|<< Psalm 97 >>|
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
1 The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.
Ps 97:1-12. The writer celebrates the Lord's dominion over nations and nature, describes its effect on foes and friends, and exhorts and encourages the latter.
1, 2. This dominion is a cause of joy, because, even though our minds are oppressed with terror before the throne of the King of kings (Ex 19:16; De 5:22), we know it is based on righteous principles and judgments which are according to truth.
2 Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.
3 A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about.
3-5. The attending illustrations of God's awful justice on enemies (Ps 83:14) are seen in the disclosures of His almighty power on the elements of nature (compare Ps 46:2; 77:17; Hab 3:6, &c.).
4 His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled.
5 The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
6 The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.
6. heavens-or, their inhabitants (Ps 50:6), as opposed to "nations" in the latter clause (compare Isa 40:5; 66:18).
7 Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.
7. Idolaters are utterly put to shame, for if angels must worship Him, how much more those who worshipped them.
all ye gods-literally, "all ye angels" (Ps 8:5; 138:1; Heb 1:6; 2:7). Paul quotes, not as a prophecy, but as language used in regard to the Lord Jehovah, who in the Old Testament theophania is the second person of the Godhead.
8 Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O LORD.
8, 9. The exaltation of Zion's king is joy to the righteous and sorrow to the wicked.
daughters of Judah-(Compare Ps 48:11).
9 For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.
9. above all gods-(Ps 95:3).
10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.
10-12. Let gratitude for the blessings of providence and grace incite saints (Ps 4:3) to holy living. Spiritual blessings are in store, represented by light (Ps 27:1) and gladness.
11 Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.
11. sown-to spring forth abundantly for such, who alone can and well may rejoice in the holy government of their sovereign Lord (compare Ps 30:4; 32:11).
12 Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.