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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 29

Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book PsalmsScott on the Psalms

Verses 1-11

Psalms 29:1-11

V. 1, 2. The Psalmist here calls on the mightiest princes of the earth, who demand homage, and sometimes worship, from men, to render glory to the universal Sovereign and Judge ; and to come and pay their tribute of adoration at his sanctuary, in which he displayed the beauty and excellency of his holy character and perfections.

(Notes, Psalms 2:10-12. Psalms 96:7-9. Psalms 138:4-5. Psalms 145:3-7. Psalms 148:11-13.) Beauty of holiness. (2) Or, his gkriom sanctuary, (marg.) Note, 2 Chronicles 20:20-21 .

V. 3 -11. It is probable that this psalm was composed during a violent storm of thunder and lightning, which reminded David, and led him earnestly to remind others, how mean and feeble the most mighty and honourable of the earth, were in comparison of the God of " glory and " strength." (Notes, Job 36:22-33.Job 37:1-13. Job 40:9-14. P. O. Psalms 37:1-13. You,’ (princes of the earth,)

think there is great power in your words : but, as they ’ can be heard but a little way, so they are of little force, ’ in comparison with this mighty voice ; wherein the Lord ’ expresses how potent he is, and strikes a dread and horror into all that hear it.’ Bp. Patrick. Thunder is often called the voice of God. (Exodus 9:28. marg. Notes, 2 Samuel 22:7-16 - Revelation 4:4-5.)

During a violent storm, he seems in glorious majesty to ride upon the many waters which form the clouds ; and he shakes the ocean, as well as the earth. The power of the lightning equals the terror of the thunder : enormous cedars are shivered and scattered by it in a moment ; the very mountains shake, and seem to move with agility, like a calf or a young rhinoceros, by means of tempests, or the earthquakes with which they are sometimes accompanied. The flames of the electrical fire, at the direction of the Almighty, are divided with inconceivable swiftness, and irresistible force ; and even the wilderness is thrown into a trepidation. The hinds affrighted cast forth their young : and the forests are stripped, and their dark recesses laid open ; the trees being shivered, their branches torn off, and the wild beasts affrighted in their dens. But the people who worshipped God at his sanctuary, heard his voice from his word, which, though replete with encouragement, was more majestick and powerful than the thunder and lightning ; and being secure under his protection, they spake of his glory, as displayed in all these terrifick events. For HE, who once directed the rising, continuance, and conclusion of the deluge, in the time of Noah ; and who always bounds and directs the boisterous ocean ; rules every tempest, and is established " King for ever : " and he will give protection, support, and peace with every blessing to all his faithful people. (Notes, Psalms 46:1-4. Psalms 104:6-9. Genesis 1:9; Genesis 8:1-3. Job 38:8-11.)

The hinds to calve,. (9) ’ The oaks to tremble.’ Bp. Home. Bp. Lowth. This rendering requires a need less alteration of the original, from hinds, or seldom if ever means to tremble. The change leaves out one of the most interesting points in this truly sublime description of a thunder-storm ; namely, its effects on the inhabitants of the forest : and the clause be. comes little more than a repetition of what went before.


The mighty and honourable of the earth derive all their power and splendour from the eternal JEHOVAH : but, alas ! few of them attempt to render to him the honour of his name, or " to worship him in the beauty of holiness. " They should, however, be reminded, that this is their highest privilege, interest, and happiness. The most exulted creatures indeed cannot render to the infinite God, their Creator and constant Benefactor, all " the glory " which is due to him ;" much less can any sinner : but when we come before him, as u in Christ reconciling the " world unto himself," adoring his majesty, submitting to his authority and righteousness, in genuine repentance and faith, and offering our spiritual sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, and willing obedience ; he will pardon and accept our defective services though infinitely beneath his majesty and excellency. The majestick terror and destructive effects of thunders, lightnings, hurricanes, and earthquakes, with the consternation which they occasion ; while they impress on us a sense of God’s omnipotence, and of man’s impotency, should lead us to think of the defence less and desperate condition, to which the wicked will be reduced in the day of judgment. For the voice of the divine law, if duly attended to, would fill the consciences of sinners with more terror and amazement, than all the convulsions in nature; (Notes, Exodus 19:16-20; Exodus 20:18-20. Deuteronomy 5:22-27. Hebrews 12:18-21 ;) and the effects of the word of God, when attended by the operations of his Holy Spirit, are far greater upon the souls of men, than that of thunder in the material world. (Hebrews 4:12.) By its energy the stoutest arc made to tremble, the proudest are abased, the secrets of the heart arc detected, sinners are converted ; and the savage, the sensual, and the unclean, become harmless, gentle, and pure, resembling doves and lambs. If we have heard his voice, and lied for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us ; if we have welcomed Christ as a Saviour, and submitted to him a* our King for ever ; if, relying on his merits, we are no longer terrified by " the ministration of death," yet have learned to love him and keep his commandments : let us remember that it is the same glorious God our Saviour who causes the thunder; and the children need not fear their Father’s voice, when he speaks in anger to his enemies. While they justly tremble, who are exposed without shelter to his vengeance : let us in his temple, his appointed refuge, (safe as Noah in the ark,) thank him for our security, and speak of his honour. " Let us give diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end ; " and continually plead his promises, expecting that he will give us strength to resist temptation, to bear trials, to conquer enemies, and to perform every duty ; and that he will bless us with a quiet conscience, a contented mind, and the " peace of God, which passeth all understanding ; " that he will give us sweet composure even in the solemn hour of death, and exulting boldness amidst the dissolution of this visible creation, and in the " day of judgment and perdition of ungodly " men : " knowing that our Saviour and King will rule even that flood of vengeance, and those tremendous convulsions ; and that he hath prepared for us " new heavens " and a new earth, wherein dwclleth righteousness." (Note, 2 Peter 3:10-13.)

Bibliographical Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 29". Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsp/psalms-29.html. 1804.
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