Psalm 149

Submitted by admin on Fri, 2007-12-28 11:09.

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This psalm begins with the imperative, “Praise Yah” (Hallelujah). A “new song” would be an expression of praise involving a manifestation of God’s wondrous deeds, and his praise should be heard in the assembly of godly ones or his holy people.

Israel is called upon to rejoice “in his Maker,” and the “sons of Zion” (all who recognized Zion as YHWH’s representative place of dwelling) “in their King.” Thus the Most High would be acknowledged as Creator and Sovereign.

The praising of God’s name or the bearer of the name should be joyous, being expressed with dancing and instrumental music (tambourine and harp).

There is good reason for joy. YHWH takes delight or pleasure in his people. He beautifies or “exalts” (LXX) the lowly or humble, granting them salvation or deliverance from their affliction or oppression.

The godly are to exult (“boast,” LXX) “in glory.” This could mean finding delight or taking pride in the glory or honor YHWH bestows upon them, helping them in their time of need. Even while reclining on their beds at night, they could be joyful as they thought about what YHWH had done for them.

Praises to God should be “in their throat.” As they were still faced with enemies, they needed to be in a position to defend themselves. Therefore, the psalmist added, “[Let there be] a two-edged sword in their hand.”

Equipped for battle, they would execute vengeance upon enemy nations and administer disciplinary punishment on peoples who opposed them. As victors, the Israelites would bind defeated kings with chains and the lesser officials with “fetters of iron.”

On these captive monarchs and royal officials, they would execute the “judgment written” or the judgment set forth in God’s law. This would signify their sharing in the administration of divine justice. For the Israelites to be privileged to do so would be an honor, adding glory or splendor to them as God’s devoted people. The psalmist follows up this thought with the concluding imperative, “Praise Yah.”


Yah is the abbreviated form of the divine name (YHWH). See Psalm 1 for additional comments.

In the Septuagint, the concluding “Hallelujah” (“Praise Yah”) is omitted.