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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 29

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-11

Psalms 29:3 . The voice of the Lord, as heard in a tremendous storm of thunder and hail. The clouds at such a time assume peculiar forms, being charged with the electric fluid, which is diffused throughout all nature. This caloric, or fluid, does not exhibit appearances of fire and heat, till it is collected to a certain point, and put in motion. In a thunder storm there are generally two currents of air, and two or more ranges of clouds, the upper and the lower. When a positively electrified cloud touches another but negatively electrified, it discharges its fluid into the latter, in the form of a ball or globe of the most vivid flame, leaving a bright stream of fire behind it. One night, I saw on Salisbury plain, thirty or forty of those globes of fire run along the ground, some for half a mile, and others for a whole mile. Sometimes this globe, by touching the ground, would break into two, and once or twice into three; then the caloric expired quicker. Each of those globes emanated from a dense cloud, with loud reports. Those heavy clouds are often composed of smaller clouds but negatively electrified; then the electric fluid, discharging itself first into one, and then reverting to another, gives the beautiful zigzag or forked lightning. If this fluid strike a tree, it penetrates to the centre, and often splits it in two or more directions; but on striking a ship’s mast, where the deal is dry, it has been known to scatter the splinters like a star in all directions. If it strike the bellwire of a house, it completely fuses it, and leaves the oxides more than an inch broad on the paper. If it strike an animal, death is instantaneous; and yet it has been known to melt the chain of a man’s watch, affecting him only with a slight shock.


The grandeur of God in a thunder storm, which moves with majesty, rolls the ocean, shakes the mountains, and breaks the trees, should sublimely impress the heart and inspire devotion. All the elements of nature are at his command. The affrighted herds, the trembling flocks, and blaspheming tongues, terrified into prayer, should teach what his second advent will be, when he shall roar out of Zion, and cause the heavens to depart as the coiling of a scroll of parchment. This awful God reigns, not for an hour, riding on the tempest, but sitteth above the waterfloods, and reigneth king for ever. Give unto the Lord, oh ye saints, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Borrow language of the elements, and let all nature inspire your song, in giving glory to his name.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 29". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/psalms-29.html. 1835.
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