Psalm 147:4

He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.

He telleth the number of the stars,.... Which no man can do exactly; see Genesis 15:5; the ancient astronomers pretended to tell them, as Aratus and Eudoxus {o}, and fixed their number at a thousand and some odd; but then these were only such as were of some magnitude and influence, and such as commonly appeared; but since the use of telescopes many are seen which were not before; and especially those clusters of them in the Milky Way cannot be distinctly discerned and told; but the Lord that made them can tell their exact number. Aben Ezra thinks this is said with respect to the outcasts of Israel scattered throughout the whole earth, as the stars are in the upper orb; and that as the Lord knows the one, he knows the other; which is not amiss, especially spiritually understood;

he calleth them all by their names; not that he calls one Jupiter and another Verus, &c. as the Heathens have done; but the sense is, that he has as perfect, distinct, and exact knowledge of them, as we have of any persons or things that we can call by name, and more so; see

Isaiah 40:26. This may be applied to the saints, who are like to stars for the light they receive from Christ the sun of righteousness, and are a number which no man can number; but Christ knows them all distinctly and exactly, and can call them by name, and holds them in his right hand, and will preserve them; and they shall shine for ever like stars, yea, like the sun in the kingdom of his Father; so Arama interprets this of the righteous, who are compared to stars; see

Daniel 12:4.

{o} Vid. Augustin de Civ. Dei, l. 16. c. 23.