Psalm 117 – “Call to Praise”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The psalmist calls upon the nations of the world to praise God.

II. Photo
The psalmist addresses the nations of the world: “Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol Him, all you peoples!” (v. 1)

III. Select Verses    
(The entire psalm)
1-2: Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol Him, all you peoples, for great is His steadfast love toward us; the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Hallelujah.

IV. Outline
1. Call to praise
2a. Rationale
2b. Postscript

V. Comment
Psalm 117 is the shortest psalm in the psalter and scholars such as Gunkel speculate that it is merely an addendum to Ps. 116. Yet, others such as Gerstenberger believe that it is an individual unit and draw support from the short songs of Miriam (Ex 15:21) and the Israelite women (1 Sam 18:7):

  • And Miriam chanted for them: “Sing to the LORD, for He has triumphed gloriously; Horse and driver He has hurled into the sea.”
  • The women sang as they danced, and they chanted: “Saul has slain his thousands; David, his tens of thousands!”

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Gerstenberger, Erhard. Psalms Part 2 and Lamentations (Forms of Old Testament Literature; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001).

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Psalm 116 – “Thanksgiving”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The psalmist gives thanks to God for answering his prayer in a time of need.

II. Photo
The psalmist gives thanks: “I raise the cup of deliverance and invoke the name of the Lord.” (vv. 12-13)

III. Select Verses    
1-4: I love the LORD for He hears my voice, my pleas; for He turns His ear to me whenever I call. The bonds of death encompassed me; the torments of Sheol overtook me. I came upon trouble and sorrow and I invoked the name of the LORD, “O LORD, save my life!”
7: Be at rest, once again, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.
8: You have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
12-13: How can I repay the LORD for all His bounties to me? I raise the cup of deliverance and invoke the name of the LORD.
16-19:  O LORD, I am Your servant, Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have undone the cords that bound me. I will sacrifice a thank offering to You and invoke the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all His people, in the courts of the house of the LORD, in the midst of Jerusalem. Hallelujah.

IV. Outline
1-2. Rationale
3-4. Account of complaint and petition
5-6a. Hymnic praise
6b. Account of salvation
7. Personal motivation
8. Thanksgiving
9-11. Trust and rationale
12-19a. Vow and Thanksgiving
19b. Postscript

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Gerstenberger, Erhard. Psalms Part 2 and Lamentations (Forms of Old Testament Literature; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001).
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Psalm 115 – “Sermon and Blessing”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The psalmist praises God, belittles idols, blesses his congregation, and motivates the people to praise and trust God.

II. Photo
The psalmist belittles idols: “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands!” (v. 4)

III. Select Verses    
1-3: Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to Your name bring glory for the sake of Your love and Your faithfulness.  Let the nations not say, “Where, now, is their God?” when our God is in heaven and all that He wills He accomplishes.
4-8: Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.  They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see;  they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell;  they have hands, but cannot touch, feet, but cannot walk; they can make no sound in their throats. Those who fashion them, all who trust in them, shall become like them.
9-11: O Israel, trust in the LORD! He is their help and shield.  O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD! He is their help and shield. O you who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and shield.
16-18: The heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth He gave over to man. The dead cannot praise the LORD, nor any who go down into silence. But we will bless the LORD now and forever. Hallelujah.

IV. Outline
1-3. Petition, Rationale
4-8. Lesson about idols, Imprecation
9-11. Exhortation
12-15. Wish, Blessing
16-18a. Motivation, Vow
18b. Postscript

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Gerstenberger, Erhard. Psalms Part 2 and Lamentations (Forms of Old Testament Literature; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001).
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Psalm 114 – “Historical Hymn”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The psalmist recalls the exodus in hymnic fashion.

II. Photo
Nature is in awe of God’s people: “Mountains skipped like rams, hills like sheep!” (v. 4)

III. Select Verses    
(The entire psalm)
1-8:  When Israel went forth from Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange speech,  Judah became His holy one, Israel, His dominion.  The sea saw them and fled, Jordan ran backward,  mountains skipped like rams, hills like sheep.  What alarmed you, O sea, that you fled, Jordan, that you ran backward,  mountains, that you skipped like rams, hills, like sheep? Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the God of Jacob,  who turned the rock into a pool of water, the flinty rock into a fountain.

IV. Outline
1-8. Historical hymn

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Gerstenberger, Erhard. Psalms Part 2 and Lamentations (Forms of Old Testament Literature; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001).
Photo copied from http://scrib.wblog.ro/files/2012/05/IEDUTZ.jpg

Psalm 113 – “Hymn”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The psalmist praises God for lifting the needy.

II. Photo
The psalmist praises God: “He raises the poor from the dust, lifts up the needy from the refuse heap to set them with the great, with the great men of His people!”

III. Select Verses    
2-4: Let the name of the LORD be blessed now and forever.  From east to west the name of the LORD is praised. The LORD is exalted above all nations; His glory is above the heavens.
5-9: Who is like the LORD our God, who, enthroned on high, sees what is below, in heaven and on earth?  He raises the poor from the dust, lifts up the needy from the refuse heap to set them with the great, with the great men of His people.  He sets the childless woman among her household as a happy mother of children. Hallelujah.

IV. Outline
1. Superscription
2-9. Hymn and rationale
9b. Postscript

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.
Note: vv. 7-8 appear, with minor differences, in Hannah’s prayer (1 Sam 2:8).

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Gerstenberger, Erhard. Psalms Part 2 and Lamentations (Forms of Old Testament Literature; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001).
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Psalm 112 – “Acrostic Blessing”

Hebrew-English Text

I. Summary
The psalmist describes and blesses the righteous in an alphabetic acrostic.

II. Photo
The righteous man is blessed: “A light shines for the upright in the darkness; he is gracious, compassionate, and beneficent.” (v. 4)

III. Select Verses    
(The whole psalm)
1-10: Hallelujah. Happy is the man who fears the LORD, who is ardently devoted to His commandments. His descendants will be mighty in the land, a blessed generation of upright men. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his beneficence lasts forever. A light shines for the upright in the darkness; he is gracious, compassionate, and beneficent. All goes well with the man who lends generously, who conducts his affairs with equity. He shall never be shaken; the beneficent man will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of evil tidings; his heart is firm, he trusts in the LORD. His heart is resolute, he is unafraid; in the end he will see the fall of his foes. He gives freely to the poor; his beneficence lasts forever; his horn is exalted in honor. The wicked man shall see it and be vexed; he shall gnash his teeth; his courage shall fail. The desire of the wicked shall come to nothing.

IV. Outline
1a. Superscription
1b-9. Beatitude
10. Imprecation

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Gerstenberger, Erhard. Psalms Part 2 and Lamentations (Forms of Old Testament Literature; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001).
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Psalm 111 – “Acrostic Hymn”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The psalmist praises and gives thanks to god in an alphabetic acrostic.

II. Photo
The psalmist speaks about early education: “The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord; all who practice it gain sound understanding.” (v. 10)

III. Select Verses    
2-4a: The works of the LORD are great, within reach of all who desire them. His deeds are splendid and glorious; His beneficence is everlasting; He has won renown for His wonders.
4b-5a: The LORD is gracious and compassionate; He gives food to those who fear Him.
9: He sent redemption to His people; He ordained His covenant for all time; His name is holy and awesome.
10: The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the LORD; all who practice it gain sound understanding. Praise of Him is everlasting.

IV. Outline
1a. Superscription
1b. Declaration of praise
2-9. Hymnic praise and thanksgiving
10. Motivation

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Gerstenberger, Erhard. Psalms Part 2 and Lamentations (Forms of Old Testament Literature; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001).
Photo copied from http://www.iosho.co.in/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Education.jpg