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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 117

Utley's You Can Understand the BibleUtley Commentary

Introduction

Psalms 117:0

STROPHE DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

NASBNKJVNRSVTEVNJB
A Psalm of PraiseNo MT IntroLet All Peoples Praise the LordDoxologyIn Praise of the LordSummons to Praise
Psalms 117:1-2Psalms 117:1-2bPsalms 117:1-2Psalms 117:1-2bPsalms 117:1-2b
Psalms 117:2c Psalms 117:2c

READING CYCLE THREE (see “Guide to Good Bible Reading”)

FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT PARAGRAPH LEVEL

This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects (reading cycle #3). Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.

CONTEXTUAL INSIGHTS

A. This is the shortest Psalm.

B. It encourages the Gentiles to praise Israel's God (cf. Psalms 67:0; Psalms 100:0), the only true God.

C. Israel's God is fully revealed in

1. His acts in creation (Genesis 1-2; 6-9)

2. His promises to Abraham (Genesis 12:0; Genesis 15:0; Genesis 18:0; Genesis 22:0)

a. land

b. seed

c. great name

d. all families of the earth blessed in him

3. redemptive acts toward Abraham's descendants (cf. Psalms 117:2a)

a. the exodus

b. conquest

c. return from exile

Verses 1-2

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Psalms 117:1-2 1Praise the Lord, all nations; Laud Him, all peoples! 2For His lovingkindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord is everlasting. Praise the Lord!

Psalms 117:1 This Psalm begins and concludes with the Piel imperative, “Praise” (BDB 237, KB 248, cf. Psalms 113:0; LXX, Psalms 116:0).

“Laud Him” This is a second Piel imperative (BDB 986, KB 1387, cf. Psalms 147:12).

“all nations. . .all peoples” This universal aspect is characteristic of the Psalms (cf. Psalms 22:27; Psalms 33:8; Psalms 47:1; Psalms 66:1, Psalms 66:4; Psalms 67:3-5, Psalms 67:7; Psalms 82:8; Psalms 96:7-10; Psalms 98:4; Psalms 100:1).

This is the OT's great commission. Israel was to be a “kingdom of priests” (cf. Exodus 19:5-6) because all the world is YHWH's. See Special Topic: YHWH's Eternal Redemptive Plan.

This verse is quoted by Paul in Romans 15:11, which emphasizes YHWH's inclusion of the Gentiles in the work of Christ (cf. Romans 15:9-13; note Revelation 7:9).

Psalms 117:2 “lovingkindness. . .truth” These two characteristics of YHWH (see SPECIAL TOPIC: CHARACTERISTICS OF ISRAEL'S GOD) are often listed together (i.e., Psalms 108:4; Psalms 115:1; Psalms 138:2).

For “lovingkindness” see SPECIAL TOPIC: LOVINGKINDNESS (HESED).

For “truth” or “faithfulness” see Special Topic: Believe, Trust, Faith and Faithfulness in the OT.

“everlasting” See Special Topic: Forever ('olam).

This is an important point because of Israel's repeated faithlessness and idolatry. YHWH is forever faithful but His people are not! He has a larger purpose than just one people/nation (see Special Topic: YHWH's Eternal Redemptive Plan).

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought provoking, not definitive.

1. How common in the OT is YHWH's love, care, concern, and redemption of Gentiles?

2. Define hesed (i.e., lovingkindness).

3. Define emeth (i.e., truth).

4. How does YHWH's love toward Israel affect the Gentiles?

Bibliographical Information
Utley. Dr. Robert. "Commentary on Psalms 117". "Utley's You Can Understand the Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ubc/psalms-117.html. 2021.
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