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Commentary On Psalms Volume 5 by Jean Calvin

Psalm 135:15-21

15. The images of the nations are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.16. They have a mouth, and will not speak: they have eyes, and will not see.17. They have ears, and will not hear; also there is no breath in their mouth.18. Like be they to them who make them, whosoever trusteth in them.19. Bless Jehovah, O house of Israel! bless Jehovah, O house of Aaron! 20. Bless Jehovah, O house of Levi! ye that fear Jehovah, bless Jehovah.21. Blessed be Jehovah out of Zion, who dwelleth at Jerusalem. Hallelujah.

15. The images of the nations, etc. As the whole of this part of the Psalm has been explained elsewhere, it is needless to insist upon it, and repetition might be felt irksome by the reader. I shall only in a few words, therefore, show what is the scope of the Psalmist. In upbraiding the stupidity of the heathen, who thought that they could not have God near them in any other way than by resorting to idol worship, he reminds the Israelites of the signal mercy which they had enjoyed, and would have them abide the more deliberately by the simplicity and purity of God's worship, and avoid profane superstitions. He declares, that idolaters only draw down heavier judgments upon themselves, the more zealous they are in the service of their idols. And there is no doubt, that, in denouncing the awful judgments which must fall upon the worshippers of false gods, it is his object to deter such as had been brought up under the word of God from following their example. In Psalm 115 the exhortation given is to trust or hope in the Lord; here, to bless him. The Levites are mentioned in addition to the house of Aaron, there being two orders of priesthood. Every thing else in the two Psalms is the same, except that, in the last verse:, the Psalmist here joins himself, along with the rest of the Lord's people, in blessing God. He says, out of Zion, for when God promised to hear their prayers from that place, and to communicate from it the rich display of his favor, he thereby gave good ground why they should praise him from it. The reason is stated, that he dwelt in Jerusalem; which is not to be understood in the low and gross sense that he was confined to any such narrow residence; but in the sense, that he was there as to the visible manifestation of his favor, experience showing, that while his majesty is such as to fill heaven and earth, his power and grace were vouchsafed in a particular manner to his own people.

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