1. Nations Summoned to Praise (vs.1)
  2. Reason to Do So (vs.2)
VERSE 1 Praise the LORD, all nations (Wll.h; [Piel.imper.2.m.p., lleh; halel, praise] hw"hy>-ta, [dir.obj. + pr.n.], ~yIAG-lK' [n.m.s.cstr. + n.m.p., goyim]);

Laud Him, all peoples (WhWxB.v; [Piel.imper.2.m.p. xb;v' , soothe, stroke; laud/praise {in the Piel}; 11X: 1Chr.16:35; Pss.63:4; 89:10; 106:47; 117:1; 145:4; 147:12; Prov.29:11; Eccl.4:2; 8:15], `~yMiauh'-lK' [n.m.s.cstr. + w/n.f.p., hM'au ummah, tribe; 186X; cp. Gen.25:16; Num.25:15])!

VERSE 2 For His lovingkindness is great toward us (yKi [conj.] rb;g" [, gabhar, be powerful; "great"] Wnyle[' [prep.w/1c.p.sf., "toward us"] ADs.x; [n.m.s.w/3.m.s.sf., chesed]),

And the truth of the LORD is everlasting (hw"hy>-tm,a/w< [conj.w/n.f.s. + pr.n.], ~l'A[l. [prep.w/n.m.s., olam, ever]).

Praise the LORD (`Hy"-Wll.h; [Piel.imper.2.m.p., ll;h' , halal, + pr.n.])!


  1. This is the shortest psalm and chapter in the Bible.
  2. It is a hymn of praise.
  3. Its single sentence encapsulates the basic form of the imperatival hymn with its summons to praise (vs.1) and complementary y (ki, For) clause (vs.2).
  4. Along with Pss.113-116 and 118, this psalm was sung at Passover (commonly known as the Egyptian Hallel).
  5. Paul quotes this psalm in Rom.15:11, along with other OT texts (Ps.18:49; Deut.32:43; Isa.11:10), to document that God's plan of grace was designed for the Gentiles as well as the Jews.
  6. This psalm is universal in scope.
  7. The summons is to all nations and all peoples (literally, "all tribes/clans") over the course of human history.
  8. Two verbs for "praise" are used (halel and shabach) in the synonymous parallelism of vs.1.
  9. The verb translated Laud means to commend/laud in the Piel stem.
  10. Obviously, the great majority of individuals who make up the nations of human history will not fulfill this divine directive, to their eternal loss.
  11. But individuals who are Ph1 and Ph2 positive will "praise/laud" the God of Israel throughout the dispensations.
  12. In the Age of Israel, some noteworthy examples include:
    1. Melchizedek.
    2. Rahab the prostitute.
    3. Ruth the Moabitess.
    4. Nebuchadnezzar (Dan.4:34,35).
    5. citizens of Ninevah (Jonah), etc. (cp. Pss.67:2; 96:3).
  13. The Church Age is the dispensation in which Gentile positive volition has reached a high water mark, as converts to Christianity have come from every nation, language, tribe, and family in fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen.12:3c; Gal.3:8; cp. Mt.28:19; Rom.16:26).
  14. In the Tribulation, many will come to saving faith among the nations (Rev.7:9-17).
  15. In the Age of Christ (Millennium), there will be an even higher percentage of Gentiles who come to know the Lord (Pss.22:27; 72:11,17; 89:9; Isa.2:2; 61:11; Jer.3:17; Zeph.2:11; Zech.8:23; 14:16; Rev.15:4).
  16. The very diversity of God's subjects comes out in the expression all nations/all "tribes" (the smaller units, covered by the Hebrew noun translated "peoples"; cp. Rev.7:9).
  17. The nations who do not respond to this summons, a summons which minimally requires the salvation adjustment, will be turned into Sheol/Hades (Ps.9:17).
  18. Verse 2 states the reason why Yahweh is worthy of universal praise.
  19. In line 1 of vs.2 it is stated that His "loyalty" (steadfast love in the RSV) is great.
  20. The verb is great means that His loyalty to His plan of grace prevails and is for all who believe.
  21. This word is a vigorous, formidable word, used of the stronger side in battle (Ex.17:11) or of the waters of the Flood (Gen.7:18-20).
  22. Divine chesed (His pledged loyal-love) is only for those who fear Him (Ps.103:11).
  23. It is not limited due to any factor one might name.
  24. The us refers not only to true Israel, but in this Gentile context it refers to all who are blessed in Abraham (Gal.3:8ff).
  25. For all, Jew and Gentile alike, who acknowledge in truth the God of Israel, are one family under God.
  26. The universal family of God consists of all who are believers in Christ.
  27. If His loyalty is great, His truth is everlasting.
  28. Truth (BD) defines what His promises and requirements are for His people.
  29. Truth is more permanent than the universe (cf. Mt.5:18; 24:35).
  30. Truth is not subject to the passage of time; it remains fixed, like the attributes.
  31. Truth (content of Scripture) has always been with God, and God is E.L. (Prov.8).
  32. Truth is the basis for relationship with God (2Jn.1:9).
  33. Because of God's devotion (chesed) to His promises, and because His Word (emeth) abides forever, we should Praise "Yah"!
  34. This psalm finds its fulfillment when all nations will praise the Lord Jesus Christ for His faithfulness to His covenants to Israel in providing redemption and deliverance to the entire planet.
  35. This call to universal praise will be fully realized when Christ returns to earth and sets up His kingdom over the nations.
  36. It finds application in the present dispensation with the universal presentation of the gospel to the nations, as seen in the fact that it is quoted in Rom.15.
JUNE, 1997
© Copyright 1998, Maranatha Church, Inc.