Perfected Praise

images4Matthew 21:15-16,  But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?”  And Jesus said to them, “Yes.  Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?”

Jesus was quoting Psalm 8:2 in Matthew 21:16 which would seem to be a misquote.  He did not quote anything which was contradictory to the verse in Psalm but merely clarified it.  After all, He is the author of the Word isn’t He?  John called Him the Word in John 1:1.

Psalm 8:2,  Out of the mouth of babes and infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger.

The ordained strength the Psalmist is referring to which silences the enemy, Jesus called it perfected praise.  Children can not always find the right words to say.  Often their praise lacks depth because of their lack of communication skills.  But their praise goes beyond being verbal.

Our praise may not always be very clear or even sound eloquent, but by the time it gets to the Lord’s ears it has been perfected. It is this praise that shuts the mouth of the enemy.

Feel free to leave a comment or insight.

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2 Responses

  1. Two notes on this pericope.

    First, accept my thanks for a section of your exegesis; I have been working on a new version of the Septuagint psalms and it was a big help trying to translate a part of Psalm 8.

    I had an alternate suggestion why our Lord seemed to misquote Psalm 8. I don’t have a copy of the Gk NT handy right now, but I suspect that the Gk NT passage from Mt. is it is identical to the septuagint in Ps. 8: 2 ( Ek otomatos nepion , etc.) The Masoretic versions are qutie different. Given that most (all?) of the OT quotes in the NT (at least in the Gospels) are taken from the Greek version of the OT, it would seem to be the case.

    At any rate, your teaching on “silencing the enemy” was certainly well taken!

    God bless.

    • Silencing the enemy was certainly in the context of the story in Matthew 21. The enemy were those who accused that the children were praising him as God. They were those Pharisees …. It is after Jesus hearing the praise and his respond to the Pharisees that they become silent.

      Thus the story is a good exegesis of Psalm 8! Our praise is perfected by Jesus Christ, his work on the cross, that we sinners’ praise has become acceptable.

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