Psalm 148

Psalm 148:1–14

Praise to God from all His Creation

Outline of Chapter 148

       vv.    1–6        All those above the heavens are called upon to praise God

       vv.    7–12      All those under the heavens are called upon to praise God

       vv.   13–14      Conclusion: All are called upon to praise God

Charts and Maps

       Introduction    Bullinger’s Outline of Psalm 148

I ntroduction: In Psalm 148, all creation is called upon to praise God. Therefore, I thought it would be apropos to cover this psalm after Genesis 1. Psalm 148 actually comes out of a group of psalms which call upon one to praise God. They begin and end with the refrain, Praise the Lord! Now, when this psalm was written and the occasion on which it was written is something entirely different. Because of the similarity to the couple of psalms which precede it and the ones which follow, they were likely written on the same occasion. In the Arabic, Syriac and Septuagint codices, the previous two psalms have the inscription Hallelujah. Of Haggai and Zechariah. Actually, it is slightly different in the different codices, but they all have the names of the two post-exilic prophets in them. In Psalm 147, in the Syriac codex, the rebuilding of the temple is mentioned, which is very consistent with Psalm 147:2, 13, 14.

If I taught this psalm when I would like to teach it, after the first chapter of Genesis, that means I would have a lot of explaining to do, which I will now. Later on, in Genesis, God will call a man, Abraham, out of idolatry. God will sanctify (set apart) Isaac, Abraham’s son by Sarah; and, similarly, God will set apart Isaac’s son, Jacob. From Jacob, God will build the nation Israel. Jacob (also known of Israel) and his descendants moved to Egypt, where, after a couple of generations, Egypt made these Israelites slaves, and they were slaves for 400 years until God delivered them out of bondage to Egypt (known as the exodus, a story with which most people are familiar). God led them to the Land of Promise, which they took, and which became the nation Israel. This nation went through several cycles of degeneracy and they finally were exiled from the land (which is something that God promises will occur to them in Lev. 23—before they even step foot in the land as a people). Their original place of worship was an elaborate tent, whose construction and design is meticulously discussed in the book of Exodus. Later, Solomon replaced this tent (most often called a tabernacle) with a temple, a beautifully designed building more akin to our modern-day church than the tabernacle. When the nation Israel (actually Judah) reached a low point of degeneracy, God caused them to be removed from the land. 70 years later, God, by means of Cyrus the Great in Persia, brought some Jews back to the land, where they rebuilt the temple, which had been destroyed when they were exiled. God provided Israel two prophets at that time—Haggai and Zechariah—who were closely involved with the rebuilding of the temple. This period of time is reasonably the time during which this psalm was written and read. However, since it deals with all that God has created, I would teach it after Gen. 1.

Bullinger’s Outline of Psalm 148: Footnote Bullinger outlines this psalm differently than do most. He organizes it as a whole piece of poetry, resulting in the following:


│ v. 1





a│ v. 1     Praise from the heavens (2nd person)




       b│ vv. 2–4       Enumeration of heavenly things




               c│ v. 5             Injunction to praise (3rd person)




                       d│ vv. 5–6       Inducements (for)




a│ v. 7     Praise from the earth (2nd person)




       b│ vv7–12       Enumeration of earthly things




               c│ v. 13           Injunction to praise (3rd person)




                       d│ vv. 13–14           Inducements (for)


│ v. 14


In form, we have two balanced stanzas of six verses each, followed by a two verse conclusion. Footnote The first stanza calls upon those in the heavens to praise God and the second calls upon those under the heavens to praise God. The final conclusion calls upon all creation to celebrate the name of God, as well as giving the motivation for such praise. Much of the thought of this psalm is summed up in Psalm 145:10: All Your works will give thanks to You, O Jehovah, and Your godly ones will bless You.

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All Those above the Heavens Are Called upon to Praise God

Slavishly literal:


Moderately literal:

Praise Yah!




Praise the Lord!


The psalm begins with the 2nd person masculine plural, Piel imperative of hâlal (ל ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHL], which means to be boastful, to praise. More precisely, it means to be clear, to be brilliant; and in the Piel, it means to sing, to celebrate, to praise. That is its most common usage in conjunction with God. The Piel can either be viewed as an intensification of the verb stem or as an accomplished state. Strong’s #1984 BDB #237. The imperative means that this is invoked of the audience; the masculine gender is the universal masculine (it obviously includes the feminine gender as well). With this we have the proper noun Yâhh (ָי) [pronounced yaw], is an abbreviated form of YHWH, the proper name for God in the Old Testament. It is found about 40 times in the psalms (all in the latter half of the book of Psalms), four times in Isaiah, as well as in Ex. 15:2 (the Song of Moses), 17:16 (its only non-poetical usage). Strong’s #3050 BDB #219. Together, these are the first two words and the last two words of Psalms 146–150. These words together form the well-known refrain, hallelujah. All five of the last five psalms in the book of Psalms begin and end with hallelujah!

This portion of v. 1 begins what is known as an anaphora [pronounced ah-NAHF-ohr-ah], which refers to the repetition of the same word at the beginning of successive clauses, thus adding weight and emphasis to statements and arguments by calling special attention to them. Footnote The next seven lines all begin with the word praise.

Praise Yehowah from the heavens

Praise Him in the heights!



Praise Yehowah from the heavens

Praise Him in the heights!

Praise Jehovah from the heavens

and praise Him in the heights above!

When we covered the word heavens in Psalm 33, we noted that God created two categories of heavens: atmosphere and space. Heavens is invariably found in the dual.


We also have, in this verse, mârôwm (םרָמ) [pronounced maw-ROHM], which means height, that which is high. It is used chiefly in poetry and has other related meanings as well. Strong’s #4791 BDB #928. This is a reference to angelic creation. In fact, both phrases call upon the created angelic beings to praise God. The praise comes from the heavens and occurs in the heights above.

In the book of Job, in chapter 2, angelic creation gathered before God. It is clear that this was not on earth, but some sort of a heavenly place. Throughout Scripture, God is spoken of as having a dwelling place in the heavens or in the heights (e.g., Job 16:19 Psalm 102:19 150:1). We do not really know what this is—whether there is some physical place which is actually millions of light years away or whether this is more akin to another dimension outside the realm of our physical universe. Footnote

Praise Him, all of His angels

Praise Him, all of His hosts. Footnote



Praise Him, all of His angles;

Praise Him, all of His heavenly armies.

Praise Him, all of you angels

and praise Him, all you of His heavenly armies.

Now and again, we have a change of person midway in a thought, which is what we have here. Praise Him is in the 2nd person, masculine plural (with a masculine suffix), and then this is followed by all His angels. So we go from a 2nd person plural to a 3rd person plural.


The word for angels is the masculine plural of maleâke ( ָא  ׃ל ַמ) [pronounced mahle-AWCHe], which means messenger or angel. It can actually mean several different things. It can mean a simple messenger, as we have in this passage. It can stand for prophet (Isa. 42:19), a priest (Mal. 2:7), an angel (Gen. 19:1, 15), a messenger sent specifically by God, but not necessarily an angel (Job 33:23) or as a theophanic angel (i.e., Jesus Christ) (Gen. 17:21 31:11 Ex. 14:19). Strong’s #4397 BDB #521. Here, it refers to angelic creation. Without going into great detail, prior to the creation of man, God created a population of beings known as angels. One of them—in fact, probably the greatest of the angels—fell; i.e., he turned against God in rebellion, and led away a third of the angels, which, in their rebellion against God, became known as demons. Those who did not fall are known as elect angels and those who did are known as fallen angels. Apparently, the fallen angels lived on the earth prior to our creation, and God therefore, froze the earth in solid ice. We will cover the Doctrine of Angels in much greater detail, with appropriate Scriptural references, when we get to Gen. 28:12. In the meantime, let me recommend Thieme’s Angelic Conflict or Lewis Sperry Chafer’s Systematic Theology and the chapters which deal with angelology. Footnote God calls upon the angels to celebrate His Person in Psalm 103:20: Bless Jehovah, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His Word and obeying the voice of His Word.

All His angels refers to God’s angelic creation; all His heavenly hosts refers to all that God has created in the heavens—all of the planets and stars. Footnote In other words, all of God animate and inanimate creation which is, generally speaking, outside our realm, is called upon to praise and celebrate God and His power and His works. Psalm 103:21 provides us another parallel passage: Bless Jehovah, all you, His hosts, You who serve Him, doing His will. How the planets and stars obey God is by remaining in their orbits and functioning as God created them to function.

Praise Him, sun and moon

Praise Him, all stars of light.



Praise Him, both sun and moon;

Praise Him, all the stars of light.

Praise Him, both sun and moon;

Praise Him, all the stars of heaven.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, which is space and matter (earth doesn’t mean planet earth, necessarily, but refers to the land, or the ground, or, if you will, the earth). As a part of that matter, He created a myriad of stars, planets and other celestial beings, as well as the sun and the moon. The heavens tell of the glory of God and their expanse declares the work of His hands (Psalm 19:1). We have only begun, in the last couple centuries, to be able to understand how incredible the universe is. We know the complexity of the various part of the human anatomy, e.g., the hands or the eyes. However, it is only relatively recently that we have begun to realize just how complex is the universe above us, as well as just how incredibly complex is even just the single living cell. Just when we thought we had matter figured out, we found that what we thought were the smallest components of matter may not be the smallest components; and just when we thought we knew all of the basic components of matter, we have determined that there must be more than what we had originally thought. My point is that no matter how great an area you take into consideration, or no matter how small an area you examine, it is still complex beyond our ability to fully explain it. We could take a single cell amoeba and devote volumes of scientific data to this one amoeba—and it is the simplest living creature there is! God is glorified by the incredible complexity of His creation.

Now, a very reasonable question is, how do the stars, sun and moon praise God? We are now dealing with inorganic things—how do inorganic things praise? This is not a question we can ignore, as inanimate things are called upon many times throughout Scripture to do that which are really functions of man (e.g., Deut. 32:1 II Sam. 1:21 I Kings 13:2 Psalm 114:5 Isa. 1:2 Jer. 2:12). Footnote Keil and Delitzsch offers several admittedly weak explanations: (1) This is all a figure of speech. However, this explanation explains nothing. (2) Are we, as man, to praise God, instead of these lifeless and unconscious things? That just flat out makes no sense. (3) God, in His creation, restoration and redemption of the universe, is poised to put all things right. As these inanimate or inorganic things are moved into place to obey God’s great purposes for this earth, they, in this way, glorify God. When they obey God’s higher purpose, they, in effect, praise Him. In this great transformation, all things will reflect God’s glory and thereby glorify and praise Him. Footnote For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the continuing expectation of creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope, that the creation itself will also be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body (Rom. 8:18–23). In other words, all of creation is involved in the redemption of our souls by Christ Jesus, and it must also be transformed just as we are transformed by His omnipotence and sovereignty.

Praise Him, heavens of the heavens

and the waters which [are] from above the heavens.



Praise Him, heavens of the heavens

and [praise Him], waters which [are] above the heavens.

Praise Him from the highest heavens

and praise Him, waters which are above the heavens.

I must admit as to not really having much of an idea as what the heavens above the heavens are; but this phrase is found in several places in Scripture. “Observe, Jehovah your God is the God of Gods and the Lord of Jehovah your god belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth and all that is in it.” (Deut. 10:17a, 14). Solomon said, after building the temple for God: “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Observe, the heaven and the heaven of the heavens cannot contain You; how much less this house which I have built?” (I Kings 8:27; also see the parallel passage, I Chron. 2:6). The Levites, confessing the sins of the people at the return of Israel to Judah, said: “You alone are Jehovah. You have made the heavens, the heaven of heavens with all their host; the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; You give life to all of them. And the heavenly host bows down before You.” (Neh. 9:6). To Him Who rides across the heaven of heavens, which are from ancient times. Observe, He speaks forth with His voice, a mighty voice (Psalm. 68:33). My educated guess is that this is a reference to the throne room of God. Barnes notes that above our atmospheric heaven is the heaven of space, and that is what the heavens of heavens is. Footnote

The water above the heavens, of course, refers to the atmospheric water, absolutely necessary to an agricultural economy, which the nation Israel was. And God made the atmosphere and separated the waters which were below the atmosphere from the waters which were above the atmosphere; and it came to pass (Gen. 1:6). There are several theologians who believe that, at creation and restoration, that there was a much greater water content in the atmosphere than today. I know that John Morris, an author who often writes about creation vs. evolution topics, refers to it many times as a canopy; I don’t know if that term was original with him or not.

They will praise a name of Yehowah

for He commanded and they were created.



Let them all praise the name of Yehowah,

for He gave the command and they were created.

Let them all praise the name of Jehovah,

for all things were created when He gave the command.


It is because of this verse that I have placed this psalm right after the first chapter of Genesis. All that are called upon to praise God were created by Him. In previous verses, we had the 2nd person masculine plural, Piel imperative of hâlal (ל ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHL], which means to be boastful, to praise. Strong’s #1984 BDB #237. In this verse, we have the 3rd person masculine plural, Piel imperfect of the same verb. Many translations treat this as a cohortative and render this Let them praise the name of Jehovah.


In the second line, we have the Piel perfect of tsâvâh (ה ָו ָצ) [pronounced tsaw-VAW], which means to commission, to mandate, to lay charge upon, to give charge to, charge, command, order. Strong's #6680 BDB #845. The result of His command is the Niphal perfect of bârâ (א ָר ָ) [pronounced baw-RAWH], which is the verb used for creation. It does mean to shape, to fashion by cutting, to carve; but it is used for creating something out of energy or creating that which is immaterial. The Niphal stem is the passive stem; all of these things were created by Him. Strong’s #1249–1250 (&1254) BDB #135. Throughout Genesis 1, we have seen the formula, and God said...and it came to pass. These things are all to praise God because He created them and made their existence secure. Footnote

And so He caused to stand them for the perpetuity to a long duration;

a statute He set and he did not pass over.



Furthermore, He decreed them [a place] forever and ever;

He set a statute and it did not depart.

He decreed that they remain in a particular place forever and ever;

He set boundaries for them to remain in.

It might be a good idea to see what others have done with this verse first:


CEV                                       He made them to last forever, and nothing can change what he has done [or, his laws will never change].

The Emphasized Bible           So caused he them to stand perpetually—age-abidingly, A decree hath he given, and it passeth not beyond.

God’s Word                         He set them in their places forever and ever, He made it a law that no one can break.

JPS (Tanakh)                        He made them endure forever, establishing an order that shall never change.

NASB                                    He has also established them forever and ever; He has made a decree which will not pass away.

NIV                                 He set them in place for ever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away.

Young's Lit. Translation And He established them for ever to the age, A statute He gave, and they pass not over.


What God did was the Hiphil imperfect of ׳âmad (ד ַמ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-MAHD], which means to take a stand, to stand, to remain, to endure, to withstand. In the Hiphil, it means to cause to stand, to station, to set, to place, to decree, to destine. Strong's #5975 BDB #763. After this we have a phrase which begins with the lâmed prefixed preposition, the definite article and the masculine singular noun, together are lâ׳ad (ד-עָל) [pronounced law-ĢAHD],which means, literally, to perpetuity; and is generally translated forever. ׳ad =Strong’s #5703 BDB #723. The lâmed prefix is Strong’s #none BDB #510. This is followed by the lâmed preposition and the masculine singular noun ׳ôwlâm (ם ָלע) [pronounced ģo-LAWM], a word indicating long duration, perpetuity, antiquity, futurity. Strong’s #5769 (& #5865) BDB #761. With lâmed, it is generally translated forever. This entire phrase would reasonably read forever and ever. Young renders this forever to the age; CEV, forever; Rotherham, perpetually—age-abidingly; NASB, NIV, Owen, forever [or, for ever] and ever.


The second line begins with the masculine singular noun chôq (קֹח) [pronounced khoke] is the masculine noun whose meanings are given as something prescribed, a statute, due, a defined limit, a boundary. Strong's #2706 BDB #349. The second verb is the Qal perfect of nâthan (ןַתָנ) [pronounced naw-THAHN], which means to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set. Strong's #5414 BDB #678. God has taken planets and stars of almost unimaginable size (we don’t even have a firm grasp of the size of the earth, let alone the sun; and certainly not a star which is much larger than the sun) and He has determined or decreed an orbit for these celestial orbs to travel along. It is pretty much impossible to grasp the magnitude of what God has done. What science has discovered concerning the universe barely gives us a glimpse into God’s incredible creative power.


The final verb is the 2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect of ׳âbvar (ר ַ ָע) [pronounced ģawb-VAHR], which means to pass over, to pass through, to pass, to go over. We can also extrapolate the meanings to die, to depart, to go away. Strong’s #5674 BDB #716. My first two more literal translations are the more accurate because the final verb is a masculine singular rather than plural. Had it been a plural, then the things named previously would not pass over their boundaries.

The Bible often uses the universe and its heavenly spheres to illustrate continuation and perpetuity. Psalm 89:37: It will be established forever, like the moon, and the witness in the sky is faithful. Jer. 31:35–37: Thus proclaims Jehovah, Who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night; Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—Jehovah of hosts is His name. “If this fixed order departs from before Me,” declares Jehovah, “Then the descendants of Israel will also cease from being a nation before Me forever.” Thus said Jehovah, “If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out below, then I will also cast off all the descendants of Israel for all that they have done,” declares Jehovah. Jer. 33:25–26a: “Thus declares Jehovah, ‘If My covenant of day and night [i.e., His covenant to Israel Footnote ] is not, then I have not established the fixed patterns of heaven and earth and I would reject the descendants of Jacob and David.’ ”

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All Those under the Heavens Are Called upon to Praise God

Praise Yehowah from the earth,

[you] sea creatures and all depths.



Praise Yehowah from the land,

[both] sea creatures and all the depths [of the sea].

Praise Jehovah from the earth,

both the creatures of the seas and the ocean depths.

With this verse, we begin the second part of this psalm where all that is under the heavens is called upon to praise God. This second portion of Psalm 148 is broken down into two parts as well—the first deals with nature (vv. 7–10); and the second part deals with mankind (vv. 11–12).


Praise, again, is in the 2nd person masculine plural; however, this is followed by a some 3rd person masculine nouns, which receive the command of the psalmist. The first of these is the masculine plural of the noun tannîyn (ןי̣ ַ) [pronounced tahn-NEEM], which means dragon, sea serpent, large sea creature. The REB suggests waterspouts as an alternate rendering. Strong’s #8577 BDB #1072. This word simply refers here to the large sea creatures known and semi-known to those of the ancient world. Who is also called upon to praise God is the feminine plural noun tehôwm (םה  ׃) [pronounced te-HOME] and it is a surging mass of water, either a sea or a subterranean water-supply, ocean depths. Strong's #8415 BDB #1062. All that is in the sea, whether alive or not, is called upon to praise God. And God created the great sea creatures and every animal that moves in the waters schooling with their own kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good (Gen. 1:21). “The animals of the field will glorify Me; the jackals and the ostriches, because I have gen waters in the wilderness-desert and rivers in the desert to give drink to My chosen people.” (Isa. 43:20).

Fire and hail, snow and thick smoke, wind, tempest,

forming His word.



Fire, hail, snow, thick smoke, wind, and tempest,

[all act] constructing His command.

Fire and hail, snow and thick smoke

a wind of a tempest all obey His commands.

I want to list some of the various translations, so you can see how far they occasionally wander from the actual Word of God:


Complete Jewish Bible and hail, snow and mist, storm-winds that obey his word,...

CEV                              and hail, snow and frost, and every stormy wind, [come praise the Lord!]. The latter portion comes from v. 7. The last couple words in this verse are ignored by the translators of the CEV.

Moffatt’s Translation             ...lightning and hail and snow and ice, storms carrying out his will,...

NEB                              and hail, snow and ice, gales of wind obeying his voice;

Owen's Translation                Fire and hail, snow and thick smoke, stormy wind fulfilling his command.

Young's Lit. Translation Fire and hail, snow and vapour, Whirlwind doing His word;


The first word is esh (ש ֵא) [pronounced aysh], which means fire (Lev. 1:7); lightning (Gen. 19:24 Ex. 9:23–24); and it is often used to mean a supernatural fire, the presence of Yahweh or the attendance of a theophany (Ex. 3:2 13:21). Strong's #784 BDB #77. In context, this would refer to lightning. Footnote The second word is bârâd (ד ָר ָ) [pronounced baw-RAWD], which means hail. Strong’s #1259 BDB #135. One of the plagues that God sent upon Egypt was a tremendously destructive hailstorm (Ex. 9:18). God also used hail to assist Joshua in the taking of Canaan (Joshua 10:12). The third is sheleg (ג∵ל∵ש) [pronounced SHE-leg], which means snow. Strong’s #7950 BDB #1017. I must admit than when I think of the mid-east, about the last thing that I think of is snow. However, it is mentioned several times in Scripture (e.g., Job 37:6, 10 38:29 Psalm 147:16–17).


The fourth is qîyţôwr (רטי.ק) [pronounced kee-TOHR], which means thick smoke. This word is used to refer to the dark clouds of a storm. Strong’s #7008 BDB #882. God is mentioned several times in Scripture in conjunction with storms. One example is Psalm 135:7: He cause the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; Who makes lightning for the rain; Who brings out the wind from His storehouses. See also Psalm 107:25 Jonah 1:4. The fifth noun is the feminine singular of rûwach (ח ַחר) [pronounced ROO-ahkh], which means wind, breath, spirit, apparition. Strong’s #7307 BDB #924. The sixth is çe׳ârâh (הָרָעס) [pronounced seģaw-RAW],which means tempest, storm-wind. Strong’s #5991 BDB #704. Job 37:9–13 reads: “Out of the south comes the storm and out of the north comes the cold. From the breath of God, ice is made and the expanse of the waters is frozen. Furthermore, with moisture, He loads the thick cloud; He disperses the cloud of His lightning. Then it changes direction, turning around by His guidance, that it may do whatever He commands it on the face of the inhabited earth, whether for discipline or for His world, or for grace, He causes it to happen.”


What these six things do is the Qal active participle of ׳âsâh (ה ָ ָע) [pronounced aw-SAWH] which means to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare. As a participle, it means fashioning, constructing, forming. Strong's #6213 BDB #793. What these things form is His Word. God speaks, and these things do His bidding. However, they do not simply act, but they act in accordance with His constructing, fashioning and forming.

Barnes summarizes this for us: Let the storm-wind, which seems to be so little under any control, speak his praise by showing how obedient it is to his will, and how exactly it carries out his designs. Its perfect submission to his laws,—the exactness with which, though apparently so fierce, raging, and lawless, it carries out his plans, and pauses when he commands it,—is in fact an act of praise or homage, as it proclaims his majesty, his supremacy, and his power. Footnote

The mountains and all hills,

trees of fruit and all cedars,



The mountains and all hills,

fruit trees and all cedars,

Mountains and all of the hills,

fruit trees and all of the cedars,


What we begin with here is a long list of things which sing praises to God. The second item is the feminine plural of gibve׳âh (ה ָע  ׃ב  ̣) [pronounced gibve-ĢAW], which means hill, which is the consistent rendering of the KJV. Strong’s #1389 BDB #148.


The third item is the masculine singular construct of ׳êts (ץ ֵע) [pronounced ģayts], which means tree, wood. Strong’s #6086 BDB #781. This is followed by the Hebrew word perîy (י.ר) [pronounced peree], which means fruit. Strong’s #6529 BDB #826. In nature, we have essentially two types of trees—those which bear fruit and those which do not, the latter being referred to at times as trees of the forest. The psalmist here takes the cedar—a most prominent tree of Canaan and the surrounding area—as representative of the latter category of tree (if he lived in Houston, he would have used the pine tree as his example, which grows like a weed in southwest and east Texas).

We find a similar sentiment expressed in Isa. 44:23: Shout for joy, O heavens, for Jehovah has accomplished it. Shout joyfully, you lower parts of the earth. Break forth into a shout of joy, you mountains. O forest, and every tree in it, for Jehovah has redeemed Jacob and in Israel, He shows His glory. And Isa. 49:13: Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth! Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains! For Jehovah has comforted His people and He will have compassion on His afflicted. And Isa. 55:12: For you will go out with joy and you will be led forth with peace. The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

the animals and all cattle,

creeping things and all flying things,



the mammals and all cattle,

the reptiles and all birds,

mammals and all of the cattle,

reptiles and all of the birds,


Our first noun is the masculine singular noun chayyâh (ה ָ ַח) [pronounced khay-YAWH], which means living thing, animal, organisms, life forms. The KJV usually renders this beasts, given the right context. My guess here, given this context, would be, generally, mammals or wild animals. Strong’s #2416 BDB #312. We actually have a parallelism with the last verse which I didn’t catch until I read Barnes commentary. In the previous verse, we had fruit trees and cedars, the latter being representative of non-fruit-bearing trees. In this verse, we have wild animals and domesticated animals, the latter being represented by cattle.


On the second line, we have remes ( מ ר) [pronounced REH-mes], which means active life forms, animated and active organisms, lively creatures, animated things, bustling creatures, reptiles. It is usually rendered creeping things. We are dealing with the smaller creatures who have four feet or more and are close to the ground, e.g., lizards, snakes, worms, mice, crabs, etc. Strong’s #7431 BDB #943. Above them are the birds, which essentially takes in all the animals which are between heaven and earth. Barnes: These, in their lowly condition, and in their humble way, are called on to unite in the general chorus of praise. Accomplishing the purpose for which they are made, they will, with the most lofty of created beings, contribute to proclaim the wisdom, the power and the goodness of God. Footnote

Interestingly enough, we find more parallel passages in Isaiah. “The animals of the field will glorify Me—the jackals and the ostriches, because I have given water in the wilderness and rivers in the desert to give drink to My chosen people.” (Isa. 43:20).

kings of earth and all peoples,

princes and all rulers of earth,



kings of the earth and all peoples,

princes and all the rulers of the earth,

the kings of the earth and all peoples,

the princes and the rulers of the earth,


in the first line, we take in both the ruler and the ruled of the land. We have, in fact, three different terms for rulership in this verse, so we ought to cover them all at once: meleke ( ל מ) [pronounced MEH-lek], which means king, prince. He is the ultimate ruler of the land, or one in line for that position. Strong’s #4428 BDB #572. The second one named is sar (ר ַ) [pronounced sar], and it means chieftain, chief, ruler, official, captain, prince, leader, commander. This is a term primarily used of soldiers. Strong’s #8269 BDB #978. The third type of ruler is Qal active participle of shâphaţ (ט ַפ ָש) [pronounced shaw-FAHT], which means to judge, to govern. This is a masculine plural, Qal active participle, and it is written shôpheţîym (םי.ט פֹש) [pronounced showf-TEEM]. The Qal active participle is often used to refer to one’s occupation or activity in life; so the proper rendering is those judging, judges, governors. These are political rulers who are not necessarily absolute rulers. Strong’s #8199 BDB #1047.

All rulership of the earth is given by God. And the nations will respect the name of Jehovah and all the kings of the earth will respect Your glory (Psalm 102:15). Rank does not exempt one from praising God and giving Him the respect that is His due. Footnote

young men and also maidens,

elders as far as children—



young men and likewise maidens,

[from] old men to children—

young men as well as maidens,

children and their elders—


After the first conjunction, we have the very common adverb gam (ם ַ) [pronounced gahm], which means also, furthermore, in addition to, even, moreover. Strong’s #1571 BDB #168. With this verse, we will take in all the people when categorized by age or gender—we take in those from the youngest to the oldest, from males all the way to females. The psalmist mentions the young men and the maidens, and Barnes appropriately comments: Those in the morning of life,—just entering on their career; just forming their character:—with ardour, elasticity, cheerfulness, hope;—let them consecrate all this to God:—let all that there is in the buoyancy of their feelings, in the melody of their voices, in their ardour and vigour, be employed in the praise and the service of God. Footnote


The second to the last noun is actually the masculine adjective zâkên (ן ֵק ָז) [pronounced zaw-KANE], which means old, elderly; alone in the plural, it means elders, old men, older ones. Strong’s #2205 BDB #278. Then we have the children. Old men, with what remains of life, and children, with all that there is of joyousness—let all unite in praising God. Life, as it closes,—life, as it begins,—let it all be devoted to God. Footnote

In the next verse, we have what all of these various categories are called upon to do.

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Conclusion: All Are Called upon to Praise God

they will praise a Name of Yehowah,

for exalted His Name to His alone,

His glory above earth and heavens.



they will celebrate the Name of Yehowah,

for His Name—His alone—is exalted;

His glory above the earth and the heavens.

Let them give praise to and celebrate the Name of Jehovah,

for His Name alone is exalted;

His glory is above all the earth and the heavens.

It is not until these last two concluding verses that we see what all of these things, both organic and inorganic, are called upon to do. The psalmist calls upon them to celebrate and praise the creation and works of God—and, in the last verse, to give praise to the prophetical King Who will come.


The verb is the 3rd person masculine plural, Piel imperfect of hâlal (ל ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHL], which means to be boastful, to praise, to sing, to celebrate, to praise. The Piel can either be viewed as an intensification of the verb stem or as an accomplished state. The Piel imperfect is the imperfect achievement of a result or state, viewed as part of a whole event or situation. Footnote Strong’s #1984 BDB #237. What is to be praised is the Name of Jehovah, which is representative of His essence, His character and all that He is able to do. O Jehovah, our Lord, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth, Who has displayed Your splendor above the heavens (Psalm 8:1).


The next verb is the Niphal participle of sâgabv (ב ַג ָ) [pronounced saw-GAHBV], which means to be high, to be lifted up, to be exalted, to be set securely on high. The Niphal is the passive voice, meaning that the subject receives the action of the verb. The participle means continuous action. Strong’s #7682 BDB #960. What is exalted is His Name, which is a reference to God’s reputation, essence and power. It is all that He is. This is followed by the lâmed preposition and the masculine noun bad (ד ַ) [pronounced bahd ] and it means separation, by itself, alone. Most translators ignore the lâmed preposition, as it is difficult to translate into something which makes sense in the English (see Num. 11:14 Deut. 1:9 8:3 II Sam. 10:8). Strong’s #905 BDB #94. The indication is that There is none other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). The glory of His creation and of His character is above the earth and the heavens (which is what Thieme used to refer to as the third heaven).

And so He causes to lift up a Horn for His people,

[a song of] praise for all his saints,

for the people of Israel who are near Him,

Praise Yah!



So He lifts up a Horn for His people,

[and] a song of praise for all of His saints,

[and] for the people of Israel who are near Him.


Therefore, He has exalted a Great Leader for His people,

as well as a song of praise for His saints and for the people of Israel who are near to Him to sing.

Praise the Lord!

Let’s see what others have done here:


The Emphasized Bible           Therefore hath he exalted a horn for his people, A praise for all his men of lovingkindness, For the sons of Israel—a people near him, Praise ye Yah!

God’s Word                         He has given his people a strong leader [or, He has given his people strength], someone praiseworthy for his faithful ones, for the people of Israel, the people who are close to him. Hallelujah!

JPS (Tanakh)                        He has exalted the horn of His people for the glory of all His faithful ones, Israel, the people close to Him. Hallelujah.

NASB                                    And He has lifted up a horn for His people, Praise for all His godly ones; Even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him. Praise the Lord!

NJB                                        For he heightens the strength of his people, to the praise of all his faithful, the children of Israel, the people close to him.

REB                                       He has exalted his people in the pride of power and crowned with praise his loyal servants, Israel, a people close to him. Praise the Lord.

Young's Lit. Translation And He exalteth the horn of His people, The praise of all His saints, Of the sons of Israel, a people near Him. Praise ye Jah!


The first verb is the 3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect of rûwm (םר) [pronounced room] and it means to exalt, to raise, to lift up and even to offer up. In the Hiphil, it means to lift up, to elevate, to exalt, to take away, to offer sacrifices. Strong's #7311 BDB #926. What He raises up is the feminine singular of qeren (ן∵ר∵ק) [pronounced KEH-ren], which means horn. Strong’s #7161 BDB #901. In Scripture, horn generally symbolizes power, authority, rulership (see Psalm 75:10). Footnote Therefore, God has given His people, the Jews, a strong ruler. Our Lord used the lifting up to refer to His being put on the cross for our sins. “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life.” (John 3:14–15). He also used this terminology for being removed from this earth through crucifixion: “And, if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to Myself.” But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die (John 12:32). My point here is that, given the various meanings that we could take—the Great Ruler of Israel is exalted; the Great Ruler of Israel is lifted up on the cross; the Great Ruler of Israel is elevated as a sacrifice—all of these applications are accurate and apropos and are the basis for our praise to God.


The next word is the feminine singular noun thehîllâh (ה- ̣ה) [pronounced tehil-LAW], which means praise, a song of praise. Strong’s #8416 BDB #239. The praise is not given to His saints, as though they were praise-worthy; this is a song of praise given to them for their benefit.

God’s people are Israelites—those who are near to Him. “By those who come near to Me, I will set apart.” (Lev. 10:3b). However, God extended this peace to take in all mankind. He came and proclaimed peace to you who were afar off, as well as peace to those who were near (Eph. 2:17 Isa. 57:19).

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