1. Praise from on High (vv.1-6)
  2. Praise from the Earth (vv.7-14)
Praise from on High (vv.1-6)

VERSE 1 Praise the LORD (Wll.h; [Piel.imper.2.p., halal, praise] Hy" [pr.n.])!

Praise the LORD from the heavens (Wll.h; [Piel.imper., halal] hw"hy>-ta, [dir.obj. + pr.n.] ~yIm;V'h;-!mi [prep. +, shamayim]);

Praise Him in the heights (WhWll.h; [Piel.imper.w/3.m.s.sf., halal, praise] `~ymiArM.B; [, marom, height, elevated place])!

VERSE 2 Praise Him, all His angels (WhWll. [Piel.imper.w/3.m.s.sf., halal] wyk'a'l.m;-lk' [n.m.s.cstr. + n.m.p.w/3.m.s.sf., male-akh, messenger, angel]);

Praise Him, all His hosts (WhWll.h; [Piel.imper.w/3.m.s.sf., halal, praise] ¿Aab'c.À-lK' [n.m.s.cstr. + n.m.s.w/3.m.s.sf., tsabha, army])!

VERSE 3 Praise Him, sun and moon (WhWll.h; [Piel.imper.w/3.m.s.sf., halal, praise] vm,v, [n.m.s., shemesh, sun] x;rey"w> [conj.w/n.m.s., yareach, moon]);

Praise Him, all stars of light (WhWll.h; [Piel.imper.w/3.m.s.sf., halal] ybek.AK-lK' [n.m.s.cstr. + n.m.p.cstr., kokhabh, star] `rAa [n.m.s., or, light])!

VERSE 4 Praise Him, highest heavens (WhWll.h; [Piel.imper.w/3.m.s.sf., halal] ymev. [n.m.p.cstr., shamayim; "highest"] ~yIm'V'h; [, shamayim, heaven]),

And the waters that are above the heavens (~yIM;h;w> [conj.w/, mayim, water] rv,a] [, "that"] l[;me [prep., min, w/prep., al] `~yIm'V'h; [, shamayim])!

VERSE 5 Let them praise the name of the LORD (Wll.h;y> [Piel.imper.3.m.p., halal, praise] ~ve-ta, [dir.obj. + n.m.s., shem, name] hw"hy> [pr.n.]),

For He commanded and they were created (yKi [conj.] aWh [] hW"ci [, tsawah, command] `War'b.nIw> [conj.w/, bara, create]).

VERSE 6 He has also established them forever and ever (~deymi[]Y:w: [conj. w/Hiphil.impf.3.m.s.w/3.m.p.sf., amadh, stand; cause to stand; establish] d[;l' [prep.w/n.m.s., adh, perpetuity] ~l'A[l. [prep.w/n.m.s., olam, ever]);

He has made a decree which will not pass away (!t;n"-qx' [n.m.s.cstr., choq, statute; "decree", +, nathan, give; "made"] al{w> [conj.w/neg.] `rAb[]y: [Qal.impf.3.m.s., abhar, pass over, through, away]).


  1. This psalm is a call to praise Yahweh, starting with the angelic hosts and descending through the heavens to include the natural world with its varied life forms, then summoning mankind and finally the chosen people.
  2. This call to praise unites the whole of creation.
  3. Only with the concerted voices of all His works can a significant attempt be made to reflect His majesty back to Him.
  4. The exuberant word "all" rings out in a striving for a totality of praise.
  5. The enumeration of the various elements is a poetic means of itemizing His glory that fills the earth (cp. Isa.6:3).
  6. The glory of God is reflected back to Him through the things He has made.
  7. In the first six verses the heavens and their hosts (armies) are summoned to make their contribution to the universal chorus.
  8. The summons to the heavenly hosts is rhetorical since all things specified in these verses do indeed praise Him at all times.
  9. Verse 1a and v.14d bracket the psalm with a universal call to "Praise Yah" (Hallelujah)!
  10. Verse 1b,c is a summons to the heavens and their hosts, both animate and inanimate.
  11. Verse 1 stands in the same relationship to vv.2-6 that v.7a does to vv.7b-12.
  12. The call to praise is rhetorical, as the heavenly hosts (animate and inanimate) praise God as they are supposed to.
  13. Verse 1b,c illustrates synonymous parallelism.
  14. "From the heavens" and "in the heights" includes the three heavens, as the subsequent verses make apparent.
  15. Since angels were created first (Job.38:4-7) and maintain a constant vigil of praise in the third heaven, they are rhetorically summoned first.
  16. The angelic race is referred to as "all His angels" and "all His hosts".
  17. The word "hosts" means "army".
  18. All His angels (Ps.103:20; Dan.7:10; Heb.1:7), His heavenly host/army (Ps.103:21), praise Him both by deed and word.
  19. Certain angels are on duty around the clock in the service of praise of God (Rev.4:8; cp. Isa.6:3).
  20. The inanimate hosts – the sun, moon, and all the stars (both light-bearing and reflecting bodies) – are called to praise.
  21. "Stars of light" refers to the innumerable stars (and planets) that exist throughout the universe.
  22. By simply being there they render witness to the awesome power and wisdom of the Creator.
  23. The creation is constantly praising God as it declares to man the invisible glory of God (Ps.19:1ff; Rom.1:20).
  24. Mankind has largely ignored this witness.
  25. Verse 4a is a renewed call to praise God from the "highest heaven".
  26. The expression appears to be inclusive of the highest places within the three heavens, as the context of vv.4b and 5 indicate.
  27. This expression, literally, is "heavens of the heavens" and occurs only here and in Neh.9:6.
  28. Nehemiah 9:6 translates the phrase literally.
  29. The highest spot with respect to the first heaven is in view in v.4b.
  30. The language of v.4b is taken from Gen.1:7.
  31. The "waters that are above the heavens" in Genesis refers to the water vapor canopy that enshrouded the earth before the Flood.
  32. The canopy was precipitated out at the Flood, accounting for the forty days and nights of rainfall.
  33. Since then the highest clouds, called cirrus, float high in the earth’s upper atmosphere.
  34. Even this natural phenomenon praises God.
  35. Here the waters above refers to a particular type of cloud or moisture in the outer atmosphere.
  36. Both phenomena praised God by serving the purpose for which it was set in place.
  37. Verse 5a is a renewed call to all that inhabits the three heavens to "praise Yahweh".
  38. Verse 5b gives the main reason for praise.
  39. These entities should praise Him because they all owe their existence to Him.
  40. Both the articulate (animate) and inarticulate (inanimate) entities of the heavens are called to praise the Creator and Sustainer of their being.
  41. All these things do indeed render God His due.
  42. The inanimate objects of His handiwork proclaim the glory of the Godhead.
  43. Just as a fine piece of craftsmanship brings glory to it craftsman, so the creation brings glory to the Creator.
  44. The sun praises God simply by being there and functioning as it was designed to.
  45. Actually, God has done two things with respect to the things in the heavens above.
  46. The first is stated in v.5b.
  47. All these things owe their existence to Him even if they cannot appreciate it.
  48. Only the angels can render conscious praise.
  49. The other thing God has done on their behalf is make a law, called in v.6b a "decree", defining the order of existence for each and every thing within the three heavens.
  50. This decree is a law of being and the order of existence prescribed and assigned to all created things (visible and invisible, animate and inanimate).
  51. This statute of being is one "which will not pass away".
  52. It guarantees that each thing created will fulfill the divine purpose until that purpose is fulfilled.
  53. The sun was created in accordance with Gen.1:1, but was not assigned to serve our solar system until D+4 of restoration.
  54. The sun services the earth until the end of human history when it will not be needed in the eternal state (Rev.22:5).
  55. The fixed order of things cannot be overturned until God decides on a change.
  56. This is what we call the doctrine of divine decrees.
  57. See Jer.31:35-37.
  58. So God brought all these things into existence, and it is He who guarantees their continuance until His purposes for them are fulfilled.
Praise from the Earth (vv.7-14)

VERSE 7 Praise the LORD from the earth (Wll.h; [Piel.imper.] hw"hy>-ta, [dir.obj. + pr.n.] #r,a'h'-!mi [prep. +, erets, earth]),

Sea monsters and all deeps (~ynIyNIT; [n.m.p., tannim, sea/river monster] `tAmhoT.-lk'w> [conj.w/n.m.s.cstr., kal, + n.m.p., tehom, deep]);

VERSE 8 Fire and hail, snow and clouds (vae [n.m.s., esh, fire] dr'b'W [conj.w/n.m.s., baradh, hail] gl,v, [n.m.s, shelegh, snow] rAjyqiw> [conj.w/n.m.s., qitor, smoke; 2X: Ps.119:83; "clouds"]);

Stormy wind, fulfilling His word (hr'['s. [n.f.s., sa-ar, tempest, storm] x;Wr [n.f.s., ruach, wind, spirit, breath] hf'[o [, asah, do; "fulfilling"] Arb'd> [n.m.s.w/3.m.s.sf., dabhar, word]);

VERSE 9 Mountains and all hills (~yrIh'h, [, har, mountain] tA[b'G>-lk'w> [conj.w/n.m.s.cstr., kal, + n.f.p., gibhe-ah, hill]);

Fruit trees and all cedars (yrIP. [n.m.s., peri, fruit] #[e [n.m.s.cstr., ets, tree] `~yzIr'a]-lk'w> [conj.w/n.m.s.cstr., kal, + n.m.p., erez, cedar]);

VERSE 10 Beasts and all cattle (hY"x;h; [, chay, living; wild "beasts"] hm'heB.-lk'w> [conj.w/n.m.s.cstr., kal, + n.f.s., behemah, beast/domestic]);

Creeping things and winged fowl (fm,r, [n.m.s., remes, creeping life forms] rAPciw> [conj.w/n.m.s., tsipor, bird] `@n"K' [n.f.s., kanaph, wing, edge]);

VERSE 11 Kings of the earth and all peoples (#r,a,-ykel.m; [n.m.p.cstr., melek, king, + n.f.s., erets, earth] ~yMiaul.-lk'w> [conj.w/n.m.s., kal, + n.m.p., leom, people, population]);

Princes and all judges of the earth (~yrIf' [n.m.p., sar, prince] yjep.vo-lk'w> [conj. w/n.m.s., kal, +, shaphat, judge] `#r,a' [n.f.s., erets, earth]);

VERSE 12 Both young men and virgins (~yrIWxB; [n.m.p., bachur, young man] tAlWtB.-~g:w> [conj.w/conj., "and also", + n.f.p., bethulah, virgin]);

Old men and children (~ynIqez> [adj.m.p., zaqen, old; the aged/elderly] `~yrI['n>-~[I [prep., im, with; "and", + na-ar, boy, youth]).

VERSE 13 Let them praise the name of the LORD (Wll.h;y> [Piel.impf.3.m.p., halal] ~ve-ta, [dir.obj. + n.m.s., shem, name] hw"hy> [pr.n.]),

For His name alone is exalted (bG"f.nI-yKi [conj. +, saghabh, be high; "exalted"] Amv. [n.m.s.w/3.m.s.sf., shem, name] ADb;l. [prep.w/n.m.s.w/3.m.s.sf., badh, alone]);

His glory is above earth and heaven (AdAh [n.m.s.w/3.m.s.sf., hodh, splendor] #r,a,-l[; [prep.w/n.f.s., erets, earth] `~yIm'v'w> [conj.w/n.m.p., shamayim]).

VERSE 14 And He has lifted up a horn for His people (~r,Y"w: [conj. w/Hiphil.impf.3.m.s., rum, rise; lift up] !r,q, [n.f.s., qeren, horn; fig. for strength] AM[;l. [prep. w/n.m.s.cstr.w/3.m.s.sf., am, people]),

Praise for all His godly ones (hL'hiT. [n.f.s., tehillah, praise] wyd'ysix]-lk'l. [prep.w/n.m.s. + adj.m.p.w/3.m.s.sf., chasidh, devoted, loyal; "godly"]);

Even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him ( [prep.w/n.m.p.cstr., ben, son] laer'f.yI [pr.n.] Abroq.-~[; [n.m.s., am, people, + adj.m.s.w/3.m.s.sf., qarobh, near]).

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


  1. By fulfilling their divinely-allotted functions, the works of the celestial creations praise their Author.
  2. The terrestrial realm, too, must render its compliment of praise, and is urged to do so in the psalm’s second strophe (v.7a).
  3. Verse 7a answers to vv.2 and 4a.
  4. In the first strophe (vv.1-6) the praise was passed down from the conscious ("His angels") to the unconscious (heavenly bodies and waters above).
  5. In this strophe the praise is passed up the ladder to man, who is consciously aware of God through natural (things created) and special revelation (WOG).
  6. The ocean deeps with all their teeming life, including the giant whales, are rhetorically called to praise their Creator.
  7. Again, they do so by the mere fact of their existence.
  8. The weather, with its diverse phenomena, praises God (v.8).
  9. The selected elements are "fire and hail", "snow and clouds", and "stormy wind".
  10. "Fire" is a reference to lightning.
  11. "Clouds" is literally "smoke", which in tandem with "snow" refers to winter mist.
  12. The final item in this catalogue of weather-related phenomena is a storm that carries heavy winds.
  13. The psalmist supplies the thought that these things are under the direct control of God.
  14. Each and every thing that occurs in connection with the weather around the earth accomplishes exactly what God desires (v.8b).
  15. This is the case whether the effect is good or bad as far as man is concerned.
  16. The hot, dry summer we are experiencing is what God ordered.
  17. God is in absolute control of the weather.
  18. Nothing occurs, good or bad, apart from His sovereign power and will.
  19. This aspect of nature praises God by "fulfilling His word".
  20. God wills it, and the weather in any particular place happens in precise accordance with what He wishes.
  21. So nature with its sometimes-wild forces, untamable by man, is an instrument of His sovereign power.
  22. The rugged land masses, with "mountains and hills", are urged to praise Him by their static presence.
  23. It is He who established the concentric mountain ranges with the spur ranges and foothills.
  24. God has positioned and sculpted the land masses in accord with His sovereign will (2Pet.3:5,6; Ps.104:6-10).
  25. God does the landscaping, as illustrated by v.9b.
  26. The pair of terms used in v.9b refer to all trees cultivated and uncultivated.
  27. They praise God by being trees.
  28. Likewise, mammals are viewed in the two broad categories of wild animals and domestic (farm) animals (v.10a).
  29. Even "creeping things", as represented by the vast world of insects and reptiles, praise God by doing their thing.
  30. "Winged fowl" concludes the list of unconscious witnesses to God’s character.
  31. All these things praise Him without fail.
  32. In vv.11-13 the call is to the human race at large to join in the universal chorale of praise.
  33. The first pairing is national leaders ("kings of the earth") with their subject populations ("and all peoples", v.11a).
  34. "Princes and all judges" point to men of influence and responsibility (v.11b).
  35. The fact that most men of standing do not give the One of surpassing status His due does not imply that they are exempt.
  36. Nebuchadnezzar learned the hard way that it is the duty of all men everywhere to give God His due.
  37. The third classification has to do with age and sex (v.12a).
  38. "Young men and virgins/maidens" may have other preoccupations, but they too should have God as the center of their lives if they want maximum blessing out of that period of life that passes by so quickly.
  39. The final classification emphasizes the extremes of age (v.12b).
  40. Most elderly people have no zeal for God, as they forgot Him in their younger days (Eccl.12).
  41. The elderly who know God have much to be thankful for.
  42. "Children" should be encouraged to praise and thank God.
  43. Not having the inhibitions of grown ups, children are capable of statements that are a rebuke to adults (cf. Ps.8:2; cp. Mt.21:16).
  44. It is of note to compare vv.13 and 14 with their counterparts in vv.5 and 6.
  45. In v.5 the celestial entities are called to praise God simply based on their being (v.5b).
  46. But in v.13, man is to praise Him since man is a creature made in His image.
  47. "Let them" refers to the human race with its many social classifications.
  48. Reason enough lies in Yahweh’s unique sovereignty and in the revelation of His majesty through the external creation.
  49. "His name alone is exalted" indicates the fact that Yahweh occupies a place shared by no other.
  50. "His glory" refers to His unique divine attributes that are showcased through the material creation (Rom.1).
  51. The universal tendency has been to reject this witness and to embrace darkness (Rom.1:21).
  52. Unbelievers, not having a human spirit, can decipher this witness.
  53. The creation is a witness to who and what God is (Ps.19:1ff; Acts.14:17).
  54. Men everywhere should praise Him because He has a name that is above every name, and His name has been exalted through His works (v.13b).
  55. The glory that is uniquely His transcends the glory of the external creation (v.13c).
  56. God’s glory is not dependent upon the things He has made (Pss.8:1; 113:4).
  57. His glory was here before there was anything (Jn.17:5).
  58. The external creation owes its existence to a glory that is above it.
  59. Man is fully capable of drawing the logical conclusion, but chooses not to do so.
  60. However, there is a more intimate source of praise, and that is the subject of v.14.
  61. It is found in the exaltation of His chosen people, "the sons of Israel".
  62. "And He has lifted up a horn for His people (that is, Israel)" is a reference to their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Lk.1:69).
  63. He is Israel’s strong deliverer based on His work at both advents.
  64. An animal’s horn represents its power to do damage (e.g., cape buffalo; cf. Ps.92:10).
  65. So the word "horn" is associated with strength or power (e.g., "the little horn" of Dan.7:8, or "the ten horns" of Rev.12, etc.).
  66. God is the horn of the believer’s deliverance (cf. 2Sam.22:3; 1Sam.2:1).
  67. In the day of God’s wrath the Messiah will put on display the power of the hypostatic union in its glorified state (1Sam.2:10).
  68. People are advised not to raise their "horn" (the power they have to oppose God and His people) against God (Ps.75:4,5).
  69. God cuts off the power/horn of His enemies (Jer.48:25).
  70. God is the source of His people’s strength ("horn"; cf. Ps.89:17).
  71. God promised to exalt the horn of the Messianic descendant who honored Him (Ps.89:24).
  72. "The horn of salvation" for God’s people is the Messiah who delivers them from all their enemies and enables them to triumph over the forces of evil in connection with the resurrection and Christ’s coming.
  73. Redeemed Israel, through the centuries, has a special reason to praise Yahweh.
  74. The "godly ones" are those who truly understand and have capacity for what God has provided (v.14b).
  75. Verse 14c makes it clear who "His people" are.
  76. They are not just Jews after the flesh, but circumcised of heart via the salvation adjustment.
  77. They are a people who enjoy a special nearness based on the covenants made with their ancestors.
  78. God is to be praised for His grace toward Israel by Jew and Gentile alike.
  79. That grace comes to the redeemed race through Jesus, their Messiah and Deliverer.
  80. What God has provided for Israel – the horn of their salvation – puts "praise" on the lips of "all His godly ones".
  81. They understand what this special relationship to Yahweh brings to the redeemed of Israel.
  82. And so the psalm ends with "Praise Yah!".
AUGUST 5, 1998

© Copyright 1998, Maranatha Church, Inc.