village in Hauran there is a place where the household heap up the sweepings of their stalls, and it gradually reaches a great circumference and a height which rises far above the highest buildings of the village.” “The mezbela serves the inhabitants of the district as a watch-tower, and on close oppressive evenings as a place of assembly, because there is a current of air on the height. There the children play about the whole day long; there the forsaken one lies who, having been seized with some horrible malady, is not allowed to enter the dwellings of men, by day asking alms of the passers by, and at night hiding himself among the ashes which the sun has warmed.”—Delitzsch’s Commentary on the Book of Job, ii. 152, with Note by Wetzstein. It was on the mezbela that, according to tradition, Job sat.

Verses 7-8

(7-8) See 1 Samuel 2:8, from which the verses are taken; and comp. Luke 1:52.

So the heathen poet sang of Jove (Hor.: Odes i., 34, 35).

Verse 9

(9) He maketh.—See margin. Motherhood alone assured the wife of a fixed and dignified position in her husband’s house. The quotation from Hannah’s song suggested the allusion to her story. We are no doubt right in taking this joyful mother as emblematic of the nation itself restored to prosperity and joy.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 113". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". 1905.