Psalms 117


The psalmist calls upon the nations of the world to praise the

Lord for his mercy and kindness, and for the fulfilment of his

promises, 1, 2.


This is the shortest Psalm in the whole collection; it is

written as a part of the preceding in thirty-two of Kennicott's

and De Rossi's MSS., and is found thus printed in some ancient

editions. The whole Psalm is omitted in one of Kennicott's and in

two of De Rossi's MSS. It celebrates the redemption from the

Babylonish captivity, the grand type of the redemption of the

world by our Lord Jesus.

The Syriac says: "It was spoken concerning Ananias and his

followers when they came out of the furnace; but it also foretells

the vocation of the Gentiles by the preaching of the Gospel." In

this way St. Paul applies it, Ro 15:11.

Verse 1. O praise the Lord, all ye nations] Let all the Gentiles

praise him, for he provides for their eternal salvation.

Praise him, all ye people.] All ye Jews, praise him; for ye have

long been his peculiar people. And while he sends his Son to be a

light to the Gentiles, he sends him also to be the glory of his

people Israel.

Verse 2. For his merciful kindness is great] gabar, is

strong: it is not only great in bulk or number, but it is

powerful; it prevails over sin, Satan, death, and hell.

And the truth of the Lord endureth for ever.] Whatsoever he has

promised, that he will most infallibly fulfill. He has promised

to send his Son into the world, and thus he has done. He his

promised that he should die for transgressors, and this he did. He

has promised to receive all who come unto him through Christ

Jesus, and this he invariably does. He has promised that his

Gospel shall be preached in every nation, and this he is doing;

the truth of the Lord remaineth for ever. Therefore, Praise ye the



This Psalm contains a doxology to God for his mercy and truth;

and it is prophetical, having reference to the calling of the

Gentiles; Ro 15:11.

It contains two parts:-

I. An exhortation to praise God.

II. The reason for it.

I. 1. He speaks to the Gentiles: "Praise the Lord, all ye

nations." Praise him for the promise of salvation; and then, when

fulfilled, praise him for the enjoyment of this salvation,-for the

remission of sins, and gift of the Holy Ghost.

2. He speaks to the converted Jews, whom he notes under the name

of people, as they are called Ps 2:1; Ac 4:25. As they and the

Gentiles are intended to make one Church, so they should join in

the praise of him of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is


II. The reason given:-

1. Because his mercy is great. It is strong; confirmed toward

us, in sending his Son to save both Jews and Gentiles from their


2. Because the truth of his promises is fulfilled. The promised

Messiah is come, and has performed all that was prophesied of him.

3. Because this truth is forever. His promises and their

fulfilment belong to all generations. There will never be

another Messiah; Jesus is the true one: he tasted death for every

man; he forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin; and his blood

cleanses from all unrighteousness. Now, for all this, "Praise ye

the Lord!"

[N. B. Proclaiming the eternal mercy of God in Christ is more

likely to persuade sinners to return to their Maker than all the

fire of hell.]

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