Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 19:4

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Their line - That is, of the heavens. The word used here - קו qav - means properly a cord, or line:

(a) a measuring line, Ezekiel 47:3; Job 38:5; Isaiah 44:13; and then

(b) a cord or string as of a lyre or other instrument of music; and hence, a sound.

So it is rendered here by the Septuagint, φθόγγος phthongos By Symmachus, ἦχος ēchos By the Vulgate, sonus. DeWette renders it Klang, sound. Prof. Alexander dogmatically says that this is “entirely at variance with the Hebrew usage.” That this sense, however, is demanded in the passage seems to be plain, not only from the sense given to it by the ancient versions, but by the parallelism, where the term “words” corresponds to it:

“Their line is gone out through all the earth;

Their words to the end of the world.”

Besides, what could be the sense of saying that their line, in the sense of a measuring line, or cord, had gone through all the earth? The plain meaning is, that sounds conveying instruction, and here connected with the idea of sweet or musical sounds, had gone out from the heavens to all parts of the world, conveying the knowledge of God. There is no allusion to the notion of the “music of the spheres,” for this conception was not known to the Hebrews; but the idea is that of sweet or musical sounds, not harsh or grating, as proceeding from the movements of the heavens, and conveying these lessons to man.

And their words - The lessons or truths which they convey.

To the end of the world - To the uttermost parts of the earth. The language here is derived from the idea that the earth was a plane, and had limits. But even with our correct knowledge of the figure of the earth, we use similar language when we speak of the “uttermost parts of the earth.”

In them - That is, in the heavens, Psalm 19:1. The meaning is, that the sun has his abode or dwelling-place, as it were, in the heavens. The sun is particularly mentioned, doubtless, as being the most prominent object among the heavenly bodies, as illustrating in an eminent manner the glory of God. The sense of the whole passage is, that the heavens in general proclaim the glory of God, and that this is shown in a particular and special manner by the light, the splendor, and the journeyings of the sun.

Hath he set a tabernacle for the sun - A tent; that is, a dwelling-place. He has made a dwelling-place there for the sun. Compare Habakkuk 3:11, “The sun and moon stood still in their habitation.”

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The heavens so declare the glory of God, and proclaim his wisdom, power, and goodness, that all ungodly men are left without excuse. They speak themselves to be works of God's hands; for they must have a Creator who is eternal, infinitely wise, powerful, and good. The counter-changing of day and night is a great proof of the power of God, and calls us to observe, that, as in the kingdom of nature, so in that of providence, he forms the light, and creates the darkness, Isa 45:7, and sets the one against the other. The sun in the firmament is an emblem of the Sun of righteousness, the Bridegroom of the church, and the Light of the world, diffusing Divine light and salvation by his gospel to the nations of the earth. He delights to bless his church, which he has espoused to himself; and his course will be unwearied as that of the sun, till the whole earth is filled with his light and salvation. Let us pray for the time when he shall enlighten, cheer, and make fruitful every nation on earth, with the blessed salvation. They have no speech or language, so some read it, and yet their voice is heard. All people may hear these preachers speak in their own tongue the wonderful works of God. Let us give God the glory of all the comfort and benefit we have by the lights of heaven, still looking above and beyond them to the Sun of righteousness.
Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 641

The lonely shepherd was startled by the unexpected call of the messenger, who announced that the prophet had come to Bethlehem and had sent for him. With surprise he questioned why the prophet and judge of Israel should desire to see him; but without delay he obeyed the call. “Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to.” As Samuel beheld with pleasure the handsome, manly, modest shepherd boy, the voice of the Lord spoke to the prophet, saying, “Arise, anoint him: for this is he.” David had proved himself brave and faithful in the humble office of a shepherd, and now God had chosen him to be captain of His people. “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of [from among] his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.” The prophet had accomplished his appointed work, and with a relieved heart he returned to Ramah. PP 641.1

Samuel had not made known his errand, even to the family of Jesse, and the ceremony of anointing David had been performed in secret. It was an intimation to the youth of the high destiny awaiting him, that amid all the varied experiences and perils of his coming years, this knowledge might inspire him to be true to the purpose of God to be accomplished by his life. PP 641.2

The great honor conferred upon David did not serve to elate him. Notwithstanding the high position which he was to occupy, he quietly continued his employment, content to await the development of the Lord's plans in His own time and way. As humble and modest as before his anointing, the shepherd boy returned to the hills and watched and guarded his flocks as tenderly as ever. But with new inspiration he composed his melodies and played upon his harp. Before him spread a landscape of rich and varied beauty. The vines, with their clustering fruit, brightened in the sunshine. The forest trees, with their green foliage, swayed in the breeze. He beheld the sun flooding the heavens with light, coming forth as a bridegroom out of his chamber and rejoicing as a strong man to run a race. There were the bold summits of the hills reaching toward the sky; in the faraway distance rose the barren cliffs of the mountain wall of Moab; above all spread the tender blue of the overarching heavens. And beyond was God. He could not see Him, but His works were full of His praise. The light of day, gilding forest and mountain, meadow and stream, carried the mind up to behold the Father of lights, the Author of every good and perfect gift. Daily revelations of the character and majesty of his Creator filled the young poet's heart with adoration and rejoicing. In contemplation of God and His works the faculties of David's mind and heart were developing and strengthening for the work of his afterlife. He was daily coming into a more intimate communion with God. His mind was constantly penetrating into new depths for fresh themes to inspire his song and to wake the music of his harp. The rich melody of his voice poured out upon the air, echoed from the hills as if responsive to the rejoicing of the angels’ songs in heaven. PP 641.3

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 412

“His glory covered the heavens.”
“The earth is full of Thy riches.”
MH 412.1

“Day unto day uttereth speech,
And night unto night showeth knowledge.
There is no speech nor language,
Without these their voice is heard.
Their line is gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.”
MH 412.2

Habakkuk 3:3; Psalm 104:24; Psalm 19:2-4, margin. MH 412

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 3 (EGW), 1143-4

The struggle that David went through, every other follower of Christ must go through. Satan has come down with great power, knowing that his time is short. The controversy is being waged in full view of the heavenly universe, and angels stand ready to lift up for God's hard pressed soldiers a standard against the enemy, and to put into their lips songs of victory and rejoicing (Manuscript 38, 1905). 3BC 1143.1

5. All Paths Are Beset With Peril—You need not be surprised if everything in the journey heavenward is not pleasant. There is no use in looking to our own defects. Looking unto Jesus, the darkness passes away, and the true light shineth. Go forth daily, expressing the prayer of David, “Hold up my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.” All the paths of life are beset with peril, but we are safe if we follow where the Master leads the way, trusting the One whose voice we hear saying, “Follow Me.” “He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Let your heart repose in His love. We need sanctification, soul, body, and spirit. This we must seek for (NL No. 11, p. 2). 3BC 1143.2

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 144

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. Genesis 1:31. TMK 144.1

God does not design that we shall take no pleasure in the things of His creation.... He watches with a Father's joy the delight of His children in the beautiful things around them. While on earth the Redeemer of the world sought to make His lessons of instruction plain and simple, that all might comprehend them; and can we be surprised that He should choose the open air as His sanctuary, that He should desire to be surrounded by the works of His creation? ... The things which His own hand had made He took as His lesson book. He saw in them more than finite minds could comprehend. TMK 144.2

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1080

A Sermon Written for Our Instruction—A study of the twelfth chapter of Romans would be of profit to us. It is a sermon by the apostle Paul, written for our instruction (Manuscript 50, 1903). 6BC 1080.1

1. See EGW on Exodus 20:1-17. 6BC 1080.2

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