People should praise Yahweh (Ps 148:11-148:14)

“Kings of the earth!

All peoples!

Princes!

All rulers of the earth!

Young men!

Women!

Old men!

Children!

Let them praise the name of Yahweh!

His name alone is exalted!

His glory is above earth and heaven.

He has raised up a horn for his people.

He wants praise for all his faithful.

The people of Israel are close to him.

Praise Yahweh!”

Every person should praise Yahweh. This included the kings, princes and all the rulers of the earth. Besides them, both the young and the old men as well as women and children should praise Yahweh. His name should be exalted above very other name. He has given to his people the horn of plenty. He also wants praise from the people of Israel who are near to him. This psalm ends with the appropriate phrase “praise Yahweh,” another way of saying alleluia, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.”

Praise Yahweh for all he does for you (Ps 147:12-147:20)

“Praise Yahweh!

O Jerusalem!

Praise your God!

O Zion!

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.

Praise Yahweh!”

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.

Alleluia (Ps 146:1-146:2)

“Praise Yahweh!                    

Praise Yahweh!

O my soul!

I will praise Yahweh

As long as I live.

I will sing praises to my God

All my life long.”

Psalm 146 is the first of these last few psalms that are the alleluia hymns since they have no title. They all begin and end with the phrase alleluia or praise Yahweh, another way of saying the Hebrew “Hallelujah.” These psalms or hymns were usually recited in the morning. The opening verses are clearly about praising Yahweh. This psalmist will praise Yahweh as long as he would live. He was going to praise his God all his whole life.

Yahweh gives prosperity (Ps 128:5-128:6)

“Yahweh blesses you from Zion!

May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem

All the days of your life!

May you see your children’s children!

Peace be upon Israel!”

Prosperity comes in two ways, one is in the city of Jerusalem and the other is your family. Yahweh will bless you from Mount Zion. You will see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. Of course, we have the famous phrase, may you see your children’s children, and have grandchildren. This short psalm ends with the Shalom peace to all Israel. So we have Yahweh’s prosperity, peace in Israel, prosperity in Jerusalem, and a long life to see your grandchildren live.

I am surrounded (Ps 118:10-118:12)

“All nations surrounded me.

In the name of Yahweh

I cut them off!

They surrounded me.

They surrounded me on every side.

In the name of Yahweh

I cut them off!

They surrounded me like bees.

They blazed like a fire of thorns.

In the name of Yahweh

I cut them off!”

The psalmist felt that he was surrounded on all sides by some kind of enemies. Somehow with the help of Yahweh he cut them off. He repeated this phrase 3 times, clearly indicating a choral psalm. After they surrounded him on every side Yahweh helped to cut them off. They were like a swarm of bees, and of course, Yahweh helped him. They were like a blazing wood fire until Yahweh helped him.

Yahweh helps the poor (Ps 113:7-113:9)

“Yahweh raises the poor from the dust.

He lifts the needy from the ash heap.

He makes them sit with princes.

He makes them sit with the princes of his people.

He gives the barren woman a home.

He makes her the joyous mother of children.

Praise Yahweh!”

This short psalm ends with Yahweh, from his heights, raising up the poor from the dust. He lifted the needy from the ash heaps. He made them sit with the princes of his people. He provided the barren women with homes and children so that they could be happy. Thus we all should join in and praise Yahweh as this short psalm concludes with the phrase “praise Yahweh,” another way of saying alleluia, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.”

Yahweh controls the world (Ps 104:27-104:30)

“These all look to you.

You give them their food in due season.

When you give it to them,

They gather it up.

When you open your hand,

They are filled with good things.

When you hide your face,

They are dismayed.

When you take away their breath,

They die.

They return to their dust.

When you send forth your Spirit,

They are created.

You renew the face of the earth.”

Everything depends on Yahweh. In a series of “when” sentences, this psalmist reinforces the power of Yahweh. All food comes from Yahweh in due season. They are filled with good things when Yahweh opens his hand. When he hides his face, they are dismayed. Of course, Yahweh controls their breath. When he takes it away, they die and return to dust. Then the often repeated phrase, “Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created” ends this section. The Spirit of God is the source of all life. Yahweh alone renews the face of the earth.