Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
After exhibiting the harmonious revelation of God's perfections made by
His works and His word, the Psalmist prays for conformity to the Divine
1. the glory of God--is the sum of His perfections
firmament--another word for "heavens"
handywork--old English for "work of His hands."
2. uttereth--pours forth as a stream; a perpetual testimony.
3. Though there is no articulate speech or words, yet without
these their voice is heard (compare Margin).
4. Their line--or, "instruction"--the influence exerted by their tacit
display of God's perfections. Paul
quoting from the Septuagint, uses "sound," which gives the same
5, 6. The sun, as the most glorious heavenly body, is specially
used to illustrate the sentiment; and his vigorous, cheerful, daily,
and extensive course, and his reviving heat (including light), well
display the wondrous wisdom of his Maker.
7-9. The law is described by six names, epithets, and effects. It
is a rule, God's testimony for the truth, His special and general
prescription of duty, fear (as its cause) and judicial decision. It is
distinct and certain, reliable, right, pure, holy, and true. Hence it
revives those depressed by doubts, makes wise the unskilled
rejoices the lover of truth, strengthens the desponding
(Ps 13:4; 34:6),
provides permanent principles of conduct, and by God's grace brings a
12-14. The clearer our view of the law, the more manifest are our
sins. Still for its full effect we need divine grace to show us our
faults, acquit us, restrain us from the practice, and free us from the
power, of sin. Thus only can our conduct be blameless, and our words
and thoughts acceptable to God.