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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 93

Whedon's Commentary on the BibleWhedon's Commentary


The distinguishing feature of this psalm is its majestic idea of the true theocracy. This idea is not limited to the Hebrew constitution, or any one form of national life, but is general. Rising above the secondary notions of nationality and forms of government, it contemplates Jehovah upon his throne, firmly established and girded with power, ruling over the peoples of earth as a common family, by laws founded in absolute ethics, or the relation of man to God and his fellow man, and this despite all their rage and vaunting. Invisibly, yet potently, he executes his purposes, and makes his enemies the unconscious instruments of his high designs. This was the lofty conception of moral government by the Hebrew mind. Side by side with this was their idea of Messiah’s reign, so beautifully described in Psalms 72:0, and triumphantly in Psalms 2:0; but the two, to the Hebrew mind, were not identical. Historically, they meet in One only in New Testament times, in the fulness of divine revelation. The idea of the psalm is recognised in such places as Isaiah 24:23; Revelation 11:17-18; Revelation 19:6. The psalm is very properly considered as forming a supplement to Psalms 92:0, and Hitzig says, “It surely comes from the same author.” In the latter, the majesty of Jehovah, Psalms 92:8, answers to Psalms 92:4 of the former, while the victory of Psalms 92:9 points to the tumultuous enemies, Psalms 92:3, of the present psalm. See notes on Psalms 92:3-4. The Septuagint, in the title of this psalm, gives the designation εις την ημεραν του προ - σαββατον , for the day before the sabbath, and Jewish tradition corroborates it as a hymn for Sabbath, when God, having finished his creation, reigned over all his works. The indications of date are (like Psalms 92:0) all internal. The Church is beset with powerful enemies, which threaten to whelm the nation in instant ruin (Psalms 92:3) and the temple with desecration and dishonour, (Psalms 92:5,) from which Jehovah rescues them by immediate and sovereign interference, (Psalms 92:4;) all which point to the Assyrian invasion and catastrophe. 2 Kings 19:0

Verse 1

1. The Lord reigneth The usual proclamation at the beginning of the reign of a new sovereign. Thus: “Absalom reigneth,” (2 Samuel 15:10;) and, “Jehu reigneth,” 2 Kings 9:13. Delitzsch: “The allusion makes it plain that the language does not apply to the constant government of God, but to a new, glorious manifestation of his dominion as it were, a new ascent to the throne as at the overthrow of Sennacherib.” See Psalms 96:10; Psalms 97:1; Psalms 99:1.

Girded himself To denote that he is ready for action; (Jeremiah 1:17; Luke 12:25;) also a symbol of strength. (Psalms 18:39; Isaiah 45:5.)

The world also is stablished And as securely has he founded his Church against the tumult and rage of her enemies.

Matthew 16:18. This original “establishment of the world” proves God’s right and ability to govern it.

Verse 2

2. Thy throne is established of old Literally, Thy throne is established from then, or, from that time; that is, from the time that thou hast been from eternity. “This phrase, spoken of God or Christ, means eternity; in respect to creation it is the beginning of time.” Isaiah 44:8. Ainsworth. When there is no historic indication of the particular time referred to, it must be determined by the nature of the subject, which in this case must be the duration of divine existence.

Verse 3

3. Floods נהרות , ( neharoth,) rivers.

Lifted up their voice This could be done by rivers only in the rushing and roaring of cataracts. The cataracts of the Jordan were used as a figure of the civil commotions which drove David for a season from his capital. See on Psalms 42:7. Probably the word rivers, here, refers to the Euphrates and the Tigris, as representing the mad power of Assyria.

Waves The word signifies “waves” that are broken by being dashed against the shore, or otherwise broken with violence breakers. The radical idea is, to dash in pieces to break. The common word for wave is different, and comes from the idea to heap together, to cast up a mound. In symbolic language, the sea, or any great body of water, represents a great collection of people; and a troubled, or tumultuous, sea signifies a nation or nations at war. See Psalms 65:7; Daniel 7:2; Jeremiah 51:42. The figure here clearly points to such war and commotion as threatened the destruction of the nation, and is a strong indication of the date we have assigned to the psalm.

Verse 4

4. The Lord on high is mightier This surely celebrates a sudden victory by the hand of God over a most formidable combination of haughty nations, rushing upon Israel like noisy breakers or cataracts. The imagery naturally refers us to the Assyrian invasion and catastrophe, already mentioned.

Many waters Many nations or peoples, such as always made up the armies of the eastern conquerors.

Verse 5

5. Thy testimonies The words apply to the charges and declarations delivered to Moses for the people, constituting the entire torah, or system of the law, (Psalms 19:7,) but is here specially used of the annexed promises of divine protection and favour to such as keep the law. Psalms 94:12.

Are… sure Literally, Have been amen. Compare 2 Corinthians 1:20; Revelation 19:9; Revelation 21:5; Revelation 22:6. They have proved faithful and true through all this terrible ordeal of danger and suffering by the uproar and tumult of the nations.

Holiness becometh thine house And therefore God will defend it against the daring assaults of wicked men, and purge his own people from corruptions by the terrible ordeal of judgments, like a summer threshing floor. The psalmist recognises the preserved sanctity of the house of God as the moral reason for the divine interference, and as the crowning glory of deliverance. Also, this recognition of the standing of the temple at the time offers a clew to the date of writing.

For ever Hebrew, To length of days; and the duration of this term being determined by the nature of the subject, makes it “for ever.” Compare the same form in Psalms 23:6. But when God’s own people forget that holiness is the chief adornment of them and the sanctuary where they worship, he will sweep them from the earth. See in 2 Chronicles 36:15-19.

Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 93". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/whe/psalms-93.html. 1874-1909.
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