Psalm 149

Sing a new song to Yahweh; * join his worshipers in song.
††† Israel, rejoice in your Maker; * Zionís children, be glad for your king.
Praise his name with dancing; * praise him with drums and harps.
††† For Yahweh delights in his people, * crowning the lowly with victory.
††††††† Worshipers, revel in the Glorious One; * rejoice when you lie down.
††† God's praise be in your throats * and sharp swords in your hands,
to work vengeance on the nations, * reprisals against the peoples,
††† to bind their kings with chains, * and their leaders with iron shackles,
to inflict on them the written sentence; * let that be honor for all his worshipers.


149:0 This is Psalm 149 in the whole book, the 49th in the third fifty. After inviting all creatures generally to praise God, and that for the glory of God, here the Psalmist invites the people of God to praise him specially for the justice he shows to the impious. The next Psalm praises him for the mercy he shows to the just.

There is nothing new in the title. The Hallelu-Yah simply shows that subject of the Psalm is the praise of God, and that is true of the just judgment and justice he shows to the reprobate -Rev 16:5 You are just, O Holy One, who are and were, for you have judged these things; because they shed the blood of saints and prophets, you have given them blood to drink. It is what they deserve!

The Psalmist (1) invites the people to praise, and (2) gives the reason forthe invitation: "For the Lord is well pleased". In the first there is (1) the matter for praise, (2) the place: "let his praise be in the Church", (3) the enthusiasm of those praising: "let Israel rejoice", (4) the manner of praise: "let them praise his name in choir".

1. Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle:
Sing to Yahweh a new song;

149:1.1 He at once joins zeal with matter for praise as he says, O Israelites, sing to the Lord, by praising him, a new song -Is 42:10 Sing to Yahweh a new song, his praise from the end of the earth! -Jud 16:1 Begin a song to my God . The old songs were for and about the vain and harmful things of this world, but that is not he wants -Amos 8:10 I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation. He wants a new song (1) for and about the new miracles worked by God the Father in the time of grace -John 9:32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. (2) for new and unheard of things -Mat 5:44 Pray for those who persecute you. (3) for new and unheard of ways of patience -Mat 5:39 If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also. (4) for new and unheard of counsels -Mat 19:21 If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me. (5) for new and unheard of promises -Mat 19:28 Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

let his praise be in the church of the saints.
his praise in the assembly of his worshipers.

149:1.2 This declares the place of praise -Ps 26:12 In the assemblies I have knelt down to Yahweh (Vul: In the churches I have blessed the Lord). -Ps 109:30 In the midst of the elders (Vul: the church) I will praise him. -Ps 68:27 Bless God in the assembly, Yahweh in the convocation (Vul: church) of Israel. -Sir 24:2 In the assembly of the Most High she opens her mouth, in the presence of his hosts she delares her worth. Only the Church is a place of praise. Others blaspheme, so that it could be said (Is 52:5), Continually, all day long, my name is despised.

2. Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: and let the children of Sion be joyful in their king.
Israel, rejoice in your Maker; Zion's children, be glad for your king.

149:1.3 Here is the enthusiasm of those praising, namely their joy and exultation. Joy is interior, while exultation is its exterior effect. Interior joy is properly in God, while external exultation is properly in the man Christ. The latter comes up: "Zion's children". The idea is: I urged you to sing a new song, and showed you where to sing. Besides that, let Israel, who sees God now through a mirror but later face to face, rejoice, with interior joy of the heart at present and later fully and perfectly, now in him that made him both in his common humanity and as he is Israel -Zeph 3:14 O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart. -Is 56:7 I will make them joyful in my house of prayer. -Is 60:10 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in Yahweh.

And let Zion's children, souls who see God now by faith but there by vision, be glad exteriorly in their king, Christ, seeing his glorious humanity -Is 33:7 33:17 Your eyes will see the king in his beauty. Then they will not restrain themselves from outward joy, saying (Rev 19:7) Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory. On interior and exterior rejoicing - Is 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in Yahweh, my whole being shall exult in my God. - Habakkuk 3:18 I will rejoice in Yahweh; I will exult in the God of my salvation (Vul: Jesus), my king and my priest -Heb 7:1 Melchizedek of Salem, priest of the Most High God.

3. Let them praise his name in choir: let them sing to him with the timbrel and the psaltery.
Praise his name with dancing; praise him with drums and harps.

149:1.4 Here the manner of praise is determined: (1) in the choir of charity and concord, as far as neighbor is concerned, and (2) in the drumming of mortification of the flesh, as far as oneself is concerned: "Let them sing with the timbrel", and (3) in obedience to the ten commandments, as far as God is concerned: "and the psaltery". The idea is: I urged you to sing a new song and I determined the place. Now I urge: Let them praise his name in choir -the Gloss: in concord of morals and unity of charity. A choir is a harmonious relationship of human voices, and it designates harmony of morals, which God loves much - Sirach 25:1 I take pleasure in three things, and they are beautiful in the sight of God and of mortals: agreement among brothers and sisters, friendship among neighbors, and a wife and a husband who live in harmony. This he creates in his own people -Job 25:2 He makes peace in his high heaven, which the devil abhors and flees -Cant 7:1 Why should you look upon the Shulammite, as upon a dance before two armies, a dance which is armed with charity and concord against the devil.

Let them sing to him with drums, that is, mortification of the flesh - 1 Cor 9:27 I punish my body and enslave it. -Gal 6:17 I carry the marks of Jesus branded on my body. This the meaning of Exodus 15:20 The prophet Miriam, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing.

and harps , the fulfilment of the ten commandments -Ps 33:2 Play for him the ten-stringed lyre. -Ps 30:5 Sing to Yahweh, his worshipers; * praise his holy name. -Ps 81:3 Raise a song and sound the tambour, * the sweet-sounding lyre with the harp.

4. For the Lord is well pleased with his people:
For Yahweh delights in his people,

149:2.1.1 Here is the reason for praising God: his justice in punishing the reprobate, which will be done through the saints acting as his ministers. So here the holy judges and ministers are introduced, telling their glory (1) for receiving from God the power to judge the impious, (2) for carrying out this commission: "to execute vengeance". In the first there is (1) the reason for giving them so much power, and that is the divine will, (2) the very conferring of this power: "he will exalt", (3) their joy and exultation at receiving this power: "the saints shall rejoice". The idea is: Let God be praised, for the Lord is well pleased with his people -Ps 147:11 Yahweh is pleased with those who fear him. - Wis 4:10 There were some who pleased God and were loved by him, and while living among sinners were taken up. For God gives good things as he wishes, not because of my merit. - Luke 12:32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom, that is, power and judgment over the impious - Wisdom 3:8 They will govern nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord will reign over them forever.

and he will exalt the meek unto salvation.
crowning the lowly with victory.

149:2.1.2 Here is the conferral of power. The idea is: God so willed, and therefore he will exalt the meek, that is, the perfect who are used to receiving eternal and internal goods from the hand of God. This will take place on the day of judgment when he will make them assessors - 1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. - Luke 14:11 = 18:14 For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Then the mighty will be unseated and the humble exalted (Luke 1:52) -Esther last ch. (??) The humble were exalted and they devoured the high-placed. This exaltation will be for salvation, when eternal salvation will be given to the just -Is 46:13 I will put salvation in Zion, for Israel my glory. In this way the meek will be exalted -Ps 147:6 Yahweh reassures, raising on high, the humble. -Ps 37:11 The have-nots shall inherit the land.

5. The saints shall rejoice in glory: they shall be joyful in their beds.
Worshipers, revel in the Glorious One; rejoice when you lie down.

149: This is the saints joy and exultation for whe power they were given. Their joy is show in (1) their heart, (2) their mouth: "The high praises", (3) their deeds: "and two-edged swords". In the first, there is joy (1) in their mind, (2) in their feelings: "they shall be joyful". The idea is: The Lord is pleased with the saints, and therefore he has exalted them, and then the saints shall rejoice in the glory of their exaltation and in the giver of that glory, commending hims -Rev 19:16-17 The Lord our God the Almighty reigns.Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory. -Is 35:2 They will rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of Yahweh in themselves, the majesty of our God in himself.

They shall be joyful with an untellable joy -Is 51:11 The ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads. -Is 51:3 Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song. And that is for God's justice -Ps 58:11 The just man will rejoice when he sees his victory . And that in their sleeping places, that is, in the quiet of eternal consolation and eternal peace of mind. That will be the complete realization of 2 Corinthians 1:12 Indeed, this is our boast, the testimony of our conscience. -Is 24:16 I have my secret (Vul). The Lord was speaking of these in Luke 11:7 The door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed. -Cant 8:2 8:2 I would lead you and bring you into the house of my mother, and into the chamber of the one who bore me. -Is 57:1-2 The righteous are taken away from calamity, and they enter into peace; those who walk uprightly will rest on their couches. -Is 35:7 The haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

6. The high praises of God shall be in their mouth:
God's praise be in your throats

149: Here their joy is shown in their words. The idea is: They will be happy in their hearts, and the praise of God, not of the world, the flesh or the devil, will be in their mouth -Ps 71:23 My lips will resound with joy indeed I will sing to you my soul also, which you ransomed. -Hosea 8:1 Set the trumpet to your lips! - Prov 3:3 Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck (Vul: throat).

and two-edged swords in their hands:
and sharp swords in your hands,

149: Here their joy over the glory given them is shown in their deeds. The idea is: They will exult in their hearts, in their mouth, and also exteriorly in their deeds, because there are two-edged swords, cutting from either direction, in their hands. Those swords are their speech. For speech is God's sword -Eph 6:17 the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. - Hebrews 4:12 The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow. Similarly, the saints will then receive authoritative speech to pronounce judgment -Cant 3:7-8 Look, it is the litter of Solomon! Around it are sixty mighty men of the mighty men of Israel, all equipped with swords . Each will have a sharpened and polished sword -Ez 21:14-15 A sword, a sword is sharpened, it is also polished; it is sharpened for slaughter. It will be in the hands, that is, the power of the saints -Ez 21:16 The sword is polished, to be placed in the slayer's hand.

7. To execute vengeance upon the nations, chastisements among the people:
to work vengeance on the nations, reprisals against the peoples,

149: Here is the reason for giving praise. After the saints were given power to judge, here they carry it out their assignment. (1) First, they do their job, (2) then the job is pronounced completed, for the glory of the saints: "this glory". They carry out their job (1) among the lesser people, (2) among the leaders: "to bind their kings". They do the first (1) by deed, (2) by word: "chastisements". The idea is: They have sharpened swords in their hands; so they will be glad to execute vengeance upon the nations, on those people who were born with the concupiscence of the flesh and stayed with it till the end -Ps 110:6 He routed nations. He piled up corpses. - Wis 3:8 They will govern nations and rule over peoples.

But how can he say this, since vengeance belongs to God alone? -Rom 12:19 Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord (cf. Deut 32:43). - Sir 28:1 The vengeful will face the Lord's vengeance. This is exactly what the saints are asking for -Rev 6:10 Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long will it be before you judge and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth? The answer is that only God can revenge authoritatively, but holy men and angels can do so ministerially - 2 Sam 22:48 the God who gave me vengeance and brought down peoples under me. This day was prefigured in Esther 8, where a day was assigned for the Jews to attack their enemies in all of Ahasuerus' domains. - Proverbs 6:34 For jealousy arouses a husband's fury, and he shows no restraint when he takes revenge. - Sirach 5:7 Do not delay to turn back to the Lord, and do not postpone it from day to day; for suddenly the wrath of the Lord will come upon you, and at the time of punishment you will perish. It is not surprising that the saints will take revenge, because all creation will do so - Sir 39:29-30 In his treasury alos, kept for the proper time, are fire and hail, famine, disease, reavenous beasts, scorpions, vipers, and the avenging sword to exterminate the wicked.

Revenge will take place not only by deed, but also by word, as the saints issue rebukes to the peoples - 2 Kings 19:3 They said to him, "Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace. For then those who would not listen to rebukes here will be severely rebuked - Prov 1:25-26 Because you ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof. I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when panic strikes you . - Proverbs 5:9 Do not give your honor to others, and your years to the merciless. -P rov 5:11-12 Do not groan at the end of your life, when your flesh and body are consumed, and say, "Oh, how I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof!"

8. To bind their kings with fetters, and their nobles with manacles of iron.
to bind their kings with chains, and their leaders with iron shackles,

149: Here the saints exercise their power against the leaders. We see (1) how they do it, (2) the outcome and reason for their action: "to execute". The leaders are considered (1) according to their power, (2) according to their nobility: "and their nobles". The idea is: They have the power to judge the lesser people, and also to bind their kings, their leaders who have great power, with chains, because they are thrown shackeled into hell, with no power to wish any good or even to walk physically. These are the chains Nebuchadnezzar put on Zedekiah (2 Kings 25). And that was most just, because they considered the teaching of Christ a chain -Sir 21:19 Like fetters on the legs is learning to a fool.

And their nobles, their hereditary leaders, with iron shackles, meant for their hands. -Jud 6:13 They bound Achior and left him lying at the foot of the hill . For the evil, no matter how great, will certainly be bound when the sentence of judgment is pronounced -Mat 22:13 Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness.

9. To execute upon them the judgment that is written:
to inflict on them the written sentence;

149: What purpose will that binding serve? To execute upon them the judgment, not any judgment, but one that is written and determined in Scripture, namely -Wis 3:8 They will govern (Vul: judge) nations and rule over peoples. -Job 36:6 He gives the afflicted their right. - 1 Corinthians 6:2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? -Mat 12:27 = Luke 11:19 Therefore they will be your judges. - Is 3:14 Yahweh enters into judgment with the elders and princes of his people . - Obadiah 1:21 Those who have b