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Psalms 8:1

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

O Lord our Lord - אדנינו יהוה Yehovah Adoneynu ; O Jehovah our Prop, our Stay, or Support. אדני Adonai is frequently used: sometimes, indeed often, for the word יהוה Yehovah itself. The root דן dan signifies to direct, rule, judge, support. So Adonai is the Director, Ruler, Judge, Supporter of men. It is well joined with Jehovah; this showing what God is in himself; that, what God is to man; and may here very properly refer to our Lord Jesus.

How excellent is thy name in all the earth! - How illustrious is the name of Jesus throughout the world! His incarnation, birth, humble and obscure life, preaching, miracles, passion, death, resurrection, and ascension, are celebrated through the whole world. His religion, the gifts and graces of his Spirit, his people - Christians - his Gospel and the preachers of it are everywhere spoken of. No name is so universal, no power and influence so generally felt, as those of the Savior of mankind. Amen.

Thy glory above the heavens - The heavens are glorious, the most glorious of all the works of God which the eye of man can reach; but the glory of God is infinitely above even these. The words also seem to intimate that no power, earthly or diabolical, can lessen or injure that glory. The glory and honor which God has by the Gospel shall last through time, and through eternity; and of that glory none shall be able to rob him, to whom majesty and dominion are eternally due. This has been applied by some to the resurrection of our Lord. He rose from the dead, and ascended above all heavens; and by these his glory was sealed, his mission accomplished, and the last proof given to his preceding miracles.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

O Lord - Hebrew, יהוה Yahweh It is an address to God by his chosen and special title, Exodus 3:14. Compare the notes at Isaiah 1:2.

Our Lord - The word used here - אדני 'âdônay - means properly master, lord, ruler, owner, and is such a title as is given to an owner of land or of slaves, to kings, or to rulers, and is applied to God as being the ruler or governor of the universe. The meaning here is, that the psalmist acknowledged Yahweh to be the rightful ruler, king, or master of himself and of all others. He comes before him with the feeling that Yahweh is the universal ruler - the king and proprietor of all things.

How excellent is thy name - How excellent or exalted art thou - the name being often used to denote the person. The idea is,” How glorious art thou in thy manifested excellence or character.”

In all the earth - In all parts of the world. That is, the manifestation of his perfect character was not confined to any one country, but was seen in all lands, and among all people. In every place his true character was made known through His works; in every land there were evidences of his wisdom, his greatness, his goodness, his condescension.

Who hast set thy glory above the heavens - The word used here, and rendered “hast set,” is in the imperative mood - תנה tenâh - give; and it should probably have been so rendered here, “which thy glory give thou;” that is, “which glory of thine, or implied in thy name, give or place above the heavens.” In other words, let it he exalted in the highest degree, and to the highest place, even above the heavens on which he was gazing, and which were in themselves so grand, Psalm 8:3. It expresses the wish or prayer of the writer that the name or praise of God, so manifest in the earth, might be exalted in the highest possible degree - be more elevated than the moon and the stars - exalted and adored in all worlds. In His name there was such intrinsic grandeur that he desired that it might be regarded as the highest object in the universe, and might blaze forth above all worlds. On the grammatical construction of this word - תנה tenâh - see an article by Prof. Stuart, in the Bibliotheca Sacra, vol. ix. pp. 73-77. Prof. Stuart supposes that the word is not formed from נתן nâthan - to give, as is the common explanation, but from תנה tânâh - to give presents, to distribute gifts, Hosea 8:9-10, and that it should be rendered, Thou who diffusest abroad thy glory over the heavens.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The psalmist seeks to give unto God the glory due to his name. How bright this glory shines even in this lower world! He is ours, for he made us, protects us, and takes special care of us. The birth, life, preaching, miracles, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus are known through the world. No name is so universal, no power and influence so generally felt, as those of the Saviour of mankind. But how much brighter it shines in the upper world! We, on this earth, only hear God's excellent name, and praise that; the angels and blessed spirits above, see his glory, and praise that; yet he is exalted far above even their blessing and praise. Sometimes the grace of God appears wonderfully in young children. Sometimes the power of God brings to pass great things in his church, by very weak and unlikely instruments, that the excellency of the power might the more evidently appear to be of God, and not of man. This he does, because of his enemies, that he may put them to silence.
Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
the apostle, to prove the sovereign dominion of Christ, shows he is that Man, that Son of man, here spoken of, whom God has made to have dominion over the works of his hands. The greatest favour ever showed to the human race, and the greatest honour ever put upon human nature, were exemplified in the Lord Jesus. With good reason does the psalmist conclude as he began, Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth, which has been honoured with the presence of the Redeemer, and is still enlightened by his gospel, and governed by his wisdom and power! What words can reach his praises, who has a right to our obedience as our Redeemer?
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, 377

Religion, pure and undefiled, ennobles its possessor. You will ever find with the true Christian a marked cheerfulness, a holy, happy confidence in God, a submission to His providences, that is refreshing to the soul. By the Christian, God's love and benevolence can be seen in every bounty he receives. The beauties in nature are a theme for contemplation. In studying the natural loveliness surrounding us, the mind is carried up through nature to the Author of all that is lovely. All the works of God are speaking to our senses, magnifying His power, exalting His wisdom. Every created thing has in it charms which interest the child of God and mold his taste to regard these precious evidences of God's love above the work of human skill. 3T 377.1

The prophet, in words of glowing fervor, magnifies God in His created works: “When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; what is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?” “O Lord our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth! I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth all Thy marvelous works.” 3T 377.2

It is absence of religion that makes the path of so many professors of religion shadowy. There are those who may pass for Christians but who are unworthy the name. They have not Christian characters. When their Christianity is put to the test, its falsity is too evident. True religion is seen in the daily deportment. The life of the Christian is characterized by earnest, unselfish working to do others good and to glorify God. His path is not dark and gloomy. An inspired writer has said: “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.” 3T 377.3

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 9.3

“O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! ... When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” “All thy works praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee” (Psalm 8:1, 3, 4; Psalm 145:10). HP 9.3

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 359

“Jesus of Nazareth, the true Messiah,” he said, “whose hands and feet were pierced, who was brought like a lamb to the slaughter, who was the Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief, who after the scepter was taken from Judah, and the legislative power from between his feet, came the first time; shall come the second time in the clouds of heaven, and with the trump of the Archangel” (Joseph Wolff, Researches and Missionary Labors, page 62) “and shall stand upon the Mount of Olives; and that dominion, once consigned to Adam over the creation, and forfeited by him (Genesis 1:26; 3:17), shall be given to Jesus. He shall be king over all the earth. The groanings and lamentations of the creation shall cease, but songs of praises and thanksgivings shall be heard. ... When Jesus comes in the glory of His Father, with the holy angels,... the dead believers shall rise first. 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:23. This is what we Christians call the first resurrection. Then the animal kingdom shall change its nature (Isaiah 11:6-9), and be subdued unto Jesus. Psalm 8. Universal peace shall prevail.”—Journal of the Rev. Joseph Wolff, pages 378, 379. “The Lord again shall look down upon the earth, and say, ‘Behold, it is very good.’”—Ibid., page 294. GC 359.1

Wolff believed the coming of the Lord to be at hand, his interpretation of the prophetic periods placing the great consummation within a very few years of the time pointed out by Miller. To those who urged from the scripture, “Of that day and hour knoweth no man,” that men are to know nothing concerning the nearness of the advent, Wolff replied: “Did our Lord say that that day and hour should never be known? Did He not give us signs of the times, in order that we may know at least the approach of His coming, as one knows the approach of the summer by the fig tree putting forth its leaves? Matthew 24:32. Are we never to know that period, whilst He Himself exhorteth us not only to read Daniel the prophet, but to understand it? and in that very Daniel, where it is said that the words were shut up to the time of the end (which was the case in his time), and that ‘many shall run to and fro’ (a Hebrew expression for observing and thinking upon the time), ‘and knowledge' (regarding that time) ‘shall be increased.’ Daniel 12:4. Besides this, our Lord does not intend to say by this, that the approach of the time shall not be known, but that the exact ‘day and hour knoweth no man.’ Enough, He does say, shall be known by the signs of the times, to induce us to prepare for His coming, as Noah prepared the ark.”—Wolff, Researches and Missionary Labors, pages 404, 405. GC 359.2

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