|"Praise ye the Lord from the heavens"|
Psalm 148 is the 148th psalm of the Book of Psalms, beginning in English in the King James Version: "Praise ye the Lord from the heavens". The Book of Psalms is part of the third section of the Hebrew Bible, and a book of the Christian Old Testament. In Latin, this psalm is known as "Laudate Dominum de caelis". The psalm is one of the Laudate psalms. Old Testament scholars have also classified it as a creation psalm and a wisdom psalm.
The psalm is a regular part of Jewish, Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican and other Protestant liturgies. It has been set to music often, including a four-part metered setting in German by Heinrich Schütz as part of the Becker Psalter, and Psalm 148, a setting for voice and piano of an English metered adaptation written and composed by Leonard Bernstein in 1935, his earliest surviving work.
Background and themes
The psalm takes in all of God's creations, from the heights of the heavens, including the angels, the stars, and the sun and moon, down to the earth, the birds and insects, and the inhabitants of the ocean depths. Then it ascends again to man, and this all-encompassing view of God's creations gives him much to praise God for. Quoting Edinburgh minister John Pulsford, Charles Spurgeon notes that the last three psalms in the Book of Psalms (Psalms 148, 149, and 150) form "a triad of wondrous praise": "Heaven is full of praise, the earth is full of praise, praises rise from under the earth, 'everything that hath breath' joins in the rapture. God is encompassed by a loving, praising creation".
British evangelist G. Campbell Morgan also notes that this is a psalm of praise, writing: "What a wonderful song this is! Look over it again, and note the fact that there is no reference in it, from first to last, to the mercy, or pity, or compassion of God. But that is because there is no reference to evil in any form".
The Midrash Tehillim identifies the entities to which the opening verses are addressed. "Praise you the Lord from the heavens" (v. 1) is addressing the ministering angels; "praise Him all you hosts" (v. 2) is addressed to those who fulfill God's will. "Praise you Him, sun and moon" (v. 3) refers to the Jewish Patriarchs and Matriarchs who are likened to the sun and moon in Joseph's dream (Genesis 37:9). "Praise Him, all you stars of light" (v. 3) refers to righteous individuals, as Daniel said, "And they that turn the many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever" (Daniel 12:3). The Midrash adds, "From this you learn that every [righteous individual] has his own star in heaven, and that his star shines according to his deeds".
Hebrew Bible version
|1||הַ֥לְלוּיָ֨הּ הַֽלְל֣וּ אֶת־יְהֹוָה מִן־הַשָּׁמַ֑יִם הַֽ֜לְל֗וּהוּ בַּמְּרוֹמִֽים|
|2||הַֽלְלוּהוּ כָּל־מַלְאָכָ֑יו הַֽ֜לְל֗וּהוּ כָּל־צְבָאָֽו|
|3||הַֽלְלוּהוּ שֶׁ֥מֶשׁ וְיָרֵ֑חַ הַ֜לְל֗וּהוּ כָּל־כּ֥וֹכְבֵי אֽוֹר|
|4||הַֽלְלוּהוּ שְׁמֵ֣י הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם וְ֜הַמַּ֗יִם אֲשֶׁ֚ר מֵעַ֬ל הַשָּׁמָֽיִם|
|5||יְהַֽלְלוּ אֶת־שֵׁ֣ם יְהֹוָ֑ה כִּ֚י ה֖וּא צִוָּ֣ה וְנִבְרָֽאוּ|
|6||וַיַּֽעֲמִידֵ֣ם לָעַ֣ד לְעוֹלָ֑ם חָק־נָ֜תַ֗ן וְלֹ֣א יַֽעֲבֽוֹר|
|7||הַֽלְל֣וּ אֶת־יְ֖הֹוָה מִן־הָאָ֑רֶץ תַּ֜נִּינִ֗ים וְכָל־תְּהֹמֽוֹת|
|8||אֵ֣שׁ וּ֖בָרָד שֶׁ֥לֶג וְקִיט֑וֹר ר֥וּחַ סְ֜עָרָ֗ה עֹ֘שָׂ֥ה דְבָרֽוֹ|
|9||הֶהָרִים וְכָל־גְּבָע֑וֹת עֵ֥ץ פְּ֜רִ֗י וְכָל־אֲרָזִֽים|
|10||הַֽחַיָּ֥ה וְכָל־בְּהֵמָ֑ה רֶ֜֗מֶשׂ וְצִפּ֥וֹר כָּנָֽף|
|11||מַלְכֵי־אֶרֶץ וְכָל־לְּאֻמִּ֑ים שָֹ֜רִ֗ים וְכָל־שֹׁ֥פְטֵי אָֽרֶץ|
|12||בַּֽחוּרִ֥ים וְגַם־בְּתוּל֑וֹת זְ֜קֵנִ֗ים עִם־נְעָרִֽים|
|13||יְהַלְל֚וּ אֶת־שֵׁ֬ם יְהֹוָ֗ה כִּֽי־נִשְׂגָּ֣ב שְׁמ֣וֹ לְבַדּ֑וֹ ה֜וֹד֗וֹ עַל־אֶ֥רֶץ וְשָׁמָֽיִם|
|14||וַיָּ֚רֶם קֶ֨רֶן לְעַמּ֡וֹ תְּהִלָּ֬ה לְכָל־חֲסִידָ֗יו לִבְנֵ֣י יִ֖שְׂרָאֵל עַ֥ם קְ֜רֹב֗וֹ הַֽלְלוּיָֽהּ|
King James Version
- Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights.
- Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.
- Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.
- Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.
- Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.
- He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.
- Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:
- Fire, and hail; snow, and vapours; stormy wind fulfilling his word:
- Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:
- Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:
- Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:
- Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children:
- Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.
- He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD.
Verses 1–6 are recited at the opening to Kiddush Levanah in the Ashkenazi tradition and during the same prayer in some Sephardic traditions. Verses 1–6 are also recited during Birkat Hachama, the blessing on the sun.
The first part of verse 13, beginning with the word "Yehallelu", is said by the Hazzan as he returns the Torah scroll to the ark during morning services; the congregation recites the last part of this verse and continues with the recital of verse 14.
Psalm 148 is one of the Laudate psalms and was sung as one of a trio of psalms—Psalms 148, 149, and 150—during Lauds in the Roman rite. Around 530 A.D., St. Benedict of Nursia chose these three psalms for the office of morning celebrated daily. In the Liturgy of the Hours, Psalm 148 is recited for Sunday Lauds in the third week.
Church buildings have been decorated with creatures mentioned in Psalm 148, including the Irish Honan Chapel which refers to it in inscription and mosaics, and St John the Evangelist's Church, Crawshawbooth, Scotland, with carvings. The Riverside Church in Manhattan features elements mentioned in Psalm 148 carved in oak on the ends of the choir stalls.
Heinrich Schütz composed a four-part setting of a metric German version for the Becker Psalter, "Lobet, ihr Himmel, Gott den Herrn (Praise, ye Heavens, God the Lord), SWV 253. Marc-Antoine Charpentier set in 1679-1680 one "Laudate Dominum de coelis", H.177, for three voices, two treble instruments, and continuo.
The first six verses of Psalm 148 have been set to music as a Hebrew song. American composer Leonard Bernstein adapted the text for his Psalm 148, a setting for voice and piano and dated in 1935, his earliest surviving composition.
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|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Psalm 148.|
- Psalm 148 in Hebrew and English - Mechon-mamre
- Pieces with text from Psalm 148: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project
- Psalm 148: Free scores at the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki)
- Text of Psalm 148 according to the 1928 Psalter
- Psalm 148 – Let Heaven and Earth Praise the LORD text and detailed commentary, enduringword.com
- Hallelujah! Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights. text and footnotes, usccb.org United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Psalm 148:1 introduction and text, biblestudytools.com
- Psalm 148 / Refrain: O praise the name of the Lord. Church of England
- Psalm 148 at biblegateway.com
- "Hymns for Psalm 148". hymnary.org. Retrieved 15 November 2020.