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Go to Bible: Psalms 8
“our lord.” The Hebrew for “lord” is a grammatical plural, Adonainu, a title also used of David (1 Kings 1:43, 47). The “grammatical plural” is often referred to by scholars as a “plural of majesty,” a “plural of emphasis,” or a “plural of excellence,” because the plural adds emphasis and/or majesty to an individual, it is not a plural of number, as if there was more than one individual being referred to.
“how majestic is your name in all the earth.” Psalm 8 is one of the psalms that is all praise. There are nine verses, and none of them are asking for anything in prayer or recounting biblical history; the whole psalm is about the greatness of God and what He has done. There are a number of psalms that are like Psalm 8 in that they focus almost exclusively on praise: Psalm 8, 19, 23, 33, 47, 67, 84, 93, 96, 100, 111, 113, 117, 150. One of the great values in these psalms is that reading them over and over helps us with our personal praise of God. Modern culture does not praise a lot, or for that matter even say “Thank you” very much, and so reading and reciting praise psalms helps people understand and vocalize praise.(top)
“From the mouths of babes and infants you have established strength.” The Septuagint version of this verse is quoted in Matthew 21:16. It seems that the early translators quoted the Septuagint in Matthew because the meaning of the Hebrew text is unclear.
“to silence the enemy.” The Hebrew is more literally, “to cause to cease” an enemy. This can be to “silence” them, or perhaps it even has eschatological implications pertaining to Judgment Day, and “put an end to” (NET) is also part of the meaning. Although the meaning is not explained, it likely has to do with innocent and honest people praising and supporting God against His enemies, who have a demonic agenda.(top)
|Psa 8:3||- (top)|
“that you visit him.” In this context, God “visits” by blessings and support.
[For more on God “visiting,” see commentary on Exodus 20:5.](top)
“a little lower than God.” The Hebrew word translated “God” is Elohim, the standard word for “God,” although it can refer to representatives of God including angels and even human judges. The Septuagint has “angels,” and that is the source of the quotation in Hebrews 2:7, which reads “angels” in the Greek text, and likely the motivation for many English translations that read “angels.” But if the psalmist had wanted to say “angels” he could have, because there is a specific word that means “angels,” and the fact that he did not use that word but used Elohim indicates that he at least intended to include God. Elohim can also be taken as a plural since it is a plural noun, and thus can mean “gods,” that is, God and those heavenly beings he created to assist Him. Since God said to angels, “let us make humankind in our image,” it is possible that Psalm 8:5 is using Elohim in that plural sense (the NET Bible says, “the heavenly beings). Adam and Eve knew that they were “lower” than God and the angels, which is why Satan could tempt them and say that if they ate of the fruit in the middle of the Garden of Eden they would be “like God” (Gen. 3:5).(top)
|Psa 8:6||- (top)|
|Psa 8:7||- (top)|
|Psa 8:8||- (top)|
“our lord.” The Hebrew for “lord” is a grammatical plural (also Psalm 8:1), Adonaynu, a title also used of David (1 Kings 1:43, 47).(top)