Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 18:49

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

WilI I give thanks unto thee - among the heathen - Quoted by St. Paul, Romans 15:9, to prove that the calling of the Gentiles was predicted, and that what then took place was the fulfillment of that prediction.

But there is a sense in which it applies particularly to David, well observed by Theodoret: "We see," says he, "evidently the fulfillment of this prophecy; for even to the present day David praises the Lord among the Gentiles by the mouth of true believers; seeing there is not a town, village, hamlet, country, nor even a desert, where Christians dwell, in which God is not praised by their singing the Psalms of David."

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Therefore will I give thanks unto thee - Margin, confess. The Hebrew word - ידה yâdâh - in the form used here, means properly to profess, to confess, to acknowledge; then especially to acknowledge or recognize blessings and favors; in other words, to give thanks, to praise. The idea here is that he would make a public acknowledgment of those blessings which he had received; or that he would cause the remembrance of them to be celebrated among the nations.

Among the heathen - Among the nations. See the note at Psalm 18:43. The meaning here is, that he would cause these blessings to be remembered by making a record of them in this song of praise; a song that would be used not only in his own age and in his own country, but also among other nations, and in other times. He would do all in his power to make the knowledge of these favors, and these proofs of the existence of the true God, known abroad and transmitted to other times. The apostle Paul uses this language Romans 15:9 as expressing properly the fact that the knowledge of God was to be communicated to the “Gentiles:” “As it is written, For this cause will I confess to thee among the Gentiles.” The word “heathen” or nations, in the passage before us, corresponds precisely with the meaning of the word Gentiles; and Paul has used the language of the psalm legitimately and properly as showing that it was a doctrine of the Old Testament that the truths of religion were not to be confined to the Jews, but were to be made known to other nations.

And sing praises unto thy name - Unto thee; the name often being used to denote the person. The meaning is, that he would cause the praises of God to be celebrated among foreign or pagan nations, as the result of what God had done for him. Far, probably, very far beyond what David anticipated when he penned this psalm, this has been done. The psalm itself has been chanted by million who were not in existence, and in lands of which the psalmist had no knowledge; and, connected as it has been with the other psalms in Christian worship, it has contributed in an eminent degree to extend the praises of God far in the earth, and to transmit the knowledge of him to generations as they succeeded one another. What David anticipated is, moreover, as yet only in the progress of fulfillment. Millions not yet born will make use of the psalm, as million have done before, as the medium of praise to God; and down to the most distant times this sacred song, in connection with the others in the Book of Psalms, will contribute to make God known in the earth, and to secure for him the praises of mankind.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
When we praise for one mercy, we must observe the many more, with which we have been compassed all our days. Many things had contributed to David's advancement, and he owns the hand of God in them all, to teach us to do likewise. In verse 32, and the following verses, are the gifts of God to the spiritual warrior, whereby he is prepared for the contest, after the example of his victorious Leader. Learn that we must seek release being made through Christ, shall be rejected. In David the type, we behold out of trouble through Christ. The prayer put up, without reconciliation Jesus our Redeemer, conflicting with enemies, compassed with sorrows and with floods of ungodly men, enduring not only the pains of death, but the wrath of God for us; yet calling upon the Father with strong cries and tears; rescued from the grave; proceeding to reconcile, or to put under his feet all other enemies, till death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed. We should love the Lord, our Strength, and our Salvation; we should call on him in every trouble, and praise him for every deliverance; we should aim to walk with him in all righteousness and true holiness, keeping from sin. If we belong to him, he conquers and reigns for us, and we shall conquer and reign through him, and partake of the mercy of our anointed King, which is promised to all his seed for evermore. Amen.
Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 715-6

It was indeed a formidable alliance. The inhabitants of the region lying between the river Euphrates and the Mediterranean Sea had leagued with the Ammonites. The north and east of Canaan was encircled with armed foes, banded together to crush the kingdom of Israel. PP 715.1

The Hebrews did not wait for the invasion of their country. Their forces, under Joab, crossed the Jordan and advanced toward the Ammonite capital. As the Hebrew captain led his army to the field he sought to inspire them for the conflict, saying, “Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the Lord do that which is good in His sight.” 1 Chronicles 19:13. The united forces of the allies were overcome in the first engagement. But they were not yet willing to give over the contest, and the next year renewed the war. The king of Syria gathered his forces, threatening Israel with an immense army. David, realizing how much dependent upon the result of this contest, took the field in person, and by the blessing of God inflicted upon the allies a defeat so disastrous that the Syrians, from Lebanon to the Euphrates, not only gave up the war, but became tributary to Israel. Against the Ammonites David pushed the war with vigor, until their strongholds fell and the whole region came under the dominion of Israel. PP 715.2

The dangers which had threatened the nation with utter destruction proved, through the providence of God, to be the very means by which it rose to unprecedented greatness. In commemorating his remarkable deliverances, David sings: PP 715.3

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