Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 102:15

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord - It is granted that after the edict of Cyrus to restore and rebuild Jerusalem which was about four hundred and ninety years before Christ, the name of the true God was more generally known among the heathen; and the translating the Sacred Writings into Greek, by the command of Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, about two hundred and eighty-five years before the Christian era, spread a measure of the light of God in the Gentile world which they had not before seen. Add to this the disperson of the Jews into different parts of the Roman empire, after Judea became a Roman province, which took place about sixty years before the advent of our Lord; and we may consider these as so many preparatory steps to the conversion of the heathen by the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. And to this last general illumination of the Gentile world the psalmist must allude here, when he speaks of "the heathen fearing God's name, and all the kings of the earth his glory."

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

So the heathen - The nations. That is, The surrounding people, who hear what thou hast done for thy people, will see the evidence that thou art God, and learn to love and worship thee.

Shall fear the name of the Lord - Shall reverence and honor thee.

And all the kings of the earth thy glory - The sovereigns of the earth will be especially affected and impressed with thy majesty. If this refers to the return from the captivity at Babylon, then it means that that event would be particularly suited to impress the minds of the rulers of the world, as showing that God had all nations under his control; that he could deliver a captive people from the grasp of the mighty; that he was the friend of those who worshipped him, and that he would frown on oppression and wrong.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
We are dying creatures, but God is an everlasting God, the protector of his church; we may be confident that it will not be neglected. When we consider our own vileness, our darkness and deadness, and the manifold defects in our prayers, we have cause to fear that they will not be received in heaven; but we are here assured of the contrary, for we have an Advocate with the Father, and are under grace, not under the law. Redemption is the subject of praise in the Christian church; and that great work is described by the temporal deliverance and restoration of Israel. Look down upon us, Lord Jesus; and bring us into the glorious liberty of thy children, that we may bless and praise thy name.
Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 370

In the years that followed the occupation of the Promised Land, the beneficent designs of Jehovah for the salvation of the heathen were almost wholly lost sight of, and it became necessary for Him to set forth His plan anew. “All the ends of the world,” the psalmist was inspired to sing, “shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee.” “Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.” “The heathen shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth Thy glory.” “This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord. For He hath looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven did the Lord behold the earth; to hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; to declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem; when the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.” Psalm 22:27; 68:31; Psalm 102:15, 18-22. PK 370.1

Had Israel been true to her trust, all the nations of earth would have shared in her blessings. But the hearts of those to whom had been entrusted a knowledge of saving truth, were untouched by the needs of those around them. As God's purpose was lost sight of, the heathen came to be looked upon as beyond the pale of His mercy. The light of truth was withheld, and darkness prevailed. The nations were overspread with a veil of ignorance; the love of God was little known; error and superstition flourished. PK 371.1

Such was the prospect that greeted Isaiah when he was called to the prophetic mission; yet he was not discouraged, for ringing in his ears was the triumphal chorus of the angels surrounding the throne of God, “The whole earth is full of His glory.” Isaiah 6:3. And his faith was strengthened by visions of glorious conquests by the church of God, when “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11:9. “The face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations,” was finally to be destroyed. Isaiah 25:7. The Spirit of God was to be poured out upon all flesh. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness were to be numbered among the Israel of God. “They shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the watercourses,” said the prophet. “One shall say, I am the Lord's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel.” Isaiah 44:4, 5. PK 371.2

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