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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 96

Dr. Constable's Expository NotesConstable's Expository Notes

Verses 1-3

The new song the people of the earth should sing is a song that praises God for His new blessings. These are fresh every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). All people should hear about God’s glory and deeds because they will bring blessing to them. This is good news.

Verses 1-6

1. An invitation to all people to honor Yahweh 96:1-6

Verses 1-13

Psalms 96

Here is another psalm that focuses on the reign of God. In it, the psalmist called on all the earth to join Israel in honoring and rejoicing in Yahweh’s sovereign rule.

"By being incorporated into a larger unit in 1 Chronicles 16, the psalm became associated with the glorious entry of the Ark of the covenant into Jerusalem" [Note: VanGemeren, p. 620. Cf. 1 Chronicles 16:23-33.]

Verses 4-6

The reason everyone should praise the Lord is He is greater than all the so-called gods that are only lifeless idols. Yahweh is the creator of all things. Therefore He is strong and glorious.

Verses 7-9

"Families" is literally "tribes." The Israelites invited all the Gentile groups to honor the true God. They invited them to bring offerings of worship to Him at the temple. There was a "court of the Gentiles" where non-Jews could worship Him. Contrast this attitude toward the Gentiles with that of Jonah or the Pharisees in Jesus’ day. The psalmist invited non-Jews to submit to Yahweh and become His worshippers. Many did become proselytes over the years.

"Praise takes the form of concrete expressions of submission to Yahweh." [Note: Ibid., p. 622.]

Verses 7-10

2. An invitation to all groups of people to honor Yahweh 96:7-10

Verse 10

It is only reasonable that all tribes acknowledge Yahweh, since He reigns over all the earth. From later revelation, we know that Jesus Christ will judge the peoples fairly when He returns to this earth and sets up His millennial kingdom. Then every knee of every person will bow to His authority (Psalms 96:6; cf. Philippians 2:10).

Verses 11-13

3. An invitation to all to rejoice over Yahweh’s reign 96:11-13

The writer returned to his former thought of all creation being under God’s authority (Psalms 96:4-5). He now summoned all creation to praise God at the prospect of His righteous rule. Psalms 96:13 is one of the clearest and most thrilling revelations that God will rule on the earth, not just from heaven. He will do so in the person of His Son when He returns to earth. The Son came the first time to save the world, and He will come the second time to judge it. Therefore all creation may rejoice. Even the world of plants and animals will benefit from His righteous rule (cf. Isaiah 35:1-2; Isaiah 65:25; Romans 8:20-22).

This favorite psalm glories in the righteous Sovereign of the universe. His kingdom will indeed come. He will one day accomplish His will on earth, as today others carry it out in heaven (Matthew 6:10).

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 96". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/psalms-96.html. 2012.
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