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Psalm 117

STROPHE DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

NASB NKJV NRSV TEV NJB
A Psalm of Praise
No MT Intro
Let All Peoples Praise the Lord Doxology In Praise of the Lord Summons to Praise
117:1-2 117:1-2b 117:1-2 117:1-2b 117:1-2b
  117:2c   117:2c  

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Guide to Good Bible Reading")

FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT PARAGRAPH LEVEL

This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects (reading cycle #3). Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.

 

CONTEXTUAL INSIGHTS

A. This is the shortest Psalm.

 

B. It encourages the Gentiles to praise Israel's God (cf. Psalm 67; 100), the only true God.

 

C. Israel's God is fully revealed in

1. His acts in creation (Genesis 1-2; 6-9)

2. His promises to Abraham (Genesis 12; 15; 18; 22)

a. land

b. seed

c. great name

d. all families of the earth blessed in him

3. redemptive acts toward Abraham's descendants (cf. Ps. 117:2a)

a. the exodus

b. conquest

c. return from exile

 

WORD AND PHRASE STUDY

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 117:1-2
 1Praise the Lord, all nations;
 Laud Him, all peoples!
 2For His lovingkindness is great toward us,
 And the truth of the Lord is everlasting.
 Praise the Lord!

117:1 This Psalm begins and concludes with the Piel imperative, "Praise" (BDB 237, KB 248, cf. Psalm 113; LXX, Psalm 116).

▣ "Laud Him" This is a second Piel imperative (BDB 986, KB 1387, cf. Ps. 147:12).

▣ "all nations. . .all peoples" This universal aspect is characteristic of the Psalms (cf. Ps. 22:27; 33:8; 47:1; 66:1,4; 67:3-5,7; 82:8; 96:7-10; 98:4; 100:1).

This is the OT's great commission. Israel was to be a "kingdom of priests" (cf. Exod. 19:5-6) because all the world is YHWH's. See Special Topic: YHWH's Eternal Redemptive Plan.

This verse is quoted by Paul in Rom. 15:11, which emphasizes YHWH's inclusion of the Gentiles in the work of Christ (cf. Rom. 15:9-13; note Rev. 7:9).

117:2 "lovingkindness. . .truth" These two characteristics of YHWH (see SPECIAL TOPIC: CHARACTERISTICS OF ISRAEL'S GOD) are often listed together (i.e., Ps. 108:4; 115:1; 138:2).

For "lovingkindness" see SPECIAL TOPIC: LOVINGKINDNESS (HESED).

For "truth" or "faithfulness" see Special Topic: Believe, Trust, Faith and Faithfulness in the OT.

▣ "everlasting" See Special Topic: Forever ('olam).

This is an important point because of Israel's repeated faithlessness and idolatry. YHWH is forever faithful but His people are not! He has a larger purpose than just one people/nation (see Special Topic: YHWH's Eternal Redemptive Plan).

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought provoking, not definitive.

1. How common in the OT is YHWH's love, care, concern, and redemption of Gentiles?

2. Define hesed (i.e., lovingkindness).

3. Define emeth (i.e., truth).

4. How does YHWH's love toward Israel affect the Gentiles?