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Bible Commentaries

Thomas Scott: Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms
Psalms 96

 

 

Verses 1-13

Psalm 96:1-13.

V:1. The Septuagint prefixes the following title to this Psalm , " When the house was built " after the captivity, an Ode of David." Hence it has been conjectured, that after the captivity, when the temple was finished, it was selected, (perhaps by Haggai or Zechariah ,) from the rest of the song of praise, used by David at the removal of the ark; and that, some alterations having been made, it was appointed, as a proper expression of the people"s thankful joy on that occasion. (Notes, 1 Chronicles 16:7-36. Ezra 3:8-11; Ezra 6:16-18.) It Isaiah , however, generally allowed to contain a prediction of the Messiah"s coming and kingdom. ""A new Song;" a " song calculated to celebrate new mercies, prefigured by " old ones wrought for Israel in former times : a song fit " for the voices of renewed and regenerate men to sing in " the new Jerusalem, in those new heavens and that new earth, which constitute the new creation, or kingdom of " Jesus Christ." Bp. Home. (Notes, Psalm 33:2-3. Psalm 40:1-5. Revelation 5:8-10; Revelation 14:1-5.) " The prophet sheweth, that " the time shall come, that all nations shall have occasion " to praise the Lord for the revealing of his gospel." The greatest part of the Psalm has already been considered, as constituting a part of that Psalm of praise, which was sung when David removed the ark to mount Zion. (Notes, 1 Chronicles 16:23-33.) It is not there called " A new " Song : " and this perhaps implies that it was altered by some prophet, as adapted to a new occasion.

V:2. The clause rendered " Shew forth his salvation, " &c." literally means " Proclaim the glad tidings of his salvation from day to day." The public, unremitting, and zealous preaching of the gospel, by the apostles and primitive evangelists, to Jews and Gentiles, and by a succession of ministers ever since; with the praises and thanksgivings offered to God by them, and their numerous converts, are evidently predicted. (Notes, 1 Chronicles 16:23-24. Isaiah 40: 9- 11; 529, 10.)

V:3 , 4. The glory of God, or that which constitutes him altogether glorious, even his attributes, especially his Wisdom of Solomon , justice, truth, and mercy; is manifested by his word, and in his works, of which that discovery is most distinguished, which he has made of his harmonious perfections in the person and salvation of Christ, and in the wonders of redeeming love. The glory of God, in his wonderful works for Israel of old, had, by various means, been made known to the heathen; yet they adhered to their idols : (Marg. Ref.) but when the apostles declared his glory, as displayed by the gospel; immense multitudes renounced idolatry, and at length the whole ancient system of idolatry was subverted, through a large part of the world. " Seeing he will reveal himself to all nations contrary to " their own expectation; they ought all to worship him " contrary to their imaginations, and only as he hath appointed." (Notes, Psalm 22:27-28; Psalm 67:1-7; Psalm 86:9-10. 1 Chronicles 16:25-26.)

V:5. Idols I] Vanities, Things of nought. The Septuagint renders it " daemons," or devils. (Notes, 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; 1 Corinthians 10:18-22.) Demon bears a favourable meaning in heathen vocabularies, so to speak; but always signifies an evil spirit, or devil in the New Testament. " The idols, or whatsoever made not the heavens, " are not God." (Note, Jeremiah 10:11.)

V:6. Notes, Psalm 27:4-6; Psalm 50:1; Psalm 2:1-12; Psalm 63:1-4; 1 Chronicles 16:27.

V:7- 9 " Ascribe unto the LORD, O ye people, from " whatever family ye come, ascribe unto him that incomparable majesty, and supreme dominion, ...which you "give to imaginary gods: and renounce them all; and, " acknowledging the LORD alone to be the omnipotent " King of all the world, do him honour suitable to the excellency of his majesty : bring him an oblation, in token " of your subjection to him, and humbly worship him in " his temple, . . . where he hath fixed his glorious residence " among us." " Adore his transcendent perfections; and " let all the people approach his presence with a pious " trembling, and dread to offend their Sovereign." Bp. Patrick.

(Notes, Psalm 19:1-2. 1 Chronicles 16:28-29. 2 Chronicles 20:20-21.)

V:10. f He prophesieth that the Gentiles shall be par" takers with the Jews of God"s promise." When the apostles went and preached the mediatorial kingdom of God, as set up and administered by the Son of his love, to all the nations, what did they but fulfil the command here given? (Notes, Matthew 28:19-20. Mark 16:14-16. Luke 24:44-49.) And as far as their doctrine has been cordially received, the moral state of the world has been established on an immoveable basis. But we are still loudly called on to pray, " Thy kingdom come;

" (Notes, Matthew 3:2-6; . Revelation 11:15-18;) and to exhort one another to " say among the heathen, The LORD " reigneth : " as well as to do all in our power, according to our several stations and talents, to make known God our Saviour to all the nations of the earth. (Notes, Psalm 93:1-2. 1 Chronicles 16:30.)

V:1113. These verses have peculiar animation, as a call on the universe at large, to break forth into joyful praise, and celebrate the coming, redemption, and kingdom of the Saviour : but they are more literally rendered as a (iirect prediction. " The heaver.s shall rejoice, and the " earth shall be glad; the sea shall roar, &c.

" (Notes, Psalm 98:7-9. Psalm 148:7-14. 1 Chronicles 16:31-33. Isaiah 42: 10- 12. 44: 23; 5512, 13.) The second coming of Christ, as well as the first, seems predicted; when " the creature," or creation, " shall be delivered from the bondage " of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the sons of "God." (Note, Romans 8:18-23.) The kingdom of the Redeemer is the kingdom of righteousness and truth: he rules the world in equity, justice, and truth; he fulfills the gracious promises to his believing people; and the triumph of righteousness and truth, over wickedness and falsehood, is the certain effect. And when he shall come to judge the world, the justice and truth of God will be revealed and glorified, in the destruction of the wicked according to his threatenings; and the faithfulness of God, in fulfilling his largest and kindest promises to his redeemed and devoted servants. (Notes, Psalm 1:3-6. 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10. Revelation 20:11-15.) Tlie people. (13) " Peoples," plural, including the inhabitants of every land.

PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS.

When our Emmanuel had finished his work on earth, and was received to his glory in heaven, the church began to " sing a new song " unto him, and to bless his name : and his apostles and evangelists lost no time, but " having " received the promise of the Father " in the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, on the day of Pentecost, they immediately proclaimed the glad tidings of his salvation; so that " daily in the temple, and from house to house they " ceased not to teach and to preach Jesus Christ; " and in " a short time they began to declare his glory among the " heathen, and his wonders among all people." His honour and majesty, his strength and excellency, were at that eventful period so displayed in his doctrine and by his miracles, that vast multitudes renounced their idols, to worship JEHOVAH in " the beauty of holiness," as " God " in Christ reconciling the world unto himself; " to " render unto him the honour due unto his name;" to bring their spiritual sacrifices, and to come into his courts. Still this salvation is spread abroad; it is said " among the " heathen, that JEHOVAH reigneth; " and we are taught to hope and pray for that time, when he shall establish his kingdom in righteousness over .ill nations, and when the whole creation shall rejoice in him, and shew forth his praise. At length the incarnate God will come to judge the earth, to execute his just vengeance on his enemies, and to fulfil his promises to his people. What then are we? Would that day be welcome to our hearts? An- we prepared to join the joyful acclamations of all his servants on earth and in heaven ? If this be not our case, let u now begin to prepare to meet our God, by seeking the pardon of our sins, and the renewal of our souls to holiness. If we are ready, let us bless his name, bear up cheerfully under our difficulties, endeavour to promote the peace and enlargement of his kingdom; and in our proper place, and doing our proper work, let us be as faithful servants, who are habitually expecting and desiring the coming of their Lord.

 


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Bibliography Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 96:4". Thomas Scott: Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsp/psalms-96.html. 1804.

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Sunday, December 15th, 2019
the Third Week of Advent
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