Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
praise him, all you his hosts.
Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men too, and maidens,
old men and boys.
Praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
His majesty is above earth and heaven.
He has lifted up the horn of his people;
Be this his praise from all his faithful ones,
from the children of Israel, the people close to him.
(Psalm 148:1-2, 11-12, 13-14)
148:1 Praise Yah The exhortation hallu-yah opens and closes Ps 148.
from the heavens The first location of the beings that praise God is in heaven. The second location will be the earth (v. 7).
148:2 all his angels The heavenly beings that serve God in the heavenly realm. his hosts The Hebrew word used here, tsava’, can refer to troops or an army and here seems to reference all spiritual beings. The hosts of Yahweh can sometimes include the people of Israel.
148:11 kings of the earth and all peoples The psalmist calls all foreign people—both the powerful and the humble—to praise God.
148:12 the old together with the young The psalmist includes everyone in his call to praise God—both the vigorous and the weak.
148:13 let them praise the name of Yahweh Repeats v. 5. is above earth and heavens Neither heaven nor earth contain God’s reputation and honor; He is above both, and both depend on Him for any beauty that they have.
148:14 a horn A symbol of power and strength. Here, it refers to God Himself. close to him Defines chasidim (“saints” or “faithful ones”) as people who draw near to God by revering Him and following His directions.
We human beings who are addressed, should recognize that we are in the list with all the creation and creatures as creature and creation ourselves. We are in our obligation to praise no different from and no more than all the rest. Everything and everyone is identical in being addressed by the psalm. We human beings are one with all being in our relation to One whose name alone is exalted and whose majesty is above earth and heaven.
How are sun and moon, heavens and waters, storms and mountains, animals and birds to answer the call to praise? How can they fulfill their obligation? One might attribute the call to them to poetic license, but that would miss the theological seriousness behind the hymnic joy. The celestial lights and firmament and waters are the work of the LORD’s command, and they are maintained in their place and purpose by his power.
The LORD has given his faithful praise as their dignity and power. They are the ones who are “near” to him, know and can speak his exalted name. They are given the praise with which to voice the unspoken praise of all creation. Praise is their place and purpose. In the praise of the people of the LORD, the name that is the truth about the entire universe is spoken on behalf of all the rest of creation.
– James Mays
May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.