Psalm 115sn Psalm 115. The psalmist affirms that Israel’s God is superior to pagan idols and urges Israel to place their confidence in him.
1 Not to us, O Lord, not to us!
But to your name bring honor,tn Or “give glory.”
for the sake of your loyal love and faithfulness.sn The psalmist asks the Lord to demonstrate his loyal love and faithfulness, not simply so Israel may benefit, but primarily so that the Lord will receive honor among the nations, who will recognize, contrary to their present view (see v. 2), that Israel’s God is committed to his people.
2 Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
3 Our God is in heaven!
He does whatever he pleases!sn He does whatever he pleases. Such sovereignty is characteristic of kings (see Eccl 8:3).
4 Theirtn The referent of the pronominal suffix is “the nations” (v. 2). idols are made of silver and gold –
they are man-made.tn Heb “the work of the hands of man.”
5 They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but cannot see,
6 ears, but cannot hear,
noses, but cannot smell,
7 hands, but cannot touch,
feet, but cannot walk.
They cannot even clear their throats.tn Heb “they cannot mutter in their throats.” Verse 5a refers to speaking, v. 7c to inarticulate sounds made in the throat (see M. Dahood, Psalms [AB], 3:140-41).
8 Those who make them will end uptn Heb “will be.” Another option is to take the prefixed verbal form as a prayer, “may those who make them end up like them.” sn Because the idols are lifeless, they cannot help their worshipers in times of crisis. Consequently the worshipers end up as dead as the gods in which they trust. like them,
as will everyone who trusts in them.
9 O Israel, trust in the Lord!
He is their deliverertn Or “[source of] help.” and protector.tn Heb “and their shield.”
10 O familytn Heb “house.” of Aaron, trust in the Lord!
He is their deliverertn Or “[source of] help.” and protector.tn Heb “and their shield.”
11 You loyal followers of the Lord,tn Heb “[you] fearers of the Lord.” See Ps 15:4. trust in the Lord!
He is their deliverertn Or “[source of] help.” and protector.tn Heb “and their shield.”
12 The Lord takes notice of us,tn Or “remembers us.” he will blesstn Another option is to translate the prefixed form of the verb “bless” in vv. 12-13 as a jussive, “may he bless” (see v. 14).
he will bless the familytn Heb “house.” of Israel,
he will bless the family of Aaron.
13 He will bless his loyal followers,tn Heb “the fearers of the Lord.”
both young and old.tn Heb “the small along with the great.” The translation assumes that “small” and “great” here refer to age (see 2 Chr 15:13). Another option is to translate “both the insignificant and the prominent” (see Job 3:19; cf. NEB “high and low alike”).
14 May he increase your numbers,
yours and your children’s!tn Heb “may he add to you, to you and your sons.” The prefixed verbal form is jussive, indicating this is a prayer.
15 May you be blessed by the Lord,
the creatortn Or “maker.” of heaven and earth!
16 The heavens belong to the Lord,tn Heb “the heavens [are] heavens to the Lord.”
but the earth he has given to mankind.tn Heb “to the sons of man.”
17 The dead do not praise the Lord,
nor do any of those who descend into the silence of death.tn Heb “silence,” a metonymy here for death (see Ps 94:17).
18 But we will praise the Lord
now and forevermore.
Praise the Lord!