In this week’s study from Tehillim / Psalms 117:1-2, the psalm opens saying, א הַלְלוּ אֶת-יְהֹוָה כָּל-גּוֹיִם שַׁבְּחוּהוּ כָּל-הָאֻמִּים: 117:1 Praise the Lord, all nations; Laud Him, all peoples! (NASB) David writes in his psalm for the nations to praise the Lord God of Israel. Sforno on Bereshit / Genesis 14:20 Part 1 wrote saying, וברוך אל עליון, this power G’d gave to Avram to enable him to overcome his enemies, is a blessing for the Lord. He is able to rejoice in the deeds of His creatures when the wicked perish, and when He makes the righteous rejoice in their success. David expressed it in these words in Psalms 117:1-2 שבחוהו כל האומים גי גבר עלינו חסדו, “Praise the Lord all you nations. Extol Him, all you peoples; for great is His steadfast love toward us;” Sforno states that the Lord’s love surpasses all understanding, and so great is his love that all of the nations are called to give praises to His Name. David continues saying the following, ב כִּי גָבַר עָלֵינוּ | חַסְדּוֹ וֶאֱמֶת-יְהֹוָה לְעוֹלָם הַלְלוּיָהּ: 117:2 For His lovingkindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord is everlasting. Praise the Lord! (NASB) David says that the grace (חַסְדּוֹ) of God is great towards His people and the truth of the Lord is everlasting. What is the grace and truth of God? Rashbam on Devarim / Deuteronomy 32:43 Part 1 wrote the following concerning Tehillim / Psalms 117, הרנינו גוים (על) עמו, similar in meaning to the word הללו in Psalms 117:1 הללו את ה’ כל גוים, “praise the Lord all you nations, etc.” Just as the psalmist calls upon the nations to acknowledge G’d, to praise Him and exalt Him for the loving kindness He has shown His creatures, so Moses concludes here with a similar call addressed to these same nations at the time of the redemption of mankind, or those who deserve it, to praise the Lord because they have finally seen what He has done for His people. By addressing them already now, Moses implies that G’d would relate to them similarly if they would take all these lessons to heart as of now (and convert to Judaism). Note how the nations are included in praising the Lord as this relates to the time of redemption of mankind. Those who would take to hear the commands of God to live for the Lord, the lessons learned and that are taken to heart will cause one to change from the inside out.
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