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  • ADAM CLARKE'S BIBLE COMMENTARY -
    PSALMS 134

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    PSALM CXXXIV

    An exhortation to praise God in his sanctuary, 1-3.

    NOTES ON PSALM CXXXIV

    This is the last of the fifteen Psalms called Psalms of degrees. Who was the author is uncertain; it is attributed to David only by the Syriac; it is intimately connected with the two preceding Psalms, and is an exhortation to the priests and Levites who kept nightly watch in the temple, to the assiduous in praising the Lord. It seems to consist of two parts:

    1. An exhortation, probably from the high priest, to those priests and Levites who kept watch in the temple by night, to spend their time profitably, and duly celebrate the praises of God, ver. 1, 2. The second part, which is contained in the third verse, is the prayer of the priests and Levites for the high priest, who seems now to be going to his rest.

    Verse 1. "Behold, bless ye the Lord " - I believe hnh hinneh should be taken here in the sense of take heed! Be upon your guard; you serve a jealous God; provoke him not.

    "Which by night stand " - Who minister during the night.

    Verse 2. "Lift up your hands in the sanctuary " - dq kodesh, "in holiness:" or, as the SYRIAC, lekoudishe, "to holiness;" in sancta, VULGATE; and eis ta agia, SEPTUAGINT; "in holy things; or, as the AETHIOPIC, in the house of the sanctuary." The expression seems very similar to that of St. Paul, 1 Tim. ii. 8: "Lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting." Bless the Lord. - That is, speak good of his name: tell the wonders he has wrought, and show that his name is exalted.

    Verse 3. "The Lord that made heaven and earth " - Who governs and possesses all things; and who can give you every spiritual and earthly blessing.

    Bless thee out of Zion. ] As if they had said, "We will attend to your orders; go in peace, and may God shower down his blessings upon you!" The blessing pronounced by the priests was the following: "The Lord bless thee and keep thee! The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and he gracious unto thee! The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace!" Num. vi. 24-26.

    ANALYSIS OF THE HUNDRED AND THIRTY FOURTH PSALM

    In this Psalm the prophet: - I. Exhorts the Levites and ministers of religion to attend the appointed hours of prayer.

    II. Then the ministers bless the people.

    1. 1. "Behold, bless ye the Lord." 2. Yet principally, "all ye servants of the Lord:" Choose out of the people to this service.

    3. "Which by night stand in the house of the Lord," &c.: In the temple ye ought not to be sleepy, or forget your duty.

    4. Therefore, "lift up your hands," &c., before the ark of the covenant which was the symbol of his presence.

    5. "Bless the Lord," &c.

    II. The other part of your office is to bless the people; let not that be forgotten, but say: - 1. "The Lord bless thee:" Let them know from whom the blessing comes.

    2. "Out of Zion:" So long as they remain in the unity of the Church; there was none to be expected out of Zion.

    3. "The Lord that made:" &c. He that hath power to bless hath given, and must give, his blessing to all creatures, without which they will not be blessed to thee; therefore, bless him.

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