PSALM 147#The hymn is divided into three sections by the calls to praise in Ps 147:1, 7, 12. The first section praises the powerful creator who restores exiled Judah (Ps 147:1–6); the second section, the creator who provides food to animals and human beings; the third and climactic section exhorts the holy city to recognize it has been re-created and made the place of disclosure for God’s word, a word as life-giving as water.
God’s Word Restores Jerusalem
How good to sing praise to our God;
how pleasant to give fitting praise.#a. [147:1] Ps 33:1; 92:2.
2The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem,
and gathers the dispersed of Israel,#b. [147:2] Is 11:12; 56:8; Jer 31:10.
3Healing the brokenhearted,
and binding up their wounds.#c. [147:3] Jb 5:18; Is 30:26; 61:1; Jer 33:6.
4He numbers the stars,
and gives to all of them their names.#d. [147:4] Is 40:26.
5Great is our Lord, vast in power,
with wisdom beyond measure.#e. [147:5] Jdt 16:13; Jer 51:15.
6The Lord gives aid to the poor,
but casts the wicked to the ground.#f. [147:6] Ps 146:9; 1 Sm 2:7–8.
7Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
with the lyre make music to our God,#g. [147:7] Ps 71:22.
8#God clothes the fields and feeds the birds, cf. Mt 6:26, 30.Who covers the heavens with clouds,
provides rain for the earth,
makes grass sprout on the mountains,#h. [147:8] Ps 104:13f; Jb 5:10; Jer 14:22; Jl 2:23.
9Who gives animals their food
and young ravens what they cry for.#i. [147:9] Jb 38:41; Mt 6:26.
10#Acknowledging one’s dependence upon God rather than claiming self-sufficiency pleases God, cf. Ps 20:8; 33:16–19.He takes no delight in the strength of horses,
no pleasure in the runner’s stride.#j. [147:10] Ps 20:8; 33:16–18.
11Rather the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
those who put their hope in his mercy.
12Glorify the Lord, Jerusalem;
Zion, offer praise to your God,
13For he has strengthened the bars of your gates,
blessed your children within you.#k. [147:13] Ps 48:14.
14He brings peace to your borders,
and satisfies you with finest wheat.#l. [147:14] Ps 81:17.
15#God speaks through the thunder of nature and the word of revealed law, cf. Is 55:10–11. The weather phenomena are well known in Jerusalem: a blizzard of snow and hail followed by a thunderstorm that melts the ice.He sends his command to earth;
his word runs swiftly!#m. [147:15] Ps 33:9.
16Thus he makes the snow like wool,
and spreads the frost like ash;#n. [147:16] Jb 6:16; 37:10; 38:22.
17He disperses hail like crumbs.
Who can withstand his cold?
18Yet when again he issues his command, it melts them;
he raises his winds and the waters flow.
19He proclaims his word to Jacob,
his statutes and laws to Israel.#o. [147:19] Ps 78:5; Bar 3:37; Dt 4:7–8.
20He has not done this for any other nation;
of such laws they know nothing.