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Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, by Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsh, [1857-78], at

Psalms Chapter 100


psa 100:0

Call of All the World to the Service of the True God

This Psalm closes the series of deutero-Isaianic Psalms, which began with Ps 91. There is common to all of them that mild sublimity, sunny cheerfulness, unsorrowful spiritual character, and New Testament expandedness, which we wonder at in the second part of the Book of Isaiah; and besides all this, they are also linked together by the figure anadiplosis, and manifold consonances and accords.

The arrangement, too, at least from Psa 93:1-5 onwards, is Isaianic: it is parallel with the relation of Isa 24:1 to Psa 13:1. Just as the former cycle of prophecies closes that concerning the nations, after the manner of a musical finale, so the Psalms celebrating the dominion of God, from Psa 93:1-5 onwards, which vividly portray the unfolded glory of the kingship of Jahve, have Jubilate and Cantate Psalms in succession.

From the fact that this last Jubilate is entirely the echo of the first, viz., of the first half of Psa 95:1-11, we see how ingenious the arrangement is. There we find all the thoughts which recur here. There it is said in Psa 95:7, He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the flock of His hand. And in Psa 95:2, Let us come before His face with thanksgiving (בּתודה), let us make a joyful noise unto Him in songs!

This תודה is found here in the title of the Psalm, מזמור לתּודה. Taken in the sense of a "Psalm for thanksgiving," it would say but little. We may take לתודה in a liturgical sense (with the Targum, Mendelssohn, Ewald, and Hitzig), like ליום השׁבת, Psa 92:1, in this series, and like להזכיר in Psa 38:1; Psa 70:1. What is intended is not merely the tôda of the heart, but the shelamı̂m-tôda, תּודה זבח, Psa 107:22; Psa 116:17, which is also called absolutely תודה in Psa 56:13, Ch2 29:31. That kind of shelamı̂m is thus called which is presented על־תודה, i.e., as thankful praise for divine benefits received, more particularly marvellous protection and deliverance (vid., Ps 107).

Psalms 100:1

psa 100:1

The call in Psa 100:1 sounds like Psa 98:4; Psa 66:1. כּל־הארץ are all lands, or rather all men belonging to the earth's population. The first verse, without any parallelism and in so far monostichic, is like the signal for a blowing of the trumpets. Instead of "serve Jahve with gladness (בּשׂמחה)," it is expressed in Psa 2:11, "serve Jahve with fear (בּיראה)." Fear and joy do not exclude one another. Fear becomes the exalted Lord, and the holy gravity of His requirements; joy becomes the gracious Lord, and His blessed service. The summons to manifest this joy in a religious, festive manner springs up out of an all-hopeful, world-embracing love, and this love is the spontaneous result of living faith in the promise that all tribes of the earth shall be blessed in the seed of Abraham, and in the prophecies in which this promise is unfolded. דּעוּ (as in Psa 4:4) Theodoret well interprets δι ̓ αὐτῶν μάθετε τῶν πραγμάτων. They are to know from facts of outward and inward experience that Jahve is God: He hath made us, and not we ourselves. Thus runs the Chethξb, which the lxx follows, αὐτὸς ἔποήσεν ἡμᾶς καὶ οὐχ ἡμεῖς (as also the Syriac and Vulgate); but Symmachus (like Rashi), contrary to all possibilities of language, renders αὐτὸς ἐποίησεν ἡμᾶς οὐκ ὄντας. Even the Midrash (Bereshith Rabba, ch. c. init.) finds in this confession the reverse of the arrogant words in the mouth of Pharaoh: "I myself have made myself" (Eze 29:3). The Ker, on the other hand, reads לו,

(Note: According to the reckoning of the Masora, there are fifteen passages in the Old Testament in which לא is written and לו is read, viz., Exo 21:8; Lev 11:21; Lev 25:30; Sa1 2:3; Sa2 16:18; Kg2 8:10; Isa 9:2; Isa 63:9; Psa 100:3; Psa 139:16; Job 13:15 cf. the note there, Psa 41:4; Pro 19:7; Pro 26:2; Ezr 4:2. Because doubtful, Isa 49:5; Ch1 11:20 are not reckoned with these.)

which the Targum, Jerome, and Saadia follow and render: et ipsius nos sumus. Hengstenberg calls this Ker quite unsuitable and bad; and Hupfeld, on the other hand, calls the Chethb an "unspeakable insipidity." But in reality both readings accord with the context, and it is clear that they are both in harmony with Scripture. Many a one has drawn balsamic consolation from the words ipse fecit nos et non ipsi nos; e.g., Melancthon when disconsolately sorrowful over the body of his son in Dresden on the 12th July 1559. But in ipse fecit nos et ipsius nos sumus there is also a rich mine of comfort and of admonition, for the Creator of also the Owner, His heart clings to His creature, and the creature owes itself entirely to Him, without whom it would not have had a being, and would not continue in being. Since, however, the parallel passage, Psa 95:7, favours ולו rather than ולא; since, further, ולא ,reh is the easier reading, inasmuch as הוּא leads one to expect that an antithesis will follow (Hitzig); and since the "His people and the sheep of His pasture" that follows is a more natural continuation of a preceding ולו אנחנו than that it should be attached as a predicative object to עשׂנוּ over a parenthetical ולא אנחנו: the Ker decidedly maintains the preference. In connection with both readings, עשׂה has a sense related to the history of redemption, as in Sa1 12:6. Israel is Jahve's work (מעשׂה), Isa 29:23; Isa 60:21, cf. Deu 32:6, Deu 32:15, not merely as a people, but as the people of God, who were kept in view even in the calling of Abram.

Psalms 100:4

psa 100:4

Therefore shall the men of all nations enter with thanksgiving into the gates of His Temple and into the courts of His Temple with praise (Psa 96:8), in order to join themselves in worship to His church, which - a creation of Jahve for the good of the whole earth - is congregated about this Temple and has it as the place of its worship. The pilgrimage of all peoples to the holy mountain is an Old Testament dress of the hope for the conversion of all peoples to the God of revelation, and the close union of all with the people of this God. His Temple is open to them all. They may enter, and when they enter they have to look for great things. For the God of revelation (52:11; 54:8) is "good" (Psa 25:8; Psa 34:9), and His loving-kindness and faithfulness endure for ever - the thought that recurs frequently in the later Hallelujah and Hodu Psalms and is become a liturgical formula (Jer 33:11). The mercy of loving-kindness of God is the generosity, and His faithfulness the constancy, of His love.

Next: Psalms Chapter 101