Psalm 148

Psalm 148[a]

Song of the Universe

1 [b]Alleluia.

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
offer praise to him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels;
offer praise to him, all his hosts![c]
3 Praise him, sun and moon;
offer praise to him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens,[d]
and you waters above the heavens.
5 Let them praise the name[e] of the Lord,
for it was at his command that they were created.
6 He established them in place forever and ever;
he issued a law that will never pass away.[f]
7 [g]Praise the Lord from the earth,
you sea monsters and ocean depths,
8 fire and hail, snow and clouds,
storm winds that carry out his word,[h]
9 all mountains and hills,
all fruit trees and cedars,
10 wild animals and all cattle,
creeping creatures and flying birds,[i]
11 kings of the earth and all nations,
princes and all rulers on the earth,
12 young men and women,
the elderly, as well as children.[j]
13 [k]Let them all praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty is above the earth and the heavens.[l]
14 He has raised high a horn[m] for his people,
to the glory of all his saints,
for the people of Israel who are close to him.
Alleluia.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 148:1 The exiles have returned home, the temple has been rebuilt, and its precincts have been restored. God has reestablished the people he loves. What a testament to his glory (vv. 13-14). Joy invades all hearts and expands to worldwide dimensions. The whole universe and all earthly creatures are invited to praise the Lord, the Creator and Redeemer. This theme also permeates the next two psalms, forming the conclusion and the synthesis of the Psalter.
    We can pray this psalm to exhort all creation, both animate and inanimate, to praise the Triune God not only as the Creator but also as the Savior and Sanctifier. For although all creation is presently subject to vanity, it hopes to be freed from corruption so as to enter into the freedom of God’s children, when God will transform the universe with a new heaven and a new earth (see Rom 8:19-22; Rev 21:1-5). May the angels and saints of heaven do likewise.
  2. Psalm 148:1 The psalmist calls upon all creatures in the heavens to praise the Lord because of his creative and redeeming acts.
  3. Psalm 148:2 See Ps 103:20f; Job 38:7.
  4. Psalm 148:4 See Gen 1:6f; 1 Ki 8:27; 2 Cor 12:2; Eph 4:10. Highest heavens: literally, “the heavens of the heavens,” i.e., the space above the “expanse,” which separated the “waters above” from the “waters below” (see Ps 104:3, 13; Gen 1:6f).
  5. Psalm 148:5 Name: see note on Ps 5:12.
  6. Psalm 148:6 See Jer 31:35f.
  7. Psalm 148:7 The psalmist now calls upon all creatures on earth to praise the Lord: sea creatures, depths, the powers of nature, mountains and hills, fruit trees and the cedars, animals and birds, and finally all human beings, including the powerful as well as the young and old.
  8. Psalm 148:8 Carry out his word: i.e., “do his bidding” (see Ps 147:15).
  9. Psalm 148:10 See Gen 1:21, 24f; Isa 43:20.
  10. Psalm 148:12 See Jer 31:13.
  11. Psalm 148:13 The psalmist gives the reasons behind the praise: God is the exalted Ruler, who is not subject to the limitations of the earth or the heavens, and he has unique concern for his people, i.e., those devoted to him, his saints.
  12. Psalm 148:13 See Pss 108:5; 113:2-4.
  13. Psalm 148:14 Horn: i.e., the Lord’s anointed (see note on Ps 18:3; see also Ps 2:2); it may also refer to the strength and power of God’s people (see Ps 92:11; 1 Sam 2:1; Jer 48:25; Lam 2:17). Saints: see notes on Pss 4:3; 34:10.

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