Psalm 148#sn Psalm 148. The psalmist calls upon all creation to praise the Lord, for he is the creator and sovereign king of the world.
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the sky!
Praise him in the heavens!
2 Praise him, all his angels!#tn Or “heavenly messengers.”
Praise him, all his heavenly assembly!#tn Heb “all his host.”
3 Praise him, O sun and moon!
Praise him, all you shiny stars!#tn Heb “stars of light.”
4 Praise him, O highest heaven,
and you waters above the sky!#sn The “water” mentioned here corresponds to the “waters above” mentioned in Gen 1:7. See also Ps 104:3. For a discussion of the picture envisioned by the psalmist, see L. I. J. Stadelmann, The Hebrew Conception of the World, 47.
5 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for he gave the command and they came into existence.
6 He established them so they would endure;#tn Or “forever and ever.”
he issued a decree that will not be revoked.#tn Heb “and it will not pass away.”
7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
you sea creatures and all you ocean depths,
8 O fire and hail, snow and clouds,#tn In Ps 119:83 the noun refers to “smoke,” but here, where the elements of nature are addressed, the clouds, which resemble smoke, are probably in view.
O stormy wind that carries out his orders,#tn Heb “[that] does his word.”
9 you mountains and all you hills,
you fruit trees and all you cedars,
10 you animals and all you cattle,
you creeping things and birds,
11 you kings of the earth and all you nations,
you princes and all you leaders#tn Or “judges.” on the earth,
12 you young men and young women,
you elderly, along with you children!
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty extends over the earth and sky.
14 He has made his people victorious,#tn Heb “and he lifted up a horn for his people.” The horn of an ox underlies the metaphor (see Deut 33:17; 1 Kgs 22:11; Ps 92:10). The horn of the wild ox is frequently a metaphor for military strength; the idiom “exalt/lift up the horn” signifies military victory (see 1 Sam 2:10; Pss 75:10; 89:17, 24; 92:10; Lam 2:17). Another option is to take the “horn” as a symbol for the Davidic king, through whom the Lord gives his people military victory.
and given all his loyal followers reason to praise –
the Israelites, the people who are close to him.#tn “[there is] praise for all his loyal followers, to the sons of Israel, the people near him.” Here “praise” stands by metonymy for the victory that prompts it.
Praise the Lord!