Psalms 92 Summary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
i. To sing Jehovah’s praise is a duty and delight. The proofs of His righteous government of the world fill the Psalmist’s heart with joy. Only unspiritual men fail to perceive that the prosperity of the wicked is but the prelude to their ruin, while Jehovah sits enthroned on high for ever (Psa 92:1-8).
ii. His enemies perish, while His people are brought to honour. They rejoice in the discomfiture of the wicked and the triumph of the righteous as the proof of His sovereign power and faithfulness (Psa 92:9-15).
Thus the first division of the Psalm leads up to the central thought of Psa 92:8, the supreme sovereignty of Jehovah which makes for righteousness; and the second division further illustrates the exercise of that sovereignty in the judgement of the wicked and the advancement of the righteous. The problems which perplexed the authors of Psalms 37, 73 will ultimately receive a triumphant solution, of which an earnest has been already experienced.
It is clear that the Psalm is not merely an expression of individual gratitude for personal mercies. The Psalmist speaks on behalf of the community of Israel, as a representative of the true members of it. Such jubilant thanksgiving must surely have been prompted by some particular exhibition of Jehovah’s sovereign power on behalf of His people; and it is most natural to connect the Psalm with the judgement of Babylon and the Restoration from the Exile.
Do we feel Psa 92:11 to be a jarring note in the midst of otherwise noble thoughts? Its harshness is mitigated if the triumph is national, not personal. The Psalmist felt intensely that Israel’s cause was the cause of Jehovah against idolatry, the cause of truth against falsehood, the cause of righteousness struggling for existence against dominant tyranny and violence. Who would not rejoice in the victory of the right? And the expression of that joy necessarily took a concrete form. The Israelite did not speak, as we do, of the defeat of evil and the triumph of good, but of the destruction of the wicked and the prosperity of the righteous. See notes on Psa 58:10-11; and Introd. pp. lxxxviii ff.
The title, A Psalm, a Song for the Sabbath day, refers to the use of the Psalm in the services of the second Temple. (See Introd. p. xxvii.) We learn from the Talmud that it was sung at the libation of wine which accompanied the sacrifice of the first lamb of the Sabbath burnt-offering (Num 28:9-10). Possibly it was selected because Psa 92:4 was supposed to refer to the works of creation. But whatever may have been the reason for the choice, it suggests a noble conception of the “day of the soul’s rest” as a day of joyous thanksgiving and devout meditation on the works of God. The Targum paraphrases the title curiously, “a Psalm of praise and song which the first man uttered upon the day of the Sabbath.”
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The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges is a biblical commentary set published in parts by Cambridge University Press from 1882 onwards. Anglican bishop John Perowne was the general editor. The first section published was written by theologian Thomas Kelly Cheyne and covered the Book of Micah.
Perowne exercised limited editorial control over the writers of individual commentaries: his aim was "to leave each contributor to the unfettered exercise of his own judgment".