In Psalm 146:8 it is asserted by a Jew to the Jews that God gives sight to blind people. The context seems to suggest that a physical blindness is being referred to rather than a spiritual one:

NIV Psalm 146:8 the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.

There is no evidence that this ever occurred until Jesus did so, when he healed the man born blind:

NASB John 9:32“Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind.

In addition Jesus raised up a woman physically bowed down:

NASB Luke 13: 10Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath, 11and a woman was there who had been disabled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten herself up completely. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her to him and said, “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.” 13Then he placed his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.

And since Jesus I don't see any evidence that God was in the habit of healing blind people.

So is Psalm 146 to be understood to only refer to the ministry of the messiah?

Alternatively, is "open [the eyes of] the blind" just a figure of speech, referring to "giving understanding"?

  • This is a psalm of praise in the continuing present tense, meaning now, at the time the psalm was written and sung, and at all future times. God gives sight to the blind now, several hundred years before the time of Jesus, and now in 2017. The psalm makes no promise because it is not about covenant or prophecy, only praise. If you read too literally and you believe John 9:32 then you are forced to say that this psalm only refers to a one-time, non-recurring event, in some obscure Roman province witnessed by a only few people . For this you need a psalm? – Abu Munir Ibn Ibrahim Oct 3 '17 at 1:41
  • So are you saying that "opening the blind" is referring to praise? Or that people are being healed of physical blindness now as ever? – Ruminator Oct 3 '17 at 1:45
  • 1
    The Septuagint reads the Lord wisens up the blind. – Lucian Oct 3 '17 at 4:14
  • @Lucian If you turn that into an answer I'll upvote it and accept it as an answer. Thanks. – Ruminator Oct 3 '17 at 7:07
  • פוקח עורים is a figure of speech, not necessarily "blind" in the medical sense. See Isaiah 42:19, 43:8. The praise is "[God] who opens the eyes of the blind". – Abu Munir Ibn Ibrahim Oct 3 '17 at 7:30

Is Psalm 146:8 a promise for a particular time?

NIV Psalm 146:8 the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.

A promise to the Kingdom of God.

All verses from NASB unless otherwise noted.

The context of the verse suggests physical illness and not spiritual. Why?

In verse three we note that God says,do not to put your trust in princes- kings ,human governments and authorities and in mortal man.

3" Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation."

In verse four God advises not to pin your hopes on humans in which there is no salvation, because his thoughts perish-and he dies.

4 "His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; In that very day his thoughts perish."

"A promise for a particular time? Yes, "to God's Kingdom."

Verses 5 and 6 stress the need that we need something better, we need to put our hope on something better--in God's Kingdom (Mat.6:10)

5 "How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, Whose hope is in the Lord his God, 6 Who made heaven and earth, The sea and all that is in them; Who keeps faith forever;"

The benefits of God's Kingdom rule are mentioned in verses 7-9

7 "Who executes justice for the oppressed; Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free. 8 The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; The Lord raises up those who are bowed down; The Lord loves the righteous; 9 The Lord protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, But He thwarts the way of the wicked." (Compare Isaiah 35:5-6, 33:24 65:20-25)

Verse 10 -God's rule is for ever, from generation to generation.

10 "The Lord will reign forever, Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!"


Abu Munir Ibn Ibrahim correctly pointed out that it can also apply to spiritual blindness , there is salvation for individuals who exercise faith. (Read Isaiah 29:17-24; and 35:5-6 compare Luke 7:22.)" The deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor(spiritually) have the gospel preached to them."

  • I think that when I posed this question I was really being a little too black and white. It can be both! – Ruminator Mar 6 '20 at 23:01
  • Ruminator, It is indeed a very good question, thanks. – Ozzie Ozzie Mar 7 '20 at 6:57
  • I see everything in the OT prophetic of the first century, even if it has another meaning as well. I think when I read this, it struck me as only having prophetic significance rather than both. – Ruminator Mar 7 '20 at 12:42
  • Rev. 21:4 This is not so , since the Divine Kingdom that will rule forever, verse 10, refers also to Daniel 2:44.and this has yet to be fulfilled . We only had a small taste of what God's Kingdom will do in the first century, but nothing was lasting. Daniel 2:44: In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. Comp Rev 21:4 +1 – Ozzie Ozzie Mar 7 '20 at 16:56
  • [Mar 1:15 KJV] (15) And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. The kingdom of God is another word/way of looking at the body of Christ. – Ruminator Mar 7 '20 at 17:12

The context seems to suggest that a physical blindness is being referred to, rather than a spiritual one.

The Septuagint reads the Lord wisens up the blind.

Is Psalm 146 to be understood to only refer to the ministry of the Messiah ?

Is Hosea 11:1 to be understood to only refer to the infancy of the Messiah ?

Is "open ( the eyes of ) the blind" just a figure of speech, referring to "giving understanding" ?

Is Hosea 11:1 just a plain historical statement, referring to Israel's Exodus out of Egypt ?

  • Thank you for bringing in the LXX. Also, please don't answer a question with a question. Thanks. – Ruminator Mar 7 '20 at 17:22

Brown-Driver-Briggs has "blind" עִוֵּר in Psalm 148:6 listed under figurative. The trident looking symbol in front of 146:8 is the BDB symbol for Psalms:

†עִוֵּר S5787 TWOT1586a GK6426 adj. blind;—only abs. ע׳ Ex 4:11 +, pl. עִוְרִים 2 S 5:6 +, f. עִוְרוֹת Is 42:7; (c. art. הָעִוֵּר Dt 28:29, elsewhere הַע׳ Baer Ginsb; van d. H. לָעִוֵּר Jb 29:15, הָעִוְרִים 2 S 5:6, 8; Is 42:18);—blind, usually as subst. = the blind: 1. lit., physically blind: a. of men Ex 4:11 (J; opp. פִּקֵּחַ), 2 S 5:6, 8(); Lv 19:14 (H), Dt 27:18; Je 31:8 Jb 29:15; in sim. Dt 28:29; Zp 1:17; Is 59:10, cf. La 4:14 (appos.); as adj. attribute אִישׁ ע׳ Lv 21:18 (H). b. of sacrif. animal Dt 15:21; Mal 1:8. 2. fig., a. of the helpless, groping Is 29:18; 35:5; 42:16 ψ 146:8; as adj. attribute, עֵינַיִם עִוְרוֹת Is 42:7. b. of the dull, unreceptive, Is 42:18, 19() (but v 19 c read חֵרֵשׁ q.v.); as adj. attrib. עַם עִוֵּר 43:8; as predicate 56:10.

Brown, F., Driver, S. R., & Briggs, C. A. (1977). Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (p. 734). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

There are uses in the Old Testament where it refers to physical blindness. See BDB above.

More people are spiritually blind than they are physically blind. Just as more people are "prisoners" to their own sin then they are to literal prison.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.