The prophet exhorts to praise God for his care of the church, 1-3; his power and wisdom, 4, 5; his mercy, 6; his providence, 7-11; to praise him for his blessings upon the kingdom, 12-14; for his power over the elements, 15-18; and for his ordinances in the church, 19, 20.
1 Praise the LORD, for it is good to sing praises to our God. For it is pleasant, and praise is fitting.
2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem. He gathers together the outcasts of Israel.
3 He heals the broken in heart and binds up their wounds.
4 He tells the number of the stars. He calls them all by their names.
5 Our Lord is great and of great power. His understanding is infinite.
6 The LORD lifts up the meek. He casts the wicked down to the ground.
7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving. Sing praise upon the harp to our God,
8 Who covers the heaven with clouds, who prepares rain for the earth, who makes grass to grow upon the mountains.
9 He gives to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.
10 He does not delight in the strength of the horse. He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man.
11 The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his mercy.
12 Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem. Praise your God, O Zion.
13 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates. He has blessed your children within you.
14 He makes peace in your borders and fills you with the finest of the wheat.
15 He sends forth his commandment upon earth. His word runs very swiftly.
16 He gives snow like wool. He scatters the hoar-frost like ashes.
17 He casts forth his ice like morsels. Who can stand before his cold?
18 He sends out his word and melts them. He causes his wind to blow, and the waters flow.
19 He shows his word to Jacob, his statutes and his judgments to Israel.
20 He has not dealt so with any nation. And as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise the LORD.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Psalms, Chapter 147[➚]
John Calvin's Chapter Summary:
This Psalm also incites the people of God to praise him upon two accounts; first, for the display of his power, goodness, wisdom, and other perfections in the common government of the world, and the several parts of it, the heavens and the earth, but more particularly for his special goodness in cherishing and defending the Church which he has chosen of his free grace, in restoring it when fallen down, and gathering it when dispersed.