Then there is a list of all the other things that praise Yahweh. The mountains and hills praise Yahweh. The fruit trees and the all the big cedar trees praise Yahweh. The wild animals and the cultivated cattle praise Yahweh. The creeping things and the flying birds praise Yahweh. Both animate and inanimate things praise Yahweh in this cosmic hymn to God.
From the earth!
You sea monsters!
All the depths!
Stormy winds fulfill his command!”
Besides heaven, the earth and its environment with its changing climate should praise Yahweh. All the sea monsters and the depths of the sea should praise Yahweh. Fire, hail, snow, frost, and stormy winds fulfill his commandments so that they praise Yahweh.
Praise Yahweh from the heavens!
Praise Yahweh in the heights!
All his angels!
His entire host!
Sun and moon!
All you shining stars!
You highest heavens!
You waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of Yahweh!
Thus they were created.
He established them forever and ever.
He fixed their bounds.
They cannot be passed.”
Psalm 148 is another “praise Yahweh” psalm, another way of saying alleluia, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.” This time all created things are to praise Yahweh, not just Israelites or other humans. Everything and everyone was to praise Yahweh. In particular the highest heavens are to praise Yahweh. All the angels and hosts of armies of Yahweh were to praise him. The sun, the moon, and the stars in the skies were to praise Yahweh. The highest heavens with the water that was to fall on the earth were to praise Yahweh. This is truly a cosmic praise of Yahweh. However, all theses heavenly angels and sky were created at the command of Yahweh. He established them forever with a certain boundary that they cannot pass.
Praise your God!
He strengthens the bars of your gates.
He blesses your sons within you.
He grants peace in your borders.
He fills you with the finest of wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth.
His word runs swiftly.
He gives snow like wool.
He scatters frost like ashes.
He hurls down hail like crumbs.
Who can stand before his cold?
He sends out his word.
He melts them.
He makes his wind blow.
He makes the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob.
He declares his statutes and ordinances to Israel.
He has not dealt thus with any other nation.
They do not know his ordinances.
The end of this alleluia psalm naturally has the phrase “praise Yahweh,” another way of saying the Hebrew “Hallelujah.” This section begins and ends with that phrase. This is a long description of what Yahweh is doing in the current time to help Israel with the use of the present tense. He keeps the bars strong on the gates into the town. He blesses them with children. He grants them peace at home. He fills them with a good harvest of wheat. Yahweh commands the whole earth. His word controls the climate as snow, frost, and hail follow his command. He sends out his wind to make the snow melt and the waters flow in the various rivers. He has given his word, his statutes, and his ordinances to Jacob or Israel. No other nation is like Israel. Notice that this is not the Mosaic code but the ordinances of Jacob.
“Sing to Yahweh
Make melody to our God
Upon the lyre!
He covers the heavens with clouds.
He prepares rain for the earth.
He makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to the animals their food.
He gives to the young ravens
When they cry.
His delight is not in the strength of the horse.
His pleasure is not in the speed of a runner.
But Yahweh takes pleasure
In those who fear him.
He takes pleasure
In those who hope
In his steadfast love.”
We are to sing with thanksgiving to Yahweh. We are to make a melody on the lyre to our God. He has covered the heavens with clouds so that he could send rain to the earth to make the grass grow on the hills. He provided food for the animals, especially the ravens when they cried. He does not delight in the strength of a horse or the speed of a human runner. Rather he takes pleasure in those who fear him. He takes pleasure in those who hope in his steadfast love.
How good it is to sing praises to our God!
He is gracious!
A song of praise is fitting.
Yahweh builds up Jerusalem.
He gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the broken hearted.
He binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars.
He gives to all of them their names.
Great is Yahweh!
He is abundant in power.
His understanding is beyond measure.
Yahweh lifts up the downtrodden.
He casts the wicked to the ground.”
Psalm 147 is the second alleluia psalm as praise for Yahweh dominates. Once again there is no beginning title. It almost seems like a continuation of the preceding psalm. They were to all sing praises to Yahweh, another way of saying alleluia, the Hebrew “Hallelujah,” because he is gracious. It is fitting to sing to Yahweh because he built up Jerusalem. He gathered the outcasts. He healed the broken hearted by binding up their wounds. He determined the number and named all the stars. Yahweh is great with abundant power. No one could measure his understanding. He lifted up the downtrodden, but he cast out all those wicked ones to the ground.
“Yahweh will reign forever!
For all generations!
This psalm ends where it began with an alleluia, praise Yahweh, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.” Yahweh will rule as the God of Zion forever to all generations.
“Yahweh executes justice for the oppressed.
Yahweh gives food to the hungry.
Yahweh sets the prisoners free.
Yahweh opens the eyes of the blind.
Yahweh lifts up those who are bowed down.
Yahweh loves the righteous.
Yahweh watches over the strangers.
Yahweh upholds the orphan and the widow.
Yahweh brings to ruin the way of the wicked.”
Yahweh makes sure that there is justice for the oppressed. He gives food to the hungry. He sets prisoners free. He opens the eyes of the blind. He lifts up those who are bowed down. He loves the righteous. He watches over strangers. He helps orphans. He holds up widows. However, he brings to ruin those who are pursuing wicked ways.
“Happy are those whose help is
The God of Jacob.
Happy are those whose hope is
He made heaven
He made the earth.
He made the sea,
He made all that is in them.
He keeps faith forever.”
The happy people are those who trust in the God of Jacob. They are the ones who trust in Yahweh as their God. Yahweh has made heaven, earth, the sea, and everything that is in heaven, on earth, or in the sea. He has made all things.
“Do not put your trust in princes.
Do not put your trust in mortals.
There is no help from them.
When their breath departs
They return to the earth.
On that very day
Their plans perish.”
You were not to put your trust in human princes. They were no help. When they died, they returned to earth. When they stopped breathing, so did all their plans perish with them.