Psalm cxlvi. (Laudate Dominum.)
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Alleluia. In some editions of the Septuagint (Haydock) and in Syriac, Arabic, &c., the same inscription occurs, as in the former psalms. Many ascribe this to the same authors, and to the same occasion. Hebrew and Chaldean have no title. Yet the psalm seems to be a thanksgiving (Calmet) for the permission to build the temple and walls of Jerusalem, (Origen) which had been neglected, till God visited the people with a famine, ver. 8., 2 Esdras v. 1., and Aggeus i. 6. (Bossuet) — Zorobabel, &c., urge the people to build. (Syriac) (Calmet) — Still David might compose this psalm, as he was a prophet, (Berthier) and he may allude to the beginning of his reign, when the people were all united. (Jansenius) — Good. Agreeable and advantageous for us. — Praise. This consists in purity of life, rather than in the sweetest accents. (Calmet)
Ver. 2. Jerusalem. After the captivity, (Worthington) or at the beginning of David’s reign, when he had taken Sion, and Israel acknowledged his dominion, 2 Kings v. It may also allude to the Church, (John xi. 51.) and to heaven, Hebrews xii. 22., and Apocalypse xxi. (Berthier)
Ver. 3. Bruises. God delivered the captives, after chastising them, Deuteronomy xxxii. 39. (Calmet) — He gives life to the penitent, as Christ healed the sick, &c., Isaias lxi. 1. (Berthier)
Ver. 4. Stars. Which to man are innumerable. Though some have counted 1022 with Ptolemy, yet the discovery of telescopes has shewn that many more are discernible, (Calmet) and none would dare at present to fix their number. (Berthier) — Cicero (Of. i.) treats this as a thing impossible. See Genesis xv. 5. (Calmet) — Ptolemy could only ascertain the number of the more notorious. (Worthington) — Kimchi admits 1098 created to shine, besides innumerable others, which have influence over plants, &c. God has the most perfect knowledge of all. They are like his soldiers, whom he knows by name, (Isaias xl. 25.) as the good shepherd does his sheep, John x. 3. (Calmet) — We read that Cyrus knew the name of all his officers, (Cyrop. v.) and that Adrian, and Scipio, the Asiatic, could even name all the soldiers in their armies.
Ver. 5. Power. God the Son. Earthly monarchs are forced to depend on others for the execution of their orders. But God is infinite. (Calmet) — Number. He knows innumerable things: (Worthington) or rather, (Haydock) the divine wisdom hath no parts, Jeremias x. 6. (Berthier)
Ver. 6. Ground. As he has done to the Egyptians, &c. (Calmet)
Ver. 7. Praise. Literally, “confession,” (Haydock) including both compunction and praise. (Berthier)
Ver. 8. Clouds. This is represented as something wonderful, (Job v. 9., and xxxvii. 6.) though conformable to the laws of nature. The preservation of things is like a new creation. (Calmet) — And the herb, &c. Herbam, (Psalm ciii. 14.; Haydock) is now wanting in Hebrew, as it was in the days of St. Jerome and the Chaldean, though the Septuagint, Aquila, &c., read it, and it is not probable that they would borrow it from another psalm. (Berthier) — Their copies must therefore have varied. (Haydock) — The herb, may denote corn, and all vegetables for food. These productions evince the goodness and wisdom of God, (Berthier) as well as his power. (Worthington)
Ver. 9. Young. Literally, “the sons of ravens,” which may denote those birds in general, as well as their young. God provides for all. Many fables have been recounted concerning ravens, as if they neglected or forgot their young ones; and the Hebrews seem to have entertained some of these opinions, to which the sacred writers conform themselves, Job xxxviii. 41. (Calmet) — St. Luke (xii. 24.) specifies ravens, though St. Matthew (vi. 26.) has the birds, when relating the same speech. — Upon him, must be understood in Hebrew. See Psalm ciii. 21., (Berthier) and Joel i. 20. (Calmet) — If God take such care of the neglected ravens, how much more will he provide for his servants? (St. Chrysostom) (Worthington)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
An exhortation to praise God for his benefits.
Praise ye the Lord, because psalm is good: to our God be joyful and comely praise.
2 The Lord buildeth up Jerusalem: he will gather together the dispersed of Israel.
3 Who healeth the broken of heart, and bindeth up their bruises.
4 Who telleth the number of the stars: and calleth them all by their names.
5 Great is our Lord, and great is his power: and of his wisdom there is no number.
6 The Lord lifteth up the meek, and bringeth the wicked down even to the ground.
7 Sing ye to the Lord with praise: sing to our God upon the harp.
8 Who covereth the heaven with clouds: and prepareth rain for the earth.
Who maketh grass to grow on the mountains, and herbs for the service of men.
9 Who giveth to beasts their food: and to the young ravens that call upon him.
10 He shall not delight in the strength of the horse: nor take pleasure in the legs of a man.
11 The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, and in them that hope in his mercy.