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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 50

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-23

Psalms 50:0

Psalms 50:1 (A Psalm of Asaph.) The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.

Psalms 50:1 “A Psalm of Asaph” Comments - Eleven of the psalms credit themselves to Asaph (Psalms 50, 73-83), one of David's musicians, sang and played the cymbals, as well as operated in the office of a prophet (1 Chronicles 15:17-19, 2 Chronicles 29:30).

1 Chronicles 15:17-19, “So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brethren, Asaph the son of Berechiah ; and of the sons of Merari their brethren, Ethan the son of Kushaiah; And with them their brethren of the second degree, Zechariah, Ben, and Jaaziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, Eliab, and Benaiah, and Maaseiah, and Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, the porters. So the singers, Heman, Asaph , and Ethan, were appointed to sound with cymbals of brass;”

2 Chronicles 29:30, “Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the LORD with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer . And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped.”

Psalms 50:2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.

Psalms 50:3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.

Psalms 50:3 Comments - We find a similar description of the throne of God in Ezekiel 1:4-28. The context of both of these passages is concerning the judgment of God upon His people Israel.

Psalms 50:4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.

Psalms 50:4 Comments - In Deuteronomy Moses also called heaven and earth to be his witnesses (Deuteronomy 4:26; Deuteronomy 30:19; Deuteronomy 31:28; Deuteronomy 32:1-2). The description of heaven and earth coming together to be a part of divine judgment is understood in Isaiah 66:1, “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?” In Deuteronomy Moses is declaring divine judgment which only God can decree. Moses is speaking in behalf of God and decreeing divine judgment upon Israel.

Deuteronomy 4:26, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed.”

Deuteronomy 30:19, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:”

Deuteronomy 31:28, “Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them.”

Deuteronomy 32:1-2, “Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:”

Note also:

Judges 11:10-11, “And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The LORD be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words. Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the LORD in Mizpeh.”

The Scriptures teach that in the mouth of two or three witnesses a matter is confirmed (Deuteronomy 17:6). Isaiah 1:2 describes for us a scene where God is passing judgment, while heaven and earth serve as two witnesses. Thus, God is judging Israel in a judicial manner similar to the way elders decreeing judgments at the gates of the ancient cities.

Deuteronomy 17:6, “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.”

Psalms 50:10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.

Psalms 50:10 “and the cattle upon a thousand hills” Comments - I first understood why cattle grazed upon hills during a trip to the hilly region of southwest Uganda, East Africa in 2008. The hills are suited for grazing livestock, while the valleys, which have the fertile topsoil that washes down from the hills, is suited for agriculture. The ancient land of Palestine must have been used in such a manner by its inhabitants.

Psalms 50:11 I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.

Psalms 50:10-11 Comments - God Oversees His Creation - God knows the life and death of each and every animal in His creation (Matthew 6:26; Matthew 10:29). God revealed to Job the fact that He oversees every aspect of His creation (Job 38:1 to Job 39:30).

Matthew 6:26, “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”

Matthew 10:29, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.”

The Scriptures record how God occasionally used animals to bring about His divine purpose and plan. For example, he used a dove in Noah’s time to bring back an olive branch as a sign that they could disembark from the ark (Genesis 8:10-11). He used a plague of frogs (Exodus 8:1-15), a plague of lice (Exodus 8:16-19), a plague of flies (Exodus 8:20-32), and a plague of locusts (Exodus 10:1-20) to deliver the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. He used a donkey to speak to the mad prophet Balaam (Numbers 22:28). He used ravens to feed Elijah by the brook (1 Kings 17:6). He spoke to a whale and commanded him to swallow and split up Jonah (Jonah 1:17; Jonah 2:10).

Genesis 8:10, “And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.”

Numbers 22:28, “And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?”

1 Kings 17:6, “And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.”

Jonah 1:17, “Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.”

Jonah 2:10, “And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.”

Psalms 50:15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Psalms 50:15 Comments - When God brings deliverance, He receives glory and honour.

Psalms 50:15 Illustration - The People of the Exodus see Pharaoh coming, they cry out to God, and He delivers them through the Red Sea (Exodus 14-15). The result is Moses' song of Praise for God's deliverance

Psalms 50:23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

Psalms 50:23 “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me” Word Study on “offereth” - Strong says the Hebrew word “offereth” ( זָבַח ) (H2076) literally means, “to slaughter an animal, (usually in sacrifice.) The Enhanced Strong says this Hebrew verb is used 134 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as “ sacrifice 85, offer 39, kill 5, slay 5.”

Word Study on “praise” Strong says the Hebrew word “praise” “todah” ( תּוֹדָה ) (H8426) literally means, “an extension of the hand, an avowal, adoration.” It is a sacrifice of thanksgiving, since this same word is used in Psalms 50:14 as the word “thanksgiving.”

Psalms 50:14, “Offer unto God thanksgiving ; and pay thy vows unto the most High:”

Scripture References - Note similar verses:

Psalms 54:6, “ I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name , O LORD; for it is good.”

Jeremiah 33:11, “The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD . For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.”

Hebrews 13:15, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”

Psalms 50:23 “and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God” Comments - To him that sets his conduct aright, God will “cause him to see” His salvation.

Illustration - One day while driving to church I was praying in tongues. I had been speaking those things which were not as though they were. I had been speaking and believing for certain events in any life. I began to pray and asked the Lord why things were going so well in my life. I had health, a good job and peace in every area of my life. The Lord then quickened Psalms 50:23 to me, seeming to show me that I was “ordering,” or setting forth these things my life.

Psalms 50:23 Comments - Many times God’s deliverance is conditional to our trust in Him and to our thanks to Him. This is gathered from the NIV reading of Psalms 50:23, “He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.” Praise prepares a way for God to deliver us.

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Psalms 50". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/psalms-50.html. 2013.
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