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Psalms 8:5

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels - The original is certainly very emphatic: מאלהים מעט ותחסרחו vattechasserchu meat meelohim, Thou hast lessened him for a little time from God. Or, Thou hast made him less than God for a little time. See these passages explained at large in the notes on Hebrews 2:6; (note), etc., which I need not repeat here.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For thou hast made him - Thou hast made man as such; that is, he was such in the original design of his creation, in the rank given him, and in the dominion conceded to him. The object here is to show the honor conferred on man, or to show how God has regarded and honored him; and the thought is, that in his original creation, though so insignificant as compared with the vast worlds over which God presides, he had given him a rank but little inferior to that of the angels. See the notes at Hebrews 2:7.

A little lower - The Hebrew word used here - חסר châsêr means to want, to lack - and then, to be in want, to be diminished. The meaming is, “Thou hast caused him to want but little;” that is, he was but little interior.

Than the angels - So this is rendered by the Aramaic Paraphrase: by the Septuagint; by the Latin Vulgate; by the Syriac and Arabic; and by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews Hebrews 2:7, who has literally quoted the fourth, fifth, and sixth verses from the Septuagint. The Hebrew, however, is - מאלהים mi'ĕlôhı̂ym - than God. So Gesenius renders it, “Thou hast caused him to want but little of God; that is, thou hast made him but little lower than God.” So DeWette, “nur wenig unter Gott.” So Tholuck renders it, “nur um wenig unter Gott.” This is the more natural construction, and this would convey an idea conformable to the course of thought in the psalm, though it has been usually supposed that the word used here - אלהים 'Elohiym - may be applied to angels, or even men, as in Psalm 82:1; Psalm 97:7; Psalm 138:1; Exodus 21:6; Exodus 22:8-9. Gesenius (Thesau. Ling. Heb., p. 95) maintains that the word never has this signification. The authority, however, of the Aramaic, the Septuagint, the Syriac, and the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, would seem sufficient to show that that meaning may be attached to the word here with propriety, and that somehow that idea was naturally suggested in the passage itself. Still, if it were not for these versions, the most natural interpretation would be that which takes the word in its usual sense, as referring to God, and as meaning that, in respect to his dominion over the earth, man had been placed in a condition comparatively but little inferior to God himself; he had made him almost equal to himself.

And hast crowned him with glory and honor - With exalted honor. See the notes at Hebrews 2:7.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
We are to consider the heavens, that man thus may be directed to set his affections on things above. What is man, so mean a creature, that he should be thus honoured! so sinful a creature, that he should be thus favoured! Man has sovereign dominion over the inferior creatures, under God, and is appointed their lord. This refers to Christ. In
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. 4, 416

The precious book of God contains rules of life for men of every class and every vocation. Examples are here found which it would be well for all to study and imitate. “The Son of God came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.” The true honor and glory of the servant of Christ consists, not in the number of sermons preached, nor in the amount of writing accomplished, but in the work of faithfully ministering to the wants of the people. If he neglects this part of his work he has no right to the name of minister. 4T 416.1

Men are needed for this time who can understand the wants of the people and minister to their necessities. The faithful minister of Christ watches at every outpost to warn, to reprove, to counsel, to entreat, and to encourage his fellow men, laboring with the Spirit of God which worketh in him mightily, that he may present every man perfect in Christ. Such a man is acknowledged in heaven as a minister, treading in the footsteps of his great Exemplar. 4T 416.2

Our preachers are not particular enough in regard to their habits of eating. They partake of too large quantities of food and of too great a variety at one meal. Some are reformers only in name. They have no rules by which to regulate their diet, but indulge in eating fruit or nuts between their meals, and thus impose too heavy burdens upon the digestive organs. Some eat three meals a day, when two would be more conducive to physical and spiritual health. If the laws which God has made to govern the physical system are violated, the penalty must surely follow. 4T 416.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 93

In my last vision I was shown that if you refuse reproof and correction, choose your own way, and will not be disciplined, God has no further use for you in connection with His holy work. If you had commenced the work of setting your own soul right with the Lord you would have seen so great a work to be done for yourself that you would not have spent so much time over the supposed wrongs of Brother H, dwelling upon them behind his back. The work of the last thirty years should inspire confidence in the integrity of Brother H. “Honor to whom honor is due.” 4T 93.1

Men in responsible positions should improve continually. They must not anchor upon an old experience and feel that it is not necessary to become scientific workers. Man, although the most helpless of God's creatures when he comes into the world, and the most perverse in his nature, is nevertheless capable of constant advancement. He may be enlightened by science, ennobled by virtue, and may progress in mental and moral dignity, until he reaches a perfection of intelligence and a purity of character but little lower than the perfection and purity of angels. With the light of truth shining upon the minds of men, and the love of God shed abroad in their hearts, we cannot conceive what they may become nor what great work they may do. 4T 93.2

I know that the human heart is blind to its own true condition, but I cannot leave you without making an effort to help you. We love you, and we want to see you pressing on to victory. Jesus loves you. He died for you, and He wants you to be saved. We have no disposition to hold you in -----; but we do want you to make thorough work with your own soul, to right every wrong there, and make every effort to master self, lest you miss heaven. This you cannot afford to do. For Christ's sake, resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 4T 93.3

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 1, 270

At the first advent of Christ, Satan had brought man down from his original, exalted purity, and had dimmed the fine gold with sin. He had transformed the man, created to be a sovereign in Eden, to a slave in the earth, groaning under the curse of sin. The halo of glory, which God had given holy Adam, covering him as a garment, departed from him after his transgression. The light of God's glory could not cover disobedience and sin. In the place of health and plenitude of blessings, poverty, sickness, and suffering of every type were to be the portion of the children of Adam. 1SM 270.1

Satan had, through his seductive power, led men through vain philosophy to question and finally to disbelieve in divine revelation and the existence of God. He could look abroad upon a world of moral wretchedness, and a race exposed to the wrath of a sin-avenging God, with fiendish triumph that he had been so successful in darkening the pathway of so many, and had led them to transgress the law of God. He clothed sin with pleasing attractions to secure the ruin of many. 1SM 270.2

But his most successful scheme in deceiving man has been to conceal his real purposes, and his true character, by representing himself as man's friend and a benefactor of the race. He flatters men with the pleasing fable that there is no rebellious foe, no deadly enemy that they need to guard against, and that the existence of a personal devil is all a fiction. While he thus hides his existence, he is gathering thousands under his control. He is deceiving them, as he tried to deceive Christ, that he is an angel from Heaven doing a good work for humanity. And the masses are so blinded by sin that they cannot discern the devices of Satan, and they honor him as they would a heavenly angel, while he is working their eternal ruin. 1SM 270.3

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