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Psalm One Hundred and Eighteen

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Psalm 118:1 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.

Psalm 118:2 Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.

Psalm 118:3 Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.

Psalm 118:4 Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth for ever.

Psalm 118:5 I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place.

Psalm 118:6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?

I will not fear. This great assertion and assurance is quoted in Hebrews 13:6.

Psalm 118:7 The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.

Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

It is better. This is said to be the Bible's middle verse, and it powerfully notes the greatest of all affirmations. God, not man, is Creator, Savior, Judge and eternal King.

Psalm 118:9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.

Psalm 118:10 All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them.

Psalm 118:11 They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.

Psalm 118:12 They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.

Psalm 118:13 Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the LORD helped me.

Psalm 118:14 The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

Psalm 118:15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.

Psalm 118:16 The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.

Psalm 118:17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.

shall not die. Because Christ lives, we shall live (John 14:19). This verse is prophetic both of Christ's resurrection and also that of those who believe on Him (Revelation 1:18; John 11:25, 26).

Psalm 118:18 The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.

Psalm 118:19 Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD:

gates of righteousness. See Psalm 15:1, 2; 24:3, 7-9.

Psalm 118:20 This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.

Psalm 118:21 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.

Psalm 118:22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

head stone. Although much in this key psalm may well be appropriated by each believer, it primarily is fulfilled in Christ, as shown by the use of this verse in the New Testament (e.g., Matthew 21:42; Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:7). According to Jewish tradition, the stones for Solomon's temple, quarried and shaped far from the temple site, included one odd-shaped stone which did not fit anywhere. It was finally found to be the main cornerstone (possibly capstone) of the entire structure.

Psalm 118:23 This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.

marvellous. The word “marvellous” is actually “miraculous.” The resurrection of Christ, after His rejection and crucifixion, typified by the restoration and exaltation of the chief cornerstone after it had first been refused by the temple builders, was the greatest miracle since creation, and certainly should be deemed marvelous in our eyes.

Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

the day. This particular “day” was acknowledged as such by Christ when He wept over Jerusalem after its leaders had rejected Him. “If thou hadst known,” He lamented, “at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace!” (Luke 19:42).

Psalm 118:25 Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.

Save now. “Save now” equals “Hosanna,” as cried by the common people to Jesus (Mark 11:9, 10) when He entered the city for His final week.

Psalm 118:26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.

name of the Lord. This blessing was voiced by the people when Christ entered Jerusalem (Matthew 21:9) When the leaders rebuked these praises of the people (Luke 19:37-39), Jesus said to the Jews as a nation: “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. ... Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 23:38, 39).

Psalm 118:27 God is the LORD, which hath showed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.

Psalm 118:28 Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.

Psalm 118:29 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

O give thanks. According to tradition, ancient Jewish pilgrims sang Psalm 118:1-19 on their way up to Jerusalem. The temple priests and Levites then responded with Psalm 118:20-27; then all together sang Psalm 118:28-29.