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Bible Commentaries

Trapp's Complete Commentary

Psalms 111

Verse 1

Psa 111:1 Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with [my] whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and [in] the congregation.

Ver. 1. Praise ye the Lord ] At the passover especially; for this and the other hallelujatical psalms that follow (called by the Jews the Great Hallelujah) were sung at that and other solemn feasts, in praise of God for his manifold mercies.

I will praise the Lord ] Musica huius Psalmi in signis est, siquis eam consequi potuit. The great art used in the composure of this and some other psalms (after the order of the Hebrew alphabet) serveth both to set forth their excellence and for the help of memory.

Verse 2

Psa 111:2 The works of the LORD [are] great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.

Ver. 2. The works of the Lord are great ] Magnalia; no small things are done by so great a hand. Grandior solet esse Deus in parvulis quam in magnis; in formicis maior anima quam in elephantis, in nanis quam in gigantibus.

Sought out of all them ] q.d. Great though they be, yet are they seriously sought into and found out by those that delight therein; and the deeper they dive into them the sweeter they find them. Basil diligently described many creatures; and so did Ambrose after him. Pliny (who was himself a very great searcher in nature’s secrets) telleth of one who spent eight and fifty years in learning the nature of the bee, Et nondum assecutus sit onmia, and yet could not attain to all. Our anatomists find still new wonders in the body of a man, &c. God hath showed singular skill in his works, that men might admire him; but woe to such as regard not his handiwork, Isaiah 5:12 .

Verse 3

Psa 111:3 His work [is] honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever.

Ver. 3. His work is honourable ] Heb. honour and glory, they all come tipped and gilt, with a glory upon them, a centro ad coelum. This the brutish man knoweth not, Psalms 92:6 .

His righteousness endureth for ever ] His judgments are sometimes secret, but always just.

Verse 4

Psa 111:4 He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD [is] gracious and full of compassion.

Ver. 4. He hath made his wonderful, &c. ] Memorabilia reddidit mirabilia sua clemens et misericors Iehova.

Verse 5

Psa 111:5 He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant.

Ver. 5. He hath given meat ] Heb. a prey, Escam demensam; as he did manna to the Israelites, to each a homer; so to all his he giveth food convenient for them, Proverbs 30:8 , Cibum et potum, quae sunt divitiae Christianorum (Jerome).

He will ever be mindful of his covenant ] To pass by his people’s sins, and to supply all their necessities; all his paths to such are not mercy only, but truth, Psa 25:10

Verse 6

Psa 111:6 He hath shewed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen.

Ver. 6. He hath showed his people, &c. ] To them it is given to see, but not to others who are delivered up to a judiciary blindness. "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and hidden things which thou knowest not," Jeremiah 33:3 .

That he may give them, &c. ] Yea, power over all nations, Rev 2:26

Verse 7

Psa 111:7 The works of his hands [are] verity and judgment; all his commandments [are] sure.

Ver. 7. The work of his hands ] They speak him a true and just God. Chrysostom taketh truth here for mercy, and noteth that God usually mixeth mercy with justice; yet sometimes he sendeth an evil, an only evil, Ezekiel 7:5

All his commandments ] That is, his promises added to his commandments; or they are so called, because firm and sure, as the commandments of an emperor.

Verse 8

Psa 111:8 They stand fast for ever and ever, [and are] done in truth and uprightness.

Ver. 8. They stand fast for ever and ever ] The promises are infallible, good sure hold, not yea and nay, but yea and amen.

And are done ] i.e. Ordained, made, and ratified.

Verse 9

Psa 111:9 He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend [is] his name.

Ver. 9. He sent redemption unto his people ] Once out of Egypt, ever out of Satan’s thraldom.

He hath commanded his covenant for ever ] Sic cum populo suo pactus est ut de ipsius paeti observatione certis edictis caverit, as he covenanted, so he looketh his commandments should be respected, which are as binding to us as his covenant is to him; and, through grace, his covenant is as binding to him as those are to us.

Holy and reverend is his name ] Which, therefore, we should not presume in a sudden unmannerliness to blurt out. The Jews would not pronounce it. The Grecians (as Suidas observeth), when they would swear by their Jupiter, forbare to mention him. This is cheek to the profaneness common among us. Let those that would have their name reverend labour to be holy as God is holy.

Verse 10

Psa 111:10 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do [his commandments]: his praise endureth for ever.

Ver. 10. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom ] Or the principal point and chief perfection. See Pro 1:7 Job 28:28 . See Trapp on " Pro 1:7 " See Trapp on " Job 28:28 "

A good understanding have all they ] So much a man knoweth in true account, as he doth; hence understanding is here ascribed to the will; so Job 28:28 . See Ecclesiastes 10:2 . Some render it, Good success.

His praise endureth for ever ] i.e. God’s praise; for they that understand it of the godly wise man understand not the propriety of the Hebrew word Tehillah, saith an interpreter.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 111". Trapp's Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.